Seattle, WA Real Estate News

By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
This is my youngest, Andrea, age 18 - I think she took this photo with her cell phone when she was here at Thanksgiving, or my digital camera.  I found it on my desktop when she left marked "For Mother"). Those of us who have Generation X or Generation Y children would be wise to test our theories on them...human guinea pigs.  One of my Generation Y clients was absolutely awesome.  He was standing in the condo asking questions like a kid in a dorm room.  He was 19.  "Where do I plug in my computer?  Where do I put my..."  I stopped him right there and said, "Honey, I'm not your mother and this is not your room in your mother's house."  Stop worrying about where your "stuff" goes, and start looking at the "real estate" of this investment. His eyes got big as saucers and he said, "THANK ...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
  There is really no better way to teach new agents than to give them the beginning rules of how to do things.  You know, the little check lists we all received as new agents.  1) Listing Contract Signed 2) Lockbox ON 3) Flyers Done 4) Sign Up 5) Enter in MLS But these are simply the simplest of things that HAVE to be done.  If you have been in the business for more than two years, and are still running around checking things off a list, you are accepting the status of being in the group called "the lowest common denominator".  If you have not changed YOUR list, based on YOUR REAL LIFE experiences by year two or three...please do it now. Look over that list and ADD things that have really helped that house sell.  Oh  and DO NOT FORET to break the RULES!  If that house is not ready to b...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
I once "went the extra" mile to better understand my relocated clients, by having my husband take a job out of state, with full relocation benefits. (1996)  I actually did that twice, but the first time it was for "educational" purposes, from my point of view. Putting yourself in the shoes of your clients is clearly the key to being the best real estate agent you can be.  It helps you better identify with the total picture without the need for them having to verbalize everything. I often tell the person who is taking on the new job, that they are last on my list.  The person coming to take on the new job is focusing on orientation, getting started at the new job, often working long hours or even traveling for business and frankly, is the one who is least likely to have time on their ha...
Comments 5
By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
When a Seller asks you for "feedback", you need to change what they want to know, with what they SHOULD want to know. When a buyer doesn't like the house, it could mean many things that do not reflect poorly on the house at all, even though it may appear so, if not evaluated property. Change how you ASK for feedback, and the process of getting feedback will be more meaningful to you, and your seller clients. New Script for acquiring feedback: 1) "Hi Joe! You showed my listing on Gorgeous Street the other day.  Tell me, did your buyers make an offer on anything yet?" 2) If yes, then ask, "Was the property they made an offer on about the same price?" 3) if yes, then ask, "Was my listing on Gorgeous Street their second choice?  Was it in the running at all?" This is especially important f...
Comments 38
By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
I'm putting a few images on my Active Rain blog for my own benefit.  This is one of my all time favorites. There are many times when I wish I were back at this very day, curling her little bangs and fluffing her little tutu ad marveling at her tiny little feet. Tina is my first born.  This is the image of bearing children I had before I was old enough to have children.  My little Tina Ballerina.  To this day I call her Teenie Beanie or Beanie, even though she is now a mother herself. It just doesn't get any better than this.  There is no perfection more pure than this image.  It brings me great joy.  Some day the picture may get lost or ruined.  So I put it here to bring a smile to my own face for many days to come. When I'm feeling down, I can come here at look into that little face. ...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
For my first 14 years in this business, I was a Realtor. I was very good, very clear and a "team player" in all respects.  I had good client relationships.  Good agent relationships.  Everything was in essence, very honky-dorey. Then I got "pushed" for lack of a better term, into starting a new company.  Simple concept.  Twelve to Twenty Agents.  All six figure income types.  90/10 split.  $10,000 cap per year...$90,000 or more to them per year.  Simple easy, no commission fixing.  Every agent free to negotiate their commission with their client.  No Office Policy that limited an agent's ability to negotiate the commission with their client.  Here's my problem.  I just can't stomach agents who factor themselves into the equation at crucial points and/or who don't do a good job for the c...
