Federal Way Home Market Stats – The last 4 years

You've probably heard it from everyone…the market is getting better. While it's nice to hear, it is even better to SEE and UNDERSTAND. I'm going to show you a few graphs that show you exactly WHY the market is better and why you may reconsider jumping in to buy or sell.

Please keep in mind that all of the data I will be highlighting below is for Federal Way area codes 98023 and 98003.

1. The chart below is the number of homes "For Sale" vs. "Sold" for the last 5 years. As you can see, from 2009-2011 to , during any given month, there were more than 300 homes on the market. However, only around 50 sold each month. Imagine how hard it would be to sell your home if you had a 16% chance each month….and that is if your house is priced right. To entice buyers, homes had to sell for cheep.

2. Chart #2 is the same as above, only focusing on the last three years. What we see here is a cycle of low inventory and a better chance to sell your home. Clearly, during the winder months, there are less "For Sale" and therefore "Less Pending". In Nov-Feb, sellers had a 40% chance of selling their home. During the summer months, an average of roughly 45%.

3. With the exact same data from chart #2, we can see the "average sold price per square foot" for homes in area codes 98023 and 98003. From Jan 2012 to Jan 2014, we've seen an increase in Price Per SqFt of 23.4%. From Dec 2013 to Dec 2013, there was an 8.3% increase. 


In conclusion, the Federal Way housing market is alive and kicking. It's growing rapidly each month. With inventory in short supply, sellers are getting top dollar for their home – no matter what time of year it is. If you are considering selling or buying, now is a good time. For those who are buying, values will continue to rise and so will your payment. 

If you have questions on this or other area codes, please let me know and I would be happy to pull similar statistics!

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 3:10 pm
Katie Criddle | Category: Buying, Federal Way, Selling | Tagged , , , ,

The Craziness of the 2014 boom is Slowing

Since the real estate crash, the market has been slowly gaining momentum. Homeowners are feeling more confident as their equity is starting to increase. From 2013 to 2014, the average sales price in King/Pierce County has risen 8.3%.

On the other side of the coin, mass amounts of 1st time homebuyers entered the market. Recent graduates now have a steady income and mortgage rates have remained low – a healty incentive for any potential home buyer. So many homebuyers have entered the market, in fact, that the demand for homes rose increadibly and the supply couldnt keep up.

What this high demand created was craziness. In places close to Seattle and Bellevue, it was common to recieve multiple offers by day 3. I've heard as many as 18 offers! People would offer above list price by $50,000 or more, they would wave the inspection contingency (keep in mind many Seattle homes are older and it is likely they have aging issues), $100,000 earnest money and more!

In the South Sound area, we did see above list price offers, multiple offers, and many within a week of the home being put on the market.


Across the board, things have slowed. People took their last minute vacations and are getting kids ready for school again. I've spoken with many agents who have agreed that showings on their listings have all slowed WAY down. I have seen this slowing on my listings as well, and the further out from the Seattle epicenter, the slower they get.

So what does this mean? For sellers, it means sticking it out, or making some agressive moves before the holiday season hits. There are simply less buyers in the market, so you need to make your home stand out and attract one of those few buyers.

For buyers, this means there is somewhat limited inventory, but you may not be competing with 10 other buyers. You may negotiate significant price drops and for the seller to pay closing costs.

It's amazing how it all goes back to supply and demand. The market will bear what the market will bear.


How has housing looked in your area?

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm
Katie Criddle | Category: Buying, Selling

5 Reasons to Sell Your House Now

Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? Can buyers qualify for a mortgage?  These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are five of those reasons.

1. The Most Serious Buyers Are Out Now

Most people realize that the housing market is hottest from April through June. The most serious buyers are well aware of this and, for that reason, come out in early spring in order to beat the heavy competition. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply always grows from the spring through the early summer. The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all the other potential sellers in your market put their homes up for sale.

In the local Seattle market, there is a shortage of homes for sale. We are seeing above-price, multiple offer situations for homes in all price ranges.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen.  Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate at about 4.5% right now. Rates are projected to be well over 5% by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 10:10 am
Katie Criddle | Category: Selling

Infographic – The Importance of Curb Appeal

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm
Katie Criddle | Category: Selling | Tagged ,

How long can I expect my home be on the market?

It is in your best interest to sell your home as fast as possible, and that is my goal as a Realtor. I have yet to meet someone who hopes it takes 6 months to sell their home. There are many things that go into selling you home including marketing on the internet,  yard signs, open houses, flyers, mailers, and all the word of mouth a Realtor can manage. But sometimes a bidding war doesn't happen and a home does not sell the first day on the market – and that is ok. 

