Date Archives: May 2020

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Home Improvement Tasks for the Professionals

DIY home improvement projects on Spokane homes for sale can be satisfying and productive, but our real estate agents know the dangers of biting off more than you can chew. Here's a list of home improvements that are better left to the professionals.

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Spokane Landscaping Trends


Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, May 22nd, 2020, at 3:30pm.  The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

Spokane County has been approved to move into Phase 2 of COVID-19 Recovery.  What does Phase 2 mean for Realtors® and clients?

Washington REALTORS® summarizes the modifications for Phase 2:

Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion;

Commercial brokers can engage in the same in-person services as residential brokers;

Three persons (as opposed to two persons) are allowed on site for permitted in-person real estate activities for both residential and commercial brokerage (for both improved and unimproved property); and

Sign installers may install real estate signs.

In Phase 1, Realtors® were allowed to show properties by appointment to only one individual at a time. Commercial real estate activities were also prohibited.

In Phase 2, Realtors® may now accompany two individuals at a time in a property. Those three persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet apart at all times. A Realtor® may not leave a third party unattended in a property. In addition, listing brokers should stagger any preview or showing appointments to avoid any overlap. All showings must be by appointment only

Realtors® and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.) must wear cloth face coverings and should encourage clients and customers to do the same. Approved face coverings include scarves, cloth face masks, or medical grade masks.

Traditional open houses are still prohibited in Phase 2. 

In lieu of physically showing the property, Realtors® and buyers can utilize virtual tours and videos that are included with the listing. Realtors® should also consider virtual showings to further practice social distancing.

Realtors® must adhere to the Phase protocols for the county where the property is located, regardless of the location of the Realtor®'s office or home. View a map showing current Phase status of each Washington County.


Commercial real estate activities were prohibited in Phase 1 of the recovery. In Phase 2, commercial brokers may re-engage with in-person services, similar to residential brokers. Three persons are allowed on-site at one time, for permitted in-person commercial real estate activities for both improved and unimproved property, including facilitating inspections, appraisals, buyer "walkthroughs," and other activities typically required to complete a real estate sale or lease. All in-person real estate activities, Phase 1 or 2, require participants to wear cloth face coverings.


Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offices are planning to re-open June 1. Social distancing and hygiene safety protocols be observed, including wearing of cloth face masks when entering the office and maintaining at least six feet of distance between individuals at all times. Realtors® and staff are available, as before, to fully serve clients remotely where necessary.


The Spokane real estate market has remained strong as we transition out of Phase 1 and into Phase 2 of the recovery. Inventory is still low, and demand is high. If you have questions about the current state of the market, please reach out to a CBT Realtor®.


View a Phase 2 FAQ here, provided by Washington REALTORS®.



When to List


Download the April Market Report PDF here.


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.


Raised Garden Bed

It's spring and time for a garden. But not just any garden. In Spokane, many enlightened homeowners are getting maximum yields by planting a raised garden bed. Raised beds not only help plants drain better but in our rocky soil, the layer of rich soil and compost that a raised bed provides makes it easier for plants to stay nourished. Also, raised beds help you control watering and make it harder for pests to get at plants. 

A raised garden bed can be an attractive feature of your property, and a great selling point among Spokane homes for sale, as our experienced real estate professionals, will tell you. Here's how you can get started planting a raised garden bed of your own.

  1. Find a Sunny Spot

    Plants need sun, so it's wishful thinking to locate your garden where it's shady. If possible, orient your bed so it is horizontal to the south so that plants will get even sun. 

  2. Put the Frame Together

    Lots of do-it-yourself kits are available on the market. Yours should be made of wood appropriate for the outdoors, such as cedar or even pine. Cedar also has insect-repelling properties. However, if you're reasonably handy, you can whip up your own frame, with instructions from the Internet, using recycled wood pallets, or other discarded wood.

    Height of the garden bed should be between 11 and 36 inches. How high you go will depend on the soil underneath the bed and what you want to grow. If you have rocky soil and you want to grow carrots, you may need a higher bed. Remember to add cross supports for beds over 18 inches, as the weight of the soil may bow out the frame.

    Some gardeners like to keep the width to 4 feet across so they can reach inside the frame. You can go longer -- but use cross supports every 6 feet.

  3. Prepare the Site

    Double dig the site to a depth of 16 inches so you can turn up roots and rocks that will interfere with your plants' roots.

    Make sure the sides of your frame are level, using a board spanned across the width and length of the bed. Then, add a layer of leaves, straw, wood chips, grass clippings, or any organic matter, and cover with cardboard. This will break down into compost over time. Add garden soil and soil amendments, including compost, peat, or lime. Spread the soil evenly and water, using the finest spray on the nozzle. Rake the bed to even it out.

  4. Start Planting

    Whether it's flowers or vegetables, do your research before you plant. Spokane has a great gardening climate, with a growing season of mid-April to mid-October, but do note appropriate times for planting. For instance, greens can take some chill and will get bitter in the hot sun, so it's better to plant them early. Tomatoes, on the other hand, need some warmth, so get the plants going indoors and wait till it's past the chilly temps before you plant. 

    Your plants from seed will usually do better if you start them indoors and get them going as seedlings. There are exceptions, so read the package instructions, as some seeds need to be sown directly in the soil. 

Looking for more home improvement projects to give your home a boost before listing it for sale? Our team can help. Contact us today. 

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