A Tale of Two Home Sellers: Which one are you?

A Tale of Two Home Sellers: Which One Are You?

I have a tale of two home sellers to tell you. Much like most tales, there are many details that are the same and some that are different throughout the story, but in this case, there is a happy conclusion. You see, these two awesome home sellers got what they wanted, but one fared better than the other. In this case, that seller wasn’t able to fare as well also had a handicap. Here’s the story:

A tale of two home sellers: Seller One

Seller One called about six months ago asking for me to help him find a new home and A Tale of Two Home Sellers: Which One Are You?then to sell his current home. I love those calls, and this one was no different. This seller had a plan. He planned ahead of time and was ready to keep his current home for a few months after buying a new home so he could do some renovations to get top dollar on his sale. This home owner was wise. He had a plan and his plan was awesome.

The seller meticulously painted his entire home. He made all the repairs needed and he upgraded the areas that needed an upgrade. The bathrooms were new, the kitchen was new and he installed all the curb appeal plants necessary to make those passing by take a second look. He cleaned the home from top to bottom and closed the door. Selling a home can cost money too, but the best return makes it money well spent.

His gifted and talented Realtor, entered amazing photos online, wrote incredible prose to woo buyers, set the price based on trends and above the comps, and in three days, a flood of buyers showed up offering multiple offers and all were full price offers with few concessions. It was difficult to choose which one. Finally, the best deal was chosen and the seller headed for a short sprint to closing.

A tale of two home sellers: Seller Two

A Tale of Two Home Sellers: Which One Are You?In our tale of two home sellers, Seller Two also had a wonderful home, but it had been sadly neglected. It wasn’t totally Seller Two’s fault. Seller Two had been transferred to another part or the country and had placed the property on the rental market. The home had been a rental for a number of years when I received the call.

Unlike Seller One, Seller Two was not able to make any repairs, upgrades or even paint. Seller Two’s property needed all of those things, but the distance between Seller Two and the property was too great to do much of anything. So, it was cleaned and it was made as presentable as possible.

The sale is about more than price.

The price was set at the top of the market knowing it would likely be negotiated down. A realistic and honest description was placed in the listing service, letting buyers know they would need to do a little TLC, and it was launched. Much like Seller One, there was a flurry of activity in the beginning. Within a few days, multiple offers came in, and as expected, they were below list. Ironically, they were above the neighborhood comps, but they were within the trend-line for similar properties.

On day 5, a contract was accepted and the deal is heading to its own closing. The biggest difference between Seller One and Seller Two is the investment the sellers made in getting top dollar. Seller One received 100% of what he wanted from his sale. I think he might have been a little surprised at where I listed his house, and even more so that multiple people thought it was worth that number.

Seller Two also was a little surprised at where I listed, but the trend in that neighborhood was moving beyond the past 90 day comps. I listed at the trend line and the contract is above the 90 day comps. Both sellers received more than expected, but Seller Two received less than possible based on condition.

The moral of the tale of two home sellers

If you want top dollar for your home, do the necessary repairs prior to list. Make sure the paint is fresh and the floors are in excellent shape. Update outdated appliances. Clean, clean, clean, and make sure there is plenty of light. Manicure the lawn and remove anything thing that is distracting. Make the home woo buyers in the door.

When you’re ready to make that happen, give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.


5 Tips for Selling Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home

5 Tips for Selling Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home

Selling your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home does not have to be difficult, and with a few simple tips, you can do it quickly and for top dollar. Selling your home starts well before you place it on the market. It’s a process, that if followed, can pay big dividends. Here are a few tips:

When selling your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, remove obstacles.

What does that mean? Remove anything that will give the buyer a reason to drop the 5 Tips for Selling Your Winchester - Frederick County, VA Homeprice, low-ball the offer, send an encyclopedia of repair requests or just expect a better deal because of the overall condition of the home.

