What's the Secret to a Great First Impression When Selling in Northern Virginia?


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The first thing a buyer is going to see when they drive up to your house is the outside. Are the shrubs crisp and trim? Do you have fresh mulch and colorful flowers? Make sure you have done these things and that the door is clean and in good condition.

Once you've made a good first impression on the exterior of your home, you need to focus on the inside. Have you decluttered and depersonalized your home? Make sure your home is clear and clean!

Another thing you need to do is neutralize paint and carpet colors. Loud colors will scare many buyers away, and neutral colors will appeal to the widest number of buyers. Also, be sure to open up your window shades to let in light and to make your home feel airy and fresh. Let the sun shine through your windows!


Finally, a high impact and inexpensive thing you can do is replace faucets, fixtures, and switches. Light switches get very dirty and worn over the years, so think about replacing them. Updating faucets is another way to make your home pop and really draw buyers in.

When selling this spring, remember that first impressions matter. If you would like additional help getting your home in tip-top shape for the spring selling season, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

Get Your Northern Virginia House in Shape!


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One of the most common questions I am asked is “what do I need to do to get my home ready to go on the market?” Today I'm going to show you the things you should do to prepare your home before putting it for sale!


1. Tally the age of various items
  • Make a list of what you have in your house and the age of the systems, roof, etc. How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the model and how well it's been maintained, but you can get a general idea of average life span from the National Association of Home Builders. For example:
    • Wood shingle and shake roof: 15 to 30 years
    • Central air-conditioning unit: 15 years
    • Electric water heater: 14 years
    • Gutters: 30 years


2. Do your own walk-through
  • Look for common problem spots:
    • Wood rot around outside door frames, window ledges, and garage doors. Condensation and rain can cause these areas to weaken and rot.
    • Water stains on the ceiling or near doors and windows. This can indicate a leaky roof or rain seeping in from outside.
    • Leaks under sinks or around toilets.
    • Bulges under carpet or discoloration on hardwood floors, which can indicate flooding problems or an uneven foundation.

Next, test what's called the "functionality" in every room. Things like visible cracks in the walls and tile or hardwood floors, doors that don’t shut correctly, broken cabinet handles, etc. Essentially, anything that doesn’t function well should be fixed. Don’t forget to inspect the outside!


3. Bring in the pros
  • Once you've done your own walk-through, you may want to have a pro take a second look. These people can spot flaws you overlooked, because either you're used to them or you didn't realize they could cause trouble. We can help you to hire a home inspector to do a pre-inspection and find out what potential buyers might find when they do their home inspection.


4. Decide what needs renovating
  • For example, a recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that upgrading hardwood floors reaps an estimated 100% return on investment, essentially paying for itself. Upgrading your insulation can net you a 95% ROI, a new roof a whopping 105%! Because what buyers don't like to know they've got a solid roof over their heads?


Most importantly, you should work with a professional Realtor like me to help you go through the process of preparing your home to go on the market.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Happy Holidays From Our Family to Yours!



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From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! Thank you for your support this past year. To hear the full holiday message from Emma and Adam, watch this short video!