How To Win A Bidding War

If you have been looking at homes for sale in Lynden, WA, you may feel a bit like a contestant on The Bachelor. Or Hunger Games? Let’s just say it is not uncommon to find yourself one out of multiple buyers trying to win the same property. Homes for sale in Lynden, WA go pending before you can even write the offer OR you are outbid in a multiple offer situation. While it is way more intense in other parts of the country, we are dealing with our own hot market. While experts forecast relief by the last half of the year thanks to more inventory, there is concern about increased prices AND mortgage interest rates. So if you are buying homes for sale in Lynden, WA, starting sooner rather than later is recommended. However, inventory is still in a seller’s market, which means the competition is fierce. What can you do as a buyer who just wants to find that perfect piece of Lynden, WA real estate? I have some great tips!

  1. Get pre-approved!

If you think getting pre-qualified is the same, it is not. The pre-qual simply confirms your income and how much a bank could lend you based on your credit profile. A pre-approval tells you how much you can actually spend and what your budget is. Being pre-approved is a great way to fast track your offer to a seller.

  1. Use an escalation clause

If you are new to Lynden, WA real estate, this is a great way to strengthen your offer in a multiple bid situation. This is an addendum to your original contract that states you will incrementally increase up to a certain limit as other offers come in at or above your offer. This is a smart strategy as it not only shows you are serious, but it keeps your name in the game as other people show up to throw their ring in the hat. Just be smart enough to know when it is time to walk away!

  1. Don’t get over the top with the contingencies

In a seller’s market, know that the buyer does not have the upper hand. The seller does. When they get a lot of multiple offers, the less complicated the better. Keep the demands to a minimum when putting in offers on Lynden, WA homes for sale. If there are 5 other solid buyers offering roughly the same amount of money, they are going to go with the one that is low maintenance and matches their specific needs.

  1. Be flexible

Speaking of, find out what the seller’s ideal move out is. Knowing whether or not they need a little extra time or need to move quickly can come in handy and work to your benefit if your timeline is flexible. For example: Let’s say the seller needs to stay a little bit longer after closing and it has come down to your offer and one other. The other buyer may be offering a little more money but can’t honor the seller’s desired move out date, but you can. They may pick you as it benefits them more. Find out what the seller needs and wants and consider being courteous and granting it to them if you can. It may save you money and you can still beat out the competition.

  1. Write a ‘love letter’

People respond to emotion. From successful marketing campaigns to talking yourself out of a speeding ticket. If you have a genuine, heartfelt reason that you feel makes you the best candidate for Lynden, WA homes for sale, tell the seller with a love letter. Let them know how much it would mean to you if your offer was picked.

  1. Don’t count yourself out after a bidding war

If you lose the bidding war on a home, all is not lost. Have your Lynden, WA realtor stay in touch with their Lynden, WA realtor and let them know you are still interested. That way, if something falls through, they will remember you and let you know the home is still available.

The best thing you can do, before getting pre-approved, is hiring an experienced Lynden, WA realtor. We work alongside you, lend our market knowledge and guide you through tough negotiations. Which means you get back up in a bidding war. With the homebuying process so cutthroat sometimes, it is normal to lose a bid or two. However, when you have an expert by your side helping you craft competitive offers, you can navigate the trickiest of transactions with confidence. For more information, feel free to give me a call!

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 10:10 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Whatcom County Real Estate Update

If you are interested in listing or buying homes for sale in Whatcom County, educating yourself on the current market conditions provides valuable insight. While each town within Whatcom County and each neighborhood within each town has their own mini market stats, knowing the general numbers can be a great indication of what is happening over all. Sellers can use the information to make sure they price their homes for sale in Whatcom County according to the current market values. If homes for sale in Whatcom County are overpriced, they can sit and lose crucial market time. As a buyer, you want to ensure that you are not over paying for homes for sale in Whatcom County while still creating a competitive offer that seller’s consider enticing. Knowing the current market conditions is why the use of a Whatcom County realtor is so necessary. We have a tool that comes straight from the NWMLS that provides accurate market stats. Mixed with years of experience, these aspects can create a transaction for you that is not only successful but flows seamlessly. Let’s take a look at the current Whatcom County real estate market!

