It’s Friday, let’s sweep! |weekly “science” & a birkenstock

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…continuing to capture summer in Seattle with each blog post moving forward until we hit fall. Creating safe summer vibes where we can! Finding the water to be a consistent respite within our Pacific Northwest.

Brief digestible recap of week ended 7/29/2020:
King County Residential Only:
Higher Sales and lower inventory resulted in months supply of inventory at 0.7.  The record low is 0.6 in March 2017 & 2018.
The number of new pending sales increased by 18% from 641 to 757 for the week ended 7/31/19 & 7/29/20. It is amazing sales are ahead of last year, when there is only half the amount of inventory to sell.

Weekly Sales are equal or greater than the prior year (9 of past 10 weeks).

Inventory is down 47% (4,492 7/31/19 decreasing by 47% to 2,401 as of 7/29/20).

Months supply of inventory is 0.7.

When months supply of inventory drops below 1.0, the following statistics are better indicators of the market:

*% of houses that sell above list price and by how much.

*% of homes that sell with 2 weeks or less of DOM.

*The 2 above statistics are reported monthly here *pdf, pages #3&5

July reports will be published by Monday August 10th.  The one disadvantage of these statistics are they trail the market by 30 to 45 days because they are based on closed sales instead of pending.  I expect July figures to be higher than June.

Note: need windermere stats password? As always, ask your staff or text me: 206.227.7133

And oh, another digestible bite: CW Title’s Michelle Barry shared with many of us today…”it’s shaping up to be the busiest August in real estate history. Covid pushed out spring market to summer months. If you have a listing coming on this month (welcome to August!), open title as early as possible!

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…And a funny to wrap up this week! Piper told me – “mom, did you know that if a kid hands their parent something while they are on a phone call they will always take it from them?” I didn’t believe her…until this happened this week!
Yup, I’ve got my hands full! We all have our hands full in 2020. Hang in there! And shout if you need anything.

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All in, for us. All in, for Birkenstock summer vibes.

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | Episode #20

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…continuing to capturing summer in Seattle with each blog post moving forward until we hit fall. Creating safe summer vibes where we can! I am finding water to be a nice respite and consistently shows up as one of the PNW’s best sides! I wonder if the Kraken is in these waters? 

New Podcast Episode released! | Double Down Episode #20

The Knowledge Cafe

Knowledge emerges in response to compelling questions that “travel well” as they attract collective engagement and exploration throughout a system.” – 2001, Pegasus Communication, “The Systems Thinker”

I share the above quote to T up the release of Episode #20, Double Down podcast. In 2011 my path crossed with Kim (Porto) Cornicello – a now friend and then staff member at Windermere Real Estate Company. Kim set me on path a decade ago in how I look at strategic questions to elicit real conversation and with that, a forum to facilitate deeper meaningful conversation across large audiences of people. The model she shared with me is referenced as a “knowledge cafe.”

Beginning in September, I plan to host quarterly “knowledge cafes” across offices yet my intention with Episode #20 is to also inspire others to do that same. 2020’s global recalibration has given us all plenty of fuel to come together in more meaningful ways.

 For those of you who will join me, listening fully to Episode #20 will be important as I share the platform, detailed process and intentions around facilitating & contributing within a “knowledge cafe”. This next hour will give you your license to contribute and I’m sure hopeful you will consider! I am spending time between now and September bettering my abilities in using “collaborative technology” – aka, use of all bells & whistles of Zoom.

 The “knowledge cafe” model was developed for big worldly topics – yet it can be used anywhere with the right intentions and set up. Episode #20 is one hour, recorded outside, socially distant and with a crow or two in the background as surprise guests!

Laura Smith | Windermere Real Estate Co. · EP 20 – Knowledge Cafes

FYI, Episode #21 will be recorded next as a deep dive with Demco Law Firm around a new (released soon) WRE General Addendum and PLIA’s Heating Oil Insurance Plan currently transitioning to a Loan Grant Program. WA State’s new program should be available around July 20, 2020. Beginning information to digest here. We are reviewing the draft legal bulletin on this topic now with Demco Law Firm – this too, coming soon.

