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Bad Actor

I recently received a nasty voice message from a buyer who had called to see one of my listings. I was out of town and in my absence an assistant was diligently attempting to field calls and handle business. The message spewed by this impatient person w... Read more


Property rights seem to be an ongoing hot topic since there are many people or entities that seem particularly intent on infringing upon those rights. Ownership of property is one of our country’s basic rights that we should never take for granted! ... Read more

Legal Surveys

Legal Surveys A generally accepted method for identifying boundary lines and verifying the size of a property is to have the property surveyed, and corners identified and marked. A survey will confirm that the legal description is accurate and that... Read more

Is Dowsing Real?

Dowsing or “water witching” is often used in the process of attempting to locate the best location for a well. While there is no scientific evidence that witching for water is effective, I have seen it used many times with success. L-shaped ro... Read more

Is Dowsing Real?

IS DOWSING REAL? Dowsing or “water witching” is often used in the process of attempting to locate the best location for a well. While there is no scientific evidence that witching for water is effective, I have seen it used many times with su... Read more

Formal Assumptions?

Back in the old days of my real estate career (almost 3 decades), formal and simple assumptions were common place. Like high buckle shoes, that practice quickly went by the wayside, but evidently is not totally extinct. While we won’t ever again s... Read more

Archaeological Sites

In a recent case in northern Stevens County the owner of a new subdivision was asked to cease and desist in his ground work because of the discovery of evidence of archaeological artifacts from an era when indigenous tribes populated the area. When he re... Read more

Why People Hate Real Estate Agents

One day in a casual conversation some folks made the comment, “I hate Realtors®”. I ignored the comment, partially because I’m used to comments like those and partially because they qualified their rude outburst by saying, “Bu... Read more

What? No House Payment?

After a recent sale of their rural property, an older couple moved to another area to be closer to family, hospitals and doctors. The general idea was to scale down, but they found that prices were higher than they thought in the town and state they had ... Read more

Why Title Insurance?

In a recent personal transaction where I was purchasing a small inexpensive lot, the owner balked at my suggestion that he purchase a title insurance policy prior to closing. He said that he had sold many properties without paying for an expensive title ... Read more

Why Can’t We Just Be Fair?

Recently I attended a class designed to instruct Realtors® on Fair Housing Laws. I was impressed by the fact that we still have to create legislation for something that should come naturally to anyone who practices the Golden Rule. One of the presen... Read more

Adverse Possession

The other day an inquiry came across my desk concerning a fence encroachment. The person wanted to know “How many years does it take for a fence encroachment to be grandfathered in?” The questioner assumed that because they had built a fence... Read more

Dispelling the Myth

I heard through the grapevine this week about a seller who hired a multi-state broker because they thought this out-of-area-broker was more capable of promoting their million-plus property outside the area than a local broker. In another case, a seller c... Read more

Timber Management

If you own property (residential or raw land) that has trees then you may be eligible for a reduction in your tax rate. Washington’s Timber Land and Designated Forest Land tax classifications reduce taxable land values for landowners whose lands ar... Read more

Surface Water – Blessing or Curse?

About every other phone call I receive concerning a buyer’s interest in purchasing raw land includes the desire to have a creek or pond or some type of surface water on the property. I certainly understand that desire, since the presence of surface... Read more

Fire Prevention

With all of the acrid smoke from the raging wildfires in our region, many of us are thinking about fire prevention, especially in rural areas. This came to a head for me a couple of years ago when a house fire near my property quickly turned into a ragin... Read more

The War On Yellow Jackets

A month ago when I walked outside at my home in the woods to enjoy a little fresh air, I was greeted with a loud and steady buzzing noise. It seemed as if all of the yellow jacket larvae had busted out of their cramped cells all on the same day,…a... Read more

Deferred Maintenance

Most homes have some degree of deferred maintenance, but let’s talk about those items that are worn out or broken that you have procrastinated because you are too lazy…or because you don’t really want to invest money into those items ri... Read more

Need More Water?

Is your well giving you problems with low or no flow? It may not be because there is not water. Many folks think that because it is hot and dry out now that the low flow in their well can be attributed to drought conditions. That may not be the case at... Read more

Closing vs. Signing

One commonly misused term among brokers in the real estate business is the word “closing”. Realtors® often refer to the document signing time as if they were “going to a closing” which is inaccurate and which can create misund... Read more

Do I Have To Tell?

