Windermere Professional Partners

The Unique Challenges of Selling a Home in Gig Harbor Right Now (& Why You Still Need an Expert)

March 12, 2021

In today’s incredibly active real estate market in Pierce County, it can sure seem like almost any home will sell for multiple offers and over the asking price.

Homes in Gig Harbor are especially hot, and low inventory means that there is even more competition among home buyers than usual. We’re also seeing more homes listed “for sale by owner”; many people are wondering why they need to bother working with a real estate professional at all if it’s practically guaranteed that their home will sell.

But as we know too well in real estate, things are not always what they seem.

We can actually think of no other time where a real estate professional is more necessary to protect buyers and sellers. For most people, their home is their largest financial asset. This also means that selling your home presents the opportunity to maximize on your investment. To do so, you’re going to need to work with a real estate professional with hyper-local knowledge like REALTOR® Maria Kalafatich.

Meet Local Gig Harbor Real Estate Expert Maria Kalafatich

Maria Kalafatich knows Gig Harbor like the back of her hand. She has lived in Gig Harbor since she was in 4th grade, and her unique real estate knowledge gives her an uncanny sense of the market. More often than not, you can give her a Gig Harbor address and she will not only know the value of the home, but the owners of it, too!

Maria brings over 15 years of real estate experience to each of her transactions, and growing up in a family of home builders has helped her understand what truly goes into constructing a quality house. New construction can be a challenge in today’s environment, and Maria can help you navigate through the dynamics of that process with her extensive background in new home construction. Finding hidden lots and discovering the property that is just right for you is her specialty! And before serving her clients as a real estate agent, Maria Kalafatich was a title representative and mortgage representative, so she is well-versed in every aspect of a real estate transaction.

The Unique Challenges of Selling a Home in Gig Harbor Right Now

Today’s seller has a few unique challenges they need to tackle, and fumbling even just one of these things can cost you tens of thousands of dollars (or sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars) in lost income from the sale of your home, or cause you serious legal problems.

Here are a few of the challenges you can anticipate as a seller right now:

  • The market is moving SUPER fast. You don’t have time to learn the nuances of what makes a successful real estate deal “on the job.” Each seller has many more clients to deal with than usual, and half the time to deal with them. As a seller without an experienced real estate agent by your side, you’re risking time, money, and legal protection.
  • Some sellers are accepting offers too quickly, causing them to lose out on $10,000s or even $100,000s. It can feel exciting to have a high offer come in, and you might be tempted to quickly accept it and head towards the finish line. Maria knows exactly what’s going on in the Gig Harbor market, and she’ll be able to advise you in setting an offer review date at the appropriate time, and she’ll help you understand what the best offer is. (Sometimes the best offer is the most money, and counterintuitively, sometimes it is not.) The wrong decision here can cost you some serious money.
  • Appraisals are sometimes coming in way lower than the contracted price. Will this cause your deal to fall apart? Will you have to start over and lose out on thousands of dollars? Accepting an offer on your home is just the beginning—we’re seeing offers fall apart because the real estate agent doesn’t know what they’re doing (or the sellers didn’t even use an agent). Maria has seen it all in her 15+ years of real estate, and she is a seasoned professional when it comes to guiding the sale of your home to closing day.
  • Requiring a waived inspection might seem like the thing to do these days, but this can result in lawsuits and mountains of legal trouble. Maria knows how to keep her clients safe from legal trouble. There are active lawsuits right now where buyers are fighting back against sellers for having requirements of waiving inspections, and professional guidance here is absolutely critical.

These are just a few of the challenges that sellers in today’s market encounter. Sellers still need local experts to guide them each step of the way. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a home that Maria helped her clients sell during the summer of 2020:

Preparing This Gig Harbor Gem for Sale

When Maria first met with her seller clients, they were on a tight timeline to sell this home due to a family member passing away. Maria had actually already sold this home to the owner previously, so she was familiar with the house and ready to dive in!

