Top five words of advice for a seller today

As a seller today you are faced with a challenge when it comes to selling your home for a fair price and getting it done in a reasonable amount of time. Even though inventory is lower than it was five months ago, we are still looking at about 9 months of inventory in many areas. This large amount of inventory indicates there is a lot of competition out there to attract the right buyer.

We all know there are more than five steps involved when it comes to selling your home. We asked a few of our Windermere agents what advice they would give a seller today if selling your home came down to just five key things.

Top five by Liz Talley Windermere Ballard

 

    1. Declutter.

 

    1. Refresh the garden.

 

    1. Clear the entry and front porch.

 

    1. Minimalize & depersonalize.

 

    1. Price it a wee bit under the competition so that it pulls in buyers.

 

 

As always, market presence, professional photos, etc. all make an enormous difference but these five steps are the key right now.

 

Top five by Jamie  Johnson Windermere Camano Island

 

    1. Price. Listen to your real estate expert and don’t try to “start high.”

 

    1. Clean and stage. You are competing with other great deals out there. Yours needs to stand out and shine.

 

    1. Follow a marketing plan. Drop your price 3% every 30 days.

 

    1. Ask yourself – what is your goal? Most sellers have a dream of making a lot of money off the sale of their home. If your goal is to purchase another home, you will make up for your “loss” there. It’s all relative.

 

  1. Hire a local expert. Interview at least three agents. Do your research. A good agent will do all that for you.

Posted on December 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Posted in For Sellers | Tagged , ,

Bringing Warmth And Good Cheer For The Holidays

The winter holiday season is one of our favorites! It is also a busy time of the year for Windermere offices, as many are working with local non-profits to support families who need a little extra help during the holidays. From running clothing drives to hosting free photo events with Santa, our agents and offices are out in their communities helping those in need have a warm and merry holiday. Below are just a few examples of how Windermere is giving back this season.

 

Colorado

The Windermere Metro Denver office participated in the Mr. Hugs gift drive hosted by Providence Network. In addition to collecting and donating gifts to the drive, agents also helped with wrapping everything. Providence Network provides transitional housing to people recovering from addiction, homelessness and abuse. This event served around 200 people and provided an opportunity for the residents to do some Christmas shopping for each other from the gifts that were donated.

 

Oregon and SW Washington

Offices throughout Oregon and SW Washington recently held their annual Share the Warmth Annual Coat & Blanket Drive, collecting new or gently used coats blankets. Launched in 2002 in the Portland area, this annual event has grown significantly to include 40 Windermere offices throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Offices select the non-profit organization(s) in their communities to receive the donated items they’ve collected and to distribute them to those in need.

 

Southern Oregon

Windermere offices in Southern Oregon participated in the Newswatch 12 Coats for Kids drive. Eight Windermere offices (Ashland, Eagle PointGrants PassJacksonvilleKlamath FallsMedfordRogue RiverShady Cove) teamed up with TV station KDRV to collect coats for local school children.

 

Seattle, Washington

The Windermere Sand Point office is hosting a giving tree for the holidays. The tree was decorated with 33 ornaments, each listing a gift to be purchased for families in need from a local elementary school. As the wishes are fulfilled, the gifts are wrapped and put under the tree to be delivered for Christmas.

On December 1, the office also hosted its fourth annual photos with Santa event and fundraiser for the Windermere Foundation. Home-baked treats were served while children colored and waited to have a photo taken with Santa. Elves were on hand to help the children deliver their wish lists and to make sure a grand time was had by all.

          

 

Whidbey Island, Washington

In November, the Windermere Real Estate/South Whidbey offices in Freeland and Langley participated in a three-week Coats for Kids Drive benefitting Readiness To Learn. They collected coats, gloves/mittens, hats, scarves, warm pullovers, and socks for 75+ children. In addition to this, the offices also collected cold-weather gear for six homeless middle and high school students in their community.

     

 

Windermere would like to thank our offices and those in our communities that donate to the Windermere Foundation. Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue to support organizations that provide services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.

If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation. Just click on the Donate button and select the Windermere office near you.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit WindermereFoundation.com.

