Debbie Shelton, Author at Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

Author Archive for Debbie Shelton

Ask These Questions Before You Hire a Real Estate Agent

Some decisions do not require an abundant amount of research. Where should we go for dinner? Which movies are playing? Does the dog need a bath? The answers lie within common sense or a quick Google search at best. Having a laissez-faire approach to everyday occurrences is suitable, but when it comes to hiring a real estate agent, you’ll need to put in a little more time and effort.

To get you started, here are three questions to ask a real estate agent before you hire them:

“How Long Have You Lived Here?”

If you notice that your real estate agent has to update the GPS with every stop, you may want to look elsewhere. A long-time resident REALTOR will know the area better than an agent who just moved in.

For example, let’s say that you want to live in the country, but you want to have a marina nearby so that you can dock your boat. A real estate agent who knows the area will be able to identify the best location for you quickly and only show you listings that best fit your criteria.

“Which Types of Homes Do You Specialize In?”

If you’re selling a lakefront condo and you’re interviewing a real estate agent who specializes in small homes for first-time homebuyers, then you may want to keep looking. An agent who has experience in representing the type of home that you are selling is going to have a stronger network of potential buyers and a tried-and-true strategy of marketing your listing.

Which brings us to our last question.

“How Will You Market My Listing?”

The real estate market is incredibly competitive, so understanding how your agent is planning on positioning your listing is important. What has been the most effective marketing strategy they’ve used so far? Do they market outside of the area? If the agent you’re interviewing has no real strategy, continue searching.

I would love the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss buying or selling your Smith Mountain Lake home. Contact me directly to set up a consultation.

Selling Your Home? Don’t Overlook These Small Details.

Putting your home on the market may produce feelings of overwhelm simply because there are so many moving parts to a successful listing. Aside from the obvious, such as cleaning and repairs, you may quickly become surprised at the small details that pop up from the moment your shake hands with your new realtor.

If you’re selling your home, consider these tips that are often overlooked by real estate rookies:

Be Mindful of First Impressions.

Imagine you’re a motivated buyer checking out a listing. You ring the doorbell to what you thought was your dream home only to be met with…silence. As the owner, you may have been so focused on repainting the interior walls that you didn’t even think about the doorbell. As the prospect, you may see this as a sign to move on, or at the very least a precursor to what you may discover inside.

Point being: first impressions are important. Whether it’s a silent doorbell, a dirty doorknocker, or cracks in your walkway cement, buyers are going to take note of how they felt when they were first introduced to your home. Make them feel welcomed, not weary.

Google Your Address

The information superhighway leads prospective buyers right to your digital door. One search on Google or social media networks will drum up every online occurrence related to your address or neighborhood. Take a moment to see what others are saying.

And for those who think that the internet isn’t a factor, know that 90% of buyers begin their house-hunting online according to the National Association of Realtors.

Declutter Your Closets

Fact: buyers are going to look inside your closets and cabinets. If there is a door that can be opened, they are going to open it. If they find a cramped closet full of knick-knacks and winter coats, they may have a hard time envisioning their own belongings in that space. The moment you decide to put your home on the market, start cleaning out your closets.

The job of an experienced local realtor is to take care of all of these minor details, as well as major ones, so that your home can be positioned in the best possible way in front of the best possible buyers. So when you start making your real estate to-do list, make sure that the first entry is “find the right realtor.”

Source: Realtor.com, 7 Important Things Home Sellers Often Forget to Do

Smith Mountain Lake Market Report

The market at Smith Mountain Lake continues to improve in the waterfront home sector.  More buyers are coming into the market and the average sold price is just slightly higher.  The strongest part of the season is just getting started so if you are thinking about buying, now’s the time.  Inventory has stayed high as sellers who have been waiting are steadily coming on the market, so it’s still technically still a “buyers market”, but be ready to act as new, appropriately priced homes don’t stay on the market long.  If you are thinking about selling, don’t miss getting out there during this busy time of year.  Off water homes and condos & townhouses are still challenging for sellers, and the sales of water front lots is still the weakest part of the market with high inventory and continued price pressure.  Call me for complete details!