If Q3 2020 was any indication, the real estate market in Northern Virginia is still on the rise. Homes are flying off the market at a record pace for more money than they have since our housing boom in the early 2000s. Location independence, outdoor expansion, the need for multi-purpose sanctuaries, and historically low mortgage rates are encouraging residents of Washington, D.C. and its immediate suburbs to set roots further west—in Loudoun County.

Homes Continue to Sell

When the coronavirus first caused shutdowns throughout the nation’s capital region in March, Q2 home sales in Loudoun County in stalled to six-year lows. However, those numbers quickly rebounded in Q3 when 2,023 residential units were sold, the most on record since Q3 2005. That trend also seems to be continuing as 737 homes were sold in October 2020, the most homes sold in October in more than 20 years. For reference, 538 homes were sold in Loudoun in October 2019.

Average Sales Price Continue to Rise

While the number of homes sold continues to trend upward, so does the average price. In Q3 2019, homes in Loudoun County sold for an average of $548,440. In Q3 2020, homes sold for an average of $613,333. The near 12% year-over-year increase is the highest increase in average sale price in Loudoun since 2004–2005. That trend continued into October when Loudoun homes sold for an average of $605,000, a 10% increase versus average sales price in October 2019.

The average home sale price in September 2020 was the highest average sales price for homes in Loudoun in a single month…ever. With inflation, increased home sale prices might seem normal, however, before September 2020, you had to look back to August 2005 for the month with the highest average home sale months in Loudoun.

Homes Continue to Fly Off the Market

Lastly, the listed homes in Loudoun are not lasting long. In Q3 2020, the average home in Loudoun was on the market for just over 18 days, the shortest amount of time on the market in more than 20 years. In Q3 2019, Loudoun homes were on the market for nearly double that at 35 days.

Are These Trends Here to Stay?

We are now nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and people and businesses are fully recognizing the benefits of remote work options. Technologies like Zoom, Google Docs, and Slack or Microsoft Teams mean that coworkers don’t have to be sitting in side-by-side cubicles to keep businesses moving forward. Additionally, many companies are reporting increased employee morale—due to better work-life balance and less time sitting on the Beltway—actually leading to increased productivity outside of the traditional office.

We saw the typically active spring market slide into summer and October was a major indicator that the typically active summer market will slide into the fall. Trends show that people are fully embracing wanting more space, more nature, and more privacy. And smaller communities outside of Washington, D.C. are embracing the changing needs of their changing demographics as well, adding new infrastructure, entertainment venues, restaurants, and shopping centers further supporting the westward shift in Northern Virginia’s home buying trends.

Whether you’re looking to move to Loudoun County and enjoy the many things our community has to offer or you’re looking to move even further out of Washington, D.C.’s metropolitan region, 15 West Homes is here to help you whether you’re selling, buying, renting, or staying put.

Market stats provided by Dulles Area Association of Realtors®

Who doesn’t like good BEFORE and AFTER photos…especially of a home? The photos below were from “Before” a recent renovation of my client’s investment property, which he was looking to sell. He knew he needed to update literally everything in the condo to turn a profit on the sale. In fact, without doing any renovations, he probably would have had to sell the property “as is” and lost money.

Before-photos-of-home-renovation

And why sell a property “as is,” only for an investor or “flipper” to do the renovation and make a profit? It’s your property…you deserve to be the one earning a return on that initial investment…that is, if you can afford to make another investment in the renovation work.

How To Pay for Necessary Pre-Sale Home Renovations if You Don’t Have the Cash

But what happens if you don’t necessarily have tens of thousands of dollars in cash sitting around to plunk down on a renovation project? Well, if you’re looking to SELL the property, there are some companies that will work with you to creatively solve that problem.

My client and I enlisted the help of Bill Cheek of The Smart Homes Group. Bill was introduced to me early this year, pre-pandemic. His business model seemed to fit with exactly what my client needed…a good, reliable contractor who could do a complete renovation of a one-bedroom condo — and wait to receive payment until closing. 

Yes, you heard that right. While it’s almost too good to be true, some contractors will agree to do this, especially in a hot Seller’s Market like we’re experiencing right now. After all, when homes are often selling in a matter of days or weeks (especially if they’ve been renovated), it’s not a terribly high risk for the contractor. This condo sold in 6 days!

