Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

Top 10 Rightsizing Tips for Seniors

Are you considering selling your home and retiring? Maybe somewhere warmer? We all know the main areas for retiring are Florida with many cities being ranked in the top 10. I was surprised to see Myrtle beach- SC, Ann Harbor MI, and Lancaster, PA in the top 10 and I did not see Arizona in the top 25. In fact it looks like they were #38 in the 2020 ranking. Times are changing for sure! Where do you think Washington ranked? We ranked 46 out of 50!

Over the years seeing Seniors in my church, neighbors and with my own parents I have seen many challenges as we age that make you decide to move. After struggling to help one family move that had many medical challenges I decided I need to learn more to help this population and is why I am proud to be an Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Helping those make a move that is more senior friendly and working with their family in taking the time they may need for their next adventure in life.

So where do you start when you are starting to consider a move and have lived in your current home for 20+ years?

1. Start with the easy stuff.

Eliminate anything that’s broken, damaged, or no longer wanted. Then, go to the out-of-the-way spaces like attics, crawlspaces, and garages. Progress in these “easier” parts of your home will help you build momentum and tackle the harder-to-decide areas.

2. Ask yourself,  “If this disappeared tomorrow, would I run out and replace it?”

If you wouldn’t miss it or need to replace it, it’s probably not worth keeping.

3. Don’t be a storage unit for others.

If friends or relatives have left things for you to store, it’s time to ask them to pick up their possessions—or arrange to have them shipped. You may need to be tough and set a firm deadline, after which you will donate the items.

4. Ask for help.

Although you can do much of this work on your own, a family member, a good friend, or even a professional organizer can help make the job more manageable.

5. Decide what’s important.

Pretend you are moving overseas, but you can only take a severely limited number of items because it costs a small fortune to ship them. What items belong on your list? These are the things that matter most to you!

6. Is this something from a lifestyle I no longer have or want?

For example, if you have three cabinets full of plastic containers, but only cook for one or two people, it’s reasonable to eliminate a few plastic sets—and dishes, pots, and pans.

7. Schedule a regular time each week—or several days a week—to work on rightsizing.

Realize that rightsizing is a life-changing marathon, not a sprint. You didn’t accumulate everything overnight, and you won’t sort it all out overnight, either.

8. Value what you keep.

The fewer things you keep, the more you will treasure and enjoy what you have, instead of tucking items away in a closet or stacked among dozens of other things. These are the select, meaningful items worth having in your personal space.

9. Prevent new collections from forming.

Instead of material gifts, ask people to spoil you by sharing time, enjoying new experiences, and helping you indulge in luxuries (spa certificates, imported chocolate, a musical or other theatre production, gift certificates for dinner out, etc.). In other words, ask for special treats that you love and want, but don’t always buy for yourself.

10. Use age to your advantage.

Now is a great time to give items to family members that you eventually want them to have. Take a photo (preferably a digital one) of your recipients holding their treasured gifts and create a scrapbook of “next generation” memories. These images can serve as powerful reminders of your most cherished items moving forward into posterity with the most special people in your life.

It takes time once you decide you want to start making the steps for a move. The average time frame I work with Senior sellers that have decided to move is a few months to a few years. I had one couple that I worked with for 3 years! They had been in their home for 32 years. Raised their kids and finally decided it was time to move into a ground floor condo with no steps and then go see the world. It takes time to navigate and sometimes many meetings to help them make decisions and keep them on their path. I helped with so many referrals and even some of the heavy lifting before we did the heavy selling. 🙂

Want more information on what a SRES can do for you? Visit the consumer site to learn about the value of working with a SRES and content with topics to assist you like Senior housing options, adapting your existing home and more.

House Hunting Checklist For Home Buyers

Here is the Snohomish County Homes Team’s  home buyer checklist that we give to our buyers besides a side by side comparison sheet and other tips. For your own click here homebuyingchecklist Or better yet contact us and let us help you find a new home!

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The Home Connection for June

It’s that time again for your monthly newsletter! Notice QR codes seem to be back? While I like QR codes and think they are handy I sure hope we all can “experience” some of the beautiful places the Pacific Northwest has to explore in person and soon!

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Two home in one! Silver Lake/Everett

Have you been looking for an extra large home w/potential of 2 full living spaces? How about 5+beds? MIL, home biz, multi family? This home checks all those boxes & more! Remodeled kitchens, baths, paint, flooring, roof, vinyl siding, gas furnace in 2017, SS appl. & more. Upstairs has an open concept living/dining area. The master has an updated private bath. The lower level boasts full kitchen, dining, family rm & large entry. For full virtual tour and information click here

Tua_listingbe used as a office or studio. Large corner lot. A must see!

YOUR GUIDE TO BUYER’S AGENTS

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If you’re looking to buy a house, then whom do you trust to help you find the best deal possible? A real estate agent, right? While that is true, it’s imperative that you have the right agent working on your behalf.

