What’s Happening in Skagit County this Weekend?

childsplayThe Lincon Theatre presents Childsplay. A local musical evening event highlighting over two dozen musicians from the United States and Europe. For over 20 years Childsplay has been performing different styles of fiddle music, both traditional and contemporary.

This event will be held on November 17th at 8pm, located at 712 S. 1st Street in Mount Vernon prices range from $25 to $40 each.

Searching for a new home isn’t child’s play. Need help? Contact us for all of your real estate needs!

Skagit Wine and Beer FestDo you enjoy a glass of wine in the evening? Like a nice cold beer on a hot day? Then, you should check out the Skagit Wine and Beer Festival on November 17th from 4 to 6pm at 4800 Eaglemont Drive in Mount Vernon.

During this evening you will enjoy local microbrews, spirits, and wines from Washington state, including Skagit Valley local wineries. There will also be appetizers and chocolates made locally in the Skagit Valley.

Looking to relocate to the Skagit Valley so you can enjoy the local wares all year long? Click here to view homes for sale in Skagit Valley.

MovemberWanting to show off that Movemeber moustache and beard that you’ve been growing but unsure where to go? Here is a local Anacortes event just for you! Go show off that ‘stache on November 17th from 6:30 to 10pm at Bastion Brewing in Anacortes located at 12529 Christianson Road.

Join the local Anacortes Firefighters as they raise money for the Movember Foundation and the Washington State Firefighter Cancer Network. Local music performances by Whiskey Fever and Snohomish County Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

This event is both free and kid friendly. Take the whole family down to hang out with local Anacortes Firefighters while being entertained by local Anacortes musicians. Want to be local to Anacortes too? Click here to see Anacortes home prices in our new real estate market.

Holiday Farmers MarketIt’s almost time for the Anacortes Farmers Market’s largest and most outstanding event of the year! Join the Holiday at the Port on November 17th and 18th from 10am to 4pm at the Port Transit Shed in Anacortes located at 100 Commercial Avenue.

Two full days of shopping, food, and music…all indoors! Visit your preferred vendors to grab some produce and sweets for your Thanksgiving celebration, also enjoy holiday gift shopping. Don’t forget to sign up to win some great door prizes. Reminder: Please leave your pets at home for this event, pets will not be allowed in the building.

Looking for a new home to spend the holiday season in? Click here to see homes for sale in Skagit Valley.

chorus lineThe local Skagit Valley College Music and Drama departments presents: A Chorus Line. This local Mount Vernon performance tells the story of the ups and downs of a group of actors auditioning and hoping to make it into a performance in the Big Apple.

This performance will be held on November 16th and November 17th at 7:30pm; November 18th at 2pm at the McIntyre Performing Arts and Conference Center 2501 E. College Way in Mount Vernon.

Are you ready to enjoy local Mount Vernon music and drama performances all year long? Wondering what the Mount Vernon real estate market is like? Click here!

concertThe local Anacortes Arts Foundation Early Music Concert Series presents an evening of chamber music on November 16th from 7-9pm at the local Anacortes Croation Cultural Center located at 801 5th Street in Anacortes. Tickets are $25 each for this event, children and students are free.

This evening concert features Reginald Mobley, an internationally known countertenor, along with some local Pacific Northwest musicians. This concert will consist of Handel cantatas and Scarlatti sonatas.

Do you love the art and music that Anacortes has to offer? Looking to find your dream home in Anacortes? Click here to search local Anacortes properties for sale.

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.

The Jean Groesbeck & Associates Team at Coldwell Banker Bain has been named one of America’s …

trends 2

The Jean Groesbeck & Associates Team at Coldwell Banker Bain has been named one of America’s most productive Real Estate Teams as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents

 

The Jean Groesbeck & Associates Team at Coldwell Banker Bain has been named one of America’s most productive sales associates as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Zillow Group. The list ranks the most productive agents by state and metropolitan area based on closed transaction sides and closed volume.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates is now a member of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents,” and ranked number 20 for the state of Washington.

