Would-be buyers who have been shut out of the real estate market should test the “real estate waters” during the summer months, according to members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Indeed, while the trend of multiple offers is still rampant in Seattle, areas outside the immediate Seattle market — including the South Sound — are starting to offer some relief.

“No one is talking about the large number of new listings coming to the market,” said Ken Anderson, president/owner of Coldwell Banker Evergreen in Olympia. “New listings are at a seven-year high, and fifth highest all-time in our South Sound market,” according to his analysis.

Not that the hot market has slowed down in the South, though. The challenges, rather, are changing.

“Thurston County has never been better for sellers, with absorption rates at record lows, but buyers have some good news too,” Anderson continued. “The challenge today isn’t lack of choice, it is the swift pace of sales. Homes priced right are selling in near-record time. Today’s successful buyers are prepared to act quickly and decisively when the right home comes to market.”

Sometimes perhaps too quickly: Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Gig Harbor, mentioned that statistics show buyers in King County are often waiving inspections to secure first place in ongoing bidding wars.

“This means more buyers in King County are more willing to forgo having an inspection on the home (a protection for both parties), even against the advice of every prominent real estate attorney in the state,” said Beeson, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors.

One particular beneficiary in the ongoing King County frenzy is neighboring Kitsap County.

“The pace of the real estate market in Kitsap is heating up as summer rolls in. Buyers who work in King County but don’t want to drive north, east or south are now looking west for a housing solution,” said Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo. “The new ferry system is helping usher in this new thinking of ‘west is where to find a house.”