Let’s sweep, it’s Friday! | Packing your parachute


Windermere Owners Retreat 2016 – “The movement of ideas, information and goodwill between all.” (thank you WRE owner, Peter Hickey for articulating this!). All of this happened this week.  OB, Jill and I are all in the midst of traveling home and dialing back to our day to day focus.  I am inspired and so very grateful for the clarity gained in where to put my renewed energy and focus as we prep for a strong 2016 finish and launch into 2017. A few highlights are my “digestible bites” from this week…

If you ever think you are having a bad day, keep Captain Charlie Plumb in mind. We kicked off the Owner’s event with a visit to Miramar – yes folks, the home of Top Gun. As we sat in the Miramar Officers’ Club Wednesday morning we met and spoke with Captain Charlie Plumb…

…his story in a quick bite-sized piece – Captain Charlie Plumb graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and went on to fly the F-4 Phantom jet on 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam. On his 75th mission, with only five days before he was to return home, Plumb was shot down, captured, tortured, and imprisoned in an 8 foot x 8 foot cell. He spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner Of War in communist war prisons.

I am not often speechless, after listening to Capt. Charlie Plumb – I was speechless. As with any story there are many lessons in-line that we can all pull from. One story I want to briefly share with you was how he described the most important person aboard the naval carrier to which he took off from on that day, on his 75th mission – with only 5 days before he was to return home. He described the person who packed his parachute. You will hear much more from me with regard to this story as I am acutely aware that we have a roll in packing your parachute for your success – whether you real estate career is on the runway (just beginning), lifting off, flying at altitude or looking to land the plane in a mindful exit.  We also realize success looks like this…


Our 4th quarter planning sessions for 2017 will indeed be focused on packing your parachute. Really looking forward to it.

For those Top Gun fans out there…a few pictures from the morning at Miramar – pinch me – it was incredible as in high school I thought I would go to the Air Force Academy – play basketball for them and become a fighter pilot. THAT didn’t happen, but Wednesday of this week did!

***and oh, when I see you next remind me to tell you about our charter bus that didn’t stop at the security gate upon entering the base – oops, not good – but made a good story! A really good story on many levels.


That is a wrap for me this week!  Shout if you need anything – that is the ultimate goal. Time to unpack, ready for a Husky win vs Stanford tonight and another weekend caulked full of soccer fields. I’ll see many of you at the golf tournament on Monday – 18 holes of best ball, networking and raising money for the kids.  Game on.

In continued partnership with you,

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co + Northwest, Inc.

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | a modern day “gold rush”? + educational note from Penrith + “how to disagree” from Kid President + FORE! + odds & ends!


A review of this week and prep for next in what I hope continues to be digestible sound bites in setting your table for continued success –  Here to help, just ask – the ultimate goal.

At a glance for this week >  A modern day “gold rush”? + an educational note from Penrith + “how to disagree” from Kid President + golf “FORE” a good cause (and for fun)  + odds/ends – ok, here we go…

Seattle, a modern day “gold rush”? | Seattle becomes No. 1 U.S. market for Chinese homebuyers (click here for full article – The Seattle Times, September 15th 2016) | NOTE: I lob this out there for a read to make sure you are aware of what is in the news – as you and I both know this is what our people outside of the real estate industry will be asking us about. I don’t necessarily agree with what is written here (in fact, concerned in some of the wordsmithing within the article!) – I’m certainly interested and will continue to watch trends and reality.

There’s been a large increase this year in Chinese buyers looking for property in the Seattle area, and a new tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver, B.C., is expected to amplify the trend.” *** I’ve asked our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner to weigh. Matthew replied with, “Well, we will certainly see additional demand after BC’s decision to add yet another tax.  That said, I wonder how deep demand will actually be.” – Matthew Gardner

 A what have you noticed moment? Storytelling from Penrith |  The past month Penrith has noticed a common issue arising in regards to Water Heater Strap and Carbon Monoxide requirements. Hopefully this commentary will help us get ahead of a few details towards smooth closings. An educational note from Penrith…


“We handle this in one of two ways depending on how the appraisal is written”…

#1) We will have the borrower sign a certification letter at closing acknowledging that Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Water Heater Straps have been installed in the home if the appraisal is made “as is”.


#2)  If the appraisal is “subject to” the installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors or Water Heater Straps the appraiser must be sent back to the home to verify the work has been completed.

