Tuesday, December 31, 2013

OK folks, here are some New Year’s resolutions for your home:

In 2014:

1. I will clean my gutters at least twice a year so they won’t overflow and cause damage.
2. I will have my furnace serviced and cleaned at least once a year.
3. I will have the chimney cleaned at least once a year if I have a woodstove.
4. I will change the batteries on the smoke detector and CO2 detector at least once this year.
5. I will absolutely clean and stain my deck to prevent wood rot this year.
6. I will love my house by keeping the paint clean and repaint before raw wood shows through.
7. I will drain water lines and insulated outside spigots for winter now if I haven’t already!
8. I will clean the roof this year but not by pressure washing.
9. I will clean moss off walkways to prevent falls and mishaps.
10. I will check for water leaks in all sinks and tubs to prevent serious damage.

Plus, you will have a great New Year! Take care everybody!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Q: We’re getting ready to put the house on the market due to a job transfer.

We’re leaving Vashon and this area reluctantly and want to have one last holiday season in the house with our extended family. How can we manage that? I can’t imagine buyers coming to see the house during the holidays but if they do, how can we keep the place looking good and have our holiday decorations, etc?

A: I can assure you that there are buyers all through the winter. I encourage folks to look in the winter because they can see the property when all the landscaping is dormant rather than be dazzled by the landscaping. I also know that the sellers who are on the market through the holidays are usually very motivated.

I would suggest that you minimize your holiday decorations and displays. You’re moving anyway so just put out a few of your special things. That keeps holiday items from becoming a distraction to buyers. Minimize or forget yard decorations. Lights are always nice in the darker months so if you have them up and ready to go that’s great.

We are lucky to live in such a safe community but it’s always a good idea to lock up valuables while your house is for sale. That means money, jewelry, expensive collectibles, and drugs. I would add holiday gifts to that list too. Bring them out for your family get together but keep them out of sight before the festivities.

Your listing agent will make some suggestions that will be helpful too, I’m sure. Holiday cookies out on a plate are a welcome sight to potential buyers. I recall a lovely lady who put out home backed cookies and fresh coffee for every showing. I always had at least one cookie so that her feeling wouldn’t be hurt. (Yes, I’m being funny) I noticed that buyers would spend more time in that house. But you don’t have to go to that much trouble. Just keep the place as neat as possible and be ready to show as quickly as possible.