Posts Categorized: Buying a Home

Dual Agent Vs. Team

real estate team near me

 

Team vs. Dual Agent

Clients often ask us, “why did form a team instead of just doing everything yourself?” In the beginning of Rosie’s 25 year career she did it all! She chose to form a team for several reasons such as being able to help more people, growing the business, streamlining the process and also ethical representation for her clients on both the buying and selling sides. In this blog we are going to focus on the latter…

What is a dual agent?

A dual agent is when a real estate agent works with the buyer and the seller on the same transaction simultaneously. Here’s a common scenario when dual agency may occur:

A real estate agent is hired to sell the home of a client named Mary. That real estate agent has a second client, named Rob, who is in the market to buy a home. Rob tours Mary’s home and decides he wants to purchase the home. Because both Rob and Mary are clients of the same real estate agent, the transaction is considered an example of dual agency.

Sounds pretty cut and dry, right? WRONG! It can muddy the waters because it creates a huge Conflict of Interest. When a real estate agent represents a seller, they are supposed to obtain the highest possible price for their seller with the least amount of contingencies. Similarly, when an agent represents a buyer, they are supposed to help them get the lowest possible price while making them feel comfortable with the condition of the home, usually through an inspection. However, if the same agent is representing both the buyer and the seller, getting the client the best price becomes extremely difficult. If the real estate agent is selling a home that is overpriced, they cannot disclose that to the buyer because they are going against their loyalty to their seller. However, they are also doing a disservice to their buyer because they are knowingly selling an overpriced home and are unable to advise the buyer against purchasing it out of loyalty to the seller. Without realizing it, the agent may also favor one side of the party a bit more than the other, depending on how long the real estate agent has known the buyer/seller, personal relationships, etc. This may be completely unintentional but can happen without the real estate agent realizing it. 

A dual agent is more likely to overlook important details as well!  Being a dual agent is extremely stressful and puts the real estate agent in a precarious situation. Managing both a buyer and a seller on the same transaction simultaneously may lead the real estate agent to mix up certain documents or miss important information altogether without meaning to do so. They also have the inability to negotiate price or inspection issues. In dual agency, the real estate agent is working in the best interests of both the buyer and the seller, making negotiations tricky. In a standard transaction scenario where a buyer’s agent and seller’s agent are both involved, the seller’s agent will advocate on the seller’s behalf to ensure the seller does not have to pay excessive repair costs if an inspection report comes back with several issues. The buyer’s agent will do the same for their buyer, negotiating that the repairs are taken care of or the buyer is credited in some way for excessive repair costs. However, this is difficult to do as a dual agent because the real estate agent’s interest is divided equally between the buyer and seller.  

For the reasons outlined above, this is why we formed a team.  An ethically-minded real estate agent always puts their clients’ needs first, even if that means giving up a larger commission. We have buyer’s agents who work exclusively with our buyers and seller’s agents who work exclusively with our sellers. As listing agent Melissa Hudson always says, “it’s like church and state”, meaning we as a team keep everything separate to protect the clients. This is the way we have chosen to do business and it must be working, we are the top real estate team in the King County area and top 1% nationwide! It pays to put your clients first!

Home Office/Homeschooling Spaces

homeschooling workspace ideas

Need a Home Office/School Space?

Ideas for Work From Home Spaces, Homeschooling Areas & Maybe It's Time For More Space!

One trend we are seeing right now in real estate is clients wanting a home office or homeschooling space. Like it or not, working from home and distance learning for the kids are both here to stay. After months of being at home, do you still love your house? Does it suit you current family needs? Here are some cool ideas for converting areas of your home into homeschooling spaces or a home office for those ZOOM calls!

https://www.pinterest.com/rosierourke/

Many of our clients are also finding out that being home for so long has shown them some of the limitations of their space. Remember when you bought your house and you said,

“What do I need that extra bedroom for? Why do I need a home office, I work in a building downtown? That bonus room is a waste of space?”

Open concept homes are great until you need a quite space for a ZOOM call or an area for the kids to set up their “classrooms.” You have options, maybe it’s time to upsize? Odds are you have some great equity in your home!

“But Rosie, if I sell my house how can I afford a larger home, home prices are up all over?”

