To For-Sale-By-Owner or not? That is the question…

Before you decide to sell on your own, talk to a real estate agent for guidance

Selling a home is not a simple as sticking a sign in the yard and placing an ad on Craigslist. Many For Sale by Owner, or FSBO sellers don’t realize the amount of work and time it takes to sell a home. More often than not, FSBO sellers eventually turn to a real estate agent to sell their home.

When selling your own home you are responsible for all the marketing costs for flyers, signs and online listings. This can add up to hundreds of dollars depending on how much marketing you are willing to do.

Sellers often times forget that selling their own home is time consuming and as some say, time is money! Selling your own home requires long hours of research and marketing efforts not to mention hiring a professional to draw up a contract for you to avoid any liability.

Although it is possible, in our experience, home sellers who want to save the sales commission rarely do so. In most cases, when a professional real estate agent is involved in the sale, the sellers pocket more net cash typically as much as they wanted or more including the professional services.

Most home buyers use a real estate agent. The few who don’t are bargain hunter buyers seeking “For Sale by Owner” homes, expecting to save money. Buying for less is their main goal and this is typically reflected in low ball offers. Opportunistic speculators and investors usually offer less for a “For Sale by Owner” home. Without an agent to represent the owner’s interests, sellers may end up accepting an offer below the value of their home.

Real estate professionals are knowledgeable about the local market and know the highest price a home is likely to bring. A real estate professional can advise the seller on the right price for their home (see how to set the right price for your home here) to get the most money.

A real estate agent has experience and a large personal and professional network with other agents in and outside the local area. Client, agent and agency relationships will boost the marketing of your home and expose it to the largest number of potential buyers.

In contract negotiations, a real estate agent not only is trained to negotiate on your best interest but is also in a better position than an emotionally involved seller. The result will be in a more profitable contract for the seller.

Showing and marketing a home is a full time job and many FSBO sellers just don’t have the time. Are you really ready to put your life on hold for showings at all hours? Do you even know if the person interested is a “real” buyer? More importantly, will you be comfortable with showing your home to anyone who knocks on your door? If you answer “no”, you might want to reconsider selling your home without an agent. It will not only be time consuming and stressful but it can also lead to a potential dangerous situation.

Before you decide to sell your house on your own, contact a local real estate agent and see what they have to offer. (See what questions to ask a listing agent here)

Please contact us for a complimentary, no obligation, real estate market analysis and to learn the best time to sell your home in Anacortes for the best return on your investment.

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

Moving with Pets?

What will my new home be like?

Once you purchase your new home you will most likely be busy packing, changing utilities, maybe holding a garage sale…. and this often means less time with your pet.  Whether you are  buying a new home or selling your home, moving can add stress to your life and believe it or not, your pets will pick up on your stress level.

Here are some tips to make moving less stressful for “Fido” or “Garfield”:

1. Keep updated vaccinations/medical records with you in case of emergency.

2. Carry a copy of your veterinarian’s business card or phone number.

3. Check with your vet about things to be aware of at your new location.  In Anacortes we don’t have to worry about heartworm, but if you are moving to an area that has heartworm, you will want to consider starting preventative medication prior to going to your new location.

4. Make sure your pet’s collar has updated I.D. information.

5. Have a leash and harness easily accessible.  Keep your pet confined to just part of the house until they are used to your new location.

6. Consider giving your pet bottled water at the new location so that his/her system is not shocked.

7. Have an adequate supply of pet food in a watertight container.  Do not make any changes in your pet’s diet during this time!

8. If driving to to your new location, don’t leave your pet in the car during sunny weather.

9. Look for pet friendly hotels and call ahead to make reservations.

10. If you are traveling with a cat, bring a litter box and supply of litter.

11.  Have your pet’s bed and favorite toys available.

Remember, if you are anxious or stressed it goes down the leash to your pet. Try researching for local pet services as soon as you are settled in your new home. Most importantly,take time to play with your pet and it will relieve stress for both of you!

If you would like more tips on moving with pets or selling your home with pets, please contact us at (360) 941-3734 or send us an email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

Tip of the week! Showing Appointments

Protect your home!

Your house is on the market and ready to be sold!

Suddenly you get a call from a real estate agent wanting to show your house. Appointment is set for 4 o’clock today and you feel great! You anxiously wait for the agent for what seems to be an eternity and you realize it is 4:30pm…What happened?

It is important to understand why agents are sometimes unable to be at your home in the time period they have stated. Sometimes, their customer is late for the appointment, or the client stays longer than anticipated at one house, which throws the agent’s schedule off. Some people look at houses five minutes, some look for 20 minutes. We have no way of knowing this, so it can make it difficult to set an exact time for a viewing appointment.

