Tag Archives: Mike Stussy Realtor

Guide to Having Your Home Listed During the Winter

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Whether you are putting your home on the market today or it has been on market for a while, there are some winter maintenance items you must make time for to keep your home looking fresh and safe no matter what the weather is doing outside.  The house pictured above is not listed for sale, but if it were we’d have some things to think about.

Wilder Winter Tips For My Montana Friends

  • If you have a driveway, clear it of snow well enough that your home is easily accessible. Missoula road conditions vary by area, but if a buyer makes it to your house, be sure they can get up the driveway.
  • Clear snow from all outdoor walkways and stairs and make sure they have been deiced. You don’t want someone slipping and falling.
  • Clear snow off outside decks, stairs, and walkways in the backyard. Even though the weather may be chilly, you want potential buyers to get excited about your home’s outdoor living potential after the snow melts.
  • Watch for excessive snow buildup on your roof. In the event you receive an offer and the inspector will be checking the roof, you need it to be accessible.
  • Tidy up any garden areas. Trim ornamental grasses and dead foliage to neaten things up and rake.
  • Regularly clean your windows – inside and out. With the low winter sun coming in at an angle, smudges and dirt on the glass stand out more than ever and you need all that sun to provide light in your home.
  • Keep the interior and exterior lights on unless you can come home quickly before a showing and turn them all on. You may have showings after dark and it’s always nicer (for a buyer) to walk into a warmly lit home.

 

Milder Winter Tips For My Seattle Friends

  • In the event of a freeze, deice and clear all outdoor walkways and stairs. You don’t want someone slipping and falling.
  • Clear all leaves off outside decks, stairs, and walkways in the yards. Even though the weather may be chilly, you want potential buyers to get excited about your home’s outdoor living potential.
  • Blow all leaves off your roof and keep moss down. Not only do you need your roof looking neat for the potential buyer; in the event you receive an offer and the inspector will be checking the roof, you need it to be accessible.
  • Tidy up any garden areas. Trim ornamental grasses and dead foliage to neaten things up and rake.
  • Regularly clean your windows – inside and out. With the low winter sun coming in at an angle, smudges and dirt on the glass stand out more than ever and you need all that sun to provide light in your home.
  • Keep the interior and exterior lights on at all times unless you can come home quickly before a showing and turn them all on.

In all cases, I recommend contacting your homeowners insurance company to alert them that your home is on the market as buyers and other agents will be on your grounds and they may have their own set of guidelines they want you to follow to keep everyone safe.

The winter can be a great time to get your home sold. For additional tips on the steps you should take for your particular home, please contact me at 425-829-7887 in Seattle and 406-282-4976. Or send an email to mike@mikestussy.com in Seattle and mike@mikestussymissoula.com in Montana.

This Winter is a Great Time to Sell

Winter can be a great time to get your home sold. Especially this Winter. King County median home prices in December were the highest since 2007 at $508,000. Inventory of homes and condos was the lowest since 1993 with 2189 active listings, according to the MLS. Historically high prices combined with historically low inventory makes for very happy sellers.BoeKlahan-20

If you’re thinking of selling and planning to wait until the flowers bloom, perhaps think again. While inventory will continue at the low end in Spring, it will increase and buyers will have more choices. More choices can mean less competition for your home. An increase in interest rates can reduce your potential buyer pool. If you’re selling, those are good reasons to go ahead now rather than waiting for warmer weather. Winter buyers are generally very motivated to make a purchase and get settled quickly. I think that’s especially true of buyers this year.

For tips on the steps you should take for your particular home and a winter sale, please contact me at (425) 829-7887 or send an email to mike@mikestussy.com.

Interest Rates and Buyer Buying Power

In my previous post, we went over getting started with your home search and the importance of beginning with or at least getting handled your financing early on – hopefully, that means before walking into homes you’re thinking of buying.  Today, let’s look at interest rates and their effect on buying power.

Lately, I’ve received calls from buyers who had wanted to buy in the last year but felt they were priced out of the market. Now, they are back, wondering what their next move should be. They want to pay what prices were over a year ago, not what prices are now with demand being high.  Interest rates are expected to rise and that may decrease demand in many areas; however, is it really worth waiting for prices to come down (if they come down)?

Let’s look at an example. If you are considering the purchase of a $600,000 home and you want to “save” money, so you decide to “wait” until prices fall by 5% – or $30,000. But let’s look at the numbers if you were to purchase the $600,000 home today at today’s low interest rates:

Home Price $600,000
Down Payment $120,000
Loan Amount $480,000
Interest Rate 3.75%
Monthly Payment $2,223
Amount Paid Over Life of Loan $800,263.74

But let’s say you decide to wait in the hopes of purchasing the home for $575,000 … and in the meantime rates creep up to 5.5%.

Home Price $575,000
Down Payment $115,000
Loan Amount $460,000
Interest Rate 5.5%
Monthly Payment $2,612
Amount Paid Over Life of Loan $940,258.59

Over the course of 30 years, that additional $389 you pay each month adds up to an additional $139,995. The point of the story?  Waiting to “save” money by hoping prices will drop may well cost you far more than your expected “savings”.  It will cost you the appreciation you could earn while the market is hot and prices are rising.

If you’re interested in the current status and potential of a particular neighborhood or house to determine how it might fit with your real estate and investment strategy, feel free to give me a call to discuss.

Later, all!