Don’t Wait Until Spring to List Your Home

Don’t wait until spring to sell your home. Now is a perfect time to list your home on the market. Here are 5 great reasons not to delay!

#1 – Less Competition
Numerous home sellers think that spring may be the best time to put your home on the market for sale due to buyer demand traditionally increasing during the warmer months. If every seller is thinking the same thing, then the spring months potentially bring more competition for your home sale. A great reason to list your home now is there is less competition, thus giving your home more exposure.

#2 – Serious Buyers
During these colder months only buyers who are serious about purchasing a home are searching for one. This combined with less inventory could potentially help your home sell faster and for the best price.

#3 – Lower Interest Rates
There are still fabulously low interest rates available right now. Rates are expected to go up in 2019 making now an excellent time to sell your home as buyers can take advantage of the lower rates now. Also, VA loan limits have increased in Skagit County, making larger zero down loans available to buyers, in turn helping you sell your home quicker.

#4 – Job Relocations
homes in winter
Most companies tend to relocate employees during the first quarter of the year, meaning possibly more potential serious buyers for your home. Some companies offer moving credits as well, helping home buyers get into their new home quicker so they can get back to work. Talk to your broker about how to market to such companies.

#5 – Utilize a Broker
Of course, the absolute best tip for selling your home during the winter, or anytime, is to use the services of a dedicated real estate broker. If you are contemplating whether or not to buy or sell and want to inquire about the market conditions in our area please don’t hesitate to contact Jean Groesbeck and Associates LLC at info@jeangroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734. Let us show you how 5-star real estate services can help you sell your home!

Home Selling Tips for Fall

Home Maintenance Checklist

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  • Clean up any fallen leaves.
  • Inspect your central heating system.
  • Touch up any exterior paint that is peeling or cracked.
  • Clear gutters of any debris and ensure the roof is in good condition.


Curb Appeal Tips

  • Paint your front door an eye-catching color. If you’re feeling festive, try for a pumpkin orange to coordinate with the fall season. More crucially, you should select a color that’s either contrasting or complementary to your home’s exterior paint.
  • Plant mums around the front of your home and step into brilliant shades of burgundy, orange, and yellow.


Showing Tips

  • Adding some festive décor can make an immense contribution to the appeal of your home. Why not throw a flannel blanket over the sofa? Or leave out an unlit pumpkin spice candle for that fall vibe during showings.
  • Turn on the fireplace to give potential buyers an inviting and comforting feeling. Ask your agent to oversee turning it off and on. If that’s not possible you can have a clean mantle featuring fall foliage décor.
  • Be sure that your marketing materials emulate the season. Displaying summer photos of a listing during fall will tend to make prospective buyers assume that your house has been listed on the market for months.


HDC_Fall_Infographic_3159_1-3Tips for Any Season

  • The number one thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to deep clean top to bottom and declutter room by room.
  • Price your home accurately by utilizing a comparative market analysis that is based on current market conditions.
  • Market your home with professional real estate photography, a captivating listing description, and presentation amongst real estate websites.

 

If you can follow these basic tips, you will have a “sold” sign in your yard before you know it! Are you ready to sell your home but not sure where to start? Click here and fill out this form to contact us for more information.

Exterior Staging for Fall

Most sellers think the best time to put your home on the market is in the spring. That is most likely true in a market where buyers’ moves center around the timing of the school year, but that is not typically the primary driving force in our market. In the spring there is more inventory on the market and more competition.

If you want to sell your home this fall, or next fall here are things to do in addition to the regular exterior staging we recommend. If you would like a list of our staging checklist, please call us at 360-899-5027 or click here to email us.

1. Wash the outside of your house. Clean windows are an obvious must, but before you wash your windows, clean the gutters and wash your house. The weeks of heavy forest fire smoke and pollen has left a film on your house and you will be amazed at the difference of a clean exterior.

Cutter2. Exterior lighting can make a dramatic difference, and with the shorter days there is more opportunity to make your home stand out. You will need to make sure you have house numbers and a driveway that are well lit. If you don’t have good lighting, you have plenty of time to get them in by next year. If your home is on the market now, you may want to consider solar lights.

3. Color in the yard is easy in the fall. Chrysanthemums add huge blasts of color economically. If you are selling next fall, purchase them now and you can enjoy them this year and next year they will be larger. If you’re selling next fall, mark you calendar to plant fall bulbs in the spring.

4. Does your home need paint? There is still time to paint this year. The dry summer naturally prepared homes and fences to absorb paint or stain. If you plan to paint next year, book your painter now before they are booked.

