(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
Houses are selling at a rapid pace in Spokane, and there's a major reason why.
Comparing numbers month-to-month, there were 25 percent fewer homes on the market this January compared to January 2016.
In other words, there is a very small inventory of homes for sale.
It's great news for sellers, who are experiencing an increase in property value as a result.
According the Spokane Association of REALTORS, the average selling price in January was $206,351, up 8.8 percent from January 2016 when the average selling price was $189,675.
Realtors say the Spokane housing market isn't slowing down, and expects 2017 to be as profitable for sellers as 2016.
But right now is also a good time to buy.
Interest rates remain very low, but are expected to rise to 4.6 percent by the end of 2017.
One homeowner in the Perry District listed his home at 9 a.m. on Thursday, and by noon four potential buyers looked at the house.
Realtors say this is a scenario they are seeing played out on a daily basis in Spokane, and they don't expect it to slow down anytime soon.
Realtors say there is no housing bubble, but that the market will likely level off by 2018 or 2019, but prices will not reach 2008 level lows.
It's a seller's market, but there's even more you can do to up the value of your home if you’re selling.
Here are several tips from Founder and Owner of Home Staging Works, Sylvia Dunn.
- Clean and de-clutter.
- Take down personal photos: People want to picture themselves in the home.
- Wash windows.
- Don’t neglect the front of the house: Use a dark welcome mat, replace light fixtures, power wash, and use fresh mulch during the right time of the year.
- Buy a new shower curtain and use fasteners that match the bathroom hardware. Stay away from using clear plastic rings.
- Update light fixtures in the bathroom.
- Keep kitchen counters clear, including not using plants.
- Don’t look like the tables are intentionally set.
- Keep glasses and a book on an end tables: Books make great props.
- Use matching hangers in the closet.
- Take everything out of the closet except clothes and accessories.
- Leave 25 percent of your cabinets space available to use: You want it to look like they have plenty of room.
If you’re willing to pay some money, replacing your carpet can increase the value of your home by $5,000. Painting or replacing cabinets and counters can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars.
Bathroom and kitchen remodels, replacing front and garage doors, and replacing your roof are costly, but will also add to the value of your home.
According to Dunn, here are a few things that will decrease the value of your home, and make it take longer to get it off the market.
Bad staging: Be very selective of who you talk to when it comes to staging your home. It’s not a regulated profession so people can give bad advice. Read up on reviews and make sure they are certified.
Not all the rooms have to be completely empty. Use furniture and pictures to give an idea of the homes potential.
Dunn says the number one no-no: Wrong paint color. Use warm grays, and stay away from bright peachy colors.