Secrets to selling your home!

I work with a lot of different people and often get asked if I know any secrets to selling your home. While PRICING is the

Secrets to selling your home!

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House

most important part of selling your home, there are also several other secrets that will help sell your home!

1. Clean out your closets! I can promise you buyers looking at your home will be snoopy! Don't use your closets to hide all of your junk! Buyers have junk too, and will be checking your closets out to see where they will store their junk when they move in! Before selling, clean out the closets and spray them down with Febreeze. It will help their snooping be more pleasant!

2. When you have buyers coming to your home, make sure and turn on all the lights and open the window shades. Everyone loves a fresh smelling home and your buyers aren't different! Creating an open feel in your home will go a long way in motivating potential buyers.

3. Make sure that all your light bulbs work! We all tend to let lights burn out and it negatively impacts your potential buyers. Don't be lazy: replace those lights!

4. Hide your pets. Most people love/like/adore animals. We don't spend 8 billion dollars a year on their care because we hate them! But remember, not EVERYONE loves pets. Your buyers might be turned off when your dog runs up and slobbers on them! Be on the safe side and stash your animals outside. It will increase your chances of selling to non animal lovers.

5. Quick Repairs win the race. You need to make sure all your fixtures work. This doesn't mean spending thousands buying RE_Dos_Realtor_hor.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960new upgraded fixtures! Just ensure that all your faucets and drains work, fill in any major drywall chips, etc. It will help provide your buyers with more value and it  doesn't cost a lot!

6. Make YOUR house THIER House. The less personalized your home is the better. Your buyers really don't care about your amazing moose mount, or those paintings your kids drew for you! They want to look at your house and imagine THEIR kids paintings! The more things you can remove from your house that define it as yours the better.

Following these simple steps will help set your house up for sale to buyers and will help you get more money. Next week I will follow up with several more tips that should be done by your Realtor! Just remember the original feeling of excitement you have when you moved into your new home and try and recreate that feeling for potential buyers!

Posted on March 8, 2016 at 6:43 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Chris' Thoughts, Real Estate Information, Selling your Home |

Community Spotlight: Tekoa

Posted on March 8, 2016 at 6:17 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Uncategorized |

Choosing a Great Listing Agent

There are lots of people who "sell" real estate for a living. Being a Realtor is a very rewarding career. The availability of Choosing the right Listing AgentRealtors allows you to choose someone who you connect with and trust very easily. Connecting with your Realtor is a very important step towards selling a buying a home, and having someone you trust makes that decision much easier. There is a very fine line between a Realtor who "sells" a home, and a Listing Agent. You can't focus on both fields as a Realtor. Once you become a "Seller's Agent" (the industry term for someone who focuses on listing homes for sale) it directly changes your focal points. I personally do work with buyers as well, but my marketing and years of experience lend themselves to the nuances of being a Listing Agent. In this article, I wanted to give you a few questions that help differentiate buyer agents and seller agents, and hopefully it will help you make the best choice when finding the Realtor to sell your home! Following are some of the questions you should ask the agent your interviewing to sell your home (some of my inspiration for this article came from

1. How much? The BIG one. Oftentimes, the highest price isn't always the right price! After the agent gives you Choosing the best listing agenttheir CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) have them explain why they priced your house accordingly. If you were to ask 3 agents for pricing on your house, and 2 agents price your home at 250k and the other agent's price is 350k, you need to know why they priced your house so high. Your not in a competition to charge the most for your home, you trying to SELL your home and pricing too high in the market is a sure way to not selling.

2. How has the business changed in the last five years? This question will help you identify the listing agents marketing strategy. Our market in Pullman is very relational. People often do business with each other based solely on referrals. It is how we do things out here and trust is typically a non-issue. How we each use marketing is the differentiator. At Windermere, we have started several advice columns (like this one) and are working with our sellers to build individual websites for all our listings, while also working on our social media presence to reach more buyers. Steps like the above and asking about market changes will help you find the Realtor that identifies with your "kind of buyer."

3. What about your last deal surprised you? An easy way to find out about your Realtors personality. You want to make sure you get along and like how they answer this question!

4. May we contact your previous clients. Everybody knows at least a Realtor or two, but not everyone will recommendchoosing the best selling agent a Realtor! Transparency is the name of the game, and in a small town like Pullman it is easy to check references about a specific Realtor. Do your homework! You won't make many decisions that are more important then buying or sellingyour home.

