Frequently Asked Questions
How are we paid? When are we paid?
Real estate agents are independent contractors and are considered self-employed by the federal government. Windermere does not pay us any salary or reimburse us for any expenses—in fact, we pay Windermere a monthly fee to be real estate agents in their office. Our compensation is entirely commission-based and occurs only when a real estate transaction successfully closes. From this compensation, we cover all of our business expenses and taxes.
Who pays our commission?
When a property is listed for sale, a commission is established for selling the property. The seller pays the entire commission, which is split between the listing agency and the selling agency.
What if you find a property without our help?
We have found that most of our buyers are very active in searching for their property. This is good, and we encourage it. If you spot something that interests you, note the address and then connect with us to pull the information available for that home. We will also search and review information on the other homes actively being marketed in that immediate area, as well as what has recently sold, to determine whether the price is reasonable. We will then tour the home with you and help you evaluate its benefits and possible drawbacks. One of the most important capabilities that we bring to you is our experience in the market—we know what will sell and what won’t, and we can help ensure that your purchase will be a home that can be easily resold in the future.
We work diligently to support you in your search and in your buying decisions, so take every advantage of our hard work, expertise, and knowledge in helping you with one of the most important decisions of your lifetime. As your agents, we will continue to work with you throughout the contract closing cycle to ensure that you are well cared for until the moment you are handed the keys to your new home.
Should you buy a property directly from a site agent at a new construction site?
You can, but like a used car salesman, the site agent will try to pressure you into it. Therefore, we highly recommend against buying from a site agent, primarily because he or she represents the seller, not you. The site agent will not have your best interest in mind; whereas, we, as your representatives, will work toward meeting your needs and wants, and closing the deal in a manner that is best for you. You should lean on our experience and market knowledge and be very careful of jumping into a situation that might not be the best for you. Instead, simply give the site agent our contact information and let them know that you are represented. Then call us. We will make everything happen from there and represent you throughout the entire transaction! Remember, too, that our representation won’t cost you anything as the builders are obligated to pay the selling commission.
What about properties on the Internet, newspaper, “Homes and Land” and other Real Estate publications?
These are all great tools for helping you get familiar with the market; however, web sites are not always maintained on a daily basis, and printed publications are generally behind the market by several weeks because of the time involved in press and distribution.
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service, our professional database, puts new listings in our hands the minute they are input on the system. We can keep you abreast of the most recent listings.
How do we represent you?
A Washington State real estate agency recognizes three distinct relationships:
1. Buyers Agent—represents only the buyer in the purchase of a property.
2. Listing Agent/or Sellers agent—represents only the seller.
3. Dual Agent- represents both the buyer and the seller.
Legal representation in real estate is much like hiring an attorney. The agent you choose represents you exclusively, whether you are buying or selling. This is not the case with a dual agent. In our opinion, dual agency is not a wise decision and we discourage this form of representation. While it may appear less challenging to have one agent for all, a critical reason for using a qualified agent is to have your needs represented in all aspects of contract negotiation. This is not possible when an agent is attempting to represent both sides of a contract and such an arrangement presents an underlying conflict of interest.
What do our former clients say about our work?
We are very happy to provide you with several references. We have several former clients who have offered to be ongoing references and they gladly permit us to provide their contact information so that you may talk with them.
In fact, the majority of our business comes from referrals from past clients. Because we strive to provide the highest level of service to our clients, we have made many clients “for life.”
What is our history of performance?
We are very open to sharing our performance history with you. Savvy buyers today often seek to compare agent sales data. We like to couple this information with our references to give you a balanced picture of the quality services we offer.
What are our qualifications?
The significant qualifications that we bring to you as agents are:
» Both Jim and Bill are Real Estate Brokers. If they chose to, they could own and manage an independent real estate brokerage. Only 20% of all licensed real estate agents in Washington State hold a Broker’s license. A significant amount of training is required to reach the Broker’s level. Both Jim and Bill have accomplished that.
» Jim holds the coveted CRS® designation as a Certified Residential Specialist. Accredited CRS agents are proven leaders in residential real estate, and represent the top 4% of all agents throughout the country. To acquire this designation, an agent must have accomplished a large number of real estate transactions and must undergo advanced training in areas such as business planning, real estate investing, marketing and technology. In Washington State, only 1 in 27 real estate agents is a CRS. Nationally, only about 4% have acquired the CRS designation. An interesting statistic is that over 25% of all real estate transactions nationwide are accomplished by agents who have achieved the CRS designation. Today, home buying and selling is faster, more complex, and more competitive in every way. Our goal is to maintain professional competency in every aspect of real estate agency to better represent you.
» Both Jim and Bill hold the GRI® designation. A Graduate of the Realtor Institute designation is the other title that most real estate agents aspire to attain. It is a nationally approved designation for agents who have completed a number of additional clock hours and are educated on the latest real estate trends and issues.
» Jim and Bill are Realtors®. The term “Realtor” followed by the trademark registration symbol is authorized for use only by members of the National Association of Realtors. As members of this national organization, we are required to rigorously uphold a strict code of ethics in our practice of a real estate agency. Membership in this respected organization is not required to become a licensed real estate agent in Washington State. We encounter agents on a daily basis who are not members, and their client representation often evidences that they do not abide by or care about a high code of ethics.
» Jim and Bill are Windermere Certified Relocation Specialists. Our experience and education provides a valuable resource for people moving into our state. We use our best judgment to understand a buyer’s wants and needs and seek to place them in an area or neighborhood that we know would best fit their specifications.
