Posts Tagged 'seattle real estate'

The Federal Government versus the Real Estate Industry

The Federal Government versus the Real Estate Industry

In 2008 the federal government and the real estate industry (NAR?) entered into a 10 year agreement where the government would not pursue what they perceived as anti-trust violations, if the real estate industry focused on cleaning-up some of it’s practices.  At the most recent Legal Symposium sponsored by the Washington Realtors Association it was revealed that the federal government is once again targeting the real estate industry and how it has failed in some areas.  Apparently, there is a joint Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Workshop on June 5th to explore and discuss potential options/penalties for them to pursue.

One area of focus is whether as independent contractors if we discuss with virtually anyone in the industry about the setting of standard commissions (price fixing), requiring specific terms and conditions be included in Offers to Purchase or, requiring the removal of language in Offers to Purchase (paragraph W) when receiving Offers (conspiring to restrain trade).  Stating in front of any competitor (and independent real estate agent) that you would not recommend using a specific lender, attorney, inspector, etc.  This could be construed as a “boycott” of that individual.

Not only does this apply to individuals within an office or agency, but it applies to every real estate Team.  For example, a Team Leader cannot state in any conversation with members of their Team that “they will not use a specific inspector again”.  Because every real estate agent on that Team is a potential competitor, now, or in the future.  That conversation would be considered “boycotting” and fall under federal Anti-Trust Violations.  A Team Leader cannot set a standard commission rate that any, or all, of their Team Members must adhere to.  The Designated Broker of an agency is the only person who can set the commission rates within that agency.

Food for thought.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact Steve Meyers at smeyers@kw.com or (206) 972-3328.

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Photographic Licensing

Photographic Licensing

by Steve Meyers

Prior to engaging a photographer, it’s very important to have them execute NWMLS Form 13 (specific property) or Form 13A (all photographs used by the agency) along with Form 13B (NWMLS use of photographs).  In this digital world where your photographs are distributed to many web-sites, it’s imperative that realtors protect themselves from allegations of copyright infringement for distribution of the photographs to sites that were not agreed to by the photographer and/or for a duration not agreed to.  The unauthorized distribution of photographs is the number one litigated legal issue for realtors across the United States with substantial monetary penalties.  You need to gain the broadest permission from the photographer for use of the photo’s to protect yourself.

If the home owner offers to provide you with photographs, ascertain their origin.  If the owner took the photo’s, have the owner execute Forms 13 and 13B.  If the owner received the photographs from someone else, you must have that person execute Forms 13 or 13A and Form 13B.

Off-Market Transactions – 2

Off-Market Transaction, again

by Steve Meyers

Writing up the Purchase and Sales Agreement in an off-market transaction is very risky and could result in lawsuits from multiple parties including; the Seller, the Buyer, family members, other real estate agents, etc.  You should consult with our Designated Broker and Lead Managing Broker prior to entering into this relationship to discuss how to best protect yourself and the agency from future legal action.

In this capacity, you’ll be acting as a DUEL Agent and must follow; the Revised Codes of Washington (RCW’s), the guidelines of the NWMLS, and the requirements of our agency.  At a minimum you’ll need to execute Forms 41A and 47 and receive a receipt of the Pamphlet of Agency, Mold, and Lead Based Paint from both parties along with the necessary Purchase and Sale documents.  You should also have receipt of delivery of an exhaustive CMA that you supply to both parties.  I personally recommend that an appraisal is done by an independent third-party appraiser and distributed to both the buyer and the seller.

Once all of the documents are executed, they must be uploaded onto Dot Loop within 48 hours for review by our agency.  Within 3 days of Closing, you’re required to enter all of the information on the NWMLS as a closed sale with details and a photograph of the exterior of the property and up to 24 additional photographs.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact me at smeyers@kw.com or call me at (206) 972-3328.  Steve Meyers, Managing Broker, Keller Williams Greater Seattle

Common Ownership Interest Act

Common Ownership Interest Act

by Steve Meyers

On July 1st, 2018 the new Common Ownership Interest Act will go into effect.  Any condominium, Co-Op’s or Planned Unit Development (PUD) that includes “Shared Common Elements” will be known as Common Interest Communities (CIC) and will be governed by new legislation passed by the Washington State Senate in Senate Bill (SB) 6175. These will be the new rules and regulations for all condominiums, Co-Op’s or PUD’s after July 1st.