This process usually runs smooth, however where we have had some issues is when the appraisal is “as is” and we didn’t notice either the straps or the CO detector was missing and the certification letter goes to closing.  The Buyer was not aware and then question the document at closing.  This could result in a delay in closing if the straps are missing and the Buyer cannot sign the certification letter.

Moral of the story if you are listing a home, consider this proactive step and make sure these items are present and taken care of before listing the home.  On the flip side, if you are working with a buyer it’s important to watch for these items as you are touring the home.

How to disagree with People | I love Kid President, he makes me smile. He breaks it down for us in a lesson on how to disagree with people.  Worth 5 minutes, click here!

FORE! | October 3rd @ Sand Point C.C. – Our annual “golf fore a good cause” is 17 days away! We have a goal to have at least 2 teams (of four) from each of our six offices. Missing this super fun event together would be a double-bogey, for sure. All levels of golfers + hackers encouraged –  can’t stress that enough. *** sign ups in your resource room or email Tina for specific details – tina.Tomlinson@windermere (Tina makes all this happen!) | I’ll see you on the links…


Odds + ends | Eastlake reported a new restaurant, might be fun to check out – rumor has it another great spot for a warm bowl of chowder. One click away from the details, The 100 Pound Clam. It’s Windermere Blue Friday although it is not a home game this week (Hawks are away this week vs. Los Angeles Rams) – we’ll pick back up in tallying our home tackles and donations to YouthCare the following week vs. San Francisco 49’s. After the Hawks home game #1 we have already raised $3,100! #TackleHomelessness

That’s a wrap from me, this week!

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co + Northwest, Inc.

…a hello from my family – this is us being goofballs picking our first apple off our new apple tree! Fall is in the air – back to school, routines, soccer fields…and apples.


It’s Friday, let’s sweep | August “science” (2016 vs 2015) + Green Genius + #TackleHomelessness kick off + Madison Park Art Walk


This week, the “science” | The NWMLS August 2016 statistical data was released (click here) – signaling us to update our Seattle statistics as well. A few talking points + #’s we should know as we continue to master your “science” together. According to the NWMLS, for Metro Seattle (140 + 380 + 385 + 390 + 700 + 705 + 710)…

August 2016 vs. August 2015 | % Change included

  • Months Supply of Inventory | 0.7 vs. 0.8 | -9%
  • Total Active Listings | 648 vs. 625 | up 4%
  • Median Active List Price | $739,763 vs. $702,296 | up 5%
  • Pending (MTD) | 876 vs. 765 | up 15%
  • Pending (YTD) | 6,180 vs. 6,429 | -4%
  • # of Closed sales (MTD) | 781 vs. 684 | up 14%
  • # of Closed sales (YTD) | 5,088 vs. 5,229 | -3%
  • Median Closed Sales (YTD) | $644,458 vs. $558,198 | up 15%

For a breakdown by NWMLS area, click here and you are up to speed!

An excellence in green real estate! | Loved seeing this post on Facebook this week. A fun interview with our Fiore Pignataro from Eastlake. Pretty cool that Fiore is a finalist for the “green genius listing agent of the year” and it turns out our Eastlake office is in the running for “green listing office of the year!” Nice to know we have people like this in our family of six to ask our “green” questions…


I have to dig more into this, in the immediate – had to shout this goodness out!  Article + interview   – “The PNW is the Hub of Greener Living – Thanks to these geniuses.”

And now this all gets very real! | Our #TackleHomelessness campaign kicks off at this Sunday’s Seahawks game! Lots of ways to shout this out. I’m repurposing our Windermere blog post so you have all the ins + outs. Go Hawks + Go Windermere = Go YouthCare! Looking forward to following along and watching the home-game tackles and donations build…

What do Windermere Real Estate and the Seattle Seahawks have in common? We both got our start in Seattle in the 1970s. And we’re both organizations who believe in giving back to our community. So when presented with the opportunity to become the Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks, we didn’t have to think twice.

At the center of this partnership with the Seahawks is a new #tacklehomelessness campaign in which the Windermere Foundation will donate $100 for every Seahawks home-game tackle during the 2016 season. And on the receiving end of these donations is YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that has been providing services and support to homeless youth for more than 40 years.

In addition to raising money, the #tacklehomelessness campaign will also bring awareness to the very issue of homeless youth struggling in our community. We know the Seahawks are equally committed to this important cause.

