Vote for me as “Best of Kent” and enter to win!

I am so honored to have been named “Best Real Estate Agent” in Kent eight times. I’d love to have your vote again this year! Just fill out the Kent Reporter’s 2017 “Best of Kent” ballot online, or a paper copy in the weekly Kent Reporter, and submit it before the 4PM, April 14 deadline. You’ll need to vote in at least half the categories for your vote to count, but that will be a fun way to choose your favorite Kent people, places and things.

As my thank you for taking the time to complete your ballot, if you share this post or comment “I voted for you,” I will enter your name into a drawing for dinner at Paolo’s Italian Restaurant and movie tickets from AMC Theatres at Kent Station. A fun night out on the town – compliments of Team Marti! Just click on one of the share buttons below

Thanks, as always, for your support!

~ Marti

Facebook Testimonial: Above and beyond!

Thanks to Andrea Keikkala for this great review on Facebook!

“Marti sold my home and helped me buy my new home. She and her team are fantastic to work with, making sure that I was kept up to date the entire process. Her professional stager was a joy to work with and her professional photographer was fantastic! With all her support, I was able to enjoy what could have been a very stressful process. Marti and her team go above and beyond to sell and buy homes and I would highly recommend them.”

~ Andrea Keikkala

Home Ownership Builds Equity and Stability

The most recent Housing Pulse Survey released by the National Association of Realtors revealed that the two major reasons Americans prefer owning their own home instead of renting are:

  1. They want the opportunity to build equity.
  2. They want a stable and safe environment.

Building Equity

In a recent article by The Mortgage Reports, they report that “buying and owning a home is the essence of ‘The American Dream.’ Each month, your housing payments go toward owning your home instead of renting it; building your personal wealth and assets instead of someone else’s.

History has shown that homeownership is a clear path to wealth-building, with homeowners boasting a net worth [that is] multiples higher than the net worth of renters.”  

Family Stability 

Does owning your home really create a more stable environment for your family?

survey of property managers conducted by rent.com disclosed two reasons tenants should feel less stable with their housing situation:

  • 68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%.
  • 53% of property managers said that they were more likely to bring in a new tenant at a higher rate than to negotiate and renew a lease with a current tenant they already know.

We can see from these survey results that renting will provide anything but a stable environment in the near future.

Bottom Line

Homeowners enjoy a more stable environment, and at the same time are given the opportunity to build their family’s net worth.

Testimonial: Amazing Team!

Testimonial: Team Marti is amazing!Thanks to Tripoli77727, a satisfied home seller, for this five-star review on Zillow!

“This is my fifth home sale with Marti. Each sale has been more amazing than the previous sale. Everything went smoothly. She has an amazing team that gives constant updates. Her skills are premium. I highly recommend here!”

~ Tripoli77727, sold a Kent condo in 2017

 

5 Tips for Getting a Mortgage in 2017

Special Home Financing Programs: FHA, VA and USDA LoansUnless you’ve got a trust fund or buckets of cash lying around, if you want to buy a home this year, you’ll need a mortgage. Here are 5 tips to help you find a mortgage that meets your needs:

  1. Find out how much of a down payment you need to save. Down payments vary from 0 percent to 20 percent down, and everywhere in between. Talk to your mortgage lender – or an experienced Realtor – to find out how much you need to save.
  2. Check your credit score. To determine your credit worthiness, you’ll want to review your credit score with a mortgage lender. If you are going for an FHA loan, the average qualifying credit score in 2016 was about 686. The average credit score for a conventional homebuyer was about 753, according to Bankrate.com.
  3. Get pre-approved. While pre-qualification does not guarantee you will get a mortgage, getting pre-approved does. When you get pre-approved by a mortgage lender, it means that lender has checked your credit, verified your income and assets and agreed to lend you money to buy a home, assuming everything else lines up (value of the home, etc.). Learn more about pre-approval here.
  4. The 4 Cs. When seeking pre-approval, a mortgage lender will look at the 4 Cs – Capacity (your current and future ability to make mortgage payments), Capital or Cash Reserves – how much money, savings and investments you have, Collateral – the home you want to purchase, and Credit – your credit history. Learn more about the 4 Cs here.
  5. Decide what type of mortgage is right for you. Before you apply for a mortgage loan, you’ll want to know the different types available to you. For example, if you are a veteran, you might be able to get a VA loan. If you are a first-time homebuyer, an FHA loan might be right for you. Talk to your Realtor and your mortgage lender to see what type of mortgage best fits your situation.

Kent Realtor® Marti Reeder Named to John L. Scott’s Chairman’s Circle for 2016

Marti Reeder, John L. Scott, Kent-CovingtonMarti Reeder, Realtor® and Managing Broker with John L. Scott’s Covington-Kent-Maple Valley office, is excited to announce she has earned the Chairman’s Circle Award for 2016, her third year in a row for the honor. Previously, Reeder won other President’s awards from John L. Scott, and in 2016, Reeder was the top residential producer in her office, selling an average of one home per week. She was also the top producer in three out of four quarters last year.

“I would like to congratulate our John L. Scott award recipients for their continued dedication to providing the highest quality service to their clients. Their professionalism and hard work are exemplified by their success,” said J. Lennox Scott of the 2016 winners.

In addition to this prestigious award, Reeder:

  • Was voted “Best Real Estate Agent” in Kent for the eighth year
  • Was voted “Best Real Estate Agent” in Covington for the first time
  • Earned her Managing Broker’s license

Along with these achievements, Reeder’s transaction lead Valerie Mays earned her real estate agent’s license, so she is now also a showing agent, and Reeder hired a transaction coordinator, Elaine Kahns, to complement the efforts of the team. Team Marti outgrew its office space in Covington, so Reeder has opened a separate office in Kent but is still a part of the John L. Scott family.

“Whether they are buying or selling a home, my team and I always put our clients’ needs first, so it is an honor to be recognized for our hard work by John L. Scott,” Reeder said. “Home ownership has a positive impact on the stability of our communities while contributing to the local economy, and that’s great for all of us.”

As a lifelong resident of King County, Reeder works with clients throughout the greater Seattle area, with a concentration in the South King County communities of Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn, Black Diamond, Federal Way and Renton. As a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Reeder also dedicates her time and expertise to educating home buyers and sellers on the value of home ownership and ensuring that they understand the ever-changing real estate and mortgage industries, including new rules and regulations that may affect them.

For more information about Reeder, visit MartiReeder.com or call 253-246-8938 (office) or 206-391-0388 (cell). You can also read testimonials on Realtor.com and Zillow.

About Marti Reeder:

With over 12 years as a Realtor® and more than 30 years of industry experience, Reeder works out of the Covington-Kent-Maple Valley John L. Scott office. She is a full-time, full-service real estate broker, serving Washington’s sixth largest city, Kent, and surrounding communities. She has a wide range of experience in mortgages, home inspections, construction and real estate. In 2015 and 2016, Reeder helped nearly 100 families buy or sell homes. Reeder is also a Certified Residential Specialist, representing only 3% of the Realtor® population. As a CRS, Reeder is a dedicated professional working to ensure her clients receive exceptional service by tapping into her extensive training.

Reeder also specializes in staging and marketing her listings as well as helping buyers, whether they are first-time homebuyers or are downsizing or upsizing their current homes. When not helping clients buy or list homes, Reeder can be found blogging about real estate or playing with her grandchildren and is active in the Kent community. She is a member of the Kent and Covington Chambers of Commerce, Kent Downtown Partnership and Kent Kiwanis, and she supports many local nonprofits with donations following each home sale. Learn more about Reeder at MartiReeder.com.

How to Avoid Pitfalls When House Shopping with Your Partner

When you and your spouse are house hunting for a new home, it can be an exciting endeavor. But it also can lead to trouble if you don’t enter the process together with open eyes. Couples might have a vague idea of what they want in a home, but these ideas should be discussed and narrowed further down together.

Here are three common issues that couples could run into while house hunting and how to steer clear of them:

1. No Strong Time Line Set

If you don’t set a deadline for when you would like to move, house hunting can turn into a never-ending process. It is a good idea to sit down with your real estate agent and let them know when you would like to be in your new home. This might coincide with the start of a job, the holidays, or the next school year. You can all work backward from there to plan when you need to get serious about your move and start putting in offers.

2. Ignoring Financial Realities

If one spouse has dreams of a home outside of the couple’s overall realistic budget, this can lead to a lot of wasted time looking at unaffordable homes. Having a clear picture of your budget can make sure you are house hunting realistically. Your real estate agent and financial adviser can help guide you through collecting documents and gaining an understanding of what you can afford.

3. No Long-Term Plans

Some people may just be trying to get into the market with a starter home. Others may want to find their forever home and start a family. The struggle is when couples individually fall on either side of this spectrum without realizing it. Having a long-range plan for the future can put house needs into context and will help with both real estate and life planning. Don’t waste your time by starting the process without discussing what role this home will play in your life.

Working together as a united couple when working with a Realtor can help keep everyone on the same page. If everyone can get started on the right foot with the home-searching process, there will be fewer misunderstandings and delays along the way. Make sure you and your spouse or partner are as ready as possible to make an offer when your dream house comes along.

Testimonial: Marti is the ultimate negotiator!

Thanks to the Knobloch Family for this five-star review on Zillow. Team Marti helped sell their single-family Auburn home for approximately $525,000.

Testimonial: Team Marti is amazing!“Marti is the ultimate negotiator. She works hard to get your house sold and is the utmost professional when dealing with the difficult emotions of both seller and buyer.

She makes things happen. She knows areas thoroughly and has been active in real estate for a long time. We so appreciated her calmness and let’s get this done attitude!! Thanks Marti for everything.”

~ Knobloch Family on Zillow (9/17/15)

 

Home Sales at Highest Pace in 10 Years

Home buyers: If you want to buy a home now, the demand is strong, so you’ll have to differentiate yourself from other buyers to make your offer stand out. Ideally, you’ll get pre-approved so you know how much you can afford to spend – and how much you can offer on your dream home.

Home sellers: If you’re a seller, demand for available homes for sale is strong, and you’re in the driver’s seat. You’ll likely get your asking price, or perhaps more, and your home may sell faster than it would in a “normal” real estate market.

Have questions? Team Marti can help! Contact Team Marti today.

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!