‘Busy’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

As the pre-summer market begins, standing out from the crowd is crucial for buyers.

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

Though it may feel like spring has just begun, when looking at the six phases of the housing cycle — New Year kickoff, spring market, pre-summer, summer market, fall market and winter market — April concluded the spring market. Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office, said April’s market was busy, with more new listings on the way as we head into May and June’s pre-summer phase.

In the city of Kirkland, homes for sale in the month of April were up over 2018 numbers, going up 51.6 percent. While sold and pending homes in April are down slightly from last year, Spencer said she thinks May will be a good month for home sales. She added that buyers are entering the marketplace with more confidence, and strategic pricing is a must to attract the attention of these buyers.

“April was busy locally for both buyers and sellers,” said Spencer. “If houses were thoughtfully priced, oftentimes we saw multiple offers. Sellers looking to list their home in the current market should ensure they are working with a broker who is skilled in pricing strategy and knowledgeable about their hyper-local market.”

As the pre-summer market begins, standing out from the crowd is crucial for sellers, who face significantly more competition for the additional listings that come on the market. Spencer said buyers can do so by working with a broker who knows how to represent them based on what sellers are looking for in terms of offer price and terms.

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, the National Association of Realtors released findings from a national survey of their members focused on eco-friendly home features. A majority of those surveyed said clients were interested in energy-efficiency and sustainable housing features. The report also detailed ways sustainability is influencing real estate, from solar panels to commute lengths.

The Pacific Northwest is known as a particularly “green” area of the country, and Spencer said many local residents are grateful for their surroundings and look for ways to reduce their footprint.

“One way to add value to a home and also have a positive environmental impact is adding solar panels to a home,” said Spencer. “Using the sun to power a home can be a cost savings and also a way to take care of our environment. Another consideration when choosing a home is the neighborhood — many people enjoy walkable neighborhoods where they can enjoy the surroundings and cut down on car trips.”

For many homeowners, an interest in all things green can extend to their front and back yards. Sunny days make for great gardening weather, and carefully planned out landscaping can not only make a home look great, but also potentially increase value for potential buyers. Spencer said hiring landscaping help or developing your own green thumb can pay off if you’re looking to sell.

“Depending on the size of your lot, there are many things you can do to improve curb appeal,” said Spencer. “If homeowners are interested in gardening or putting in a plot for veggies, getting built-in sprinkler systems installed will make yard maintenance much easier.”

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