Both the median and average home prices for Whatcom County real estate went up compared to last month as well as this time last year. The median increased by 12.5% compared to this time last year at $315,000.  The average increased by 11.6% compared to this time last year and is up $344,246. This number also happens to be up from last month as well. Both the median and average days on the market went down. The median decreased by 35.7% which puts homes from active to pending in 18 days. Meanwhile, the average is down 27.4% at 57. The median percentage of list price is still at 99.4% of the listing price. This is used as a negotiation tool and basically means that most homes are getting very close to asking. The amount of homes for sale in Whatcom County is down by 12.5%. Pending Whatcom County real estate is up 0.6%. Closed homes are down 0.6% while new listings are actually up by 1.2%. The price per square foot is up 13% at $209. We are right on the cusp of a buyers and sellers market with a month supply of 4.2, which we have been holding steady at for the last few months now. Anything less than 4 is considered a seller’s market while a balanced marked needs a 6 month supply. Whatcom County realtors hope that folks thinking of selling their real estate in Whatcom County will do so soon so that we can satisfy buyer needs. If you are looking for stats specific to certain towns or neighborhoods within Whatcom County, give me a call at 360-410-0848. My team and I would love to help!

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Bellingham, WA Real Estate Update

If you are thinking of listing or buying homes for sale in Bellingham, WA, staying “in the know” on the current market conditions can offer valuable insight as to what to expect as well as give you information you can utilize to your benefit. Details like average and median sold price along with days on market, percentage of list price and price per square foot can help guide you on crafting a competitive offer as well as which one to accept. Regardless of whether you are listing or purchasing homes for sale in Bellingham, WA, working with a qualified Bellingham, WA Realtor is key. We provide past and present market information that can help you navigate our current area successfully. Additionally, we act as your advocate and guide you through the entire transaction and beyond. So how is Bellingham, WA real estate doing? Let’s take a look!

The good news for sellers is that prices for homes for sale in Bellingham, WA have continued to go up, not just from last year at this time, but also just last month. The average sold price for Bellingham, WA real estate is up 12.5% from this time last year at $400,100. Meanwhile, the median is up 12.9% compared to this time last year at $350,000. The median percentage of list price is still sitting at 100% as it has been for the past few months. This basically determines a buyer’s negotiation power when it comes to their offer price. In this particular area, most homes for sale in Bellingham, WA are getting asking. So be prepared and speak with your Bellingham, WA realtor about what makes a competitive offer. New listings are up by 3% while Bellingham, WA homes for sale are down 7.8%, pending sales are down 2% and closed sales are down 4.1%. We can chalk this up to real estate in Bellingham being in a seller’s market thanks to a 3.2 month supply. This is actually down just a hair from last month. Us Bellingham, WA Realtors look for a 6 month supply in order to consider the market balanced. Anything less than 4 is a seller’s market, which we are clearly in. The median days on market is also just 11 days while the average is 44. As a seller, this means you can expect (in most cases) a quick offer. A buyer should also expect to move quickly and not wait. If you are interested in a specific neighborhood or area, let me know. As a Bellingham, WA realtor, we have access to stats from the NWMLS that can tell us what exactly is happening throughout every single area in Washington State. Looking to buy or sell Bellingham, WA homes for sale? I would be happy to help!

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 8:28 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Lynden, WA Real Estate Update

If you are in the market to sell or buy Lynden, WA homes for sale, making sure you know what is happening in the local market is crucial for success. Things like the average and median sold price and days on market can go a long way whether you are a buyer or a seller. As a buyer, you can utilize these details to your benefit and create an enticing offer. As a seller, you can use these numbers to figure out what is a good list price based on what is being spent on comparable real estate in Lynden, WA.  Of course, the first (and most important) thing to do is to choose a Lynden, WA realtor that is experienced and qualified. Especially in a competitive seller’s market like the current one we are in. Not only can we guide you through the entire process, we can help you navigate unexpected scenarios that would otherwise cause a deal to fall apart. Utilizing a qualified Lynden, WA realtor is recommended for a successful transaction. So how is real estate in Lynden, WA doing? Let’s take a look!

