It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | #’s we should know

Welcome to Friday! Let’s not only wrap up this week, let’s wrap up June 2018. I’ve put together our June 2018 Monthly Talking Points. Ready to digest!
Looking for the pdf report to follow along? Click here: | *text me if you do not have the password [c. 206.227.7133]
Seattle (based on Residential and Condominium report):
Inventory rose to its highest level since the spring of 2014 (May 2014 or 42 months). At the end of June 2018 there were 1,246 Seattle single family and condominium homes for sale, up 73.54% from the same time a year ago (718 June 2017).
(historical data, page 8)
Pending Sales for the month of June 2018 were 1,118 down 13.95% from 1,274 in June 2017 (page 8).
Both of these statistics indicate a shift in the market, but we are a far way away from a buyer’s market as evidenced by:
* Median closed sales price is up 8% from a year ago (page 1)
* 53% of properties that sold, sold for more than the asking price (page 3)
* 79.2% of the properties that sold had 15 days or fewer on the market (DOM) (page 5)
* Months’ Supply of inventory is 1.1 (page 1) 
Part of the shift is seasonally. It takes sellers longer to prepare their homes for sale, than it takes buyers to become buyers. The result is higher demand relative to supply early in the year, easing in the second half of the year. The current trends are beyond seasonality and are the result of more sellers coming on the market. Specifically, in the three months ended June 30, 2018 (April, May, June 2018) there were 4,183 new listings taken compared to 3,870 for the same period in 2017. That is an additional 313 listings. (historical data, page 8)
The seasonal trends can be seen on the page below that shows the percentage of sold properties that sold for more than the list price. The percentage rises Jan through April and then decreases and flattens out for the remainder of the year.

Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood



It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | hoopfest + popsicles

Hello Friday, hello everyone!

Fridays with Laura is taking a day off. I’m off to Spokane this morning with these four girls as it’s Hoopfest time on the blacktop! Headed to the largest 3on3 outdoor basketball tournament on Earth. That means over 6,000 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 225,000 fans and 450 courts spanning 45 city blocks! Good luck to the “Dunkers” + their coach (gulp, me)!

…and on another summer note, a shout out to this local popsicle cool spot in Wallingford – Seattle Pops. I made the trip this week to pick up some gift cards! A little different twist for summer vs. picking up coffee cards for quick thank you gifts and the like. I highly recommend!#BeDifferent

Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood


It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | a tale from the trenches


Welcome to Friday everyone! Summer has just about officially arrived and this past week felt as if it came early. Schools out for many kids + families [and don’t forget the awesome teachers!] and many more will jump into summer break today. Road trips planned. Calendars filled with a different pace. Grills + patio furniture cleaned awaiting spontaneous fun. Our city has been showing it’s best self this week as these long sun-filled, light late days allows even more space for us work, play, pause and repeat.

What did I do with my time this week? So glad you asked…

I started this week at Northgate’s office meeting [thank you for the awesome engaged meeting!], connected up with a mother/daughter dynamic mortgage duo, participated in our Regional Marketing board meeting [exciting stuff is happening], began prep for an NWMLS arbitration [which we are on the wrong side of], started filling 8 seats in our Summer Splash Corporate Regatta boat…ok, ok, ok – let’s get to the heart of the matter…

I jumped into the real estate market as a Buyer. My family went through an entire HGTV love it or list it episode in 7 days – minus the part where our current home gets a full makeover [yet] and tv crews capture the whole thing. We had no intentions of doing this. A single home caught our attention. We got to experience and feel it all. And I got to put my **Buyer Savvy Strategies clock hour class to the test – in this market – with my family as the case study.

We went for it, we did it all…

Reviewed everything. Asked questions.

Obsessively went to the home each day, different times of the day to experience it all.

Walked the streets, met the neighbors.

Waived it all.

*Fully approved bridge loan within no time!

# of offers grew as offer review date approached.

The environment building to a very competitive scenario.

We deployed the single most important Buyer Savvy Strategy – we asked ourselves my favorite two questions when counseling Buyers,  when coaching Brokers and this week, asked ourselves…

“If you get the home for this price + these terms, are you happy?”

“If you don’t get the home, are you happy?” [meaning is this your best foot forward]

As we delivered our offer, the answer was an astounding “yes” to both. And when we learned that we wouldn’t be moving, our summer plans are unchanged and that we would “love it vs list it” with respect to our current home = we are happy.

We had an opportunity to win the day. We were given that opportunity. Knowing how much is enough is crucial when given such opportunity. We had taken the time to understand this as a family prior to delivering our offer. The answer became easy when given the opportunity to win the day…

The end of our “love it or list it” episode ended in “love it.” We didn’t win the day in going for the new home. We fell back in love with our current home. The process was good for us. And no, we are not in the market for a new home! It was one special home that received this much attention  from us. It is a home deeply rooted in soul, as is ours. What a week! Grateful I knew the process. It allowed me to stay calm, work, play, pause, reflect and repeat each day this week enjoying these long beautiful almost summer days.

*ps, If you do not have the Windermere Bridge Loan in your toolbox, add it now. It makes sense with the equity position people have in their homes. This is a unique tool to you and benefit to your clients working with Windermere.

