Is Quill Realty the Only non-MLS Broker in Seattle?

Updated 9/13:¬†Quill Realty is now Added Equity Real Estate – but everything else is as true today as when I wrote it! ūüôā

I am loving life at the forefront of change in the real estate industry. My firm Quill Realty left the Northwest Multiple Listing Service on July 1. Since then, we’ve picked up some listings and sold a few houses – our first non-MLS sale closed Friday. Congratulations to this beautiful family!!!¬†Single Broker Listings in Seattle

So we’re selling houses at a dramatically reduced cost to our seller clients. In other words, the model appears to be working. Exciting times!

But it begs the question: Is Quill the only¬†non-MLS broker in Seattle? Or are there others, such that a synergy might begin to build. To date, I have yet to find one. I even have a friendly wager with a title representative. He knows lots and lots of people in the local industry, and so far he’s struck out.

Is that right? Is Quill the only voice calling for change in the MLS-bound wilderness? If you know of any others – in Seattle, or Western WA, or even the USA – I’d love to hear about them. Please leave a comment, and thanks much.

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The Future of Real Estate? It Arrived Today

This is what the future of real estate will look like - no MLS number

This is what the future of real estate will look like – no MLS number

I could not be prouder today. Quill’s first Single Broker Listing is live and looks great! On the Quill¬†Blog, on Zillow, on Redfin – heck, it looks great EVERYWHERE!! By my estimation, this is what the future of real estate will look like: One broker marketing a property directly to buyers via multiple channels, without offering to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission (so no MLS number). Exciting times here at Quill!!

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Buying a House in Seattle 2015? Check out Quill’s free Home Buying Class

2015 Home Buyer Class

Free Home Buyer Seminars offered by Alternative Brokerage in Seattle

Are you thinking of buying a house in Seattle in 2015? Or perhaps it’s time to sell your home? Either way, you’ll learn some great information at Quill Realty’s free House Buying Seminars for 2015. ¬†We ‘re¬†offering a¬†free home buyer class¬†– great for sellers too – on the fourth Wednesday of every month through June, from 7p – 9p here at the Quill office in Georgetown.¬†Whether you‚Äôre a first time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran looking to ‚Äúmove up,‚ÄĚ you‚Äôll learn something valuable at these¬†free real estate classes you could try this out. Topics will include the current and anticipated future of the real estate market, common real estate legal issues (including from the seller’s perspective), and real estate search tips for finding ‚Äúthe one‚ÄĚ (and other good marketing tips for sellers). All from the unique perspective of a consumer-driven, alternative real estate brokerage. ¬† Continue reading

“Offers to Be Considered on a Future Date”: Is This Really Fair to Buyers?

As I work my way back into the market following the launch of my real estate firm, I am learning just how difficult it is from a buyer’s perspective. ¬†Specifically, I am trying to get a client into a $400-500k home in West Seattle. ¬†It turns out there are only a few thousand other people looking for the exact same thing, and a few dozen homes that fit the description. ¬†OK, I’m making these numbers up, but you get the drift. ¬†It’s tough out there.

Until this week, I had a high degree of respect for sellers and their agents who noted in the listing that the seller would consider all offers on a particular date in the future.  This allows all interested buyers to really put their best foot forward, particularly by pre-inspecting so that the offer is not contingent on the inspection.  Particularly in older neighborhoods like West Seattle, where homes routinely approach or exceed the century mark in age, sellers appreciate knowing that there will be no renegotiation based on the condition of the home.

So on Wednesday afternoon, I met my client at the “target” home where we were awaiting the arrival of our inspector for a pre-inspection. ¬†The seller was to consider offers on Friday morning. ¬†Buyers and an agent were inside, I assumed simply touring the home. ¬†Suddenly, the owner emerged from the house and announced she had just sold the house to the folks who were inside with her. ¬†As the kids say, WTF???

It turns out that the seller had every right to accept this offer, notwithstanding the “offers to be considered” date as stated in the listing. ¬†NWMLS rules specifically allow a selling agent to present an offer directly to the seller long before the stated “deadline.” ¬†So it turns out my anger and frustration at the seller, the listing agent, and the selling agent who pulled the coup were all misplaced. ¬†(I wouldn’t even rule out an apology, now that I know the rules.)

But it begs the question: Is that fair to buyers? ¬†What if my client had completed the pre-inspection? ¬†He would have been out-of-pocket money specifically in reliance on the seller’s and listing agent’s representation in the listing. ¬†And even without that expense, it seems unfair that a stated “deadline” can be wholly circumscribed by one buyer at the expense of all others. ¬†If it were up to me, the rules would be changed. But all I can do is continue working towards providing buyers with an improved home buying process.

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Selling Your Home – 15 Good Photos

Gone are the days when you can advertise “must see!” to sell your home, as if people have to come into your house as the first step in the home buying process. You can scream that from the roof top all you want, but unless you have a location that would cause anyone and everyone to come to and into your home, it’s all about the photos.

So where do your start? You start with The Three Basics – Paint -Floorings – Clean

Home For Sale

Once you have your walls and floors together (see post linked above) you move to taking your “test photos”. Once you know which angles will end up in the 15 Photo Display, then you stage those “photo areas”. because it’s all about the 15 mls photos!

rkit

The cost to stage the above townhome was $2,500 BUT I staged it myself within the cost of Listing the home. I used that $2,500 as follows. $1,500 to refinish those now gleaming, satin finish hardwood floors on the main floor and $1,000 to have the place painted. We also put in all new carpet and the $1,000 to paint was for the main pro painter and did not include the prep-tape-helper. I use a painter who let’s me bring the “helper” myself, to save on cost.

Of course there are whole HGTV shows devoted to ALL of the steps that lead to FIFTEEN GREAT MLS PHOTOS.

I just try to give you a snapshot of the process…one blog post at a time. Both of the above homes are recent. The top one closed in December of 2012. The lower photos are of a Pending townhome over in The U-District. The top one sold in 1 day, the lower one in 2 days. The top one took SEVEN WEEKS to get ready for market. The lower one about THREE WEEKS.

So “SOLD IN ONE DAY” took from September 7th to October 25, 2013 to get it ready to list…and sold on October 26th as to Offer and Acceptance. The lower one “SOLD IN TWO DAYS” took from January 6, 2013 to Jan. 26 to get it ready to list…and sold on Jan. 28 as to Offer and Acceptance.

A few recent real life examples…to give you an idea of what it takes to get your house from Day One to SOLD.

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