Trilogy at Redmond Ridge Market Report – March 2015, Redmond WA Real Estate

Marching Forward
Inventory Static
Sales Up 50% Over February
Contracts Up 43%

Six Homes Closed Escrow in March.

Last month there were four sales; this month there are six. The big news is the Buyers are out and the properly presented and priced properties are changing hands quickly.  Most in Trilogy are done well, although a few very popular floor plans have been sitting due to poor presentation or over-pricing. Other less popular plans are moving in short order due to just the opposite. One thing always helps; pride of ownership before the listing broker shows up.

Take a look at what’s $old:

Model Original Asking Price Asking Price when Sold Sale Price Days on Market
Chelan $429,000 $419,000 $412,250 37
Union $479,950 $479,950 $479,950 1
Discovery $479,950 $479,950 $480,000 6
Vashon $504,900 $504,900 $495,000 83
Vancouver $579,000 $579,000 $558,000 159
Whidbey $559,000 $559,000 $559,000 20

Homes in bold & Green; the Elephant’s Work representing the Sellers.

The Pachyderm tested the waters and pushed the price point to see just how much a well prepared, presented and priced Chelan could go for. A careful strategy and a pre-determined price drop date resulted in the highest yield of any Chelan in years; in fact the first to break the $400K benchmark. Proper attention to maintenance and a cooperation of efforts with the broker by the home owner definitely helped. It took weeks to prepare the greenbelt Union before the sign was hung. It sold before the flyers were in the box.  Back in my new construction days, when a Union was not available, often buyers would select another popular plan in its place and vice versa; the Discovery sold in six days.  A lovely Whidbey with a great view pushed the envelope of another top five in popularity. The Vashon is a great price point home and the smallest Island Collection home; a guaranteed non-attached home collection. The Vancouver is the largest of the two car garage homes and, of course, many things play a part in time on market.

What’s currently under contract?

There are 13 Trilogy homes pending escrow.  Here’s what’s currently “Pending” or “Pending Inspection”. These are homes which have reached mutual terms between a buyer and a seller but have not yet recorded with the county.

Model Original Asking Price Current Asking Price Days on Market Comments
Washington $519,000 $519,000 48 Greenbelt Home
Angeles $419,000 $409,990 46
Orchard $469,950 $459,000 26 Stand Alone Home
Washington $519,000 $519,000 65
Washington $539,000 $539,000 42 Partial Greenbelt
Whidbey $579,000 $579,000 4 Near Cascade Club
Hemlock $705,000 $699,000 63
Hemlock $729,950 $729,950 44 Greenbelt Home
Hemlock $785,000 $774,900 118 Golf/Mtn. View
Redford $825,000 $825,000 253 Greenbelt
Union * $420,250 $420,250 37 ARCH Home
Vashon* $519,000 $519,000 2
Vancouver* $569,900 $559,950 6 Near Club
Bainbridge* $569,900 $569,900 234

Homes in bold & green; the Elephant working for our Sellers. *Pending Inspection

Please, keep in mind all the following data is as of March 31st, 2015 at midnight for month over month accuracy. Statuses of some of these homes have changed by the time you receive this report. Add the appropriate days per the month of March for time on market of available homes.

There are 14 homes For the Taking!

Here’s what your friends looking to join you have to choose from:

Model Original Price Asking Price Days on Market Elephant thoughts:
Discovery $449,950 $417,950 54 Popular Floor Plan
Discovery $449,950 $434,950 68 Popular Floor Plan
Washington $469,950 $469,950 131  
Vashon $514,900 $500,000 49  
Washington $519,500 $509,500 36 Greenbelt Home
Vancouver $569,000 $559,000 61
Vancouver $599,000 $579,000 46
Bainbridge $589,000 $589,000 15 Now Pending Inspection
Bainbridge $619,000 $619,000 11 View Lot
Nice $685,000 $685,000 7 1st “Nice”  Resale Ever
Hemlock $744,900 $744,900 1 Corner Greenbelt
Maple $809,900 $809,900 15 Golf Course Home
Maryhill $1,180,000 $1,180,000 70 Golf Course, Mtn. View

Homes in bold & green; the Elephant at work.

The Match Tic

Low – YTD High – YTD Prior Month March
26 41 31 41

The total amount of all Northwest Multiple Listing statuses measured 26 at month end. Status may include Active (Homes currently available for sale), Pending Inspection (Homes under contract but still in the home inspection process), Pending (Homes that have worked through the inspection process successfully), Sold (Homes that have closed escrow), Contingent (Sold homes that are contingent upon the buyer selling their own home) and TOMK or BOMK (Homes that are either Temporarily Off Market or Back on Market after being temporarily unavailable.)

Thinking about using a “Discount Broker”?  You may want to think twice.

More than one of our recent new listings hired us after investigating the difference. Statistics show, when Sellers hire a “Discount Broker”, they end up broker than they would have been if they hired a full-service Real Estate Professional.

Trilogy is a very special community. It has many unique features that don’t fit into the “real estate as usual” template of most communities.  There are three things that a Seller, when considering using one of these wheeler and dealers, better prepare themselves for.

ONE. Get ready to whip out your check book and roll up your sleeves and grab a broom.
In fact, grab a pressure washer, a rake, a ladder to get the moss off the roof, rent a U-Haul for all the clutter and furniture that will need to go somewhere for staging, a tool bag and a camera for do-it-yourself photos just for a starter. A 1% listing fee is going to get you a yard arm, a flyer and a poor presentation on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service and that’s it. If you’re lucky, you might get a flyer box and a second rate flyer.

