Jan. 13, 2016

Manning Sedgwick Review

 Review by a Home Buyer. (Also published on Zillow).

I have been living in my new home for only a couple months, and I have already referred John & Amy to friends who are actively working with them, and continue to have great things to say. I found out about John & Amy when I thought about looking and a friend immediately set up an introduction  because she had only good things to say. I met with John in early September with maybe an hour notice on my way to see a house - he wanted to know every detail of what I was looking for. From neighborhoods, to my must haves to even the importance of where I put my Christmas tree - he wrote it all down. We then went to se the house and John pointed out potential flaws and the good parts - I immediately felt I was in good hands, that this wasn't a real estate agent who just wanted a sale. The next house, I then met Amy. The first day, she said the best thing to me: "Your only job is to fall in love with the house, and John and I will take care of everything else". Again, I felt I was in good hands. I even brought a very opinionated trusted friend who has purchased many homes, and they said John and Amy knew what they were doing. I called them my gladiators on the field - in 3-4 weeks we looked at roughly 20 houses. John and Amy taught me a wealth of knowledge about looking for a home, and were supportive when I had been outbid on the first couple offers. Available at all times for any questions, they were so fast you would think you were their only client. In fact, I was out of town and they did the home inspection for me, and FaceTimed with the various inspectors - I've never heard of that kind of care. The day I received my keys, they were there greeting me with celebrations. It doesn't even stop there - they continue to be my sounding board for any other inquiries on the house, including meeting me to go over the inspection report, page by page, with coffee and helping me out. Two months after I closed John was helping me on how to use my thermostat! I can go on for a while - but let's just say my ears are perked for anyone looking for a home so i can immediately refer them to John and Amy - I'm almost disappointed if they go with another broker because I know they wont' have the experience I did.

Nov. 5, 2015

Why aren’t you working here yet?

Client Service Manager

Our independent boutique real estate firm in Seattle is hiring for the position of Client Service Manager. 

The ideal person understands the dynamic nature of a small company, will joyfully handle whatever is thrown at them and buys into our obsession with quality and client satisfaction. We currently work out of a home office in Ballard and spend a lot of time out and about with clients. 

We’re looking for someone who can handle a lot of tasks and make sure no detail is overlooked. You’ll need to be computer and Web savvy, an excellent communicator with strong writing skills. Knowledge of the real estate industry is a plus. 

Some of the cool things about our company are:

  • We treat our clients and each other like family;
  • We are a small team and we have a lot of fun working hard together;
  • We’re constantly challenging ourselves to be the best we can be;
  • We laugh a lot!

If you're the one we're looking for, please follow this link to apply. We look forward to hearing from you.

Oct. 16, 2015

Amy Sedgwick on Evening Magazine

 

In addition to generating an enormous amount of client satisfaction at our company, Amy Sedgwick is an accomplished film maker. While our clients benefit from her command of video and film presentation in marketing their homes, she  has also picked up several awards at film festivals from Mexico City to Madrid. We were very honored recently that Evening Magazine asked Amy to feature on the show. 

Posted in General
Sept. 14, 2015

Fuseboxes in Seattle Homes

Ever come close to blowing a fuse? Here's something we encounter in mid century homes from time to time. Fuses are still available and they work fine except that in a modern household, it is easy to overwhelm the circuit by running multiple appliances concurrently. A known trick was to use pennies in place of fuses, an extremely dangerous practice as current would flow until the wires melt! Don't do it!

Posted in General
Aug. 11, 2015

What were they thinking!

Imagine finding an incredible home with impeccable fit and finish, high end kitchen, bathroom and appliances. Only one problem; the architect has lined up all the windows with those of the neighboring house! Could you live with it? Our homebuyer client couldn't. This is a great example of how a lack of foresight by a builder can impact the marketability of a home, causing it to sit on market longer and ultimately sell below its value.

Posted in General
July 7, 2015

Rates, Rates, Rates!

