Seattle Condo Seller's Talk Feed

Ready to Capitalize on Ideal Timing for your Condo Sale in 2018?

My sellers often ask if the spring and summer are really the best time to list and sell their condo.  This is generally true but have you ever wondered why? Let’s go over this, and if you are at all considering selling you condo here in Seattle, this will be helpful info to consider and factor into your decision.  The key is to put a plan in place, and that planning should start now during the fall and winter.

As we start to wind down 2017, this is the time of the year I like to speak with my new and past clients that are considering selling so that we can plan for 2018 and nail down the best market timing for the following year!

Price Point Flucuation by MonthFinal sale price and timing the market run hand in hand, in my opinion, in our Seattle condo market.  This is because, unlike a single-family home where often a family is timing their home sale around summer vacations, travel schedules, schools, etc., it’s not usually the biggest motivating factor for a condo seller (nor the condo buyer) since historically we do not see such a big focus on families with children in the urban condo market.  It is a growing segment, but still not a governing segment of the condo market. So, the condo market tends to be much more focused on timing as it relates to hiring cycles of companies, rental rates of apartments, and economic factors such as interest rates.

To help highlight the ideal window of time, we found a great report that shows average sale price, by month, on a historical basis.  The information is from Trendgraphics and tracks the sales price trends from 2012 through 2016.  This report is based on the county averages so I decided to start there, and we’ll zoom in and focus on Seattle condos specifically in an upcoming post.

If you are at all considering selling your condo, pay close attention to timing the market, and let’s talk about the pros and cons of different times of the year.

The attached graphs show a pretty consistent historical pricing trend where the closed selling price of properties starts an upward trend in around March, and that upward trend continues through the summer until around August, where the speed of the price increases appear to level off through the end of the year.  Then the pricing starts the following year, where it left off in the previous year with the same upward trend.  Therefore, timing is key.  Keep in mind these sales would have gone into contract 3-5 weeks prior to the closing date, in most cases. So even though August tends to be the high point of the trend each year, those properties went on the market most likely in the prior month (note: these are stats that contain both condo and single-family sales, but it still illustrates the point of timing the sale and next month we’ll do our own research and focus just on Seattle condo sales and get the historical data to compare).  Download Historical Seattle Home Price Graphs by Month

More to come next month.  If you are considering selling, now is a good time to start that conversation and I’m here to help and be of service.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


How Dog Friendly is your Seattle Condo Building?

Dog Run- Zoomed out with ViewIn a previous post called Pooch Friendly Buildings, we talked about how pet friendly some Seattle condo building are.  It was fun to see the list of those with pet specific amenities. 

Well, things change, and this week I was put to the challenge to find a great condo building in the downtown, midtown, SLU or Belltown area that would allow 3 dogs for my great new client who is relocating from the Bay Area.  Wow, I quickly learned this is quite the challenge.  Most condo buildings, that do allow dogs, seem to cap the number of pets at 2 per unit.  Only a couple don’t have a pet limit. 

I’m on a mission to update my condo database with the most updated list of 'Seattle’s Dog Friendliest Buildings’!  So, I need your help!

We’d love to hear from you on what your rules are on dogs in your specific condo building.  If you are a concierge, building manager or member of your HOA’s board, or an owner that has the scoop on your pet rules, you can help us update our list of dog friendly buildings. We’d be happy to share the results of our findings with you!

Please email us at marco@seattlecondoreview.com with your pet rules and regs and feel free to add a brief summary in your email of whether you have any limits on the number of dogs a resident can have, if there are any weight or breed restrictions, if your building has any dog specific amenities such as pet wash area, dog run, dog relief area, etc.  

We’ll share our results and crown the top 5 dog friendly condo buildings in Seattle.

Cheers and thanks for you help!


Coffee Table Chat Video Series - I want to buy before I sell but what are my lending options to make this happen?

Coffee Table Chat - Episode 2

Our new video series addressing actual client questions and concerns in our current market. They will cover whatever issues our clients are experiencing and will typically feature a guest who also works in the industry such as a lender, an Escrow closer, a Title rep, etc.

Hopefully you find the videos informative and helpful!

Enjoy Episode 2! 
"I want to buy before I sell but what are my lending options to make this happen?"

 

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Client Question – Should I Have an Offer Review Date When Selling My Condo?

Multiple Offers5Client Question: “It seems like everyone is holding off to review offers, should we have an offer review date for our condo?”

Dear Should I have an Offer Review Date:

There are pros and cons to every strategy when it comes to listing your house or condo. For offer review dates here are potential risks and benefits.

