Selling Your House: Here’s Why You Need A Pro In Your Corner!

Selling Your House: Here’s Why You Need A Pro In Your Corner! | MyKCM

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try to sell their homes on their own rather than using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation while, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The termite company, if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender, if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value
  • The title company, if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality, if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer, in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together to discuss all that we can do to make the process of selling your house easier for you.

Moving Truck User of the Quarter – The Max Higbee Center!

Moving Truck

Max Higbee LogoAre you going to attend April Brews Day that is put on by the local non profit Max Higbee Center?

  The Johnson Team is honored to be able to provide the moving truck for the event to the Max Higbee Center.

The Max Higbee Center provides community-based recreation programs for youth and adults (14 and older) with developmental disabilities with three broad aims:

1) To provide opportunities for personal enjoyment and enrichment through a diverse range of leisure activities.
2) To promote the social, physical, and cognitive growth and emotional growth and development of participants.
3) To assist participants to achieve greater independence in their lives and increase involvement in the community.

Your real estate transactions help us to provide the moving truck FREE to local non profit organizations in Bellingham and Whatcom County.

If you or your organization are interested in booking the truck feel free to call us at 360-303-2734 or email

Learn more about April Brews day HERE for more info and to purchase your tickets to this awesome event! All proceeds benefit Max Higbee Center.

Mike’s “Reel Estate” Fishing Report


We are all hoping for a great fishing year, but some of the dates may have changed.

Make sure to check the WDFW website for updates. Typically, the Ling Cod season opens May 1st and there should be lots of fish to be had. Last year was great and it seems like catching them inside the slot limit is getting easier.  For the Halibut- there should be some May openers. The last couple of years have been pretty slim for the “Reel Estate” – we used to sit on the hook and always catch something. The banks out in the straights are the best chances for a flattie. Then there is salmon. Chinook has been July 1st historically. But with the decline in the Orca population the fishing dates may have changed. Just remember, there is always a quick trip to Canada, plus up there the limit for prawns is 200 each vs. 80 in the states.

If you need a current report- Give The Johnson Team fishing hotline a call. 360-303-2734 we are happy to help.

The State of the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Market

Real Estate snapshot

The following details breakdown the figures from the chart above.

  • 34 homes (54%) sold either at or greater than the list price.
  • 4 homes sold up to $5,000 over the list price.
  • 15 homes sold in excess of $5,000 over the list price.
  • 1 home sold in excess of $65,000 over the list price.
  • While the average days on market was 43 days, 25 homes pended within 5 days of the list date
  • There are currently 100 homes in Bellingham that are pending. Of the 100, 39 homes pended within 5 days or less of their list dates.

So my take away is this:

  • Bellingham inventory will remain low with no end in sight.
  • Interest rates have dropped on 2-28-2019 at 4.375% for a 30 year fixed with 5% down to 3-28-2019 with an interest rate of 4.125% for a similar loan. This will continue to fuel sales.
  • Based on the number of people coming through my open houses & the number of buyers from out of area, we will continue to see demand out stripping supply with prices continuing to increase.
  • For buyers hoping to compete in this marketplace, it’s imperative to have your financing in place & be prepared to compete with buyers who are willing to write offers without some of the usual contingencies.
  • For sellers, it’s important to note that while several of these homes pended in record time at sometimes head shaking prices, there were still 19 homes that took in excess of 40 days to go pending with several pending in excess of 100 days of their list date. That said, this is definitely a seller’s market. However, even in this market, one has to price appropriately, stage a home so that it’s presented in its best light & make it readily available to be shown.

Certainly if you or your friends have questions about the market in general or about a specific property, do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at  We’d be happy to help any way that we can.

What Has The Johnson Team Been Up To? Team Talk

Lylene & I are fortunate in that we have been able to connect with our kids over the past few months.  With one living in Norway, the other in Hood River & both flying to all corners of the world, to be able to be in the same room with them is no small thing. IMG_20190308_153430

Chandler flies into Chicago several times a year & on his most recent trip, we met him there for a long weekend.  When we left Bellingham, it was blowing North East & while we were dressed appropriately for our weather, nothing can prepare you for Chicago in the winter with the wind blowing from the North.  We had so many layers on we looked like modern day versions of the Michelin Man.  Weather aside though, Chicago has marvelous museums, outdoor spaces & restaurants, all of which we certainly took advantage of.

