Tag Archives: Selling Houses

Helpful Tips For Showing Your Home to Potential Buyers

Buying a house is a significant endeavor, but selling one is also a considerable process. Everything from new real estate trends to knowing if you should hire an agent or not can have an impact on your sale. Another point to keep in mind is that presentation matters. To make the best possible impression, check out these tips for showing your home to potential buyers.

Real estate showing

A real estate showing is an opportunity to show the buyers the strengths of your property. For a buyer, it is one of the crucial moments upon which they will base their final decision. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why sight-unseen sales are so rare. Buyers will come to look around your property, and you need to make an effort to show them why they should buy it. If you present your home in the best light, it’ll be easier for buyers to imagine themselves living there, and this is sometimes all that matters. Since these sales are significant and should be based on logic, sometimes a feeling or a hunch can push the buyer in a particular direction.

Ensure that you’re aware of the experience that your potential buyers are going through as soon as they enter your home. Follow these tips to make their experience more memorable.

A living room.
This is the right time to make an impression.

Small renovations

Should you renovate your home, or should you sell it as is? This is a common question people ask themselves when selling their home. They don’t want to go through a home renovation project if it doesn’t pay off, and that’s something everyone can understand. However, keep in mind that sometimes you don’t have to do a major renovation to make a big difference. Before you start, create a step by step plan and stick to it. This will help you not spend more on your renovations than you’ve initially planned.

Touch-ups and repainting

If you have carpet flooring in your home, you don’t have to swap it for hardwood. However, as the carpets are likely to show signs of aging, you can shampoo or change them. Repainting will also freshen up your home, and it’s not too big of an investment. Bold color choices are not the best option here, as not everyone likes them. Even with neutral colors, one, two, or three colors are more than enough for the entire home.

Another good thing to do is to replace old fixtures. Door handles and light switches are inexpensive but can make a big difference. And while you don’t pay attention to these details anymore, be sure that most potential buyers will.

Take care of the exterior

The lawn is one of the first things the buyers notice when they enter your property. Ensure your lawn is well manicured and that the exterior will not contradict the experience the buyers will have inside your home. This means that your front porch or stoop should be clean, as well as the walkway. If you have some plants or flowers, they show that you regularly take care of them. You can use fertilizer to revive a tired lawn, and if bushes need some cutting, take care of that before you start showing your house.

Manicured lawn and a house.
The exterior is just as important.

Clean your house

You might’ve come to realize that a ‘clean house’ is not the same for everyone. If you’re not hiring a professional cleaning company, ensure that your home is clean, even for a germaphobe’s standards. Viewing a messy and dirty home leaves a terrible impression, even though it’s not too hard to clean a house after buying. Knowing its importance, you should make sure that your home is in tip-top share for as long as it’s on the market. This means that you’ll have to clean it even in-between showings. Even more so, having in mind that it’s not a good idea to ask potential buyers to take their shoes off at the door.

Clear the clutter

Remove any unnecessary items to create a minimalist look. You want your home to look larger and to be easy to walk through. This means that it’s better to remove any personal items, like photos, mementos, or valuables. But, having in mind that you probably still haven’t contacted the professionals found at Verified Movers to transport your belongings, it can be hard finding the right place for them at this point. You can put these extra items in bins and assign each room or a family member a container. But, be careful about valuables and ensure they’re somewhere safe.

Tuck away cords and remove unnecessary decorative elements. If an item is in sight, make sure it serves a purpose. Pillowcases, artwork, or candles can emphasize a particular part of a room and remove focus from other areas. With this in mind, use these tricks wisely and sparingly.

A well-lit bedroom.
A well-lit space looks more inviting.

Comfortable temperature

Make sure that the temperature in your home is at an optimal level so that you can create a welcoming atmosphere. An airless environment on a hot day or a cold house on a cold day will make the buyers uncomfortable. It will also leave them wondering if the cooling or heating systems are working, no matter what you say.

It doesn’t end with showing your home to potential buyers

It’s good to prepare for the process of showing your house to potential buyers. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t end here, especially if you have multiple offers. Knowing how to handle getting multiple offers on your home is also part of this process. It’s good to know what details you should consider to make a favorable decision and choose the right offer.

