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Selling Your House – A Guide

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11Selling your home is a great deal more involved than merely placing a For Sale sign in front of your property. From setting a price to attracting buyers to negotiating an agreement, there are a series of choices; each one can affect a distinct difference in the final outcome. Whether you’re a first-time seller or you have plenty of experience, you’re certain to have questions. This Seller’s guide offers some of the most important answers and advice.

Whenever you’re ready, you can turn to the Property Pro Team. We bring our experience in the marketing, financing, negotiation and the closing of a sale; the very expertise that will yield the best results for you.

Qualifications and Expertise

We formed the Property Pro Team with a licensed Real Estate Managing Broker, two licensed Real Estate Brokers and the resources of our capable and experienced office.  Together we ensure that your needs are met at all times.  You will always have someone who is familiar with you and your transaction when it is in process. One of us will be available to answer your questions without delay, when you need the answer.  More information about Marc, John and Adam.

Our Commitment to You

Our commitment to you as your Realtor is to be loyal to you by taking no action that is adverse or detrimental to your interest in a transaction; to timely disclose to you any conflicts of interest; to advise you to seek expert advice on matters relating to the transaction that are beyond our expertise; not to disclose any confidential information from or about you even after termination of the agency relationship; and to make a good faith effort and continuous effort to find a buyer for your property.

If at any time you are not satisfied with the level of service we are providing you, we will be glad to sit down with you and reevaluate your goals and expectations. If you are still unhappy with our service, we will be happy to sever our agency relationship upon written notice from you.

We look forward to representing you in the sale of your home.

We provide Value to our clients throughout the Entire Transaction

Your Property Pro Team real estate specialist is your trusted adviser who:

  • Demonstrates a track record of dealing with clients in an honest, reliable and professional manner
  • Serves as an expert consultant to create the best experience for clients
  • Always has each client’s best interests in mind
  • Fully understands and expertly acts upon the needs and wants of each client
  • Follows a stringent code of ethics on behalf of clients in all matters
  • Exhibits knowledge on a full spectrum of services for each client

 

Your real estate specialist provides customized services including:

  • A full offering of services before, during and after the sale
  • A real estate plan that is tailored to the specific objectives and needs of each client
  • Communication with each client according to his or her individual preference

 

Your real estate specialist will expertly manages the entire transaction to:

  • Anticipate issues that may arise and inform clients about how best to proceed to resolve issues before they become problems
  • Clearly explain financial impacts of various options and recommend solutions to clients
  • Coordinate the tasks of the real estate services providers involved with each client’s transaction
  • Provide a smoother, less stressful real estate process for clients

 

Your Property Pro Team real estate specialist has expert negotiation skills to:

  • Serve as your advocate throughout the transaction process
  • Understand each client’s needs and work to ensure as many of them are met as possible
  • Implement the best results for all parties involved in a transaction
  • Foster an amicable transaction between the buyer and the seller so that all parties are satisfied

 

Your real estate specialist engages with ongoing training and experience to:

  • Provide in-depth knowledge of Seattle-area homes, neighborhoods and communities
  • Proactively identify seasonal, economic and local housing trends may affect market conditions
  • Assist clients to navigate challenges and identifying opportunities
  • Recommend changes and enhancements to your property that will make your home more desirable to prospective buyers

 

The Realtor you choose matters more than the company. We firmly believe this because each Realtor is different in talents and skills. But when it comes down to the company, we chose John L. Scott because of the tools and features John L. Scott provides to their clients to aid in the home buying and selling process. When you combine these tools and features with the right Realtor, you get results. As your Seller’s Representative…

…we’re here to produce results for you!

 

 

 

Seattle Condos HOA Dues, Reserves and CC&R’s

DSC_8652

DSC_8652Now that the prices on Seattle Condos have recovered from the downturn and owning a condominium is a great value in today’s competitive market for homeownership, it’s time to examine such terms as common area, homeowner association (HOA) dues, and the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s).

