Sep 21, 2023 - Real Estate

Seattle-area homes are selling fast — typically in 8 days

Share of homes that go off-market within two weeks, by metro division
Data: Redfin; Note: Metro divisions are subdivisions of metropolitan areas; Chart: Axios Visuals

Around 63% of Seattle-area homes in July were snapped up in two weeks or less, according to Redfin data shared with Axios.

  • That's far above the national average, which saw roughly 41% of listings marked pending, contingent or sold within that window, Redfin found.

Why it matters: Houses that stay on the market for more than a month are usually overpriced or in need of major work, according to Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr.

  • In July, homes in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro area went off-market after a median of eight days, per the real estate brokerage.

Yes, but: Self-identified fixer-uppers are typically selling for less — and more slowly — than expected, according to Zillow data shared with Axios.

  • Across the U.S., listings that mention "fixer-upper" — 0.3% of sales in the first half of the year — sold at a 3.1% discount and took 3.2 days longer to sell relative to expectations, per Zillow.
  • Listings pegged as "remodeled" or "renovated," which accounted for 24.1% of U.S. sales, sold at a 1.2% premium and 1.8 days faster than expected.

What's happening: Homebuyers already hampered by gravity-defying prices and mortgage rates don't want to spring for a place that looks like an HGTV "before" photo.

  • "The homes need to show well to sell quickly," Robert Burns, president of Coldwell Banker Bain, told Axios.

Zoom in: Burns said buyers are "really stretching their purchasing power" in the Seattle metro area — particularly in King County, where the median sale price was $821,000 last month, per the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

  • That means prospective buyers don't want to be worried that they'll immediately have to shell out thousands of dollars or more for a new roof or other major project, he said.

Be smart: "Fixer-upper" listings comprised 0.1% of sales in the Seattle area in the first half of 2023, per Zillow data, while those advertised as redone made up 26.6%.

  • Burns said that older homes that are redone or remodeled are selling just as fast as new construction, given the persistently high demand for homes in the region.

The bottom line: If you're a homeowner thinking of selling and don't want your place to sit on the market for weeks, spruce it up a bit.

  • "Most home buyers right now simply don't have enough money left over to invest in major repairs or remodeling," Redfin's Marr told The Wall Street Journal.

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