Living in the San Juan IslandsOrcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate November 4, 2021


Dear Clients, Friends and Family –

The 3rd Quarter Gardner Report shows San Juan County once again as a significant outlier for Western Washington. Regionally, annual average home prices were up 26% from a year ago but with a considerable drop in sales from 2020 to 2021 (a result most likely of growing home prices and continued low inventory). Additionally, the average time on the market is up over 25%, typically indicating a slowing market, but because we have so little inventory, it is bound to be slower. Interesting times! The San Juan County and Area 901 [Orcas, Obstruction & Crane Islands] Breakouts compare a snapshot of October 2020 versus October 2021, reflecting the strong buyer demand we saw for the lion’s share of 2021.


western washington q3 2021 gardner report san juan county orcas obstruction crane island area 901 nwmls breakout real estate market windermere realty wally gudgell group san juan islands laura hasselman terri gilleland broker team excellence client service











Have questions? Feel free to call us; as real estate advisors specializing in the San Juans, we can help you analyze the data and explain how it pertains to your bottom line. Our mission is to provide you with current and accurate market information to keep you up to date on one of your biggest investments. And make sure to ask we send your complimentary home or property valuation – you will be pleasantly surprised to see your equity gains over the last year alone.

Cheers to Home ~ Wally, Laura & Terri, The Gudgell Group

wally gudgell group windermere real estate orcas island realty company logo broker realtor agent team san juan islands experts specialists

Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate September 16, 2021



top 3 home seller questions answered windermere real estate orcas island realty wally gudgell group blog how when where to start




The journey to sold begins before you even pick up the phone, and in some cases, years before you sign a listing agreement or a FOR-SALE sign hung. Our recommendation to anyone considering a real estate move at any point is to begin by outlining your motivations and goals, both long and short-term. Just as you pen retirement plans and goals, start your homeownership and or real estate investment journey by outlining your unique motivations and goals for owning a home or real estate holdings. Outlining your goals can help as you move forward through the selling process.

We have found clients have unique and very personal reasons when considering real estate moves. If you find yourself stuck at your outline, reach out to a knowledgeable local broker who can assist in drafting scenarios and possible outcomes on your outline. Building a relationship with a local and loyal broker can save you time and money along your real estate journey by keeping you informed of the market and trends, opportunities, and regulations that could impact your success in reaching your goals in real estate.

Suppose you’ve not started your outline yet; no worries, get started now. Outlining your motivation and goals at any time in your real estate journey will yield results. The ongoing seller’s markets Nationally in Western Washington and in the San Juan Islands, continue to make now an optimal time to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Real estate market conditions continue to be prime for reinvesting equity into alternate real estate investment properties or assets, or to parlay gained equity into a home that meets the goals in your outline. For a detailed look at the market through July 2021 and an early indication of home price trends, Read CoreLogic’s Home Price Insights Report.corelogic historic home value price increase year over year windermere real estate orcas island realty wally gudgell group san juan islands2. HOW MUCH IS MY PROPERTY WORTH?

Home value, precisely market value, is a critical variable in solving the SOLD formula, and it is best answered by professionals, specifically a Realtor®. Short of hiring an expensive home appraisal on your own, a local licensed Realtor can be your best source of accurate and current market values. Local Realtors have much of, if not all, the knowledge and tools a licensed home appraiser has, but by adding a Realtor®, you also gain invaluable market expertise and experience not offered by an appraiser.

The savvy knowledge and know-how a Realtor® brings to the table can take your real estate toolbox steps beyond home value. Local Realtors potentially have a pool of well-qualified buyers looking for a property just like yours. In addition, local brokers have a solid understanding of the sales process, permits, (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), how they apply, and if they can be used or altered if needed, as well as proven marketing tools and skilled tactics for a successful negotiation.



According to Zillow, a behemoth in collecting real estate statistics and data, “Nationally, the best time to sell a house is March if you’re trying to sell quickly, while the best time to maximize profit is July.”1 We’ve seen a similar pattern over the past ten years in San Juan County for all property types and all price ranges, though our uptick in closings starts earlier in the year. In our pre and post-pandemic past, we’ve experienced a clearly defined selling season with the highest volume of closings beginning in February with spring weather and seasonal visitors just off our bow. And a decrease in closing volume starting in October as summer visitors head back to the mainland. The below Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) graph illustrates seasonal changes in closing volume over the last ten years in San Juan County.

northwest multiple listing service 10-yr closed sales traffic windermere real estate orcas island realty wally gudgell group san juan islands

It’s worth noting for those looking to sell in the slower season, buyers choosing San Juan County over the winter months tend to be more serious and ready buyers. Buyers who have perhaps waited for fall price reductions or year-end planning to make their move.

