Housing inventory issues major topic at biggest Battle of the Barristers ever

If you missed this year’s Battle of the Barristers, well – you missed a great legal show.

Now in its fourth straight year of record attendance, the Seattle King County REALTORS® annual Battle of the Barristers was a sold-out room of 550 REALTORS®, affiliates, and event sponsors.

Our region’s low housing supply and the issues that come with it were a major focus of the program. “Who here thinks we have enough inventory to sell?” asked Seattle King County REALTORS® President Shane Davies, to ironic laughter and no raised hands.

“We are working to increase the housing supply for you and your clients. That includes creating a condominium law that will put more inventory on the market right now. All of you have a stake in what we’re doing,” said Davies.

Markets with low inventory tend to have legal issues that arise from fiercely competing buyers. “There are always unhappy parties in multiple offer situations, so you are at greater legal risk,” said Chris Osborn, corporate counsel for the NWMLS.

“The most informative and entertaining real estate legal event of the year” was again moderated by Mike Spence, partner at Helsell Fetterman, who oversaw the debate between attorneys on multiple offer issues and more, including off market sales, financing contingency issues, and pre-inspections.

Joining Spence were four attorneys with extensive real estate backgrounds and knowledge to share with industry professionals:

  • Jeannie Simpson, general counsel for John L. Scott with nearly two decades of real estate law experience;
  • Lars Neste, a shareholder at Demco Law Firm, P.S., where he specializes in real estate law;
  • Chris Osborn, of Foster Pepper, PLLC, who is general counsel to the NWMLS; and
  • Doug S. Tingvall, an attorney with 30-plus years of experience representing residential real estate professionals.

“All the presenters were super knowledgeable, entertaining and engaging. It’s great to see people in the industry coming together. You realize it’s not just me or my team or my firm – it’s across the industry, and we all have the same woes,” said Redfin broker and first-time Battle attendee Ryan McGhie.

Not only did the three-clock hour event set a new record for attendance, Seattle King County REALTORS® raised a record $22,000 for the First Citizen Scholarship Foundation, which has been awarding scholarships to REALTORS® and their families since 1999.

Our record amount raised and biggest Battle ever wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors and affiliates. Thank you for making this event possible.

Another thank you to all who attended, and we’ll see you next year!