It’s Katie, the assistant to Mike and Jennifer. My latest adventure sent me to Kirkland. Kirkland is north of Bellevue along the banks of Lake Washington.
My first experience in Kirkland was for their Oktoberfest celebration. Oktoberfest is a big deal where I went to college in La Crosse, WI, so I had to make up for missing it this year. Also, my boyfriend needed an excuse to wear his Lederhosen. We decided to take the bus so we could drink as much as we wanted. Before we got to the grounds we stopped at an Irish pub called Wilde Rover so my boyfriend could put on his Lederhosen. We started talking to a guy who grew up in the Kirkland area and has seen it change from a small town to a busy business city throughout his lifetime. Kirkland has changed significantly over the years, similar to the rest of the Greater Seattle Area. The current average home price is $650,000, Which makes it one of the most expensive areas of King County.
I’ve spent most of my time in Kirkland near Marina Park and Downtown Kirkland. Marina Park is right on the edge of Lake Washington and you can see for miles. It’s a beautiful little park where they have lots of city events. Down the street from Marina Park are a lot of little shops. I didn’t stop in many because I don’t need a surf board and I wasn’t that hungry. However, it was a great little place to walk around and see what they have to offer.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.