5. Is your roof at the end of life? Don’t risk a leak, replace it now. The market value of 30-year roof that is 3 months old vs. 9 months old is virtually the same.

The best time to sell your home depends on supply and demand of the type of home you own. The best time to sell might surprise you. Contact us now so we can work together to develop the best strategy and plan of action.

Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

3 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Didn’t FSBO!

FSBO SignEver since the DIY fad took off, amateurs everywhere have attempted almost anything all on their own. It isn’t shocking that a few homeowners are wondering, “Do I really need a real estate agent to help sell my home when I can try to sell it myself?”

Sadly, you will see many DIY fails on projects that are way less complex than selling a home. While it may seem amusing when a soufflé falls you won’t be much laughter when FSBO errors cost you thousands of dollars and months of time.

Selling your home is your real estate agent’s job! Attempting to sell your home by yourself is difficult when you’ve got your own job.

Are you equipped to answer all phone calls and questions from buyers? Can you always arrange showings and keep your home pristine? Are you knowledgeable enough to evaluate offers, make counter offers, and negotiate all on your own behalf? Can you do all the above while keeping up with the demands of your regular work day?

The must do list of an FSBO seller is demanding and endless. Fortunately, a real estate agent’s regular work day consists of taking care of that list for you. While you’re tied up with work and prepping to move, your agent is busy working to coordinate with buyer’s agents and negotiating the best offer for your home.

Knowledgeable real estate agents devote countless hours to marketing, networking, and actively selling their listings. A frequent misunderstanding is thinking that a real estate agent just puts up a for sale sign and everything is done. FSBO sellers don’t understand that you’ve got to get prepare the home, market it, and much more.

Successful real estate agents will financially invest in marketing your home and will make sure that your home shows marvelously. They do this by paying for various things such as professional photography and quality staging. The amount of time and work it requires to sell a home FSBO is exactly why not many even try.

Now, let’s get down to the basics as to why utilizing a real estate agent is the logical choice.

#1 – A real estate agent is essential for prepping your house for sale.

RE AgentYou might take a glance at your home and feel that it’s in outstanding condition, but homes that are sold as-is will receive as-is offers, despite how excellent their condition is.

Real estate agents know that making modest investments in home improvements can increase the value of your home by 35%. Regrettably, some FSBO sellers will invest funds on upgrades that will not increase the home’s value enough to cover the money they have spent on those upgrades.

Just like each home is unique, so is each real estate market. Even if all the research you have accomplished is telling you that certain upgrades are guaranteed to increase your home’s value, that may not be true for your area.

A knowledgeable, experienced, and local real estate agent that has plenty of active listings will know what improvements or upgrades are going to be worth your investment to help your home sell.

#2 – A real estate agent will help you set the right listing price.

Listing PriceExperienced real estate agents know that listing a home at the right price is one of their most important tasks. If the price is set too high buyers will not come look at the home, which obviously means they won’t make any offers. If you lower the price too soon or too often, buyers and their agents will assume there may be something wrong with the home and only submit lowball offers, or no offers at all.

Regrettably, some FSBO sellers still believe that they will know how to price their home without assistance. Some sellers feel that they know the value of their home, but most often an FSBO home is priced incorrectly and as a result they get an even lower offer when it finally does sell.

Your real estate agent will examine numerous details to find your correct listing price, for example: regional and local market trends, nearby comps, days on market, upgrades, plus seller concessions (closing costs, home warranties, credits for repairs, etc.).

#3 – A real estate agent is your go-between.

FSBO sellers frequently feel hopeful enough to make improvements and listing price decisions without a real estate agent’s support. They often mistakenly think that pricing and prepping are the roughest part. Then they may pay a listing service to put their home on the MLS, believing that’s all they need to do to get their home sold.

ContractBut there are numerous more things that need to occur. Without a real estate agent, you won’t have anyone to advise you through the process. When you list your home with a real estate agent, they will be your go-between through the entire home sale process.

Your real estate agent will negotiate the sale and renegotiate after the inspection and appraisal occur. They will be working to find concessions that won’t cut into your bottom line.

Having a real estate agent to be your go-between isn’t just essential during the closing process, but you will need that buffer as soon as your home is listed. If you don’t have a real estate agent, then you won’t have anyone to arrange showings or even put a lockbox on your home. Rather, you will have to be present at every showing and you’ll won’t have any way to evaluate those buyers.

Are you as an FSBO seller willing to just open your home and let anyone who calls you walk through? That is one of the many reasons why you need a real estate agent. They provide privacy, protection, and facilitation of the transaction for a stress-free closing.

Buyer’s agents realize that FSBO sellers are emotionally involved in the selling process. When a FSBO seller plays hardball during the negotiation process, they may be labeled as a difficult seller who is not willing to be flexible and thus end up walking away from the deal.

When you list with a real estate agent, you will have them as a buffer between you and the buyer and you can prevent any emotional negotiation disagreements.

Are you still wanting to DIY with being a FSBO seller? Now at least you are aware the risks. But the bottom line is if you desire a uneventful sale that will bring you the best profit then you definitely need to hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent.

Fall Gardening Tips

Siberian Squill

Fall garden planning is key to a fabulous garden come the spring season. this is the perfect the time to clean up beds, manage soils and plant spring-blooming bulbs. Here are some tips for prepping your garden during the fall:

Water all your plants thoroughly, in particular, your trees. Their roots need an abundance of precipitation to endure the approaching months.

Shop for Bulbs
Browse catalogs or frequent garden shops early for the perfect assortment.

BONUS TIP: If deer, rabbits, or other wildlife are a nuisance to your garden, you can choose pest-resistant bulbs like Siberian squill, fritillaria, and daffodils.

Clear Debris Away from Roses
Decaying rose foliage provides disease a haven over winter and can cause complications in your garden next year.

Plant Evergreens and Shrubs
Prompt planting in fall provides young plants ample time to establish their roots by winter.

Amend Your Soil
Prepare the ground so it is primed for next year’s beds and fall bulbs by tilling the soil and adding compost.

Plant Fall Annuals
Flower Bulbs
Increase color in your garden by planting fall annuals, for example pansies, mums, and ornamental kale.

Lower Your Lawn Mower Height
Grass grows slower in fall, but it will still need to be trimmed to make ready for winter. A shorter cut assists the soil in drying out more briskly in spring.

Feed the Birds
Keep in mind your feathered friends; their food supply becomes meager in fall.

Cut Back and Separate Perennials
At the same time that you’re digging them up to separate them, rearrange plants that haven’t been doing well in their existing location.

BONUS TIP: Delay separating chrysanthemums, asters, and other fall-blooming perennials. It’s better to separate them in spring.

Forced BulbsDig Up Summer Bulbs
Do you love how your esteemed summer bulbs bloomed this year? Put them aside for a repeat next year! Dig up and store cannas, callas, dahlias, caladiums, and other delicate bulbs in peat moss or sand. Put them in a cool, frost-free spot for the winter.

BONUS TIP: If you reside in a region where your bulbs are hardy, you can go ahead and leave them alone. Digging up and storing summer bulbs is only crucial if they can’t handle the winter cold that your region encounters.

Rake and Mulch
If left neglected, fallen leaves may smother your yard. Shred them and utilize them as mulch.

Get Bulbs in the Ground
Now is the time to plant your best-loved bulbs.

BONUS TIP: You can pull off procrastinating on planting bulbs until the soil freezes hard enough that you can’t get a shovel into it.

Force Bulbs for Winter Color
Get a head start on spring by planting bulbs indoors in January or February. Bulbs such as hyacinth and narcissus will do exceptionally well if you plant them in fall and keep them cool until you’re set to delight in the colored blooms.

Feed Your Yard
Don’t allow your grass to start winter without the essential nutrients it needs to combat the winter weather.

Bring Sensitive Container Plants Inside
Remove any deceased foliage and break apart any hard soil before transporting your treasured tropical plants inside for the winter.

BONUS TIP: Be on the lookout for pests. Before escorting plants indoors, spray them to keep harmful insects out of your home.

Garden HoseEmpty Hoses, Fountains, and Drip-Irrigation Systems
Confirm that all standing water is drained from your watering apparatuses and store these items in a dry place.

Clean Up the Vegetable Garden
Pull any weeds
and remove any debris so pests are discouraged from making your vegetable garden their winter home.

Dig Up Annuals
Exhausted and deceased, your summer annuals can now cultivate and nourish your compost pile.

Protect Cold-Sensitive Plants
Roses, perennials, and shrubs that might capitulate to cold weather should be sheltered with mulch or another cladding.

Contact us for more tips on how to optimize your garden and enhance your home’s curb appeal for the real estate market! If you are looking to buy in Anacortes or elsewhere in Skagit County, we can guide you to finding a great home in this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest.

