7 Things to Remove From Your Home When We list It
When listing your home, there are a lot of things to think about. How you stage your space should definitely be at the top of that list. While you may not have the means to bring in a pro stager, you can put your best foot forward by removing the following from your space.
Family photos. While these treasures may mean the world to you, personal items like this make it difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in your space. Pack up these photos for the move—you’ll need to do this eventually anyway, so consider it a head start.
Odors. From a musky basement to the closet where the kitty litter box is kept, odors in your home are a huge turn off. Rip up mildewed carpet, open windows, light candles–whatever you need to do to keep a buyers nose from wrinkling.
Clutter. While you may love your corners stacked high with books and your shelves piled with mementos and knick-knacks, clutter can be distracting for buyers. Pick a few key items to leave out on shelves and pack the rest away.
Non-neutral design elements. Black lights in the basement or lacy, frilly curtains in the sunroom may seem fun to you, but these bold design elements can throw a buyer. Create a neutral atmosphere wherever possible.
Junk. Clear any old, unused items from your closets, storage spaces, basement and attic. You’re going to have to get rid of these items when you move anyway, so you may as well do this now so your buyer can envision their own items filling up these spaces.
Pets. While it may not be possible to banish your furry friends while your home is for sale, you can make sure they’re out of the way when a buyer is visiting. You never know what allergies or fears buyers may have, so put the animals outside or bring them over to grandmas for an hour, if possible.
Worn-out furniture. That sagging, stained couch in the basement may not be a big deal to you, but it can be an eyesore to an outsider. An empty space is better than a poorly furnished space, so adjust where needed.
When listing with me, I provide a complimentary stager, who will go over the items that need to be taken care of prior to staging and sale to help get you top dollar for your home.
Contact me for more details. Judy Gratton 206-276-3289
There are many words that are used in a real estate transaction that most people don’t understand. This week we are going to talk about the word(s) “Earnest money.”
Earnest Money. A sum of money paid by a buyer upon entering a contract to indicate the intention and ability of the buyer to carry out the contract. Normally such earnest money is applied against the purchase price. … A deposit of part payment of purchase price on sale to be consummated in future.
Earnest money is something many buyers don’t anticipate when buying a house. But it’s an important part of presenting a strong offer to a seller. As mentioned above, earnest money is paid upfront by a buyer when making an offer on a home. If the offer is accepted generally the money must be deposited with the escrow company handling the transaction immediately. It can be in the form of a personal check made out to the escrow company. This money is part of your down payment. It is your way as a buyer of showing that you are making this offer in good faith.
There is no set amount for earnest money. The more you put down the stronger you look as a buyer. However, if for some reason you break the contract to purchase the home the earnest money could be forfeited to the seller as a remedy for taking the home off the market while under contract with you. In Washington state, a seller cannot take more than 5% of the purchase price as damages from earnest money though.
An experienced Realtor knows that part of their job is to make sure that the buyer is informed of all the time constraints on the contract, to make sure that they understand and perform the required acts during those time frames, and the risks if they don’t. The biggest risk for the most part is losing the earnest money. As long as you the buyer perform according to the contract there is no risk. But, make sure you know when and what you are required to do to stay in contract.
4 Habits of Productive People
(Family Features)—Appointments, meetings, tasks…life can get hectic both professionally and personally. Staying productive on a packed schedule can be difficult, but it’s not impossible—especially if you practice the following habits:
1. Rest – It seems counterproductive (pun intended), but without enough rest, it’s all the more challenging to stay on top of your schedule. It may be difficult initially to carve out time to rest, but it will pay off in the long run—even if you do something as simple as putting away your computer or phone an hour before bedtime.
2. Schedule Everything – Schedule all obligations on a calendar—mundane included. Having this information readily accessible frees up brain space for the more important tasks in your day.
3. Embrace Technology – Many tools today make keeping track easier than ever. One such tool is the “smartpad,” an alternative to paper notebooks with the benefit of digitizing every idea or reminder so that they’re available from any device.
4. Keep Clean – Messy areas can make you feel disorganized and overwhelmed, hindering your ability to be productive. Sprucing up at the end of each day helps you “wind down,” preparing you to be just as productive tomorrow.
What habits do you practice to stay productive?
Have Your Cake (and Eat It, Too) at the Betty Crocker House
By Suzanne De Vita
Fresh out of the (cake) box is the Betty Crocker House, now on the market for $675,000.
