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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Must Be Installed

As a reminder, all residential properties are required to be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms. 

RCW 19.27.530 requires the seller of any owner-occupied single-family residence to equip the residence with carbon monoxide alarms. Washington State Department of Health's website lists additional information about carbon monoxide.

Monday, August 10, 2015

This Is Me

It's the tireless work they do behind the scenes on behalf of buyers and sellers that makes them unique. It's a RE/MAX agent.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pent-up demand boosting Western Washington home sales and prices

Prices for last month’s completed sales rose 6.4 percent area-wide from a year ago, with considerable variation across the 23 counties served by the multiple listing service. The median price system-wide for last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $319,250.

Among counties in the central Puget Sound region, Kitsap County registered the largest year-over-year increase at 9.2 percent, and King County registered the smallest gain at 3.3 percent. The median sales prices in the four-county area ranged from a low of $245,000 in Pierce County to a high of $439,000 in King County.

July’s single family home prices (excluding condominiums) rose 4.1 percent compared to a year ago, but dipped slightly from the previous month. The area-wide price on last month’s closed sales was $327,950, up from the year-ago figure of $315,000, but down from June’s figure of $330,000. Year-over-year prices were up in 22 of the 23 counties in the report, while seven counties reported small drops from June.

The challenge with a sellers’ market is that some sellers tend to spend too much time reading the headlines, which pressures them to overprice their homes. Noting cash transactions tend to draw news coverage, they are still in the minority when compared to conventional, FHA or VA financing. At the end of the day you still need to attract a ready and willing buyer who is offering a price that an appraiser will confirm.

We also noted prices are escalating at a faster pace in Kitsap County than in King County. MLS figures indicate the median price in Kitsap County has surged 22.4 percent since January, which compares to a 12.6 percent jump in King County.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 23,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in Washington state.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sellers’ Preparation Checklist

To save time and avoid delays in the transaction process, sellers should identify and provide clear access to all electric panels, attics, and crawl space access points. Here is a list that may be helpful for you in preparing your client for an inspection.

Many of these items can be done at little or no cost and are part of a regular maintenance program for any home. When a home seller is aware of the things they can do to prepare their home for an inspection, it’s certain to help make it a smooth experience for all involved.

House Exterior

  • Remove soil or mulch from contact with siding. Six or more inches of clearance is best.
  • Clean out dirty gutters and any debris from the roof.
  • Check to make sure all water from downspouts, sump pump, condensation and basement entry drains is diverted away from the house.
  • Trim trees, roots, and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding and chimney.
  • Paint weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, chimney, windows and doors.
  • Repair any failing mortar in brick or block.
  • Remove wood and/or firewood from any contact with the house.
  • Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.

Basement, Crawl Spaces and Attics

  • Check to ensure that the crawl space is dry and install a proper vapor barrier if necessary.
  • Remove paints, solvents, gas, wood and similar materials from crawl space, basement, attic and porch.
  • Update attic ventilation if none is present.
  • If windows are at or below grade, install window wells and covers.

Doors and Windows

  • Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked windowpanes.

House Interior

  • Clean or replace heating and cooling filters, clean dirty air returns and plenum.
  • Test all smoke detectors to ensure that they are working.
  • Have the chimney, fireplace or wood stove serviced and provide the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  • Have clear access to attic, crawl space, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
  • If the house is vacant, make sure all utilities are turned on. This includes water, electricity, furnace, A/C and the water heater.
  • Ensure ready access to all rooms and crawl spaces. Clear all furniture, boxes, clothes, toys and other personal items that may block access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

  • Ensure that all plumbing fixtures such as the toilet, tub, shower, and sinks are in proper working condition. Fix any leaks and caulk around fixtures if necessary.
  • Ensure GFCI receptacles are functional.
  • Check bath vents to see if they are properly vented and in working condition.
  • Clear out areas under sinks so they can be inspected.
Sellers’ Inspection Preparation Checklist provided by WIN Home Inspection.