Strategies For Success In This Hot Real Estate Market

As most people are aware, the Puget Sound real estate market is pretty wild right now.

Seattle, Bellevue and King County are experiencing a more challenging market than is Pierce County and the greater Tacoma area, but throughout the region we are seeing prices escalate and a shortage of available homes for sale. There are bidding wars, buyers are waiving the right to conduct home inspections, prices are exceeding appraised values, and many folks feel frustrated or intimidated.

Nevertheless, every day new homes are listed and come on the market, and everyday buyers successfully make offers and get them accepted.  Working with a REALTOR to implement a good strategy will help you whether you are a buyer or a seller.

As a seller, especially of a home in a “hot” price range, it can feel exciting and flattering to get lots of showings and even multiple offers.  Buyers can fear to lose a home to a higher bidder, and sometimes offer more than a home will appraise for.  This can cause a sale to fail, aggravating everyone. Your REALTOR should be able to provide good advice in avoiding the pitfall of accepting a sky-high offer, only to have it collapse due to a low appraisal.

There are options your broker can suggest to a buyers’ broker to make their offer more acceptable. In some cases, a buyer can agree to bring extra down payment funds to make up for a low appraisal. Or an offer which doesn’t require the seller to pay the buyers’ closing costs can keep the purchase price lower, making the appraisal less challenging, and keeping the sellers’ net proceeds higher.

Opinions differ, but some real estate professionals advocate being transparent with buyers’ brokers in a multiple offer situation. Giving your broker permission to disclose some information about other offers, and about your priorities can help guide buyers in making an offer that best meets your needs. Discuss this with your REALTOR and develop a plan.

As a buyer, you need a REALTOR who is advising you immediately of listings which may work for you. Time is of the essence! Strategizing with your broker to ask questions of the listing broker to find out as much as possible about the sellers’ motivation can help make your offer stand out. It’s not always just the price that matters to a seller. For example, they may desire a fast closing, or perhaps a delayed one. Giving them what they want to get what you need is the key to negotiations, and knowledge is power.

Sometimes you can play on the heart strings of a seller. A heartfelt letter explaining why their home is such a great fit for you may tilt the scales in your favor.

With good REALTOR representation, you can do well in this market. Use strategy, and work smart. Good luck!

ED Tropp's PhotoEd Tropp, REALTOR®
253-988-5763 (mobile)
edtropp@cbbain.com

The Art of Decluttering

THE ART OF DECLUTTERING OR HOW TO “LET IT GO”

Awe the retirement years! You are finally free from the things that tie you down and are ready to embrace a new adventure. But, where do you begin? You have lived in your home for many years and are surrounded by the “things” that house your memories. As you look around your home, you see the wedding gift you received from Aunt Sally.  It has been sitting in your china hutch for 40 years – never used. You never really liked the gift, but you love Aunt Sally.  Then there are the five boxes of your children’s artwork dating back to Kindergarten. These are all fond memories. So, where do you begin with deciding what to keep and what to eliminate?

A good rule of thumb is: “Either you love something or you need something. If it doesn’t answer either of those things, it doesn’t stay,” says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Another question that will help you decide is: Are these objects in my life going to help me move forward or are they blocking me?

Items in the “Love it” column might include things that remind you of loved ones, big life events or milestones, precious pieces of artwork or craftwork, heirlooms or anything that you cherish. In the “Need It” column, you would keep anything that you use on a regular basis. For example, you might use a coffee pot daily, but when was the last time you used your fondue set? Don’t get caught in the trap of keeping things out of fear that you might use it sometime in the future. Also, just because an item might have value for someone, if it is not something you use, let it go. Another good principle to follow when evaluating what you really “need” is the six-month rule. If you have not used the item in six months, it is probably not worth keeping. Consider donating items that could be of value to someone else and let it go.

If an item has no value to you or to anyone else, then it goes in the “Leave It” column.  Examples include old papers, appliances or lawn equipment that don’t work or that are very outdated, broken items, outdated sporting goods, clothes that you haven’t worn in years, things you purchased on a whim that seemed to be a good idea at the time, and virtually anything that you can let go of without feeling remorse.

Once you have made the decision about what to keep and what to let go, then the awesome job of figuring out how to get rid of the “Leave it” items begins. In my next article, I will define some clear and simple steps that will help you through the process. The key is to get an early start so that you are not pressured for time.

croppedjoyceheadhighresv2 (1)For more information about the downsizing process, consider attending an upcoming event called “The Upside of Downsizing” being held on April 22nd at the Tacoma Dome and find out about the eight steps involved in the downsizing process. For more information on downsizing in general or to register for the April 22nd seminar, please call Joyce Hill at 253-318-2792.