Comments 17
By Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional
 I only stopped by for a minute.  We, in the Seattle area, are having another wind storm--last time our power went out at 10:30 one night and didn't come back until 2:30 the next day.  Some folks, across Lake Washington in Bellevue, had their power out for over five days.  It was pretty bad because we were having freezing weather at the time.Well, the reason this has to be brief is that I have a property showing today and the lights are flickering--I must get in the shower.  I do not think the client (I have not previously met) would be impressed with the "Godzilla Look" I am sporting at the present time, along with the bathrobe that my parrot keeps trying to chew into cheese cloth.Have a fine and productive day!  P.S.  Our power in Wallingford has not gone out for that long before--cer...
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By Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional
  I received a call yesterday from a woman that wanted information on a listing for a condo (not mine).  She relocated here from San Francisco seven months ago and she needs to be moved by March.  I asked her if she has been working with another agent and she said no, she just realized that she needs to be moved by March and that it is coming fast.  She told me she has a letter from her bank qualifying her for more than she wants to spend. I looked up the listing for her and called the listing agent to get the answers she wanted about the condo.  She really wanted to see the property today (which I would have done), but it is new construction and the office is not open until Tuesday.  I asked her when she would be available to see the property and she said she could go Tuesday after 5:0...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
I'm one of those people who likely will never have an empty nest, as is my Mom.  I will always have room for my childen or grandchildren to come and stay. But I do yearn for a day when I can buy a little beach getaway.  A place to go to for a long weekend here and there during Seattle's Rainy times and maybe to retire to someday. If you are selling that big home and buying a condo, the best time to do that is in April or May, or perhaps earlier in the year if your home does not have excellent curb appeal. Just as you bought the home because it is a good home in which to raise a family, a family will likely want it for the same reason now.  Most families are in their new homes before school starts.  So anywhere from Jan. 2 through April 15 is really the best time to put it on market.  I...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
Think of the bagua above, like a rug that covers your entire floor of the main footprint of your home, that is the footprint of the level from the front door. If your front door is the center of your house, then you are walking directly into your Career section.  If it is on the left, you are walking through your knowledge section, etc... Personally, I do not think the bagua always places with the "front" being the actual front of your home, but for simplicity sake and to get you started, treat the far left corner of your home on the main level as your "Wealth Corner". Here's a quick and easy tip.  Get a fine crystal bowl.  Place it in the furthermost rear left corner of your home.  That's it!  Keep it clean...do not "seed it" with coins (common mistake).  Everyone who did this at my u...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
I once wrote an article that told consumers to fire any agent who never said "Don't Buy THAT house!.  In fact, if an agent doesn't say DON'T buy the house more than they say "Do you want to buy this one?", they cannot possibly be representing their buyer client well. If it appears that the agent is just opening doors and hoping you will buy one of the properties shown today, regardless of whether or not there are any "good" properties on market today...say "You're FIRED!:  LOL, yes I like The Donald (not the show, just him) and Judge Judy and people who Tell it Like it IS! If you are not giving advices, if you are just opening doors and hoping the buyer will make an offer on SOMETHING!  ANYTHING!  Because you NEED a sale...I hope you are charging a flat fee and refunding the difference...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
Newer townhomes are often the easiest to stage and can be done in just an hour or so.  The owners of this townhome were moving out into the home I just sold them, before the property was going to be listed for sale.  I asked them to leave those white sofas and and bayberry colored area rug and take everything else out   . I then bought those throw pillows and afghan to match the rug, the picture on the far wall with berries in the same color and the bath towels.  Keeping things very simple and carrying one color throughout the entire townhome makes it feel larger.  This townhome sold the first morning to one of the first people who saw it.  Once you have a "set" of items in different color schemes you can use each theme over and over again.  So while the cost of the first staging "set"...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
When I first saw this "Jesus Christ Superman", it reminded me of what my clients expect of me.  We really do just have to be able to Do It All when it comes to the real estate transaction. The more you know about housing, home inspections, finance, trends, market conditions and everything that is helpful to the client in a real estate transaction, the better you and your clients will feel at the "end of the day". There is no end to what can happen in a real estate transaction if you do not stay on your toes ALL of the time.  Things happen so very quickly sometimes, it is easy for things to fall through the cracks if you are not paying attention every step of the way. There should be NO surprises in real estate.  Better to "See it coming"...then to try to chase after it once "it'shit th...
