Olympia Realty NorthWest Real Estate Blog

Neal & Angela Thomas


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Name Change

by Neal & Angela Thomas

As the year begins, you will notice some subtle changes happening around here. Due to changes by the State Real Estate Regulatory Board, we were forced to change our team name from Olympia Realty NW to Dependable Realty NorthWest. As of right now we still have our business license as Olympia Realty NW LLC and are under the DBA Dependable Realty NorthWest. We are still under the broader umbrella of Best Choice Realty LLC. Until we have our new DBA license in hand for Dependable Realty NorthWest we are reverting back to Best Choice Realty LLC, not that we ever left BCR, but we were trying to make our own Logo and Mark and now we have to start back at square one. During this transition, you may see both BCR and Dependable Realty Logos, but we would like to ensure you that this will not disrupt any of our business in any way. We expect this to be completed within the next 30 days and our team name of Dependable Realty NorthWest fully sanctioned by the state department of license. Additionally, we’d like to introduce our new team member, Stephanie Woodson, who has agreed to join our team in our new venture. Watch for a more formal introduction on our website in the next couple of weeks. 

The Truth About Buying Real Estate through an Auction Web Site

by Neal & Angela Thomas

   One of the newest ways to sell Real Estate these days is through an auction web site like Auction.com, but buyers and sellers need to be aware of what these sites really are and what they are not. The reality is that these sites are no more than a third party advertiser. They are not a licensed brokerage or even members of the local MLS. This makes it easy for them to make their own rules and ignore the state and MLS rules/laws. They have become popular with difficult to sell properties (bank owned, badly damaged and greedy sellers). These web sites pretend to hold an auction in which the winner thinks they have just bought a home. The reality is that the winning bid is presented to the seller (the bank, owner of a badly damaged property or a greedy seller) and the seller will decide if they will accept the offer. That’s right, I said offer, because that is what the winning bid really is. It is just an offer and the seller will determine if they will accept, reject or counter.  The auction usually last 7-9 days after a 21-day appearance on the auction web site and in the local MLS system. If a new bid comes into the auction it is automatically extended by 12-24 hours.

   For buyers it gets worse, while there is a listing agent, that agent is only there to make the listing legal. Remember, these web sites are not licensed brokerages so to make it legal, they pay some listing agent $1,500 to put the property into the MLS system. This agent will do nothing to help the home sell or close. All the offers and contracts are handled through the auction web site and this is where the biggest problem for buyers come in to play. First they make up their own contracts in which buyers must sign to buy the home. You’ve heard the term “The devil is in the details” and in these cases they are. Many of the contracts I have read leave the buyer little protection and usually state the home is being “sold as is where is”. The buyer is usually given only 24 hours to get the contract signed and returned to the auction site. This leaves the buyer little to no opportunity to have a lawyer look it over and advise them. The buyer’s earnest money is usually nonrefundable, usually it’s cash only and they ask the buyer to pay up to 5% more on top of the agreed purchase price as a fee. If they do allow financing, they write that a buyer may not back out because of low appraisal. This means the buyer has to come up with the difference in cash or surrender their earnest money to back out.

   It’s not much better for the sellers either. Most of the serious buyers with cash are looking for a deep discount when buying from these websites. So the winning bids are usually much lower than a seller was looking to get, even though the salesperson from the auction web site may have promised they would get the most money for their property. I have seen many times an auction end, only to have the seller disappointed and the home go back through the auction process again and again and again until the seller withdraws the property from the auction site all together. It gets worse for the seller. Most of the time the auction web site charged the seller a nonrefundable fee to put the property on their site in the first place. As for that earnest money that a buyer may have had to surrender to back out of a bad deal, the auction web site takes at least half, if not all. If that is not bad enough, if the property does sell, the seller still pays up to 6% as a fee of which the listing agent only gets $1,500 and the buyer’s agent gets 2% or less. Leaving the auction site with a large profit as high as 8%.

   For any of you who may have had experience with these auction sites, please comment about your experiences so that others can learn what to expect if they choose to follow this route. 

Why Real Estate websites can be misleading you

by Neal & Angela Thomas

We get a call from many of you looking at homes for sale on popular website only to have us tell them the home is pending or sold. In these time of low inventory this can be discouraging to anyone looking for a home to buy.

So what do you do?

