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Dulles Airport Impact Overlay District Disclosure Requirements

December 15, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Buyer Resources, Seller Resources

dulles-airport-impact-overlay-district-disclosure-requirements

Several of you have asked me about the Dulles Airport Impact Overlay District and any required disclosures. To best answer your question, my broker and I spoke with the Dulles Area Association of Realtors (DAAR) about the subject. Here is what DAAR had to say…

As a follow-up to our discussion this afternoon, the attached section of the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance states that Homeowners Associations are required to make disclosure if the property is in the Airport Impact Overlay District.  This would require a home being resold within a particular subdivision that has an HOA to provide the disclosure as part of the HOA “Packet” that is transferred to new owners.  As you know, the rules covering subsequent disclosure are in the Virginia Property Owners Association law.   The county ordinance also clearly states that all deeds of conveyance are required to have the disclosure. Since the county ordinance states that all deeds of conveyance must contain the disclosure that covers all transactions for properties that do not have an HOA.

A great tool created by the Washington Airports Task Force for buyers and the real estate community is “The Homebuyer’s/Broker’s Guide to Compatible Land Use Around Washington Dulles International Airport” found under http://www.washingtonairports.com/noiseandlanduse/homeownersguide.htm.  The intent of the guide is to assist potential homebuyers and the real estate community in assessing the effect of aircraft noise and flight operations on homes in areas close to Washington Dulles.   You may also find useful a presentation conducted before DAAR members last month by the Washington Airports Task Force on this issue.

If you or your clients would like to determine whether a particular property lies within the AID, visit Loudoun County’s mapping system at http://gisinter1.loudoun.gov/weblogis/default.htm An address can be typed in and determination made as to whether the property lies in any type of overlay district (ie Historic, Mountside, etc.)

If there are further questions about flight activities in or around Dulles, contact:

Anita Kayser, Director, Washington Airports Task Force anita@washingtonairports.com, Phone: 703-572-8714, Address: 44701 Propeller Court, Suite 100, Dulles, Virginia 20166

If there are further questions about the AID designation within the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance, contact:

Loudoun County’s Zoning Hotline at 703/777-0118.  They are really great about getting back to you within 24 hours.

In addition, check out the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance that covers this subject (click here if you do not see the embedded document below)


Loudoun County Dulles Airport Impact Overlay District Disclosure Requirement

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Compare Cost of Living in Northern Virginia/Loudoun County to Other Areas of US

December 12, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Buyer Resources, Seller Resources

Many of you who are thinking about moving here from other parts of the U.S. ask me the question, “What’s the cost of living difference between (enter your town here) and Loudoun County/Northern Virginia?”

To help answer your question, I’ve compiled a list of web sites you can check out. Each of these sites will give you anywhere from a little to a lot of detailed comparisons of cost of living of your town to any city/zip code in Loudoun County or in the Northern Virginia/DC metro area.

Here are some sample searches from each site:

If you would like to see how far your salary goes when moving from a major metropolitan area to the DC metro area in general,  check out,

If you have specific questions regarding cost of living differences, what stores and price points this area has to offer in general or in detail per city/zip code, drop me a line any time. I can be reached at danilo.bogdanovic (at) gmail (dot) com or on my cell – 703.582.6900.

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Another Happy Seller!

sold

I haven’t written about clients I’ve worked with to sell or buy a home before, but someone suggested I do (maybe because some of you may think that all I do is blog rather than “work”).  That’s why I’m here to share with you one of the latest stories of me helping a client sell their home.

This particular property is located in Mclean, VA. It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in the gated Colonies community located just down the street from Tyson’s Corner. We went with an aggressive list price because of the lack of inventory in the community and area in general, as well as the market conditions, which were favorable for the seller.

We also went with a marketing approach that was focused on today’s buyers and those that would be the most likely to be searching for a condo in the Mclean/Tyson’s Corner area in this price range. And we took it to another level..

  • a custom single property blog site with all the information a buyer would need all in one place (click here to check out the site)
  • custom business cards inside the property with the address and URL to the site rather than the typical, “Look at me!” listing agent’s business cards with their face plastered all of it (which does little to sell the home)
  • complete list and date of upgrades/renovations both, in a brochure and on-line
  • (and other things I won’t reveal for the sake of my competitors reading this post – sorry)

Guess what…the approach worked as planned! We received an offer within 24 hours of going on the market – even at the aggressive list price. After some negotiations, my client and the buyer came to an agreement on price and terms.

