Blog :: 04-2019

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group is Northern Virgina's most trusted local, independent resource for real estate news and insight. Our team has its finger on the pulse of the real estate market in Alexandria and the surrounding counties. Here you'll find the latest market updates, local news, and tips for buyers and sellers.

Kingstowne Lake Clean Up Day May 11, 2019 – Alexandria, Va 22315

Kingstowne Lake Clean Up Day May 11, 2019 – Alexandria, Va 22315

Kingstowne Lake is one of, if not the most well-known part of Kingstowne. It’s a place to walk, run, meetup, or just sit down and enjoy watching the water. The lake is home to fish, turtles, ducks, geese, even a gorgeous blue heron and countless other birds. Quite often it’s featured on the front of the Kingstonian magazine and there’s not a person I know who lives in the area that doesn’t drive by the lake regularly as they tend to daily life in Kingstowne.
 


All of this sounds wonderful and it is – Kingstowne Lake is an integral part of our community.

That said, the lake really needs help. Trash piling up in and around the lake is getting worse by the day. It’s from a combination of sources and aside from being unsightly, the trash is a detriment to the lake and the animals that call it home. There are kind individuals who devote their time to picking up trash but, the attention it needs is far too much for a small group of individuals to keep up with.
 


The lake is currently the responsibility of Kingstowne Residential Owners Corporation and Halle but, they would like for the county to take it over. This transfer will cause improved maintenance and oversight however, the process can for it to happen can take up to two years. In the meantime, volunteers are always needed for trash pickup. This can certainly be done anytime and is encouraged if you’re out for a stroll around the lake.



If you prefer a more organized event please consider volunteering on May 11, 2019. The Kingstowne Lake Improvement Association is holding a clean up day starting at 9am. Volunteers will meet at the gazebo by Chancery Of Kingstowne condos and then pair off to start cleaning up. Everyone is welcome to join, the more volunteers the better.

 

If you live in the Kingstowne area and value the lake as part of our community please come out and support this cause. There’s no obligation on how long you stay to help clean, every little bit helps!

 

 

Homes For Sale In Van Dorn Village Alexandria, Va 22310 – Market Update April 2019

Homes For Sale In Van Dorn Village Alexandria, Va 22310 – Market Update April 2019

What Is The Van Dorn Village Neighborhood Like?

Van Dorn Village is composed of 295 townhomes that were constructed between 1986 and 1988. All of the homes have 3 levels, ranging from 2-3 bedrooms, and depending on the floor plan offer 1,680 to 2,875 square feet. With the exception of a few homes located on Crocus Court you won’t find garages in Van Dorn Village but, you will find assigned surface parking and plenty of visitor parking. Residents enjoy the use of community basketball courts and tot lots.

 


What’s Nearby Van Dorn Village?

Like many neighborhoods in the Kingstowne area, Van Dorn Village is very conveniently located. There are two entrances to the community, one on South Van Dorn Street and one on Franconia Road. Multiple commuter routes are nearby; 3 stop lights to 495 and minutes from 395, 95, and Fairfax County Parkway. There are two metro stations that are less than ten minutes away; Van Dorn and Franconia-Springfield.

 

Kingstowne Towne Center is within walking distance. The town center is home to multiple grocery stores, Kingstowne 16 Movie Theater and many retail and dining options; Pasara Thai, Bonefish Grill, East Moon Bistro, Macaroni Grill, Dominos Pizza, World Market, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx. The Springfield Town Center is an easy drive, less than 10 minutes via Franconia Road and offers residents, even more, shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Hilltop Village Center is also close by and home to the sought after Wegmans. Burtons Grill has become a local favorite and if you’re looking for a place to watch your favorite team the Green Turtle is also located in Hilltop.
 


What Schools Will The Kids Attend?

