Don’t Forget to Do These 8 Things After Moving Into a New Home



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Guest Post by HomeAdvisor

Congratulations on moving into your new home! As you settle in, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your investment. From checking the locks to connecting utilities, you have a laundry list of to-do’s before that final “ahhhh” moment. To help you move through your honey-do inventory, here are eight essential steps to get you completely settled into your new home:

#1 Check your moving boxes.

Although you checked and double-checked your packing job, there’s a chance some of your possessions didn’t survive the move. While looking through smaller items, make sure major appliances work as well. If damage occurred during the move, reference your contract to see if you have any access to liability coverage or insurance.

#2 Inspect appliances.

If you didn’t bring appliances with you to your new home, not to worry–sometimes previous owners leave goodies behind. While hand-me-down appliances are convenient, it’s best not to rely on them too heavily–you don’t want to be at the mercy of an unreliable washing machine or oven.

#3 Have the utilities turned on.

Before your move-in date, it’s always a good idea to make sure your utilities are connected and turned on. Depending on the company, sometimes title companies will handle the transfer of utilities (all you have to do is ask the realtor when they’re scheduled to be turned on). If you’re new in town and unsure who to contact regarding utilities, you can call a local municipal office for more information.

#4 Look for the circuit breaker.

Did your home’s previous owner label the breaker switches? If some of the labels are peeling off or non-existent, find out which switches power the different parts of your home and label them accordingly. If the circuit breaker switches aren’t working, you will need an immediate repair or upgrade (which can cost about $1,100).

#5 Find the water shut-off valve.

In the case of an emergency, it’s extremely important to be able to locate the water shut-off valve for your home. Most homes have two shut-off valves: the main (indoors) and another for the outside water. If you don’t know where either of these valves are, ask the realtor or the previous owners where to find them. Not knowing where to locate your water mains can lead to expensive repairs should something go wrong.

#6 Put new batteries in your detectors.

After the move, make sure to replace the batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, check the location and condition of fire extinguishers (it’s a good policy to make one available in each room).

#7 Get a schedule for trash and recycling. association (HOA) or call the local waste management service to find out your schedule. Trash pick-up differs from neighborhood to neighborhood. Check with your homeowner

#8 Change out all the locks.

There’s a chance the previous owners of your home gave copies of their keys to neighbors or close friends. As a result (even though your neighbors aren’t burglars) it’s important to change out the old locks — front, back and any basement or porch doors.

Home buyers send ‘love letters’ to woo sellers

Love Letters: How to set yourself apart in a seller’s market

Posted in Buying by Tara Sharp

Love letters are a lost art form, in romance and home buying. Yes, home buying. If you’re a buyer and you want to set yourself apart from other buyers, you might want to state your intentions clearly by declaring your abiding love for the seller’s home in a letter. Here are a few tips for writing a love letter that works (for love letters of a romantic nature, you’re on your own).

Consider what about the home makes it your dream home. Do you see yourself raising a family there? Do you have a special attraction to the architectural/design style? Does the home evoke a sense of nostalgia? Consider your emotional reaction to the home. Many sellers are emotionally tied to their homes, and they often want others to see value in the things that make the home appealing and unique.

Share your home-buying journey. Whether you’re buying your first home, upgrading to something larger, or seeking a place for retirement, those personal stories can help a seller empathize with you.

Share commonalities. If you have any information about the people selling the house, share what you have in common. This could be anything from children to hobbies.

Show, don’t tell. If you can, paint a picture of what your life will be like when you live there. For example, “I can imagine pancake breakfasts with our two children in the lovely kitchen.” If the seller has had similar experiences, continuing those traditions may be important to them.

Don’t over-compliment the seller. A love letter should be an authentic message about your interest in the home. A seller can tell if you’re genuine, so keep your compliments sparse and real.

Keep is short and simple. Your love letter should be a sonnet, not a novel. Keep to the point and try to remain under 200 words.

Show stability. You might find yourself bidding against all cash buyers or people willing to pay more than you are. Your letter may set you apart from the competition emotionally, but don’t forget to share that you’re a financially viable candidate. Also, if you have unique (and strong) resume attributes, consider including a couple of key points. You never know what might draw the seller to you.

Don’t point out flaws or improvements to be made. Even when you’ve found your dream home, you may still have plans for improvements. This is not what sellers want to hear. Make sure not to point out the household flaws, or renovations you will make once the ink has dried. This could sour the seller to your overture.

Consider a multi-media love letter. Last year, a Windermere agent helped his client purchase the home of her dreams. She was a violinist and the home she desired required a certain acoustic quality. He followed her through the home while she played in different rooms. When she sent this video to the sellers, it helped set her apart from other buyers bidding on the home.

Be professional. While this is a love letter, and somewhat emotional, it is also a part of a business transaction. Do not be overly familiar. Remember to format, address, and copy edit your letter as you would with any other business correspondence.

