Tag Archives: real estate

Covid-19 and real estate

I was planning to write today for a different reason than I’m writing now. I was planning to write and talk about the spring real estate market because most people who are thinking about a move start talking about buying and selling in early spring. But our world has changed as we all focus on new priorities which include staying safe and healthy. I hope you and your family are doing well in light of all that’s going on.

Virtually overnight this virus has changed the way we live, and many people wonder how this will affect the real estate market. I want to assure you that the real estate market will weather this storm and there will be many more sunny days ahead for real estate. The economy was strong before the virus and will recover once the crisis has passed.

The fundamentals of our real estate market are strong. Immediately prior to the virus outbreak our housing inventory was extremely tight and buyers had to compete when making offers to buy. Our economy was thriving, unemployment was low and demand for housing was extremely high. Home prices had risen to record high levels and sellers were experiencing high appreciation rates on their homes. 

Over the years I have seen many events that affected our real estate market, including the Great Recession of 2008/2009, the dot.combubble bursting in the late 90’s, and the horrific terrorist attack on our country on 9-11. A common thread among these events is that we weathered their effects and real estate came back even stronger than before. I expect the same thing to happen again.

So please remember that real estate is an industry driven by supply and demand. Our area has too little inventory to satisfy our demand, and this fact caused real estate prices to rise so substantially over the past few years. Real estate still is and will continue to be a strong, stable investment. It is still an incredible time to both buy and sell real estate because buyers benefit from low interest rates while sellers benefit from the low inventory and the high buyer interest. And while the market may be “on hold” while we all exercise caution and stay at home, know that this is a temporary situation. 

I also wanted you to know that I am adapting in order to continue helping you and the people you care about. For the next little while there will be fewer people searching for their dream home, but here will still people who need to sell a home and even more who want to take advantage of compelling interest rate offers. I will be incorporating tools like video and web conferencing to have meetings and to show and market homes for the people whose moves must go on. Continue to feel comfortable having me as your resource to lead, guide, and protect you and your home during all times and especially in times like these.

All the best,


Which condo would you want to sell – or think about buying?

A pair of agents in my office has a listing that’s not selling in a hot market.  With their permission and company permission, I stopped by to take a few photos to demonstrate why photography matters.  On the left, theirs.  On the right, the ones I took this evening.  Granted, it’s an empty condo – but what do you think, does photography matter?




This beautiful East Bellevue condo with a view of downtown Bellevue is a short walk to the new Spring District.  Listed at $399,800.  You know how to reach me.

Getting Top Dollar For Your Home – With Photography


Great photography is vital for getting the most potential buyers to your listing and top dollar for your home.

The National Association of REALTORS 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that in 2016, 95% of buyers used the internet to search for homes.

This one statistic supports what you already know: virtually all buyers find potential homes online first and then decide whether to visit. That decision to personally visit rests heavily with the online presence of your home, and great photos are the focus of online presence. They, like most of us, sift through online information quickly, saving or discarding based on initial impressions. If your home is not photographed properly, at optimal angles, color corrected, lit correctly, and if those photos do not tell the story of your house, your home may go in the discard bin.

Shameless Plug: let me first be clear that in addition to being a licensed REALTOR in Seattle and Missoula, I am a pro real estate photographer. That’s an additional expertise and service my clients receive. My work has been featured in The Seattle Times and in addition to my own listings I photograph for some of Seattle’s top REALTORS.   Check out my work here: www.stussyrephotography.com

As a REALTOR and real estate photographer I know that many agents choose the least expensive option and that’s usually reflected in the photos, then in market time, and ultimately in sale price.

Demand these photographic elements from the agent who is listing your property:

  • Professional HD Real Estate Photography. It takes a photographer with training in real estate photography to know how to photograph a home for sale. Even then, there are levels of competency. Are the colors realistic? Is there lens distortion (are vertical lines vertical)? Are windows blown out (white) or is a nondescript view overly accentuated, drawing attention away from the interior? There’s a balance to achieve and your photographer needs to know what’s most important in each photo and how to achieve the desired result.blogp-3

Do the photos flow through the house, giving a sense of the layout to tell the story of your house? A trained real estate photographer knows how to showcase your home in photos that attract buyers.

  • Manage the photo allowance in the MLS. But don’t overdo it. I see many listings underserved with too few photos. In the NWMLS (Seattle), 25 photos are allowed. Your agent should be able to use all 25 to describe your house in pictures. In Montana, where I also list and sell properties, there’s a higher limit and I see listings with up to 40 photos – and in most cases that’s way too many. Your agent should be able to find a balance and post the correct number of photos, with an emphasis on the “money” shots that really bring in buyers. Too many photos may introduce elements that distract buyers from attention getting features. Use the right number of photos to give potential buyers a clear idea of what your property is about and entice a visit.
  • Add Comments To Photos. While it’s the job of photos and the photographer to give a sense of the flow in your home, sometimes a little explanation is in order. Is the Master Bedroom on the main floor or upstairs? Does that door lead to the garage or the back yard? Your agent may know your floorplan, but buyers may need some help with some additional comments.

Look at listings in your town. Is the photography good or is it poor? I work in two distinct US markets (see links at the bottom of the page) and the photo work is vastly different between them. If the photography in your market is good, you must have great photos just to compete. If photography in your market isn’t first rate, that’s an opportunity for you to get the advantage over your competition with great photos and marketing.

Remember how great photography will help when you’re ready to list your home for sale. I’m happy to show you what to expect when we work together.


View: Seattle Real Estate, Missoula Real Estate, Real Estate Photography