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Good news for buyers: Not every home has sold

How to buy a home in 10 basic steps

For the first time since 2015, the fall-winter period has unsold inventory of Pierce County homes from summer. If you're in the market to buy, here's a simple step-by-step checklist to help you through the process.
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For the first time since 2015, the fall-winter period has unsold inventory of Pierce County homes from summer. If you're in the market to buy, here's a simple step-by-step checklist to help you through the process.

Can we finally make an offer on a house for sale in Pierce County contingent on our own home selling and still stand a chance?

The seasonal slowdown indicates that you can.

“In many cases this winter, people can purchase a home with a home-to-sell contingency, which gives buyers the opportunity to sell their current home,” J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott real estate, wrote in his analysis of October home sales.

His report coincided with Northwest Multiple Listing Services’ monthly report, also released Tuesday.

Scott noted that for the first time since 2015, the fall-winter period has unsold inventory of homes from summer. The analysis shows the homes skew toward higher price ranges ($500,000 and above). Those below $500,000 remain in the shortage/severe shortage category in unsold listings, particularly in the $250,000 and below category.

In contrast, Pierce County has a nine-months’ supply of homes for $1 million or more, with 117 active listings as of Nov. 1.

Affordable and mid-price homes in the county generated strong sales for new listings selling within 30 days and under two months’ of inventory, according to Scott’s report. A balanced market typically is regarded as about four to six months’ worth.

In Thurston County, the $350,000-$500,000 price range was active. Supply was still listed as in “shortage” territory in the report. Homes under $350,000 were in severe shortage. (Plenty of million-dollar-plus homes are available though, at 13.5 months’ supply).

The NWMLS’ October summaries of median closed sale prices for:

Homes:

Pierce County: $335,000 up 6.35 percent from last year.

Thurston County: $315,000 up 12.30 percent from last year.

Kitsap County: $343,975, up 6.05 percent from last year.

Mason County: $264,750, up 22.57 percent from last year (biggest percent change growth in region for the month).

King median closed sale price: $670,999, up 6.51 percent from last year.

Condos:

Pierce County: $260,000 up 20.93 percent from last year.

Thurston County: $145,000 down 6.45 percent from last year.

Kitsap County: $238,475, down 32.30 percent from last year.

Mason County: not available.

King County: $400,000, up 5.82 percent from last year.

Areas (October median closed home sale prices, followed by September numbers):

Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula: $469,975 ($499,950)

North Tacoma: $396,000 ($423,500)

University Place/Fircrest: $401,000 ($435,000)

Puyallup: $335,000 ($365,000)

Lakewood: $324,900 ($320,000)

Central Tacoma: $287,450 ($325,000)

South Tacoma: $270,000 ($263,000)

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell
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