 


Posted on December 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Posted in Windermere Foundation | Tagged , , , , , ,

Guaranteed to Please: Holiday Gift Ideas for the Home

Every holiday gift list has at least one person who is tough to shop for. Wavering between a risky guess at clothing that might not fit and just throwing in the towel and buying a gift card can be frustrating. But there’s one thing you can be sure of: everyone on your list probably loves to have their home looking stylish. If you’re hoping to score a big win with the pickiest of people of on your list, here are some of our favorite holiday gift ideas for the home.

 

Inviting Lanterns

24 Unique Beautiful DIY Garden Lanterns - 18. RECYCLED WOOD SCRAPS HOLDING DELICATE CANDLES

Photo Credit: The White Company via Pinterest

Candles are a time-honored “safe” gift that usually deliver a positive response and are useful in any home. Take that one step further by gifting a stylish lantern to hold those candles. This gift is typically small, simple, and cost-effective, meaning that it’s pretty much the perfect gift idea for even the trickiest of people.

 

International Inspiration

World Traveler's Cork Globe

Photo Credit: Uncommon Goods

Maps and globes instill a home with a sense of adventure, and never have there been more décor options for those struck with a bit of wanderlust. One option is an interactive scratch-off map that allows tracking of travel. If wall space is limited, consider a cork globe with push pins that can be used to mark travel destinations.

 

Sweet Displays

Round Glass & Wood Dessert Stand - Threshold, Brown

Photo Credit: Target via Pinterest

Everyone has a guilty sugary pleasure of some sort, so why not encourage those desserts to be showcased with pride? A dessert display isn’t necessarily something you’d buy for yourself, but it’s a gift that is almost guaranteed to please. Glass is classic, but marble or wood-based displays can blend easily into just about any kitchen design while adding a little extra touch of style.

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Smart 

Image result for google home mini

Photo Credit: CNet.com

If all else fails, you can be assured that everyone on your list this holiday season loves music, podcasts, audiobooks, or some other audio form of media. Thanks to the increasing prevalence and affordability of smart speakers, giving a versatile, high-tech gift has never been easier. For under $30 you can now choose between several options, including the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini.


Posted on December 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Posted in Living | Tagged , , , , ,

Waiting and Waiting

Anytime the market cools off we sometimes hear prospective buyers say “I think I’ll wait for the market to correct, then I’ll buy after prices come way down.”

The reality is this… History shows that this wouldn’t be a good strategy.

Our go-to source on price appreciation is the Federal Housing Finance Authority who produces a quarterly home price index.  They have been tracking Larimer County for 41 years.

Their numbers show:

  • Yearly prices have decreased only 6 times in history
  • The average amount of that decrease is only 1.7%

So, someone who is waiting for prices to drop:

  • Might be waiting a long time
  • Might be disappointed that prices didn’t drop by all that much

Posted on December 17, 2018 at 10:34 pm
John Taylor | Posted in market news | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Making Your Home Smarter With Smart Appliances

Products that let you control every aspect of your home remotely are growing at a rapid rate. Smartphone-connected devices and appliances are increasingly common and deliver a stylish, effective design. You can pick and choose your favorite gadgets to assemble an affordable, intelligent abode on your own terms, or opt for an entire smart home system that does all the work for you.

While home automation is becoming more prevalent, naturally there are more and more products becoming available as “smart devices”. Here are a few types of devices we found that found the mark for function and style:

GE WiFi CONNECT WASHER AND DRYER

Photo Credit: GE Appliances

Check washer progress with an app that lets you monitor cycles and settings, extend drying times, monitor levels of Smart Dispense tanks, download custom specialty cycles and receive alerts when clothes haven’t been removed.

 

LOGITECH HARMONY ELITE, UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL

Photo Credit: Logitech 

More than just a TV remote – the Logitech Harmony Elite offers all-in-one control of up to 15 home devices including your TV, satellite or cable box, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray player, game consoles, plus connected lights, locks, thermostats, sensors and more. There’s even a free app that turns your smartphone into an additional remote.

 

FRIGIDAIRE SMART WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER

Photo Credit: Frigidaire

A wifi connected air conditioner that you control through an app on your smartphone allows you to turn the unit on or off, change temperature, control modes and adapt fan speeds – especially handy if you want your home cooled off before you get home!

 

SAMSUNG FAMILY HUB REFRIGERATOR

Photo Credit: Samsung

A few years ago, having a French door refrigerator with cameras, wifi, and a gigantic touchscreen would have been the stuff of dreams. Today it is a reality. This high-end fridge will let you peek inside it while grocery shopping, search for recipes on the 21.5-inch display, mirror your smart TV so you can keep watching your movie while you grab a drink, share calendars, photos and best of all – it even keeps your food cold.