Sometimes a buyer changes directions on us mid-stream with what they want to look at, so an agent has to go to entirely different areas or type of home.  The agent should call you to cancel their appointment but sometimes they are out of cell phone range or they might try to call and you’re not at home. You shouldn’t have “no shows” very often if at all, so please let your real estate agent know if this occurs.

Unfortunately, having your home on the market means there might be someone who will stop to ask you if they can see your home while they are driving through your neighborhood.  Please do not let them in! Not only could it be a security risk, but we will have no way of  following up with them.  Have them contact their real estate agent if they are already working with one, and if not please have them your real estate agent.

Please do not allow an agent into your home without having them use the lock box.  The lock box keeps an electronic record of who enters your home, and provides us with the information to follow up with the agent and also notify them in case we do make a price adjustment or something changes with the home.  Make all agents use the lock box for your protection.

For more real estate tips, please contact us at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or call 360-941-3734.

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

Ready to sell? How to make sure your price is competitive

If you are considering selling your home in Anacortes … how would you determine the right selling price?

Setting the right price from the start is one if the key steps toward successfully selling your home. After deciding which real estate agent will represent you, (see tips on interviewing agents here) an important tool that your real estate agent will use is the Comparative Market Analysis.

A real estate agent gathers information to produce a comparative market analysis, or CMA, to determine an approximate fair market value of your home. The CMA, also sometimes referred to as “comps”, helps determine the estimated value of your property by comparing similar properties to your own. Ideally, your real estate agent finds recently sold properties in your area of the same size and roughly same age and with the same number of bedrooms and baths. Price per square foot is also often used to account for differences in size between properties.

The CMA assists in establishing market value by comparing properties that have sold in the area usually within the past year, current listings, and pending sales. Your real estate agent then uses the comparable prices to figure out an estimate of the right selling price for your home. The asking price of your home will determine how many people will look at the property. The higher the price, the fewer potential buyers.

An experienced real estate agent will prepare a good CMA  that will tell you:

  • what homes like yours are actually selling for
  • how long it’s taking for them to sell
  • what the sale prices are in relation to the list prices

If you are wondering what the current real estate market is in your neighborhood, we can help bring you up to speed with a customized CMA report for your home. The data of a CMA will include: currently available comparable listings, pending sales, sales that occurred within the last 6 months to a year and expired listings.

A CMA is only good as its data, save yourself the trouble and time consuming efforts. Let us assist you with a CMA report for your home to insure the most accurate and fair pricing to sell your home in Anacortes this year.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or for a FREE no obligation market analysis. We will be happy to help you determine what the fair market price is for your home in Anacortes,WA.

Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3734 or  Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

Interviewing Listing Agents: What Questions Should You Ask?

Jean Groesbeck - Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker Bain

So you are ready to list your home for sale but are not sure what to do next?

Selling a home involves much more than just paperwork! The next step is to hire an agent to represent you and your home. Looking for the right real estate agent to sell your home can be a scary and daunting endeavor for many who are unsure of what to expect. Selling a home is typically one of the largest financial transaction you will experience in your life and as such, you should take special care when hiring a local real estate agent to represent you. Here are 5 helpful tips on what questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent:

1. What presence does your company have and how will it benefit me and my home?

You would want to find out how the agent is connected in the real estate market in and around your neighborhood. What areas outside of your neighborhood is the agent connected with? It is evident that agents take the time to connect with buyers outside of your surrounding neighborhood will grasp as many buyers to view your home as possible.

2. What marketing strategies are used by your company to promote my home?

There are many ways to promote your home, now a days, the internet is the best option for many agents to list your home. The internet provides several different websites that include videos and professional pictures that are used to maximize the exposure of your home. MLS and local websites are typically used by real estate agents. Ask about other types of marketing like magazines, local papers, and even open houses.

3. How do you decide on a listing price?

Deciding the listing price takes time and research, a good agent will take the proper time to examine your home and all of its features to make sure the listing price is fair. It is important for you to let the agent see what sets your home apart from similar listings. The agent then will do a Current Market Analysis ( CMA) and inform you about the current market conditions in your area to decide what price is best to get more money for your investment.

4. How will your represent me during the transaction?

The agent will be your supporter throughout the listing and sale process. It is the agent’s job to keep you informed in the different stages of selling your home, from staging, getting it show ready, and to walk you through the contract details. When you have questions or concerns, ask them! You should feel free to address any issues that may occur.

5. How will we communicate throughout the process?

You should be specific in what is the best form of communication for you, the agent should provide different types of communication to help answer questions, inform you on important deadlines, and provide an update on what is happening in the process. Communication is extremely important from both you and the agent to insure the most successful outcome of selling your home.

Take the time to research real estate agents that best fit your needs and wants in the process of selling your home. You and your agent will spend A LOT of time together and building a good relationship will make the process of selling your home much easier!