Though the buyer had some hurdles along the way which directly affected the seller (no transaction is ever without at least one hurdle), the property settled at the end of October. The seller was very happy with the outcome and the buyer was excited to move into their new, and first home!

Here is what the sellers had to say,

We listed with Danilo in September and closed in October. Yeah!  Don’t let that easy-going, nice-guy exterior fool you, Danilo was aggressive and I definitely recommend him next time you need to buy or sell. No, this is not a paid advertisement.

Though this is the latest seller I’ve worked with, it is by no means the only one. Here are a few other examples of sellers I’ve worked with and helped sell their home…

If you would like to chat about selling your home, buying a home or the real estate market in general, feel free to contact me any time (click here for contact form/info).

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Top 5 Home Improvement Projects Based on Cost and ROI

December 4, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Seller Resources

8000-first-time-home-buyer-tax-credit

People often ask me, “What home improvements can I do to get the most money for my home?” I’ve talked about some of things you should do to get your home ready for the market in past blog posts and would like to add to it by quoting an article that came out the other week…

According to the HomeGain survey, the top five home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers based on cost and return on investment (from highest to lowest ROI) are:

1. Cleaning and de-cluttering ($200 cost / $1,700 price increase / 872% ROI)
2. Home staging ($300 cost / $1,780 price increase / 586% ROI)
3. Lightening and brightening ($230 cost / $1,300 price increase / 572% ROI)
4. Landscaping ($320 cost / $1,500 price increase / 473% ROI)
5. Repairing plumbing ($385 cost / $1,250 price increase / 327% ROI)

Cleaning and de-cluttering continues to rank as the top suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2000), recommended by 98% of Realtors, costing less than $200 and returning a value of nearly $1,700 to the home’s sale price, or an 872% return on investment.

“Many Realtors agree, especially in a buyer’s market, that sellers who make these recommended home improvements often get their homes sold faster and at higher prices,” stated Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain. “We have customized our Home Sale Maximizer online home improvement tool to help identify and prioritize the projects that can increase the salability and selling price of a home.”

Rounding out the top 12, the list of low cost, do-it-yourself home improvements includes: updating electrical, replacing or shampooing carpets, painting interior walls, repairing damaged floors, updating kitchen, painting outside of home, and updating bathroom/s.

The home improvement projects with the highest price increases to a home’s resale value are updating the kitchen ($1,200 cost / $2,850 price increase), followed by painting the outside of the home ($900 cost / $1,815 price increase) and home staging ($300 cost / $1,780 price increase).

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Loudoun/Northern Virginia Housing Market Conditions per Price Range

The question I get asked most often is, “How’s the Loudoun/Northern Virginia housing market?” Today’s housing market conditions do not allow for one, general correct answer. For the purpose of giving you a good, general idea of the Northern Virginia* housing market conditions, I’m going to break it down by price range – you choose the price range you fit into.

*I am referring to all of Northern Virginia, which includes Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax counties (including Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, etc)

Note: If you would like to know what the specific housing market conditions are within your community or the area you are interested in buying within, click here to contact me so I can provide you with the specific details and statistics.

Less than $150K

  • This is probably the most competitive price range to be in. The majority of properties in this price range can be found in Prince William County
  • Most of the properties you’ll find in this price point are foreclosure/bank-owned and short-sale properties. But this price range is also very popular with investors so you’ll see investor flips/rehab properties on the market
  • A buyer I’m currently working with had to go through countless properties and compete against over 50 offers before finally getting their offer accepted on one. One reason is because a significant amount of the offers being placed on properties at this price point are all-cash offers with no contingencies whatsoever. Trying to compete against cash offers with FHA, VA and even conventional financing offers is extremely tough – though it definitely can be done
  • Properties in this price point that are priced at or below market value typically receive multiple offers within a matter of days so buyers have to jump on them as soon as they hit the market
  • I have seen properties in this price range in some areas sell for 10 to 20+ percent more than they did at the beginning of 2009
  • If you’re a buyer, expect to see 5, 10, 15+ offers on well-priced properties. But don’t be scared or intimidated by that – just make sure you have some extra patience and are ready to jump on a property you like as soon as it hits the market. And if you don’t get it, don’t be too down – it happens a lot at this price point. You have to just keep plugging along
  • If you’re a seller in this price point, you’re sitting pretty and can expect an offer quickly if you’re priced correctly

