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July
15

Coldwell Banker Scores First in Agent Satisfaction. Again.

Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." 

The real estate professionals across the Coldwell Banker brand are passionate about their industry – and about their brand. For the third time, Coldwell Banker Real Estate ranked #1 in agent satisfaction in the annual "Agent Priorities" report conducted by Quester.

Designed to keep what's important to agents top of mind, the report zeroes in on topics such as work/life balance, brand image, support, tools, and culture. Knowing what makes an agent more likely to stay with a company is a key component in what brokerages can do to foster positive work environments and grow their agents' businesses.

On a local level, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson combines the strength of the national tools with additional services designed to help our Realtors® list, sell, and learn.

Full-time managing brokers are in place to provide immediate assistance. Offices are staffed with Agent Services Experts (ASEs) to help with marketing, paperwork, and training. A company-wide marketing team is in place to create campaigns that support current market trends, listing types, and services.

With continuing education an important aspect of any business, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson offers in-house classes, regular lunch 'n' learn trainings, continuing education at no cost, and national certifications and classes.

To read the results of the report, visit the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog.

March
16

What will 2022 Bring?

Recently, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Realtors®, managers, and staff were honored with a visit from the President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Ryan Gorman. Responsible for the operations that support our network of 94,000 real estate professionals in 3,000 offices in 43 countries across the globe, he made the trip from CB's New Jersey headquarters to speak with us about the wild ride that was 2021 and share his predictions about the state of our industry moving through 2022.

Though he foresees a continuation of a seller's market, he believes it won't be "the crazy, crazy" atmosphere we saw in 2021.  "Interest rates are ticking up which will slow things a bit," he said, but "inbound migration will continue to be strong, so it will be a long time before the market shifts."

When asked if he was surprised by the activity during the pandemic, he told us that though he did not predict the "nearly 10 years of appreciation in 18 months" in our area, Ryan said he wasn't surprised to see the market remain strong. Despite the economic downturn, "we had the most equity in homes that we had literally ever had (not on a percentage basis, but on an absolute basis), and we had tighter underwriting for almost 15 years by that point than we had almost ever had, so people had good opportunities."

Contributing to the history-making market, he noted, was that for the past five or so years our area has been named to list after list of best places to live, work, and raise a family, so as people were able to work, not only remotely, but more independently, they began to make good on the question if you could live anywhere, why not live somewhere great?  

In discussing the issue of low inventory, he is quick to point out that even buyers who have been in their homes two or three months may have equity that could propel them to look at selling to purchase something that better fits their dreams and goals and encouraged agents to inform their previous buyers what their homes are worth today. Buyers, he said, can leverage their equity to move more affordably to another neighborhood or city.

Recently named a "Real Estate Newsmaker" for 2021 and "Influencer" for 2022 by RisMedia, a highly respected real estate news and information service, Ryan says is most proud of Coldwell Banker's integrity. "Integrity is first. That's an easy answer. Coldwell Banker was founded on honesty and integrity, and that has lasted."

To learn more about Ryan's strategies for Coldwell Banker in 2022, check out his interview with Jordan Grice of RisMedia.

Search for your new home at cbspokane.com.

August
2

Spokane Closing Tips

It's the old supply-and-demand predicament: U.S. home sales continue at a rapid pace, but the number of listings remains limited. Amid historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping, reducing inventory and sparking a rise in home prices.

Meanwhile, homebuilders are coping with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come during an ongoing housing shortage. A National Association of Realtors study shows the U.S. has a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and 3.5 million other housing units.

Follow along to learn the five factors that illustrate where the U.S. housing market is today and is heading tomorrow.

ROCK-BOTTOM MORTGAGE RATES TO GRADUALLY RISE

Low interest rates continue to fuel demand from homebuyers. Some experts believe mortgage rates will creep up later this year, but they expect rates to remain near historic lows. In June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 2020 closed with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.8%. But the association anticipates the average rate climbing to 3.5% at the end of 2021 and 4.2% by the end of 2022.

What does it mean for you?

When mortgage rates are at or near historic lows (as they are today), you should seriously consider taking advantage of those rates to borrow money for a home purchase or to refinance your existing mortgage.

HOME PRICES EXPECTED TO KEEP CLIMBING

In June, the national median list price for a home reached an all-time high of $385,000, up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. And according to the Home Buying Institute, various reports and forecasts indicate home prices will keep climbing throughout 2021 and into 2022. While this may be welcome news for homeowners, high prices are pushing homeownership out of reach for a growing number of first-time buyers.

What does it mean for you?

If you're a buyer waiting on the sidelines for prices to drop, you may want to reconsider. While the pace of appreciation should taper off, home prices are expected to continue climbing. And rising mortgage rates will make a home purchase even more costly.

