Home buyers don’t want a stranger in their shower

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Exhibit A

 

My teenage son’s bathroom is a source of angst in my house. No, not from the teenager himself, but the mess left in his wake. Every day I walk past the usual basketball shorts and balled up socks on the floor. The damp towel barely clinging to the rack, deathly scared to join the shorts on the floor. The myriad of personal grooming items scattered on the counter grow in number as a new scent or 10 blade razor system is added and never used. Despite its incredible radius, most of the time I just don’t notice the mess. I call this “Selective Blindness.” My husband, however, does not have selective blindness causing much angst which we shall save for a future post, or my therapist/hairdresser Amy.

Because I don’t see his messy bathroom anymore, I figured this is what it’s like for my clients when they put their home on the market. Thankfully, my clients’ bathrooms are rarely as messy as my teenager’s. Nevertheless, clients will clean up their whole house, install new carpets, paint the walls, and declutter the kitchen, but when I go into their bathroom they still have out their razors, toothbrush and soaps out!  This is another version of selective blindness.

The most important part of making a bathroom presentation-ready is to have ALL personal items put away. Even Shampoo is a very personal item to a buyer who is in your home looking at your shower. To you, it may blend into the natural landscape of the bathroom, but all a buyer sees is the mental image of a stranger showering in their potential new home.

I understand that there’s a practical reason for having these items out. Toothbrushes and razors are used every day. Unfortunately, getting a home ready for sale means suspending some of the everyday comforts of home. Ask anyone who has eaten Teriyaki for dinner five times a week to avoid messing up their kitchen for showings – not practical. Selling your home can sometimes be stressful, but I promise that this part doesn’t have to be!

So… what to do? Don’t worry, there’s an easy solution. Get a shower caddy or basket to hold all of your bathroom items and tuck it under the sink. Pull it out when you need to use it in the morning. Before you leave for work, tuck it back under the sink and out of sight. A quick wipe of the counters and you’re done. The bathroom will stay tidy for the duration of the home being on the market with little additional effort.

Our own son will be a college kid in a few months, but I am not going to bother buying a shower caddy for him…we all know why right?

May 2016 Seattle Area Events

Check out these exciting events in the Greater Seattle Area this month! With Cinco de Mayo, Seattle Beer Week, and Northwest Folklife Festival, May should be a pretty lively month! 🙂 -JenMay 2016 Events

Get to know: The City of Covington

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Hello everyone!

I’ve decided to do a blog series that spotlights a few unique aspects of the cities that make up the Greater Seattle Area. Feel free to pass this infographic along if you know anyone who is moving to the area or just wants to learn more about Covington.

I’d also love to hear your feedback. Did I leave out your favorite thing about Covington? Let me know!

Look out for our next city spotlight: Renton, Washington. (If you have any great tips about Renton, send me a message.)

-Jen

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April Update for King County

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I was just working on our market update for this month and was struck by the fact that with 2 million people living in King County, there are only about two thousand homes available for sale … come on people time to move – Mike.

April 2016

April 2016 Events in the Seattle Area

Happy April everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine as much as I am. Here are some events around the Seattle area and South King County. Click on the image below to make it larger, and make sure to check out our blog while you’re there. 🙂

I’m excited to try out some new places during Seattle Restaurant Week. What are you looking forward to most? Let me know in the comments below!

-Jen

April 2016 Events

 

New Girl in Town – Seattle Starbucks’

Untitled 2Hello everyone! It’s Katie, Jennifer and Mike’s assistant. This month’s blog post is all about coffee, something near and dear to every Seattleite’s heart. Before I moved to Seattle, I was a barista for two years in a local coffee shop. Therefore, I have some knowledge of the coffee world and my own coffee preference. So with this opportunity to live in a city built on coffee, I decided to explore two very different Starbucks’ with my best friend Mallory. The two places we visited were the Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia Tower and the newish Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room in Capital Hill.

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The Columbia Tower is the tallest skyscraper in downtown Seattle and they have an Observatory on the 73rd floor, which costs about $15. But, the elevator ride to the Starbucks on the 40th floor is free! Obviously the views are not as great, but it’s free and Mallory and I are both financially conscious. So we grabbed an elevator and rode it to the 40th floor where we found a pretty typical looking Starbucks. The views were alright, but blocked by some nearby buildings and the weather was overcast so we couldn’t see very far. So, Mallory took some pictures and we headed on our way. However, this might be a good place for a cheap date on a nice afternoon.