This is where the low interest rates come in. Lower rates mean more buying power for you. So yes, home prices are up, but with your equity in your current home + low rates, it might be more obtainable than you think! All it takes is a simple phone call, text or email to our team and we can give you a better idea of what your home is worth and what is available in the market for you. Just reach out, let’s chat!

It is a great time to sell, buyers are circling and looking for a home like yours, trust us! Everyone is climbing the real estate ladder right now. Renters are buying condos, condos are upsizing to starter homes, starter homes are upsizing to forever homes, forever homes are downsizing to ramblers, and everything in-between! Our team has helped over 100+ clients already this year go from one end to the other, we have this dialed in.

“But Rosie, the thought of packing up and moving is scary and overwhelming, where do I start?”

RELAX, this is what we do! We don’t just throw a sign in the ground and leave you to do it all, we take care of everything! The moment you decide to let us guide you on your home sales journey we lean in to make sure you have a stress free experience! From scheduling contractors, movers, people to help you de-clutter, we’ll even be the ones to meet with the vendors for you so you don’t have to miss work! We are full service!

“Ok, but what about selling then trying to buy something, I don’t want to be displaced!”

Another great question, we have solutions for that as well! Using the equity in your home to buy a new one all while trying to sell it is both an art and a science. We work with some of the top lenders in the area who specialize in just that. We have several outside the box options to ensure you get top dollar for your current home and find you your new home. We can make it a seamless process, but you need to reach out to us to discuss these options because every situation is unique. There is also a possibility of an off market solution! Being the top team in the area we are connected to active buyers as well as other agents. In some cases selling your home without listing it is a great way to help you achieve your real estate goal without the anxiety of putting your home on the market. Once again, contact us and let’s chat about your options!

In closing I just want to say… HANG IN THERE, YOU CAN DO THIS! We hope this post was helpful and let us know if we can do anything for you! – The Rosie Rourke Team

TIME TO SELL!!!

what is the best time to sell my home in fairwood

 

With Rosie Rourke being one of the top agents not only in the King County, Fairwood, Renton, and Kent areas of Washington, but the entire country, she is invited to speak and be a part of round tables and webinars for other realitors. The theme is the same during every discussion... what is going on with the SE King County Real Estate Market???

Experts from all of the country are calling our local real estate market one of the most resilient in the ENTIRE United States!

Check out the reasons why above and let's have a conversation about your needs, both buying and selling! 

Summer Market Update

Now Is The Time!

Now is the best time to sell your home in the Fairwood, Renton, Kent, Maple Valley & South King County! It all starts with a conversation and a REAL home valuation done by one of the top real estate teams not only in the Northwest, but the entire nation! 

State of Real Estate in Kent

Buying & Selling Real Estate in Kent & the South Sound During COVID-19

Recently Rosie Rourke was asked to be an expert panelist for the Kent Chamber of Commerce's State of Real Estate ZOOM call. Skip ahead minute 4:39 get Rosie's real estate update! 

Buying & Selling Real Estate in Kent & the South Sound During COVID-19

Recently Rosie Rourke was asked to be an expert panelist for the Kent Chamber of Commerce's State of Real Estate ZOOM call. Skip ahead minute 4:39 get Rosie's real estate update! 

Save Money During COVID-19

how to save money during COVID-19

 

Here is a quick message from Rosie about this post and the money saving ideas she's compiled to help you get COVID-19! 

 

Tip #1 Save Money on Your Mortgage!

Contact your loan servicer to find out how they can help if you can’t make the payment. Forbearance is one way, but buyer beware-nothing is free! I recently sat down with one of our preferred lenders and asked everything my clients should know! 

 

If would like to reach to Nichole Stearns directly here is her contact info!

Nichole Stearns - Branch Manager
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
709.4136 nicholes@fairwaymc.com

#2 Still Paying PMI?

Still paying Private Mortgage Insurance (“PMI”) for your home mortgage? Your bank does not automatically remove it-you have to request for it to be removed! Save big each month if you have at least 20% equity in your home. Contact me and I can help determine that for you.