What do HOA dues pay for?  Well if you are considering a Downtown Seattle condo, the HOA fees could include a Concierge, 24 hour security, and an on-site Manager. Usually you can expect the HOA fees to cover the basics such as common area cleaning and maintenance, garbage, water, sewer, and building insurance. Other expenses depend on the building and condo board, and may include hot water, heat and additional earthquake coverage to the insurance policy. You should ensure you thoroughly understand what you are paying for in the monthly dues since every Condominium complex has its agreed common expenses it pays on behalf of the community.

What is referred to as the Common Area includes most anything that is beyond the paint of the outside walls of a condo unit. Examples include the building entrance, lobby, parking garage, elevators, pools and spa, fitness center, clubhouse, hallways and the garden or yard area.

Search for Downtown Seattle Condos for sale

Another important element of buying a condominium is the health of the building’s Reserve Fund, the reserve fund is a portion of the HOA dues that are collected monthly and held in a savings account to be used at a future date for replacement and updates to building systems that have reached their useful life. As the word “Reserve” implies, the fund is a hedge against unforeseen occurrences that happen during the life of the complex or building.  These funds can go toward a number of different items that wear out, such as replacing a roof, repainting the common area hallways, replacing old elevators, repaving the parking area, new windows, new carpets, to name only a few.

To determine how much an association needs in order to be properly funded for future repairs and maintenance, the HOA engages a professional company to provide a Reserve Study. These studies generally are handled by a specialized company that has a team of architects and engineers qualified to inspect buildings and estimate the useful life, repair, and/or replacement costs for all components related to the property. These studies must be updated every 1 – 3 years to comply with the Washington State RCW requirements. The objective of the study is to set a minimum amount needed by the HOA for its annual reserve contributions. This helps to ensure adequate funds exist for a significant repair or replacement of any component associated with the property. The Reserve Study evaluation varies but as a general rule the goal is to determine the present condition of each component, the remaining useful life, and the estimated replacement costs.

A poorly funded reserve account can result in a special assessment that each condo owner will be required to pay.  The special assessment funds will pay for required repairs not covered by the Reserve; or in many cases an assessment will be used to replenish the condo association reserves.

Most every condo or building will have a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&R’s. This is provided for a buyers review once an offer on the property has been accepted and a resale certificate is prepared. Restrictions and rules will cover such things as parking, pool hours, BBQs on the balconies, pet policies etc. The HOA Board of Directors enforces these rules contained in the CC&R’s and any amendments, handing out fines for those who habitually break the rules.

Search Capitol Hill Condos for sale

Condo living is an excellent lifestyle choice for the urban dweller that wants to reside in a central location to employment, restaurants and nightlife. It’s easy to lock up and go when travelling giving peace of mind for some, and for those individuals who no longer desire to own a vehicle, it’s a suitable option with all of the alternative ways to move around the city.

Leschi – Lakeside living and views

Leschi

Leschi

The Leschi neighborhood is east of downtown Seattle’s Central Business district, bordering Lake Washington to the East, Martin Luther King Jr. Way to the West, I-90 to the South and East Cherry St. to the North. Its close proximity to downtown Seattle and the 520 bridge makes this area an ideal neighborhood to reside for inner city living or commuting to the East Side.

Leschi is serene with quiet lakefront living, close proximity and easy access to the major interstate highways, excellent dining choices and wonderful parks distinguishing this neighborhood from many others. Driving along Lake Washington Blvd and continuing as it becomes Lakeside Ave., Madrona Park’s long shoreline and beaches eventually meanders into Leschi Park which in turn connects to Frink Park. The neighborhood consists of curvy streets that wind down to the water with stately homes that range in style from contemporary craftsman to Tudor style to smaller charming bungalows. Lakeside Condominiums and apartments precede stately waterfront homes. Most residential locations provide at least a glimmer of a view of the lake and mountains.

