Category Archives: Townhome

A Creative Two-Prong Approach To Getting a Property Sold

7705 11th Ave SW
7705 11th Ave SW (NWMLS 349459) just reduced the listing price $3k and offered a $2k bonus to the selling agent
It’s not always about a lower price, although it is nice. Sometimes it is about getting a real estate broker to even notice a property to get them to sell it. You can achieve this with a two-prong approach – a price reduction the benefits the buyer, and a commission bonus in addition to regular commission to the agent to ensure the property at least gets shown.

Agents have biases…and sometimes think they know everything. But if you sweeten the deal a bit, sometimes an agent can get out of their own way and show a property that is perfectly ideal for their buyer client if the agent would just stop thinking they always know best or know with 100% certainty if a property is going to work for their client or not.

Now, if the buyer says “NO TOWNHOMES” then fine, maybe don’t show them a townhome (although I always said no to condos and townhomes and then somehow bought a condominiumized townhome 5 years ago – which is why I have the attitude I do about this whole issue). But I actually had someone show one of my other listings yesterday that for the same price was a ground floor view condo with attached garage and the agent’s feedback was “They’re looking for a townhome…” You can bet that I sent her info and this video, stat!

So how does a two prong approach work? A price change is obvious – and the buyer saves money. But the additional strategy was to be sure to offer “Full Commission” (a % that many companies have an internal policy to sign listing agreements at), THEN offer even more if the agent could bring an acceptable offer by a certain date. This particular property? Currently the Selling Office Commission is $6,508.50. The typical agent is only getting a portion of that, depending on the company and what they negotiated when they joined the office. If it were I selling this home I would be getting a check close to $5,000 after the company’s portion plus some incidental expenses and insurance was deducted. The bonus? The property owner here has agreed to pay an additional $2,000 straight to the buyer’s agent at closing, and that’s not anything to shake a stick at. Suddenly my almost $5k went to almost $7k, and that’s going to pay my bills for a couple months.

If you have a tired listing, think about blending your approach and splitting the seller’s sacrifice between the buyer and the buyer’s agent. It’s a win-win-win, for the buyer, the seller, AND the agent. Who might not have ever looked at or shown the property if that $2,000 carrot wasn’t dangled out there in the first place.

The long – or short – of real estate marketing. What’s your favorite? (ORIGINAL VIDEO)

Video is not something new for me. I added video it to my marketing efforts in 2010. I used to do narrated walk-through tours and they were sort of long. I think a professional video can really showcase a property and bring buyers in the door.

So this style of video IS new for me. Still shots set to music. It definitely comes across as more professional, but it is not the same as a narrated tour. Sometimes people want a lot of detail. Sometimes they don’t. I aim to reach the most people in any audience, so I can promote a property with either type of video.

In a May 22 post I shared a long video version for NWMLS #349459, a townhome in West Seattle I am currently marketing. The original video was 4:22. It gives it all away. Now with this new video version at 1:07 it only gives a peek, and little information, at the same property. The thought is that this type of video might bring more buyers to see the property in person, rather than allowing them to rule the property out before ever having the chance to see it and perhaps be impressed with it in real life.

With feedback from several sources, I hand-crafted a shorter listing video with more mellow music. Altho I still love the other version with Moby! Do you have a favorite? Do you want details up front? Do you have the patience for a long video like the May 22 video? Or do you like the intrigue offered by this new, shorter video length (and very different music)?
I would love to hear your feedback.
And please watch my new video!

ConvectAir heat saves you money, keeps dust from blowing around from forced air

I recently began marketing a townhome in West Seattle for sale. Although it is not an Environmentally Certified Home it does have some green features.

Technically it is listed as having forced air heat since throughout the house there are Cadet-style wall heaters. But the current owner (and I suspect the previous owner as well) only heats using the ConvectAir low profile wall heater located in the living room on the west wall on the middle level.

Heat rises, so if you spend most of your time in your living areas and are under covers at night, there is no reason why convection style wall heat run for only 12-14 hours a day can’t provide enough warmth to make you completely comfortable. Not to mention you will save a ton of money on your electric bill.