The good news for seller’s is that the sold price for Lynden, WA homes for sale are up for both the median and the average from both this time last year. The average sold price for homes for sale in Lynden, WA is up 22.5% at $374,418. This is up $10,000 from just last month.  Meanwhile, the median is up 19% at $336,950. This is up only a couple thousand dollars from last month. The average price per square foot is also up 14.3% at $192. These two stats combined mean that in most scenarios, homes for sale in Lynden, WA have more value compared to this time last year. The median percentage of list price (which basically determines a buyer’s negotiation power) is up 0.7% at 99.4%. As this moves closer and closer to 100%, this means more Lynden, WA homes for sale are getting asking price. This of course depends on the property and is usually seen when it comes to “hot buys”, which is real estate in Lynden, WA that is listed at a very competitive price (about 5% less than market value). With new listings down 1.4% and homes for sale in Lynden, Wa being down 20.8%, the inventory is tight. The good news is that pending sales are up 5.7% and closed sales are up 12.8%. The median days on market are down 33.3% at 20 days. The average days on market is down 31.4% at 48. The month supply is still very much in a seller’s market at 2.8. This is down 30% compared to this time last year. In order for a market to be considered balanced, it needs a 6 month supply. Whether or not Lynden, WA real estate will catch up with that need over the course of the next few months remains to be seen. If you are looking to list or buy homes for sale in Lynden, WA, working with a qualified Lynden, WA realtor is the best bet for a positive experience. Looking for a Lynden, WA realtor? I would be happy to help!

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 8:06 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Why You Need a Local Real Estate Professional

When it comes to buying homes for sale in Lynden, WA, or Whatcom County real estate in general, it is crucial to use a local area expert. So many folks feel that by handling the transaction themselves, they will save some money on that commission. What they don’t realize is that, not only could this be a huge financial mistake, but it could be a HUGE head ache trying to navigate an industry that is constantly changing laws, forms, standards and requires a state license to practice. In this market, more than ever, a local Lynden, WA real estate expert is crucial. Here is why!

Buying and selling homes for sale in Lynden, WA and Whatcom County requires guided navigation. There are so many aspects that need to be dealt with, whether you are a buyer or a seller. As a buyer, an agent goes through all the homes for sale in Lynden, WA to find that ones that match your wants, needs AND budget. A good Lynden, WA realtor is not going to show you Lynden, WA homes for sale that are BEYOND your budget and pre-approved loan amount. Once you pick the homes for sale in Whatcom County that you are interested in, they will organize showings to get you in the door asap. They will weigh in and offer guidance and support on every single property that you view. From the perks to the cons. When it comes down to making an offer, they will help you craft a competitive offer that works for you, but is also appealing to the seller. If you think their job stops there, you would be wrong. The escrow process brings about a whole new set of possible obstacles from the appraisal to the inspection to the negotiations that come along with each additional aspect. If the appraisal comes back short, they will help you with options. If the inspection comes back with some unsavory news, they will help you negotiate the next steps. They will take you from start to finish and then beyond.

As a seller, your Lynden, WA realtor will help prepare Lynden, WA homes for sale before they go on the market. They will help you pick an appropriate list price, execute all the various forms of marketing (and there is A LOT!) as well as help you with the listing paperwork. Once an offer comes in, they will help you with all the same steps a buyers agent helps their clients with.

One of the most important aspects of working with a Lynden, WA realtor is that we are skilled negotiators. Selling Lynden, WA real estate is not as simple and making/getting an offer and then sailing smoothly through escrow. This is a multi faceted process that needs expert attention to detail and the littlest oversight could not only result in the loss of thousands of dollars, but legal issues as well. If you are interesting in buying or selling in this market, let me know. I would be happy to help!

Posted on January 25, 2018 at 3:31 am
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Whatcom County Real Estate Update

If you are interested in listing or buying homes for sale in Whatcom County, educating yourself on the current market conditions provides valuable insight. Sellers should make sure they price their homes for sale in Whatcom County according to the current market values. If homes for sale in Whatcom County are overpriced, they can sit and lose crucial market time. As a buyer, you want to ensure that you are not over paying for homes for sale in Whatcom County while still creating a competitive offer. Knowing the current market conditions is why the use of a Whatcom County realtor is so necessary. We have a tool that comes straight from the NWMLS that provides accurate market stats. Let’s take a look at the current Whatcom County real estate market.

