It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | nwmls fine notices + gardner report, Q3 + we’ve got you covered + #boss, #spicegirls


Welcome to Friday! A few items to digest this week as we prepare for another productive week ahead – let’s take a quick sweep…as this beautiful Friday afternoon + evening awaits us all!

NWMLS Fine Notices | What have I noticed? Yes, indeed – brokers are being fined when not including Legal Descriptions – they are not kidding around about this one. It is minimal compared to other more costly fines however I hate to see anyone get fined – especially when the Legal is most likely in your file;) ***of particular note, I’m noticing some NWMLS compliance emails landing in your “clutter” and even sometime “junk” email – which then would put you at odds in typically doing anything to remedy a fine. If you see any communication direct from the NWMLS in “clutter” or “junk” drag and drop into your “inbox” and your email will be smarter (we train our inboxes with this action of dragging + dropping!).

Note: if you do receive a NWMLS fine – do try to play the card “this is the first time it has happened” card and often they will waive upon first offense – doesn’t hurt to ask!

The Gardner Report | Third Quarter 2016 | Washington Real Estate Market Update

Click here for the Matthew Gardner’s full report– Economic Overview + Home Sales Activity + Home Prices + Days on Market + Conclusions…

Keep in mind, this “science” is put together to help us stay on top of our game however also for you to share with your clients. It always matters “who says it” – might as well leverage an in-house Chief Economist. Need help implementing? Just ask! 

…”This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, sales velocities, interest rates, and larger economics factors. For the third quarter of 2016, I am moving the needle very slightly toward the buyers. This is entirely due to the recent increase in inventory levels that I believe will continue through the rest of the year. That said, the region remains steadfastly a seller’s market.” – Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist – Windermere Real Estate

We’ve Got You Covered | It appears we are doing some good in our winter drive thank you everyone! Gentle Giant moving trucks will arrive our offices on November 14th to collect our goods – new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and warm socks for YouthCare, a non-profit that provides support and services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area. There is still time to shout this out to your people and use our offices as drop off locations – or, an opportunity to go pick up a few items from your clients, sphere etc…win/win – yet another reason to see great people this time of year! Your offices have marketing materials (done for you) should you choose to share with your database, social media efforts and the like.


Halloween Fun! | I couldn’t help myself as we prepare for Halloween this Monday. Our Ballard office got a head start today with their costume contest – it has nothing to do with real estate (everything to do with their office community) and I had to share! #Boss, #SpiceGirls

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Have a wonderful weekend in both productive work + play, here to help – that is the ultimate goal. My cell – 206.227.7133 – feel free to give a shout if you need anything.

In partnership with you,

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


It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | Inman + We’ve Got You Covered + “Ideas Worth Spreading”


Wow, we had an incredible presence this week at Inman’s Luxury Connect! This must be shouted out today. The roughly 55+ Windermere brokers who made the trip to Beverly Hills represented us all so very well + made an impact. The theme this year: Embracing Uncertainty. How to thrive in a shifting market. Sounds like a fantastic + relevant topic to me. Over the next few week’s I’ll be asking those that attended this year for their golden nuggets to share. I’ll add these “nuggets” to my Fridays With Laura along the way – stay tuned…

…what I do know in the immediate, Leigh Canlis made us all proud and nailed her presentation of our W Collection to the 600+ audience. High five Leigh!

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***a few pictures of the gang representing Windermere at Luxury Connect. Plus a quick blurb below that described one of our brokers experiences (again, more to come in what was learned so that the rest of us can begin to digest!)…

“For myself just getting to hear about and understand where some of the other markets in the country are and being able to speak face to face with so many at once was great. It really does mean Connect as I found some great people to pass some business to when the time comes. Windermere cocktail party was fantastic and also felt that the connections and friendships made there will be lasting and successful for all.” – Mark Williams, Sand Point broker


Hopefully this week you noticed a new piece of furniture/décor landed in your office – a new bin ready to fill to help us do our part in a “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive. Our six offices are participating – clients can drop off anywhere (Sand Point, Wedgwood, Northgate, Madison Park, Eastlake or Ballard). I’ve already heard of some wins in brokers planning to pick up items from their clients homes too! This is all in conjunction with our #tacklehomelessness pursuit. Marketing materials are ready + done for you. Just ask your awesome staff, there will help.

From October 17 through November 14, we are collecting new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and warm socks for YouthCare, a non-profit that provides support and services to homeless youth throughout the Puget Sound area. Each night in Seattle, nearly 1,000 young people are homeless. Let’s help them stay warm during the cold winter months by dropping off your donation to our offices during the drive.