Tips For Living in a Staged Home

Female hands holding small black chalkboard in front of the body closeup with words Home Staging. On gray background with copy space

Your home is on the market, pristine and expertly staged to get it sold. Now what? How do you still live in your home and keep it in perfect condition – especially for the unexpected showing?

Here are some simple tricks to keeping your home spotless:

KEEP IT CLEAN

 

Kitchen:

  • Remove all of your kitchen appliances from the counters. Do not use them; keep clean and hidden.
  • Have one set of cups, plates and utensils for each family member neatly stored in a cabinet. Use only these dishes and hand wash after every use. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or out in a dish rack. Eat, drink, wash, dry and put away.
  • Use recycled paper plates and cups to limit dishwashing.
  • Keep only the essentials in the refrigerator and pantry (potential buyers are known to look inside). Unused pantry items can be donated to your local food bank.

 

Bathrooms:

  • No personal care products (soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, etc.) should be left out. Give each family member a bathroom tote to hold their daily-used products, to be put away into a closed cabinet after each use.
  • Keep antibacterial wipes under the sink for quick and easy cleanup after each sink and shower use.
  • Use stick-on toilet cleaners inside the bowls to keep toilets clean and smelling fresh.
  • Only guest towels should be displayed in the bathrooms. Each family member should have his or her own set of towels, to be washed regularly and kept out of sight.

 

Bedrooms:

  • Keep all nightstands and dresser tops clear of personal items. Purchase plastic containers with lids that can easily slide under beds to store reading glasses, books, journals, medications, tissue boxes, etc.
  • Be sure to make the beds each morning; that way there is one less thing to do when a showing is scheduled.
  • Keep all clothing items neatly put away and laundry baskets hidden in closets.
  • Wash, dry, fold and put away laundry on a daily basis if necessary.

 

Living Room:

  • To maintain a tidy living room, keep daily-used items (remote controls, DVDs, video games, children’s toys, etc.) hidden away in closed drawers, cabinets or storage ottomans.
  • Do not let newspapers, magazines or mail stack up; file away or recycle immediately. Perhaps keep the latest newspaper in your car; it may come in handy when showings are scheduled and you need to head out to a coffee shop or other fun destination.

 

Eating & Entertainment

  • By now you may be thinking, “How does my family eat?” It is best to go out to eat during this time. Even take-out is a no-no; the goal is to keep your home smelling like fresh flowers, not fried chicken.
  • To stay on a budget, visit websites like Groupon or Restaurants.com for deals and coupons. Also, look into daily/weekly meal deals at your local restaurants, like $2 Taco Tuesdays or where kids can “eat free.”
  • Get your whole family involved and make a list of activities to do on the days your house is scheduled to be shown. Ideas include bowling, going to the beach, zoo, museums, amusement parks, or even visiting relatives.

 

Pets

  • Perhaps a family member, friend or neighbor can take care of your beloved four-legged family members, or designate 1-2 rooms for your pets to live in. This will keep the fur cleanup to a minimum.

 

With any questions or additional moving resources, please contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC daily! We are available to assist with all of your real estate needs and can be reached at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  Our office is located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St. and are proud to serve Anacortes, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Whatcom counties and beyond.

The Benefits of Staging Your Home to Sell

Kevin McManus Photography & Design, High Dynamic Range Photography, HDR Photography, Real Estate - Architectural Photography

As real estate brokers with home staging certifications, Old Town Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC sees the firsthand effect a well-staged home can have on the mind of a home buyer. If you are thinking about selling your home, we offer complimentary home staging services that might just make you fall in love with your home all over again!

Home Sellers Are Biased – Staging one’s own home is like asking them to be objective about their children. Unless you have truly hated your home since you bought it, it will be difficult for you to let go of your own decorating style and the emotions that have been cultivated since living there.

You Will Learn! – Have you ever looked at a home magazine or watched the DIY Network only to fantasize about being able to decorate the way they do? Now you can learn! Stagers work with you to properly display items in your home to bring out the best features possible. It might give you the chance to learn how you want to decorate your next space!

First Impressions Must Be the Best – Buyers will only get one first impression of your home – make it the best! You get a good feeling when you walk into a home that has been properly staged.  It isn’t fake, it isn’t dirty, and it allows potential buyers to develop their own sense of comfort and connection to the home.

Look Better than Other Homes – When a home isn’t properly staged, buyers are only driven further from your listing and closer to your competition. Keep your buyers connected with your property!

