The Price of Real-Estate Experience: $25,000

September 20th, 2013

Can you put a price on experience? In real estate, you can. It is about $25,000 for the average house.

Veteran agents sell homes for an average of 12% more than their less experienced counterparts, says Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. Veteran agents also tend to list more new properties, more townhouses and condominiums and larger properties.


Two-thirds of properties listed by veteran agents sold, while only half of properties listed by rookies did.

“The more experience you have, the more likely you are to sell the properties that you list, the more likely you are to sell it at a higher price and the less time it stays on the market,” Prof. Waller says.

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Muljat Group on Instagram!

August 23rd, 2013

Guess what?! Muljat group is now on Instagram! Stay updated on Open Houses, New Listings, and so much more! Search “muljatgroup” on Instagram and follow us!

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | |

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Home Sales, prices still rising in Western Washington despite lean inventory and increasing mortgage rates

August 6th, 2013

Rising interest rates, rising prices and rising consumer confidence are creating a “positive cyclone of home sales activity,” according to members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Member-brokers reported 9,565 pending sales during July for an increase of more than 13.6 percent from a year ago – the highest year-over-year gain since January. Last month’s mutually accepted offers across 21 counties also marked a slight improvement on June’s total of 9,484 pending sales.

The number of closed sales and the prices on those transactions both rose by double digits compared to a year ago. Members recorded 7,772 completed transactions area-wide to outgain the year-ago volume by 27.5 percent. The median price of those closed sales, which included single family homes and condominiums, was $282,363. That’s up 10.8 percent from the year-ago figure of $254,900.

Information provided by NWMLS news release: July activity

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | |

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Whatcom home sales jump 15.9 percent in first half of 2013

July 12th, 2013

Whatcom County continues to follow the national trend of increased home sales and rising prices, according to a new midyear report.

Local real estate agents sold 1,077 homes in the first six months of 2013, a 15.9 percent increase compared to the first half of 2012, according to a report put together by Lylene Johnson of The Muljat Group. It’s the highest first half total since 2007, when 1,337 homes were sold.

Johnson expects the second half of 2013 to see similar increases, although steadily rising interest rates could slow things down.

“Interest rates are my primary concern, which may impact more on the lower-end homes,” Johnson said. “It is also possible this will stimulate more buyers to enter market due to fears that they may go even higher.”

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Muljat Group  | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | |
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Existing-home sales increase as inventory shortage persists

June 22nd, 2013

Existing-home sales in May hit their highest level since November 2009 when a tax stimulus was fueling sales, according to the National Association of Realtors.

May’s seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.18 million units was up 12.9 percent from 4.59 million units in May 2012 and up 4.2 percent from 4.97 million units in April, NAR reported.

“The housing numbers are overwhelmingly positive. However, the number of available homes is unlikely to grow, despite a nice gain in May, unless new-home construction ramps up quickly by an additional 50 percent,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “The home price growth is too fast, and only additional supply from new homebuilding can moderate future price growth.”

Meanwhile, listed housing inventory rose 3.3 percent to 2.2 million existing homes in May, representing a 5.1-month supply of homes at the current rate of home sales, NAR said. That’s down from 5.2 months in April.

Inventory was 10.1 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.5-month supply, NAR said.

The inventory shortage is sparking bidding wars, and homes are selling like hotcakes in some markets.

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Where House Hunters Are Early Birds

June 21st, 2013

House hunters in this Washington town like searching online home listings in the wee hours, a website analysis shows; New Yorkers like the nighttime


You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the residents of Bellingham, Wash., in the house hunt.

Here, 28.2% of online property searches occur between the wee hours of 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. local time, according to an analysis by real-estate website In the U.S., by comparison, 18.5% of all home searches occur between 4 and 10 a.m. in each time zone. combed through its database of current listings to find out which cities have the highest percentage of searches conducted early in the morning and late at night. After Bellingham, the top early-bird cities were Palm Springs, Calif., with 27.4% of searches between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., and Anchorage, Alaska, with 26.7%.

