If you’re like many property owners outside of Seattle, you’re probably being besieged with queries like “Are you interested in selling your home?” Saturday morning I had a phone call about a rental house in the West End of Tacoma we owned forty years ago. I thought of offering the caller a quit claim deed for a only two hundred thousand, but simply said, “We no longer own that home.” On second thought I may buy a few fill-in-the-blank quit claim deeds. We receive phone calls, letters, and postcards perhaps once a week asking about selling.
Selling our home with its view of Vashon and Maury Island and the passage up past Redondo is sometime in our future. Knowing this we contacted our friend, real estate agent Dan Engell (855-999-7975). We’ve known Dan for over thirty years and he has been in real estate sales all that time. He came over and walked through our home. We talked about updates that would help sell. Dan suggested colors that were popular for upscale homes, and advised us what not to bother with. Since then we have painted our home (taupe with a distinctive blue trim), put on a new roof, done some plumbing and electrical upgrades, and installed a new HVAC system. The plumbing and electrical work will make our lives easier, and the HVAC system will reduce our heating costs as well as being a selling feature later on.
There are side benefits as well. My work space (28×21) is the furnace room, office, video editing suite, shop, and storage/sling room. Over the last two years we have constantly been paring down, donating equipment and antiques to St. Vincent de Paul, Tacoma Little Theatre, and Lakewood Playhouse, while also selling some furniture that was nice and distinctive, but never really fully used. It just sat there taking up valuable real estate. When you do decide to sell, you do not want to have a cluttered look to put off potential buyers. It makes your home look smaller.
I recommend real estate sales people like Dan to speak with if you are contemplating selling in the slightly near future. They are familiar with the market and current trends and what might be important following. Out in the Graham, Eatonville, and Parkland/Spanaway area Cassandra Day (253-307-4677) would be a good Southern contact. From Puyallup and the East side, Lakewood and Tacoma you might like to talk with Veronica Kidder-Bonar (253-223-8292). A friend in University Place is considering selling their home in the very near future, and will be using this same technique for preparation. She will be reversing the trend and moving northward towards Seattle for a much shorter commute.
As you talk to these real estate professionals, you’ll also get a feeling of what your home is worth now, and what it could be worth in the next few years. You may want to use this insight for reviewing your home owner’s insurance. Your coverage should be enough to rebuild or purchase a replacement. This means knowing your property and household goods value. The same could be said for commercial property.
As more people move into our local communities, we already know about rising costs of homes, but commercial real estate property is going through the same changes. If you own a business or share commercial property with family, then commercial property appraiser Rick Pinkley of GPA Valuation (253-564-1342) might be your best choice for an adviser. Rick is located in University Place, but is familiar with values, changes, and construction projects in Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, King, and Snohomish counties.
By talking with people like Dan, Cassandra, Veronica, and Rick you are protecting yourself, your real estate values, and your future. If you have money to speculate and would like to buy real estate, I would be happy to assign my rights via a quit claim deed, non-binding of course, for almost any property around. My prices are very reasonable.
Jean S Reddish says
You don’t need to buy the forms, just download them from the internet.
Don Doman says
Actually, I’m pretty sure I have some:-)
Thanks for sharing.
The Old Goat! says
Property tax rates don’t have to go up to increase taxes demanded! My tax bill will increase by 20% this year. There are no improvements to the house in many years.
Politics of half trues?
Don Doman says
Have you sought relief? As an old goat you might get a reduction. Age sometimes has its benefits.
Skip the realtor and sell your own house. It’s going to sell either way in this market, and you can get 8% more money out of the deal.
Don Doman says
True, but it’s the prep and staging that could mean the difference in many thousands of dollars. Plus, it’s always nice to have an advocate and a go between.
Commissions aren’t cheap, but often they save time.
Thanks for sharing.