If you are planning on selling your Herndon home—perhaps as early as this spring—you’ve already begun to give thought to getting it in shape for photography and showings. Some of the most obvious projects will be the most important (cleaning and de-cluttering are among those). You might tackle some of the areas that will require deep cleaning early on, but for the most part, those activities can be scheduled closer to launch: the day when your agent posts your Herndon listing.
On the other hand, there are some projects you can think about tackling right away. Depending on your own DIY enthusiasm, time availability, and the degree of rehabilitation each area needs, your first decision will be whether to call upon one of Herndon’s professionals or to handle the task yourself. That’s a decision that shouldn’t be overly influenced by your own personal pride of ownership. It’s only natural to want to take pride in the property you are about to show off to the world—but resist the temptation to start making major renovations right before selling your home.
Since selling your home is first and foremost a business transaction, make a cool assessment on that score. The business equation is satisfied when you refrain from making improvements that won’t return all—or at least a significant portion—of their expense.
Although every home is unique, some of the areas where meaningful but cost-effective improvements can often be made are:
For the areas which can be comfortably handled yourself, one piece of advice that’s easy to agree with is about scheduling. Plan on spacing the projects out over the time available rather than waiting until the last minute to tackle them all at once. That not only prevents a maddening log jam in your schedule—it also accommodates the reality that superior results for some projects can only be achieved in stages.
When you tap me to help with selling your Herndon home, that becomes my major focus, every step of the way, from planning to closing. I hope you’ll give me a call for a no-obligation consultation on how we can achieve the results you’re hoping for!
Since buying a house in Herndon is rarely a spur-of-the-moment decision, the shrewdest way to use any lead time is to fortify your side of the coming transaction. After all, there will be two sides striking that bargain.
For their side, the sellers will have to spruce up the property, prepare a marketing plan, post their Herndon listing, and then open their home to the public and to you—and later, to your inspector. For your side, you need do nothing more than to work with your agent to craft an acceptable offer—and to provide convincing proof that your offer is genuine.
That’s where you can use this advance time to fortify your position. If you will be a cash buyer, you already go to the front of the line. Otherwise, it’s up to you to put the credit rating system to work in your favor.
The good news is that with little effort you can use this advance time to bolster your rating. Since most competing buyers won’t take similar action until they are ready to start house hunting, it’s how you can get a jump on the competition. Here are three moves that can strengthen your buying power:
“Bitcoin Fever Hits US Real Estate Market” screamed last week’s headline—but like most of the other news stories about bitcoin, the details were less than convincing. Certainly, Herndon real estate has yet to be diagnosed with a serious case of bitcoin fever.
Yet, if you are a local homeowner who has begun to wonder if one day you might see “bitcoin accepted” messages in Herndon listings, you may have been tempted to check into what the hubbub is all about. Is bitcoin some get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme cloaked in technological mumbo-jumbo? Or is it destined to be the dominant exchange medium for all future electronic transactions?
One problem is that the bits and pieces of information that keep dribbling out through the media are often contradictory. If a single bitcoin is worth $11,000 (or $18,000, depending on the wildly fluctuating market), how could it possibly be used for buying a six-pack of Coke? Typical is the guidance offered by the CEO of the U.S.’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase:
For more of the latest in the Herndon real estate market, give me a call!
In Herndon real estate, it’s the steak—not the sizzle—that draws serious offers.
Even so, every year about this time it can be useful (and great fun!) to watch what comes out of Las Vegas’ CES gathering. This year’s edition of the Consumer Electronics Show—the annual trade extravaganza that grabs headlines for its bounty of new electronic product unveilings—unveiled a number of smart home tech debuts. Some were, as commentators noted, “weird and wonderful”—while others were potentially important incremental steps toward what will eventually become everyday household necessities. Among those that caught my eye:
For the foreseeable future, I think I’ll be sticking with less creepy, in-person showings. For those or any other of your own Herndon real estate initiatives, please give me a call!
If a National Association of Realtors® expert is to be taken literally, there is one unlikely factor that could lessen the stress level associated with selling your Herndon house.
Just have some kids around.
That may not sound logical—but weirdly enough, it really could make sense. The expert whose thoughts spawn this deduction is the home improvement specialist writing for the NAR’s magazine. Last week, Stephanie Booth observed that sometimes “raising kids actually makes your house cleaner” (Ms. Booth’s italics). I have to agree.
If you have small kids, you’re already thoroughly familiar with the accompanying housekeeping side effects. Ms. Booth recalls her own memories—like the sound of “the slow wheezing death of a vacuum cleaner” after ingesting one too many lego blocks, or the omnipresence of the crumbs, smears, and smudges that need corralling at regular intervals. But those facts of parental life give truth to some other logical consequences:
Since one of the requirements for the speedy selling of your Herndon house involves presenting house hunters with a spick-and-span interior, having dealt with kids’ messes on a daily (or hourly, depending on their ages) basis can put you at the head of the pack. Since “staying organized becomes a survival skill,” as the author points out, you are forced to “become a pro at speed-cleaning.” And that’s a skill that owners who don’t have kids at home (or who have forgotten what it was like) would have trouble matching.
