Selling Your Home? Be Informed of the Seller’s Disclosure!

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The seller’s disclosure form is an important form that must be completed by everyone selling a home.  The form is comprised of various questions about your home that you may not have considered since you purchased the property yourself.

As it is one of the documents that the buyer will most closely look at, all questions need to be answered to the best of your knowledge. If they are not, it may delay the closing process and prompt even further questions from the buyer.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to put your mind at ease while completing this very detailed, legally-binding document!

  • Research your home. If you have recently moved into your home then you likely have much of the necessary information accessible, as it was made available to you when you purchased the home. If it has been a decade or so, you may have to do some digging through old paperwork to find information such as the make, model, and age of various components of your home (HVAC system, water heater, etc.). Buyers will want to note this information to see what kind of money, if any, will need to be spent upon moving in.
  • Be as accurate as possible. You hopefully had an inspection done when you moved into the home, which should be able to give you information on the roof, plumbing, electrical, etc. While doing your research, try to be as accurate as possible rather than guessing when something may have been installed or replaced.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Answer all questions to the best of your ability. If there is information to which you do not have access or a question is not applicable to your property, note that in the seller’s disclosure form. You do not want to appear ill-informed about your home and want to offer up as much information to the buyer as possible.

Remember, the seller’s disclosure form is a legally binding document that is required of all home sellers; however there is no reason to be intimidated by it! Just make sure you are aware of what has been done in your home and which things potential buyers may take issue with. This will help both the home selling and buying process go smoother than you can imagine!

Contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC daily for more information on what to take into consideration when buying or selling your home at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

The Benefits of Staging Your Home to Sell

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As real estate brokers with home staging certifications, Old Town Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC sees the firsthand effect a well-staged home can have on the mind of a home buyer. If you are thinking about selling your home, we offer complimentary home staging services that might just make you fall in love with your home all over again!

Home Sellers Are Biased – Staging one’s own home is like asking them to be objective about their children. Unless you have truly hated your home since you bought it, it will be difficult for you to let go of your own decorating style and the emotions that have been cultivated since living there.

You Will Learn! – Have you ever looked at a home magazine or watched the DIY Network only to fantasize about being able to decorate the way they do? Now you can learn! Stagers work with you to properly display items in your home to bring out the best features possible. It might give you the chance to learn how you want to decorate your next space!

First Impressions Must Be the Best – Buyers will only get one first impression of your home – make it the best! You get a good feeling when you walk into a home that has been properly staged.  It isn’t fake, it isn’t dirty, and it allows potential buyers to develop their own sense of comfort and connection to the home.

Look Better than Other Homes – When a home isn’t properly staged, buyers are only driven further from your listing and closer to your competition. Keep your buyers connected with your property!

Appears Move-In Ready – Proper, neutral home dĂ©cor allows buyers to visualize living there. They will imagine their own possessions in each room, and how their family will fit into the space. It will also lessen the impact of any maintenance issues that may arise during inspection, as they are already pleased with the home’s overall aesthetics.

Looks Well-Maintained – Again, issues have the potential to arise in almost any inspection, and a home that appears to be well-maintained from the outside will help the buyer feel more comfortable with any “internal” work that may need to be done, rather than focusing on changing things like countertops or radical paint jobs.

Looks Better in Photos – These days, homes are typically first viewed on the internet. Well-done staging allows for better quality photos and allows a potential buyer to fall in love with the home before viewing it in person.

It’s Free! – Jean Grosbeck & Assoc. LLC offers free staging services from a certified professional to all who sign with us. Our staging professional is experienced in making a home comfortable for anyone who views it.

For more helpful staging tips or information on selling your home, reach out to Team Groesbeck today and be sure to check out our page that explains the staging process.

How to Cancel your Mortgage Insurance

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

Nearly 4 out of 10 people don’t know that you can buy a home with less than 15% down. When you do, you will be paying mortgage insurance – an insurance policy that protects the lender in case you don’t make your payments and default on your home loan.When-can-I-Cancel-my-Mortgage-Insurance

Many people believe mortgage insurance is a waste of money and want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Actually, I can show you the math where mortgage insurance is a very inexpensive alternative to the cost of waiting, but that’s another post.

If you have mortgage insurance on your home mortgage and want to get it removed, we have to first start by identifying the type of mortgage that you have.

Click here to view this blog in its entirety.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home to Be Listed for Sale

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Will your home soon be listed for sale?  Here are some tips to consider to make your home look its best!

Repaint the Trim
Fresh baseboards, crown molding and trim around doorways and windows make a big impact. Focus on the interior of the home first and if you are able, do the same for the exterior. Adding a new layer of paint to the trim can bring instant life back into your home, making the space feel fresher and cleaner.

