First Impressions Are Everything When It Comes to Selling Your Home

A-1 Photo 2

As the moles begin making mountains out of molehills, I know spring is just around the corner. If you will be placing your home on the market this spring, now is the time to start the garden clean up and get the outside of your home as beautiful and attractive as the inside.

The first impression of your home can make or break a sale before a buyer even sees the inside of your home. If your yard and the outside of your home looks like an overgrown jungle and your front door has seen better days, a potential buyer may have already made their mind up about the home before they even walk through the door. More than one homebuyer has decided not to even enter a home based on the curb appeal. Don’t let this happen to you.

Curb appeal includes your yard as well as the overall appearance of your home. As the homeowner, walk to the street and view your home with a critical eye. Note those areas that you find appealing and those that are not so appealing. The following are areas to pay specific attention to:

  1. Remove any debris from around the home. Place garbage containers out of sight, remove shovels, tools, and anything that really doesn’t belong in the yard and dispose of or store out-of-sight.
  2. Pressure wash or thoroughly clean the walkway, porches, doors, windowsills etc. Cleanliness is just as important outside as inside! Don’t forget the windows.
  3. Stage the outdoor living areas too. If there is a covered porch, place chairs and décor to show the buyer how they could enjoy that space.
  4. If the door is looking a little shabby, either replace the door if the budget allows or paint/stain with a complementary color. Get advice if color isn’t your forte.
  5. If needed, update or paint hardware and outdoor light fixtures.
  6. Be sure to place a new attractive door mat at the entry.
  7. Trim shrubs, weed the flower beds, add new mulch and some new plantings for great color. If you need help for what would work for you, take a picture of the area and bring to a garden store. They are an excellent resource for help.

As I research our area, I found that Lowes and Home Depot are not the only sources of colorful displays of plants for sale. Pierce County is home to many of the most amazing gardens in the state.

Homeowners will find a wealth of options and information available at do-it-yourself stores as the ones mentioned above; however, for inspiration for curb appeal, many of the gardens referenced below also offer beautiful home and garden décor and plenty of free advice. These are just a few of the gardens I know I will be checking out starting March:

The Windmill Garden in Sumner
Watson’s Green in Graham (Voted best place to send a Guest)
Portland Avenue Nursery In Tacoma
Vassey Nursery in Puyallup
Willow Tree Garden and Interiors in University Place

Darlene Kiefer Photo-UPDATED
Darlene Kiefer, REALTOR®
360-929-8741 (mobile)

Broker Spotlight: Amanda Stanfield

My reasoning for choosing to partner with Coldwell Banker Bain was due to the extensive investment they put into their agents. CBBain not only teaches you how to be a competent and knowledgeable agent but also how to build and run your business. I also was excited to join with a firm that has a guarantee backing of all their agents, it shows me the true depth of their commitment to my success.

CaptureAlthough I am new in my Real Estate career I am a second-generation realtor. Both of my parents, as well as an uncle, have been in Real Estate for over the past two decades. My love of residential architecture and property started at a young age but I chose my first passion to follow right out of college. Now a decade later I am ready to transition into the exciting world of Real Estate, I am making the career change because I want to help guide people through the process of one of the most important investments in their lives.
Before becoming a Realtor, I was a hair designer. While in that profession one of my favorite experiences was styling bridal party hair. To be a part of people’s special day and the biggest commitment in their lives filled my heart with joy. As a Realtor, I am again part of such an exciting time in people’s lives.

My motivation to get out of bed each and every morning is driven by love. Love of other as well as a love of self. Helping others achieve their Real Estate dreams and invest in their families future is one of the more rewarding things I could possible think to do. I am also driven by the goal to continuously become the best version of myself.

When I am not helping clients some my favorite things to do are reading, watching movies, trying new restaurants and relaxing with my family and animals. I am a huge dog lover and nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by wiggly butts.

Amanda Stanfield, REALTOR®
253-318-7940 mobile

Selling Your Home 101

When it comes to selling your home, it is always a good idea to have a home inspection first before you put your home on the market.  Here’s why:C-1 Photo

  • When was the last time you went into your attic? Poor ventilation in your attic can lead to mold issues.
  • What about your crawlspace? Dry-rot can lead to big issues if not replaced.
  • Check to make sure your hot water heater has the required earthquake straps.
  • Curb appeal is a MUST to get potential buyers interested in your home. Investing in curb appeal is one of the most important things you can start with. Make your house stand out from all the rest!
  • Cleaning your gutters is one of the items an appraiser will call for to have done.
  • Has your roof been cleaned recently? There should not be any moss growing there.