If you are thinking about selling, call us for your complimentary no obligation market analysis. We will inform you on the current real estate market in your neighborhood, offer suggestions to attract more home buyers in order to achieve a higher price, share our unique and aggressive marketing program, and explain the home selling services we provide before , during, and after the sales process. We would love the opportunity to show you our unique and innovative marketing programs customized for your property!

Our 5 star real estate services start with a complimentary staging consultation by our Professional Stager, professional home photography, a team of full time professionals to answer your questions, professional marketing services with a proven track record of success, and continue through the closing process with our escrow partner that will come to your home or your place of work for you to sign closing documents. Everything we do is geared toward making the process as easy for you as we possibly can!

Call (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com us to find out more about Jean Groesbeck your local real estate agent in Anacortes, WA!

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!

With the arrival of Spring comes St. Patrick’s Day! Remember to wear green to show your Irish pride here in Skagit County! If you are looking for something to do for St. Patrick’s Day the Skagit River Poetry Foundation is presenting “High Spirited St. Patrick’s” with the award-winning Oregon Author, Brian Doyle along with Ireland’s beloved Tony Curtis and the Seattle Area Celtic band “The Fire Inside” March 17, 2015.

The main event will begin at 7:30pm at the Lincoln Theater located at 712 S 1St Street in Mt. Vernon. There will be a reception event held at the Trumpeter Public House located at 416 Myrtle Street in Mt. Vernon from 5:30pm-7pm, this will include a pre-concert fundraiser and book signing.

Fees and Admission for the main event are:

$30 for general admission,

$17 for students

Fees and Admission for the reception are:

$50 for general admission (includes appetizers and drinks),

$75 for both the main event and reception

For more information about this event call 360-336-8955

Don’t forget to wear green!!

Enhance Curb Appeal- Planning Your Garden

Would you like to add value to your home without spending thousands of dollars?

Having a good landscape will add curb appeal, improve the overall look of the outside of your home and add value to your investment . Right now is the time of year to start working on your home garden to enhance the curb appeal. If you are thinking of selling this year, having a great curb appeal can get you more money for your investment and will help sell your home faster. A garden can help contribute to the overall landscaping and curb appeal of your home increasing the interest of future buyers, impress your neighbors, or make you feel cheerful to see a beautiful landscape as you pull into your driveway.

If you are unsure where to start, here are a few steps to get you headed in the right direction:

1. Planning- Sketch out your existing yard. Include the intended planting areas, decks, trees, slopes, fences, walkways, etc. Make sure you have the actual dimensions to help you make the right choices when picking out trees, shrubs, and flowers. Note bloom times, color, and varieties to ensure an appealing garden year round.

2. Start with trees- Trees create a focal point that will help you layout the rest of your garden. Trees provide shade and colorful foliage in the fall and elegant flowering trees in the spring and summer.

3. Shrubs come next- Large bushes and shrubs create beautiful garden art, help develop pathways, and make for great privacy walls.

4. Incorporating flowering shrubs and grasses- Flowering shrubs and grasses can be used to screen plain garages and help create attractive accents to frame your garden.

5. Finish with perennials, bulbs, and annuals- Perennials offer shape to your garden, bulbs create colorful arrangements in the early spring, and annuals provide as later spring and summer accents.

Size, color, and bloom span are all important aspects when creating a garden, make sure to research which trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials, and annuals will best fit your garden. Keep in mind the mature size of each part of your garden; try not to go by the current size of each plant. Maintenance is the key to help keep your garden beautiful throughout the years to come. Developing a watering routine and removing all dead, broken, diseased, or problem limbs will promote new growth.

Most important of all is to have fun gardening! The outcome of your hard work can make the outside of your home more appealing if you are thinking about selling and why not… impress your neighbors!

If you would like to learn how to add value to your home or if you are thinking about selling, please contact Jean Groesbeck (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Click or call for more information

Eat Fresh and Buy Local at the Anacortes Winter Farmers Market

anacortesfarmersmarket.org

If you are new to Anacortes or  if you miss the Farmers Market and are looking for  something to do in  Anacortes this weekend, the Winter Farmers Market is a great experience for people of all ages.

Yes there is a farmers market in the winter! The Winter Indoor Market  is open every second Saturday of the Month from January through the month of April.

Stop by and check out what our local farmers and artisans have to offer and see what the Anacortes community is all about.

The Anacortes Farmer’s Market offers charitable and educational benefits to our community. What better way to support our community than by building traditions of economical advantage, healthy living, and educational outcomes.

Support local…Experience local!

The Winter Indoor Market is located at The Depot  on 611 R Ave (7th & R Ave). Come support your favorite local vendors . The market will be open this Saturday from 9am-2pm. See you there!

