Reduced commission vs full rate services

If you’re thinking about selling your home, you have a lot of different factors to consider. You’re thinking about where you’ll move and what it will cost, and finding a qualified Realtor is one of the biggest decisions. If one of your questions involves finding out more information regarding reduced commission versus full rate services, here I’ll cover what the three basic levels of fees and services include.

#1: Very Discounted Services: This will include access to the MLS only. The seller will input all information and will set the buyer’s agent fee. The seller pays for marketing and will negotiate elements of the contract. This can work for some situations, but being an unrepresented seller in today’s complex market can be risky and oftentimes results in a lower net price. Most buyers will have representation, so the fee you save is really only half of the full real estate fee.

#2: Cut-rate fees: This will again only save half of the real estate fee, as buyers are usually represented by an agent. With full service representation, you usually get more experienced and knowledgeable agents to work with you. This is the “secret sauce” that can save you big time in the end – especially in the areas of price negotiation, inspection negotiation, and other timing issues that can derail the overall transaction.

#3: Full-service: When using a full-service Realtor, you’ll get a fully developed and proven marketing plan. The Realtor will additionally help you develop a pricing strategy that will help get your home sold in a timely way. You’ll work together to address issues upfront that could cause a buyer to pass by your home. The key here is knowledge, knowledge, knowledge! An experienced Realtor has been part of numerous, varied transactions that can help benefit you throughout the process so you can get the best price for your home with the quickest closing date and the least hassle.

If you have decided that it’s time to make the jump to sell your home, now is a great time to do that. The information around fees can be a complex topic to consider, so if you have additional questions, I am happy to sit down and talk with you about what could work for you and your specific situation.

Posted on July 31, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Basic Guide to Property Taxes


If you’re new to the home buying process, there is a lot to learn and a lot of different terms that you may be unfamiliar with. Property taxes are one of those things that are just one of the forms of tax that homeowners will need to pay in order to remain compliant with the government. Taxes are made up of charges from different entities and local governments will use property tax revenue to fund important programs, with the biggest percentage going to schools.

Property Value:
Assessed value is the value placed placed by the county on your property. Every six years it is reviewed/assessed by a real person. The appraised value is the amount a trained appraiser places in the property for loan purposes and the ratio of assessed to appraised varies greatly.  If the market is going up, then the appraisal is always higher than assessed. As a homeowner, there can be several things that can cause an increase and one of those is taking on home improvements. Remodeling and home additions will add to the value of your home, but it can also cause the assessed value to increase. So, before you take on a big project, make sure you balance what the increased property taxes will be compared to what money you will make when you sell the home for a higher price.

Tax Rates:
Every jurisdiction levies on your house based on a tax rate. Several different levels of taxing entities/jurisdiction have permission to collect property tax, including counties, school districts, and others such as fire districts and libraries. All of these jurisdictions have a tax rate which add up to a total millage rate. The millage rate is the amount you’re charged for every $1,000 of assessed value of your home and it differs from location to location. Multiply the millage rate per thousand dollars your house is assessed at, and that’s what your property taxes is.

Property taxes can be confusing for many homeowners, so understanding the basics is important in understanding how to they’re calculated and what it means when you’re buying a home. Homeowners will have the option to pay their property taxes yearly in a lump sum, or they can be factored into your mortgage payment every year. If you factor them into your mortgage payment, and the property taxes fluctuate, there may be a change in the amount you’re paying every month on your mortgage bill. 

Wondering what your property taxes are and what they are being allotted to? You can look at the Clark County website here and enter your address to get the details. 

Still not sure how they work? I’m happy to go over them with you to make sure you understand what all the terminology means.

Tips Provided by Nancy Johns, Blog Written by Brooke Strickland (

Posted on January 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Unique Must-Visit Retail Shops in Clark County

Clark County is home to a variety of great local businesses that are owned and staffed by delightful people that are both passionate about and invested in Clark as a whole. The “shop local” focus is alive and well in Vancouver and the surrounding cities in Clark County and because many residents in the area recognize the importance of supporting small businesses in the area, retail shop owners are able to grow, expand, and continue offering unique destinations for residents and tourists alike.  Here are three featured businesses in the area that are unique

Vintage Books
Nestled in the corner of the Mill Plain Safeway shopping complex off of Andresen Road, Vintage Books has been a local, independent bookstore that has served book lovers throughout Clark County since 1975. If you’re a reading enthusiast, you could easily spend a couple of hours in this store browsing the extensive collection of used paperbacks for hours on end. The atmosphere inside of the store is relaxed and laid back. There are old chairs for settling into read for a bit and because the inventory changes daily, you’ll always find something new when you come and visit. The staff is knowledgeable and the combined experienced and diversity in reading tastes is reflected in the assortment of books for sale. This store is a Vancouver-area gem!

