News from Gov. Inslee Opens Doors Sooner than Expected for Commercial Real Estate Firms Including HeatonDainard in Seattle

For Washington state multifamily residential property investors, news from the Gov. Jay Inslee’s office this week provides a plan for moving forward in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. For HeatonDainard Real Estate, a Seattle | Bellevue full-service real estate company dedicated to providing quality multifamily investment opportunities, the news heralds positive movement into economic recovery for the greater King County communities.

Inspectors in the ten counties in Phase 2 of the recovery plan can inspect again. For properties undergoing repairs and rehabilitation, this is great news. (See the list below). As commercial real estate investors and brokers alike shift into reopening, closes of escrows will move back into a more predictable timeline.  

For instance, instead of simply driving by, residential and multifamily real estate buyers can arrange for viewing again, with their broker of choice.

“We applaud Gov. Jay Inslee for working with the real estate community on opening our doors for business,” says James Dainard, co-founder of HeatonDainard Real Estate. “We’re working within the guidelines to put safety first.”

Under the Safe Start plan unveiled this week by Gov. Inslee, in-person meetings with customers are still banned for things like coffee and friendly face-to-face networking events. However, clients have the green light to sign important documents or view property. Appraisals and final walkthroughs are also given a green light for counties in Phase 2 of the plan.

Ten Washington counties were approved this week to go into Phase 2 earlier than expected. The rest of the state is expected to follow by June 1. Althought HeatonDainard focuses mostly in King County, this movement is still good for Washington State business.

Here is some more detail on what is being approved in commercial real estate, under the new guidelines.

  •   Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion, wearing face masks. Designated brokers will oversee compliance with the detailed protocols designed for safety.
  •   Lenders can go back to work. Financial services are now deemed essential. For customers and clients of HeatonDainard, for instance, the in-house lending company Intrust Funding is hard at work securing loans that range from traditional to hard money. With interest rates lower than any time in recent history, the impetus for investing in commercial multifamily real estate is strong.
  •   New listings are approved for posting on the open market. If you’ve been holding onto a multifamily residential apartment building waiting for the pandemic to quiet down, you are now welcome to contact a brokerage to list your property for sale. “We are making every effort to help our clients sell the properties while maintaining safe practices for viewing properties,” says Dainard.

Work that is potentially virtual will always be handled virtually, such as reviews of reports. However, inspections will still be handled in person.

  •   For walk-throughs prior to close of escrow, the Phase 2 guidelines limit any walk through to three people or less. Sellers and tenants will be asked to be gone from the property during a walk-through. Everyone is encouraged to mask and glove.
  •   Fortunately for the style of value-add multifamily investment practices of HeatonDainard Commercial, repairs and rehabilitation of property is allowed. Construction is permitted under a separate order from Gov. Inslee. Brokers are advised to oversee compliance although construction workers will be expected to adhere to compliance, as well, for each of their own businesses.
  •   Lastly, real estate signs can be installed again.

“We look forward to recovering with our community during post-COVID environment,” says Dainard. “We understand it’s going to be a long road ahead for our community to heal. We are proud to be part of the investment community seeking to serve and advise our clients during ever changing market conditions.

It’s going to be the difficult times that bring out the best in the companies willing to work hard on the behalf of their clients. Hardships can make or break organizations.

At HeatonDainard, the focus continues to be on strengthening systems and making the best of any situation. With a business that spans King County and the greater Puget Sound region, HeatonDainard is committed to bringing back economic health and vitality one investment at a time.

Here’s the list of counties approved to move more quickly than expected into Phase 2:

  • Adams
  • Clark
  • Clallam
  • Island
  • Kitsap
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Thurston
  • San Juan
  • Spokane


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