It would pay to have a home inspection before listing your home, but if you don’t want to do that, walk through the house and look for everything that isn’t working, isn’t right or isn’t appealing. This might need some work, but if you do it, you’ll gain at the closing table.

When selling your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, forget it’s your home.

Walk into your home as a buyer. What would you ask the seller fix, change or improve? What would turn you away as a buyer? I realize you probably love your home, but if you can look at it as if you were going to buy it, what would you want to be different?

Somethings from the past are no longer popular in the present. For instance, wallpaper was a big 70’s and 80’s home improvement. Today, not so much. A buyer is likely going to remove it all. They are also going to calculate how long they think it’s going to take them to remove it all, and that number will influence their offer. If you have a few months before you list, remove it and paint. You’ll be happy you did.

When selling your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, minimize before listing.

I recently showed a home that looked like it was staged. It wasn’t. The very smart couple selling that home went through and removed a large part of their belongings, left the best pieces and presented a magazine quality image for all would-be buyers. They received 6 offers in the first 48 hours of listing. It was a stunning home. Did it always look like that? Maybe, but with three little kids, I highly doubt it.

There are probably things sitting around your home that do not enhance the buyer’s experience. You want the buyers to come in and fall in love. You want them to be able to see themselves working in your kitchen, relaxing in your family room and enjoying every inch of the home. Remove unnecessary things that interfere with that dreamy experience.

When selling your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, remember light and cleanliness are your friends.

5 Tips for Selling Your Winchester - Frederick County, VA Home

A well lighted home is a welcoming home. Make sure your windows allow as much light in as possible. Keep the windows clean. Before a showing, turn on all the lights that are necessary to navigate through the home, and just as a bonus, you may want to turn on a little low music, such as jazz, to go with the buyers through their tour. It’s a very nice touch.

Make sure the house smells clean. This is especially important if you have animals. Don’t use phony deodorizers. Their strong smell can make  odor-sensitive buyers turn around and head out the door. I’ve had buyers get sick from strong deodorizers, and it happens in an instant. I would urge you to not use them at all.

Keep the bathroom and kitchen appliances clean and smelling fresh. Drop a half a lemon in the food disposal and the other half in the kitchen trash can. You may want to spritz a few drops in the fridge as well. A gentle 10 minute cleaning each day (and it doesn’t have to be extensive) can keep you on track with smells and first impressions. Make sure dirty laundry is kept out of sight, as well as, dirty shoes. Keep everything in order. Remember, you’re trying to woo a buyer into falling in love with your home.

When selling your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, make it easy to see.

I looked up a listing for a client a few years ago, and the listing instructions only allowed showings from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm on Saturday. Needless to say, we never saw it. It languished on the market for a long time and finally sold.

Buyers, like sellers, have different schedules. Some can come during the day, and some cannot. Some can only come on weekends. If you’re serious about selling your home, you’ll want to make it as easy to see as possible. That may mean inconvenience for you, but remember, it’s only temporary.

I always dislike taking a home off of my radar, but when I schedule three or four showings and they are turned down for reasons, such as, “The owner wants to rest this afternoon,” or “The owner doesn’t want to put his dogs away,” or “The owner is tired of people tracking through his house,” you can see how frustrating it can be for a buyer. I’ve heard all of those excuses, and I always remove the home from my show list. The owner is making it nearly impossible to see the home, and the buyers aren’t going to buy it without seeing it.

Make it easy to see, and when you do, leave. More than once in the past year, owners have hung around while I showed a home. They were visibly irritated that my buyers were in the home. Their hovering turned the buyers off and not a single buyer has ever placed an offer on one of those homes. Why? If the seller was that challenging with the showing, how much more might he be in a negotiation? No thanks.

When you’re ready to sell your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are you local real estate sales pros. We’ll do everything in our power to get you the best deal possible.