$150K to $350K

  • This is also a very competitive price range to be in. Properties in this price range are a mixture of foreclosure/bank-owned properties, short-sales and traditional resales
  • The type of properties in this price range depends on how close or far you get away from Washington, DC. The closer you are to DC, the smaller and/or older of a property you typically get
  • Cash offers are also becoming more common in this price range though not as much as in the sub$150K price point
  • I have seen properties in this price range in some areas sell for 10+ percent more than they did at the beginning of 2009
  • As a buyer, expect to compete against many other offers especially on properties priced at or below market value
  • As a seller, you’re still sitting pretty as long as you price your property correctly

$350K to $500K

  • This price range is also competitive especially within the Beltway. Properties in this price range are also a mixture of foreclosure/bank-owned properties, short-sales and traditional resales
  • Though there are fewer instances of cash offers in this price range, they’re still out there. Though you may not be competing against 10+ offers as is common in the lower price points, I’m still seeing a handful of offers on well priced properties
  • I have noticed values in this price range remain steady with some areas showing a slight increase in values
  • As a buyer, expect to compete against other buyers on well-priced properties. You should be aggressive and jump on a property that interests you as soon as it hits the market
  • As a seller, you’re still in a price range that has a decent amount of buyers in it. But don’t get greedy because of that fact – you still have to market and price your property correctly

$500K to $700K

  • This price point puts the majority of buyers into the ‘”jumbo” loan/financing category (financing over $417K), which makes for a smaller number of buyers. The reason why is because it’s harder and more expensive to secure “jumbo” financing these days. Fewer buyers means less competition though there are still so few properties on the market that it’s still competitive
  • Nevertheless, buyers are out there. A recent listing of mine in Broadlands has many buyers come through as soon as it hit the market and it the sellers received and accepted an offer within 10 days of being on the market
  • Most of the properties in this price range are short-sales and traditional resales though you may see a foreclosure/bank-owned property here and there
  • Though cash offers are rare at this price point, they’re still out there. I had a buyer who put 20 percent down, use conventional financing and offer the highest amount of all the offers lose to a lower priced, all cash, non-contingent offer
  • I have seen values in this price range remain relatively steady since 1/1/09
  • If you’re a buyer, you still have to be aggressive on finding and buying a property in this price range. But it’s definitely not as crazy as the sub-$350K range
  • If you’re a seller, make sure you’re aware of your competition/other homes on the market so that you price your property correctly and adjust to comps and new properties as they come on the market. The higher the price range, the more important it is to have an experienced and knowledgeable Listing Agent working for you

$700K to $900K

  • This is where the pendulum starts to swing the other way a bit (generally speaking). Properties in this price range tend to stay on the market longer and have fewer buyers competing for them. Nevertheless, if the property is priced at or below market value, buyers will come out from everywhere
  • For example, there was a foreclosure/bank-owned “McMansion” in Fairfax listed just last month that was priced at $722K. This was an incredibly attractive price because the property was worth well over $800K. A buyer I’m working with offered $800K using conventional financing with a down payment of 30 percent. Their offer was not chosen because the winning offer was…take a guess…all cash, non-contingent. (Yes, someone paid $800K+ cash for a house)
  • The example I just gave is not isolated to Fairfax – it’s happening in Loudoun and across Northern Virginia
  • I have seen values in this price point remain steady or go down since 1/1/09 depending on location and how hard the particular community has been hit with foreclosures and short-sales
  • As a buyer, this price point can be good and bad. It’s good because the market is not as crazy as the lower price points. But it’s bad because there is so little inventory on the market to choose from. You may have to wait weeks or even a few months before a property that fits your criteria. Some of my buyers have made adjustments to their criteria so they can have more properties to choose from
  • As a seller, price and marketing are key in this price range. Make sure your Listing Agent is knowledgeable and is on top of your local market

