Category Archives: Selling

Selling houses homes land for sale Tri-Cities, WA

Real Estate Market Statistics for Tri-Cities, WA

There are some very interesting market trends we’d like to share for the Tri-Cities, as we move from 2016 into 2017. 

The graph above shows the # of homes sold on the MLS over the past decade. The housing market is booming in the Tri-Cities! Although you may not see many signs for sale and there are not a lot of homes available to buy, more homes have sold this past year than in any other year. The numbers include only single-family non-manufactured residential homes within the Tri-Cities. 

The next graph depicts the median house price in the Tri-Cities. The median price in this area tends to raise slowly over time, but 2016 shows a dramatic increase of $24,000 for the median home sale in the Tri-Cities. The median list price rose from $214,900 to $235,000 in 2016. The median sold price rose from $210,800 to $234,000 in 2016. Note that there is only a $1000 difference between median list price and median sold price. This is great news for sellers–your home may be worth far more than you expect in today’s market, and buyers are making full-price offers!

The lack of inventory has resulted in higher prices and an increased demand. Buyers aren’t waiting to put offers on homes in this market. In the most demanding price ranges ($150,000-250,000) we joke with buyers that “if you have to sleep on it, you probably won’t sleep in it.” The median number of days-on-market has dropped to just 12, and for every house that sits 24 days on the market, there is one selling the first day! Many homes in the high-demand price ranges are selling the first day on market. 

The final graph shows how many homes have sold in each price range. Although the median price is rising, sales remain slower in the higher price ranges, with sales dropping as price increases–capping in the $1,000,000 range. Keep in mind that these numbers represent only homes listed on the MLS, there are additional homes sold by owner or custom built that are not reflected in the charts. 

How do these numbers affect you? If you’re in the market to sell, there has never been a better time to maximize profit. Many homes are worth about $23,000 more than they were 1 year ago. Buyers should be up to date on current price expectations, completely pre-approved for a mortgage, and prepared to write up an offer. Interest rates are low but rising, so it’s still a great time to buy when the right home hits the market.

Please contact Nick or Valerie Kunde at (509)845-4570 if you’re preparing to buy or sell. We’d be happy to analyze the numbers for your specific neighborhood and help you become a better informed buyer or seller!

Thank you for helping us achieve 90% repeat and referral business!

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November is the month of Thanksgiving! We’d like to thank each of our clients for trusting us with their home–the most important sale or purchase they will make. We are especially grateful for friends and clients who have recommended us to their family and friends. Almost 90% of our clients are repeat and referral customers. This has allowed us to focus our efforts on exceptional service and personal involvement though every step of the transaction.

The picture above (courtesy of Zillow) maps our residential sales in the Tri-Cities. We are excited to see our satisfied customer base grow so quickly without extensive advertising. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of our business!

  • We’ve sold homes in every area of the Tri-Cities, including Benton City, Finley, and Burbank.
  • We’ve sold over $25 million worth of real estate.
  • Year-to-date for 2016 we’ve sold (or have under contract) 27 homes.
  • No transaction is too small or large–we’ve helped clients buy, sell, or build from as low as $25,000 for a lot, to over $1,000,000 for a home.
  • We have experience negotiating residential, land, commercial, & investment property sales.
  • We don’t advertise our names, faces, or our brand extensively because almost 90% of our clients are repeat and referral customers.
  • We take pride in our reputation, take care of our clients, and ensure our work is about them–not us.
  • Our clients are lifetime customers—our door is open and our phones are always available!

Thank you again to all of you who have made this possible,

Nick and Valerie Kunde

 

Move Over Seattle, Tri-Cities is Hottest NW Housing Market!

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“Move over Seattle, Tri-Cities is hottest NW housing market” was the headline of Sunday’s Tri-City Herald. This area has been named the 18th hottest in the U.S. and the only area in the Pacific Northwest to qualify for the index, which is based on # of days on market and # of listing views on Realtor.com. The article states “The median Tri-City home has been on the market for just 40 days. A normal market is about 72 days,” and “Since January, the median price of a local home has climbed about 4%, to $234,000.” This price increase is the result of low supply and high demand, and homes for sale are currently in high demand in our seller’s market.

We’ve found the fastest-moving price range to be the under-$200,000 range. In this price range we’ve been able to help buyers by watching new listings come on the market, making appointments to see the home that day, and writing up offers within the hour when we found the right house for the buyer. The saying “if you have to sleep on it, you won’t sleep in it” has definitely applied in this price range!

The advantage to using our team of two agents is that one of us can take care of other business or family obligations, ensuring the other is available for buyers who need to see a house immediately or risk losing the opportunity for that house to become their home. In several instances this spring/summer, we were able to gain a competitive edge and win first-day-on-market multiple offer situations by working as a team when time was of the essence. We also help potential buyers find homes the day they hit the market by setting them up to receive emails directly from the MLS when a home that falls within their criteria range is listed.

