After Two Months On the Market with No Offers, We Sold it in 5 Days.

This is a notoriously hot market, and there's a common misconception that marketing, photos, staging, etc, aren't necessary in the current Seattle real estate climate because of the high demand of homes. However, and especially at the luxury end of the market, marketing still matters. 

We took on a listing that had been on the market for two months unsold. Not one offer had come into play. Here is the way that listing was presented prior to us taking over: BEFORE. Taking on a listing that's been exposed to the market already is extra challenging. We had to find ways to present it as new, make it seem fresh, and try our best to find an audience to engage. Below is Loren's beautiful tablescape with the Puget Sound and Vashon Island as the background. Capturing this moment in the home evokes a feeling and sense of home that wasn't present in the previous listing. 

We also changed the staging (not 100%, just adjustments), and added color and life to the deck. We also worked with our wonderful photographer, Cory Holland, to capture moments and perspectives of the home not quite captured previously. The result, in our opinion, was a home that looked warm, welcoming, fresh, and inviting. 

Within 5 days on the market, we had 3 offers. We closed on this home for just OVER the asking price. We embraced the challenge and accomplished our goal. Our hot market still needs hot marketing! 

Loren's Perspective: My First Year in the Seattle Real Estate Game

Having lived in Seattle for almost a year and a half it's appropriate to now feel like I have wrapped my mind and soul around this city and love my new home.  Coming from Chicago, with 6 years in the Real Estate business, the biggest challenge was adapting to a new city and all that comes with it.  From attitude and style, Chicago and Seattle are very different, however my first year in the Seattle world has been busy and rewarding and these following moments help describe what I've been up to.  Here's to more adventures and happy clients in 2016!

 

Day one

Inviting french doors on the Lake

Inviting french doors on the Lake

The day I decided to join the Savvy Seattle team with Realogics Sotheby's I went straight to this beautiful home on Greenlake to help set the stage for photo day.  It was a 60 degree day at the end of January, everything fell into place and the home sold for over asking while breaking records.  This definitely set the tone for the year to come. 

 

Great Sendoff to the Beloved Family Home

Crisp paint and charming staging by Lisa Sand Design.

Crisp paint and charming staging by Lisa Sand Design.

This traditional Redmond home was being sold for the first time since our clients had it built in the late 80's.  A dear friend's parents had finally made the move to Arizona for retirement and it was time to say farewell to her childhood home, an emotional sale for the family involved.  This was a group effort that required a lot of trust and it turned out amazing.  It sold the first week on the market and for over asking.  A perfect ending to a much loved family home.

 

Styling the Beach

Picturesque waterfront cabin on the Juan de Fuca.

Picturesque waterfront cabin on the Juan de Fuca.

Before of the same cabin

Sometimes all it takes to bring a fresh perspective is one car-load full of bedding, pillows, and decor.  This unique property has original cabins, on the water, rented out on a nightly basis.  This before photo shows just how drastic these changes make.  Again, setting the stage made all the difference.

 

 

The Work Pays Off

All new paint, landscaping and tuck pointing. 

All new paint, landscaping and tuck pointing. 

Before paint, landscaping, clean up, and staging.

Before paint, landscaping, clean up, and staging.

 

This beautiful Ravenna home had been lived in by renters for the past 10 years and when our clients decided it was time to sell they were open to suggestions.  The bones of this Colonial home were amazing, however the natural neglect with renters for that period of time were distracting. Overseeing the renovation of this home including trim work, exterior & interior paint, landscaping, tuck pointing, lighting and staging was a large job, and a great learning experience and an added benefit to clients who lived out of state.  The difference is incredible and the result was receiving 2 offers after one day on the market and securing over 20% above the listing price!

 

The Millennial Condo Renovation

Cool grey paint with white trim complimented the open 1960's vintage building. 

Cool grey paint with white trim complimented the open 1960's vintage building. 

These clients, also new to Seattle, in one short year bought their first condo, flipped it and sold it for a profit before moving up to their second residential home.  This was completely awe-inspiring and with our staging we were able to sell within the first week while many competitive condos in the same building and area sat on the market for weeks and months. 

