Reston Real Estate: Selling In Reston – Start Now to be Ready for the Spring Market

by RestonNow.com Sponsor January 23, 2018 at 4:00 pm 6 Comments

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

I don’t typically hold to the notion that one time of year is better for selling your home verses another. For as long as I’ve been selling real estate, I have always had at least one transaction around the Winter holidays, but conventional wisdom says that there is something magical about Spring.

As of this writing, there are 55 days until Spring. I have two listing appointments next with sellers that want to go over what they should do to get their property ready for the Spring market. They’ll be surprised when they find there is a long list of “to dos” to get a house ready for the market.

The first place to start is by cleaning. I don’t the mean the vacuum & dusting kind of cleaning; I mean the scrub the grout with a tooth brush kind of cleaning. I mean you do your best imitation of your crazy Aunt Saddie with the obsessive compulsive cleaning disorder kind of cleaning.

Some clients opt for hiring a cleaning crew; if you’re going to do that you should de-clutter your house before bringing in a cleaning professional; and if your “to do” list includes painting save the professional cleaning for the last item on your list.

So what does the typical seller “to do” list look like?

  • Reduce contents of all closets by half. Stuffed closets speak to prospective buyers they say, “this house doesn’t have enough storage.” Which may not be the case, maybe you’re just really bad about getting rid of the excess we all seem to accumulate.
  • Neutralize your home: Pre-pack most of your personal items like family photos, your ceramic frog collection and other things that can distract buyers from seeing the house
  • 50% of the houses I see prior to listing need to be painted — Go neutral.
  • Be prepared to put furniture and other items in storage.
  • Thoroughly clean and organize the utility areas of your home, including the area around the furnace and water heater.
  • Clean everything — every, nook, cranny, light switch cover, door jam, door knobs, everything.

A super clean and orderly home says, “I have been well maintained.” A clean house reduces buyer anxiety.

One of the first things I do for clients after signing a listing agreement is to drop off 100 office sized boxes to be used to de-clutter, or as we like to call it, pre-packing. A home that is free of clutter makes room for the prospective buyer to mentally picture themselves in that home; which in turn helps to move the buyer from thinking to acting… writing a contract.

The more you can do, clean, organize, neutralize, paint, upgrade, the faster your home will go from being on the market to sold.

  • OneReally

    Tell us about that Lake House experience? To soon?

    • 40yearsinreston

      Just find some fools who dont mind spending someone else’s money

  • The time to sell is now

    I agree with cleaning.

    I would disagree with the rest. Having sold a few homes myself its impossible to match the “houses” paint to the buyer’s sentiment, that s also true for furniture etc

    Based on my experience all the work you put in will be reversed/improved by the buyer at some later point. What to do instead? N O T H I N G

    Further, the premises should give the feeling that things can be improved and that the place is a gem in the rough.

    Last but not least, if you think you have to leave in a hurray after the settlement date think again: a rent back agreement ensures you can stay another 30 days without having to forego the contract. Sample form here


    Happy selling!

    • Mike M

      Without much experience, I see the wisdom in your points. Some realtors seem to want you to do EVERYTHING imaginable to make their job easier. They are not really interested in your satisfaction or financial efficiency so much as their stats. It’s called arrogant and ultimately bad business practice. But realtors seem to get away with lots that would sink other agents or brokers. It is a peculiar business.

      • The time to sell is now

        Realtors mostly like any other profession, 10% of them execute 90% of all transactions. For the other 90% its dog eat dog. Feed the stars, milk the cows, ,,

    • Eve Thompson

      That’s a strategy but I have to say that going for the “diamond in the rough” goes against everything that my colleagues and I are finding in terms of buyer’s attitudes. Rent backs have been an options for eons– its all about what sellers and buyers negotiate.


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