Two Reasons to Sell Your Wenatchee Home this Winter



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A lot of people think that the real estate market freezes up during the winter, but this isn't quite true. Today I'll be dispelling some common myths about the real estate market.

1. Nobody looks at homes in the winter. This simply isn't true. We've examined the foot traffic in the past few winters, and it's actually risen a little bit. We expect even more buyers this winter.


2. Nobody wants to move during the winter. While people probably don't actually enjoy moving in the winter, they still do it. People are usually moving in the winter because they have to, and this makes them extremely serious and motivated buyers. This is why you can expect a quick and profitable sale during the winter.


If you've thought that selling in the winter is a bad idea, then think again! The market might slow, but it also turns in your favor.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you've been thinking about buying, selling, or investing in our local real estate market!

Why This Winter Is the Best Time to Sell



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Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale
Today we'll talk about why this winter will be the best selling season in real estate since 2006. That's right-- this winter, not next spring or summer.
Why? Since 2012, the real estate market has greatly improved. Inventory has continued to go down. In fact, we are at an all-time low in inventory. In the fall, inventory will continue to drop.
Also, the National Association of Realtors not only studies how many homes have sold or how many home sales are pending, but also how many people are actually going through homes.



Usually, from August to September to October, the amount of foot traffic goes down because of the cold and snow. This year, something very interesting is going on. Foot traffic actually went up from August to September. In fact, it did the same thing in 2014, and since then, 2015 has been the best year in real estate ever!
Going into this winter, foot traffic is even higher than 2014. Combine this with all-time low inventory and low interest rates, you can see why this winter is going to be the very best time for you to sell your home bar none.
So if you're thinking of selling your home in the spring, move your plans up and reap the benefits of all the buyers out there looking for homes this fall and winter.
If you have any questions for me, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

We Have a Great Opportunity for You!



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
Buying a Lake Chelan Home? Search all homes for sale
Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

Do you love sales? Are you open to exploring new opportunities to better your current positioning? Do you want to make more money than you did in 2014?
Well, I have an opportunity for you. Our team is looking for new sales associates, with or without a real estate license, to help handle all of the buyers calling into our office on a daily basis.


On average, we receive over 400 buyer leads a month. If you can work in a fast-paced environment, this is a great place for you. Our office has redefined the way real estate is done. As one of the top real estate agents in the city, I can guarantee that you will make over $67,000 in your first year, or I will pay the difference.
If you're interested in joining one of the top teams in Washington, go online today and apply at JoinNickMcLean.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

With Zillow, You Have a 7% Chance of Success



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
Buying a Lake Chelan Home? Search all homes for sale
Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

As a real estate professional, I'm continually bombarded by the question, "Why does Zillow price my home differently?"
If we go on Zillow's website, this is how they explain it: The Zestimate is created by an automatic software process designed by statisticians, and there is no ability for humans to manually alter the Zestimate for a specific property.
To make that more clear, let's say a home is estimated to be worth $500,000. If the Zestimate is off by 10%, that's a difference of $50,000! If the home is underpriced, you're missing out on tens of thousands of dollars. If your home is overpriced by 10%, it will sit on the market for awhile, and you might have to drop the price, causing buyers to wonder what's wrong with the home.


It's been estimated that Zillow's home estimates are only right 7% of the time. That means that they are wrong 93% of the time! That is a terrible success rate.
Remember, Zillow can't take features or upgrades on your property and compare them to other recently closed homes in your area, even though doing so gives you a more updated value on your property. Zillow doesn't walk through your home, and that's where my team can come in and place an accurate value on your home.
Ultimately, if you want the most accurate price for your home, make an appointment with a real estate professional. We will go over your home and the local market data in order to give you the most accurate home value.
If you have any questions, or if you're interested in a home valuation, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Buying and Selling in Wenatchee



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
Buying a Lake Chelan Home? Search all homes for sale
Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

A lot of people don't have the money to buy a home and then sell their other property afterwards. Paying two mortgages is simply not feasible for a lot of people, but that's okay because we have ways around this.

