Sell Your Home This Spring With These Seven Tips

Spring has sprung in beautiful Seattle, and if you’re looking to sell your home, there may be no better time to do so. Think about it, what a lovely time to showcase your home and really put its best foot forward, so to speak? Here are some tips to get your home looking picture perfect for a Springtime sale.

  1. Spring Cleaning
    Nothing says Spring more than a good old fashioned Spring cleaning, and that may be just what your home needs (probably, even if you’re not going to sell it) to get it in tip top shape. Go through those boxes of STILL unpacked home goods, linens and clothes that have sat in a closet or attic since move-in day and get rid of whatever you don’t need or use anymore (trust me, charitable organizations are just as grateful for the donation this time of year as they are in winter).  Get the windows washed, floors scrubbed and everything looking clean and clutter-free. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of a much easier move after you sell, if there’s less stuff to pack!
  2. Get Your Garden On
    Spring is an excellent time to make your yard look its absolute best. Slip on some gardener’s gloves and pull a few weeds, plant new flowers, prune trees and bushes and make sure any leftover leaves from winter are raked up and the grass is mowed. Potential buyers are definitely going to check out your yard, and just like a delicious meal, presentation is everything. Do your best to seed patchy grass, lay down beauty bark or simply add rock edging to flower beds. Adding more colorful flowers can make a big difference in how appealing your home looks too. It’s the little touches that can make a big difference.

  3. Create A Patio Worth ‘Sitting A Spell’ On
    Once the yard is looking good, it’s time to turn your attention to any outdoor living space your home offers. Simple improvements like clean, well-kept patio furniture with bright and colorful pillows and a few nicely potted plants can create a lovely and inviting outdoor space as well as help to evoke images of enjoying the Summertime there, in a home-buyer’s mind. That’s the kind of image that may just get you an offer. Also, it’s a good idea to stage the patio area with a pitcher and glasses of a refreshing beverage on the patio table when showing the home, especially on a nice sunny day.
  4. De-Gunk the Driveway
    A very simple yet often overlooked way to add extra curb appeal and freshen your homes appearance is with a good power wash to the driveway and any sidewalks outside. Moss, oil stains and other undesirable things can collect on paved surfaces outside of your home and make it look neglected or just plain grungy. A nice power wash should do the trick and rid those surfaces of any ‘blemishes’, instantly boosting the overall ‘put-together’ look of your home.
  5. Let There Be Light
    We are blessed this time of year with much more abundant sunlight than just about any other time of year (save for summer, of course). Why not take advantage of it by opening your house up to more light? Weather permitting, open windows and patio doors to let in plenty of light, fresh air, and maybe even the oh-so-Springy scent of freshly cut grass and flowers.  Use light the way ladies use lipstick for a night out, as an easy finishing touch that adds immense appeal, quickly and easily.
  6. Make Sure Things Are Up to Snuff
    Hiring an inspector to give your place the old once over is usually a good idea, no matter how well maintained it may be. If you have even a tiny inclination that something may need to be fixed before it hits the market, you should have a pro take a peek. Plus, getting things fixed and in great condition can significantly drive up the selling price of your home, which is generally a good thing. Your realtor (or a potential realtor) should be able to help you find a professional in your area to conduct an inspection.

7. All The Home’s A Stage
Staging can play a BIG part in attracting a buyer. Just as garden improvements and      landscaping are hugely important for the outside of your home, staging is key for the inside of your home. Regardless of whether you’re currently living in the home, or moved into your new abode, you want to create a space that’s warm, inviting and, well, homey. People need to be able to picture themselves living their daily lives there, so making it feel like home is important. Add a vase of fresh flowers to the dining table, a basket of fresh apples to the kitchen counter, have art on the walls (but not too much, and try to minimize the presence of personal or family photos) and fun throw pillows/blankets on the couches. You can even add the scent of fresh laundry or freshly baked cookies (a scented candle should do the trick) to get an extra edge, as our sense of smell is most directly tied to memory and scents like that can ‘take you home’ in an instant.

With these tips, the task of readying your home for sale should be a little bit easier. Remember to take it easy though. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew and do it all in one weekend. Home buying and selling can take time, and you should take the time needed to get all your ducks in a row before you put that sign out in the yard. Preparing your home for the market can be a breeze if you just take it one step at a time to get your home looking it’s best, and, with any luck, it will be someone else’s home in no time!

Seattle Commercial Property Market Improving

This past week, Seattle and the surrounding region has seen an improvement in the commercial real estate market, with the sales of three big properties.

First, Continental Properties, Inc. sold 131 apartment units at the Aqua View and Carillon Heights apartment complexes to Archstone. It sold for $47.46 million.

Arden Realty LP sold West Willows Technology Center to Griffin Capital New Lease REIT Inc. for $40 million. The office park is over 155,000 sq. ft and is located at 14500 and NE 87th St. in Redmond. AT&T is the current tenant and uses the space for network operation and R&D.

