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

Home Sale Turnaround in Trilogy at Redmond Ridge

March Madness or Market Absolutes?

It’s upward for everything…almost

Begin with the fact that March sales more than doubled February’s.

  • Escrow closed on 9 home resells.
  • State excise tax was paid on 2 new construction spec houses.

Those two spec houses were on the market since late 2011.  Despite that, they sold for nearly the Shea asking price. Still, Shea had to pay the costs of carrying the houses for 535 and 491days.  But it is interesting that the 2013 asking price was about $30,000 more than a year ago.

So, is it madness?  Not necessarily.

As Trilogy at Redmond Ridge asking prices rise lenders say interest rates might soon follow, maybe a full percent higher by next year.   That would have an impact on a buyer’s wallet.  Assuming a $200,000 mortgage now at 3.4 percent rising to 4.4 percent by January 1, 2014, that’s $114.56 going from a buyer’s 401K to the bank each month.

Happily, appraisals are supporting the higher prices although the length of time a house sits unsold could suggest price limits are being pushed.

This upward trend has buyers snapping up the clean, well-appointed properties.  As always, a well-kept and maintained home with upgraded fits and finishes has a competitive advantage, especially if it is well-staged and its marketing promotions are highly professional.

We ran across a good question during our regular website analysis.  A Trilogy at Redmond Ridge member inquired in a search “Why is my Trilogy house not selling?  The answer goes beyond an empty brochure box and a messy front entrance.  Those discourage buyers, and brokers, also.

It might be the questioner is asking too high a price for a property with few if any upgrades and obviously in need of repairs and maintenance.  It’s discouraging for buyers, and brokers, to consider a property with a dark and cluttered interior, or one that needs a deep cleaning, inside and out.  A broker committed to a seller will guide a client through steps needed to make the property one that encourages buyers, and their brokers.

Impressing brokers is just as important as buyers.  It’s happened only once in my career.  I “fired” my clients when they wouldn’t recognize they wanted too high a price for their house which didn’t have the best fittings and finishes, had not been well maintained and was kept sparkling clean only until the photographer left.  Twenty thousand people looked at it on the web, 30 walked through an open house, half a dozen looked it over privately but they and brokers moved on.  The house just wasn’t kept clean, and the seller was blind to the home’s true value in a competitive market.

It’s a true partnership, seller and broker.  The broker’s commission is for energetic marketing expertise in presenting the property, and often a lot of elbow grease and dollars invested in the cleaning, repairing and upgrading.

Does it work?  Here’s a list of the homes sold last month with some thoughts:

A “Short Sale” Orchard $325,000 

The broker secured a buyer in 68 days and concluded a short sale in 10 weeks.

My thought: I suspect this to be one of the last stragglers of the recession and the last standard-sized home prized near $325,000.  A real bargain.  

Hemlock: $660,000 in a week; Sold at 98.6 % of asking price

Hemlock: $673,000, 173 days on the market; sold at 96.4% of original asking price

The first was listed by yours truly and sat on a beautiful greenbelt in Division Six. The second went on the market with an almost absurdly high price, and sat for a long time.  It also was on a greenbelt and had a lovely water feature in the back.

My thought:  We applied the “secret of the elephant.”  We never forget extra effort and proper pricing make for a quick sale.

Chelan:$330,000 in 26 days; Asking price was $339,000

My Thought:  Low $300K price range moves quickly.

Discovery: $350,000 in a day; Asking price was $349,000.  Right, a grand less!

Discovery: $352,000 in 41 days; a $412,000 starting price

My thought: One Seller did it perfectly; the other wasted six weeks.

Vashon:  $478,800 on the golf course in 13 days; an asking price of $498,500

Vashon:  $429,000 with a view in 30 days.   Originally, $449,950.            

My thought:  One buyer paid cash and got a deal. Unfortunately, the lower priced Vashon was a distress sale because of health issues.

Whidbey: $505K Full price in a day and on a greenbelt.

My thought: right price meant right buyer

Two Bainbridge Spec houses, $500,815 in 491 days, $502,550 in 55 days

My thought: I’m glad I get to serve the private sector

There’s more, March’s Pending Sales

(Those with an agreement but escrow hasn’t closed.)

As of March 31, there were 10 pending homes with 4 awaiting inspection.  That means there is more inventory and that it is turning over faster.  A month ago the average time on market was about two months.  Now it’s 43 days.  Shea has two spec houses pending, a Nice and a Chelan.

