Common Questions

Common Questions


If you would like to discuss any of these is greater detail,
please call me at 206 940-7173.

What is a Comparative Market Analysis?     ^Top^

A Comparative Market Analysis is performed by a Realtor and estimates the market value of a home. We look at similar homes, in similar neighborhoods, with similar features, that are currently for sale and have recently sold, to determine the market value of the property. This differs from an appraisal as we can also look at homes that are currently for sale and take in to consideration current market conditions.

Do I really need three opinions on the price?     ^Top^

Not necessarily, as long as one of those opinions comes from the agent who is doing the most business in your neighborhood. The best agent may not give you the highest price opinion but it probably will be the most realistic. Often an agent will try to “buy” the listing with a higher price, this results in a longer market time, more inconvenience for the Seller, and a price reduction at a later date.

What’s the difference between a Listing Agent and a Buyer’s Agent?     ^Top^

The Listing Agent represents the Seller’s best interest and is responsible for creating the activity necessary to obtain the best price, in the shortest period of time, with the least inconvenience to the Seller. The Buyer’s Agent represents the Buyer’s best interests and is responsible for making the Buyer aware of all listed properties that meet their criteria, they get their Buyer pre-approved for financing, and educate them on value. All agents other than the Listing Agent represent the Buyer.

Should I work with more than one Buyer’s Agent?     ^Top^

No, in our area all real estate professionals are members of the multiple listing association, and all have access to the same properties for sale. Commit to one agent and expect superior dedicated service.

How do I find a real estate agent?     ^Top^

A good start is to ask friends and family for referrals. The best agent to choose is the one with the most sales in your area. Conduct interviews and always ask for references.

Who pays the commission and how much is it?     ^Top^

The commission is paid by the Seller and is based on the sale price. Typically, we charge 6%, but the commission is negotiable under certain circumstances.

What is the MLS?     ^Top^

The Multiple Listing Service is an association to which property listings are submitted. Almost all real estate companies belong and share their listings. This is the main database to obtain the information, and all members have equal opportunity to sell the properties listed.

What is earnest money?     ^Top^

Earnest money is a good faith deposit a Buyer makes when they make an offer to purchase a home. The earnest money is usually applied to the down payment and/or closing costs of the Buyer. If the Buyer does break the terms of the contract the earnest money can be lost to the Seller.

Do I need to have the home I want to buy inspected?     ^Top^

Yes. Even if the home appears to be in perfect condition, it is recommended that the Buyer hire an inspector to evaluate the condition of the property. The inspector will thoroughly examine the property and issue a detailed report. We provide a list of suggested inspectors to our clients.

What is the Form 17?     ^Top^

The Real Property Transfer Disclosure Statement (Form 17) is required in the state of Washington & is used in transfers of residential real property; including multi-family dwellings up to four units, new construction and condominiums. Its purpose is to disclose to the Buyer the current condition and any known defects. It is advised that the Buyer also obtain and pay for the services of a qualified specialist to inspect the property on their behalf.

What is an appraisal?     ^Top^

An appraisal is performed by the bank or lenders appraiser to verify the value of the property. The appraiser will look at other recent sales in the area to determine value. It is primarily done to assure the lender that they are not loaning too much money compared to the value of the property.

What is title?     ^Top^

Before a home sale can be completed a title search must be done. The most accurate description of title is a bundle of rights in real property. A title search is a means to sell it, and that the buyer is getting all the rights to the property (title) that he or she is paying for. The title company is insuring there are no recorded leins against the property that will affect the marketability of the title.

What is escrow?     ^Top^

Escrow is the independent, impartial party who prepares and records closing documents according to the terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. The escrow company obtains all necessary documentation to clear title to the real estate, and collects all required funds from the appropriate parties.

What is closing?     ^Top^

Closing is the point in time when the title is transferred and recorded with the County. It is also when the Seller is paid. It may or may not be the date the Buyer takes possession. Closing and possession are often different.