Home-photos-after-renovation

As you can see from the “After” photos above, we chose all the most popular fixtures and finishes — luxury vinyl plank flooring, light grey paint, white cabinets, granite countertops, a beautiful backsplash, and stainless steel appliances — all in a grey and white color palette. EVERYTHING was updated or replaced, including closets and light fixtures…and even the HVAC unit. Bill is often able to search around to find the best prices, too, as long as you’re somewhat flexible on choices. For example, he knew we wanted stainless steel appliances, white hardwood cabinets, and granite countertops in a white/taupe/grey color palette, and he found really high-quality products at a good price.

Contact Bill at The Smart Homes Group for Your Next Home Project

So if you’re thinking about selling a property that needs some work first (whether it’s your primary residence or an investment property), give Bill a call. (But call me, Karen, for the home sale part!!) Even if you’re not looking to sell right away and just searching for a great contractor, Bill and his team tackle traditional jobs like finishing basements, upgrading kitchens and baths, and laying flooring. You name it, they do it. Call him at 813-732-3982, and let him know I referred you. (I don’t get referral fees for things like this…but I like to let the contractors I’ve used know I have enough confidence in them to keep recommending them! Plus, mentioning Karen and Maggie from 15 West Homes means he will take great care of you!)

In 2017, Gallup published its most recent iteration of its State of the American Workplace report stating that more than 75% of Americans work remotely at least once a week, 43% work remotely at least half time, and 20% work remotely full time.

Up until 2020, those numbers seemed to be on a slow and steady rise. Then in March of 2020, those numbers started to skyrocket due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Before working from home was a realistic, long-term option, home buyers and renters often wanted to live reasonably close to their offices in order to avoid long commutes—and in the D.C.-met, those long commutes were often unavoidable either way. As companies around the world start to recognize the long-term benefits of a remote workforce, and with public schools in Loudoun County introducing distance learning as the primary form of education for the time being, the needs of American home buyers continue to evolve. 

Dedicated office space

One of the major benefits of working from home is the opportunity for better work-life balance. However, without dedicated office spaces, work life often bleeds into home life. As more companies commit to at least partial remote work policies long term, buyers are looking for homes with dedicated office spaces where they can focus on work during working hours then physically leave work behind to spend time with their families. Even if you don’t have a traditional office space at home, there are ways to get creative with your interior design to utilize unconventional spaces as dedicated working areas.

Large outdoor space

A major concern from working from home is not spending enough time outdoors, so, now more than ever, home buyers are interested in houses with large, usable, outdoor spaces. Fenced yards to allow kids and pets to play without needing 100% adult supervision, covered decks where you can get some fresh air during the work day while limiting the glare off your computer screen, and patios where you can barbecue with family and friends in the evening and on the weekends are great features to help you spend more time outdoors. Additionally, houses near parks, recreation areas, and walking and hiking trails offer home buyers alternative and convenient outdoor spaces.

Updated, functional kitchens

The American kitchen is one of the most popular entertaining spaces for family and friends, so wanting an updated kitchen is nothing new. However, as restrictions on restaurants continue and with the additional time remote workers save by not having a commute, cooking at home has become more popular, so more than simply wanting an updated looking kitchen, home buyers are looking for more functional kitchens, including state-of-the-art appliances and creative storage options. 

Moving to the suburbs

When searching for more functional space—both indoors and out—the Loudoun County suburbs become an obvious choice. Even as growth continues, Loudoun maintains an excellent amount of green space with larger houses and larger lots than city living often allows for. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or stay put in Northern Virginia, 15 West Homes is here to help you make your house a home.

How have your home needs changed since schooling and working from home? Let us know on Facebook!

