Make An Impression

Whether you’re thinking of selling your home, or just looking to increase its value, investing in your entryway will surely make an impression! Message me for more home projects that can help increase your home’s value!

Must have a good location when selling your HOME

Add seasonal flowers for curb appeal

One thing is common among all properties that receive multiple offers these days: the home is in a good location. Location is nearly always what drives homebuyers in their search. Before considering price, number of bedrooms or size of home, a buyer looks for location.

If your home is on a busy street, not in the best school district or near a freeway on/off ramp, chances are you won’t receive the kind of activity that a well-located home would. In that case, work closely with your agent to price the home correctly.

Must be priced right

Buyers in any market look for perceived value. Homes priced 10 percent (or more) over their market value won’t get noticed. Pricing isn’t an exact science, and it’s nearly impossible to pin a precise number to a home until buyer and seller sign a contract and close. Then, the price officially becomes the home’s market value. Until that time, agents can provide sellers with a value range. Have a good location? Does your home show well? Are you in a strong sellers’ market? Price your home on the bottom of that price range and you’ll be sure to attract buyers — and possibly multiple offers.

Must show well

A generation ago, sellers simply did some deep cleaning and maybe some de-cluttering before their first open house. Presentation wasn’t as important then as it is today, given online listings. More buyers today develop an emotional connection to a home. They want to imagine themselves in your home and not feel like they’re a guest. What does that mean? Appeal to the masses. If you have a good location and you plan to price your home realistically, then you need to make sure you give buyers what they want. If you can afford it, make cosmetic upgrades; invest in some staging and work to turn your home into a “product.” Emotionally disconnect from your home and try to see it more objectively.

Plan on having the home in perfect condition for the photo shoot. A buyer’s first impression of your home likely will be via the Internet or an email from their agent. Make them want to step inside. The more buyers you attract to your home, the more activity.

Know your market

Don’t assume that national trends apply to your region, city or neighborhood. If you’re not in a strong sellers’ market or you spend a fortune on last-minute upgrades, you could be in for a giant surprise. Just because you hear about bidding wars and multiple offers on the news doesn’t mean that applies to your area. Home selling is like the stock market it is goes up, down and can have a bit of a lull when interest rates go up and what is happening in the news for your area and even around the world.

Work with a good Realtor and, no, not all agents are Realtors learn the difference.  A local Realtor knows the area and what has recently sold as well as ones that have sold over the past six months to a year. Knowing those homes, having walked inside and personally knowing the agents who have sold them matters. This is market data that an outsider just doesn’t have access to. This knowledge empowers good local agents to educate their sellers.

Seller Prepare For The Home Inspection

Be Prepared!

I know the last year has you asking yourself I don’t need to worry buyers are waiving inspections. I guarantee you that is changing and if you do not wish to have a Seller’s pre-inspection than you may wish to check out this list. You can make your home more attractive to buyers and increase your likelihood of obtaining a positive inspection report by performing routine maintenance now before going on the market.

A visual inspection does not pass or fail a house but simply describes those items in need of minor or major repair or replacement. The inspector will visually examine the structure, crawl space, attic, mechanical components and all interior rooms, as well as closets.

On the day of you can help by having keys available to any locked doors, removing obstacles around water heaters and other appliances, removing items from closets that provide access to attics, and so on. Please be ready to indicate the location of hidden components such as the water meter, electrical panel, sump pump and main sewer clean out.

You can eliminate seasonal limitations on the inspection by clearing pathways of snow or debris. Ensure that appliances not tested because of the temperature (such as air conditioners in winter) are operation. Move boxes and storage items away from interior walls and make certain the entire perimeter of the house can be observed. Finally, leave pets with a friend or, take them with you, for the few hours of the inspection.


EXTERIOR COMPONENTS

  • Repair minor defects in the exterior wall coverings.
  • Repair damaged masonry on walkways and steps.
  • Repair missing or loose railings on decks and steps.
  • Recaulk around exterior windows and doors.
  • Replace missing or damaged shingles
  • Recaulk around flashing.
  • Clean debris from gutters.
  • Ensure downspouts are intact and water drains away from the house.
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from the roof.