Based on 2013 data through early November, here are the average days homes are on the market. In Seattle, the average time on the market is 64 days – a healthy number. San Francisco (and California in general) are the hottest markets right now with not only the shortest amount of days on the market, but fastest growing home prices. Anywhere you see red, this is where it is taking longer to sell the inventory. There are a number of reasons this is the case, but that's for another blog. 

Many of you have heard that there are bidding wars and homes snatched off the market in under a week. This does happen! There are a number of reasons why a home is sold quickly including initial appeal, it shows well (inside is staged/clean), but most importantly (by far) is that is is priced correctly. Your agent should ALWAYS complete a Comparative Market Analysis on your home before listing. This will compare recent sold/pending homes in your area which will determine a good selling price. If you are about to list your home, expect any agent you interview to prepare a CMA for your home. 

In conclusion, don't get discouraged if it takes a month or two to sell your home – this is normal. If it is 

taking longer than average, have a frank conversation with your agent about why they think it is not selling. Be open to their suggestions, but don't be afraid to look for a new agent if you feel they are not doing their job. 

How many days was your home on the market before it sold?

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 12:15 am
Katie Criddle | Category: Selling | Tagged ,

The Best Quick DIY Fixes Before You Sell!

One of my favorite things is DIY projects (do it yourself)! I used to have a lot more time for these types of projects, but since having my son, I simply get my fill by browsing pinterest and other creative home bloggers out there. Here are a few of my favorite quick DIY projects that would spruce up any home – whether you are planning on selling or not!

By the way, all the ideas below are pinned to my own Home Ideas Pinterest Board. Take a peek at my home inspiration!

1. Add extra storage!

Who doesnt love more storage? You, and your future buyers will see any added shelf space as a bonus!

small bathroom ideas. Nice neutral color scheme and layout looks a lot like our bathroom.


2. Paint your garage floor.

This is a bit of a strange one, but have you looked at your garage floor recently? Stained with oil, paint, and who knows what else, giving your garage floor a clean and polished look is sure to please. Check out this tutorial at Painted Furniture Ideas blog. 


How to Paint Your Garage Floor


3. Add Crown molding to your windows

This quick weekend projects will bring a classy look to your home. It may also bring extra $$$ if you are selling. The small details make the biggest impression

Add crown molding to the top of a window frame for a serious yet simple face lift!


4. Make a great first impression!

Take a good long look at your entry. What does it say? Sad and old? or happy and inviting? This before and after happens to be one of my favorites that I'm contemplating for my own home. It would take a bit more work, but if the gal at Censational Girl Blog did it, so can you!

entry way transformation


5. Give your outdoor space a facelift

Especially if you live in a climate where outdoor living is a must (only 2-3 months here in Seattle) your outdoor space will be a huge selling point. Add a little greenery, paint your fence, or create beautiful hardscape like this tutorial below. 


DIY garden path. Brilliant!


There are so many quick DIY home project ideas out there. When selling your home or if you simply want to enjoy your home, a little goes a long way! Visit my Home Ideas Pinboard for more home inspiration!

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm
Katie Criddle | Category: Selling, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Dave Ramsey’s Real Estate Minute: 3 Advantages of Selling your Home During the Holidays

3 Advantages of Selling Your Home During the Holidays


Thanks to reduced competition, motivated buyers and a warm and cheery holiday home, you can sell your hom
e faster and for more money during the holiday season.
We all know—or maybe we assume—that spring and summer are the best times to sell a home. And it's true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn't mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day.
If your home is for sale now, you're actually in a great position to sell your home faster and for more money by taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the holiday selling season.
1. Less Competition
You're not the only homeowner who's considered taking your home off the market during the holidays—most don't want the hassle. And most new sellers will decide to wait until the first of the year or even springtime to put their homes up for sale.
That's great news for you because you won't have to compete with dozens of other homes just like yours to get buyers' attention. Reduced inventory means more buyers checking out your home, either online or in person. Keep their attention by making sure your home is priced to sell and that your home is in "show" condition at all times.
2. Motivated Buyers
Anyone who takes time out of their busy holiday schedule to shop for a new home is serious about buying now. Perhaps they are buying a home for tax reasons or are relocating to start a new job in the new year. Maybe they've been looking for months and just haven't found that perfect home yet.
Whatever their reason, make it easy for these folks to get a good look at your home by staying flexible with your showing times and be open to negotiating contract terms that work with their schedules.
3. Your Home Looks Great
Emotion plays a huge role in which home a buyer purchases,
 and you can capitalize on that by making your home cozy and cheery during showings. Tasteful decorations and a minimum of clutter will allow buyers to see their own families celebrating the holidays in your home next year.
Make sure your decorations enhance rather than detract from your home's best features, and remember to remove them as soon as the season is over.





Posted on November 12, 2013 at 10:09 am
Katie Criddle | Category: Dave Ramsey, Holidays, Selling | Tagged , ,