If you found this information helpful, you may also want to read these blogs on selling your home in Winchester – Frederick County, VA:

Make your home inviting when you list to sell

Sell your home using the Wow Factor

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Sales for the First Third of 2017

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Sales for the First Third of 2017

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA home sales for the first third of 2017 have been Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Sales for the First Third of 2017on a consistent growth trajectory. Sales have climbed 4% year to year, and there was a 2% drop in distressed property sales.  Currently, distressed property sales make up 9% of total sales,  and that has become an average based on total yearly sales for the past two years. The first third of 2016 included 11% distressed sales. It’s encouraging to see distressed property sales finding a floor after the high numbers during the recession.

Average Prices of Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Sales

The average home price has also increased in the first third of 2017. Home prices have risen 4% over those of 2016. That brings the average home price to $256,607. The increase equates to $10,343 in 2017.  That is good news for sellers in both Winchester and Frederick County.

Home prices increase when inventory is low, and the current market has a “thinventory.” There are now 546 homes available on the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market. The market operates best when the available homes average in the 500-600 range with the 500-550 range being the most aggressive and active.

In the summer of 2014, the market saw a large increase of available homes, and the market slowed considerably. The market today, is fast-moving and active with a high number of buyers and a low number of homes. It is becoming a seller’s market. That combination pushes the market up with multiple offers on many homes.

Where’s the highest level of activity

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market is made up of Winchester City and multiple communities which make up Frederick County. Frederick County surrounds Winchester City. On the southern side of Winchester is a small, but rapidly growing, community called Stephens City.

Stephens City is a perfect place for those who want quick access to just about anything and everything, but they don’t want the busyness of a bigger city. Multiple major highways pass through Stephens City, and some of those highways lead into the Washington, D. C. area. That has helped Stephens City, VA become a bustling bedroom community for the metro area, as well as, for Winchester-Frederick County.

Stephens City, VA made up 23% of the first third of 2017 real estate sales. That is down 2% from 2016, but that is negligible. A high volume of new homes are being built in the Stephens City area and more are projected throughout 2017. Of the 546 available homes in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market, 15% of those are available in the Stephens City area.

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA home sales are on track for another banner year.

For those watching the real estate market in Winchester-Frederick County, VA, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like we’re back on track for another banner year. The dark days of the 2008 and beyond the recession genuinely seem to be behind us, and the future looks bright.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Winchester-Frederick County real estate market, be sure to give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA – 2016 Real Estate Market Review

Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA – 2016 Real Estate Market Review

Wakeland Manor in Stephens City, VA, is one of the oldest and newest subdivisions in Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA - 2016 Real Estate Market Reviewthe Frederick County. Some homes date back to the 1970s and there is new construction going on today.

The community is made up of older ranch style houses, split foyers and newer two-story colonials and contemporary homes. There is also wonderful townhouse complex in the neighborhood. Wakeland Manor has a community center with a pool for residents. It is on the east side of Stephens City, which is a great place for commuters. Residents who live in Wakeland Manor have quick access to multiple highways leading in the DC Metro area and north and south into West Virginia and Maryland and the southern Shenandoah Valley.

Wakeland Manor by the numbers 2016

Wakeland Manor had a small pullback on home sales in 2016 as compared to 2015. There were 40 homes sold compared to 50 in 2015. Of those homes sold, the townhouse complex made up 13 of those homes. Those townhouses are large homes with spacious rooms and a contemporary style. The townhouse complex also has tennis courts and a basketball court for residents.

The average days on the market was up slightly from 2015. The average days on the market was 53 in 2016 and 43 in 2015. That’s not a major change. There is new construction at all corners of Stephens City, VA. That may have contributed to the days on the market. More options give buyers more time to make a decision.

The best numbers

The best numbers came in the average sale price of homes sold. In 2015, the average sale price was $269,692 and it was $272,037 in 2016. That’s not a huge number, but it is a number that is moving in the right direction. Wakeland Manor has something for every housing taste.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell in the Wakeland Manor area, give Mike Cooper a call. Mike is your local real estate sales pro.