All in, for meaningful conversation. All in, for us.

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Let’s sweep this week | a “coming soon” edition…

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Capturing summer in Seattle with each blog post moving forward until we hit fall. Creating safe summer vibes where we can!

This week was spent on helping brokers artfully navigate actual real estate – no updating of COVID19 operational playbooks – instead, staying the course with current guidelines.

Instead, this week was more focused on helping to a clarifying 35R timeline response NWMLS (Form 35 1.C.ii), securing a buyer in backup as party #1 backed out after an hour in mutual (only for Seller to be better off), handling of disclosures when an estate sale is at play, etc…a sold week IN real estate.

Outside of the art of negotiations, this past week I worked on a handful of “coming soon” items worth noting on a weekend edition of Fridays with Laura. Thanks for being a reader!

Coming soon | WRE Form 64 | General Addendum

What? Another new form? Yup, and it’s a good one. I do think you’ll appreciate it. Additional general vernacular and clean up around these topics coming very soon:

Gaining permission to share inspection report with Seller (or not!) and what happens if reports are provided (when not asked for). Guardrails around Feasibility and agreeing to not share findings with Seller. A general View disclaimer. Further setting expectations between parties around Cleaning (and property & grounds maintained) prior to Closing. A mouthful on Hazardous Material disclaimer. An Automatic Extension of Closing Date language. Additional option in delayed Earnest Money deposit. Easy Assignment to another entity when Buyer is of controlling interest. Request for Proof of Down Payment. An “as is” clause.

There is a lot there within this coming soon Windermere General Addendum penned by Demco. WRE Form 64 has gone through rounds of drafts with us owners and will be released soon for education and market.

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Podcasts | Double Down Episodes 20 + 21

I’ve missed my podcast equipment and even more so the recording of conversations with meaning people + content. I’m back, starting this next week. Episode #20 will be focused on the power of strategic questioning to elicit deeper meaningful conversations. Beginning in September, I will be hosting monthly learning conversations throughout our offices – with you fueling the direction of conversation. Our use of Zoom – a collaborative technology to which many of you have become comfortable with will be our platform to host “knowledge cafes” = more details in Episode #20!

 Episode #21 will be a deep dive with Demco around the new WRE General Addendum described above and PLIA’s Heating Oil Insurance Plan currently transitioning to a Loan Grant Program. WA State’s new program should be available around July 20, 2020. Beginning information here. We are reviewing draft legal bulletin on this topic now with Demco Law Firm – this too, coming soon.

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This next topic is not a coming soon topic; it is a now topic. From me to you, a general BIG thank YOU. From my humble optics I do believe our local real estate industry (you) has adjusted well and continue to be doing all we can do to keep us in the current phase of reopening business and life. That said, WA State has hit another pause in moving forward based on the numbers around COVID19. While I continue to plan for a “what if” scenario if Washington State and our respective counties need to roll back to a previous phase, I am hopeful any/all of my planning can head to the garbage can. So, thank YOU. Keep it up; we are doing our part in moving forward, not backwards.

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Let’s do something fun together. When you finish reading this post, in the blog comment section, write one positive word about what is certain in summer. The practice of writing down what is certain in a continued uncertain environment can lift our everything. Not comfortable with the comment section? Text me your word: 206.227.7133.

The car goes where the eyes go.” – Garth Stein, The Art of Dancing in the Rain

…another way of saying, what you focus on expands.

I am certain of sunsets – as proof in Kimberly & Mark Hobbs time-lapse videos at their new mid-century Shilshole waterfront listing with 58ft of low bank!

5901 Seaview Ave NW: All Day Time-lapse. Evening Time-lapse. #sunsets

I am also certain I am “All in, for us.

