Summer is Around the Corner, Real Estate Market in Seattle is Hot

In Seattle we have had an incredible year, with a mild winter and wonderful spring, we are getting ready for a great summer.  Our Seattle summers are wonderful, with a calendar full of events from the Blue Angles, Hydroplanes, and concert series in and around the city. What a great place to be during the summer.  My kids and I love to go to Madison Beach and dive off the floating dive platform and watching the big barges building the new massive 520 Bridge.

 

 This weekend I was at my Wallingford open houses this weekend we had great activity. It is a 1929 brick Tudor that was custom built. It’s on the market, for a couple days at $685K hosting 4 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths.  What is great about a home like this is it hasn’t been renovated in bad taste and they didn’t do any bad updating.. The original mahogany millwork and the tilting windows make this a classic Seattle home.

 

This weekend I’ll be at the Braeburn hosting an open house that is a new listing. Prices continue to increase while the market is still a sellers market.  It makes sense to get into the market now instead of seating out and waiting till things slow down.  When the slow down, most likely form historical data, prices will be up 7% a year.

 

Interest rate’s at a glance, a lot of activity, the rates went form 3.81 to 3.8 last week.

nterest Rates at a glance

           

Exciting news in Seattle, the Polar Pioneer in town and all the excitement around this massive oil drilling rig. It is in town and moored at Foss’s maritime dock for modifications that will bring 400 jobs to the area and a lot of money for suppliers and parts.  It’s amazing people protesting in their kayaks, at least there won’t be much violence on the water from the protestors.

Cruise ships are in town and Pike Place market is busy with lots of people.  We love getting a sandwich at Three Girls Bakery and then heading down for a Priroshky for one daughter.  Don’t forget to visit the bubblegum wall.

 

Posted on May 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Make Mistakes Selling Your Home

 

1.     Not preparing to show your home in the right light. It’s critical to make sure when you are getting your home ready to sell that you put items in the right place.  Don’t have too much clutter; arrange furniture so the rooms flow. If you don’t have the right furniture the best bet is to place staging in place of your furniture.  Remember you are looking to get top dollar.

2.Doing a minor home improvement before selling might make sense.

If you have a ½ bath and have room to make it a ¾ bath to increase your selling price or a kitchen renovation to get more money, doesn’t that make sense? Yes!  But don’t get carried away by doing too big of a renovation.

3.     Not hiring an agent. So many people think they can do what an Agent/Broker can do. Are you willing to go through all the steps t get top dollar and then you don’t deal with an action in the right order or miss a timeframe that jeopardizes the deal, it’s critical that you have someone that can represent you to explain all the details. Studies have shown that hiring an Agent/Broker, you’ll get your money worth and it will eliminate a lot of headaches.  Hire a professional to do a professional job.

4.     Putting too high of a sale price. Wanting to get top dollar is everyone’s dream, but setting too high of a sale price can hurt in more than one way.  It will keep the house on the market longer, the first two weeks is when your house sees a lot of action and people.  When a house is on the market longer than a couple of weeks, then buyers believe they can get a bargain or low ball an offer. It’s key to get a BPO, (Brokers Price Opinion) this will provide an price with comps so you can make the right decision on the pricing.

5.     Not hiring the right agent.  You may have a friend or you see a truck that says “Use this truck for free when Moving, hire me” you get a postcard that says discounted fees or free staging. Do you want to think about discount people when selling your home?  You want the right person and the one that thinks outside the box, has great opinions and options to sell your home.

6.     Not exposing your home to the masses.  When interviewing the agents, what is the agent going to do for marketing?  Is she/he going to market to thousands of local agents, what about a Brokers open and open houses for the masses? Email marketing, Video tours on the Internet. Neighborhood mailer about the home. If the neighbors love the neighborhood, they’ll tell their friend about the great neighborhood, SOLD!

7.     Putting restriction on the buyers, not letting buyers access the home. Some sellers, believe they know better than the agent, so they restrict the agent from showing the home, not allow agents market the home strategically. The right agents know how to go to market and know how to sell your home, let the professionals do their job.

8.     Sellers should not be in the home while showing are happening. Several of my clients wanted to show the potential buyers their home, they felt they knew what to show buyers and they wanted to be there for the showings.  This is a big No-No. Buyers and sellers should not be together, buyers want to feel free to talk about the house what they like and don’t like. They may want to do a remodel and the sellers can’t imagine why someone would want to change their home. The best scenario is to have the sellers out of the home during any showing and any open or brokers open.  If they forget something, oh well they can come in after the showings.  Believe you want top dollar, this will shoot them in the foot if they are there while a showing is going on.

