Articles Tagged "Selling a Home"

Avery Hess, REALTORS© Home

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Selling your home takes a lot of energy and consideration. Here's where you should be focusing your efforts.

The little things matter when selling your home, both in terms of quickly generating interest and ultimately selling for the best possible price. When you're competing with other D.C. homes for sale, you always want to put your best foot forward. Our real estate agents have some proven tips to help get a better price when selling your home.

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Uses for Spare Bedroom

A home with a spare bedroom can present nearly endless opportunities if you'd like to convert it to a different use. By using your imagination and making a few adjustments, you'll end up with a room that suits you and your family's needs and increases your enjoyment of your home.

Our real estate agents suggest the following 7 ways to utilize a spare bedroom:

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Staging Mistakes

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, 25% of buyer's agents said home staging generated a one to five percent increase in dollar value offered compared to similar, unstaged homes on the market. As the housing industry continues to adapt to an ever-growing digital marketplace, home staging is not just important for showings, it's necessary for your listing to garner online attention as well. 

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Moving to a New State

If your moving plans involve relocating to a new state, it's important to give your move the time and resources it needs to make the process a smooth experience. Follow these tips to make sure your move is as stress-free as possible. 

  1. Rethink Your Packing Strategy
    Packing is tricky even when you're only moving a few miles from your current home. It takes time to pack and unpack all those boxes, and you're often left scrambling to find must-have items (like your coffee maker and charging station) among items that you don't need right this second (such as seasonal clothing and holiday decor). One way to better organize your packing is to make sure that you label what's in each box. This way, you won't have to open 5 different boxes in hopes of locating must-use items. 
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Real Estate Terms to Know

If you're buying or selling a house for the first time, it's easy to become overwhelmed by all the real estate lingo being thrown around. 

Our real estate agents want the process of buying or selling your home to be as simple and easy to navigate as possible, and part of that is demystifying the terminology you're likely to hear. Let's all study up on these essential real estate terms!

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Staging Your Home

As the National Association of Realtors® says, more than 90 percent of home buyers look for homes online. And for most of those shoppers, it's eye-popping photos that reel them in. Further, many potential home buyers these days use virtual tours to help them narrow down their choices.

Follow these tips from our REALTORS® and you'll get better results from online shoppers looking for DC homes for sale.

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Open House Checklist

There's no doubt that a well-planned open house is a vital tool for getting your home sold, and how you prepare makes a huge difference in how buyers perceive the property. With the right prep and the help of your real estate agent, you can make sure your home shines on the big day. Our real estate agents have you covered, starting with our open house checklist.

  • Create an Open Space
    When you're competing with DC homes for sale, you want every edge. Start by removing personal items, to make it easier for buyers to picture their lives in the home. Clear out as much clutter as possible to make the home feel more roomy and store unnecessary furniture.

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2020 VA Loan Guide

One of the top benefits for service members, certain military spouses, and honorably discharged veterans is the VA home loan program. A VA home loan makes it possible for eligible individuals to buy a home with no downpayment; the terms of VA loans are favorable and help keep homeownership affordable for service members and veterans.

However, some changes are coming to the VA loan program in 2020, thanks to the passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Before you start browsing Alexandria homes for sale, take a few moments to understand the changes coming to the VA loan program and how they'll impact your ability to buy a home.

Loan Limits are Removed 

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act expands the availability of disability benefits to include more Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. While this part of the bill doesn't seem like it would impact homeowners, it's the driving force behind one of the most important changes to the VA loan program: the removal of VA loan limits.

As of December 2019, VA loans are capped at $484,350 in most areas. After January 1, 2020, this limit will be eliminated. This will make it easier for veterans and service members to purchase more expensive homes or purchase property in cities with a high cost of living. It's still possible for your lender to deny a large home loan, and you'll need to satisfy the lender's criteria, but loan denial for larger mortgages won't be due to VA loan limits. Our real estate agents can help you find a home that works for your family and adheres to your homebuying budget. 

Allowing veterans and service members to take out larger mortgages makes it possible for the VA to raise more money from fees related to VA home loans to pay for the expansion in disability benefits.

The Funding Fee for a VA Loan is Going Up

Currently, veterans and service members must pay a one-time funding fee for their mortgage that's equal to 2.15 percent of the loan amount for first-time loan users and 3.3 percent for individuals taking out a subsequent VA loan. These funding fees will be increasing in 2020. The funding fee for first-time VA loan users is increasing to 2.3 percent, and the funding fee for taking out subsequent VA loans will be 3.6 percent.

The VA loan program also permits borrowers to roll the cost of this fee into their mortgage.

Take a moment to understand how these increases will impact your loan fees. Assume you're a first-time borrower taking out a VA loan for $300,000. When paying a 2.15 percent loan fee, this results in a funding fee of $6,450. Once the fee increases to 2.3 percent, your funding fee will increase to $6,900. 

If you're on your subsequent VA loan, the funding fee currently results in a fee of $9,900. After the fee increases to 3.6 percent, your fee will be $10,800. As you can see, the increase in fee percentages raises the funding fees by less than $1,000 in both of these scenarios.

Ready to take advantage of the removal of VA loan limits? Contact us today to start searching for your new home. 


Enhance Winter Curb Appeal

Winter can be gloomy and filled with cloudy days and nights, but that doesn't mean your home needs to fall into a winter slump. Whether you're looking to sell your home or add to the allure of it, our REALTORS® can help you along the way with tips and advice for improving your winter curb appeal.

Prepping Your Home for Winter Curb Appeal

First, keep up with the maintenance of your yard. While you won't necessarily need to mow your lawn throughout the winter, you can still rake leaves and clear walkways and sidewalks of any snow, mud, or other debris. Picking up toys or other furniture not in use will help to make your yard look less sloppy, and this should include tools, lawnmowers, and even dying plants. Trimming trees of any dead limbs will prevent possible collapse if they become covered in ice, which will protect the exterior of your home as well. Other ways you can improve your curb appeal are:

  • Placing fake plants or flowers to give an added level of ambiance
  • Repainting or replacing your mailbox
  • Tactfully adding exterior lights, lanterns, or lamp posts
  • Add colorful ornaments or sculptures to counterbalance the gloom associated with winter

Make Your Home Stand Out 

Keeping your driveway clear will allow your guests to park there when they visit, and avoid parking in front of your house and taking up street space. If you're someone who likes to work in your garage with the door open, you may want to consider reorganizing, so it's less of an eyesore when others walk or drive by.

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Before Listing Your Home

Preparing to sell your home, but not sure where to start? There's so much you can do before you even list your home to increase the chances of finding a buyer. The work you put in now plays a major role in attracting the right buyer, and generating competitive bids for the home. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to prepare a home for sale, and we've put together a guide for what you need to do before listing your home.

  • Find the Right Real Estate Agent
    Preparing your home for sale is so much easier when you find the right real estate agent. Your agent can give specific advice about what steps you need to take to prepare your home, help your home stand out from other DC homes for sale, and answer questions. Research agents online, ask for referrals from trusted sources and speak with multiple agents before making your choice.

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