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Discover the Best-Kept Secrets for Making Your Home a Magnet for Homebuyers!

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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?”


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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 amazed how much more your organized garage can actually hold!

  •  Take everything out and focus on cleaning the ceiling, floor and walls. 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 “The Life 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 gear and stack 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?

 Real Estate Properties in Kingstowne VA

 

 

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 or unkept, 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 to border it by tall shrubs---ground cover or low-growing shrubs will do.

  • Choose the right varieties of flowers. The climate in 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.


Homes in Kingstowne VA

Planting flowers is 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:

  • Daylilies

  • Bright red salvia plant

  • Sun-loving sedums

  • Hostas

Homes in Kingstowne VA

 

 

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:

 

5.      Paint

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 helps giving your 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.

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  • Beautiful neutrals

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 that feel. 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.

Kingstowne VA Homes for Sale

 

 

 

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.

2.      Paint.

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 towards light.

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?

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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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHk7yRu7_K4

4.      Clear furniture away from walls.

Kingstowne VA 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.

7.      Repair

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.

Homes for Sale in Kingstowne VA

 

 

 

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 and sinks

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Selling Tips – How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day

Home Selling Tips – How To Prepare Your Home For Picture Day

If you think taking a few random snaps of your home for sale is alright, then you might want to think again. Most of you might be thinking, "what matters is what the house looks like in person, not what it looks like in the photos." However, pictures can make or break a home sale. The first place potential buyers are going to see your home is online. Gone are the days that the first impression is when they pull up for a tour inside your home. I’d even venture to argue that the first showing for your home occurs online. Since we live in a technologically advanced era, people will take advantage of the convenience that the internet has to offer and check your home online first to see if it's worth their precious time. If buyers don’t like what they see online, chances are they’re not going to come to see a home in person. You want to make sure your home is staged and ready for picture day. Below are tips about how to prepare your home for photos as well as what key areas of your home you should be focusing on dolling up for potential buyers.
 


Interior Tips For Picture Day

Furniture

Although having plenty of furniture inside your home might look appealing for you, it's actually not as appealing as it is for potential buyers. Rooms that are packed with furniture will not only appear small in photos, they’ll also appear small for showings. Less is more. Work with your agent or your stager to determine which pieces should stay and which pieces should be removed. Anything you remove for picture day should stay out of the house for showings as well. Leave the task of filling up the room with furniture for the buyer. It's your job to make the house look like a beautiful blank canvas for them to paint on. 

 

Countertops

Countertops photograph best when they’re clear. Again, this creates the illusion of space and cleanliness. For the kitchen, this means small appliances, paper towel holders, cutting boards should be the only things visible. Clunky items such as knife blocks need to be removed or stored away. In the bathroom, take the toothbrushes, soap, makeup, lotion, and any other personal items off the top of the vanity and put them out of sight. The same goes for nightstands and dressers – have their surfaces clear. The fewer clutter countertops have, the more appealing they are for potential buyers. Think of it this way, if you were the one viewing your home, do you think it is necessary to see all those objects placed randomly all around the house?
 

 


Refrigerator

No magnets, photos, artwork, or calendars allowed. Have the exterior of your fridge completely clear to give a clean and classy impression of your kitchen. It should stay this way the entire time your home is on the market, as well. While it doesn’t have to be done for picture day, don’t forget that when it’s time for showings, the inside of your refrigerator needs to be organized and clean. No one wants to see the leftover meal you had from two days ago. It's just downright unhygienic. 

 

Cabinets

Make sure the exterior of all the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are clean. Wipe them down as needed prior to the photographer arriving. Pay close attention to spills, drips, and dried toothpaste. Potential buyers never want to see a dirty home as this would entail that they would have to clean up more once they decide to buy the house. 

 

Showers and Bathtubs

Shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap, razors, and anything else inside the shower or tub need to be removed. Showers and bathtubs should be completely clear including anything hanging on the wall. If you have glass shower doors, wipe them down and remove any soap scum or water spots. Again, you'd want your house to look as if it's brand new for its next owner. 
 


Lighting

Go through your entire house and replace any burned out lightbulbs. Consider replacing bulbs that don’t put off bright light to achieve better lighting the day of photos. On picture day, turn on every light in your home. Lights on ceiling fans should be on too but, the fan itself should be off. Better lighting would result to better photos. Better photos means better chances of reeling in a buyer. 

 

Throw Rugs

Entryway, hallway, and bathroom rugs need to be removed for picture day. Having them on the floor causes rooms to look small and cluttered. It also gives the impression that the house is untidy which is why there's always a need for throw rugs. 