 

12745658_10153548361909217_4038576708020389345_nNext, we grabbed a bus to Capitol Hill to visit the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room. This place is massive! According to an article I found, it is a 15,600 square foot property that is rumored to have cost $20 million to build. Starbucks has taken their love for coffee and created a once in a lifetime experience. As soon as I walked in I was in awe of the design and layout of the Roastery. There is copper everywhere! Starbucks even went so far as to design their own espresso bars. Espresso bars are extremely expensive in the first place, so you can tell how much thought they put into the environment of the roastery. There are multiple areas where you can order coffee and a large gift shop. Mallory and I began by talking with the barista we met at the door and he suggested we go to the Experience Bar in the lower level of the building. coffeeOnce at the Experience Bar, we ordered a flight of three different types of Starbucks coffees and a smoked butterscotch latte. (That was probably too much coffee, but I’d like to think that’s not possible.) The coffee flight was cool because there was a very distinct difference between all the coffee’s we chose. It was interesting to taste them at the same time. The latte was good, but not something I would order again. It wasn’t overly flavorful and if I order a latte with butterscotch flavor I want to taste the butterscotch.

The best part about the roastery is that it is so different from every other Starbucks. You can tell from your first step in the door that a lot of time, money and research went into building this facility. This is a specific, behind the scenes look at the high end product that Starbucks can create. It is not your typical Starbucks on every single street corner, selling the exact same thing to impatient customers. The details are my favorite part, besides the coffee of course!

Why I hate your House Plants

How could anyone “hate” house plants?  I know, I just made some enemies.  As I have come to know over the years, your house plants are these docile, often forgotten looking, affectionate things in random containers throughout your houses.  Many of these “family members” have stayed with you over the years, moved with you, been gifted to you by mothers-in-laws, given to you by neighbors, and are almost invisible comforting treasures you don’t even really think about.  The fact that you don’t think about them is evidenced by at least half of them looking like they almost died last week, two weeks ago, 3 months ago, and frankly, are probably almost always on the verge of dying, except for the last minute watering that revives them and reminds you they are special little things to be loved and cared for.

Blog Pics.JPGI say all of this in pure judgement, finger pointing accusation.  The only flaw in my argument is that I am one of you.  Maybe not to the extreme of some, but I too have 1 house plant I cannot part with. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is a giant spiky leafy plant/tree (don’t even know what kind) that moved in 12 years ago and since then has made a  permanent mark on my wood floor, is outgrowing its pot, the leaves are always half brown and when I finally water it, it reaches out and hugs me, so I keep it . In addition, my husband Mike has 5 or 6 in our home at one time depending on how well the resuscitation goes each month. His plants live with plastic containers under them to keep from staining the ledge they sit on. For those who argue that plants give oxygen, I’m not sure these particular plants are fully up for their intended duties.

UntitledHere’s where the tough part comes in.  You call me to sell your home.  I come over as any good Realtor and we talk about “Getting the home ready for market.”  One of the tasks is de-cluttering, and turning the house from a home into a product for maximum appeal.  It’s fairly easy for me to talk you into putting away the toaster, the 35 spatulas in the utensil holder, and the kitchen sponge that has been in the family since your first child was born.  But for some reason…..the house plants always cause for pause.  Surely I don’t mean ALL the house plants do I?  Yep, I do.   All of them.  Here’s why.

Home buyers are starting their home search online.  To help sell your home we hire a high-end photographer to take pics and videos that highlight the home and give tours through the home.  Pictures are 2-D and any medium objects such as house plants block the view of the room, the view between rooms, or the view outside.  In addition, the smaller plants look like do-dads in pictures, which are distracting. The goal is to help the buyer purchase the space, not the items in the space.

Plant Staging

Unfortunately there is a genuine cause for alarm. What do you do with house plants that you can’t have in your house?  If you have natural light, and a warm garage, you could put them in there.  If that doesn’t work, it will need to be part of the strategic planning, along with things such as Fido and kiddos.  One tactic might be to ask a friend to watch your kids and your pets, and when they hesitate, offer the house plants instead….they will gladly care for them while you get your house sold.