If you head into Kazoodles, chances are you will run into Bob or Mary Sisson, owners of the shop. This couple has been a part of the Clark County community for decades and they are some of the best people you can find. And not only are they friendly and love serving families in the community, they are passionate about providing high quality toys, games, and books for kids of all ages in their unique toy shop. Kazoodles has been in Cascade Park since 2010 and has been voted the “Best Toy Store” for 5 years in a row by readers of Vancouver Family Magazine. It has also been named “Best Toy and Craft Store” for three years in a row by The Columbian. From classic toys to the newest and best toys on the market, Kazoodles has pretty much everything a kid could dream of. 

Camas Antiques
Located in the heart of historic downtown Camas, Camas Antiques is an antique lover’s dream come true. Gift items, garden supplies, and home décor from years past, there are all sorts of unique items here that have a rich history behind them. Most of these things, you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else. The prices are very affordable and no matter what your design preference is, you’re sure to find something simple yet elegant for your home or office space here. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the basement area, which is chock-full of even more treasures. This place is antiquing paradise.

There are some fantastic retail destinations in the area that are just waiting to be explored. So get out there and start enjoying the fantastic shopping to be had in Clark County!

Posted on February 16, 2015 at 4:36 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Vancouver History | Tagged , , , , , ,

History of Pearson Air Field

Chances are, you have driven past the 140 acre Pearson Air Field thousands of times, but have you stopped to think about the history behind it? Pearson Air Field is the oldest operating air field in the United States with its roots dating back to 1905. It is located in the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, operates completely in that area, and is the only airport in Washington that is a satellite airport. It is mostly used for general aviation, which ranges from flying clubs, gliders, powered parachutes, flight training, or agricultural aviation. You’ll often see a variety of small planes coming in and out of the airport and it can easily be seen from Highway 14 and the Columbia River.

Pearson Field is named after the first local resident of the United States Army, First Lieutenant Alexander Pearson Jr. In 1911, the first airplane landed at Pearson Air Field and a year later, a homebuilt airplane that was built on site at the Air Field first departed from it. From 1923 to 1941, Pearson Air Field was home to the US Army Air Service and in 1924, the airport served as a layover point on the Army’s first flight around the world.  In 1994, the City of Vancouver and the National Park Service partnered together to control the future of the Air Field and there are now 150T-hangars and tiedown facilities, with capacity for 175 aircraft. Today, the Pearson Air Field provides nearly 600 jobs to Clark County.

If you enjoy history as well as aircraft, Pearson Air Field is a great place to visit! Sign up for flying lessons or just walk around and learn about its unique aviation history and take in the sights.

Posted on January 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Vancouver History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Windermere Room at the Children’s Justice Center

On any given day, you can walk into the Windermere Room at the Children’s Justice Center in Vancouver and see boys and girls playing and enjoying life, just like any other child. What you might not know is that this center and the play room especially, is a safe haven for children that have been victims of criminal-level abuse. Non-offending family members can bring their children here and get valuable and necessary assistance to address incidents of child abuse. The Children’s Justice Center (CJC) is nationally accredited as a Children’s Advocacy Center and employs a team of well-trained and experienced responders to come together and help the children that have been victims of crime. Staff helps provide health services for child victims of abuse, while also working with agencies and jurisdictions to hold felony criminals and perpetrators accountable by prosecuting through the law and judicial system. CJC staff works with the following agencies in Vancouver on a regular basis:

-Clark County
-YWCA Sexual Assault Program
-City of Vancouver
-Washington State Department of Children and Family Services and the Children’s Center

These agencies, along with the CJC, seek the truth and continually work to protect the rights of victims during investigations. For the last several years, Windermere has been proud to host fundraising events and match funds from the Windermere Foundation to help the Children’s Justice Center.  To see the room and how it’s helping kids learn and become happy, well-adjusted children, watch this short video.

Posted on November 3, 2014 at 5:45 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,