Saying goodbye

There is no reason not to say goodbye the right way. You can put a small note thanking buyers for coming and put it in a candy bowl on their way out. If a buyer needs time to evaluate and think, don’t follow them and describe additional amenities or features.

Thank you notes and cookies, a way to say goodbye after showing your home to potential buyers.
A thank you note is a good way to say goodbye.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Photos used: 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-center-table-584399/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/apartment-bed-bedroom-comfort-545034/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-clouds-daylight-driveway-259588/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/thank-you-text-2072168/

8 Resources for Home Sellers: How to Quickly and Safely List Your Home Amid COVID-19

With mortgage interest rates hitting record lows, homebuyer demand remains strong — even in the midst of a global pandemic. And if you’re ready to take advantage of this situation by listing your home in the near future, there are some steps you can take to do it as quickly and safely as possible. Check out the eight resources below for some tips on finding an experienced listing agent, preparing your home for the housing market, and staying safe and healthy while showing your home to buyers amid COVID-19. 

  1. List Your Home with The Licata Group
  2. 10 Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster 
  3. How to Prepare for Home Services During COVID-19
  4. 15 DIY Curb Appeal Ideas That Will Help You Sell Your Home
  5. The Most Important Repairs to Make Before Selling Your House 
  6. Selling Your House? Here’s How to Prepare Your Home for a Virtual Tour 
  7. Open House Precautions to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak 
  8. Cleaning Tips to Keep Your Home Free of Coronavirus

As you get ready to list your house, you’ll need to spend some time making a few home repairs and improvements — as doing so will help you to sell your home much more quickly. However, an experienced real estate agent can help you to determine which upgrades are worth completing — while also walking you through the entire process of selling your home in the age of the coronavirus. With these helpful resources and a great listing agent at your disposal, you’ll sell your home as quickly and safely as you possibly can.  

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Free Virtual Home Seller Seminar on 9/12 From 11:00AM – 1:00PM EST!

Join us on Saturday, 9/12 From 11AM-1PM EST for this free online seminar, as we provide you with helpful tips and advice to prepare your home for sale in the current market! With interest rates at a historic low, and a multitude of buyers ready to jump on any and all available properties, now is the perfect time to consider selling. Learn from leading industry professionals on how to best prepare your home for sale in order to receive the highest market value in the least amount of time.

We will have multiple vendors present, as we want to provide you access to all the resources and information that you will need to successfully sell your home in today’s market. Click Here to register!

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

How to Sell a House — Messy Kids and All

As your family grows, your starter home is starting to feel awfully full. But there’s one big obstacle standing in the way of you and an upsized home: selling your house. From the crayon you gave up on scrubbing off the walls to the tornado of toys that is your kids’ playroom, there’s a lot to contend with if you’re going to get your house in show-ready condition and keep it there.

You could stay put, but why live in a cramped house if you don’t have to? Instead of avoiding a move, find your dream home and then tackle your upsize head-on with these time-saving tips.

Decide if You’ll Move Out

Moving out makes selling a house much easier, especially for parents. When you relocate while your home is on the market, you eliminate the need for constant cleaning and scrambling to leave before every showing. Before moving out, consider the average days on the market in your area. While renting an apartment or Airbnb is affordable in competitive markets, it could be costly if your home takes a long time to sell.

Sellers who move out should avoid leaving the home vacant. Instead, leave just enough furnishings for staging. Home staging improves listing photos and helps buyers imagine themselves in a home they’re thinking about purchasing.

Start Packing Now

Staging is an even bigger concern for families who don’t vacate. Clutter can kill a home sale, so it’s critical that parents have a plan for eliminating clutter while keeping their house livable. For most families, this means putting most belongings in storage and keeping only the bare necessities. Thankfully, buyers are forgiving when it comes to non-master bedrooms, so there’s no need to leave play areas barren. Instead, downsize toy collections and look for easy yet stylish storage solutions like wicker baskets.

Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape

With clutter out of the way, you can finally see your home clearly, including all of its flaws. From the little repairs you’ve put off to the dust bunnies in the corner, it all needs to go before your home hits the market. Minor fixes like patching drywall, painting, and fixing loose knobs and cupboards are simple enough to DIY, but hire contractors for anything involving plumbing or electrical wiring. While they get your home in good repair, work your way through a deep-cleaning checklist that will make your home gleam.

Keep Up with Daily Cleaning

Right now, your home looks the best it has in years. But as a parent you know it won’t last for long. You need a plan for keeping your home clean day-in and day-out while your home is on the market. Some parents take the DIY approach, diligently following cleaning schedules to stay on top of dishes, laundry, and other hallmarks of a lived-in home, but don’t rule out hiring a housekeeping service. Letting someone else handle the house can be a huge relief when you have so many things on your plate.

Housekeeping and maid services, for example, can help with tasks such as running errands and meal prep in addition to general upkeep. These services ultimately allow parents to focus on work, parenting, and life instead of constantly tending the house.

Make Showings Fun for the Whole Family

Ask any parent who has bought and sold a home, and they’ll tell you that getting kids out of the house for showings is easily one of the most stressful aspects. Make these disruptions easier on the kids (and you!) by creating a reason to look forward to showings. Find fun places to go as a family and keep a bag in your trunk full of kid-friendly activities, snacks, and other supplies. By creating a positive association, you can eliminate the fight to get out of the house.

Moving may feel like an insurmountable feat right now. But before long, this will be just a blip in your family’s history. Instead of letting the idea of selling a house with kids overwhelm you, take charge of your move. With creative solutions (and maybe a little outside help!), you can tackle your move like a pro and settle into your new, right-sized home.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Helpful Tips for Selling Your Home during the Busy Holiday Season

Get ready to hang the lights, deck the halls, and spread some cheer—the holiday season is almost here! Juggling the holidays along with a home sale might be sound impossible (or at the very least, stressful), but we’re here to help you find the best way to balance both.

Here are our top 4 tips for navigating your home sale during the holiday season!

Use Decor to Your Advantage

Snowmen and twinkling lights set up as holiday decor for home sellers.

You don’t have to go all out with holiday decor, but a little seasonal warmth sprinkled here and there goes a long way! Hang some white lights along the staircase, add a wreath to the front door, and string some garland along the mantel. If you do opt for a tree, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t crowd the room—perhaps even consider a tabletop version.

Bonus tip: scent is the sense most closely tied to memory, so use that to your advantage to appeal to buyer nostalgia! Bake some cookies beforehand, warm up a pot of cider, or light a few seasonally scented candles.

Be Flexible with Showings

A welcome sign hanging outside of a home being sold.

While you’ll probably have a busy schedule over the next month or two, you should make sure it doesn’t affect your availability for buyers too much. One of the biggest reasons people hold off on selling during the holidays is because they can’t be around to prepare their home…but intentionally making room in your schedule will make the whole process much simpler!

If you usually host a holiday party, consider asking a friend or relative to step in for you. If you’re traveling, try not to be gone for too long, and make it clear to your agent and any potential buyers when you’ll be back.

Work with a Home Stager (or Get Tips from Your Agent)

A modern coffee table decorated by a home stager.

If you either: A.) really don’t have time to stage or B.) don’t want to take any risks on your home not looking its best, then working with a qualified home stager is a great option! You might be skeptical, but home stagers have been specially trained and certified to optimize your space with the right decor and furniture—which often leads to faster and more profitable sales.

It’ll also take one more stressful task off of your plate, giving you more time to plan for the upcoming festivities. If you want a few recommendations for home stagers, just give us a call. Of course, we can always do a walkthrough of your home and offer personalized tips and DIY projects, if you’d prefer that!

Practice Smart Marketing

Two women meeting over a marketing plan for holiday home sellers.

Marketing a home is the key to reeling in the right buyer. It’s even more important during the holiday season, since fewer—but more serious—buyers are on the hunt. That’s where working with an agent really comes in handy! You can sit back, relax, and plan for the holidays, while we take care of getting the word out about your home through our comprehensive marketing resources, including our website, social media platforms, local advertising, professional contacts, and more.

And, of course, we’ll crunch the numbers and do the research to ensure that your home is priced at the best number for your interests.