$900K+

  • This is the least competitive price range especially in Loudoun County. Properties in this price range in Loudoun have been known to be on the market for months and months. As you get closer to DC, the average days on market is less, but still much higher than lower price points
  • Some of the properties in this price range are foreclosure/bank-owned properties, but most are short-sales and traditional resales
  • This price range is still showing signs of weakness and depreciation especially the farther you get from DC
  • If you’re a buyer, you’re in a good position in this price range. There are few buyers that are in the market for a $900K property and a fairly decent amount of inventory for you to choose from, including new construction
  • If you’re a seller, you’ve got an uphill battle especially in Loudoun County. Be patient and realistic when selling your home. Even more so than in any other price range, make sure you have a knowledgeable and aggressive Listing Agent who will market your property correctly and will price it where it should be to get an offer

Please remember that these are general market conditions. To find out what the housing market conditions are within your community or the area you are interested in buying within, click here to contact me so I can provide you with the specific details and statistics.

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Home Seller Tips, Part Three – Pricing (and Reality)

October 9, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Seller Resources

buyer-and-seller-tips

This is part three of my three part mini-series on how to sell your home for the most amount of money in today’s market. (If you missed them, click here for part one and click here for part two). This part deals with the number one most important issue when it comes to selling your house – pricing – as well as the issue of reality.

Pricing

In most cases, the reason why a home does not sell is pricing. If it’s not priced correctly, it will simply sit on the market collecting dust while other properties that are priced correctly sell all around it.

Folks, you can not fool today’s home buyer nor a good Buyer’s Agent.

In today’s day and age, there is an abundance of information available to every home buyer with an internet connection (which around here is pretty much everyone). Buyers can get information on recent sales, historical sales, tax records, assessed values, market trends, market statistics, photos, virtual tours, videos…the list goes on.

Buyers can and will quickly and easily figure out what the fair market value of your property is. If/when a buyer sees that you are priced above market value, they are typically very quick to pass on even seeing your property and will look at another similar property that is priced more attractively. Even if there are no properties similar to yours on the market, if a buyer thinks yours is overpriced, they will wait until one comes on the market that is priced well.

Even in the off chance they have no internet connection or don’t do the research themselves, any Buyer’s Agent worth their weight in salt will let them know whether a property is priced at, below or above market value based on the current market conditions. The Buyer’s Agent will share their opinion with their buyer clients (that’s part of what they’re getting paid to do) and once they do, the buyer will most likely pass on your property.

Tip: Once a buyer gets a list of properties that meet their general criteria, they first sort them by what they look like based on photos, virtual tour, etc. Then they sort again based on price. The remaining properties are then put on the “to see in person” list. If you are not priced correctly, you won’t make that list.

How do you price your property correctly?

Check the comps. Find out what similar properties have sold for within the last 90 days. This will show you exactly what buyers are willing to pay for similar properties. And also find out what similar properties that are currently under contract were last priced at before they went under contract. That will give you an idea of which asking prices are leading to offers from buyers.

Once you have the comps in front of you, add/deduct value based on what your property has versus what the other properties have/do not have. For example…if you have an in-ground basement while the other property has a walk-out basement, you need to deduct for that.

Another example…if the other property has an unfinished basement and yours is finished, that could be a difference of tens of thousands of additional market value for your property (depending on the square footage of the basement, quality of build, etc).

Check the current market conditions. Are prices appreciating, declining or steady? Is the home inventory increasing, decreasing or steady? Is buyer demand on the way up, way down or steady? Is the inventory mostly traditional resales, foreclosures or short-sales and what percentage does each type of property comprise? How many properties similar to yours have sold past month…3 months…6 months? And the list goes on…

Market conditions is very important when it comes to pricing correctly. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable Realtor who has his/her ear to the ground comes in. If they are on top of the market and what’s going on, they can spit out accurate statistics, advice and guidance at a split second even if you wake them up at 3am from a dead sleep.

Check how much competition you have and do some recon. In many ways, this is a battle. Your competition is made up of other sellers with similar properties that have their homes on the market as well. Home buyers that come across your property will most likely come across your competitors’ properties too. If a buyer feels that your competitors’ property is a better value than yours, they will probably place on offer on their house before they place one on yours.

This is what us Realtors call, “Selling your neighbor’s house” – a buyer comes across your house, then sees your neighbor’s house, yours makes theirs look like a better deal so they buy theirs. Congrats! You’ve just helped sell your neighbor’s house and lost a potential buyer for yours. This is the last thing you want to do – especially in a declining market.

