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High demand, low inventory for homes in Seattle region as buyers brace for higher interest rates

Some properties are selling as high as 45% above asking price as many buyers scramble to purchase what few homes are available.

SEATTLE — Many homebuyers are rushing to secure deals ahead of expected interest rate hikes.

“A lot of buyers are out here shopping and they know that the interest rates are going to rise so they’re just trying to hurry up and get locked in at a good rate,” said Ali Samael, a real estate agent with the Catalyst Group.

He said homes are selling quickly.

“With homes hitting the market right now we're finding that they don't even make it to the open house, so don't wait for the open house, just hurry up, go out there, see it, if you like it, place an offer, don't wait,” said Samael said.

Properties are also selling above asking prices.

“20%, 30%, in some cases 45% over asking, in Bellevue, Kirkland we are seeing it, considering the fact that there's nothing to choose from, you may have 20 or 30 buyers going after the same property,” said Max Rombakh, a managing broker with Windermere Real Estate.

He said he recently helped sell a Bellevue home for nearly a million dollars over the asking price.

“It was a very unique home in a unique neighborhood in Bridle Trails, five minutes to Bellevue, five minutes to Kirkland, five minutes to Redmond,” Rombakh said.

That’s an exceptional case, he said, but an example of what is happening in the market.

Rombakh said homebuyers should do as much lending preparation as they can before making an offer.

“It’ll help you be more competitive,” he said.

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