What do Halloween candy, pumpkin spice lattes and a well-presented house for sale all have in common?  

They all go fast!  And in this scary-fast real estate market, buyers and sellers now more than ever need a really good REALTOR® on their side.

But the fear of the unknown stops many buyers and sellers dead in their tracks.  They wander from open house to open house like the walking dead, not knowing where to start or where to go.  Sellers may feel apprehensive about contacting an agent and worry about the costs to sell.  They decide to list on their own and hope for the best. Real estate is only scary when you don’t have the information you need to make the right decisions.

Here’s what you should know to take the fear out of real estate.

NOT ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE THE SAME

First, there’s a big difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®.  And it’s not just that little “r” after the name.  Why work with a REALTOR® over a real estate agent?  Here are a few reasons:

– A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), which means they have pledged to adhere to NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  The Code centers on the treatment of buyers and sellers providing them with the utmost of care, promoting their interests first and treating all parties honestly.  In short, a REALTOR®’s got your back.

– REALTORS® are consumer advocates.  Did you know that REALTORS®, who are members of the largest trade group in the US, fight for consumers and defend the goals of homeownership?  For example:

– This year, your local Washington REALTORS® supported new sources of revenue for education.  This revenue was used to provide updated teaching materials and to do more for special education, gifted programs and children in high poverty areas.

 

– Washington REALTORS® stopped a proposal that would add a new 7.9% Capital Gains Tax for home sellers.

 

– Washington REALTORS® are currently fighting for land owners by fixing the Hirst decision, which restricts water availability to new homes relying on private wells.

 

This is just a very small sampling of the advocacy work REALTORS® are doing behind the scenes to promote and preserve the freedoms of homeownership.

REALTORS® are smarter than horror movie heroes who forget how their legs work to run away from the terrifying underworld creature. To meet the ever-changing and complex real estate environment, REALTORS® have more educational opportunities available to them.  NAR offers its members over twenty specialized certifications.  For example, during the recession when homeowners needed knowledgeable short-sale experts, REALTORS® had the education and training to help these consumers who needed our services the most.

REALTORS® aren’t the trick-or-treaters who caravan miles away to the neighborhoods that hand out the full-sized candy bars.  Agents who choose to be REALTORS® are choosing to be committed to their local community.  They live here, work here, advocate for their neighbors, and are local-area experts.  They are invested in their careers by being REALTORS® and not just real estate agents.  (You may be surprised that some of the larger real estate firms are not REALTORS®.)

Second, not all agents work full-time.  In this fast-paced market, many people are getting their real estate licenses but are still keeping their day jobs.  Waiting for your agent to get off work can prevent you from succeeding in your purchase or sale.

Third, experience counts.  A real estate transaction can take on a life of its own and might have a death-wish! An experienced agent knows how to keep your transaction alive.

 

BEING AN UNREPRESENTED SELLER HAS ITS CHALLENGES EVEN IN A FAST MARKET  

If you are thinking of selling your home, consider these reasons why you should call on an expert to help sell what might be your largest financial asset.

Photos and marketing.  You have probably seen those bad, askew listing photos that look like they were taken by a tipsy pirate with a cell phone.  You might be thinking that you can certainly do better than Jack Sparrow but your full-time REALTOR® can get you better results.  Your agent can capture compelling features of your home and will know how to engage a potential buyer, not only with the right photos but with lively descriptions.

Better promotion with better outcomes.  Buyers look for homes everywhere – from online to print to driving a neighborhood.  Your agent will create and fund a strategic yet comprehensive promotional strategy reaching the most buyers on a wide-range of platforms.

Pricing.  Some sellers are terrified of this pricing discussion, but really this is just a truthful look at the market and how the home fits into the market.  Your REALTOR® can advise you on the best price to squeeze the most money from your home. No scary stuff here!

What to do once you get an offer(s)? If you have multiple offers, which is the best one?  Will the highest offer appraise?  Is the buyer’s lender reputable?  Are they pre-approved or pre-qualified?  Your agent will be able to advise you, see red flags and will have the foresight to curb catastrophes.

REALTORS® take on liabilities and are held to an attorney-level standard when handling contracts.  The do-it-yourselfer may have no idea of the liabilities they may be exposing themselves to nor the laws they are expected to uphold.

Local knowledge.  Agents have local real estate market knowledge but are also excellent sources for referrals to contractors, lenders, and other professional that can help you.

 

Don’t let fear stop you from getting the most from your real estate experience.  You just read my resume but if you’d like to learn more about how I can help, contact me today.  You’ll get the information you need, the representation you desire and the peace of mind you’ll receive.

 

3091 Eagle Lp NE, 4-bedroom home for sale in Lacey WA!

3091 Eagle Lp NE in Lacey WA is now available for sale!

This 4-bedroom home features a main floor den/office plus an upstairs media/bonus room.  Click here for all the details.

If you are a commuter and need to get to I-5 within minutes, or want to get to shops and restaurants fast, this is the perfection location.

