The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill an individual within minutes of contact. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to unsafe levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.

What Are Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, confusion and nausea. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can include symptoms similar to illnesses such as the flu.

As these may be difficult symptoms to diagnose, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

  • Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
  • Everyone in the home experiences similar symptoms at the same time.

 

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak in Your Home?

If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, gather your family outside in the fresh air and immediately call 911.

  • During power outages, never use charcoal or gas grills indoors or in enclosed spaces. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace, as charcoal does not produce a draft strong enough to push the carbon monoxide outside.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement, or near an opening into your home while outside. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from buildings in the hope that airflow will direct carbon monoxide flows away from the home.
  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home and do not sleep in a room using an unvented gas or kerosene heater.

 

Should You Hire a Broker, or For-Sale-By-Owner?

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

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 (FSBO) sellers don’t realize the amount of work, expertise 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.

Statistically, home owners who hire a real estate agent net more money for their home than they do when selling the home themselves.

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

Sellers often forget that selling their own home is time consuming – and as the saying goes, “time is money.” Selling your own home requires long hours of research and marketing efforts, not to mention hiring a professional to write a contract for you to avoid any liability.

Although it is possible, in our experience, sellers who want to save the sales commission rarely do so. Most home buyers use a real estate agent. The few who don’t are bargain hunter buyers seeking FSBO homes, expecting to save money. Buying for less is their main goal and this is typically reflected in low offers.

Opportunistic speculators and investors usually offer less for a FSBO 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 to get the most money.

A real estate agent has experience, expertise and a large network of personal and professional contacts with other agents with the local area and beyond. 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 with your best interest in mind, but is also in a better position than an emotionally involved seller. The result will be 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.

Feel free to contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC. for a complimentary, no obligation, real estate market analysis of your home. We are the #1 seller of pre-owned properties in Skagit County and know the importance of getting you top dollar for your home!

We are available daily at (360) 941-3734 or via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Staging Your Home to Sell

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Before staging and after staging

When you list your home with Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, we provide of our clients with a complimentary staging consultation because we understand the importance of making a great first impression to a buyer.

By decorating and arranging a home’s interior to present an ideal way of life, buyers are assisted in visualizing themselves in your home. Whether you undertake the process of staging your own home or decide to consult a professional, there are a number of different “props” that may be used around the home. For example, to add a vibrant sense of life to the home, many home staging professionals recommend using different types of potted plants and arrangements of flowers and fruit. Throughout the home, they tend to utilize soft, luxurious fabrics such as satin, lamb’s wool and silk to create an atmosphere of comfort. This process can also extend to the exterior of the property, where patio furniture can be added in the backyard and colorful flowers or unique accessories outside the front door.

Many home staging professionals come from interior design or art-related backgrounds. Hence, when working on staging a home for sale, these professionals utilize a number of visual tricks to capture the attention of potential buyers. For instance, furniture is always arranged very carefully to simulate the ideal living space. In living rooms, home staging professionals often use love seats and ottomans in lieu of large couches to create the illusion of added space. Likewise, mirrors are often placed throughout a staged home to make the living area seem larger to potential buyers.

One of the most important steps in home staging is the exchange of your personal decorations with more neutral furnishings. Beyond replacing family pictures with more design-friendly items, a successful home staging will attempt to eliminate any idiosyncratic tastes and represent a living space that has broad appeal. This commonly used tactic simply helps potential buyers view the property not as someone else’s home, but as something they can call their own.

Without any furniture or amenities, even a home for sale in the most attractive area can make potential buyers feel uncomfortable. If you are trying to sell your home and have already moved out, you may want to consider working with your agent to stage the home’s interior. With the assistance of your agent and a home staging professional, you could quickly transform a lifeless house into dream home.

In the end, home staging is about making the most of your home’s potential. If the staging of your home is completed effectively, it is also possible that your home may receive better offers from potential buyers and spend less time on the market. By minimizing the flaws of your home and making the living area seem larger, brighter and more appealing, home staging may be one of the most important steps in selling your home quickly and at the right price.

We look forward to working for you and assisting with all of your real estate needs. Contact us today at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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.

Should you sell your home now?

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Selling your home is a huge decision that often causes extra (and unwanted) stress.  Deciding when to sell your home is not always only about the money, but a lifestyle change.

Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is a team of experienced and professional real estate brokers who know the market in Anacortes, throughout Skagit County, and beyond.  Even if you are interested in seeing what your home is worth or interested in selling in a few months, contact us early to begin the process.  Allowing for ample time to get your home and finances in order will allow for a smoother process later.

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC doesn’t just list homes, we sell them.  We utilize our resources online, social media, throughout the area to promote your property ensuring that we will get you an offer that is best for you – and we will guide the process along the way.

Our team of dedicated and full-time brokers is the number one sellers of pre-owned properties in Skagit County.  Don’t wait; call us today at (360) 941-3734.

We look forward to working for you.

Competing with New Homes in Today’s Market

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If you are selling a home in Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit County, it is important to look at your competition. If your home is in a price range that has new homes listed, it is even more important that your home is move-in ready.

Beyond the updated kitchen and bathrooms, buyers want homes that will not need maintenance within the next five years. Other things to consider are that the roof and gutters need to be cleaned, the furnace serviced, appliances working, fresh paint, stain free and clean carpet, cupboards clean and organized and no mildew on decks and patios.

Even if you do not have new homes in your area, 70 percent of Skagit County buyers want move-in ready homes. They expect the homes on the market to have spotless kitchens, fresh caulking in bathrooms and perfect windows.

Of course we can sell homes that are not in excellent condition, but sellers do not get top-dollar. Some sellers value time more than money so they are willing to have a lower selling price rather than having work done.

For most of us, we want top dollar for any real estate we sell. When you allow Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC to market your home in Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, you will receive professional and complimentary staging services.

If you are thinking of remodeling and want to consider resale value of your home in Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, we are happy to discuss with you. Contact us at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com today!

2017 Kitchen Trends

 
by Eileen Hebert, broker, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Anacortes.

Kitchen design trends are constantly evolving–and these days, with digital media giving homeowners a constant stream of inspiration, it seems like new styles are coming and going at an even faster rate. If you’re planning to refresh your kitchen in 2017, make sure it’s cutting edge be incorporating what are sure to be the biggest kitchen design trends for 2017.

Tuxedo kitchen cabinets: Mix up a kitchen’s color palette with Tuxedo cabinets. Two-tone cabinetry means you don’t have to choose just one finish for your cabinets.  It’s all about the two-toned look, whether you paint the upper cabinetry one shade and the lower set another, or simply finish a kitchen island in a different finish.  You will never go wrong with classic black and white.

Hidden Appliances:  Hidden appliances are those that are made to look as if they are cabinets, with the same design in doors and hardware. The trend will be towards hidden appliances, even small appliances such coffee makers and microwaves, and certainly bigger items like refrigerators and dishwashers.

Nearly every appliance but the stove can be “hidden” and disguised as cabinetry and this creates a clean, uncluttered looking kitchen overall.

Quartz Countertops:  Quartz kitchen countertops, marble and wood are versatile modern kitchen trends for 2017. Concrete, stainless steel and glass add industrial style vibe to modern kitchens and offer the latest trends in contemporary kitchen design. Quarts kitchen countertops look like granite. Solid and practical, easy to clean and very attractive, quartz kitchen countertops are convenient and eco friendly solutions for modern kitchens.

Mixed hardware finishes:  Hardware is like the jewelry for your kitchen design and there are more options out there than ever before. Skip the standard nickel knobs and brass bar pulls from the big box store and opt for something special. Instead of going for a monochromatic stainless steel look, homeowners are choosing accessories with various finishes, such as gold, copper or pewter. Among the details seen on hardware: hammered finishes, leather trim, and even pulls made from slices of agate.

If you’re ready for a kitchen remodel in 2017, keep these trends in mind. Opt for natural materials for both your countertop and backsplash choices, utilizing bold colors wherever possible. You’ll have a kitchen update that’s perfect for your home.

If you would like more information on home trends, contact Eileen Hebert at (360) 770-7090 or email her at Eileen@JeanGroesbeck.com

2017 Real Estate Market Predictions

Our crystal ball was pretty clear last year!  Predictions for 2016 (written December 2015) for the real estate market were:

  • New home sales will increase as a percentage of sales.  ← We were right
  •  Homes priced right will receive multiple offers. ←We were right
  • Sellers will hold off moving until they find the home they want to purchase. ←We were right
  • More regulations will cause longer closing time frames . ←Unfortunately, we were right

2017 is a little more challenging to predict as the impact of the new administration on the housing market is not fully understood.  However, we are willing to make a few predictions for the real estate market.

