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Monday, December 30, 2013

To Stage or Not Stage {your home for sale} - That is the Question

Top Ten Reasons You Should Professionally Stage Your Home

  1. You Will Make More MoneyU.S. Housing and Urban Development reports that a staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than an unstaged home.
  2. Your House Will Sell FasterReal Estate Staging Association released survey results proving staging sells homes faster even in a down market.
  3. The Cost of Staging Doesn’t Cost a DimeIn a 2012 HomeGain Survey of over 2000 Realtors, it was discovered that sellers recovered almost 350% of the cost of staging in the sale of their home!
  4. Home Sellers Cannot View Their Home ObjectivelyEmotional attachment precludes viewing your home as your most valuable asset.
  5. Less Guesswork and “Do It Yourself” -A Professional Home Stager can manage your projects from start to finish.  Or they can give you a detailed report based on their extensive knowledge and training to have you DIY.
  6. Only 10% of Home Buyers Can Visualize the Potential of Their Homenot good odds.
  7. The Longer Your Home is on the Market, the Lower Your Selling Price will be.
  8. The Money You Make is Tax Free! Take Advantage of your tax-free capital gain by getting every dollar possible.
  9. Leaving Your House in “AS IS” Condition Will Help to Sell the Competition.
  10. Better Photos Bring in More Buyers - Over 85% of home buyers search online BEFORE visiting the home. Your Professional Stager will transform your rooms, take photos to capture the results and pass them to your Real Estate Agent to use in their marketing campaign.

 Lisa Poundstone of Design Smart Home Staging & Redesign is a local expert:

Friday, December 27, 2013

10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

Congratulations - you're purchasing a home.  An important piece, whether the home is brand new or 50 years old or anywhere in between, is the home inspection.  Here are 10 questions to ask a home inspector before selecting the best inspector to work on your behalf:
  1. What are your qualifications?  Are you a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors or National Association of Home Inspectors?
  2. Do you have a current Washington State Home Inspector License?
  3. How many inspections of properties such as this do you do each year?
  4. Do you have a list of past clients I can contact?
  5. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance?  May I have a copy of the policy?
  6. Do you provide any guarantees of your work?
  7. What specifically will the inspection cover?
  8. What type of report will I receive after the inspection?
  9. How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report?
  10. How much will the inspection cost?
As your trusted professional, here are a few names of home inspectors I work with in Thurston County:

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Most Powerful Letter in the Alphabet: R

The job of a REALTOR® is to facilitate real estate transactions for their clients, but we know this simple definition doesn’t really describe all that a REALTOR® really does. Beyond our daily workings, we may not realize how much REALTORS® do for their community. Real estate is local—it’s personal—and we make a difference every day.

What we need is to make sure that the consumer and the general public know this. The#PowerofR is huge. We are the nation’s largest trade association for a reason. We make things happen. The problem is that most people don’t know how amazing REALTORS® are. Our own members need to tell the 360 story. It’s time to share that the REALTOR® is the voice for all things real estate.

The messages are clear and concise. Now is the time to share your story by using Twitter, Facebook, and/or Flickr. Help us trend a positive message about our influence and impact in our community.

“I protect the American Dream.”

“I am part of the fabric that weaves neighbor to neighbor.”

“I help shape the future of our community.”

“I am an advocate for real property owners.”

“I am an advocate for your community.”

“I help make a house a home.”

“I open the door to home ownership.”

This is the Power of R. Follow and share the movement!


Monday, December 9, 2013

A Lot to Be Thankful For: REALTORS® Help Halt Increased Fees

Washington REALTORS® has got your back. We just helped stop the mandatory imposition of cancellation fees for preliminary title reports. This is yet another example of how we are hard at work behind the scenes to protect you, your business, your clients and our communities, no matter where the threats arise. 

In a pre-emptive effort to protect our industry from increased fees, closing delays and other legal transaction complications, Washington REALTOR® staff and real estate industry attorneys met with representatives of the Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC) in time to help prevent a rule that would force title insurance companies and their agents to charge and collect cancellation fees for preliminary title reports.

For the past several weeks all affected groups within the real estate community united to share their comments and concerns with the Insurance Commissioner's Office. Washington REALTORS® appreciates the OIC's quick response to the collective industry concerns, and acknowledges the true beneficiaries of this decision will be Washington real estate sellers and buyers.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tree Farm Tips

Thurston County Christmas Tree Tips

My family has a tradition of selecting a tree with some very good friends of ours just after Thanksgiving.  There’s nothing like going directly to the farm and cutting down your own tree.  We have so much fun at the tree farm with our kids and friends.  It’s really become an event with camera’s and warm goodies.  I thought you may enjoy these tips if you haven’t already selected your tree.  You won’t get a tree any fresher and you can pick the perfect tree at one of our local tree farms.

What to Bring:
ü Saws and Equipment – Saws are usually provided, and most will cut the tree for you (usually for a small fee) if you’d rather not cut it yourself.  Most farms also provide wheelbarrows or other tools for transport.  Many will wrap your tree and; tie it on your car for you.  I recommend you bring your own rope or bungee cords with you; they may not have it or run out.
ü     Pack for a day trip – It’s fun to make an event of choosing your Christmas tree by packing some of your favorite snacks, hot chocolate or warm apple cider and hand towels or disposable wipes.
ü     Dress in warm clothes and hiking boots or old athletic shoes.  Bring heavy gloves to protect your hands and a jacket or other garment to protect your arms.  Bring layered clothing, and some extra socks and a blanket.  Dress for the weather.
ü     Remember the camera.  You may want to capture those memories you’re making.
ü     Protect your car – Bring a sheet of plastic or an old blanket to cover the roof of your car and protect the paint and finish.

Where to Go:
ü Barneys Noble Trees, 2012 South Bay Road, Olympia WA 98506
ü Johnson's Smokehouse, 8212 Diagonal Road SE, Olympia WA 98501
ü Sproufskee Trees, 14020 Finian Rd SE, Rainier WA 98576 

What to Get:
ü     Generally, the tree farm should have a variety of trees such as Douglas Fir, White Pine, Blue Spruce and Noble.

How to Pack it Up:
ü    Shaking – The trees have been living outside all year, and may well have become home to spiders.  Get the farmer to evict Charlotte (and her web) by shaking the tree on their mechanical shaker.
ü    Baling – Many farms also have baling (tree wrapping for transporting) or bagging for no fee or a small fee.