Both the median and average home prices for Whatcom County real estate went up compared to last month as well as this time last year. The median increased by 10.7% compared to this time last year at $310,000.  This is up by about $5,000 last month. The average increased by 10.8% compared to last year and is up $340,124. This number also happens to be up from last month as well. Both the median and average days on the market went down. The median decreased by 35.7% which puts homes from active to pending in 18 days. Meanwhile, the average is down 20% at 56. The median percentage of list price is still at 99.4% of the listing price. This basically means that most homes are getting very close to asking and can be used as a negotiation tool. Pending Whatcom County real estate is down 0.2%, which isn’t a huge deal. Closed homes are down 0.3% while new listings are actually up by 0.7%. The price per square foot is up 13.1% at $199. While up compared to this time last year, it is actually down by $6 compared to last month. We are right on the cusp of a buyers and sellers market with a month supply of 4.2, which we have been holding steady at for about two months now. Whatcom County realtors hope that folks thinking of selling their real estate in Whatcom County will do so soon so that we can satisfy buyer needs. If you are looking for stats specific to certain towns or neighborhoods within Whatcom County, give me a call at 360-410-0848. My team and I would love to help!

Posted on January 25, 2018 at 3:18 am
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Bellingham, WA Real Estate Update

If you are thinking of listing or buying homes for sale in Bellingham, WA, staying up to date on the current market conditions can offer wonderful insight that you can utilize to your advantage. Stats like average and median sold price along with days on market, percentage of list price and price per square foot can help guide you on crafting a competitive offer as well as which one to accept. Regardless of whether you are selling or buying homes for sale in Bellingham, WA, working with a qualified Bellingham, WA Realtor is key. We provide past and present market information that can help you navigate our current area successfully.  So how is Bellingham, WA real estate doing? Let’s take a look!

The good news for sellers is that prices for homes for sale in Bellingham, WA have continued to go up. The average sold price for Bellingham, WA real estate is up 11.1% from this time last year at $393,763. This is up about $3,000 compared to last month. Meanwhile, the median is up 11.3% compared to this time last year at $345,000, also up about $3000 from last month. The median percentage of list price is still sitting at 100% as it has been for the past couple months. This basically determines a buyer’s negotiation power when it comes to their offer price. In this particular area, most homes for sale in Bellingham, WA are getting asking. So be prepared and speak with your Bellingham, WA realtor about what makes a competitive offer. New listings are up by 1.3%, Bellingham, WA homes for sale are down 8.3%, pending sales are down 2.7% and closed sales are down 4.7%. We can chalk this up to real estate in Bellingham being in a seller’s market thanks to a 3.3 month supply. Us Bellingham, WA Realtors look for a 6 month supply in order to consider the market balanced. Anything less than 4 is a seller’s market, which we are clearly in. The median days on market is also just 11 days while the average is 43. As a seller, this means you can expect (in most cases) a quick offer. A buyer should also expect to move quickly and not wait. If you are interested in a specific neighborhood or area, let me know. As a Bellingham, WA realtor, we have access to stats from the NWMLS that can tell us what exactly is happening throughout every single area in Washington State. Looking to buy or sell Bellingham, WA homes for sale? I would be happy to help!

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 11:12 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Lynden, WA Real Estate Update

If you are in the market to buy or list Lynden, WA homes for sale, making sure you have up to date information on the market is crucial to your success. Knowing the average and median sold price along with days on market can go a long way as both a buyer and a seller. As a buyer, you can use these details to your benefit and craft a competitive offer. As a seller, you can use the area comps to figure out what to list at based on what is being spent on comparable real estate in Lynden, WA.  Of course, the first (and most important) thing to do is align yourself with a Lynden, WA realtor. In addition to guiding you through the entire process, they can help you navigate potential scenarios like a bad inspection report, funding issues or even what maintenance vendor to hire for a specific repair. A sellers market can be very competitive which can cause stress for those trying to buy or sell. As a buyer, you could find yourself up against multiple offers while a seller might be trying to figure out which offer to take. This can feel like a lot of pressure to both parties. Typically this year sees a little cool down, however, due to low inventory and high buyer demand, the local market is still moving a long! Utilizing a qualified Lynden, WA realtor is recommended for a successful transaction. So how is real estate in Lynden, WA doing? Let’s take a look!