TWO. Get ready to lower your price.
It’s a lot of Ps. It’ a proven fact that in order to get a premium price for your home, you’re going to need a lot of preparation, a premium presentation, a lot of promotion and a perfect price that you don’t have to apologize for. Are you ready to do that yourself or would you rather have a full-service broker do that for you and net more money, even at a conventional rate?

A common total commission amount in our area is 6%. Half of that goes to the Broker that brings the buyer. We call that broker the “Selling Broker.” The other half goes to the Listing Broker the home owner signs up with to bring buyers to their home. The Listing Broker never nets an actual 3% because they’re digging into their pocket, at the very least, for the cost of the yard arm installation, the flyers, the professional photographer and hopefully a good website to market your home. Some of us spend much, much more than that. With a Discount Broker, typically, they still offer the Selling Broker 3 %, even though they may only be charging 4% overall because, if they don’t, Selling brokers will most likely avoid your house.

You didn’t really think a Discount Broker was going to do everything for 1% did you?  We suggest you go with someone with an established reputation for personal involvement, caring, Trilogy experience and, the big one, opening up their checkbook to share in the expense of getting the house ready. Let us do the Lion’s share of the work. We’ll manage the preparation of your home to help take the stress and burden off of you.  We have the vendors for carpet cleaning and stretching, window washing, landscaping, inspection repairs, moss removal, HD photography, video, internet marketing and we make the best flyers in the Industry. Relax, give us the keys and go to Arizona for a rest. It’s the day of high-tech; we can handle the house and send you the paperwork over the internet.

Just the same, let’s do the math using a $500K asking price as an example:

A typical 6% rate would cost you $30,000 in total commissions between the Listing and the Selling Broker netting you $470K. A discount broker will profess they’re saving you money with an overall 4% commission. At an asking price of $500k, that’s $20K total paid in commissions. “We’re saving you $10K”, they’ll say. Are they really? Stats show probably not even if you’re willing to break your back. If you’re not,  I think you’re smart enough to know that the cost of hiring landscapers, handymen, carpet and window cleaners, professional photographers and staging companies will eat up at least two or three thousand of that if you want an internet presentation that supports your price. Notwithstanding, let’s forget about that. The truth is, you’re not a professional and you probably are lucky if you’ve done this successfully once before in your life.

Getting top dollar comes down to the value equation which is Price – Value Built = Cost. If you haven’t built value in every little thing you do to cover the price, the buyer will perceive the shortage as a COST and THAT COST is what they’ll ask for in a discount. Chances are it will be much more than the $10K you think you’re saving. Chances are, also, very high that a properly prepared home, with the help of a professional will almost always warrant asking another $20K – $40K for the same house, done perfectly. Hmmm, let’s be fair and pick something in the middle. Let’s say you list the house for $530K now because there are no worries about preparation, presentation or promoting the listing; there’s nothing to apologize for in a discount. $530K x 6% = $31,800.00 total commission.  $530,000 – $31,800.00 = $498,200. You just cleared $28,200.00 for not being a cheap skate or small thinker. I know…I know…”that’s a lot of money to pay someone.” You’re right; it is. Who cares? Are you ahead nearly $30K or not? A professional is paid well because they earn it. Think about it. Would you rather have a $200/hour lawyer or a $600/lawyer defending you?

THREE. OM.G., The Lawsuit Thing!
Let’s not forget about protecting your back side. I’ve been working in Trilogy, as a broker for nearly 13 years and I can share with you that I spend many more hours explaining things to outside brokers who don’t have a clue about what the lawsuit was even about. If you were part of the suit, most of you know the disclosures you are supposed to make but that is not enough.

Even if you weren’t a party to the lawsuit, how are you supposed to even get buyers to your house if the broker can’t answer what the issues were all about to begin with? I’ve been marketing and selling homes in Trilogy since 2003 and I can share with you that explaining that to several brokers for every single listing is very grueling and time consuming. Overcoming questions like, “Are there specific floor plans I should be looking at so I don’t get one of those rotting homes?” or “My buyers have heard about the lawsuit and they’re really afraid. What can I tell them to convince them Trilogy is still a safe investment?”  Allow me to ask you this one, how do you handle the home inspector that has been prompted by their broker to avidly seek specific problems with the house that can easily escalate into fear just by the mere mention of the component of the home, defective or not? I think you get it.

The morale of the story is, “You get what you pay for” and, in this case much, much more.  Protect yourself and hire a broker who’s bucked up and will buck up to get your bucks up!!!! If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Tax Time

Don’t forget to pull out your final settlement statement (HUD-1) for any real estate transactions you did in 2014. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are many line item expenses that can be written off. If you can’t find yours, and I was your broker, just let me know; I keep a copy. If I did not serve you, your escrow company can provide it for you.

Also, remember to gather any receipts for improvements you’ve made to the house, especially if you had over $250K in equity. Many of these can be used to reduce your capital gains and your Accountant/CPA may have other uses, as well.

We Love Feedback

Your emails are very welcome. If you have anything you’d like us to address, by all means, drop us a line! Thank you, in advance.

That’s a wrap for March. We’ll see you next month.

 Devin, Bridgette & Team