The only thing slowing down the real estate market right now are the amount of available houses in any given month. Besides that, real estate on Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County and beyond is on record pace. As of October 2020, Kitsap County, Washington was in a seller's market. For those not familiar with the lingo, means there are more people looking to buy than there are homes available.
To a seller, it also means one of the best times in history for a quick transaction and return on their home or investment. "Now, the seller has to be ready." That's what agents like Terri Kaminski from Team Mo-Minski at Charter Real Estate on Bainbridge Island say.
In speaking with Terri via her remote Zoom office, she says,
"Right now, the sellers making the most and selling the quickest are the ones willing to make an upfront investment in getting their house ready to sell. If you need to stage, stage. If you need to paint, paint. And WE WILL HELP YOU! That's our job. Sure, you can leave the moss on the roof and avoid the dump run before you list, you just won't see a maximum return."
I asked Terri what was else was needed for a "maximum return". She explained that whether you are a buyer or a seller right now, time and money are money.
Buyers right now are ready to move fast, having their ducks in a row with financing and the logistics of "the move" already planned out. Most are telling Terri they have a reason they are willing to change their situation in a time like this. Now, they just want to do it as quickly as possible with as little to "fix or make right" when they move in.
But what does that mean to the average buyer or seller? It's not 100% clear but some of the feedback we are getting is that unless you are ready to pull the trigger very quickly, It may not be your time.
As stated above, the market has very little inventory and the prices are rising. In writing this article we also reached out to local Broker Mercury Michael, owner of Charter Real Estate. He gave the following summary from the view of an owner/broker.
"The market continues to be very active and feels like it's lasting/pushing a little later than normal due to the delays caused by COVID earlier this year. Our supply is still so low that we're continuing to see price increases and multiple offers on many of the new homes for sale. Construction costs have increased and all the trades are as busy as ever, if they are able to work. I suspect there will be a slowing of activity here during the winter as usual and I also suspect that we'll see next year kick off with a POP again since there will still be very low inventory, and so far no evidence/reason for the market to dry up. Interest rates will remain low and more people are moving to Bainbridge & Kitsap than are moving away."
In October 2020, the median list price of homes in Kitsap County, WA was $410.5K, trending up 8.1% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $239. The median sale price was $434.9K.
Now for Bainbridge Island, a city that consists of about 20 neighborhoods. There are 134 homes for sale, ranging from $75.8K to $9.8M. In October 2020, the median list price of homes were approximately $988K, with the median listing price per square foot being $427. The median sale price was $1.1M.
So, it's not just about the folks who have the means, motive and opportunity anymore. It's more about those who are ready to come in high and close quick or have their house ready to list without a long todo list. Who is ready to be on the top of the bid pile because they REALLY want the house?
Like it or not, that's the market we are in.
We would like to thank both Mercury Michael and Terri Kaminski from Charter Real Estate. They lent their expertise to this article and we appreciate the partnership.
As you can imagine, Mercury and Terri are more than happy to answer any and all of your questions. You don't even have to be ready to buy or sell. Give Terri a call at 206-354-6637, send her an email or check out her website here.
(Full disclosure, Terri and Team Mo-Minski are sponsors/supporters of the Wake Up Bainbridge Show! however they DID NOT pay us to write this article.)