I hope this newsletter finds you and your family doing well. I realize that we are all facing difficult times, and together, we find ourselves dealing with an unprecedented situation. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been dynamic and intense for all of us in the past weeks. We have been asking questions, which would have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago. How will our kids stay connected to teachers? How can I best protect my family? How do I keep my business running and productive? How is this going to change our lives? And from a real estate prospective, how will this affect the value of my home?
As your real estate professional, I can share with you that we are still open for business. Our ability to serve our customers and support the market is paramount. We realize that home sellers and buyers are worried. What I can tell you is that the real estate market in the greater Richmond area is still going strong. It is still a seller’s market because there is still a shortage of homes for potential buyers. When showing homes, we are taking extreme measures to ensure that we are careful not to bring germs into your home. We are wearing gloves, booties on our feet, and mask if necessary, and we use disinfecting wipes to wipe down anything we touch. If you are looking to sell your home, it is still a good time. At the end of the day, however, your health and family are the most important thing, and I support anyone who wants to take a wait and see approach.
I value my relationship with each of you and thank you for placing your trust in me. I am committed to staying connected with you as we all navigate these unprecedented times.
Should you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to discuss the housing market, the economy, or if you just need a friend, I’ll be that, too.
Thank you so much for your support. My prayer is that GOD continues to protect you. Please be safe and healthy!
“The highest compliment anyone can give me is to recommend me to a friend. If you know of anyone with a real estate need, I would appreciate your referral, and promise to take good care of them”.
February 2020 National Housing Report
HOME SALES YEAR-OVER-YEAR DIFFERENCE +7.5%
February 2019 to February 2020
MEDIAN SALES PRICE FEBRUARY 2020 $260,000
+7.9% from February 2019
AVERAGE OF 60 DAYS ON THE MARKET
-2 days from February 2019
NUMBER OF HOMES FOR SALE
-15.8% from February 2019
*** Average of 53 metro areas.
Not-So-Obvious Home Staging Tips
When it comes to “staging” your home for sale – which basically means ensuring it looks clean and uncluttered – you probably already know the basics: clean the counters, vacuum the floors, mow the lawn, etc.
But there are also some less obvious home staging tips that can help to sell your property faster and for a higher price. Here are a few examples.
Obvious: The stove, sinks and countertops should be spotless.
Not-so-obvious: The contents of your cabinets and refrigerator should be facing forward.
Obvious: They should be clean and uncluttered. Have fresh towels hanging neatly on the rack. (Create the “hotel bathroom” look.)
Not-so-obvious: All towels should match. Ensure toilet lids are closed.
Obvious: Make the bed neatly. Check that the closet is organized and uncluttered. (If your closet is bulging with clothes, put some in storage.)
Not-so-obvious: Don’t leave any clothes out. Even clean clothes neatly folded in a hamper can seem untidy to some people.
The Kids’ Bedrooms
Obvious: They need to be clean and uncluttered. (Good luck!)
Not-so-obvious: Arrange stuffed animals, games and other toys like an attractive display in a toy store. It’s okay to have a toy, like a racetrack, out of the box. Just make sure it’s completely put together.
Quick Household Check Helps Conserve Resources
This is a good time to visually check of all your utilities, fixtures and appliances to make sure they are not using expensive energy and resources inefficiently.
Start with the faucets. Ensure they don’t drip when closed. If they do, replace the washers (or in the case of washerless units, the valve cartridges).
Next, check that your toilets don’t leak. To check for leaks, pour colored liquid bowl cleaner into the tank, then wait several hours to see if it appears in the bowl without flushing. If it does, you likely have a leak, and may need to replace the stopper in the bottom of the tank.
Then, make sure your hot water tank and/or pipes are not sweating. While you’re at it, consider turning down the tank thermostat by a couple of degrees – chances are you won’t notice a difference, except hopefully on your energy bill.
Finally, check that windows and doors are not drafty. If they are, consider caulking, repairing or replacing them.
Help Buyers Understand the Area
There’s a famous saying in the real estate business: “Location, location, location”. It simply means that where your home is located – your neighborhood – is just as important to potential buyers as the features of the property itself.
Sellers often make the mistake of creating a long list of home features while ignoring neighborhood features. They tout the spacious kitchen, and the newly renovated bathrooms, but say little about the area.
So, when you’re ready to sell your home, sit down and create two lists: home features and neighborhood features. Buyers want to know both.
On the neighborhood features list, include:
- Locations of schools and daycare centers.
- Major retailers and shopping centers.
- Proximity to major commuting routes.
- Theaters, night clubs and other entertainment.
- Rinks, gyms and other sporting facilities.
- Green space, walking trails, and ponds.
When buyers have their eyes on two properties which are comparable in features, the neighborhood is often the deciding factor.