Langford Real Estate Information Blog

 

July 18, 2022

HOW MUCH IS YOUR PROPERTY WORTH

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Posted in Home Buyers Tips
Sept. 27, 2020

TOP 5 ROOKIE MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME

COVID-19 Notice: We are open during this time, as real estate has been named an essential business. We are following social distancing and sanitary guidelines for all meetings and showings, and are performing virtual consultations for clients

 

TOP 5 ROOKIE MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME

 

 

Whether you’re a first-timer or feel like a seasoned pro, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to a successful sale. So how can you help ensure smooth sailing when you try to sell your home? We’d recommend working with an agent to identify the best plan for selling. In most cases, these five mistakes can have a major impact on how quickly you’re able to sell…so make sure you’re not guilty of any of them below!

 

1. You’re not doing anything to stage your house.

This may seem like a minor issue, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves in the house…which can be hard to do if it’s cluttered or heavily decorated to fit your taste. Buyers need a blank canvas so that they can paint a mental picture of what they’d do with the space. 

So make sure to remove your personal items, photos, and any loudly colored or patterned items. Eliminate as much clutter as possible to highlight the size of the space. You should also make sure to paint the walls neutral colors and update the flooring if possible.

 

2. You’re ignoring your curb appeal.

Curb appeal is like a first impression…you get one shot and people judge quickly. Yes, you can recover from a less-than-stellar first impression, but it’s a lot harder. When a potential buyer comes to tour your house, or even drives by it in passing, what will they see?

Stand at the edge of your property and look for anything that’s not great – the landscaping, sidewalk and driveway condition, siding, shutters, etc. – then fix any problem areas.

 

3. You’re not pricing to sell.

First-time sellers often think that buyers will love the idea of a discount, so they overprice the home initially. In reality, your house will just end up being seen by the wrong group of buyers. People who would be a good fit at market-price won’t see your house when they’re searching if it’s out of their budget. Similarly, buyers who are looking for something bigger will find your property in their search and wonder why.

You can get a quick valuation on your home to help you price to sell here.

 

4. You’re only focusing on pricing, not the terms.

Yes, the price you’re selling for is important. BUT there’s a lot more that goes into a great offer beyond the price itself. This can be an issue on both sides of the deal. Finding an offer that has the best possible terms for all parties means looking beyond the price, which can be difficult, particularly for inexperienced sellers.

 

5. You’re trying to save money by selling yourself.

Working with an agent is worth every penny…and we’re not just saying that to make more money. Think of it this way: would you walk into a courtroom and represent yourself in a felony case without any legal background? Would you trust someone to perform surgery that never went to medical school? Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? Of course not…because all of these things really call for an expert. 

Selling a house is no different! Rather than trying to navigate through the complex process and mountains of paperwork on your own, bring in an expert to ensure the process is smooth, legal, and stress-free.

 

Ready to sell?

Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, you need an agent to help you sell your home quickly and for the best deal possible. We know the Maryland, Washington DC and Viriginia market inside and out and will work tirelessly to get you the most money in the least amount of time, schedule a date and time to call you back today. We can help you sell your home to the right buyer fast. And if you’re looking to sell your old house AND buy a new home, check out our Buy and Sell a Home at The Same Time!

Posted in Home Seller Tips
Sept. 27, 2020

Top 12 Ways Homeowners Sabotage the Sale of their Home

 

COVID-19 Notice: We are open during this time, as real estate has been named an essential business. We are following social distancing and sanitary guidelines for all meetings and showings, and are performing virtual consultations for clients.

 

 

 

Top 12 Ways Homeowners Sabotage the Sale of their Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.    Overpricing your home. 

Don’t let your home sit on the market for months and become a stale listing. Most buyers are represented by a realtor who will protect them from bidding on a home that is not likely to appraise because of an inflated price. Even if you did find a buyer that is willing to over-pay, the pre-approved for mortgage company will send an appraiser out and squash the deal. Unless the buyer is paying cash they will not be able to obtain a mortgage at the inflated price. It is important to look closely at recently sold properties with your realtor (NOT from Zillow!) and put your home on the market at fair market value. Don’t make the common mistakes when pricing your home to sell!

 

 2.    Selling your home without the help of a professional realtor.
Even if inventory is low and it may be a sellers’ market, it doesn’t mean you will save money by going it alone. Statistics show you can lose money and time without even realizing it. Before going it alone get educated in the pro's and con's of selling your own home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Refusing to put any money or elbow grease into make necessary repairs prior to the sale.