Restaurants and shops are clustered in a few blocks along Lakeside Ave. Daniels Broiler one of Seattle’s premier steakhouses offers views and valets. The Bluwater Bistro, offers great food, yet more casual. Alicia Fusion Bistro yet another winning option that is garnering great reviews. There are other dining options, Starbucks, and a grocery with take out for picnics in the park along with a good wine selection at the Leschi Market, which has been a family-owned neighborhood institution since the 1940’s! .

Additional neighborhood information can be found at:

http://www.leschicommunitycouncil.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leschi-Neighborhood-Seattle/228562363899612

 

 

 

Tangletown, a hidden gem near Greenlake and Wallingford

Tangletown map

Tangletown map

Tangletown, or Meridian as wikipedia would have it called (nobody calls it that), is wonderfully hidden at the North end of Wallingford and the South end of Greenlake.  The streets in this neighborhood are winding and can be very confusing, but to locate the small commercial area within this neighborhood, focus on finding Elysian Tangletown, a great local (well, they were local until recently) brewpub.

Other notables in this commercial strip include the excellent sushi restaurant Kisaku, rock star local chef Ethan Stowell’s swanky Mkt. restaurant as well as great sports bar / dive bar, Leny’s Place – featuring darts, pool, televisions and trivia.

If Mkt. is too upscale, but you’re not quite ready for Leny’s Place, try The Burgundian – great pub food and craft cocktails with a wide beer selection and a mellow atmosphere.

Lest you think Tangletown is nothing but restaurants and pubs, stop inside The 56th Street Market, a small grocery with a good wine selection.  Mighty O Donuts has a cafe right next to the Elysian, and across the street is Cafe Zoka, another coffee shop.  Typical Seattle to have two right next to each other I suppose.

Without a doubt, Tangletown is an oft-overlooked gem of a neighborhood.

Madison Park – Seattle’s Premier Neighborhood

Madison Park map

Madison Park map

The Madison Park neighborhood is centrally located approximately 4 miles East of Downtown Seattle, bordering Denny Blaine to the South, Washington Park to the West, and Lake Washington with its popular Madison Beach swimming area.

Madison Park and its beach was established as an early favorite destination for residents that came to its shore to enjoy the water and has remained one of the most popular beaches on Lake Washington with its summer high dive raft, lifeguards and beach house. Today’s beach has a South end with a sandy beach popular with families and younger kids, the middle section which is mostly adults and the North side which has become Seattle’s quintessential gay beach.

The beach area has recently expanded to another quieter North Beach, just one block north along 43rd Ave. E with its grassy area and swings that are popular with both kids and adults.

Madison Park remains as one of the most popular neighborhoods in Seattle with its upscale residential streets along with its slower paced inner city vibe.  Everything is at your fingertips including banks, boutique shops, Pharmaca integrative pharmacyStarbucks, the acclaimed Madison Park Bakery that has the best maple bars in the city, and of course the heart and soul of Madison Park with its bulletin board that has postings for everything local at the Madison Park Hardware.  There is so much more that a walk through the neighborhood is a must!

As of this writing, there are eleven eating and drinking establishments, most with outdoor seating. Some of our favorite places include:

Monday all day happy hour at McGilvra’s, which has outdoor seating and nice views of the Lake and Mountains.

Tuesday happy hour at the Beach House with its $6.00 steak and frites dinner.

Saturday night Karaoke at the Red Onion and reasonably priced food options.

Bings Meatloaf sandwich is amazing!

Cactus is just great anytime including weekend brunch, they provide heaters for their sidewalk seating.

Thai Ginger has excellent dishes; my favorite is the Halibut Cheeks.

The Attic for game day and pitchers of beer, and don’t forget the food…it may not look like a place to eat, but they have an amazing kitchen with Lisa doing an amazing job with her preparations. Great place for a pitcher and watch the people come and go from the beach.

Independent Pizza, which has become Seattle’s best pizza.

