Curb appeal is a topic in real estate that we talk about a lot when the weather is warm but, it’s also something sellers need to focus on as we enter the cooler months. Curb appeal is something that can and should be achieved year round! Fall provides a beautiful backdrop andlet's face it, the first impression your home makes to buyers is from the exterior. If it’s not the right first impression they’ll never make it inside.
Lawn Care – it’s easy to not want to cut the grass one last time or slack off on trimming the bushes and mulching as well. However, now is not the time to slack on the lawn care and landscaping. Rake the falling leaves, patch brown spots in the grass, and if the grass needs one last trim to have it looking pristine it will be time well spent. Plant seasonal flowers such as mums for a pop ofcolor.
Front Door – make sure your front door is clean and free of any dirt. If the paint is dull or scratched give it a fresh coat to make the entrance stand out. Making your front door a focal point of the exterior is always a good idea no matter what season you’re selling your home. During the fall hang a simple wreath with fall foliage for an inviting touch.
Windows – summer often leaves behind a coat of pollen and a haze over the windows. Clean your windows! It sounds simple and it really is but, it’s something that often gets overlooked. Clean windows help light shine through and with the days getting shorter maximizing light is a must.
Roof and Gutters – falling leaves mean your home is more exposed and that increases the need to make the exterior shine. If there are missing or loose shingles have them replaced. Check the gutters to make sure they’re secured and free of any debris. Having these items in top shape will not only add curb appeal it will also signal to buyers that your home is well maintained.
Driveway – your driveway likely needs some love prior to putting your home on the market. At the very least it will need to be pressure washed and cleaned. If its asphalt, cracks may need to be filled and it may even need resealing. Concrete cracks, depending on their size may be filled but, if they’re large it might be time to have new concrete poured. The driveway is the path that leads buyers to your home, make sure it gives them the right impression.
You have a very limited amount of time to capture a buyer’s attention and make the right first impression. It takes less than a minute for a buyer to size up the exterior of your home and either want to come inside for a tour or keep moving. Putting time and effort into the details to present your home in the best light on the exterior will set the stage to invite buyers in to see all that it has to offer on the interior!
How do you make your home a magnet for homebuyers?
Getting maximum interest in your home can be challenging, especially if you haven’t experienced preparing a home for sale before.
If you don’t get the right agent to assist you, chances are homebuyers will keep driving to the next home on their list and your Kingstowne VA property will end up lingering on the market for months.
In this article, I will share with you some secrets that will help make your home a magnet for homebuyers.
Remember: First impression is everything
When selling your home, the first impression is what counts. The more appeal your home has, the more likely it is to sell fast and be bought at a higher selling price.
Imagine that you are a homebuyer driving around a community to search for homes. If you pass by a home and are not impressed with what you see, what will you do? You will keep driving to the next home until you finally chance upon the home that appeals to you, right?
Considering the current market conditions in Virginia, any advantage that your home has will help it compete with the other homes on the market. If your home is physically attractive to captivate homebuyers, it has the advantage. So, if you are selling your home, try to look at your property from the street and ask yourself, “is my home appealing enough from the outside to make homebuyers want to investigate it further?”
Make your house feel like home
While curb appeal is a fundamental part of the equation when selling a home, it is not the only part of the equation. The interiors of your home matter, too. If your home is attractive enough from the outside but its interiors are not good enough to make your house feel like home, then any effort you make to make it attractive from the outside is futile.
Say a house hunter who is driving around your neighborhood stops by your home. Are you ready to have the interiors of your house checked? If he comes in, will he look at your house as a place where he can live in the future? Or will he look at it harshly thinking that you have not done anything to maintain it?
Prepare your house for sale and maximize your proceeds!
If you are selling your home, your top goal must be to sell it fast and for the best price possible. You and I can work together to achieve this goal. In fact, there are easy and inexpensive strategies you can do to make your home appealing to prospective buyers while I do the rest of the job.