We recommend that you get in touch with one of our buyer specialists to find a home, and when you put in an offer, you can make the purchase contingent upon the sale of your home. This means that you can only agree to buy the home when your property is finally ready to sell.


Typically you will have 45 days to sell your home. This means that after you have your offer accepted, you have 5 days to put your home on the market, so you really have to be serious about selling your home. Not a lot of people do this, but the market is so hot right now that we think a lot of sellers will be willing to accept an offer like this.

We have the resources necessary to help you put your home on the market in 5 days, and we have the skills necessary to sell your home for top dollar and in the shortest amount of time possible.

If you need to buy and sell at the same time, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be very happy to organize a transaction such as this one.

We look forward to speaking with you!

Have You Heard About Cherry Meadows?



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Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale


Today we are very excited to talk about Cherry Meadows, which is a brand new neighborhood that's still under construction right now. Currently, there are six homes, and most of the construction will be completed by September.

When everything is all said and done, there will be 39 homes in the entire development. They will range in price from $269K to $319K. The square footage will range from 1,600 to 2,000, depending on the home.



The exteriors will be landscaped and have fencing. These homes will be in turnkey condition and ready to be occupied in September. The prices for these homes may go up once they're available because I think a lot of people will want to live in these homes.

This means you have a great opportunity to lock in your pricing right now and gain some equity.

As far as location goes, Cherry Meadows is close to a lot of nearby hiking trails, as well as the hospitals and the downtown area.

If you would like to tour one of these homes, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be very happy to help you out!

3 Ways to Determine the Value of Your Home



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
Buying a Lake Chelan Home? Search all homes for sale
Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

Did you know there are three different ways to determine the value of your home? If you plan on selling your home in the near future, this is crucial information. 



  1. Online: We have a link that will take you to a website that will use your address to find recent comparable sales in the area. The numbers are plugged into an algorithm to come up with a low average and a high average. This is all based on assumptions of the condition or quality of your home and is the least accurate way to find the value of your home.
  2. Appraisal: This is done by a licensed appraiser with the state of Washington. Appraisers simply put a value on properties, they don't sell them. They use the comparable sales approach, taking a look at the age, location, and size, among other things, of recently sold homes in the area to come up with a value for your home. Lenders use this approach when you go to refinance your home.
  3. Broker analysis: The final way to find your home's value is to have an expert broker, like myself, come out and give you a comparable market analysis. We do exactly what the appraiser is going to do, but also look at what your home will sell for now given current competition and other market conditions.


If you're curious about the true value of your home, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to help you achieve your selling goals.

What's so Great about New Construction?



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
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Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

When most people decide to buy a home, they want to go the traditional route of buying an older, previously lived-in home. What a lot of people don't realize is that you have another option with new construction, and it's not as expensive as you may have been led to believe. If you are looking to purchase a new home, you have some exciting opportunities here in North Central Washington in which to do so. 

Most new construction homes have great designs, with modern layouts, open concepts, and larger rooms. When you buy a new home, you don't have to have anything repaired or remodeled because you get to choose what is built, and the builder will often give you a warranty to fix anything if it pops up. With a new home, you also have new appliances and new systems throughout the home. 

When people buy older homes, they don't realize the difference between price and cost. With older homes, the initial price is lower, yes. However, the cost of maintaining the home is much greater than the cost associated with new homes. Conversely, the price on a newly built home is going to be higher than an old home, but the cost is still going to likely be around the same. 

Also, if you build a new home in our market, it is going to appreciate greatly. If you were to build one now and pay for it, in 4 months when you are ready to move in, it's going to be worth more than you paid. Just another advantage of a high-appreciating market. 

New construction does have some costs associated with it you should be wary of. Some new homes don't include landscaping or blinds, among other things. 

Building a new home is a great option in today's market. One of our new favorite neighborhoods out there with some freshly built homes is Cherry Meadows. The builder is incredible and they have some beautiful properties, ranging from $269,000-$319,000 in value. 

