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A new social phenomenon in an intense housing market: 'Are you interested in selling?'

Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News

So I told him about my place. I have a 1,200-square-foot house on a 5,100-square-foot lot. That was all he needed to hear before offering this assessment: I am living on a prime parcel for a developer with a bulldozer and a knack for density.

If I responded to the Windermere letter, my little house -- 117 years old! -- will likely be leveled and replaced with something high and boxy, covering every inch of land the city will allow.

"People, and especially builders, are desperate for houses," agreed Theresa Truex, a broker with Windermere Real Estate in Madison Park. She called the letter I got a "blimp drop."

"They fly over and just drop them out of a blimp, like propaganda during the war," she said.

But beware, she said: Developers often pay the least for property, since they're looking to turn a profit on whatever they build.

Everything makes sense, except for the feeling that I'm sitting at a table at a popular restaurant, with people crowded around my table, waiting for me to finish.

"That's exactly what it is," Truex said with a laugh. "It shows the demand for housing. It's kind of the topic. It's the question that gets asked. 'Oh, you own a house? You want to sell it?' It shows the pressure out there for housing."

Truex went through the same thing a few years back. People kept telling her they were looking for a house in her neighborhood.


"Buy ours," she finally told someone. Within six months, it was a done deal.

"I still weirded myself out doing it," Truex said. "And I'm in the business."

As for me, well, I'm staying put.

But thanks for asking. I think.

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