So there you have it, a great week – from beginning to fill the bins at our offices for our “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive to Windermere being very well represented in Beverly Hills at Inman’s Luxury Connect. Lots of wins. Very proud to be a part of Windermere this week. Together we are making a difference, we are making an impact.

Ink it! | Save the date > January 23rd 2017 – yes, I referenced 2017 already – it will be here before you know it.  We are excited to begin promoting the focus and format of our six office Kick Off event. For now, think “TED talk” style, clock hours around recent law suits, fun and a reason to celebrate. We’ll be focused on “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Save the date, we’ll do the rest.

Have a wonderful weekend in both productive work + play, here to help – that is the ultimate goal. My cell – 206.227.7133 – feel free to give a shout if you need anything.

In partnership with you,

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


Let’s sweep, it’s a wild Friday! | the “science” + legal Q & A + ink it!


I’m taking a sweep of this week as I enjoy a day out of the offices, watching sideways rain & wind, noticing the still ever present beautiful Fall colors – all from Storyville Coffee Co in Queen Anne – next up, a massage – to kick off this wacky Seattle weekend. Every now and again I grab a day outside of our six offices, outside of being mom, wife friend, daughter, sister etc…and have a “retreat with myself”. And yes, I still write. Why? Because I actually love to do this. It’s not work for me. It is in my fun category. Ok six, let’s take a quick sweep of this week and prepare for next, together…

The “science” – thru September 16 2016 | Of particular interest this week is to shout out our newly formatted statistical reports. Alongside these newly formatted reports, the normal reports remain as we look to improve on all. You’ll notice significant graphical enhancements along with improvements in actual data + talking points. Our In-City offices alongside our Eastside counterparts are working in partnership to improve all going into 2017…and you can help (if market “science” is your thing)! I want your feedback. How? ***Please consider sending me (via email) PDF of reports marked up with suggested changes…Click here to take a look, test drive, digest, use and consider providing me feedback! (metro Seattle)

Click here for NWMLS specific area reports. NOTE: Individual NWMLS areas reports will be available in 2017 with the new formats.

Legal Q & A, October | For those of you who follow along our printed newsletters in your offices – there is always a monthly legal Q & A from Demco. If you haven’t found the “answer” just yet for October’s question – drum roll please – here you go!

Q. To make an offer more attractive to Seller, Buyer’s broker crosses out paragraph 7 “Appraisal Less Than Sale Price” in the NWMLS Form 22A Financing Addendum.  The offer is accepted.  The lender’s appraisal comes in $50,000 lower than the agreed sale price.  Because of the low appraisal, the loan does not get final approval and the sale fails.  Who gets the Earnest Money?
A. Some brokers believe that if paragraph 7 of Form 22A is crossed out, and if a sale fails because the appraisal comes in low, the financing contingency is no longer operative and Seller should get the Earnest Money.  That is not true.  In the above scenario, if Buyer timely applied for a loan and otherwise complied in good faith with their obligations, Buyer should get the Earnest Money back.  With Form 22A, if the loan fails for any reason, other than Buyer’s non-cooperation, Buyer is excused from their legal obligation to close.  Paragraph 7 of the Form 22A provides some options in the event of a low appraisal. The end result may be either a reappraisal and sale at the original price, a lower price, or termination of the agreement.  Merely crossing out paragraph 7 does not eliminate the financing contingency stated at the beginning of paragraph 1.a. of Form 22A:  “This Agreement is contingent on Buyer obtaining the following type of loan or loans to purchase the Property …”.  Without paragraph 7, a low appraisal kills the loan, and Buyer who has acted in good faith can walk away with the Earnest Money.
If Buyer and Seller desire that Seller gets the Earnest Money if a loan and a sale fail because of low appraisal, use WRE Form 41, paragraph 3:
“NWMLS Form 22A, Paragraph 7, Appraisal Less than Sale Price.  NWMLS Form 22A is modified as follows:  Paragraph 7 of NWMLS Form 22A Financing Contingency, Appraisal Less than Sale Price, is deleted in its entirety.  Buyer may not terminate this Agreement or obtain a refund of the Earnest Money, if any, in the event Buyer is unable to obtain the Loan and the sole reason for Buyer being unable to obtain the Loan is due to Buyer’s lender’s appraisal of the Property being less than Purchase Price.”
Buyer needs to understand that agreeing to this language means their Earnest Money will be lost (or other Seller remedies apply if “Seller’s Election of Remedies” was selected in Default paragraph of sale agreement) if the appraisal comes in low and they cannot pay the full Purchase Price from some source other than the loan they applied for.

Ink it! | Save the date, January 23rd 2017 – yes, a while off yet I’ve inked this date for our six office 2017 Kick-Off. Excited to begin promoting the focus and format. For now, think “TED talk” style, clock hours around recent law suits and fun – we’ll focus on “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Save the date, we’ll do the rest.

