Expert Advice from Bellevue’s Top Luxury Agents
Bellevue Lifestyle’s luxury realtor partners are some of the top agents in our area. After a stretch of rapid price growth and reports of the real estate market cooling, we asked them to share with us luxury real estate trends and tips for 2019. Here’s what they had to say.
Tere Foster and Moya Skillman lead Team Foster at Compass. They are the No. 1 residential real estate team in Washington state according to the NWMLS and one of the top teams nationwide. Known for representing luxury clientele, their marketing sets them apart with lifestyle video production, engaging social media and artful print marketing. Tere and Moya also have a Director of Global Services on their team to assist with outreach to buyers from international markets. From complimentary staging to service provider coordination and client relocation, Team Foster is the gold standard in exceptional service.
- Luxury Real Estate Trend for 2019: “Soft, modern interiors are very much in demand, and indoor/outdoor spaces continue to be one of the top trends that are carrying into 2019. Walls of glass that open completely to the outside really transform a space when entertaining.”
- Tip for Buyer: “Location, location, location is still so important, even in the upper-end price point. Architectural styles come and go. In the end, your property is judged by the location more than anything over time.”
- Tip for Seller: “Maintenance and taking the time to get the home ready is absolutely critical. The luxury buyer notices every little detail. One deferred maintenance item can be enough to push the buyer to another competing property.”
Renee McGahan, the DwellSeeker
Out of more than 30,000 brokers in Washington state, Renee is in the top 75. At home in Seattle by way of California and New York, Renee’s warmth and wit are evident from the moment you meet her. This coastal dynamic manifests in an unrivaled ability to make friends and a proclivity for salty language. In 2018, Renee closed 40 transactions for $47.3 million—no team, no assistant, no worries of miscommunication. You want her? You get her!
- Luxury Real Estate Trend for 2019: “Can’t remember how we did things before the ease of smartphones? Just wait and see how daily life evolves as new tech is integrated into our homes. On the simplest level, look what Alexa has done. Years ago, talking out loud into an empty room just meant you were losing it! Now it results in groceries showing up at your front door. Take that concept and put it on steroids, especially in tech-savvy Seattle. Oh. the possibilities!”
- Tip for Buyer: “The golden rule of real estate always applies: location! location! location! The best decision a buyer can make is purchasing in a desirable area. I know you’re thinking, “desire can mean many things to many people.” That’s where a broker’s knowledge comes into play.”
- Tip for Seller: “First things first: we need to make sure we have a product that has mass appeal to the market. Decisions need to be made to ensure a confident listing. I prefer a pre-inspection be complete as it sets up my seller for cleaner offers—no more drama! Which reminds me— second tip: DON’T overprice your home! Listen to your broker. There’s a reason why you’ve hired them, and it’s not just their incendiary wit or stunning good looks. (Ahem.)”
VDB | Compass
For more than 28 years, Mark von der Burg has built his reputation as a national expert in real estate. He has a consistent record of being a five-star rated agent in the top half percentile of all agents in the country. As Compass’ senior founding broker in Seattle, he has partnered with the largest independent brokerage in the country to elevate the home buying and selling experience.
- Luxury Real Estate Trend for 2019: “The luxury real estate market is presently experiencing increased inventory and fewer sales, moving toward a balanced market for 2019. While volume has adjusted down 18 percent since the early peak in 2018, prices in the Seattle metro area are holding steady. In January 2019, the median sale price of a single-family home in Seattle was $699,000, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year, and in Bellevue, it was $815,000, an increase of 0.6 percent.”
- Tip for Buyer: “For luxury real estate buyers, 2019 is a great time to buy. There are many exciting opportunities, with more listings and fewer buyers in the marketplace. Currently, King County has 3,690 active listings, an increase of 168.6 percent over last year.”
- Tip for Seller: “This year, sellers need to price appropriately to remain competitive. In January 2019, the average days on market in Seattle was 39 days, up 85.7 percent from January of last year. Similarly, the Eastside’s average days on market was 46, an increase of 76.9 percent. During that same period, closed sales of 2,157 in King County were down 19.5 percent.”
For more than 25 years, the Brazen family has been influential in Bellevue real estate, leading the way with their innovative marketing and setting the standard for quality representation. Their partnership with Windermere Real Estate allows them to pair their deep roots and local knowledge with the global reach that comes from being a part of one of the leading brokerages.
- Luxury Real Estate Trend for 2019: “In 2019, we expect to see not just your standard smart home but a rise in ‘smart green homes.’ The savvy Eastside buyer is still excited by the latest and greatest in-home technologies, but they have a heightened awareness for the environment as well. Smart green homes by design are built to reduce a household’s energy consumption and invest upfront in smart technologies that yield long-term, positive ROI for homeowners.
- Tip for Buyer: “It’s not about the size of the home, it’s about the quality of the home. Homes in today’s luxury market are all about the details. The baseboards are larger, the ceilings heights are taller, and the windows are more expansive. It’s important for buyers to pay attention to the small details, like does the home have soft-close drawers? Is the driveway asphalt or paved? Are the closets custom built-ins? And what kind of appliances are used throughout the home?”
- Tip for Seller: “Color is making a comeback. No more of the all gray and white or “greige look” we’ve seen over the last three years. Pops of color are being woven throughout various rooms through accent walls, decor and painted furniture, and various details such as tile, cabinetry or trim.
The One Real Estate Group
The One Real Estate is one of the largest real estate teams in the Bellevue market center that truly appreciates the individual level of service that makes a client’s experience exceptional. The team has more than 30 years of expertise, representing a multitude of cultures, fluent in six languages, representing buyers and sellers both locally and around the globe and clientele at every price point.
- Luxury Real Estate Trend for 2019: “Immense square footage of the traditionally ‘luxurious’ mansions are not defining luxury as in years past; having unique experiences to share and conveniences of a home are the mark of today’s luxury clients!”
- Tip for Buyer “Master the process with an expert. Luxury markets are hyper-local, and often relationships become incredibly important for finding the perfect luxury property that may very well not be found on the large search/data systems.”
- Tip for Seller “Have a great story to tell and an even better storyteller to share it with the world. The luxury market is saturated with a lot of noise. Working with a marketing expert who will curate a compelling story that sets your property apart from the masses will prove to be worth the investment.”