Since March 2020, sellers in San Juan County have gained tremendously due to growing demand for homes, vacant land, and commercial properties combined with exceedingly low inventory. Continued demand for rural-community life and large numbers discovering remote is not only possible but preferred; our fantastic island lifestyle makes selling real estate in the San Juans is a good choice year-round.

Your unique situation, motivation, goals, and type of property determine the best time of the year to list. Contact your local real estate expert; they can help determine when to take advantage of market trends for the highest ROI.



Whether you’re looking to buy a new home, sell your current one, or invest, there is more to reaching real estate goals than buying and selling while wishing for the highest ROI. Achieving your real estate goals begins by identifying and setting your individual goals and outlining your motivations correctly. Then, by answering the questions – Where Do I Start, How Much Is My Property Worth, and When Is the Best Time to Sell, you can achieve what you want from your real estate journey.

Having a top-producing local broker on your team to help answer some of these questions can help you build a smart action plan focused on success. If you’re ready for answers to additional questions asked by sellers and no-obligation consultation, please get in touch with us, and let’s get you achieving your goals.

Cheers to Your Success –
Wally, Laura & Terri / The Wally Gudgell Group
wally gudgell group windermere real estate orcas island realty company logo broker realtor agent team san juan islands experts specialists










Living in the San Juan IslandsOrcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate August 25, 2021


And Why Is Orcas Island Days On Market (DOM) Up 295.8%?

Some experts claim rapidly rising home prices are having a downward push on demand and, by extension, leading to the recent slowdown in sales activity. However, demand isn’t the real issue. According to the Wall Street Journal for new home construction:

“Homebuilders have sold more homes than they can build. Now they are limiting their sales in an effort to catch up.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for, also explains that the slowdown in sales was a supply challenge, not a lack of demand in the existing home market. She notes:

“. . . if these changing inventory dynamics continue, we could see a wave of real estate activity heading into the latter part of the year.”

San Juan County-wide, and here on Orcas, we continue to see extremely high demand for homes, just as seen nationally. Despite the number of home sales on Orcas Island, July over July dropping 45.8%, DOM is up significantly from 72 July last year to 285 this July, per-square-foot on Orcas Island, Area 901 has continued gains, up 8.8% from July 2020.

Reviewing the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) graph below for Area 901, you can see the number of homes for sale in July 2021 was down 89.7% from July 2020. This continued lack of supply prevents well-qualified and eager home buyers from completing their real estate goals to sold and is the driving force behind the lower number of closed sales. However, the buyers are here; we just need properties to sell them.


Gudgell Group Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Realty San Juan Islands NWMLS July Homes and Land for Sale Trend Graph

If waning demand were the driver of this dip trend, we would see home prices beginning to moderate instead of the continued gains in median per-square-foot sold, illustrated in the below NWMLS bar graph. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, explains:

“There’s a lot of conversation around rising prices and falling quantity in the housing market, and there’s this concept, or this idea, that it’s a demand-side problem . . . . But, if demand were falling dramatically, we would actually see less price pressure, less home price growth.”

Gudgell Group Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Realty San Juan Islands NWMLS July Per Square Foot Sold Trend GraphNationally we also see price appreciation accelerate throughout this year, as evidenced by the year-over-year percentage increases reported by CoreLogic:
*Note: July numbers are not yet available.

  • January: 10%
  • February: 10.4%
  • March: 11.3%
  • April: 13%
  • May: 15.4%
  • June: 17.2%

We continue to experience a historic shortage of listings, not buyers, and there are three solid reasons for homebuyers to reach for the dream of homeownership this year.


Though home prices have risen dramatically over the last 18 months, mortgage rates remain near historic lows. Because of these near-record rates, monthly mortgage payments are affordable for most buyers. For each mortgage rate percentage drop, it equates to 11% more buying power. [1]

While homes are less affordable than they were last year, when we adjust for inflation, we can see they’re also more affordable, as seen in the table below, than they were in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and much of the 2000s.

Gudgell Group Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Realty San Juan Islands Fannie Freddie Mac Mortgage Rate History Affordability


A recent ZILLOW study shows renting a home takes a higher percentage of household income than owning one. According to the analysis, here’s the percentage of income home buyers and renters should expect to pay now versus at the end of the year.