All kidding aside, when you enlist me to help with selling your own Herndon house, we’ll sit down to agree on an advance warning timetable—one that ensures that even if you don’t have the “advantage” of having small kids to keep you at the top of your speed-cleaning game, you’ll have ample time to prepare for showings with a minimum of stress. Experience confirms that after we have created a smoothly running system for managing showings, good results are bound to follow.
To discuss other ways to get ahead of the curve for selling your Herndon house, give me a call!
We’ve all witnessed the remarkable rebound in real estate values—and last week, the scale of that recovery was the subject of a CNBC commentary. “A growing number of homeowners are in the money,” it found; then, “Homeowners are sitting on trillions in tappable home equity.”
Trillions? That’s a number that sounds quite impressive—but also hard to grasp.
To get a handle on the scale of the nation’s real estate recovery in terms that are more meaningful to Herndon readers, it calls for some imagination. Here’s a try:
If you think of a $345,000 home (today’s U.S. average)—and then of a neighborhood with 30 of those homes per block—a billion dollars’ worth of home equity would consist of 100 blocks of such homes. For Herndon, that’s would be a pretty large neighborhood, all right; but if you close your eyes and picture such an imaginary hundred-block neighborhood, you’ll have an approximation of what a billion dollars’ worth of real estate looks like.
It’s much harder to get a grip on a trillion dollars’ worth of home equity.
One way is to start out by imagining a magnificent estate owned by a titan of industry. This place has 50 acres of magnificently manicured landscaping; several guest houses; a subterranean garage capable of housing 20 antique autos in an appropriately climate-controlled environment; and an infinity pool overlooking an acre-size manmade pond (there are probably a couple of swans in the pond). Its nine bedrooms (they are actually suites) are part of the 50-room main house. Since it’s in a fabulously exclusive neighborhood, the estate’s value is reasonably pegged at $50,000,000 (fifty million dollars).
So all you have to do is to close your eyes and picture a neighborhood with 20 of those per block—and then, a thousand of those blocks.
There’s your trillion dollars in home equity!
The reason this has anything to do with reality—or with home equity in Herndon—is that Herndon homeowners are part of CNBC’s original headline calculation from last week. Between 2012—the bottom of the financial crisis—and today, homeowners across the country are the recipients of a trillion dollars’ rise in home equity.
To be precise, the rebound in home equity actually comes to three trillion dollars! That’s “tappable equity”—dollar values potentially available via refinancing or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). With mortgage rates currently lower than they were a year ago, it’s not surprising that cash-out refinances have been growing in popularity.
Herndon may not have any 1,000-block neighborhoods full of 50-acre estates, but we do have a lot of homes whose equity has burgeoned since the low point of the financial crisis. I’m proud that I’ve been able to help many of my clients participate in a share of that good news story. For your next Herndon real estate venture, I hope you’ll give me a call!
Whenever you set about planning for a move to a new home, particularly if you are an experienced homeowner, you usually don’t need to create a whole new priority list of factors you’ll be looking for. But by the time you have capped off a full career—when retirement is definitely part of what your future holds—you’re well advised to give added weight to factors that weren’t key considerations in previous house hunts. One source of advice for Herndon residents intent on finding the best retirement property is the NAEBA—a real estate association for exclusive buyer agents. Admittedly, their list of seven “basic considerations for locating the best retirement property” includes some that are hardly limited to future retirees. Two of them (“affordability” and “security”) are prime considerations for Herndon house hunters of every stripe. But their list of factors that are especially important in retirement includes these four:
Maintenance—Realistically, even the most enthusiastic do-it-yourself putterers will eventually encounter physical limitations. Taking that into account can ultimately “be a literal lifesaver.”
Mobility—If Herndon homes featuring ground floor master bedroom suites are increasingly in demand, this is one good reason.
Convenience—Your best retirement property is likely to be one with amenities within easy walking distance. Close proximity to golf or tennis facilities, shopping, and dining will make keeping active a low-stress daily option.
Pets—Not often given a high enough priority, the emotional and physical benefits of life with the right choice of 4-footed or 2-winged friends is a factor worth considering. The best retirement property could well be one that easily accommodates them.
A youthful outlook is worth adopting throughout life—but realistic accommodation to advancing age is actually a shrewd way to maintain exactly that. If retirement will factor into the choice for your next Herndon home, give me a call. Working together, I will help you find and snag your best retirement property!
When a young Herndon home buyer first hears the term “earnest money deposit,” the words alone pretty much explain the general concept. But I make sure to clarify the details before we begin to put together our offer.
