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.

 

When a Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. Broker Gets an Offer on Your Home

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Getting you the best price is critical, but there are other components of an offer that are important to consider before accepting an offer, including:

  • Is the offer subject to financing?  If so, what is the length of time and is the buyer prequalified?  What percentage are they going to put down?  What is the source of the down payment?  Are they asking you to pay any of their closing costs?  What kind of loan is it?  Is it a local lender, an out of the area lender, or an online lender?  It makes a difference!
  • Is the offer subject to the buyers obtaining insurance on the home?  If so, in what time frame?
  • Is the offer subject to inspection?  If so what do they intend to have inspected and in what time frame?  Do they want the septic inspection prior to or after the inspection contingency?
  • What is the closing date?  Does that work for you?
  • How much is the earnest money?  What is the remedy if the buyer defaults? When can it be disbursed?
  • Is the possession date the same as the closing date?  Do you know why it is not always in your best interested to have a possession date later than a closing date?
  • Are they asking for any personal property to be included?  Appliances?
  • Every offer and every transaction is as unique as each seller, so we will review every detail to make sure it is the BEST offer.  Then we will monitor every detail to make sure the transaction goes smoothly for you!

 

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.

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.

What You Should Know About Home Appraisals

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Both the appraisal and inspection processes can be intimidating from both buyer and seller perspectives. Both take a very nit-picky look at your home, and both can affect the final negotiated price. Take a look at a few appraisal-related questions that we’ve answered for you:

How do inspections and appraisals differ?
Inspectors come to a property to gauge any concerns that may cause issues after the deal is done, while appraisers come specifically to assess the value of a property.

Why are appraisals necessary?
Lenders will not loan funds when a home has not been appraised; they want as much information as possible so they can loan the appropriate amount. For example, the lender does not want to “over-loan” on a property in the event that it is foreclosed and they are left with a home they cannot sell for the loan amount.

Who pays for the appraisal; the seller or the buyer?
Typically, the seller pays for the appraisal during closing the closing process.

How does the appraiser determine the property value?
Appraisals take into account key features of the home, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and overall condition. Another huge factor is information about other comparable properties close to yours; property values surrounding you can have great impact on your home’s appraised price.

Is there anything the homeowner can do to improve the appraisal?
Save a copy of your seller’s disclosure form when initially so you can make note of any changes or improvements you’ve made to the home. Once the appraisal appointment has been made, speak to your Realtor about the possibility of him/her being present during the appraisal so they can point out any unseen and possibly value-increasing features.

What is the Seller’s Disclosure Form?

The seller’s disclosure form is one that must be completed by everyone selling a home; it is a document that will ask you 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. Really, 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, so as to avoid any delays or issues with closing.

Remember, the seller’s disclosure form is a legally binding document that is required of all home sellers. There isn’t, however, any 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!

Call us today for more information on what to take into consideration when buying or selling your home!

Budget-Friendly Home Upgrades

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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!

How to Choose the Right Realtor (to Sell Your Home)

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Choosing the right Realtor in the home-buying or selling process is a decision that should be approached carefully. You are looking for a partner- someone who will guide you through a process that has the potential to be very stressful. Here’s how you can find the right agent for you, and enjoy (almost) every step of the way!

The first step in any real estate transaction is to look through your community and narrow down your options for agents. Make a list of five or so agents who appear to have the qualities for which you are looking, and reach out to each of them.

Next, test their communication skills. Whether you send an email or phone and leave a message, the agent should respond back within one business day. One of the top priorities of a real estate agent is responding to outside inquiries, as that is typically how business is initiated. If they take too long (without reason) to reply, it could be indicative of how attentive they might be to matters regarding your home. Determine which type of communication they prefer as well, so you know where to look for their correspondence and how to best reach them.

Third, ask about their experience with similar homes in your area. It’s always good to give a new agent new business. If they are boasting years of local experience, however, they should be able to give you an excellent outline of how they have done historically with homes in your area that are similar to your own. You can even ask them to point out a property they have sold that compares to yours, and request a comparison between it and your own. If you have seen their signs in front of other homes for sale, ask how they compare to your own and how they are doing on the current market.

Fourth, figure out their marketing plan. For your home to sell, it needs to reach as many eyes as possible. This includes both the eyes of buyers, and the eyes of other agents. Ask questions such as; how will you market my home? Do you utilize social media? Do you utilize traditional (offline) marketing? And if you’re comfortable: how much do you spend on marketing?

Ultimately, whichever agent you choose should be willing and able to answer all questions you can think of. Open and honest lines of communication will make all parties feel more comfortable with the relationship.

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.

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!

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