Rising prices means your home may be worth more than you think, and since buyers are still able to take advantage of low interest rates, there has not been a better time to sell a Tri-Cities home in the past 10 years. Zillow’s “Zestimate” and county assessor property values are usually incorrect, so give us a call at (509)845-4570 for assistance. If you’re a seller we’ll provide you with a free market analysis of current prices in your neighborhood, and if you’re a potential buyer we’ll set you up to receive no-obligation emails directly from the MLS when homes hit the market.

Local Ad to Support Local Football Team

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We received a call this summer requesting our support for Kamiakin football.  We agreed to sponsor a full page ad in the fall sports brochure, and teamed up with Lara Jackson-Fricke from Innovative Mortgage to create this ad.  Both Zion Properties and Innovative Mortgage are local companies here in the Tri-Cities.  That means no national chain advertising, personal involvement in every step of the transaction, and decision-making empowerment.   Look for us in this fall’s sports brochure–we’re proud local businesses supporting our local teams!

A huge thank you to Shayla Johnson for designing & creating our ad  just in time for the deadline!  Call us at (509) 845-4570 if you’d like to learn how to get started buying, selling, building, or investing in our local real estate market today.

 

Tri-Cities home sales per price range

The most important factors to consider when selling or buying a home are location and price.  Buyers often start with an area, then look for homes within their price range.  Their goal is to find the best possible home they can within the range they can afford.  Of course there are other factors such as layout, style, lot size, etc., but location and price are the most important factors.

Prices of homes sold on the MLS in 2012

Prices of homes sold on the MLS in 2012

Lower priced listings sell fast because there are many buyers in that price range.  We’ve found that homes in the Tri-Cities listed under $200,000 in good condition don’t last long.  Last week we listed a home priced at $139,900 in great condition.  It had many showings right away, and we received 3 offers the first week!  We also have a few homes priced around $450-525,000.  They’re great homes at a great price (both less than the cost of building!), but they don’t show as often because there are fewer people shopping in that price range.  The chart does not show homes sold outside of the MLS, such as when an agent takes a buyer directly to the builder, or when a buyer contacts a builder directly.

Whatever your price range, it’s important to get comparables for active and sold listings in your neighborhood.  This is important for buyers and sellers.  If you’d like comparables in your neighborhood, we can email you active and sold listings that are similar to your house.  Simply contact us at www.kundehomes.com or call us at (509)845-4570.

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How our Advertising on Zillow helps sell your home

Zillow.com is one of the top websites that buyers in the Tri-Cities use for home searches, and we’ve teamed up with Zillow for advertising to  give our listings more online visibility.  As featured agents, all our listings become featured properties–they pop up when a customer uses Zillow to find homes with similar criteria or a nearby location.  Three of our listings appear as suggestions in this South Richland search for 4 bdrm homes.

Example zip code search on Zillow.com

If you click on an address, you’ll find more information.  Photos, description, price history, tax assessed value, maps including an aerial view of the neighborhood, nearby schools,  a “Zestimate”  (an estimated value, which is not the actual or appraised market value), and an estimated monthly payment.

 

 If a customer has a question or wants more info about your house, they can call or email us, and we make arrangements to show your home.  In the past year, we’ve noticed an increase in buyers who use Zillow to see what’s available, so we’re excited to be working with the site to help market and sell each home we have listed.

Please give us a call at (509)845-4570 if you have questions about how we advertise your home online when you list with us.

Avoid Mistakes in…Seller’s Market???

We were quite surprised to open to the business section of the Sunday Tri-City Herald to an article titled “Avoid Mistakes in Seller’s Market.”  The original article was written by Paul Owers in Florida’s Sun Sentinel.  Granted, it’s a long shot from here to Florida, where prices have increased and fewer homes are available for sale, but we’ve seen hints of improvement on the national level, and it always seems to trickle down to the slow-but-steady market here in the Tri-Cities. 
Tri-City Herald runs article “Avoid Mistakes in Seller’s Market”
It’s not just Florida.  Our relatives in Phoenix sold their house in 1 day.  A client from Seattle sold in 2.  I went on a househunting trip to Boise with my cousin and nearly all the available houses were 30 days-on-market or less.  What does this mean for the Tri-Cities? 
 
It’s still a buyer’s market, but interest rates are incredibly low and houses that are competitively priced are selling fast.  One of our listings under contract got a full price offer in 4 days on the market.  We recently looked up a newly listed house in Burbank for a client and it was already under contract (just 3 days on the market).  It is nice to see this kind of movement and gives us hope for a healthy housing market.
 
We’ve always told our clients that if they’re moving locally, they buy and sell in the same market.  Selling in a buyer’s market means you may get less than ideal when you sell, but you should be able to find an incredible deal on the house you purchase.  Waiting to sell in the hopes of getting more money when the market improves means you’ll also be paying more when you purchase a home.  Our advice is to consider your options and make the move when it’s right for you. 
 
Link to the Sun Sentinel article:  Five Mistakes Buyers Make as Sellers Market Looms
 
Give us a call if you’d like more info on the “sold” prices in your neighborhood or if you’d like to take a look and see what’s available in the Tri-Cities in your price range.  We’d love to help you out! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 

Your Tri-Cities Castle–Pricing From a Buyer’s Perspective

Let’s face it–if you’re selling your home, you want top dollar.  After all, you have to pay off the mortgage, fork over the excise tax, closing costs, & agent commissions; hopefully get a return on your upgrades, and come out profitable.  You may start to think of your home as a castle–worth every penny you’re asking.