41470 Lovettsville Rd, Lovettsville, VA

Just Listed

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

Maggie Hatfield

Owner/REALTOR®
15 West Homes at Keller Williams Dulles
703-531-7363
Licensed In: VA
License #: 022522588923

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$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 3 Baths (3 full ) BATHROOMS | 4207 SqFt

This beautiful and serene, 10-acre, custom built home has everything you need – LITERALLY. With covered and screened in porches on almost every side of the home to enjoy spectacular sunsets, watch the storms come in and the rainbows come out, this home does not disappoint. The formal entry welcomes you with 2 story vaulted ceilings in the family room and a screened in deck to enjoy almost all year round. The light-filled kitchen has plenty of prep and storage space and offers a gourmet kitchen complete with a KitchenAid double oven, 6-burner Thermador cooktop, and Bosch dishwasher. A large butcherblock island makes prep work a breeze. Next to the kitchen is a formal dining room with plenty of room for larger gatherings. Take advantage of the great weather living on a hilltop can provide by opening the windows and utilizing the 10 ceiling fans throughout the home. On those hotter or colder days, close up the home and turn on the AC or heat or use the large woodstove to heat the whole home, the choice is yours. A central vacuum makes cleaning a breeze as does the built-in laundry chute. With 4 large bedrooms and 3 full baths there’s plenty of room for family and guests. A large, unfinished basement is ready for your transformation and boasts two sets of French doors to walk out onto the back yard and rough ins for a bathroom and fireplace. This home was thoughtfully built with plenty of storage and open space to enjoy. Working from home more now? No worries, the internet and cell reception is great! The 6 outbuildings provide storage for farm equipment, a home for your chickens, 5-bay barn-style building for your projects and 2 large fenced areas for your dogs or horses. The home is surrounded with lovely landscaping, including raised strawberry and rhubarb beds, many fruit-bearing trees and bushes (blueberry, apple, peach, plum and more) – it truly is a turnkey property. A year-round creek and nearly 7 fencible acres are suitable for horse grazing or other livestock. And, there’s an easement for trail riding. On the off chance you want to venture off your property, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and shops are only minutes away. You are also minutes to the MARC Train, bike trails and canoeing. It’s the perfect #Staycation getaway!

12120 Garden Ridge Lane, Fairfax, VA

Coming Soon

Presented By:

Maggie Hatfield

Owner/REALTOR®
15 West Homes at Keller Williams Dulles
703-531-7363
Licensed In: VA
License #: 022522588923

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$ Click for current price
1 BEDROOMS | 1 Baths (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 797 SqFt

Enjoy the Fairfax lifestyle in this fabulous 1 bedroom, 1.0 bath home. Built in 2005 with a clean and well-planned 797 sqft floorplan. Gleaming hardwood floors, newer paint, updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Open concept family room with formal dining room that walks out to a large covered deck that overlooks trees and walking path. Huge walk in laundry room/pantry combination. Large master bedroom with walk in closet. This beautiful home will sell fast, don’t wait!

 

42077 Trengwinton Place, Leesburg, VA

OPEN HOUSE Sun, 12:00PM to 4:00PM

$ Click for current price
5 BEDROOMS | 5 Baths (4 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 4718 SqFt

SIMPLY GORGEOUS, move-in ready Stanley Martin Carey Model home in Historic Selma Estates. Sellers have done all the right upgrades to your new home including hardwood throughout the main floor and upper floor landing, new, on trend lighting fixtures, new paint and new landscaping (oh, and the grass is ah-mazing) on over ONE-HALF ACRE! The main level offers a LARGE and LIGHT-FILLED open concept kitchen, dining and large, inviting family room. The GOURMET kitchen boasts TONS of cabinet space, a GIANT pantry, stainless steel appliances, a HUGE oversized island with storage, granite countertops, custom tile backsplash and updated pendant and dining lighting. The family room amazes with a rustic reclaimed wood feature wall and a slate surround gas fireplace to keep things cozy in the winter. The main level also has an office and formal dining room for entertaining. The upstairs welcomes you to a master suite FILLED WITH NATURAL LIGHT that has everything you need and then some; HIS AND HER WALK IN CLOSETS, a sitting room and a large, luxury en suite bathroom with his and her vanities, a soaking tub and oversized shower. Three additional, spacious bedrooms are on the upper level, two with walk in closets and one with its own en suite bathroom! A large third full bath with dual sinks ensures there are plenty of bathrooms for everyone! The 4th level has a wonderful loft area that can be used as a game room, study or yoga retreat and a FIFTH BEDROOM – great for the older teen or guests! The lower level has a LARGE REC ROOM, FULL BATH and possible 6th bedroom! Don’t worry, the basement also has PLENTY of STORAGE SPACE too. The large deck off the kitchen is PERFECT for taking the party outside and looks out on OPEN CONSERVANCY LAND (that will never be built on) and PICTURESQUE MOUNTAINS. There’s also plenty of room to run around and even add an in ground pool! All of this and tucked away on a QUIET CUL-DE-SAC too! But wait, there’s more, you’re just TEN MINUTES from charming downtown Leesburg, minutes away from several wineries, breweries and other treasures of Leesburg including: White’s Ford Regional Park, Ida Lee Recreation Center, Loudoun County Rust Library, Historic Morven Park, Equestrian, Tally Ho Theatre, Leesburg Village Center including Wegmans & many Restaurants & Shops, as well as Cobb Theatre, Leesburg Premium Shopping Outlets, MANY wineries and breweries, Roots Cafe and Local Market, The Old Lucketts Store (great Antique Shopping), Farmer John’s Fruit & Vegetable Market, The Marshall House, Historic White’s Ferry, Oatlands Plantation, Temple Hall Farm Regional Park, Leesburg Animal Park and Public and Private Golf Courses. In addition, Frederick, Maryland is a short 30-minute drive, with many restaurants, shops, and historic sites. The Appalachian trail is a 30-minute drive and Shenandoah State Park is a one-hour drive with camping sites and facilities, restaurants, and walking trails. This one won’t last long, schedule your showing today!

