Warmer weather may be good news for homebuyers

SEATTLE - Even though the average price of a house is about $800,000 in King County, real estate brokers say spring and summer may offer a window of opportunity for homebuyers.

The housing market tends to take a slight dip this time of year. Agents say the summer season is prime time to buy a home with less of a chance of getting outbid.

“The ceilings are really high,” said Michael Ackerman, real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Bain.

He says about 40 people came through today’s open house for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. It’s listed for $799,000.

“If you’re selling it’s a great time to sell,” said Ackerman.

He says inventory changes as the holidays approach. Ackerman adds there was less homes on the market during spring break, which has rebounded, but Memorial Day and 4th of July holidays shift what’s available.

“So, you’ll see very few listings come on before a major holiday and a lot the week after as a rule,” said Ackerman.

He says traditionally summer is a slower time in the market, but because the region is booming with growth, the decline this year won’t be drastic.

“There’s a little bit of a dip, but if we’re at a 10 now, it’ll be an 8.5 or a 9 during the summer months,” said Ackerman.

On the Eastside, “I am noticing that,” said Nelya Calev, a real estate agent with John L. Scott. She says it’s rare for a home to stay on the market for long.

“About 80% of properties are selling within the first 30 days,” said Calev.

She agrees with Ackerman that the market may slow slightly in the summer, but it may impact sellers more than buyers.

“I don’t know if I would call it a slowdown, instead of seeing 15-20 offers, as a seller you may get two or three offers, which is still great,” said Calev.

She says that means buyers have more advantage now since competition is less, but cautions to buy because it’s right for you.

“Are you buying because you’re speculating, or are you buying because you truly need a home,” said Calev.

As for sellers, Ackerman says sell for the right reasons too, if it makes sense in whatever stage you are in life right now, but waiting until next year he says could also work in your favor.

“If you don’t need to sell and hang onto your home for another year, it’ll be worth more a year from now, guaranteed,” said Ackerman.

Both agents say there’s a lot of buyers right now who are putting down non-refundable earnest money to make their offers more appealing or forgoing inspections.

If you are a buyer agents suggest setting yourself up for success, getting all your finances in order and ready to go so you can close within 14 days of putting in an offer.