Is your House a Castle?

Most of us WANT our houses to be worth more than market value.  We’ve put in time, effort, energy, and money, and hope to see a return on our investment.  Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself this question:  How much would YOU pay if you were buying the house right now?  Is it move-in ready?  Updated?  Comparable to to-be-built or newer homes on the market?  If you wouldn’t pay top dollar, why would someone else?

Consider a seller who hopes to ask $10,000 above market value, assuming buyers will come and simply write a low offer if they like it.  Currently in the Tri-Cities there are enough homes listed within a buyer’s price range that a buyer is unlikely to look outside their range.  Most buyers are preapproved for an amount much higher than they are comfortable, but they always begin looking within their comfort range.  If they find a house they like and it’s a good deal, they will make an offer–never even seeing the overpriced home.  It makes sense when you consider the buyer’s purpose–to find the most desirable home within a price range that they can afford.  If the price is comfortable they can afford to buy furniture, make desired improvements, and save money for future big ticket expenses (like a new roof or HVAC system).  If a house is overpriced it may have showings, but no offers, because more desirable homes fall within the price range.  It is unlikely that you can “shoehorn” them into yours.  Today’s market requires the home to be highly desirable or a great deal.  Agents can promote and attract buyers to a house, but we can’t make them schedule a showing or write an offer.  The good news is that houses priced right ARE selling, often within the first month.

Our policy: it’s your house and you can choose the list price (after carefully considering our professional suggestion based on current market analysis).  We can help you pinpoint a number that falls within about $5000 of market value.  Our advice is to list on the high end of market value to give you maximum profit and negotiating power.  Treat it like a business transaction–price it correctly the first time to attract a large number of buyers who will find it desirable, and negotiate with the odds in your favor.  You will save money when you list with our competitive commission rate, and if you’re selling and buying in the same market, the advantage is yours when it’s your turn to buy!

Please call Nick or Valerie at (509)845-4570 to find the value of your home in today’s market.

Homes we’ve sold recently as listing agents

Castle house photo credits

 

“Prep, paint, stage, scrub, improve, repeat.”

A client recently asked us what should be done to prep their house for sale.  Paint the exterior?  Re-carpet?  The answer depends on location, condition of the home, how much effort and money you can invest, and price range. We recommend renovating only if it will bring a higher return than the cost of the upgrade, and that varies according to buyers’ expectations of condition and price. If most comparable homes have vinyl windows or granite countertops, an upgrade may attract more buyers and a higher sales price than the cost of installation. Since the situation is unique for every seller, we like to assess the house, review the possibilities, and suggest upgrades only if they add to the seller’s profit.

The prep work for this West Pasco sale included removing clutter, touch up paint, shampooing carpet, cleaning grout, maintaining yard, and staging the back patio.

The best prep work is to have your home as clean, well-maintained, and desirable as possible. Think model-home desirable. Thoroughly clean and eliminate clutter and unsightly problems that could draw negative attention. Invite someone to walk through with a fresh point of view (we’d be happy to!), then make a punch list to work on. Many small and inexpensive improvements can make a huge impact: touch up paint on walls and trim, fill nail holes, shampoo carpets, caulk bathrooms, power wash the exterior, stage for efficiency and attraction, remove most personal photos, knickknacks, clutter, and papers from the refrigerator door.

We love this quote:  “Prep, paint, stage, scrub, improve, repeat. Efforts can include caulking, plastering, planting flowers, adding potted plants, making the windows spotless, pressure washing that oily driveway, edging the walks, trimming the bushes and trees, and mending the fences. None of these is excessively capital-intensive, but when applied en masse, they say “buy me.”  (Steve McLinden, Bankrate.com). And one thing all sellers can agree on is that they want their house to say “buy me!”

For more advice on prepping your home for sale, give Nick or Valerie Kunde a call at (509)845-4570–we’d love to help you prep your home to sell.

The wish list…”Perfect” or “I’ll pass”

One client's wish list

One interesting part of the real estate business is the checklist most clients have for their new home.  Dealmakers or breakers can include anything from #of parking spaces to # of stories, and other tangibles such as:  bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, layout, wheelchair accessibility,yard size, school district, proximity to work, and a number of other features that lend themselves to a list. 

Other important aspects of a home are harder to pinpoint, becuase they include intangibles such as the feel of the neighborhood, the view, or the feeling created by the combination of wall, cabinet, trim, and flooring color and design.  We are all influenced by these intangibles–this is what makes us declare a home “Perfect” or “I’ll pass.” 

When we show homes, we always start with the tangibles–usually location, bedrooms, and square feet.  As we tour each house, we listen for what you REALLY want (or don’t want) in a home–and narrow it down until we find a place that works perfectly for you. 

 

 

The first list is for an actual client, just in case your home fits and you’re interested in selling.    We never know when a new buyer will come along with a new wish list, so let us know if you’re getting ready to sell, or if you’re just curious to know the value of your home.  Also let us know what your own wish list includes!