Simple, use our site www.dependablerealtynorthwest.com . Our site’s information comes directly from the MLS and is updated daily. It’s mobile friendly and once you set up a saved search it will send you updates when new homes come on the market or when a price drops on some home you like just above you price limit.

In the state of Washington if you list your home with a licensed Real Estate firm/broker it must go into the MLS first. That’s the rules and a broker/firm can be fined if it is not.

Zillow and Trulia are very popular sites, you may have found us on one of them but they don’t get their information directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) like we do, other traditional Realtors sites purposely keep old listing on their sites to attract new sellers and that is the problem. While you’re distracted by this out dated home listings the home you really want may be getting away. We get a call from many people looking at homes for sale on other website only to have us tell you the home is pending or sold. In these time of low inventory this can be discouraging to anyone looking for a home to buy.

In the state of Washington if you list your home with a licensed real estate firm/broker it must go into the MLS first. That’s the rules and a broker/firm can be fined if it is not.

Why do I need a real estate agent to buy or sell a home

by Neal & Angela Thomas

Why do I need a Real Estate agent to buy or sell a home?

Let’s ask this question in a different way.

Why do I need an educated, trained, licensed, insured and experienced, professional to help me with the largest purchase or sale of my life?

I’ve been reading this question on a lot of blogs recently, so I thought I would put this question into prospective. As a Real Estate Broker with about a decade of experience I can tell you that every transaction I deal with has some kind of challenge and would likely fail without some intervention from the brokers involved.

To me the right question is not if you should use a Real Estate agent but which agent should you use.

News on Mortgage rates

by Neal & Angela Thomas

Last week the Fed decided to leave interest rates a 0-.25% and while we don’t know how long they will leave it at the current level. This is good for anyone looking to buy or sell Real Estate property. I find myself reminding those in the market that the historical normal interest rate is 4% for the FED and 6% for the consumer (anyone getting a mortgage). We will see 6% interest rates again and while the Fed has not raised their interest rates in ten years we have seen interest rates climb from the lows of 3% to 4.75 % and back down to today’s rates of 3.25%

So to those who would like to buy Real Estate, I say buy now or pay more later and for those who want to sell Real Estate, sell now or take less later. Remember the higher the interest rates the less a buyer will be able to pay for that home.

Get the answers to your Real Estate question here

by Neal & Angela Thomas

 For anyone looking to buy or sell Real Estate, the journey starts with the same questions. Where can I find the information I need and who can I trust to help me buy or sell my home? We know this because we’ve been there ourselves. So please let us help you get the answers to your questions. Ask away!

Buying or selling Real Estate 2015

by Neal & Angela Thomas

For anyone looking to buy or sell Real Estate, it starts with two basic question. Where can I find the information I need and who can I trust to help me buy or sell my property? We know this because we’ve been there ourselves. This Blog is for those looking for answers to questions about buying or selling Real Estate. 

Post your questions and we will answer them. NO TRICKSNO OBLIGATIONS.


Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Neal & Angela Thomas

We're often asked if this is a good time to buy a home.

Our answer is, now is a great time to buy a home and waiting will cost you more. Let us explain why. Interest rates have been below the historical average of 6% for years now. The Fed has signaled that it will raise interest rates sometime this year. According to the Lender’s that we know and trust they expect this increase to happen starting sometime this summer through the end of the year. If this is true, this summer selling/buying season is going to be a busy one. With lots of home buyers competing for the most attractive homes. These homes will bring multiple offers resulting in buyer’s paying even more for homes. Even those that aren't so attractive are likely to receive multiple offers.

Those who choose to delay buying now and/or avoid the summer craze will end up paying more in interest rates. Remember a 1% rise in interest rates is equivalent to a 10% increase in the purchase price of a home. Interest rates right now are sitting at about 3.75%. The historical norm is 6%. Look at it this way, if you wait and interest rates go to 6%, 2.25% higher than right now, that’s equivalent of 22.5% higher price on the home you want to buy. Add to that this last year home prices in Washington went up between 7 and 10% and you could be paying up to 32.5% more.

This is why we encourage all our clients to contact us now and let us get you that new home before it costs you more.  Call us direct @ 360-960-8278 or email us @ Angela@NWDreamHomes4U.com and we will get started finding your next home immediately.

Angela and Neal Thomas

Best Choice Realty

Licensed in WA

Office: (360) 960-8278

E-Mail: Angela@NWDreamHomes4U.com

Website: www.dependablerealtynorthwest.com

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8