For Sale By Owner – Learn from a real estate attorney how to Buy or Sell it Yourself

March 8th, 2017 by Claire

The Holmes Law Group and WaLaw Realty are offering a workshop on Wednesday, March 29th to anyone interested in buying or selling a home For Sale By Owner and cutting out the commissions.

Pizza, beer, and a lot of great insight whether you’re a first timer or old pro – all for just $5.  Real estate attorney and managing broker Marc Holmes has helped several hundred clients buy and sell homes on and off market. He will discuss:

  • The myth of “Full Service”and the superstar “Neighborhood” agent (every neighborhood has one and they’re usually not that super)
  • Pros and cons of FSBO versus listing in the MLS 
  • Tools and resources for marketing a home FSBO 
  • For buyers, how to find homes For Sale By Owner
  • Correctly pricing the home (probably the thing sellers most frequently get wrong)
  • Dealing with potential buyers and the agents that call
  • Seller disclosure requirements and protecting your interests (whether buying or selling)
  • The offer negotiation process
  • The title and escrow process

6pm to 8pm here at our office in Lower Queen Anne.  Audience feedback and participation is encouraged so we can tailor the talk to address the interests of the folks who attend.

RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you!

For Sale By Owner Seminar & Workshop – Learn from a real estate attorney how to buy or sell a home without paying 6% in commissions

July 10th, 2015 by Claire

WaLaw Realty is offering a free workshop on Thursday, August 13th at 6 pm to anyone interested in buying or selling a home For Sale By Owner and cutting out the 6% commission traditionally paid to real estate agents.  The class will run from 6pm to 8pm here at our office in Lower Queen Anne.  We’ll provide pizza and beer plus a lot of great insight – all at no cost to you!

Whether you’re a first timer or an old pro, you’ll surely learn something new at this class.  Real estate attorney and managing broker of WaLaw Realty, Marc Holmes, will discuss:

  • Tools and resources for marketing a home FSBO (and how buyers can find off market deals)
  • Correctly pricing the home (probably the thing sellers most frequently get wrong)
  • Dealing with potential buyers and the agents that call
  • Seller disclosure requirements and protecting your interests (whether a buying or selling)
  • The offer negotiation process
  • The title and escrow process

Audience feedback and participation is encouraged so we can tailor the talk to address the interests of the folks who attend.

Marc will also answer any questions about WaLaw’s flat fee business model that combines the services of a real estate agent with the skills of an attorney, all at a cost that is a whole lot less than what you would pay a typical agent.

Click Here to Register Today for our next Free For Sale By Owner Class.  We look forward to seeing you!

Property Search Tools: Top 5 Online Home Buying Tools

October 1st, 2011 by Marc Holmes

Online Home Buyer Search Tool from Redfin

Redfin has a Well Respected MLS Search Tool. Create Different Searches and Receive Email Alerts for Each One.

Today there are literally hundreds of websites and online search tools you can use to buy or sell a home. At WaLaw Realty, we charge a low flat fee so our clients save the commission usually paid to a real estate agent. Here are our recommendations for tools you can use to find the home that’s right for you. Give us a call if you need more tips!

If you’re like many of our buyer clients you may be thoroughly frustrated with the lack of quality inventory out there right now.  Our clients are scrubbing the MLS daily but just can’t find what they’re searching for.  (more…)

Getting a Mortgage to Buy a Home: Bank of America & the Dance of Death

October 7th, 2010 by Marc Holmes

 

Take our advice and avoid Bank of America like the plague.

BofA is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States today and, until not too long ago, one of the most prestigious as well.  It used to be that a pre-approval from BofA meant a lot because of their relatively high credit standards (admittedly, the bar set by the mortgage industry was extremely low).  I’ve had many clients use BofA over the years and seldom had any problems.  That all changed in August as we were preparing to close a client’s purchase of a FSBO house in Seattle.

The first foreshadowing of the problems to come was BofA’s discovery that an FHA rule required postponing the closing date.  Turns out the seller hadn’t held title long enough (90 days) due to a transfer out of her LLC into her personal name.  Ok, that’s not BofA’s fault or our client’s fault so no big deal.  BofA assured us that they had everything they’d need and they’d close this puppy lickety-split so all we had to do is wait out the rest of the 90 days. 

So, we extended the closing date, jumped through a hoop or two, and waited for the FHA-required time period to pass.  Unfortunately, lickety-split turned into a whole month of foot dragging and excuses for why the deal wasn’t closing.  Repeatedly we were told that “we’re in underwriting” but now they need this, that or the other thing.  Or they’re waiting for a response from somebody about something.  Or something got lost or misplaced.  Or forgotten.  Or they need something they didn’t anticipate.  Then they need a new appraisal.  It was non-stop.  I was told “I’ve got a call into so and so but haven’t heard back” or “I sent so and so an email and am waiting for a reply” so many times it was ridiculous.  Apparently, returning internal calls or emails is optional at BofA.  It got so bad, the apologies so numerous, and the incompetence so great that we were kicking ourselves for not going to a new lender.  And BofA wasn’t denying it.  They ended up comping our client several nights in a hotel and a birthday dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in town.

Now I’ll be the first to concede that hiccups and delays before closing are common and practically par for the course these days.  But they seldom merit starting over with a new lender only days before closing.  In this case everyone at BofA assured us that the file was fine and they just needed a little more time.  So we hung tight.  In hind sight it might have been worth the effort to look elsewhere.

Our client really wanted the home and was understandably concerned that the seller would back out.  The concern was valid because the seller could have reasonably decided to walk away.  Fortunately, the contract we drafted protected our client’s earnest money so the seller had a big disincentive to bailing out.  Our client’s desire for the home also made sense because it’s a great house and he was getting a great price: two separate appraisers both appraised it for more than the agreed upon sales price.  That’s pretty impressive in this day and age when appraisals come in low much more often than high. 

Fortunately, we had a very understanding seller and an open line of communication gave her some idea of why we were being delayed.  Ultimately, BofA got their act together and the deal closed but the process taught us a real lesson about how far BofA has fallen.

It’s clear that BofA didn’t use the billions of dollars in bailout money it received to hire enough staff or to train and motivate their staff to do quality work.  

Well, we’ve learned our lesson and we’ll politely decline the next time somebody asks us to do the Dance of Death with Bank of America.