I love working with my clients!

November 5, 2014

To Whom it May Concern:

Tom Fine was our buyer’s agent for our recent home purchase in Green Lake, Seattle. We have decided to pen an unsolicited testimonial to his services.

Our family recently relocated from Australia to Seattle and decided to purchase a home. Luckily for us, we found Tom. Tom was able to explain the real estate market and buying and selling process in Seattle (which differs greatly from what we were used to in Australia). He was tireless in identifying properties that met our criteria and spent countless hours on the road with us explaining the positives and negatives of different localities, housing and building styles while viewing ‘open homes’. He was very flexible and understanding in his approach and his availability.

Tom’s knowledge gained as a building contractor was invaluable. He was able to walk through houses with us explaining potential benefits or pitfalls of the construction, layout, style, materials used and potential areas for improvement or maintenance. Several times he drew our attention to problems with construction that we would not otherwise have noticed.

In the end we found a house we wanted to make an offer for and Tom was able to calmly handle negotiations, helping to secure the house below the asking price in a highly competitive real estate market. He kept us in the loop every step of the way.

Subsequent to closing on the house, Tom has been happy to provide advice and expertise in relation to our plans to improve the property.

We’ve been impressed with Tom and would wholeheartedly recommend his services to others looking to buy or sell a home in Seattle.

Mark and Caroline Gordon
Green Lake, Seattle.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 6:05 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Video Called a Time-lapse Study

It is great when we run accross articles, videlo's or photo's of great substance or content. A photographer and director made this Timelapse video and I am fan of cideos like these.

Durring my contruction days, weeks, months  well years, I loved to create timelapse photogtraphy. if shows so much in such a short time.

The Shard: A Timelapse Study – A Film by Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe

http://vimeo.com/portfoleo/theshard

 

Here is another Time-lapse video, about Vancouver

http://vimeo.com/95384593

 

Thank you

Tom Fine

Posted on May 18, 2014 at 11:10 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Properties For Sale, what I look for, are you looking at them the same way?

 

Every day I am looking at properties, for my clients (Buyers & Investors) all over town from Capitol Hill heading South thru Mt. Baker, Seward Park and then West to West Seattle and then NW, to Magnolia and Ballard.  Don't get me wrong; I hit a lot more neighborhoods besides these.  

What I saw and continue to see from some other Brokers is disappointing; these are listings that come on to the market and they are not prepared for the buyers. The sellers have one opportunity to make a first impression and when I walk up the house and grab onto a post to open a gate and the post is wobbly, I loose trust, then I say, well let’s see maybe that was overlooked.  Then I see other items that make me nervous and concerned. These are minor items such as cover plates missing off electrical devices and poorly executed finishes. These are items that should have been addressed prior to putting this home on the market.  Why?  If these are not an issue then these items don’t turn off people. 

As a professional I am coaching my clients on getting the best return for their investment and this means installing cover-plates on switches and receptacles, fixing a wiggly post for a fence and dealing with a heap fix to meet a code issue. Oh I forgot to mention, the house smelled! I work hard for my clients and my clients know that when I ask them to do something, they know it is in their best interest, not mine and for them to maximize their return, they do what makes sense. 

I can see that several items feel thru the cracks for this listing, and I don't know where it was but I am glad to say I am thoroughly disappointed in what I saw. I saw another property that was on the market for a while and I can say the pictures online look great!  The in person comments are, peeling paint and cracks in the walls. For a fixer upper, not a problem, but overpriced is what we see and this will attract the low ballers. 

 

Look at the listing as what the buyer will see, the “Buyers Eyes”. Remember if a buyer sees items that don't look good, they start thinking what else is wrong with the house?

 

Don’t let the buyer drive the price down, get the price up.

 

Let me know if I can help you.

 

Tom Fine

Windermere RE, Capitol Hill, Inc.