The above tips should help you develop a closer relationship with the Realtors your interviewing, helping you be more sure of your decision. If you have any questions about real estate and our market, please feel free to contact my office. Everyone knows that Chris Clark has one focus: Helping you List it, Sell it, and get on with your life.

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 8:12 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Chris' Thoughts, Real Estate Information, Selling your Home |

Community Spotlight: Rosalia

To non- locals, Rosalia is a town you can't even see from the highway. Oftentimes, people will see the sign and just keep on going; there are a bunch of small towns to skip right? While it may be small, Rosalia is chock- full of passionate people who Community Spotlight!love to live there. And person for person, they have more events each year than most of our other small towns combined. Let’s just take a brief stop in to see what they’re about.

Rosalia's first stop in history was actually a battle! It was the center of conflict between Colonel Steptoe, and The Coeur d'Alene tribe in 1858. 20 Years later as settlers began to move in, one especially entrepreneurial one named T.J. Favorite founded the town and named it after his wife Rosalia.

Today, Rosalia is home to roughly 500 faithful townspeople, who keep up with their history and fun. Each year there are Community Spotlightseveral events that are worth a look in Rosalia. One of the local’s favorites is Battle Days. Each year, there are several events (including a parade with floats from the schools) that memorialize the battle that took place 150 years ago. While there for the parade, you have to make sure to check out the Battlefield. It really brings history to life to see where thesethings actually took place! Each year, they also have the Rosalia rodeo. It’s the town’s chance to really have the residents come out and strut their stuff. They have the typical 4H events, as well as local competitions for prizes and fame (at least on a small scale)! If you’re out here a bit closer to Autumn, stop in for the Fall Festival.  Kind of like the Palouse Empire but on a more intimate scale, the festival is a great way to connect with people for some great food and conversation. If you have kids, they also host a yearly Easter egg hunt in town that your kids would be happily welcomed to attend!

While my knowledge only goes so far, Rosalia keeps their visitor center well-stocked with helpful information about the town and events, so feel free to stop in for more info. The volunteers would love to see you!

Quite a lot of personality for a "bump" in the road. Make sure and give Rosalia a visit. They will love to see you.

Posted on February 23, 2016 at 10:48 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Community Spotlight, Life on the Palouse, Rosalia |

Listing your Pullman Home

So, you’re thinking of listing your Pullman home. Where do you start? Navigating the market by yourself is almost a crazy

Listing or selling your home

Need help? Follow these simple steps!

thought, but how can you know who to trust? Everyone knows at least one Realtor, (often your mom's cousin or someone’s best friend) and believe me there are a bunch to choose from, but how do you know that you picked the best Realtor for the job? While this is my website, and I could make it a Chris Clark ad, I wanted to address some of the concerns I hear from people looking for their potential listing agent. Here are some practical things to look for when choosing a Realtor to sell your home.

1. Find out what they DO for you! You know what you’re doing for your Realtor, but what do they do for you? What is their marketing strategy for selling your home? How do they advertise your home to stand out from the pack? What is their average on- market sales time? These are some great questions to ask potential suitors. The Realtor you choose should not only have a list of the things they will do, but also will have a plan for INFORMING you as the sale progresses. Transparency is almost "the name of the game" and the Realtor you choose should be honest, transparent, and have a plan for selling your home.

2. Don't be scared to ask around. Word travels fast in towns like Pullman; the top Realtors are not a mystery to anyone. My colleagues and I all have specific market segments we specialize in just like any other industry. Don't be afraid to ask your friends or family what they have heard about the local Realtors! It will likely sway your decision about who to list your home with.

3. GET A CMA. My office will happily generate you a Comparative Market Analysis form, and I'm sure others will do the same. It’s not a guaranteed "price check" (your home is unique and needs to be priced as such) but it gives you a really good starting point for listing your home. And it’s free! Everyone likes something that is free!  When you start looking at listing your Pullman home, knowing the average value will put you on the right track for finding your Realtor.

4. Don't rush! Who sells and lists your home is one of the most important aspects to selling! Don't rush your decision! Gather

listing your Pullman Home

the facts, and once you have made your decision, trust your Realtor's timing. They know how the market moves and how your house will sell. Picking the right person should be a smart decision, not a hasty one!

