Snow on the Olympics behind the historical Bell Harbor Marina.
In January I put an offer on a condominium across the street from the Bell Harbor Marina and experienced the core Seattle market firsthand. We were the best of several offers, although during the escalation process we were asked to put in our “highest and best”. It was very competitive, according to the listing agent, as the other brokers were somewhat unrelenting in phone calls and emails. Our offer was stronger than the others because we had a large down payment, we were able to escalate, and, while we did include an inspection contingency, it was only two days. (Many offers are considered stronger without an inspection contingency, but this does not protect the buyer).
The process stayed interesting. During the inspection, my clients requested a mold inspection. The inspection was $600 dollars and took another four days, so we needed to write this up in the inspection response. This was a stressful waiting time for the sellers, but thankfully for everyone, there were no signs of mold that were unhealthy.
There was presence of Aureobasidium. It is a natural mold that is tracked in from the outdoors. I called Lance, from Northwest Restoration, and he assured me that so long as the mold content on the inside of the home is less than the outside, it is considered acceptable by various standards. It’s important to keep good ventilation in a home (as we all know), but he also recommended airing or “burping” a home periodically. Here in Seattle we have so many days of rain, even light rain, that residents keep their homes closed most of the winter. It is a good idea to open them up on those glorious sunny days that punctuate the rainy days.
As an aside, he pointed out that the “black” mold some people see in a house is not necessarily the black mold that is dangerous.
The inspector did notice that the washing machine showed signs of a leak from the door. We asked for a $700 credit at closing for a new washer, and it was accepted.
As inspections can be a sticky point, many sellers have started to do their own home and sewer inspections and offer them to the buyers. There is a service that will do an independent inspection that the seller won’t see, and upload for interested buyers to purchase for a nominal fee.
Another trend we are seeing is that some sellers are not allowing pre-inspections in order to level the playing field, so to speak. Many buyers have put in offers on more than one listing, and have had to pay the pre-inspection fee more than once. By not allowing a pre-inspection, that element is removed and when the strongest offer is accepted the buyer can then conduct an inspection.
I hope that by sharing this story I can educate you on what we are seeing in the Seattle marketplace, shed light on the offer and inspection process! Buying and selling a home is a bit of an adventure as there are always a few unknowns to navigate through in the future.
Appreciation Rates, Sales
New Newsy Links – see has been happening in real estate.
Click-here to see the latest appreciation chart of all neighborhoods.
Reports for various areas are below – if you would like one for your neighborhood please let me know! These links are all supposed to update automatically!
The Multiple Listing Service gave us a new tool, “InfoSparks”! I ran a report using: Seattle, Residential, all price ranges: InfoSparks Report for “Seattle”