If you have any questions for us about new construction, feel free to give us a call or send us a quick email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Are We in a Buyer's or Seller's Market?



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
Buying a Lake Chelan Home? Search all homes for sale
Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

Hey everyone, today we are going to be discussing the North Central Washington real estate market and whether we are in a buyer's or seller's market. The way to find out if we are in a buyer's or seller's market is by looking at the price range, the inventory, and the absorption rate.

A balanced market is when we have about 6 months of inventory. Any more than that puts us in a buyer's market, and any less than that puts us in a seller's market. 





Right now in North Central Washington, the tipping point is right around $400,000. For homes listed in the $400,000-$500,000 range, we are in a balanced market. For homes listed under $400,000 we are in a great seller's market. In the $200,000-$250,000 range, we only have 1.2 months of inventory!

Above $500,000 we are in a buyer's market. We have 7-9 months of inventory available, depending on your price range.

If your home is in that $400,000 or below range and you are looking to make a move into a bigger and better home, conditions are ideal. You can sell your home for a great price in a seller's market, then buy a new home at a discount in a buyer's market.

If you have any questions for us, or are looking to buy or sell in North Central Washington, give us a call or send us an email. Talk to you soon!

What Are the Benefits of a Home Warranty?



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Today, we cover a topic that is the subject of many conversations in real estate. Many homeowners are curious about whether they should get a warranty when buying or selling, so today we'll provide an answer.

Our advice to clients is that you should absolutely get a home warranty when buying and selling. We recommend people use Home Warranty of America (HWA) to protect their sale or purchase. It's a 13-month warranty, and for around $315-$405 it covers a ton of items! If you're a buyer, you can actually put this into the contract and have the seller pay for it on your behalf.

We've seen clients save thousands of dollars by avoiding unnecessary expenses covered by warranties. It covers electrical systems, sump pumps, heat pumps, HVACs, and appliances, among others! You can also have every door in the house re-keyed for only $60! As a seller, you can purchase this product right before you list your home with us, and it's going to cover you throughout the listing period.

If your home is on the market for up to 180 days, you are completely covered! You may not have the money to fix something that goes wrong during the listing process, and the warranty will cover it for you! You can then pass it along to the buyer, who will be very appreciative of it because of the extra security.

Again, this great program is available through Home Warranty of America, and we highly recommend it! If you would like a flyer that includes all of the details of the warranty, or if you need real estate assistance of any kind, give us a call or shoot us a quick email. We would love to hear from you! 

Is Refinancing the Right Thing for You and Your Family?



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Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

Hello, and welcome back! Today's topic is whether it's possible to refinance to get a lower payment, and how you can go about doing it if you are eligible!

The first thing you need to do is take a look at what your current interest rate is. According to Seafirst Financial (our preferred lender), rates are around 3.675%. If your current rate is higher than 4.5%, you're probably leaving a lot of money on the table by not refinancing. 

Although it may seem like the right decision, not everyone can refinance. The first thing you need is 80% loan to value; in other words, the loan you get has to be 80% of the value of your home. If you're wondering what your home value is, check out the home value links above to get a general idea of how much your home is worth. If you're on the borderline in loan to value, give us a call and we'll help you figure it out.

You want to avoid private mortgage insurance and spending a lot of money to refinance. However, it will be more than worth it if you're able to lock in a significantly lower rate. With rates slated to rise in the coming year, now is the time to lock in a great low rate and lower monthly payments!

If you have any questions about this topic, or if you need real estate assistance of any kind, give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to hear from you! 

How Quickly Can You Move in Washington?



Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
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Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth area home? Search all homes for sale

The spring season is in full swing here in Washington! With so many people in the area looking to buy a new home, many have asked us how quickly they have to move upon selling their current home. 

When it comes to planning to get out of your home, you need to figure out how long it's going to take to sell your current home. We figure that out based on the location and price range of your property. Using those two things, we can tell you how long it will likely take to sell your home. 

