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SML Market Report- February 2015

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Love is in the air this month, and you could easily fall in love with a property at Smith Mountain Lake. The year began with a great start as January sales numbers for waterfront homes were nearly double what they were in January of 2014. Waterfront lots have similar news to share as they have seen a great number of sales as well.

This Month’s Market Tips:

  • Buyers – Views from properties are at the peak this time of year with a lack of foliage on the trees allows for you to get a better feel for the location (i.e. proximity to neighbors).
  • Sellers – Be prepared to negotiate. This is especially true if you face tough competition in the condo/townhouse market or water access homes.

Keep up with the Smith Mountain Lake Market!

Every month, my team and I sit down to collect data on our local market, analyze the numbers, and create a report for buyers and sellers like you. Take a peak at this month’s full report below and click Sign Me Up if you want exclusive access to more reports and valuable information through my Smart Moves  real estate newsletter.

Come fall in love with a property at Smith Mountain Lake so you can get all settled in for long summer days at the lake. Contact me to get started with your ‘dream’ property search. If you are a seller thinking about selling I would love the opportunity to meet with you and go over my extensive marketing plan to get your property sold for top dollar.

Debunking the Top 5 Real Estate Myths

Each property is unique. Therefore my take on real estate myths is just that, they are myths. If every buyer and seller took real estate myths to heart, then not many transactions would take place. Here are the Top 5 Real Estate Myths Debunked:

Myth One: If your home doesn’t have a main floor master or walk-in closet in the master then it won’t sell.

This falls into the same trend that if you want your property to sell quickly, then you must have the trendy features that buyers want. This isn’t always the case. Buyers typically have a ‘must have list’ and a ‘wish list’. While the wish list usually encompasses a walk-in closet in the master and sometimes a main floor master, often these types of items can be overlooked for other wonderful features in the home. If you are a seller that doesn’t have a popular feature don’t be discouraged because not every buyer demands certain features, and the right buyer will eventually come along, it may just take more time. I say Myth #1 is FALSE. Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Myths Debunked

Myth Two: Whatever you put into a remodel and upgrades you get out in the sales price.

Don’t fall victim to this myth as most home improvement projects increase the properties worth, they all have varying rates of return. Typically the kitchen as well as bathrooms return the most bang for the buck on a remodel, but that isn’t always the case. Even if the payback isn’t great, it may put your home ahead of the competition and also provide more enjoyment for you while you own your home. The most common project that returns the highest percentage is a steel door replacement. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, a return of 101.8 percent was the national average with the average steel door replacement cost of $1,230. Minor kitchen remodels; garage door replacement and wood window replacement also topped the list of highest return on investment. I say Myth#2 is FALSE.

Myth Three: Holiday decorations should not be in a home when for sale.

Most real estate professionals agree that holiday decorations are fine in moderation. Remember not every buyer may celebrate certain holidays so while it’s nice to have a personal touch on a home you don’t want to make it too personalized nor over the top. Sometimes less is more when your home is on the market in terms of holiday decoration. I say Myth #3 is FALSE.

Myth Four: Noise and privacy concerns make a first-floor condo undesirable.

We have a variety of condo options here at Smith Mountain Lake and let me be the first to tell you that a first-floor condo is anything from being undesirable. In fact, many buyers request a first-floor condo as part of their ‘wish list’ because of the ease of access. No elevator or stairs to climb make it desirable, especially for retirees. Privacy concerns are addressed through different blind and screen options to help let in the light but keep wandering eyes out. Noise isn’t an issue in most units, but can be addressed through special window treatments, ceiling tiles and other noise-reducing measures. I say Myth #4 is FALSE.

Myth Five: Buyers judge a book by its cover. Meaning if a buyer doesn’t like the exterior then they won’t want to check out the interior.

This myth can be true at times. In a lot of cases, a buyer may drive by a property to see if they like the exterior, location, and other features. If the exterior seems unappealing, then they may not schedule an appointment with a realtor to view the property. If you believe that your home has some curb appeal issues, then consider sprucing up the outside. Fix any peeling paint, dress up landscaping and add additional features to increase the curb appeal if necessary. I say to Myth #5 THAT THIS ISN’T ALWAYS THE CASE.

Old wives’ tales always make the real estate industry fun, take each myth with a grain of salt as a property is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Buyers and sellers all have their unique beliefs about certain items and as a real estate professional I always enjoy hearing the insight on what one’s personal opinions are about different real estate myths.

Staging Your Living Room: 8 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know

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Potential buyers don’t necessarily want to see your personality and design tastes in the home. The more of your personality that is infused into the décor the more a buyer is less likely to envision themselves living in the home. If you want to get a leg up on the competition, consider preparing your home for sale through setting the stage for a sale. Not only will your home be set apart but it could make a difference in the days that your home stays on the market and the price that you get for the property. Below are the top 8 staging tips for the living room:

  1. Pet Accessories- Not everyone is a pet lover, and some buyers may even have pet allergies. Seeing pet related items in a home can be a major turnoff for buyers. If you have pet accessories that reside in the living room such as a dog bed, pet toys, or cat tower; either put them in storage or move them to a less conspicuous place. Similarly, if your home has pet odors or pet hair on the furniture or flooring that can also be a deterrent for buyers.
  2. Dust Collectors- Items that collect dust don’t necessarily need to be in the space. Ranging from the outdated and ugly fake flower arrangements to odd choices in knickknacks… don’t let your dust bunnies be seen. Read More→