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Welcome to Friday, wait it’s Thursday! | twelve minutes…

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Welcome to Thursday – Friday’s post comes one day early as we approach a holiday weekend! In our real estate calendar, tomorrow is a legal holiday under Washington Law. When computing time for your purchase and sale agreements, please do regard July 3rd 2020 as a “legal holiday” …and for the weekend ahead, be safe, keep calm and sparkle on. #happyfourth

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Do you have 12 minutes for me?

This week I’m hitting re-play on a podcast I recorded in February of this year. February feels like a decade ago that I’ve been in front of my podcast equipment – I miss it dearly! Good news, I have a new episode on the books for July. Can’t hardly wait.

Demco attorney, David Daniel & I dove into 5 topics from within Washington State’s 2020-2021 CORE Curriculum; Current Issues in Washington Residential Real Estate. These legal bites will hopefully help you navigate your real estate business with the highest level of professionalism – yet today I want to feature the first 12 minutes.

The first 12 minutes of Episode 18 is focused on Fair Housing – specifically in how to handle “love letters” from your buyer to seller. It is an appropriate time to bring this topic to the forefront as an industry. Think about it – do these letters encourage discrimination? Are we putting clients in a position to get caught up in Fair Housing laws without them even knowing it? Let’s brush up on what we need to know and how we can help!

Laura Smith | Windermere Real Estate Co. · EP 18 – Double Down; CORE legal bites

Keep calm, sparkle on, stay safe and next week we’ll focus on mid-year numbers – yup, half way through 2020.

All in, for us.

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep | star-studded & the flip-side

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Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep this week! I sure enjoyed watching the star-studded All In Washington: A Concert for COVID-19 Relief – it gave me a real sense of pride in seeing the sights & sounds of our state and people coming together for GOOD. I sure look forward to future days when we can roam a bit more freely and carefree within our state. Until then, I’ll continue to do my part in redesigning what summer will and can look like with health & safety top of mind for everyone around me. If you missed the concert, I noticed it is hosted on Amazon – here. Rumor has it, the event raised $48 million for Coronavirus relief! Way to go Washington!  [Seattle Times write up here]

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On the flip side, there was a topic this week in our local footprint I wasn’t so proud of…to discover truly how far and wide racial restrictions can be found within our neighborhoods – namely, within CC&Rs. To dig deeper, I asked Michelle Barry to be a guest blog writer today and break this down into digestible bites for us.

Thank you Michelle for your willingness to pen this!

“While some are surprised to hear this, many neighborhoods in the Puget Sound Region had racial restrictions in their covenants back in the day. Any CC&Rs that were written before the Fair Housing Act of the late 1960s potentially contain information that is appalling to us today.
While this has been true for a long time, and the enforcement of those covenants has been illegal for a long time, the current climate has brought the topic to the forefront.
So, what’s an appalled homeowner to do if they realize they are living in a neighborhood with this information on their CC&Rs?
This is a confusing topic, but I’ll do my best to clarify.
Some of what you’ll read says that the restrictions are “in your deed.” This isn’t really quite right….the language is in the CC&Rs which ultimately are part of your rights and responsibilities as an owner, but you very rarely see them on any deed created past the late 1960s.

