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Real Estate Powers of Attorney

November 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Buying, Featured, MISC, Selling

 rsz_poa_use

It’s a reality of life that there may come a time when your spouse, partner or loved one either becomes incapacitated or unable to act for themselves.  If the individual has financial matters involving real estate, it’s very important to have a Power of Attorney filed in order to protect their interests.  Below are the different types of POA’s available for real estate transactions:

Special Power of Attorney for a Sale – Good for six months or less in most cases, this POA is used for selling  property.  A legal description of it, notarized and recorded*, is also needed to finalize the transaction.  It’s also good for only one specific piece of property.  Another sale would need another POA.

Special Power of Attorney for a Purchase/Encumber - Covers a property purchase. With lender approval, you can also use this POA to financially encumber property with a security instrument.  This POA is also only good for six months or less, and a legal description of the property must be notarized and recorded*.  In addition, this POA only covers one specific property purchase.  If the individual wants to do another buy, they’d need to do another POA.

Durable Power of Attorney – This is the most common POA, where an individual may give power to cover a wide array of matters from health care, to buying or selling, to managing business or financial matters.  A POA can even be set up to file a lawsuit. The length of a POA can be set for a specific or indefinite period, but can also be cancelled at any time. It can also take effect immediately or in the future.  There is language one can put in to cover everything but for real estate transactions, the POA needs to specifically include the right to sell and/or purchase property, make property gifts, or change community property agreements.  Filing* this document also ensures that real estate transactions are valid for title insurance purposes.

Other Power of Attorney Information – The POA ends in the event of the individual’s death.  And, a POA does not substitute for a will by either creating or altering one.

How to Create a Power of Attorney – A Durable POA is typically set up and filed by an attorney.  A Special POA can either be done by an attorney, or by using approved generic forms which you can download from the Washington State Bar Association forms website.  If you go this route, don’t forget to get it recorded!

For More Information – The University of Washington’s Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library website is an excellent source on all sorts of legal matters. Their Power of Attorney link also includes information on Guardianships.  Legal advice via email and phone is also available, just check out the links on top of their webpage.

*For King County residents, ”Recorded” and “Filing” refers to registering POA’s with the King County Recorder’s office.  POA’s are considered confidential and in King County, are not accessible to the public.

The ABC’s of Deeds

September 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Buying, Featured, Selling

Trust Deed

You may think a deed is a pretty standard document but in reality, there are seven types to choose from.  They are:

Bargain and Sale Deed:  A deed by which the grantor “bargains, sells and conveys” real property to the grantee.  A bargain and sale deed conveys fee simple title to the grantee and warrants against defects created by the grantor, except for those matters disclosed in the deed.

Quit Claim Deed:  A deed by which the grantor “conveys and quit claims” to the grantee any interest the grantor might have, if any, in certain real property. A quit claim deed conveys no warranties or title. A quit claim deed conveys no after-acquired title, unless the deed contains words expressing the intent to do so.

Personal Representative Deed:  An attorney-prepared deed used when the seller of property is deceased. The Grantor on this type of deed has been authorized by the court to convey the property on behalf of the estate. The attorney preparing the deed may incorporate warrants similar to Bargain & Sale Deed, Special Warranty Deed or Quit Claim Deed.

Statutory Warranty Deed:  A deed by which the grantor “conveys and warrants” the real property to the grantee. A statutory warranty deed conveys fee simple title to the grantee and warrants against defects asserted by all persons, except for those matters disclosed in the deed.

Special Warranty Deed:  A special warranty deed is similar to a Washington form bargain and sale deed, which conveys fee simple title to the grantee and warrants against defects created by the grantor, except for those matters disclosed in the deed.

Tax Deed:  A deed issued by the county treasurer to the purchaser at a tax sale conducted due to nonpayment of taxes.  A tax deed should be recorded to give notice that title has passed to the purchaser at the sale.

Trustee’s Deed:  A deed issued by the trustee of a deed of trust following the non-judicial foreclosure of a deed of trust in default.  First, the trustee or beneficiary sends a Notice of Default.  Then, the trustee: 1) records a Notice of Trustee’s Sale; 2) holds the trustee’s sale; and 3) issues a Trustee’s Deed to the highest bidder at the sale.  The Trustee’s Deed should be recorded to give notice that title has passed to the purchaser at the sale.

If you need further explanation specific to your situation, please consult your attorney. We’d like to thank Michelle Barry, Senior Account Manager at Commonwealth Land Title Company of Puget Sound, LLC for allowing us to reprint this material. If you have further questions, please contact her at cwtitle.net.

