Team Reba’s September Real Estate Newsletter

Whether a home buyer, looking to sell or looking for an investment, Team Reba is the Team for you!  Our #1 goal is to always set you up for success.

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, or homeowner.

Here is a link to my “September Real Estate Update”:

This month’s issue includes topics such as:

“Three Sanity-Saving Tips For Moving-In Day”;
“What Sellers Should Know About Pets & Showings”;
“Focus On Functionality When Buying Your Home”;
“Local Market Conditions”;
“What Makes A Home A Good Buy”;

Plus a roundup of August real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

As always, Team Reba truly appreciates your referrals.

 

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Pending within a Week – Belltown Pied-A-Terre

Take a look at our newest listing.  Stylish and convenient living is here in this beautiful pied-a-terre! Be part of a vibrant scene with nearby shops, salons & restaurants- 98 WalkScore! Car2Go & ZipCar within short distance. Don’t miss the stunning rooftop deck with views of the Space Needle & downtown. Condo overlooks a courtyard acting as a buffer from city noise. In unit Euro W&D. Furnishings available for $5k as separate bill of sale. No Rental Cap-Currently being rented furnished for 3 months at $1400/mo! Pet Friendly!

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Team Reba gets interviewed on 1300 Business Radio KKOL show, Sound Advice!

Here at Team Reba we’re always talking about real estate education and recently we were asked to participate on the show Sound Business.  Here is the full interview in the 3 segments used for the show.

In the interview, we discuss why Reba Haas went into real estate and the changes and background in her career that led to choosing this as a new career path. We also talk about changes in the industry, how we have come a long way since the recession to higher accountability and standards in several aspects of the industry and within the related industries of mortgage lending and home inspections. Plus, we discuss the strategies that are important to invoke when preparing your home for sale and how to best prepare for the potential of multiple offers (never guaranteed), or at least the best overall sales price, in today’s marketplace.

Many thanks to Susan Michaels and Rick O’Brian from Business radio 1300 KKOL for having me on the show!

Enjoy listening!

As always, if you have any questions about real estate, please feel free to contact us at info (at) teamreba (dot) com.

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Team Reba’s August Newsletter & July Review

We hope you are having a wonderful summer.  We’re enjoying all the great water activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer, some new and some old. How are you beating the heat? We would love to hear from you!

Whether a home buyer, looking to sell or looking for an investment, Team Reba is the Team for you!  Our #1 goal is to always set you up for success.

Here is a link to my “August Real Estate Update”:

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, or homeowner.

This month’s issue includes topics such as:

“Don’t Miss These Homeowner Tax Benefits”;
“Easy Fixes For Potential Deal Killers”;
“The Top 3 Reasons Buyers Choose The Homes They Buy”;
“Why No Two CMAs Are Ever The Same”;
“Use a Reverse Mortgage to Buy a New Home”;

Plus a roundup of July real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me. Or, if you would like to see a certain topic covered in future months, let me know that too!

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Pending with Multiple Offers & Over List Price – Stunning West Seattle Townhome.

Gorgeous End Unit West Seattle Townhome! This contemporary 2 bed, 2.25 bath with den offers custom touches throughout with gleaming hardwood floors, built-in gas fireplace, granite countertops, beautiful kitchen island, alder cabinetry & stainless steel appliances including gas range. Lovely private deck off kitchen. Upstairs you will find the large Master along w/ 2nd bedroom & office. 2 Car Garage. With easy access to downtown, shops, dining and beaches all nearby this is truly an unbeatable location. 1 Year Home Warranty Included.

7121 Shinkle Place SW, Seattle 98106  Click here for entire photo gallery.

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~Pending within a Week ~Move In Ready! Our Newest Listing in Marysville.

Check out our newest listing in Marysville.  It is super cute and is waiting for new owners.  New carpet & paint throughout as well as many other upgrades.

Click here for the link to listing.

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A fan of pro photos for real estate listings, but where’s the staging?

Today I was on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and found a few photos of a house that had me scratching my head. Not only is this over $1.7M house sporting some seriously old styles, but no one seems to have had the discussion with them about “staging” the home – which often includes decluttering and going through to clear off counters and such once the photographer arrives so you get the best view of the home through the camera lens.