Important: If prices are declining, you will probably get less for your home now that your neighbor has sold their house. And the less your neighbor accepted for their house, the less you’ll get for yours (see paragraph 3 above).

And do some recon. Have your listing agent take you through your competitor’s homes so you can see them with your own eyes and in person. This will help you see exactly how they compare to your property and you will know what buyers are comparing your home to and how, which helps tremendously come negotiating time.

Reality

You have to be realistic. If the comps and market conditions all point to a market value between$500K and $520K, don’t list it at $575K. Your property will just sit on the market until A) you lower your price or B) market values appreciate $55K to$75K (and we all have a pretty good idea of how long that could take).

You may say, “But I want $575K!” or “I think my home is worth that much regardless of what the comps/you say.” That’s great.

But it doesn’t matter.

Your home is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it today. And the comps illustrate what a ready, willing and able buyer has been willing to spend on a property such as yours in the last 1 to 90 days. If you are not willing to sell your home for what it’s worth in today’s market, you may not want to list it for sale in the first place.

On a related note…If you figure out that what you owe is more than what you’ll make from the sale of your home based on your property’s current market value, you have three options,

  1. Don’t sell it.
  2. Do a short-sale (click here for more on that).
  3. Foreclosure (I strongly urge you to avoid foreclosure at all costs for a variety of reasons).

So there it is folks…my three-part mini-series on how to get the most money for your home in today’s market.

If you have any questions or concerns about anything, click here to contact me at any time. And if you’re considering selling your home and/or are interviewing several Listing Agents in the area, I would love the opportunity to interview with you and see if we would work well together.

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Home Seller Tips, Part Two – Marketing

September 16, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Seller Resources

buyer-and-seller-tips1

This is part two in a three part mini-series for home sellers on how to sell your home for the most amount possible in the shortest amount of time. The first part dealt with “The Three C’s” (click here if you missed it). Part two deals with Marketing.

Who is your audience?

The first step is to determine who your audience is. Your audience consists of ready, willing and able buyers. This means buyers who are looking for a property such as yours in your area, can afford a property at your price point and are ready to make an offer on a property and can settle within the next 30 to 90 days.

How does your audience search for and find properties for sale?

In the Washington, DC metro area including Northern Virginia, approximately 90 percent of buyers start their search for real estate on-line. They search through a variety of real estate listing sites, as well as Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc. This means that you focus heavily on on-line marketing. This includes putting your property on the appropriate web sites and making sure that your property listing stands out from your competition (other similar properties for sale in your area).

Approximately 40 percent of buyers find the property they ultimately buy through a real estate agent/broker. This means that you must put your property listing in front of as many agents/brokers as possible. The best way to do this is to market your property on the MLS as well as word-of-mouth marketing by your agent/broker to other agents/brokers (via phone, email, in person, social media, etc).

How do buyers get more information about the community, amenities, proximity to major routes, etc?

Buyers don’t just buy your property. They buy the community, amenities, location, proximity to major routes, transportation, etc. The amount of information allowed by the MLS and real estate listings sites is limited. There is no place to put links or much information about amenities, the nearest shopping centers, major routes, etc.

That is why having a single property site specifically for your property is so important. Your property’s site should provide potential buyers with all the information they need to make an informed decision about not only your property, but the subdivision, town and general area it’s in.

To see what I mean, check out a few of the single property sites I have created for my sellers:

Do yard signs work?

They used to work much better once upon a time than they do today, but they still help. The statistics a few years ago showed that 15 percent of buyers found the property they ultimately bought by seeing the sign in the yard. That statistic is now in the single digits.

Nevertheless, they do still work a bit so having a sign that stands out and mainly provides information about the property, not the agent or brokerage firm is key.

Let me repeat… The sign must stand out and mainly provide information about the property, not the just the agent or brokerage firm.

Too many real estate signs are the same size, just say “For Sale” and have the brokerage firm’s name, agent’s name and contact information in bold lettering – nothing else. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t believe having nothing about the property itself makes a buyer driving down the street say, “Wow! That sounds like a great house on the inside! I want to see it ASAP!”

That’s why a custom signs specific to your property listing is important. Put some photos of the interior of the house on the sign. Point out the main selling points of the property. Share some special features of the property and/or community. Make the sign odd sized. And put a link to your property’s web site. This will make the sign and your property stand out above the rest.