Risks:

  • In order to create the frenzy of buyers who are willing to compete for your home on an offer review date you have to price strategically, which often means pricing it below what you think it will sell for in order to give the buyers room in their budget to escalate the price up so if you don’t get offers on your review date and get just one after the fact, you have to be comfortable taking that lower list price as your sales price

Continue reading "Client Question – Should I Have an Offer Review Date When Selling My Condo?" »


Join us for Condos Over Coffee 4/27 & 4/30 - Prepping Your Condo for the Dynamic Seattle Market

Condos over Coffee Logo with WritingCONDOS OVER COFFEE - Wednesday April 27th & Saturday April 30th

WHEN: Wednesday April 27th 7:30 to 8:30am & Saturday April 30th 9:30 to 10:30am
WHERE:
Starbucks in the Denny Regrade/Denny Triangle (in Amazon's new building)
TOPIC: Prepping Your Condo for the Dynamic Seattle Market

This month join me at Starbucks coffee shop in the Denny Regrade for part two of the discussion on prepping your home or condo for the market. Last month we talked about timing and pricing in the market, and now this month we continue that by focusing on how to get your condo fully ready and prepped for the market to attract the buyers and get maximum value.

This will be an ideal Condos Over Coffee event if you are at all considering selling and really want the low down on what things to expect when preparing your condo for the market.

Please RSVP here so that we can make sure to save a seat for you. Friends, family and/or colleagues are welcome to stop by too, so pass the word along!

Oh, and coffee's on me! So stop by on your way to work on Wednesday or Saturday morning before you kick off your weekend to chat real estate.

NEXT MONTH'S EVENT - May 25th
Next month's Condos over Coffee will be on May 25th and will be a discussion on strategies to compete for condos in the fast paced Seattle condo market, including tactics on choosing the right lender that will help your offer be more attractive to seller’s and their listing broker.

LAST MONTH'S EVENT 
In March we met at the Pike St Victrola on Capitol Hill and had a great turn out for our open forum event. We talked through topics like the steps and strategies to consider when planning for the sale of your condo, talked about keys to pricing and ways to help create multiple offer scenarios to increase the chances of buyers competing and escalating the price for your condo.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Join us for Condos Over Coffee 3/30 - Open Forum Coffee Chat

Condos over Coffee Logo with WritingCONDOS OVER COFFEE - March 30th

WHEN: March 30th 7:30 to 8:30am
WHERE:
Victrola in Capitol Hill (Pike Pine location)
TOPIC: Open Forum

This month join me at Victrola coffee shop in Capitol Hill's Pike Pine corridor for an open discussion forum meant to focus on your questions and things most timely for you. Come sip some java or tea and get the answers you've been looking for. This month’s Condos over Coffee is ideal for those who have any lingering questions they have been dying to ask about the condo market but just haven't asked yet. Now is your chance!

Feel free to email us in advance or leave a comment here with your questions and we’ll add them to the list of topics to try and cover.

Please RSVP here so that we can make sure to save a seat for you. Friends, family and/or colleagues are welcome to stop by too, so pass the word along!

Oh, and coffee's on me! So stop by on your way to work and get your burning questions about real estate answered.

NEXT MONTH'S EVENT - April 27th
Next month’s Condos over Coffee will be on April 27th and will be a discussion on prepping your condo for the market.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Join us for Condos Over Coffee 2/24 - Monthly Candid Coffee Chat

Condos over Coffee Logo with WritingCONDOS OVER COFFEE - February 24th

WHEN: February 24th 7:30 to 8:30am
WHERE:
Uptown Espresso in South Lake Union
TOPIC:
Strategies for Selling your Condo

Join me at Uptown Espresso coffee shop in South Lake Union where we will have a candid coffee chat on serious strategies and tactics for selling your condo in today’s very dynamic condo market. Whether you are on the fence about selling now, or you know that you want to sell and want to begin the next steps to get ready for the sale, come sip some java or tea and talk it through.  This month’s over Coffee is ideal for those who are thinking about selling and:

  • you want to learn about strategic pricing in today’s market- multiple offers don’t fall out of the sky
  • you want to understand tactics on timing the market
  • you want to sell but are concerned about the challenges of finding a new home in this competitive market – there are options to help leverage your power as a seller to allow time to look for your new condo or house
  • you  want to buy but don’t want to sell until you find a new home – maybe you don’t need to sell before you buy if you have equity in your current condo and we’ll chat about ways to buy before you sell without being a contingent buyer
  • you want to move up and buy one of the new pre-sale new construction condos that will be completed (closed) later this year or next year – let us help you get a plan in place to time the sale of your current condo perfectly

Please RSVP here so that we can make sure to save a seat for you. Friends, family and/or colleagues are welcome to stop by too, so pass the word along!

Oh, and coffee's on me! So stop by on your way to work and get some great info about selling your condo and get any questions you may have answered.

NEXT MONTH'S EVENT - March 30th
Next month’s Condos over Coffee will be on March 30th and will be a discussion on prepping your condo for the market.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Client Question of the Week: What is the HOA Payoff Demand & Who Pays for it?