(Information gathered from Renew by Home Health Care)

Broker Spotlight: Stephanie Callen

CaptureIn taking every measure to help her clients successfully accomplish their personal real estate goals, Stephanie Callen exhibits genuine care, dedication, and professionalism.  As a specialist in the Greater South Puget Sound real estate market, she constantly provides her clients with outstanding guidance and expertise. Through her comprehensive knowledge and experience as a specialist in Residential, Distinctive Luxury and Investment Properties; she provides her clients with a truly impressive real estate experience. In 2017, Stephanie was appointed as the Director of Global Luxury for Coldwell Banker Bain Puyallup.

Stephanie excels at executing on behalf of her clients with
very deliberate, strategic and skillful measures that achieve outstanding results. When working with sellers, she implements effective and resourceful marketing strategies that clearly accentuate each property’s specific features. Skillfully taking every measure to position the seller’s property to stand out in the marketplace, she designs a beautiful presentation that incorporates professional photography, refined staging services and extensive visibility in print and on multiple internet sites. Regardless of the time and effort it takes, when working with buyers, she works tirelessly to identify key opportunities that meet their lifestyle requirements.  She exhibits a relentless commitment to securing just the right property for each buyer.  One of her special areas of focus is in serving the specific needs of military personnel.  She is highly attuned to the unique requirements that military members and their families may need and is very attentive to meeting all of their expectations.

Stephanie’s clients trust in her integrity and insight and value her timely guidance and expertise in addressing all aspects of the transaction with professional competence.  In indulging her clients with first class service; her warm and friendly personality is very present in everything she does on their behalf and it is truly her joy to ultimately fulfill their request. Her immediate accessibility, answers to timely questions and trusted council makes her invaluable to her clients. She readily delivers results that are beyond their expectations and is truly committed to providing the highest level of expertise and outstanding personal service. “There are Realtors – and then there is Stephanie!”

Stephanie Callen
ABR, CRS, GRI, REALTOR®
253-370-2771 (cell)
stephanie@stephaniecallen.com (email)
http://stephaniecallen.com/  (website)

 

Upside of Downsizing

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THERE IS AN UPSIDE TO DOWNSIZING

Tacoma will soon host a major conference for the purpose of educating boomers, seniors and their adult children on the process of downsizing.  Conference attendees will get tips on how to sort through personal belongings, when to consider a downsizing move, options on where to consider moving, and a Six Step Checklist to make downsizing successful.

Mary Span, President of “Upside of Downsizing” says, “We want to help our attendees through every step of the downsizing process.  All the way from getting started to finding new housing and making the final move.”  To facilitate this objective, the conference will include valuable services and products specifically tailored to meet the needs of seniors, boomers, and, in many cases, their adult children.

In addition, several top industry professionals will be featured speakers.  Among those will be a family counselor, an estate planning attorney, an interior designer and home stager, and a real estate broker.  These individuals will share their knowledge and expertise, specifically addressing the fears and concerns related to a downsizing move.

Joyce Hill, a real estate Broker with Coldwell Banker Bain, says, “There are many emotions connected with the downsizing process on the part of both the primary individuals who are downsizing as well as their family members.  It is important for the professionals who service this special group to exercise patience, kindness and concern for them.”

The Upside of Downsizing primarily assists seniors and boomers in gaining the freedom that comes with downsizing their homes.  The process may also benefit newly-single individuals who are looking for a fresh start.  Another demographic is that of adult children of seniors and boomers, who often are tasked with helping their parents to make the decision to downsize.

The conference is being held on April 22 at the Tacoma Dome from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Ticket prices are $25 per person through April 8 and $35 per person beginning April 9.  Space is limited so it is suggested that you RSVP early.  Get ready for your new adventure.

For more information on Downsizing, call Joyce Hill 253.318.2792, or email her at joycehill@cbbain.com

Conference registration and information is available at www.UpsideofDownsizing.com  

 

 

The Inside Scoop on Home Buying

So you’re thinking about buying a home? Homeownership is an exciting and smart investment that brings a sense of security and the freedom of having your own space. Here are some important things you’ll want to know before starting the process…  

Buyers Typically Don’t Pay Their Agents

Many first-time homebuyers wonder how to pay their agent and are surprised to find out that they don’t! A homebuyer does not pay their agent. Typically sellers pay both the listing and selling agents commissions.