 

Following Your Gut

Bistro lights on warm summer nights.

Bistro lights on warm summer nights.

This North Beach mid-century home turned out so cool with a wonderful vibe, the staging by Lisa Sand Design was killer and the table decor for out-door dining was my favorite.  But the real show-stopper is when your clients think you are crazy for wanting to paint their front and back doors mint green, but you just know its going to be so perfect with the brown exterior.  It definitely worked!

 

The Multiple Business

Stunning lighting sets the mood in this Magnolia charmer.

Stunning lighting sets the mood in this Magnolia charmer.

One thing that is currently unique to the Seattle and Eastside market is the multiple offer situations many sellers and buyers are finding themselves in.  With creative ideas and handwork we are still able to help both sides in these situations.  This Magnolia listing was set just right with beautiful photos, broker & public open houses and a week long review date that led eventually to securing 8 offers and going for $100K over asking.  Most importantly, happy buyers and sellers!

 

Working with the Weather

Weeks of forecast watching for this perfect, blue-bird day in the mountains. 

Weeks of forecast watching for this perfect, blue-bird day in the mountains. 

Many times the weather doesn't wait, and in the PNW a moody and sometimes rainy day can be quite beautiful.  However when the house is stunning and the setting is even more so, being open to last minute travel and photo-shoots is necessary.  The finished product is always worth it and even with the snow you can't wait to grab your bathing suit and jump in the water in just a few months, for now snowshoeing will do!

 

Thanks for reading!  Looking forward to sharing more of my favorite moments and experiences along the way.  -- Loren

 

Best Listing Photos of 2015 {Making Every Home a Sotheby's Home}

In 2015, we sort of rocked it. Sol, Loren, and I had so much fun last year and decided to compile Savvy Seattle's Top 10 of 2015 listing photos. So here they are in no particular order. 

10.That Time Spring Happened in January

One might not normally picture January as the time to post up on a roof top deck to enjoy the views of Green Lake. But last January was bizarrely sunny, almost warm, and provided us with the opportunity to use spritzers and berries as part of outdoor staging--and it turned out awesome! After 6 days on the market, this home, listed for $1.285m sold for $1.325m, a new record for price per square foot on the lake! 

9. The After

We call this picture "The After" because this room is one of our all time favorite transformations. This photo represents what we're all about. Our clients' busy family was overwhelmed, and turned to us for the ultimate in transformation. They gave us full reign to strategize/plan/stage, and the outcome was a mid-century living room with modern touches, open seating, and helped maximize the real treat--that view of the Puget Sound. A special thanks to Lisa Sand Design for staging and working with us to pull it off! 


8. When They Let Us Paint the Door Green

Our clients are so rad. They let us take their old, tired, but beautiful, Colonial home in Ravenna and paint it "whatever" we thought would look best. White house, black trim, green doors, and palms in pink (obviously) pots. Selling for 23% over the asking price, this was a risk that paid off. The rest of the house was also gorgeous (see below). 

7. The PNW Kid Room

One of my favorite families bought this house a few years ago, had a baby, outgrew the house, and what started as an office evolved into one of my favorite kids room. We didn't have to do much to this room (or the house) to get it ready because my client has a passion for eclectic design. I loved the way the pink, contrasted with the wood and darker grays. The family that bought it was a couple pregnant with their first baby. I love it when things come full circle. 

6. Twilight in the Sitting Room

LIVING ROOM | MAGNOLIA CAPE COD

I love this picture and this house so much for the life and beauty one feels upon entering. My clients also are stellar, design savvy, Magnolia-dwelling lifers, so of course the black window grids, layered rugs and vintage chairs pretty much set the perfect stage for this twilight photo. But I think the pink tulips really did the trick. Sold in under a week, with 8 offers, for $100k over the asking price. 

