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iBuyers: are they worth the convenience?

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Instant homebuyer companies, also known as iBuyers, are tech companies that buy homes directly from sellers online and then put them back on the market. Without even visiting your home, iBuyers will make you an instant cash offer using a proprietary valuation model. If you accept the offer, you can close the sale in a few days.

While the appeal of selling your house to an iBuyer is understandable, the instant bids they offer may not be worth the associated convenience.

Keep in mind that though iBuyers claim to offer the full value of your home, the bids they make are typically below fair market value (in case they can’t resell the property at the full price). They also charge a fee for conducting the transaction, which is often higher than the standard brokerage fee.

Additionally, the bids iBuyers make on homes are generally lower than what the seller would get from working with a real estate agent. Experienced agents often get as much as 125 percent of a home’s fair market value.

What’s more, these companies strategically appeal to sellers who are in distress. They target people who’ve been unable to sell their homes or have expired listings. Those who are divorcing, in bankruptcy or have homes in foreclosure are also easy marks. Because the sellers are in difficult situations, they’re more likely to accept lowball offers.

Though selling your home to an iBuyer may seem like a good idea, you’ll gain far more from working with an experienced listing agent. A skilled realtor can help you sell your home at, or above, the property’s fair market value.

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4 renovations that’ll make it harder to sell your home

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Not every renovation is going to make your house attractive to buyers. Here are four types of home improvements that may be detrimental.

1. Pool installation
Unless you live in an area where pools are expected, adding one won’t do much to increase the value of your home. In addition, many buyers are put off by the required maintenance and additional insurance costs that come with owning a property with a pool.

2. Room conversions
The number of bedrooms in a home is an almost universal consideration for buyers. Converting one into a gym or home office, especially if it entails removing closets and storage space, is likely to make your home a lot less attractive.

3. Wall-to-wall carpeting
If you’re going to replace the flooring, it’s best to choose a material that’s likely to increase the value of your home, like hardwood or something similar. Typically, carpeting isn’t a very popular feature among modern home buyers.

4. Excessive upgrades
Any major renovation that bumps up your home’s worth to more than a quarter of its original value is likely to result in your home being priced out of the market. This happens when the home’s value ends up being too high for the area, which in turn makes it less attractive to buyers.

Resale value shouldn’t be the only criterion when deciding what to renovate, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Did you know?
Most municipalities require you to obtain a permit before doing any kind of major renovation. This legality ensures that the new construction will be up to code.

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Real Estate

3 things to consider before building an addition

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Do you love your home but wish you had a little more living space? If you’re thinking about building an addition, here are some things to consider before you break ground.

1. What you’re allowed. Most municipalities require you to obtain a permit if you intend to build an addition. Also, you may need to abide by their regulations concerning how large the new part of your home can be and how far from the edge of your property it can reach.

2. Your budget. Building an addition is pricey, but it may cost less than moving altogether. When making your budget, be sure to leave a little wiggle room for extra expenses that may come up.

3. The team you’ll hire. Building an addition isn’t something most people can do themselves. You’ll need to hire an architect as well as various contractors (or a general manager who’ll be responsible for overseeing the whole project).

One final thing: building an addition is a huge project that will undoubtedly overtake your home. If possible, it may be a good idea to move out while it’s under construction.

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How to prepare for a spring sale

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Are you planning to sell your home this spring? If so, here’s what you should do.

Spring clean early
Cleaning your home from top to bottom is a great place to begin. You’ll get a head start on organizing your belongings and can clear out items you no longer need or want. As a result, your home will look tidier and be less cluttered. You’ll also be able to assess which areas of the house need a bit of work before you list it.

Make some repairs
While investing a lot of money into extensive renovations isn’t a great idea, fixing up a few things can go a long way, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. Re-grouting tiles and applying new caulking will instantly freshen up your bathroom, and a new sink is likely to greatly improve the look of your kitchen.

Interview realtors
Don’t wait until the last minute to choose a real estate agent. Starting your preparations early means you’ll have time to interview a few different realtors in order to find the best one. Make sure you pick someone with a solid knowledge of the local market and who’ll be able to give you substantive advice on how to prepare for the sale.

Spring is a popular time to sell, so make sure to take advantage of the months leading up to it to ensure a quick and hassle-free sale.

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Warren County Market Report – January 2020

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Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for January 2020. We must be setting records at this point! Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play.

