Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 18, 2021

The Biggest Secret to Maintaining the Value of Your Home

So you've been wondering how do I get the most value out of my home and maintain it so that I can sell it for a higher price? Well today, I'm gonna tell you a little bit about the secret to maintaining the value in your home and actually selling it for a higher price. And the secret is not a big remodel. It's not actually a huge, big, expensive cost. The secret is all of those little items that you need to get done to maintain your home over the years. It's sort of like owning a car. If you ignore one little problem and then you get a second little problem you're gonna end up with a lot of little problems that compound over time and give yourself a really big problem. Homes are exactly the same way.

So what you need to do is when you become a new homeowner you need to take that inspection that you got from your inspector or purchase, and you need to fix all of those items in the inspection over time. So take your time. You don't have to do everything all at once but you need to take each of those little items and fix them over time and do everything that the inspector has suggested you do to maintain your home over the years that you live in it. So that's things like having the furnace serviced once a year or your heat pump serviced once a year, that's making sure the roof gets clean and the gutters get clean, that is making sure that you do a visual inspection for any leaks or cracks or anything like that that could cause major problems later on in the life of your home.

Now, maintaining these smaller things may not seem like a big deal, but when a buyer walks into your home when you're finally ready to sell it, each of those items in their mind is money that they can potentially negotiate off of the price. So if you want to maintain your home and get the most money back that you can when you sell it, you should really take that inspection and start to check off those items little by little over time.

And that's my number one secret to maintaining the value in your home and selling it for a better price than you bought it for. If you like videos like this don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on all the real estate tips and tricks and also to learn about the Seattle real estate market. We'd love to have you. If you have any questions about your home or what you can do to improve the value of your home for when you do go to sell it we'd love to help. Set up your appointment with us today for free. And we'll talk you through all of those things that you can do to sell your home at a higher price. You can call, text, direct message us or email us. We're always available to help. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you again next week.

Posted in Home Selling
Jan. 15, 2021

The Housing Market and COVID in D.C.

Guest Article by John Eric and Trevor Moore

 

Much like throughout the rest of the county, Covid-19 initially brought uncertainty to the Washington, D.C. metro area real estate market. However, the market within a short period of time – one month of so – not only regained its footing but began to make record strides. Once everyone adjusted to the new protocols put in place – virtual showings, masks and gloves and sanitizers at appointments – it buzzed. A rigorous period of both buying and selling began throughout the area. Before we knew it, inventory was drying up.

Later, once the initial shutdowns in the District, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland were lifted, a pent-up demand was unleashed. This led to a quickness in the market. Properties were selling fast and bidding wars were occurring more often than usual. A shrunken inventory continued to shrink further. Buyers were dominating the scene. Sellers began to release their properties in this hot market.

The same is occurring today, nearly one year after the outbreak of the pandemic in The United States. The Washington DC metro market continues to be a hot market. While we still have a shortage of inventory, more sellers are entering the space. Real estate business is booming.

Posted in Misc
Jan. 11, 2021

Top 3 Real Estate Predictions for 2021

So we're at the end of another year, 2020 has come to a close and we are now looking forward to 2021. But what's going to happen in the real estate market, you might be wondering. Well, today I'm gonna bring you my top three predictions for the real estate market in 2021. Big shout out to all of our past clients and some future clients. Thank you so much for your support and business this past year, it's been a joy working with you and for you. And we really appreciate everyone that we've been able to help and serve. So let's get to the top three predictions that I have for 2021.

