What Simple, Inexpensive Updates Can You Make on Your Home?

Selling your home? Get a free home value report

If you are looking to sell your home, your goal is to get the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. One of the best ways to add value and appeal to your home is through home staging. Home staging is the art of selling a home faster by making a home more appealing to the right buyer. You have a lot of options for how you want to go about it. You could hire a professional staging company, which could be substantially costly. However, most of the time, a few simple fixes is all it takes to transform a living room. 

Today we are going to go through some of our most favorite, inexpensive home staging tips for you. We hope these will help you save both time and money when it comes time to sell your home.

A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea. Neutral, warm colors work best for highlighting the natural light in your home. This will make it easier to brighten the room with some colorful accessories and pull everything together.

A common design problem facing many homeowners is that they have no real entry way, as their front door opens up to the living room. To fix this, you can add a table, some lighting, and a rug to "fake a foyer" and make it feel like the living room and entryway are two different spaces.

A patterned rug, some pillows, or bright curtains add a ton of texture and an eclectic layer to the space, which is essential to a well-designed room.

In some cases, a "make-under" is just what you need. In the case of most fireplaces, taking some accessories and clutter away enhances the look and feel of the room greatly.

You could spend well over a few thousand dollars with a staging company, or you could do these fixes yourself for around $500. That's a small investment considering the value that you add to your home by adding those pieces.

If you have any questions for us about staging your home or anything else real estate related, give us a call or send over a quick email. We are always here to help, and would love to hear from you!

What Should You Look for in an Appraiser?


Selling your home? Get a free home value report


Welcome back! Today we are joined by John Reeves of Absolute Appraisal. We hire John from time to time to help us with appraisals for many of our sellers, so we wanted to introduce him to you today and have him answer a few questions you may have about what appraisers do.

John has been a licensed appraiser for 12 years and has helped us with many appraisals over the years.
 Agents hire him because his forte is to help us to determine where the sale price should be set. He's an independent appraiser who works for sellers and buyers, which is different from a bank appraiser who works for banks.

Below is some of the most common questions people have about the appraisal process.

What is an appraiser?
An appraiser is a real estate professional who specializes in providing opinions of home value (appraisals). Professional appraisers have taken courses and been supervised during their training period. State licensed and certified appraisers must pass a test and have completed basic education and continuing education. Most states also require a period of supervision, usually 2,000 hours before being able to do appraisals "on your own."

What do appraisers really do?
When an appraiser inspects a home, the inspection is really the "tip of the iceberg" of the work they do. Before going to the house, they should research public records information, get a plat map, check the zoning and flood data, and print out sales and listings of similar homes. During the inspection, it is important to make a drawing of the home and other improvements such as a swimming pool and make notes on physical characteristics such as floor coverings and built-in appliances.

After completing the inspection, an appraiser selects comparable sales and listings and contact the real estate agent for more information on the sales terms, condition of the home, reconcile conflicting information from different data sources, and write up the report.

When do you need your own appraiser?
When getting a mortgage loan, the lender selects the appraiser. Property owners, buyers, and sellers, or their attorneys, often hire their own appraisers to determine a fair sales price.

What should you look for when hiring an appraiser?
Consider the purpose of the appraisal and the type of property, and hire an appraiser with experience in the property type, geographic area of the property, and other similar purposes.

We'd like to give a big thanks to John for joining us today. If you have any further questions about the appraisal process for John, you can give him a call at (703) 967-5636 or send an email to john.r.reeves@verizon.com.

If you have any other questions about real estate, you can always give me a call at 703-963-5500 or send me an email at
janet@thegreshgroup.com. I look forward to speaking with you!

What Are People Looking for in Their Next Home?

Selling your home? Get a free home value report
Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent
I recently read the report called "The Housing Satisfaction Gap." What's interesting about this report is that it shows what features people have in their current homes, and what they would look for if they decided to buy a new home. It's a good indicator of what buyers are looking for in the market. In the report, there were 7 things that stood out as the features people are craving the most in a new home. Here they are:

1. Energy efficiency - Is your home green? Having energy-efficient appliances and utilities is one of the main things home buyers are looking for.

2. Renovations - People are looking for updated homes, with newly built add-ons and features that add value to the home.

3. Updated kitchens - everybody wants that beautiful upgraded kitchen with modern new appliances

4. Age-friendly design - Many people are looking for a forever home where their family can grow together and a home accommodates them as they grow older.

5. Privacy - Privacy comes in many forms, whether it is a secluded backyard, a balcony, or simply a greater distance between neighbors.

6. Safe neighborhood - This is kind of a no-brainer. Safer neighborhoods help to put more value in your real estate purchase as well.

7. Storage space - It is a fact that Americans love to shop. What they want is enough space to store their acquisitions in a safe and organized place

If you are thinking of renovating or selling your home, keep these things in mind. If you have any questions about what you should be doing to prepare your home, give me a call and I'd be happy to meet with you. Hope to hear from you soon!