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Tips For Selling A Home In Today's Market - Happy Selling!

by Susan Borrelli

Although it may be difficult to think about on these frigid winter days, the spring real estate market is just around the corner.  This is one of the busiest times with an abundance of listings popping up in neighborhoods all over Northern Virginia.  HGTV provided a list of 10 ideas you can use to help your home stand out amongst the competition.  Happy Selling!

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home. 

 
Tags:
  1. Home Staging
Home Exterior With

HGTV's Buying and Selling offers up the industry's best-kept secrets to help you get top dollar when selling your home. 

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Selling Secret #5: Don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

A New Year Brings New Hope to the Spring Real Estate Market

by Susan Borrelli

The beginning of the year always brings about hope, excitement and anticipation of good things ahead and 2016 is no different.  We believe that this year will be a much better year for real estate in Northern Virginia.  There are many reasons for this optimism – great rates, new financing programs, lower inventory levels, positive consumer confidence and pent-up demand.

Let’s review each of these areas.HOPE SPARK IN 2015 REAL ESTATE MARKET

  • Great rates. Although there has been a very slight uptick in rates recently, rates remain very low historically.  Additionally, the interest rates will remain low through 2015 perhaps not reaching 5% until later in the year.
  • New financing programs. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have both begun to accept 3% down payments for first time home buyers.  There will be guidelines such as a minimum 620 credit score, borrowers will have to take an educational class, and they couldn’t have owned a home in the last 3 years to qualify.  With 45% of renters delaying a home purchase because of available funds for a down payment, this should increase the number of home buyers in 2015.
  • Lower inventory levels. In September of this year, we reached a 7 year high in inventory in Northern Virginia with 9,163 houses for sale.  Since that time, the number of available homes has declined each week.  We now have just 5,944 homes for sale which resulted in a brisk sales month for December.  Some of these properties will come back on the market this upcoming spring, but many sold.  As long as we have a moderate winter weather-wise, inventory will slowly enter the market and we won’t have the accelerated inventory levels we experienced in May of 2014 due to the weather.
  • Positive consumer confidence. Many more people today believe that the economy, their personal situation and the real estate market are all going to be better in the future.  These optimistic expectations are leading indicators to people purchasing in the upcoming months – including housing.  Additionally, Freddie Mac and builders also have high expectations of the housing market.  These expectations will have a positive impact on housing in 2015.
  • Pent up demand. As previously mentioned, December experienced a brisk sales month here locally.  We continue to receive calls, emails and internet requests on our homes for sale.   This shows us that there are many people ready to buy the right home that suits their personal lifestyle needs.  Also, many people who went through distressed sales just a few years ago are able to purchase again.  Job growth coupled with population growth locally will also increase demand for housing.

One other area to see home ownership grow in 2015 and beyond is the Millennial homebuyers.  They believe in home ownership as a wealth building opportunity and an overwhelming majority of them will be buying in the next 5 years.  Lastly, rising rental rates will push more people into ownership as a cost savings measure.

All of these positive influences in our region will strengthen our housing market in 2015 and beyond.  As we see our local economy continuing to rebound after 4 years of stagnant growth, this will have a positive impact on housing.  To see what this means to you, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers in the New Year!

 

 

Housing Inventory IncreaseWow, it is hard to believe that we are almost half way through 2014 and summer is just about to get into full swing.  It is going to be interesting to see how we get through the real estate market this summer as we had no true spring selling season.  Now that school is about to get out, people will be taking their vacations.  So it is important for sellers to be prepared for the upcoming situation.

Our inventory levels have continued to escalate since the warm weather broke in May.  It has resulted in us having more homes for sale than any time since October on 2011.  As we enter the summertime, the season generally slows down which will increase inventory as well, so sellers need to do all they can to attract the buyers that are out looking for a new home.  Sellers need to position their properties accordingly, as there is currently a 2 month supply of houses on the market.  The inside and the outside of the house needs to shine and show like a model home, as well as be priced to sell!  We are not able to “push” prices like we did earlier this year. What it takes to sell your house in 2014The sellers who overprice their properties, even just above what we recommend, sit on the market.  Additionally, we are having appraisal issues with properties in areas where there are no sales to support the higher values – even in multiple contract situations in arm’s length transactions.  The underwriting guidelines have made it tougher to get above market values approved, so please price your house accordingly.

 

-Ron and Susan

Caution When Using Home Estimate Websites

by Ron and Susan

These days, there are a lot of websites available to buyers in aiding them to find the perfect home in the right price range. However, nothing beats the value of having a local Realtor provide timely market information and statistics! Check out this blog post and find out why you should use caution when using certain websites:

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/

-Ron and Susan

5 Tips for Selling a Home in the Spring Market

by Ron and Susan

Spring is among us, but that doesn't mean it's too late to start preparing for a home sale in the booming spring market! Packing, clearing away clutter, improving your home, interviewing realtors, and researching the market are five tips that can use to help you sell your home faster and more efficiently. Check out this blog post for more information: 

http://www.realtor.com/advice/5-ways-home-sellers-can-prepare-for-the-spring-market/

-Ron and Susan

Monopoly Tournament Fun

by Ron and Susan

Our 7th Annual Monopoly Tournament was a great success! We had a lot of fun raising money for the Lorton Community Action Center. Missed the event? Check out this blog written by one of the players as he describes his journey through the tournament.

http://paulowengames.blogspot.com/2014/02/lorton-monopoly-tournament.html

-Ron and Susan

25 Biggest Real Estate Mistakes

by Ron and Susan

Following last week's theme of "25 Biggest Mistakes", we bring to you the top 25 biggest real estate mistakes. Whether you are buying or selling a home, make sure to avoid these mistakes for a stress free real estate process.

http://www.hgtv.com/real-estate/25-biggest-real-estate-mistakes/index.html

-Ron and Susan

Top 25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes

by Ron and Susan

A new year could mean new renovations to your home. Make sure to watch out for these possible renovating mistakes to avoid stress and trouble!

http://www.hgtv.com/homekeeping/

-Ron and Susan 

Why Use a Senior Real Estate Specialist

by Ron and Susan

Looking to move somewhere that meets your senior living needs? Here are a few reasons why YOU need a Senior Real Estate Specialist:

http://www.seniorsrealestate.com/why-use-sres

Contact Ron & Susan at (888) 495-6207 for a free, no obligation consultation.

2014 U.S. Housing Outlook

by Ron and Susan

With 2013 drawing to a close, predictions for the 2014 housing market are appearing. Check out this article on the International Business Times for their outlook!

http://www.ibtimes.com/us-housing-market-outlook-2014-slowdown-housing-recovery-home-prices-rise-4-next-year-1505646

If you want to know what YOUR home is worth, call-us for a no cost or obligation consultation at 1-888-495-6207.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 15