Hire a Professional House Cleaner
A professional can undertake a thorough top-to-bottom scrub down, which includes cleaning the grout, polishing the faucets, wiping down the ceiling fan blades, and dislodging every crumb out of that irritating gap between your stove and counter top and beyond. A clean house makes a difference in the eyes of a buyer and can lead to the “wow” factor that may help put your home sale over the top.

Steam Clean the Carpets
When was the last time you had the carpets in your home professionally steamed-cleaned? This type of cleaning can lift the smallest stains and imperfections out of your carpets. Your carpets will look as new as possible, at a substantially cheaper price than the cost of a replacement.

Clear the Clutter
Clutter overwhelms a space, distracting from your home’s more beautiful elements. Many people won’t notice the high ceilings or large windows if their attention is refocused on a pile of old magazines, heaps of unopened mail, and random wires, cables, tools, board games and DVDs scattered about everywhere. Clutter also makes a space feel smaller. Your walk-in closet might be amply sized, but if it’s overstuffed with old clothes, jackets, boxes, suitcases and bags, your prospective buyers will think the closet space is insufficient. It doesn’t matter that the closet is actually bigger than the buyer’s first apartment; all they’ll see is the mess. You don’t want to showcase an empty closet – this looks uninviting – but you don’t want one that’s bursting at the seams, either.

Stage the Home
Professional investors often hire ‘staging companies’ to fill a home with furniture in order to showcase its potential.  If you’re still living in your current home, you’re already one step ahead of the game: your space is already furnished. Now you just need to up the ante by a notch, so that your home looks magazine-worthy.
Do you know that Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC offers its clients staging services? We know the impact a staged home has on a potential buyer and we believe in staging your home to sell!

Based in Anacortes, Team Groesbeck can be reached daily for all of your real estate needs at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGreoesbeck.com.

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For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Tips for Traveling Safely with Pets

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Taking a trip with your pet this summer? Here are some things to consider to make sure everyone is ready!

1 – The most important animal-travel tip is to never leave your pet alone in a parked car. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), when the outside temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior of a parked car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes and 120 degrees within half an hour. And that’s even if you leave the windows cracked an inch or two. ASPCA also warns that the dangers are not limited to the warmer months: “In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing an animal to freeze to death.” Be your pet’s advocate and always remember their safety.

2 – Consult your veterinarian before embarking on a trip, especially if your pet hasn’t traveled before or if you have any health concerns. Before a long trip, take some shorter drives around town with your pet to see how they respond. Take longer and longer ones as you get nearer to your departure date. If your pet gets really anxious, consult your veterinarian to see what they suggest may to help.

3 – If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet’s vaccination record, especially rabies. Some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings and they are required if you travel into Canada!  Check in with your veterinarian to make sure your vaccinations and records are up to date.

4 – Always take breaks! Make sure to check that your pup is welcome everywhere you plan on stopping. Check in with bringfido.com while visiting new areas to find restaurants, parks, and fun activities that are dog friendly.

5 – Book pet-friendly hotels! GoPetFriendly.com is also great site to check for tons of information on traveling with pets.

6 – Always prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Bring food, water, bowls, a leash, plenty of potty bags, grooming supplies, any prescribed medications a pet-friendly first-aid kit, and any travel documents. Don’t forget your dog’s flea, tick and heart worm preventatives. If you need medication or supplies on the road, your veterinarian has an online store to shop from that can ship anywhere in the US!

7 – Put your leash somewhere accessible and put your dog’s leash on before you open the car door. Also make sure your pet wears a collar and tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information. Some states also require that your dog wears a tag with his state dog license information.

8 – If you are camping or doing lots of outdoor activities like hiking, make sure to do nightly tick checks, and it doesn’t hurt to give your pup extra pets and treats while you’re at it!

Should I Paint Before I Sell?

For some, even thinking of painting their home can become overwhelming. Many question the idea of painting before selling their home, is it worth the effort and money? The answer is YES! Adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior and interior will add value to your home, and will help you receive the best price for your home.

The first thing a potential buyer will see when walking up to your home is the exterior, it is vital to make sure your home is ready for those buyers and first impressions matter! Taking the time to paint the exterior of your home will make buyers feel that there is less work for them to take on before the purchase.

It is important to give your home the best look before you take the step in selling your home. Painting the interior of your home brings new life to your home and makes the potential buyers feel the home is move-in ready. If you have rooms that are painted to a specific style that might not catch the eye of potential buyers it is best to choose a paint color that is neutral or appealing to a wide range of buyers. The goal of selling a home is to attract as many buyers as possible and a fresh coat of paint will help impress those potential buyers.