List Your Home this Holiday Season

Balancing a home sale and the holidays can be stressful…but not if you work with a professional! Enlist our help, and we’ll be around to carry some of your workload, reduce your stress, and sell your home for top dollar—and answer any and all of your questions along the way. Ready to list your home? We’re just a phone call away!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Norther Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available properties, please visit our website licatagroup.com

Mortgage 101: What To Know Before You Apply

Everybody loves talking about mortgages. They’re fun, easy to understand, and a great icebreaker, right?….Wrong. Thanks to their lengthy process, technical jargon, and confusing options, mortgages have a bit of an intimidating reputation—but it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you’re in the process of buying a new home and dreading the mortgage application process, here’s what you need to know to keep things running smoothly. 

Know How Much You Can Spend

A person holding up money.

If you’re feeling antsy about getting started and want a general idea of how much loan you might qualify for, consider the 28/36 rule, or the Debt-to-Income ratio—AKA what most lenders use to help calculate your mortgage. 

Essentially, the 28/36 rule means that your monthly mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 28% of your gross income. Additionally, your outstanding debts—like mortgage, car loans, student loans—shouldn’t account for more than 36% of your gross income.

Get Your Finances in Order

Statistics on a laptop.

Not seeing the numbers you were hoping for after calculating your Debt-to-Income ratio? Then, hopefully, you’ve given yourself a little time to shift things in your favor. Paying off loans, improving your credit score, avoiding big purchases—these will all help you change those numbers. 

Of course, completing those tasks is a little harder to do in practice than in theory, so you may have to take a look at your budget and see where you can cut out some extras—at least temporarily!

What You’ll Need to Apply

 

Paperwork.

In the weeks before you plan on applying for a mortgage, you should start collecting all of the documents you need. Since a lender will be telling you exactly how much money they’re willing to loan, they’ll need a comprehensive understanding of your finances beforehand. Start gathering things like:

  • W2s/tax returns
  • Photo ID
  • Your two most recent pay stubs
  • Current and prior addresses
  • Asset information (retirement funds, 401(k), stocks and bonds, other investments) 
  • Gift letters

Depending on the lender you choose, you may need additional documents, so consider calling in to double-check beforehand. 

Find the Right Mortgage

Three women pointing at a laptop.

Once it’s time to start thinking more concretely about applying for a mortgage, you have several options to consider. While all the mortgage options out there could easily fill a whole blog post on their own, here’s a quick rundown to give you a general idea:

  • Conventional/Fixed-rate:  The interest rate of a fixed-rate loan won’t change over time, making it a popular choice for its predictability. Conventional loans typically require a 20% down payment or mortgage insurance for smaller down payments.
  • Adjustable-rate: The interest rate of adjustable-rate mortgage will fluctuate over time, sometimes lower than fixed-rate, sometimes higher. There is a cap in place so the rate doesn’t get too out of control, but ARMs are typically more popular with those who plan to refinance.
  • FHA: If you are struggling to come up with a down payment, you may have options with an FHA mortgage. Provided by the Federal Housing Administration, these loans come with a low down payment requirement and built-in mortgage insurance.
  • USDA: Live in a rural area? Then check out your USDA eligibility! A surprising amount of areas qualify for USDA loans, even if you aren’t living in the countryside. Plus, USDA loans don’t require a down payment and offer lower insurance premiums.

These aren’t the only options you’ll have, just the most common. If none of these sound right or you aren’t sure which to choose, just ask your lender!

Choose the Right Lender

When it comes time to decide who to work with, you’ll have to do your research. Each lender is different, meaning they’ll likely offer you different rates, charges, and loan options. 

Luckily, we’ve been working in real estate around the area for years, so we know exactly which lenders are right for which buyers. If you need a few suggestions before you kick off your search, just let us know! 

Still Have Questions?

That’s okay—we get it. Applying for mortgage is confusing and challenging, especially if it’s your first time. If you have any questions about the process, we’re here to help. 

