The Zebra Blog

Design Spotlight: Shelly Bean


This week’s design spotlight features MASTERY agent Shelly Bean, from Snoqualmie, Washington. Shelly is an analytical broker, and is passionate about developing systems and processes for better business. This is illustrated in her tagline, “Where knowledge is power ~ Strategies, Systems, Results.” She has a background in education and brings her teaching skills, patience, and care to each client she represents. The apple monogram in her logo is a nod to her affection for education, and it is repeated in the background as a soft watermark.

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A Historical Look At What Happens After A Presidential Election


We are right around the corner from the Presidential election and many of my clients have asked me how the election will affect interest rates.

I thought I would address this question by giving some historical information that might shed some light on what usually happens after an election.  I used the historical archived data from the Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac which dates back to 1971.

Let’ look at the numbers for 30 year fixed rate mortgages:

 1972 – Richard Nixon won in a landslide victory over George McGovern.
Prior to the election the rate was 7.43% and it increased slightly to 7.44% in December.

1976 – Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford.
Prior to the election the rate was 8.81% and it declined to 8.79% in December.

1980 – Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter.
Prior to the election the rate was 14.21% and it increased to 14.79% in December.

1984 – Ronald Reagan ran for a second time and defeated Walter Mondale.
Prior to the election the rate was 13.64% and in December it declined slightly to 13.18%.

1988 – George H. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.
Prior to the election the rate was 10.27% and in December it rose to 10.61%.

1992 –  Bill Clinton defeated George H. Bush.
Prior to the election the rate was 8.31% and a month later it increased to 8.21%.

1996 – Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole.
Prior to the election the rate was 7.62% and it decreased to 7.60% in December.

2000 – George W. Bush defeated Al Gore.
Prior to the election the rate was 7.75% and it fell slightly to 7.38% in December.

2004 – George W. Bush defeated John Kerry.
Prior to the election the rate was 5.73% and it increased slightly to 5.75% in December.

2008 – Barack Obama defeated John McCain.
Prior to the election the rate was 6.09% and decreased to 5.09% in December.

2012 – Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney.
Prior to the election the rate was 3.38% and decreased slightly to 3.31% in December.

The fear most people have that rates will take a dramatic hike after an election is not warranted.  Always remember that it is the state of the economy that determines the overall change in interest rates.  Don’t let fear get the best of you during this election time.

Ask Denise: Winter Thermostat


Q: Denise, my seller is insisting on keeping his house that is on the market heated to only 60 degrees this winter. What do I tell him?

A: Tell him your truth! It sounds as if you are very concerned about the buyer impression of the home when they tour. You are concerned that the buyers will be cold and uncomfortable. You are concerned that any potential buyers may worry about what is wrong with drafts, windows or the heating system and that is why it is so cold. You may even worry about whether damage is being done to the systems due to the cold and humidity. Read more »

Ask Denise: Name Tag


Q: Denise, do you think it is weird that I wear my REALTOR® name-tag every day? Some of my colleagues think it is over the top.

A: I actually think that when you wear your name-tag out in the field that it is a sort of uniform. When you wear a uniform, there is an expectation of how I interact with others. I also think that it opens the door to conversations with people who are curious about what you do. It obviously works for you…why fight it? Wear it proudly!!

Design Spotlight: Sue Leonard


This week’s design spotlight features MASTERY agent and one of our Mastery Superstars, Sue Leonard. Although Sue now calls Delray Beach, Florida home, she has called Germany, Great Britain, England, Wales, Spain, Dubai, and several locations around the United States “home”. She was already doing a great job of bringing that worldly knowledge to her real estate career, but needed a little help with developing a brand and a strong benefit statement around her experiences.

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How to Hire the Right People for Your Renovation


One of the first decisions you have to make when doing a home renovation is who you will work with to complete your renovation. I wouldn’t even think of starting a renovation until I had all the players in place. A renovation is a project that requires an immense amount of attention to detail. If one person messes up on their part of the renovation, it can affect many others and your timeline for completion.

Here are some questions you must ask a potential contractor: Read more »

Design Spotlight: Elizabet Pearson


This week’s design spotlight features the brand of our INSTANT IDENTITY agent Elizabet Pearson, of Seattle, Washington. Elizabet worked in the aerospace industry for twenty-eight years before coming into real estate. Over eleven of those focused on aircraft sales negotiations. She selected the Instant Identity design Outdoor Overture and selected beautiful sunset photos for her header. The understated color palette creates a great canvas to show off the amazing properties she works with. A personal script font and reliable serif caps font give her great options for personal and property branding. Read more »

Ask Denise: Stormy Weather


Q: Denise, we have a big storm coming in this weekend and I have a listing coming on today. Should I advise my client to wait?

That is a great question! On the one hand, if people are likely to stay home, they might spend some time looking for listings online. On the other hand, if the power is out, they may not be able to search online. On the one hand, if outdoor activities were planned that now they can’t do and you have an open house, that might have people flocking to your open house. On the other hand, if it is dangerous to leave the house, then your open house may be dead. Read more »

The 20 Most Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When They Renovate – Part II


Last week, I covered ten of the most common mistakes homeowners can make when they take on a renovation project.

Here is the rest of my list!

  1. Failing To Anticipate Chaos
    When you are renovating you can expect that something will go wrong.  Timing deadlines often can’t be met because when one things go wrong there is a domino effect on everything else.  Expect it, work with it, be patient and DO NOT get angry at your contractor or the trades.
  2. Read more »

Design Spotlight: Ellen Wang


This week’s design spotlight features MASTERY agent, Ellen Wang and her new branding. Ellen is a multilingual agent who has been in business since 1988. Since then, she has built a dynamic luxury real estate team and is now under the brokerage Avenue Properties. Ellen’s initial branding goals were to emulate the teal, charcoal gray and white color palette of her brokerage. Her brand also features woven bands of gold to further appeal to her target market. To tie in a sense of her personal side Ellen’s branding incorporates her favorite pastime, golf, into her team logo.

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