Read Get the Facts including the Legal Hotline Q & A
Get the Facts is a Membership update sent to Washington REALTOR® members and contacts each Tuesday.  
Click here if you are having trouble viewing this message.
 
Weekly Membership Newsletter
June 12, 2018 • Stay Connected!
         

QUESTION:  I am constantly being asked by my buyers "how much earnest money is normal"? What is your recommended answer?



ANSWER:  "Normal" is not an amount that should be quantified because what is "normal" is irrelevant. Some brokers will say that EM is typically 1% of the purchase price but that is an answer that fails to consider the importance of establishing the right amount of EM for an individual buyer in an individual transaction. There is nothing "normal" about the individuality of buyer's purchase efforts and goals. Instead, buyer and buyer's broker must appreciate the connection between contingencies, seller's election of remedies and the amount of EM. If buyer has contingencies, buyer may feel more comfortable offering more EM and more EM may make buyer's offer more attractive. With no contingencies, buyer may not be willing to risk as much EM. If seller elects "Forfeiture of EM" as seller's remedy in the event of buyer's breach, then buyer should know that whatever amount of EM buyer puts at risk, that amount will be forfeited to seller, no matter what, if buyer breaches. If seller retains the "election of remedies" then seller's threat to retain the EM may be less impactful, although, seller will be signaling that seller may sue buyer for more than just the amount of EM. For some buyers, this may mean that they offer less EM but also offer "Seller's Election of Remedies" to encourage seller that if buyer breaches and the EM is not sufficient compensation for seller's damages, seller can sue buyer for more. Broker must help buyer understand the negotiation tools inherent in buyer's determination of the right amount of EM given buyer's unique circumstances and goals. Buyer should instruct broker as to the amount of EM buyer wants to put at stake in light of buyer's contingencies and the election of seller's remedies included in buyer's offer.
 

 

The Legal Hotline Lawyer does not represent Washington REALTORS or its members. To browse through our database of past Q & A's, visit www.warealtor.org. Attorney Annie Fitzsimmons writes the Legal Hotline Question and Answer of the Week. Please submit questions to legalhotline@warealtor.org . Please tell us your NRDS number when you e-mail the Hotline with your question.


 

Thank you, Corporate Sponsors!

  VHT Studios


  
 
REALTORS® Report Continued Lack of Homes for Sale in April 2018
(Source: Economists' Outlook) REALTORS® reported that seller traffic conditions were “weak” in April 2018 compared to one year ago in 29 states, which includes states such as Washington, California, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Ohio, Tennessee, New York and Massachusetts where buyer traffic has increased compared to one year ago. .
More →
  
  
  
 
Yun: We’re in a ‘Bizarre’ Market
(Source: REALTORMag) With a strong economy and the lowest unemployment rate since 2000, more Americans are in the market to buy a home—yet sales are stagnant. Existing-home sales are down about 1 percent year over year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
More →
  
  
  
  
Commission Opportunity
Spokane Commissioner Cate Moye's second term will expire August 14, 2018. The Washington REALTORS® are encouraging interested members from east of the Cascade Mountains to submit a letter of interest, resume and a completed application to serve on the Washington Real Estate Commission. Contact Mary.Drury@warealtor.org for more information on how to apply
Contact →
  
  
  
 
Hot New Tech From NAR Midyear
(Source: TechHelpline) Artificial intelligence, digital automation, hyperlocal marketing, and 3D posts for Facebook. These are just a few of the hottest technologies that new companies – and established ones –showcased at NAR Midyear.
More →
  
  
 
Lessons Learned from Tax Season
(Source: YPN Lounge) Every year, Uncle Sam comes calling like clockwork in the spring. In the midst of our crazy spring market no less, and then comes the sticker shock. The inevitable cringing at how much I spent to run my business last year. At the end of the day, we are small business owners after all. It does take money to make money, but where do we draw the line?
More →
  
  
 
Primary Mortgage Rates Survey
(updated every Thursday)  Source:  Freddie Mac
 
 June 7, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.54%  4.01%  3.74%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 0.4
 0.4
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77



 May 31, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.56%  4.06%  3.80%
 Fees & Points  0.4
 0.4
 0.3
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77



 May 24, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.66%  4.15%  3.87%
 Fees & Points  0.4
 0.4
 0.3
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77



 May 17, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.61%  4.08%  3.82%
 Fees & Points  0.4
 0.4
 0.3
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.77



 May 10, 2018       30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.55%  4.01%  3.77%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 0.4
 0.3
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.76




 
 UPCOMING CLASSES
Date Class Location CE  
13-JUN Code of Ethics in Real LifeChelan3.0More info...
13-JUNCode of Ethics in Real LifeE.Wenatchee3.0More info...
26-JUN NAR Code of EthicsBellingham3.0More info...
27-JUN NAR Code of EthicsOlympia3.0More info...
29-JUN NAR Code of EthicsPuyallup3.0More info...
     


More Classes →



   
Heads Up! Code of Ethics Cycle Ending
REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training within two-year cycles and the deadline for the current cycle is December 31, 2018. Training may be completed through your local REALTOR® association, via one of upcoming WR webinars (stay tuned for dates) or you can take it online. A few online options include NAR's online training or Interact CE's Ethics Adventure
More →
  
  


Expires on: 11:59PM PST 06/30/2018 
Promo Code: RELAX  Expires on: 11:59PM PST 06/30/2018 Discount amount: 27%  Restrictions: Cannot be combined with any other offer. Can use as entire cart discount or individual products. Unlimited use until expiration date. Does not apply to Ethics Adventure products.