The good news for seller’s is that the sold price for Lynden, WA homes for sale are up for both the median and the average from both this time last year AND last month. The average sold price for homes for sale in Lynden, WA is $364,803. The median is up 19% at $334,500. The average price per square foot is also up 13.8% at $190. These two stats combined mean that in most scenarios, homes for sale in Lynden, WA have more value compared to this time last year. The median percentage of list price (which basically determines a buyer’s negotiation power) is up 0.6% at 99.3%. As this inches closer and closer to 100%, this means more Lynden, WA homes for sale are getting asking price. This of course depends on the property and is usually seen when it comes to hot buys, which is real estate in Lynden, WA that is listed at a very competitive price (about 5% less than market value). The good news for buyers is that new listings are up 1.8%, however the amount of homes for sale is down is 19%. Pending sales are up 13.5% and closed sales are up 19.3%. The median days on market are down 30% at 21 days. The average days on market is down 34.7% at 47. The month supply is still very much in a seller’s market at 2.9. This is down 29.3% compared to this time last year. In order for a market to be considered balanced, it needs a 6 month supply. Whether or not Lynden, WA real estate will catch up with that need over the course of the next few months remains to be seen. If you are looking to list or buy homes for sale in Lynden, WA, working with a qualified Lynden, WA realtor is the best bet for a positive experience.

Looking for a Lynden, WA realtor? I would be happy to help!

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 9:30 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

2017 Real Estate Lessons & What Not To Do in 2018

Whether you were selling or buying homes for sale in Lynden, WA this year, you probably felt like you had your work cut out for you. Whether it was trying to get your house ready for tours or trying to tour before an offer was made, this last year had everyone (especially Lynden, WA realtors) moving a mile a minute. Luckily, we learned a lot in 2017. If you are still on your home buying or home selling journey, check out these lessons and use them for yourself as we head into 2018!

1.) It’s closing day and you are feeling like you are home free. However, you may be free of a home if you can’t keep certain details to yourself. One example: Financial changes. We always tell folks to hold off on making any major changes to their finances while buying homes for sale in Lynden, WA. The littlest thing can impact your loan and halt that closing process completely. Rarely can anyone pull the wool over a lender’s eyes as they will re-pull all your info right before closing to make sure everything is good to go. It is not uncommon in this industry to have an escrow fall out due to an issue with lending the day of close. If you have made a change, your lender likely already knows, but if they don’t say anything, you don’t say anything. Another example is not making comments in front of the seller about the home.  Selling can be emotional, so making any snide comments about flooring choices or wall color could offend the seller. Which means they may go with another offer. When it comes to buying Lynden, WA homes for sale, use the old saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.

2.) Which brings us to our next one: Sellers, you need to watch what you say as well. Buyer’s may ask why you are selling your Lynden, WA real estate and you want to give them an honest answer, without fully disclosing a bunch of negative details. If you give too much, you could hurt yourself in the process. Regardless of what side of the transaction you are on, let your Lynden, WA realtor do the talking. This is why you hire us. We help you navigate the market while getting the necessary details that help you get the most bang for your buck. If your Lynden, WA realtor isn’t present and you find yourself stuck in a tricky dialogue, stay as neutral as possible.

3.) Get specific with the inspection report. Inspectors have over 1,500 tasks to check when going through homes for sale in Lynden, WA. That is A LOT! If there is something that is hard to reach or impacted by weather conditions, be specific in finding out how that will be checked or what can be done. Roofs for example may not be looked at if there are several stories and the conditions make it slick. It just isn’t safe. Also, snow or flooding could be blocking crawl space access. Be specific and find out what your options are.

