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“Condo Weekend” Round-Up – The Realogics Perspective

By September 28, 2009

This is an email Dean Jones of Realogics blasted out last night. Yes, the guy needs his own blog, but he’s old school in his marketing. In the meantime, he kindly granted permission for us to share it.

It was certainly an exciting weekend in our marketplace despite competition from sunny skies and a Seahawks game. Of course, the much-anticipated auctions by Schnitzer West for Gallery and Brix occurred. And we kicked off some initial promotions for Condo Bulk Buy by offering advance previews for two participating projects – The Decatur and 1111 East Pike. Last (but certainly not least), we hosted a unique open house and art walk at Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, which followed a series of events at that property.

Here’s our take on all this activity:


  • Impressive sell-through of the strategic unit release followed (no doubt) by additional sales at similar (or higher) pricing over the coming weeks
  • In aggregate, units sold at 30-32% below previous list prices (higher than most anticipated)
  • Accelerated Marketing did a great job facilitating the auction with successful bids averaging 150% of the minimum bid amount (one of their better results)
  • Tom Vetter (principal of Accelerated Marketing) was gracious to host several of our Realogics executives for this demonstration
  • Several hundred participants attended today and more than a thousand prospective buyers visited their two sites over the last month – so it would appear that demand is constant
  • Buyers still feel like “first responders” in this marketplace and want a deal to pull the trigger (they got one)
  • I’ll be interested to follow the unsuccessful bidders in the coming weeks – the supply has just become much more finite and the incentives for buyers are present today but not indefinite (no new inventory has entered the market for two years and won’t for a while)


  • Thinks are heating up – our alternative to auctioning inventory is making sense to prospective buyers and we’re garnering very positive feedback so far
  • Our sellers acknowledge their likely auction results and are willing to provide that discount now in bulk (provided they are successful in selling the majority of their release)
  • Buyers love the notion of “The More We Sell, The More You Save” – prices start out great and get even better
  • With Nov. 30 quickly approaching (and the discontinuation of first-time homebuyer tax credits), buyers want to be confident in their home and their value – there’s a risk at auctions (ask those that missed out tonight – now what?)
  • We’ve had more than 100 prospective buyers register in the last week alone


  • About 60 buyer groups registered this weekend in response to impromptu ads and recent media attention
  • Agents say “multiple” buyers will make a reservation this week – just as soon as price ranges and agreements are firmed up by the seller
  • Buyers noted that average discount offered at recent Seattle-area auctions range from 25-30% off previous list prices – the bulk sales approach offers up to 35% off
  • Unit prices on average are still more than $100K less than Brix’s reset auction prices and price per foot basis is 20% lower using the bulk approach
  • Watch for website updates this week

1111 EAST PIKE (

  • Several dozen “preview” tours this weekend – full marketing push coming soon with building completion pending
  • Upon touring, buyers to recognize the significance of the “original” Tom Kundig design concept versus more production-oriented development (it’s all about the design and details)
  • First release bulk pricing averages about $430 per sq. ft., which is less than a 10% premium to the average Brix auction price (not a bad investment considering the preferred Pike St. location and “collectable” design)
  • Watch for website updates this week


  • Several hundred folks came through the model homes and the Canlis Glass penthouse art installation over this past week and weekend
  • More than a dozen were identified as “A” or “B” prospects (signaling their intent to buy soon)
  • At least one qualified offer was presented this weekend (more sales anticipated this week)
  • Buyers are starting to feel more urgency where there is limited inventory for preferred price points or floor plans
  • The opportunity to “sleep on it” was provided to a number of prospective buyers, whereas a completely furnished, two bedroom guest suite is offered for overnight stays to experience the unique lifestyle at the property

There’s certainly some excitement in the air. The next few weeks will likely be the harbinger of the fall condo sales season. I personally feel that many buyers will jump off the fence and pick a seat over the next 60 days. Most projects that are in need of a reset (and not all are), will be reset. And with the appropriate incentives in place, preferred selection, low interest rates and perishable tax credits may have more to do with “timing the market” than waiting around for lower prices still.


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