What if someone died in a home? Is the real estate broker obligated to disclose this information? This question has a complicated answer! Let’s say that the seller instructs a broker to withhold such information from buyers since they feel that if... Read more

Nasty Neighbors

Everyone probably knows someone in their neighborhood who is the busy-body or the neighborhood crank. Recently I heard from someone in a rural neighborhood of 20 acre parcels (where I have several lots listed) that they had seen one of the neighbors tear... Read more

What Pushes the Market?

In the real estate business, brokers are frequently besieged with negative comments from folks who have little understanding about what makes the market tick. In a recent coffee-infused gab session, one such heckler emphatically insisted it was Realtors&... Read more

The Struggle For Sellers

In the current sellers market it would seem that sellers have the luxury of choosing from many qualified buyers and that it should be easy to pick the best offer. It is more of struggle that you think to find that truly qualified buyer! Not only someone... Read more

Marijuana and Real Estate

No matter what side of the argument you are on, it may pay to know that there are still huge risks involved in anything to do with marijuana. Even though a majority of voters in Washington State passed an initiative that legalized marijuana, it is still ... Read more

Agent’s Legal Duties

There seems to be much confusion among some consumers regarding their view of real estate agent duties. Many complaints that come to the Department of Licensing have to do with the opinion that an agent didn’t fulfill their legal duty because of th... Read more

Crops and Property Sales

In the fundamental real estate course that every licensee must pass, one of the topics is emblements (crops), and who owns the crop on a property that sells prior to harvest. The law leans heavily towards the farmer on this topic, even if the farmer is no... Read more

Sellers Beware!

Recently a buyer made an offer on a rural home without viewing the property first. The agent he hired advised him to view the property prior to making the offer, and further insisted that he at least view the property prior to closing. Instead of follow... Read more

Financing Hurdles

Recently a rural seller signed a purchase agreement that was contingent upon financing, thinking that it would be smooth sailing because the buyer appeared to be very qualified. What they did not realize was that the property must also qualify to fit the... Read more

Fake News

Almost every day each of us sorts through our own pile of junk mail and fake news, trying to decide what is real and what is relevant. Sometimes it is hard to tell! One trend in the fake news arena is that some well recognized sources for real estate ha... Read more

The Gamble

To list, or not to list is a question most sellers ask, at least if they don’t have to move immediately because of a job change or other life change. Is this the best market to list a property where you will gain the most advantage from a sale? Th... Read more

Fair Housing Update

In our politically charged society, discrimination in many forms continues to be at the forefront of the daily news cycle. Realtors® have taken giant steps to be sure that this does not happen in our industry, including enforcing their Code of Ethics... Read more

Fair Housing

Fair Housing Update In our politically charged society, discrimination in many forms continues to be at the forefront of the daily news cycle. Realtors® have taken giant steps to be sure that this does not happen in our industry, including enfo... Read more

Earnest Money Disputes

Earnest Money in the real estate industry is usually described as “liquidated damages.” In other words it is designed as a remedy for losses to the seller in the event the buyer is not able to perform, or if they just change their mind and ba... Read more

Seller Finance, A Thing Of The Past?

While listing a property recently, I asked the seller what they would be doing with the money, since he owned the property free and clear, and had no mortgage to pay off. He wrinkled his nose as if the question made him uncomfortable and bluntly asked wh... Read more

Incompetent Lenders

In the frenzied sellers market that we are currently experiencing, there are a lot of new faces in the business, all trying to capitalize on the flow of money while it lasts. These eager but inexperienced real estate related practitioners include, apprai... Read more

Material Facts

Washington real estate licensees are obligated by statute to “disclose all existing material facts known by the broker and not apparent or readily ascertainable to a party, though this statement does not imply any duty to investigate matters that th... Read more

Privacy Violated?

Recently a buyer became agitated when they realized that the sellers agent had called and talked to their lender. They were upset because they thought their privacy had been violated. Even though the lender was tight lipped about the buyer’s perso... Read more

Buyer Beware

When a Washington State Court of Appeals,(in the case known as Douglas v. Visser) reached a verdict, the decision stunned many in the real estate community because it signaled the strong swing of the legal pendulum back toward the legal principle of cavea... Read more

Dangers of Electronic Signatures

When the concept of electronic signatures came to the forefront of the real estate industry, old timers in the business were horrified by that thought. How would we keep our clients safe? How would we keep up in a world that was moving swiftly towards e... Read more

Contract Enforcement

When something goes awry after the close of a real estate transaction, the first person on the list of who-to-call-for-a-solution is usually the Realtor®. That predictable instinct is understandable, especially if there has been a level of trust buil... Read more

Is Your Agent In The Way?

