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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


Broker's Blog

Is Home Condition Important?

I recently got asked the question, “Should I finish my partially finished home before I sell or not?” A similar question comes from home owners who have a lot of deferred maintenance and they want to know which of all the items they should co... Read more

Multiple Listing Service Still Relevant

Over 100 years ago real estate brokers in Spokane formed an Association designed to encourage cooperation among brokers. There are similar Associations throughout the country that have one thing in common, they own and operate a Multiple Listing Service,... Read more

Why a Housing Shortage?

This past year has been a difficult year for real estate buyers who have been searching for a home. There has been a severe shortage of available inventory, the likes of which we’ve never experienced. There may be several contributing factors to th... Read more

Do It Yourself?

It is a regular occurrence in the real estate business to find problems with the title of a property. Such issues are usually only discovered once a preliminary title report is issued. Problems range from workman’s liens, court judgments, lack of ... Read more

Farmers, Is Your Lease Written?

There is allot of agricultural land in our region that is being farmed by someone other than the land owner and many of these ground leases are not written. Usually when I ask to see a copy of the lease, the land owner cannot provide any documentation. ... Read more

Home Ownership – Risk or Blessing?

Recently a buyer balked when writing an offer on a home because they didn’t think it was fair for them to spend $400 on a home inspection especially if they were to decide to opt out when it became obvious that there would be too many issues to over... Read more

Want To Fire Your Agent?

Sometimes sellers hire a listing agent, who seems to offer all sorts of promises, but then things don’t really work out the way they said and the seller gets frustrated and wants out. The question is, “do they have the right to terminate the ... Read more

Truth Telling

Have you ever been around someone who always starts out their sentences with, “Honestly, “? It sort of makes me wonder if they are ever telling the truth! In the context of real estate brokering most of us think that honesty is a premier tra... Read more

Private Property Rights Strengthened!

I am a strong proponent of property rights (as are most real estate owners), so it was with a glad heart that I received some great news today from the National Association of Realtors® concerning property rights! This past Friday, June 21, 201... Read more

Boundary Dispute? Not Yet.

There is a question on the State mandated Seller Disclosure Statement that says, “Are there any encroachments, boundary agreements, or boundary disputes?” That question is usually answered quickly and definitively by most sellers as a resound... Read more

Bare Foot Bob

Some years ago I was with a surveyor and a land owner while attempting to show the owner his property corners. The survey had been done many years before but the old pipes used for markers were buried under several inches of duff. As we trudged through ... Read more

Is Your Broker a Professional?

Some consumers wonder what they are really paying for when they hire a broker to represent them. There are many misconceptions in this regard and some bitter feelings because many do not understand that they are paying for much more than a chauffeur/ doo... Read more

Why Experts Get Paid More

After moving around the world a lot, a middle-aged woman felt she knew a thing or two about selling real estate. Her impression was that she had everything she needed in the palm of her hand (smarty pants phone) and all she needed a broker for was to ope... Read more

Life Estate vs Reverse Mortgage

Recently I helped an elderly gentleman who had a stroke and could no longer remain on the remote property where he had lived for more than four decades. When questioned about using his property as an asset to help fund his new assisted living arrangement... Read more

Beware of Snakes!

The other day a friend killed a rattle snake that had wandered into their yard on the west edge of Williams Valley. That type of interaction always rattles those of us who don’t really care for slithering sneaky reptiles (pun intended). I’d ... Read more


Often times when people think of covenants they think of religious vows or flowery promises between spouses, but usually not real estate. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “a covenant is an agreement or a promise,” which is true in that... Read more

Seller Disclosure

Many years ago the WA State legislature passed a law that requires all sellers of any real estate to complete a standardized Property Disclosure Statement. There are three versions of this disclosure statement; Commercial property (of any type), Unimprov... Read more

Fear Factor?

A few years ago I was asked to speak to a group of young adults about the benefits of owning real estate and the process of purchasing. The average age in this audience ranged from 18–30 years old. As the evening progressed, I realized that most of... Read more

Don’t Trespass!

