Tips for Traveling Safely with Pets

jingle and belle2

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

sell-your-house-fast

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?

moving

 

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.

Budget-Friendly Home Upgrades

Budget-Friendly

Home upgrades can typically bring on feelings of dread and come with big spending. Fortunately, there are numerous budget-friendly home upgrades that can be done through simple changes around the home- some of them only involve cleaning!

While cleaning your entire home should be at the top of your list if you are planning to sell, deep cleaning places you wouldn’t normally think of can make a huge impact on the overall feel of the home.
One or two times each year, be sure to give all of your kitchen cabinets a good scrub, as well as the walls of your kitchen and in rooms in which you spend the majority of your time. It can be surprising how much dust and dirt collects on the walls of our homes.

Speaking of the kitchen, did you know you can face lift your appliances? Many dishwasher panels are white on one side, and black on the other- just remove a few screws and turn things around! Check with your manufacturer to see what options you have, and whether or not they sell replacement panels. While you’re at it, give the insides of your appliances (including your dishwasher) a good scrub.

Brighten up your bathroom easily by checking first to make sure things are functional. Have you checked the caulking around your tub, sink, and baseboards recently? If it is discolored or peeling, redo it! Next, look at small items such as faucets, shower heads, and light fixtures. These are items that can easily (and fairly inexpensively) be replaced, yet will give the whole room a different feeling. This is also a good time to wipe down the front of your vanity to freshen it up without replacing it entirely.

Whether you are showing your home to sell or having a party, flooring is something that everyone looks at when they enter your home. If your carpet is worn and you are not willing or able to replace it, have it professionally cleaned! You can even rent a quality rug cleaner and take care of it yourself. If you don’t have carpet, be sure that you keep the floor swept and cleaned regularly; stepping on a sticky or crummy floor makes the whole room feel icky.

Anacortes, WA is home to many beautiful properties. Let us know if we can help you sell yours so we can give you even more information on cost-effective ways to update your home!

Selling a Home with Pets

selling a home with pets

We love our pets and can’t imagine a world without them, but not everyone shares our sentiments. This can make things tricky when it comes to selling a home that has housed our furry friends. The main reason for the nervousness is because your pets are not their pets; potential home buyers only witness what the pet may or may not have done to the home, and no one wants to take on the task of removing pet smells and fur from their newly purchased home.

Fortunately, there is one way to ease the minds of those who view your home: remove pet evidence.

Yes, this includes your pet. When showings are scheduled, before anything else, make arrangements for your pet to be elsewhere while a potential buyer views your home. Home showings rarely take very long, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to send Fluffy on a walk with your spouse or children. If weather doesn’t permit this, perhaps ask a neighbor if they would be willing to dog or cat sit for an hour or so- even if it means keeping your furry loved one in a kennel in their yard for a while. You can also be held liable if Fluffy decides to get defensive and either bites or scratches someone entering your home.

Remove negatives associated with pets. If you have a cat litter box or doggy potty pad, clean it and remove it from sight completely. Clean and sanitize the area in which it is generally housed, as pet urine really is a huge turn off in every way.
Same goes for feeding areas; remove water and food bowls, as well as any signs of saliva around the bowls.

Floor stains. Get rid of them. Cover them with an area rug, rent a rug cleaner, or replace it altogether. You can even hire a professional who is well- experienced in removing stubborn pet stains. It will keep buyers from forming unfavorable opinions about the rest of the home and will absolutely pay out in the end.

Repair other damage. Unfortunately, bigger pets can cause other damage such as holes in the wall or scratches on the furniture. This is the time to repair those drywall issues and put away that wooden end table with the obvious teeth or claw marks.

Clean your yard. This isn’t just limited to picking up pet waste. Make sure any damage to the fence or sod is repaired and not noticeable to the buyer.

Last but not least; remove pet clutter. You may be in love with the cute basket you picked out to house Fluffy’s toys, however this is just one more sign to potential buyers that pets live there. Put them in a box or in your car so they are out of sight and out of mind.

The most important thing to remember is to not take any pet advice personal; your goal is to sell your home, not to make buyers fall in love with your pets!

Moving or travelling with pets? We can help with that too! Just check our out post on Moving With Pets to put your mind at ease.

Planning Your Garden for Spring

PLANNING YOUR GARDEN

 

Enhancing curb appeal includes enhancing your garden! Time for fresh flower scents, new plants, and working outside. Many bulbs have already begun to bloom, however the good news is that you can buy flowers and plants that have already bloomed and your yard will instantly look great! This is also the time to consider any fall bulbs or crops you want to have around once the summer is over.

Our Favorite Ways to Begin Planning Your Garden

Make a Sketch of Your Yard
You don’t necessarily need accurate measurements to do this (although if you want a to-scale sketch of your yard, feel free!), but it is necessary to visualize where you want everything to go. Drawing it out will help you determine how your yard will look once everything is in place and allow you to better allocate your money.

Plant Trees First
As trees typically take up more space in yards and require a little more work, it is best to get them done first and plant smaller items around them.

Year-Round Plants and Upgrades
Some plants such as shrubs and bushes that don’t “bloom” can provide aesthetic appeal to your yard year-round. If you plan to implement any of these, plant them when you do your trees to again get bigger items out of the way. This is also the time to work on any yard enhancements such as new pathways or retaining walls that will add dimension to the yard as a whole.

Perennials, Bulbs, and Annuals
This is the time to have fun and add color to your yard! Many spring bulbs are available for purchase and already in full-bloom by May first. Determine what feel you want your yard to have and browse a couple of nurseries and garden centers. If you are unsure of how to care for the plants you are looking for, the individuals that work there will likely be happy to share their knowledge.

Having a well-planned garden always attracts the eyes of passersby, especially those eyes that are interested in purchasing your home.

Contact us for more tips on how to enhance your home and garden for the market! If you are looking to buy in Anacortes, WA or anywhere in Skagit County, we can be your guide in finding a great home in a beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest.

Understanding Real Estate CMA’s

real estate cma's

In Real Estate terms, CMA stands for comparative market analysis; in other words, the report provided by a realtor when they conduct an in-depth analysis of a home’s worth in your market. If you are considering selling your home in Anacortes, we can conduct an in-depth comparative market analysis and help you make the most of the information. Use our checklist below to make sure that you have an adequate understanding of real estate CMA’s.

cmas

Before committing to anything, be sure you are working with a real estate agent you can trust. Our goal as your agent is to make the Anacortes home buying or selling process stress free and smooth. After all, we work for you! If you would like a complimentary market analysis of your home in Anacortes, please call, text or email us today! We will provide you with an up to date market value of your home in Anacortes.

 

 

 

 

The Best Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist

You’re almost ready to move into your new home!

Moving day can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Our moving checklist will help you effectively pack up your belongings to make your move as easy as possible. We recommend printing it and keeping it on hand in a central location in the house so you can easily cross things off as you go.

Just click HERE to print out our full moving checklist!

1684876_2778970_m

Moving with pets? Check out the rest of our blog for other great moving tips!