It’s clear that in today’s home selling environment over 92% of everyone starts online. If your photos (and therefore house) are not up to snuff then “next!” is the action you can expect from an online buyer.

Check these out:

crazy pink kitchen crazy red kitchen crazy wallpaper bathroom

You’ll never find our listings where we’ve worked with the seller to stage having this kind of wild color scheme and/or amount of intense clutter on the counters. I can’t even begin to imagine what they were thinking….

Want to know more about our full listing service package?  Contact us as info (at) Team Reba (dot) com or call Reba direct at 206.910.3429.

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June 2015 real estate sales in Seattle and surrounding areas are sizzling!

This is reprint with permission from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service which services real estate broker members within Washington State.

Home sales sizzling around Western Washington
July 6, 2015
Current Statistics | Market Recaps | Market Update Charts

KIRKLAND, Washington (July 6, 2015) – Temperatures around Western Washington were not the only thing sizzling during June. Northwest Multiple Listing Service members reported 11,453 pending sales last month, the highest volume since August 2005 when members notched 11,546 mutually accepted offers. Last month also marked the fourth consecutive month of 11,000-plus pending transactions.

MLS members credit first-time buyers, an influx of relocating workers, and escalating rents for part of the surge.

“First time buyers are returning to the market, but cautiously and with more knowledge based on market values and trends,” said George Moorhead, designated broker and owner at Bentley Properties in Bothell.

“Educated buyers today are no longer just dipping their toes in the water. They are diving right in,” reported Mike Gain, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate. Gain, a past chairman of the Northwest MLS board, said in his 38 years in the industry he’s experienced “good years, bad years and everything in between,” but he’s never seen a market as complex as the current one. “It’s been challenging for everyone involved in a real estate transaction, whether buyer, seller or agent.”

Gain and many of his colleagues bemoan the lack of listings. “The only real problem we are experiencing today is the lack of inventory,” he said.

Brokers added 11,581 new listings to inventory during June, about the same number as a year ago (11,541), but pending sales outgained the same month last year by nearly 16 percent, depleting the selection. At the end of June, the number of active listings across the 23 counties in the MLS report totaled 20,333. That compares to 25,342 for the same month a year ago for a drop of 19.8 percent.

OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate noted some improvement in inventory over the past three months. “I’m happy to see the total number of homes listed has grown by nearly 20 percent since March. That’s still down compared to last year, and well below historic averages, but we are trending in the right direction,” he remarked.

Most counties in the MLS service area reported double-digit drops in inventory compared to a year ago. In King County, the number of active listings is down almost 24 percent compared to a year ago, while in Kitsap County the volume plummeted nearly 35 percent.

The imbalance between listings and sales means shrinking “months of supply,” an indicator of sales velocity. Industry experts use a figure of four-to-six months of supply as one gauge of a balanced market. For the Northwest MLS market overall, only 2.2 months of inventory existed at the end of June. In King County it was down to less than 1.2 months. Snohomish County had about 1.7 months of supply at month end. Both Pierce and Kitsap counties reported about 2.2 months of inventory.

“Kitsap house sales are hotter than a firecracker,” observed MLS director Frank Wilson, the branch managing broker and Kitsap district manager at John L. Scott Inc. in Poulsbo. “Despite heat, vacations and holidays the market has not slowed. We continue to see good open house traffic, low market times and multiple offer situations,” he stated.

Multiple offers are common throughout the Central Puget Sound region.

“We see many multiple offers on properties,” reported Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma, who described sales activity as “phenomenal.” For first-time buyers, the competitive bidding can be daunting, which he suggested underscores the importance of relying on experienced brokers. Anxious buyers have a sense of urgency as prices rise, he noted. “They need a great real estate broker to help guide them through multiple offer situations,” added Beeson, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors.

Rising prices are prompting some house-hunters to broaden their search beyond primary job centers.

“More and more buyers are starting to chase the market northward as prices increase in King County, especially around Seattle,” said Diedre Haines, principal managing broker-South Snohomish County at Coldwell Banker Bain in Lynwood. “Open house activity, despite buyers’ fatigue and slight increases in interest rates, remains robust,” added Haines, a past chairman of the MLS board.

Median prices continue to trend upward, according to Northwest MLS figures.

