Summertime, and the living is . . . spendy

Posted June 3, 2024 in Real Estate Trends

Scott Hogan, Clark County WA real estate agent

The weather is heating up, and so are housing prices. The median sales price is $522,000 and shows no sign of a downturn. While the overall volume is not the gangbusters numbers of a few years ago, the market is steady in spite of challenging interest rates.

Anecdotally, one thing we’ve noticed is an increase in what I’ll call “tricky deals:” transactions involving deceased or divorced people. That makes some sense, given that many homeowners don’t want to sell right now because they don’t want to lose the low interest rate they got when borrowing 5-10 years ago. That leaves a larger segment of the market to “people who have to sell.”

When the trickiness factor goes up, it’s more important than ever to consult with the right people: Realtors, lenders and title people who can hit a curveball like death, divorce, or missing documents. We’ve been fortunate to work with the best in town, and work collaboratively to knock down obstacles to get the transaction closed. Finding a “fix” allows us to prove our expertise and provide added value to the parties and professionals involved in the sale.

Let me provide some examples: a closing is scheduled but the sellers are overseas. With Remote Online Notary, we can obtain their signatures on notarized, recordable documents using a smartphone—avoiding the need for the sellers to go to an American embassy or find a notary equivalent in a foreign country.

Purchase and Sale Agreements are routinely signed electronically but earnest money still must be deposited by the buyer. With our phone app, buyers can snap a photo of their check and deposit it into our trust account without the need for a courier or trip to downtown Vancouver.

For sales involving deceased owners, we work with many local attorneys to facilitate a closing without the need for probate, saving the heirs time and money. Similarly, for sales involving a dissolution (divorce), we can work with the former couple and their counsel to get their property sold, often even before a divorce is final.

In transactions involving boundary line adjustments, easements, new restrictions, shared well agreements, or road or driveway maintenance agreements, we’re part of the team to get those done instead of saying “come back when you’ve got it fixed.” The hard transactions are where we’ve earned the loyalty of the most-knowledgeable, repeat customers. Easy or hard, you can count on our escrow people to conduct the signing themselves, rather than handing it off to a non-staff notary whose fees are added to the parties’ costs.

The professionals at Clark County Title are happy to assist you in dealing with any aspect of real estate. Please call us to assist you in development, buying, selling, or refinancing of real estate.

Have a great June! From your friends at Clark County Title,