Preparing For An Appraisal? Focus On These Projects

An appraisal is an important part of the home selling process; you want your appraisal to accurately reflect your home’s value and your listing price. But if your home appraisal comes in lower than expected, it could cause issues with your home sale and put the deal at risk.

Which is why, as a seller, you want to do everything you can to get your home ready for the appraisal. But what projects should you be focusing on?

recent article from Forbes covered the home projects sellers should tackle before their appraisal, including:

  • Curb appeal. You only get to make a first impression once—so your home’s curb appeal can go a long way in adding value and setting the tone for a great appraisal. Keep any trees, bushes, or shrubs pruned, make sure your grass is mowed and healthy, and, if you have the budget, consider adding flowers or other details to spruce up your outdoor space and add a pop of color.
  • Bathroom upgrades. Simple (and affordable!) bathroom upgrades, like repainting or updating fixtures, can have a major visual impact—and, as such, can have a major impact on your appraisal.
  • Kitchen cabinetry. New cabinets can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen—and, as such, can add serious value. Don’t have the budget for new cabinets? Swapping out the cabinet doors can create the same kind of impact (without the hefty price tag).

There’s no need to do an entire renovation on your house. Simply make sure that what you already have to work with shows in the best light possible. Just spending even a little time and money on things that will catch the eye and attention of an appraiser, should pay off.

Three Things That Make Now The Perfect Time To Sell

COVID-19 is still creating a lot of uncertainty—which has many homeowners wondering whether now is a good time to sell their home.

Well, as it turns out, now isn’t just a good time to sell your home—it’s one of the best markets to sell your home in years.

recent article from realtor.com outlined the top reasons why now is the perfect time to sell your home, including:

  • Demand is high and inventory is low. After months of being stuck at home due to COVID-19, buyers are emerging ready to make a purchase—but there just aren’t enough homes to keep up with demand. According to realtor.com’s market outlook housing inventory was down 27 percent year-over-year in June. Fewer homes mean more buyer demand—and higher prices for sellers.
  • Mortgage interest rates are low. Mortgage interest rates are at an all time low; according to data from Freddie Mac, on August 6, average interest rates hit 2.88 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Buyers are scrambling to lock in those low interest rates (and save big money in the process)—making it an ideal time for sellers.
  • The economy is showing signs of recovery. There’s no denying that COVID-19 initially sent shock waves through the economy. But unemployment is starting to trend downward, meaning more people are getting back to work—and more people may be in the economic position to purchase a home. “Data from May and June suggests that businesses are adding back jobs as consumers get back to spending, and some companies are now scrambling to keep up demand,” realtor.com’s chief economist Danielle Hale said in the article. “Some speculated that we’d see a sharp bounce back in activity, and I think it’s fair to say that’s what we’re seeing so far.”

The point is, there hasn’t been a more seller-friendly market in years—so if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is the perfect time to make a move.

Video Touring a Home? Make Sure To Check These Outdoor Elements

Video tours are a great option for long-distance buyers and buyers who are hesitant to tour a property in person due to COVID-19 concerns. But if you’re planning a video tour and want to get a comprehensive feel for the property, you need to tour more than just the interior of the house—you need to take the video tour outdoors.

recent article from realtor.com outlined the key exterior elements you should explore on a video tour, including:

  • The neighbors’ homes. Privacy is important—and, as such, it’s important to know how far (or how close) the neighbors are to the property you’re considering. Ask your agent to show you (or potentially even measure) the distance to each neighbor’s home while you’re video touring the property.
  • Landscaping. You want to get a clear idea of the time, money, and energy it will take to maintain the outdoor space, so make sure your agent gives you a full tour of the front, back, and/or side yards; that way, you can get an idea of existing trees, flower beds, and landscaping needs.
  • The deck. It can be hard to see structural damages on a video tour, so make sure the agent zooms in on the deck area so you can identify any wear and tear.
  • Each side of the house. The front of the house may look like it’s in great shape—but what about the sides and the back? Make sure your agent shows you the exterior of the home from every angle so you can identify any potential damage or necessary repairs.

9 Surprising Things First Time Home Buyers Should Know

People who have been homeowners for a long time tend to forget how exciting and nerve-wracking it feels to buy a home for the first time. Once you’ve been through the process, you know what to expect and aren’t surprised by the second (or fifth) go-around. But for new homeowners, the road is filled with novel experiences, and the learning curve might feel a bit steep to someone who has never been through it before.