The area-wide median price for last month’s 9,163 closed sales of single family homes and condos was $321,500. That’s up 7.4 percent from a year ago, when the median price was $299,335 and up 1.4 percent from May’s figure of $317,000. Since January, prices are up 13.6 percent.

In King County, the median price for sales that were completed during June was $450,000. That compares to a price of $410,000 for the same month last year for a year-over-year increase of nearly 9.8 percent. Compared to May, prices in King County are up about 3.7 percent.

For single family homes only (excluding condos) in King County, the median selling price for sales that closed during May was $500,000, an increase of 10.3 percent from the year-ago figure of $453,500.

Rising prices are prompting some worries about affordability. Broker Dick Beeson believes the growth rate in jobs and the “sheer numbers of people flowing into the state make this market appear to be sustainable for the long term,” despite some uncertainty around reaching the upper limit in pricing and the likelihood of rising interest rates.

Referring to a list compiled by Forbes magazine that rank the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area as an “overpriced area,” MLS director Moorhead suggested it’s a matter of value. “An experienced real estate broker will be invaluable in navigating through the buying and selling process” and understanding value as inventory levels balance out and interest rates increase.

Appraisals are also concerning to some. Low appraisals are a big challenge, according to Beeson. Other MLS brokers agreed. “We are beginning to see a resurgence of low appraisals, most are small gaps between sale price and appraised value adding to frustration for both buyers and sellers,” reported Diedre Haines. “Kitsap is also beginning to see a higher incidence of low appraisals,” said MLS director Frank Wilson.

Several brokers were surprised the record-setting temperatures in June didn’t deter activity.

“The hot weather has not cooled the market,” exclaimed Kathy Estey, branch managing broker at John L. Scott, Inc. in Bellevue. “Buyers still struggle with multiple offers and escalating prices. It seems the excellent opportunity for employment, the beautiful Northwest climate, recreational opportunities and the low interest rates are continuing to fuel demand. It is an excellent time for those who own a home and want to move up to do so,” she added.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott said “We are experiencing a heat wave of sales generated by home buyers wanting to buy today and lock in low interest rates.”

Gary O’Leyar, the broker/owner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties also commented on the weather’s impact on activity while offering advice to sellers and buyers. “It’s been my observation that when the thermometer goes up, the market cools down a bit. Hint to buyers: while the waters and beaches are full, there are sellers wanting to sell. This season could be an opportunity in disguise for buyers who have been frustrated by the recent overheated market,” added O’Leyar, a past chairman of the Northwest MLS board.

Rising rents are another contributor to brisk sales. “The cost of renting versus buying is another force that is fueling strong sales gains,” explained Mike Gain. “In most cases buying a home costs significantly less than renting and the good news is the monthly payment will remain the same as rents continue to rise. Numerous renters are entering the home buying market. Many who are renting today think they can’t afford a home. They need to think again and get pre-qualified for a loan to see just what they can afford.”

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 23,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

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Team Reba’s July Real Estate Newsletter

Here is a link to my “July Real Estate Update”:

This Newsletter is full of interesting and useful information that I think you will enjoy whether you are a buyer, seller, or homeowner.

This month’s issue includes topics such as:

“Consider Total Costs When Mortgage Rates Rise”;
“Eight No-skip Steps To Buying a Home”;
“The Critical First Two Weeks of Marketing Your Home For Sale”;
“When Not To Try And DIY”;
“5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Homeownership”;

Plus a roundup of June real estate activity as well as much more advice and information.

I hope you enjoy this monthly newsletter. If you have any comments, please e-mail them to me. Or, if you would like to see a certain topic covered in future months, let me know that too!

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~Pending~ New on the Market – Kentlake Highlands Home Offered at $325,000

Peaceful & Private all while being in a wonderful neighborhood. This beautifully maintained home sits on a large lot at the end of a dead end street & backs up to protected wetlands. Enjoy designer colors and elegant finishes throughout. The well designed main level offers an open floor plan, kitchen w/ stainless steel appliances & bonus office. Upstairs you will find all 3 nice sized bedrooms including the Master w/ large 5 piece bath & WIC as well as a huge loft. 1 yr home warranty included. More Photos Can Be Found Here. 

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