Category Archives: Listings

Listings Wanted: This is the BEST Time to Sell

Time to Sell?

Home inventory in King County is incredibly low right now, making this a seller’s market. Homes are selling within days of being listed, often with multiple offers. I sell an average of one home per week, and I’d love to help you sell your home. With a 23-point marketing plan, my team has the experience you need to get the best price for your home while streamlining the process to make it as simple as possible for you.

Even if you aren’t ready to sell now, but are thinking about selling your King County or Pierce County home in the near future, I can help you decide the right timing for you and your family. You might be surprised to learn why this is the BEST time to sell.

Call Team Marti TODAY at 253-246-8938 to see how we can help.

 

Three Tips for Being Smart about Selling Your Home

Here’s one of this month’s featured articles from my February newsletter, in case you missed it.

Want to swap your For Sale sign for a Sold one? Here are three tips to help you be savvy about home selling.

1. Be Budget Conscious

An upgraded home will sell for more than a dated one. But there are two stipulations. First, upgrades need to be neutral enough to appeal to the masses; most buyers will walk away from brightly colored carpet, but they will put an offer on a home with beautiful wood flooring. Purchasing neutral upgrades, rather than opting for a more customized look, will always give you a greater return on your investment.

Second, every home has a top selling price based on its location. You can spend a million
dollars on your home, but if you live in a quarter-of-a-million-dollar neighborhood, you will never get that money back. Your home’s original purchase price and your renovation budget combined should not exceed what other homes in your neighborhood are selling for.

2. Know Your Home’s Value

Two homes on the same street with the same floor plan can sell for vastly different prices. How is this possible? Square footage is just one variable when looking at comparables to price your home. Upgrades, location, and even curb appeal can all affect a home’s value. If your neighbor’s home exterior is dated and yours is newly upgraded with stone veneer, your house will be worth more. Does your neighbor’s house back onto a park and yours back onto a highway? Then you should offer your house at a discount. Before you start setting a budget for your new house, speak to a real estate agent about what your current home is worth. It might be worth more—or less—than you think.

3. Online Marketing Is Important

The more people who see your home, the more offers you’ll receive. But in today’s real estate market, buyers might not be doing their viewing in person. With so many social media feeds and Internet real estate sites, serious home buyers often head online to do their research. They can view multimedia tours of your property, explore local school curriculums, and even research local crime statistics. If these buyers are interested, they will call their agent to set up a private viewing. Open houses, meanwhile, typically attract buyers at the start of their house hunt who are not yet serious about making offers. Only 5 percent of homes sell through open houses.

For more tips on making sure your home sells, read The Right Way to Sell Your Home, or for a more personalized, contact Team Marti directly. We’d love to help you successfully list your home!

 

Mastering the Fall Home Sale: 6 Tips

Master the Fall Home Sale with these 6 tips.Autumn can be a tough time on the housing market with the popular summer market dying down, but it’s not hard to do once you master these tips.

  1. Know the advantages of selling in the fall. People like to look forward to things, Halloween and Thanksgiving included (if they celebrate). It all depends on the time you’re showing the house, but you could play these occasions up. During Halloween, decorate with jack-o-lanterns, and for Thanksgiving, use the smell of fresh-baked pies to your advantage. Décor can add to your home’s staging with the right touches. {For more staging tips, see our recent post.}
  2. Price accordingly. Work with an experienced Realtor® to see what your home is really worth. Some people lower the price of their home to get through the tough fall and winter selling seasons, but you may not have to, especially in a seller’s market. Ask your Realtor® to review comparable prices and set your home’s sale price accordingly.
  3. Get serious about selling. The longer your house stays on the market, the harder it will be to sell. Days on the market can add up quickly depending on the time of the year.
  4. Find a good Realtor®. Pick one you like working with, but also one that has a solid selling record and a good reputation. Working with an experienced Realtor® can mean the difference between selling your home next week versus next month!
  5. Schedule repairs and seasonal maintenance prior to listing your home. Know what changes need to be made first, and work your way down the list. Buyers look for energy efficiency and good insulation, among other things. Make sure your thermostat is working properly, or install a new “smart” thermostat. Fixer-uppers are less likely to sell in colder weather, so it’s helpful to have repairs made before listing your home.
  6. Provide seasonal photos. Help prospective buyers envision your home throughout the year by sharing seasonal photos.

5 Reasons Not to Sell Your Own Home (FSBO)

5 reasons not to FSBOLast week we shared a telling infographic from KeepingMattersCurrent.com which explained some of the challenges of selling your own home, often referred to as FSBO, or For Sale By Owner. This week we’re sharing 5 reasons not to go the For Sale By Owner route.