The worst thing you can do is give the impression that your home was not well maintained. Buyers will wonder what else is wrong with the property that they can’t see. There is a huge difference between home maintenance and improvements that will improve the equity of your home. Even if a buyer will overlook some of the repairs, they will beat you up at inspection time. Put your best foot forward and get your home ready for the market. It will pay off in a higher sales price and faster sale.

 

 4.    Not hiring a professional photographer.

It is extremely important to stage your home and use outstanding photos of your home. It still amazes me how many dark or blurry photos with bad angles are out there on the internet. Today’s buyers shop on the internet and this is how they eliminate properties. If you don’t get a buyer to enter your home you are not selling it! Be sure you de-clutter and stage your home before the photographer arrives!

 

People-home-couch


5.    Being present at the time of showings.

Being home at the time of showing makes life uncomfortable for the buyers. Resist the urge to give a home tour and show off all the special features you think increase the value of your home. Let the realtor do their job and let the buyers talk openly about any objections they may have. If they can work through the objections they are closer to making an offer. Buyers need to visualize themselves living there. Don’t stake claim to the property by being home.

 

 6.    Not disclosing problems to the buyers.
Trust is huge! If you have issues with your property you must disclose the problems. Don’t set yourself up for liability. Make all the necessary home repairs prior to putting you home on the market and get your home ready for a smooth sale!
 

 

7.    Neglecting the landscaping. 
There is nothing like a garden in front of the home to help with curb appeal but don’t neglect the back yard! I have seen so many properties where junk is stockpiled behind porches and garages. It is an eyesore and will hurt the sale.  Trim dead branches, put down some fresh mulch, install some annuals. Having an inviting backyard with a patio and garden to relax on is very important. Outdoor living spaces to entertain in warm months can really add to the sale price. 

 



8.    Thinking all your clutter and personal belongings can be overlooked.
Get your belongings in boxes and out of the home before it goes on the market. Buyers need to visualize themselves living in the home. I have seen so many buyers looking at books, pictures and belongings instead of the home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


9.    Don’t take the negotiation process personally.
You want to sell, they want to buy. It is a simple business transaction. Don’t get caught up in a “who is winning” game. I have seen too many closings almost fall apart over $200 at the closing table with the buyers and sellers sitting there with the entire contents of their home in trucks. Trust me, you will forget that $200 before you even drive up to your new home. Be reasonable and leave the emotion out of it.  

 

10.    Making showings difficult.
Having your home always clean and ready for
 showings can be difficult with our busy schedules. It is very important that you accommodate showings and make it as easy as possible to preview. Insisting on a 24 hour notice or that the listing agent be present only hurts the sale. You are missing out on an opportunity. Most buyers see more than one home when they are out on tour with their realtor. If you don’t allow a showing they are not likely to reschedule another time to see your home, especially if they are out of town buyers. If potential buyers are in front of your home with their agent, calling the number on the sign, grab you dog and keys and go! It will pay off!

 

 11.    Ignoring noisy or messy neighbors.
We have all seen them -the party neighbor or the ones who work on 10 cars at a time on their front lawn and let their dog bark 24×7. This can be a huge problem to potential buyers. Try to remain on good terms with your neighbor. 

 

12.    Leaving pets home at time of showings.
Always remove your pets when there is a showing. Many people are afraid of dogs and allergic to cats. Entering a home where a dog is barking can be dangerous not to mention how stressful it is for pets as well. No matter how friendly the homeowner says they are, I am not willing to put my clients at risk.

 

 

Let’s talk about how we can help you sell your home in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area. Contact Terrence D. Langford with RE/MAX Specialists today by scheduling a date and time in 30 seconds for a virtual consultation CLICK HERE to find how we could be the perfect solution to selling your home. 

 

 

Posted in Home Seller Tips
Sept. 27, 2020

The 25 hottest neighborhoods for home sales in Greater Washington

COVID-19 Notice: We are open during this time, as real estate has been named an essential business. We are following social distancing and sanitary guidelines for all meetings and showings, and are performing virtual consultations for clients.

 

 

The 25 hottest neighborhoods for home sales in Greater Washington

 

 

 

Marshall Heights in Southeast D.C. has a lot going for it.

Close to two separate Metro stops, close to downtown and — perhaps most importantly — homes that are still affordable for many first-time homebuyers.

The median sale price for the neighborhood is $387,450, according to MarketStats by ShowingTime, compared to $647,755 for D.C. as a whole. And buyers there have a mix of newer townhomes or single-family homes as well.

It combines to be a good value of accessibility, space and price point for a lot of folks.

