Loudoun Fairfax Realtor, Virginia Real Estate, Jacqueline Lawlor
Jacqueline Lawlor, Realtor, Associate Broker, ABR

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SELLERS GUIDE

SELLING A HOME FOR ALL IT'S WORTH
The best way to accomplish this is to maximize your home's value and minimize the closing costs (remember Jack Lawlor Realty Co. saves you commission dollars). This sounds logical and easy enough, so let's take a look at these selling concepts.

CURB APPEAL
This is a very important issue. No one ever buys a house without stepping inside, so make sure the potential purchasers want to get out of their car when they pull-up in front of your home. Attractive landscaping is very important-mulch, cut, trim, prune; if plants look dead, replace or remove them. Walk across the street and look back. How worn is your front doormat? How does the front door paint look? Do all the outdoor lights come on at night? Any bird nests in the eaves? Spider webs on the garage door? Is the driveway in need of a blacktop coating? Need any touch-up caulking or painting anywhere? Any loose siding or shingles? Has the chimney been cleaned lately? Garbage cans should be out of sight, wooden fences should be freshly painted or stained to look their best, and all windows should sparkle. Are your gutters clogged or has runoff eroded soil near the home? Once done, you'll have raised the perceived value of the property while eliminating, "I wonder what else is wrong with the property" from the buyers' dialog.

MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WORKS AND LOOKS GOOD
A very basic concept. They may be little things, but when buyers are inspecting your home and the bathroom exhaust fans and oven lights don't work, if the ceiling fans squeak, if wall switches spark when turned on, if fire detectors don't work, or the pool is dirty, you're losing money. Just fix them. In today's market, chances are the purchasers will hire a home inspector to discover possible deficiencies anyway, so why not take care of the problems up front to encourage a full-price offer for the same expense. You have been living in your home and are no doubt immune to the various scents such as pets, diaper hamper, buttered microwave popcorn, cigarette smoke, or dirty clothes on the closet floors. Remember that the potential and qualified buyer may not agree with these common scents. One bad smell can shave dollars off any offer, or perhaps the buyer will simply buy a different house altogether.

PRICE THE HOME PROPERLY
This is very important. Forget everything you've been told about pricing high to give the purchasers room to negotiate. Forget about the concept that says "we can always come down", but we "can't raise it back up". Forget about what the neighbors are asking for theirs (and yours is much nicer than theirs). With your Realtor's help, look at a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) printout of what homes are actually selling for. If everyone has done their work and the property is really in excellent shape, price it at its probable selling price and not a penny more. Here's why: Buyers seldom see your home like you do, all by itself. They'll usually see a handful of similarly-priced homes before yours, so if for example, they've seen 5 homes at $100,000 and yours is overpriced at $110,000, they might not bother to make an offer for you to consider, because you appear unrealistic to them. If you severely overprice it at $120,000, the buyer will compare it to the other properly-priced $120,000 homes they've seen, and then yours will appear under-featured.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
If you are home when buyers arrive, do not give guided tours. We are not always sure what they're looking for, and if you start bragging about the one feature which intrigued you when you bought the property, it may backfire because they would want to rip it out immediately, or paint it a different color, etc. The selling process is tricky enough even when everything goes right. Don't work against it, let the purchaser's agents show your home to their buyers.

WORK WITH A BUSINESS MINDED AGENT
This makes a world of difference. Combining their business skills, service skills, and ability to work with other agents effectively works to entice a borderline buyer to write an offer at full-price. An experienced listing agent can also keep a deal together through the difficult period between contract signing and closing, when even the best of contracts can fall apart for the most ridiculous reasons (usually ego, fear, or bad advice from a well-intended friend or relative).

LIMIT EXPENSES
Keeping your costs under control is something to consider. It's important to remember that there are many vendors that perform the same services but for various fees- simply compare and consider. Perform the little upgrades yourself, have family members pitch-in to spruce up the home. In contract negotiations with your probable buyer, you can frequently have more leverage when your home is properly-priced and in top shape.

PUT A HOME WARRANTY IN PLACE
Consider a home warranty that will protect you right away against a variety of problems which could occur during the listing period. Most importantly, it will give your buyers a sense of comfort in buying an existing home versus a new home. Of course an alternative option is to NOT purchase a home warranty up front, but use it as a possible add-on benefit during contract negotiations.

SELL BEFORE YOU BUY...Not Necessarily
Jack Lawlor Realty Co. has assisted thousands of clients in a smooth transition from one property to the next with a combination of sound management decisions and experience. Planning ahead is important and our goal is not to move you into the street or a hotel, but to move you directly into your new home.
There are three basic ways to coordinate a sale and purchase.
First, coordinate the two closings so they occur simultaneously. Sounds great, but is the hardest to accomplish because you have to find your next property about the same time you receive a contract on your current home for sale. If a contract on the current home doesn't arrive or falls through prior to settlement, you risk losing the new place. If a contract comes in quickly on your current home, you may not have found the new place as yet.
Second, buy your next home before you place your current home on the market, and risk having two simultaneous mortgages. You may buy the next place first, then rush to sell the current home quickly to avoid dual mortgage payments. In this case, you may need to price your current home below market value in order to sell it quickly to avoid paying two mortgages. Sometimes this pressure of deadlines doesn't allow for thoughtful decisions.
Third, sell the current home first, risk living somewhere temporarily, then buy the new home. As unpleasant as the thought of moving twice might sound, it makes for the best economic situation to maximize your return and minimize your risk. Upon receiving a solid pre-approved buyer's non-contingent offer on your current home, the process of looking for your next home can start. Telling the seller of the home you want to buy that yours is already under contract, that you're pre-approved with a lender, and that you're flexible with scheduling, all combine to encourage the seller to accept your offer without countering at a higher price. You have the leverage!! Let the moving company hold on to your stuff for a little while, and just stay in a small rental or with family for a short time.

QUALIFY FOR LOAN NOW
If you're planning to buy a home after selling the first one, talk to a mortgage lender now. Remember that it most cases it's free and there's no obligation unless and until you actually close on the new loan. If there's a problem or discrepancy with your credit, you'll have a time to clear it up. Start early to have the ability to discuss and correct these deficiencies before you are up against the calendar at the last minute.

USE THE SAME AGENT FOR BOTH TRANSACTIONS
In most all cases, it is better for you to have only one agent handling both your selling and buying transactions. It is easier and more efficient to have one rather than two different agents coordinating both your selling and buying transactions. Besides, this is where the basic business principle of "get a lower price with quantity" comes in. When Jack Lawlor Realty Co. handles both transactions, we have more flexibility in our rates and can offer you a better bottom line. Ask us about additional savings on a dual transaction.

E-Mail or Call Us Today at 703-726-9444!!

 
Jacqueline Lawlor, Realtor, Associate Broker, ABR   cell phone: 703-909-1540  office: 703-726-9444

Jack Lawlor Realty Co. - 20800 Ashburn Rd, #100  Ashburn, Virginia 20147

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