I will get a picture of the heater tomorrow, but for now here is the information on the actual townhome. And visit for more information on this brand of heater.

It’s Nationwide Open House Weekend and I have a new “smart-not-stupid” listing!

Please drop in to say hi to Sophia and I at 7705 11th Avenue SW in West Seattle. Saturday 11 am – 3 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm.

Townhomes are tricky – there are a lot of really stupid floor plans out there with bedrooms too small to even get a queen size bed into. THIS particular townhome falls in the “smart-not-stupid” category, or I wouldn’t have even taken the listing. This is a smart place, perfect for 1-2 people – and pets.

See a photo tour here and a video with financing scenarios from The Mortgage Porter here.

2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms
NWMLS #349459
Sun-drenched townhome on south end of triplex in super convenient West Seattle location. Modern features include marble entry, bamboo flooring, oak hardwoods, and top floor vaulted ceilings. The light and bright living room is spacious and the eat-in kitchen offers a large bay window. Posh powder room with slate tile will impress your guests. Two bedrooms and a full bath on the top floor have vaulted ceilings. Tucked behind the garage is a bonus flex space and laundry room that lets you expand your hobbies or set up an office while keeping out of the way. Bonus room leads to a good sized fenced back yard with brick patio and raised garden beds. Plant your victory garden and settle in to the great Highland Park community, close to visiting food truck pods, Westcrest Park with its off leash area for dogs, p-patch community garden under construction, and Westwood Village which has everything else. Super easy access to freeways, this home is a commuter’s dream!

High Point real estate sobering – no rainbow yet

Where is the rainbow in High Point real estate?

I’ve just pulled a report for my neighborhood, which has been a perfect micro-climate to observe the dark side of the recession and collapse in real estate in the Seattle area. We personally closed July 27, 2007 on our townhome on Raymond – the month and year considered the peak of the bubble.

I’ve been on the ground here for five years (we wrote up the contract in April 2007), literally since I am walking my dog twice a day (or often three times). High Point’s Built Green Certification has cushioned home values somewhat, but at this point there are too many people who have been hanging on too long. There is a plethora of short sale listings now, many of them in my condo association of Redwood High Point.

Out of 16 active listings on the NWMLS in High Point proper (the redeveloped area), 7 are short sales, 2 are bank owned (both Fannie Mae, already foreclosed on), 5 are Polygon Phase 2 listings, (which have been selling like hot cakes in our new reality – almost 80 homes sold in less than a year, they are at really good prices and are attractive since so many people want “new”, they are rated 300 point Built Green Certified), and 2 are Seller occupied and considered Market Rate listings (at $460k and $530k, but both have been on the market for months). 7 of the 16 listings are in Redwood High Point and all of them are distressed pricing.

I look around me and just get depressed. I have not seen this many listings,all at once, ever. Owners are dropping like flies. We’ve been trying to negotiate with our own lender for over three years and only recently engaged an attorney who is looking into the robo-signing issue (among others) that was prevalent at the time everyone in Phase 1 purchased. I only hope we don’t end up moving like so many others have.

As someone who has been in this community for so long, and watched it change and grow from one day to the next, I don’t want to leave. But a lot of people have been in extended financial distress and just need it to be over. Way over. A couple of my neighbors moved on two years ago and my porch-mate tried to sell for a year before giving up. We’re just stubborn fools, I guess, committed to our community and lifestyle here (my husband and I). We watched our home be built, we customized every square inch of it, and I feel safe walking my dog here most of the time. I might gripe about being sick of walking in circles in the rain for 6 months, but when I think of where else I could be living, from a safety standard High Point beats anywhere I have lived in 20 years.