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By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
I just returned from a home inspection and have to sort through the list to determine what remedies to request.  One thing we have learned as agents, is that credits very often are not the best way to address things.  New homebuyers get all caught up in moving in and decorating, take the credit and never fix the thing with it. So if something really needs to be fixed, get it fixed before closing.  Today was an excellent example.  When the seller bought this house he received a credit to fix the chimney flashing.  Today there was water on the floor that came down the chimney because he never fixed it three year's ago.  It's not an expensive fix, but needs to be done.  So better to get that fixed prior to closing than to get a credit. Huge warning with regard to credits.  If you are alre...
Comments 3
By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
Maybe it's time to take it off the market. Weird phenomenon.  I am getting more calls on houses when I take them off the market than I got when they were on the market. Maybe taking a house off the market sends the message that it will not always be around and it's time to start thinking more seriously about whether or not you want to buy it. Odd, but true.  Not why the properties were removed from market, but clearly taking it off has spurred calls, offers and sales more this year, than I've ever seen before. Something to think about.  Hope it works again on this one!  So far...more calls and one possible offer and has only been "off market" for less than 12 hours. Cross your fingers, because this seller deserves some GOOD LUCK!!  And this house is really, really worth it...a true barg...
Comments 6
By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
It has been pretty standard for agents to pay referral fees to one another of between 20% to 25% of the commission.  It has also been pretty standard for companies to receive a referral fee of 35% to 50% from agents who are representing their relocated employees. However had the buyer or seller consumer known, that 35% to 50% of the commission was going to end up back with their Company, or 20% to 25% were going to end up with an agent for "selling their name" to another agent, thie practice may not have continued to cut so deeply into the buyer and seller's pocket for so long. This is an area that needs to be changed, as all of the Bottom Feeder sites like HouseValues and HomeGain and Lead Generation sites generally, are cutting more and more into the consumer's ability to get the best...
Comments 10
By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
Back to transparency.  When an agent offers to "Find you an Agent" in another area or when a Website offers to "Find you an Agent" to assist you, often there is a "Finders Fee" involved.  I'm not saying that isn't reasonable, but let's go back to Transparency in the Real Estate Transaction and Transparency in Commission Issues. If you are buying a home for $400,000, that offer to assist you just cost you $3,000!  You might have a better way to spend $3,000!  So again, make sure you know how much everything is costing you before it is too late.  Better to find an agent on your own and choose how to spend that $3,000 more wisely.  Or negotiate that down to a more reasonable "Finders Fee".
Comments 13
By ARDELL DellaLoggia
(Better Properties Seattle )
One of the most important issues a consumer needs to know, is what the commission is and who is the end recipient of that commission. All to often agents lead the consumer to believe that they only get half and the Broker gets half, which is generally not the truth.  They don't really "lie".  They just choose their words carefully.  They say something like "What consumers don't understand is that many times an agent has to pay the Broker 50% of the commission".  The consumer says "Oh" and then the agent changes the subject. So they really didn't SAY they only get to keep 50%...but the perception was created and left there. Ask your agent to calculate the exact commission on a hypothetical sale purchase price and to show you how in THAT AGENT's CASE the commission is broken down.  In my ...
Comments 4
By Toby Barnett, Toby Barnett
(KW North Sound)
The Seattle Seahawks are hosting a Christmas Eve game against the San Diego Chargers at Quest Field in a decisive game. The Seattle Seahawks (8-6) need a win today to secure a playoff spot and the San Diego Chargers (12-2) need a win to clinch home field advantage in their playoff run.Both teams are going to be playing hard and tough (hopefully for 4 quarters). The Seattle Seahawks have been notorious this year in not starting to really play until the second half and it has dramatically affected our season as the record reflects. Another big contributor to the Seattle Seahawks season is injuries. Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck, Bobby Engram, Robbie Tobeck and Darrell Jackson have all missed multiple games this season making holes in our offense.But the show is really going to be ba...
Comments 12
By Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional
  Our Mission: To offer seniors the opportunity to maintain their independence and dignity by providing programs and services that enhance their social, physical and mental well-being.   I volunteered at the Pancake Breakfast this morning and we sure could have used more customers.   It was the same thing at our last Spaghetti Dinner--not enough people.  It may have been because we are so close to Christmas or because people thought our power was still out from the windstorm Thursday evening.    When people do come they enjoy themselves and the food.  We have many families that come that are regulars every month and make it a real social event.   These are monthly fund raisers for an organization that is great for our community.  Check on the link and see for yourself all the services t...
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