 

Loose Wires

Lamp, TV, and electronic device wires should all be concealed. If that’s not possible, at the very least, they need to be wrapped neatly and zip tied to avoid being an eyesore in photographs. Imagine, if you get irritated at the sight of unruly wires from your computer or television, what more would potential buyers think? Also, loose wires tend to accumulate dust and dirt. We wouldn't want those to show in the photos. 

 

Beds

Every bed needs to be made, not just your everyday make-your-bed routine. Take time to make sure the sheets and blankets aren’t showing from under the comforter. Smoothen the comforter out and ensure it’s even on all sides. Add a throw pillow to the end of the bed for an added touch. Fluff and arrange all of the pillows. Getting a bed ready for photos isn’t a quick task. Allow plenty of time to arrange these during the morning when the pictures will be taken. You'll want the potential buyers to view your home as a relaxing space. What better way to give them that idea than to fix the bedroom? 
 


Toilet Seats

This one is a pet peeve of mine anytime I see it in photographs of a home for sale. Make sure toilet seats are all down. Nobody wants to see what the inside of your toilet looks like, regardless if there's nothing there to see. If you have a professional photographer, they’ll likely put them down for you or if your agent arrives prior to photos commencing to walk through your house, they probably will too. But, regardless of who takes care of it, just make sure it gets done.
 

Trash Cans

All trash cans need to be hidden and that includes the kitchen trash can. Your home is the product you are selling, not trash cans.

 

Pets

Sure, your furry friends might be the most adorable thing in the world for you but who's to say that the potential buyer thinks so, too? Not all people are animal lovers. Some might even be allergic or traumatized just by seeing animals. So, no matter how cute they are, make sure that your pets are out of thr picture when taking a photograph of your home. It goes without saying to remove your pet the day of photos but, don’t forget to remove your pet's belongings too. Beds, bowls, and food storage should not be photographed nor should they be present for showings either. Some buyers do not want to purchase a home if its apparent pets live there.
 


Exterior Tips For Picture Day

Don’t forget the exterior when preparing for picture day. It’s equally as important as the interior.
 


Front Door

You might easily ignore the importance of the front door, but this is usually a key factor in sealing the deal with a potential buyer. Place an attractive flower pot leading up the walkway or on a pedestal by the front door; something with an inviting color that doesn’t overwhelm the space. Adding something by or near the front door gives a welcoming vibe in photos.

 

Landscaping

The surrounding environment of your home plays a huge part in its attractiveness. Having a beautiful and neat landscape would send potential buyers flocking from all corners. Make sure to trim trees and bushes, pull weeds, mulch flower beds, and mow the yard. If the weather hasn’t warmed up enough for the grass to grow and there are bare spots with dirt showing in the yard, have sod put down. Having a touch of gorgeous nature would give potential buyers the idea of having endless days of peace and relaxation. 

 

Cars

Remove cars from the driveway and garage. If you have any sports equipment in the driveway or in front of the garage, it should be removed as well. Always remind yourself that you are selling the home. You wouldn't want potential buyers to think that your car is up for grabs too, right? This would save you possible inquiries in the long run. 
 


Trash Cans

Even the trash cans on the exterior of your home need to be removed for pictures too. Buyers aren’t interested in photographs with trash cans in them under any circumstances.

 

Yard

If you have pets, make sure the yard is free of any calling cards they’ve left. If you have children, remove their toys – there shouldn’t be any random items left out in the yard on picture day. The garden hose is an item that is often overlooked and it should be put away if it's lying on the ground.

 

Windows

All the windows in your home should be closed for picture day – blinds, however, should be open. Don’t forget to clean them prior to the photographer coming. Having open windows would make your house look more welcoming. From the inside, it also gives off beautiful natural lighting. 
 


Preparing your home for picture day takes a lot of attention to detail. I make it a point to arrive 45 minutes to an hour ahead of the photographer so that I can go through each room of the home and make any final adjustments. It’s easy to overlook little things when you don’t prepare a home for photos every day and it’s a costly mistake to make. Think of the photos you’d share if you were creating an online dating profile, they’d only be your absolute best. The same mentality applies to your home. Take the time to go room by room and get it ready to shine on picture day!
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Getting Your Home Ready For A Spring Sale via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

What Updates/Repairs Should We Do Before Listing via Joan Cox Broker-Owner House To Home in Denver Co


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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

 

6 Common Reasons Homes Come Back On The Market

6 Common Reasons Homes Come Back On The Market

No home seller or agent wants to go from pending to active and back on the market. Buyers and sellers make an agreement on a home and everyone including the agents hope the sale goes according to plan but, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So, why do pending home sales fall through? There are quite a few issues that can come up leading to a home going back on the market.
 


