Property taxes in a sellers market: Guidance for longtime homeowners

Like many of you, I am awaiting my 2018 property taxes. The Seattle Times reports that Seattle property taxes will jump 16.9%. The property tax on a median Seattle home “hit $5,700 this year… In 2013, that average bill was $3,600 – a 56 percent increase in five years.”

This could be a big hit, especially for those on fixed incomes. And given the lack of other government revenue streams, we may see increased property taxes in the future.

Two things to know if you are feeling the tax pinch:

  1. King County collects property taxes for the state and cities. The county coordinates a program that offers tax hike assistance for seniors. Maybe you are eligible? 206-296-3920.
  2. There has never been a better time to sell a home. So few homes for sale, so many buyers. Plus, low interest rates remain mean buyers have more purchasing power which means higher sales prices. (Rates are expected to rise in 2018.)

Patty and Jerry are moving to the desert after 22 years in their home. They needed to sell fast, for top dollar, without too many projects. Mission accomplished.

I have been a realtor for the past 17 years in the West Seattle Windermere office. Recently I have worked with a number of longtime Seattle homeowners who are choosing to sell—to downsize, to live closer to friends and family, to enjoy warmer and sunnier winters.

These transactions are especially rewarding for me because one of my great strengths as an agent is project management. Many people who have lived in their home for more than 20 years feel overwhelmed by the prospect of moving. They say things like:

  • How can I possibly get my house ready? There is so much to do!
  • What am I going to do with all my stuff— the treasures, the junk, and everything in between?

MY TEAM CAN HANDLE IT ALL! I have assembled a small army of trusted workers to manage everything. (Upgrades, repairs, landscaping, paint, hauling, estate sales…the list is long.) Sometimes we patiently assist: step-by-step, room-by-room. Sometimes we lead: our clients “take what they want and we handle the rest.” Our expertise minimizes stress.

Many of my clients are asking themselves if now is the right time to “fine tune” their living situations. Maybe they don’t need (or want!) all those bedrooms. Or that yard maintenance. Or those stairs. Or maybe those property taxes.

Call me for a free market analysis and an analysis of what projects are needed to sell your home for “top dollar.” I have lots of experience with preparing homes for market, especially for long-time homeowners who feel overwhelmed by the thought of moving. I can help!

My ultimate goal is your satisfaction, so a big part of my approach is careful listening to understand your needs and priorities. Please give me a call to discuss your real estate needs.


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