5. Small but Mighty

BACKYARD | EDMONDS 

I met the owners of this townhome by accident. Ryan meant to email a listing to Jessica (his fiancè), but instead sent to me (the listing agent). While they didn't end up buying my listing, they did end up with me listing their home and helping them buy one in Innis Arden. This picture perfectly captures who they are. They're fun, spirited, welcoming and cool. While this may just look like a picture of a little yard for a town-home, it's one of my favorite for it's mood and vibe. 

4. The Summer Dining Room

Is there a better place to be in the summer than Seattle? The days are long, warm, and beautiful. When these clients contacted me, they told me I had "free reign" to tell them what to do. They were relocating to Vashon, and handed me the keys. Lisa Sand Design pulled together a paint schedule, changed out the dining light, staged the home, and what was left was magical. Sometimes dining rooms are best at dusk.

3. The Chairs on the Dock

SUNSET FROM KIRKLAND WATERFRONT

For Sol's childhood friend and his wife, they were ready to move from the beautiful (condo lifestyle) of the Kirkland Waterfront, onto somewhere with more space. To achieve this picture, in the middle of fall, we hoofed out to the end of the dock with my striped chairs and turquoise cooler, posted up, and had the always adventurous Cory Holland snap a picture from behind. We risked falling into the frigid Lake Washington, but we achieved exactly the angle I was hoping for. 

2. The Sit and Stay A While

Seattle is full of old houses with unique layouts that we need to re-work with our modern furniture and lifestyles, and it's not always easy. Often in old Craftsman or Tudor homes, the living room is split by the front door opening in the middle of the house. A lot of people struggle with how to arrange furniture in these kinds of living rooms. I've seen it done several ways, but this one won me over. After Sol delegated and project managed several preparatory steps to get this special house market-ready, Trina Kelly (owner/designer at House of Pierre) rearranged and staged this home using mostly furniture our clients owned. After seeing their home finally ready for the market, our clients couldn't believe that they'd never thought to arrange the furniture this way. Also, this home sold with 8 offers, at 22% over the asking price. Whoop whoop! 

1. The Extra Room We Didn't Have a Plan For

Remember the house with the green front door? That house had loads of space, a character trait not often found in old Seattle homes. Just beyond the dining room, with a doorway to the living room, was this sun room. And it is SO COOL. But for a while, we couldn't think of what to do with it. After much debate, this was the conclusion. Lisa Sand honored the space with a mid-century Eames-esque lounge chair, some books, a bar cart, and a palm tree. It quickly became my favorite spot in the house. **As an aside: At the open house the little girl (now an elderly woman) who grew up in this house came to see it now. She had dozens of stories about the home, growing up in the neighborhood, etc. And I asked her what her parents had used this space for, and she told me her mom set up her sewing machine and would sew all the kid's clothes by the window. Wow--times have changed! 

That's our top 10 and it was REALLY hard to narrow it down. I have dozens of other pictures I would have included but we had to pick. We are so looking forward to continue telling these beautiful stories of homes, history, and people, in 2016. Cheers and thank you for reading! 

Craftsman in heart of Loyal Heights in Ballard | 8 Offers | Record Breaking Results

Sold for 22% OVER the asking price. 

MLS-11.jpg

My lovely, lovely, clients have sold their charming home in Loyal Heights, in north Ballard. When J&K contacted me, it was a surprise, because they were planning on remodeling this home. They love it so much, they decided to invest in renovating it to make it just perfect. But then...a house around the corner came on the market that stole their hearts, and they decided to put their 1926 craftsman on the corner up for sale! 

We got right to work, doing what we do. Sol took to his expertise delegating with our clients, maximizing space, and polishing the main floor, slaving away for two weeks to prime it for staging and styling. This time, I called on my friend and colleague, Trina Pierre {House of Pierre} to help style & stage for buyers' eyes. Also big thanks to my Sothebrother, Jesse Grimste of TTR Sotheby's for helping move for my clients in the rain! We really are family over here. 

The result is FANTASTIC! I was nervous because the pictures and staging took place while I was at a Sotheby's conference in Arizona. But I relied on my team of champions to do what they do best, and the results have been nothing short of gorgeous. 

Click HERE to see the rest of the photos. 

8 Offers | 6 Days | 2 Happy Clients