Let's assume it takes, say, 45 days to sell your home. Once you have accepted an offer, it takes 30-45 days before the deal can close. On the contract you'll see a closing date, and you typically need to be out of the house by 9pm on that day. As soon as your deed records, we give the keys over to the new buyers. It sounds like a lot, but we make the whole process quite easy! 

If you would like expert assistance when trying to time your move in Washington, give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to help you accomplish your moving goals in 2015! 

How Can You Put Together a Winning Offer?




Selling your North Central Washington Home? Free home value report
Buying a Lake Chelan Home? Search all homes for sale
Buying a Wenatchee or Leavenworth Home? Search all homes for sale

The spring real estate season is finally here, so today we thought we would share some tips on how you can put together a winning offer! 

If you fail to prepare before looking for homes, you will fail to win. An agent will help you determine the right price to put on an offer based on the demand for the home, how long it has been on the market, and what the true value of the home is. 

Another important factor when putting together a winning offer is the closing date. The sooner you can close, the better! If you need financing, you need to get a pre-approval letter if you want to close in a timely manner. We have some preferred lenders who can save you money on fees if you're interested! 

Make your offer as clean as possible. In order to do this, you need to remove as many contingencies as you can. If you have to sell a home before you buy one, it's not as good an offer as one that doesn't have that stipulation. You can also find ways to reduce your home inspection timeline to make your offer cleaner. 

Lastly, another way to make your offer more attractive is to increase the earnest money deposit! 

We know many ways to make your offer stand out. We're skilled at putting winning offers together and would love to help you. Give us a call or shoot us a quick email for the assistance you deserve! We would love to help you get your dream home! 

How Can You Add Value to Your Washington Home?



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Do you want to spend just a little bit of money on your home and get a big return? If so, you've come to the right place. 

To help you out, we have compiled a list of cost-effective things you can focus on to improve your home's value:
  1. Appliances: If you have owned your home for 10-20 years, your appliances are probably dated. Upgrading your appliances will make a huge impact on your home, and you may even be able to get a rebate on them if they are energy efficient. You may want to consider stainless steel, as it has a very wide appeal. 
  2. Painting: Just do it! If you paint every room in your home a neutral color, you're going to get your money back tenfold!
  3. Staging: Adding furniture to a vacant home is almost a guaranteed way to get more money for your home. We have seven expert selling strategies, and #2 is the Law of Differentiation. Having your home professionally staged will give your home the uniqueness needed to sell it for up to 6% more money! It will also reduce the amount of time it takes to sell by 50%!
  4. Depersonalize: Family photos can make the home viewing experience uncomfortable for potential buyers. They want to imagine their family in the home, not yours. We suggest you begin boxing those up and getting them ready for your new home.
If you would like more inexpensive tips to add value to your home, give us a call or shoot us a quick email. We would love to give you a hand!

Is Your Neighbor Paying Less in Taxes than You?



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Do you feel like you paid WAY too much in taxes last year? If so, you've come to the right place. Today, we'll share some tips to help you save money on your taxes in 2015. 
  1. Contribute to your retirement: If you do not yet have a retirement plan set up, we recommend talking to a financial adviser. You can also check out Vanguard, a solid investment management company that will go over your options with you. There are many options to choose from, such as SEP IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k)s. Speak with an adviser to determine the right plan for you.
  2. Write off your home office: If you've been working from home, there's a possibility that you can write off that portion of your home as a tax deduction.
  3. Capital gains: Did you sell a home this year? If you did, you may be subject to capital gains on the profit of your home. There are ways to reduce the amount in capital gains you have to pay on your home. 
  4. Interest: One of the great things
    about paying a mortgage is the ability to write off your interest payments. If you paid points when you bought a home, you may be able to write that off as well.
     
If any of these tips struck a chord, don't hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email. We'll go into further detail so you can have a better understanding of how you can save on your taxes in 2015! We look forward to helping you soon!