Seattle Area Real Estate and Community News

July 10, 2018

6 Ways to compete in a tight market

6 Ways New Buyers Can Compete in a Tight Market

When you’re the newbie buyer on the block, it can be tough out there. What can you do to be more competitive when you’re up against tight inventory for entry level homes and higher prices? Plus, if you’re currently renting, you don’t have equity from a home sale to help fund your down payment.

We break down six ideas that can help you (finally!) score a home of your own.

  1. 1. Get your down payment in order.

  2. Saving is always good, but you don’t need to wait to save for 20 percent down. The good news is there are many low down payment loans and down payment assistance programs available to help you get in a home sooner.

You just need to get your home financing plan together so you can act quickly when the right home becomes available. Start by first seeing if you may qualify for one of the more than 2,500 homeownership programs available across the country. You can also ask your agent and lender about options in your community. And, don’t forget to check with your employer – some offer Employer Assisted Housing programs as an employee benefit.

2. Get your homebuyer education.  

Time to go back to school. Don’t worry, there won’t be a test and you can often do homebuyer education online on your own time or in a few blocks of time over a weekend. It might feel like you need to get out in the market immediately, but data shows that building in time for homebuyer education and counseling builds successful long term homeowners.

You’ll learn about the home buying process, mortgage terms, budgeting and more. Plus, most down payment programs require the recipient participate in homebuyer education so you’ll be a step ahead. Find out if homebuyer counselingmight work for you.

3. Get preapproved – and shop your loan.

Ironically, we shop around for everything from appliances to mascara, but we don’t shop our home loan — one of the largest financial decisions we’ll make.

Interview at least three lenders – start with our 5 essential questions for your lender if you need help. Get preapproved by your lender of choice — in a fast market, you need more than just pre-qualification. You need to show that you are actually approved for a home loan.

4. Write your heartstrings letter.

Send a little love with your offer. Home sellers are people too and they care about who will be buying their home and becoming part of the community.

Along with your offer, send in a letter, photo or even an introduction video telling them why you and your family would love to be the next owner of their home. It helps to go beyond the numbers and humanize the home buying experience.

5. Use technology to keep up with inventory.

Technology is your friend – automate that home search. Talk to your agent about setting up alerts so you know as soon as a listing is online. You can also sign up for accounts at the major listing portals like Zillow, Trulia and and register for alerts when new homes come on the market in your area. In a tight market, you want to be the first to know.

6. Pack some flexibility.

What if your offer doesn’t get accepted? If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it may be harder to compete against multiple offers in a fast moving market. Consider looking at “stale listings” — these are listings that may not have sold in the first few days, weeks or months on the market.

With everyone rushing to listings when they first hit the market, it can pay off to go back and revisit homes that were overlooked. If you are open to other home styles, neighborhoods or homes that need some love, you might be more competitive on the second look.

Now, get out there and compete for the home you want. Good luck!

June 9, 2018

Immersive 3D Walk-Through · Virtual Reality

Immersive 3D Walk-Through · Virtual Reality  

May 21, 2018

Don't wait to sell your home

Posted in Selling Your Home
March 2, 2018

Pricing Your Home

Pricing your home is both an art and a science. Achieving the optimal price is the result of both objective research into comparable properties and a gut feeling about your property and the current market.

The right price should:

  • Attract buyers
  • Allow you to earn the most money possible
  • Help you sell as quickly as possible

The simple fact is, price is the number one factor that most homebuyers use to determine which homes they want to view. And it's important to remember that, although the price is set by you, the value of the home is determined by the buyer. Try to avoid allowing your enthusiasm to impact your better judgment - overpricing is a common mistake that can cost you in the end.

The Importance of Proper Pricing

  • Faster sale and less inconvenience
  • Exposure to more buyers
  • Increases Realtors response
  • Generates more advertising/sign calls
  • Attracts higher offers
  • Means more money to seller
  • Avoids being "shopworn"

What really matters is how your home stacks up against the others currently offered for sale and recently sold in your neighborhood. Buyers will be comparing.

Common Reasons for Overpricing

  • Over-improvement
  • Need
  • Purchasing in higher-priced area
  • Original purchase price too high
  • Lack of factual data
  • Bargaining room
  • Move isn't necessary
  • Assessed value
  • Emotional attachment
  • Opinion of family and neighbors

Dangers of Overpricing

  • Most of the activity on your home will occur in the first few weeks. Pricing a home properly and then creating immediate urgency in the minds of agents and buyers is critical.
  • Buyers who have seen most available homes in their price range are waiting for the "right house" to come on the market. That's why if a house is priced right, it will sell quickly. The buyers are there waiting for it.
  • Don't start with a high price and the assumption that you can reduce it later. By the time you decide to lower the price, it may be too late, as interest will have alreadywaned.
  • A major cause for concern is appraisal problems; overpricing can lead to loan rejections and lost time.
  • Even if your home is nicer than other homes in the same area, your house won't be picked for viewing if you set the price too high.
  • Buyers and agents become aware of the long exposure period and often are hesitant to make an offer because they fear something is wrong with the property.
  • Attracting the wrong buyers.
  • Fewer potentially qualified buyers will respond.
  • You might help sell similar homes that are priced low.
  • You could lose money as a result of making extra mortgage payments while incurring taxes, insurance and unplanned maintenance costs.

The Role of a Real Estate Agent in Pricing

  • Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA), a comparison of the prices of recently sold homes that are similar in terms of location, style, and amenities. A CMAis performed by comparing previously sold homes in the area, and currently active homes to know your competition.
  • There is no "exact price" for real estate
  • We don't tell you what we think your home is "worth".
  • The market determines value…together we determine the price.
  • You determine the price based on the factors you control:
        - Marketing time 
        - Financing alternatives provided 
        - Condition 
        - Exposure method
  • Keep in touch with market trends and keep up to date with market activity of comparable homes.
  • Estimate your net proceeds.
  • Help to determine offering incentives.

An agent has NO control over the market, only the marketing plan. Never select an agent based on price.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Dec. 20, 2017

Disclosure Pamphlets

The law of Real Estate Agency - This pamphlet describes your legal rights in dealing with a real estate form or broker.


Lead Paint Pamphlet


Mold in your Home Pamphlet

Dec. 20, 2017



Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing an existing loan, we have a calculator that can help you make the right decisions. Determine exactly which deal offers the lowest monthly payments, how much home you can afford, and whether it makes sense to rent or buy.

  1. How much can I borrow?
  2. How much will my mortgage payments be?
  3. How much will my adjustable rate payments be?
  4. Which is better: fixed or adjustable?
  5. Should I pay points to lower the rate?
  6. Which is better: 15- or 30- year loan term?
  7. How much should I put down for a new home?
  8. How much can I save in taxes?
  9. What will my closing costs be?
  10. Am I better off renting?
  11. Am I better off refinancing?
  12. What will my refinancing costs be?
  13. How can I reduce mortgage insurance costs?
  14. Which lender has the better loan?
  15. Which loan is better?
  16. How advantageous are extra payments?
  17. What home can I afford?
  18. How much will my interest-only payment be?
  19. Which is better: interest-only or traditional?
May 20, 2017

Where I advertise
Posted in Selling Your Home