The purpose of the earnest money deposit is to assure the seller that this is a buyer who is serious about completing the sale. If the seller does accept the offer, the earnest money is held in trust until it can be applied to the ultimate sale.
Since this deposit is a considerable sum, I make sure my buyer client fully understands the terms that control how it is handled—including three major happenstances by which earnest money might be forfeited. Each is avoidable if proper care is observed.
It might seem hard-hearted for the seller to refuse to return that deposit, but that’s not really unreasonable. In addition to the hassle of canceling the moving day and re-entering the property in the Herndon listings, there can be a question raised in prospective buyers’ minds about why the first contract failed—a potential problem the seller didn’t deserve.
Before a bid is ever submitted, I do my best to see that my buyers are sure—thoughtfully so—that a property is the one they really want. From that point on, I keep on top of all the ensuing steps, from drawing up the offer all the way through the final closing. I hope you’ll call me whenever you’d like to discuss your own Herndon real estate plans!
They called it a “bomb cyclone”—a name hardly intended to bring peace of mind to those experiencing the worst of it. In essence, it was a remarkable surge of bitter arctic air that tore through much of the Great Lakes and East Coast. Improbable images from the South proved to the rest of the country that even great swaths of Dixie wound up momentarily sheathed in ice.
If you think of Herndon’s weather as being one of our most livable attributes, you probably have in mind a lovely spring day or golden autumn afternoon. Herndon residents can be forgiven for overlooking any summertime heat waves or teeth-chattering January storms—but at least our seasons behave somewhat as expected.
Herndon’s weather may not be one hundred percent predictable, but we usually don’t have to worry about some entirely new weather phenomenon. Yet for 58 million Americans on the right-hand side of the nation, this past weekend brought exactly that—something new in what winter may bring: suddenly there are weather bombs. Since nearly 75% of the American population had already experienced temperatures below freezing by the end of Christmas week, it’s a good bet that we’ll be talking about this stretch of weather for a long, long time.
Throughout the weekend, the TV weather personnel did their best to explain the “bomb cyclone:” it has to do with “bombogenesis”—an incredibly rapid drop in atmospheric pressure. This one came about when Arctic air masses decided to take a vacation down here in the States. Especially if you caught CNN’s video of frozen iguanas falling out of Florida trees, you had to agree with Wired.com that this storm “isn’t your typical bombogenerator.”
The unusual intensity seemed to make many of the weather forecasters inside their studios excited and, frankly, happy. The ones doing live on-camera updates from outdoors, less so. But I’d have to say that the cake in unsettling prose was definitely taken by CNN.com’s writers with their headline, “Winter storm threatens East Coast, bringing temps colder than Mars.”
Happily, average Herndon temperatures are dependably more moderate than those on the other planets—and that’s only one of the attributes that make people want to move here. If your own 2018 is likely to involve Herndon real estate endeavors, I hope you’ll give me a call!
To sell your Herndon house for the best price in the shortest amount of time is a goal that can be
advanced by a particular kind of homeowner flexibility. It’s a trait somewhat out of phase with other attributes that generally belong to people who succeed in owning their own Herndon home.
Okay—admittedly, you can’t really characterize all Herndon homeowners except in the vaguest of
terms. But many do fall into the same categories that describe successful people of all stripes. More than the average, they are self-reliant. They draw satisfaction from pride of ownership. As a rule, they are often are more individualistic—and somewhat more independent-minded—than most people.
Here’s the rub. These characteristics aren’t necessarily useful when it comes time to sell your
house. It runs counter to one of the guiding principles for success in real estate showings and open houses—namely, the art of disappearing.
No matter how attractive or impressive personal or family mementos, trophies, souvenirs, or
keepsakes might be, if they suggest the owner’s personality, they should be packed off for revival when the coast is cleared. CNBC’s real estate commentator Diana Olick once put it succinctly: sellers should “clean up, clean out and put away” [most personal items]. The fact is, valuable artifacts can be off-putting, even if it’s understood that they won’t be staying. Likewise, knickknacks that “add personality.”
Personal personality is the no-no. The rule of thumb is that if a potential buyer gets a clear feel for the homeowner’s personality, that means she or he will have a harder time seeing themselves contentedly occupying the space. When visitors can picture the home as their own, they are much more likely to start thinking, “our sofa goes there” and “this would be Billy’s room”—thoughts that are encouraging first steps toward what winds up prompting an enthusiastic offer.
In short, disappearing acts are true magic when you set out to sell your house. I’d add another trick
for setting the stage—give me a call at 202-409-7513. Contact us for a free market ready consult at www.LeAnneandCo.com.
Mom. Mother-in-law. Chef's Wife. Navy Chief's Wife. Realtor. Christian. Connector. Empty Nester. Business Woman. Foodie.