 

These are the main items that can help get you on the right rack for positioning your home with the right agent, maximizing your return and getting maximum exposure.  If you are in the Seattle and surrounding areas and you would like to discuss how we Tom Fine could help you, contact Tom today. Todays market is hot for sellers, positioning your home can potentially get more than market value.  Have fun selling your home.

 

 

 

Posted on May 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I love working with my clients!

November 5, 2014

To Whom it May Concern:

Tom Fine was our buyer’s agent for our recent home purchase in Green Lake, Seattle. We have decided to pen an unsolicited testimonial to his services.

Our family recently relocated from Australia to Seattle and decided to purchase a home. Luckily for us, we found Tom. Tom was able to explain the real estate market and buying and selling process in Seattle (which differs greatly from what we were used to in Australia). He was tireless in identifying properties that met our criteria and spent countless hours on the road with us explaining the positives and negatives of different localities, housing and building styles while viewing ‘open homes’. He was very flexible and understanding in his approach and his availability.

Tom’s knowledge gained as a building contractor was invaluable. He was able to walk through houses with us explaining potential benefits or pitfalls of the construction, layout, style, materials used and potential areas for improvement or maintenance. Several times he drew our attention to problems with construction that we would not otherwise have noticed.

In the end we found a house we wanted to make an offer for and Tom was able to calmly handle negotiations, helping to secure the house below the asking price in a highly competitive real estate market. He kept us in the loop every step of the way.

Subsequent to closing on the house, Tom has been happy to provide advice and expertise in relation to our plans to improve the property.

We’ve been impressed with Tom and would wholeheartedly recommend his services to others looking to buy or sell a home in Seattle.

Mark and Caroline Gordon
Green Lake, Seattle.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 6:05 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Does Your Realtor Know?

When I go to purchase items whether it is a small item or large, I look to the salesperson to be knowledgeable about what they are selling, don’t you? So I turn the tables and say here are some questions to ask your Realtor.

What should you expect out of a Realtor?

Let’s discuss the knowledge items.

Your Realtor should have knowledge of the following:
➢ Of the area you are showing with information of schools, parks, and the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods
➢ About the structure, basic information, what kind of construction is the structure (Just because I know a lot about this subject I didn’t put this in here, but I expect a salesperson to know what they are selling at least the basic information)
➢ Thoroughly describe the features and benefits of the property
➢ Ability to inform the clients about the forms they are signing and the ability to get them any answer relating to the transaction
➢ Communicate consistently with all parties about updates, changes or modifications of the terms, contracts and schedules, not through text, but phone and email
➢ Ability to discuss the handling of earnest money
➢ What Escrow and Title is and why they are important
➢ Ability to negotiate for the best terms for their clients, know when to talk and when to walk
➢ Follow through, continuation of communicating about the status of the process
➢ Be able to provide their clients with CMA’s (Comparative Market Analysis) for price points of the house whether they are selling or buying, so the clients know what your house value is
➢ Knowing how to maximize your return on investment, preparing your property for sale
➢ Lowering his/her commission will not make the property sell faster, (A realtor should be able to respond to this question, why won’t my property sell faster with a lower commission, *larger dollar sales do have a lower commission structure)
➢ Realtor (Selling) provides you with preliminary costs to sell your home with several scenario’s for different selling prices
➢ Realtor (Buying) provides you closing cost scenario’s, (what it will cost you to purchase a home)
➢ Realtor provides you what the process is for selling or buying and what to expect from the beginning to the end

The items I have pointed out above are key reasons to use a Realtor; another key item is the Code of Ethics that Realtor’s commit to, to be a Realtor. Please note that if you have a license to sell real estate, this does not mean they are a Realtor.

To discuss how I can be of any assistance to you whether you are interested in buying or selling, please contact me, Tom Fine, Broker – Windermere Real Estate, tomfine@windermere.com or call me at 206-434-6561 and I will be glad to help you with your real estate needs. I work with individuals, couples or groups to buy and sell real estate in the state of Washington, from single-family homes, raw land, multifamily properties and investment properties.

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 7:12 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Happened with Housing in January and What to Expect

    The beginning of February brings us with an incredible time for sellers, it is a sellers market with limited inventory and lower interest rates. Buyers are having a tough time with the limited inventory, that are stimulating multiple offers and offers going over 15% above listing price in some instances.
 
    This is discouraging for many buyers and I am encouraging my buyers to hang in there and be ready to jump as soon as we hear of a new listing that matches my clients requirements.  With the limited properties coming on, we are doing a lot of jumping.
 
    From what we can see, it appears this spring and summer will be heavy activity in the real estate market, heated up from the limited inventory over the last several months.
 
    Exciting times are coming and buyers should be patient and sellers should be getting their homes on the market to take advantage of the limited inventory, this should provide a better sale price now than this summer when more home flood the market. 
 