Children living in Van Dorn Village will attend Bush Hill Elementary, Mark Twain Intermediate, and Edison High Schools. To learn more about these schools visit the GreatSchools website

 

Activity In Van Dorn Village Year To Date 2019

•Number of Sales: 2

•Highest Priced Sale: $467,645

•Lowest Priced Sale: $410,000

•Median Sales Price: $438,822

•Median Days on Market: 28

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.53%
 


Activity In Van Dorn Village During 2018

•Number of Sales: 18

•Highest Priced Sale: $494,500

•Lowest Priced Sale: $410,000

•Median Sales Price: $437,500

•Median Days on Market: 5

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 100.59%

 


At the time of this market update, there are no homes for sale in the neighborhood. The seller’s market in Van Dorn Village has been going on for months and this month is no exception. If you are considering selling your townhome it is an excellent time to find out what its current value is. Check out our free home value calculator to receive an instant and free estimate. (www.northernvalocalmarketvalues.com) This tool doesn’t replace a current market analysis that’s prepared based on the specific updates and features your home offers – it’s strictly an estimate. If you’d like to know the precise value your home can be listed for in the current market please reach out. I’d love to connect with you, learn about your real estate goals and compose a custom market analysis for you. I welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and business.

If you’re a home buyer interested in Van Dorn Village keep checking back for new listings or feel free to reach out to request to be put on a waiting list and I’ll notify you as soon as a property comes on the market.

Just have general questions about buying a home in Northern Virginia? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Email – amanda@amandadavidson.com Call or Text 703-431-3755

Browse Homes For Sale in 22310

 

 

5 Seller Tips For A Smooth Home Inspection

5 Seller Tips For A Smooth Home Inspection

Home inspections are a big part of the process when it comes to selling your home. Most homeowners understand that after a ratified contract there will very likely be a home inspection. While there are some cases where there isn’t, the overwhelming majority of the time it’s the first steps after coming to terms with the buyers.

There are many reasons why a home inspection is necessary. Often, these inspections are part of a real estate transaction. However, some inspections are also done on new construction, before a builder’s warranty expires, or as part of a home maintenance checkup.

No matter the reason, people who are involved in a home inspection process want it to be as smooth and as thorough as possible.

 


The seller’s anxiety commonly associated with the home inspection process can be significantly reduced by the cooperative involvement of an agent. Hence, certain steps have to be taken to prepare a home for inspection and reduce the occurrence of any discrepancies that may occur further down the road. A proactive approach to home inspection helps make the closing process much easier and prevent the home seller from losing a deal.

When it’s time for the inspection every homeowner wants it to go smoothly and not be a deal killer. Home sellers have enough to worry about without having to wonder if their property will pass the home inspection. Any person who is familiar with the nature of buying and selling real estate knows how much work flipping a home for profit requires, so inspecting a home to make sure the buyer won’t have issues to deal with is a must.

According to John Fryer, “owner of Fryer Consulting, “Whatever is wrong with your house will be found out anyway… If you disclose problems in advance and provide potential buyers with an inspector’s report, it can go a long way to diffuse anxiety and help the transaction go through.”  

Follow these 5 tips for a smooth home inspection.
 

Replace Burned-Out Light Bulbs

If a bulb has burned out between going under contract and the day of the inspection replace it. If the inspector comes across a fixture that isn’t working they’re going to note it and while they may say it could be just a bulb you can avoid the remark altogether if you’ve replaced burned out bulbs. This is by far one of the easiest tasks a seller can do to avoid remarks about faulty lighting.

As simple as it may sound, make sure all the light bulbs in your home are working. Remember, home inspectors are required to report everything. Do not think it is insignificant, because a burned-out light bulb may indicate more serious problems than you may think. It could be because of a wiring problem or something else. Before having your home inspected, make sure all your lights work accordingly.

Replace Filters

This is probably the second easiest thing a seller can do to prepare for an inspection. A home inspector is going to check every filter in your home and if they’re dirty they’re going to note it and include it in the report. While you’re at it, make sure they also fit securely, improper size or fit is also something that comes up frequently in reports and is easy to avoid with proper preparation.

Access To All Areas

Have a shed that you keep locked? Be sure to leave it open or leave a key for it to be accessed with the day of the inspection. Have boxes or furniture in front of the electric panel? Move it out of the way. Have a crawl space that’s tricky to locate? Leave instructions. It’s an inspector’s job to examine everything about your home and in order to do that they have to be able to access it.

Unlock all your doors prior to the arrival of a home inspector. Seeing as how the investor needs to view every area of your property, it makes sense to prepare every area for the home inspection. Unlock all the gates and doors to a garage, shed or crawl space.

Also, make sure to provide unobstructed access to the service electric panel, water heater and all attic openings and crawlspaces. If there is attic access in your garage, move your car out of the garage.

