Median values dipped to $249,000 in January, down from $265,000 in December 2013 for residential properties in Lake Stevens. Yet median values in Lake Stevens are substantially higher now than they were a year ago when the median value was $226,500.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) also reports that closed sales declined from 51 in December to 35 for the recent month of January. Inventory shrunk from 132 active residential listings for sale at the start of January to 124 as of February 5, similar to the 126 active residential listings for sale one year ago. Inventory last year rose as summer approached and declined back to what it was at the start of the year. Inventory continues to stay at historical lows.
January continues to be the traditional slow month for closed sales. Perhaps because most of the population is busy with getting ready for the holidays, attending parties, shopping, caring for kids, and spending Sundays watching the Seahawks; instead of going on tours and open houses and writing up offers on homes in December.
Most real estate brokers (agents) will agree that the recent slowdown and value decline for the month of January from pending sales in December had more to do with whether the Boeing employees were going to accept the new contract or not and the threat of Boeing moving its workforce elsewhere.
It is likely that in March when the February statistics become available, that we will see a jump in median values and sales as a result of the acceptance of the Boeing contract. As soon as the news broke that the contract was accepted; phones starting ringing off the hook in real estate offices everywhere.
One interesting statistic is the decline in short sales or distressed properties. This past month only four of the 35 closed sales were short sales; compared to 16 out of the 43 closed sales a year ago. Short sales bring down values in every neighborhood, and even though most short sales have been neglected and are worth less; they bring down the value for all other homes that are well maintained as well.
Spring is just around the corner. We can expect inventory and sales to increase as the days get longer and warmer. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time to start getting your house ready to sell. The most important thing you can do to sell your home is to make it as clean as you can. De-cluttering your home is also essential. If you have a hard time throwing out or giving away items, it is a good idea to rent a storage unit and put everything you don’t need for the next few weeks into it. Another option is to put everything in boxes and put them in one of the bays in your garage, and leave a car outside.
Clean the outside and the inside. Well maintained homes sell for more, and sell quicker. Contact a real estate agent you know and trust to give you guidance on how to get your home ready to sell. Feel free to call me for advice or for any real estate question you may have at 425-308-1203, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to help in any way that I can.