Finally, Redhill Realty Investments sold the Kent-located Hampton Bay Apartments to Hampton Bay located in Vancouver, WA. The 304 apartment units sold for  $31.4 million.

For more information, please read the original PSBJ article.

Seattle Home Prices Up 32% Since 2000

According to the Case-Schiller home-price index posted in the Seattle Times, home prices in Seattle are up 32% since 2000. However, the home prices are the lowest since 2004. The strongest price decline this year occurred in November, most likely due to sales of foreclosed homes. For more details, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Seattle Roosevelt Neighborhood Will See Higher Buildings

Last month, I wrote about the Roosevelt neighborhood potentially seeing a commercial rezone. On Monday, the full Seattle City Council approved six-story building heights in the Roosevelt commercial area. According to the Seattle Times article, it spans about 40 blocks of the commercial core. The 85-feet high buildings are designed to add density. However, the buildings around Roosevelt High School are restricted to a 40-foot height restriction, so as to preserve views of the school. Final projects are still subject to the design review board. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Downtown Seattle Aspira Tower Will Wait to Sell

Magnolia ApartmentAccording to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, the owners of the 37-story Aspira Tower, located in downtown Seattle at 1823 Terry Avenue, will wait to sell. Investors are eager to bid on it, as Seattle has the third strongest apartment market in the country; however, the owners of the 325-unit tower will sell at the time when leasing and the capital markets are stronger.

Currently, the Aspira Tower has an occupancy rate of 82%, with 6-7 leases per week. The average price of a unit is $2.85/sq.ft.

South Lake Union Attracting Universities

WalkabilityAlong with attracting business headquarters, South Lake Union is attracting universities, due to its high-tech job growth. City University is moving its headquarters from Bellevue to South Lake Union at 6th and Wall. Boston-based Northeastern University is looking at South Lake Union as a place for its graduate program. Finally, University of Washington is already working on three buildings in the SLU neighborhood.

It makes sense that South Lake Union is attracting universities. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, South Lake Union has seen 6.35 million sq.ft in new development from 2004-2010, at an assessed value of $1.1 billion. It’s expected to generate $6 million in tax revenue, not including the added amount of property value increase. Unfortunately, South Lake Union is facing the problem of a lack of office space available over 10,000 sq. ft.

Seattle May See Rehab-To-Rent Pilot Program

According to a Fast Company blog, Seattle may be one of the first cities in the United States to launch the pilot program, Rehab-to-Rent. Proposed as a way to handle the steady stream of foreclosures being released on the market in the future, Rehab-for-Rent would convert foreclosures into Seattle energy-efficient rentals. Suggestions include ensuring bidders have a decent track record, encourage local community organizations to bid, and offering incentives to the bidders to renovate. The full CAP report is here. An idea like this has the potential to stabilize the housing market, create jobs, and raise the current apartment inventory level; it’s certainly an upside to the housing situation we face. What are your thoughts on it?

For more details on the report, please click here.

Washington Commercial Construction Firms Optimistic

According to a Seattle Times article, Washington commercial construction firms are more optimistic than the rest of the country. According to a survey, the Washington firms boasted more positive numbers on various levels. 40% of Washington firms plan to hire new workers, while only 32% nationwide feel the same way. 2% of Washington firms plan layoffs, while 9% plan nationwide plan layoffs. Finally, 57% of Washington firms believe construction market will grow again in 2013-2014 versus 39% nationwide who feel the same way.

Is Washington State in positive economic health and likely to rebound quickly in commercial construction or do the Washington State construction firms simply wear rose-colored glasses?

Seattle Residential Real Estate: Pay Attention to the Neighbor

Seattle Real estate backyard cottageIn a buyer’s market, there’s many various factors that can affect the price; one of them is who lives by your home. A recent Seattle Time article reports that a bad neighbor can cause more than just a nuisance; it can also drive down the sales price, up to a 10% reduction! However, it is difficult to quantify, as one man’s bad neighbor may be another man’s best friend.

If you’re looking for a way to handle a bad neighbor, there are a few options available. Some include contacting the King County Dispute Resolution Center, joining forces with other neighbors, mitigating the problem, and more. The full list is located at this Seattle Times article. Read through and maybe you can get some ideas on how to have a healthy, harmonious living situation, even with a bad neighbor.

 

Growing Optimism in Housing Market

According to a Moody’s Analytics report via Realtor Mag, there is growing optimism in the housing market. Existing home sales, new home construction, and new home sales are all predicted to significantly rise in 2012. It’s predicted that new construction will see a 37% boost, with sales of new construction increasing 74%. Existing homes will see a 12% increase in sales.

These double-digit increase predictions are largely due to the gains in housing stocks and consumer confidence. The S&P home building index increased 38% from mid-October. Regarding consumer confidence, 71% of consumers believe it’s a good time to buy, and over 1 out of 4 people believe prices will rise.