4.) Sellers, do not skimp on the cleaning. We have covered this in several blogs. When it comes to preparing your Lynden, WA homes for sale, understand the impact of first impressions. You may have turned a blind eye to the oil splatters in the kitchen or the stains on the carpet, but a fresh set of eyes will see it right away. Especially if they are about to spend money on it. A buyer is going to be going through Lynden, WA homes for sale looking for anything that may indicate there is something wrong with the home. Sure, your Lynden, WA real estate could be in good condition and just messy. However, a messy home suggests an owner doesn’t take care of the property, which is a red flag. Dust, deep clean and de-clutter!

5.) Staging works. In fact 80% of staged Lynden, WA homes for sale go quicker and for more money when professionally staged. Of course, this is a service that costs 4 figures and finding someone who does it well, is not always easy. Us realtors in Lynden, WA will always help and advise on this, but making your home appeal to buyers is huge. In fact, little things such as a TV above the fireplace or a statement wall or taxidermy can be a huge turn off. Buyers know it is your home, so they expect to see your things. However, you want to make it as neutral as possible so they can imagine their things in the home as well.

6.) Speaking of what buyers think about your Lynden, WA real estate, there are a lot of trends that can turn them away. Bathrooms are just as much of a deal breaker as the main living spaces. It also isn’t the super retro trends that are doing the deal breaking either. While green shag carpeting isn’t exactly desirable, turns out the recent trends like all white bathrooms could be a turn off for buyers. If you were thinking of making some upgrades, be sure to do a little research on what the most current trends are so you know you are putting your money into something a majority of buyers will enjoy for a while.

7.) Get pre-approved! Pre approved, pre qualified…same thing right? WRONG! The smartest thing you can do when looking at a home is get all your financing in order first. If you know how much you can afford to spend and you have an approval letter from your lender, you have a good chance of getting your offer accepted over someone who doesn’t. If you are serious about home buying, this is the next step after finding your realtor in Lynden, WA. Having these two things done means you can act quickly when you find that dream home. Which brings us to….

8.) Don’t wait! This is a seller’s market folks. Which means homes are moving quickly. Even waiting 24 hours can result in you losing out on a house you are serious about.

For more information on buying or selling real estate in Lynden, WA, give me a call! I have been working in our local market for a very long time. I take great pride in being informed on what is happening in the Lynden, WA real estate market and how it impacts our buyers and sellers.

Posted on December 26, 2017 at 4:53 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

Whatcom County Real Estate Update

If you are interested in listing or buying homes for sale in Whatcom County, educating yourself on the current market conditions provides valuable insight. Sellers should make sure they price their homes for sale in Whatcom County according to the current market values. If homes for sale in Whatcom County are overpriced, they can sit and lose crucial market time. As a buyer, you want to ensure that you are not over paying for homes for sale in Whatcom County while still creating a competitive offer. Knowing the current market conditions is why the use of a Whatcom County realtor is so necessary. We have a tool that comes straight from the NWMLS that provides accurate market stats. Let’s take a look at the current Whatcom County real estate market.

Both the median and average home prices for Whatcom County real estate went up compared to last month as well as this time last year. The median increased by 9.3% compared to this time last year at $305,000.  This is actually the same from last month. The average increased by 9.9% compared to last year and is up $336,606. This number also happens to be up from last month. Both the median and average days on the market went down. The median decreased by 35.7% which puts homes from active to pending in 18 days. Meanwhile, the average is down 18.6% at 57. These are up compared to last year at this time but roughly the same compared to last month. It is important to note that even if 1 property has been sitting too long, it can throw the entire average off. The median percentage of list price saw a small increase with a report of homes getting 99.4% of the listing price. This basically means that most homes are getting very close to asking. Pending Whatcom County real estate is down 0.2%, which isn’t a huge deal. Closed homes are down 0.1% while new listings are actually down a bit by 0.3% which isn’t a huge decrease, but we also need the inventory. The price per square foot is up 12% at $205. We are right on the cusp of a buyers and sellers market with a month supply of 4.2. Whatcom County realtors hope that folks thinking of selling their real estate in Whatcom County will do so soon so that we can satisfy buyer needs. If you are looking for stats specific to certain towns within Whatcom County, give me a call at 360-410-0848. My team and I would love to help!

Posted on December 18, 2017 at 11:15 pm
Karen Timmer | Category: Uncategorized

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