Gudgell Group Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Realty San Juan Islands Zillow Renting versus Buying

While the principal and interest of a monthly mortgage payment remain the same over the loan’s lifetime, rents increase almost every year.

Gudgell Group Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Realty San Juan Islands US Census History of Rent Increases3. OWNERS BUILD THEIR WEALTH. RENTERS BUILD THEIR LANDLORD’S WEALTH

Whether you’re a homeowner or an investor, real estate builds wealth through growing equity year-over-year. If you own, your household is gaining the benefit of that wealth accumulation. Fleming says:

The major financial advantage of homeownership is the accumulation of equity in the form of house price appreciation . . . . We have to take into account the fact that the shelter that you’re owning is an equity-generating or wealth-generating asset.”

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, elaborates in a recent article:

“. . . once the home is purchased, appreciation helps build equity in the home, and becomes a benefit rather than a cost. When accounting for the appreciation benefit in our rent versus own analysis, it was cheaper to own in every one of the top 50 markets, including the two most expensive rental markets, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.”

Today, that equity buildup is substantial. The National Association of Realtors(NAR) reports:

“The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose in 99% of measured metro areas in the second quarter of 2021 compared to one year ago, with double-digit price gains in 94% of markets.”

In 94% of markets, there was a greater than 10% increase in median price. That means if you bought a $400,000 home in one of those markets, your net worth increased by at least $40,000. If you rented, the landlord was the recipient of the wealth increase.


For many reasons, housing demand is still robust, and homeownership has real advantages over renting. What we need to bring the market back into balance is more supply, both new and existing homes and vacant land to meet demand. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, let’s connect to discuss your options and why now is still an excellent time to make your move.

For a complete picture of the Orcas Island market and Matthew Gardner’s Q2 2021 Real Estate Report, click the below links to read the complete reports. And feel free to get in touch with us with questions, available options for homeownership, an overview of your property’s market value, or a more detailed and comprehensive, free no-obligation market analysis.



– Wally, Laura & Terri
The Wally Gudgell Group
Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island





wally gudgell group windermere real estate orcas island realty company logo broker realtor agent team san juan islands experts specialists








Living in the San Juan IslandsOrcas Island Schools August 12, 2021


A. YES, One of the Best and We’re Making the Grade!

As we gear up for back-to-school shopping, RPR’s school report provides the industry’s fastest-growing school data, including teacher, academic, and overall school grades, as well as side-by-side school comparisons.

In the below report, you will find information on Orcas Island High School:

  • Total Enrollment
  • Students Per Teacher
  • Average GPA
  • Math and Reading Proficiency
  • Percentage of Gifted Students
  • Number of Students Enrolled in AP
  • Graduation Rate
  • Average ACT and SAT Scores
  • Average Teacher Salary
  • Percentage of Teachers In the First or Second Year
  • Written School Reviews

Supplies – Online, On-Island or Mainland America?

As for back-to-school shopping, experts at MONEY.COM say it’s going to be more expensive this year. Just as the pandemic disrupted the supply and delivery of everyday household items, the COVID-19 impact will impact back-to-school plans. Shortages of inventory and increased shipping costs paired with retailers less likely to offer deep discounts as in previous years, back-to-school will be a bit more expensive than you expect.

To ease the impact of back-to-school on your budget, MONEYCRASHERS.COM offers 16 tips to saving money on school supplies and your shopping list. Once you’ve outlined your list is, it’s time to decide where to shop, online, on-island, or the mainland all have benefits. You can find many items on your list right here on Orcas; visit the ORCAS ISLAND CHAMBER for a list of island businesses standing by to make your 2021 shopping a breeze.  For items not found here, online offers the benefits of comparison-shopping savings, no WASHINGTON STATE FERRY rides, and San Juan County receives a portion of sales tax from each purchase.  Online can be a win, win, win, but do remember to reach out to our local shops first; they are pillars to the health of our island community and always have unique, unusual, and fun finds.

Bottom Line

To quote ORCAS ISLAND SCHOOLS website, their mission of “Committed to partner with families and community to provide each student with a well-rounded education in a nurturing environment.  We will foster academic excellence and creative expression, while inspiring successful future endeavor and productive community involvement” can be seen not only in the below report but in the talented and outstanding students and graduates.

Thank You OIS for Your Commitment to Excellence and Cheers to a great year –  The Wally Gudgell Group


RPR schools report orcas island high school ranking wally gudgell group windermere realty san juan islands


Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate July 22, 2021

Not A Typical Summer Real Estate Market

Despite a Nationally Rising Housing Supply, This Is Not a Typical Summer Real Estate Market in the San Juan Islands –
What Does This Mean for You?