What’s the Sales Difference at Cosmopolitan by View?

March 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Cosmopolitan, Featured, Land Use, Selling

Cosmopolitan closings, N, S, E facing:
Address Bd Bth SqFt Date CDOM Sale Price $/SqFt
3204
1 1.5 1,093 6/27/2008 11 549,950 503
3102
2 1.75 1,316 10/8/2009 5 510,840 388
2804
2 2 1,186 8/15/2008 102 715,000 603
2706
1 1 734 2/1/2008 79 438,000 597
2704
2 2 1,195 9/7/2007 118 735,000 615
2702
2 2 1,318 5/2/2008 243 800,000 607
2606
1 1 734 4/19/2007 104 441,950 602
2511
1 1 954 6/8/2007 12 590,000 618
2505
1 1 767 2/25/2010 262 330,000 430
2504
2 2 1,195 7/20/2007 27 710,000 594
2502
2 2 1,316 6/20/2009 139 750,000 570
2402
2 1.75 1,318 7/24/2007 35 892,000 677
2305
1 1 740 6/19/2007 31 455,000 615
2301
1 1 943 6/18/2007 24 572,300 607
2206
1 1 739 8/30/2007 112 412,000 558
2011
1 1 954 6/5/2007 41 579,950 608
2005
1 1 735 5/31/2007 23 430,000 585
1904
2 2 1,195 2/6/2009 138 535,000 448
1806
1 1 739 9/25/2008 245 377,000 510
1805
1 1 738 7/25/2008 24 370,000 501
1711
1 1 954 10/7/2009 100 367,000 385
1703
1 1 820 3/13/2008 41 504,750 616
1505
1 1 738 11/10/2009 136 240,000 325
1505
1 1 735 6/8/2007 27 431,000 586
1401
1 1 965 8/13/2007 115 532,500 552
903
1 1 820 10/10/2007 62 425,000 518
1204
2 2 1,186 3/1/2010 105 500,000 422
1202
2 1.75 1,316 7/29/2009 35 650,000 494
1006
1 1 738 12/14/2007 212 366,000 496
1001
1 1 943 9/28/2007 151 495,000 525
906
1 1 735 6/13/2007 28 439,900 599
Averages 963 89.903226 $520,811 $540
Cosmopolitan closings, West facing:
Address Bd Bth SqFt Date CDOM Sale Price $/SqFt
3010
1 1 979 7/31/2007 63 625,000 638
2910
1 1 943 10/5/2007 145 607,000 644
2708
1 1 722 3/25/2008 50 400,000 554
2708
1 1 722 9/6/2007 82 439,000 608
2607
2 2 1,248 8/2/2007 76 760,000 609
2009
1 1 719 7/10/2007 53 400,000 556
2008
0 1 427 6/21/2007 59 255,000 597
2007
1 1 800 3/2/2009 537 330,000 413
1907
1 1 800 6/14/2007 98 445,000 556
2109
1 1 719 10/29/2007 16 400,000 556
2409
1 1 719 7/19/2007 42 440,000 612
2209
1 1 719 5/15/2007 23 330,000 459
2208
0 1 424 9/28/2009 17 202,000 476
2309
1 1 719 8/24/2007 93 415,000 577
1808
0 1 427 6/30/2008 370 222,000 520
1708
0 1 419 9/24/2008 528 220,000 525
1609
1 1 719 5/30/2007 56 399,950 556
1511
1 1 943 4/27/2007 19 560,000 594
1508
0 1 419 5/4/2009 23 206,000 492
1409
1 1 711 5/25/2007 36 379,950 534
1407
1 1 800 5/8/2008 27 380,000 475
1209
1 1 719 8/16/2007 76 378,950 527
1109
1 1 719 4/30/2007 14 389,950 542
1107
1 1 800 10/8/2007 112 425,000 531
1009
1 1 711 5/8/2007 17 377,000 530
1008
0 1 427 7/27/2007 27 242,900 569
Averages 710.538462 102.26923
$393,450
$548
Curently on market, west facing:
Address Bd Bth SqFt Date CDOM Sale Price $/SqFt
1905
1 1 738 2/27/2010 237 299,000 405
2908
1 1 722 12/12/2009 241 299,950 415
1607
1 1 800 12/3/2009 318 307,000 384
1801
1 1 954 12/2/2009 183 325,000 341
2808
1 1 722 2/9/2010 127 350,000 485
2407
1 1 800 2/16/2010 195 360,000 450
2909
2 2 1,322 3/1/2010 244 599,950 454
3009
2 1.75 1,324 3/2/2010 511 645,000 487
Averages
922.75
257
$398,238
$428

Virtual Staging… Great Way to Sell, or Deceptive Marketing?

