Linda Chou and Summer Carlton
Linda Chou and Summer Carlton
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Things are cooling off, and we’re not talking about the weather. The real estate market has been moving nonstop for 18 months, and if you’ve been a buyer looking to purchase, or a seller hoping to capture the magic of this bustling market, you might feel ... exhausted.

That’s what the market is like right now. It’s still hot; it’s still a great time for sellers to jump in. But it’s also cooled down just enough that buyers who may have been sitting on the sidelines after getting buyer fatigue are ready to try again.

Where do you find the advantage, if you’re a buyer or a seller? For our clients, it’s about the offer and the negotiation. We keep it honest and tell it like it is. Whether working with a seller reviewing offers and negotiating the best terms or a buyer winning the offer, having a real estate adviser in your corner who can assure that your needs are met when the market is moving this quickly is imperative.

The prices of homes in Seattle have been steadily increasing, and we’ve watched median home prices in Madison Park and across central Seattle climb. We can also learn more from the number of days a home spends on the market and the available months of inventory.

Across Seattle, in the second quarter of the year, the Days on Market (DOM) were down from 19 to 14, year over year. If we’re looking at Madison Park and its fellow Central Seattle neighborhoods, we see a similar decrease: In September the average home is on the market for 22 days, compared with this time last year at 27 days.

And how many homes are there for sale in Madison Park and Central Seattle?

Since January 2021, when there were 1.8 months of inventory available, the number of homes available keeps ticking down. In August there were .8 months of inventory available.

Fewer homes on the market for less time. Now, add in buyer demand that has continued to surge with low interest rates and pent-up pandemic reaction, and the competition causes a need for a strong negotiator.

If you’re a seller, you need someone who is going to assure your needs are met. Maybe the seller still needs to make an offer on their next home, or maybe there are important timelines they need the buyer to agree to — or perhaps they have a wholly unique request.

When representing our sellers, we’re honest about how their demands may impact a price point but work with them to ensure each of their needs are ranked and met so that they’re prepared for the smoothest sale process possible.

Likewise, for buyers, a strong negotiation starts with a strong offer. We work with buyers to understand their price points and where they can be flexible so that we can create an offer that appeals to sellers.

And when we’re on either side of the negotiation, we make it our business to work with the other agent in order to meet our clients’ needs. Sometimes negotiations are fierce; sometimes they’re creative. Either way, through constant communication with our clients, we can move quickly in this already fast-paced market.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home when there is high demand, or if you’re looking to find your next and take advantage of historic mortgage rates, we’re happy to offer you our trust, honest candor and negotiation skills to help you achieve your real estate goals.

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— Linda Chou and Summer Carlton, Chou Carlton Homes | Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty