5 Ways to Get Your Home Sold this Holiday Season

So, it’s November and you need to sell your home. King County averages about 2,000 home sales in December. That’s about half as many homes as in the Spring/Summer months.  The good news is houses do sell!  There are also less house options for buyers than in the summer, so you have less competition.  Here are the top 5 things to consider when selling this holiday season.

  1. Price it right – This is not the time of year to “test the market.” Prices flatten out in the fall and winter. Stay conservative and price it based on actual Sold Comparables, not homes currently trying to sell.
  2. Pack up – Your Moving!! If you are going to dare compete with the big boys this time of year, make it count. Houses do sell.  Pack your house, knick knacks, family pictures, everything off the counters etc.  It needs to look like that sterile, perfectly tidy house that your one annoyingly perfect girlfriend has mastered (I mean that affectionately Wendy.)
  3. Every showing counts – There are less buyers this time of year. Don’t worry, these buyers are serious home purchasers, they are going to buy a house and it might as well be yours. Let them come see the house…when they want to…not when you want them to. They often don’t come back to see it a different time.  It might mean you are kicked out of your house during dinners and have to eat Chinese Food on Christmas like Ralphie’s family.  Ok, that’s extreme.
  4. Holiday Decorations – Yes, you can have them. But keep them minimal and coordinating.  This is not the year to put the tree out with the 22 art projects from your children’s k-6 grade classes.  It’s not because they look tacky (maybe a little) but because it will distract buyers from looking at your home. If they don’t look at your home, they won’t buy it.
  5. Light up your FOR SALE sign with a string of lights. Why not….I just told you basically you were going to have no fun this holiday, but this is one tacky thing that might be good. Helps people see your house is for sale in the dark, which happens to be about 18 hours during the winter.


Posted on October 21, 2015 at 9:02 am
Mike Elliott | Posted in Jennifer | Tagged ,

King County Market Update

Check out this months King County Market Update. Click to make the image bigger and check out our blog at the same time!

 Oct 2015 Market Update

Posted on October 13, 2015 at 8:52 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Real Estate | Tagged ,

October events

Here are your area events for the month of October! Click on the image to make it larger and check out our blog!

October Events

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 3:04 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Events Near You | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Should I scope the sewer line when I buy/sell a home?

What is it? How much? Should I get one? What is a typical problem?

 A Sewer Scope is a type of inspection where a sewer expert or plumber runs a camera through the sewer line between the house and the street connection. They typically gain access through a sewer clean out at the house or they pull a toilet. A sewer clean out is an entry point to the sewer line. “Pulling a toilet” is when the plumber physically lifts the toilet off the floor and accesses the sewer line. He then reattaches the toilet. The goal is to confirm the line is in good condition with no breaks, blocks or trees growing in it. The cost is $200-$250.  This would be done during a buyer’s inspection timeframe, or, on occasion, it makes sense for a seller to get one prior to putting their house on the market.

Should you get one if you are buying or selling a home? If you are selling a home, you would typically not get a sewer scope as it would be part of the buyers due diligence. That said, in the current market there may be an exception. If you are selling a home built before 1980 in Seattle, and you anticipate multiple offers, handing a potential buyer clean sewer paperwork may allow them to feel more comfortable making a stronger offer and/or bypassing an inspection contingency. If you are buying a home, and it’s built prior to 1980, it is recommended to inspect the sewer. After 1980, the type of line material was changed from concrete to ABS and/or PVC which is more flexible than concrete and does not erode It’s also glued at the seams so roots cannot get in the line and block it.

What if there is a problem with the sewer line found? It needs to be fixed and it can be expensive. Repairs typically run $2000-$8000. Most common issues are trees growing into the line, which can often be cleared through a rooter. If there is a break in a line, it will need to be dug up and fixed.

Posted on September 29, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Jennifer | Tagged , , , , ,

New Girl in Town – West Seattle

Katie, assistant to Jennifer and Mike, here again. My latest adventure was in West Seattle, where I live. While moving here I knew nothing about the area, but after being here for a couple months I have learned a lot more.

West Seattle is still apart of Seattle, but it is far enough away it feels like another city. There are tons of things to do!  I started my day by heading to the Junction . This is an area of California Avenue that is lined with businesses and it is known as the heart of West Seattle. My first stop was Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub because I love food and I love beer. So, I stopped in and ordered the fish & chips with a flight of their beer. It was some of the best fish & chips I have ever had, and I’ve been to England. After I was full, I took a walk down the street to see what else I could find. I happened upon a pet store called Next to Nature. I don’t have a pet, but I walked in hoping to see some dogs. To my disappointment there were none. However, this store offers a wide variety of healthy treats and food for dogs and cats. It is a very large store that anyone with a pet should check out.

 I kept walking down the street and after some time I noticed a small bakery that multiple people told me was a must. Bakery Nouveau has a great selection of pastries and I ended up buying some macaroons. My favorites were the salted caramel and coffee. They were delicious! After window shopping some more I noticed the new looking apartments in the area. However, surrounding these newer apartments were older homes. After some research back in the office many of the homes are from the early to mid-1900’s and the remodeled homes start around $550,000.

Posted on September 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Katie's Adventures | Tagged , , , ,

King County Market Update

 Check out this Market Update to see what prices are doing in the King County area. Click the picture to make it larger.

Sept 2015 Market Update

Posted on September 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Real Estate | Tagged , ,

September Events

   Here are some events happening around the area for September! Is anyone planning on going to any of these?

September 2015 Events

Posted on September 1, 2015 at 11:52 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Events Near You |

New Girl in Town

Hi, my name is Katie. I am the new assistant to Jennifer Clukey and Mike Elliott. I just moved to the Seattle area from Wisconsin after graduating college. Here is my latest adventure in Renton, Washington!

Lake Washington

      Renton, Washington is a town located just outside of Seattle. There are a variety of activities to do while in Renton. However, I only picked three places to visit; Coulon Park, the Landing and the Renton Farmers Market. Coulon Park is located on the south end of Lake Washington. It is a great place to walk, run or just hang out. I also noticed an area where you could learn to sail. I thought that was pretty cool. This area was a really nice change of pace from the city life.

Next I visited the Landing. This is a nice shopping area that has any store you could dream of; a running store, a hair salon, clothing stores, etc. As I walked through I stopped for a donut and then I moved onto a kitchen store. I stopped in the kitchen store because I love to look at things I can’t have, but I still ended up buying three items on my wish list. I purchased an egg ring for that perfect circular egg on a breakfast sandwich, an oven mitt because I only own one, and a dish to set my spatulas in while I’m cooking. The Landing also offers a variety of restaurants to choose from. For example; Vino, for wine lovers; Beer World, for beer lovers; and 5 guys, for a classic burger.

Renton Farmers market 1

Next I was off to the Renton Farmers Market which is open every Tuesday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, June through September. I went in search of tomatoes for bruschetta and flowers to brighten my apartment. It was a cute little market in downtown Renton. There is free two hour parking in the garage across the street and plenty of booths to choose from. After eyeing each booth, I found ripe tomatoes and a $5 bouquet of flowers and was on my way. Renton is a nice area and cheaper than downtown Seattle, but it gives you the proximity to the city with a smaller town feel.

Posted on August 26, 2015 at 1:13 am
Mike Elliott | Posted in Katie's Adventures |

King County Market Update

Prices and market activity leveled off in July … the start of new trend or just summer doldrums?? Stay tuned …

AUG 2015 Market Update

Posted on August 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm
Mike Elliott | Posted in Uncategorized |

Insurance (I learned the hard way)

About a year ago I was leaving a clients condo complex and backed into a short yellow concrete pole. This is extra dumb because I have a back up camera. I would like to note that I have an excellent driving record with no accidents. Although, I have donated to the city for speeding on occasion and those school cameras!! I swear there are no children anywhere when those things nab me.

insurance pic

Anyways, I took it to the dealer and the cost to fix it was $2800 because I had managed to hit an area where several different car parts come together. Fortunately I have insurance…right? Also, I never use my insurance and thought that’s what it is for. Do you know how much I pay each year to insurance companies between my cars and houses? Enough to put a kid through state college. It was concluded that my rates would probably go up for my whole family, so I didn’t use it. What I did do is raise all my deductibles, cars and houses, to $1500. If it’s not worth it to make a claim, unless it’s a major incident, there is no reason to have low deductibles. By changing the deductibles on my policies, I saved several hundred dollars per year, which I now scoop into my own savings account for rare yellow pole incidents. Lesson learned!

Posted on August 18, 2015 at 5:00 am
Mike Elliott | Posted in Uncategorized |