Every real estate transaction is inherently adversarial in nature. That very reason may be why you need an agent, but not an agent who makes that process harder! Their job should be to make any conflict seem easy instead of difficult. Membership in a M... Read more

Habitat for Humanity

Several years ago Habitat for Humanity, a service based organization, purchased a 20 acre parcel in the city limits of Deer Park in order to build their style of affordable housing. When they first announced their intentions, there were many naysayers w... Read more


Manufactured homes have been around for many years now and may get a bad rap sometimes. Since they came to the property with wheels attached, for many years they were labeled mobile homes. There have been some famous redneck jokes that highlight this fact... Read more

Land Buying Questions

Slow land sales and low inventories have plagued the real estate market for the past couple of years, mostly because of the consequences of the Hirst Decision. Since that dilemma has been rectified by our legislators recently, Realtors® expect land s... Read more

Timber Management Plan

If you own at least 5 acres with trees in Washington State your property may be eligible to enroll in the Current Use Program which could reduce your yearly tax bill significantly. The program is intended to give a tax break to those who grow trees for h... Read more

The Endowment Effect

In a real estate transaction the stakes are usually high, whether it’s economic or emotional. For purchasers it may be the stress of making a purchase many times larger than every other kind of purchase that they have ever made or will make again.... Read more


Manufactured home sales in our rural area seem to continually be a significant portion of the real estate market. The advantage of quicker installation along with the fact that they are less expensive than site built homes makes this option for housing se... Read more

Breaking News - Hirst Legislation

Breaking News - Hirst Legislation A few days ago, our Washington lawmakers passed a new bill (that has been signed by the governor), reversing the basic legal conclusion of the Supreme Court’s Hirst Decision regarding water availability. Thi... Read more

Trouble Free Transaction?

Realtors® sometimes receive negative feedback from sellers or buyers concerning how a real estate transaction transpired. Those sellers or buyers usually blame one or the other agents for those troubles. While it might be true that one of the agents... Read more

Get Started the Right Way

Recently a bitter buyer walked away from a purchase that had been in escrow for several months. The lender had finally rejected the loan and the deal flubbed. Enraged and embarrassed by the process, the buyer severed all communications except for blamin... Read more

Should I Log My Property?

Property owners who have trees often ask whether logging would be the right thing to do if they are considering selling their property. The answer to that question depends on several factors. Will the logging significantly change the aesthetic value of t... Read more

To Fix or Not to Fix, That Is The Question

Realtors® are often asked by potential sellers what they would recommend to be fixed prior to the seller putting their home on the market. There are no pat answers to those types of questions because each property is different, every circumstance is ... Read more

Should You Hire a Home Inspector?

In some real estate markets the competition has heated up to the point that it is much like a piranha feeding frenzy with multiple offers on each property within hours after the initial listing hits the data base. That means market-seasoned-buyers are pu... Read more

Homeowners Insurance

There are many cost issues to consider when you own residential real estate or when you are considering the purchase of a home. One of those issues is homeowners insurance. Can you even get insurance on certain types of properties? Is the insurance cos... Read more

Code Of The West

“Don’t squat with yer spurs on!” is part of the old cowboy code of the west that is filled with funny and seemingly obvious practical statements! Though this article isn’t that, it does include some practical ideas. Several years... Read more

Open Range

As my wife can attest, I love a good western movie! Many of my favorites (such as The Cowboys with John Wayne or Open Range starring Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner) romanticize the idea of the open range concept where cowboys free graze their cattle acr... Read more

Over Priced?

There are many strategies involved when selling a home and pricing is just one of those, but arguably is the most important! If a home is overpriced it is likely to languish on the market, even if the market is hot and inventories are low. There has nev... Read more


Recently one of my seller clients complained about how a showing went on his property with a buyer and agent from another company. Somehow the irritated seller equated the buyer’s very brief look at the property with something that I must have done... Read more

It Smells Like a Phish!

