Mason County Waterfront Sales Trends

It’s a good time to be a waterfront listing broker. Here is Mason County Puget Sound waterfront real estate sales in a nutshell:

2019 / 90 waterfront homes sold – 0 over $1M
2020 / 108 waterfront homes sold – 3 over $1M
2021 / 80 waterfront homes sold – 22 over $1M
2021 Average Days to close = 56 Days ( 48 days in escrow – 8 days waiting for a buyer )
2021 Average Selling Price = $884,586 / Up 23%

In 2021, what did I hear from buyers? “All I want is a waterfront home under $1,000,000.”  That’s becoming rarer and is the reason why buyers are coming Mason County.  We are the only South Sound waterfront left who average below $1,000,000.

So, you are an owner of a Puget Sound waterfront home thinking about selling.  Perhaps I can help you with a few observations.

  1. How long will this market last? In the last 2 years of the pandemic, prices have risen. Rather than allowing the real estate market to crash like in 2008, the Fed will raise interest rates and settle this down, this year and next.  It will take time for the market to lose stream – maybe by next year.


  1. What can you do to push your property price over the top? Let me tell you a story.  Last year, two homes were listed in Grapeview not more than 500 yards from each other.  Both were 2250 sqft well-cared for homes, both within 10 feet of low-bank frontage, both built in the early 70’s with 110 feet of waterfront.  One sold for $925,000 – the other for $1,450,000. What was the difference?  One was “updated.”

It was a difference between tile vs. quarts, enamel vs. stainless steel, paint vs. paneling, carpet vs. wood.  $50,000 of 21st Century surfacing bought at least part of $600,000 of profit – 18 offers in 5 days rather than 6.  Both sellers were happy because they only paid $300K in 2000 but for those reading this newsletter who think their home will sell regardless of what they do, you are absolutely right but it will cost you.


  1. Where is all this CASH coming from? Cash offers don’t mean buyers are ignoring interest rates.  Cash is just what it takes to win a bid.  A cash purchase requires no bank appraisal and sellers like that because at these prices, a lender might not go along with the sale.  After the transaction is closed is when buyers call their mortgage broker – not before.


  1. What is a “review dates?” Homes for Sale are shown for a week before any offer is considered.  The seller then gathers all the offers on their review date and makes their decision.  By claiming a review date on the listing doesn’t mean the seller can’t decide to take an offer before the date.  Sometimes, it’s hard to pass up an offer without an inspection and an expiration date of tomorrow but my advice is to stick to your date.  If the buyer wants the house today, they will want in after the weekend.  Besides, most offers are made at the last minute and may be better.


  1. How much over list price should I expect? 10-15% on average.  Brokers are listing homes at their “appraised value” and allowing the market to push the price rather than adding the 10% upfront.  It sounds risky but it’s competition that is raising the price.  Remember, the $1.4M house in Grapeview was bid up 50% over the list price.


  1. What has been your solution to listing property in this crazy market? You need numbers.  More advertising, greater media variety aimed at more platforms to get more buyers.  More showings = more offers which means higher results.  It’s not enough to just sell a property.  These days, Realtors must exceed sellers’ expectations.


Real estate is a bit of science, a bit of art and a bit of law.  Here is the science – the numbers.  This chart is updated every month and will be here if you want to return this summer.