#3 Bank Loans

Bank loans – contact your debt companies and you may be pleasantly surprised to find helpful payment plans. Such as Bank of America. In response to COVID-19, Bank of America is offering payment deferrals for home loans, auto loans, and credit cards for up to 90 days. - https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/bank-of-america-covid-19-2020-4

#4 Utilities

Utilities – contact your utility companies. Some are waiving late fees and creating a payment plan. Puget Sound Energy has a relief program and will not disconnect your power during Covid crisis. For more details - https://www.pse.com/press-release/details/learn-about-our-covid-19-response-plan

#5 Refinance

If your interest rate is over 4.5%, you may benefit from refinancing your home mortgage. Call your loan servicer to learn more.

#6 Stock Market

Stock Market – Want to learn more about market volatility and five actions to consider today? Watch this video provided by John Schneider, a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones. He is a Kent Chamber of Commerce Member, check out this video to learn more:


https://www.edwardjones.com/market-news-guidance/client-perspective/navigating-pullbacks-video.html

Here is John's info if you have any direct questions:

(253) 872-2600
john.schneider@edwardjones.com
www.edwardjones.com

#7  Real Estate Taxes!

Real Estate Taxes – if you are over 61 and fit into a financial category deemed by King County as eligible, you could drastically reduce your real estate taxes. Visit is helpful website to learn more: https://dor.wa.gov/content/property-tax-exemption-program-senior-citizens-and-disabled-persons

#8 Tips From a CPA

Local CPA, Lois Vankat from Shannon & Associates, has a website packed with great tips and information such as…


* Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (watch for your money in the mail if you qualify!)


* attention employers, there is a great read about the Family First Coronavirus Response Act


* Emergency Economic Relief Update – SBA loan programs summary


* What you should know about your retirement plan and how it is affected by the CARES act


* The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – what does it mean for you?


* Relief for Washington Business and Employees


Learn more at https://www.shannon-cpas.com/resources/blog/

Here is Lois's information if you would like to reach out to her directly:

Lois D. Vankat, CPA
Senior Manager
Shannon & Associates 253.852.8500
lvankat@Shannon-CPAs.com

#9 For Tenants & Landlords

If you are a Tenant or a Landlord, learn about changes due to COVID crisis such as rent freeze, eviction bans, etc.  Read this Rental Housing Association of Washington article:
https://www.rhawa.org/blog/governor-enacts-rent-freeze-expands-evictions-ban-due-to-covid-19-crisis

THANK YOU, HOW CAN I HELP?

If you need anything real estate related please reach out to me and my team! People are still selling, and buyers are still buying, and we are ready to assist you anyway we can! 

Are People Still Buying Homes?

are people buying homes during COVID-19?

 

Literally everyday a friend, client or even someone at the grocery store asks us the same question, "How is real estate during all of this, are people still buying and selling?" The short answer is YES! The market is very healthy for both buyers and sellers, take a look at the market stats for King County last week.

Learn more about the steps we are taking to keep our clients safe during covid19 and the #stayhome #staysafe order at www.rosierourke.com/spring

Please reach out to Rosie directly if you have any questions or need help in anyway!
 

Stay Home, Stay Safe Order

buying or selling a house during COVID 19

 

Hi everyone, Rosie Rourke here! I thought you may be wondering how the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order is affecting the local real estate market. Today (March 28th) Governor Inslee lifted portions of his mandated shut down for our business. Realtors were originally not listed as an “Essential” company on Gov. Inslee’s list. Geez… I thought I was essential (hahaha). Here is what is permitted with his new decree as of today:

real estate during stay home, stay healthy order in washington state

 

The MLS also has strict COVID-19 protocols for in-person meetings, inspections, and showings. Our team has already sprung into action to implement these new protocols at all of our listings as well as showing appointments with our buyer's agents. There are also no more open houses, you need to connect with a licensed real estate agent if you want to see a property.

We also understand if you are still uncomfortable with an in-person interaction at this time, we are serving our clients in a virtual mode! My listing team is doing listing presentations & home valuations by video conference. We are also strategizing with clients virtually to keep them set up for success in this market.

There are some clients that NEED to sell or buy right now and we have been able to help them get their home on market without stepping outside. We actually had 4 listings hit the market last week! For each listing we now create smart phone video walkthroughs of the home. Our goal is that active listings will be viewed by eager buyers with idle time (everyone is at home and online, lol) and hoping they will put us on their favorite list when mandate lifted. Or, better yet, buy it virtually (believe it or not, it happens, we just had a home go pending site unseen last night)! This is considered a blessing for buyers in the first time home buyer price range where they can actually have a chance to buy a home without bidding wars right now! 