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 8:08 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Throw your Money Away! Use the Referral From your Realtor

 

Do you like to throw your money away? If you are like me, I value my money and don't like throwing money away. Don't get me wrong, I do buy things once in a while that might be ridiculous, but at least I am making that choice.  When you pick a mortgage broker, because they are a friend or friend of a friend or they may be a big bank. This may be you are gambling with your money.  

Why do I bring this up, well this happens more than I would like. I have clients that come to me and they have a buddy that is a banker for a large bank and we have a real estate property that we are in contract with. It has a 45 day close.  The banker takes the information and the appraisal doesn't happen for 15 days, (what! 15 days for an appraisal) but the client is told by the banker everything is good and release the financing contingency. Done, Financing contingency is released, no contingencies left.  I tried to interject and emails would not come back to me form the banker, the banker was only responding to his client which is "our client". 5 days before the scheduled close, the client is rejected by underwriting, (What!) The banker said to his client (Suppose to be our client) he can work it out and needs another 5 days. We are now going to 50 days to close. Seller does not accept an extension, guess what, we are so close to the client loosing his earnest money. Why? Because of the buddies relationship with the banker. a large sum of money was on the table as far as the earnest money that was in jeopardy. After an exhausting day with multiple conversations with the listing broker, I was able to work out an extension with working with the listing agent and negotiating a deal. Today, the deal got done, but my gosh, none of us need to have this kind of stress.

What can be learned from this? Please use the referral from your Realtor. 

It is about getting the deal done for our clients, with the least amount of stress to the clients. Our clients need to feel special and that they are being taken care of. It's critical to provide them with updates with the current program and where they sit in the funding process.

This is what we do, getting the job done with the least amount of stress and provide updates and clear and open communication.

More stories to come.

If you need a referral or are looking for a property, contact Tom Fine.

 

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 6:59 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Options to Keep our Parents in their Homes as Long as Possible

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Of course, your ability to do this hinges on many factors, including the nature of the challenges you face in your current home. Major home renovations may be required, but there are also numerous inexpensive steps you can take to improve your living situation, including:

 

SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

Flooring: carpeting is preferable to area rugs because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. But if area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.

Handrails: on stairways, add a second handrail along the opposite wall for improved stability.

Footwear: to prevent falls, non-slip shoes are preferable to slippers or socks.

Non-skid safety strips: adhered to the floor of a tub/ shower, non-skid strips are preferable to removable in-shower bath mats.

Bathroom grab bars: ideally these should be anchored into the wall, but if that’s not possible opt for a safety rail clamped onto the side of the tub.

Quality step ladder: purchase a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder with a hand-hold bar across the top to safely reach items stored out of reach.

Lighting: whether it’s making a bathtub brighter or installing motion-activated night lights in the hallway, better lighting can help prevent falls and make hobbies, reading, etc. more enjoyable. Lighting improvements might be as simple as changing the bulbs (to higher wattages or to bulbs that mimic daylight instead of “yellow” soft lighting) or adding battery-operated units.

 

CONVENIENCE FACTORS

Hand shower: convert a standard fixed shower head into a hand-held system with a flexible hose.

Raised toilet seats: no need to buy a new toilet when a removable seat can be added to most standard toilets.

Mail catcher: mail delivered via a slot in the door may be easier to retrieve than from a mail box, especially if a narrow basket is mounted below the door opening so the recipient doesn’t have to pick mail off the floor.

Knobs: replace round door and/or faucet knobs with lever styles, which are easier to turn. Likewise, loop pulls can make drawers easier to open.

Eating: specially-designed cups and eating utensils can minimize food spills, including weighted options that help counterbalance shake-prone hands.

Cooking utensils: lightweight and ergonomically-designed options are readily available now, many offering non-slip handles and bright, attractive colors.

Keep things handy: move often-used items to easy-to- access locations.

Eliminate excess “stuff”: having fewer items to store, sort, juggle and handle can make aging in place an easier and more enjoyable proposition.

 

 

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 2:34 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,