Tips from The Cascade Team Agents

  •         Sales of previously owned homes decreased 4.3% from the prior month.
  •         30-year fixed mortgage jumped by nearly a quarter percentage point to 7.1%

The U.S. housing market is coming under renewed pressure, buffeted by mortgage rates that rose above 7% again and uncertainty over changes to the commission system for buying and selling a home.

The average rate on the standard 30-year fixed mortgage jumped by nearly a quarter percentage point to 7.1%, according to a survey of lenders released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. That is the highest level since late 2023 and the largest weekly increase in nearly a year.

Low inventory continues to fuel competition among area buyers in Western Washington However.…

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National Association of Realtors' settlement on home-sale commissions will go into effect July if approved.

I want to start by addressing the "misinformation" involving the landmark settlement that could impact real estate practices and commissions as we know them.  There is a lot of uncertainty out there. And there are tons of people who thrive on that, they love to stir the pot and tell you “The Sky Is Falling.”

I know I speak for a lot of real estate professionals when I say that we’re upset with a lot of the misinformation that is getting circulated about the proposed settlement. What these proposed changes will do is clean up a lot of real estate agents who don’t run their business like an actual business or keep up with new rules and…

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If commissions are decoupled, researchers believe the competition will drive real estate commissions down.

A groundbreaking $418 million legal agreement could drive down commission rates and shrink the number of real-estate agents.

As an example, the DOJ cites Northwest MLS (NWMLS), which no longer requires listing agents to make offers of buyer broker compensation in order to list a property. Despite this being allowed, the practice of cooperative compensation continues, and agent commissions have not changed.

“As long as sellers can make buyer-broker commission offers, they will continue to offer ‘customary’ commissions out of fear that buyer brokers will direct buyers away from listings with lower commissions — a well-documented phenomenon…

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Western Washington saw one of the largest year-over-year decreases in active inventory last month. There were 3,333 properties for sale in January — a 23.2% decrease from January 2023, when there were 4,342 homes on the market. Only Las Vagas had a steeper nation drop in inventory levels.

As a result of the low housing inventory levels around Western Washington, we are returning to bidding war situations. Seattle area home sales increased by 7% in January, marking the first year-over-year increase since March 2022. Meanwhile, home sale prices increased by 3.4% year over year.

Additionally, the new commission rules are allowing Sellers to save 10’s of thousands in Buyer Agent commissions.

Cascade Team Saves Commissions For Sellers

Taking advantage of low inventory before more homes…

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As Valentine's Day approaches, love is in the air. But this year, instead of focusing solely on chocolates and roses, why not consider a different kind of matchmaking? Just like finding the perfect partner, finding the perfect home can be a journey of discovery, filled with excitement, anticipation, and even a few butterflies.

1. Love at First Sight: The Importance of First Impressions Just like a first date, the first impression of a home can be a game-changer. A well-maintained exterior, a welcoming entrance, and a clean, inviting interior can make potential buyers fall in love instantly. As a seller, it's essential to ensure your property is looking its best for every viewing. As a buyer, remember that while first impressions are important,…

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After a particularly rough stretch, the frozen housing market has begun to thaw.

Mortgage rates have tumbled, more homes are being listed, and sales are rising as buyers are pouncing on their sudden change in fortune.

“The worst is over for the housing market,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. But “it will take a number of years for the housing market to fully normalize.”

Indeed, the signs of a gradual sea change have been abundant in the past two months.

Market Recap

Real estate market activity has remained slow in accordance with typical seasonal patterns. Interest rates held steady through the month of January to end at 6.69%; at the time of this publication, there was a slight decrease to 6.63%. For the…

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On January 1, 2024, the revised “Agency Law” that governs real estate brokerage relationships (RCW 18.86) becomes effective. Among other changes, a significant revision to the law requires real estate firms to enter into a written brokerage services agreement with a buyer before, or as soon as reasonably practical after, commencing real estate brokerage services for that buyer.

These revisions to Agency Law require that brokers enter into a brokerage services agreement with their client before — or as soon as reasonably practical after — the provision of real estate brokerage services. This contract will include stipulations like length of partnership, exclusivity vs. non-exclusivity and the rate of compensation.

Looking at the law

It may…

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For everyone who buys a house between now and February 29th, you're going to look at those people in the same way you look at people who bought houses at the beginning of covid.

You're going to look back and be like *darn it* why wasn't I that smart? Why was I so scared? What was I thinking?

I’ll repeat again because it’s that important….

Anyone who buys a house right now is going to get the best deal you'll see in years.

There is no competition right now. The second interest rates drop again you're going to see millions of buyers jump into the market and housing prices will never be the same...

Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest level since May 2023. Additionally, I am optimistic regarding mortgage rates, but not overly. I…

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Home buyers and sellers face the prospect of major changes to how much and in what way they pay their real-estate agents, following the historic verdict against the National Association of Realtors and large residential brokerages.

There are many new rule changes regarding “Offering” a Buyer’s Agent Compensation (We no longer use the term Commission). Those changes could range from minor tweaks to the commission system to a more radical restructuring of the residential real-estate industry, such as more people buying homes without using agents or buyers paying their agents by the hour.

By way of a quick summary, a federal jury found NAR and large brokerages conspired to keep costs artificially high and awarded $1.8 billion in damages, which…

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Market Recap

The new year kicks off with some hopeful signs for buyers within the real estate market. Interest rates proceeded to drop through the month of December to a current rate of 6.61% from the November level of 7.1%, with the Fed signaling additional cuts on the horizon. Yet inventory remains stagnant in accordance with typical seasonal patterns, and low inventory persisted to pressure home prices in the region, which were up about 5% year-over-year. According to Selma Hepp, chief economist for CoreLogic, “strong home price gains over the course of the year indicate that home prices in most Washington state markets have fully recovered from 2022 losses and are reaching new highs once again.”

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index forecasts another…

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