It is also necessary that you provide the home inspector all the proper access codes for your lockboxes. Make sure that the codes you provide operate properly by testing them in advance. There are times when an inspector will try to gain access to a property only to find out that the code does not work.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

They’re going to be tested; make sure they’re fully functional prior to the day of the inspection.
 


Minor Maintenance and Repairs

Homes take constant maintenance and while these really should be done prior to listing your home I see them come up in reports all too often. Cracked caulking around windows and doors, missing shingles, slow draining sinks/tubs, non-functional doors, missing or disconnected downspouts, cracked windows, broker shower diverters, and overgrown trees/shrubs.

In addition to the above items make sure your utilities are on and that you are prepared to be away from your home for a few hours. The time it takes for the inspection will vary by the size and type of home. If you have pets you’ll also need to remove them from the home for the duration of the inspection.
 


Being prepared for the home inspection and presenting your home in the best condition possible will decrease your chances of the buyer walking. The more you take care of upfront the less you’ll have to worry about or have to negotiate on in the future.

 

How Do You Find the Right Home Inspector?

You can’t underestimate the importance of finding the right home inspector as you prepare for a smooth home inspection process. Not all home inspectors are created equal—some are better in terms of knowledge than the others.

Here’s a list of the steps you should take to find the right inspector:

  • Find someone who wants you present

A good home inspector will always want the homeowner to accompany him throughout the home inspection process. That is because he wants you to get the most out of the experience, rather than just look at their report at the end.

  • Request for a sample report

Another good indicator of a good home inspector is the quality of his home inspection report. Since many home inspection agencies offer sample reports on their websites, you can check for clarity, formatting, and whether or not they include photos. If a home inspector can show you a good report, that’s a sign that he’s a good inspector.

  • Go through review sites

These days, reviews tell a lot about how good or bad someone or something is. If you want to know if a home inspector is a good find, Yelp, Google, Review and Angie’s List are great places to check for customer reviews. In addition to good ratings, a good home inspector will often engage with customers and address concerns.

  • Ask about experience and certifications

Interview the inspector regarding his work history, if he has certifications, as well as if he belongs to any professional organizations. This information can help you get a sense of his level of professionalism and commitment to his industry.

  • Double check his license and insurance

If you want to hire a good home inspector, make sure that you verify his license and insurance. Good contractors will always provide copies of these items even without you having to ask.

  • Know if he requires extra fee for additional items

Ask your prospect home inspector if he charges an extra fee for any areas that you want him to inspect that are not usually included in a typical home inspection, such as a septic system or foundation problems.
Additional Resources 
The Purpose Of A Home Inspection via Luke Skar with Madison Mortgage 

 

How To Prepare For A Home Inspection via Moving.com

 

 

 

Kingstowne Home Sales March 2019 - Market Update

Kingstowne Home Sales March 2019 - Market Update
Home sales in Kingstowne really picked up during the month of March and competition is fierce. Sellers enjoyed an over 100% sale to list price ratio which is telling as to just how competitive the market currently is.
 

March 2019 Kingstowne Home Sales

•Number of Sales: 46

•Highest Priced Sale: $746,000

•Lowest Priced Sale: $236,000

•Median Sales Price: $480,000

•Median Days on Market: 10

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 101.6%

Is It A Buyer’s Or A Seller’s Market?
It remains a seller’s market in Kingstowne, supply just isn’t keeping up with demand. There are currently 36 homes for sale, 14 of which are located in The Crest Of Alexandria, a 55+ active adult community.
 

View homes for sale in Kingstowne
 

Inventory in Kingstowne

Inventory in Kingstowne is low – very very low. There is less than a one month supply of homes for sale in the area. It’s considered a seller’s market when there is up to a 3 month supply and we are well below that threshold. If you’re a buyer it’s important to understand there are very few homes for sale and homes are moving quickly. Multiple offer scenarios are very common and happening regularly. Be prepared to tour homes quickly and when you find a home you want to make an offer on put your best foot forward. You may not have a chance to make any changes if you’re competing with other offers so make it your best and final right from the start. The good news is rates are extremely low and purchasing now will ensure you can lock your rate in. Your interest rate is what impacts your monthly payment the most.
 


