Frequently Asked Questions
Everyone knows several realtors, so why should you entrust your real estate business to us? First of all because we have done, and continue to do, enough business to remain at the top of our game and in touch with the market conditions. We are a full-time real estate family and we have the experience, dedication and professionalism to get you the results you deserve. As real estate investors, we've bought and sold more homes with our own money than most real estate professionals have done transactions in their entire careers. Along the way, we've made plenty of mistakes and learned many lessons. As a result, we can help you avoid costly mistakes and get you through the most difficult and complex transactions because we've been there and done that, many times. We work very hard on behalf of our clients and we are always available and responsive. If you call, email, or text us, you will be able to reach us or if not, we will get back to you. Lastly, we pride ourselves on always practicing real estate at the highest levels of technical and ethical professionalism. As a result, we have a strong reputation with our peers and that benefits you when we are involved in a tough negotiation or a highly competitive multiple offer situation. The combination of our experience, work ethic, reputation and know-how will produce the results you desire.
Just like you should have a lawyer represent you in legal matters and a doctor look out for your health you need an experienced professional to provide guidance and advocate for your interests in your real estate dealings. Buying and selling real estate is financially, legally, and procedurally complex. Most people don’t buy and sell enough houses in their lifetimes to develop enough expertise on their own and therefore derive tremendous benefit from the services of a current, practicing real estate professional. Besides, the practical reality is that if you use a seasoned professional you will get better results. If you are selling, your house will sell for more and if you are buying, you’ll get a better deal.
First of all, we won’t try and sell you anything. But we will absolutely listen to what you want and need and we’ll put your wants and needs above everything else. Secondly, we’ll communicate with you often. We’ll let you know what is happening and what will happen next. We’ll also provide a non-emotional, expert viewpoint. Our job is run the process and let you to make the decisions. We also find that treating everyone involved with respect and calmly and thoughtfully working towards the best solution for our clients is the most effective approach. The other thing that often makes all the difference is bringing other experts in help with really difficult situations. If the situation is beyond our expertise, we will not hesitate to bring in the appropriate expert (lending, title, escrow, legal, for example) to work with us to find the best solution.
Yes we do and we are happy to discuss the various pros and cons of these different scenarios and help you understand if they are appropriate for you.
In the Puget Sound Region, Windermere is the dominant real estate firm and the Windermere brand is very well respected by both consumers and other real estate professionals. For a seller, having a Windermere sign in your front yard correlates with a higher selling price. For buyers, you can be sure that the listing agent of the property you want to buy will take your offer seriously if it is written and presented by a Windermere broker. We are proud to be part of the Windermere family because we share Windermere's founding principal of bringing a level of professionalism, technical expertise, and service to real estate that never existed before. Beyond that, Windermere provides fantastic support for their brokers and that helps us help you in many, many different ways such as providing proprietary market analysis and a broad range of highly effective marketing tools.
Yes, we will. Many agents won’t show properties with either lower than average selling office commission, or a more difficult scenario such as short sales or bank owned properties, because they are a lot more work for less money. If you are willing to sign a buyer’s agency agreement with us, formally hiring us to find you properties we are more than happy to help you find and show you any property that is available for purchase.
No we won’t and here’s why. While there are many brokers and brokerages that advertise “full service for less” as their main marketing message, the truth is you get what you pay for. You may save a percent or so on commissions but it will cost you far more than that on either a sale or a purchase. On typical sales, for example, discount brokers often end up selling their listings for 15% to 20% less. So, you may save 1%, but it may cost you 15%. We see this phenomenon in the marketplace all the time. But what’s much more subtle and actually more important is that you won’t have a competent agent looking out for your best interests throughout the process. Would you intentionally select a mediocre attorney before going into a law suit, to save 1% on your attorney fees? You know how that would play out. You would lose the law suit and that’s exactly how it plays out in the competitive real estate market. The discount brokers aren’t able to achieve nearly as high a selling price for their listings and they consistently loose in competitive bidding wars to other more experienced, highly competent agents.
There are a lot of great websites out there for searching for real estate. However, it is important to understand that in each area the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the master database. We are lucky in the Puget Sound Region, in that we have only one local MLS system, the Northwest MLS. Licensed real estate agents enter the data into the MLS system and then the other sites pull the data from there and combine it with additional data available from the public records at the state, county, and local municipality levels. Some sites update their data more frequently and this produces conflicting data across different sites (for example, one site showing the property already “Pending” while anther shows it as still “Active”). In practice, the MLS data is far more reliable because the agents entering the data face stiff penalties (thousands of dollars) for mistakes. The other sites have no such enforcement mechanism, so, as you might expect, their data contains more errors. If you want to know about a specific property, contact us an we will be happy to review the data in the MLS and public records and help you understand what the actual, up the minute situation is.