Madison Park official Facebook page

 

 

Pricing a Short-Term Rental on AirBnB

A fair number of people have asked me about my experiences with AirBnB and I thought I’d write up my thinking about this website and the furnished short-term rental market in Seattle, starting with the topic most people focus on first: Pricing.
To give you an idea of what I’ve done with AirBnB so far, here’s a link to my listing on Capitol Hill.  I’ve been doing AirBnB for nearly a year now, and I have achieved AirBnB‘s Superhost status.  Here’s a link to my profile on AirBnB – you’ll just have to forgive me for the silly photo.  My second unit will be coming on-line later this month.
To get an idea of what price a place will rent at, it’s best to think like a customer and examine available rentals that are similar.  Here are some resources for finding furnished rentals:

Many mergers and consolidation in this industry have resulted in a somewhat confusing landscape of companies.  Currently I work with AirBnB and Homeaway as well as with local businesses Microsoft, Amazon and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Some of the factors that affect pricing are:
  • Seasonality: Spring and Summer have much higher room rates and occupancy rates than the rest of the year.  While a rental will generate less money in Fall and Winter, if priced correctly, it is possible to keep your rental occupied year-round.
  • Day of the week: Weekdays are less expensive than weekends.  Most people who need a furnished rental will travel to Seattle via an airline, making weekend stays the most common for short term rentals.
  • Length of stay: It’s prudent to set weekly and monthly prices to keep them competitive and give guests a feeling of getting a good deal.  Frequently potential guests will communicate with a host and ask if they can negotiate a discount for a stay.  I’ve been offered wine in exchange for lodging, as well as backstage passes and theater tickets.
  • Events: When large conventions and events happen in Seattle, demand for rentals will increase dramatically, and it is prudent to keep aware of these events.

 

North East Capitol Hill

North East Capitol Hill MapThe North East Capitol Hill neighborhood is an urban village with three distinct commercial zones, two large parks, several public and private schools and a variety of residential housing.

The first commercial zone follows Madison Street, creating a corridor of stores down this main thoroughfare.

The second commercial zone follows 15th Avenue from Madison Street to Republican Street.  This area includes a hospital, over ten different restaurants ranging from the delightful craft cocktails and sushi of Liberty to Ethan Stowell’s Italian restaurant, Rione XII, and many different cafés, although my favorite in this area is definitely Victrola.

Grocery stores in the area are plentiful, including a Trader Joe’s, the Central Co-Op, two different Safeways and a somewhat smallish QFC, as well as the newest addition, a well-loved boutique general store, Cone & Steiner.

Schools in the area include Stevens Elementary (public), Lowell Elementary (public), two private Catholic schools, St. Joseph Elementary and Holy Names Academy, as well as Interlaken Preschool.

The third commercial zone is a small one on 19th Avenue, but is by far my favorite.  This area includes the aforementioned Cone & Steiner boutique grocery store (featuring four taps of beer!), as well as Tallulah’s – a wonderfully modern foodie destination that unfortunately has the most uncomfortable bar chairs anyone has ever sat upon.  The menu is worth checking out, just make sure to get a table.  Fuel Coffee is my café of choice in this area – one of the baristas is an amazing photographer and has taken many photographs of different properties for me.  Hello Robin Cookies makes amazing desserts, including their tribute to a local hip hop artist, the Macklesmore.

Buying a House – A Guide for Buyers

buying

buyingBuying a Home is the most important investment you will make in your lifetime. We understand this and are committed to providing the knowledge and experience to make the home buying process an enjoyable process. We are here to provide counsel and help educate you throughout the process and remove the stress. We want you to be confident you made the right choice when selecting us to represent you.

Buyer Expectations

By probing and asking questions along with active listening, we can discover how much you know about the home buying process and what your expectations are of us as your Broker.