“I’m an early riser,” says Troy Muljat, managing broker for the Muljat Group, a residential and commercial brokerage firm in Bellingham. The city, located about 90 miles north of Seattle, is home to lots of retirees and college students, so Mr. Muljat tries to time new home listings with their schedules. His strategy: Single-family homes are listed early in the morning, and rentals go up late at night to appeal to night owls.


The country’s greatest concentration of night owls can be found in New York City, where 17.9% of online searches take place between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. That’s slightly above the 11.4% of searches nationwide that occur between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Other cities where searchers burn the midnight oil include Austin, Texas, and Philadelphia.

Manhattan real-estate agent Lydia Sussek, a senior associate with Corcoran Group, says her slowest period is early in the morning from 8 to 11 a.m. In the late afternoon and evening, work really picks up. “I’ll get emails at two or three in the morning. I’ve actually had appointments at night,” she says.

While some of Ms. Sussek’s late-night requests come from foreign buyers, most come from locals who are looking at listings after the workday, she says. A few weeks ago, she says she woke up to emails sent at 2, 2:18, 2:22, 3:41, 5:31 and 6:59 a.m.

Searchers on both sides of the spectrum might be on to something. Robert Matchock, associate professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, says most people are productive in the morning and experience a drop in alertness right after lunch. Then, they perk up by early evening. Younger people also tend to be more alert later at night, he adds.

A higher percentage of late-night searchers search using mobile devices than early-morning searchers, according to In New York, for example, 34% of searches are from a mobile device. In Bellingham, 15% of searches come from mobile devices.

Write to Sanette Tanaka at

A version of this article appeared June 21, 2013, on page M10 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Where House Hunters Are Early Birds.

Muljat Group | 510 Lakeway  Drive | Bellingham, WA | | 360-733-3030 |

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Competition among home buyers “still fierce,” rising interest rates adding to fury

June 5th, 2013

Well-priced homes continue to draw multiple offers and sell at a brisk pace around Western Washington as buyers react to increases in interest rates and asking prices.

Compared to a year ago, the number of new listings climbed 16 percent, pending sales increased about 10 percent, closed sales jumped nearly 22 percent, and prices rose more than 13 percent. Despite gains in listing activity, inventory remains tight.

Inventory showed signs of improving with the addition of 11,455 new listings during May, the highest number since April 2010. May’s total outgained the year-ago figure of 9,861 new listings for a 16 percent gain.

Muljat Group | 510 Lakeway  Drive | Bellingham, WA | | 360-733-3030 |

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Home values in Whatcom County continue to appreciate

May 23rd, 2013

Local home values rose 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year earlier, according to data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It’s the second straight quarter of year-over-year increases after more than four years of declines.

Home values in the Bellingham metro area are expected to continue to appreciate slowly in the coming quarters, said Glenn Crellin, associate director at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington.

To read more information visit Bellingham Herald at

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | |

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Prices “spiking” as home buyers compete for scarce inventory

April 5th, 2013

Brokers added 9,332 new listings to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service database during March, but pending sales topped that number to further crimp inventory and trigger competitive bidding among buyers who are flocking to open houses.

Northwest MLS figures show year-over-year prices jumped 14.9 percent for the 21 counties in its service area. The median price for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $258,500, rising from $225,000 for the same month a year ago.

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | |

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Whatcom County posts strong Residential Sales in January

February 8th, 2013

Whatcom County real estate sales are off to a strong start in 2013, according to a new report.

Local real estate agents sold 142 houses and condominiums last month, making it the busiest January since 2008, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It’s a 20.3 percent increase compared to January 2012.

New listings are already ahead of last year, according to the NWMLS data. Last month had 288 new listings locally, up 19.5 percent compared to 2012.

To read more information visit

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | |

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