#1: Improve your home’s curb appeal
In Northern Virginia real estate, there is a saying that “curb appeal is king.” This saying applies whether you are getting your home in Kingstowne VA ready to sell or are simply updating it to adapt to your needs.
You may think that enhancing your lawn doesn’t sound as exciting as modernizing your kitchen, but when it comes to preparing your home for sale, it is in many ways just as crucial as improving the interiors of your home.
Remember: Your curb appeal shows your neighborhood pride; it reflects who you are.
Take a fresh look
Especially if you have lived in your house for so long, you might find it hard to see its flaws. As you get started with improving your curb appeal, try looking at your house as though you were looking at your neighbor’s. Does it have overgrown bushes or faded paint areas? How about weeds, a missing shutter or poorly mulched beds?
If you look at your home from a buyer’s perspective, it will be easier for you to not overlook the minor problems with your home. You may think that weeds are just weeds, but they can be a major turnoff to buyers. Imagine losing a prospective buyer just because you failed to pull out those visible weeds from your flowerbeds. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?
Pay attention to details!
There are lots of details involved when improving your curb appeal. These improvements are easy to make and won’t burn a hole in your pocket, but they do yield big results.
Here are some of the small projects you can do to make your house catch the interest of homebuyers when they view your house from the street:
1. Give your entrance a facelift
Nothing sells a house faster than a clean, fresh look. To make the entrance of your home warm and inviting, give it a new coat of paint or a new front door. You can also place large planters with flowers in them on either side of the door to create a focal point where prospective buyers can focus their eyes on.
2. Wash all your windows.
3. Clean out your garage.
The Virginia real estate market is very competitive. If you want to increase your chances of a speedy sale for top dollar, one of the small projects you can undertake as you prepare your home for sale is cleaning your garage. A clean garage impresses homebuyers. They want your house as perfect as possible, so don’t expect them to overlook details.
Consider these helpful tips for cleaning out your garage. At the end of the day, you’ll be amazedhow much more your organized garage can actually hold!
Take everything out and focus on cleaning the ceiling, floorandwalls. Start from the top and work your way down.
Pile up all the items you took out of your garage and examine which of them you should keep, throw out or sell. If you find it hard to decide, take it from “TheLife Changing Magic of Tidying Up”author Marie Kondo: "If an object isn’t bringing you joy, get rid of it.”
Organize. Do some shelving to organize your essential garage items and free up some space. You can also mount ceiling hooks to hold sports equipment, bicycles or camping gearandstack containers to maximize your vertical space.
4. Landscape your yard
Okay, so you’ve put time and thought into your enhancing your entryway and cleaning out your garage, but what about your lawn?
I can never stress enough how important landscaping your yard is when it comes to improving your curb appeal. A well-groomed lawn gives buyers the impression that your house is well taken care of, both outside and inside.
When prospective homebuyers visit, your house’s yard is what they notice first. When they see that your lawn is boring orunkept, it will give them the impression that your property looks far from inviting.
I mentioned earlier the importance of a great first impression in luring homebuyers, and your lawn has a lot to do with that. Here are some strategies you can try to enhance your lawn:
Create shade areas. Do you have a landscaping plan? If yes, then make sure it provides shade for all areas of your property. You can plan shade trees in the northwest corner of your home to provide shade during times of the day when the owner of the home needs shade.
Go for ground cover or low shrub. You can plant shrub around your yard to add visual appeal to your curb. Since you are living in Virginia, however, you must check local Virginia ordinances regarding plantings. Some local governments prohibit tall shrub due to safety concerns.
Consider the height of your porch. The landscaping design you choose for your home should take into the various structures. If your house is only one or two steps above the ground, you don’t necessarily need toborderit by tall shrubs---ground cover or low-growing shrubs will do.
Choose the right varieties of flowers. The climatein Virginia is just right for growing flowers. Flowers play a huge role in landscaping, not only because they add color but because they make your lawn look alive. And that’s basically what attracts buyers—a property that looks alive.