INTERIOR COMPONENTS

  • Loosen any windows that are painted shut.
  • Replace missing or faulty hardware on doors and windows.
  • Repair any broken or cracked windows.
  • Replace damaged baseboard or molding.
  • Recaulk around bathtub and kitchen/bathroom sinks.
  • Re-grout tub and shower enclosures and the kitchen backsplash.
  • Repair leaky faucets and fixtures.
  • Unclog slow drains using commercial cleaner.
  • Replace oversized fuses with proper fuses.
  • Repair faulty receptacles and switches.
  • Ensure exhaust fans are in working order.
  • Have the fireplace chimney swept.
  • Have the furnace or other major appliances serviced.
  • Ensure central vacuum, garbage disposal, water softener and other ancillary components not part of the standard inspection are in working order.
  • Replace dead batteries in smoke and CO detectors.
  • Have service contracts, manuals and warranties available and in a drawer for the inspector/buyer to access.

Prior planning always pays off and makes for a smooth transaction after securing a buyer. Reach out to me for questions on this or if you are considering selling your home.

Welcome to Fall!

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Are you a “the limit does not exist” or a “one and done” kind of pumpkin person? Leave me a comment and let me know. And if you don’t have a porch of your own to decorate, maybe it’s time to change that and give me a call? In the meantime check out some cool fall ideas and events!

Give your home a fall makeover with these decor tips

Cool fall gadgets. Which one will you get? I am all over the crochet cozy cup warmer. What is that? click to see its so cute!

Where to find the best fall foliage in Seattle. Take a walk and don’t miss the pumpkin patches, kids events and more going on in the Pacific Northwest.

Here is to fall and all the happy things that come with it!

Rental payments now to be included as part of purchasing a home.

Hey RENTERS we have good news!  Rental payments now to be included as part of the underwriting process!

Happy Home Buyers.

What does this mean?

Did you know that effective Sept 18 Fannie Mae has allowed rental payment history to be included in the underwriting process. Essentially making it easier for renters to become homeowners!  

Rent is most times the largest expense for families and history of paying it on-time will now be considered for credit worthiness.  With Fannie Mae’s new guideline, any missed rental payment wont’ keep you from getting a mortgage.  With what’s going on around us, this couldn’t have come at a better time.

“For many households, rent is the single largest monthly expense. There is absolutely no reason timely payment of monthly housing expenses shouldn’t be included in underwriting calculations,” said Thompson. “With this update, Fannie Mae is taking another step toward understanding how rental payments can more broadly be included in a credit assessment, providing an additional opportunity for renters to achieve the dream of sustainable homeownership.”?

Those you might have been previously rejected due to lack of credit history may have greater chances getting into their dream home.

If you think this will benefit you, reach out today and let’s hop on a call to discuss next steps!

Considering A Discount Brokerage To List Your Home For Sale?

Considering a discount brokerage for listing service? Knowledge is power, and I would like to give you some power to make a wise decision for the largest financial transaction that most people will ever make.

With the hot market our area has been experiencing the last few years discount brokerages with listing services have “popped up” to get in the door. There are two sides to every transaction a listing side and a buyer side. If the listing side does 1.5% you have the buyers side at 3% so you are at 4.5%. If you devalue the buyer side the agent may not show your home or talk their clients into another one in the neighborhood that is offering a higher rate.

I know you work hard at your job and for your paycheck and believe me we do too. Generally, I have found agents who give their commissions away are part-time, new to the business or have very little real estate knowledge. I would like to give you an analogy “Nordstrom vs. Walmart” There are shoppers for both but why does one choose to pay Nordstrom prices over Walmart? Plain and simple: experience, knowledge, customer service and value. It is the same in every part of life if you think about it. The cheap roofer or the one you know will do the work right the first time? If you are a consumer, you may get lucky and come out alright but, then again, how much money will you leave on the table because you have an agent who cannot negotiate and doesn’t have the time to spend any effort on your transaction. They simply collect a fee and move on. Again, It’s the largest financial transaction most people will ever make. It just seems foolish to trust someone who does not value themselves and therefore, how can they value you or take care of your best interests?

I would like to share some real comments from local Realtors (not agents) around the area in response to the question How do you feel when your competing with discount brokerages in today’s market?