If you’re considering selling your home now is an excellent time. Although it’s a seller’s market that doesn’t remove the need to properly prepare your home for sale. Buyers are looking for homes that have a reasonable amount of updates (preferably turnkey ready) and providing them with the product they are seeking will deliver favorable results in the form of offers being made quickly and achieving top dollar for the sale of your home.

Receive a free home value estimate within minutes. Our home value tool is just a guide, and to be used solely to receive an estimate. If you’d like to receive a free current market analysis reach out to me and let’s connect! 703-431-3755 or amanda@amandadavidson.com.

See homes for sale in Kingstowne

Additional Kingstowne Real Estate Resources

Kingstowne Home Buyer Tips
 

Kingstowne Home Seller Tips
 

Selling Your Kingstowne Condo
 

 

Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

Should Sellers Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

A pre-listing home inspection is something I rarely see homeowners want to do. I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve had a client agree to one and while I see both sides of the story I think the benefits of having one outweigh the drawbacks. I’m not going to say one is needed on every single home but, more often than not I do recommend one be conducted.
 


The majority of the time a buyer is going to have a home inspection conducted, even if the market is competitive and it’s a void only contingency an inspection is highly likely going to be part of the puzzle that has to be put together before closing can happen. If you possess a solid idea of the condition of your home and the opportunity to fix any major problems before going on the market you lessen your risk of your home sale falling apart.

Let’s look at the pros and cons!

 

BENEFITS

Identifying Serious Problems Upfront

Surprises and real estate are not a good match. Finding out you have a serious moisture problem before you list is far better than finding out once you’re under contract.

 

Timing For Repairs

In Virginia, most homes close in 30-45 days and in a typical situation the home inspection contingency is 7-10 days after ratification. This puts pressure on sellers to get any agreed upon repairs done FAST. There’s no time to waste. If you know about them before you list your home you control the timing and can get multiple estimates and have the work done without the pressure of a closing date looming over you.

 

Cost-Effectiveness For Repairs

Timing also plays into the cost of repairs. Whether it’s a contractor of your choice or the buyers if you’re on a time crunch your options for who can do the work in the allotted timeframe may be limited. If there isn’t enough time to complete the repair or if the buyer requests a credit you can bet they are going to want more than what the actual repair costs due to the burden being placed on them to then coordinate the repair after closing.
 

Fewer Repair Requests

If you’ve already taken care of any deal breakers or large repair items it’s less likely you’ll get a laundry list of repair requests from a buyer. The overall condition of your home is revealed during an inspection and it can either leave the buyer feeling comfortable or make them want to run.

 

Trust

I’ve never met a buyer who didn’t appreciate a transparent seller. You can’t get more transparent than sharing your pre-listing home inspection along with repair receipts for any items you took care of. It sends the message to buyers that you’re not trying to hide anything.

 

The Report

An inspection report is an excellent tool to have – not only does it allow you to advertise to buyers up front that your home has been professionally inspected it also gives you a great comparison tool to use when the buyer obtains an inspection as well.
 

POSSIBLE BENEFITS (keyword – POSSIBLE … not always going to apply)

Higher List Price

If you get an inspection done and based on the findings determine you need to replace your HVAC or have a new roof put on you may find your agent recommends listing higher than if they’re old and in need of replacement. This is going to apply to significant replacement items, caulking the bathroom isn’t going to make a difference on your list price so you’ll want to rely on guidance from your agent when it comes to what will impact the list price.

 

Faster Closing

The less there is to negotiate on the faster closing can occur. If repairs have already been identified and completed you’re setting yourself up to be able to close faster. Now, not everyone wants to close fast so I understand this might not be seen as a benefit for every buyer and seller but, even just knowing you’re waiting to close and everything is ready to go vs. worrying over repair negotiations and timing for repairs is a benefit.

 

Competition

Based on my experience the odds of another homeowner completing a pre-listing inspection are low. Think about if a buyer is torn between your home and another home. Knowledge of your pre-listing inspection could sway a buyer or even attract a buyer faster. There’s something to be said for peace of mind when it comes to the condition of a home and that goes for buyers and sellers.

 

DRAWBACKS
Cost

A pre-listing inspection is going to cost you somewhere in the range of $300-$600 depending on what size and type of home you have.