  1. There are too many people to negotiate with, including:
    1. The buyer
    2. The buyer’s agent who solely represents the buyer’s interests
    3. The buyer’s attorney, in some cases
    4. The home inspection company who also works for the buyer
    5. The appraiser if there is a question of value
  2. You need an online presence. Studies show that 88% of buyers search online when buying a home, compared to 21% who look at newspaper ads. That’s why so many real estate agents have an online strategy for promoting a seller’s home. Do you have an online sales strategy or expertise in online marketing of homes? Can you offer a video tour?
  3. Internet exposure produces results. Of those who actually buy a home, 43% say they found the home they purchased on the Internet, 9% from a yard sign, and 1% from a newspaper ad. In other words, a yard sign and a newspaper ad are not enough to sell your home.
  4. Selling your own home has gotten more difficult. The documentation involved in buying and selling a home has gotten more difficult, along with disclosures and regulations. This is part of the reason that the popularity of FSBO dropped from 19% to 9% in the last 20+ years.
  5. You make more money when using a real estate agent. One of the reasons so many people go the FSBO route is because they believe they will save themselves on the real estate commission. That may be true on the seller’s side, but the buyer’s agent will still earn a commission. Also, studies show that real estate agents can typically get a higher price for your home than you can.

The bottom line – selling your own home requires specialized knowledge and a lot of time and energy. If you don’t have the skills or time needed to do it right, you are better off working with an experienced agent who knows the market and who can do the heavy lifting.

 

 

 

How Curb Appeal Can Make or Break Your House

5 reasons to sell your home nowWhat is a home’s curb appeal and why is it important? Curb appeal helps a buyer quickly determine whether or not they want to consider buying a home just by its outward appearance. Let’s look at how it can affect your house positively and negatively.

  1. Your home is welcoming to potential buyers. It can help influence someone’s decision to consider your home. Make it look inviting by adding flowers to the front yard, make sure the grass has been clipped recently and the yard is well groomed, and create an appealing entry way.
  2. Poor curb appeal can detract from an otherwise attractive home. If you have too much outdoor clutter, a poorly maintained exterior or an overgrown lawn, it can detract from the value of the home. You may have a great living space, but if the outside isn’t attractive, potential buyers may never see the inside of your home.
  3. A well-lit exterior can make a big difference. It may not make or break a house, but an exterior that is lit up at night can help draw in buyers. It may make them feel safer while providing attractive lighting.
  4. Think about your exterior paint color. While you might love your lemon yellow house, someone else might not. It’s not a deal breaker for most, but it can be for some. Use two paint colors maximum, or you might be turning away potential buyers.
  5. Keep your exterior simple. Park cars in the garage if space allows, and don’t overwhelm the eye with plants. These little things can turn off potential buyers.

For additional tips, talk to your REALTOR® about exterior staging to maximize your home’s curb appeal. Expert advice coupled with some TLC can go a long way to showing your home at its best.

 

Go Mobile with My New GPS Home Search App

GPS Home Search AppIf you’re like me, you don’t go anywhere without your smartphone. I couldn’t live without mine! That’s why I am super excited to tell you about my new John L. Scott Real Estate GPS Home Search app for iPhones, iPads and Android. Click here to download this free, easy-to-use app from your smartphone or tablet to help you find your dream home.

With this handy GPS Home Search app, you can find homes for sale using a Map, Address or MLS #. You can also track properties that interest you and access cool features like our Buyers’ and Sellers’ guides! And, of course, once you find that dream home, give me a call or text me at 206-391-0388, and I’ll schedule a tour for you. Searching for the perfect home has never been easier – or more fun! Download it here from your smartphone or tablet to start your search now.

10 Things Home Buyers Hate

marti reeder soldI love this article by Freshome.com that I found on BobVila.com on “10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home.” If you hope to sell your home, you MUST fix these problems.