Maria met with the seller’s daughter to tour the home again so she could take a look at what might need to be done before listing the home on the market. After touring the home, Maria put together a plan to prepare listing the home. Maria is well-versed in knowing what buyers what and what will inspire buyers to fall in love with a home.

Preparations included scheduling a pre-inspection; making sure that items noted in the pre-inspection were repaired; putting together a list of subcontractors who could help make repairs; calling in an estate salesperson, scheduling a deep cleaning; and having the roof, gutter, & windows cleaned. Maria is always ready to help make recommendations for licensed subcontractors when it’s needed, but what work the sellers decide to do is totally up to them!

Staging & Marketing the Home: Curb Appeal Matters!

Even when homes are selling quickly, it is absolutely crucial to have a robust marketing strategy to maximize your home’s selling potential.

Once the home was sparkling clean and shining like new, Maria scheduled staging for the home with Rage Interior. Maria always advises that her seller clients stage their home, because homes that are staged consistently sell for more money in the Gig Harbor market. Potential buyers have a much easier time visualizing themselves living in the home when it’s been tastefully styled with furniture and decor! Maria makes sure to let her clients know of the benefits of staging their home, but ultimately it is up to them to decide.

She then had professional photos taken of both the interior and exterior of the home, had a video tour professionally filmed, and made sure drone footage was taken as well.

In addition to getting gorgeous photography and video of the home, Maria made sure that as many people as possible had the opportunity to see the home both online and in person. She sent out “Just Listed” postcards to people in her sphere within a 1-mile radius of the home, and she wrote a blog post titled “6 Standout Features of this Exceptional 4-Bedroom Gig Harbor Rambler” to really highlight what makes this house so special.

Maria posted this blog post as well as photos and the video tour to Facebook and Instagram and used paid advertising to increase how many people had an opportunity to see the home. The Facebook ads were targeted to potential buyers in the Gig Harbor area, the Seattle area, and California.

Maria also created flyers to display in the house and made sure a “For Sale” sign was outside. Usually Maria would host an open house, but as this home was listed in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, she was not able to host an open house. However, showings were allowed as long as potential buyers followed COVID-19 safety procedures. At the time, 5 people were allowed to be inside a home at once, and everyone needed to wear face masks, booties on their feet, and use hand sanitizer. When fewer people are allowed to tour a home in person, online marketing is more important than ever, and Maria brings a robust set of digital marketing tools to each of the unique homes she lists.

This Gig Harbor Rambler Went Pending in Only 4 Days

One-level homes with beautiful backyards in Gig Harbor are incredibly popular, and this 4-bedroom, 2-bath home quickly received multiple offers! One of the offers was cash, did not require an appraisal, and the inspection was waived. After reviewing the strength of the offers and the different aspects of each one, this is the offer that the sellers ultimately chose. Cash offers don’t always win—it really depends what type of terms a seller wants to see on paper, the structure of the deal, and when the home will close. In the end, this Gig Harbor rambler sold for $555,000 in just 4 days, which was a big bonus considering the seller’s tight timeline.

This particular home is in Gig Harbor’s North Creek Estate neighborhood, and in a prime location just 4 minutes to the Downtown Gig Harbor waterfront. In addition to a generous 2,374-square-foot layout, this residence features elegant formal spaces (perfect for entertaining!), sun-drenched open-concept living, a luxurious master suite, a large backyard with a covered patio, and a 900+ square foot 3-car garage.

Maria has sold homes all over Pierce County, but as a lifelong Gig Harbor resident, she especially loves working in Gig Harbor neighborhoods. She especially loves working with new construction, waterfront homes, condos, investment properties, luxury properties, and in the Canterwood area.

Have a question for REALTOR® Maria Kalafatich about selling your Gig Harbor home? She’s ready to help! You can reach out to Maria at (253) 376-5559, email her at [email protected], or fill out this contact form.

Follow Maria Kalafatich on Facebook and Instagram for gorgeous home design inspiration, real estate market updates, and more. You can also read testimonials from Maria’s clients here.