 

Doesn’t Replace The Buyer’s Inspection

Although it’s possible the buyer will waive their inspection if you’ve already had one done it's not likely. The majority of buyers will still want to hire their own inspector and quite frankly they should. The pre-listing inspection is provided to a buyer for information only, not in lieu of the buyer having an inspection conducted.
 

Variance

No two inspection reports are the same. Don’t expect for something new or different not to be found during the buyer’s inspection if you’ve had a pre-listing inspection. Inspectors are human and that factor alone means there’s going to be varying opinions and findings.

 

Disclosure

This is going to vary greatly by each state so I won’t go into much detail but, I will say in most states if you know of a serious issue with your house it needs to be disclosed. Some states require far more disclosure than others so this is something to check with your agent about.

 

This post was inspired by a comment from Jay Markanich, Northern Virginia Home Inspector who has also experienced the majority of homeowners opt not to have a pre-listing inspection conducted. Think about the confidence you could have when buyers come through the door of your home knowing that you’ve done everything you can to get your home ready to sell.

Have you sold a home before and conducted a pre-listing inspection? If so, were you glad you did?

 

 

Homes For Sale In Amberleigh Alexandria, Va 22315 - Market Report April 2019

Homes For Sale In Amberleigh Alexandria, Va 22315 - Market Report April 2019

Amberleigh is located in Alexandria off of Beulah Road. The tree-lined streets provide a peaceful setting and privacy all while being within minutes of popular Kingstowne.

 


What’s The Neighborhood Like?

Amberleigh consists of 502 townhomes constructed between 1981 and 1988. There are six different models; Ashleigh, Oakleigh, Ridgeleigh, Stoneleigh, Timberleigh, and Woodleigh. Homes in Amberleigh typically range from 2-3 bedrooms and 2-3 full baths. Residents have access to basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts. There are multiple tot lots throughout the community and an active neighborhood association puts on events throughout the year for the community. Residents can also access walking trails through a peaceful wooded area in Amberleigh Park.
 


What’s Nearby Amberleigh?

Amberleigh is conveniently located in the Kingstowne area of Alexandria. As with many neighborhoods in the area, major commuter routes, dining, shopping, and daily needs are all easily accessible. Festival At Manchester Lakes, Hilltop Village Center, and Kingstowne Towne Center are shopping centers that are closest to the neighborhood.

 

Festival at Manchester Lakes has a grocery store, bank, pet store and many dining options. Check out Johnny’s Pizza if you’re in the center, it’s one of our local favorites.

 

Kingstowne Towne Center is home to Kingstowne 16 Movie Theater, Pasara Thai, East Moon Bistro, HomeGoods, World Market, TJ Maxx, La Madeline, two grocery stores and many other dining and retail options.
 


Hilltop Village Center is within walking distance from the neighborhood and home to the sought after Wegmans grocery store. You’ll also find Burtons Grill, LA Fitness, Green Turtle, Verizon, Hair Cuttery, Hilltop Dental Care, First Impression Orthodontics and many other retail and dining locations in the center

 

The Springfield Transportation center is minutes away from Amberleigh. Franconia-Springfield metro (blue line), VRE, Amtrak, and Greyhound are all available. Fort Belvoir, the Pentagon, the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center and Fort Myer are all nearby as well.

 

What Schools Will The Kids Attend?

Children living in Amberleigh will attend Island Creek Elementary and Hayfield Secondary Schools. To learn more about these schools visit the GreatSchools website. 

 

Amberleigh Real Estate Market Update

Below is a review of year to date homes sold in Amberleigh.

•Number of Sales: 6

•Highest Priced Sale: $465,000

•Lowest Priced Sale: $420,000

•Median Sales Price: $433,750

•Median Days on Market: 9

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 100.01%

 

There are currently no active listings in Amberleigh

 

If you are considering buying or selling in Amberleigh and have questions please reach out. I welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and business. Inventory is low in the neighborhood making it an excellent time to list your home and interest rates are also low which makes it an excellent time to buy. The current market conditions offer the best of both worlds for buyers and sellers. If you’ve been thinking about moving up to a larger home you have the opportunity to sell for top dollar and still lock in a low-interest rate on your new home. That’s not something that happens regularly in the market and is something to really consider when thinking of your next move.
 


