Trilogy at Redmond Ridge Market Report – August 2013, Redmond WA Real Estate

August Marks a Serious Turn in the Market

Inventory Rising –  Pending Sales Fall For a Second Month – Closed Sales Down

Prognostication: predicting according to current
indications or signs; to foretell
It’s a word I often use in conversations with buyers and sellers.  It’s something I pride myself in being able to do rather well, not in all things, but certainly in my craft, real estate. It’s what I do every day and what I’ve done for many years. I do it for you. My hope is that you read what I believe might happen and use it to help not only yourselves but also your neighbors and families.  And, I hope that if you find it useful, so might they. It’s easy to be “in the know.” Just sign up for our once a month “Market Report”.
What’s the Difference between a “Market Report” and a “Newsletter”?
A market report is useful information for its readers. A newsletter is an advertisement by a salesperson, often not much more than braggadocio urging you to buy or sell with them. Yes, we want your business.  We’ll work for it by giving you the facts, the “straight scoop.”  Our objectivity is consistent.  We are accurate and back our information with provable data. We use our newsletter format to do this.  We know sometimes the news isn’t good, but we believe the folks with whom we work deserve truth and reality, not promises of magic.
If you are considering buying or selling, we hope you’ll call us to learn more about our superior service. In the meantime this market report is to assist you in prognosticating so you will know when to make your move.
As Predicted…
Bloomberg, the international news agency, confirms some facts we reported to you as summer began, and some predictions we’ve been making for months.
An Aug. 30 Bloomberg article on national real estate trends cites a Seattle area couple’s disappointment when they encountered that bidding war scheme I reported months ago.  The seller’s real estate agent sets a sub-market level price to lure buyers then, in what amounts to a bidding war, turns down offers until buyers must pay significantly more than the original asking price.
It’s happened in Trilogy at Redmond Ridge, but not often.
That Bloomberg story reports that the Seattle couple then found out that a mortgage, this summer, would cost them $300 a month more than they planned.
Last November a mortgage was 3.31 percent.  In July, 4.51 percent.
There’s more, and again, the trends I reported months ago are substantiated by the Bloomberg story.  Across the country, previously owned house contracts fell 1.3 percent in July, 4.9 percent in Western states.  New home sales also are down, 16.1 percent in the West, orders of magnitude greater than the rest of the country.
What about Trilogy at Redmond Ridge?
It remains an area with tight inventory (although loosening), stable prices and apparently neighborhoods that make appraisers and mortgage lending companies feel comfortable.  But, that’s only when the price makes sense.
Guessing, speculating, even that toying around with a potential buyer’s hopes for a bargain by creating what amounts to an auction – which soon might be illegal – just isn’t fair to either buyer or seller.  On more than one occasion such pricing tactics have led to appraisers effectively stopping the mortgage application process, and uncertainty leading to weeks, sometimes months on the market.
Now, please, my own example.
During a two-month period this summer, in Trilogy  at Redmond Ridge, eight houses I listed, and priced, were sold in less than a week and for the asking price.
The Elephant at work.
Summer sales beginning to fall in Trilogy at .  The 12 closings in August were down about 15 percent from July and July’s pending sales fell to about half of June and now have fallen another third for August.  It’s a tell-tale sign that closings will likely continue to fall the rest of the year. There are just four pending and another four pending inspection. Shea still has three new spec homes pending, as well.

Sellers, Did You Miss The Boat?

I don’t think so but there are more homes to choose from now and fewer buyers. I mentioned last month that we may have hit the ceiling on pricing. This seems more evident now.  Of the 19 currently available for sale homes on the market in Trilogy, 11 have lowered their price, among them a golf course Monticello which dropped from $1.1 million to $997,000. It’s a lovely home on a lovely lot and has been on the market about two months. There was a pent-up demand for upper end homes.  The Monticello has been a good test of the market and supports my contention that buyers are educated and will only pay a premium for resort living if the value is there.
Now what? If you’ve been thinking of selling, you’re fine but it’s going to be a little tougher. Inventory is growing and buyers are beginning to gain a little more control.
Days on Market are up to an average of 61 days vs. 48 last month, 37 in June and just over 3 weeks in May.
I say “you’ll be fine,” that is as long as you hire a powerhouse listing broker. That’s the only way you’re going to stay close to asking price as competition continues to increase.
It’s what the Elephant does. Prepares, presents and expertly positions price to sell high and fast. We have two large ears if you have any questions or thoughts. We’d love to hear from you.
The bottom line? Pricing has leveled off so sell before it falls off. Don’t believe the rah-rah mumbo jumbo you hear from some “salesperson” mentality real estate agent that sales are stronger than ever. That’s simply not the case. They were.  Not now.  Now, it’s pretty much back to “normal” for the next few years.