“We are honored to be named on this ranking of the country’s top residential real estate brokers.” said Ms. Groesbeck, Managing Broker for Jean Groesbeck & Associates. “It represents the time and effort that we put into each client that we serve, and years of dedication to customer service, education, and professional achievements.  We are very grateful to our clients for our success.”

REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents ranks more than 12,000 residential real estate professionals solely based on their excellence in real estate sales during calendar year 2015. All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party in order to ensure accuracy and report integrity. This group of real estate sales agents represents less than 1 percent of all real estate practitioners in the United States.

The real estate professionals are ranked in four categories:
Individual agent — Sales volume
Individual agent — Transaction sides (in each real estate transaction there are two sides that can be represented by a real estate agent: the buy side and the selling side)
Agent team — Sales volume
Agent team — Transaction sides

To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2015. For real estate agent teams, the minimum is 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume.

“With today’s release of the 2016 America’s Best Real Estate Agents list, an elite group of real estate agents across the country are receiving well-deserved recognition. These sales associates are far above average and have built enormously successful small businesses in an extremely competitive field,” said Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends.  “To say that Jean Groesbeck & Associates is an exceptional real estate team is an understatement. To attain this level of sales is truly outstanding.”

“Less than 1 percent of the agents and teams in America account for 5 percent of all sales,” said Murray. “It is amazing to think about how hard they have worked and how focused they are on their clients. They have to be in order to be listed on this report.  We are pleased to congratulate this year’s members of Americas Best Real Estate Agents.”

Click on www.AmericasBestRE.com to see the 2016 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents list. The 2016 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents list is sponsored by Zillow Group, which houses a portfolio of the largest real estate and home-related brands on the Web and mobile.

 

METHODOLOGY

REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents honors America’s finest real estate agents and their companies and is compiled and analyzed by REAL Trends.The rankings are compiled based on surveys from virtually every national branded network, many state and local associations of Realtors®, multiple listing services, all applicants from past years’ rankings, and the 1,600 largest brokerage firms in the United States. Verification from an independent source is required for all submissions. In addition, REAL Trends senior staff reviews every submission for completeness and accuracy.

 

ABOUT REAL Trends

REAL Trends is a privately-held publishing, consulting and communications company specializing in the residential brokerage and housing industries.  REAL Trends provides a wide range of advisory services to a clientele of local, regional, national and international real estate organizations.  REAL Trends’ areas of expertise include operational analysis, valuations, merger and acquisition advisory services, technology consulting, consumer and business research and strategic planning.  Visit REAL Trends at www.realtrends.com.

 

Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, LLC. These marks are used with permission.

Information on those receiving this recognition can be found online athttp://www.americasbestre.com.

 

 

Understanding Real Estate CMA’s

real estate cma's

In Real Estate terms, CMA stands for comparative market analysis; in other words, the report provided by a realtor when they conduct an in-depth analysis of a home’s worth in your market. If you are considering selling your home in Anacortes, we can conduct an in-depth comparative market analysis and help you make the most of the information. Use our checklist below to make sure that you have an adequate understanding of real estate CMA’s.

cmas

Before committing to anything, be sure you are working with a real estate agent you can trust. Our goal as your agent is to make the Anacortes home buying or selling process stress free and smooth. After all, we work for you! If you would like a complimentary market analysis of your home in Anacortes, please call, text or email us today! We will provide you with an up to date market value of your home in Anacortes.

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Staging a Home For Sale

staging
As real estate brokers with home staging certifications, we see firsthand the 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!
• We offer 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 us today and be sure to check out our page that explains the staging process.

Moving with Pets

moving with pets

 

We love our pets, but unfortunately relocating causes many furry friends to be separated from their families each year. Fortunately, there are simple steps we can take to ensure all members of our family can move with us!