Feds will raise rates at least .5% by the end of 2017, perhaps more, in at least 2 increases. This will put more pressure on the first time home buyers.  If you plan to purchase using financing, this is time to buy! Contact a home mortgage lender to find out what you need.

The Puget Sound region will continue to outperform the National market. There will be a shift in living trends in the Seattle area – small units or shared housing will grow in popularity.
A second home in a relaxing environment such as Skagit, Island, or San Juan Counties will be increasingly desirable for those that can afford such a luxury.
Overall prices will increase. Those products that have a higher demand will increase at a higher percentage rate.
The value of pre-owned homes will be impacted by new construction in particular product niches.
The market was even stronger than we predicted.  The population of Skagit and Island Counties increased based on job creation and an exodus from Snohomish and King Counties for those looking for a better quality of life.  The military influx of additional squadrons at Whidbey NAS put pressure on entry level and mid range homes in both the Oak Harbor area and Anacortes.  The shortage of housing caused prices to increase at a higher rate than expected for home in those price ranges.

Home trends that are expected to be popular next year include a continued desire for open floor plans, large garages, lots of storage/closet space, neutral colors and energy efficient homes.  What used to be a “smart home” (i.e. the ability to control heating or lighting from your phone) is the norm for newer homes.  First floor master suites, always popular with baby boomers, are becoming more popular with Gen-X buyers.  Formal dining space is not needed, but casual dining space must be large enough for entertaining.

If you would like to receive up to date local real estate market information, please contact us; call, text or email and we will gladly send you monthly information on any city in Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties.

info@jeangroesbeck.com

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com (360) 941-3734

Winter Home Selling Tips

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There is no need to wait until spring to sell your home! Inventory is low and demand remains high in Anacortes and Skagit County.  Even if you are on the fence about selling, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC for a complimentary, no obligation comparative market analysis of your home.  It is not too early to begin the process to ensure things run smoothly later.

Here are some tips to get the most out of selling your home during the winter:

Price competitively – There is often less completion in the winter, but if your home is priced too high people will look elsewhere.  Price appropriately from the start to get the most attention!

Get professional photos – Studies have shown that homes listed using professional photos sell for more money.  Even if your lawn is covered in snow and the leaves have fallen off the trees, high quality photos taken with professional cameras look best.

Keep up with exterior maintenance – Make sure the “for sale” sign is free of debris and visible, snow and leaves are clear from the walkway, driveway, roof and deck or patio spaces.

Let light in – Keep your home inviting by allowing the light in, even when the winter months can be dark and gloomy.  Keeping the heat and lights on (indoors and outdoors) allow for the home to be properly seen at all hours of the day.

Stay tidy – Winter can be tricky to keep a home tidy with the holidays and visitors, but by keeping coats, boots, umbrellas and other items out of view and regular cleaning up kept, your home will always be ready to be shown.

Plan open houses accordingly – Knowing the schedule of the local football team and being aware of local events can ensure that people will be available to attend your open house, free of distraction.

Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC can assist with all of your real estate needs.  Proudly serving Anacortes, Skagit and San Juan counties and beyond, call us today at (360) 941-3734 or email to Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  We look forward to working with you!

5 Signs You Are Ready to Sell Your Home

On the corner of Buyers Rd. and Sellers Ln

If you have considered selling your home but feel that you are not yet ready or that now may not be the time, here is a list of five signs that you are ready to sell!

You have outgrown your home – Your “must haves” when you purchased the home are no longer your current needs. Maybe you need another bedroom, a separate office space, or more privacy from your neighbors.  If your home no longer fits your lifestyle, it is time to move on.

Your commute is wearing on you – Are the roads congested or the distance is just too far to conveniently get to work? If spending less time commuting to work would be better for you and your family, searching for homes in communities that eliminate these issues may be your next step.

Home repairs have begun – If you have made repairs and adjustments to your home such as updating fixtures to revamp the space, or even eliminating clutter and unneeded items, you are likely ready to find a new place to call home.

You know where you would like to live next – You may frequent a neighborhood where you can foresee yourself living next and making plans to store or eliminate belongings.

You have already spoken with a real estate agent – An agent can give you an idea of the value of your home and what it may sell for, in addition to helping you best navigate the home buying and selling process.

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is happy to assist with any questions you may have about the process of home buying and selling.  With listings in Anacortes, La Conner, Skagit County and neighboring islands, contact us today to schedule a showing or to set up a comparative market analysis of your home at (360) 941-3734, Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.