Presented By:

Maggie Hatfield

Owner/REALTOR®
15 West Homes at Keller Williams Dulles
703-531-7363
Licensed In: VA
License #: 022522588923

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We all know inventory of existing homes is historically low in the northern Virginia area — and in many parts of the country — right now. If you’re getting frustrated submitting offers on homes — only to find you’ve been outbid or someone else’s contract was accepted over yours for other reasons — you may want to consider new home construction.

While you may pay a slight premium over the price of resale homes, everything is, of course, brand new — without the wear and tear you can expect from homes that are even a few years old. Plus, you get to pick and choose the options, so your home is exactly that — yours. You select the site, the floor plan, the exterior, the flooring and carpet, the countertops, the cupboards, the bathroom fixtures, and more. Everything is based on your taste.

When you sit back and think about it, isn’t that what we’d all like?

I wish we’d used a Realtor buying our own new home years ago…

Some buyers mistakenly opt to work without an agent, thinking there’s no need to have representation when buying new construction. But that can be short-sighted. There are, in fact, numerous reasons to use a Realtor. I wish my husband and I had thought of this 17 years ago when we purchased our own home. It was a bit overwhelming, not having ever built before, and we could have really benefitted from the expert advice of a Realtor working on our behalf. Plus, an agent would have saved us dozens of hours of our own time looking over lists of upgrade options, making calls back and forth to the builder, and visiting the home site periodically to ensure things were correct and on track.

And, to clarify, you’re not saving money by choosing to work on your own, as buyers agents are typically paid by sellers or builders, not buyers. As it turns out, one local builder recently told our real estate team that 90% of their new home buyers work with Realtors. 

new-home-construction

Here are the Top 10 reasons to consider using a Realtor when buying new home construction from a builder. 

  • You’ll have an advocate representing your interests.
  • You’ll find out about things the builder may not be obligated to volunteer (news of a new highway being put in close to your home site, changing school zones, the fact that you can hire a home inspector to inspect your home before settlment, or noisy construction nearby that will continue for years).
  • You’ll have someone to help you compare and negotiate incentives offered by builders at various communities.
  • You’ll have an objective party to advise you on whether certain incentives are worth it (i.e. money toward closing costs is nice, but the requirement to use the builder’s preferred lender to get that incentive may not be worth it when you compare rates and costs among other lenders).
  • You’ll have someone who knows the right questions to ask, regarding new home construction (i.e. Is the deposit held in escrow, protecting you in case of bankruptcy by the builder, and how much time is allowed for the builder to complete the construction of the home?)
  • You’ll have help choosing a LOT based on things you might not think of (anticipated traffic patterns, wetlands, ingress/egress, property grading (walk up vs. walk out basement), privacy, and view. Your Realtor can help you keep on top of when new lots are being released, if you have your eye on a particular lot.

choosing-home-lot

  • You’ll benefit from an agent’s experience knowing which options have the best long-term ROI (return on your investment). For example, should you put your money towards adding another bathroom, adding a bump-out to increase square footage, or finishing your basement?
  • You’ll have an unbiased “second opinion” (if you want it!) when choosing design elements and upgrades (i.e. a real estate agent knows what choices are popular and will likely appeal to a future buyer of your home).
  • You’ll have a resource who can put you in touch with multiple competitive lenders to get a mortgage with the best terms.
  • You’ll get recommendations for good inspectors for the pre-drywall and final walk-throughs — and have your agent along at this critical meetings.