So, let’s take a look at ten things that may surprise you as a first time buyer, to help cut down on that learning curve!

1. Getting pre-approved is very, very important

While there are no barriers to looking at houses online, it’s absolutely critical to get pre-approved for financing before going to look at homes in person. This will allow you to not only determine exactly what you can afford, it will ensure that you’re ready to make a strong offer in the event you find your dream home.

2. There are a huge amount of resources available for homebuyers

The housing industry is a giant segment of the economy—an entire ecosystem that keeps millions of people employed. That’s why there are so many resources catering to potential home buyers: from listing websites, to learning tools, to guides, videos, and everything in between. If you have any question, no matter how specific, there’s a good chance you can easily find the answers you’re looking for.

3. A home can be much different in person than in photos

Pictures don’t always tell the full story. This can be a tough lesson to learn, especially if you get your hopes up. The good news is that this works in both directions. Sometimes, photos make a home seem a lot nicer than it really is. But, just as often, pictures don’t capture the entire essence of a house, and might fall short when it comes to showcasing it’s more positive attributes. The bottom line is: you should see it in person to be sure.

4. If a house is a great deal, expect plenty of competition

Unless you’re looking in an especially unique area, you’re likely to find plenty of competitors when a listing is a great deal, or when it has “everything” most people are looking for. There are exceptions, of course, and sometimes you might get lucky, but for the most part, if you recognize a great opportunity, there’s a good chance other people will too. It doesn’t even need to be a “deal”…it can just be when a house is priced appropriately within the market. Always expect that if you see the value and appeal of a home, so will another buyer. So, act quick, and write up a strong offer!

5. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous before (and after) an offer

Don’t feel silly if you find yourself filled with anxiety after submitting an offer. And definitely don’t be hard on yourself if you’re anxious even after your offer has been accepted. It’s completely normal to worry about all the decisions, stresses, and eventualities as you’re going through the process.

6. There’s plenty to do to keep everyone busy before the closing

If you think an accepted offer means you’re done, think again. In some ways, this is when the real work starts. A lot of the work will be done for you by industry professionals, but you will need to be ready and aware of anything they need you to do on your end. For example, lenders will want contract and financial documentation, and lawyers or title companies will need you to review documents and sign off or acknowledge them.

7. Agents, mortgage brokers, and lawyers will explain everything to you

Don’t be afraid of the nuances and moving parts of buying a home, because from day one, you have plenty of resources at your fingertips. Your agent, your mortgage broker, your closing attorney, and everyone in between will be able to explain the process and answer questions as you move forward. These people usually have years of experience, and none of them will begrudge you for not knowing everything they know. And if you have questions, or something doesn’t make sense, don’t be shy…just ask! That’s what they’re there for!

8. Owning feels different than renting

Renters don’t have the same skin in the game that owners do, and when you’ve bought something and put your money and credit on the line, it feels different. Once you close on your home and move in, you’ll start to understand the feeling of commitment and ownership that comes from your own space. You’ll not only want to make it yours, but you’ll also feel a sense of pride and care that is often elusive for renters.

9. An agent does a lot more than help you find a house

Some people think of real estate agents like cashiers: people who help you with a transaction before you move on and forget all about them. But in practice, this is often not the case. Buying a home is such an emotional journey for even the most stoic among us that it’s almost impossible not to form a deeper connection with the person helping you find the perfect home, and guiding you through the process. Agents will serve as consultants, confidantes, interior designers, therapists, and everything in between. Agents become a part of one of life’s biggest milestones, and this makes it nearly impossible for them to take it lightly.

Hopefully this will make you a more confident buyer and help take some of the surprise out of the process for you!

75 Stonewood, Bentonville, VA 22610

Charming cape-cod style home on wooded 2.53 acres. Three bedroom home with master bedroom on main level, large soaking tub in bath. Gleaming hardwood floors throughout. Living room features high ceilings and stone-front propane fireplace. Updated kitchen with stainless appliances. Large basement offers plenty of storage. Enjoy living on a private lot close to Skyline Drive, hiking trails, rivers, and parks. 

 

Offered for $325,000

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