Receive an estimate of your homes current value by visiting www.northernvalocalmarketvalues.com – free and no obligation!

 

View homes for sale in Kingstowne 

 

For Sale By Owner Mistakes - Your Home Won't Sell If It Can't Be Shown

For Sale By Owner Mistakes - Your Home Won’t Sell If It Can’t Be Shown

Yesterday clients of mine who are targeting a specific neighborhood with very low turnover and no inventory contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to reach out to a home that’s a for sale by owner. We’ve driven past the home before, checked it out online but, they have passed on it for weeks because it’s overpriced and a FSBO. Average days on the market in this neighborhood are 3 and it’s been on for 90+ days.
 


I never mind reaching out toa FSBO. They’re not part of my business plan in terms of contacting them to try to get a listing. If I call it’s because a buyer of mine has expressed interest in a tour. Fortunately, we don’t see a ton of them in this area but, the few that I’ve ended up in a transaction with have always needed guidance on next steps, providing forms they don’t have, or even meeting an appraiser. You name it, I’ve had to do what an agent representing them would typically do but, like many of us in the business if it’s for the benefit of my client that’s what I’ll do.

I’ve seen a lot but, not one time have I had a FSBO not want to show their home. Typically the minute I say I have a buyer and would like to bring them for a tour their guard goes down and they are happy to answer questions and arrange for us to come.
 


When I called the FSBO yesterday I got yelled at for a few minutes. It started with that fact I called on a Sunday and then for calling at all. This owner was irate that I had disturbed her and said my clients can see everything they need to online. Real estate is 7 days a week and if you opt to list your own home you need to be aware you're committing to that. The insults were flying and I just sat and listened in shock. How can someone expect to sell a home without allowing potential buyers to come see it?

After this homeowner had unloaded on me I asked if she had toured the home before she bought it. I’m not sure why I decided to tempt fate and ask, I had nothing to lose at that point. There was a long pause and possibly steam coming out of her ears on the other end but, she admitted that yes she had toured it…not once but, TWICE!

I explained they’d simply like to be able to do the same thing she did and that while the 10 photos she has online give a sample of what the home looks like they don’t do enough to make my clients comfortable to make an offer sight unseen. She went round and round about how busy she is, she doesn’t have time to entertain calls from agents like me much less show the home, and she doesn’t want strangers in her home. Even stating that she knows it’s a seller’s market and buyers should know they need to just make an offer when this is the only house for sale in the neighborhood.
 


At thatpoint, I had already offered for us to come at her convenience so I told her if she changed her mind to please call me and then made the call to my clients to let them know what had happened. I suggested they try calling to see if it’s just the fact that I’m an agent that set her off but, at that point they were done. They have zero interest in pursuing this house because they know in the off chance a deal is put together it will be a nightmare to get to closing at best and at worst the seller will wreck the deal.

I don’t know what happened to her in the past to cause her to feel this way but, even if she despises “low life’s like me” she is never going to sell her house if no one can see it. Nothing else is going to matter if the door isn’t opened for showings. I don’t care how strong of a seller’s market we’re in, buyers want to see your product in person. They want to touch it, see if it feels like home and walk through every inch of it. If you’re selling your home without an agent be prepared for calls, welcome those calls, and be ready to arrange showings. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to selling a home. If you can’t execute those few steps you can kiss the thought of a sale goodbye.

 

 

First Time Home Seller Tips

First Time Home Seller Tips

When it’s time to sell a home for the very first time it can be downright intimidating and stressful. Where do you start, what should you expect, how do you prepare your home for sale are all questions that pop into first time home sellers minds. Below are tips I recommend for first time home sellers to not only get your home sold but, to do it for the highest price possible with the least amount of stress possible.
 

Hire A Real Estate Agent

Not just any real estate agent, one that you trust and who you know has a proven successful track record. You’re going to have a lot of questions before your home ever goes on the market and you need a trusted partner to give you honest answers. According to The National Association Of Realtors for sale by owners (FSBO) in 2018 accounted for only 8% of home sales and the typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 as compared to $265,500 when represented by an agent.

