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.

 

Home of the Week! 4122 San Juan Blvd Anacortes, WA

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This custom-built, 4,446 square-foot home is located at 4133 San Juan Blvd in Anacortes, WA and offers some of the best views one can find on Fidalgo Island. Not only does it bast great entertaining opportunities with the large living and dining areas, it also includes a beautifully landscaped patio in the back and a small indoor pool that can be enjoyed for leisure or exercise.

The home offers a vast entryway that opens directly to a welcoming open-concept layout that features the living and dining room, as well as the kitchen. The office just off the front door houses beautiful wood built-ins and high windows to the front yard.971873_10_Yxr1qGp2

The kitchen features a gas range, ample storage space, double ovens, and even more beautiful views. You will certainly not tire of spending time in this dream kitchen!

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With three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, each space offers views one would fight for. The spacious master suite is complete with private balcony doors, fireplace, and immaculate double-vanity bathroom. You will not want to miss the chance to pamper yourself in this spa-like suite and take advantage of the immense walk-in closet!

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The lower-level of the home houses the second and third bedrooms, additional family room, and kitchenette- if you are looking for the perfect home in Anacortes to entertain family and friends, we’ve found it! To visit this property, call, text, or email us any time to schedule a private showing. 971873_17_Wk9J7itg

You may also click here for further details of this San Juan Blvd home, and view the full photo gallery. No registration required!

Home Safety

safety

 

Safety and security are part of the comforts of home, however there are many things that can easily become hazardous without our even realizing. Fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe:

 

  • Throughout your home, check that handrails and banisters are in good repair and that they will not give way to children or elderly individuals that may live in or visit your home. Look at areas both indoors and outdoors that may need handrails or other support installed and evaluate whether or not they would be beneficial to your family.
  • Replace burned-out bulbs throughout your home, especially in areas such as stairways that may be difficult to get to or overlooked. Unknown to many, burned-out bulbs can be a fire hazard as dust will build on the bulbs and they are likely to spark when a switch gets turned off and on regularly.
  • Replace faulty wiring immediately upon discovering it.
  • Install smoke alarms and check batteries twice each year.
  • Secure your home with quality door and window locks.
  • Trim shrubs and trees close to the house so you can easily see into your yard from windows.
  • Avoid an unoccupied look when you go away for extended periods of time by leaving a light or radio on. This can even be done with an automatic timing device.
  • Pause deliveries of mail and newspapers by phoning your local post office and newspaper carrier.
  • Have a trusted neighbor or friend keep an eye on your home. In some areas, you can ask your local police station about “vacation house checks” so the police will keep an eye on your home while you are away.

We are never too busy to assist you with your real estate needs! If you are looking for more ways to keep your home safe, give us a call! We would be happy to provide you with any information you need, or at least point you in the right direction!

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.

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!

Real Estate Terms Defined

Real Estate Terms Defined

Both buying and selling a home can be intimidating experiences, especially if your Realtor® begins using terms with which you are not familiar, before really explaining them. Our goal as your Realtor® is to make the home buying or selling process as smooth as possible, beginning with defining a few terms for you!

Adjustable Rate Mortgage
• An adjustable rate mortgage is one that has a fluctuating interest rate; they typically have a lower initial interest rate for a set time, then adjust according to an index.

Certificate of Title
• This proves that the property is legally owned by the seller, and that no other party has any claims over it.

CMA
• CMA’s (Comparative Market Analysis) are done by agents when you are looking to sell your home. They will put together a report to determine a fair asking price based on the current market and how other homes are doing in your area.

Comps
• The term “comps” refers to properties that are comparable in size to your property. This takes into account the home’s size, close amenities, and location, in addition to other factors.

Deed
• The deed is a legal document proving transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Disclosures
• Disclosures are details about the home that a seller must provide to a buyer. For example; if the basement often floods in heavy storms or if there is lead in the home, the seller would need to disclose this information.

Due Diligence
• Due diligence refers to the buyers’ responsibility to research and verify details about the transaction. For example, it is the buyer’s responsibility to coordinate an inspection, and confirm that the information coming from the seller’s attorney and broker are legitimate.

Escrow
• Escrow is the time period when purchase funds are released from one party to another, and the transfer of the home is completed. The escrow company is a neutral third party who executes the transaction utilizing the purchase agreement and other documents.

Firm Commitment
• A firm commitment is a promise from a lender that they will enter into an agreement with another entity (typically a buyer) within a certain period of time.

Fixture
• Fixtures are items of value that are permanently attached or a part of a property. This can include lighting, carpeting, or landscaping; these items have the potential to cause disputes between the buyer and seller and are sometimes used as leverage for negotiations.

HOA Docs
• Some homes fall under the jurisdiction of a Homeowner’s Association. In this case documents outlining the association’s regulations will be provided either by the association, or through your Realtor.

Pre Qualification
• Borrowers (home buyers) must go through a process wherein the lender confirms that the borrower qualifies for a loan, based on their credit history and current financial standing. This is done using only the information the buyer provides the lender. The amount for which one is pre-qualified is to be considered an estimate, and not set in stone. This information does, however, show your Realtor and the seller of the home in which you are interested that you are serious about the home buying process.

Pre Approval
• Getting pre approved is the next step, and is more involved than the pre qualification process. The buyer will complete an official mortgage application with their chosen lender, and supply the lender with necessary documentation so an extensive check can be done on their financial background and current credit rating. You will be given an exact amount for which you are approved and completing both the pre-qualification and pre-approval process will allow you to know how much you can actually afford.

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!

Anacortes, WA Day Trips and Activities

Anacortes Day Trips

 

Anacortes, WA is home to many summer events. Surrounding the city, however, are several beautiful day trip destinations- many of which are perfect for the whole family!

Anacortes Kayak Tours
“The San Juan Islands and surrounding areas boast some of the most abundant wildlife viewing and scenic vistas in Washington State”. Sea kayaking is a unique way to truly experience the San Juan Islands. Tour lengths can be five hours, three hours, and one and a half hours- there really are options for almost every age!
For more info click here.

Whale Watching
If you prefer to view your surroundings from a vessel a bit larger than a kayak, hop on one of the whale watching tour. They typically last half of the day, giving everyone the opportunity to take in the San Juan Islands and learn about the history of the Puget Sound.

Old Town Anacortes
Summer is the perfect time to truly get to know Anacortes; visit the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning, then take the opportunity to walk through the Old Town district and browse the shops on Commercial Avenue. There is no shortage of boutiques, antique shops, book stores, and coffee shops to browse. You can even take a short walk to the marina and enjoy watching the boats coming in and going out.

Deception Pass State Park
If you’ve only driven across the bridge and haven’t actually gone into the park, you need to! Pack a lunch from the Farmer’s Market and go exploring around the park. There is a swimming and picnic area for the family, and miles of hiking and biking trails. You can even take advantage of clamming and crabbing during certain times of the year.
For information and directions click here.

Museums
Did you know that Anacortes is home to two unique museums? If you are looking for ways to teach the kids about local history (or become more familiar with it yourself), check out the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center & W.T. Preston museum. Learn about Anacortes’ history of fishing, exploration, and overall establishment.
For more information click here.

Ferries
When was the last time you took a ferry for fun? If you are new to the area or have been cooped up all winter, take advantage of the summer months to explore one of the many surrounding islands. Guemes Island, Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, or Shaw Island are all home to beautiful scenery, delicious food, and endless outdoor activities. You can even take a ferry up to Vancouver Island- just be sure to bring passports!

Day Hikes
Spend time outside on one of the beautiful trails just minutes from town! Take a look at our Outdoors in Anacortes post to find the perfect activity for you.

Home of the Week! 717 Fidalgo Avenue

 

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Built in the 1930’s on a ½ acres lot, this newly renovated Anacortes farmhouse is one of few left inside city limits. This property is located at 717 Fidalgo Avenue in Anacortes, WA and not only features this charmingly updated home, but a shade-providing patio with pergola, detached 1080+/- square foot insulated and heated outbuilding, covered RV parking, and ample off-street parking.

717 Fidalgo-16Entering the home you will find a welcoming open-concept living area, with original fir hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, and spacious dining room. This is the perfect area for entertaining and the spacious floor plan leaves room for the entire family.

The newly updated eat-in kitchen which leads to the mudroom at the back of the house boasts quartz counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and incredible storage capacity. You really can’t go wrong with these neutral, inviting colors in such an open space! Even better, it leads to the mudroom at the back of the house which opens to a patio that is perfect for relaxing during Anacortes summers.717 Fidalgo-12

With three bedrooms in addition to one flex room, you will not be short on sleeping space! Feel free to have friends and family stay with ample sleeping room, or utilize the extra space as office or storage room.

If you are looking for a home that is comfortable and perfect for entertaining in Anacortes, WA look no further! You will absolutely fall in love with the charm and character exuded from this home. To visit this property call, text, or email us to schedule a private showing.

Click here 717 Fidalgo-30to see the full description of 717 Fidalgo Avenue in Anacortes, WA and view the full photo gallery. No registration required!

 

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.