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 57.9% in January 2020.
  2. New Pending UP 59.%. We list them and they are going under contract fast. 160 Active Listings.
  3. Closed sales are UP 33.3%.
  4. Average Median Sold $219,900. This number is down again this month. Hoping to see this number climb again in the next few months. Personally, I have known a few investors who have decided to sell their less expensive investment properties to take advantage of the strong market. Could this action bring down our median sold value?
  5. Average Days on Market 52. In my opinion, anything under 60 days is great!

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com.

Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated February 2020

Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”

BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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What ‘move-in ready’ really means

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Are you wondering what “move-in ready” really means? Here’s what homebuyers and home sellers should know about this often-used term.

The legal definition
While the details depend on local laws and regulations, the term move-in ready generally indicates that the building meets all local legal requirements for living in. Thus, strictly speaking, a move-in ready home doesn’t need to be flawless. It only needs to be habitable.

What it means for buyers
Many homebuyers mistakenly think that a house that’s marketed as move-in ready will be entirely furnished and up¬dated, or at least not require any renovations. However, this isn’t always the case. Beyond the bare fact that it’s habitable, you shouldn’t expect anything from a home listed this way.

What it means for sellers
While you may not need to extensively renovate your home, if you live in an up-and-coming area, it might be worthwhile to update your appliances and think about leaving some furniture behind. More and more millennials are entering the housing market, and many of them want to minimize the hassles that come with outfitting a new home, even if it means they need to pay a bit more to purchase it.

In the end, the term move-in ready can mean different things to different people. However, both buyers and sellers will likely benefit from the help of a reliable realtor who can offer guidance and help manage expectations.

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How to manage the stress of house hunting

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First-time homebuyers often feel overwhelmed when entering the real estate market. Here are a few tips for managing the stress of house hunting.

Give yourself time
Rushing will amp up the pressure and is also a good way to make a bad decision. If possible, start looking for a house well in advance of your lease running out.

Get a buyer’s agent
The realtor displayed on the for-sale sign is the seller’s representative. Alternatively, a buyer’s agent represents you and can help with every aspect of your hunt, from searching to closing and beyond. Their ability to organize the chaos of house hunting will make the process a lot less stressful.

Prioritize
Make a budget, decide which features you absolutely need in your new home and determine how important things like commute, proximity to schools and transit are. Knowing what you want and what you can afford will help you steer clear of homes that would only meet some of your essentials.

Don’t get attached
As soon as you visit a home that ticks some of your boxes, you’ll find that it’s very easy to picture yourself living there. However, this can easily play against you. If you get too attached, you’ll be devastated if the seller turns down your offer. This will only add to the stress of house hunting.

Don’t be afraid of missing out
The fear of missing out is common among house hunters but it’s best avoided. Don’t get drawn into a bidding war because you’re afraid that nothing else you like will come
on the market. The notion that there’s only one right home for each buyer is a myth. In real estate, there’s always another option.

House hunting is challenging, but it’s a lot less stressful if you approach it with a solid plan, realistic expectations and a pragmatic outlook.

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Upcoming Events

Feb
27
Thu
10:00 am Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
In conjunction with “Love Your Library Month,” Samuels Public Library will hold its first “Day of Giving” on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all donations made in-person at the Library or[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
Feb
28
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Feb 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Feb 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Feb
29
Sat
10:00 am Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit an adorable kitten. In this beginner’s class for teens and adults, you will work on a 24 peg loom to knit a small stuffed toy. *Instruction will be right handed. No prior knitting[...]
11:00 am Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Nothing is more comforting than warm soup on a chilly day! Learn how to make some yummy soup, and do some taste-testing to choose your favorite. For ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 29.
11:00 am Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Trauma & Resiliency Training for Early Childhood Providers @ Samuels Public Library
Statistics show us that one in four children will experience trauma by the age of four. This trauma could be abuse, hunger, homelessness, witnessing violence, medical trauma, or grief. We know that a child’s greatest[...]
1:00 pm Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Feb 29 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
 
2:00 pm Speed Dating with Books @ Samuels Public Library
Speed Dating with Books @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Speed Dating with Books @ Samuels Public Library
Do appearances, of people or books, influence you?  How much time does it take for you to decide that you are/are not interested? What criteria determines interest? Come spend time in a “speed dating” atmosphere,[...]
Mar
2
Mon
10:00 am Read Across America Day @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
Read Across America Day @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
Mar 2 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Read Across America Day @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
Monday, March 2nd, 2020, is National Read Across America Day. Students of all ages are invited to come to the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke’s pet adoption center, located at 111 Featherbed Lane, to[...]