Shari Kruse

Managing Broker

West Seattle Real Estate

How we differentiate ourselves.

11/19/2014

If you read the business section of the Seattle Times over the weekend you probably saw the article on the debut of the new limited service company “Surefield”, a brokerage founded by David Eraker, the founder of Redfin. Surfield offers sellers a reduced fee for listing and markets their property via a 3-D technology showcasing the home, a 24/7 virtual open house. They also offer a cleaning and staging prior to their photo shoot. They anticipate there will be fewer buyers who will want to view their listings because they get a thorough view of the home on line. Brilliant. They also anticipate referring buyers away because they want to serve sellers only. Hmmm let’s see... Less exposure, fewer showings, lower commission. Makes sense.

To write this article I did a little recent research on Redfin. They have changed their commission and bonus structure in order to retain quality brokers. They found their original model did not work well enough to keep people who provided the kind of service their customers wanted. They still maintain that they charge less than traditional brokerages but after reading the entire article it became clear to me that a buyer represented by a Redfin broker stands a very slim chance of being successful in a multiple offer situation.

As long as I have been in real estate there have been limited service companies. There will always be limited service companies… just like there will always be K-Marts and Walmarts. There will also be Nordstrom and Berkshire Hathaway. If you have any questions about what our model of business is all you have to do is refer back to our company policy manual. We will always do our best to “ achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction for our clients and our community by delivering the most comprehensive real estate service of exceptional quality."
Our Vision Statement

We will Differentiate Ourselves as the Ultimate Choice in Real Estate Services by Delivering the Perfect Experience to our Clients in their Pursuit of the American Dream.

Our Mission Statement

Each and Every Day We Achieve the Highest Level of Customer Satisfaction for Our Clients, Their Families and Our Community by Delivering the Most Comprehensive Real Estate Services of Exceptional Quality.

Our Core Values
Integrity – Our heritage reinforces the need to safeguard our customers’ interests. We keep our promises and behave with integrity at all times.

Winning Attitude – We strive to anticipate our customers’ needs and proactively provide them with the best possible advice and solutions.

Customer Focused – We believe the best way to win customers is to earn them. Our goal is not to simply attract them, but to gain them as customers for life.

Excellence – We look beyond problems – focusing instead on solutions and opportunities and by taking bold action to triumph over fear, uncertainty and doubt, creating true excellence.

Respect – We maintain an environment where innovative, service-oriented brokers work collaboratively to exceed customers’ expectations.

Living The Good Life... A Life That Makes A Difference

2/28/2014
1) Do something with your life that you love. Most people, in spite of best intentions, really just want to live a life they enjoy. If it looks like what you’re up to turns your life into something miserable, it’ll be really hard to drum up support. If you want other people to follow your lead, living a life that energizes and inspires you attracts much more readily than if you’re living a life that exhausts you and turns you into a complainer. In other words, if you want to change the world, start with making yours look like a world that other people might want to live in. Sorry, no one likes a complainer. 

2) Be curious, not critical It’s really easy to jump to criticism when someone expresses a view that’s counter to yours. You might spend a lot of time trying to convince people that their point of view makes no sense. Or that if they were thinking correctly, they’d come up with the same answer you did.
If someone has a different point of view from you, be curious about how they came to it. They were likely thinking as clearly as you were. You might actually learn something powerful.

3) Share, don't "should" When you find something that changes you, makes you passionate, or enlightens you, it’s natural to want to get other people involved. Sometimes that can turn into something that other people “should” do. It was so good for you, they “should” make the same decision. Don’t forget how much time it might have taken you to come to the choice. One of the most inspiring things that you can do is share your life with people. If the thing is that great, it’ll show. People will see it in your energy and your enthusiasm. And they’ll ask what’s up. That’s your opportunity to tell people about your choices and how they affected you. If they seem interested, great! Invite them to join you. If they’re not, don’t sweat it. Keep sharing who you are. If that’s all they get from it, they’re lives will be immeasurably better for it.

4) Clean up your act If you’re not actively developing yourself, people will have a pretty hard time believing in you. Identify the places in your life that are keeping you down and address what’s keeping you stuck.  I’m not saying “be perfect,” and this isn’t so that people will think you’re awesome and want to be just like you. If you can’t talk to people from what it’s like to struggle, fall, get up, and try again, you’re only describing what you imagine transformation looks like. Real transformation can be messy, scary, ugly, even painful. People don’t respond to perfect, they respond to authentic. Knowing your own poop doesn’t smell like roses goes pretty far.