“It is always a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and serviced,” noted Leslie Swindahl of Coldwell Banker Bain Tacoma.

If you find any of these issues, you will want to get them fixed as soon as possible. Once you have addressed health and safety issues, it’s time for a Coldwell Banker Bain REALTOR® to come and look at your home inside and out. Our REALTORS® will always put our knowledge on your side.

When it comes to selling your home for the first time, this is when a Coldwell Banker Bain REALTOR® is your best choice to help you through the process. When you work with Coldwell Banker Bain, you can expect friendly, professional service that includes in-depth knowledge of the area and the current market conditions, outstanding communication skills along with the ability to aggressively market, manage and negotiate for you!

Leslie Photo 2017Leslie Swindahl, REALTOR®
253-312-0447 (cell)
or check out her blog here

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
253-370-2771 (cell) (email)  (website)


Puyallup: A Special Place to Live

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Puyallup is a special place to live. For starters, Puyallup is full of rich history – from the iconic Washington State Fair (formerly the Puyallup Fair as most native citizens of Puyallup will call it) to the beautiful Meeker Mansion, which was built in 1890 by the first mayor of Puyallup, Ezra Meeker. The streets of downtown are filled with shops nestled in historic buildings that have stood the test of time – you will find anything from antique shops to restaurants to banks and everything in between.

But Puyallup is not just full of history it also features dozens of parks. Pioneer Park, which is located in the heart of downtown, stands as one of the best spots to visit in Puyallup. During the months of April to October, the park host tons of local vendors who are selling anything from fresh farm eggs to local produce to the prettiest flower arrangement that you ever did see. In the summer time, Pioneer Park and Bradley Lake Park feature live performance by local bands and family movie nights. Puyallup also opened their very first splash park in 2015 which has been a hit with all the local kiddos!

Puyallup would not be complete without its fair. The first fair was opened in October of 1900 and displayed local livestock along with the cities produce. Only a few hundred people attended that first fair but it has grown over the years and now attracts over 1.3 million people throughout the area. The tradition of livestock and produce lives on but the fair has added dozens of rides, games, restaurants, and more entertainment than one could imagine. One item that you are sure to enjoy is the “fair scone” – it is mouthwatering and oh so yummy! Be sure you do not miss out on grabbing a dozen during open season!

But what makes Puyallup really special are the people. This is a community that cares – from its school district to our local business owners. Just a few short months ago, one local restaurant was set to close its doors and had made the announcement via Facebook. Well, word got out and other local restaurants rallied around this business owner to help them stay open. This is the heart of the people here. The people look out for one another for Puyallup is truly a special place to live.

“I love Puyallup because it’s a great place for families, a place where families stay over generations and take their part in some really extraordinary traditions. We take our traditions seriously–the Fair, the Daffodil Festival, our agricultural heritage. Another thing we take seriously is education. Puyallup is an education community–we have long prided ourselves in our great schools, and that’s a tradition worth continuing.” Hans Zieger, Washington State Senator serving the 25th District.

t: 253-312-7586

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®
T: 425-213-8542
Visit her website at

Broker Spotlight: Jennifer Davidson

From the first moment I called, Coldwell Banker Bain made me feel part of the team. The support, education, and tools that Coldwell offers is hands down the best around!

Ijennifer-davidson‘ve been in Real Estate for about two years. My background has been in Human Resources and Customer Service. Real Estate affords me the opportunity to combine both. Clients are always looking for a solution to their reason for seeking a new home. This role allows me to be solution oriented and gives me a driven purpose to provide service excellence.

Choosing Real Estate makes sense. I love architecture, the details of contracts, working with people and I’ve always enjoyed working in sales. For me, it’s the perfect match!
I love the outdoors. We hike, kayak, camp, snow shoe and fish as often as we can. Living in the Great Northwest gives us millions of places to explore and we love our family adventures.

I took up “wogging” several years ago. This would be my version of walking/jogging. Since then, I’ve now completed two full marathons. Yes. That is 26.2 miles. I’ve decided I’m a much better 1/2 marathoner and I’m looking forward to the runs I’m participating in this year and I’m always working to improve my personal record.

I live by the motto of I hope to always be a little better or do a little more today than I did yesterday. So far, it’s working.

Find out more about Jennifer Davidson on her website here.