RSIR Joins Harry Chriest to Talk Real Estate on KOMO 1000 Radio’s “Own It”
In late October, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty brokers Britt Wimber and Sandra Hines, together with the firm’s owner and chief people officer Stacy Jones, joined Harry Chriest, mortgage advisor and vice president of business development with Kiel Mortgage, on the KOMO 1000 Radio show “Own It.” 500,000 listeners tuned in as the panel discussed all things real estate, tackling topics from inventory and affordability, to the art of pricing, the influence of the tech industry, and beyond. Throughout the show, inspired callers picked up their phones to ask questions of the panel, from an Issaquah homeowner that was curious about the best time to sell to a buyer that raised concerns about pre-inspections and owner due diligence.
The shifting market was among the first topics up for discussion, as Wibmer noted rising inventory levels, rising sales, and a favorable market, overall. That said, “your house either has to be the perfect house or a buyer has to feel like they’re getting a good deal in order for it to sell,” Wibmer added. “Buyers are ready to sit on the sidelines and wait—you have to be aggressive.”
Next Jones touched on RSIR’s roots, outlining the early 2000s when her and Dean Jones—as new development marketers in downtown Seattle—generated over $2 billion in condominium sales, many of which were to out-of-state or out-of-country buyers. It was then that the Jones’ knew they needed an international arm in their company to meet demand. The result was a partnership with Sotheby’s International Realty® affiliates, which has afforded unparalleled exposure with top-tier marketing that spans the world.
Jones also touched on the firm’s six branch offices and the way in which lifestyle and real estate go hand-in-hand. That is one reason why RSIR has pioneered a unique real estate office experience, from the downtown Kirkland location, which is tied to the Maison DeLille tasting room, to the boutique Park House in the heart of Seattle’s affluent Madison Park neighborhood and the Bainbridge Island office, which anchors the Old Hardware Store in downtown Winslow.
To be sure, the international reach and renown reputation that Sotheby’s International Realty affords is a crucial cornerstone of the company. Wibmer and Hines both talked about the way in which aligning with a global brand has elevated their respective businesses, from the staggering 2.8 million unique web hits sothebysrealty.com garners each month, to the unique marketing solutions and broker-centric support.
According to Wibmer, mindset is also key. “Real estate agents are entrepreneurs and the only way to make it happen is with a positive attitude,” she said. “It’s a sink or swim business—and I’m always ready to swim.”
Affordability was another notable topic of conversation, as Chriest described that mortgage rates are at a seven-year high, which is leaving many would-be buyers and sellers uncertain about whether or not to make a move. Yet, as Jones notes, buyers are experiencing some flexibility in terms of contingent offers, so there are still benefits.
An “open house” segment gave Hines and Wibmer the opportunity to share a few notable listings, as Hines shared a recent Renton listing and Wibmer pointed to properties in Bellevue and Seattle.
As the final hour came to a close, Wibmer and Hines addressed general market trends, including the importance of aligning with an informed, local agent that truly understands neighborhood-to-neighborhood change and value; and the impact of living in the “tech titan backyard” of Seattle. Hines, in the words of RSIR owner and chief executive officer Dean Jones, said it’s really about trendlines, not headlines.
“We have been in a steroid market and though things have shifted, we’re still in a good market,” Hines said. “It’s just that we need to settle into this new normalcy. Come next year, everyone will feel OK with the realization that a balanced market is a healthy one.”
Wibmer noted the attainability of luxury home purchases—which she generally places at a price point of $2.5M and above—for lucratively paid tech engineers and executives. “The tech industry is definitely impacting homeownership trends across the Pacific Northwest.”