Posted on December 14, 2018 at 3:40 pm
John Taylor | Posted in Living | Tagged , , ,

Four Holiday Decor Trends We’re Excited About This Winter

The holiday season is here and for many of us, that means it’s time to deck the halls. If you’re looking for some inspiration and a place to start, here are some ideas that are certain to get everyone in the spirit.

 

A Tree of a Different Color

Photo Credit: Left – Lushome, Center – HGTV, Right – Christmas365

For many, there’s nothing more quintessential during the holidays than a Christmas tree decked out in ornaments. But acquiring a tree can be challenging and expensive. Moreover, housing a tree consumes time and space. That’s why we love the idea of an alternative tree. There are plenty of options you can buy online or create yourself using things you probably already have around the house. And if you miss the smell of a real tree, try a scented candle or essential oils.

 

The Season of Lights

Photo Credit: Amara

There’s something perpetually charming about twinkling lights. Whether you’re wrapping them around your front porch or adorning your fireplace mantle, extra lights deliver a warm glow during the holiday season. Getting creative and adding light to otherwise unexpected places, including bookcases, around headboards, or even in glassware, is a great way to keep everything looking merry and bright.

 

Act Natural

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Not all holiday climates are built alike. If you’re expecting a white Christmas, you’re probably used to pine trees and winter brush, but for those of you located in regions where the mercury doesn’t drop, sprinkling in natural elements can transform your home into a wintery oasis. Holly and pine needles add a traditional touch, or consider a wreath of olive branches with some sleigh bells interspersed.

 

Bring it All Home at Dinner

Photo Credit: Amara

When decorating for the holidays, don’t forget the table! A sprig of holly adds a festive touch to your place settings. And instead of the traditional centerpiece, try placing candles in glass vases or mason jars to give your tablescape that added touch of holiday pizzazz.


Posted on December 13, 2018 at 4:35 pm
John Taylor | Posted in Living | Tagged , , ,

Good Loan News

Here are two recently-announced pieces of really good news for home buyers.

• The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority recently raised the income limit for their down payment assistance program to $115,600.

Now more people can get help with a down payment.

• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac raised their conforming loan limits so that more people can use a conforming loan and not be forced to use a ‘jumbo’ loan.

Contact us if you would like to hear how these pieces of news could help you.


Posted on December 11, 2018 at 4:31 pm
John Taylor | Posted in For Buyers |

Work Smarter – Not Harder with Smart Home Technology

 

While still in its infancy, the number of smart home products—devices that let you control lighting, thermostat, or even your crock pot from your smartphone—is rapidly growing. These are products and whole ecosystems that help you control your home via a single iOS or Android app. You can pick and choose your favorite gadgets to assemble an affordable, intelligent abode on your own terms, or opt for an entire smart home system that does all the work for you.

While home automation is becoming more prevalent, naturally there are more and more products becoming available as “smart devices”. Here are some of the more diverse home gadgets we have found, beyond thermostats and security cameras:

 

 

GE WiFi CONNECT WASHER AND DRYER

Check washer progress with an app that lets you monitor cycles and settings, extend drying times, monitor levels of Smart Dispense tanks, download custom specialty cycles and receive alerts when clothes haven’t been removed.

 

 

LOGITECH HARMONY ELITE, UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL

More than just a TV remote – the Logitech Harmony Elite offers all-in-one control of up to 15 home devices including your TV, satellite or cable box, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray player, game consoles, plus connected lights, locks, thermostats, sensors and more. There’s even a free app that turns your smart phone into an additional remote.

 

 

PETZI TREAT CAM

Missing your pet while you’re away? The Petzi Treat Cam provides a way to connect with them through your smart phone from anywhere. Dispense treats, watch live HD video and speak with your pet using the 2-way audio.

 

 

FRIGIDAIRE SMART WINDOW AIR CONDITIONER

A wifi connected air conditioner that you control through an app on your smart phone allows you to turn the unit on or off, change temperature, control modes and adapt fan speeds – especially handy if you want your home cooled off before you get home!