Will Home Values Decrease? 

As you can imagine I am getting this questions a lot. My 25 years of professional real estate experience is banking on my crystal ball answer – no. We were slammed with bidding wars right up until the eve of the shut down. We even wrote virtual offers after shut down. You have to remember that we have an extreme shortage of inventory (homes on the market for sale) and historically low interest rates for buyers. Unlike 2008 our housing market is on a solid footing, there are more qualified buyers then there are homes for sale, period! The stock market is crazy right now, but interest rates remain low. Supply and demand is creating a hot market cooled only by this isolated event of the horrific virus.

Unfortunately, people getting layoffs, especially in hospitality, restaurant and travel industries are not in a position to buy. But many other industries in our diverse economy are simply working from home and are still in the market. When COVID-19 gets under control, businesses can open back up and employees can get back to work again. I have a hunch we will have penned up demand of buyers ready to surge after mandate lifted as well. Experts are saying we could see a Spring-like surge this Summer or Fall. Values do not decrease when there is demand, actually the opposite is true, and we are seeing that every day right now despite the Coronavirus. 

Let's Recap...

  • Are people still selling their homes? YES
  • Are people still buying homes? YES
  • Can you see a home in-person? YES
  • Can you see a home virtually? YES
  • Can you go to an open house? NO
  • Is now a good time to sell? YES
  • Is now a good time to buy? YES

I’m here for you. My entire team is here for you. How can we help you? I am happy to chat and discuss any real estate concerns or questions you have. I am solution-oriented and utilizing my experience of surviving other economy crisis’.

Here’s a tip - I’ve been advising my listing clients to consider putting their home on market NOW or late Spring/Summer. I’m concerned when flu season comes back in fall/winter, that COVID-19 will rear its ugly head again. 

We will overcome! Sending blessings, and looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Rosie Rourke

Message from Rosie on COVID-19

There is an extreme shortage of inventory. Interest rates are at their lowest and might even go lower – this is to help drive the economy. The MLS has shut down all open houses so we can’t do that, but we have a huge marketing machine to get the word out globally and locally. Open houses are just one tool in our effective tool box.  People need to buy and people need to sell – it will be our job to make connections ? We are confident we can do that, but we are in unprecedented times. The one thing that does concern us is if we have a mandated town shutdown. Then we are all stuck until we get to the other side—and we WILL make it to the other side.

 

We already have virus precautions in place when showing homes. We educate our clients and public coming through home when they enter the home. We are doing our best to have solutions and to meet folks at their level of concern to help alleviate fears. Such as virtual walk through tours, recommending pre-inspections to upload to the listing as well as all pertinent information such as title, plat map, etc. Lenders and appraisers are still business as usual as most of their work is virtual.

 

My team is working virtually from home now with access to all necessary technology. Electronic signing, face-time conferencing, etc. We all stand ready to help you with your real estate needs when you are ready.

Is Covid 19 Affecting Real Estate

how is covid 19 affecting the real estate market in renton, seattle, kent

 

How is Covid-19 Affecting the Real Estate Market?

As you can imagine I’ve had these questions posed to me quite a bit recently from my local real estate clients.

“How is the Coronavirus going to affect the sale of my home?”

“How is Covid-19 affecting buyers, are they still looking?”

Here is my take on things and what is going on right now in front us.

Real estate transactions are still taking place, people need to buy homes or sell homes regardless of what is happening around us. Our open house last weekend was busy, and clients are still planning on listing their home in the coming weeks. Buyers are also extremely active both online and in-person, we really haven’t seen a slowdown.

Interest rates are extremely low right now which gives more buying power to home buyers and they are taking advantage of it. We are seeing record levels of online activity as well as multiple offers on homes. This combined with historically low inventory of homes is driving the market right now. Record number of buyers + low home inventory = a frenzy market at certain price points and areas in Fairwood, Renton, Maple Valley, Kent, and all-over South King County.  

If you are thinking of selling, I would love to have a conversation with you. Now is a great time to have me give you a free one to one home valuation and come up with a game plan. We are also scheduling private showings with anti-viral protocols to make sure everyone is healthy and safe. 

Contact me directly with any questions! 

Call/Text 206.719.5870

Email: rosie@rosierourke.com

Or fill out the form below!