These are just a few great tips for selling your Pullman home, but they can help you avoid any bad situations that could arise. If you are looking to work with the top listing agent in Pullman, come see me. I would love to show you what I do differently than everyone else. I really do believe in my motto "List it. Sell it. Get on with your life." Isn't it at least time to consider moving on?

One man's opinion.

Posted on February 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Chris' Thoughts, Real Estate Information |

A lot of people ask me…

A lot of people ask me about real estate. Go figure. It might be because I have opinions on the matter. Of its my job. Either way, I have some opinions. Most real estate advertising tends to do the whole "Location! Location! Location!" in flashing lights, and to some degree it really is true.College Hill Neighborhood When you don't hire a realtor and do all of your shopping online, you can't know which side of College Hill to live on, and which to avoid! There is an answer to that one, call me if your wondering. Its the same in all of our small towns. You need someone with experience to tell you what houses are desirable, and which ones are on the market for cheap because the foundation doesn't have rebar. The internet has completely changed the business. In the past everything was completely relational. Hiring a Realtor was the same as hiring a friend to go with you to find your new home. These days, too many people think that using Zillow makes you an instant real estate expert, even though pricing and often availability are both wrong.The University of Non Realtors Like a lot of industries, the internet has bred an entire host of internexperts: people who do online research and then think they know the market. Being a Realtor is not just about being able to find you the latest house price or MLS sold data. Its more then that. Being a Realtor is about finding your new HOME. Thats the part of the equation the internet can't really provide for you. No matter how accurate Zillow makes their information, they will never know how to find your new home.

The same applies introspectively to sellers. Not many people WANT to trust a computer. How often does that end well?  When you call and ask a Realtor how much to list your house for, the answer your getting is based on experience and knowledge of the region. There is no way to price your gorgeous home in Rosalia without having been there to see it! Ultimately you want to know the person you have asked for advice is trustworthy, and has your best interests at heart. I think that is what fundamentally makes hiring a Realtor worth it: we are a trustworthy group you can come and see for advice in person.How business should be

When I get asked by people how I see real estate in 10 years my answer sometimes surprises them: No matter what happens with the internet, I will still be shaking clients hands for years to come. Thats how business should be.

One man's opinion.

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Chris' Thoughts, Life on the Palouse, Real Estate Information |

Community Spotlight: Oakesdale

Getting first time directions to Oakesdale is closely akin to a treasure hunt. Some people might tell you the best way to get there is a GPS (don't tell any of our farmers, they will laugh at you). From Pullman, you head up 195 out past Colfax, there is ONE sign for where you turn right and it takes you into town. If you miss the sign you will get to Steptoe. Don't do that. Getting to Oakesdale from Steptoe is a pain. On the Moscow Side you head to Palouse and stay on 27 until you show up in town. Coming in from Moscow or Pullman you see the traditional grain bins and train tracks of a normal farming town. It isn't until you drive past the train tracks that you see where everyone lives. The town is kind of nestled on a knoll that slopes down into the farm grounds. 

Oakesdale is the heart of the Palouse. When I think of Wheat fields and Palouse life, its almost a perfect picture from here. The town proper is supported by farms and it shows The land is rich and fertile, growing wheat, peas, and lentils year round. During the different times of years the fields change colors and make for great photos across the landscape.

The town itself hasn't really changed much the last 50 years. I found this photo on the town's website.

Main St OakesdaleAmazing isn't it? Palouse (the town not the region) has the same older town vibe, and I like it. The businesses here are all stable and established. Crossett's Food Market is a staple of the town, and functions as a built in "Yelp." If you need to find someone while out there (phone books aren't very helpful when the streets don't have signs) anyone at Crossett's can help you out. Ag associates and McGregor are out here as well. If you catch them on a good day (usually in the spring) several farmers will be discussing the latest yields and crop concerns. If you have never been privy to one of these discussions I would recommend dropping in on one. No one knows the land better then a farmer and often you will learn a thing or 20.