Today we’re going to be talking about setting up an agency agreement with a buyer’s agent. We’ll discuss the meaning of that term, what your arrangement can consist of, and the benefits of that relationship.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?
Simply, this is a real estate agent who represents the person on the buying side of a real estate transaction: the buyer. The agent on the selling side of the transaction representing the seller is often referred to as the listing agent. They are there to serve the seller, which means that they will be interacting with a lot of different buyers.

However, if you’re the one looking for a home, then having a buyer’s agent working for you is probably the best move that you can make. At first, you may wonder if it’s necessary to have one in the first place, but there are a lot of benefits that come from this relationship.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you have to have an agency agreement to get the best services. While you could work with an agent without an agreement, a lack of guarantees on both of your parts could lead to a lackluster process, which could affect your ability to close.

Overall, it’s much better to enter into an agency agreement with your buyer’s agent if you want to proceed. Not only will this ensure that you get the best service, but it offers written protections and guarantees that will come in handy during the buying process.

Benefits of Using a Buyer’s Agent
As you can imagine, having someone representing you when searching for a new home can have a few perks. Assuming that you’re not familiar with all of the details of what it takes to get into a new home (e.g., paperwork, inspections, financing, title insurance, appraisals, and so on), an agent will be able to make the experience much easier and smoother for you.

Let’s go over the primary reasons that you would want to sign up with a buyer’s agent.

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BETTER REPRESENTATION
If you were to search for your next home by yourself, and you contact the listing agents you meet along the way, they will only have the interests of the seller in mind. Sometimes buyers unknowingly ask the agent representing the seller to help them in preparing an offer of the home. While this process is possible, as a home buyer you are asking the agent who represents the seller to now represent you as well.

This can bite you in a few different ways.

First, if there are multiple buyers interested in the property, you will have to compete with them without having a buyer’s agent to consult with you regarding strategies to beat the other offers. Essentially, you are negotiating blind, which means that you have little power in the proceedings. Secondly, if you are presenting your offer to the listing agent directly, your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) can be communicated to the seller without any context. For example, if you think that the asking price is a “great deal,” then it may limit your chances of negotiation in the future since the agent will have relayed that comment to the seller.

Finally, you won’t have someone who understands all of the complexities of the home-buying process at your disposal. Thus, you will have to rely on the seller’s agent to provide you with all of the details, and again, your interests are not their primary concern.

Overall, a buyer’s agent will make sure that your needs are met during the whole experience. You will be building a relationship with your agent, who will want to know what kinds of elements are most important to you for your new home and what parameters you’re hoping to fill.

Then, when the negotiations begin, you will have a knowledgeable expert in your corner. The buyer’s agent will be able to guide you through the transaction, letting you know if there are risks or concerns along the way. He or she will help you navigate through the process so that you understand what’s going on every step of the way.

NO FEES
Before you sign with a buyer’s agent, you may be wondering how much it will cost you. After all, he or she is putting in a lot of hours and work for you, so you’ll have to provide compensation, right?

Fortunately, that’s not handled by you. Rather, in almost every home sale, it’s up to the seller to pay both agent’s fees. This means that you don’t have to pay for anything out of pocket, and you can rest easy knowing that you got the best service regardless.

Here is another little known benefit of entering into an agreement with a buyer’s agent. Let’s say that you have an agent who has been helping you search for homes, but you have not signed a buyer agent agreement. That agent has to consider this risk: without an agreement, you could, at any time. decide to work with someone else to find a home. There is a chance the agent isn’t going to put as much time and effort into the experience to make sure that you’re satisfied.

No one wants to work for free, and when you don’t have a contract, it doesn’t make sense for the agent to make you a priority. Instead, he or she may focus on his or her other clients and put you lower on their list because the other people were willing to sign an agreement.

Overall, if you want the best service from your agent it’s a good idea to enter into an agency agreement.

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MORE OPPORTUNITIES
How much time can you devote to buying a new home? By that, we mean how many hours can you spend looking for properties for sale, vetting them, and calling different agents to try to schedule showings? Assuming that you have a job and a life, the answer is probably a lot less than it should be.

With a buyer’s agent on your side, you don’t have to worry about missing out on an opportunity. He or she will dedicate enough time to finding places that fit within your parameters. Also, your agent will make sure to do legwork beforehand so that you don’t waste time on houses that won’t be desirable.

Have you ever gone to an open house, only to be disappointed by the asking price or some other element of the property? A buyer’s agent will be able to vet the home before you even think about visiting it to make sure that this doesn’t happen. A good agent will know what’s important to you and avoid properties that don’t meet your criteria.

Another thing about having an agent is that you can get access to more homes. If you’re checking only a handful of sites or listings, you will miss out on properties for sale that aren’t on your radar. Since your agent is connected to the real estate industry, he or she will be able to hear about houses that may not get listed publicly, or at least not on sites that you would be checking. Often, agents will let the other agents in their own office know about properties that will be coming on the market before anyone else. This can be great for you if your agent gets an inside tip.

PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS
If you’re new to the home-buying process, you probably aren’t aware of all of the steps you have to take to make sure that you’re getting a good deal. You’ll also have to work with a variety of people, from mortgage brokers to lenders to appraisers.

With a buyer’s agent, he or she can recommend high-quality service providers to fit your needs. If you still haven’t secured a loan, your agent can put you in touch with someone who can help expedite the process.

These recommendations can run the gamut from people who will help you get financing to movers who can transport your stuff quickly and safely. Most buyer’s agents will have a talented roster of various people who can help make your transition into your new home as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

PROFESSIONALISM & LOYALTY
As we mentioned, you will want to sign an agency agreement with your buyer’s agent to ensure that he or she will be committed to you for the duration of your home buying experience. Once this happens, you will be able to get a lot more done in much less time.

For the most part, this paperwork stipulate that you and your agent are exclusive. This means that you agree to work with only your agent to find and submit offers on homes. This doesn’t mean that you can’t shop for homes online or walk through an open house without your agent; however, when it comes time to schedule a private showing or make an offer, you need to work solely with your agent.

This level of commitment is going to help you find your dream home much faster than if you tried to do it on your own. When you have someone working full-time, you can see more houses and work with more sellers to find the right fit for you.

On top of that, buyer’s agents are all about building a relationship with you. This experience is more than just about making a commission; it’s about ensuring that you are satisfied with your new property.

Because the agent isn’t paid until you close the deal, he or she can’t be satisfied unless you are. That means your agent will pull out all the stops to make this process as simplified and streamlined as possible.

Do you prefer to get emails or texts? Do you want to look at virtual tours or do you want to see homes in person? Whatever your preferences are, a buyer’s agent will make sure that your wants and desires are met at all times.

What to Ask a Buyer’s Agent?
By now, you’re probably sold on the idea of having an agent in your corner to help you find your new home. However, how can you be sure that you’ve found the right one? Here are some critical questions to ask so that you know that you’ve made the right decision before you sign anything.

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This question is crucial because you want an agent who knows the areas in which you want to live. If you work with someone who is unfamiliar with the neighborhood, then how can you be sure that your needs are met?

For example, if there are particular “must-haves” that you want near your home, how will your agent know if they’re there? If he or she doesn’t specialize in that neighborhood, you run the risk of missing out on the crucial elements you desire.

WHAT’S YOUR AVAILABILITY?
Even with an exclusive contract, your agent may only do this as a part-time gig. If that’s the case, then you have to make sure that he or she can dedicate enough time to finding the home of your dreams.

One thing to consider is your timeline. Do you have to move quickly due to a new job or expiring lease? If so, then you might want to find a buyer’s agent who can be on your case full-time. Otherwise, it could take longer to get into a new home, and you won’t have the luxury of waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Something else to consider is scheduling. If you have very little time or a unique schedule that will make it difficult to see homes during normal hours, you may want to find an agent who can accommodate these needs.

Finally, remember that there are a lot of steps to getting into a new home. Before you hire your buyer’s agent, ask them how they help their clients achieve their home buying goals. If the market is really hot, ask them how they help their buyers compete and get the winning contract.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN AGENT?
In many cases, you want a buyer’s agent who has a lot of experience. Although new agents can be knowledgeable, there are a lot of different elements of this process that can be challenging. As a result, experience usually trumps knowledge.

Considering that you’re not paying out of pocket for a buyer’s agent, it’s usually a good idea to sign with someone who really knows what they’re doing.

Bottom Line
If you’re ready to get started with a buyer’s agent, then contact us today to find out how the Snohomish County Homes Team can make your home-buying experience enjoyable and effortless. Check out our Reviews and Don’t stress about finding the home of your dreams; let us handle the dirty work for you so that you can focus on what matters.

Real Estate Market Snapshot December 2019

Welcome to 2020 and happy New Year! I hope it will be an amazing year for you and all of us! The infographic you see below is for Washington in a whole. If you would like to see local stats I  am also providing you with the stats for Snohomish County and King County. 

December 2019 Market Snapshot Infographic

The Home Connection January 2020

Happy New Year!!!

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The Home Connection December 2019

Ready or not the holiday season is here and jam packed with so many exciting things to do! Enjoy all Snohomish county and our Puget Sound region has to offer.  Our favorite family tradition is to head up to Leavenworth to see the lighting of the town it’s just magical and this year is the 53rd Annual 2019 Christmas lighting.  If you have time check it out.

May you and yours have a blessed and joyous holiday.

The Snohomish County Homes Team. 

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Historic 1901 Everett Home- SOLD!

A huge congrats 🕺to my home seller! 🤩We are officially closed on this beautiful Historic Everett home. 🏠 This was a tough one 4 offers over the past 6 months. We had challenges as there was a fire next next door and that brought on several challenges that we could not foresee but we did it! Doing a happy dance 💃 for everyone! #snohomishcountyhomesteam #snohomishcountyhomes #snohomishcountyrealestate #everetthistorichome #homesold

The Home Connection Oct 2019

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