Making the Best of the Market

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on August 17, 2016

QR Graphic2This is certainly a uniquely good time for sellers to be approaching the market.  The question for interested sellers is how to make the absolute most of it.

Almost all sellers are thrilled with the idea that homes are selling so quickly.  Few people come to us and say, “I hope my home sits on the market for months and months.”  By the same token, we have to ensure that fast-paced sales don’t come at the expense of the highest price possible.

In track and field at the Olympics, when the athletes step to the starting line they hope to go faster than ever.  An incredible amount of work has been done with coaches, trainers, nutritionists, and others to ensure their best performances.  The idea, regardless of placement, is to walk off the field knowing everything was done to achieve the best result.  In just a few seconds of competition, these athletes will know how well those years of preparation paid off.

With homes selling so quickly in our market, we cannot help but draw comparisons.  Selling a home is much like prepping for that great race.  Most of the effort comes ahead of time, with great preparation and support from knowledgeable, committed professionals.

Most of the sellers that are selling quickly and for top dollar have put in the extra effort.  Buffing up the home so it looks its best, including targeted maintenance items and staging to inspire maximum buyer interest are the first steps.

Next comes the promotional campaign with great photographic imagery and descriptions that connect the home to the target buyers’ dreams of living. A thoughtful and wide distribution strategy is then needed to pull those buyers in.  Doing these things right requires experience and know-how, as well as a commitment to be one’s strongest critic.

Finally, the pricing strategy for the property is important to re-examine just before the home comes on the market.  A winning strategy can be developed with the assistance of a pro who has a sharp understanding of both the general market conditions and the specific properties competing for the target buyers’ attentions. Setting a compelling asking price requires evaluating the latest activity, from recently sold homes, to those that are languishing on the market, to the newly listed competition.

Fortunately for our sellers, this preparation doesn’t require years of effort like the Olympic athletes.  Most times, we work with sellers for a few weeks before they plan to list the home for sale.  Other times, we may consult a year or two ahead of a planned move if more extensive work is needed before selling.

Either way, we enjoy the process of consulting on how to best achieve our sellers’ goals.  Most times, those goals include getting the highest price the market will give in the shortest time possible.  Our work with sellers ahead of listing the home for sale is designed to leave no doubt in their minds that they’ve achieved that.  In the end, like all great coaches, we want them to run their best race when it comes time to sell.


Records Continue to be Smashed

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on August 11, 2016

The Olympics are finally here.  We have all seen some inspiring performances throughout the events.  Who can forget some of the greatest moments by Jesse Owens, Mary Lou Retton, Carl Lewis, and Michael Phelps?  Each delivered gold medal performances and graced the front of the iconic Wheaties cereal box as a result.

Here at home, our real estate market continues to perform very well.  In our last newsletter, we shared that previous records in pending home sales were shattered in the first quarter.  Well, buyers in the second quarter smashed previous records, too.

Pending home sales in April through June achieved levels never before seen in our market.  Each month had more than 600 sales, with an average of 618.  The previous best for any of those months was set in May 2015, when we had 545 sales.  Buyers continue to rush back to the market.Quarterly report image for 8-2016

Even with a six-year high in number of homes coming on the market, the amount of buyers is still outpacing new sellers.  This has driven home prices higher over the past year.  With prices of non-distressed properties up 10.7% over the past year, home prices are nearly back to top levels.

These conditions have buyers acting faster than ever.  Well-priced homes – those that did not require a price reduction before receiving an acceptable offer – are going under contract in an average of just 13 days.  That pace is unheard of in our market.  It is more than a month faster than in 2006, which was the last peak of sales activity in our market.

Quarterly report image 2 for 8-2016

This combination of forces should continue to move prices solidly upward over the next 18-24 months.  With our market delivering such a winning performance, do you think Wheaties might place our community on the cover of its next cereal box?


Inspirational Educator Award Winner – Carolyn Gilman

June 30, 2016

(Pictured left to right, Jamie Gibeau – Marketing Director with Coldwell Banker, Meg VanSchoorl with The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, contest judge John Dodge, Maisie Maclay, Carolyn Gilman, Ken Anderson – President/Owner of Coldwell Banker, Matt Grant, Olympia High School Principal) We are thrilled to announce our second Inspirational Educator Award winner, Carolyn […]

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First Place Scholarship Winner – Margaret Maclay

June 12, 2016

(Margaret is pictured here with her mother Annie Maclay  and siblings Ellen and Tavish) Congratulations to the first place scholarship winner of our 6th annual What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest, Margaret Maclay. Margaret – now known to us as Maisie –  wrote a fantastic essay about the history of her home. Her essay was […]

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Second Place Scholarship Winner – Ryan Birbeck

June 10, 2016

(Ryan is pictured here with girlfriend Maddy Welling and parents Jeff and Traci Birbeck) Congratulations to Ryan Birbeck, our second place winner in our 6th annual What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Ryan wrote a great essay about his comfortable and welcoming home – one we would all love to visit! Wonderful job Ryan! […]

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Third Place Scholarship Winner – Karen Coppock

June 9, 2016

(Karen is pictured here with her mother, Alison Coppock) Congratulations to Karen Coppock, our third place winner in our 6th annual What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Karen wrote a beautifully descriptive essay about her home that will capture your attention from start to finish. Her creatively titled essay, The Distinctive Cracks of Life, […]

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2016 Scholarship Essay Contest Winners

May 31, 2016

The panel of community judges have announced the winners of our 2015 What Makes a House a Home scholarship contest. Congratulations to the following students, from Left to Right, Third Place Winner, Karen Coppock from Timberline High School, First Place Winner, Margaret Maclay from Olympia High School and Second Place Winner, Ryan Birbeck from Timberline […]

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Scholarship Essay Contest in Voting Phase

May 9, 2016

    We received over 80 wonderful entries into our 6th annual “What Makes a House a Home” scholarship essay contest.  We are now in our voting phase of the contest (through Friday, May 13th.) To read the essays and vote for your favorite, visit We will announce the Top 10 Finalists on Wednesday, May […]

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Annual Scholarship Contest

March 29, 2016

It’s that time of year again! Our annual “What Makes a House a Home” scholarship contest is about to begin it’s 6th year. All essays can be submitted HERE now through May 8th.  Again, this year we have our “Inspirational Educator Award” where the top scholarship winner will nominate a local, active Thurston County educator who […]

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Smart Buying in a Seller’s Market – Revisited

March 4, 2016

Our local real estate market is off to a record start.  With 882 pending home sales in January and February, we blew past the previous mark of 763 sales last year.  New buyers are now outpacing new sellers coming to the market.  This is leading to multiple offers on many properties. Much talk around the […]

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