So these are predictions, they are not always accurate. I just watched my video from last year and it was interesting. But I do have a couple of things that I think that we should be aware of going into 2021. So my first prediction is really I do think prices are going to continue to go up for single family homes and townhomes. The reason for this is the interest rate is still very low which is encouraging to buyers to go out and actually purchase at such a low, historically low interest rate. And that does help increase the value of homes because with lower interest rates, people can afford more in terms of their loans. Loan limits have also gone up for 2021. So now people can still be in conventional limits and afford more when they're doing that and taking out a loan. In addition to that, I don't actually see the Seattle market slowing down. Bigger companies like Google and Facebook are still leasing and they are still purchasing land. So while we may be having a different working from the office environment, I do believe that companies are still building in Seattle, and that they are still invested in Seattle as a place to be. That in conjunction with the fact that we do not have enough homes for as many people who want to be here always makes the prices go up. And so the demand is definitely stronger than supply currently, and I believe it will be into 2021.

Now, my second prediction for 2021, this might be a little controversial but I'm just gonna say what I personally feel. I do think that the condo market will come back in 2021 and that people will be more willing to purchase condos and that the value of condos will continue to go up. Now, in 2020, we saw the value of condos go down quite a bit. And that was mostly because of the pandemic. I think once a vaccine starts to come out and once people realize they can resume to somewhat normal life, that we will see people more invested in condos and they will be open to living closer to downtown or in neighborhoods where they can access lots of different things that hopefully open back up with the vaccine. So that's my personal opinion. I believe that people will be excited to get back to being social after being home for so long but that is not necessarily an opinion that everyone shares, so I just wanna caveat that for sure.

My third prediction is really mostly around what we've seen going on in COVID already. I believe that single family or standalone homes will still be the most desirable especially homes with dedicated work from home space or home gym space and outdoor space. I don't believe there will be more demand in specific neighborhoods than others. I think that if anything, there could potentially be more demand in neighborhoods closer to downtown as the vaccine starts to come into play and as people feel safer going out in public. Now, I think that's going to happen because I do think that some people have the desire to live closer in and closer to a city. That is not the case with everyone though. So you may see that a lot of people are still going out and actually purchasing outside of the city. But I do think that people are going to continue to buy single family homes at the most rapid rate or at the highest price. And that will probably be what drives the market in 2021.

Now, my last sort of prediction, the extra icing on the cake, a little extra one, the fourth one if we were going to have a fourth one, I do think that the second home market will continue to stay strong through 2021. I think that there was a lot of uptake in the second home market in 2020 because people were looking to get out of the city and be in more remote locations with more space. I think that will continue and I think second homes will be seen as more livable because people may have different work from home schedules and they may be able to have additional time off like maybe working remotely on Friday and Monday and the weekends. So second homes could definitely be a more viable option than they might've been before. So those are my top three predictions about the Seattle real estate market in 2021.

Those are all coming from me personally and not an opinion of anyone else, just me. So if you found this valuable, hopefully you'll follow along. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all of our other videos for stuff like this as well as updates on the real estate market. And don't forget, you can always reach out to us if you have questions or want to talk more about real estate. You can call, text, direct message or email us any time, and we'd love to help you. Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you again next week.

Jan. 4, 2021

Top 3 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make

 

Hey, so you're a newer agent and you're wondering what mistakes should I avoid making? Well today I'm gonna bring you my top three mistakes that I see newer agents making that does not allow them to succeed in the real estate industry. Without further ado, mistake number one.

So the first mistake that I see a lot of real estate, newer real estate agents make is actually not treating their business like a business. I think one thing that's essential in this industry is that you treat every day like you're going to a job. You're not scheduling time to do other tasks or chores during the day that you should be saving for your off time. You need to treat every day, like a job and really focus on running your business like a business. I think that is vital. And when newer agents don't do this from the start it becomes really hard for them actually to see any results or get any momentum at all.

The second mistake that I see agents that are new making is that they're not listening enough. No client really wants to hear about your troubles or your trials or your drama. They want you to listen to them. It's really about them and their experience buying and selling. And I see a lot of new agents who come in and think that this is about them and don't have the ability to really listen to their clientele and make sure that their clients feel heard. A lot of other agents do this as well. It's not just new agents. You have to really take that drama out of it, take that self-focus out of it and really focus on your client and make sure they feel heard and that you're actually listening to what they need and want in the transaction.