  • As the old saying goes you don’t get something for nothing. Any agent would have to be nuts to offer such low fees. I’m sure their trying to up-sell the customer once they get the listing ie staging, better photos ect.
  • Customer service and partnership. They have no interest in you past the extent of filling in the forms. No rapport is built or partnership. They will not verify your data input, nor will they scrutinize your form 17. They won’t negotiate on your behalf. We had a case a few months ago where a 1% entered exactly what the owner told them to and it was grossly wrong. Any Realtor would have caught this. We called the seller on this and explained to him how to fix it and even corresponded with Cheapo agent to get it corrected. That seller recognized the ‘partnership’ and ‘customer service’ value we presented and told us that he would be contacting us in the future. We saved him a potential lawsuit. If a seller isn’t investing in a Realtor who in turn is invested in them, then they are doing themselves a grave injustice!
  • Lower fees are not the way to go, offer better value for your client. The quality of service and representation of the client is reflected in the commission.
  • You get what you pay for. I think it’s typically just a listing service. They don’t provide any benefits to their clients. We are a full-service Broker with a network of vendors to help give our clients the best possible service.
  • Getting a buyer to write up an offer on your house is only the first step, and quite frankly, in this market that’s the easy step. What we’ll do is get you the best buyer who we’ll negotiate the best price and terms to net you the most money, and make sure the sale closes. Because if your sale doesn’t close it won’t really matter how much of a discount you get in commissions right?
  • I provide service & knowledge. Good service costs. We do have some discounters in our area as well as DIY providers. I try to educate potential sellers diplomatically that “you get what you pay for.  My expertise, experience and marketing abilities have been honed over decades. I have no intention of giving that away. “If you work for “peanuts you get monkeys” 
  • Cheap Realty type outfits come and go, but the only get a small smidgen of the market; if this was really an effect approach to market your home and get top dollar, don’t you think everybody would be using these gimmicks? You want top value and exposure, correct?
  • As Realtors we adhere to a strict code of ethics, agent’s do not.
  • Most all of us are in business for ourselves not our brokerages. If we do not do an amazing job, we will not be in business for long as referrals will build or destroy any business. Professional Brokers rely on referrals to grow their business therefore our best interest is the client. If we do not exceed expectations, then they will not refer us to anyone and we will have to be a 1%.
  • It will affect all of us in the industry in a negative way. When clients ask us to cut our commissions, we need to ask them if they would expect their surgeon to cut his commission! We work hard for our money, and it’s not always easy.
  • I think people doing this are incompetent and couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.
  • Very easy to answer. I won’t show the property.
  • You get what you pay for.
  • I think it’s terrible. It lowers our standards on what we can do for our clients as far as staging and marketing but also makes our profession look “cheap” now. Buyer agents will most likely not show listings that offer low commissions, so it does not do the listing any good. The other point is, when buyers know that full commission is not offered…they will negotiate down…as they do not want to feel like they are now over paying. 
  • They are desperate and will offer less value to the client. They always come and go with every robust market.
  • Cheapo is not interested in providing value just a quick transaction and nothing more.
  • It’s just a disservice to the owners and sets the bar very low for the Realtors in the industry.

Compare and contrast these lower listing services with that of a professional Realtor and you will see how much more value you receive working with a professional. For example, you have a trained expert that understands value. I am a Certified Master Negotiator, Managing Broker, Senior Real Estate Specialist, Military Relocation Expert and more! Sounds like a lot right? It is but I value the utmost trust my clients put in me and furthering my education on their behalf has given me a wealth of knowledge that only benefits my clients. The proof is obvious to me as most all my clients come back to me years later to help them again and keep referring me. My team knows how to decipher the fine details of any, and all, offers and we know how to negotiate with them prior to presenting the offers to you. This not only saves you time it achieves the most amazing offers with details and timelines that you and I construct at the beginning. I negotiate to not leave your money on the table. To get you the most net knowing all the financing types available to buyers and what will work best for your unique situation.

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With me and my team you have a partner that will guide you through your transaction from start to finish. As a professional we represent you and no other. You can expect excellent communication from me and you will always know the status of your transaction. Additionally, not only do we value our partnership with you during your transaction we will stay in contact with you long after. Buying or selling a home is stressful therefore we will manage the details that will lead to a less stressful transaction. Another point of value to consider is we work with a network of many companies that will add value such as lenders, home inspection firms, title and escrow firms, moving companies and other professional’s as well. I hope this assists in showing the added value from a professional Realtor is so much more beneficial to you. Wouldn’t you agree?

Put me to work and you will experience amazing results our sellers have been receiving.

By the way, Red** did 35,000 transactions last year, and REMAX as a whole, about 1.2 million. What does this say? WAY more people trust a REMAX agent than an hourly agent who gets paid regardless of whether the home sells or not.

The Home Connection

Happy Tuesday and Welcome to August! Yep, I am a few days late on the monthly newsletter please forgive me I was having a very fun weekend at the Gorge and Watershed. A bit slow and tired today but it was worth it. 🙂 So as we slide into August enjoy with some great events, ideas, tips, real estate news and its National watermelon day so go enjoy!

The HOME CONNECTION JULY

Its been a HOT, HOT summer and the Real Estate market is no exception! Lets take a peak at your EYE on the market and then relax a bit with some grilling tips plus other tips, tricks and events. Enjoy!