Our partnership with the Seahawks and YouthCare fits perfectly with the mission of the Windermere Foundation which is to support low-income and homeless families in the communities where we have offices. Through the #tacklehomelessness campaign, we hope to be able to do even more.

You can follow our progress throughout the Seahawks season on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/WindermereRealEstate.

…and if you are looking for some Friday night fun – the evening is shaping up to be a great night for the Madison Park art walk. The Smith crew plans to stroll the MP hood and stop in and see what our Madison Park office is up to in support! Click here for the details!


Have a productive weekend in both work + play – I’ll be coaching soccer and watching plenty of football. Looking forward to all of it. Here to help, just ask.

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co + Northwest, Inc.


It’s Thursday, not Friday! | Let’s sweep early…


I know, it’s only Thursday – I’m breaking my Friday habit. Today feels like Friday to me – so why not! Preparing for a long holiday weekend + last go at family fun at our beach cabin before kids get back to their classrooms. By the way, what that means for all of us – school zones! In Washington State, speed limits in school zones are always 20 MPH. Recognized school zones also include roadway that extends 300 feet in any direction from a crosswalk. People are commonly ticketed for going only 5 MPH over the legal Washington school zone legal speed limit. I’ve been there, it is expensive. Hope this saves you a few bucks and better yet keeps our communities and little people very safe!

Labor Day + Computation of Time | When computing time for the purchase and sale agreement, please regard this Monday, September 5th as a legal holiday. Labor Day is a legal holiday under Washington law. Our offices will indeed be closed on Monday – playtime for everyone.

Selling Office Commissions – follow up | Last week I shouted out the “science” behind SOC’s – again, thank you Dan Givens for digging in. A follow up to this with respect to The Law of Real Estate Agency, specific to “Duties of a Buyer’s Agent.”…

  • Section 5: Duties of a Buyer’s Agent,     1.e.ii – “unless otherwise agreed to in writing after buyer’s agent had complied with RCW 18.86.030(1)(f), to make a good faith and continuous effort to find a property for the buyer; except that a buyer’s agent is not obligated to:
    • (i) seek additional properties to purchase while the buyer is a party to an existing contract to purchase; or
    • (ii) show property as to which there is no written agreement to pay compensation to the buyer’s agent.

***where I’m going with this – a reminder that your duties (per above) as a Buyer’s Agent is to make that continues effort to find a property for your buyer clients even if the SOC is something other than you expect it to be. Be careful here, this is the law and if brokers become aware you are not showing their listing(s) based on a SOC you could quickly become in very hot water with the DOL.  Happy to chat through this with anyone – wanted to shout out this reminder following our commentary from last week. Questions? Just ask your go to manager or me!***

Wire Fraud | This issue has not gone away – collectively let’s make sure we are all having this conversation with clients. We are in a position to help immensely via our education and communication! These next four minutes (video) with Annie Fitzsimmons will help us all protect the consumers…

  • Legal Hotline Fraud Alert | Click here  –  Annie Fitzsimmons describes a serious Nationwide threat known as a Wire Transfer Fraud Scam that results in Consumers losing funds.

License renewals | Mine is just about up and  every couple years I end up needing a few extra clock hours late in the game. One of my favorite way to knock those final hours out is to attend a day, half a day or a couple days at Pro Start. This is good relevant content no matter how long you’ve been in the business of real estate! Great reminders, refreshers, new content and very enthusiastic dedicated instructors. I always enjoy these final hours actually in the classroom. If that too interests you and you are looking for a few more hours – ProStart is next up September 12 – 16. Click here to see the playbook of topics and registration link. You can register for pieces of ProStart – this is my ultimate point here. Feel free to pick up the phone and give Professional Development a ring – an awesome group focused on us every single day and our continued development. 206.526.7612. Roughly 5 spots open for our September ProStart – fills up!

Ok, that’s a wrap for this week, prepping for next. As always, this content is specifically geared for you – Sand Point + Wedgwood + Northgate + Eastlake + Madison Park + Ballard – our six!  Enjoy this upcoming Labor Day weekend – jump into the last of summer +  find some play. And oh, Pac 12 football begins this weekend, me like lots! Bring on Fall (almost), football, crazy schedules and a strong finish to 2016, together.

Laura Smith, General Manager | Windermere Real Estate Co + Northwest, Inc.