If you're thinking about selling your house, now's a good time. "A house that goes on the market will probably get 10 to 15 showings the...

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If you’re thinking about selling your house, now’s a good time.


“A house that goes on the market will probably get 10 to 15 showings the first day it goes on,” said Cecilia Pelascini, an agent in Windermere Real Estate’s Bellevue Commons office.


Multiple offers continue to be common, as do sales prices above asking prices.


“A lot ask me what I think the future is going to hold,” she said. “I don’t have a crystal ball, but now is the time to go in terms of getting your house sold and getting the best price.”


Where you’d move, though, could be a problem.


Central Puget Sound-area home sales continue to struggle because in many places, too few homes are available to meet strong buyer demand.


In King County last month, the number of sales fell 6 percent as a quarter fewer properties were listed for sale compared with July 2004, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said yesterday in its July home-sale report. Strong competition for the best among them — again — sent median prices through the roof, up 14 percent in King and Snohomish counties. (Median means half sell above that price, half below.)


Pelascini teaches a free course for home-sellers and often sees owners who are contemplating but aren’t committed to selling.


Fear of finding a replacement home is keeping some from listing, agents say. Remodeling also is keeping many homes off the market because owners have decided that redoing and staying put makes the most financial sense.


Conversely, some sellers are making the move now to take advantage of low mortgage interest rates. But in general, there’s little research into what propels owners to sell.


“We have a lot of good data on why people buy homes, but in terms of why people sell, we don’t ask the question,” said Walter Molony, spokesman for the National Association of Realtors. “We assume it’s a lifestyle choice. Whether it’s the right time, that’s a very individual evaluation.”


In her classes, Pelascini has noted that sellers usually have a concrete reason to sell, but not necessarily one that prompts them to act immediately. That’s particularly true for empty-nesters.


“Many of them aren’t thinking, ‘Where do we go from here?’ ” she said. “They’re just thinking, ‘The house is too big for us.’ “


Pelascini suggests they consider condominiums, town houses and cottage homes. There’s an increasing supply of all in the area.


According to the latest multiple-listing service numbers, the median price of King County condominiums was $216,995 last month. That’s $158,000 below the single-family house median.


The median condo price in Snohomish County last month was $189,970, $194,000 in Pierce. Condo prices in all three counties have climbed at least $10,000 in the past 12 months.


Elizabeth Rhodes: erhodes@seattletimes.com