Those reasons, among others, have made Marshall Heights the hottest neighborhood for home sales in Greater Washington, ahead of communities in Northern Virginia such as Potomac Lakes and Landsdowne on the Potomac, or pricier neighborhoods in D.C. such as Wesley Heights in Northwest. And while the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down sales in March and April, potential buyers are now scouring limited inventory and closing deals quickly. "It’s been very busy since that point, since people are in their homes, they are looking at it going.

The numbers were crunched on 2,644 advertised subdivisions in Greater Washington and ranked them by the increase in median sales price so far this year compared to last year, the decrease in the number of days these houses sat on the market before being sold, and the increase in price per square foot. They weeded out neighborhoods with too few home sales, along with some individual condo buildings and communities, and came up with the 25 hottest neighborhoods.

Other communities that made the list also checked off a lot of boxes for current homebuyers, including Montclair in Dumfries, which came in at No. 11, and includes three beaches for swimming, boating and fishing.

 

Landsdowne on the Potomac, which came in at No. 3, is close to popular Leesburg and Ashburn restaurants and shopping areas, as well as the nearby Landsdowne Resort and golf course.

 

Check out the full list is below.

 

No. 25: Cameron Station, Alexandria, Va.

  • Score: 42.5
  • Median sale price YTD: $659,000.
  • Change over 2019: 4.6%

 

No. 24: Cleveland Park, D.C.

  • Score: 43.2
  • Median sale price YTD: $517,500.
  • Change over 2019: 15%

 

No. 23: Capitol Heights, Md.

  • Score: 43.9
  • Median sale price YTD: $268,000.
  • Change over 2019: 14.8%

 

No. 22: Ashburn Farm, Ashburn, Va.

  • Score: 46.2
  • Median sale price YTD: $481,000.
  • Change over 2019: 11.2%

 

No. 21: Parkfairfax, Alexandria, Va.

  • Score: 46.6
  • Median sale price YTD: $365,000.
  • Change over 2019: 10.6%

 

No. 20: Brookland, D.C.

  • Score: 47.1
  • Median sale price YTD: $615,000.
  • Change over 2019: 4.2%

 

No. 19: Manassas Park, Va.

  • Score: 47.3
  • Median sale price YTD: $335,000.
  • Change over 2019: 4.9%

 

No. 18: Forest Hills, D.C.

  • Score: 48.9
  • Median sale price YTD: $470,000.
  • Change over 2019: 16.1%

 

No. 17: Old City #1, D.C. (A term used mostly for the 20002 and 20003 ZIP codes in D.C., including parts of H Street NE corridor and Trinidad)

  • Score: 49.4
  • Median sale price YTD: $737,500.
  • Change over 2019: 5.4%

 

No. 16: Ashburn Village, Ashburn, Va.

  • Score: 50.1
  • Median sale price YTD: $473,500
  • Change over 2019: 5.8%

 

No. 15: Reston, Va.

  • Score: 51.5
  • Median sale price YTD: $561,200.
  • Change over 2019: 7.9%

 

No. 14: Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Va.

  • Score: 53.7
  • Median sale price YTD: $380,000.
  • Change over 2019: 4.1%

 

No. 13: District Heights, Md.

  • Score: 55
  • Median sale price YTD: $292,500.
  • Change over 2019: 14.7%

 

No. 12: Brambleton, Ashburn, Va.

  • Score: 55.9
  • Median sale price YTD: $676,450.
  • Change over 2019: 5.7%

 

No. 11: Montclair, Dumfries, Va.

  • Score: 57.6
  • Median sale price YTD: $429,499.
  • Change over 2019: 10.1%

 

No. 10: Woodridge, D.C.

  • Score: 58.6
  • Median sale price YTD: $680,950.
  • Change over 2019: 30.7%

 

No. 9: Dale City, Woodbridge, Va.

  • Score: 59.6
  • Median sale price YTD: $340,000.
  • Change over 2019: 4.6%

 

No. 8: Old City #2, D.C. (A term encompassing mainly ZIP codes 20001 and 20009, including parts of Shaw)

  • Score: 60.7
  • Median sale price YTD: $600,000.
  • Change over 2019: 9.9%

 

No. 7: Old Town Alexandria, Va.

  • Score: 69.9
  • Median sale price YTD: $952,500.
  • Change over 2019: 3.5%

 

No. 6: Belmont Country Club, Ashburn, Va.

  • Score: 71.4
  • Median sale price YTD: $676,042.
  • Change over 2019: 6.5%

 

No. 5: Greenbriar, Chantilly, Va.

  • Score: 72
  • Median sale price YTD: $580,000.
  • Change over 2019: 6.9%

 

No. 4: Potomac Lakes, Sterling, Va.

