Is Right-sizing your New Year’s resolution? Perhaps you have recently experienced a significant event and now it feels like a good time to make a housing change that will help you simplify your surroundings and your life. Right-sizing is a process but it is often triggered by a specific event or series of events and making a carefully planned, intentional change, can help you focus on what matters most! Here are 4 things you should consider before making a change.
- What is your motivation? Perhaps you need more space for children, extended family, or pets; or a different kind of space for horses, gardening, or your classic car collection; or you have too much space because your children have left the nest, you are divorced, or you want to split your time between 2 smaller homes traveling or living in a sunny place ½ of the year; or you just want or need to retire in a different location.
- What Information do you Need? Change can often be overwhelming so it really helps to break a big decision into smaller ones and focus on just obtaining the data you need for the small decisions. How much will you make selling your home? How much do you need to buy your next home? Maybe you can remodel your space instead of having to move – learn your options so you can make informed decisions.
- What is stopping you? Change can be stressful or it can be exhilarating – usually it depends on your attitude and the planning that goes into the change. Worried about the finances – learn the numbers that can help you make the decision and determine timing. Perhaps you don’t know what to do with all of your things… there are moving & estate sales professionals who can help you! Is it the memories & emotions – photograph the spaces where memories were made, talk to your family, keep items that are special, and be open to making new memories – again there are people who can help you with this.
- Who can help you make it happen? There are many resources that can help you whether you need a little bit of help or a lot. There are high quality Real Estate Brokers, Financial Planners, Organizers, Estates Sales Professionals, Movers, Cleaners and other professionals that are ready to help you. They can help you determine your wants & needs, provide the data to make good decisions, and help you make the Right next move.
Real Estate Corner (Article published in the Woodinville Weekly 12/25/17 edition)
Make sure you pay attention to these 5 tips to make sure your home sale during the holidays is a success.
- Warm & Cozy. The holidays are about home & family so pay attention to your buyer’s experience when they arrive at your home. Help them feel welcome by having the heat up when they come in from the cold, greet them with holiday scents of fresh baked cookies and apple cider or cocoa, have your gas fireplace going and all of the lights on.
- Move-in Ready. People moving during the holidays don’t want to have to do projects during Christmas break. Have your home pre-inspected, all major or health & safety items repaired, and make sure it is sparkling clean – so all they have to do is Move In!
- Market What Buyers Can’t See. Do you have a beautiful garden – put out pictures that show how it looks in bloom in the summer. Do you have a great view when it isn’t raining – post a picture next to the window where you would see it. Do you live next to a great trail system, park, lake, etc. have a feature card that tells buyers about it.
- Holiday Decorations – Go ahead and decorate – but focus on emphasizing the beauty of your home. Lights to show off the roof line or outdoor area, a tree in that perfect spot in the house with a super high ceiling, etc. Don’t go overboard with holiday decorations – they make it look cluttered and take attention away from your home. Don’t be political, limit or avoid personal or religious decorations, remember that you want your home to appeal to people of all backgrounds and beliefs and they need to be able to see themselves in your home – not you.
- Make sure your driveway & walk ways a clear of snow, ice or debris and your outside lights are on. Do not display your holiday gifts – pack them away in a box or out of site. Make sure all your windows & doors are locked after showings.
Now be prepared to move to your new home and enjoy your holiday!
Real Estate Corner (Article published in the Woodinville Weekly 11/28/17 edition)
Don't despair, our friends at Moving Link have a great list of recommendations for organizations that can help you get rid of unwanted items!
GET RID OF UNWANTED ITEMS – PUGET SOUND AREA
1 GREEN PLANET – FREE Recycling – Drop-off service for the public and free pick-up and removal for businesses. Electronics, appliances, scrap metal, machinery, computers, batteries, medical equipment, ink & toner, cell phones, vehicles, paper & cardboard, & plastics
Non Profit recycling center with Free pick – covers all of Washington state
DONATE SEATTLE – Source to find an organization that needs your clothes, books, bikes, computors, appliances, furniture…
www.DonateSeattle.org — email@example.com
WHAT DO I DO WITH… A database of where you can get rid of unwanted items.