Click here for information and the history of Anacortes

Is Living with a Home Owner’s Association Right for You?

Did you know 70% of residents living in a community with Home Owner’s Association (HOA) are satisfied living with its rules and regulations? ( source IBOPE Zogby International). The same survey showed 81% of association residents consider their association assessment as good or great and 76% say the dues enhance property value.

Many buyers may think it is just another monthly payment and avoid these neighborhoods. Some buyers may view HOAs as restricting because they may control the color that your paint your house or the type of landscape you can have, but in actuality, these regulations often protect the value of your home. In reality, most buyers are missing the big picture of how HOA fees can benefit them.

One of the most attractive benefits to HOA fees are the amenities. Some communities offer  clubhouses, libraries,  gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, parks or other attractive amenities that are paid for through HOA fees. Residents have access to amenities without the hassle of maintenance, the HOA does it for you. Home owner dues can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood and the specifics of what they cover.

The largest HOA in Anacortes is Skyline which is located on the west end of Fidalgo Island. Tug Boat Park, Skyline Beach Club, waterside cabana, tennis courts, and play areas are just some of the amenities of Skyline.

Skyline Marina is not part of the HOA, but is a great benefit as it allows you to launch your boat close by or  have it in the water in your backyard!

Here is an example of a current listed home in Skyline with its own private dock.

2013 Cove Place

Private double sided dock right on your back patio.

Spacious one level custom waterfront home offers a rare 92′+/- DOUBLE SIDED PRIVATE deep water DOCK built 2008. 3 bedrooms plus den. Almost 3100 sf. MLS# 692599

We only mentioned basic benefits of an HOA, each neighborhood has unique coverage included in their fees and their own fee rates. Some communities may offer all of these benefits, while others may offer only a few. It is important when looking to purchase a home with HOA to consider what all is included in the fees. Ask your agent about the community and the fees, make sure the neighborhood is a right fit for you and your family.

If you would like more information about Anacortes Real Estate, Anacortes Homes for Sale or if you are wondering what your Anacortes home is worth, please contact Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

Dreaming of a Waterfront Home?

Sunset in Anacortes, WA

Many of us dream of having the perfect home by the water either by a lake, river or ocean. Luckily, Skagit County has everything to offer; beautiful beach front, waterfront with private docks, lakefront, and even riverfront properties. Waterfront properties are amazing, but there are many considerations that need to be taken to make sure you get the right property for you. Here are some questions you need to answer before considering making a real estate offer for a waterfront home in Skagit County.

  1. How do you want to use your property?

Start by thinking which activities you enjoy most. This will determine which waterfront property you will want to look at. You will want to choose a home that allows you to enjoy all your favorite activities. Whether it is boating, fishing, crabbing or kayaking that you enjoy, the focus on the right property is crucial.

  1. Location?

Today, it is easy to look at a home online and even fall in love with it. But, as with any other real estate purchase, location is the most important consideration to make. It is very important that you visit the area and the neighborhood to make sure it is the right fit for you. As much as you love the home, the neighborhood plays an important role in your decision. After all, you want to make sure you are comfortable in your new home.

  1. Are they all the same?

Not all waterfronts are the same. The first thing to consider is the description of the type of waterfront. The 2 most common are beach front and waterfront. Beach front is a property with easy access to a beach. Waterfront is access to a water source like river, lake or ocean. Each can be a great choice depending on your needs and activities.

Here are some examples of different waterfront homes:

18005 Bow Lake Ln, Bow, WA

For sale: $2,900,000

18005 Bow Lake Ln

Create a lifetime of memories on your secluded 76± acre gated campus which includes: a private lake designed for competitive water-skiing/wakeboarding.

2420 Puget Wy, Anacortes, WA

For sale: $1,995,000

2420 Puget Way

Feel like you are boating from your living room! Surrounded by water on three sides, this home is situated to capture stunning views of ferries, freighters, yachts & stunning sunsets

2013 Cove Place, Anacortes, WA

For sale: $1,700,000

2013 Cove Place

Spacious one level custom waterfront home offers a rare 92′+/- DOUBLE SIDED PRIVATE deep water DOCK

818 Shoshone Dr, La Conner, WA

For sale: $450,000

818 Shoshone Dr

Enjoy a boat parade everyday! Situated on Swinomish Channel, this well maintained one level home is designed for easy living & entertaining.

With all these considerations in place, we recommend having a real estate agent that specializes in waterfront properties. Your agent can help you better understand the different waterfront descriptions and can guide you in the right direction when looking for the perfect waterfront home for you!

For more information on waterfront homes or if you are wondering how much your waterfront home is worth, please call or email Jean Groesbeck – (360) 941-3734, Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com