That’s it. Changing the world might not look like you thought. Living a life that makes a difference, doesn’t always look like living a life that makes a difference. Not everyone’s life looks like Mandela’s or Gandhi’s. Sometimes living a life that makes a difference just looks like living your life.

Happy New Year !

2/5/2014

Happy New Year!

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the beginning of 2014. Though it is only the 23rd of January it feels as if 2014 has been around for longer. There was no lull in business this year. It was busy in December and in January was immediately off to a strong start. 

Looking ahead to 2014, housing inventory will be the key to maintaining a balanced real estate market. Here in Seattle we don’t have enough homes to sell and we don’t have excess land upon which to build new housing stock. Our prices have risen to within 10% of 2007’s peak and will probably gain that ground very quickly. We are in a Sellers’ market once again. Multiple offers will be the norm, at least until later in spring when more inventory is placed on the market and the annual pent up demand is absorbed. Buyers are driven by low interest rates, which, even if they go up a percent or two, will still be wonderful. The national statistics may not reflect the same patterns... real estate markets are local! If the rest of the country experienced the same thing Seattle has the Fed would have raised rates long ago. We are very fortunate.

If you are thinking of making a move, 2014 may be an excellent time to do so. It makes great sense to buy now, early in the year, before rates and prices rise. Whether you are looking for an investment, buying up, down-sizing, or looking for a first home the odds are good you will be pleased with your decision if you make that move this year. Sellers also have an advantage at the moment. The demand in our market place is high. Most homes stay on the market for less than 30 days and sell within a tiny fraction of their listed price… sometimes over list. There are exceptions but with careful preparation and excellent marketing you can expect great results.

I am ready to go to work for you. If you or anyone you know has a home to sell or is interested in making a move I would love to help. . Anyone you refer to me will receive the very best service possible. Sellers can expect expert advice and help in preparing homes for market, staging, marketing and oversight throughout the process. Buyers can expect a constant watch for new listings and careful oversight. Buyers who work with me tend to find exactly what they want within a very short time. I am a full time, full service Realtor with the best tools, training and support staff available. Please feel free to contact me for any real estate related questions. I am always happy to help!

Wishing you all the very best in 2014!

How do you choose a REALTOR?

1/13/2014

Here is how you should choose a Realtor:

1. Worry about what the Realtor can do for you (not about what they say they have done in the past).

2. If you like a Realtor you have interviewed but they are new in real estate...find out if the manager at the office they work will be available to help if issues arise. Call and speak to the manager!

3. Does the Realtor embrace the Internet and Internet marketing? Do they actually do the work to find you the best home or sell your home? I here many listing agents claim they have an Internet presence...just to find the extent of their marketing is submission to the local MLS.

4. Will they be available to you at any time to answer question or help when issues arise?

5. If they claim a huge sales volume ask them to give references.

6. When you call with a question...do you talk to the Realtor you hired or an assistant? This is huge!

7. Is the agent you speak to a Realtor or a real estate agent (are the a member of the National Association of Realtors?) This is important because ONLY Realtors has a required code of ethics.

8. If you are selling...what type of brokerage do they work for...does the Realtor do Visual Tours, Virtual Tours, Video Flyers, Personal Home Websites, Brochure Boxes, etc... (or will you get a lockbox, sign and MLS Entry)?

9. If you are buying does your agent do an "area tour" before showing homes...or do they go straight to the first home and home you find one you like? 10. Trust your gut! If someone comes of as shady or dishonest...move on!

New Year’s Resolutions: The Ultimate Happiness Plan

1/8/2014

New Year’s Resolutions: The Ultimate Happiness Plan

Most New Year’s resolutions dead-end because we don’t have a concrete plan in place. It rarely happens automatically. Here are 10 doable steps.

1. Say “Good Morning”

As you wake up, greet the day in three ways.

Say “Good morning” to life as a package full of good and bad things. Say it with an open heart. Accepting life on a fundamental level brings inner strength and peace, a spiritual attitude that carries you for the day.

Say “Good morning” to yourself. Greet yourself with kindness. Self-compassion is enormously important for your well-being. Don’t be judgmental, but rather be understanding, attentive and motivating. Be your own best friend.

Imagine others and say “Good morning” to them. Set the tone for giving throughout the day – giving smiles; giving an open, listening heart; or giving a gift to the poor.

