From Tacoma: Weekend article from The News Tribune
Home builders are advertising more incentives. "Price Reduced" placards hang below "For Sale" signs. And the house down the block that you'd thought would sell in a few days? It's been on the market for a few months. For buyers, it's great news. They can be more picky. They have an easier time negotiating prices. They can ask for – and probably get – the washer and dryer with the house or a few items knocked off the inspection report.Woo. Throw in a washer and dryer and we've got a deal! These people don't get it. It's not a buyer's nor a seller's market. There will be many GF who follow the market down - they'll get taken to the cleaners as well.
For sellers, now isn't the time to mess around.
And ... what do they say is the cause?
A rash of condominium projects and new home developments have caused a spike in Pierce County's inventory, said Dick Beeson, a broker with Windermere/Commencement Associates in Tacoma and a director with the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The county currently has 6,225 homes and condos for sale – a 53 percent increase from last year at this time and the highest inventory for at least the last five years, according to MLS data.Just give it a few months ;)
"If you drive through Tacoma now, you'll see a lot of 'For Sale' signs that you didn't see last year," Beeson said. "It slows everything down. It means buyers are taking their time."
Cathy Reed put her brick Tudor in North End Tacoma up for sale in May. In the two years she'd owned the home, Reed did a lot of work, including finishing the basement and painting several rooms. But the competitive market forced her to pay even more attention to details – and reduce her price three times, from an asking price of $479,000 to the sale price of $399,000.
"Every little detail had to be right," Reed said. "That wasn't the way it was last year."
(Kelly Kearsley, Tacoma News Tribune, 09.30.2006)