Friday, October 21, 2016

Should I Use a Realtor to Sell My Home?

We've been hearing that selling your home in today's market is easy. All you have to do is put up a sign and the buyers will line up at the door and there will be a bidding war so you'll make lots of money. And then you think, I want as much as I can get so I'm going to do it my self.
some things to consider however..

1. Can I just put it on Craigslist and sell it myself? Sure, you can do that but who is going to weed out the strange folks, the lookie lous and the buyers who are not really qualified or want to get a bargain at your expense. A Realtor knows how to negotiate, do the marketing and how to attract the right kind of buyer.

2. You know best what your home is worth. Zillow told you how much it's worth, and you know how much money you've spent, but can you be objective about the value? Owners tend to overprice their home because of the emotional attachment. Your agent will know your neighborhood and has many resources to help establish the best price for your home.

3. I can sell my home just the way it is because it's perfect! Again, your realtor knows what today's buyers are looking for. You may be overlooking some changes that could boost your profits and she can guide you to work that has the best return on  your investment.

4. I want to sell in the spring because that's the best time to sell a home. Again,the reality is that homes sell at all times of the year. Fall and winter can be a slower market but because there may be fewer homes on the market this may be to your advantage. People move and buy and sell all year around.

The bottom line is that a Realtor is an expert in the home buying and selling market. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise and you will get the highest return on your home investment. You can contact me to find out more. I would love to chat with you and let you know what my experience in today's' market is and how that will benefit you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Getting My Home Ready For Winter

Fall has arrived here in Seattle and winter will be here before you know it. There is time however to do that home maintenance that you've been putting off and get your home ready for fall and winter.

Some of the items on your list should include:

1. Have your furnace inspected. Experts say that as many as 75% of calls they receive from homeowners without heat are a result of not having the furnace serviced and cleaned.

2. Painting: Apply paint to areas that are showing signs of age and exposure and protect that siding with some fresh paint.

3. Inspect your roof. Check for shingles that are cracked or missing. Is there caulking that should be replaced? Is there moss that should be removed?

4. Replace weatherstripping on doors. These gaps can be replaced with items you can find at your local hardware store. If you need help YouTube is a great resource for installation techniques.

5. Make sure the safety detectors are working. Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should have fresh batteries. Remember to use the test button to determine that they do work.

6. Gutters and Downspouts: Clean debris out of the gutters and make sure the downspouts are draining properly. This will help to prevent roof leaks.

Enjoy all the sights and sounds of fall and winter and feel confident that you're planning ahead

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What Should I Look For When I Buy A House?

What should I look for when I buy a house? Everyone including a realtor has an opinion. The age old adage is "location, location, location!" For you however maybe this may not be the primary criteria.

For a family with a dog it maybe be a pet friendly yard. For a family with children it may be a room for each child or all bedrooms on one floor. For a nature lover it might be a great garden area. If you're a biker maybe it's a great bike to work path. The desires and needs are endless.

To begin, start with a list. Make columns for items that are must haves, needs or wants , or just plain Oh I would love to have that in my house. Some items that you might not consider at first would be the size of the closets. Will they hold all your clothes? Another might be what is the neighborhood like on the evenings and weekends? How does it feel, will I like living here? Maybe even things like cosmetic appeal both inside and outside? Are the major systems like plumbing, sewer and furnace up to date or will I need to make improvements sooner than later? How is the commute? Is there public transportation available?

You can always solicit ideas from friends and family but in the end, you will be living in the house so choose a home that you can see yourself living in and remember, that you  will make compromises and maybe even be willing to compromise on details that you didn't think were flexible. Let your realtor show you homes that she may think are a good fit for you and don't make judgements before you even get in the home. You may be surprised.

Friday, September 30, 2016

How Should I Decorate My House?

Whenever I sell and stage a home or think about making changes in my own home, I wonder what kind of furnishings I should use. It's sometimes hard to know just what to use, what will look good or if I'm really confident that I'm making a good choice. I think I've just discovered a solution that can help me or help my clients. There is a new design service available that will let you "try on" furniture before you buy it. Modsy was created after Shanna Tellerman and her husband moved into a new home three years ago. She found many ideas on Pinterest of things she liked and rooms she like but was uncertain how to go about creating the rooms and the feelings that she liked. So she created Modsy. It's a virtual design service that provides 3D visualizations of a fully decorated room in your home that is created according to your taste. Each furniture piece and decor item has been sourced from several hundred retailers and is scaled to your room. You just take a style quiz and upload a photo of your room and several days later you get two virtually styled versions of your room You have options to change furnishings or decor and then make your purchase knowing what it's going to look like in your room.

This is such an interesting idea and I'd love to try it out or talk with folks who have used it and learn what they think. If you want to read more about it and see examples of how it works, you can read more about it here. Decorating with Modsy

Friday, September 23, 2016

Seattle Real Estate Market Update

The Seattle real estate market has been in the news for the past year. Prices have been escalating and we've had bidding wars that have been reported in the media for their sheer volume. It's not unusual to hear tales of homes selling for more than $100,000 over their listed price. Finally we're starting to see a bit of a change in the pace. Homes are still selling quickly if they are priced right but we are not seeing as many multiple offers on homes. Now there are only one or two offers instead of 10 or 12 or even more. I talked to one agent who had over 30 offers on a starter home priced in the high $300's.

Every month Windermere summarizes these trends and provides them for us to use in an easy to share format. Here is what they say about the month of August for both the residential and the condominium market.

If you're thinking about buying or selling a home and would like more information, please feel free to contact me.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Art Installation and Ice Cubes

Art can take all forms and shapes and what we consider art can certainly be a personal preference.

I've just read about a new art installation of a giant ice cube! Did you know that the shape of an ice cube can impact how quickly it melts?

"ICE CUBE is a 10-ton sculpture designed by Seattle architecture firm Olson Kundig and assembled from 64 smaller blocks of ice delivered to the park.

It's time to go to Occidental Park and watch ice melt. Ice Cube Melting In Occidental Park

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mood Ring House

                                          photo credit - Suzanne De Vita

I remember having a mood ring. How I loved the fact that it changed color with the temperature of my hands. That part wasn't in the notes however, it simply said that the color reflected your mood.

Well now the mood ring feature has progressed to a mood ring house. This a pretty cool idea. The house has been fitted with LED lamps that represent the owners disposition at night.

This particular home in Fayetteville, Ark.  was conceived by SILO AR+D as an “exploration of how architecture can have different day and night presences with distinct experiential and spatial qualities.”

At night the colors are determined by the temperature of the house as well as what the owners choose. It also sounds like this is not the only color changing house on the block. 

What do you think? Would you like to live in a color changing "mood ring" house?