Planting flowersis not only cost effective; it is also a dazzling way to improve your curb appeal.
If you want to add some visual appeal and excitement to your home and catch the eye of house hunters, plant flowers! It will also give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather in Virginia.
Here are flowers that are easy to grow and thrive in this part of Northern Virginia:
Bright red salvia plant
The flowers you choose for your home depend on your personal preference. You might want an assortment of plants and colors, or incorporate different shades of green and various textures with just a few pops of colors here and there.
And oh, how you set up your plants in your lawn also matters! If you have a front porch, it is best to set potted plants on your front steps. Now if you have a sidewalk that leads to your front door, it will be nice to plant flowers along each side of the concrete path. You can also hang plants next to your front door. Play around with your options to determine which setup suits your space best.
If you haven’t maintained your lawn for long, chances are weeds have already started to gain a foothold in there and you’ll have a hard time accomplishing any of the landscaping enhancements I suggested above. Check out this video to know how to get your weedy lawn back in control:
Whether you are dreaming of a refreshed look for your home to improve its curb appeal or simply want to love what you see when you pull into your driveway, it helpsgivingyour home’s exterior a fresh coat of paint.
Choosing a paint color for the exterior of your home is quite a commitment, especially when you consider the nuance of color. But don’t worry, here are classic exterior color choices for Virginia homes you can pick from:
Bright and elegant white
When it comes to painting your home, you will never go wrong with white. It does not only make your home look spotless; it also creates the perfect backdrop to showcase your beautiful landscaping.
Exterior color schemes that include tans, browns and creams usually blend seamlessly with landscaping and help highlight the architectural details of a home.
Bold and stately
Dark exterior paint colors that include mid to dark grays, hunter greens and navy blues are beautiful options if you want to find the middle ground between classic charm and current trends.
6. Power wash your outdoor space
As a real estate agent, it is easy for me to tell which homes on the market are going to appeal to active homebuyers. Active buyers can tell that, too!
If you are thinking about how to get maximum interest in your property, remember that nothing impresses homebuyers more than a clean house. I mentioned earlier how important details are in preparing your home for sale, and that pretty much includes ensuring that your house is sparkling clean so it is always ready for showings.
Here’s the secret: Buyers are drawn to properties that give them a “like new” feel. And you shouldn’t wait for them to enter your house to give them thatfeel. To make them even want to see your house’s interiors, your driveways and sidewalks should be clean enough to invite them in.
So you have already enhanced your curb appeal. What’s next? Make your house feel like home.
Staging your home: Yes, it’s worth it!
Even if it’s your first time to sell a home in Virginia, you’ve probably heard of home staging before, and you probably know that this has to do with cutting the clutter and rearranging your furniture for optimal buyer appeal.
Well, there is actually more to home staging than making your house look beautiful. It’s more about making your house feel like home. It’s about tapping into prospective homebuyers’ emotions when searching for a property and making them visualize your house as their future home. Home staging is your gateway to success!
Do you know how much difference home staging can make in your home sale? A world of difference!
Yes, staging your home can make a world of difference in how quickly it sells. In fact, professional home staging can literally be the difference between finding a buyer for your home in days versus not being able to sell your home at all. I know that sounds pretty much like an exaggeration, but every home stager will agree how true that can be, so take it from me.
Check out this video to see how home staging makes your home look bigger:
Take a look at these home staging statistics and see how it actually works.
As a homeowner, your goal is to make your home attractive to buyers so you can sell it quickly and command top dollar. If you want to achieve this two-fold goal, stage your home. Highlight your house’s best assets and minimize its less-than-ideal aspects. Pare down and cut the clutter.
Local Realtor and stager Sharon Goetz once said, “The biggest crime is that people have too much stuff.” I strongly agree.
I have gathered here some valuable home some staging tips from reputable Virginia-based home stagers that will make your home a magnet for homebuyers.
1. Give every room a purpose.
According to Stephanie Kelley, you shouldn’t be in a guessing game with potential buyers as to the use of the rooms in your home. Place your furniture in their proper places and let your home speak for itself.
I’ve discussed earlier how painting the exteriors of your home can give your property a new look. Well, do you know that painting the interiors of your home also affects your home’s selling price? And there’s a study to prove it!
Zillow Digs recently conducted a study on 50,000 homes and found that homes sell for more or less depending on the colors used to paint their rooms! For example, kitchens painted yellow sell for an average of $1,360 more, while kitchens painted white sell for an average of $82 less.
3. Use proper lighting.
Do you know why a big window at the end of a hallway or an exterior view engages you? Because you are psychologically programmed to move towardslight.
According to Virginia home stager Stephanie Kelley, one of the keys to making your home look light, bright and livable is to have at least three lamps in each of your rooms. Who wants to live in a dark and gloomy home anyway?
Think of these four ways you can maximize lighting at your home:
Ask yourself: “What is this room going to be used for?”
There are rooms that need just enough lighting, while there are rooms that need layers of lighting, like your kitchen. When installing your light sources, think of functionality and practicality.
Use it to set the mood.
Adjust the brightness of your light sources depending on the mood you want to set for a particular room. You can use dimmers to achieve just the right feel to every room.
Use lighting to highlight a space.
Imagine if your dining room does not have a pendant lighting above your dining table. The room looks unimportant, doesn’t it? But when you install a chandelier there, it highlights the table and makes the room look important.
Use it to create drama.
Giving your room a mix of light sources adds some drama to your home. In fact, lighting can be considered a decorating touch all by itself. If you want to maximize the use of your lighting, you can incorporate different light sources in a room instead of using just one large glaring light in the middle of your ceiling.
Here are some lighting design rules you may want to consider for your home:
Are you guilty of shoving all your furniture away from the middle of your room, thinking that will help make your room look more spacious? You might not have heard this before, but this is actually a big decorating and staging faux pas. Doing this doesn’t make your room look bigger---it only makes it look odd.
I suggest that you float your furniture instead, or pick layouts that will emphasize the function and natural flow of each of your rooms.
5. Don’t over personalize.
Again, your goal as a home seller is to make prospective homebuyers identify with your home and allow them to visualize it as their future home. How can you do that if your home is filled with overly personal stuff like photos, refrigerator magnets, certificates or books?
As Goetz put it, “it’s tough love.” Don’t let buyers raise an eyebrow at your taste or disagree with your religion. Don’t remind them that the house they’re in is your residence and not their future home.
6. Don’t overstuff your closets and bookshelves.
Home stagers in Virginia suggest that as you prepare your home for sale, you empty out your bookshelves and closets by at least 20%. Some even suggest that you empty it out by 50%! Why? Because cramming these spaces with too much stuff will only make them look smaller.
Always remember: Homebuyers love space---a lot of it. You are staging your home not because you are selling your stuff, but because you are selling your square footage, so show off as much space as you can.
Nobody wants to buy a home that looks beaten up. If you think you have failed to keep your home well maintained throughout the years, you have a problem. Otherwise, this part should be easy for you.
When staging your home, even the littlest things matter. Little issues with your light fixtures and faucets can make your home look beaten up if you don’t repair them, and that’s the last thing you want prospective buyers to see in your home.
Yes, I know every house is subject to wear and tear. But the good news is that there are repairs you can still do to make it seem ship-shape!
Ø Install new caulking around your showers, tubs andsinks
Ø Make sure all your light bulbs are working
Ø Sweep your chimneys
Ø Change your outdated cabinet hardware
Ø Repair your broken window screens or door knobs
Ø Make sure that all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning
Ø Replace broken tiles and shingles
If you are not the handyman type, chances are you will overlook these small details and ultimately turn off your buyers. And I’m not just talking here about the repairs. From enhancing your curb appeal to staging your home, it pays to have a good eye for details.
If you hire me as your real estate agent, I will help you spot the defects of your home and will even recommend service partners to facilitate all the needed improvements and repairs.