» Bill holds an ABR® designation. An Accredited Buyers Representative, Bill has taken continuing education courses that focus on working with buyers and representing their unique and diverse requirements. The ABR designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyers Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.
» Experience. The reported average number of transactions per agent in The Northwest Multiple Listing Service is less than 3 per year, but as a team, Jim and Bill represent buyers and or sellers in about 40 transactions per year. Our level of activity keeps us abreast of every aspect of market knowledge, current trends, contract knowledge, agency relationships, etc. An agent with an average of only 3 transactions per year will have difficulty offering qualified representation.
» Reputation. Jim and Bill are highly regarded by their peers in the local real estate industry. Our good reputation is very important when it comes to negotiating and dealing with other agents. More than once, we have actually “gotten the deal” in a multiple offer situation because the other agent knew us and was both familiar and pleased with how we conduct business.
» Jim and Bill belong to the following State, Local and National groups:
»SKAR - Seattle-King County Association of Realtors
»WAR - Washington Association of Realtors
»NAR - National Association of Realtors
»CRS - Certified Residential Specialists
»GRI - Graduate of the Realtor Institute
»ABR - Accredited Buyers Representative
»RELO - Certified Relocation Specialist
»Cendant Certified Relocation Specialist
Windermere as a Company
Hire the best people.
Give them the best tools.
Create a professional approach.
This founding philosophy of Windermere has been implemented through the introduction of new programs that have set industry standards. Those standards have given agents the knowledge they need to meet the needs of buyers and sellers.
» Windermere is the top residential real estate company in the Puget Sound area. All offices are locally-owned and operated to better serve community needs.
» Windermere out-sells ALL other real estate companies in the Puget Sound area in both the representation of buyers and sellers. See attached graph.
» Windermere operates Puget Sound’s best and most useful real estate web site. The Windermere site receives more activity in one week than most real estate web sites receive in an entire year.
» A portion of our commission from each sale is given to the Windermere Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports housing programs and critical services for homeless families. This Foundation is totally funded by Windermere agents and staff.
» Windermere performs an annual Community Service Day to assist a variety of community-based projects.
» Windermere supports many special projects and community support services.
Why should you choose us over another agent?
The Badgley & Badgley team has over 14 years of combined experience in the greater Seattle area. We continually rank among the top selling agents in the state.
» Experience - We are active, successful agents in a busy marketplace and this translates into top quality professional real estate representation for you.
» Market Knowledge - Because of our activity level, we are constantly aware of the latest market trends which helps us better represent you in the purchase or sale of your home.
» Reputation in the Industry - We know many of the other top producing agents and are familiar with how they negotiate, what to expect in working with them, how they price their listings, etc. This enables us to structure a much more advantageous offer for you. In many multiple offer transactions, we have contributed the key to success through our professionalism, through wisely executed contracts, and often because of our good reputation within the industry.
» Honesty and Integrity - Your best interests are our highest interests. If a deal doesn’t make sense, you will be the first to hear our position and why, and receive solid solutions that do.
» Customer Service - Our commission checks pay the monthly bills, but our most important payback is the great relationships that we develop with clients along the way. Excellent customer service is the pathway to those relationships. We enjoy this dynamic business and are constantly striving to provide the highest level of customer service to you, our client.
» Technically Proficient - Modern technology has changed the face of today’s real estate industry, and we have embraced it and maximized its benefits throughout our operations to better serve you. Many of our clients are tech savvy and want customer service that reflects that. Through the use of e-mail, voice to e-mail, digital photos, or transmission of offers via PDF, we can provide efficient, top quality service through many innovative ways.
» Proven Results - Our history of sales and significant number of client referrals speaks for itself. Approximately 90% of our business is referred by satisfied customers.
» Proven Agency - We work with the best real estate company in the area by choice. Though invited to join the Windermere team due to our proven performance, we appreciate how Windermere reflects our own interests in community, technology, and continuing education. Windermere is well known as an industry leader in this real estate market and we consider it a privilege to be part of this professional organization.
When interviewing prospective agents, they should be able to answer the following:
» Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent? Part-time agents are typically not as experienced and are frequently not as available.
» Are you also a Broker and/or a Realtor? Brokers have more stringent licensing requirements and responsibilities. Realtors are voluntary members of the National Association of Realtors trade group and must abide by its code of ethics.
» How many years of experience do you have? An experienced agent holding a solid track record of sales in your area will represent you better in your real estate transaction.
» What designations do you have? Agents who have earned designations are typically much more experienced and willing to continue their education. Designations can include, but are not limited to the following: GRI, CRS, CIPS, and CRB.
» How would you assess the current market for selling? A good agent will give an unbiased evaluation of the state of the market, and will know how to get the best price for your home. Weigh it against an estimate of your home's value.
» How long have you sold homes in this area? Agents who specialize in your area are more likely to deliver a larger number of potential buyers to your door.
» How many other clients (sellers and buyers) do you represent? You want an agent who can spend time with you. Keep in mind, however, that agents who only represent one or two clients at a time may not have the experience you need, and sometimes the busiest agents are often the most efficient and the most productive.
» Will you provide me with a list of homes you have sold in the last 12 months? The list should contain addresses, property types, names of sellers or buyers, list prices, sale dates, and sale prices. If you're undecided about an agent, contact the agent’s former clients and ask if the agent was easy to work with, if they feel they received a good sale price and a good contract, and would they use the same agent again.
Look for an agent who:
» Makes you feel comfortable and confident, not anxious or pressured.
» Spends the time to listen to your wants, needs and desires.
» Specializes in areas where you live or want to live.
» Returns calls promptly and answers questions readily.
» Informs you of new listings and stays current on market trends.
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