  1. Foul smells – You’ll turn off prospective homebuyers if you have any of these smells: pets, carpet, unpleasant food and cooking smells and musty basements.
  2. A dirty home – Keep your kitchen and bathrooms clean!
  3. A messy home – With potential buyers traipsing through your home unexpectedly, you need to be sure you keep your home tidy. Plan ahead to store clutter, toys, laundry, etc. when you’re not home.
  4. Poorly lit rooms – A bright room is much more attractive than a dark one. Add attractive lamps to be sure that your home is shown in the very best, well, light.
  5. Distracting walls and wallpaper – The person who buys your home is likely to have different tastes than yours. While you don’t have to remodel your home to put it up for sale, you want to make it as neutral as possible, so buyers can imagine themselves living there.
  6. Poorly maintained yard – We hear so much about curb appeal, because it is crucial to the sale of your home. Make your home more inviting by keeping your lawn cut, bushes and trees trimmed, and weeds out of the way.
  7. Wall-to-wall carpeting – Many homebuyers prefer hardwood floors to a home that is 100% carpeted. If it isn’t possible to remove your carpets, be sure they are professionally cleaned to remove any stains or smells.
  8. Ignored entryways – When a prospective homebuyer enters your home, the first thing she sees is the entryway. Make sure it is welcoming by adding a bouquet of flowers, a pretty mirror or some artwork that catches the eye.
  9. Your pets – Even if the potential homebuyer is an animal lover, they may not love your pets. In fact, they might be afraid of or allergic to them. Be sure to keep your pets outside or away from home when your real estate agent shows your home.
  10. You – Purchasing someone else’s home is a very personal experience. The buyer wants to picture herself in the home – not you – so be sure to leave the home before a scheduled showing. Trust your Realtor – why, me, of course – to do the selling for you!

To read the full article, visit BobVila.com.

 

 

The Market is Hot, Hot, Hot!

If you subscribe to my newsletter, read my blog or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you Marti_Twitterknow that I’ve been saying this a lot lately. The Seattle real estate market is hot, hot, hot! After a long lull, the housing market is recovering and home buyers and sellers are taking advantage of the changes.

For home buyers:

Interest rates are incredibly low right now, so buying a home is more affordable than it has been in years. Rates are gradually rising, so it is important for home buyers to get pre-qualified and start home shopping NOW! Need a recommendation for a reputable lender? I can help.

For home sellers:

Home values are appreciating, so sellers are able to get better prices for their homes right now. In addition, the area is experiencing a period of low inventory; in other words, there are not a lot of homes for sale. That means that home sellers are receiving multiple offers on their homes and homes are selling more quickly. I had one recent sale where the home was listed and sold in TWO DAYS! I love it when that happens, don’t you?

So if you are thinking about buying or selling, this is the best time to do it. Don’t wait for the spring rush when everybody lists their homes. That will change the market for anybody. Or, if you aren’t sure you want to sell right now, give me a call at John L. Scott in Kent-Covington. I can go over the pros and cons of listing now versus later, and I can answer all of your questions.

 

Seattle Real Estate Market: Sell Now

Don't wait for spring to buy or sell a home.As your “go to” real estate agent, I am excited to share the news – the real estate market in the greater Seattle area is experiencing a shift that home buyers and sellers will want to take advantage of right now, not in the spring or summer, but NOW.

First, we are currently in a seller’s market. The market is low on inventory (fewer homes on the market), so sellers often receive multiple offers and are getting good prices for their homes. As spring arrives, however, more homes will be listed and there will be greater competition, so if you are thinking about selling, now is the time to do it.

Second, interest rates continue at historic lows. With rates below 4%, this is a good time for home buyers to invest in their dream home, or to at least start their shopping so they know what’s in their price range and what homes are available in their favorite neighborhoods:  Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Renton, Auburn, Seattle, etc.

These stats from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service and John L. Scott Real Estate illustrate:

January 2013

  • Sales are up! 4,289 closed sales, an increase of 820 closed sales from Jan. 2012.
  • Median selling price for single-family homes and condos was $239,300 for Jan. 2013, an 11.3% increase from 2012 when it was $214,990.
  • 14.4% year-over-year increase in pending sales, Jan. 2012 vs. Jan. 2013
  • 23.6% increase in closed sales in Jan. 2013
  • 31.3% decline in homes for sale in Jan. 2013, compared to Jan. 2012
  • 60% of homes close to job centers are selling within 30 days of being listed.

What does all this mean? It means that you if you are contemplating selling your home in 2013, this is the time to list. Don’t wait until spring or summer when there will be more homes on the market. It also means that you need to price your home properly and stage it with your realtor’s help to be sure you get the best price for your home.

Have questions? Not sure what to do? Just give me a call at 206-391-0388 (cell) or 253-859-8500 (office) or buzz me an email or a text. It would be my pleasure to help you evaluate your options to make the best decision for your situation.

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary – January 2013 (NWMLS)

Single
Family
Homes
+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING
SALES

CLOSED SALES

New
Listings

Total
Active

# Pending
Sales

#
Closings

Avg.
Price

Median
Price

King

2,638

3,853

2,777

1,781

$396,949

$315,000

Snohomish

1,015

1,548

1,154

713

$259,612

$235,950

Pierce

1,260

2,841

1,258

700

$214,883

$190,000

Kitsap

354

1,201

359

183

$262,730

$235,000