Features:

  • 4 bedrooms + den + bonus room
  • 2.5 baths
  • 2,702 square feet
  • Built in 2013
  • Fully fenced backyard
  • Newer composite deck
  • Just one neighbor – no neighbor behind nor to the side; home next to pond.

Click here for all the details.

Here is a quick video of this home.  Check it out!

This is a newer home in an established neighborhood.  This smaller neighborhood has its own park in the middle with playground equipment, and features sidewalks and street lights.

The backyard is fully fenced and the owners installed a large composite deck that is great for grilling and outdoor entertaining.

Inside, the floor plan is desirable with a grand entry into the open family room, dining area and kitchen.  All the kitchen appliances stay!  The ceramic tiled kitchen island and countertops offers lots of space, and there are tons of cabinets with a large pantry.

Upstairs, the secondary bedrooms are situated away from the master bedroom, creating privacy and separation, and are ample-sized with good closet space.  The upstairs bonus room is large and is flexible space to be used for whatever you need it for – playroom, TV/media room, office, guest space, etc.

The master bedroom suite is a retreat!  An oversized bedroom with an attached 5-piece bath and huge walk-in master closet.

This is a great home and it’s ready for the next owner.  Click here for more details.

Schedule your showing appointment today!

 

Helped an out of state, military seller sell their home in Lacey WA

I’m happy to have helped another out-of-state military seller sell their townhome in Lacey, WA this week!

Working with out of state clients, whether they are buyers or sellers, takes extra diligence.  It’s very easy for miscommunication and misunderstanding of the entire real estate process, especially when you cannot have face-to-face conversations.  Luckily my clients asked a lot of great questions!  I also had lots of information ready to go to share with the sellers on the selling process.

When sellers are not in town and are selling a property, there is a much longer list of things that I worked to take care of, including working with the tenant and the property management company to coordinate the listing, the showings and timing the move-out for the tenants.  The tenants also needed to understand the process even though they were not the sellers.

Many people were involved with this one sale: the seller, the tenants, the property management firm, the buyer’s agent, the buyer and all the lending, title, escrow, inspectors and the appraiser!  That’s a lot of people to coordinate and communicate with in order to have a successful transaction that closed on time!

The seller received three very strong offers, and had the tough task of choosing just one!  Not a bad problem for sellers to have!

Congratulations to the sellers and buyers for this great townhome in Lacey!

If you are an out-of-state landlord and are considering selling your property in the Thurston County, WA area, contact me today.  I can help you, too, have a successful home sale!

 

 

8615 Zircon Dr SW, #H2 Lakewood WA condo for sale, but not for long!

This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to buy a home for a great price!  8615 Zircon Dr SW, #H2 in Lakewood WA is located in The Bluffs condominium complex next door to the Oakbrook Golf Club and minutes to JBLM!  Click here for all the details.

This condo is on the main floor – just one step into the secured building, and then once inside the unit, two steps down into the living room and kitchen.

This is a 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath condo that has updated kitchens and baths – all new Shaker-style cabinets, tile floors, solid surface surrounds in the baths – all tastefully done!  And all the appliances are included.

This main-level unit faces out into the common green areas, offering a peaceful, nature view!

The covered patio is a private nook to sneak away and enjoy the fresh air!

Be sure to see this condo in The Bluffs soon as the competition for this unit is heating up.  See more photos and details here.

Call your Realtor today to schedule your showing!

 

 

 

2626 Hidden Springs Lp SE, Olympia WA – Home for Sale!

Get ready for the holidays with your new home at 2626 Hidden Springs Lp SE in Olympia WA.

 

This is now for sale in the Lancaster neighborhood, with easy access to I-5 for commuters and shopping including Home Depot, Safeway, Best Buy and Costco.

 


This home offers all the rooms you need with a living room, family room, dining room, breakfast nook and FIVE bedrooms, including one bedroom on the main level.

This home offers a very desirable floor plan with all the rooms you need: living room, family room, dining room, breakfast nook and FIVE bedrooms, including one bedroom on the main level.

Click here for more details about this Olympia WA home for sale.

Watch this 30-second video for 2626 Hidden Springs Lp SE in Olympia WA:

Although the leaves are changing, the beauty of the gardens at this Olympia WA home remain.

The sophisticated northwest gardens in the front show pride in ownership and create a welcoming appearance.  You’ll enjoy your private oasis in the backyard with the “hidden springs” waterfall, extended patio for entertaining, and a fully fenced yard.  Check out the video for scenes of the backyard and also click here for more details and photos.

Get ready for the holidays and entertaining friends and family with this beautiful home in Olympia WA.  Contact your Realtor today for your private showing!

 

 

Can’t find the home you like in Olympia WA? Then build on this 1.24 acre lot on Dawn Hill Drive!

8026 Dawn Hill Road SE in Olympia WA is for sale!

Click here for more details.

 

This 1.24 acre parcel comes with all the utilities (4-bedroom septic, water, power, cable) to minimize building fees!  The property used to have a manufactured home, therefore this is the rare lot that has the utilities available.