If you have any questions r or comments please contact me.  If you need assistance in the market wiht buying or selling please contact me.
 
To see what your home is worth, contact me for a CMA, (Comparable Market Analysis) 
 
Tom Fine
Fine Homes NW, Inc.
 
Windermere RE, Capitol Hill
206-434-6561  direct
 
 
 
 
 
Posted on February 11, 2014 at 3:02 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Options to Keep our Parents in their Homes as Long as Possible

Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Of course, your ability to do this hinges on many factors, including the nature of the challenges you face in your current home. Major home renovations may be required, but there are also numerous inexpensive steps you can take to improve your living situation, including:

 

SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

Flooring: carpeting is preferable to area rugs because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. But if area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.

Handrails: on stairways, add a second handrail along the opposite wall for improved stability.

Footwear: to prevent falls, non-slip shoes are preferable to slippers or socks.

Non-skid safety strips: adhered to the floor of a tub/ shower, non-skid strips are preferable to removable in-shower bath mats.

Bathroom grab bars: ideally these should be anchored into the wall, but if that’s not possible opt for a safety rail clamped onto the side of the tub.

Quality step ladder: purchase a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder with a hand-hold bar across the top to safely reach items stored out of reach.

Lighting: whether it’s making a bathtub brighter or installing motion-activated night lights in the hallway, better lighting can help prevent falls and make hobbies, reading, etc. more enjoyable. Lighting improvements might be as simple as changing the bulbs (to higher wattages or to bulbs that mimic daylight instead of “yellow” soft lighting) or adding battery-operated units.

 

CONVENIENCE FACTORS

Hand shower: convert a standard fixed shower head into a hand-held system with a flexible hose.

Raised toilet seats: no need to buy a new toilet when a removable seat can be added to most standard toilets.

Mail catcher: mail delivered via a slot in the door may be easier to retrieve than from a mail box, especially if a narrow basket is mounted below the door opening so the recipient doesn’t have to pick mail off the floor.

Knobs: replace round door and/or faucet knobs with lever styles, which are easier to turn. Likewise, loop pulls can make drawers easier to open.

Eating: specially-designed cups and eating utensils can minimize food spills, including weighted options that help counterbalance shake-prone hands.

Cooking utensils: lightweight and ergonomically-designed options are readily available now, many offering non-slip handles and bright, attractive colors.

Keep things handy: move often-used items to easy-to- access locations.

Eliminate excess “stuff”: having fewer items to store, sort, juggle and handle can make aging in place an easier and more enjoyable proposition.

 

 

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 2:34 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 Steps to Purchasing a Home

 

Here 17 Steps to purchasing a home. 

This list will prove guidance to understanding the steps to obtaining a home.

As any investment person would say, create a realistic budget and stick with it. This will give you a good perspective of what you can afford a month for a mortgage payment.

The realtor you have selected should be utilizing a process as shown below, will make finding your home a smooth process.

In each of the steps below there are details to understanding each of these steps

The 17 steps to home ownership

  1. Save money for down payment
  2. Select a Realtor
  3. Understanding financing methods
  4. Finding a lender
  5. Get Pre-Approved
  6. Determine your home search criteria
  7. Research and view homes
  8. Select a home
  9. Make an offer/negotiate, leave emotions out of it
  10. Sign a purchase and sale agreement
  11. Get inspections, Home inspection and any other inspections
  12. Apply for mortgage application
  13. Realtor/Broker will confirm a clean title
  14. Get home insurance
  15. Final walkthrough
  16. Closing, signing documents
  17. Documents recorded, keys are turned over to you

 

As with any part of the real estate process, if at any time you have any questions or concerns ask your realtor.  That is what they are there for, to provide you guidance that you can trust and believe in.

 

Do you have questions in the Seattle area, contact Tom Fine, tomfine@windermere.com or 206-434-6561

 

Tom's next blogs break down the 17 steps of purchasing a home.

 

Happy Home Hunting!

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tom Fine

 

Tom Fine is a Seattle-area realtor with 30 years experience in home building, renovation, sales, marketing, and negotiating, among other skills.  Tom’s client exceptional services include:

  • Finding the right home to meet your needs
  • Marketing and showcasing expertise
  • Helping you sell your current residence, if needed
  • Envisioning what is possible with any home

Profile information:

  • Has lived in the Seattle area for more than 23 years
  • Married,with two daugthters
  • Living knowledge of Puget Sound area schools, transportation, employment growth, and beauty of each neighborhood.
  • Welcomes the opportunity to find the right place for you.
  • Contact him today for a comparative market analysis on your current residence and a window into your future dream home

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 4:50 am
Tom Fine | Category: Tom Fine's Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,