As I write this, it’s January 28th, which means that by now, most people have broken their New Year’s resolutions, you’ve more than likely received your W-2 for 2007, and some of our clients from last year are looking forward to having something to write off for the first time! For Pickett Street it means that it’s time to look back at 2007 and look at our record.
As a reminder, 2006 was a pretty good year for Pickett Street and the real estate market in general. Take a look at the stats below as a refresher:
Closed Sales, King County 2006: 37,528 (down 10.48% from 2005)
Closed Sales, Sno. County 2006: 16,475 (down 5.06% from 2005)
Median Home Price, King County 2006: $381,463
Median Home Price, Sno. County 2006: $325,000
Overall sales in 2006 were down from 2005, but the median price was way up (almost 14% in King County, over 16% in Snohomish County). The market was stable, and there were many that reaped the benefits of this (especially sellers). The market in 2006 was conducive to Realtors as well – listed homes weren’t on the market long, and were selling at or above list price. The average time on market for a Pickett Street listing in 2006 was only 30 days (13 days better than the NWMLS average of 43 in King and Snohomish County), and our average % of list price received was 102.2% (2% better than the NWMLS average of 100.28% for King and Snohomish County). We whooped, we hollered, we hurrayed! 2006 was something to celebrate.
In contrast, 2007 was not without its challenges, and unless you commute in a car without a radio, live in a home without internet access and are clinically allergic to newspaper, you might have read a headline or heard a soundbite about the mortgage crisis and it’s over-reaching effect on the real estate market. That said, we expected our stats to suffer as well.
To put it in perspective, let’s look at the market stats:
Closed Sales, King County 2007: 33,210 (down 11.5% from 2006)
Closes Sales, Sno. County 2007: 12,940 (down 21.45% from 2006)
Median Home Price, King County 2007: $400,000
Median Home Price, Sno. County 2007: $349,500
Overall sales in 2007 were down drastically from 2006, but the median price continued its rise (4.63% in King County, 7.53% in Snohomish County). The average time on market (King and Snohomish Counties combined) was 57.5 days – 14.5 days longer than the year before. For Snohomish County the percentage of list price received was 99.09%.
The statistics show that the market has softened to a noticeable degree – not to the apocalyptic degree that the media would have you believe, but in all, things changed enough in 2007 that everyone began to take notice. The shift would mean that sellers would have to be more discriminating in their selection of a real estate agent, and real estate agents would have to be more aggressive in marketing their listings to get them sold. In short, the days of putting a sign in the ground and a listing on the MLS to get a sale are over.
Fortunately we had perfectly positioned ourselves for a slower market. Our listing program already incorporates exhaustive print and internet marketing, not to mention staging consultation, professional photography, and professional graphic design. The slower market has actually allowed us to differentiate ourselves from the competition – not only in the services provided, but in results as well.
With that, we’re happy to post the Pickett Street team’s listing stats. One stat that we’re especially proud of is our time on market for 2007. Of our listings that sold that year, on average our sellers only had to wait 29 days to have a signed-around contract – which is almost half the time of the market average, and actually an improvement over our time in 2006, which was a stronger year by all accounts.* We’re also proud to report that homes listed by the Pickett Street team sell for more money: Pickett Street listings in 2007 sold for 99.86% of list price – 0.77% better than the market average. This stat is better relayed in dollars: with these stats as our basis, a home listed for $400,000 would sell for more than $3,000 above the NWMLS average.
We said it last year, and we’ll say it again: these numbers really don’t get to the heart of what we feel separates us from the crowd, but it’s encouraging to step back and see the effectiveness of our strategies.
Thanks to all of our clients in the communities that we served in 2007, including Seattle, Renton, Parkland, Bellevue, Kenmore, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Bothell, Mill Creek, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Stanwood, Arlington, Marysville, and Camano Island.
* The NWMLS does not compute days on market from the time that a contract is mutually agreed upon, though we don’t understand why. The NWMLS reports the average time on market for our listings in 2007 at 42 days – almost two weeks less than the market average. Our records show that those same properties were only on the market for 29 days before they were under contract.