This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.
Top 5 real estate tips for those planning to sell soon:
- Make believe you’re a buyer. Step outside and analyze your house as if you pulled into your driveway for the very first time. Look at your home from the inside out with a critical eye and make a list of noticeable flaws. Focus first on curb appeal improvements (starting in the front of the house and moving through the main living areas), prioritizing enhancements you can start to make that would have the most impact on improving showing appeal. As you walk through your home, visualize how two buyers and a Realtor would fit through your living spaces and plan to clear large furniture or unnecessary items that crowd your rooms. I personally never have felt that it’s necessary to remove personal photos, but do encourage sellers to hide expensive items or medicines that could easily be pilfered.
- Make a list of every feature that your home offers, especially the ones that aren’t as obvious. Do you have energy star appliances, existing warranties, high efficiency toilets, recent upgrades, unique features, efficient utility bills? I always encourage sellers to share with me any detail that could potentially earn then an extra dollar at the closing table. Make a list of your top ten favorite reasons you love your home. Make it a family affair and ask kids to contribute too, or provide artwork for your family list. Help your Realtor tell the full story of your home that will speak to the hearts of buyers who read about it online (and inspire them to take a tour).
- Start looking online and review listings and price tiers of homes similar to yours. Start getting a feel for what your house is worth and what your competition looks like. More important than what houses like yours are actively listed for is the price homes fetched at the closing table and how long it took them to get under contract). Notice what is appealing in photos and online marketing of other listings. Take notes about how you think your home can shine in comparison.
- Start contacting and researching Realtors to interview. Ask for sales statistics and references from past and current clients. Review a sample of their marketing brochure template and scrutinize their online property advertising. Pay special attention to the quality of their photos and writing skills. I suggest interviewing three agents, and letting each one know that you are doing so. Remember that discount brokerages can also mean discounted services, so know upfront what your Realtor promises to deliver before you sign a listing agreement. I never encourage listing agreements longer than 3 months. You can always extend if your property isn’t sold within that time frame.
- Review my other BETHvids and corresponding articles made for general homeowners and people who have their homes currently listed for ten other suggestions you can also implement.
Stay tuned for more BETHvids and corresponding articles made for buyers, sellers and Realtors for additional tips to implement while stuck indoors. Follow her real estate and WHAT MATTERS postings on Royal Examiner under the Features tab, “What Matters Warren.”
Beth Waller, Associate Broker at KW Solutions – Keller Williams Realty
Local Office: 27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Northern Virginia Office: 8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas VA 20109
Licensed in VA
To learn more about my real estate sales or nonprofit (WHAT MATTERS), to book a time to utilize my free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss my listing your property (which makes all of my charity efforts possible), visit my website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give me a call at 540-671-6145!
3 home buying tips for military families
If you or your spouse serve in the military, here are a few tips that can help you buy a home and put down roots, even if it’s just for a few years.
1. Take advantage of incentives
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several home loan programs intended to help service members buy a house without a down payment or by securing a mortgage with a low-interest rate. Plus, many home improvement companies such as landscapers and interior designers offer discounts for service members and veterans.
2. Think about resale value
3. Look for places to connect
It can be hard to start over in a new city, especially if you have children. To facilitate the transition, seek neighborhoods with plenty of gathering places and amenities that bring people together such as public pools, community gardens, dog parks, and outdoor fitness classes. These spaces also provide great opportunities for quality family time.
Finally, since you’re likely moving to an unfamiliar city, consult with a real estate agent who has extensive knowledge of the area and can help you find a property that meets your needs.
What to do if you inherit a house
If you inherit a house, there are different tax implications and financial responsibilities to consider depending on what you do with the property. Here’s a look at your options and their associated costs.
If you want to live in the inherited home, you’ll need to assume the cost of property taxes, upkeep, and insurance. You might also have to take over mortgage payments, depending on the loan terms.
If you sell the property later and it was your primary residence for at least two of the five years before the sale, you won’t need to pay capital gains tax.
Depending on the house’s location, it can be a good source of passive income. Keep in mind the cost of landlord insurance and maintenance. Additionally, be sure to check municipal regulations for short- and long-term rentals before you make a decision.