Know what you can afford

One of the very first steps in the home buying process should be getting pre-approved with a trusted lender. Especially in a competitive market, some sellers won’t even consider an offer that isn’t accompanied by a pre-approval letter. Ask your real estate broker for recommendations on a few lenders they have successfully worked with in the past. Your lender will work closely with you to figure out what you can truly afford. You may even qualify for more than you think! Even in a market that isn’t as competitive, knowing your budget is always a good idea and will give you confidence of knowing if your dream home is within reach.

Don’t be turned off by cosmetic faux pas

A funky paint color or questionable design choice can cause a buyer to overlook a home that’s otherwise a perfect fit. Most cosmetic changes are easy and affordable to do, and you’re probably going to want to personalize your new home when it becomes yours.. Instead of focusing on the pink tile in the bathroom or that outdated light fixture, pay more attention to the floorplan, view, location, natural light, and outdoor space.

It will probably feel like it’s never going to happen.

A typical residential real estate transaction should take anywhere from 30-45 days once an offer is accepted, but it’s probably going to feel like a lifetime. It is important to work with an experienced Realtor who will maintain realistic expectations and keep you updated every step of the way.  Our clients have been pleased with our services and hope you will be too:

“Madison was the best part of our home buying process (other than our dream home of course)! I highly recommend Madison’s services, she was fun and professional during our home search, it felt more like looking at houses with and old friend.”

Brittney is very knowledgeable in real estate matters. She always kept me updated, was easily accessible, provided honest advice at every step of the process, and worked very hard to make sure my loan closed on time. I would highly recommend Brittney to anyone who is looking for honest, hardworking real estate agent!”

Looking to learn more about the process and get all your questions answered?

Join Madison and Brittney and their guest speakers for an informal and FREE Hopeful Homebuyer Happy Hour on Thursday, March 23rd from 5:30-7:30pm.  NYP Bar & Grill, 3702 S Fife St, Tacoma WA 98409. Visit the Facebook event page “Hopeful Homebuyer Happy Hour!” or contact Madison Basham at 831-601-5077 for more information.

 

Listing of the Week

Beautiful And Spacious in Kent, WA.

Open House

3 Bedroom              1.75 Bath

2470 Square Feet             MLS #1081651 

Featuring a winding road that leads into an inviting entry. The impressive living room has a gas fireplace.  French doors leads out to a secluded patio. Picture window with a view to Seattle Skyline. Formal dining room with gleaming hardwood floor throughout. Large windows allow for natural lighting, territorial and city views. The kitchen opens to an expansive covered patio perfect for entertaining. Comfortable and cozy masterr bedroom. Large family room with a gas fireplace,  ideal for a big screen TV, and the room opens to outdoors. Rolling green lawn, gardens and shade trees are part of this beautiful setting. Priced to sell at $473,999.

Come visit the open house on Saturday, March 18th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.

Check this listing out here.

Broker Spotlight: Andrea Agostinacci

Our Broker Spotlight this week features Andrea Agostinacci:

I chose Coldwell Banker Bain because of the well-known reputation and knowledge in the real estate industry and specifically the office atmosphere. Coldwell Banker Bain fosters agent cohesiveness and truly lives their mission statement of people helping people, both with clients and other agents alikAndreae.

When I am not helping clients, I am spending time with my family. I am a mom to 5 children in a blended family so whether I am going to the park, helping out at girl scouts, going to sports practice, or staying in having a movie night – we are always up to something! If I’m not spending time with my family I enjoy hiking and being outdoors or going to the spa to relax.

I have been in real estate for 12 years in different capacities, including property management and finance. I have a background in management and have a passion for developing people. Over the last 10 years, I have done real estate part-time and am looking forward to the switch as my full-time career.

I grew up on a job site, my father is a builder and has owned his own construction company for many years. I remember as a child all I wanted was a real tool belt for Christmas, and it was the best gift ever! I chose real estate as my profession because I have had a fascination for all things real estate; whether getting down in dirty in a full-on renovation, or watching before and after design ideas, or helping with an investor to make the most out of their money.

Andrea Agostinacci, REALTOR®
E: andreaagostinacci@cbbain.com
T: 425-213-8542
Visit her website at andreaagostinaci.coldwellbankerbain.com