January 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Selling

A new trend is starting to emerge when it comes to selling vacant homes. There has been a lot of research suppporting the importance of “staging” (setting up a home with furniture and small touches to envision living there) and how it ensures a faster sale.  Technology itself is now attempting to provide another alternative to the cost of human real estate services through “virtual staging”.  The question that seems to be popping up on blogs touting about the benefits of virtual staging is, “Will the buyer feel deceived?”

One virtual staging site in particular claims the following as facts:

  • Staged homes sell for 6% more than vacant homes.
  • Vacant homes take twice as long to sell than staged homes.
  • Only 10% of homebuyers can visualize the potential of a home.

Staging is certainly a good idea when it comes to presenting a room’s intention to a potential buyer.  Staging businesses have been popping up everywhere since Barb Schwartz (once a WA state agent) started the program and created the Accredited Staging Professionals credential almost a decade ago.  For those who have found the real estate business to be different than what they expected, running a full-time business solely on servicing agents and FSBO’s in staging has become a respectable business.  At the same time, staging can even be an expensive business to run when considering that more furniture needs to be bought and/or put in storage.  Where is the cost absorbed?  Generally by the seller.  In many cases, when the potential cost to stage a home is presented to a seller as a way to get more interest at a property, many sellers would rather apply that money towards reducing the list price.

With virtual staging, sellers can now circumvent the cost for around $200.  Still yet to really find any feedback from those actually looking to buy, here’s what they would or would not see when looking at vacant properties.

Image of Vacant Property As Seen Online

Image of Vacant Property As Seen Online

Image of Property Virtually Staged As Seen Online

Image of Property Virtually Staged As Seen Online

Image of Property When Seen by in Real Life

Image of Property When Seen in Real Life

Does that virtual depiction make a difference when it comes down to choosing what to buy?  Builders have been doing it for years, and it does seem to be an effective way to save marketing dollars.  But the question remains, is it deceiving to lure a buyer into a property that appears to be staged when in fact it is not?

Bullish About 2010? Matrix Drums Up Half by the 12th Day

January 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Downtown (MLS Area 701), Featured, Selling

We are curious to see how the downtown market is starting off for 2010. Since the beginning of the year, a high number has come up for new listings.  However, almost half of the 57 (-3) units is just Williams and MCM hacking into the MLS to update their new company’s name.

Unfortunately many are still left feeling bad for being responsible while not losing a tremendous amount of net worth in home value.  Buyers are snatching up the flipped floorplan of the same unit next door for sometimes half the price.

Economists are still throwing dust in the wind to predict what the market is going to be like for 2010, but there certainly are not as many running for cover.  The argument today seems to be mostly focused on opinions regarding Escala’s lobby.

At any rate, here’s what’s hitting the market for the beginnng of 2010 and at what price… (*does not include pendings or price adjustments)