Ok, next up – a much needed massage. Stay safe everyone! Shout if you need anything. Happy to help – the ultimate goal. Here  is hoping to see a few rainbows between storms this weekend!


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

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | W Collection, the ins + outs


Let’s sweep. If you already have a solid handle on the ins + outs of the internal unveiling of our W collection this week – much of this will be repetitive. If you are looking for the what + why + when + who + impact on Premier + how then heck,  this week’s Fridays With Laura is prepped for you. By the way, your office and support staff have been versed on all of this – have questions, just ask.

…Next week, I’ll jump back into market “pulse” conversations – I’ve been walking brokers through low appraisals and contingencies – items we should all be versed & aware of. I called Professional Development today and suggested we dust off our contingency class taught be Demco – just might be a good time add this back into our toolkit.

W Collection |  Wednesday morning more than 150 of our brokers came together for our monthly luxury networking breakfast to get a sneak peek our new ultra-luxury brand. The response was overwhelmingly positive and everyone is excited to unveil it to the public on November 1! Your office has all of the ins + outs of what the W Collection is and what it isn’t. Drumroll please…


…and now for the talking points:

What is W Collection? Windermere’s W Collection is an elevated marketing program tailored to the needs of luxury clients with homes priced at $3 million and above. W Collection offers unique signage, exclusive marketing collateral, and targeted marketing opportunities to elevate your market presence and showcase your most distinctive listings.

Why was W Collection created? Due to market conditions in the Puget Sound region, it was determined that the time was right to introduce a higher priced tier to our luxury program that would complement Premier, but serve the specific marketing needs of ultra-luxury listings. Another goal of W Collection is to help Windermere brokers compete better in that segment of the market and earn more business.

When does W Collection formally launch to the public? November 1, 2016, but you can submit a registration request for your listing(s) immediately. Of special note: Windermere is covering the $500 registration fee for all qualifying listings with registration forms approved by October 12, 2016. Signs must then be ordered by October 14. See the program overview for sign ordering information.

How does this impact Premier Properties? In no way does W Collection diminish the importance of the Premier Properties program. Our brokers have worked hard over the years to build Premier and they have achieved great success. In certain areas, our luxury market share is as high as 60 percent. Attendance at our Premier breakfast events routinely tops 150 brokers and the connection between our brokers has never been stronger.

Is W Collection exclusive to certain brokers? We understand that there are some concerns that W Collection is in some way exclusive to a certain segment of Windermere brokers; we want to assure you that this is not the case. This program is open to anyone in Western Washington who is competing for – or has secured – a listing that fits the W Collection criteria.

How does a listing qualify for W Collection? To qualify as a W Collection property, the listing must meet certain criteria for quality and price. Once approved, there is a $500 registration fee. ***Windermere is covering the $500 registration fee for all qualifying listings with registration forms approved by October 12, 2016.***

  • $3 million or above
  • Architecturally interesting and/or historically significant
  • Structure and grounds must be in excellent condition
  • Interior design of exceptional quality
  • Minimum of 10 top-quality high-resolution photos available

What is included in the $500 registration fee for W Collection?

  • Listing showcased on
  • W Collection logo on the website listing
  • Access to unique W Collection signs (to be purchased separately; please see the program overview for pricing information)
  • Use of the W Collection logo on all property marketing materials
  • Access to exclusive marketing opportunities and beautifully designed marketing materials
  • International exposure through Luxury Portfolio International®, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, and
  • Monthly networking breakfast
  • Here is a sampling of the W Collection logo, signage, and marketing materials

A complete overview of the W Collection program can be found here. If you have questions about this or anything else related to W Collection, please email

Shred + Electronic Recycling Event | Feel free to leverage this event tomorrow with anyone in NE Seattle or those that have an immediate need. Wedgwood will graciously accept their drop offs!


A Note from the NWMLSComputation of Time | This Monday, Columbus Day is a “regular business” day when computing time for the purchase and sale agreement.

FORE! | We kicked off Monday with our 3rd annual golf tournament – super fun – thanks to those that could join this year. For those that didn’t, do indeed join us next year. The format and fun work for all – yes, I mean all levels of golfers! Karen even had a chance to take her first swings with a club and I got to play 18 with my dad – good times had by all!

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That is a wrap from this week, heavy on the W Collection – as I do believe it is important we all have these talking points. Again, the goal of FWL is to articulate who needs to know what, when our people need to know it, why and hopefully presenting in an entirely comprehensible way.

In continued partnership with you,

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

…and a good weekend to find your pumpkins! Between soccer and football games, we will do the same! Love this, “surprise me”…