How We Operate

Not all Buyers know or understand the beginning stages to home ownership. We counsel all Buyers with our five-step process before we even start looking at homes. It is imperative in Today’s market for you to see a lender and obtain pre-approval and sign our Buyer’s Agency Agreement with our Letter of Commitment.

Our Value Proposition

We have included a list of all the steps we will take in the home buying process to better prepare you including a list of my qualifications.

Determining Your Goals

We will be asking personal questions to determine how we can best serve you and meet your goals. We have included a list of questions for you to review and answer to better understand your current position and your goals in the home buying process. We will review this with you at our first appointment.

Wants and Needs Analysis

By using the Wants and Needs Analysis, the information you provide will enhance the home buying search. Please be honest with your needs versus your wants. This will help us select the homes that clearly meet your requirements.

The Broker you choose matters more than the company. We firmly believe this because each Broker has different talents and skills.  As your Buyer’s Representative…

The Broker you choose matters more than the company. We firmly believe this because each Broker is different in talents and skills. But when it comes down to the company, we choose Sound Point Real Estate because of the tools and features Sound Point Real Estate provides to their clients to aid in the home buying process. When you combine these tools and features with the right Broker, you get results. As your Buyer’s Representative…

…we’re here to produce results for you!

 

 

Buy or Sell First?

selling

sellingConsiderations of how quickly you need to sell your home and how long it may take in a particular market given how many home listings for sale are on the Northwest MLS for example require a professional Real Estate Agent evaluation.  If it is a balanced real estate market, then concurrently listing your home for sale and shopping for a new home may be recommended.

For home buyers that have the ability to purchase a property before selling an existing home, this is helpful if you have specific criteria such as size, location, style, views, etc. which may take more time.  We can also structure an offer to purchase a property that is ‘subject to’ or contingent on selling your existing home.  Alternatively, a contingency can be included in the sale of your home if you receive offer before you have found another home to buy.

Timing is a consideration, whether it is seasonal, present market conditions, interest rates, consumer confidence, as well as individual changes such as job relocation.  We can assist to help evaluate if listing and/or selling your property is right for you.

 

Selling Price

Factors that affect the final selling price of your home:

Ultimately the value of your home is determined by the real estate market. Prospective buyers are Perspective buyers. They conduct their own research on properties as well as obtaining the insights of their Broker.  They will quickly gain a perception of value for a property that is not on the emotional level of the seller and their perception of its value.

Location, Location, Location!  This adage is the single most important factor in determining the value of your home. The comparative advantages or disadvantages of your property’s location can be quantified by its location, even being as close as the next block over.

The value of your home is greatly based on its characteristics , such as square footage, lot size, living space, the number of bedrooms and baths, the total number of rooms, and other features.

The condition of the property affects the price and how quickly it will generate an offer. As prospective buyers often make purchases based on emotion, enhancing the physical appearance of your home will help to maximize the buyer’s opinion of value.

Prospective buyers are shopping to see what is available on the market. If they are interested in your property, they will compare it against competing similar properties in the area.

Property values are influenced by the current real estate market. When there are fewer listings available and properties are selling quickly, there is pressure on buyers to present stronger offers. This typically leads to higher prices.  When there are many listings available and there are few sales, sellers may price their home lower to attract an offer from a smaller pool of buyers.

Pricing your home appropriately is an important factor affecting the length of time it will take to sell your home. The listing price plays a significant role in determining which properties will be considered by a prospective buyer. A buyer may be ‘qualified’ to purchase a home for up to $300,000, however, a home priced higher will not be in this buyers search results. As the price for homes comes down, the pool of buyers in the price range increases.

The amount of exposure that your property receives can potentially affect the demand for your home. Marketing is critical so that potential buyers know your property is available.

Having a Broker with strong negotiation skills will have significant impact on the final return that you receive from the sale of your home.

Contact Our Brokers

adam-henderson
Adam Henderson
425-941-1107
john-gardner
John Gardner
206-498-4849
marc-boyd
Marc Boyd
206-498-2328