Blog :: 02-2010

This weeks favorite in Reston VA - under 500k

For Sale in Reston--this weeks top picks.

cherry tree in Reston VirginiaAs we begin moving into the Spring market people are beginning to get their homes listed and on the market. The number of new listings added each week has been steadily increasing. Well priced property continues to move pretty quickly. Each week I go out and preview the new listings so that I'll have first hand experience with what is on the market.

My top pick for this week is a wonderful townhouse in the Sunderbriar Cluster in the Lake Anne neighborhood of Reston. First let me say that this is not my listing--I wish that it was because this property is clearly owned by a great client; the house really sparkles from top to bottom.

The particulars: This is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath all brick townhouse with a 2 car garage.  It sits right on the one of Reston's walking paths and is maybe a 3 minute walk to Lake Anne Village Center.

The house is immaculate, and sunny with crisp white trim accenting lovely wall colors. The sunny kitchen offers a beautiful alternative to the standard stainless steel and granite with a beautiful custom tile countertop in a deep blue that brings to mind the Mediterranean.  All of the bathrooms have been updated and all of them look great.

If you'd like to see this property give me a call!

Are you selling low in Reston?

I have a friend used to say that there was a Seinfeld story line to cover every situation in life. I thought of that recently when talking to a Seller about their feeling that they had "lost money" in their home which they purchased 15 years ago and which still had its original mortgage.

A story line for situation in life.

A story line for situation in life.

In my Seller's mind the loss of value from 2006 to 2010, an amount of approximately 20% in his market felt like money out of his pocket. He was really disappointed that they had delayed making the decision to move from the big single family home into the condo that they hoped would better suit their empty nester lifestyle.

It's always hard to get people to grasp that the housing market is just like any market--very, very, immediate. When you go to sell your Oracle® stock its worth whatever it's selling for THAT DAY, it doesn't matter what it sold for in the past or what it might sell for in the future, the only thing that matters is today. Same thing with the family house, except the price is influenced up or down by condition and the horrible irony here is that poor condition of property creates more downward pressure on home values than good condition creates an upward trend in home value.

Good property condition makes your home more marketable and makes it sell faster but you do not get a dollar for dollar return for the upgrades that you do prior to putting your home on the market.

So, what's the take away for my Seller?

Sell high, buy high.

Sell high, buy high.

Had he sold in the fever pitched market of a few years ago he would have also been buying in that same market. Then his situation would have been all together different and he may very well have been sitting on a property with an upside down mortgage. As it is he will be selling his home after seeing property values nearly triple and then moderate a bit, and he will being buying in a market that has seen some serious price correction. While my Seller may feel like he is selling low...the truth is that he is buying low; he is going to make a lot on money on the sale of his home and he's going to buy a great condo for way, way less than he would have if he had made his purchase when he first contemplated a change.

So, which Seinfeld episode fits this situation?

The one where a series of ridiculous events cause Jerry to believe that he's always going to stay even. Sell low, maybe but you'll also be buying low, but really it's not low, it's the current market.

Selling In Reston - Start Now to be ready for the Spring Market

DSC00860Spring in Reston arrives in a mere 46 days.  I know many sellers  have been waiting for warmer weather will begin to call to talk about listing their homes for the Spring market. Most will be surprised when after meeting with me they find there is a long list of "to dos" that will need to be done to get their property prepared to bring top dollar.

Last week I wrote about two properties that I showed to perspective buyers. I talked about how one house, even though it did not have current or impressive updates still came out at the top of my buyers list because of the way that it made them feel. They could see themselves living there and it was going to feel good.  If you are selling your home you want every perspective buyers to feel good while they are in your house. You want them to be able to project themselves into your home and emotionally make it there home.  So...how do you do that?

starburstclean

A clean house reduces buyer anxiety.

The first place to start is by cleaning.  I don't the mean vacuum & dust kind of cleaning; I mean the scrub the grout with a tooth brush kind of cleaning. I mean you do your best imitation of your crazy Aunt Saddie with the obsessive compulsion cleaning disorder kind of cleaning.  Some clients opt for hiring a good cleaning crew, but if you're going to do that you should de-clutter your house before bringing in a cleaning professional; and if your "To Do" list includes painting save the professional cleaning for the last item on your list.

One of the first things I do for clients after signing a listing agreement is to drop off 100 office sized boxes to be used to de-clutter. When clients protest I remind them that they have to pack it all up sooner or later and that they might as well get started. A super clean and orderly home says "I have been well maintained." A home that is free of clutter makes room for the prospective buyer to mentally picture themselves in that home; which in turn helps to move the buyer from thinking to acting...writing a contract.

Beautifully Organized Closet by Container Store

A clean house reduces buyer anxiety.

The more you can do, clean, organize, neutralize, paint, upgrade, the faster your home will move from being on the market to sold.

So if you're thinking about the Spring Market you should be preparing NOW.  It take the average seller 4 - 6 weeks to get a single family home ready to sell. The longer you've lived there the longer it can take to really get things in good shape.  So don't delay, 46 days to Spring and counting.