Home Buyers in Bellevue are Ready for Battle!
Looking to buy a home in Bellevue, WA? Well... get in line. Actually, it’s pretty much the same story for all of the Eastside of Seattle, with home inventory levels at their lowest in over 15 years - and it’s getting worse. Compared to January 31, 2012, the number of homes in Bellevue which are "active" and available to potential buyers is down by a whopping 50% - from approximately 240 single family homes, to only 121 at the end of January 2013.
Being a real estate agent in Bellevue is also a challenge at the moment. We’ve got two sets of home buyers... those who already know about the market conditions, but who are dissatisfied with the homes that come up for sale, and those who are just now entering the home buying phase without any clue at all as to the market conditions. Both sets of clients present interesting challenges for all agents.
Record Bellevue Open House Attendance
Normally, I’m not keen on sending my home buyer clients to a slew of open houses for several reasons. However, in the current Bellevue real estate market, doing so is actually quite beneficial because it allows them to witness firsthand the “circus” like atmosphere with the local housing market. In the most competitive price ranges - typically between $450,000 to $650,000 - agents in Bellevue are reporting open house attendance numbers that are off-the-charts... as in 200, 300 or more on a single weekend day.
Bellevue Home Buyers MUST Be Pre-Approved
What does this mean for Bellevue home buyers? Well, it means when buyers DO find a home that fits their wants and needs, that they need to be sure they're ready with a pre-approval letter in-hand from a reputable lender - a lender who has taken them through as much of the underwriting process as possible, rather than relying on “automated” underwriting. Without being prepared, home buyers in Bellevue and surrounding areas are likely miss out on the best listings to competing buyers.
The Market isn’t “Fun” For Agents Either...
Most real estate agents do not wish for this type of market either. Not only are listing agents battling it out for the opportunity to list the exceptionally limited number of homes which may become available, but buyer's agents also must work with clients who may be continually unhappy with the options they have - only serving to either delay their purchases, or making the buyer feel as though they’re having to “settle” for a home that doesn’t suit their needs.
Either way, it’s not a “fun” market at the moment. Hopefully, Bellevue will see more homes come up for sale in the spring to fulfil some of the pent-up buyer demand.