Is it okay to access property just because it has a For Sale sign on it? The answer is NO of course, but this question recently came to my attention because of a tragic accident that happened in an empty subdivision recently. Several naïve youth w... Read more

The Scrum

If know anything about rugby, you’ll know what a scrum is, but if you don’t, let me explain at least what it looks like. At certain points in a rugby game, players from both sides gather in a tight circle and the ball is dropped in the middle... Read more

Want to Pay More?

In my previous life as a grocery manager, I noticed that no one ever paid more for their groceries than the price listed on the shelf, even when demand was high for items like propane and water during a power outage. Yet, in my real estate career I see t... Read more

March Madness

As I sat at my desk this morning filling out my bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament I was interrupted countless times by business. Can you imagine that? It is mid-March and the sun is finally shining and after a very blustery winter season it app... Read more

“Buyers Are Liars” (part 2)

In a recent article I detailed the position of Realtors® concerning the lack of honesty of buyers. Don’t misunderstand! I’m not trying to portray Realtors® as super heroes who are overworked and abused; it’s just that I think a... Read more

Buyers Are Liars?

There has been an offhand saying among Realtors® for many years that says “Buyers are liars!” How can a statement like that be fair, since it is obviously an over generalization? Fair or not, there is a root cause to this perception. Ma... Read more

USDA - No Down Payment

USDA - Zero Down Payment Many buyers know that there is zero-down-payment requirement for Veterans who apply for a VA loan, but most buyers who have not had a military background don’t realize there is also a zero-down opportunity for them. T... Read more

Realtor Code of Ethics –Excerpts

Many decades ago the National Association of Realtors® drafted the first version of its Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which has actually been the model for real estate agency law in most of the states. The preamble to the Code of Ethics su... Read more

Danger, Danger! Wire Fraud Strikes Again!

A couple of years ago I wrote about how my email had been hacked and then told about how crooks were using wire fraud in real estate closings to bilk unwary buyers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The criminals who relentlessly pursue opportuniti... Read more

Is The Grass Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence?

The other day one of my brokers shared an experience they had with a seller client. The listing had been on the market for a long time because it was a difficult property to sell. The seller had been considering hiring a different broker “just to ... Read more

Market Activity 2019

Statistics generally bore me, but with the right data and presentation they can be very educational. For example, a graph representing “number of sales on less than one acre” reported by the Spokane Multiple Listing Service spanning from 1982... Read more

Market Activity 2019

Statistics generally bore me, but with the right data and presentation they can be very educational. For example, a graph representing “number of sales on less than one acre” reported by the Spokane Multiple Listing Service spanning from 1982... Read more

Realtor® Trademark

A few days ago, I overheard a conversation between two brokers who were talking about other Realtors® and I was surprised to hear them mispronounce the word like many consumers do. Real-a-tor was the mispronounced version. The correct pronunciation ... Read more

More Fake News

Recently there has been a flood of radio ads promoting a company called Hometitlelock.com, who claims you are at risk from thieves who can easily swindle you by using the deed to your home. All they want is $14.99 per month in exchange for protection fro... Read more

Dual Agency

In 1997 the Real Estate Law of Agency in Washington State changed dramatically. The new changes were evolutionary and made the law conform more closely to actual practices. For example, sub-agency was abolished making it less confusing for sellers and b... Read more

Easy To Pick?

Some years ago, I created a personal marketing ad that shows a young child picking his nose. The caption read, “It’s not as hard as you think to pick a good Realtor®”. I still believe that is true today! I recently heard a ... Read more

The Last Thing On Your Mind

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting here thinking about you,…(really!) and I know this topic is the last thing on your mind right now,…that is your water and your well. I’m reminded of a story in the recent past where a fam... Read more


Often, out-of-area-buyers look at property only during seasons of the year when there are not adverse weather conditions. Knowing how weather might affect a certain property or certain types of structures could be a vital deciding factor. Since there ar... Read more

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
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