My thought:  Market times are shortening rapidly because of lack of attractive inventory and buyers who are worried about interest rates going up

And Still More…What’s Active?

There are 13 active resells in Trilogy including:

Seven Hemlocks – prices range from $599,000 to $714,900 for a Shea spec house

My thought:  Sometimes setting a price really is just the confidence a broker has in his skills and experience.

Chelan – Shea’s spec house fresh on the market at $404,900

My thought: curious, that’s $75,000 more than a recently sold resell home

Discovery – 29 days on the market at $419,000 after a failed sale.

My thought:  If they can’t pass inspection, they’re not sold. Did I mention we pre-inspect our homes and proactively address repairs?

Two Unions – $439,950 and $464,500

A highly upgraded, rare three bedroom unit with an unshared  driveway listed by yours truly and a greenbelt home site.

My thought: Popularity and price point seems to make the Union Trilogy’s current hot floor plan.

A Vancouver – $559,000 (Modestly appointed but close to the club)

My thought:  That “close to the club” becomes very important to many folks who take full advantage of the Cascade Club…very important

Shea’s new houses include a spec Hemlock at $714,900, and a Chelan at $404,900.  Shea representatives report spec houses are planned for all 17 remaining lots.

My thought: “build-out” is close, but the remaining lots aren’t close to the club.

Some Forecasting and Conclusions

Aside from the sale of two Hemlocks, the smallest of the three-car garage plans, smaller units seem to be what’s most popular right now.   Two larger homes, a Monticello and a Maryhill have sold in the last couple of months.

The Monticello which went for $717,000 in about 60 days might have sold for more and more quickly except it didn’t have much hardwood flooring.  That’s a feature buyers really want right now.

A Monticello I listed and sold closed in January for $750,000.  The buyer signed off on the offer before I could get the brochures printed.  (The Elephant at Work…ask me about it.)

There’s a Maryhill pending at $899,000, the asking price.  So, there are buyers for larger homes, and I’m working with one right now.

The client is financially fully qualified and wants a golf course or superior greenbelt Estate home, a Monticello, Oakwood, Redford or Maryhill.   There’s an urgency about the search.   Any ideas?  Call me at (425) 501-8424.

There are solid reasons the current market favors both sellers and buyers.  Inventory is still low, but easing slightly.  Buyers are out there, often two or three for especially desirable properties.  Prices while edging up still don’t approach the escalation trends of half a dozen years ago,   Interest rates also are rising from their plateau of the past many months.  Consider this:

This week’s average 30-year mortgage rate:  About 3.75 percent

Thirty Year average:   About 8.32 percent

Now, for someone ready, qualified and certain of a property they want, interest at half of what it was on average over the past 30 years should be a motivating factor. It could be exactly the right time to pull the trigger, buying or selling.

CARPE DIEM:  When interest rates rise, prices usually fall.

If 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 our report for March 2013.

Warmest Regards,

Devin & Bridgette

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Here is how we do it, reasons to consider allowing us to help you sell or invest:

With more than five years as a top community representative for Shea Homes I understand the Trilogy at Redmond Ridge product better than any other resale broker.  Those years of experience in dealing with Trilogy homes from the ground up allows us to build more value into your home resulting when you choose to sell, and in negotiating for you a top dollar sales price.  It also means we can get you through the critical home inspection process successfully. For Buyers, you’ll have a total understanding of how your new home functions and of the features that make your home or location more valuable than other homes you considered.

EXPERIENCE

  • Full-Time Licensed Broker Since 1999, and with Managing Broker designation.
  • Serving Trilogy at Redmond Ridge Members since January 2004, with more than 200 Trilogy homes sold.
  • Former Designated Broker & Lead Community Representative.
  • Most Experienced Trilogy at Redmond Ridge Resale Broker!  
  • Five Star Zillow Agent

SERVICE

  • Complimentary Pre-Home Inspection Service – I’ll help you eliminate inspection items from ever making the inspector’s report.
  • Complimentary Home Preparation Assistance & Home Staging – We roll up our sleeves for you.
  • High Definition Photography of your home for print & online advertising.
  • Highest Quality Flyers in Trilogy (4 Sided, Full Color, Fold Out.)
  • Multiple Websites to expose your home to more buyers.
  • Full Time Marketing Expert, so you get TWO for ONE!
  • Contractor Referrals with preferred client care.
  • Open Houses & Community Tours For Buyers Interested In Your Home. When people truly know about Trilogy, they want to live there. It’s the same with your house!