As more and more Kingstowne VA houses hit the market and more and more buyers try to snag a good deal, expect the competition to be tight so keep this in mind—YOUR HOME NEEDS TO BE A CUT ABOVE THE REST. I can do that for you.
Call me today at 703-431-3755 so we can discuss when we can walk through your home together and devise a winning strategy to make your property a magnet for homebuyers. Before you know it, I have already sold your home!
Is it your first time selling a home in Kingstowne VA? If yes, then be prepared. Buyers are not only pickier these days, they also have more tools in their belts to make sure that they only end up with the property that is best for them.
With hundreds of properties vying for homebuyers’ attention, how do you make sure that your Kingstowne VA property stands out amongthe rest?
When it comes to selling a home, first impressions are everything. A prospective buyer forms this impression in as fast as a tenth of a second, and this impression is what makes him decide whether he likes your home or not. Considering that, ensuring that your home is able to make the best impression possible is a must.
Here are the details you shouldn’t overlook when preparing your home for sale:
1. Curb Appeal
While some home sellers tend to attach less importance to this part of the home, you shouldn’t. When selling a home, it is imperative that you clean up your yard because that is what prospective buyers see first before they enter your home. Make sure that your curb is not only clean but is visually appealing as well.
Paint is another very important detail you shouldn’t overlook when selling your home. Since first impressions are key to attracting buyers, you need to make sure that you give both the exterior and interior of your home a fresh coat of paint. If you fail in this part, chances are you won’t be able to get prospective buyers to buy your home.
3. Homey Feel
When checking out a home for sale, most homebuyers try to picture themselves in that home. If your home is full of clutter and too many personal details, a prospective buyer might not be able to see your home as his future home.
Homebuyers want closets that are spacious and functional. As you prepare your home for sale, make sure that you have organized your closets, especially in the master bedroom.
5. Front Door
Since most homeowners are accustomed to paying more attention to the interior of their homes, they tend to forget that their front doors accumulate dirt as well. Buyers usually stare at the front door as they wait for it to be opened during a visit, so make sure that it is always clean.
6. Neutral Art Pieces
Pack all those personal, brightly colored art pieces in your home and replace them with neutral ones. With less personal details, it will be easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
7. Fresh Smell
One of the things that initially turn prospective buyers off is a foul smell inside a home. Buyers love scents, so you might want to put some air fresheners in your home to make it smell more inviting. Nothing too strong, just a welcoming aroma.
8. Clean Surroundings
Remember that even before prospective buyers get into your home, their first impressions begin as they drive towards your property. Make sure that you keep your yard trimmed all the time and that your surroundings are not littered with trash.
Your garage tells a lot about how you maintain your property. If your garage is full of junk and is a complete mess, prospective buyers might think that the seemingly well-maintained interior of your home is just a façade.
10. Professional Photos and Listing
You can never underestimate the value of appealing photos when selling a home, especially nowadays. With the advent of technology, homebuyers research homes for sale in Kingstowne VA online first before checking out locations in person. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of your well-staged home and ask your agent to create an appealing listing online before actually showing your place to prospective buyers.
These tips may sound simple to you, but missing out on any of them can make or break the sale of your home. If you want to sell your home fast, pay attention to these details and make sure that you don’t overlook any of them.
Looking for help with your real estate needs? Contact me at 703-431-3755 and I’ll be glad to assist you! I’m Amanda Davidson, your top real estate agent in Kingstowne VA!
This year is a great year for condo owners to sell their homes. Although home prices across the United States have seen a consistent rise in recent years, more and more buyers who want to downsize their homes still rush to buy homes for sale in Kingstowne VA because they want to take advantage of low mortgage rates.
If you are a condo owner and are thinking about selling your condo, this may be the best time to do so. However, selling a condo is not exactly the same as selling other types of homes so you need to take a lot of factors into consideration before making any decision.
