The condo market has come roaring back! Seattle-Eastside Condo sales are skyocketing! About 89% of the condos for sale in March sold! Harder hit than single family resales, it's fabulous news for those condo home owners who were so battered by the real estate downturn.
Prices are still not at the peak prices of 2007, but price increases have been pretty typical. As I mentioned in last month's post, the mid $200's price range has been the median price range for months now. Median pricing jumped from $200,000 in March, 2012 to $238,000 in March of this year. The hottest price range for condo sales continues to be under $350,000.
Since almost every condo for sale this past month sold, now is a great time to sell. Buyers continue to look for good condos to buy. With the competition at an almost all time low, the chance of selling your condo has increased dramatically. Last year at this time, there were about twice as many condos for sale. A third of those condos sold, but today, almost all the condos for sale are sold. It's a huge difference from last year.
If you'd like to know more about the condo real estate market, please free to contact us. We're here to help!
You've decided to sell your home. Now buyers will be coming by to see your home. These buyers will decide if your house can be their home.
It feels strange to have people walking through your home. It also feels strange to have photos of your home online for all the world to see. Selling a home is not like living in a home. When you live in your home, it's your private retreat where you can keep you home as clean or as messy as you want. But now your home is "on the market" with online photos and buyers coming by. It's a very different experience, which means you will need to live differently.
Here are ten things you should not do while your home is for sale.
1. Be home during the showing. Leave when buyers are coming so they feel comfortable looking through all the rooms, cabinets, and closets. Buyers will feel free to discuss whether a home works for them.
2 Offer to show buyers around. Often sellers focus on what they think is important and what they love, but it may it may not be what a buyer loves. Imagine you had a gorgeous jacuzzi style tub and showed it off to buyers. If the buyers prefer showers, the jacuzzi tub may mean nothing. When sellers show buyers around, it makes the buyer feel you're still too tied to your home and not ready to sell.
3. Draw blinds and leave lights off. A house that feels dark doesn't feel warm and comfortable.
4. Have an unmade bed. Need I say more about this?
5. Leave dishes in the sink and on the counters. Again, pretty self explanatory, but buyers really don't want to see your mess.
6. Leave personal items out in the bathroom. No one wants to know you brush your teeth or blow your nose. Buyers want to feel the bathroom is pristine and ready for them.
7. Your PJ's on the floor. Oh, please.
8. Smoke smell. Buyers worry it will take a professional cleaning to eliminate smoke smell or the smell cannot be eliminated at all.
9. Cooking odors. Many people love to cook, but they don't want to smell food when they look at homes.
10.Unsecured pets. Make sure your pets, who think they need to protect your home, are secured and don't interfere with buyers who are looking at your home.
There are many other things you should not do that will detract from the buyer's experience when viewing your home. Remember, the buyer needs to feel good about your home if they plan to buy it. If they think the house is unkempt or you make them feel like they're intruding, more than likely they'll go buy another home. Show buyers you're ready to sell. Give them a positive picture and the "space' to buy your home.
I love this time of year in Seattle. I was out taking pictures of my yard the other day. Even if it's gray outside, which it often is, the flowers, the plantings and all the trees look just gorgeous. My yard is starting to look its best. Your yard is probably looking great, too. The fresh growth on the plants and trees and the flowers make such a beautiful backdrop for a home this time of year. Even if you don't have a lot of flowers, the fresh green colors still look terrific, so don't overlook your shrubs and trees.
Now think of your yard and how it looks in November. There's no comparison. It's obvious how wonderful everything looks compared to how the exterior of your home and yard look in November.
Don't waste this opportunity. Take time to snap some photos of your home and your yard. You'll have them available whenever you sell your home. In today's world, the online photos of your home are the first thing most buyers see. If the photos are great, there's a far better chance that a buyer will come see your home.
And don't forget to take pictures of your deck. Most of us don't have our patio furniture out in November so now is your chance.
Remember, you could sell some day in the throes of a deep and dark November! I'm sure you'd rather use photos of your yard taken in June than in November. You can always use great shots of your landscaping no matter the time of year you might be selling your home.
Happy picture taking!
A public website where you can find out what types of crimes are happening in a neighborhood? You can now find this online in Bellevue and Kirkland and some other Washington cities. The City of Kirkland used a grant from Washington State to buy a crime mapping program that is available to anyone with a computer. The goal of the program is to raise the level of awareness regarding crime in the neighborhoods. The hope is people will see suspicious activity and report it to the police. Citizens will be empowered to assist the authorities and will be more knowledgeable about what is happening in their neighborhoods.
Aware citizens are a good thing. Just recently 3 burglars in Kirkland were caught because neighbors were being vigilant and reported suspicious activity to the police.
The program is not an attempt to scare people, but to raise the level of awareness of people within the community. With a raised level of citizen awareness, people will be even safer. No city is immune from crime, but here on the eastside, things are generally safe.
Who could benefit from this program?
- Anyone who wants to know about the safety of their neighborhood.
- Anyone who wants to increase their level of awareness about what is going on in a city.
- Anyone who is thinking of buying a home and wants to check the safety of a neighborhood.
It's simple to access the program. You can log on by going directly to the site or through a link on the City of Kirkland website. When you input an address you can check for a variety of different crimes within a certain radius. No actual addresses are given as crimes are reported by blocks instead of a specific address.
The city has also added links to crime prevention tips for each type of crime and to the King County Sex Offender registry.
Other important things to know:
- You can sign up for email alerts.
- You can search for more than one place, ie.a school or job location.