INTERCONNECTION.ORG – FREE recycling, FREE Data Wiping, FREE Pick-up
A non-profit that teaches computer maintenance & repair skills to low income individuals & provides computers to underserved communities both locally & abroad
THE SHAREHOUSE – Seattle’s furniture bank for homeless families in transition
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL THRIFT STORE
small furniture, no large appliances
APPLIANCE RECYCLING – In conjunction with your local Utilities Provider
FREE pick up for refrigerators and freezers – Some rebates may be available
SENIOR SERVICES (SEATTLE)
Administration – 206.448.5757 Services – 206.448.3110
FREE pick up for estate-level furniture
Some charities require two weeks advance notice. Furniture and appliances, if accepted, must not be in need of repair. Mattresses must not be stained or ripped. Additional charities, such as transitional house programs @ the YWCA can be located under “Social Services” in the Blue Pages of the local telephone books
How much preparation should you do?
Local home prices are continuing to appreciate, demand is high, and the supply of homes continues to be low – the perfect market for selling your home. So why not just put your home on the market “as is” at a high price and see what happens? Because the statistics clearly show that is not a good strategy for selling your home for the best possible price. Well priced, well marketed, and well prepared homes are selling quickly and for top dollar. Homes that are not selling quickly, even in today’s market, are sitting because they weren’t well priced, well marketed and/or were not well prepared.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare your home for a top sales price:
- Enhance Your Curb Appeal. Clean the roof, pressure wash walkway/entrance, mow & edge lawn, put down fresh bark, and add a spot of color (flower beds or flower pots). Buyers want to come in to see a house when the outside looks crisp & nicely maintained.
- Prepare the Entry. Make sure your front door/entry is crisp and clean… this sets expectations for buyers as they wait to enter your home and keeps them excited about the potential. Repainting your door has the highest return on value of any remodeling for resale project.
- Depersonalize. You want your home to appeal to as many buyers as possible – by depersonalizing it you help them visualize themselves in the house and not feel like they are trespassing on your home and memories.
- Maximize Space. Declutter, declutter, declutter – throughout the house – walls, floors, counters, shelves. Remember you will need to pack up when you move, doing some of it before you put your home on the market will make a big difference. Help people see where they could put all of their possessions.
- Interior Condition. The interior condition will dictate the price – have it in the best condition possible that is consistent with your pricing strategy. Generally – fresh neutral paint on the walls, clean carpets, clean/refinished floors, sparkling windows, organized cabinets & closets, fresh grout & caulk in the bathrooms – everything should be as crisp and clean as possible. Consider doing a pre-inspection and taking care of all major problems in advance. Make it move-in ready.
- Differentiate. Determine and emphasize what is special about your home – the style, the layout, the view, the privacy, the low maintenance, the local schools etc. Professional staging, feature cards, and in-home marketing materials can all help make sure the buyer knows why they should stop looking after they see your home!
If you would like a complimentary market analysis to understand how to prepare, price and best market your home give us a call. The Blue Team – working twice as hard for you and providing you with the right expertise to guide you in all your Real Estate Transitions!
Whether you want to move to a smaller home, smaller property, or you just want to simplify your life and reduce clutter, here are some tips and great local resources to help you achieve your goal.
Where to start? Don’t try to do all of the rooms at once, it can be overwhelming and you might stop before you start. Select a single room, one that you don’t use often, or maybe even start with a junk drawer to begin. Remember two rules to keep the process moving and successful: (1) never handle an item more than once and (2) categorize and sort each item based upon 4 categories:
Trash – you don’t need it and it no longer has value, throw it away into a garbage bag.
Donate/Sell – you don’t need it but it has value, designate a spot for these items.
Relocate – you rarely use or just don’t need any more but these items may be important to someone else in your family or a friend, designate a spot for these items and put a name on them.
Essential – these items are essential to you on a daily/weekly basis, pack them in a box if you are moving, or put them back if you aren’t.
If you have more trash than what fits in your regular garbage service (and it isn’t toxic, flammable, reactive or corrosive), you or a friend with a truck can haul it to the Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland (11724 NE 60th St.) or get some help from Ray’s Hauling (425-844-2509) or 1-800GotJunk.
- Household Hazardous waste (toxic items such as paint thinner, fluorescent lights, pesticides & car batteries) can be dropped off at the Factoria Transfer Station (13800 SE 32nd St., Bellevue) or check the King County Waste Mobile website schedule to see when they will be in a community near you.