And third, last but not least, one of the biggest mistakes that I see newer agents make is not working hard enough. As a new agent you have to work all the time. You are building a business and you have to treat it as such. It goes back to the first point as well but you really have to be working all the time. My first year and a half in real estate I spent every single weekend doing open houses on both days. I've heard of other agents who do four open houses in a weekend. You really have to want and work for every single opportunity to get in front of new clients. And I don't see enough new agents doing this. They come in and think that they'll get a client that it will be really easy and they'll get this big paycheck once they find that client but they don't actually put in the work to find that client. So it's really essential that as a new agent you're ready to work hard and hit the ground running to make sure you take every single opportunity to get in front of new clients.

There you have it. Those are my top three biggest mistakes that I see new agents make. If you're a new agent or you have any questions about becoming an agent, don't hesitate to reach out. We'd love to have a conversation and chat with you. You can always call, text, or direct message us and send us an email. We'd be more than happy to discuss your real estate needs and what you're looking for in an agent. And we'd love the opportunity to work with you. Thanks for tuning in. See you next week. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We'd love to have you along for all of our videos.

Posted in Misc
Dec. 28, 2020

3 Cons to Owning an Airbnb

 

Last week, we told you about the three pros of owning an Airbnb. As an Airbnb owner myself, I do really love it and I think there are a lot of benefits that come out of it, but there are cons in the process that you should be aware of. So whether you're thinking about getting into owning an Airbnb or operating one, or getting in with another partner to potentially explore, you should definitely be aware of these cons and go back and watch the first video if you missed that one for the pros of Airbnb ownership and operating it.

So the first con is really the management and the cleaning. So as an owner of Airbnb, you do have to manage it and clean it. And so that means that almost daily, you are checking in and making sure that reservations are being booked properly. You're responding to those people who are coming to stay at your Airbnb, that you do have the cleaning schedule ready. There are services out there that can manage this for you. And there are certainly cleaning services out there who will automatically know when to come and clean your property, but things can go wrong. So there can be accidents or messes that might happen while the renter is staying there. So you do have to sort of be on call and be ready to help if anything is to go wrong. So it does take a little bit of time. Now, if you have a longer renter, then maybe you'll have fewer issues, but with rapid turnover, every three to four to five days, you're definitely going to have to manage that and make sure that you're involved and readily available.

Now, the second thing that could be a con of owning an Airbnb is things getting damaged. So there are definitely times when things might be damaged or the toilet might be broken. I've had in my past a light fixture fall and actually break. So there are some things and you never know how the person staying there will respond to that. So you do have to be ready for some of those things and be ready to respond to some of those and, have some money saved to be able to replace those things if something does get damaged.

Now, the third con of owning an Airbnb can really be that you are quite involved with the person on the other side. So you are definitely working for a great review. You do need to provide a high level of customer service to them. And this can sometimes be difficult, because everyone has different expectations, and depending on what price point your Airbnb is at, or what you're promising to the client, you could need to be more readily available or provide a different level of service. I've had experiences in the past where someone was not happy with what they got and wanted something specifically, but didn't really tell me that's what they wanted, and so I didn't meet their expectations. So you definitely do have to be involved, you are working for a great review because you want to build up great reviews so other people will wanna book your Airbnb. So you are definitely in the customer service industry. As much as it may not seem like it, that is what you're doing.

So those are three cons of owning an Airbnb, and three things that you should really take into consideration as you think about if you want to operate an Airbnb, versus maybe a longer-term rental. And if you're thinking about investment properties in general, don't hesitate to reach out, we can always chat about the best type of investment for what you're looking for. If you like videos like this about real estate investing or market updates, definitely follow along on our YouTube channel and subscribe so that you can get notified when all of our videos come out. We hope you enjoyed this. If you have any questions about real estate investing or what might be the right investment for you, don't hesitate to reach out. You can always call, text, or direct message us, and we would be happy to meet with you and talk about this. Hope you enjoyed this video, and see ya next week.

