Rates and inventory bring opportunities for buyers

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

By Erin Flemming

Special to the Reporter

There’s good news for buyers in today’s real estate market: Low interest rates and additional inventory translate to more opportunities. Julia Nordby, office leader and business coach of John L. Scott’s Bellevue-Main office, said the market picked up quite a bit in May.

Locally, Nordby noted that brokers in her office are seeing more listings, and multiple offers for homes in desirable locations that are priced well.

“Local buyers have taken note of the current interest rates,” Nordby said. “Open houses have seen excellent turn-out, and buyers have appreciated having more homes to choose from. To stand out, I always recommend being fully underwritten before making offers.”

For sellers, more listings mean more competition to find that perfect buyer. John L. Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott said in the pre-summer and summer months, the “Five rights make a sale” formula should be followed.

“We’re in the midst of the four prime months in the year for buyer activity,” Scott said. “To ensure your home sells at the best price possible, just remember the ‘five rights make a sale’ formula. This means house right, yard right, price right, marketing right and the right listing broker associate.”

Many consumers know that the lower interest rates go, the more buying power consumers have when entering the market. However, buyers are not the only group impacted by interest rates.

According to Black Knight, a mortgage software and analytics company, this unexpected and sharp drop in mortgage rates means there are now about 5.9 million borrowers who could see their rates drop by at least 75 basis points by refinancing their mortgages. That is an increase of 2 million in just the past month, making it the largest population of eligible candidates for refinancing in nearly three years.

Nordby recommends that homeowners exploring the possibility of refinancing connect with a mortgage professional to determine if it is the right choice for them. She also recommends, that if looking to purchase a home in Bellevue before the next school year starts, working with a real estate professional who will help get all the pieces in place to succeed.

“It’s busy around this time of the year for many families with graduation and other activities, but it’s not too late to find a home before the new school year,” Nordby said. “We have some great schools in the area, and brokers can share valuable insights about local options with their clients to help them make the best choice.”

Even for buyers who do not have children on their radar, it’s still important to put an emphasis on school district when weighing the pros and cons of homes, Nordby said, as there is a predictable correlation between school districts and home values. John L. Scott’s school search function is one way to explore homes in the boundaries of top schools, and a GreatSchools ranking appears next to each listing, which is an easy way to note school quality at a glance.

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