However, once enacted, any condo, Co-Op or PUD constructed prior to July 1st can elect to “Opt-Into” the new rules and regulations if approved by the owners.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please contact me at smeyers@kw.com or (206) 972-3328.  Steve Meyers, Managing Broker, Keller Williams Greater Seattle

Win in a Multiple Offer Situation

In this competitive real estate market with low inventory and buyers willing to remove some of the contingencies in their Offers there are a number of things that the buyer, and their broker, should do to increase their chances of winning.  The objective is to present to the seller with an Offer that allows the buyer the fewest possible ways for the buyer to terminate the Purchase and Sale Agreement and retain their earnest money deposit and, have the seller execute the initial Offer without requesting any changes.

Your broker should be in communication with the broker representing the seller to build rapport and gather the information to write an Offer that stands above all other Offers.  Their effective communication will give the buyer the greatest chance of winning in a multiple offer situation.

The Offer to Purchase should be completed to benefit the seller with everything properly completed including;

a.)The sellers’ choice of title and escrow companies

b.)The perfect closing date for the seller

c.)The earnest money deposit should be as high as possible.

d.)Shorten the time of the Closing Date on the transaction.

e.)Include an escalation clause the seller cannot refuse.  Escalate between $5,000 and $10,000 above all other Offers and, if there’s an All-Cash Offer, include language that doubles the escalation.

f.) Start the Offer to Purchase price above the list price.

g.)The lender should call the listing agent to assure him/her the buyer has been properly qualified

h.)Include a letter from the buyer to the seller.

i.)Consider paying all of the Title and Escrow charges for the seller.

The contingencies the buyer should consider waiving with their initial Offer to Purchase should include;

1.)Inspection Contingency – Perform a pre-inspection of the property with a qualified inspector to become comfortable waiving any additional inspections.  You may also consider a sewer inspection.

2.)Financing Contingency – The buyer should provide enough information to their lender to be fully underwritten for a loan without consideration of the appraisal of the property.  An addendum can be attached requiring permission to have an appraisal inspection.  The buyer will then come to Closing with the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage provided by the lender

3.)Appraisal Contingency – The Offer to Purchase with a financing contingency should include a Form 22AD (additional down payment) stating the buyer agrees to pay a specified dollar amount above a low appraisal if, the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price.

4.) Resale Certificate – If this is a condominium, review the Resale Certificate and supporting documents with an attorney and if acceptable, waive the Resale Certificate.

5.)Title Contingency – The buyer and their broker can conference call with the title officer prior to submitting their Offer to review the preliminary title documents.

6.)Seller Disclosure Statement – The buyer and broker should review the Disclosure Statement in detail to identify items that may need further investigation.  If none, waive it.

7.)Paragraph W of the Offer to Purchase – Compare the information published on the MLS and additional documents to what you’ve learned during the pre-inspection.  If everything is similar, waive paragraph W.

Another thing that has enticed sellers to accept an Offer is the release earnest money to seller as non-refundable within 24 – 48 hours of reaching mutual acceptance.

Submit the Offer via email with a well written recap of the Offer within the email message and as the first page of the Offer.  Make sure the Offer is well written and all of the pages are in correct order.

If you have comments or questions about this article, please email me at smeyers@kw.com.

If you would like to read other real estate articles I’ve written, go to my web site at www.ourseattlehome.com and click on the “Articles I’ve Written” tab.

Steve Meyers is a Managing Broker at Keller Williams Realty in Seattle, Washington.  He can be reached at (206) 972-3328 or smeyers@kw.com.

Near North Seattle Real Estate Market

The residential real estate markets just north of downtown Seattle including; Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Phinney Ridge and Green Lake appear to have stabilized and buyers are once again actively pursuing available properties.  In the last 30 days our Keller Williams Office in Wallingford has experienced a surge in accepted offers.  With the low interest rates and some quality properties becoming available at realistic prices, interested buyers are successful in purchasing homes.

The key to selling a home in today’s market is; (1) pricing the home properly, (2) preparing the home for sale (staging, cleaning, painting, etc.), (3) recognizing that your home should be in the top condition (top 30%) of all homes in your price category.

The key to buying a home in today’s market is; (1) your full service real estate agent should be showing you the qualified homes within 24 hours of them becoming available on the NWMLS, (2) you should be willing to make a decision and write an offer to purchase as soon as you see what you’re looking for.  If not, it’ll be sold to someone else. (3) have your paper work together and follow the deadlines that your agent reviews with you to close the transaction.

Best of Luck

Steve Meyers

www.ourseattlehome.com



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