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES REMAIN ROBUST

Single-family home sales are down from their peak in October 2020 yet are still above the overall level last year. In May 2021, 5.8 million existing single-family homes were sold in the U.S. That's a 45% increase over the 4 million homes sold in May 2020.

However, home sales saw a 0.9% dip in May 2021 compared with the previous month, the National Association of Realtors says. That was the fourth straight month for a decline in home sales. The number of home sales has slid recently because of rising prices and a lack of inventory, but Fannie Mae expects total home sales to tick up slightly in the fourth quarter and finish the year up 3.8% over last year.

What does it mean for you?

The market for single-family home sales remains quite active. As a result, if you're a homeowner, you may want to ponder whether to sell now, even if you hadn't necessarily been thinking about it. With demand high and inventory low, your home could fetch an eye-popping price.

LACK OF INVENTORY STILL CONSTRAINS THE HOME MARKET

According to the National Association of Realtors, in May there were 1.23 million previously owned homes on the market, down 20.6% from the same time last year. This translates to a 2.5-month supply of homes, which is well below the 6 months of inventory typical in a balanced market. According to the Realtors group, the lack of inventory translates into tougher searches for buyers and contributes to a rise in prices.

What does it mean for you?

If you're thinking of selling your home, now may be the right time to do it. Across the country, it's a seller's market, meaning demand is outpacing supply. That supply-and-demand imbalance puts sellers in a great position to sell their homes at a premium price. The May 2021 Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors found the average home that was sold attracted five offers, and the association says nearly half of homes are selling above list price.

CONSTRUCTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEES SLIGHT UPTICK

Frustrated buyers may soon find some relief from an increase in new construction. Economists forecast that 1.1 million new houses will be started in 2021, compared with a predicted 940,000 units just six months ago, with 1.2 million new starts predicted for 2022 and 2023, according to the Urban Land Institute.

What does it mean for you?

Given the issues affecting the new-home market, it may make sense to widen your home search to include both new and existing homes. Your brand-new dream home may not be available, but you might be able to find an existing home that lives up to your vision. Keep in mind that we can help you find either a new or existing home and can advocate for you to ensure you get the best deal possible.

ARE YOU THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING?

If you're in the market for a home, you're ready to sell your house or you've simply been wondering whether you should sell, you could benefit from an expert to help you navigate the hot real estate market. Let's set up a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can review your options and come up with a plan to capitalize on the value of your current property or to find your ideal next home.

February
15

Design Trends

Women's Choice Award® recipients have earned the 2021 award for being recommended by 9 out of 10 customers.

by Athena Snow, Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

MADISON, N.J. (January 25, 2021)  In a national survey conducted by the Women's Choice Award, over 85% of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC's female customers who have had experience with the brand say they would recommend Coldwell Banker Real Estate to their friends and family. For the fourth year in a row, The Women's Choice Award has recognized Coldwell Banker for its exceptional customer recommendation rating, earning the brand the coveted 2021 Women's Choice Award®

The exclusive set of products and services that earn the award have the honor of touting the Women's Choice Award designation, honoring their achievement as having 9 out of 10 of their female customers highly recommend them. As recommendation ratings are the pinnacle for determining true brand loyalty and love, the Women's Choice Award is a powerful indicator of a brand's commitment to their customers. The Women's Choice Award seal also represents Coldwell Banker's commitment to empowering women to make the best consumer choices for themselves and their families.

The Women's Choice Award is a significant and meaningful accomplishment in real estate because women are at the heart of most transactions. Women make or influence 91% of home-buying decisions and make up two-thirds of all real estate agents. Coldwell Banker has incorporated many diversity and inclusion programs committed to the advancement of women leadership efforts, including the CB Women initiative and What Moves Her campaign, that are dedicated to making sure women are provided with opportunities for career growth.

"At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry."
 Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate

 "Today's marketplace is more cluttered than ever, yet women have less time than ever to sift through the saturated online options and store shelves. And with women on a constant hunt to identify the best brands for herself and her family, the Women's Choice Award serves as a trusted endorsement and visual beacon of empowerment, simplifying her choices. When consumers see that other women recommend a brand, through the Women's Choice Award seal, it provides an unparalleled level of trust and validation, putting her mind at ease- and that's priceless."
 Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women's Choice Award

November
16



Content adapted from guidance posted by Washington Association of Realtors®

On Sunday, November 15th, 2020, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced wide ranging restrictions in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 cases.  These restrictions became active on Monday, November 16th and will be in place for four weeks, through Monday, December 14th. 

Some of these restrictions will impact residential and commercial real estate operations:

  • All real estate open houses are suspended.

