Renowned Seattle-based broker and 40-year veteran of the Washington luxury real estate scene, Wendy Lister, has sadly passed away. Lister worked with Coldwell Banker Bain, and was ranked among the top 1% of luxury brokers in the nation.
Bill Riss, CEO of Coldwell Banker Bain and a close personal friend of Lister, shared the news of her passing on October 3, 2019: “The real estate industry has lost one of its biggest icons,” he said. “Wendy truly personified professionalism, grit and talent. Since 2001, when the NWMLS began tracking sales data, she was responsible for more than $1.3 billion in sales volume, but given she started practicing in 1976, her total volume was much higher. Over Wendy’s amazing 40-year career, she was consistently ranked as our top-performing broker as well as the top performer in Washington state. Her marketing acumen was legendary and everywhere at the same time.”
Her team included 11 full-time staff members, who specialized in seller representation, buyer representation and relocation for luxury properties. She held a myriad of designations, including Master of Marketing by Leading Estates of the World, Relocation Certified Specialist and Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Ambassador. Many of her colleagues fondly remembered the legendary agent and her contributions to the industry.
“I grew up as a young real estate professional under Wendy beginning over 20 years ago,” recalled Jennifer Cameron, Vice President of Global Luxury, Coldwell Banker Bain. “As a young female entering the profession, there were very few women we could look up to as mentors and role models. She was always at the forefront of luxury. She also had a very deep desire to help others. You didn’t even have to be with her brand. When I was working for a competitor, she would always answer my calls. She did that for so many people. We recently hosted a special luxury breakfast and every single agent who attended said that she had influenced their career in some way. She gave so many people opportunities. And that is true across our entire industry — from appraisers to mortgage and escrow professionals and everyone who might possibly touch a real estate transaction. She was full of grace. That’s the perfect word for her.”
Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, was also touched by Wendy Lister.
“Many years ago when I was new to the Coldwell Banker brand, I had the honor of attending a top agent luxury event at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay,” he said. “I was on the panel, talking about how I had heard about this agent in the Pacific Northwest who had this incredible creative writing and marketing campaign. At that time, she had a postcard program that delivered postcards that would barely fit in the mailbox. You simply couldn’t miss them. Unknown to me, she was in the audience. That’s how we met and we kept in communication. Years later, I was so fortunate to work with her in the luxury division where I am today. My last visit was just a few months ago. After I spoke at an event in Bellevue, I had blocked out some time for Wendy. We sat and talked about real estate, but a lot more. I’m so glad I had that opportunity and made it happen. She was the real deal. Authentic, honest and supportive with no attitude. She will be missed.”
Lister was recognized for her work in the industry annually with the Coldwell Banker International President’s Premier Award and as a Five Star Real Estate Agent for Best in Client Satisfaction. For decades Wendy taught classes on purchase and sales agreements to Coldwell Banker Bain brokers and she chaired the company’s weekly Thursday Forum – bringing education, knowledge, skills-development and marketing ideas to standing room only audiences of Bain brokers. Additionally, she was the co-founder of Forum XXII, a monthly best-practices “think tank” of top-producing brokers from many companies in the Seattle-Bellevue markets.
Wendy’s industry leadership roles included serving as a Vice President for Coldwell Banker Bain, Director of Coldwell Banker Bain’s “Exceptional Properties” brand, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Realtors.
Riss continued, “We will greatly miss the leadership she always exhibited and her focus on client service that was unmatched. On a personal level, Wendy was a much-loved part of the Coldwell Banker Bain family and our thoughts are with her loved ones and real estate team during this very difficult time.”