You can also have Mount Rainier views!

The lot is level at the street level and then slopes down to another flat area which would be perfect for a dream shop, huge private yard, or leave in its natural state.

The lot is fenced on 3 sides marking the boundaries, and there is a path to the left to access the rest of the lot.

When inventory is low and you can’t find just the right house for the right price, here is your opportunity to build the home you want!  Or add a new manufactured home and flip it.  Lots of ideas and opportunity here in an escalating market for this property on Dawn Hill Drive.  Contact me today for more information.

Watch the video.

Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater WA Real Estate Market Update for Summer 2017

The end of summer is upon us, and the real estate market has been just as hot as the summer weather.

Here is the summer 2017 real estate market update for the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater areas of Washington.

Click here to watch the 1-minute update:

 

Supply is LOW, Demand is HIGH, which is driving up SALES PRICES

Supply is VERY LOW with just 1.7 months of supply.  As you can see by this chart, the last time our market was anywhere near this low of supply within the last 17 years was in 2004.

This market has been in a Seller’s Market for a consecutive 35 months.

The buyer activity is going strong.  For August 2017, the market saw the most sales in the last 17 years with 594 sales.

The average sales price in Thurston County for August was $317,763.  That is up from $291,034 in August of last year.

 

Is a real estate housing bubble coming?

This is certainly debatable, but the current market doesn’t look like the market ten years ago.  Ten years ago, reckless lending was a major factor to the bursting of the housing bubble.  Buyers today are more financially solid than the buyers ten years ago.  Today’s buyers have more cash to put down, have solid credit scores, and are still enjoying low interest rates extending their buying power.

Most sellers today are profiting from the sale of their home, whereas ten years ago, many sellers were equity-poor. These sellers are now buyers and have the financial means to make their next move.

What do buyers do in a low-inventory market?

The good news for buyers is that there are A LOT of new listings coming on to the market.  Just because STANDING inventory is low, doesn’t mean there are not any homes available.  Check out our record-setting chart with the number of new listings entering the market:

Year-to-date, Thurston County added 4,571 new listings to the market.  Between 2006-2008, there were many new construction listings that bumped up those numbers.  This was also when the market started its decline, and the market became saturated with listings.

Today, buyers are snapping up these listings, keeping the standing inventory of homes very low.

Have questions?  Not sure if you should buy or sell?  

Contact me today and let’s have a conversation!  My job is to help buyers and sellers like yourself make their next move.  Call me today!

4055 Amelia Ct NE – home for sale in Lacey WA 98516

Come see this beautiful home for sale at 4055 Amelia Ct NE, Lacey WA 98516!

Click here for all the details.

As an acclaimed Rob Rice Home in Campus Highlands, this 3 year old home is on a private lot that is tucked-away on a cul de sac in Campus Highlands in Lacey, WA.  It backs The Woodlands golf course but also offers a private and wooded view.

Looking for a no-carpet home?  The home has been upgraded to hardwood floors throughout!

  • 4 bedrooms + office + bonus room
  • 2,462 Sq. Ft.
  • Built in 2014
  • 0.192 acres
  • 2 car garage + storage space
  • Fully fenced and sprinklered

Rob Rice Homes are known for excellence – here’s your opportunity to own this move-in ready home!

Click here to see the short video:

The location is perfect for I-5 commuters.  Heading north to JBLM or Tacoma – you are just a few minutes from the freeway.

For more information on this property and others like it, contact me today.  And be sure to visit my site for more information.

Dunk Tank at the company party – summer 2017!

What do Realtors do at their summer parties?  Well, at Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty in Olympia, WA, we dunk the people we love!

Our broker hosted the annual party at his house (Brave Act #1), and then had a dunk tank (Brave Act #2) at the party.

Our soft-spoken and beloved bookkeeper, Dana, actually volunteered to go first.  Most of us (the smart ones!) were hesitant to even try to dunk her since she is the one who cuts our commission checks.

Then it was our broker’s turn.  Who knew how much fun that ended up being?!!  Check it out!

If you listen closely, there is someone laughing the background that sounds like a cross between Mrs. Doubtfire and Santa Claus.  (I have no idea who that could be!)

But this was a really fun day, and my colleagues gave me the a-okay to share this with the world!  Enjoy!

Be Care-Free and Car-Free in this centrally located home in Lacey WA

Be Care-Free and Car-Free in this centrally located home in Lacey WA!

This town home, located at 5645 56th Loop SE in Lacey, WA, is now available for sale! Check out all the details here!

Details of this town home:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2.5 baths
  • 1,765 square feet
  • 1 car garage
  • Monthly HOA fees: just $50!

Click here for a short video of this elegantly appointed town home in Lacey WA.

 

This is a town home that is centrally-located so that you can be car-free!  Close to shopping, restaurants, and the Capitol City golf course, you can live “green!”

 

This low-maintenance town home in Summerwalk can give you the freedom to enjoy what’s important in life.  If you are looking for a simpler way of life, be sure to visit 5645 56th Loop SE in Lacey WA!