Alexandria – 0B/1B, 450 Sq. Ft. $174,950
Bellora – 0B/1B, 516 Sq. Ft. $189,000
Marselle – 0B/1B, 376 Sq. Ft. $199,990
Marselle – 0B/1B, 556 Sq. Ft. $214,990
Matae – 0B/1B, 452 Sq. Ft. $219,000
Marselle – 0B/1B, 562 Sq. Ft. $219,000
Marselle – 1B/1B, 744 Sq. Ft. $249,000
Marselle – 1B/1B, 781 Sq. Ft. $259,990
Marselle – 1B/1.5B, 836 Sq. Ft. $259,990
Marselle – 1B/1.5B, 836 Sq. Ft. $259,990
Marselle – 1B/1.5B, 842 Sq. Ft. $264,990
Marselle – 1B/1B, 781 Sq. Ft. $269,990
Marselle – 1B/1B, 706 Sq. Ft. $269,990
Veer Lofts – 1B/1B, 703 Sq. Ft. $274,500
Veer Lofts – 1B/1B, 640 Sq. Ft. $282,500
Concord – 0B/1B, 580 Sq. Ft. $285,000
Marselle – 1B/1.5B, 846 Sq. Ft. $299,990
Marselle – 1B/1B, 956 Sq. Ft. $299,990
Cosmopolitan – 1B/1B, n/a Sq. Ft. $300,000
Arbor Place – 1B/1B, 675 Sq. Ft. $315,000
Marselle – 1B/1B, 956 Sq. Ft. $324,990
Belltown Lofts – 1B/1B, 889 Sq. Ft. $349,000
Veer Lofts – 1B/1.5B, 810 Sq. Ft. $349,500
Klee – 1B/1B, 721 Sq. Ft. $355,000
Vine – 1B/1.5B, 1022 Sq. Ft. $375,000
Marselle – 2B/2B, 1217 Sq. Ft. $279,000
Marselle – 2B/2B, 1058 Sq. Ft. $389,990
Marselle – 2B/2B, 1251 Sq. Ft. $399,990
Veer Lofts – 1B/1.5B, 909 Sq. Ft. $409,500
Trio – 1B/1B, n/a Sq. Ft. $414,950
Veer Lofts – 1B/1.5B, 1005 Sq. Ft. $429,500
Royal Crest – 2B/1.75B, 1323 Sq. Ft. $439,950
Cosmopolitan – 2B/2B, 1186 Sq. Ft. $446,738
Parc – 1B/1B, 775 Sq. Ft. $465,000
Market Court – 1B/1.5B, 1015 Sq. Ft. $469,000
Florentine – 1B/1.75B, 1437 Sq. Ft. $484,950
Post Mews – 1B/1B, 1913 Sq. Ft. $499,900
Merrill Place – 1B/1.5B, 1271 Sq. Ft. $544,000
Waterfront Landings – 2B/1.75B, 1116 Sq. Ft. $549,000
Bay Vista Tower – 2B/2B, 1371 Sq. Ft. $585,000
Cosmopolitan – 2B/2B, 1316 Sq. Ft. $695,000
Cosmopolitan – 2B/1.75B, 1324 Sq. Ft. $695,000
One Pacific Tower – 2B/2B, 1523 Sq. Ft. $695,000
Enso – 2B/2B, 1129 Sq. Ft. $715,000
Continental Place – 1B/1B, 842 Sq. Ft. $750,000
Market Place North – 1B/1.5B, 1288 Sq. Ft. $879,000
One Pacific Tower – 2B/2B, 1523 Sq. Ft. $1,000,000
Enso – 2B/2.5B, 1556 Sq. Ft. $1,025,000
1521 Second – 2B/1.75B, 1968 Sq. Ft. $1,125,000
1521 Second – 2B/1.75B, 1644 Sq. Ft. $1,125,000
Enso – 2B/2B, 1892 Sq. Ft. $1,295,000
Madison Tower – 3B/2.5B, 3010 Sq. Ft. $4,995,000

Will an Energy Audit become a Mandate for Sellers?

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Puget Sound Region, Selling

The City of Seattle is proposing that all homes in Seattle go through an audit which will score the address on its carbon footprint and energy efficiency.  So far, the program is only being proposed as a mandate on residential homes and small multi-family transactions.  If approved, the performance of the audit would require sellers to disclose the  results to prospective buyers.

Inspiration for the mandate comes from the city’s desire to be a leader in greenhouse gas reduction.  Jurisdictions in California, Oregon, Texas, and Colorado are also discussing the idea.  However, there is a list of concerns regarding the transaction itself which could prevent the idea from becomoing legal:

  • Mandate places another burden on an already complicated, stressful and costly process.
  • Preservation of cash and ease of transactions are critical.  Additional dollars often are scarce for both the buyer and seller.
  • Buyers are already struggling to afford their first house or move-up house.
  • Sellers are seeking to preserve equity at a time in our history when low or no down payment options have meant that sellers have very little equity in thier home.  Sellers’ equity enables the purchase of a more expensive house or, for seniors, cash to supplement savings and fixed income.
  • Both buyers and sellers value a transaction free of last-minute obstacles to closing.
  • At such a time when the program expands to not just require an energy audit, but also require energy improvements that raise the energy performance score, we would expect to see reduction in homeownership options for middle-income earners within the city.
  • Concerns that the proposed audit mandate will expand to include a requirement that energy improvements are made to the residence as a condition of sale.

Currently, SKCAR (Seattle King-County Association of Realtors) is urging Realtors to use this as an opportunity to encourage their clients (sellers) to do the audit voluntarily.

Here’s a Do it Yourself Home Audit if you’re interested in testing your own energy usage.