The biggest downside to renting out your inherited property is that you’ll be subject to capital gains tax if you sell it since the property wasn’t being used as your primary residence.
While any profit from the sale will be subject to capital gains tax, this is often the simplest course of action if the property has more than one heir. You’ll also be free from the legal and financial responsibilities of owning the property. Keep in mind the costs associated with selling a home including real estate agent fees, closing costs, and renovation expenses.
If you’re having trouble deciding what to do with your inherited property, a trusted local real estate agent can help you assess the market and determine the best course of action.
5 musts of buying a house sight unseen
If you’re considering bidding on a property without first seeing it for yourself, you should take precautions. Here are five things you need in order to minimize your risk if you want to buy a house sight unseen.
1. A reliable realtor
If you can’t visit the house yourself, you’ll need to rely on a real estate agent to assess the property on your behalf. Take the time to find someone you trust and who knows the market well.
2. A concrete wish list
3. A live video walk-through
Schedule a video chat with your realtor at the house so you can ask about creaky floors, dampness, odors, signs of wear, and other features that don’t show up in photos.
4. A general idea of the area
Use Google Street View to scope out the neighborhood. Also make sure to research local schools, public transit, and other amenities.
5. A full home inspection
A thorough assessment provided by a reputable professional is crucial if you want to buy a house sight unseen. Make sure to add a contingency clause to your offer if you plan to make your bid before the inspection.
Once you’ve found a house that checks all the necessary boxes, speak with your real estate agent about the option of having a virtual closing.
Warren County Market Report – October 2020
An incredible sellers market continues in Warren County. Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for October 2020. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- New Listings are UP 41.3.%.
- New Pending UP 18.8%.
- Closed sales are UP 31.7%
- Average Median Sold $280,000
- Average Days on Market 24
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: October 2020 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated November 2020
Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
Multi-generational living: tips to make it work
Multi-generational living is making a comeback. As more retirees choose to stay in their homes as they age, and economic trends make homeownership less accessible, an increasing number of families are choosing to live together. Here are some tips if you’re considering living in a multi-generational household.
Everyone has the right to expect a certain degree of privacy in their home and respecting it is a matter of establishing ground rules and choosing a home with the right layout.
If you’re looking for a new property for your multi-generational family, make sure to discuss the situation with your realtor. A good agent will be able to help you find the right type of house. Properties with laneways are often a good idea, as they offer built-in privacy.
Chores and upkeep
It’s a good idea to ensure every member of your household is clear on what responsibilities they have in the home. The advantage of more people living under the same roof is that upkeep tends to be easier when the work is shared.
Financial matters should be discussed sooner rather than later. Whether grownup children are moving back in with their parents or the entire family is looking for a new home, there’s an opportunity to pool resources. However, conversations about money should be had prior to the move so that everyone’s on the same page.
With a little planning and compromise, a multi-generational household can fulfill your entire family’s needs.
Virginia’s September home sales surge 35% over 2019
According to the September 2020 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, statewide, September home sales saw a staggering rise of 35% over September 2019.
Sales were up strongly across the Commonwealth, with the Eastern Region seeing a surge of nearly 80% over last year’s sales, the Northern Region seeing a 37% rise, and the Hampton Roads Region seeing an increase of 33%. In the Central Region, sales rose by more than 24%.
While home sales typically slow down after the summer, once school begins and families return from summer vacations, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this fall an a-typical season. “As a result of the pandemic upending the typical market patterns, the strong summer housing market surged ahead into September,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. “Strong demand and low mortgage rates continue to fuel robust housing market activity.”
This strong demand has had a significant impact on home prices. In September, the median home sales price statewide was $329,900, nearly 13% higher than in September 2019. Homes are also selling much faster. Homes sold in an average of 37 days in September 2020, down from 48 days a year ago.
While demand for homes continues to be high, the lack of available inventory remains the biggest constraint on the performance of Virginia’s housing market. At the end of September, there were over 40% fewer listings than the same time last year.
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full September 2020 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate-related industries through the organization’s website.