Woot woot, another little drop in mortgage rates this past few days! Hardly anything to write home about but the graph above from Zillow makes it look like a huge drop! Still, we can't complain too much when ordinary folks can access thirty year fixed interest rates around the same rate as an introductory credit card offer! 

Posted in General
June 29, 2015

The "Shite or Caucasian Race"

It has been a hectic and stressful workday. I've been feeling overwhelmed since this morning. Until now. Now I feel one part sad and two parts fighting mad. Look what I found in a document dating from 1942 while going through the title of a Seattle home one of our clients is interested in purchasing. Some good ole' racial hatred!

"...no person shall occupy [said property] as a tenant lessee or owner other than a member of the [white] or Caucasian race."

Doesn't it just make you proud to be a human? I can't help but wonder if the person that wrote this was on some level ashamed? Maybe they were Irish and ashamed! That's my explanation for this excellent typographic error exposing the bigotry and hatred of the "Shite" or Caucasian race. And before you react, "Shiite" has two letter "i's". 

Posted in General
June 15, 2015

36% of home sales close late

As much as we love the National Association of REALTORS®, we have to shake our heads at the publication of a report that leads with a proud declaration that "the majority of contracts – 64 percent -- are settled on time with no delays to closing". All we see is the glaring fact that 36% of transactions do not close on time.

The implication of these numbers is that 36% of home sales are managed by incompetent real estate agents. If the number were 5%, we would still be in disbelief. Rule number one in contract negotiation - don't enter a contract unless you have done everything to ensure it will close on time.

There will always be a risk of last minute underwriting challenges in any sale however almost every issue can be foreseen and mitigated well in advance.

Its sad that thinking ahead  and setting clear expectations in our day to day operations is a competitive distinction! That said, having Amy and John, two Managing Brokers on every transaction pays off in making sure we close on time. Some of the routine things we do include attorney title review and close cooperation with the lender to manage financing logistics. That and relentless follow up! 

 

Posted in General
June 11, 2015

Fremont Troll facing eviction as home prices rise

 There are plenty of trolls out there on the Internet however here's one troll that draws a crowd day after day!

We visited the Fremont Troll recently during the shooting of a video for a very lovely home in Fremont. 

Troll was not very happy to see us as he had just received notice that his rent has risen and he may have to move. Here's a snippet of the time lapse footage from Troll's open house that ended up on the cutting room floor. 

 

Posted in General
June 3, 2015

The ugly truth about real estate agents

 Every industry has weaknesses. The Achilles heel of the real estate industry is incompetence. The National Association of Realtors has finally come out in a new report and stated the obvious - unskilled and incompetent agents are the biggest threat to the industry. 

We couldn't be more delighted to see this report. We see this lack of skill, judgement and qualification every day. In fact, a big part of our job is protecting our clients from the incompetence of real estate agents. It is sickening to us when folks assure us that their underperforming agent is "really nice" as if that alone is a qualification.

In Washington you only need a high school diploma to become a real estate broker. That's scary when you realize that according to the Department of Education, 19% of high school graduates can't read.

How about the time the good-for-nothing grandson of an elderly homeowner passed the real estate license exam just so he could collect the commission on the sale of their home. Did he do a good job? Who cares, he was really nice even if he is always stoned and could barely read.

So what can be done? We're not policy makers but we have created our company from the ground up to be a beacon of excellence in a mediocre industry.

  • We are not part of a franchise. As a result, every client works with a MANAGING broker rather than a sales agent. That means clear accountability at all times.
  • Every client has two managing brokers working for them, each with over twenty years business experience. We  believe every brokerage should operate this way. 
  • We only handle a select number of clients at a time so that each client gets our complete attention.
  • We have an excellent real estate attorney on our team. 
  • John, our designated broker has a four year honors business degree and a masters degree in Business Strategy and Law.
  • Both John and Amy are multilingual and have lived in multiple countries around the world. We're active in our community and operate with complete integrity.

Is that enough? In a word, no. We are constantly honing our craft and seeking new areas to increase our service. Real estate will change into the future. We can only hope that some brave policy maker will change the rules to remove the unqualified or worse from the industry before it is too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General