We typically see the real estate market in the San Juans ebb and flow like the Salish Sea. Our market sees far more activity with our long summer days than over the winter months, with the lion’s share of sales “launching” each spring—a nod to Jeff Besos and the Blue Origin Crew.  Since April 2020, we’ve seen continued demand from qualified buyers, shaping this summer up to be anything but a typical summer for sellers in the San Juan Islands.

orcas island homes vacant land acreage condos closed sales 5 years trendgraphix windermere real estate realty gudgell group san juan islands

As our island and national economies rebound, masks come off, and lives settle into a new “normal,” real estate in San Juan County continues to experience unprecedented demand for homes and vacant land, pushing median list price, sales prices, and price-per-square-foot per square foot higher while dropping the average days on the market from 55 days in March to 8 in June. So if you’re thinking about or have been putting off selling, you shouldn’t wait much longer.  The year’s month-over-month gains in homes for sale since March 2021 on Orcas have helped buyers, but we are still very much in a sellers’ market.

As the graph below shows, even with the number of Orcas Island properties for sale rising, we’re still well below the supply levels we’ve seen historically:

orcas island homes vacant land acreage condos for sale new listings year over year trendgraphix windermere real estate realty gudgell group san juan islands

More homes are coming to market, with more expected in the coming months. Selling this summer gives you the chance to get ahead of the competition and maximize your sales potential before more homes are put up for sale in your neighborhood.

The Bottom Line

More homes for sale equate to more options for buyers and more competition for sellers. So, whether you’re looking to buy or sell, let’s connect to discuss your options and why it’s still an excellent time to make your move.

For a complete picture of the Orcas Island market, click to read the entire June 2021 Real Estate Market Report for Orcas Island. And feel free to get in touch with us with questions, an overview of your property’s market value, or a more detailed and comprehensive, free no-obligation market analysis.



Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate July 9, 2021


Redefining the Fabulous Life and Community of the San Juans –
The 2021 Windermere Real Estate Guide to San Juan Islands Living

The 2021 Windermere Real Estate Showcase of the San Juan Islands is an authentic San Juan Islands Community Collaboration. Due to COVID-19 and the historic shortage of available homes for sale in the San Juan Islands, Windermere Real Estate San Juan Island and the Wally Gudgell Group of Windermere Orcas Island paired to feature our fabulous lifestyle and community found only in the San Juan Archipelago into a single printed and interactive electronic publication.  Working from the goals of assisting visitors, homeowners, home sellers, and buyers to enjoy an island life rich in experience, fearless in self-expression, and places to unleash dreams with vigor and enthusiasm, a place to find one’s purpose and embody it into our daily lives.

As brokers of the Windermere Real Estate Family, we’re students of the ever-evolving real estate market, nationally and in the San Juan Islands. We sincerely believe there is no room for complacency and are tactically proficient, using the latest industry tools to achieve outstanding results with a deep sense of community.  We thrive on sharing and living the art and nuance of our profession, which requires patience, humor, intuition, persistence, and field experience to become a partner and guide for our clients.  When we ask you to define your island dream and goals, we pay attention and apply the Golden Rule. We know what is at stake because we understand what Island Dream means.

We are committed to the growth of strong Island Communities and work toward energized, resilient, and peaceful communities cultivated with core values of tolerance, equality, respect, collaboration, and goodwill. We live by the creed; action demonstrates the highest regard for these values.  By investing ourselves in San Juan’s tapestry of distinctive, community-minded islanders, we seek to build a vibrant, diverse, and interesting landscape – a county-wide community that nurtures and sustains everyone, including the wildlife and wilds that call the islands home.

We invite you to view our outstanding 2021 online interactive community collaboration and look forward to answering any questions about the guide, the properties, or insider insights.  We also look forward to assisting you in reaching your real estate goals in the San Juan Islands.

Cheers – The Wally Gudgell Group


windermere real estate san juan island guide to san juan islands living wally gudgell group orcas island realty homes land businesses commercial for sale catalog 2021

Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate June 10, 2021



For generations, the process of buying and selling a home never really changed. Many homeowners in the San Juan Islands would try to estimate the market value of their house, and tack on a little extra to give themselves some negotiating room. Many would then consult a local broker for a more accurate figure based on comparable properties and that figure would become the listing price. Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home. As a result, the listing price was generally the ceiling of the negotiation, with the actual sales price almost always somewhat lower than what was listed. It was unthinkable to pay more than what the seller was asking.

