At a recent Short Sale and Foreclosure class, I observed that possibly over 70% of agents in the greater Seattle/Bellevue/Tacoma area have never handled a short sale or bank-owned (foreclosure) property on either the buyer or seller side. Now that may be okay in some areas of King County, but as you work your way south into the Auburn area and further into the north Pierce County area, you definitely need to be working with an agent who has Short Sale and Foreclosure experience. Here’s why:
Although I run statistics frequently, I hadn’t actually compared different parts of the region as far as distressed property sales. Curious, I went to our Northwest Multiple Listing Service to run some quick stats. No, it’s definitely not just my imagination: short sales and bank-owned properties are far more prevalent in my business areas of the south King County and Pierce County areas.
So here are the facts as of this morning, May 18, 2010 of the residential properties that I work most frequently (single family, condominiums, and manufactured homes):
In King County, there are currently 15349 unsold properties. (Some of these do have offers of one sort or another.) Of those unsold properties, 971 are noted as being Bank-Owned, while another 4207 are noted as requiring Short Sale or some other third-party approval before the sale can close. Okay, that computes to about 33.7% of unsold properties being either bank-owned or short sale nature.
In Pierce County, there are currently 6755 unsold properties. Of those, 741 are bank owned and 2178 are short sales. That’s approximately 43.2%.
Now, to get even more specific, I live and focus my business (although not exclusively) in Auburn, a smaller community that spans the King and Pierce County lines. In the Auburn area, there are 463 unsold listings, 68 bank-owned and 228 short sale properties. YIKES! That’s 63.9% of all listings in my area!
So here’s the point: If you plan to buy or sell a property in the south King County or Pierce County areas where properties are so affordable, be sure that you’re working with an experience Short Sale or Foreclosure Agent.