Strategies For Success In This Hot Real Estate Market

As most people are aware, the Puget Sound real estate market is pretty wild right now.

Seattle, Bellevue and King County are experiencing a more challenging market than is Pierce County and the greater Tacoma area, but throughout the region we are seeing prices escalate and a shortage of available homes for sale. There are bidding wars, buyers are waiving the right to conduct home inspections, prices are exceeding appraised values, and many folks feel frustrated or intimidated.

Nevertheless, every day new homes are listed and come on the market, and everyday buyers successfully make offers and get them accepted.  Working with a REALTOR to implement a good strategy will help you whether you are a buyer or a seller.

As a seller, especially of a home in a “hot” price range, it can feel exciting and flattering to get lots of showings and even multiple offers.  Buyers can fear to lose a home to a higher bidder, and sometimes offer more than a home will appraise for.  This can cause a sale to fail, aggravating everyone. Your REALTOR should be able to provide good advice in avoiding the pitfall of accepting a sky-high offer, only to have it collapse due to a low appraisal.

There are options your broker can suggest to a buyers’ broker to make their offer more acceptable. In some cases, a buyer can agree to bring extra down payment funds to make up for a low appraisal. Or an offer which doesn’t require the seller to pay the buyers’ closing costs can keep the purchase price lower, making the appraisal less challenging, and keeping the sellers’ net proceeds higher.

Opinions differ, but some real estate professionals advocate being transparent with buyers’ brokers in a multiple offer situation. Giving your broker permission to disclose some information about other offers, and about your priorities can help guide buyers in making an offer that best meets your needs. Discuss this with your REALTOR and develop a plan.

As a buyer, you need a REALTOR who is advising you immediately of listings which may work for you. Time is of the essence! Strategizing with your broker to ask questions of the listing broker to find out as much as possible about the sellers’ motivation can help make your offer stand out. It’s not always just the price that matters to a seller. For example, they may desire a fast closing, or perhaps a delayed one. Giving them what they want to get what you need is the key to negotiations, and knowledge is power.

Sometimes you can play on the heart strings of a seller. A heartfelt letter explaining why their home is such a great fit for you may tilt the scales in your favor.

With good REALTOR representation, you can do well in this market. Use strategy, and work smart. Good luck!

ED Tropp's PhotoEd Tropp, REALTOR®
253-988-5763 (mobile)

Walkable Neighborhoods

walking-dog-1243310_960_720What was it in America that we lived in before World War II but then abandoned post-war for an auto-driven lifestyle and are now, increasingly and rather quietly (Shhhh) returning to in growing numbers?

We could call it a pedestrian-oriented infrastructure or we could speak English and simply say WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS!

It’s not a new concept by any means. It’s just something we all but abandoned in favor of Eisenhower’s federal highway system in the ‘50’s and the practice of commuting to and from work, school, shopping, you name it. Well, just how much fun has that become lately, that sitting in traffic?  No wonder there’s a growing trend toward moving back.  No wonder people want to buy in walkable communities.

C-1 PhotoTake a look around.  Increasingly there’s a demand for Tacoma’s Proctor District (Highly walkable).  The Lincoln District, look at what’s happening in that ethnic oasis!  All the new development happening on the waterfront down in the Ruston area – Walkability!  And just take a stroll down Bridgeport Way in University Place, home of the new Town Center with a Whole Foods on the North end of it and Trader Joe’s toward it’s south end.  People don’t just want to walk. They want to walk someplace interesting. How else can you account for the popularity of University Place’s miles and miles of trails in and around the Chamber’s Bay complex with its parks, world class golf course, the Playground by the Sound and a view to die for! Even with its challenging hills, Chambers Bay is mighty walkable.

Perhaps they raised their families with a quarter acre of fescue out back, Rhodys and Begonias out front. Now the need for all that dirt to maintain doesn’t seem so driving when it’s driving they have to do just to get to their source for fertilizer, mulch and Moss Out!  Increasingly, REALTORS are hearing, Give me a place where I can live affordably. I don’t need five bedrooms and a three-car but I would like to be able to walk to shopping, the library, a movie, a meal…heck, a choice of meals!

REALTORS across America are working to improve and increase such changes through Smart Growth initiatives.  You’ll find REALTORS working with state legislators, county council members and city staff, working to help homebuyers reconnect with that sense of touchable, interesting, walkable communities. How do we recapture them?  It’s in how we decide to develop and build.  REALTORS are right in the middle of that.  Not necessarily real estate licensees, real estate brokers, real estate agents but REALTORS are. Yes, there is a very real difference.  Ask any Coldwell Banker Bain Associate.  Why? Because we’re involved in our communities and their futures for our families and yours.  Wonderfully walkable and desirable communities come about through the efforts of many and right in the middle of those efforts are the REALTORS and oh, by the way, here at Coldwell Banker Bain, we are all REALTORS.

Give us a call at Coldwell Banker Bain (Tacoma 253-752-7777 or Puyallup 253-841-9100). We’ll be happy to help you find your next home in exactly the kind of community that works for you!

Pat Maddock's PhotoArticle by Pat Maddock, REALTOR®
253-229-8889 (cell)

FREE Electronic Recycling

Coldwell Banker Bain is excited partner with 1 Green Planet to host a FREE electronic recycling event at our University Place office.  Come on by with your recyclable items! (Did we mention that this is FREE?? You just have to bring your recyclables.)

TIME: 10AM – 2PM
LOCATION: 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA

Here are some examples of what you can recycle:

Computers, Printers, Computer Parts, Faxes, Scanners, Modems, Wires, Computer Batteries

Appliances, Washer/Dryer, Refrigerators, Water Heaters

Stereos, DVD, CD, VHS, Cassette Players, Speakers

Bicycles, Motorcycles, Barbecues (no propane tanks)

Lawn Mowers (empty gasoline & oil), Fitness Equipment, Medical Equipment

Things NOT To bring: Televisions, Wood, Glass, Chemicals, Hazardous Waste, Paint, Tires or Alkaline Batteries.