Today Is Different.

The record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand has led to a rise in bidding wars on many homes. Because of this, homes today nationally and in San Juan County often sell for more than the list price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“I would say it is hot, that is the one word description even with the sales decline, for every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes are being sold above list price.”

lawrence yun cheif economist national assocation of realtors multiple offers seller's market wally gudgell group windermere real estate orcas island realty san juan islands

You May Need To Change The Way You Look At The Asking Price Of A Home.

In this market, you likely can’t shop for a home with the former approach of negotiating to a lower price.

Due to the continued low supply of houses for sale, many homes are now being offered in an auction-like atmosphere in which the highest bidder wins the home. In an actual auction, the seller of an item agrees to take the highest bid, and many sellers set a reserve price on the item they’re selling.  A reserve price is the minimum amount a seller will accept as the winning bid.

When navigating a competitive housing market, think of the list price of the house as the reserve price at an auction. It’s the minimum the seller will accept in many cases. Today, the asking price is often becoming the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. Therefore, if you really love a home, know that it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking. So, as you’re navigating the homebuying process, make sure you know your budget, know what you can afford, and work with a trusted and local advisor who can help you make all the right moves as you buy a home.

The Bottom Line.

Someone who’s more familiar with the housing market of the past than that of today may think it’s foolish to offer more for a home than the listing price. However, frequent and competitive bidding wars are creating an auction-like atmosphere in many real estate transactions right now. Let’s connect today so you have a trusted real estate professional on your side to provide the best advice on how to make a competitive offer on a home.








Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate May 5, 2021



Once again San Juan County led Western Washington in real estate sales volume, up 67.4% from Q1-2020. Additionally, San Juan County saw the greatest drop in average days on market (DOM); down 52 fewer days to sell homes than it did a year ago.

Residential listings notably continue to be below normal levels regionally as well as San Juan County and Orcas Island. Specifically, listings were down -64.91% from March 2020 and San Juan County down -69.89%. These numbers and numbers for the whole of Western Washington continue to show our region is still deep in a seller’s market with demand far exceeding supply.

Home price growth for sellers continues to trend above the long-term average. Regionally prices are 21.3% higher than a year ago and 2.9% higher than the final quarter of 2020. In the San Juans, home price growth was slightly lower than the regional average, but still up 15% to 19.9% from the same time last year. The real estate market in San Juan County continues to break records for activity, price, days on the market, and lack of inventory. The Gardner Report and the NWMLS Breakout once again show the San Juan Islands is the hottest market for homes sold in Western Washington; and our county average for Median Price Per Square Foot up 25%, from $328 last year to $410 in April 2021.

On Orcas Island, in Area 901, our March 2021 numbers were encouraging. Pending Sales were up by 37.5% from 2020, our Median Closing Price was up by 1.16%. The shortage of listings continues to be the biggest challenge for buyers in San Juan County. Yet as a whole, we saw an increase from 2020 of 20%, and on Orcas Island alone, we saw a staggering jump of 66.67%.

We’ve said it before, but once again, “Now really is the time to sell.” The numbers continue to support there has not been a time better than now to list your home for a quick sale and the highest return on your real estate investments. If you’re wondering how much equity you’ve gained, the best approach to marketing for maximum return, what selling real estate in the Covid-19 Era with vaccines looks like, my team and I are here to answer all your questions, serve as your local specialists and guide you to sold.

To view or download the full report, click LINK TO Q1 2021 WESTERN WASHINGTON/ SAN JUAN COUNTY REPORT.

Cheers to Sold – Wally

Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate April 7, 2021

HOW FSBO (FOR SALE BY OWNER), Even in Our Sellers’ Market Could Negatively Impact Your Sellers Net Proceeds


We’ve heard it over and over this past year, we are in a historic sellers’ market due to a shortage of real estate inventory paired with voracious buyer demand, the most memorable concept from ECON101, Supply and Demand.

Our feverish housing market may tempt some homeowners to try selling their house on their own (known as For Sale by Owner or FSBO) instead of working with a local real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market. This makes it even more tempting to FSBO. As a result, some sellers think selling their house will be a breeze and see today’s market conditions as an opportunity to avoid commissions. Before you commit to going it on your own, let’s unpack why it could be a big mistake and how it may actually cost you more in the long run.

According to the PROFILE OF HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS,published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 41% of homeowners who attempt to sell as a FSBO did so to avoid paying commissions and/or fees. In reality, even in a sellers’ market, selling on your own likely means you’ll net a lower profit than when you sell with the help of a knowledgeable local agent.