I have wonderful memories of great fishing adventures and the thrill of learning to dupe a fish into taking my artificial bait! So, I can understand why one of the newest forms of internet scams is called phishing. According to Wikipedia, “Phishi... Read more

Political Mumbo Jumbo

After reading articles last week concerning the comments of several local political candidates, I was so frustrated by two of the candidate’s ideas that I just have to respond to the nonsense they are promoting about the Hirst Decision. This is not... Read more

Water Rights Update

Every day I spend time explaining to people the current status of the Hirst Decision and how it has affected the real estate market and marketability of certain land parcels, so this is an attempt to offer an update concerning the current state of affairs... Read more

Market Analysis

Market Analysis Realtors® are often asked by property owners to prepare a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). Some of the reasons a property owner may want this information concerning the value of their property may include the need to settle an ... Read more

Common Sense

In a recently aired rerun of the TV classic, Leave It To Beaver, I was tickled by one of the interactions between Wally and his younger brother Beaver. Beaver was distressed because he was soon to take an intelligence test at school. Because of his poo... Read more

Smoke and Mirrors

Lately there have been many radio ads in our region touting the benefits of an innovative real estate selling technique that is “free or 1%, your choice” according to their brazen claims. While this method of “no agent” selling is... Read more

Simple Offers Aren’t So Simple

Recently I received a written note in an email from a potential buyer concerning their desire to purchase a property that I had listed. They emailed me their “offer” which contained about 3 sentences in total. I suggested to them that I coul... Read more

Market Update

I get asked questions very frequently about the status of the current real estate market because most people are really interested in that information regardless of whether they are selling or not. So, here is an attempt to offer a quick market update! ... Read more

Manufactured Homes – Tie Them Down!

In recent years the lending industry has gone through a lot of ups and downs and changes, especially concerning Manufactured Homes. In the last real estate boom that ended abruptly in 2007 it was relatively easy to find financing for a Manufactured Home ... Read more

Don’t Bet On a Bidding War

Every time the market gets crazy, like it has been recently, the possibility exists for a purchase to turn into a bidding war. This is always stressful for the anxious buyer because it causes them to stretch further than they wanted in order to prevail. ... Read more

Do You Live In Your House?

I recently attended back to back closings for a pair of clients who were scaling down and moving for the second time in a few years. They were bemoaning the fact that they still had some cleaning to do before they were willing to hand over the keys to t... Read more

Consumer Alert

Consumer Alert! by Jim Palmer Jr. - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. Several years ago thieves figured out a way to scam the real estate buying public. This type of thievery is way different than a petty thief who grabs a few items out of your b... Read more

Is Your County Looking Out For You?

During a recent residential acreage sale, the well was tested for potability based on Stevens County Health Department minimum standards (lead, arsenic, nitrates, coliform and uranium). When the lab report came back it revealed an extremely elevated leve... Read more

Compromise Experience For Availability?

A month ago I listed a property on one day and then left town for a 4 day vacation the next day. Boy, did I hear it from my client when I returned! I guess they felt like I had taken the job to baby sit their listing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week withou... Read more

Unexpected Extensions

Probably the most often renegotiated item on a purchase agreement is the closing date. When that happens it usually disrupts the lives of buyers and sellers in significant ways, but most of the time it is out of their control. For example, in a recent ... Read more


When most folks think of the word salesman, our mind conjures up images that we have seen in old western movies that portray slick traveling salesmen using their conniving persuasion to convince someone to buy their wares, usually some tonic that claims t... Read more


This last week we celebrated our Independence Day and most of us probably went to the lake or went camping and probably watched some fireworks. I did those things too! But I also pondered a great deal and experienced heart-felt gratitude for the favorabl... Read more


Even though radon has been found in homes all over the United States, our area here in Eastern Washington has documented some of the highest levels of this invisible threat. Our tri-county area is considered Zone 1 which is known as the “red”... Read more

Something Patriotic

As I pondered the national holiday that is upon us, Independence Day, it made me think about patriotic things, like the men and women who fought in that great conflict we now call the Revolutionary War. Those patriots paved the way to create a new natio... Read more

Real Estate, Invest for Wealth Building

A few years ago I was asked to speak to a youth group about real estate, the benefits of owning it and the process of purchasing. The average age among these young men and women ranged from 21-30 years old. As the evening progressed I realized that most... Read more

Mr. Seller, We’ll Play by These Rules!

When a buyer sits down with their broker and crafts a purchase agreement to be presented to a seller, they are essentially saying to the seller, “here are the terms we are offering AND here are the rules we agree to play by.” I am specificall... Read more

Pay to Play?

