How to Buy and Sell Safely in the New Normal

 

While buying and selling real estate was recently deemed essential in Washington State, the landscape looks very different than it did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Real estate offices remain closed to the public with agents (like me) working remotely and hosting virtual client meetings. Important safety regulations prohibit in-person open houses and limit the number of people who can tour a home or attend an inspection. Social distancing will remain at the forefront as we wait for a vaccine or treatment to become widely available.

So how do you buy or sell a home safely in this new environment? Thanks to modern technology, there is a lot I can do to help you through the process while minimizing the risk to you and the community. Here are some tips on how to do it right…

 



 

TIPS FOR BUYERS

  • Do your homework before you tour a home in person. Take a virtual online tour, research the neighborhood and ask your agent to delve into the property and title history. If a virtual tour isn’t available, your agent can give you a preview via FaceTime or Skype while walking through the home.
  • Get pre-qualified. Knowing your exact budget in advance will help you save time and avoid any non-essential showings.
  • Schedule a 1-hour showing window. When you think you’ve found “the one” and are ready to tour it in-person, have your agent book a full hour so that you are less likely to run into other buyers. This will also allow time for each person to see the home since there is currently a limit of just 2 people in the home at once, including the agent.
  • Meet your agent at the home. Instead of carpooling, drive separately and then wait in your car until your agent confirms that the home is empty and ready to tour. Condos may have special rules for showings and you’ll also want to take separate elevator trips if you’re touring a high-rise.
  • Play it safe during the tour. Wear a mask, wash/sanitize your hands when you enter and leave, limit touching of surfaces, and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from your agent at all times. Assume you might be recorded by the homeowner and observed by neighbors.
  • Meet virtually with your agent. When it’s time to write an offer, your agent can use any number of video conferencing apps to share documents with you and discuss them in real time. You can then sign and authenticate all contracts electronically via a secure service such as Authentisign.
  • Don’t skip a professional home inspection. Due to the difficulties around seeing the home in person, it is more important than ever to make sure you know of any underlying issues it may have. The 2-person rule still applies at inspections so your agent will likely request the seller’s permission for you to be in the home alone with the inspector while the agent waits in the car. You’ll also need to make sure you and your inspector comply with all social distancing and safety rules.



 

TIPS FOR SELLERS

  • Give your listing agent a virtual tour. Rather than meeting in person, utilize an app like FaceTime or Skype to virtually walk your agent through your home using your smart phone. Hold meetings virtually whenever possible and sign documents electronically through a secure service such as Authentisign.
  • Move out first if at all possible. This makes it practical for buyers to comfortably view your home while following the current 2-person limit for home occupancy during showings. It also protects you from any potential exposure—especially important if you are in at at-risk age group and/or have health problems.
  • Time the market with expert advice. Talk to an agent you can trust who follows the ins and outs of regulations from the Governor’s office and also has access to showing data and activity reports that can help you determine the best time to sell.
  • Look your best online. Make sure your agent will coordinate truly stellar home preparation, staging and photography. Consider having a professional video tour and interactive floor plans as well.
  • Have your agent hold a virtual open house. Live-streaming a virtual tour from inside the home is a great way for your agent to reach buyers and answer their questions in real time. Virtual open houses are also now promoted on virtually all home search websites and apps.
  • Prepare diligently for in-person showings. Be sure that you or your agent provides hand sanitizer, single-use booties and masks along with a sign detailing the safety guidelines you would like visitors to follow while in your home. Open interior doors and turn on lights ahead of time to minimize touching. Disinfect high-use surfaces after each showing.

 


 

Find a Home with Windermere Real Estate

 

Find a Home | Sell Your Home | Property Research

Neighborhoods | Market Reports | Our Team

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | (206) 232-0446

mercerisland@windermere.com

© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate / Mercer Island

Posted on May 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm
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2019 Holiday Happenings in the Seattle Area

Add a little sparkle with these local holiday happenings...