Here are some samples of love letters.

If you are submitting a love letter with your bid, make sure to consult your agent. They may have inside information about the people selling the home through their connections with the selling agent. Your agent can advise you if your letter is appropriate and what information it should contain.

In a competitive seller’s market a love letter will not always work, but as in love, it is always worth a try.

Have you ever written a love letter with a house offer? What was your experience?




Coldwell Banker Bain | Seal Ranks as Top Northwest Luxury Brokerage and a Top Affiliate in Coldwell Banker Network for 2015




coldwell-banker-bain---seal-ranks-as-top-northwest-luxury-brokerage-and--a-top-affiliate-in-coldwell-banker-network-for-2015_640X480  2016Coldwell Banker Bain | Seal leads the Northwest luxury real estate market in sales of high-end homes, according to final 2015 numbers compiled by CB Bain | Seal from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data (NWMLS). Additionally, the company has once again earned the Coldwell Banker Chairman’s Circle designation for outstanding performance in volume, ranking as a number one network affiliate out of 3,000 offices in 49 countries. The company achieved a total sales volume of $6 billion dollars in 2015.

The NWMLS statistics (attached) show that in 2015 CB Bain | Seal:

• was the only brokerage firm involved in sold listings and sales over $10,000,000;
• listed 30% of all properties over $5,000,000; and
• sold the most expensive homes in the Seattle area: Mercer Island for $13,800,000, Hunts Point for $11,200,000, Clyde Hill for $6,700,000, and Washington Park for $5,750,000.coldwell-banker-bain---seal-ranks-as-top-northwest-luxury-brokerage-and--a-top-affiliate-in-coldwell-banker-network-for-2015_640X480  2016

16 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Spring



There’s so much emphasis on preparing for old man winter, then before you know it the mad rush of spring cleaning arrives. But what if you got a head start and did more than just a deep house cleaning? Just as you shift your home maintenance routines for the colder winter weather, you should consider what to change as the temperature rises.

Our homes are smarter than ever, and this makes it easier than ever to transition from one season to the next. You can set your thermostats months ahead of time to shift automatically. But other home maintenance updates require a little manual labor.


Don’t wait for spring cleaning! Whether you’re staying in your place for years to come, or preparing to sell in the near future, this simple checklist will help get your home ready for the warmer months, inside and out.


  1. Check the filter for your refrigerator ice maker or water dispenser, and replace if necessary
  2. Clear any debris that may have blown into your range hood before you start planning your next dinner party
  3. Schedule an HVAC contractor early to make sure your air conditioner is in tip-top shape before you need it most
  4. Clean dust bunnies from your clothes dryer vent, and underneath and around the washer and dryer
  5. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  6. Refresh your floors with a deep clean or polish
  7. Launder your drapes, dust off blinds and clean your windows
  8. Spot clean your furniture


  1. Clear old leaves and unruly weeds from your garden to get it in pristine shape for planting
  2. Sweep and clean your outdoor living space
  3. Give your grill a tune-up
  4. Prune your trees and shrubs
  5. Check your roof for missing shingles or leaks
  6. Don’t forget to clean out the gutters and downspouts
  7. Get your tool shed organized before you begin your big garden and yardwork projects
  8. Patch and repair any cracks or damage to your driveway and walkways

Get ahead this year and make your home the cleanest, safest place ever: you’ll thank yourself later. Here’s to more dinner parties and game nights!


Itching to Sell? Now’s the Time

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Most activity will happen in the first three weeks. Regardless of the market conditions, historical data shows that most activity on a listing happens within the first three weeks. That’s one reason why pricing it right from the beginning is so important. Don’t start the price high to test the market. Even if you do a dramatic price adjustment, it won’t get as much attention as it will when it is fresh on the market.

It’s also why your house needs to be “show ready” from the minute it hits the market. If there is something that needs to be fixed, take care of it before your listing goes live.

Staging makes a world of difference. Speaking of show ready, staging your home can be a miracle worker. While vacant homes sound great, most Buyers have a hard time visualizing. Adding furniture shows the real size of rooms, and artwork can add warmth and charm.

Even if you’re living in your home a stager might rearrange furniture, take items out, and add decorative touches. It can be harsh having someone walk through and critique your home, but remember that the stager is making recommendations to appeal to a broad range of buyers so your home sells quickly and for the best price. It’s not a commentary on you!

You have A LOT of things. Take advantage of the advice from the stager and move a lot out now. It’s going to have to be moved anyway, so you might as well start the process. Moving is a fantastic exercise in purging. Purging is good for the soul. Don’t fight it.

Only keep what you need regularly and helps show the home at its best. Donate, toss, or store everything else. I go through this process every time my husband leaves for a business trip. We’ll be ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Your life will be disrupted – temporarily. Having your home on the market is challenging even under the best circumstances. Understand that your daily life will be inconvenienced as your house is being shown, inspected, appraised, and beyond.