• As soon as you determine when you will be moving, be sure your pets are fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and current cell phone number. You can also have your pet micro-chipped.
• Are you renting or buying in your new area? If you are renting, be sure to double check possible pet restrictions on any apartments or rental homes at which you are looking.

• Does your move require you to put your pet on a plane? If so, be sure to look into airline pet requirements. Copies of health certificates may be necessary, and you may be required to check in extra early for your flight. Also double check the requirements for the pet carrier to make sure yours meets the airline’s specifications.

• Have you traveled with your pets previously? Do you know if they are sensitive to motion sickness? If so, having them on a road for a long period of time or putting them on a plane may make them anxious and ill. Mild pet sedatives are available for travelling animals that will not knock them out, but will calm them down and make the trip easier on everyone.

• If your pet is on medication or has any sort of medical history, be sure to contact their vet a few months prior to the move. Tell them you will need your pet’s medical history records and see if they are familiar with the area to which you are moving. If they are, they may be able to refer you to a veterinarian close to your new home.

• If your pets are due for shots, get them caught up before you leave! It may take a while to find a vet in your new area so it will be best to make sure your pets are 100% healthy before you move them.

• Check on pet registration requirements in your new county or city limits and make sure you have available all paperwork that may be needed to get them registered.

• Last but not least, make sure your pets are comfortable for the journey! They will be just as anxious as you, and doing your best to help them feel comfortable will help their transition to go even smoother.

New to the Skagit County or Anacortes area? Check out out post Are You Smarter Than Your Dog? for great animal training information, and help your pet make new friends!

Hosting the Perfect Open House

Open House

Not only is an open house designed to market your home in a way that differs from a simple listing, but it also opens the door for competitive offers as more than one buyer could potentially fall in love with your home on the same day. Our Top 5 Steps to Hosting the Perfect Open House will help you make your guests fall in love with your home.
1. Make Your Home Shine
A successful open house begins with cleanliness, so make sure your home is ready to be shown. This means all clutter should be removed and the home should be staged to allow guests to envision themselves living in a beautifully decorated home.

2. Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s
Your next step is making sure the price is right and you have all of the answers to potential questions. If the day is successful, you may be fielding offers within hours, so be knowledgeable about your property and ready to make a deal.

3. Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal
Buyers want to see attractive and inviting landscaping. This first impression will make them eager to see what’s inside the home. The street (with the necessary permission, of course) and front yard should feature an Open House sign so potential buyers can easily find you.

4. Feed Your Guests
It is customary for every open house to have complimentary coffee or other refreshments such as cookies. Make them available in the front entry way or on the kitchen table or counter to set a comforting tone for guests.

5. Reading Material is Golden
Business cards and information sheets should be available for each potential buyer that tours your home. Take a few minutes to design your own flyer and/or business card and print them in color to catch the eye of interested parties as they arrive. Your real estate broker will provide this to you.

Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Your Big Move

cleaning tips and tricks

To clean your home is to free it from dirt, pollutants, and other elements. Not only that, but cleaning can also translate into organization and proper storage of your possessions and eliminate clutter! Either way, cleaning is an important task and although not always fun, can be simplified with a few easy tips and tricks that will make things easier when you decide to move.

Roll With It
When storing clothes, roll them rather than folding them. This not only prevents fold lines, but also results in your clothing taking up less space. You can maximize your storage space and still keep your clothes free of creases.

Stain Removal
If you want to remove stains from counter tops, appliances, flooring or other surfaces, consider using baking soda or a vinegar/water combination. Either of these is less harsh than typical cleaning products and still provides a quick fix for most of your stain removal needs. You may also consider anti-bacterial liquid soap and water.

Categorize and Organize
Before starting to clean, create categories for your clutter. By separating your items by intent such as keep, donate, and discard, you will be able to move through your cleanup quickly and efficiently.

Getting Rid of Dust
When you clean, you are likely to stir up a little dust here and there. Regardless of how much or how often you clean, dust is a part of life and it is bound to find its way into a few corners. If you want to reduce the presence of dust in your home, try using a portable air cleaner in the room where you are cleaning.

