Decreased inventory for buyers in local real estate market

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2019 1:30am
  • Business

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

The month of December reliably marks a low point in unsold inventory in the residential real estate market. When looking at the local market this year, there are fewer unsold listings in the more affordable and mid-price ranges on the Eastside than the year prior.

Tucker Petrzelka, assistant office leader and business coach of John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Main office, said the market in Bellevue picked up in November compared to the past couple of months.

“Our office did well in November, closing more transactions than expected,” Petrzelka said. “We noticed more people signing up with a broker, preparing to put their home on the market – be it in December or in 2020.”

Petrzelka said while the winter market is a far cry from the pace of the spring and summer, decreased unsold inventory will have some buyers feeling the squeeze. He added that in a market with constrained inventory, many buyers will choose to work with a real estate broker so they can boost their chance of getting their offer accepted for the home of their choice.

The National Association of Realtors recently released its 2019 profile of home buyers and sellers, which found that a record 89 percent of buyers say they used a real estate agent to purchase a home. NAR noted that “While the home search process has shifted toward digital technology, the need for a trusted real estate agent to help sell a home is still paramount.”

Petrzelka said in today’s technology-heavy world, it’s easy for buyers to search and set up alerts for homes that meet their desired criteria through online tools. He added that while this is a great first step, it is just one part of the home buying process.

“While online tools can help educate buyers and sellers about the real estate process and market, there are some things that can’t be replaced by technology,” Petrzelka said. “Clients who choose to work with a qualified broker associate know they’ll be supported in the areas of negotiation, existing relationships with other agents, market knowledge, contracts, closing and more. For many, their home is one of the biggest investments they’ll make so there is a lot of value that comes with having a dedicated person who will go to bat for you and ensure this investment is maximized.”

NAR also found that the average length of a house hunt is 10 weeks (with a median of nine home tours). Asked if this estimate rings true in the local market, Petrzelka said a variety of factors, including available inventory, can heavily impact how long it takes for a client to find their dream home.

“The real estate market is truly hyperlocal, and in our local area the length of the home search and number of homes visited can vary widely on the area and the individual,” Petrzelka said. “The length of the search can be impacted greatly by the person who is looking – do they know what they’d like, and how motivated are they to make a move? Typically, in the winter, buyers who are in the market are motivated to find their home of choice and make an offer.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Sound Publishing operates the following titles in King County: Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Kent-Covington Reporter, Renton Reporter, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Kirkland Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record, Issaquah Reporter, Redmond Reporter, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Mercer Island Reporter and the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber.
Bellevue Reporter to suspend print publication

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly evolve across the globe, the… Continue reading

COVID-19 gathering restriction delays funerals

For one funeral home owner, the confusion came to a head after a recent service.

Boeing plants in Puget Sound area to close; infected Everett worker dies

To the relief of anxious employees, the company said it will shut down factory operations for two weeks.

For sale sign hanging in front of house. File photo
Open houses close due to coronavirus concerns

Northwest Multiple Listing Service halts large group home tours amid pandemic.

Customers buying high volume of products at cannabis shops

Retail establishments get the green light to remain open during COVID-19 pandemic.

AG Ferguson warns of scams related to COVID-19

Washingtonians should be skeptical of claims about virus

A Boeing 777X during a taxi test. (Boeing Co.)
Companywide, Boeing reports 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Boeing will equip more employees to work remotely, but for now factory workers will stay on the line.

Photo by Claire Albright
                                The Bellevue Ice Rink has various events throughout the season, such as stroller skate days, free skate lessons, Husky Skate Day, and Jedi Skate Night. These help switch up the typical skating experience.
Time to say goodbye to Bellevue Ice Rink for season

Taking a look behind-the-scenes of the Bellevue Ice Rink as the break-down process begins

Business perspective for the new year | Financial advice column

A monthly business column from a local financial adviser.

Most Read