We (CW Title) redact the offensive language in our master files. That does NOT change them at the county, it only means we do our best to not re-distribute this awful language in our title reports.
The only way to change the covenants at the county level is for the homeowners in the neighborhood covered by those covenants to vote to change them, hire an attorney to re-write them, have everyone sign it, and record it. They can also do a termination of the old covenants so those aren’t shown on future title reports. That rarely happens.
That’s why the State Legislature came up with a process for an individual owner to “renounce” (I guess the is the best word) the old covenants as it relates to their own property. The form is DIY, and they’ve created a no-cost way to get that recorded. Here’s a link to that process. https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/covenants_law.htm.
Another page of that website lists all of the areas with racial restrictions, so if a homeowner doesn’t remember what was in their title report when they purchased (hard to believe!), they can check this reference: https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/covenants.htm
If a homeowner wants to pursue this, they’ll need their legal description, parcel ID and other info. If you send us their address we can send that info to you and you can forward to them along with the link above.”
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Michelle Barry
Account Manager |  CW Title and Escrow
206.992.1226 cell
mbarry@cwtitle.net
…and back to good news, no racial restrictions to be found on my home. That said, plenty in my neighborhood and the surroundings. Grateful to have this information to share with others as my learning must go beyond my home.
And as we wrap this week and look at Seattle showing off today with her almost 80 degrees, know that these chairs sit in my front yard to continue conversations that should be had outside of Zoom. While I haven’t officially broken up with Zoom – I am shifting towards discovering what our work together can be like – in person – during these summer months. You are welcome to join me for conversation.
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Ps, I started this blog piece with music themed – we’ll end with it too – “but you see it in you so we gonna walk it out” – [turn up your audio! ] Rise Up, Andra Day 
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People first. Business second.
All in, for us.
Laura Smith | Windermere Real Estate Co.
owner | designated broker
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It’s Friday, let’s sweep | what if…

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Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep this week as we again prepare for another, together. Before I get to the “what if…” within my subject line, let’s first look at what is so that we may continue to know our numbers and craft a true narrative for our clients who need to know! *Tammy Heldridge, thank you for your text this week and share of this quote – both meaningful to me…

“The two skills of modern business: storytelling & spreadsheets. Know the numbers. Craft the narrative.”

Ok everyone! Here is what is as we sweep & digest this week…

Seattle May Monthly Talking Points (based on Residential report):

Full reports & archives for Seattle, Eastside, King, Snohomish updated on windermerestats.com | need password? text me: 206.227.7133

Based on Seattle Residential report:

Through May 2020, sales have steadily increased since the Stay Home order on March 25, though listings have not.

Pending Sales for the Month of May were down 12% (799 for May 2020 vs 903 May 2019).

Active listings were off 41% from year ago (816 for May 2020 vs 1,386 May 2019).

Median closed sales price is down 3% ($765,000 in May 2020 vs $784,925 May 2019)

Buyers are competing with each other.

34% of sales closed for more than asking price in May.

69% of sales had less than 15 days market time in May.

Weekly stats (thru 6.10.2020) are again updated under “weekly” tab on windermerestats:

Quick digestible bites from our weekly #’s

King County Residential Only:

The number of new pending sales for the week ended 6/10/20 vs 6/12/19 are about the same in King County (100%), up in Snohomish (110%), up in Seattle (103%), and down slightly on the Eastside (93%).

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What if…

And now for a share (or re-share) that many of you may have already seen, yet I keep going back to it as it has continued to be helpful to me as we navigate 2020. With this week’s sweep, I wanted to include as to amplify the message.

Our kids cleaned out their lockers and virtual lockers yesterday as they wrapped up 5th & 7th grade. Next week we are jumping in a camper van to get lost in being off-grid and off-line.  These what if scenarios will fuel my wondering mind. Looking forward to time dedicated to thought, listening and connecting with my family as we transition to summer. *if you are curious, yes – our son is officially the tallest one in the family.

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2020Poem

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It’s important to remember the mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.”

I am listening,

Laura Smith | Windermere Real Estate Co.

laurasmith@windermere.com :: 206.227.7133

 

Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep | I’m listening.

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There’s a lot of turmoil in our world at the moment, caused by long-standing inequalities that have deep roots in our country. Our community is the heart of Windermere and that heart is hurting. As a real estate office, we have historically not spoken out on matters of social and racial justice, and sometimes we struggle with knowing exactly what to say. But remaining silent isn’t the answer, and this statement is long overdue. Black Lives Matter. While we support everyone equally and have zero tolerance for those who don’t, the ongoing violence against the Black community shows us that there is still a long way to go. Undoing what divides us is hard, ongoing work, but it is necessary. Let’s draw strength from each other, inspire one another, and listen closely to the individual stories told by each of our neighbors. Without hearing and understanding these perspectives, we cannot truly build the community we all want to call home.