Graham called us the other day & wondered if he & Rose could come over & hang out with us for a couple of days.  Rose is his 4 legged friend that is absolutely spring loaded.  At our house, the word Rose is used more as a verb that a noun or proper name as in – you have been “Rosed”. Energy aside, she is a sweet dog & a great companion.  You can always tell when we get together with Graham because the counter on my Fitbit goes up dramatically.  The weather was a bit soggy when he was in town so we didn’t do anything too adventuresome but with the many trails on Chuckanut Mountain, we were certainly able to get a few extra steps in & my heartrate up at the same time.  Graham is still doing long distance trail running & is scheduled to participate in a 100 mile race next month in California.

With both Chandler & Graham, the time went way too fast. The hugs were more heartfelt & the family stories, even while getting retold over & over, still bring smiles to our faces & results in a combination of tears & belly laughs.

At the end of the day, as a parent you always think you could have done better, but if they still call & want to hang out with you, you know you must have done something right!


There is a little excitement at the Bredeson household. thumbnailLauren is a freshman this year at Ferndale High School and she made the Varsity girls fast pitch squad! She has been trying very hard and the coach has noticed. Games have been fun to watch and all the ladies on the team seem to gel pretty well. Her team for the summer, the “Wolverines” is set for some tournaments too. These will happen July & August. So, it will be another busy, fun filled set of adventures.

Kim & Mike have been busy at work too. Kim is retired from cosmetology and is enjoying more involvement at The Johnson Team office. There is so much to learn- but she is a trooper! Plus being a mom, which is way harder than working! Boating season is just around the corner too. Mikes excited for the upcoming bottom fishing and Kim is ready for some sunshine!

Mckenna car 2019

Winter treated Fawn and the Morgan family well. McKenna won the Season Championship in her go kart for the winter racing series down in Monroe. She just started the season in her junior sprint and will be racing at Deming Speedway every Friday night now to September.  The winter storms were hard on their property and they lost several trees and are just now wrapping up all the clean up afterward. Their whole family is looking forward to warmer weather and summer camping!

From our homes to yours we all wish you the very best!!

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars?

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars? | MyKCM

In a strong seller’s market, like the one we have experienced over the past few years, bidding wars are common and expected. This makes sense! A seller’s market is defined as a market in which the inventory of homes for sale cannot satisfy the number of buyers who want to purchase a home.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionarybidding wars occur when two or more parties repeatedly outbid each other as they compete to purchase something- in this case, a home.

In some areas of the country, first-time buyers have been met with fierce competition throughout their experience. Some have been out-bid multiple times before finally winning a bid on a home to call their own.

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there is currently a 3.7-month supply of homes for sale.

With the current number of houses listed for sale and the level of demand from buyers, this means it would take 3.7 months for all the homes listed to sell if no additional listings came to market. Any supply number under a 6-month supply is considered a seller’s market. According to NAR, the housing market hasn’t had a 6-month supply of homes for sale since August 2012.

Good News for Buyers

A recent report shows that the percentage of houses sold including a bidding war before settling on a final price decreased from 53% in January of 2018 to 13% this year.

One reason for the decline is an influx of homes being listed for sale. Even though the month’s supply number is not increasing, the number of homes for sale is. The chart below shows the year-over-year change in inventory over the last 12 months.

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars? | MyKCM

As you can see, the number of homes for sale has started to build over the last eight months. Prior to this reversal, inventory levels had fallen for 36 consecutive months when compared to the year before.

Danielle Hale,’s Chief Economist, gave some insight into why bidding wars are less common on a local level this year,

“[Last year] you might have been the only listing in your neighborhood, and you could put your home up at a certain list price and you would likely see multiple offers at or above that list price. That tide is turning this year.

It’s going to depend on what neighborhood you’re in, but we expect it to be more common this year that you won’t be the only listing.”

Inventory in the luxury and premium markets (the top 25% of listings in an area by price), is increasing at a greater rate than the starter home market. As the choices buyers have continued to increase, the likelihood of a bidding war will decrease.

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, you may not want to wait for additional competition as inventory continues to rise.

Today’s Most Current Mortgage Rates

Thinking of buying, selling, or refinancing?  The mortgage rates are a must know! Interest rates are the rates at which money can be borrowed for a set period of time. The higher the rate, the more money a borrower must pay in the form of interest on the loan. When mortgage rates are lower, this makes the purchasing of a home more affordable. Although the cost of mortgages is closely tied to the interest rate, the price at which homes are sold does not always appear in direct correlation.


