Advice for Buyers & Sellers


Whether you are buying your first home or not, the strategy for completing a successful purchase remains the same and is summed up in one word, preparation.  If you are prepared to take advantage of opportunities in the market, you will be a successful buyer.  So, let's get you prepared.

  1. Figure out your price range.  Although this is basic to preparation it can also be the most daunting task given the present lending conditions.  Your price range is affected by your income, debts, size of down payment you can make, credit score and other factors.  So, make a list showing each factor then consult with us to determine what is a reasonable range for you to use.  We don't want you to try to take on a burden that you will not be able to handle.
  2. Identify the areas you would most like to live in.  To increase your options we suggest that you list three general areas in order of preference.  And next to each choice, write down why you like each area.  If you feel you do not have enough familiarity with the various neighborhood choices, then simply make a list of neighborhood features you most desire. We can match your list with the neighborhoods in Northern Virginia because there is something for everybody here.
  3. Now, make a list of features you most desire in a new home and put the features in order of importance.  Examples might be number of bedrooms, yard size, distance to schools, size of kitchen, granite counter tops, fireplace, age of home, etc.  Take your time with the list, particularly in ranking features.  Since only a custom built house will give you everything you want, you should be prepared to sacrifice some items for more important ones.

Having prepared yourself for the task of looking for a new home, we can match your price, neighborhood preference and desired features to the list of homes on the market and present to you the available options for consideration and viewing.  By doing the preparation, we can employ your time more efficiently and avoid wild goose chases to houses that are simply not right for you.

Finally, remember the following important factors:

  • Buying a house involves obtaining a particular lifestyle.  How you want to live should dictate where you want to live.
  • Buying a house without a qualified and professional agent involves substantial risk.  There are simply too many legal and financial factors to consider to proceed in ignorance.
  • And, although we are in a "buyer's market" that does not mean that every seller is willing to take a bath on price, particularly those that occupy the best homes in desirable areas.  Asking prices have already been adjusted in your favor to reflect market conditions in most instances.  Therefore, do not delude yourself into thinking that you will grab the home of your dreams on the super cheap.  This is Northern Virginia, not Detroit.

We welcome new buyers and will help you obtain the home and the lifestyle you want.  Together we can find the right home at the right price that you can afford.

Advice for Sellers

So, you want to sell your house?  There are many reasons to do so and, therefore, your decision to sell isn't really as important once made as being honest with yourself about what is involved.  Below is a checklist of things that you will have to do if you want your sale to be a reasonable experience.  Skip any of them and you will make the process harder and may cause the ultimate price you get to be lower.

  1. Get out a big pad of paper and a stout pencil because you will be making lists.  Now, walk around your house and yard very slowly and write down everything that needs repair or sprucing up.  It doesn't mean that you will do it all before selling, but both you and your agent should be aware of what potential buyers and home inspectors might find.  Now is the time to be critical of your property.  If you don't think you can be totally objective, invite a friend to help.  Just don't get all defensive about what they notice or say.  All information is useful even if some of it stings a might.
  2. Walk out to the street and take a long look at your house.  Is the trip to the front door inviting or is it blah or even worse?  First impressions are made from the curb and some potential buyers won't even go to the front door if the yard and the front of the house aren't reasonably put together.  Fortunately, getting a  little curb appeal is rarely expensive and always worth it.  And by all means, mow the darn grass or rake the leaves or whatever is deemed standard maintenance.
  3. Make a list of any significant home repairs you have made since you moved in and when you did the work.  If you've done home improvement, put that on the list too. 
  4. Now, make a list of the best features of your house.  Is a particular room sunny, giving that space a nice feeling?  Is the fireplace cozy?  How are the schools?  Are neighbors friendly?  Is there plenty of storage? 
  5. Figure out a budget as to how much money you can invest in selling your house for home repair, etc.

You have now gathered all of the information that is required to commence the process of selling your home.  So, what do you do next?  CALL US.  We will take that beginning information and devise a custom strategy for selling your home at its fair market value.  We will assist you in prioritizing your every step, staging the house, and providing valuable information to make the process go smoothly so that you can understand what needs to be done and why.  Together, we will make your sale a success through hard work, marketing and sales techniques that we have honed over the years, with new avenues of sales strategies being added each year.  

Selling your house can be an opportunity or a horrendous experience.  It all depends on the quality of your real estate agent.  We will provide the knowledge and professionalism you deserve to make the experience as painless and as profitable as possible.

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