I have had a terrific time relaxing with the family and enjoying the holidays! The holidays are a great time to connect with friends and family, to consider all you have to be thankful for and to reflect upon the future ahead. As I do, I look forward to 2008 with great optimism. The real estate market in the Seattle area has changed from a hot sellers market to a more balanced market. As I begin my 20th year in real estate, I realize that I have been in several different markets throughout my career, but my favorite market place is on the horizon!
In a hot market the value of a professional becomes less clear to the consumer. Virtually any agent can sell their home when the market is hot, so sellers generally perceive little diferrence in agents. (Note: from 2003 to 2006, during some of the hotest times around here, I was able to sell my clients homes for an average of 3% greater than the average agent in King County)
The ease of entry into real estate has never been in the consumers best interest. Many people "play" real estate – working at it part time or "trying it out". The mear presence of real estate license does not qualify someone as an expert in the business. With 80% of the agents turning over every few years, the average consumer gets an agent with little, to no real experience to help them buy or sell their largest asset. Lacking negotiation skills (that can only be obtained in the trenches) and often needing the transaction more than their clients (because they are just getting started or are looking to make a buck on their way out), the inexperienced agent can costs the consumer thousands of dollar per transaction!
So why do I look forward to 2008 with great optimisim?? As the market cools, we enter on of my favorite times… a professionals market! A market where the skilled agent can assist their clients and help them profit from the changing times. A market where opportunities can be found and where expertise in the field rewards the clients and thereby rewards the expert agents.
This is why it is going to be a great 2008!