June is the official kick off to summer for many around the country. From students graduating from high school and college, the calendar fills up quickly. At the same time, the sunnier weather draws people outside, and gives people a great view of their home and homes they may be interested in buying. It’s a great time for photography—summer days that are getting brighter with long daylight hours make for the perfect lighting for homes. How do these factors affect the housing market in Seattle? We touched base with Seattle Real Estate Broker Heidi Ward to discuss the trends in June and predictions for July.
360modern: June is a busy month in Seattle with high school and college graduations throughout. Did you see an impact from this on the buying or selling market?
Heidi Ward: Yes, the hectic atmosphere surrounding the end of the school year does seem to have the effect of dampening market activity a bit. There are just so many distractions with end of school year events, graduations, etc., that potentially cause buyers to hit the pause button. That said, I found my open houses were fairly well attended throughout the month.
360modern: Summer is arguably the best time in Seattle. Because the next three months are so uniquely beautiful, do you see these months resulting in quicker home sales or slower ones as people spend their time outdoors while they can?
HW: Well, if a buyer is in temporary housing and actively looking to buy, they don’t care what time of year it is—they just want to buy a house! The last two summers were busy for me with buyers and sellers, and this summer I’ve got listings queued up almost every week (except July 4th) into August, and I’ve already got two listings on the books for September. But in answer to your question…it can be challenging to compete with a gorgeous Seattle summer day, and if buyers aren’t in a time-sensitive urgent situation, they may find themselves easily distracted by the nice weather. I always advise buyers that this can be a good time to take advantage of other buyers taking their eyes off the ball, and possibly find opportunities where they don’t need to compete as much with other buyers.
360modern: If someone is thinking about selling their home, what are a few first steps they need to take to get it ready?
HW: Every house is different. The very first step they should take is to call me J I can help make a tailored “punch list” for each and every homeowner depending upon their situation. Of course, the low-hanging fruit would be tidying up landscaping, and taking care of any glaring deferred maintenance items, but even with that, I would say that it’s too individualized to give a broad answer.
360modern: Do you see the market inventory going up or down in July? Photographers and stagers report that they’re busy, and that’s a good harbinger of upcoming inventory.
HW: Given that my listing dance-card is pretty full, that’s an indicator of more listings as well, so hopefully buyers who were frustrated earlier in the spring will jump back into the market.
360modern: Was there anything about the market in June that was unusual or interesting to you? How can buyers/ sellers use this information to get the most out of their home purchase/ sale in the future?
HW: May and June were both interesting months. Noticeably softer than March and April. My advice to buyers would be that now is the time to re-engage if they pulled out of the market due to too much frustration/competition earlier in the spring. Work with a good broker who really knows the market, and watch for targets of opportunity. For sellers, the most important thing is to make sure they are pricing like it’s summer, not pricing as though it’s still early spring. Pricing to the current market is always the most important part of a listing strategy. I always tell my sellers that we likely won’t pick our final list price until the last possible minute, because we’re watching for subtle market indicators to help guide us in making the right move.
Each month, we will touch base with Heidi to find out her thoughts on the current market, the future market, and what you can do as a buyer or seller to get the most from your home. Sign up for the 360modern newsletter by registering on the 360modern.com site to get real estate news on Seattle and beyond in your inbox. Have a question for Heidi? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we could answer it in the next blog!