At least in the Seattle east-side suburbs. Joel’s house went under contract last week and we are still shocked and in disbelief. It’s a 1670 sq ft 2 BR 2 1/2 BA townhouse (1 common wall) with a bonus area for an office and an attached 2 car garage. Both bedrooms are on the 2nd floor and each has an ensuite bathroom, and there is a powder room on the main floor. He did a lot of updates/improvements since he purchased in 2012:
- changed out all the flooring (mostly carpet and vinyl, except one bathroom that had tile) to bamboo and tile
- added closet organizers to the walk-in closets in both bedrooms
- added an organizer and hanging rack to the laundry area
- remodeled all 3 bathrooms, replacing vinyl floors with tile, tile counters with marble in the 2 ensuite and with tempered glass in the powder room, and updating the master shower and tub
- new interior paint when he moved in and then again after he moved out
- new exterior paint
- painted kitchen cabinets and added new hardware (it already had quartz countertops)
- replaced the stove
- replaced the deck (some of which was rotting) with a new deck and a paver area
He had a pre-inspection done, and corrected almost everything except he had not replaced the original double pane windows, 3 or 4 of which have lost their seal - he had already disclosed that on the disclosure paperwork.
He topped off it all off by getting it staged so it looked like house out of a magazine.
His agent suggested that he list it for about 10% under what the average estimate that Realtor.com, Zillow and Redfin were showing, to help ‘drive interest and multiple offers’. Well, even she (a 25+ year agent) didn’t realize what she was getting into. It went on the MLS on Thursday, 3/17, about noon, with a commitment to review offers on Monday, 3/21. By Thursday evening there had already been 15 - 20 showings. By Sunday evening, there had been a total of 95 showings and his agent had a collection of probably 75 business cards from other agents. He had at least 9 potential buyers who wanted to present offers early, but he stuck to the Monday offer review date.
When his agent called us Monday evening, she had 26 offers*, at least 9 of which were more than 20% above list. He took an all-cash offer that was 36% over list price with no contingencies, no appraisal requirement, and a $50k non-refundable incentive payment, rather than earnest money - so if they back out, he still keeps the $50k, and he can move on to the next offer on the list. The $50k showed up in his bank account on Wednesday, 3/23. It’s probably going to close on April 1 (15 days after listing). It could have closed earlier, except that he needs to give notice to the staging company to get the place de-staged, and his contractor needs to finalize the bill so that it can be paid out of escrow. He also wanted to wait to get the money until April 1 so that the gain (the vast majority of his income this year) would be realized in the 2nd quarter, so he can wait to make his quarterly estimated tax payment until 2nd quarter payments are due - because even after adjusting the basis for all of the improvements, taking out the selling costs and exempting $250k in capital gains, he’s probably going to owe taxes on over $300k in capital gains.
Once it closes, he said I could share the listing and the actual figures.
*When I asked her if this was the most offers she’d ever had on a listing, she said yes, and shared that back in 2005/2006, one of the agents in her office had a listing that got 22 offers, and they didn’t think that would ever be topped.