The NAR report explains:

“FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $217,900 in 2020 (up from $200,000 in 2019), and still far lower than the median selling price of all homes at $242,300. Agent-assisted homes sold for a median of $295,000. Sellers who began as a FSBO, then ended up working with an agent, received 98 percent of the asking price, but had to reduce their price the most before arriving at a final listing price.”

When the seller knew the buyer, that amount was even lower, coming in at $176,700 (See graph below):FSBO vs Agent Sale Price NAR Graph Wally Gudgell Group Windermere Real Estate Orcas Island Realty









With A Market Overview, Home Buyer Statistics, Home Seller Statistics and FSBO Statistics:






Referencing the above graph, that’s a whole lot of money to risk leaving on the table, and far more than what you’d save on commission or other fees. Despite the advantages sellers have in today’s real estate market, it’s still crucial to have the support of a trusted real estate expert as your guide through the sales process, especially in San Juan County. The San Juan Islands have unique market conditions and influences that make many Zillow Zestimates inaccurate due their inability to account for the differences and subtle nuances in properties here. Additionally, our county has atypical fees, requirements for sellers and buyers, and building codes and utility issues to contend with.  Local real estate professionals are trained negotiators with a myriad of housing market insights that average homeowners may never have. A local agent’s expertise can alleviate much of the stress of selling your house and help you close the best possible deal and walk away with the highest seller’s net proceeds.

The bottom line, if you’re ready to sell your home this year and you’re considering doing so on your own, be sure to think through that decision carefully. Odds are, you stand to gain the most by working with a knowledgeable, local and experienced real estate agent who specializes in the San Juans. If you’d like to discuss your options and/or learn your home’s true market value let’s connect and discuss how we can help you reach your real estate goals.


-Cheers to Sold,

Orcas Island Real Estate MarketReal Estate February 18, 2021



I cannot stress enough the importance of accurately pricing property for current market conditions.  Market conditions change in as little as 60 days and can be very different from when you consider selling to when you’re ready to call your broker.  San Juan County’s transition from December 2020 into 2021 is an example of how quickly markets can change.  Though we continue to experience record-low inventory throughout the San Juan Islands our median sold price has grown to $815,000 from $618,750 seen in December 2020.  Additionally, our Days on Market (DOM) changed, from 12 in December of last year to our current 44.  These changes with your individual real estate goals can impact your listing price.  Know, our market is still exceedingly hot, with many accurately priced properties selling quicker than less appealing and overpriced properties.

Accurately pricing property is part art and part science.  Using the same approach as your appraiser to evaluate your home, we compare similar properties, make adjustments for differences, track market movements, and assess present inventory stock to arrive at a range of value, to arrive at an educated broker price opinion.  This is where a savvy broker with a deep knowledge of your hyper-local, regional, and national markets can be the difference between For Sale and Sold.

Some sellers may feel pricing high allows for negotiation room, offers room for price reductions, and/or buyers will present offers despite the listing price.  This is flawed thinking; not only will pricing inaccurately reach buyers outside your target, but data shows pricing your home too high for market conditions nets sellers less than if they’re priced accurately for market value, defined as the most probable price a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.  The financial loss of a stagnant listing often exceeds the extra mortgage payments paid as well as the unrealized hassle factor of keeping your home spotless for showings and affects the value a buyer ultimately chooses to pay.

To illustrate the impact of accurate pricing in the real market, the below chart is data pulled for the homes sold in Area 901 on Orcas Island which includes the communities of Crane Island, Deer Harbor, Doe Bay, Eagle Lake, Eastsound, Obstruction, Obstruction Island, Olga, Orcas, Rosario, and Westsound.  The chart outlines data from the 154 single-family homes sold over the last 365 days comparing the number of days each took to sell, the median sale price, and the percentage of sale price against the original list price.

Sold to days on market statistics chartfor Area 901 SAN JUAN ISLANDS Crane Island Deer Harbor Doe Bay Eagle Lake Eastsound Obstruction Island Olga Rosario Westsound Salish SeaWindermere Real Estate ORCAS ISLAND REALTY WALLY GUDGELL GROUP

As seen, accurate pricing directly influences the amount of time your property spends on the market and impact your Return on Investment (ROI).  Property values are not set in stone; they change in value depending on many key factors.  If you’d like to know your property’s value within our current trends, please contact us.  We offer free, no-obligation assessments and would love to talk about your real estate goals.

– The Wally Gudgell Group