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real estate how-to

real estate how-to

Hey Photographer


After price, photos are the most effective marketing tool when selling residential real estate. Photos matter! In the internet age, a photo must be worth way more than a thousand words.

Poor photos physically pain me.

I cringe when I see listing photos obviously taken with someone’s smartphone camera. Oof. Actually, I cringe whenever listing photos aren’t professional. What a poor  *ahem*  reflection on the property, on the realtor, on the entire real estate industry.

Professional photos are simply a must in any proper marketing campaign. Amen.

I’ll climb off my pulpit now.

My favorite photographer, Jason Mercio, is pictured here, doing his beautiful thing.


Tomorrow I am bringing a sweet townhouse in Madison Valley on the market. Stay tuned for more info. And photos!


real estate how-to

From Old To New In SLU


When I moved to Seattle in 1989, my children went to pre-school in this downtown industrial neighborhood called Cascadia or the Cascade neighborhood, home to laundry services and the wholesale flower market. It wasn’t one bit glamorous or chic. The moniker South Lake Union hadn’t been invented yet.

I remember when the recent wave of development began here and journalists were fishing around for how to call it. Early on, some of us used the name Allentown since Paul Allen’s Vulcan properties was mostly responsible for the new look.

Obviously, Allentown didn’t take, but I still like it.

And even though it is still possible to find vestiges of old Seattle in South Lake Union, these are disappearing quickly.





featured properties real estate how-to

Overlooking Pike Place Market


One of the ways in which buyers agents are finding homes for their clients right now in our inventory-strapped marketplace is to investigate off-market listings. Sometimes a listing that expired in the past year or so still has a seller who wants to sell, who still plans to sell once they feel their timing has improved.

Earlier this year, I had a wonderful, motivated buyer who first saw this downtown condo when it was listed last fall. The listing had expired before the holidays, but we wrote an offer in January because we had reason to believe the owners might still be interested in selling.

They were. And they did! Turns out, they were delighted to sell to my buyer.

1521 2nd Avenue, Seattle. Previously offered at $1,425,000. Two bedrooms, two baths, 1824 luxurious square feet and breathtaking views from every room.




Kitchen and baths lavishly appointed.



Love the limestone.

Also included: two deeded garage parking spaces and large storage room. This luxury building has a full service, 24 hour concierge and other fabulous amenities including gym, conference rooms, rooftop decks. Top of the line, eco-friendly construction; built in 2008.

We worked out an arrangement to sell this property that suited everyone involved. A most happy outcome in a challenging market.


real estate how-to

Sign-less in Seattle


I have an objection to For Sale signs that line up in front of condominium buildings because they make the building look like everyone’s trying to get out on a fire sale – desperate, or pathetic even. Especially when the signs stay installed for the 132 days of market time that condos on Capitol Hill currently take to sell. Oh, and then the thirty or sixty more days to close.

Potentially this means that a For Sale sign on a condo on Capitol Hill, might stay up for over six months. Never good for the value of a building.

You drive by a For Sale sign enough times and you start to wonder, What’s wrong with the place?

On my own listing at 1805 Bellevue I am eschewing the For Sale sign altogether. My previous listing here in the building had a market time of only 17 days without the benefit of a sign, so I think I’m on the right track. But if I had a seller who insisted on it, I would approve of one that looks like this one recently seen at the Maxwell, just up the road her on East Denny Way. I think it’s a nice compromise.

real estate how-to

Final Hours For Clock Hours


Tomorrow is my birthday. And on this particular birthday. I am required to renew my real estate license which involves submitting proof that I have completed continuing education classes in the amount of 30 hours. In previous years, I attended the Education Conference hosted by the Washington Association of Realtors held at a Seatac hotel where it takes two entire days to accumulate 15 hours. Also a deterrent, you have to commute at rush hour and you have to pay to park.

Some of these clock hours classes have been known to cause attendees to fall asleep, especially after lunch.

Certainly, they take up too much time for the information delivered therein. So, since I didn’t attend the education conference this past fall, I had to find other ways to accumulate my hours. I decided to take correspondence classes, which in this day and age are of course delivered online. Super cinchy.

Natalie Danielson and her website are a godsend to last minute students like me. I just completed eight hours of instruction about twenty minutes ago, in the very nick of time. You can follow Natalie on Twitter, too, @clockhours. She will crack you up. And you get credit for it.

real estate how-to

Trying Houses On For Size


When looking to buy a house, this is what we do at each one we see:

We look around, admiring, questioning, critiquing.

We think about how we might use the spaces.

We mentally arrange our furnishings or the furnishings we might one day have.

We think about grocery shopping, attending the neighborhood school, our commute from here to work.

We remember what we’ve heard about the neighborhood from friends who have lived nearby.

We think about having our friends over.

We imagine we live here.

We see how we feel about that.