Our Northwest holidays may be wet, but they’re still bright! Make the most of the season with Seattle favorites—such as dazzling light displays and the Parade of Boats—along with newer additions like the “Enchant” event with light mazes and ice skating inside T Mobile Park. Scroll down for all the details…

 

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

West Entrance: 5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
South Entrance: 750 N 50th St, Seattle, WA 98103
www.zoo.org/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/29/19 – 1/5/20 | 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Cost: $10.95 – $16.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotions: Get a 10% group discount on WildLights tickets for groups of 20+. Zoo members get 20% off adult tickets.
  • Parking: Free parking is available at all lots after 4:30 pm (admission at both gates)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at the pizza trailer on the North Meadow, and at Gather and Graze (with covered seating provided). You are also welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Special activities: Carousel, fire pits, select indoor animal exhibits, ZooStore, & indoor snowball fights at the Snowmazium
  • Closures: December 2, 3, 9, 10, 24 & 25, 2019

Image courtesy of https://zoo.org/zoolights


 

Winterfest at Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest

Map


 

Enchant at T-Mobile Park

1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
https://enchantchristmas.com/seattle/
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: 11/22/19 – 12/29/19 | 4pm to 11pm Fri-Sun, 4pm to 10pm weekdays until 12/12, then 4pm to 11pm every day 12/13-19 – 12/29/19
  • Cost: $19.99 – $32.99 per person (ages 3 and under are free) | VIP passes with dinner starting at $74.99 for adults
  • Promotions: Discount on final 2 hours of any day | 20% off with a 4-ticket family pack
  • Parking: $8 – $60 at Safeco Field Garages or check out the city’s Interactive Parking Map
  • Food: Seasonal food and treat concessions throughout
  • Activities: Ice skating trail, light maze, visits with Santa, gift market
  • Closures: 11/25/19 – 11/28/29, 12/2/19
Enchant Light Maze

Image courtesy of enchantchristmas.com


 

Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
http://gardendlights.org
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/30/19 – 12/31/19 | 4:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Parking: Premium parking is $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Activities: Gingerbread village, live music
  • Holiday Closures: None

Photo courtesy of gardendlights.org


 

Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection

Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://snowflakelane.com/


 

Christmas Ship Festival

Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, Des Moines Marina, Port of Poulsbo, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Edmonds, and Shilshole Bay Marina

www.argosycruises.com
click here to get tickets


 

Ivar’s Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056
https://rentonwa.gov/clamlights

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 12/6/19 – 1/1/20 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Park for free at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park parking lot
  • Kickoff Event on Friday, December 6th at 5:30pm: Official lighting ceremony, photo op with Santa & Mrs. Claus in their sleigh, and more!
  • Holiday Closures: None

 

Westlake Center Tree Lighting & Holiday Activities

400 Pine St., Seattle, WA 98101 (Westlake Park)
https://redtri.com/guides/downtown-seattle-heart-of-the-holidays-seattle-wa-hg2019/

  • Dates/Times: Tree lighting ceremony (with snow and fireworks) on 11/29/19, time TBD. Holiday market Fri-Sun beginning 11/29 through 12/22. Carousel and other festive attractions run 11/29 through January 1st, 2020
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Access the Republic Parking garage from Olive Way between 4th & 5th Ave, or check out this interactive map of city parking
  • Activities: Carousel, Holiday Market at Westlake Park

Image courtesy of http://redtri.com


 

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407
www.pdza.org/event/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/29/2019 – 1/5/2020 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: $11-$13 (free for kids 2 & under)
  • Promotions: Discounted tickets for zoo members; Military discount nights Dec. 2, 4, 9, 11, 14 & 18
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (carpooling recommended)
  • Food: Make your own s’mores at the cafe deck firepits, or grab hot cocoa, dinner, snacks & 21+ beverages from the Plaza Cafe, Pearl St Grille & food stands
  • Activities: Carousel, aquarium, Kids’ Zone with meerkats & goat feeding
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24
https://www.pdza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Hero-zoolights-1440x500.jpg

Image courtesy of https://www.pdza.org


 

But wait, there’s more…

Holiday theatrical & musical shows

The Polar Express train ride at Mt. Rainier Railroad

Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Grand Seattle

Leavenworth Lighting Festival & Snow Bus Tour

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Posted on November 15, 2019 at 8:25 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2018 Holiday Happenings in the Seattle Area

