About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    rose-colored-coolaid says:

    – Will I use a travel agent on my next vacation?

    – Should I pay a broker hundreds of dollars per stock trade, or use a $10 a trade discount broker?

    – How about a mall music store for my next record purchase?

    This is a very bad time to be a market maker. Profit margins for every market maker will be challenged, and real estate is no different. We should rejoice that we are seeing this.

  2. 2
    tenzi says:

    What do you mean by “traditional”? I will use a full-time agent and aks for a discount if I did find the house by myself and have him/her just write up the offer for the house.

  3. 3
    nitsuj says:

    “- Will I use a travel agent on my next vacation?

    – Should I pay a broker hundreds of dollars per stock trade, or use a $10 a trade discount broker?”

    Nail, meet hammer. Hammer, meet nail.

  4. 4
    Dave0 says:

    I voted yes, but that is only because my brother is a licensed real estate agent, so I don’t mind seeing him get money from my transaction. If he lost his license I wouldn’t use an agent.

  5. 5
    brettro says:

    where’s the selection for “HELL no”?

  6. 6
    Ira Sacharoff says:

    Let’s not forget that there are non traditional agents, working for much smaller commissions, but providing full service, who are affiliated with traditional agencies. (Just a coincidence that I happen to be one of them.)

  7. 7
    Chuck Ponzi says:

    Agree with Sacharoff.

    Why buy with “traditional” when I can get 2% of the commission as a rebate? Even 1% is better than a sharp stick to the eye.

    Why turn down free money?

    Chuck Ponzi

  8. 8
    Beth says:

    What next home purchase? :-) I like my house, I like where I am.

    BTW, on the travel agent question: I did use an agent for the last international trip, cause it made it easy to get a visa. Value added is worth something.

  9. 9
    peter says:

    educate yourself. it took me a week to go through all the required educational materials and take the state test to become an “agent”. i spent less than a thousand dollars. i dropped out of high school, that means if i can do it, so can you. educate yourself and save those tens of thousands of dollars you would have given away. this doesn’t even address the issue of motivation. no one is motivated to protect your interests like you are. real estate agents are after a COMMISION, that is THEIR motivation, and they will compromise what is best for you to get one. (unless it’s your mother)

  10. 10
    peter says:

    i guess i forgot to answer the question…no.

  11. 11
    TheDexter says:

    Did you know about the return of top travel agents? These are the people who know the best rooms to select on cruise ships, have deep connections with concierge staff at the best hotels, and will ensure the greatest value for your vacation experience. Now then, as far as Realtors go, are you familiar with the insidious new MLS changes effective October 15th? For example, line #9 on page one of P&S and how it’s a lose-lose if either buyer or seller sign it? You didn’t hear about this? Hmmmmm, I guess the 52% who don’t need a Realtor may want to reconsider!
    Good luck to you!

  12. 12
    Antsy Al says:

    TheDexter: I would probably just pay my attorney a few hundred bucks to go over this. I also know a Realtor who will rebate me back a few dollars too.

    Hey you have a nice gimmick there regarding your website but I want to know truthfully how many years experience you have selling homes and how long in the Seattle area.

  13. 13
    be like water says:

    You get what you pay for. Does it cost the buyer anything to work with an agent? When you go to the doctor or to your lawyer do you ask for discount?

    Agents that discount their services are WHORES. They don’t have the skills or are professional enough to explain the features & benefits of their professional services because they’re not trained professionals. They don’t work on their skills and only take 30 hours of continuing education to retain their license. If they made enough money selling real estate they wouldn’t have to prostitute themselves doing jobs for less money working for people they don’t want to work for just so they can make money. Professionals pick and choose whom they work for.

    The problem is the state makes money out of all the new agent licenses and don’t make it challenging for people to get their licenses resulting in all the part-time agents with part-time experience knowing fully well that for every agent that gets in the business today: 50% will be gone in 6 months & 80% by the end of the year. Pareto’s rule: 80% of the business is done by 20% of the agents. Do you know what’s involved to get a license to sell stock, insurance, securities?

    Would you go to a surgeon that did surgeries as their part-time job or would you go to a full-time professional that did it day in and day out. If people want Costco service & Wal-Mart prices when it comes to real estate then go for it, these are the same people that think Starbucks with their push button espresso machines turn out the same product & service as the “traditional” independent espresso barista. Yes, I said “traditional” which is heresy here in Seattle.

    The sub-prime problem we’re having today is not due to real estate agents, but to the greedy lenders. If the rest of the country stuck to “traditional” loans requiring 20% and a 720 credit score, we wouldn’t have the real estate run up we had resulting in the eventual crash. I snicker every time I run into people having sub-prime problems, which is daily. I know many that have personal real estate inventory they can’t sell and are pulling their hair out or declaring bankruptcy. But not in Seattle, because there are so many jobs here and everyone is moving here. ;)

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