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5 Ways to Navigate a Shifting Seattle Real Estate Market

The dynamism of today’s housing market hasn't been kind to buyers of late.

Presented by Prevu July 18, 2022

Just as homebuyers are recovering from exasperating bidding wars and casting aside memories of rejected offers, a new challenge arises in the form of rising mortgage rates.

For Seattle buyers accustomed to a competitive market with soaring home prices, dealing with the ominous rise in mortgage rates and a potentially slowing economy may mean embarking on the homeownership journey later. 

But that doesn’t have to be the case. The team at Prevu Real Estate has compiled five ways to navigate the shifting Seattle real estate market to help you secure your dream home in the Emerald City.


Update your pre-approval

Juggling paperwork, numbers, listings, and figuring out when you’re free to go to that open house in Woodinville are just a few of the things to be on top of when buying a home.

Amidst all of the activity, it can be easy to forget about your mortgage pre-approval, a crucial document if you want to immediately stand out to the seller. Get in touch with your mortgage broker and make sure everything is up to date and that your pre-approval is still valid.

With rates rising quickly, you want to be certain that you still qualify for the loan amount you were pre-approved for a few months ago.


Hire an experienced buyer’s agent

Working with the right agent is an often-overlooked advantage.

Many homebuyers will commit to working with the first agent they meet. But finding the right agent that can understand your specific situation can make a profound impact on your home buying journey.

Interview multiple agents and ask about their experience in your neighborhoods of choice. Getting to the specifics of their expertise will show you whether the prospective agent can properly evaluate your needs and give you the appropriate guidance.

As you move forward in your home buying journey, the buyer’s agent will be at your side to help in negotiations, organizing paperwork, and ensuring you are getting a fair price. They can also be the key to helping you save when you buy a home in Seattle. 


Save thousands with a commission rebate

Knowing that you can save thousands of dollars upon buying a home is a much-needed confidence boost when making an offer on a home. Working with a buyer’s agent who offers a commission rebate can make that a reality.

Prevu Real Estate is a digital brokerage that offers the largest commission rebate in Seattle, and buyers who work with a Prevu agent can receive up to two-thirds of their broker’s commission in the form of a rebate check.

The process is simple - Prevu provides buyers with a portion of the commission they receive for representing buyers. Let’s say you buy a $1,500,000 home in West Seattle with Prevu. You stand to receive a rebate check of up to 2% of your purchase price, or in this example $30,000.

Buyers can use that money to relieve the stress of high closing costs, invest in furnishings for their new home, or feel more confident to make a stronger offer knowing that they will be able to replenish their savings.


Move quickly as the competition slows

Though it may be hard to believe, the market is slowing down as some buyers are put off by the combination of rising mortgage rates and high home prices.

For those with their sights set on buying a home no matter what, now is a great opportunity to take advantage of a slight lull in competition and move quickly on an offer that you’re confident in.

“The market is definitely normalizing,” said Cyndy Stewart, General Manager of Seattle for Prevu Real Estate. “Not long ago, we had a well qualified buyer who made a great offer in a multiple offer situation. Their offer was the highest offer on the table, but because they put in an inspection contingency, they lost out to another buyer with no contingencies. You’re not seeing that now, and buyers are able to negotiate terms they weren’t able to just a few months ago.”

If your pre-approval checks out and you still feel comfortable with your budget, it may be wise to move quickly when the right listing comes along. Though you likely won’t find yourself in the middle of a bidding war, savvy buyers are also taking note of the shift in demand and will also be on the hunt for the best homes.


Explore which mortgage options work for you

Choosing the right mortgage product should be a top priority. With rates rising quickly, thinking long-term and taking the time to decide what works best for you is crucial.

Rates are nothing like they were during the pandemic, but although the higher numbers are pricing out some buyers, now is as good a time as any to invest in real estate.

“Many buyers initially put their searches on hold because of the rate hikes, but the truth is real estate is still a great investment,” said Stewart. “Some buyers, particularly first-time homebuyers looking for a starter home, are turning to adjustable-rate mortgages to find a lower rate. But you have to have a plan.”

The plan should include understanding your goals for the home and how long you will live there. Decide whether this is the forever home or whether you will treat it as an investment property.

This can help you determine whether you need a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage or can take advantage of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that typically offers lower rates for a shorter period of time such as 5 years or 10 years.


Interested in buying a home in Seattle? Browse listings in your favorite neighborhood and see how much you can save with Prevu’s Smart Buyer Rebate.

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