Appears Move-In Ready – Proper, neutral home décor allows buyers to visualize living there. They will imagine their own possessions in each room, and how their family will fit into the space. It will also lessen the impact of any maintenance issues that may arise during inspection, as they are already pleased with the home’s overall aesthetics.

Looks Well-Maintained – Again, issues have the potential to arise in almost any inspection, and a home that appears to be well-maintained from the outside will help the buyer feel more comfortable with any “internal” work that may need to be done, rather than focusing on changing things like countertops or radical paint jobs.

Looks Better in Photos – These days, homes are typically first viewed on the internet. Well-done staging allows for better quality photos and allows a potential buyer to fall in love with the home before viewing it in person.

It’s Free! – Jean Grosbeck & Assoc. LLC offers free staging services from a certified professional to all who sign with us. Our staging professional is experienced in making a home comfortable for anyone who views it.

For more helpful staging tips or information on selling your home, reach out to Team Groesbeck today and be sure to check out our page that explains the staging process.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home to Be Listed for Sale

Checklist With Green Checkmark Icon

Will your home soon be listed for sale?  Here are some tips to consider to make your home look its best!

Repaint the Trim
Fresh baseboards, crown molding and trim around doorways and windows make a big impact. Focus on the interior of the home first and if you are able, do the same for the exterior. Adding a new layer of paint to the trim can bring instant life back into your home, making the space feel fresher and cleaner.

Hire a Professional House Cleaner
A professional can undertake a thorough top-to-bottom scrub down, which includes cleaning the grout, polishing the faucets, wiping down the ceiling fan blades, and dislodging every crumb out of that irritating gap between your stove and counter top and beyond. A clean house makes a difference in the eyes of a buyer and can lead to the “wow” factor that may help put your home sale over the top.

Steam Clean the Carpets
When was the last time you had the carpets in your home professionally steamed-cleaned? This type of cleaning can lift the smallest stains and imperfections out of your carpets. Your carpets will look as new as possible, at a substantially cheaper price than the cost of a replacement.

Clear the Clutter
Clutter overwhelms a space, distracting from your home’s more beautiful elements. Many people won’t notice the high ceilings or large windows if their attention is refocused on a pile of old magazines, heaps of unopened mail, and random wires, cables, tools, board games and DVDs scattered about everywhere. Clutter also makes a space feel smaller. Your walk-in closet might be amply sized, but if it’s overstuffed with old clothes, jackets, boxes, suitcases and bags, your prospective buyers will think the closet space is insufficient. It doesn’t matter that the closet is actually bigger than the buyer’s first apartment; all they’ll see is the mess. You don’t want to showcase an empty closet – this looks uninviting – but you don’t want one that’s bursting at the seams, either.

Stage the Home
Professional investors often hire ‘staging companies’ to fill a home with furniture in order to showcase its potential.  If you’re still living in your current home, you’re already one step ahead of the game: your space is already furnished. Now you just need to up the ante by a notch, so that your home looks magazine-worthy.
Do you know that Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC offers its clients staging services? We know the impact a staged home has on a potential buyer and we believe in staging your home to sell!

Based in Anacortes, Team Groesbeck can be reached daily for all of your real estate needs at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGreoesbeck.com.

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When is the Right Time to Sell Your Home?

timeisnow

Have you been interested in selling your home, but still wonder when the best time will be?

Here are a few reasons why NOW is the time to list your home for sale in Anacortes:

– SUPPLY AND DEMAND –

Inventory in Anacortes is low, but the demand remains high! Because of this, it is currently a sellers market. Homes listed for sale that are priced correctly are selling very quickly!

– FEWER CASH BUYERS – 

In the past few years, all-cash and investment buyers have maintained the real estate market. With fewer all-cash buyers, the price growth in the housing market will make for more stable and sustainable growth.

– INCREASE IN INTEREST RATES –

It is predicted that mortgage rates are going to rise in the near future; this will encourage buyers to make their move in purchasing sooner rather than later.

– RISING COST OF RENT –

As the price of rent increases, tenants become potential buyers and want to invest rent money towards owning a home.

Before you decide if now the right time to sell your home is, contact Team Groesbeck to discuss your options. Our team of honest and experience brokers will guide you every step of the way, beginning with a no obligation comparative market analysis (CMA) of your property, in addition to a complimentary staging consultation for our clients.

To schedule an appointment with us or for more information, we are available daily at (360) 941-3734 or by email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com. As the #1 seller of pre-owned properties in Skagit County, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. are market experts and can assist with all of your real estate needs, providing you 5 Star Real Estate Services since 2002!

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.