Snohomish County Real Estate Blog, News, & Statistics

The Snohomish County real estate blog address news and statistics which are pertinent to the real estate buyer, seller, and investor. Our goal is too provide educational information so people can make the best housing decision for them and their lifestyle. Please feel free to ask questions, participate in discussions, and share your experiences.

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May 20, 2020

Phase 2 for Real Estate Activities - Effective May 19, 2020

On May 1st, Governor Inslee announced an extension of the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order (the “Order”) and introduced a four-phased approach to re-open business in Washington. All counties start in Phase 1 and will be admitted into Phase 2 by the Governor, based on epidemiological and other indications specific to each county.

On May 19th, in cooperation with Washington Realtors, Governor Inslee announced modifications to the Order for real estate activities in counties that have been approved for Phase 2 re-opening, provided specific protocols are followed. The modifications for Phase 2 include:

  • Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion;
  • Commercial brokers can engage in the same in-person services as residential brokers;
  • Three persons (as opposed to two persons) are allowed on site for permitted in-person real estate activities for both residential and commercial brokerage (for both improved and unimproved property); and
  • Sign installers may install real estate signs.

For both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in-person real estate activities, real estate brokers and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.) must wear cloth face coverings and should encourage clients and customers to do the same.

Public and broker open houses and similar invitations to view a property without an appointment are not permitted in Phase 1 or Phase 2. Only previews and showings by appointment are allowed. Brokers must adhere to the “phase” protocols for the county where the property is located, regardless of the location of the broker’s office or home. Brokers conducting real estate activities in a Phase 1 county, must continue to abide by the Phase 1 protocols, which include only allowing two persons in a property, including the broker, at one time.

A complete list of County Phases can be found here.

March 28, 2020

How Stay Home, Stay Healthy applies to Real Estate Brokers

Stay Home, Stay Healthy Real Estate Agents

With the Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in place there has been lot of talk within our industry on how the order applies to real estate brokers, their services, and the greater home buyer / home selling industry in Snohomish County.

As you can imagine, the definition of essential business has been quite the talk-of-town and endless industry debate. I've been caught up with discussing since reading the Governor's Essential Businesses webpage, our Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS or MLS for short) bulletins, NAR publications and so-forth. So, to clear the air on what we know right now, here is a list from the NWMLS that was updated a few minutes ago.


On Saturday, March 28th, in cooperation with Washington Realtors, Governor Inslee agreed to certain modifications to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order (the “Order”) for the real estate industry. Due to the fact that the vast majority of real estate brokers are abiding by the Order, several of the original restrictions on in-person activities have been revised –provided that strict protocols for social distancing are implemented.

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March 17, 2020

Preparing a Home for Sale: Cleaning Up the Landscaping

The clouds have parted and Spring is upon us Washingtonians. In the continuing series of Preparing Your Home for Sale, Toby Barnett briefly covers landscaping to prepare a home for Spring selling season. Use this weather, social distancing, and bit of manual labor to clean flower beds, trim bushes and hedges, plant flowers, mow and edge the lawn, and to do any other clean up to increase your home’s curb appeal.

During this social distancing time, please like and subscribe for more quick videos on Preparing Your Home for Sale and out shine the competition. Also, if you’d like to hire Toby to sell your home please contact him directly at (425) 210-0709 and

March 2, 2020

Moving to Snohomish County?

Feb. 27, 2020

Preparing a Home for Sale

On the surface, Preparing a Home for Sale doesn't seem to be all the involved. Make the beds, clean the kitchen, vacuum the floors, and schedule pictures right? Maybe for some it can be that easy yet for many its not.

Preparing a Home for Sale takes more time than most think and starting now, while the weather is nasty out, is great use of time. Here, in two videos, Toby shares tips on getting a home ready to sell this spring.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

In this video we look at the Out of Sight, Out of Minds items that home owners may not think about till the home inspection response, or an issue arises.

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Jan. 30, 2020

Snohomish County Property Tax Rate Increase for 2020

Property taxes have increased across Snohomish County due voter approved tax measures and school levies that will go in affect in 2020.

Though not uncommon for Snohomish County residents to approve levies and tax measures, its that these increases have caught residents off guard due with their size and those residents have been voicing frustration across social media.

This frustration is not unwarranted and is actually understandable. Why? Some Snohomish County towns will experience double digit increase with Marysville being the highest at an average of 32% tax increase. broke the story earlier this week and even had related articles on Marysville's massive tax hike and Pierce County's. Here is King5's video on Snohomish County's tax increase. Video

I was not only horrified by Marysville's increase, I was shocked when reading Darrington's average tax increase of 18.1%.

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Jan. 29, 2020

How to Sell Your Home or Property in 2020

Selling a Home 2020

Have you been thinking, considering, or kicking around the idea of selling a Snohomish County home or investment property in 2020?

If so, then there are many things to consider; market conditions relative to specific local and neighborhood, how a city's real estate climate is trending, the volume of housing inventory, and even the velocity of the market place.

In addition to the housing climate, you'll want to consider how the home or property will be sold. Will a real estate broker be used or will it be sold for sale by owner? Both of the options have their own pros and cons.

In this blog post, we'll explore how to sell a house in 2020, what it will take to be competitive and what techniques can be used to gain exposure.

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Jan. 27, 2020

How Fast do Christmas Trees Burn?

Christmas are beautiful and smell great in a home. For my family, we really like the whole aspect of real trees. From reserving the trees early, cutting and setting them in the home, decorating, and the distinct fragrance. The downside of real trees is keeping them alive and preventing fire danger.

According to the National Fire Protection Association [Source]:

  • Between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually.
  • On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires.
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires.
  • In one-quarter (25%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.
  • One-fifth (21%) of Christmas tree fires were intentional.
  • Roughly three-quarters of Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January.
  • Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.

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Jan. 14, 2020

Short Sales: 2 Myths of Short Sale Properties

From 2008 till approximately 2015 the real estate and home buying/selling landscape looked drastically different than what we have today. Since those years, there hasn’t been much discussion around the office regarding what short sales, how to buy short sales, and where to search for short sale properties.

In this video, Toby answers those questions and if you’re more inclined to read then continue down the page.

Here is a brief overview of the video:

What is the definition of a Short Sale? A short sale is when a property owner is selling their property for less than what’s been mortgaged, or owed, against it.

Example: If the property has $500,000 owed against it and its being sold for $450,000 the property is considered a short sale.

Related: What is a Short Sale Property

Short Sale Myth #1: A Short Sale has a faster than normal closing timeframe.

Short sales have nothing to do with time frames of purchase as it’s a myth that a short sale is synonymous with being a fast sale. Quite the opposite and we in the industry used to call them long sales.

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Jan. 6, 2020

Graduated Real Estate Tax (REET) for Snohomish County

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, if you’re selling a home or property in Snohomish County then the sale will be subject a new Graduated Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) by Washington State and Snohomish County. Here is a quick video, and a graphic below, that breaks down the following:

  • REET on a $500,000 and below home.
  • REET on a $500,000 - $1,500,000 home.
  • REET on a $1,500,000 - $300,000,000 home.
  • REET on $300,000,000 and above home.

After watching the video, continue reading to see a State and County combined tax rate table and a graphic illustrating working examples on the mentioned properties.

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