I’m listening. – Laura

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Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! | ingredients for resiliency (guest speaker!)

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Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! In my humble opinion, this week’s sweep is a meaningful moment in recalibrating our resiliency together moving forward. As we await continued improvement with our local and global health statistics to show us we are ready to further open our business and lives – I am certain there are blindspots and struggles we have not yet faced. We’ll need to find continued resiliency to endure these next miles.

I’ve brought in a special person and message for you with a focus on key ingredients that just may help us with our resiliency.

For many of you, let me first take you back to our 2020 kickoff events as we prepared to set tone + focus for a New Year. No doubt what we are experiencing collectively right now was not a part of our programming on our stage that day. Gian Paul Gonzalez however was on our stage that day and I’ve brought him back to help guide us onward deeper into 2020.

For those of you who have not yet had a chance to hear Gian Paul on stage, welcome to this virtual stage and messaging during our Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

PSA: this message is 27 minutes. My hope in working with Gian Paul was a brief hello and check in with all of us – he gave us much more than that. He’s just that kind of guy!

To wrap this week, I’ve written two words below in bold. They will make more sense after you watch Gian Paul’s message…

THANK YOU.

“Let’s stay all in by being resilient.” – Gian Paul Gonzalez

…and please share this message with anyone. In “showing up” for each other – despite distanced – we too can each be a key ingredient to another person’s resilience.

All In, for you. All In, for us.

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | some things haven’t changed, some things will soon

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Did you remember there is a holiday approaching – aka, this Monday!?! Being that a Sundays can feel like Monday and Mondays can sometimes feel like Saturday within our Stay Home, Stay Healthy order – I almost missed all that is…Memorial Day weekend! #MemorialDayIsHere
Some things haven’t changed – good to remember that!
When computing time for purchase and sale agreements, please regard Monday, May 25th as a legal holiday. Memorial Day is a legal holiday under Washington law.
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What else hasn’t changed?
The basics of our everyday. Helping people stay current.
As economists continue to evaluate a mix of business, health and people sciences with our eyes on recovery, here are the 4 things within KCM’s May message that are powerful reminders of where our focus should be with our people.
Ask yourself these 4 questions below. If your answer is “no” or “could be improved” – ask for help. We’ve got it, just ask!

> Is my communication simple and effective?

> Am I hyper current on all housing information? *text me if you are looking for this week’s stats & talking points. 206.227.7133

> Am I mixing microdata/local data with your macro or U.S. data with my people? *text me if you’d like to log into KCM and give it a go.

> Have I successfully navigated use of videos on social media and Zoom meetings in communicating with your database of people that know + like + trust you?

…and some change is for the G O O D!

One slide from KCM that I often refer to in my blog has been updated with 2020 data vs 2019 (% of homeowner equity up from 2019) – an uptick from 2019. Change is good!

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Signing off today with one more item where change will be good, once each county is approved for Phase 2 of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. During Phase 2, you will be allowed for 3 people onsite at a time, including you. During the current Phase 1, we are still at 2 only onsite, including you. You have adjusted nicely – thank Y O U!
Changes are coming our way as we move through phases in reopening business in Washington State. This 4 minute video from WR gives you further insight.
Note: Within that video, Annie Fitzsimmons speaks to physical real estate offices being able to open once an individual county is approved for Phase 2. That said, this too will not be a “turn on a light switch” approach – it will have to be a “turn the dial” approach.
I have been preparing and am ready for that first turn of our dial! Now, for the health statistics to show us we are all ready!
#healthbeforehouses
All in, for you. All in, for us.
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