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

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

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  

 

 

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