Admittedly, Oakesdale is not a bustling hub of activity. Thats not the point. This town has a purpose and its not lolly gagging. The town upkeeps a museum and Steptoe State Park is about 7 miles outside town. I think exploring the roads and fields around Oakesdale is the most rewarding activity. It really helps better define your understanding of the Idaho landscape, a skill we should all acquire.
Oakesdale High School








The Oakesdale school has been here forever and is led by Dr. Jake Dingman. You need a local to tell you how to get there (the road up to the school is hidden off 27) but they occupy a nice spot on top of the hill. The school often posts up when there's a game (go Nighthawks!) or community event. They really function as the Oakesdale Chamber of Commerce. You can also check-in with one of the three local churches. They always know what is going on in town.

Oakesdale be one of our smaller towns, but they are big on community.

Posted on February 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Community Spotlight, Life on the Palouse, Oakesdale |

Introduction to Community Spotlight!

Part of the joy of living on the Palouse is our communities. Most places in the country don't give you such a wide range of different places to live! On the Palouse, we have a small town for everyone. Some people choose to live in Moscow or Pullman. Its pretty convenient to run down the street to walmart or McDonalds.Moscow Pullman HighwayWhen you wake up at 3 am craving a Snickers you can get it at a half dozen gas stations in either town. And WSU and U of I are "just down the street" if your feeling like watching a game or going to the world renowned Jazz Fest. Even as our "big cities" Moscow and Pullman provide a pace of life much different from most places in lower 48. Everything seems to be a bit more relaxed, even with our huge changeover of students every couple years. Moscow and Pullman are great, but what really makes the Palouse shine is all of our little towns! Sometimes off the beaten track and difficult to find, our small towns are where the local action happens. Our farmers keep these little towns afloat, and they all have a special character all their own.

This series is all about small towns like Colton, Oakesdale, Tekoa, Rosalia. These little towns make the Palouse a great place to live! Over the next several weeks Im going to introduce you to these small towns with a bit of history, and the latest "goings ons." You never know when the adventure bug is going to hit! Maybe you will enjoy a trip out to Palouse Falls (its always shocking people don't know we have an amazing waterfall)? Maybe you will stop in to McCoy Valley Museum (you will need more then a Google search to find it)? All in all, I hope to give you a better taste of what life is like when you take a step back and enjoy a bit more relaxed pace. Most of us love living here because of the pace of life, and there is a town for every taste!

So sit back, relax, and read for a bit. I'll present you with a TV show worth of interesting tid-bits about our communities and life. Who knows, you might just find a town better suited to your tastes. When the time comes call me. I know all about it.

Palouse Falls

Posted on February 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Community Spotlight, Life on the Palouse |

Its time for all the other College Sports!

Dismayed that the bowls are over? Never fear! With two great colleges almost back to back, we have a great and steady stream of sports events to choose from. I think we all KNOW which team is best, but just in case you are unsure, I have found some of the great events coming up soon!

Cougar Baseball

Starting in February!

Cougar baseball is one of the more fun non-football sports to attend. The tickets are cheap, the food is good, and the team is currently rebuilding. You can take your whole family for less then 50.00. That counts in my bookas a good deal! You can get more info from the Cougars website, or by clicking here.

Last years Lady Cougs

Can’t wait for volleyball this year!

The Lady Cougars Volleyball team is super under appreciated! The team has been awesome the last year with Coach Jen Greeny at the helm, and further into the season looks to be just as fun.You can now put in requests for tickets as they start prep for next season.

Basketball is in full swing. The womens team keeps on the pressure even though we have had a few heart breaking recent losses. The tickets once again are affordable and its always fun to drag yourself down to the gym for some action.

The mens team is struggling. I think the push towards football is pretty evident, but that does make it cheaper to go to games. They can always use more support and WSU facilities are beautiful.

Vandal Joe cheering on the team.

Vandal sports got much better in the Big Sky

The Vandals have had a much better season since switching back to the Big Sky Conference. The games have been exciting and very close in almost all of the ones I have seen/heard.

The mens basketball team has been great to watch! They keep shuffling around their guards, but it does make for really good games. Tickets are only like 10-15 bucks a pop, so it makes for an affordable weekend even. The Vandals also keep up with the sports happenings on The Vandal Nation.

All together, I think there are plenty of events to connect with if your into our college sports, even if the bowl games over!

Posted on January 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm
Chris Clark | Posted in Cougar News, Life on the Palouse, Vandal News |