  • Private home showings are still permitted by appointment with no more than 5 people, in addition to the broker, on site with strict social distancing.

  • Face coverings are required to be worn at all times by real estate brokers, their clients, and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.). Brokers may not provide services to any client who does not wear a face covering.


We take our responsibility to the communities we serve and our duty to public health seriously.  We are committed to upholding the highest standard in service and safety, and will continue to do so remotely or virtually where necessary. 

View the complete COVID-19 Real Estate FAQ provided by Washington REALTORS®. 

October
8



Original article posted by Washington Association of Realtors

On October 6th, the Governor announced that limited open houses are now permitted in Phase 1.5, Phase 2, and Phase 3 counties.  Spokane County is currently in Phase 2 of Washington's "Safe Start" Recovery Plan.  With that, measures must be taken to ensure that open houses are done safely under required protocols.

In order to hold an open house, the firm and broker must take measures to ensure that occupancy is restricted to the gathering size permitted by the current county phase and all other required protocols are followed (face coverings, social distancing, sanitation, etc.)

For Phase 2 counties - no more than five (5) people, in addition to the broker, may be in the property at any one time.

Brokers must strictly adhere to the occupancy restrictions for open houses, including the following:

  • Post signs at the property (e.g. on the open house signs, at the front door, inside the property etc.) alerting the public to the occupancy restriction and reminding the public to wear face coverings and social distance.
  • Brokers need to carefully monitor the number of persons on site at any one time and not admit more than the allowed number of persons into the property.
  • Brokers need to constantly monitor the front door and potentially lock the door from time to time to prohibit additional persons from entering.
  • Firms may consider assigning two brokers to an open house – one to stand outside and monitor the number of persons admitted to the property, and the other to be inside the property.
  • Brokers must enforce the face covering requirement.
  • Persons waiting to enter the property must social distance and wear face coverings.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces, before and after the open house, and have sanitizer placed around the property.
  • Because contact tracing in the event of an outbreak is important, brokers should maintain contact information for all attending an open house.

View all of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson's scheduled Open Houses here.

 

May
22

 

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®.

 

April
9

 

Spokane Landscaping Trends

 

Coldwell Banker Tomlinson is very proud to honor our outstanding Realtors® of 2019!  These exceptional agents embody the values of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson in serving their clients and community every day. 

Please join us in congratulating these exceptional people. 

 

Chairman's Circle

Coldwell Banker Tomlinson is a Chairman's Circle company, ranked as the #29th top performing Coldwell Banker company nationwide!

 


 

International Sterling Society

Top 15% of all internationally qualified sales associates (5,159 individuals)
Tawny Hiett (Valley)
John Nielsen (South) his rookie year!!
Shelly Weiland (Valley) her rookie year!!
Dale Smith (Valley)
Cindy Hedin (South)
Johnny Jaynes (North)
Tom Carper (North)
Steve Ranniger (Valley)
Janet Robel (North)

 

 


 

International Diamond Society

Top 10% of all internationally qualified sales associates (4,412 individuals)
Garry Cozza (South)
Julie Kuhlmann (Valley)
Jim Bjorklund (Valley)
Kathleen Moore (Valley)
Peter Enkema (North)
Ron Hansen (North)
Jessica Shaeffer (North)
David Jones (North)
Cody Kerr (South)
Carolyn Harbolt (South)
Barb Christensen (South)
Robin Henspeter (North)
Aaron Lennon (Valley)
Terry Lipe (North)
Greg Schuster (South)

 

 


 

International President's Circle

Top 5% of all internationally qualified sales associates (3,021 individuals)
Doc Williams (South)
Chris Canning (South)
Shane Delaney (South)
Wendy Hughes (South)
Melissa A. Blaine (South)
Cody Irons (South)

 

 


 

International President's Elite

Top 2% of all internationally qualified sales associates (1,033 individuals)
Kathy Bixler (South)
Jonathan Bich (North)
Karen O'Donnell (North)

 

 


 

International President's Premier

Top 1% of all internationally qualified sales associates (350 individuals)
Mollie Sweat (South)

 

 


 

Office Awards

Rookie Of The Year

John Neilsen (South)
Amber Verduzco (North)
Shelly Weiland (Valley)

Most Inspirational

Mollie Sweat (South)
Karen O'Donnell (North)
Kathy Moore (Valley)
Brittany Miller (West Plains)

Best Team Player

Steve Williams (South)
Terry Lipe (North)
Aaron Lennon (Valley)
Nate Juarez (West Plains)

Digital Guru

Cody Irons (South)
Johnny Jaynes (North)
Julie Kuhlmann (Valley)
Katie Lee (West Plains)

 

March
31

 

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.

 

March
27

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.

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