September 27, 2020



PARSIPPANY, N.J., (June 28, 2010) – Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC today announced the signing of a master franchise agreement with Demeure S.A.  to expand the Coldwell Banker® brand in France and into Monaco.  With the addition of Monaco, the Coldwell Banker network now extends to 50 countries and territories worldwide on a combined basis.

Led by Laurent Demeure, president and chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker France and Monaco is based in Paris.  Previously known as Demeure Immobilier with a luxury homes department Demeure Prestige, Demeure S.A. was founded in 1920. The group played a major role in the development of real estate in France, notably with the creation of one of France’s premier networks of estate agents.

 “We are thrilled that Laurent and his talented team have joined the Coldwell Banker system to give us a renewed presence in France,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.  “Obviously gaining a presence in Monaco, one of the world’s most desired destinations, is a major addition to Coldwell Banker Previews International®, our luxury marketing division that caters to the affluent.  We believe Laurent’s firm aligns very well with the Coldwell Banker brand, combining a  rich history with outstanding core values.”  

“We think the Coldwell Banker brand has great potential for growth in France and Monaco,” said Demeure.  “The France and Monaco property market is holding steady, despite the recent economic crisis.   In France, relatively low home prices, culture and ‘love for all things French’ continue to drive interest from foreign investors while Monaco obviously attracts interest from the affluent around the globe.

“We are very enthusiastic to further develop the Coldwell Banker brand in France and enter a new market in Monaco.  We believe that because we are in the same business as our potential franchisees this will allow us to develop unparalleled business relationships with partners that understand each other’s needs and expectations. All the team is highly motivated in making the Coldwell Banker system a highly innovative and highly consumer focused brand in the two countries and becoming the leader in the luxury properties market through Coldwell Banker Previews International.”


Some time ago I was approached by a company dealing in international real estate and invited to become a member.  They informed me that I had been recommended by my colleague, Mallina Wilson from Bellingham.  Flattered by the recommendation, I did considerable research and discussion, I partnered with Jenny Hill (who will handle the Eastside while I work the Greater Seattle area) and I joined their growing network.

The company is called Associated Realty of the Americas (AREA) and is headquartered in Arizona.  The company concept is a simple one:   select quality real estate professionals in major urban and resort areas around the world, tie them together and market their listings to all.

What makes the program unique is that we market to those who represent Buyers, not to the Buyers themselves.  (We don’t know anyone else who uses this paradigm.)

What I have come to learn from this is that my “reach” has grown in an extraordinary fashion.  By that I mean, instead of having to research who I will use as a referral agent outside the world of Seattle, this is already done for me.  

My expanded service reaches from the tip of Cabo to shores of the Carolina’s; from Panama to Palm Springs; from Vancouver to Toronto; from the U.S. to Europe and Asia:  I am connected.

When someone who is important to you is considering a transfer within the U.S., a foreign purchase or is a foreigner interested in owning residential or commercial property in Seattle, please let me know.  

Best of all, there is no cost to Buyers and Sellers to receive this first class service.

COLOR CORRECT . . . “Painting weather” is just around the corner!

The look of your home’s exterior can make a strong first impression, enhance curb appeal and help boost resale value, but choosing the right color can be tricky. The paint experts at Sherwin-Williams offer several helpful hints for selecting the best color for your home’s exterior.

First, examine homes in different neighborhoods to get an idea of how residents apply color to their own homes. Note the most appealing color schemes in the area and consider adapting them to your home. Choose a scheme that blends well with homes in your current neighborhood or subtly stands out.

Landscaping elements, such as flower gardens, flowering shrubs and trees that change color, can affect your color choice. For example, heavily wooded lots will make colors appear darker due to the shade, and the foliage tends to camouflage the home.

Elements of your home, such as roofing shingles, brick or stone accents, often have varying shades and hues that can serve as the foundation of your paint color choices. For example, a charcoal gray shingle could have flecks of gray-blue or gray-green that you can incorporate into the color scheme.

Be sure to examine color samples outdoors at various angles and at different times of the day. Consider buying small quantities of paint in desired colors and paint a section of the house where the body, trim and accent colors can be seen together.

Pay attention to the direction and intensity of the sun. Intense sunlight can wash out colors. While brighter colors may be suitable in Sunbelt cities, lighter, neutral tones often work better in other locales. Tinted and mid-tone neutrals are popular because they play off landscaping and other building materials.

White or light colors make a large home on a small lot appear even larger, while dark colors tend to make the same home look smaller but more substantial. Remember, light colors advance in space while dark colors recede. So if a home is located far from the curb, painting it a light color will make it look more prominent.


Powerful real estate web sites and thousands of links expose your property to more Buyers — Everyday until it is sold!   To gain the maximum attention for your home and thereby the highest sale price, my extensive use of the Internet is critical!

Click here to order “Otterson Unique Factors“.


Selling your home… How it works, Who is in charge
          Click here to order this outline chart and a copy of “Make Your Home Smile”


Always select your Realtor® first . . . choose a professional to repersent you, based on servicing and marketing.
                 Click here to order this advisory page.