 

 

SAMSUNG FAMILY HUB REFRIGERATOR

A few years ago, having a French door refrigerator with cameras, wifi, and a gigantic touchscreen would have been the stuff of dreams. Today it is a reality. This high-end fridge will let you peek inside it while grocery shopping, search for recipes on the 21.5 inch display, mirror your smart TV so you can keep watching your movie while you grab a drink, share calendars, photos and best of all – it even keeps your food cold.

 

Originally posted on www.windermereseattle.com.


Posted on December 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Posted in Living | Tagged , , , , ,

A Lifetime of Making a Difference – Joan Tate Allen

 

Tis the season when we look back upon the year and give thanks for all that we have and count our blessings. At Windermere, we are thankful for all who generously donate to the Windermere Foundation, and we are grateful to have franchise owners and agents who go above and beyond to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. This year, Joan Tate Allen, co-owner and vice-president of Windermere Realty Trust, was recognized with the “Windermere Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award” at the company’s annual Owners Retreat. Joan is a visionary and one of those individuals who puts her whole being behind her commitment to helping others.

 

After joining Windermere in 1991, Joan became involved with the Windermere Foundation during its early years. She found inspiration in the unprecedented idea of all agents donating a small portion of each commission check because it provided an opportunity for regular people to make a big difference with a modest amount of money. The entire basis for the Windermere Foundation was built on the premise that these funds would accumulate over a period of time, as the agents pooled their resources.

 

Joan and her husband Brian eventually became the owners of several Windermere offices in Portland, Oregon — bringing on a change that would lead to Joan setting new standards for community service. In a short amount of time, she was able to spearhead entire fundraising events and challenge her agents to raise even more than their commission check donations. She created a friendly year-long contest called “Rise to the Challenge,” in which her offices compete to raise the most money for the Windermere Foundation. The total amount raised in 2017 as a result of those efforts was over $203,000.

 

Joan’s infectious enthusiasm has led to her company’s agents initiating their own fundraising events, such as a golf tournament organized by just one agent which has raised more than $40,000 each year.

 

Joan’s philanthropic work, however, does not end with the Windermere Foundation. She was highly involved with the founding of New Avenues for Youth and Bridge Meadows, and also serves on the Providence Portland Medical Center board.

 

Joan is constantly finding ways to engage her network to help the community through events such as organizing a day of serving meals, promoting clothing drives with Windermere agents, or giving underprivileged youth the opportunity to spend a few weeks learning to row in the summer. It is this type of leadership that has had meaningful impact and is why we honored Joan with the Windermere Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

We are grateful to have owners like Joan who inspire others to help those in need and are thankful for all who continue to support the Windermere Foundation.

 

If you’d like to help support programs and services that help those in need in your community, please consider making a donation to the Windermere Foundation through a Windermere office near you. Just click on the Donate button.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit https://www.windermere.com/foundation.


Posted on December 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Posted in Windermere Foundation | Tagged , , , , , ,

Windermere Hosts Chinese Delegation of Journalists

 

Last week, Windermere Real Estate was honored to host a delegation of top reporters from China as part of the East-West Center’s 2018 US Study Tour for Chinese Journalists. Nine journalists, hailing from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, visited Washington D.C., Des Moines, Iowa, and Seattle, Washington over 10 days to study the China-U.S. relationship in trade, security, media, and culture.

Their visit to Seattle connected them with Windermere and our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, to lean on his expertise about Seattle’s economy and real estate market. Mr. Gardner discussed the economic influence of Seattle-based companies Amazon and Boeing, as well as other internationally impactful companies like Facebook and Google, both of which have a sizable presence in Seattle. He also discussed the factors that caused the real estate boom of the past half-decade and what we can expect from the housing market in 2019.

Mr. Gardner shared data on the rising percentage of Chinese and East Asian-born individuals making up the population of the greater Seattle area, the factors that have contributed to that number’s rise in recent years, and the impact on our real estate market. Citing the differences between real estate norms and financial realities in much of China compared to Seattle, Mr. Gardner enjoyed a productive dialogue with the visiting delegation of journalists.

Windermere was honored to host the East-West Center’s 2018 US Study Tour for Chinese Journalists and to have the opportunity to discuss the role of Chinese foreign nationals in Seattle’s economy and housing market. As much as we shared, we also enjoyed learning more about China’s housing market and the evolving relationship between our two countries.


Posted on December 5, 2018 at 3:30 pm
John Taylor | Posted in #wearewindermere | Tagged , , ,