Re-listing a home as active again can cause buyers to be concerned that there’s something wrong with the home. That’s a myth and not always the case. As long as your agent can determine what caused a contract to fail homes that come back on the market aren’t something to blacklist during your home search.

 

Whether you are buying or selling knowing why homes go back on the market is useful so that you can do your best to avoid these situations.

 

Home Inspection Problems

Problems from the home inspection are the number one reason a home comes back on the market. It’s a home inspector’s job to go through a home and identify problems.

 

After the home inspection is completed the home buyer may now be aware of some problems with the home and they could be costly. The seller can always negotiate to come to an agreement to have repairs completed, reduce the sale price, or credit the buyer. If an agreement can’t be made between the buyer and the seller the buyer can walk.
 


Home inspectors can make mistakes occasionally, after all, they are human. However, most of the time they are well trained and in Virginia they have to be licensed so odds are if they find a big issue it’s worth looking into.
 

There is a way to prevent a house coming back on the market due to home inspection problems. How? Get a pre-listing home inspection before you put your home on the market. Then you’ll know the condition of your home before it hits the market and can address any issues that need to be resolved.

 

Being prepared for the buyer’s home inspection always works in your favor. Follow these 5 tips for a smooth home inspection.

 

The Home Didn’t Appraise

If the buyer is obtaining financing and doesn’t waive the appraisal contingency there will without a doubt be an appraisal conducted on the home. An appraiser will analyze properties similar to the subject home and review recent sales in the area. Upgrades, special features, number of beds and baths, lot size, and location are all factors an appraiser will consider.

 

If the appraisal comes in at lower than the agreed upon price and the buyer and seller cannot come to terms the buyer can walk.

 

The Buyer’s Financing Was Denied

Buyers can get pre-approved and pre-qualified for a mortgage but, that doesn’t mean their financing is guaranteed. If a buyer loses his or her job they could find that buying a home is no longer an option.

 

It’s good business for a listing agent to contact a buyer’s lender to ensure they are able to qualify. Doing so doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing though. Some lenders pre-vet buyers better than others. Some buyers make dumb decisions such as taking out another loan during the process home buying process that causes them to no longer be able to buy.

Buyer’s Remorse

Real estate isn’t exempt from buyers getting cold feet. It can happen for a variety of reasons.

 

Perhaps they made an emotional decision because there were multiple offers and they got caught up in winning a bidding war. Maybe the home was just so perfectly presented they made an offer before thinking about it financially being a stretch.

 

Whatever the reason for buyer’s remorse it leaves sellers in a bad spot. Even if a buyer has to forfeit their deposit that still means the seller has to find another buyer. Deposits are in place to discourage this type of behavior.

 

The higher the deposit the better for the seller. Even with a high deposit that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of the buyer getting cold feet and backing out.

 

Buyers Could Be Submitting Offers On Multiple Homes

Unless a buyer can afford to buy more than one home at a time they shouldn’t be making offers on multiple homes. However, depending on market conditions there are cases where buyers are working with an incompetent agent who is willing to write offers on multiple homes at one time knowing the buyer can’t buy more than one.

 

All it takes is two offers being accepted at the same time and there’s a big problem.

 

Sound far-fetched? It’s not and it happens more frequently when markets are very competitive. It’s not only unfair to sellers and agents it’s just plain deceitful behavior.

 

To avoid a home going back on the market because the buyer made offers on multiple homes the listing agent should have a conversation with the buyer’s agent. The goal being to get as much information about the buyer’s sincerity in the offer before the seller accepts it.

 

It doesn’t remove the risk but, it lessens it for the seller. The more that’s known about the buyer’s intentions the better.

 

Title Issues Are Uncovered On The Home

Title issues can put a halt to a sale quickly. There are a variety of ways these can occur; illegal deeds, unknown easements, forgeries, unreleased previous mortgages, and liens.

 

As soon as a home is pending the title search should be done promptly. The most common title issue is a lien that is tied to a property. This means that the debt has to be paid before the owner can sell the home. If that can’t be accomplished the sale cannot happen.

 

Closing Thoughts

Homes come back on the market for a variety of reasons. There are cases when coming back on the market can be avoided and there are others where it can’t be. All parties, agents included should work together to the best of their ability to achieve a successful outcome.  
 

 

Additional Resources

Putting A Home Back On The Market Due To A Failed Home Inspection via Bill Gassett of RE/MAX

How To Get A Mortgage via Luke Skar of Madison Mortgage