  • Score: 78.7
  • Median sale price YTD: $557,000.
  • Change over 2019: 15%

 

No. 3: Landsdowne on the Potomac, Leesburg, Va.

  • Score: 80.8
  • Median sale price YTD: $785,000.
  • Change over 2019: 10.8%.

 

No. 2: Wesley Heights, D.C.

  • Score: 89.7
  • Median sale price YTD: $728,000.
  • Change over 2019: 12.7%.

 

No. 1: Marshall Heights, D.C.

  • Score: 95
  • Median sale price YTD: $365,000.
  • Change over 2019: 32.7%

Insert from Andy Medici  – Senior Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal

 

 

Thinking About Buying or Selling a Home, Have Real Estate Questions for the Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia areas? Book a Free Virtual Consultation With Terrence D. Langford of RE/MAX Specialists In Less Than 30 Seconds  BOOK HERE!

Posted in Home Buyers Tips
Sept. 27, 2020

Two Rooms That Really Sell Homes

COVID-19 Notice: We are open during this time, as real estate has been named an essential business. We are following social distancing and sanitary guidelines for all meetings and showings, and are performing virtual consultations for clients

 

 

Two Rooms That Really Sell Homes

 

Do you know which spaces add the most value when it’s time to sell?

It’s a double-edged sword: on the one side, if you’re selling your home, it’s hard to justify spending money on upgrades; on the other, if you don’t spruce up your spot, your home might lag on the market.

Either way, you’ll want to maximize your time and any money you’ve allocated to for-sale upgrades. Trulia suggests zeroing in on buyer hot spots, the “make it or break it” focal points of a home. If you’re a seller with a tight timeline (and budget), you’ll want to focus on these rooms first.

 

 

Know the two hot spots

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rooms buyers most closely inspect (and judge) in a house are the kitchen and master bath. These are the interior spaces where the most value can be added during a sale, so they need to look their best.

A well-appointed kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so it’s worth spicing up yours to grab buyer attention. The same holds true for the bathrooms, especially the master bath. A sparkling master bath with clean lines will charm open-house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs.

In the rest of the home, you can rely on touching up paint, clearing clutter, and artful staging.

 

 

Do your homework

Before planning any upgrades to your kitchen and master bath, consider your neighborhood — and more importantly, your target buyer.

If surrounding homes have tidy, simple kitchens with Formica or tile countertops, then your home should as well.  If granite and flagstone are the local flavor, upgrade your counters similarly. Just because you loved your rooster-themed wallpaper border doesn’t mean buyers will too. Try to appeal to the masses when planning your updates.

 

 

Don’t overdo it

Determining the craftsmanship of the kitchens and baths in comparable for-sale homes is critical. It will help you identify where to allocate resources and identify unnecessary amenities.

A kitchen upgrade can range from a weekend-long, low-budget brush-up (think paint job and new cabinet hardware) to a full-blown overhaul (with tens of thousands spent on granite countertops and luxury appliances).

Either way, the goal is to make your home look as fantastic as possible without wasting money, overinvesting, and ultimately creating a space that’s out of place among the rest of the properties in your neighborhood.

 

 

Make the most of what you’ve got

If your kitchen is looking very worn and dated, you may be able to salvage some of its basic structure. Keep the main elements and simply improve the rest with a cost-effective, low-labor strategy.

Resurface, refinish, or simply scrub down cabinet doors, replace cabinet hardware, install a new faucet, upgrade the appliances, install new lighting fixtures, and slap on a fresh coat of paint.

Also, the least expensive but most important tip? Clear the countertops of clutter. Get rid of that bulky toaster oven and coffee maker. You’ll be surprised at how much larger your kitchen will appear when the counters are uncluttered.

 

 

Consider master bath mystique

From a buyer’s perspective, the master bath is almost as important as the kitchen. It’s also the most challenging room in the house to upgrade, requiring the skills of many different tradespeople — with hefty bills for each.

However, several tricks can help you affordably create an inviting look that tugs at buyers’ heartstrings and purse strings.

With time and money at a premium, the key to a bathroom upgrade is making the most of the existing shell. Save as much of the existing bath as you can. A quick update of faucets and lighting can work wonders. Brighten up the space with new mirrors, towel racks, and storage for an entirely refreshed look.

Deep-clean the tile and grout, and organize the medicine cabinets — because buyers will open them. Even if you can’t afford a new low-flow toilet (although if you can, the upgrade is well worth it), make sure your bathroom is sparkling clean. No buyer wants to imagine soaking in a dingy tub. Good Luck. Get it SOLD!

