Open House weekend - properties marked by blue balloons

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An estimated 7000 open houses have been scheduled throughout the state for the weekend of June 4-5 as part of Realtors' Nationwide Open House weekend according to the Washington Association of REALTORS®.

Realtors and home sellers in approximately 75 cities in Washington, including Shoreline, will be involved in the two-day event with most of the 30 local Realtor associations throughout the state participating, each with their own special events and coverage.

An idea that was started by Snohomish Realtors in 2007 with a countywide open house, eventually sparked interest across the state. After the success of the first Washington Statewide Open House in 2009 drew much public attention and more than 5000 open houses, Realtor organizations from across the country joined in for a nationwide effort in 2010.

This year, the weekend has the full support of the National Association of Realtors and its more than 1 million members who will participate in hundreds of thousands of open houses throughout the country. Real estate professionals from nearly a dozen countries are also taking part including Canada, Denmark, France, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, United Kingdom, Israel, Mexico, Romania and Peru.

In April, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported that the total housing inventory is 13 percent slimmer than it was a year ago in the 21 counties its serves creating more balance between supply and demand. The lower inventory, they say, is prompting multiple offers on attractive, well-priced properties.

"It is amazing timing for the open house event. Housing affordability has returned to Washington with a fever pitch; coupled with some of the lowest interest rates in history, it is time for the credit-worthy to go shopping," say Harlan, a Keller Williams managing broker in Olympia. "Real estate is cyclical. The only way we will know if home prices have bottomed out is after they start back up the curve; by then, home buyers will have missed some incredible opportunities."

Washington Realtors will distribute more than 20,000 balloons to members across the state. Each open house will be marked by blue balloons with the trademark Realtor "R". There will be more than 200,000 blue balloons flying in front of open houses across the country.


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