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Real Estate


  • How over-pricing a home costs sellers money

    February 19, 2008 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    Pricing a home for market: it very well might be the single most important element of a successful home sale, and probably the very reason most sellers should think twice before attempting to sell their home themselves. I say this as a Realtor and a home owner. No one knows better than myself the sweat and coin that I poured into my home, which my wife and I bought as a foreclosure. We had to rehab the septic system, replace the windows (all 15 of them), hang cellular blinds throughout, replace the attic insulation, sheet and replace the roof, update the kitchen, paint the exterior...well, you get the idea. Knowinig how much time and expense we put into our home, and staying aware of the neghborhood values and the lack of updates in many of those homes, it's easy for me as a home owner to assume that our home would warrant at least 6-8% more than the market average. As a Realtor, my experience tells me that I'm not objective, and my lack of objectivity might cost me money in the long run. What do I mean? Citing a collegiate study of the real estate market in California, an…Read more

  • To Market, To Market

    February 4, 2008 /
    Dennis S. Pearce /

    So, how’s the market? If there’s a defining question right now in Real Estate, that one certainly would qualify. And the undisputed champion answer would have to be: “Depends”. In the Northwest, and particularly here in the immediate shadow of employment giants Microsoft, Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, Starbucks, and the growing bio-tech industry, with players from Zymogenetics to Corixa, along with technology and gaming innovators like Microvision, Infospace & Nintendo, we have been blessed the past few years with an exceptionally strong housing market. So, when our friends in the media start trotting out housing fears as their lead story every night, it can’t help but become fodder for watercooler and cocktail party conversations across the country. Then again, if you’ve had a marketing 101 course, you know that the top 2 attention-getting drivers for advertising are #1-Sex, and #2-Fear. Recognizing that it’s not that easy making Real Estate Sexy, it’s understandable that Fear has become the currency of choice. Now, to get back to the question at hand- how is that market? Well, it depends on your needs- If you’re selling, be sure you need to sell. In a buyer’s market, sellers are at the mercy of the market, and we…Read more

  • Pickett Street posts 2007 Listings Stats

    January 28, 2008 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    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…Read more

  • Of Sharks, Birds, and Open Houses

    April 22, 2007 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    It’s a beautiful day in Bothell, WA. I could give you the specifics (57 degrees, light breeze, blooms are budding and the birds are chirping), but it’s enough to say that the sun is shining. Any day in the Puget Sound with a shiny orb beaming down on you is a beautiful day – no matter the temperature or wind speed. For prospective home buyers, it’s a great day to look at open houses. As a Realtor, it’s less than ideal. I think I would rather sit an open in the rain than in the sun, knowing that professional obligations aside, the weather would keep me from doing something more personally fulfilling. I can’t help but feel a little jealous working on a day like today - my clients, meanwhile, are taking their daughter to the park to play while they soak up the sun under the shade of a good book. I’m more envious of those that are chasing a little white ball on manicured greens, and I can’t help but think that many of these Columbia-clad golfers are my peers, who merely chose their 9-iron over sitting an open. I haven’t noticed that my traffic goes up on…Read more

  • Words matter…

    January 22, 2007 /
    Pickett Street Properties Team /

    A recent study was done to examine how word selection in real estate ad copy affected the outcome of the sale. Originally detailed in The Seattle Times, the study came up with some interesting results: Words matter. Wars have started over them. Civilizations have collapsed because of them. And it appears the speed with which a house sells might be determined by them.As listings grow old on the vine in this flush-with-inventory market and frustrated sellers reach for the slightest edge, the findings of several academics might offer guidance. For example, a Canadian professor, as part of a broader study on real-estate sales patterns, found that homes where the seller was "motivated" took 15 percent longer to sell, while houses listed as "handyman specials" flew off the market in half the average time. FULL STORY   As I reflect on the story, I realize from my own experience how much sense this makes. Most home buyers make emotional decisions, not logical ones. Sure, they'll buy in an area that makes sense, within a range that makes sense, but when given the opportunity to buy a beautiful home or a value (both within their criteria), most buyers will pay more for…Read more