Listing your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home

Listing Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home

When listing your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, be sure to follow these simple guidelines to get the highest return and the smoothest transaction.

When Listing Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home: Remove yourself emotionally.

I know, it’s your home. You put a lot of love and effort into it and you want others to feel the Listing your Winchester - Frederick County, VA Homesame way. I appreciate that, but the truth is, buyers don’t care. They really don’t. They’re not buying your experience, they’re buying their own experience.

Remember, your house is just a building. When you’re gone, it reverts back to a house. I urge my clients to never fall in love with anything that can’t love them back. Recently, I sold the house I grew up in. There were thousands of memories in that house, but once my parents were no longer there, it was just a box with bedrooms. The real treasure at that place was the people who resided there. Once they were gone, the lure of all of those memories was gone.

Divorce yourself from your memories. It will be tough, but you’ll be able to make more rational decisions on price, condition and timelines. It really will benefit you overall. And, when you’ve settled into your new home, you can start building those memories all over.

When Listing Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home: Make the most valuable preparations to sell, and avoid the most costly and unprofitable ones.

I once had a client who wanted to put a pool in before listing his home. Why? A pool creates a funnel effect on potential buyers. A high number of buyers don’t want a pool, and the small number who would, may not be in the market when you list. No, use your time and money on things that really do profit you in the sale.

  • Paint
  • Update the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Make sure the flooring is in excellent shape.
  • Clean out the closets, basement, storage areas.
  • Make sure the house smells clean – no deodorizers, incense or perfumes.
  • Light it up – make sure the windows let in lots of light and have the lights on for would-be buyers.
  • Make it inviting.

When Listing Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home: Be ready to negotiate.

In today’s Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market, sellers are in charge. That’s a good sign, but buyers still remember the discounts of the recession. So, they are coming into your home expecting to get a better deal than list. That’s OK. That’s human nature.

Listing your Winchester - Frederick County, VA HomeDon’t be offended by a lower than list offer. Negotiate. I always ask sellers what their magic number is when I interview for a listing. If the number far exceeds the market, I turn down the listing and move on. There is no sense to plant signs like flowers all over town if there is no way to sell the home.

On the other hand, if the seller is open to reason, data and reality, I’ll gladly take the listing. I’m in the home selling business. My goal is to get my client the best deal possible. That isn’t possible if the client has unrealistic expectations. If a property is on the market for six months to a year, something is wrong. It’s going to fall into one or more categories, such as:

  • Poor condition – Remedy that before listing.
  • It is too cluttered to really see well.
  • It’s in a poor location. Or, the neighbors make it a poor location.
  • It is hard to show. Limited showing times limit the buyer pool.
  • It is on a rough and winding road. I’ve had this struggle multiple times this year alone.
  • It’s over-priced.

That last point is a high hurdle to overcome. A great house that is overpriced struggles to get attention. I’ve seen a few wonderful homes sit for years because a seller had an incredible number in mind that didn’t match local sales. One seller asked me to list her home, and when I asked what her magic number was, she said, “$675,000.” I laughed and then realized she was serious. Needless to say, I didn’t get the listing. She also didn’t get the price.

Sadly, I told her it would likely sell for $275,000, which mortified her. I had sold the house next door the prior year, and I had a good idea of where the market was. After three years of languishing on the market, it sold for, you guessed it, $275,000. The listing number has to be realistic to attract buyers.

There are many more things a seller can do to sell quickly and for top dollar, but this is a great jump off point. When you’re thinking about listing your Winchester – Frederick County, VA home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros. We’ll do everything possible to get you the best deal.

Listing Your Winchester – Frederick County, VA Home

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update – May 2017

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update – May 2017

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market continued to strengthen in May 2017. Sales are up, prices are up, distressed properties and days on the market are down. Those are all great details for sellers in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market.

The current inventory of available homes in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market is steady at 531. The local market thrives in the 500-600 available homes range and this market is thriving. The number of pending sales is at 283.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market by the Numbers

There were 182 home sales in May 2017. That compares to 178 in 2016, 153 in 2015, and Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update - May 2017154 in 2014. The trend is up and so is the average sales price. The average sales price for May 2017 was $282,698, compared to $274,080 in 2016, but if you go back to 2015, the number increases. The May 2015 sales price average was $242,980. The nearly $40,000 improvement in the May 2017 sales price is good news for current sellers.

Days on the market has stayed steady for the past three years. Currently, the average days on the market is 62. Compared to 2014, that is a 38 day shorter time on the market. Another exciting piece of news for the current real estate Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update - May 2017market is the number distressed sales in May 2017. There were only 6 distressed sales in May 2017. That is 3.3% of the total sales. That is extremely good news. The market has recovered from the worst days of the recession, and buyers are flooding back into the market. Sellers can list their homes in the current Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market knowing that the trend is on their side.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market – Strongest Areas

Three areas in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market made up 73% of total sales for May 2017. Winchester City (22601), Frederick County (22602) and Stephens City (22655). The 22602 area code made up 54 of total May sales, followed by 22601 at 44 and 22655 at 39. Stephens City made up 22% overall sales for the month of May. Stephens City has become the fastest growing area of the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market for the past year.

There is a great deal of new construction in the Stephens City market. Businesses are moving into that segment of the market, as well. Stephens City, as a part of the Frederick County real estate market, is giving home buyers and sellers a glimpse into the market. It continues to drive sales, building and remodeling for the community. It’s quick access to a variety of major highways make it a great place commuters, and yet it offers a small town feel with a growing access to the amenities of a larger city.

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market is healthy and prospering. When you’re ready to sell your home, be sure to call Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., for a free home value analysis. We would be happy to offer one to you, and when you’re ready to buy, we’ve got you covered there too. We are your local real estate sales pros.

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