Sales Down Slightly

A dozen homes closed in August, all of them resell.  Here are the statistics:
August Closings in Trilogy at Redmond Ridge
$257,925 ARCH Home
$341,112 ARCH Home
$495,000 (We Represented Buyer)
$619,000  (Short Sale)
Bold Face Listings: Sold by Devin Sanford Homes“The Elephant at Work”

Serving Everyone equally, The Elephant Way

You may have noticed that we’ve been selling a lot of homes in the lower price ranges. We’ve, also, sold many at the high end. What changes do we make in presenting a less expensive home versus a more expensive home?
Absolutely  none.
Our counseling, home preparation, staging, advertising and promotional materials are all the same; innovative and superior.  That includes high definition digital photography and video by professionals.  For an example, check our website for the Tuscany home we sold in two days for the full price of $795,900.  We also sold two ARCH homes in the $300,000 range; both had fired their original agents and called for our help.  They both sold for full price, quickly.
Our service also includes my Managing Broker expertise.  It’s a certification requiring significantly more schooling and testing than just a real estate license.  When you interview agents to buy or sell, you might ask about that, and if appropriate, you might also ask if they have certification in dealing with short sales, foreclosures, HUD homes, and the formal classroom education necessary to handle such transactions.  I do, plus we hire lawyers, at our expense, when working with such situations.

September’s Foundation Weak

As August sales ended there were just 4 Pending sales in Trilogy, 4 more awaiting inspection and 3 new construction.  Prices can’t be quoted until after closing.  Here’s the list:
1 Orchard, 2 Washington, 1 Vashon – Pending
1 Union, 1 Cedar, 1 Redford, 1 Hemlock – Pending Inspection
The Vashon was handled by Devin Sanford Homes.“The Elephant at Work”

The Vashon was Contingent. Why?

Sometimes taking a “contingency” makes sense for a seller.  How, please?
Let’s start with what a contingency is. It’s quite simple. A buyer makes an offer on your home before they have sold their own.  They probably need the money from the sale of their old home to be able to pay for yours. So, they have their broker write up an offer with a clause that says they agree to put their home on the market within five days and agree to purchase your home and remove the sale of home contingency when they have procured a buyer. Although, they are not considered the ideal situation and, frankly, are shunned by most brokers, including me, sometimes they make sense.
If you’ve been following our market reports, you know sales are slowing in Trilogy. At the time of the “contingent offer” for the Vashon things had been very slow for about three weeks and inventory was low.
As part of our service, I checked out the buyer’s home and their agent’s activity. It turns out it was quite lovely and in a very hot Microsoft neighborhood. I was very impressed with the plans the buyer’s agent had to market their home and I made sure she kept those promises as she prepared their home for sale.   The result: full-price for the home we listed and the folks buying it being successful in a quick sale to close the contingency.
The point is flexibility, thorough market research and a lot of extra effort to be sure a “contingency” can and will work to everyone’s advantage.
It’s what the Elephant can and does do.
With the support of my team I’m a full-time marketing specialist and provide many services for which a seller would normally pay.   I’ll be more clear.  Free.  We own a broom and a checkbook and we know how to use them both. Thinking of selling? Ask for a home visit to learn just what sets us apart from an agent content with status quo.

Now Available

As of September 1, there were 19 homes for sale in Trilogy, 5 more than last month. Shea still has 6 Spec Homes.  That’s 26 total, and here’s what’s available:
*6 New Construction
$293,504  ARCH Home
$375,000  SHORT SALE
$419,900  SHORT SALE
$429,000  SHORT SALE
$849,000 SHORT SALE
Some footnotes about what’s available now:
  • *Shea is asking premiums for its six spec houses, the last of the developer’s 1,523 houses in Trilogy.
  • There can be significant differences in prices for the same model because of a home’s condition, upgrades including appliances, deck expansions and improvements, proximity to the Cascade Club, golf course lots and, of course, the view.
  •  You and your real estate broker can make significant differences by staging your home.  Professional staging is a significant advantage.  Furniture and accessories “showcase” your home by leading a buyer’s eyes and heart to the best features of your interior.  Don’t overlook the patio or deck.
Staging is part of Devin Sanford Homes’ service. The Elephant at work.

Some Private Thoughts…Recovery or Different Rules?

The Aug. 21 edition of USA Today quotes the National Association of Realtors as reporting that existing home sales rose 6.5 percent in July, as the housing recovery continued and inventories of homes for sale stayed tight.  The association’s report also said that the median home price, where half of all homes are more expensive and half are less expensive, was $213,500, up 14 percent from last July.
The market may be slowed soon by higher interest rates.  The article quoted NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun as saying, “Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off to the sidelines.”
This is exactly what I predicted last month.  And, as I’ve said many times, Trilogy has its own rules.  It’s a community designed for active people 55 and older with greater values per square foot of living space.  Inventories compared with even a couple of years ago are still tight in Trilogy and each floor plan seems to have stabilized in terms of price although specific locations, additional features and after-market enhancements can have a significant impact.  There’s another thing about that active 55 and older population of Trilogy.  Moving, the process of selling and buying just isn’t tied to summer months, the traditional time for moving because school’s out.

A Road Map Gone Nuts?

QR Code - Trilogy at Redmond Ridge Washington

No, it’s a QR Code, that square with all those strange lines and shapes, something that your “smart phone” can look at and interpret into a display of a website, offering a potential buyer more information about a house, or any product, that might interest them.  We use it on our brochures and signage.  Another example of The Elephant at Work, advanced technology made simple to help those we serve sell and buy.


Devin and Bridgette SanfordIf we may serve you in any way, just let us know. I can be reached directly at (425) 501-8424 or [email protected].
Thanks for sharing your time with us.  We value it.
Warmest Regards,
Devin, Bridgette & Team