Thank you Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank Home Loan Center for the rates. If you have any mortgage questions you can reach her at 360-650-5365!

How to Have a Unique Open House

How to Have a Unique Open House | MyKCM

According to the National Association of Realtors, total inventory has been growing for six months straight, as has the number of buyers looking to find their dream home. In a market where inventory is increasing, you want to stand out in the crowd!

This quote from Grandscope puts it well:

You can differentiate from competition by WOWing or exciting customers, not just trying to compete on price.

What better way than to be creative with your Open House!

Here are a few ideas for how to do this in this era of technology.

1) Facebook Live Virtual Open House

This can also work as a ‘preview’ before an official Open House. Let your agent walk potential buyers through your home using a webcam or cell phone, highlighting the unique features of your house and taking questions. This can be of great benefit, especially for those out-of-state buyers looking to relocate to your area.

2) Youtube Live Virtual Open House

YouTube is forecasted to have 187.8 million video users in 2019 in the United States alone! One of those users might be the buyer you’re looking for! Like Facebook Live, allowing your agent to have a virtual open house will make it available, especially for all those first-time homebuyers house hunting on their phones! This allows access to your home from the comfort of their own. Broadcasting at peak time (during lunch between 12 and 2 P.M.) also prevents buyers from having to leave work.

What if you do not want to show your house online?

3) Have a Garage Sale at The Same Time

This serves two purposes. First, you can start getting rid of some of the clutter inside your home. This will help it to show better and make packing a little easier. Second, people will come to a garage sale.  Whether it’s the neighbors or bargain-hunters, each garage sale attendee is a potential “salesperson for your home”.  They could be looking for themselves or talking to someone else in the market.  The more people who are aware that your house is for sale, the better.

4) Go With Off-Peak Times

Why not host an Open House during the week when people are on their way home? This works especially well if the home is convenient for commuters. Add a little wine & cheese as a transition to going home for dinner! Or, why not have an Open House at 9:00 in the morning? After parents drop their kids at school, they can stop by your Open House for coffee & cake. Promote the Open House in community chats. Maybe one of the neighbors has a family member that wants to move to the area.

Bottom Line

With new inventory coming to market, you need your house to stand out from the crowd! Contact a Johnson Team Real Estate Professional to see what alternatives will work best for you.

NEW ON MARKET! Building Lot with Stunning Bellingham and Waterviews


This building lot has spectacular views of the City, Bellingham Bay & the San Juans. It’s shovel ready for your builder with an installed 4 bedroom septic system, water permit from water district 7, natural gas & power in the street & completed survey. The owner / builder has a beautiful architecturally designed home created specifically for this lot that you may be interested in as well. The location is ideal as it’s just outside of the city limits but still a short drive to Barkley Village.

Additional Information

Taxes: $835
View: Sound, City, Mountain, Territorial, Bay
Lot Size: 0.49 Acre (21,344 SqFt)

School Information

Elementary: Northern Heights Elementary
Middle: Shuksan Middle School
High: Squalicum High


To learn more about the lots and the options available call 360.303.2734 or visit the lot’s virtual website to learn more today!

Coming Soon! New Bellingham Home Boasting Spectacular Views.

House Front

Gorgeous new home coming soon with majestic views of the City, Bellingham Bay & San Juan Islands. It’s all there from your front windows. The home will be finished off with the finest of features throughout. The architect who designed 4121 Malachite held nothing back with soaring ceilings, a bank of westerly facing windows for natural light, designer kitchen, an amazing master suite & decks for those special moments. The location is excellent as it’s only a quick drive to Barkley Village

Additional Information:

View: Sound, City, Mountain, Territorial, Bay
Lot Size: 0.27 Acre (11,761 SqFt)
Garage Size: 2 Car
Exterior: Cement Planked, Stone, Wood Products
Fireplaces: 1 Fireplace
Heating/Cooling: Forced Air,
Roof: Composition Roof
Flooring: Ceramic Tile Floor, Hardwood Floor, Vinyl Floor, Wall to Wall Carpet
Address: 4121 Malachite Drive, Bellingham
Price: $715,000

School Information:

District: Bellingham
Elementary: Northern Heights Ele
Middle School: Shuksan Mid
High: Squalicum High

For more information call 360.303.2734 today or visit the home’s virtual tour site by clicking here.