 

Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time To Prepare Your Home For Sale

As soon as you start to think about selling your home is when I recommend making your hiring decision for an agent and then enlisting their expertise to give you guidance on what your home needs to be market ready. Rushing your home to get it on the market never turns out well. You want a polished and well-presented product and that takes time. Very few of us live in our homes the way we position them to sell. Which is why allowing plenty of time to prepare for your sale is important, it will mean less stress and a favorable outcome than trying to pull an all-nighter to get your home ready.
 


Pricing

Pricing is the biggest reason a home doesn’t sell and getting it correct from the very start is the best way to sell quickly and for top dollar. I always tell my clients no one pays top dollar for stale bread and if your home sits on the market for months on end that’s exactly what it will become. Pricing is unique to each home, its location, and updates. If you’re considering making updates before you sell it’s another reason to enlist the expertise of an agent early on in the process. A great agent who knows your neighborhood will be able to tell you what updates are going to give you a strong ROI and what updates aren’t a good use of your money. From there the agent will then be able to tell you where your home should be priced. If they’re really on top of their game they’ll be able to give you a comparison to show you where you can list if you do XYZ updates and where you can list if you opt not to make changes.

 

Put On Your Buyer Eyes

Speaking of updates, do you remember when you were touring homes as a buyer? What stood out to you, better yet, was there something in particular about your home that made you feel like it was the one? As hard as it can be, putting your buyer eyes on before you list your home and really being honest with yourself about its current condition will give you a lot of insight. Buyers like updated and turnkey ready homes and they’re willing to pay top dollar for them. If your home has maintenance issues, has become outdated, or even just needs some minor repairs the time to do them is before you list.
 


Timing To List

Knowing when to list your home for sale is not something that comes up as often as it should. Most homeowners contact an agent when they’re ready to list their home – as in get it listed as soon as possible. This all goes back to contacting an agent early on in the process. An agent can help you plan ahead and create and implement coming soon marketing if they have the lead time to do it. Think of a big motion picture, it doesn’t just pop into theatres one day unannounced. There is marketing dispersed to build curiosity and put it on moviegoers radar long in advance which of course boosts box office sales. Targeting home buyers before your home is for sale decreases the number of days it’s on the market and has them waiting and ready for it to go active.

 

Prepare For Photos

Updates and maintenance items are part of the big picture when preparing your home for sale but, then there are all those little details that come into play when preparing for photos. Any clutter has to go, it’s rare I see a seller who doesn’t have items to get rid of or donate that they no longer need. I recommend looking at it and asking yourself if you want to pay to move it. That normally helps with the decision making process. After you’ve de-cluttered then focus on de-personalizing. You want your home to feel welcoming and inviting but, not over-personalized. This allows as many buyers as possible to envision themselves living there. Some level of staging will also likely be needed, this is one to rely on your agent to assist with. The amount of staging needed for each home varies and it could be as simple as removing or rearranging furniture or as advanced as hiring a professional stager.
 


Prepare For Showings

When your home is active your daily routine is going to change. If you leave for work every day you’re going to need to allow extra time each morning to get your home show ready. Making beds, doing dishes, straightening pillows, opening blinds, cleaning off vanities isn’t something all of us do as part of our daily routine and it takes time to accomplish. If you have pets have a plan in place to remove them from the home for every showing and be sure to have their belongings tucked away. Be prepared to not be able to come home at your normal time and be flexible. Not all showings are going to give you a ton of advanced notice. I always suggest my sellers have a basket on hand to put extra items from the counter or bathrooms in quickly. If you get a last minute showing request you can either stick it somewhere out of site or better yet just throw it in the car and take it with you. If your house can’t be shown it also can’t be sold.

 

After You’re Under Contract

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your home you may then need to be prepared to allow the buyers in for a home inspection, or your agent to meet the appraiser. Inspections that are needed vary and will be in the contract you’ve signed. Your agent will guide you on the next steps. You’ll also want to arrange for your actual move once you’re under contract. Whether it’s hiring movers or renting a moving truck it’s best to do so in advance to ensure you can get the date and time that’s best for your schedule.
 


Selling a home is a big undertaking but, when you work with an agent you trust to guide you through each step you’ll find your home goes under contract quickly and that all of your preparation pays off.

 

Additional Resources

7 Crucial First Time Home Seller Tips via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

Tips For First Time Home Sellers via Bill Gassett with RE/MAX

8 Successful Habits All Successful Home Sellers Have In Common via Realtor.com