- Unused or Expired Prescription Drugs, Household batteries, and CFL light bulbs can be taken to the Woodinville City Hall and placed in the drop boxes for each of those items.
General item donations can be taken to Goodwill (Woodinville Park & Ride Lot), Northwest Center (Safeway parking lot on weekends) or you can schedule to have items picked up by Salvation Army (www.Seattle.SATruck.org). Northwest Center (www.donate.bigbluetruck.org), Google “Buy Nothing Woodinville” (or your city) – a great way to share your treasures with others in the community that would like to have them and Value Village (Woodinville/Redmond).
- Specific items such as: (1) Books can be donated to Friends of the Library for fundraising sales (most King County libraries) or www.booksForAmerical.org; (2) Beds, Mattresses, Couches– Salvation Army will pick up!; and (3) Cell Phones can be donated to www.CellPhonesForSoldiers.com, or Eastside Domestic Violence Program send by mail or drop off with the Woodinville Police Department. Tip: Every September Windermere Woodinville hosts a free electronics recycling event (pcs, tvs, appliances and more) – call or email us if you want to know the next date.
- Garage/yard sales at your home, sell limited items locally via ads on Craigslist, or for shippable items try eBay, or get professional help by using an Estate & Moving sale company such as Flotsam & Jetsam (206-818-2428), Caring Transitions Seattle (206-330-0878), Girlfriend Estate Sales (425-829-3848).
- Family & Friends. Contact everyone who has an item with their name on it and schedule them to come pick it up. Often our clients have “moving parties” where they invite friends and family to come see what they are looking to relocate to them and when they leave the party they take those items. Anything leftover can be donated.
Make sure you evaluate everything – don’t skip something merely because it doesn’t take up much room because you will just have to deal with it/move it later. Celebrate your successes as you clear out each drawer, room, and your home, and enjoy all of your new space!
- Holiday Decorations. Don’t go overboard they can make your home look cluttered and take attention away from it.
- Christmas Trees. Keep it small to medium size, large Christmas trees can make a room look smaller. As can a ton of presents under the tree and too much garland everywhere.
- Vacuum: Make sure you vacuum regularly if you have a fresh tree with fallen needles.
- Refrigerator. Keep refrigerators neat and tidy (we all get lots of food gifts during the holidays)… buyers will look inside.
- Outside Decorations: Be careful with outside decorations. Large santas and reindeer can take away from the beauty of the yard or the front of your home. Same with excessive amounts of holiday lights.
- Curb Appeal: Rake the lawn regularly to clean up the large amounts of fallen leaves. Pick up any fallen branches and debris from yard and walkways. Keep up a lawn care as much as possible.
- Ice & Snow. Knock down any large icicles forming over doorways and walkways. Make sure your walkway is snow and ice free. If it’s still slippery, pour salt on your walkway to help buyers safely to your door.
- Limited Light: Remember it gets dark sooner, so be sure to keep lots of lights on inside and out. Make sure all outdoor lights are working properly. Make sure your back yard is easily lit at night. Buyers want to be able to see the entire property.
- Towel/Dormats: Keep a towel or extra doormat inside your front door for guests to fully dry their shoes before exploring your home. Or have a sign that requests that they take them off.
- Heat: If you have a programmable thermostat, remember to change it if you will have showings during the day while it would normally be set very low. You don’t want buyers thinking the house is an ice box. You want people to enjoy spending time in your home.
- Hand Sanitiser: With flu seasons around, place a bottle of hand sanitizer by the front door for guests to use on the way in and as they leave. Or place it by the flyer box.
- Scents: Add holiday scents with mulled cider on the stovetop or by using fresh cinnamon sticks and evergreen as decorations. (Make sure you shake out the evergreen ahead of time to get out any bugs that have made it their home). There are also holiday scented diffusers.
- Keep it Cozy" Create a warm and cozy environment by lighting a fire, using candles and having fresh baked cookies and hot cocoa ready for buyers during open houses.
- Reduce your stress: Keep in mind that hosting during the holidays can take a lot of prep and clean up time. It might be a good idea to pass it to someone else this year or request extra help to get your place back to showing condition. Also remember, buyers look in all rooms so if you have people staying with you over the holidays, make sure they are keeping their room tidy and keep the suitcases in the closet if possible.