Saying “Good morning” will turn into “Good day” and “Good night.” Plant the seed of kindness before the mind gets busy.

2. Scan the Day for the Positive

It is easy to look for the negative as we primarily want to avoid harm. This is known as the negative bias of the brain. After greeting the day, steer your attention to something good for which you can be grateful, such as the fact that you are still breathing, able to smell the flowers, smile and give.

3. Form Your Intention to Be Happy

There is a great Harvard study showing that people who are asked to do their best trying to be happy while listening to jovial music feel way happier than those who are merely asked to listen to jovial music. Making up your mind is a powerful pointer.

4. Make a Commitment

Our mind needs a gentle push in the right direction. Otherwise our intentions will remain intentions, and you know what road they might pave. Our happiness depends on our willingness to commit ourselves sincerely to it.

5. Nourish Your Happiness

Who doesn’t know that sugar, salt and fats are to be avoided and fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins are to be consumed mindfully? Instead of doing it for your looks though, do it for your health and happiness. Our body dislikes big abrupt changes. Gently start a ripple effect with something little.

6. Move More

Rid yourself of damaging stress hormones and increase your endorphin and dopamine levels. Nothing can beat exercise when it comes to healthy brain chemistry. Exercise should not be a choice but should be a must like brushing your teeth. Start with slipping into your jogging suit with the intent to walk for just one minute. Once again, something little has the power to start a huge ripple.

7. Meditate 

Who has time to meditate? You do. There is no need to meditate for hours. A minute a day may just do the trick. Straighten the spine, close your eyes and pay attention only to what is. Observing the moment is the key to feeling your connection to the power of the universe. As you learn to meditate for just a minute, you can become mindful about everything.

8. Do One Thing Toward Your Goal 

At an opportune time, do something little toward your main goal in life. Doing little or doing nothing is the difference between a fulfilled and an unfulfilled life. Follow your goal, even if this means following it slowly.

9. Connect in a Meaningful Way

Relationships are indisputably the most important ingredient to happiness. Once a day at least, tell someone how you really think and feel. Share your inner truth and listen to another’s. Learn to connect as connections make us feel alive.

10. Get Regular, Good Sleep

Do not deprive yourself from the fountain of youth. Happiness and sleep are connected and bring each other out. Take sleep seriously and get serious help if you cannot find it.

“Happier” New Year to you all!

2011 Market Predictions

12/29/2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope your holidays have been peaceful and joyful!

I just finished reading 10 predictions for 2011 on different economic issues, ranging from food prices to inflation. Each prediction was by an expert in the respective field who had missed very badly on their 2010 predictions! So I have decided to offer my own forecast for 2011.  Here goes!!

I predict that Seattle real estate prices will continue to be soft at least through the second quarter of the year. There will be some exceptional values to be found and buyers with cash for down-payment and good credit will do very well. This applies to investment properties as well as the purchase of personal residences.  Most sellers have adjusted their expectations to meet the market and understand the trade off of selling at a lower price and being able to buy that next home at a very good price.  Our local market did not fall as far as the rest of the country and we have only a few months supply of housing to be absorbed. Demand for homes in the first quarter will stabilize prices in the close-in neighborhoods like West Seattle. We are already seeing multiple offers on well-priced homes! Interest rates will fluctuate a little but remain historically low until the national real estate market shows stronger signs of recovery. Foreclosures and short sales will continue to be a significant part of our market, especially in out-lying areas.  The in-city market will gobble up any foreclosures quickly as banks tend to price them very aggressively.

Overall, I venture to say we have reached the bottom of our market. It will not be a rocket ride back to 2006 prices but over the next five to seven years we will get there.  2011 will continue to be primarily a buyers market. If you are thinking of buying, dont wait too long. We will wake up one day and it will be over.

I must mention one more area of opportunity. Whether you are thinking of relocating, buying a retirement home or a vacation home, real estate outside of the city and in many parts of the country is extremely affordable. If you are selling in Seattle and buying in Twisp or Squim or Phoenix, it is bound to be a positive experience!

It has been a good year in spite of a difficult market. I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful clients with whom I have worked. It is important to me to constantly improve the quality of service and to provide the best real estate experience possible Thank you so very much for your support and trust. I wish you the very best in 2011 and look forward to helping you and yours with all of your real estate needs!

Warmest Regards,

Shari Kruse  

Page:  of 000  |