Posted in Investing
Dec. 21, 2020

How Much Money Can You Make On a Rental Property?

 

So, you're wondering how much money can I get for my property if I decide to rent it out? But that's a really good question, and the way that you determine how much you can rent out your property for is very similar to the way you price a home. So, it is very market-dependent.

So, the first thing you really wanna do is study the rental market and what's going on in the neighborhood that you're trying to rent in and see what are the market dynamics in that neighborhood? So how many rentals are available? What's the average cost of the rentals that are available, that are similar to yours? You really wanna look at other rentals that are very similar to yours. So, they need to have the same number of bedrooms, same bathrooms, approximately the same number of square feet or around the same range and determine how long they were sitting on the market before they were rented so that you know where to price your rental.

Now, similar to pricing a home, if you price a rental just below the market value, it's more likely that you'll get an offer quicker or a renter quicker. And if you price it at the higher end of the rental market, it's more likely that it will sit on the market a little bit longer and you may have to negotiate with your potential renter.

Now, one tool that I love to use is called www.rent0meter.com. It actually pulls other rentals for you automatically. It does cost after you do more than a certain number of searches, so you might have to pay for it if you do wanna keep using that tool. But you can always pull other rental comparables in your neighborhood if you're looking on places like Zillow, and then we have data also that we can use to show you a little bit about what properties are renting for, if they're listed through the MLS.

So, you really need to think about the market dynamics, check on what's going on in the market first to determine how much you can rent it for. And the second thing you need to do is look at comparable rentals to your property and see how long they're sitting on the market. Make sure that they have the same sort of stats as your home to determine what you can actually rent your property for. If you have any questions or want to know what you can rent your property for, don't hesitate to reach out. You can always call, text or direct message us. Don't forget to follow us on social media. If you like videos like these about real estate and what's going on in the Seattle market specifically, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We'd love to have you follow along. Thanks for tuning in, see you next week.

Posted in Misc
Nov. 30, 2020

Part Time vs Full Time Agents

 

So I was recently at the dentist, and the hygienist, Scott, started telling me about how a lot of hygienists, if they're not working 40 hours a week, will become real estate agents for like Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example. Well, I wanted to give a little time dedicated to telling you a little bit about the difference between someone who works in real estate a couple days a week, and someone who works full-time in real estate, or seven days a week like I do.

So there are a few things that you should be aware of. Real estate can be a professional job, and you can have professional Realtors, or they can very much be a part-time job. And that's because the barrier of entry to real estate is very, very low. So keep that in mind as you're interviewing agents who might help you buy and sell. That said, a part-time agent is typically someone who is looking to make money on the side, and is trying to do real estate as a way to do that.

Now, there are a few things you should be aware of. A part-time agent probably doesn't have as much experience, because they're only doing it one to two days a week. They probably don't know the market as well. They're probably not interacting with clients every single day. And they're probably just not selling as much. Because if you're only doing to a couple days a week, then you're probably not gonna be selling as much as if you're working five to seven days a week.

Now, contrast that without someone who is a professional real estate agent. This is, I hate to say it, basically what I live and breathe. Essentially every single day I am looking at homes, looking at new listings on the market, studying market data, negotiating a contract, out with buyers, or with sellers, talking about buying or selling their next property. So I get a lot more exposure to the market as a full-time professional Realtor. Now, that is a very different level of service than someone who is working part-time.

I think there's this big conception that real estate agents can do whatever they want, make their own schedule. Well, that's not really the case. My schedule is defined by when my clients are available to me. And so basically, almost seven days a week I am typically working and studying the market, and out seeing homes. So there are some major differences as you consider someone who might be a part-time Realtor, maybe they're a family friend, and a professional, full service Realtor.