Merry & Bright: Holiday Happenings Around the Sound


Our Northwest holidays may be wet, but they’re still bright! Make the most of the season with Seattle favorites—such as dazzling light displays and the Parade of Boats—along with new additions like the “Enchant” event with light mazes and ice skating inside Safeco field. Scroll down for all the details…

 

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
www.zoo.org/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/23/18 – 1/5/19 | 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Cost: $9.95 – $14.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Get a 10% group discount on WildLights tickets for groups of 20+ (12/14/18 – 1/5/19).
  • Parking: Free parking is available at all lots after 4:30 pm (admission at both gates)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at food kiosks, Pizza Corner, and at the Pacific Blue Chowder House (with covered seating provided). You are also welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Special activities: Carousel, fire pits, select indoor animal exhibits, ZooStore, & indoor snowball fights at the Snowmazium
  • Closures: December 12, 24 & 25, 2018

Image courtesy of https://zoo.org/zoolights


 

Winterfest at Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest

Map


 

Enchant at Safeco Field

1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
https://enchantchristmas.com/seattle/
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: 11/23/18 – 12/30/18 | Sun-Thu from 4 – 10 pm, Fri-Sat from 4 – 11 pm
  • Cost: $19 – $32.99 per person (ages 3 and under are free) | VIP passes with dinner starting at $64.99
  • Promotions: Discount days on 11/27, 12/4 & 12/11 | Discount on final 2 hours of any day | Group discounts for 15 or more
  • Parking: $8 – $60 at Safeco Field Garages or check out the city’s Interactive Parking Map
  • Food: Seasonal food and treat concessions throughout
  • Activities: Ice skating trail, light maze, visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus, nightly live music & shows, gift market
  • Closures: 11/26, 12/3 & 12/10

Enchant Ice Skating Trail


 

Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
https://bellevuebotanical.org/garden-dlights/
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/24/18 – 12/30/18 | 4:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Free admission nights on November 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & 29
  • Parking: Premium parking is $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Activities: Gingerbread village, live music
  • Holiday Closures: None

Image courtesy of https://gardendlights.org/


 

Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection

Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://snowflakelane.com/


 

Christmas Ship Festival

Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, Des Moines Marina, Port of Poulsbo, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Edmonds, and Shilshole Bay Marina

www.argosycruises.com
click here to get tickets


 

Ivar’s Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056
https://rentonwa.gov/clamlights

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/30/18 – 1/1/19 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Park for free at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park parking lot
  • Kickoff Event on November 30th, 2018, 5:30-8:30: Music, selfie-station with Santa & Mrs. Claus in their sleigh, official lighting ceremony, Parade of Boats viewing, and a visit from the Christmas Ship and Dickens Carolers
  • Holiday Closures: None

 

Westlake Center Tree Lighting & Holiday Activities

400 Pine St., Seattle, WA 98101 (Westlake Park)
http://redtri.com/seattle/westlake-center-tree-lighting/

  • Dates/Times: Tree lighting ceremony on 11/23/18 at 4:30 pm. Holiday market Fri-Sun beginning 11/23 through 12/23. Carousel and other festive attractions through January 1st, 2019
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Access the Republic Parking garage from Olive Way between 4th & 5th Ave, or check out this interactive map of city parking
  • Activities: Carousel, Holiday Market at Westlake Park

Image courtesy of http://redtri.com


 

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407
www.pdza.org/event/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/23/2018 – 1/6/2019 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: $10-$12 (free for kids 2 & under)
  • Promotions: $6 for zoo members; Scout discount night 12/4; Military discount nights Nov. 26, 28 & Dec. 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, & 19
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (carpooling recommended)
  • Food: Warm drinks & treats available at the cafe and kiosks
  • Activities: Camel rides, carousel, aquarium, Kids’ Zone with animals
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24
https://www.pdza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Hero-zoolights-1440x500.jpg

Image courtesy of https://www.pdza.org


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

 

Posted on November 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm
Windermere MI | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,