Every sign I create for my listings is unique and specific to the property. All of the things I just mentioned along with some others help my signs stand out and help sell the property. After all, I wasn’t hired to promote myself or my brokerage firm – I was hired to market and sell my clients’ property.

Do Open Houses work?

The answer to this question depends on where you are. If you’re in a market such as New York City, open houses are very effective. In areas such as Northern Virginia, they are not. Statistics shows that about one percent of buyers found they home they ultimately bought through an open house.

So why do agents still do open houses? Because it appeases their clients and they’re afraid to “lose the listing” if they don’t agree to do an open house regardless of whether they’re effective or not. Another reason they do it is to get future listing and buyer leads.

All of your nosy neighbors that come through your open house to see what you have inside, how you’ve decorated and how your property compares to theirs are potential seller/listing clients. Your agent hope to chat with them and get their information at the open house so they have a shot at being hired by your neighbors when they decide to sell their home.

The consumers that go through open houses are typically in the very early stages of house hunting and are usually 6 to 12 months out from actually buying a home. Remember, your target audience is ready, willing and able buyers – not, “not quite ready, not quite willing and not able to buy yet” home browsers.

The next and final part of this three-part mini-series will focus on pricing, which is the most important aspect of selling your home in today’s market.

Related Articles

Home Seller Tips, Part One – “The Three C’s”

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Home Seller Tips, Part One – “The Three C’s”

September 9, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Seller Resources

buyer-and-seller-tips

This is the first in a three part mini-series for home sellers on how to sell your home for the most amount possible in the shortest amount of time. The first part deals with the “Three C’s” – Cleanliness, Clutter and Cohesiveness.

Cleanliness

If you’ve ever been house hunting, you know how it is to walk into a dirty home. I’ve heard my buyer clients say things such as,

  • “Ewwwww”
  • “I can’t believe they can live like this”
  • “If the house is this dirty, they must not take care of the rest of the house much either”

These are not things that you want potential buyers saying while going through your property.

Here are some of things that my buyer clients say while going through a very clean house…

  • “Wow! They really take good care of their home!”
  • “The carpets and hardwoods are in great shape!”
  • “The house looks much newer than it really is!”

What a difference in buyer perception, isn’t it?

The cleaner your home is, the more attractive your home will be to potential buyer. And the more a buyer will perceive the house being in good shape which translates to the buyer seeing more value in the property and offering a higher price for it.

Clutter

Though your definition of clutter may be different, the definition of clutter when it comes to real estate is,

  • No more than one to two items on any one piece of furniture or wall
  • Having no more furniture or items in a room than is necessary to fill it up and make it look lived in

An example of the first would be one lamp on a nightstand…or… two items on the fireplace mantle…or…one item on top of the dresser…or…one painting on the outside wall of the family room.

An example of the second would be a medium sized couch in a medium sized room rather than a huge “L” shaped couch that takes up 1/2 of the room’s floor space…or… a small circular table and two chairs in a small eat-in-kitchen rather than a medium-sized square dining room style table with four chairs that takes up the majority of floor space in the eat-in-kitchen and makes it looks formal when it shouldn’t.

Clutter clouds a buyer’s mind and makes them focus on the items creating the clutter rather than property itself. The less a buyer notices the actual property, the less they will remember the good things about it let alone the property itself. This translates to less of a perceived value by the buyer and less of an offer price – if they make an offer at all.

Cohesiveness

Cohesiveness is how well everything flows together throughout the entire property – furniture, decorating, paint schemes, landscaping, outdoor decorations, etc. If things do not flow, buyers will focus more on that then the  physical property itself. This doesn’t help their perceived value of the property and hurts your chances of getting a high offer price.

For example…Buyers are thrown off when one room is burgundy and has contemporary furniture in it while the next room over is burgundy and has traditional or country style furniture.

Stick with one theme and try to make things match as best as possible.

  • If you have contemporary furniture in the family room, do the same in the kitchen and dining room
  • If you have neutral paint in two of the bedrooms, do the same or something very similar in the other bedroom(s)
  • If you have lots of bright flowers and bushes as part of your landscaping in the front of the home, plant some in the back of the home as well

If you would like to find out how your property does in a “Three C’s” test, call or email me – danilo.bogdanovic (at) gmail (dot) com – 703.582.6900. I would be happy to stop by, give you my professional opinion and be of help.