**pps, I’m next teaching my next Buyer Savvy Strategies class at Windermere Symposium with co-teachers Kristen Munger and Greg Lewis. Certainly I now have my own relevant stories + content to share at this next class! I felt it. I experienced it. And won – in our own special way.

Come play with me in sunny Coachella Valley – October 15th + 16th – register here!

Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | Top Ten, this week.


Welcome to Friday everyone! This week I am bringing back a “Top Ten” list of what I’m seeing + hearing in our local real estate market. The theme this week is to set expectations, re-set expectations and yes, continue to set expectations each week with your clients. There are subtleties right now to our market that will be helpful to share in order to help our clients pivot at each step and find success. The complete recap of our May 2018 can be found here.

*Password changes monthly. Need it? Ask your manager or text me – 206.227.7133*

Our most dynamic office meetings continue to be those to which we dive even deeper into these Top Ten list soundbites and what you’ve noticed. Continue to bring your stories, discover the weekly pulse and we’ll all benefit. The education we bring collectively to the market is a point of difference that sets us and you apart.

Interesting times in real estate in Seattle. This week’s Top Ten represents data thru May 2018 for all of Metro Seattle [Residential and Condominiums].

1. Is the market shifting? It is too early to call and the Seattle real estate statistics show demand still far exceeding supply, however still low, there has been a significant increase in inventory.

2. Number of properties for sale is increasing. It’s all the buzz – everyone can tell with more signs in the yards! Real estate is a social conversation. Heading into summer you’ll be asked plenty, “how is the market?” How you respond in those first 30 seconds will put you in a trusted expert category or not. Hint hint: my favorite response [very Socratic] – “good question, which market specifically?” This gets them talking and you have a chance to pick up on the subtle in why they are asking = allowing for you to better answer the question. Hint hint in what not to say: “I’m so busy!

3. Seattle had 936 active properties for sale and was the highest number in the past 23 months or since June 2016.

4. Active inventory is up 268 properties or 40% compared to a year ago (May 2018 = 936 vs May 2017 = 668)

5. The increased inventory means Sellers and listing brokers will need to consider active competition. It’s been a long while since active competition was a true talking point when sharing a market analysis. Sellers need to understand what this means to them – an important subtlety to their strategic plan.

6.  Condition, marketing and pricing will be more important with rising inventory.

7. Statistics continue to indicate more demand than supply: Less than one month’s supply of inventory. 0.8 May 2018 vs 0.5 May 2017 vs 0.6 May 2016 vs 0.7 May 2015.

8. Sales prices on closed May sales are up 17% to $759,000 vs $650,000 May 2017. With the market shifting with increased competition it doesn’t mean prices are going down. What it does mean is that the rate to which prices may increase in the near future may slow down. Time will tell however our vernacular here in talking with clients is crucial.

9. 59% of houses sold over list price compared to 66% in April 2018 and 67% in May 2017. Stating the obvious here – that means 41% of houses did not sell over list price! See where I’m going with this? Selling at list price, below list price and selling with a price adjustment is alive and well in our market.

10. Brokers may need to re-set expectations in addressing market time and strategy if they have been working with Sellers for awhile in getting ready to bring their home to market. Educate, educate, educate = success for all.

Again, our May 2018 [plus historical data that takes you all the way back to 2008] full color client facing reports can be found right here – digest it!  It will set you apart.

Stay curious my friends and have a fantastic Father’s Day weekend in productive work + play!


Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, let’s sweep [literally]! | CSD 2018

Welcome to Friday! Our “sweep” is literal today being we all take to our neighborhoods and focus on giving back. Our work within our communities reaches far far beyond Community Service Day yet there is something very special about this day, each year.

Recently many of you filled out a three question survey delivered to us from Windermere Services. The third party company that is working with us on the findings has already shared one finding that is absolutely clear: Windermere as a Company has a soul. I’ll be very interested to hear all results yet this one will be hard to top. Today is a good example of the soul that lives throughout our Windermere Brand. Enjoy it, together. See you out there!





Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood

It’s Friday, let’s sweep! || Top Ten, this week | Memorial Day | tl;dr

Welcome to another Friday together! Before I rattle off another Top Ten list from this week – a few housekeeping items as we approach Memorial Day weekend!

Our offices will close at 3pm today so our broker care support can too get a jump start on the Memorial Day early! Saturday & Sunday we are open regular weekend hours to support you. Monday Closed.

Memorial Day + Computation of Time

When computing time for your purchase and sale agreements, regard this Monday, May 28th as a legal holiday. Memorial Day is a legal holiday under Washington law.

