Congratulations, Stephanie Callen, on being named Washington’s CRS Realtor of the Year!

Stephanie Callen.jpgColdwell Banker Bain (CB Bain) of Puyallup, a leading provider of luxury real estate brokerage services, has announced that The Residential Real Estate Council has named CB Bain broker Stephanie Callen as Washington’s CRS Realtor of the Year. Annually awarded to a broker holding a CRS designation, it is the organization’s highest honor and recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education.

Formerly known as the Council of Residential Specialists, The Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) is the largest non-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, offering education and networking to residential real estate agents around the world. The Council has an extensive network of spokespeople, who have wide range of expertise in a variety of real estate-related subjects, from general real estate to specialized topics such as trends and business-related topics.

Callen has been a real estate broker for 12 years, all with CB Bain, specializing in residential, luxury and investment properties throughout the region. In addition to her CRS, Callen holds Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI) and Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) designations. She is immediate past president of Washington Chapter of Council of Residential Specialist and in 2015 was awarded Coldwell Banker National’s International President’s Premier Award.

 

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Safety Preparedness

911, what’s your emergency? A voice that is there to help! What a relief, but what if there wasn’t someone available to answer your call? What if there was a larger disaster in your area that would not allow emergency services to assist you and your family in a time of need. What would you do? Where would you go? Where would you get food and water? How would you be able to help yourself and your family in a disaster? Over the last several months we’ve witnessed various disasters across our country. Each has varied in level of devastation. Disasters are commonly unexpected with little or no warning and may cause Emergency Services to be overwhelmed.

Maybe you are in a new neighborhood; maybe you haven’t met your neighbors; maybe you aren’t even sure where the local Fire or Police station is located?  These are simple tasks that will benefit you when a disaster strikes.  Often times, our neighbors are nurses, doctors or have experience in the emergency services field. As a Realtor, I feel it’s important to talk with my clients to remind them how important it is to take the time to walk your neighborhood and introduce yourself to your neighbors.  Take a drive or Google the location of your nearest Fire and Police station. It only takes a few minutes and by knowing where these services are located, in the event of an emergency, this knowledge could be lifesaving.

We often sit through the evening news and recognize that a disaster can happen in any area. We tend to have busy schedules and sometimes safety becomes an afterthought. October is Fire Safety Month and a great time to remind everyone of some of the things you can do to prepare for emergencies in and around your home. First thing, replace the battery in your smoke alarms. Not only will you not wake up to the horrible chirping at 3:00am when the battery is about to die, but in the event of a fire, this one task may save your family. Second, take time to sit down with your family and create a plan. Establish a safe place outside your home that your family can meet a school, church or neighbors home. It’s important to establish a location where everyone can check in. Third, decide on a friend or family member that everyone can call that is out of the area. This is another great way for you to all check in to make sure your family is safe.  Last, don’t forget to prepare a “go” bag for each member of the family and don’t forget one for your family pet! Be sure to include at least three days’ worth of water and food. These precautions may help you become self-sustainable in the event of a disaster.

Another simple reminder for residents here in the Northwest would be to include walking the perimeter of your home to look for trees that may be nearby. Remove any branches that may be hanging over head or near your house or outbuildings. Fall tends to bring windstorms and this easy way to protect your new home and property may also save you time and money.

These tasks may seem overwhelming, but it is easy to break them down into a manageable to do list. Creating a Ten Tasks in Ten Days List will help. Quickly jot down ten tasks that relate to safety in your home or on your property and commit to doing one a day for ten days. Your new neighbor may just be the perfect accountability partner to help you complete the list.

If you have questions about disaster preparedness or are in need of ideas to create your plan or a go bag, please visit the websites below for more information.

Want to learn how to sign up for Pierce County Alert, Make a plan, build a Go Kit or help others? Visit: http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/945/Emergency-Preparedness

The Great Shakeout is coming October 19, 2017 at 10:19am. Learn more about preparing for earthquakes and the proper way to drop, cover and hold. https://www.shakeout.org/washington

Looking for ways to meet and assist your neighbors? Visit: http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/2297/Pierce-County-Neighborhood-Emergency-Tea

Today is a great day to make one change to help better prepare your family and your home for an emergency.

jennifer-davidsonJennifer Davidson, REALTOR®
253.315.9315
jenniferdavidson@cbbain.com

The 5 Basic Key Land Questions

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Selling land is something a lot of real estate agents avoid with a passion.  This seems a bit strange to me since under every house is land.  In fact, the first words of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics are “Under all is the land…”  This makes sense to me because before there was ever a house built on a piece of property there was vacant land and someone who had the vision to build something on it.  When dealing with vacant land a Broker needs to be more intentional when marketing it.  Depending on the size and the location of the land, the listing agent may also need to take a more proactive approach to finding buyers.

For me, it’s all about the enjoyment of being part of something from the dirt up.  I enjoy helping people see the many possibilities that can happen with this clean slate.  It is amazing how many people can’t see anything but empty space when looking at land.  When I see vacant land I see a pallet of possibility and imagination. When it comes to the challenges that come with vacant land I see a puzzle that needs to be solved and answers that need to be found. For me, these challenges are often more enjoyable than the ones that come with working with residential property.

Every parcel of land needs to have these 5 questions answered before you move forward.  1) What is the zoning of the land?  Without knowing whether the zoning fits your needs you don’t have a starting point.  2) What is the potential usage of the land?  Zoning dictates the usage of the vacant land being considered.  Knowing the zoning of the property tells you whether the desired usage is possible.  3) What is the yield of the land?  Zoning not only dictates the usage of the land but it also the yield.  For example, the number of homes, apartments, duplexes or whatever can be built on that parcel.  Environmental sensitive area can also affect the yield of the property.  4) Is there legal in and out access to a road for this land?  And, it is important to understand the ingress and egress needs will differ for a single-family home compared to a 40-unit apartment complex.  5) What are the services needed for the proposed use and how are they going to be installed?  If your parcel is on sewer you need to know where the sewer line is and if the property can connect to it.  If sewer isn’t available then you need to know if the property will support a septic system.

There are other service issues need to be addressed as well.  How will power be provided to the property?  Does the property have access to water or does it need a well?  By remembering these keys to working with land, zoning, usage, yield, access, and services you can avoid many of the common challenges that are part of a vacant land transaction.  Give me a call if I can be of assistance with any of your land questions.

Gregory Reich Rockstar 2016.jpgGregory Reich, REALTOR®
253-677-9283
gregoryreich@cbbain.com
gregoryreich.coldwellbankerbain.com

First Impressions Are Everything When It Comes to Selling Your Home

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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)
darlenekiefer@cbbain.com
darlenekiefer.coldwellbankerbain.com

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
amandastanfield@cbbain.com
amandastanfield.coldwellbankerbain.com

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)
LeslieSwindahl@CBBain.com
lieslieswindahl.coldwellbankerbain.com
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
ABR, CRS, GRI, REALTOR®
253-370-2771 (cell)
stephanie@stephaniecallen.com (email)
http://stephaniecallen.com/  (website)