Pay To Play? by Jim Palmer Jr. - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. In a previous article I promoted a meeting at Spokane County Water Resources which many of you attended. The sheer numbers of attendees obviously took the facilitators by surprise, ... Read more

The Bugs are Here

The Bugs Are Here! Spring is here and the bugs are out! This is one part of country living that can be difficult! Some years ago my family was faced with a dilemma. Our new home was infested with pesky carpenter ants. We tried all the store-bough... Read more

Exclusive Listings

Exclusive Listings by Jim Palmer Jr. - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. As a listing agent, it is a regular occurrence to receive calls from buyers who think they must deal directly with the listing agent in order to view or purchase a property. ... Read more

Real Estate Acronyms

Real Estate Acronyms by Jim Palmer Jr. - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. There is an acronym used frequently among Realtor® ranks, FSBO (fizz-bo) that means, For Sale By Owner. That label is assigned to any property that is not listed by a r... Read more

What Stays With the House?

What Stays With the House? Many times after a sale is completed or at the final walk-through by the buyer just prior to closing, the buyer finds that items are missing from the home that were supposed to be included. This scenario often places the ... Read more

Buyers, Toughen Up!

Buyers, Toughen Up! To all real estate buyers out there, this is tough times for you! Gone are the days when you had no competition and the sellers tipped-toed around picky buyers for fear of scaring them off! If you have tried to make an offer on... Read more

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest There are often inherent conflicts in a real estate setting, such as buyers bidding against buyers or sellers pitted against a buyer who has an issue with an unfulfilled contract. There are other more subtle and possibly more h... Read more

Time to Test Your Well

Time To Test Your Well Most city folks don’t really think about where their tap water comes from, since they can just walk over to the sink, turn the faucet on, and there seems to be a never ending supply of clean drinking water. It’s a... Read more

Feasibility Contingency

Feasibility Contingency by Jim Palmer Jr. - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. As a listing agent in the past, I have been troubled when a buyer’s agent included a feasibility contingency on a vacant land purchase just because they wanted thei... Read more

Are You Prepared?

Are You Prepared? by Jim Palmer Jr./Designated Broker - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. Are you prepared to jump on purchasing that perfect house that you just saw online or are you just dreaming? If you aren’t prepared, then you will like... Read more

Can I Get a Building Permit?

Can I Get a Building Permit? by Jim Palmer Jr/Designated Broker - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. Many property owners in Spokane County are up in arms about the recent Supreme Court ruling called the Hirst Decision that has effectively stopped d... Read more

The House Is Trashed

The House Is Trashed! by Jim Palmer Jr/Designated Broker - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. I received a distressed call from one of my brokers the other day that had recently represented a seller on the sale of their home, but now the buyer was u... Read more

Current Use Program

Current Use Program by Jim Palmer Jr. - Real Estate Marketplace N.W. Inc. The Open Space Taxation Act, enacted in 1970 allows Washington property owners to have land being kept in its natural state, used for farm & agriculture, or used as fores... Read more

Herd Mentality and Real Estate

HERD MENTALITY AND REAL ESTATE In my previous career as a grocer I noticed an odd phenomenon that was interesting to me. Whenever shoppers head for the checkout stand it always seems to attract a crowd. I watched and studied this scene for many years ... Read more

Aerial Photos a Great Tool

Aerial Photos a Great Tool Some time ago one of my agents brought a new listing into my office to get my opinion. I scrutinized the listing data and then turned my attention to the plat map and aerial photo. I immediately noticed something that in... Read more

Baby Brokers

Beginning a successful real estate career is quite difficult for most new brokers. In the business we affectionately call them “baby brokers” because of the state mandated requirements for intense supervision by an experience managing broker ... Read more

Agent’s Legal Duties

There seems to be much confusion among some consumers regarding their view of real estate agent duties. Many complaints that come to the Department of Licensing have to do with the opinion that an agent didn’t fulfill their legal duty because of th... Read more

I Quit!

Sometimes in the real estate business, Realtors® find that do-it-yourselfers have used certain methods to convey property (albeit a bit recklessly) without really understanding the legalities or the risks involved. One day a potential seller, who had... Read more


It is a common practice for loaded investors to wave cash (figuratively) in the face of a seller, as if that cash entitles them to a significant discount when purchasing property. Since most cash buyers are able to close quickly, some sellers may be entic... Read more
Real Estate Marketplace NW, Inc.
404 S Main St   PO Box 1252
Deer Park, WA 99006
Phone: 509-276-5445
Fax: 509-276-5626

Main Email: rempbroker@gmail.com



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