What is your biggest fear when you think about listing your home with a Realtor®? It is simple: You worry about being locked into a lengthy listing agreement.

Worry no more. I take the risk and the fear out of listing your home with a Realtor®. I offer you this guarantee:

If you are not satisfied with the efforts I am making to market your home, I agree to:
    * Release you from your listing contract upon written request
    * Refer you to my best competitor

When you list your home through this Excellence Guaranteed Listing Agreement , you can:
    * Relax, knowing you will not be locked into a lengthy contract.
    * Cancel your listing at anytime.
    * Enjoy the caliber of service confident enough to make this offer.

      Click here to order a complete copy of my written guarantee.


Whether you are a Buyer, a Seller or simply curious . . . 

Short Sales – An Overview
As lenders search for the best way to respond to the mortgage difficulties faced by millions of Americans, it’s clear no single answer is right for every situation. For many, the best option is to sell the home for less than is owed and ask the lender to accept the sales proceeds to settle the debt.

Usually called a Short Sale, the transaction allows the homeowner facing financial challenges the opportunity to sell the property and avoid foreclosure. The lender is able to solve the delinquent mortgage without going through the time and expense of a foreclosure.


Short Sales Take Time
Getting a Short Sale sold, approved and closed takes time. If you feel a Short Sale might be the best option for you, do not wait until the last minute to get started. In our experience, it may take at least 45 days to get lender approval for a Short Sale.

Find an Experienced Agent
Because Short Sales are different from standard real estate transactions, in our experience, it’s best to engage an agent with experience handling Short Sales.  I am a Certified Short Sale/Foreclosure expert. 

When you need additional clarifications . . . or a list of homes currently noted as Short Sales or Foreclosure, please contact me.

SAY ‘YES’ TO CRS . . . Certified Residential Specialist

Buying or selling a home can seem like an overwhelming task. But the right REALTOR® can make the process easier — and more profitable.  A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive market.

To receive the CRS Designation, REALTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements — including high-volume sales — and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. We must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.

When the time is right for your move please contact me . . . I have earned the CRS designation!

4 Questions You Need to Answer Today

1. Why are the prices of homes dropping substantially in today’s market?
Prices are dropping because of the anomaly that occurred during the market boom. Professor Karl Case of Wellesley College and contributing author of the Case-Schiller Home Prices Indices, a quarterly nominal housing price report, looked closely at the appreciation of median home value over five-year increments dating back to 1980 (see chart: “Appreciation Went Into Overdrive” His research shows that home values appreciated 26.5 percent on average for the 20-year period from 1980 through 2000. 

In the six years that followed, average appreciation was 89 percent. Prices are now adjusting to the inconsistent and unsustainable growth that occurred during the first six years of this decade. In other words, the market is not on the decline. Rather, it is moving toward stability, which will mean healthier markets in the future. 

2. How do I determine the direction of prices in my market?
Although there are no steadfast rules to determine future pricing, months’ supply of inventory (total inventory divided by the number of houses sold per month) is a great guideline. Review the STATISTICS link on the blog. A normalized or balanced market has five to six months of inventory. If 100 houses sell a month, there should be 500 to 600 houses in active inventory.  

Based on this principle, if you have one to two months of inventory, double-digit appreciation is likely to occur. Lack of supply will cause potential buyers to clamor over the few homes that are for sale, which in turn drives prices higher. On the other end of the spectrum—where many markets are right now—there is a seven- to eight-month inventory. With this abundance of supply, there simply aren’t enough buyers to support the number of homes for sale.

Current economic conditions will also have an effect on the direction of pricing, as pricing is directly connected to average income. Traditionally, the national average sales price of a home is two-and-a-half times the average household income. Through the boom years of 2004, 2005, and even into 2006, that ratio was distorted, reaching up to four times the average income. We’re now getting much closer to the 2.5 ratio. However, with unemployment rising, prices may have to drop further to stay in line with the average American family income.

3. Why should I buy now?
Any investment consideration, whether it be real estate, gold, or fine art, follows a predictable cycle with nine stages (see chart: “The Stages of a Market Cycle” Let’s start with optimism, the period in which many people are excited about buying a home. When the market is strong, people’s purchases quickly increase in value, which leads to euphoria, which can lead to rash decision making. 

 From euphoria starts a downward cycle. As prices start to fall, buyers go into denial, with statements such as “I’ll be in the house a few years, so this won’t be a challenge.” After denial comes fear, as prices continue to fall, followed by panic, despondency, and depression. After depression comes hope and then optimism (back to stage one).

The point of maximum risk for any investment is during the euphoria stage. The point of maximum opportunity is at the lowest point, between despondency and depression. That’s exactly where we are in many real estate markets today. Clients who are motivated and qualified to buy will be able to look at the market cycle chart and understand why now is the best time to invest in real estate.

4. Is homeownership really a good way to build wealth?
According to NAR, home values appreciate 4.5 percent annually on average. That’s a great return; however, very few buyers pay in cash. Most try to put as little cash down as possible. The amount of cash buyers put into their home determines their return on equity, which is the total return on the cash they initially invested. So the return on equity can be astronomical. It’s easy to see that real estate isn’t just a good investment; it’s a great investment.