RELATED READING

Home Seller Tips, Part Two – Marketing

Home Seller Tips, Part Three – Pricing (and Reality)

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Because Now is Much Better Than Later

September 5, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Buyer Resources, Seller Resources

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An increasing number of blog readers, sellers and buyers have been contacting me for real estate help and advice. I’m glad to help whenever I can, but many contact me after the problem has already occurred. Contacting me after the fact is often times too late – the damage has already been done. Here are two examples…

My parents just relocated from Delaware and bought a house in [city removed for privacy reasons], VA. On their 2nd look at the house they noticed the stove was different than what was pictured on the online listing.

It was at that time their agent then told them the house was “as is”, however, come to discover after the purchase and moving in and comparing the online pictures to the actual home, all of the kitchen appliances were switched, ceiling fans were removed, the replaced dishwasher wasn’t properly attached and hooked up – it leaked and damaged the hardwood flooring, and the upper air unit had serious problems (due to the “fix” the selling agents inspector supposedly made).

They only had limited time to preview homes and were basing their decision largely by the online pics. Anyway, just seems the out of town “old folks” were taken advantage of.

Your wise thoughts are appreciated. Seriously, I value your input. Thx!

“T”

I have a question that I hope you can  answer.

We just purchased a home in Loudon county…we are actually from out of state & were not familliar with any inspectors. Our agent recommended an inspector that she uses all the time. Well, he missed some obvious things such as rotten plywood for the roof & a rotten water damaged  huge window that is totally shot.

Now these are basic things for the envelope of the  house…how could he have missed them?

To top it off I had asked our agent if he was licensed,insured & bonded she said that he wass. I have since found out that he doesn’t carry any liability insurance for  what he misses–he only carries workmens comp for himself. I also have not been able to find his license# & have asked my agent to get it for me  & she has not responded to my request.

What would your recommendation be at this point? Should we file a claim with the Real Estate firm for sending us to someone who quite possibly is unlicensed & definitely not insured properly? I do not feel properly represented by our agent.

A

Though I would love to help “T” and “A” as well as everyone else who has contacted me, I can’t always do so. In “T’s” parents’ situation,  the problem could have been avoided had I been involved in the process in the beginning. But now, they have to battle it out with the real estate broker, lawyers, etc. The same holds true for “A” and her situation.

In many other similar situations, many folks are already working with a real estate agent and/or they are too far into the process and can’t go back and fix the issues that are costing them money and grief now.

Avoid getting yourself into the same situation as these and other sellers and buyers have. And avoid paying the price that they now are (literally and figuratively).

If you’re considering selling your house or purchasing a home in today’s market, allow me to help you now – because now is much better than later.

Click here to contact me now.

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What Do Major League Baseball Players and Real Estate Have in Common?

August 16, 2009 by Danilo Bogdanovic  
Filed under Seller Resources

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What happened to this once-great major league baseball first round draft pick’s potential profits is very similar to what happened/is happening to some sellers who followed the wrong advice…

Matt Harrington (born February 1, 1982) is a pitcher in baseball and a former first round pick in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. He was considered good enough to be a possible first overall selection in the 2000 Major League draft, but excessive contract demands by his then-agent Tommy Tanzer caused him to slip to the seventh overall, at which point he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies.

Harrington, acting on his agent’s advice, rejected the Rockies’ offer of $4.9 million, refused to sign a contract, and waited for the next draft. Meanwhile the inactivity caused him to lose speed and effectiveness in his once-prized fastball.

The San Diego Padres, the next team to draft him a year later, were aware of this and offered him barely $1 million, which was also rejected. Harrington was drafted three more times, each year slipping further down the draft board and offered substantially less money than the previous year.

He played on various independent league baseball teams the whole time, and had a tryout with the Chicago Cubs in 2007 after he finally fell off the draft board, but was quickly released. He retired later that year and now installs tires in a Costco in Texas for $11.50 per hour.

Much like Matt Harrington, some sellers ended up selling their property – IF they sold it – for much less money than what they could have gotten had they followed good advice and listed at the correct price to begin with or accepted the first offer.

Many people claim to know what they’re talking about, but make sure you listen to someone who really does know.

H/T to Chris

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