So keep that in mind as you're interviewing your next agent for whichever home you're planning to buy or sell. If you have more questions about what you think you should be asking an agent as you're interviewing them, don't hesitate to reach out. We have our top five questions to ask agents as you're interviewing. And I'm more than happy to share that with you. And, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you like this video and other videos like this about the real estate market, or Seattle real estate specifically. We'd love to hear from you, don't hesitate to reach out. You can call, text, direct message, or email us, we will always be available to chat with you. Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you again next week.

Nov. 9, 2020

The Stress-Free Way to Buy a Home During COVID-19!

 

Today, we're talking all about how buying a home has changed during COVID. You might be thinking how in the world can I buy a home during COVID if it's not even safe to go outside? Well, there are a couple things that have changed during COVID. First of all, all of the signatures in the process for buying a home are electronic, except for your very last signature, when you sign with escrow. That's the very last step to your purchase, and that is done in person. Now, typically that's done with a mobile notary or in an escrow office where you would be wearing a mask and take safety measures, like being six feet apart. Now, that's the only time you actually have to sign anything in person. And it's actually only one of the times that you actually have to be somewhere during this process. The entire process can actually be virtual if you'd like it to be.

So, when you get started, first, we do a buyer consultation. That's done over Zoom, so that's all virtual. Now, second is going out and looking at the houses. So, we can do that in person, we wear masks, and it's typically only three people at a time, but there can be up to five people, including your real estate broker, in the house at one time. Now, once you've seen the houses, it is important to take safety measures, be six feet apart, use hand sanitizer after each house and always have a mask on.

That said, you can do tours virtually. So we offer virtual tours where we can actually show you the home through FaceTime or Zoom or Google Meets, and you don't actually even have to go into the house. They are also 3D walkthrough tours that you can utilize on the internet.

Now, the other thing is for the transaction process. So you will have an inspection. Now, all inspectors typically provide a written report that you can review online, so you don't have to be at the inspection if you don't want to be. You can typically talk to the inspector on the phone as well, so you really don't have to be there. If you are there, we stay six feet apart from the inspector and we always wear a mask during that time as well.

Now there are also appointments made for showing. So there's no longer the ability to show a home at the same time another party is looking at the home. So you actually have the home all to yourself during COVID, which is really nice. The only downside is that you typically are on a time schedule for how long you can look at that home. So those things have changed.

Now, like I mentioned, the only time you have to be in person is for the final signing. And sometimes you don't even have to be in person for that because there is such a thing as remote online notary, which is a notary that is remote and online as the name describes. Now, that is typically only used in special circumstances, when a buyer is overseas are not really able to be there.

At the beginning of COVID, there was a safety precaution or contractual precaution that was put into place that allowed a closing to be extended if, for some reason, the pandemic made something change that no longer allowed for closing to happen at the time it was. That's no longer required in contracts, but if you did get sick or were in the hospital, I'm sure that the other party in the transaction, you would hope, would be okay with delaying closing a little bit, for that reason, to help you get over your sickness.

Now that said, there are no other requirements for being in person. So during COVID, not a lot in the transaction has changed, but we have shifted our thinking to virtual first and then in-person second. And so we do offer a full virtual process. If you're interested in learning more about our virtual process or booking your first consultation about buying a home, don't hesitate to reach out. You can call, text, direct message or email me, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We'd love to have you follow along. That's it for this week. We hope you'll share this video with someone who you know is going to start buying a house during COVID so that they know what to expect. We'll see you next week.

Posted in Home Buying
Nov. 2, 2020

Why is Buyer Feedback so Important?

So maybe your house is listed, but you're not getting any communication from your agent who's listed the home for you. Well, that's a failure. What should you do? If your house is on the market and you haven't heard what other buyers are thinking of the home as they're walking through, then that is not good for you as the seller, your agent should be providing a service to you. And part of that service is getting buyer feedback. Stay tuned today we're gonna talk about the importance of getting buyer feedback when a home is listed.