 

 

 

 

NEED INFORMATION ABOUT SELLING A HOME IN WASHINGTON D.C., MARYLAND OR VIRGINIA?  DO YOU HAVE REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS? BOOK A FREE  CALL OR A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION WITH TERRENCE D. LANGFORD OF RE/MAX SPECIALISTS NOW IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS.

Posted in Home Seller Tips
Jan. 6, 2019

Prince George's School Board Member Requests Free Meals for Students During Shutdown By Gina Cook

A school board member in Prince George's County, Maryland, says he wants the county to give free meals to public school students whose families are affected by the partial government shutdown.

Board of Education member K. Alexander Wallace posted a letter on Twitter Saturday that is addressed to Dr. Monica Goldson, the interim CEO for Prince George's County Public Schools.

Wallace requests in the letter that school system waive all breakfast and lunch meal fees for students who are not already enrolled in the free meals program until the shutdown is over.

"In a county like ours, having one of the largest federal government employee populations in the nation, an effort such as this one, I believe, will ease the concerns of many families of having to pay for the nutrition of their children...our students," he says in the letter.

 

Posted in
Jan. 6, 2019

Are You Having Buyers Remorse

Parting with a big chunk of your money isn’t easy. What is easy is giving in to the tendency to want to beat yourself up after spending it. It’s classic buyer’s remorse, and, while it’s not common, we have seen a few cases of it during our time in real estate.

Buyer’s remorse is more common in buyer’s markets. When there are lots of homes that fit the bill, it’s easy to wonder if you made the right choice. There is actually a name for this phenomenon, “the paradox of choice.” Psychologists claim that as the number of choices increases, so does the chooser’s stress level.

How to Guard Against Buyer’s Remorse

Psychologists at Harvard University conducted a study in 2002 and found that people who are offered a 30-day, money-back-guarantee are less likely to experience buyer’s remorse. “People prefer to make changeable decisions rather than unchangeable decisions,” they write.

Unfortunately, houses don’t come with a money-back guarantee, which makes the decision to purchase one rather unchangeable. The process is full of exit points, however, which may ease your mind when you’re starting to feel remorseful.

These exits are in the contract’s contingencies. You’ll have a chance to bail on the deal if the home doesn’t appraise appropriately if the home inspection results are unpalatable and at several other points along the way.

Another way to guard against regret is in your negotiations with the seller. Don’t be aggressive or greedy, claims the results of a University College of London study. People that negotiate reasonably tend to feel less remorse than aggressive or greedy negotiators.

Share how you’re feeling with your agent. It often helps just to have someone with whom you can share your ideas, your emotions, and your fears.

If all else fails, remember the words of basketball great LeBron James: “I always say, decisions I make, I live with them. There's always ways you can correct them or ways you can do them better. At the end of the day, I live with them.”

Posted in Home Buyers Tips
Jan. 6, 2019

The Dangers In Over Improving a Home

Our listing clients often ask us which home improvements of their home would provide the most bang for the buck when it comes time for them to sell. We always remind them that the market value of a home – what it will sell for to a willing buyer – is in large part determined by the sales prices of similar homes in the neighborhood, and surrounding neighborhoods.

Professional appraisers use the principles of regression and progression when considering the value of homes. The value of a large home (or one with major improvements), located in a neighborhood full of smaller, unimproved homes, will be dragged down by the smaller homes using the principle of regression. Conversely, a small home located near lots of larger homes will see its value increase, when the principle of progression is used.

The principle of regression is important to keep in mind when considering improving a home to ready it for the market. If you improve the home to where it becomes the best home on the block your return on investment for those projects may be subsumed by the loss of value.

A good first step is to get clear on the home’s current market value and we’re happy to help you there, at no charge. While compiling the market analysis we’ll learn what nearby homes are selling for, which is valuable information when you’re thinking about various renovations you’d like to make.

Now you know the starting value, before adding improvements. Remember, when determining which improvements to make, in the end, the home will only sell for the maximum sales price of similar area homes.

The next step is to figure out which improvement projects will realize the largest return on your investment, without putting you over the neighborhood’s threshold. 

Since kitchens sell homes, a minor kitchen remodel may be worth the 79.3 percent ROI, but skip the major remodel with its 67.8 percent ROI, unless you’re selling a luxury home. In other words, don’t create a million dollar kitchen in a $300,000 home.

Choose your improvement projects carefully, get several bids for the work, know the highest potential sales price you’ll realize and you’ll avoid the danger of over-improving the house.

Posted in Home Seller Tips