Ready to start looking at a few homes in your price range? We can help with that, too! Check out our specialized search tool to narrow down your options, and give us a call to start seeing a few in person!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

home love

Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Home with These Easy Staging Tips

Love is in the air! We’re not talking about Valentine’s Day — we mean all of the buyers falling in love with your home thanks to these easy staging tips. From simple DIY projects to decor and de-cluttering pointers, these effortless staging tips will wow the next buyers that step through your front door.

Clean, Clean, Clean

A woman mopping her kitchen floor.The single most important step for staging success? Clean. Break out those rubber gloves and scrub every corner, crack, and crevice that you can find. Not only will a clean home convey to buyers that you take good care of your space, but it’ll also ensure less work and fewer problems when they move in.

The home-staging cleaning process is more than just regular vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and scrubbing; you’ll need to go the extra mile. We’re talking waxing the floors, deep cleaning the carpets, polishing all of the handles and doorknobs, and more. Make an extensive list, and devote a whole weekend to tidying up.

Tackle Any Unfinished Projects

A toolbelt on a roofDo you have a notoriously leaky faucet that you haven’t gotten around to fixing, or a stain on the floor that you’ve been covering with a rug? Now is the time to take care of it.

Take an inventory of any unfinished projects you’ve accumulated. Whether it’s repairing a lighting fixture or patching a hole in the roof, ticking off pending projects is critical in the staging process. The last thing a buyer wants is to inherit problems from a home that they could’ve avoided.

Try Small-Scale DIY

A man rolling a paint roller in a tray of yellow paintYou don’t have to add an extra room or install an in-ground pool to make your home stick out to buyers. There are plenty of simple and affordable DIY projects, from decor improvements to easy upgrades and repairs, that’ll make your home pop!

Need some ideas to kick-start the process? Try putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, replacing outdated lighting, upgrading cabinet handles and doorknobs, or de-popcorning your ceiling — just a few of the many easy ways to elevate your home’s look.

De-personalize and De-clutter

A row of succulents against a white wall.While decorating plays a big role in catching a buyer’s eye, there’s a fine line between standing out and overdoing it. While you might like your style of decorating, buyers could find it off-putting, so keeping it neutral is key. Using house plants and seasonal greenery is always a solid option for filling empty space!

While you’re putting up that new decor, you’ll want your space to be clutter-free and open. If you have any old couches, outdated decorations, or unnecessary accent pieces, take the opportunity to get rid of them before showings start.

List Your Home with Local Experts

From helping you get your DIY on to handling the complicated closing paperwork, our team is dedicated to helping you have a successful and stress-free real estate experience.

Are you ready to get started on your selling journey? Don’t hesitate to give our team of local experts a call today!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Selling Your Home

Downsizing, upsizing, looking for something new, or any reason in between, you’re considering selling a New York property and we’re ready to help you with 23 full-time Sales Executives, a full-service support staff, legal department, and in-house marketing department. WP Estate invests over $2 million each year marketing properties on New York only, targeting qualified buyers. That’s almost $5,000 per listing. No other company invests in New York like we do.

Choosing to sell your house is a big decision that brings with it a variety of challenges. From attracting buyers to negotiating contracts, it’s helpful to have a professional real estate agent on your side to help reduce stress and lead to the best possible outcome. Finding the right real estate agent can present a challenge in itself, however, with the high quantity of qualified Australian agents out there. To get started with selling your house, you’ll want to compare agents carefully to find an individual who will be most effective in helping you with your particular needs.

Sidebar on the right

To the north, the Harlem River divides Manhattan Island from Bronx and the mainland United States. Several small islands are also part of the borough of Manhattan, including Randall’s Island, Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor. Manhattan Island is 22.7 square miles (59 km2) in area, 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide, at its widest (near 14th Street).
Manhattan is loosely divided into Downtown (Lower Manhattan), Midtown (Midtown Manhattan), and Uptown (Upper Manhattan), with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan’s east and west sides. Manhattan Island is bounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east.
The bedrock underlying much of Manhattan is a mica schist known as Manhattan Schist. It is a strong, competent metamorphic rock created when Pangaea formed. It is well suited for the foundations of tall buildings and the two large concentrations of skyscrapers on the island occur in locations where the formation is close to the surface. In Central Park, outcrops of Manhattan Schist occur and Rat Rock is one rather large example.