My heart aches for those who moved here with such great dreams and high expectations, only to be disappointed by job loss or transfers, a bad turn in finances, and the gradual slipping away of the American Dream. Many criticize, saying people who are in trouble with their home now didn’t deserve to own that home in the first place. I try to not take it personally. Our household just happened to be comprised of careers in two industries really hit hard by this recession – and I have fought hard to stay in this business since I am passionate about solving people’s real estate problems. It’s not like there were a lot of jobs out there for me to go to even though I have extensive professional experience outside of real estate.

But this plethora of short sales is just one problem I can’t solve. I just hope I don’t end up as one myself.

To those who have given up, moved on and started over somewhere else – my thoughts are with you and your family. I hope there will come a time that you can look at your place in High Point in a positive way and not just some big black period in your life. And your contribution to our neighborhood will be sorely missed.

Regardless of my personal situation, I continue to be an Ambassador for High Point and I bring all of my buyer clients through my neighborhood to educate them. I am a believer in the community, the natural surroundings, the storm water management and watershed interface, and the Built Green Certification process. And I am an optimist. Things will get better. It is always a good time to buy – or sell – a home, depending on your personal circumstances. And as long as I am a resident of High Point you can always call on me for information about this unique, green community and the larger West Seattle area. We have lived in West Seattle almost 15 years and it is in our blood. They will have to drag me kicking and screaming out the door to get rid of me.

Don’t forget to LIKE the High Point Real Estate page on Facebook.

City Cabins now available for sale on Queen Anne hill

I met Martha Rose a few years ago when touring one of her sustainable home developments in the Shoreline area just north of the Seattle city limits. It was called Fish Singer Place and it was a renovated original home and three new homes built on the original property – a very large lot.

Now Martha Rose has just completed a project with a view – and Martha is moving closer and closer to what is called “Zero Energy” homes. You should look into City Cabins if you want the ultimate in clean green and great energy efficiency in your next home. The homes are located on the northwest slope of Queen Anne and just across the water from Ballard and boast a Walk Score of 75! They are 5-star Built Green Certified, the highest possible rating in our area. Visit the website

About City Cabins
Martha Rose, known by many as the ‘Queen of Green,‘ is a national leader in the Green Building Movement. Her interest in energy efficiency and sustainable building practices goes all the way back to the 1970‘s and currently is her main focus. Today Martha is striving toward building Zero-Energy spec-homes.

The energy crisis of the 1970‘s sparked her interest in conservation and alternative energy that became intertwined with her career in construction. The necessary learning that goes along with this topic is deep and on-going. Today, Martha is an educator herself, pushing the building industry towards zero-energy-use homes.

Summer is ON! High Point Farm Stand opens tomorrow

Admit it, you are jealous, just this once, that I can walk to a cool and productive garden and then go home with a canvas bag full of veggies for only ten bucks. Here’s the official announcement that came across the P-Patch list serv today from coordinator Julie Bryan:

The High Point Farm Stand officially opens Wednesday, July 13, offering fresh organic produce picked right from the High Point P-Patch Market Garden. Located at 32nd Ave. SW and SW Juneau St, the farm stand will be open every Wednesday through September from 4 pm to 7 pm.

Fresh right now is spinach, carrots, leafy vegetables, new onions, peas, turnips and radishes, to name a few.

Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens is a partnership developed with the community by the P-Patch Community Gardening Program in collaboration with the Seattle Housing Authority and P-Patch Trust to support low-income gardeners. Its mission is to establish safe, healthy communities and economic opportunity through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm stand enterprises.

For directions for the farm stand, visit the website. To learn more about the Seattle P-Patch Market Gardens, visit their website

If you want to be able to walk to a local farm stand and buy fresh vegetables when in season, click to see High Point homes for sale and then call me for a personalized and detailed tour of the wonderful Built Green Certified community of High Point in West Seattle.

SOLD! A Built Green Certified townhome in High Point, and how I love those little square windows (VIDEO)

I am welcoming a new neighbor to High Point soon; one of my real estate clients is purchasing a townhome a couple of blocks from where I live in the Built Green Certified Community of High Point located in West Seattle.
In this video I briefly speak to the benefits of townhome living (I am a previos self-described “townhome hater”) and how awesome those little square windows are.