Hi everyone, thanks for tuning in. If you like these videos or you know someone who would please subscribe to our YouTube channel and send this along to anyone who you think might find this useful. Today we're talking all about having your home listed and the importance of getting buyer feedback. Now we're not always in a really competitive market where homes are selling really quickly. Even when homes are selling quickly, it's really important that your agent that lists your home for sale gathers buyer feedback. So we have a really robust system where each week we're actually getting buyer feedback and we're delivering a report to our sellers on Tuesdays, followed by a call by yours truly on Thursdays to make sure they know exactly what buyers are thinking and saying about their home.

Now, why is this so important? Well, first of all, it's really important to understand, first, are the buyers who are coming through the property are they ready to make a decision or did they just start their search? If they just started their search, your agent should be following up with them later down the road to see if they might wanna come back and reconsider your property if it's still on the market.

The second reason is we wanna know what they think of the price. Do they think this home is priced fairly? And if not, what do they think the fair price would be? That helps inform a seller if their home is competitively priced in the marketplace, in the eyes of a buyer.

The third thing that is so important is to know what the buyer thought of the condition and quality of the home, was the home clean? Did they feel good when they walked in? Was there something in the sink that you didn't know about? As a seller and your seller's agent you need to know all of these things so that you can make corrections if you need to. If the light is burnt out, or if the smoke alarm is beeping because it's low on batteries, those are all things that could put potential buyers off. And you need to know those things through feedback that you get from other buyers.

Now, the last thing we wanna know is is that buyer actually interested in the property. A lot of information can come from having a conversation with the buyer or the buyer's agent to determine are they interested in the property, or maybe they're not interested right now, but it's on their short list. In that case, it's your agent's job to go back and see what are the roadblocks to them making an offer. What can you do as the seller, if anything, to compel the buyer to make an offer on your property. Now, this is super important in a market that's not super competitive at the time. For example, right now condos in Seattle are not as competitive as single family homes. So it's really important gather feedback from every single showing or buyer that walks through to determine what they're thinking about the property and how it can be improved. So it's really important that your agent do this when your home is listed on the market.

If your agent doesn't have a plan for how to do this, you can call us we're happy to help. You can call, text or direct message us and don't forget, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to follow along if you like these videos or other videos like this and share this with someone who has their home listed on the market and see if their agent is doing this. That's how you get by your feedback and that's why it's so important. You wanna know all of those things from the perspective of the buyer. Remember as a seller, you have a product to sell. You're not the buyer and so you want the feedback of the consumer. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you all next week.

Posted in Home Selling
Oct. 19, 2020

Real Estate Timelines

Today we are talking all about timelines in the real estate contract. So there are timelines in real estate. What we tell our clients is we are on your timeline until you find the house of your dreams. Once you find that house, when we write the real estate contract, we have to be on the timeline from the time that we get the contract accepted through until closing. And so those timelines start when the contract is accepted by both the buyer and the seller.

Now, a timeline in a real estate contract, most of them run concurrently. So they will all start on the mutual acceptance day when the contract is signed by both parties. That's when they all start. So if you have a contingency for five days, and a contingency for three days, those run at the exact same time. They do not go five and then three. They run exactly at the same time. So we have to start counting those days from the day of mutual acceptance. So if you got your contract accepted on a Monday, Tuesday would be day one, Wednesday would be day two, and so on and so forth.

Now, in real estate in Washington, if the timeline is five days or fewer, that does not include the weekends or bank holidays. If the timeline for the contingency is six days or more, then that does include weekends and holidays. So you can actually go through a timeline, and have a three-day contingency that can be the same as a six-day contingency, because you're actually including the weekend and the holiday in the six-day contingency. All that to be said, your realtor should be very knowledgeable of timelines, and how they work in the contract to make them work to your best advantage as their client.

If you have any questions about timelines in the contract, or if you wanna change my mind about how timelines can be fun, don't hesitate to reach out. You can call, text, email, or direct message me. If you liked this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel for future updates, and share this with someone who you think might find it useful. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next week.