Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 12, 2021

How to Net More Money on your Home Sale by Making your Home Look New

So if you've ever taken your clothes to a consignment store to try to sell them back so someone else can buy them, and you've gone in, and they hand select which items they're willing to take back. That's because they know that their buyers are not going to want all of your clothes. And they're certainly not gonna want the ones that don't resell well.

Well, it works the same exact way with real estate. Yes, it is your home. We know it's a special place for you, but buyers are not looking for your home. They're looking for a home for themselves that's going to be a special place for them. And when you, as a seller, don't make your home look brand new, then it's not going to sell for as much money as if you did make it look brand new. Buyers want to walk in, and feel like it's their home, like it's a new home that they're buying.

I see this all the time with sellers. They ignore little details because they think that it's something that other buyers will want, because it's something that they wanted in their home. That's not the way it works. Buyers want something brand new. They want something for themselves. And not every home we sell is new, obviously. We are reselling a lot of homes, but you need to strive to make it look as new as possible by not ignoring the details. You need to fix the carpet. You need to paint it again, because you've already lived in it with that paint. And it's highly likely that the paint has chipped, or it's faded, or it's not as good as it was when you first moved in. You have to think back, as a seller, you have to think back to when you first bought it, and remember walking in, and how great it felt because it was this new home, and you could envision yourself there.

That's the same exact thing we want to do for other buyers who are walking into your home. So don't forget, you have to make your home brand new. You have to make your home like that clothing item that's going to resell at the consignment store, and therefore you get more money for it from the consignment store when they buy it back from you. You have to make sure that you don't ignore those little details. Make your home look as new as possible. And that is how you're going to net the most money on your home sale.

Thanks for tuning in. Hope you like this video series. If you do, don't forget to hit the Subscribe button, and always make sure to like, comment, and Subscribe to our channels. We'd love to hear from you. And if you know someone who's thinking about selling, don't hesitate to share this video with them. We'll see you next week.

Posted in Home Selling
April 5, 2021

How to Stage your Home for a Quick Sale


So, you all probably know it. And if you don't, here's your sign. When you stage a home, it's going to sell quicker because people can actually envision themselves in the home. So many buyers and even renters have little ability because they're not in unstaged homes all the time to envision themselves in the home. And what staging does is it gives them a vision of what they could be living like in that home.

So, first and foremost, you have to stage to envision their life. The way that you position the furniture is going to help this. So, couple of things. You do not want the couch pushed up against the wall. Everyone thinks that, "I need to push the couch "up against the wall to make the room look bigger." In fact, you will trick the eye by pulling the couch away from the wall and make the room look bigger by having it a little further away. The same goes with seating areas. You wanna create little vignettes or seating areas where people can feel cozy and comfortable, envision themselves reading a book or doing something in that area where it's just a couple of chairs and it feels like a bigger space because there are multiple zones throughout the house where they could actually spend time.

Now, another part of envisioning and positioning furniture is light fixtures. So, if you have the ability or already have a chandelier, you wanna make sure that it's above the dining room table. Now, a lotta people, they put their chandelier way too high above the dining room table, when in fact where you want it is down closer to the table because you want that ambient lighting at the table when you're actually sitting there. You wanna be able to look up and see the chandelier when you're sitting at the dining room table. Now, when you're looking at this space as a buyer, you'll be able to see the room around that chandelier and be able to see the space that it creates by having it right above the table.

The other thing you want to make sure you're doing is including art in the space. Now, if you don't have the ability to hang art, you need to find ways to lean it in certain specific strategic places so that you have some art on the walls and bring some life into the home. You also wanna feature the home's natural features. So, if you have really gorgeous windows or you have a great nook on the side, you wanna make sure you feature those spaces so the buyers can really enjoy them. Last but not least, not all buyers like color, and the person walking through your space may not like color. So, you really need to pay attention to use very little color, maybe just white or neutral colors in your space, because this is going to turn the fewest people off as they're walking through your home.

So, there you have it. Those are a few tips for staging your home for a really quick sale. If you have more questions about staging your home or getting top dollar for selling your home, you can always reach out to us. We're ready to help you, and we will get your home sold for top dollar in this market. Thanks for tuning in. If you like videos like these, please comment, like, and subscribe. And don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We hope you'll come back next week to see the next one. Oh, hey; if you know someone who might find this video useful, be sure to send it on to them. We'd love to have you share this video with someone that you know it can help.

Posted in Home Selling
March 29, 2021

The 4 Most Important Exterior Features for Your Home


So you might be wondering what's the most important thing that buyers pay attention to when they come up to my house when it's for sale? Well, one answer is the exterior of your home. It is super important, because it's the first impression, it is the curb appeal, and it is what buyers pay attention to when they first pull up to your house. So today we're reviewing the top four things that are desired on the exteriors of homes that will help you get a higher price when you sell your home.

So, first and foremost, the number one thing that I think buyers are looking for is a flat yard. People love to find homes with flat yards. It usually gives them a little more space to roam around. It makes the yard field bigger. It actually makes it feel like a place where you can spread out, an extension of the home. So a flat yard, a flat lot is actually really amazing for buyers, even though they may not state that they're interested in this, when you find a flat yard, typically buyers are more excited and will pay a premium for that land.

The second thing is a fenced yard. So a lot of people, especially in the Northwest with their pets, love to have a yard that is already completely fenced in a nice way. You want to make sure your yard looks really nice, but also is fenced in, and has some contained space already defined. Number three,

I kind of already said it, number three is well landscaped. You need to make sure that your yard is well landscaped, that it looks taken care of, and that the buyer's aren't gonna have to spend thousands of dollars on a landscaping company just to get the yard up to par from where it currently is. So you want to make sure it looks good, that it looks like it's been cared for, and that the grass isn't dying, there are actually plants in growing. If you have the fence, that that's well-manicured and maintained. You want to make it look very presentable.

And last but not least, number four is the condition of the exterior of the home. You want to make sure that the condition of the home is actually good. There's not siding falling off. There's not siding that needs to be painted. There aren't stains on the exterior of the home. You'd be surprised some of the things we see. But you want to make sure the exterior of your home looks great, and that includes the roof as well. You want to make sure there's not moss growing on the roof. There's not, the shingles don't look like they need to be repaired right away.

Those are all things that the buyers are drawn to and see, they pay attention to those things. So it's really important to maintain those, and make sure they're looking great. So there you have it, the top four things on the exterior of your home, flat yard, fenced yard, well landscaped, and well-maintained exterior of the actual structure. If you have other questions about selling your home and what will bring you the most value, don't hesitate to reach out. We'd love to help you strategize about how to get the most money in your sale. If you like videos like this, we'd love to have you like, comment, and subscribe on our social media channels. And share this video with a friend who you know is about to sell their home. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next week.

Posted in Home Selling
March 22, 2021

The Top 3 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a New Construction Townhome

Okay, so new construction townhomes are a little bit different than other homes that are sold in the Seattle area, and there are three things that you really need to know. The first thing that you need to know is that new construction townhomes are listed a little bit differently. So, oftentimes, what builders and their selling agents will do is put on one or two townhomes to start, even though they may have five to eight townhomes to sell. And they'll actually let you, most times, go through all of the homes at once. And so, what you see listed on the MLS is not always representative of everything that's actually available. So, you really need to get out into the market and see those other townhomes that are not listed because that might be something that you really like. And those oftentimes will be sold before they even go onto the market, so it's really important that you go out and see them right away when one in the complex is listed.

Number two: Most new construction townhomes come with a builder warranty. What that means is that the builder is providing a warranty for the work and construction that they're doing. Typically, it's up to a one-to-two-year warranty for cosmetic fixes and then a longer term warranty, extended warranty for anything structural, so you do have some assurance that if anything goes wrong, you'll actually have someone to come in and fix it. Now, each builder has a different type of warranty, so you have to read through that warranty before you actually make an offer, but it is very standard that it's included in new construction.

And last but not least, number three is that new construction townhomes do not typically come with a washer and dryer and they usually have a sewer capacity charge. So, every new construction building in King County requires a sewer capacity charge, and that means that you're paying for the new sewer line that's connected to the main line in the street. And typically, that charge is assessed monthly or you could pay it quarterly or you can pay it all off at once if you choose to, but you do have to think about that as an extra utility charge. So, those are three things that I think you have to know about new construction. Now, if you wanna talk about which homes you can negotiate the most on in new construction, you'll have to book a consult with us so you know those little tips and tricks.

So, there you have it. If you're thinking about buying new construction, make sure you know the tips and tricks that are required to purchase that home and work with someone who's helped people buy new construction before or helped them sell it. If you have any other questions or you're thinking about buying or selling this year, don't hesitate to reach out. We'd love to help you. You can always like, comment, and subscribe on our content. We'd love for you to share it with someone who you think might find it useful. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.

Posted in Home Buying
March 15, 2021

Why you Should Vacate your Home Before you Sell

So you're wondering why our homes always unoccupied by the seller when they go on the market. Well, it turns out this is actually part of a strategy for sellers to get the most exposure to the market therefore getting them the most money possible. So when your home goes on the market basically what happens is buyers want to get in immediately and see the house, and buyers have chaotic schedules as well. So a lot of buyers can not go during the day because they might be working or may need time late at night to come by. If you as the seller are occupying the home and want to be comfortable, you're not going to want to have all these buyers coming through at different various times that interrupt your schedule. That is why it's so important as a seller for you to actually move out and vacate your property when you put it on the market.

These buyers are coming at many different times throughout the time that the home is on the market and they're going to interrupt your schedule a lot if you're living in the home. Now, in addition to that, in our current market it is so quick and fast paced that homes are getting showings booked from the day that that home goes on the market all the way until the review date with no time in between. So there are basically showings from whatever day the home goes on the market, 9:00 AM or even sometimes 8:00 AM until 9:00 PM at night and the entire day is booked solid. So as a seller, you wouldn't even be able to be in your home. Now, if you do live at home essentially what you're doing is you're causing a little bit of a roadblock for buyers to get into your home because you might be occupying it at a time that they really want to see it or the only time they could see it that weekend.

So as a seller, you want to make sure that you are not blocking any times that a buyer might want to come in and actually look at the home because that may be the only time that they're able to look at it. And if you're there, they may just pass on your home and go on to the next one because it's easier to get in and see. So that's why as a seller it's super important that you get out of your house for the time that it's on the market. Now, sometimes you can move back in after it's under contract and before it actually closes but you should plan to be out of the house while it's on the market to make it easier for those buyers to get in and see it, meaning more exposure for you as a seller and ultimately a higher price.

There you have it. If you want more tips and tricks like this be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe to all of our social media platforms. We'd love to have you follow along. We can't wait to share more information with you. Thanks and we'll see you next week.

Posted in Home Selling
March 8, 2021

Why you Should Make Space for the TV

So it might sound crazy, but why is the TV the most essential staging item for your home when it's on the market? Well, that's because every single buyer that goes through a home wants to know, where are they going to put their TV? There are so many houses these days where the furniture is arranged in a way where buyers can literally not even imagine where they would put their TV in the home. And therefore that home becomes unappealing to that buyer. I know it sounds crazy or maybe it doesn't sound crazy. It seems sometimes crazy that a TV would be so important, but it truly is a very big sticking point in the home buying process. All buyers want to know where are they going to put their TV and how will they arrange their furniture around that TV to make sure that the house works for them.

So as sellers, for you, you need to make sure when your home is stage or you're setting up the furniture for showing your home, that you show how a TV can fit into the living space in a really comfortable way where people can entertain and all see the TV. It sounds crazy even saying it, but the TV is really essential. It's just like staging a bedroom. If you can't fit a bed in easily and show the buyer literally how that bed fits in there so they can use the bedroom, then they cannot imagine how that would work. You have to show the buyer, you have to physically show them with staging and that furniture, how they can set up their home to live in it. Because when people are buying a home, they're not just buying that home, they're buying the lifestyle associated with that home. So you have to show them what that looks like.

I know it might sound a little bit crazy, but staging and specifically the TV are so important in selling your home. It's really important. And if you have questions about how you should set up your furniture, or when you should put your home on the market, we are here to help. Don't hesitate to reach out. We're more than happy to help you get your home ready and share with you our exclusive listing plan, so you can see exactly how we do it. If you are thinking about selling your home, or you know someone who is, be sure to share this video with them and reach out to us. If you want more videos like this, don't forget to comment, like and subscribe to all of our social media channels. We'd love to have you along for the journey with us. Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you again next week.

Posted in Home Selling
March 1, 2021

Why do Some Townhomes Have an HOA?

So maybe you're looking at townhouses and you're wondering why does this townhouse have an HOA or a homeowners association? Well, it is becoming a little bit more common that builders who are building townhomes are including an HOA fee. Typically it's not as big as the condo HOA. So a condo HOA typically is around $400 for a one bedroom. Whereas a townhome HOA is closer to, you know it can be anywhere from $15 a month to maybe $50 a month. And it's a much smaller fee and it's run in a different way than a condo association.

So a townhome association is typically set up just to cover some of the common expenses. Sometimes if there is a shared common area, like a walkway or a patio that's shared, the HOA will take care of that cost to maintain that. Things like landscaping. There are some townhome associations that also have shared amenities like a shared garage and they may need to have an HOA in order to take care of some of those shared expenses. So there might be a small fee per month. Now typically, if a townhome is set up like a condo and has a larger HOA over $300, those can be harder to resell because typically people buy a townhome so that they can avoid the HOA. But if you have a townhome with a small HOA, that's much more manageable to a buyer because it doesn't impact the monthly cost as much as something like $300 would. So, that's a little bit about why townhomes might have an HOA.

So next time you're out looking, make sure you ask if the townhome has an HOA and what it covers. If you have other questions about shopping for the right home or selling your home, we'd love to help. Don't hesitate to reach out. You can follow, like and subscribe to all of our social media channels. We look forward to connecting with you and are here to help. Thanks for tuning in. We hope you'll tune in again next week.

Posted in Home Buying
Feb. 22, 2021

Why the Weekends are So Important for Home Buyers

So if you've ever been looking at houses online or you've been a seller in this position you might wonder why do houses always go under contract right after the weekend on Monday or Tuesday? Now, that's a great question. This is primarily because home buyers are out looking over the weekend, and it's super important that as a buyer if you can make a decision over the weekend to try to do that, because you will oftentimes beat out a lot of the competition that is going in to make an offer on Monday or Tuesday. So if you, as the buyer, can get into the home and see it early, and make a decision about putting in an offer early like a Saturday or a Sunday, you can oftentimes beat out other buyers who are waiting to make their offer until the next week.

Now, I just had this happen and this is the perfect example. There was a home that has been sitting on the market for a long time, almost up to a month, and it didn't have any offers on it. And we looked at it on Saturday and it wasn't until Monday when the buyers were thinking about making an offer that actually two other offers came in on the property, making it actually sell for more than what other homes had sold for in the neighborhood because people were out looking now and wanted to get into contract. And so this is the perfect example of if the buyer had chosen to make an offer over the weekend, they actually would have been able to secure that home for probably at the least price. But a lot of buyers do this where they're out looking over the weekend and they wanna take time to look at the property and think about it over the weekend before they actually put in an offer. But when you think about it and you take too much time, oftentimes you face other competition that's doing exactly the same.

So there's certainly never pressure from us when you work with us. But if you are a buyer out there and you can make a decision sooner, you'll often be able to get a home under contract earlier and for less money. And that's why it can be super important to try to make a decision over the weekend. It's not because we want you to, but it's because there are other forces in the market, other people who are going to be competing against you. So the sooner you can make a decision if you feel confident about it, the better you are as a buyer and the more money you'll save. So that's why weekends are so important in real estate. Thanks for tuning in. If you like videos like this, don't hesitate to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We'd love to have you follow along, like, comment and subscribe, and we will catch you again for another video like this next week.

Posted in Home Buying
Feb. 8, 2021

Why the Beginning of the Year Market is so CRAZY!

So you may have noticed that this year the real estate market was bananas right after the beginning of the year, and this is not an uncommon trend, and a lot of people maybe don't think about it or don't understand why that's the case. The reason that the real estate market heats up so quickly after the beginning of the new year is because a lot of buyers wait to start the process until the new year.

There are a lot of factors that go into this. We have the holidays at the end of the previous year, so a lot of people are too busy to start their search at that time, even though prices are usually lower and there's less competition at that time. The other reason is because people have New Year's resolutions. They wanna get out and get into a house this year, and so they start that process at the beginning of the year. And lastly, sometimes the impact of taxes or having a tax break in the coming year might impact a buyer to start looking that year. So a lot of buyers for all three of these reasons start looking immediately after the new year. That's when they start their process of finding a home. Even though they may have been able to find a home for less money and less competition in the previous year, they might not have the ability to do that. And that's why the real estate market gets so crazy at the beginning of the year.

Now some years, it takes a little longer for it to heat up than it does in this year, for example, but there are typically a lot of buyers out looking in the beginning of the year. That's why we tell sellers to prepare their home for market right at the beginning of the year because that really is the sweet spot when you have an influx of new buyers. And for buyers, if you do have the ability to look during the holidays or at the end of the previous year, that's a great time to look so that you don't face as much competition. And that's how the yearly cycle really works with real estate. A lot of buyers come out at the beginning of the new year and that's why you see the craziness in the market.

If you like videos like this, we'd love to have you subscribe to our YouTube channel and give us a big thumbs up, like, comment, subscribe, and share. We'd love to have you along for this journey with us, and thanks for tuning in. We will see you again next week.

Feb. 1, 2021

Why Homes Fall Out of Escrow Part 1

So you heard it on TV before. What makes a deal fall out of escrow or fall apart or make the transaction not go through? Well, there are multitude of reasons that a deal might fall apart in real estate. But today we're going to focus on the three reasons related to financing that a deal may actually fall apart. When I say financing, I'm talking about the buyer's ability to get a loan for their home that they're going to purchase. And there are really three reasons in the financing contingency the deal may fall apart.

Now these could vary from state to state, but here in Washington, the first reason that it might fall apart is that the buyer has applied for a loan or a mortgage to get the home that they're in contract for. But then they're actually not able to obtain that loan that they thought they could get. So even though buyer is pre-approved at the beginning of the process, once they get into the underwriting, after they're in contract on the home, that loan may not get approved by the underwriter. And that can cause the buyer to actually have to back out of the contract because they can't get financing anymore. They can't get the loan that they applied for. So that may make a contract actually fall apart or it fall out of escrow.

The second reason that a contract may fall apart is because in the financing contingency, the seller is actually entitled after a certain number of days to serve a notice to the buyer asking them for an update on the loan. Now after that notice is requested by the seller, the seller also has another time period in which they can actually request to terminate the agreement. Now this doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes it can happen if a buyer is dragging their feet or not giving the seller the updates that were requested. And so the seller can actually terminate the agreement after a certain number of days based on the financing contingency. That's number two.

Now number three is all related to the appraisal. So the appraisal is part of the financing process. When a buyer gets a home loan, their bank has to do an appraisal on the property to make sure that it's worth the value they're willing to pay. So let's use an example. If a buyer made an offer for $400,000 and the appraisal didn't come in at $400,000 or higher, maybe it came in at $390,000, the buyer could actually back out of that offer or that contract and get their earnest money back. And that would be a reason that the contract might fall apart or the home might fall out of escrow. The buyer also has an option here to renegotiate with the seller, but if they can't come to terms and renegotiate a new price, then the buyer can still back out and get their earnest money back.

So those are just three reasons related to financing that a contract may fall apart and a home may fall out of escrow and go back onto the market. Obviously, there are a lot of other reasons that a contract could fall apart and we'll go over more of those in future videos. Thanks for tuning in. If you have any questions about financing or how a contract can fall apart, don't hesitate to reach out. You can always reach us and we look forward to helping you buy or sell in the Seattle area when you're ready. Don't forget to like, subscribe and comment on our videos. We'd love to have you engage and we're happy to answer any questions that you might have. Thanks so much. We'll see you again next week.