Painting your home before selling is great for cleaning up the marks and dings that occur throughout the time of living in your home. New buyers will want to see fresh clean lines and want to envision themselves living in the home before putting in an offer.

For more tips on how to add value to your home before selling CLICK HERE! There are many different ideas that will help make sure your home is sold for the best price possible!

Are you ready to sell your home in Anacortes or Skagit County? Even if you are thinking about selling soon, we can help!

Call Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3437 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com for more information on selling your home for the best return on your investment.

 

Expediting the Sale of Your Home

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It is our goal to sell your home in the shortest amount of time; however there are some things that the seller will need to do to help make this process successful.  Our team of dedicated and full-time brokers is the number one sellers of pre-owned properties in Skagit County and we know what appeals to buyers!

Things we recommend to each seller:

  • Staging makes a home more appealing.  It does not need to be expensive, but may involve a little work.  If you want to get the highest price for your home, we recommend professionally staging the home.  Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC can provide guidance on economical ways to stage your home and we offer free staging consultations.
  • Call your insurance company to let them know your house is on the market.
  • Complete Form 17, the Seller’s Disclosure Form, and return it to our office as soon as possible.  Make sure that you answer each question to the best of your knowledge.  Marking most answers “I Don’t Know” is a red flag for potential buyers.
  • For your own safety, do not let anyone into your home for a “look around” who is not with a verifiable real estate agent.
  • Real estate agents must access your home by using the lock box.  This will allow us to have a record of who gained access to your home. Even if you let them in, have them “log in” to the lock box.
  • The buyer(s) may have requested a home inspection as part of the contract. They will schedule this on their own, however they will let us know the date and time. You should not be home when the inspection takes place, as the buyer(s) will feel more comfortable talking candidly with their inspector and agent.

For all of your real estate needs in and around Anacortes, please contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or (360) 941-3734.

Buying Out of State?

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So you are thinking about relocating and need to find an out-of-state real estate broker to help you find your dream home… but where do you start?

The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is one of the main reasons people choose to move to Skagit County. Having the right real estate broker who understands the importance of staying up-to-date with the market and latest real estate trends can make the home buying experience enjoyable and stress free.

If you’re relocating to Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit County, choosing a reliable out-of-state real estate agent can seem a little bit overwhelming. You should always take your time researching the right real estate broker, and that involves interviewing a few before you make your final decision.

So how do you choose the right real estate broker for the job? Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice when searching for the right real estate broker in a market that you’re unfamiliar with.

  • Ask for referrals from family, friends, and even other real estate brokers that you know
  • Check and compare online presence of your potential real estate broker
  • Ask all candidates about their real estate experience and their familiarity with the area
  • Find a real estate broker who will communicate the same way that you do – text, email, fax?
  • Ask all candidates about their availability – full time, part time? 

 

It will be a little time consuming, but the right  real estate broker will help you find the perfect home even if you are miles apart!

If you or someone you know is moving to Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit County, give us a call! (360) 941.3734. Let us show you how our 5 star real estate service can help you find your dream home.

 

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Home Inspections

Home Inspections
Many wonder why such an emphasis is placed on home inspections when they are not mandatory in the home buying or selling process.

The bottom line is: buying a home is already an expensive process- it is best to have a third party check for potential (unseen) problems before you are fully committed, rather than signing without knowing what you could be getting into.

One of the biggest indicators that the home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. This means that it can be used to back out the deal if certain significant defects are revealed by an inspection.

 

While inspectors may vary in thoroughness, there are certain key elements they should look at:

  • Whether or not the problems they find are safety issues, or major/minor defects.
  • Which items require replacement or servicing.
  • Which items should be monitored closely for possible repair/replacement in the future.

 

As a general rule, some of the items an inspector might look at include:

  • Foundation
  • Exterior Walls
  • Pest Problems
  • Roof Damage
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Water Heater
  • Kitchen Appliances (provided any are staying with the home)
  • Laundry Room (proper ventilation)
  • Potential Fire Hazards
  • Bathrooms (proper ventilation, mold issues, water damage, etc.)

 

Potential safety concerns that should absolutely be addressed in the inspection are:

  • Radon
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Mold

 

Inspections may not always identify everything wrong with a property, but they can point you in the right direction if something appears amiss and if anything, you will have the opinion of an “expert” to back you up.

If you have any questions about home inspections (how to schedule, why they are important, etc.) give us a call! We would be happy to walk you through everything you need to know about buying or selling your home.