Date Archives: March 2020

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Spokane Landscaping Trends


Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 31st, 2020, at 8:00am.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

Governor Inslee issued a memorandum on March 28th to revise his initial Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington State, redefining certain real estate activities as "essential services."  With more than 17,000 pending transactions in Washington State, the spirit of the memorandum is to allow for the closure of these transactions, a top priority in preventing critical housing problems.  The Governor's directive balances appropriate housing needs with the importance of protecting public health.

The memorandum states  that "While real estate activities have been approved as essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the following restrictions and limitations:"

a) In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;

b) No real estate open houses shall be permitted;

c) Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and

d) Except for the Limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.

We are relying on Washington REALTORS® and Spokane Association of Realtors® for guidance in interpreting the Governor's memorandum. Clarification from Washington REALTORS® states the following:

First of all, Realtors® must still comply with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy requirements for conducting business remotely from home.  

The updated memorandum does allow Realtors® to meet clients one-on-one when no other alternative is available

In no event may more than two people be on-site at a property at a time, including the owner/occupants and the Realtor®.  This means the Realtor® can show one person a home while others wait outside in a vehicle.  Or, the Realtor® may join an appraiser in the home, but no one else at the same time.

Appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols must still be strictly followed. 

Find in-depth frequently asked questions guides for consumers here, and for Realtors® here, both provided by Washington REALTORS®.

The Spokane Association of Realtors® clarified the spirit of the memorandum and our duty to strictly abide by the order:

To be clear: it is the Governor's intent, and it is the unwavering position of Washington REALTORS®, that public safety and stopping the spread of the virus is the paramount consideration and the top priority of everything we do as an organization and as an industry. This means that the overriding directive is that real estate brokers must limit personal interactions with and among the public to the greatest extent possible, engage personally only when necessary, and must do so within the strict protocols of the Governor's residential real estate memo and his Stay Home Stay Healthy order.


We want to thank the Governor for his consideration in prioritizing housing during this unprecedented time. We take our responsibility to the communities we serve and our duty to public health seriously. As a reminder, this is not a return to real estate business as usual although we look forward to celebrating with you when that time comes. Let's all do our part to help stop the spread of this virus.



Moving with Pets

If you've been exploring Spokane homes for sale, you're likely very excited to find the perfect one and start your new life. However, before you can do that, you'll have to deal with the not-so-fun part -- packing and moving. While this is always at least a little bit stressful for us, it can confuse and upset your pets. 

Our REALTORS® have collected the best advice from pet owners over the years and are happy to share these tips with you. 

  1. Manage Pre-Move Anxiety
    Your pets are going to know something is off as soon as you start thinking about moving. After all, you'll be packing up boxes, getting rid of junk, and deep cleaning. If you're selling your home, there are also likely to be strangers coming in and out. It's important to remember that your pets won't understand what's going on, and this will likely stress them out. To help manage this, do your best to keep things as normal as possible for them. Make sure you feed and walk them at the same time each day, play with them often, and keep them away from the moving chaos.

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Spokane Landscaping Trends


The Idaho State Governor's Statewide Stay-Home Order allows certain real estate activities to continue as "essential infrastructure". What does this mean for Idaho Realtors® and clients?

Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 27th, 2020, at 12:00pm.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

Idaho State Governor Little's statewide Stay-Home Order, effective as of 1:30pm March 25th, 2020, through at least midnight April 15th, 2020, "requires Idaho residents to stay and work from home as much as possible while ensuring all essential services and businesses remain available."

The order lists the "transfer and sale of real estate" as essential infrastructure, however in-person home showings are not considered essential. 

What does this mean?  Idaho REALTORS® provides clarification on the order:

For many of you this means you will be able to show properties on an individual basis. You must adhere to all of the social distancing and additional requirements in the order.

We are interpreting the order to prohibit traditional open houses as historically conducted.

Even when accessing or using essential services, people are still required to maintain appropriate social distancing (six feet) and hygiene practices (washing your hands etc.) 

We at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are abiding by the Stay Home Order, for your safety and ours.  It's the right thing to do even though it's difficult.  We are all working remotely from home.  We are equipped to support you virtually using the industry's finest technology.  We are here for you.  Please reach out if you have any questions.


Spokane Landscaping Trends


The Washington State Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order does not define real estate as an essential service. What does this mean for Washington Realtors® and clients?

Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 25th, 2020, at 12:00pm.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

Washington State Governor Inslee's "Stay Healthy, Stay Home" order, effective midnight March 25th through midnight April 8th, 2020, prohibits all people in Washington State from leaving their homes or participating in social, spiritual and recreational gatherings of any kind regardless of the number of participants, and all non-essential businesses in Washington State from conducting business with a few very specific exceptions.

Real estate brokerage activities generally are not considered essential, so business must not be conducted in person for the period covered by the order. 

What does this mean?  The Spokane Association of Realtors® clarifies, stating:

All in-person contact with clients must cease which would include client meetings, property showings, and open houses.

Virtual/electronic activity may continue and is encouraged: video meetings, virtual tours/open houses, and electronic documents/signing.

It shall be a violation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and possibly also a violation of law to conduct business as usual, in person, during this time.

Furthermore, Washington REALTORS® Legal Hotline Lawyer Annie Fitzsimmons provides additional clarifying points:

Real estate brokers are not allowed to continue conducting business except remotely, from their homes. 

Physically touring houses is not considered an "essential business".

To the extent a broker can develop a virtual tour of seller's home, broker can continue to show seller's home. Otherwise, home showings are restricted by the "Stay Home" order. Listing brokers have until the night of Wednesday, March 25 to develop a virtual tour of listed properties.

Once the order goes into effect, there is no obvious allowance for home inspections while the order is in effect.

Pending sales can likely proceed to closing under the Financial Services section of the "essential businesses" list.

Is it possible that appraisers will be considered as essential workers in the Financial Services exception? It is possible although that conclusion is not immediately apparent.


We at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson are abiding by the Stay Healthy, Stay Home order, for your safety and ours.  It's the right thing to do even though it's difficult.  We are all working remotely from home.  We are equipped to support you virtually using the industry's finest technology.  We are here for you.  Please reach out if you have any questions.


Spokane Landscaping Trends

COVID-19 is a new reality that's now affecting our homes and the way we live.  It's more important than ever to clean and sanitize your home.  We've combined a spring-cleaning checklist with tips from the CDC to protect your home.  Here are some best practices to keep your home clean and virus-free.

Disinfecting Your Home


General Spring Cleaning Tips

  • Start with a general de-cluttering in each room

  • Strip beds, wash pillows & comforters

  • Deep clean mattresses - sprinkle baking soda, let stand, then vaccuum

  • Dust and clean walls & baseboards

  • Clean window sills & sliding door tracks

  • Dispose of expired meds at approved drug take-back location

  • Donate old blankets & towels to an animal shelter

  • Clean all remote controls with alcohol and cotton swabs

  • Remove stove knobs and soak in white vinegar; clean stove face

  • Clean & sanitize light switches, door knobs, microwave buttons, fridge handle

  • Scrub inside & outside of all garbage cans

  • Clean & de-scale coffee maker

  • Replace all sponges

  • Dust and clean ceiling fans - don't forget the top

  • Wash all pet toys

  • Clean & sanitize washing machine according to manufacturer's directions



When to List

Want more info about the current real estate market? Contact us today to speak to an agent. 


The information in this report is compiled from a report given by the Spokane Association of REALTORS© and to the best of our knowledge is accurate and correct.


Spokane Landscaping Trends

Warmer temperatures and longer days are right around the corner. If you're hoping to revamp your outside spaces in preparation for the sunny days ahead, now is the perfect time to begin planning your spring to-do list. Here are a few of the top landscaping trends you'll encounter at a variety of Spokane homes for sale this spring that might be right for your property. 

  1. Container Gardens
    If you live in a home with minimal yard space but yearn for a lush garden, a container garden is an excellent alternative. As the name suggests, you grow your plants and flowers in containers instead of in the ground. These containers give you a lot of flexibility. You can change the positioning of the containers and instantly give your outdoor space an entirely new look. Does sunlight only hit a small portion of your outside space? Move the containers as needed to make sure they get adequate sunlight. You can even bring your plants inside if it looks like a late frost or severe storm is in the forecast.
  2. Gardens with a Water Element
    If you're planning to sell your home, you can help your home stand out by incorporating a water element in your garden. A water element is a universally-loved addition to any lawn or garden. The sound of running water is associated with a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere that practically invites you to spend time outside. Aesthetically, a fountain or small pond complements nearly any style of home decor. Plus these items require minimal upkeep. 

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