Here are five important things you should keep in mind when selling your condo:
Know the DOM range for condos similar to yours
One of the first things you should do before deciding to sell your home is to look for condos for sale in Kingstowne VA that are comparable to yours in terms of unit type, floor location and square footage. Listings usually indicate the DOM (days-on-market) of properties, which refers to the number of days it takes for a property to find a buyer. By considering the DOM of homes similar to yours, you will be able to determine a reasonable timeframe for your condo to sell.
Know everything about your condo
If you want to sell your condo fast, you must be prepared to answer all the questions your potential buyers might ask. You may also need to review the HOA (homeowner association) rules to determine which parts of your unit you need to work on. HOA rules help you know which flaws fall within acceptable standards or need some improvements.
Decide which repairs or improvements are worthwhile
Since renovations involve money, you have to determine which improvements are worthwhile and which are not. Of course, you need to prepare your home before officially listing it, but you can’t just do a total makeover without giving it some thought.
Try to reduce listing costs
While there are plenty of ways you can save on listing costs when selling a home, never skip the standard commission of a real estate agent. Having an agent to represent you in your transactions will make it much easier for you to find potential buyers for your property. Some of the ways you can reduce listing costs while working with an agent include staging your home yourself and hiring a contractor that can do repairs at a much lower rate.
Reviewing the clauses in your buyer’s first offer
One of the most exciting things sellers look forward to when selling a home is receiving their first offer. Although receiving an initial offer for your property can be truly exciting, don’t get carried away immediately. Screen the clauses of the offer, especially the timeframe for the buyer’s obligations, closing adjustments and other addendums.
Are you planning to sell your home in Kingstowne VA? Then contact me today at 703-431-3755 and I’ll help you get started! I am Amanda Davidson, Kingstowne’s top REALTOR!
First time or not, selling a house is no easy feat. There are a lot of things to get done, from the paperwork to packing and everything in between!
It really pays off to do your research before you begin this process. Keep reading to learn these tried and tested tips on house selling from Kingstowne’s top Realtor®!
Choose the right real estate agent
It all begins here. While the Internet may be a helpful resource from time to time, nothing beats having a professional Realtor® by your side to guide you from start to finish.
Each person’s house selling journey is different. You can’t really expect a post you read online to be 100% accurate for your needs. That’s why my first piece of advice is to find that professional who can help you through all your house selling worries and concerns.
How to choose the right real estate agent? Make a list of all your candidates. These can be agents you found online or a referral from a friend.
Narrow the list. Give each one a call, ask them some questions, and mark the ones that impressed you. Schedule an appointment with these ones, and sit down with them for some time before making your choice.
Remember to read up on their history and background. Take note of how many years they’ve been in the industry, and ask people you know if they have anything to say about the Realtor® you’re considering.
Prepare your house for staging
Do you want to sell your house fast? Do you want it to sell for the best price? Staging is the way to go!
Staging is the process of making a house for sale look appealing to potential buyers. Think about the homes you see in magazines. That’s what we’re going for.
Home staging brings out the best in your home, accentuating its best features. Some minor repairs might be needed, but don’t worry, your agent should be able to identify the most practical ones with the highest return of investment.
One of the major things we have to consider is your home’s curb appeal. This means how attractive your house looks from the outside, including your lawn, trees, porch, doors and windows.
First impressions do matter in real estate. If you can’t get your buyer through the door, don’t expect them to buy your house.
Consult with your agent and ask them what you can do to improve your home’s overall appeal. If you don’t have one yet, you can begin by packing the things you won’t be needing anytime soon and disposing of all the things you’ll never use again.
This old Chinese proverb rings true until today: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
This last piece of advice is literally worth millions. Some people waste their lives wondering how to begin, when the first step was to just start.
Learned something from this article? Get in touch with Kingstowne’s top Realtor®, Amanda Davidson! Give me a call at 703-431-3755 and let’s get started.
In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view Tips for Selling a House in Kingstowne VA on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/XAKhsO8xJD4