Would you like us to scour new properties for you, based on your location, size, and style preferences? Feel free to email us at [email protected]!

42077 Trengwinton Place, Leesburg, VA

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Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
 
$ Click for current price

5 BEDROOMS

4 BATHROOMS (3 full, 1 half)

5247 Square Feet

 

Move in ready and spectacularly decorated, this 4 level home has everything you need for entertaining. Large gourmet kitchen that connects to eat in area and family room gives you plenty of space for guests and food prep. Spacious deck off kitchen overlooks open vistas and hills – a great backdrop for family gatherings and cook outs. Finished lower level with walk up and a full bath. Upper level has four bedrooms including a master suite with sitting area, TWO walk-walk in closets and a master spa bath. Two additional full bathrooms and a laundry room complete the second level. The fourth level has a bedroom and loft/study area. Freshly painted with gleaming hardwood floors on main floor and upper landing, this home is ready for you!

 
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Maggie Hatfield

Owner/REALTOR®

15 West Homes at Keller Williams Dulles

703-531-7363

[email protected]

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Experts are saying that thanks to the President’s trade war with China, interest rates continue to fall, having a positive effect on the housing market. 

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, home-loan interest rates continued to plummet in late June to the lowest level since November 2016. On June 27, benchmark 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.73 percent nationwide, down from 3.84 percent a week earlier.

This was the seventh time in the last nine weeks that rates moved lower. Freddie Mac reported interest charges hit the lowest level since November 2016 when 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.54 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed loans averaged 4.55 percent.

Buyers – if you are looking to buy, don’t wait, you can get more dream home for your money with these low interest rates. 

Sellers –  we all know it’s a great time to sell and if you need to purchase a new home now’s the time to get your house on the market!

After all of the preparation required to list your home, you are probably ready to relax and wait for offers. While most of the hard work is done, it is important to keep in mind things that you may run into during the sale process. As you begin to welcome potential buyers into your home, here are a few things to expect now that your home is listed!

1. You might feel like you live in a museum.

You may have spent a great deal of time cleaning and decluttering, but now you are going to need to maintain that cleanliness. Potential buyers are going to expect a home that was as neat as the listing photos they saw, so it is important to meet their expectations. Now that you have officially listed your home, maintenance is necessary. There may be showings where you don’t have time to do a full deep-clean, so choosing to keep your home ‘show-ready’ will help reduce any stress about the appearance of your home for a showing.

2. There will be some inconveniences. 

Now that you’ve realized your home needs to be ‘show-ready’ at all times, you might be starting to think that there could be an inconvenience or two during this part of home-selling. While your real estate agent will be helpful in this process, you may need to switch around plans during the evenings or weekends when you are typically home so that your home can be shown.

3.  Expect to hear critiques and criticism.

This is often the main thing that first-time home sellers struggle with. It is not always easy to hear the issues a potential buyer may have with the home you have created. While some criticism can feel insulting, it is important to remember that it is not personal. Potential buyers are not trying to hurt your feelings, they just want to picture your home as their own. Your agent can be a key part in buffering criticism. They will be able to take suggestions from potential buyers and relay it to you in a way that is helpful and constructive.

4. Home maintenance will be crucial.

While maintaining home cleanliness is important, you will also need to keep up with maintenance tasks. Your lawn will need to be mowed, your heating and cooling systems need to be operating properly, as well as any appliances that will be staying when your home sells. 

5. There can be some additional expenses.

After you’ve accepted an offer, the closing process will begin. There will be inspections and final walk-throughs, and this can bring about issues that may need resolved before the sale is closed. Depending on the issue, you may need to pay out-of-pocket for repairs so that you don’t need to negotiate your sale price. 

If you’re ready to sell your home and need someone by your side to guide you as you prepare to list, give me a call today!