The Cape Cod-style confection, located in Norwell, Mass., was home to Janette Kelley, one of the first contributors of cookbooks and recipes to Betty Crocker, a brand with a persona cooked up by advertisers. (Consider our soufflé deflated.)
The antique house is far from cookie-cutter. Built in 1681, the home spans 2,808 square feet and has a gambrel roof, clapboard siding, a sunroom and a chicken coop, in addition to three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It also features a first-floor master suite, and a carriage barn-turned-family room overlooking a fenced-in garden.
The house is not the only one with the Betty Crocker misnomer. Another Betty Crocker House resides in Valley Center, Calif.—this one the former home of Agnes Tizard, who voiced Betty Crocker on the nation’s first-ever radio cooking show.
Betty Crocker is now at the (ooey gooey) center of a flour recall by General Mills—but we still hope there’s a cake at the closing table.
Savor the home, sweet home below:
This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.
These sellers have taken impeccable care of this home & it shows! 2870 sq ft 4 bedroom, 3 bath split level home with a captivating great room appointed with beautiful granite, hardwoods, stainless steel appliances & gas fireplace. Luxurious Master Suite includes spa 5 piece bath, glass door to back deck, cathedral ceiling & walk in closet. All bedrooms are conveniently on the main floor, downstairs is a spacious family room, work out room, laundry & storage rooms. Backyard living area is beautifully landscaped with hot tub & garden space. Gas heat, fireplaces, and water. Duel fuel range/oven. Wired for generator. Request list of features. Home purchase includes 1 year home warranty. Walk to Phantom Lake, sought after Bellevue schools. Walk to elementary school.
While national home sale growth as a whole is virtually unchanged, a sharp quarterly growth increase in the West is shaping up for yet another season of dominant performance in the region, according to Clear Capital’s recently released its Home Data Index™ (HDI) Market Report with data through April 2016. The report provides insights into housing price trends and other leading indices for the real estate market at the national and local levels.
Nationally, growth continues at a moderate pace of 0.6 percent quarter-over-quarter growth, but regionally the rates are varied. The Northeast and Midwest regional quarterly growth rates stay in the black but are sluggish at only 0.2 percent quarterly growth, while the South is reporting a reasonable 0.7 percent QoQ growth rate. These rates come with little to no change from the previously reported quarterly growth rates, all within 0.1 percent of the figures from last month.
The big story is out West, where sales during the month of April have really kicked off the start of the real estate busy season; quarter-over-quarter growth has increased 0.3 percent from 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent since just last month. This momentum shift is setting the pattern for another strong summer growth season as the region begins to dominate regional performance once again.
The continued dominance of the West is easy to see on our list of Highest Performing Major Metro Markets, where nine of the current top 15 call the region home. Seattle continues to lead the nation at an impressive 2.0 percent growth over the last quarter, an increase of 0.2 percent since last month, while quarterly growth in Sacramento has increased 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent QoQ. The rest of the Western top markets are all reporting at least 1.2 percent growth over the last quarter.
Despite these pacesetting performances by Western metros, the condition of each individual market in the region is varied. Portland, San Jose, and Denver have all surpassed their previous peak market values from before the crash, with Seattle fast approaching its own benchmark; however, homes in Las Vegas are fetching just over half of peak market values from ten years ago. A second metric we’ve taken a peek into is the percentage point improvement in the peak distressed saturation rate for each MSA, where some cities have seen incredible performance. The current distressed property saturation rates in cities like Sacramento and San Diego have improved by 50 percentage points or more, illustrating a drastic improvement in the overall health of the market, and yet both markets have quite a way to go to recovering all market value lost during the crash.
“Real estate market headlines have repeatedly documented the strong, potentially bubble-like recovery of the West over the past couple years, and this continued trend of performance doesn’t appear to be going away just yet,” says Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “However, it’s important to remember just how varied the standing of each of these Western metro’s recoveries remains. While the West as a whole has seen incredible performance since the lows of 2011, comparisons between individual markets like Denver and Las Vegas can be a sobering reminder of the devastating effects of the crash and that some markets still have a long way to go in terms of regaining lost value. Conversely, those markets that are reaching new market highs are worth keeping a close eye on since the speed at which those recoveries have occurred is clearly unsustainable in the long term.”
For more information, visit www.ClearCapital.com.