Client Question of the Week: “Escrow just called me and asked for a credit card to pay for an HOA Payoff Demand. What is this and who pays for this? Is it the same as the Resale Certificate I already paid for?” - Condo Seller

Dear 'What is the HOA Demand':

HOA DocsAs a seller of a condominium there are several additional fees that you will incur that relate to ordering documents that are required in order for the sale to close. When you list your condominium you will order and pay for what is called a Resale Certificate and provide that to the potential buyer. It contains important consumer information about the association. Included in this package are copies of the association documents such as the declaration, covenants, bylaws, budget, association meeting minutes and so forth.

Once you get into a contract with a buyer, the Escrow Company will contact you to ask you to order and pay for what is typically called the HOA Payoff Demand. This report gives Escrow  payoff information in order to ensure all funds due to the HOA are collected for the property at closing. It will include funds that are owed for both the seller and buyer.  The fees can include HOA dues, late fees, fines that might be owed, transfer fees associated with the transfer of ownership within the building, move-in fees, etc..

Some HOA’s also use a third party service to provide such information to the lenders, title and escrow companies.  The fees are established by your HOA and the company they use, such as Condocerts.com or Homewisedocs.com.  Sometimes there will be a rush fee if you have a short closing time frame to ensure the document arrives in time to meet the contractual closing date agreed to.

There is one last HOA document that is often required when you sell a condo and a mortgage lender is involved, that is the Lender Questionnaire, which has lender specific questions for the HOA (also called a Condo Questionnaire). If this document is required by the lender then it should be paid for by the buyer or the buyer's lender on their behalf. The key is that all of these documents need to be paid for when they are ordered. So plan ahead for that and be prepared to be asked to order and pay for the documents required. And try to order them as soon as possible as not doing so will eat up valuable time, and both the buyer and seller are obligated to close on time. 

In short, the Seller side orders and pays for the Resale Certificate and the HOA Payoff Demand. The Buyer's lender orders the Lender Questionnaire (or any other lender specific requests of the HOA) and the Buyer pays for that.

Hope this information helps sort out the fees that are usually charged for document preparation in association with selling a condo!

- Marco

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Two New High Rise Towers in Denny Triangle May be Bigger than Expected - View Obstruction Advisory for Insignia Condominiums

Antoich Site
In a previous post I discussed the potential view obstructions to the west of the new south tower at Insignia from a new proposed 24 story condo building in Belltown at 4th and Bell.  Now, it’s the east side of Insignia Condominiums that we need to be aware of.  Many different rumors have been circulating as to what will be going on the current site of Antioch University in the Denny Triangle/Belltown area, as well as the large block just across the alley to the east of Antioch.

As developers try to be the first to get their project approved and permitted to allow them to build to the max height and with the most square footage, two different land owners and developers are looking to build on the two lots just across 6th avenue form the new Insignia Condominiums.

The latest information in this PSBJ article is indicating two 45 story towers on a 12 story podium with some ground floor retail are being proposed for the Antioch site.  The renderings show two towers at basically the same height as the Insignia towers, so those owners and potential buyers in Insignia should be aware of the upcoming development to the east which will likely obstruct views to the east oriented views including outlooks of Lake Union, Capitol Hill, etc. Even upper floor “penthouse level” units will likely be impacted if the buildings are built. This development risk has been known for quite a while, but it’s starting to look like designs are now being proposed.

As buyers, and even sellers in this very dynamic Seattle market, it’s important for you to know what’s being proposed and developed in your neighborhood.  Timing and location are big factors in the real estate market, even more so here in Seattle as things are changing and growing so incredibly fast.

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.


Selling Your Seattle Condo in Today’s Dynamic Seller’s Market - a 3 part series

Document1Springtime is an ideal time to get your condo ready for the market here in Seattle.  Those that jumped on the market right after the holidays have been sold, and they have helped set the market for the rest of the spring and summer months.  So let’s get you ready to have your condo on the market in the next 3-4 months. This series will help you make the most of your time and get you and your condo in tip top shape to maximize your potential sales price, and speed of your sale.

PHASE ONE- The Mental Preparation Phase

Even before you need to have your broker come out to meet you and see your condo, Phase One is an important process to go through as a seller of your condo to get you mentally prepared as well as free up brain space for the rest of the process coming later.

Top 5 Things To Do First (feel free to take 3-5 weeks to complete this phase, no rush)

  1. Size up your condo’s competition- Set up an automatic search for competition
  2. Rate your condo on a scale of 1-10 – Make a list of what it will take to get it to a 10
  3. Rent an offsite storage locker*- Trust me, just do it
  4. Tag your condo’s non-essential contents*- Super important if you plan to live in your condo while it’s on the market
  5. Fix things in your condo that are not working

(*Note: If you are planning on moving out of your condo before you sell, no problem, steps 3 & 4  will be slightly different)

Continue reading "Selling Your Seattle Condo in Today’s Dynamic Seller’s Market - a 3 part series" »