Ok, let’s sweep this week and digest what we can together before we jump into the weekend! I had great feedback last week in providing a Top Ten list in what I’ve noticed. I’m hitting repeat on this approach today – yet with a refreshed list. This Top Ten reflects my week in a 3 hour class on “When Generations Connect” + 3 hour class on “Leadership thru Diversity + and our Windermere Luxury Breakfast focusing on “The Rise of The New Aristocracy” white paper that Luxury Portfolio delivers twice yearly. ***ps, if you’d like a copy of the entire white paper – ping me, I’ll get it to you. It was a great read – and even better discussion

  1. Baby boomers. What is our top strategy in working with them? Baby boomers: 1946-1964 – 80 million boomers. Strategy: Step up your professional pride with boomers. How you “show up” matters.  Example – Mark Zukerberg [CEO of Facebook] appearance on tv interview in flip flops wouldn’t cut it in “professional pride” – although notice he was suited in his testimonies before the Senate.
  2. Generation X.  Generation X: 1965-1979 – 60 million. Strategy: Be a partner in their process. Be a resource not a salesperson. Embrace their inherent skepticism via transparence along the entire process.
  3. Millennials. What is our top strategy in working with Millennials? Millennials: 1980-1995 – 82+ million! Strategy: Customize the experience. Start in understanding their “why” and then “design” the process with them.
  4. 92% of Millennials rely on referrals when making purchasing decisions. In 2018 48% of Millennials were referred to their agent compared to 38% of Gen Xers – and less for older.
  5. There is another Generation coming into our marketplace in the near future: Generation Edge [called many things to date – Gen Edge only one thus far!], 1996-2010 – 61 million. These people want to feel connected, are tech innate, resourceful, competitive and resilient.
  6. LeadingRE: Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This is an invitation-only membership into the Largest global networks of locally branded, independent brokerages. You are a member by being within our Company. *Be sure you can speak to this in working with Sellers and winning their business. Need help? Ask a Premier director or me. We can give you a crash course quickly as needed!
  7. In 2017, personal wealth in the U.S. grew by $8.5 trillion, followed by China with $1.7 trillion growth. The world of wealth continues to grow at breakneck speeds.
  8. Luxury Portfolio’s 2018 white paper, “The Rise of the New Aristocracy” speaks to this group “being aged 25-49, encompassing both Millennials and the younger portion of Generation X. They coined the term “New Aristocracy” because this group is unlike any American generation before. They will ultimately be larger in number and greater in economic power than the wealthy in the gilded age of the Rockefellers.”
  9. “What does “The New Aristocracy” mean for real estate? Younger buyers who have grown up with wealth have greater exposure to luxury, are more educated and aware of their likes and dislikes. They know brands, they demand quality and they are familiar with real estate.” Solution in working with this group: My humble opinion, I’d suggest strategies 1-4 above are all relevant and they will be asking those they trust [parents] for referrals in who to work with in real estate.
  10. tl;dr [*leave a comment in the comment box if you know what this is – it blew my mind this week! Prizes for the first 5 to get it right] Hint hint: this may have applied to this FWL blog post!

Stay curious my friends and have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend in work + play!

Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood


It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | Top Ten, this week.

Welcome to Friday everyone! This week I thought to put together a “Top Ten” list of what I’m seeing + hearing in our local real estate market. These subtleties can show us a lot and certainly help our clients pivot as needed and find success. In talking with one of our Madison Park brokers this week she referenced this market in being the hardest she has seen in 27 years…this too coming from a broker experiencing a ton of success in this market.

Let’s commit to our office meetings in diving even deeper into this Top Ten list. Continue to bring your stories, discover the weekly pulse and we’ll all benefit. The education we bring collectively to the market is a point of difference that sets us apart.

  1. Seller Expectations. Be sure to ask your Seller prior to going to market…are they prepared to sell for their List Price? A must ask question.
  2. Multiple Offers. If you are the Listing Broker, please take the time to call everyone back in a timely manner. This matters. Communicate as if you were the Selling broker with a Buyer awaiting an update. Emotions running very high – for all of us right now. Listing Brokers can help manage this.
  3. Offer review dates? Watch + study what is happening each week. This trend could be changing. Let’s talk about it.
  4. Running short on time with your pipeline building activities? Answer: Annual real estate reviews – these continue to have the highest ROI in both referrals and CMA requests. Need help in what to include? Click here for a sample step by step guide and suggested content all using Moxi Present. *Commit to two per week.
  5. Letters. If you are sending letters in mass to uncover possible inventory – please be sure your letters are speaking to The Truth. “I have a buyer for your home?” – Do you? [as an example] Speaking the truth translates to integrity + professionalism.
  6. SOCs. Study the micro market of the property you are bringing to market. Audit what the SOCs are and have been in that area + price point + property type. Know the landscape and be able to “show”/articulate this to a Seller.
  7. Historically listings taken and active listings at the end of the month grow from April through July. Hope to continue to see this trend!
  8. Historically the majority of the year’s appreciation occurs in the first six months. What does this mean? Buyers may be able to be a little more picky with more listings coming yet will still have to be aggressive with their offers. We aren’t out of the woods there yet.
  9. April 2018.  66% of homes in Seattle sold for over list price and 84.3% sold in less than 15 days. These are the properties that sold – keep in mind, not all homes that came to market sold. This market comes down to setting [and resetting] expectations. All April stats here. Password: wremay
  10. What have you noticed? I want to hear it. Use the “leave a comment box” upper left of this blog and let me hear it! Together we will continue to navigate the subtleties – week by week!

Stay curious my friends and have a fantastic weekend in productive work + play!

Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.

Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood