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  • Helpful Real Estate Information

    February 18, 2020

    FIRST IMPRESSION COUNTS – MAKE IT A POSITIVE ONE
    First impressions are very important when selling your home. It is estimated that more than half of all houses are sold before buyers even get out of their cars. When your buyer drives up to the house you have for sale, you want it to be as attractive as possible for them, drawing them in and causing them to want to see more.  Now that we have a reprieve from the rain and the sun is out, it is a lot easier to think about the outside of our homes making sure it has plenty of curb appeal.

    It is first important to stand back from your home and take an objective look. Sometimes it is difficult for sellers to do this. We either get used to our surroundings or get emotionally attached to our own style. By stepping back and distancing oneself emotionally, it enables one to do a more thorough and critical look. Looking at your home through the “buyer’s eyes” can help you prepare your home to sell for the best price in the least amount of time. If it helps, get a friend to come out and help. I also would be glad to assist you.

    Second, make a “to-do” list focusing on that first impression aspect. Some of the things to look for are as follows:
    *Walkways – Clean walkways that are coming up to the house. A clean walkway invites buyers to come in. Making sure the sidewalks in front of your home are clean is important too.
    *Lawns – A mowed, edged yard is attractive and inviting.
    *Flower beds – Mulch, colorful flowers, and weed-free beds are attractive to the buyer’s eye.
    *Front door/ welcome mat – The front door is one of the first things prospective buyers see. If it shows signs of wear – clean it, stain it, or paint it.
    *Trash and Debris – A clean yard shows buyers that your house has been taken care of.

    For a more complete list, please feel free to contact me at 425-442-1298 or email me at brian@eagleriserealestate.com.

    February 11, 2020

    TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR HOME READY TO SELL
    Spring is in the air. The sun broke through and shone nice and bright this last Monday giving us a hint of what is to come. Although rain is in the forecast for a while longer, we know that those warm days are coming.
    With spring comes an uptick in the Real Estate Market. Statistically speaking more homes are listed in April than any other month. If you are a buyer, this is great news because there are more choices out there. If you are one of those many homeowners that are planning on selling, it is a cue to get your home ready so that it is in great condition to get the highest price.
    Although there are many things to do to get your home ready to sell, I have three basic tips to prep your home. Starting with these three things will get you well on your way to getting your home ready.

    1) Declutter
    When you think about the idea of decluttering, think of maximum floor space and maximum counter space (this includes tabletops, desks, etc.). As you look around at the floors and flat spaces, identify those items that don't belong and make these areas are as clean as possible. Sometimes it is hard to look at our own areas objectively. If this is the case, find a friend you trust who will help you look at your space honestly. I can also help you with this. The more uncluttered and unencumbered floor space the buyer can see, the larger and more inviting your home will feel.
    2) Clean
    A good deep clean is an absolute necessity after you have removed the clutter. This involves cleaning your home both inside and out. The floors, walls, baseboards, doors, and all surfaces in your home should be thoroughly cleaned. If possible, the outside of your home and the driveways, and walkways should be power washed. When it comes to cleaning, I recommend that you either form a cleaning crew (you and three or more friends) or better yet, simply hire a cleaning service. This will save you a lot of time and emotional stress if it’s in the budget.
    3) Paint
    Once your home is decluttered and clean, it’s time to paint! Take a good look at each of the walls, baseboards, doors, windowsills, and ceilings around your home. In some cases, they will just need to be touched up here and there; other areas will need to be entirely repainted. Be objective and make a list. Then decide whether you will or will not do the work yourself or hire someone. Painting is relatively inexpensive. It is probably the least expensive way to make a dramatic improvement to your home.


    February 4, 2020

    Tips for Mentally Preparing for Selling Your Home
    It is said that one of the top five stressors in life is moving. Being aware of this is a good start but implementing some strategies ahead of time can alleviate and circumvent a lot of the pressure that might come along in the process. Here are five strategies to practice that are recommended.
    1) Be positive
    This can be a tough one, especially if you are in a position where you have to move out of necessity. Make a conscious decision to have a thankful attitude. Read inspirational books, attend church and prayer meetings, and help those less fortunate than you. When those negative thoughts come creeping in (or screaming in!) dispel them immediately and replace them with positive thoughts. Mindset is huge in the moving process!
    2) Get a coach
    Find a mentor or a close, personal friend. Spend a few minutes a week discussing your thoughts and feelings. In my real estate practice, I can help coach you throughout the process.
    3) Visualize the final outcome
    If you are moving by choice, spend some time seeing yourself in your next home. (After the dust settles!) This gives you a goal to work towards. If you are moving out of necessity, realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and see yourself in that better life. (living within your financial means, future opportunities, etc.)
    4) Prayer and meditation
    Studies have found that prayer and meditation are very beneficial when facing a stressful decision. Try spending 15 to 20 minutes in prayer and/or meditation each day. You can pray with a friend.
    5) Journal
    Getting your thoughts out of your head and down on paper is a very freeing exercise. Others may find it easier to record their thoughts using a smart phone app or another device. Even if you simply voice your thoughts (speaking them aloud), it will help. Ask yourself questions like “what do I enjoy or not enjoy about this process?” or ”what do I expect for the future in what I am doing now?”

     

     January 28, 2020

    Townhouse vs. Condo: Which Should You Buy?
    Whether it's your first time buying or you just want to purchase something smaller, townhouses and condos are both great options. Check out the differences between the two to help aid you in your search.
    Condominiums
    Condominiums are similar to apartments in that you purchase an individual unit inside of a larger building, but not the property it sits on. This generally includes access to the building's amenities, such as the clubhouse, pool, and gym. However, condo owners are not responsible for the upkeep and repair of these common areas. Because of the number of shared spaces, living in a condo often allows for meeting new people and building a strong sense of community. There is a fairly similar vetting process for loan approval as for a full-sized home; however, the lender will also look at the health of the condo association.
    Townhouses
    Those who purchase a townhome are generally purchasing the complete unit, both inside and out, including the land it sits on. This might also include the driveway, yard or roof. Traditionally, these units are two or three stories tall and may also include common areas like pools and parks. Townhome owners pay a fee to a homeowners association every month and the loan process is the as same as buying a full-sized home.
    What is the best choice?
    Both townhomes and condos offer less maintenance than a traditional home and generally offer great shared areas. Your decision ultimately comes down to you and your family's needs and wants. Things you'll want to take into consideration include location, lifestyle, family growth, and price.



    January 22, 2020
    What to Repair Before You List

    When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of utmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

    1.Repaint Walls
    Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up. Generally, this can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure to cover any walls that have scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

    2. Repair Floors
    Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. Also, don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile look brand new!

    3. Refresh the Landscaping
    Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the inside. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.

    4. Fix your Fixtures
    Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-oriented minds.

    5. Improve your Kitchen
    An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing, or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.



    January 15, 2020

    Your Guide to the Home Appraisal
    You’ve found your dream home and now it’s time to cross all your T's and dot all your I's before it’s all your own. And one of the first items on your closing checklist - the home appraisal. So, what exactly is that?

    The home appraisal is essentially a value assessment of the home and property. It is conducted by a certified third party and is used to determine whether the home is priced appropriately.

    During a home appraisal, the appraiser conducts a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. He or she factors in a variety of things, including the home’s floor plan functionality, condition, location, school district, fixtures, lot size, and more. An upward adjustment is generally made if the home has a deck, a view, or a large yard. The appraiser will also compare the home to several similar homes that were sold within the last six months in the area.

    The final report must include a street map showing the property and the ones compared, photographs of the interior and exterior, an explanation on how the square footage was calculated, market sales data, public land records, and more.

    After it is complete, the lender uses the information found to ensure that the property is worth the amount they are investing in. This is a safe-guard for the lender as the home acts as collateral for the mortgage. If the buyer defaults on the mortgage and goes into foreclosure, the lender generally sells the home to recover the money borrowed.