Real Estate TransitionsTips for Home Selling September 28, 2019

Tips for Home Selling | Will You Pay More or Less Excise Tax in 2020?

If you are trying to decide whether to sell your home year or next, one of the variables you might want to consider and prepare for is the new 2020 Real Estate Excise Tax (REET). Currently the Washington state excise tax is 1.28% and then local municipalities add their excise tax on top of that, with most cities in our area adding .5% so the average total REET is 1.78%. Effective 1/1/2020 this will change to a new sliding scale based upon the home’s sales price. Depending on your price point you might want to sell before or after the end of the year.

New Progressive REET Rates

Home Sales Price REET (including standard .5% municipality tax)
0-$500,000 1.60%                    You will pay less in 2020
$501,000-$1,500,000 1.78%                    You will pay less in 2020
$1,501,000 – $3,000,000 3.25%                    You will more in 2020
$3,000,000 + 3.50%                    You will more in 2020


Here are some sample calculations compared to 2019

Home Sales Price 2019 REET 2020 REET
$500,000 $500,000*1.78%=$8,900 $500,000*1.60%=$8,000
$750,000 $750,000*1.78%=$13,350 $500,000*1.60%=$8,000
$250,000*1.78%=$4,450                 Total =$12,450
$1,500,000 $1,500,000*1.78%=$26,700 $500,000*1.60%=$8,000
$1,000,000*1.78%=$17,800                  Total =$25,800
$2,500,000 $2,500,000*1.78%=$44,500 $500,000*1.60%=$8,000
$1,000,000*3.25%=$32,500                 Total =$58,300
$3,500,000 $3,500,000*1.78%=$62,300 $500,000*1.60%=$8,000
Total =$92,050
Real Estate TransitionsTips for Home BuyingTips for Home Selling June 4, 2015

Why Local Expertise is Important

Real estate is local and while it is good to know what is going on nationally and even regionally, what really matters if you are thinking about selling your home and/or buying one, is what is going on in your city and your neighborhood and even for your home style. Local expertise is invaluable in helping you explore your options and knowing what to expect with respect to the numbers, timing and process.  

Here is the data your local Real Estate expert should be able to provide you:

  • What type of market is it? You should know how many homes are Active, Pending (under contract), and Sold in the last 3 months.  This data will indicate the market supply and demand and whether it is a Seller, Buyer, or Balanced market and therefore who has the negotiation advantage and the correct pricing and offer strategy.  This information is available for your city, neighborhood and home style (1-story, 2-story, tri-level, split-level, etc.)
  • How quickly are homes selling? This is especially important if you are planning to sell your current home and buy a new home – there are different timing and financing strategies depending on the availability of home inventory and the average time that homes are on the market.  It is also very helpful knowledge if you have a target move date because then you can determine the optimal time for market preparation & listing, home touring and submittal of offers.
  • How close to list price are homes selling and what is their price per value? If all of the comparable homes are selling at or above list price – then you know that buyers will be searching for homes priced at or below their maximum purchase price.  This is very different from a market where homes are selling at a 5-10% discount so both sellers and buyers should adjust their strategy appropriately. Market time is also critical in both situations – knowing how to deal with multiple offers, single offers, or no offers can make a big impact on the final sales price of a home.

Call us if you want to explore your options and understand the market data specific to your home and goals. We work with buyers & sellers all over the Eastside and we live in and are local experts in Woodinville and its surrounding communities.The Blue Team – working twice as hard for you and providing a team of experts to guide you in all your real estate transitions!


Real Estate TransitionsTips for Home Buying April 18, 2015

Tips for Home Buying | Purchasing A New Construction Home

Thinking about buying a new home? It is a slightly different purchase then residential resale where you need to consider the seller’s emotions and plans, so make sure you plan accordingly and take the right steps to optimize your new home buying experience.  Here are just a few tips for you to consider.

Timing: To get the best deal on a new home, pay attention to timing. Builders are businesses and so they are more likely to offer a price reduction, or more likely a “hidden discount” by paying for closing costs or home appliances & upgrades at no charge in the following situations: (1) End of quarter/end of year closings; (2) Homes that are already built or within weeks of completion; (3) First couple homes in a development to get sales started; and (4) Last couple homes in a development – when they want to close out the site.

Contracts: Builders require their own contracts so make sure you understand what is and what isn’t included in the price (appliances, landscaping, “decorator options, etc.) as it is much easier to negotiate for items to be included before you enter into the agreement. Warranties – these can really vary, know what is and isn’t included and during what timeframes and whether it is transferrable to the next owner should you decide to sell during the warranty period.

Inspections: Yes, you should get an inspection on a new home since it is always easier to get repairs done before you close then after – no matter what warranty is offered by the builder. Remember, things can get done incorrectly or even missed with new construction, here are some potential big ticket red flags:

  • Sticky doors: If the home is new, it shouldn’t have sticky doors and windows – this can be an indicator of more serious structural problems.
  • Diagonal cracks: Anything more than a hairline crack should be checked out and straight vertical cracks are more likely to be insignificant than a diagonal one.
  • Puddles near the foundation: When it rains, do puddles form against the home’s foundation?  This could be a sign of problematic landscape grading that could lead to flooding in your basement or crawl space.

It is also good to do an internet search for reviews of the builder to see what if any recurring problems they have had in other neighborhoods they have built and make sure your inspector looks for those potential defects on your home.

Want to explore your options?  Contact The Blue Team – working twice as hard for you and providing a team of experts to guide you in all your real estate transitions!