- You can create reports by category of crime or during a specific block of time.
- There is a free iPhone app.
The information is updated by the police on a regular basis and is an attempt to keep the public well informed. In Kirkland data will be updated on Tuesdays-Thursdays. However, if there is an active crime investigation going on, reports may be withheld.
You can access a huge number of other cities across the United States. Sometimes it is good to do that to see how safe living in Kirkland and Bellevue is when compared to other cities in the nation.
Got piles of important documents you no longer need to keep? Have you been meaning to dispose of these documents, but haven’t had a chance to do so? This weekend at my Windermere Real Estate office in Kirkland, you’ll have the opportunity to dispose of all your outdated documents responsibly and safely.
I’m heading off to my garage now to look through some boxes of old files. I know I have boxes of documents that can go.
If you’re concerned about how long you should keep certain documents, take a look below. Happy shredding!
Calling all pet owners and animal lovers in King County. Pets in King County need your help. Several eastside cities, Bellevue, Kirkland, Newcastle, Redmond, and Mercer Island, are thinking of canceling the contract with King County for animal control services . Each of the above cities would be responsible for animal control issues within its city limits. If there’s an animal in Kirkland needing some assistance, Kirkland would be responsible. The problem is none of these cities is equipped to handle our lost, stolen, and stray pets. The infrastructure is not there. Plus, it would bring on added costs to our local cities in a time when cutbacks are needed.
There is another organization which is far better quipped than individual cities to take care of animals, the Humane Society. The Humane Society wants this job. They already know how to do a terrific job in placing animals in homes. They hold animals indefinitely in an effort to find them good homes. They don’t kill dogs and cats, people’s pets.
I know this first hand. This issue is a very personal one for me. My dog Henry was adopted from the Humane Society. He had been picked up and kept for six weeks in the hopes that someone would adopt him. When he was found on the street, he was infested with fleas. The Humane Society shaved his butt in an effort to get rid of the fleas. He was the true picture of “butt ugly.” But, he was cured of his fleas, very adoptable and we got him! If the Humane Society hadn’t taken care of his fleas and kept him alive, we never would have gotten him.
Henry was a fabulous dog. We only had him for 4 1/2 years because he was about 10 when we adopted him. Unfortunately, he had a myriad of health problems, starting with failing sight and hearing. The thing that got him, though, was congestive heart failure. He had 3 1/2 great years and one year in which he gradually lost his sight and got sick because of his heart. We loved having him all of the time he was with us. We wouldn’t have traded him for anything. He was sweet and loving, a true joy.
There are lots of other Henrys out there, so please support The Humane Society in their efforts to do a good job for the animals on the eastside. If you can help this cause for all eastside pets, please contact your City Council people. Let them know you would like the Humane Society to take over the animal control services for the individual cities of the eastside.
Here’s a copy of the letter sent to us from David Loewe, the CEO of the Humane Society:
I am writing to share some exciting news that could improve the care of homeless, lost, stray and abandoned pets in Kirkland, and I would like your support.
As you probably know, many of the cities on the Eastside are contracting with King County, located in Kent, for the sheltering of stray animals. The contracts with King County are due to expire this year.
Seattle Humane Society has been approached by concerned citizens and Eastside city officials about our interest and ability to provide sheltering services, because the county contract is so expensive.
I’m confident that Seattle Humane Society is in a strong position to help and can provide better care for the animals, lower cost to taxpayers, and better service to the public. Please support us, by letting your city officials know that we are the best agency to provide these services.
As a donor-supported charity, we’ve provided shelter services to animals in our community for more than 115 years. Our medical and foster care for pets is among the best in the nation, resulting in an animal shelter save rate that is among the highest in the nation at 96 percent.
The cities interested in our services – Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Newcastle – are in our own backyard. In truth, many animals from these cities are brought to us already. If Seattle Humane Society receives the sheltering contract, cities will pay less for services, and there is an increased chance that a pet owner will be united with their lost companion. If Seattle Humane Society holds the sheltering contract, and you lose your pet on the Eastside, you can find your pet on the Eastside – at our shelter in Bellevue.
As additional background, I’ve attached a copy here of the letter that I presented to the Bellevue City Council in their study session on Monday, March 26th.
How can you help?
As a Seattle Humane Society supporter and an animal lover, we hope you will write to your city officials and let them know that contracting with Seattle Humane Society is a “win-win” for the animals, for their owners, for the cities and for Seattle Humane Society.
Click here for a list of council members in your city. Click here to view a proposed message you can send by mail, email, or a phone call. If you would like further details on the plan, please contact me by phone at 425-649-7556 or by email atDavid@seattlehumane.org.
Thank you for making your voices heard for the animals!
Contact the Bellevue City Council at email@example.com.
Last year I heard that a college friend of mine had died in his home from carbon monoxide poisoning. A few years back, a Realtor walked into a home to preview it and found the sellers dead in their bed, again from carbon monoxide poisoning. Both situations were upsetting and shocking to me. It was sad to hear of an old friend’s untimely loss. I can only imagine the horror of the real estate agent who found those unfortunate sellers.
These situations are so sad and unnecessary. They did not have to happen.
Here in Washington, the State is doing something about this. The State has passed a new law which goes into affect on April 1, 2012 requiring carbon monoxide detectors in specific places in homes as a condition of sale. Below is wording from the specific law that will affect sellers and buyers when a real estate sale is transacted.
Even if you are not selling your home, it’s a smart idea to install the same carbon monoxide detectors. It’s a pretty inexpensive way to help eliminate an untimely death, which could be yours!