Whether this is your first time moving or your 10th, there are always new tips and tricks to making your move a little more smooth each time. While we are so concentrated on getting everything packed in a timely manner, we often forget about the little steps we can take to save ourselves time, money, and even a little bit of sanity. Here are 8 tips to make your move, and your life, a little easier.

1. Wrap your breakables in clean clothing

Instead of spending extra money on bubble wrap, use clothing that you will need to pack anyway. You’ll save space and it is the most eco-friendly option!

2. Be specific with your labels

Instead of just writing what room the box will go in, make a brief list of the items in each box on the outside. This way, you will know exactly where every box should go – and so will anyone helping you move in!

3. Prep the bathroom and kitchen

If you have the time and are able to enter the house before your big move, take the time to prep your bathroom and kitchen. Fill the fridge and bring towels and a shower curtain for the bathroom. This way, you won’t be scrambling after you move in and desperately want a shower, and you won’t waste money on take-out for the first few days in your new home.

4. Get cotton pads/balls for your makeup

If you’ve ever dealt with the heartache of opening a shattered powder cosmetic item, this tip is for you. Placing a cotton ball/pad helps to prevent your favorite blush or bronzer from covering the entire inside of your packed bathroom box and everything inside of it! 

5. Add an extra layer of protection to your toiletries

It is never fun to open a box and find everything covered in lotion or shampoo. Take off the lids of all of your toiletries and cover any openings with saran wrap and then replace the lid. This will provide a nice seal to prevent any spills.

6. Use Press’n Seal outside of the kitchen

Instead of having to box up your dresser drawers or your jewelry display, keep your Press’n Seal unpacked. Place sheets above your clothing drawers or wrap it around your jewelry display to keep your items in place – and save time packing and unpacking them.

7. Keep a box of small sandwich bags by your side while packing

When you need to take something apart, there may be screws or nails or clips left once everything is disassembled. Use small bags that are easily labelled to place those items so they won’t get lost and you will know exactly where they are when it is time to put everything back together!

8. Take photos of everything you need to take apart

Whether it is the way wires go into your television, or the way a certain piece of furniture connects, taking photos as you go will make reassembly that much easier. Who wants to helplessly fumble with wires after they’ve spent all day unpacking? Save your time and sanity and take the photos!

So you’re ready to put your home on the market and to you, everything looks great. Unfortunately, much of the wear and tear on your home becomes unnoticeable when it is something you see everyday. While you may not think about the one light switch that doesn’t work or the chipping paint in the guest bedroom, now is the time to take a step back and look at your home with fresh eyes. When you decide to sell your home, the first thing you should do is make any repairs you can to save yourself money in the long run. Here are a few repairs to cross off so you can get the best deal for your home!

1. Paint Your Walls

Re-painting the rooms that need a fresh face is the cheapest way to update the appearance of your home. Consider using light, neutral colors to appeal to a broader group of buyers. If the room is too dark or has chipped or dirty paint, make it look brand new with a coat of paint. 

2. Make Minor Kitchen Repairs

Even if your kitchen isn’t large and spacious, a full renovation might not make sense financially. If your agent doesn’t advise you towards a renovation, consider making minor repairs instead. Paint what needs painted and install new fixtures where necessary. If your appliances aren’t operating properly or are in awful shape, you will need to replace them.

3. Update Your Bathroom

The first priority is making sure your bathroom looks clean. If the toilet looks old, replace the seat to give it a fresh new appearance. Replace any tiles that may be missing, clean the grout, and remove old wallpaper that may still remain. This is a room you should consider painting if need be to make it appear bright and clean.

4. Fix The Exterior

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers will see, so it is important that it looks good. Touch up the yard with sod as needed, remove any junk that may be in the yard, and make sure your fencing doesn’t have any missing parts or boards. Mow your grass and consider renting a power washer to make your siding look brand new. 

5. Maximize Lighting

The goal is to maximize light so you can maximize the appearance of space. Light does a great job of making rooms look larger than they are. Update your fixtures, ensure that your windows appear clean and new, and add mirrors across from light sources to reflect even more light. 

6. Ensure Functionality

Potential buyers are going to want everything to work. Do a full walk through of your home, checking all light switches, doorknobs, and locks. Repair or replace anything that doesn’t work as it should. The less issues that arise during the buyer’s home inspection, the better chance of you maximizing your profit during the sale.