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Thursday, April 13, 2017   /   by Christine Robertson

8 Top Ideas for Boosting Vashon House Values

From time to time it can be fun to scour the latest “Top Ten” lists of cost-conscious ways to
increase the value of Vashon house value.

Some make more sense than others. Upgrading bathroom vanity cabinets appears on some of the
house value lists, for instance—but those lists were probably thrown together in a hurry since the return
on investment is admitted to be 66%. When an investment returns two-thirds of its cost, it’s hardly
competitive. For Vashon homeowners preparing to sell, vanity cabinets don’t belong on the action list.

The best idea lists are the ones which show ROI: the return on investment. Here’s a new
compilation, offered purely as food for thought (since the “return” number for any individual case can’t
actually be verified)—

1. Yard improvement, AKA Landscaping. Return on investment registers at a hefty 303%
according to the NAR® (and even 400%, per This Old House). And it’s ...

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Thursday, April 13, 2017   /   by Christine Robertson

Uncovering One of Real Estate’s Blind Spots

I’ve been doing some research in writing my second book, “Real Estate Blind Spots: A Peak Inside the Black Box of Residential Real Estate,” and today I want to show you a chart I’ve created to locate a prominent blind spot people have when it comes to buying or selling a home.

As you can see in the video above, this chart resembles a coordinate plane with four different points: complex, simple, cheap, and expensive. Each section between these points represents an area where these concepts merge. A task like buying a home goes in the complex and expensive section because it can be categorized as both complex and expensive. A task like buying dinner goes in the cheap and simple section for the same reason. Each task is diametrically opposed, so they’re on opposite sides of the graph.

The blind spot connecting these two points is that sometimes people use the same logic they use to decide where to eat dinner to choose who will represent them in ...

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Thursday, March 30, 2017   /   by Christine Robertson

How a Rent Back Can Help You Snag Your New Home

We are in a strong seller’s market in Seattle which means there are a lot of multiple offers. So, if you present an offer in which the purchase is contingent on your current home selling, chances are the seller will go with a more convenient offer.

Most people don’t know they can do this, but you can actually ask the person buying your current home to give you a rent back. A rent back gives you anywhere from 60 to 90 additional days in your home before the new buyer moves in. That gives you ample time to find a new home without having to worry about yours selling.

A rent back gives you ample time to find a new home.

Most of the time the buyer won’t even charge you rent, and the best part is that you will be able to submit a financed offer instead of one contingent on your home selling. That will make your offer much stronger.

If you have any questions about rent backs, or if you have other questions about the real estate m ...

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Thursday, March 16, 2017   /   by Christine Robertson

Avoid These 2 Remodeling Mistakes Before Listing Your Home

What are the two biggest remodeling mistakes you can make to your house before selling it?

The mantra you want to remember when selling your house is that nobody wants to buy your home—they want to buy their home. If your home looks like your home, it will be less valuable to someone than if it looked like a blank canvass. 

Buyers don’t want to buy your home; they want to buy their home.

The first mistake to avoid is remodeling in a way that’s specific to your tastes. For example, let’s say you wanted to add new carpeting or new paint. If you repaint, the color had better be white, cream, or something similarly neutral. 

Unless your carpeting is horrible, don’t replace it. You’re better off giving the seller a carpet credit and letting them pick out whatever carpet they want. Why? The chances that your tastes align with the tastes of everyone else who might want to buy your house are infinitesimal. ...

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Thursday, March 02, 2017   /   by Christine Robertson

Which 3 Remodels Will Generate the Biggest Return on Investment?

What kind of remodels should you do to your house before selling it?

There are three you can take on that will generate the best return on investment. None of them will increase the value of your house over the price that it takes to install them, but these are the easiest to do and the ones that will give you the most value:

1. Installing a deck (wood decks, trex decks, patios, etc.). These remodels are easily used and relatively cheap to install. They can also be built to look great and add a lot of curb appeal to your house. On top of that, you get to enjoy a brand-new deck! The return on this is usually 80 cents on the dollar, maybe a little bit more.

2. Renovating your kitchen. Generally, kitchens cost way more as a remodel—you could spend as much as $10,000 to $15,000 to do it. However, it adds a wide degree of personal pleasure and enjoyment. The return on this is about 80 to 90 cents on the dollar.

3. Go green! Think of installing things like tankless wate ...

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