Cut it Out
Instead of simply tossing out your old bills or credit card offers, shred them with a cross-cut or confetti-cut paper shredder. This will prevent any unscrupulous crook from sifting through your garbage and discovering personal financial information. If you don’t own a paper shredder and don’t have the extra money for it in your budget, simply use a pair of scissors to cut anything with your name, address, social security number, or banking information.

This is the perfect time to sell your home in Skagit County call us today for a free estimate of your home’s worth!

Outdoors in Anacortes, WA

Outdoors in Anacortes

Fidalgo Island is a Pacific Northwest treasure possessing many outdoor opportunities that need to be experienced. Because of this, we’ve turned to Experience Anacortes to bring you the best trails and places to visit while spending time outdoors in Anacortes.

Cap Sante Park
Primarily a vista point, this 37 acre forested promontory affords an excellent view of the the marina, the City of Anacortes, March Point, Fidalgo Bay, Mt Baker and the Cascades.
Directions here.

Cranberry Lake Area
This site, found near the city center, is heavily forested and contains Cranberry Lake (approximately 27 acres) and several other small lakes and bogs. The site varies in terrain from flat to steep slopes. An extensive trail system is found in this area.
Directions here.

Heart Lake Area
(off Campbell Lake Road, onto Heart Lake Road)
Formerly a state park, Heart Lake was transferred to the City in 2002, and incorporated into the Anacortes Community Forestlands. The trails here welcome hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers, so be sure to share the trail and keep your eyes open (there are some specifically for hikers only).
Directions here.

Deception Pass State Park
A 4,134 acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three different lakes. Breathtaking views, old growth forests, and abundant wildlife can be seen all over the park.Click here to read the WTA’s hiking guide for Deception Pass State Park, and click here for the Rosario Headlands &Lighthouse Point hiking guide. Kukutali Preserve, also part of Deception Pass State Park, is jointly owned and managed by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, and Washington State Parks. Open for day use only.
Directions here.

Washington Park
This site is located at the very west end of the city on Rosario Strait and contains a wide variety of facilities. The site is divided into two basic parts: a day use area consisting of a boat launch, picnic shelters, restrooms, children’s play equipment and open play area. Overnight camping area consisting of 68 campsites for RVs and tents, with restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Only about 41 of the 200 acres are developed but a 2.3 mile paved road runs through the entire park for use by cars, joggers, bicyclists and walkers.
Directions here.

Mount Erie Park
Mt. Erie is a 160 acre Park. At the top of Mt. Erie, elevation 1,270 ft, choose from four viewing areas and be rewarded with spectacular views in every direction. Mt. Erie is, the highest point of Fidalgo Island and is part of the former Anacortes watershed. There is a small parking area and a road to the top of Mt. Erie. Trails from this area lead into a portion of the 1400 plus acres of the Anacortes Forest Lands.
Directions here.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Washington

carbon monoxide detectors

What is Carbon Monoxide?
• Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill an individual within minutes of contact. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to unsafe levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.

What Are Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
• Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, confusion and nausea. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can include symptoms similar to illnesses such as the flu.
As these may be difficult symptoms to diagnose, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
o Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
o Everyone in the home experiences similar symptoms at the same time.

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak in Your Home?
• If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, gather your family outside in the fresh air and immediately call 911.
During power outages, never use charcoal or gas grills indoors or in enclosed spaces. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace, as charcoal does not produce a draft strong enough to push the carbon monoxide outside.
Never use a generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement, or near an opening into your home while outside. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from buildings in the hope that airflow will direct carbon monoxide flows away from the home.
Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home and do not sleep in a room using an unvented gas or kerosene heater.

Washington State Law
Washington State law requires carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in new residences. As of January 1, 2013, carbon monoxide alarms are required in existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels, and single-family residences (with few exceptions). Owner-occupied single-family residences, legally occupied before July 26th, 2009, are not required to have carbon monoxide alarms until they are sold.