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

by RestonNow.com Sponsor December 4, 2018 at 3:30 pm 8 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 versus another. For as long as I’ve been selling real estate, I have always had at least a couple of transactions around the winter holidays, but conventional wisdom says that there is something magical about spring.

As of this writing there are 87 days until spring. I have two listing appointments this week 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 do’s” 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.” This 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.
  • Be prepared to put furniture and other items in storage.
  • 50% of the houses I see prior to listing need to be painted — go neutral.
  • Clean everything — every, nook, cranny, light switch cover, door jamb, door knobs, everything.
  • Do not overlook the utility areas of your home, they should be thoroughly cleaned and organized including the area around the furnace and water heater.

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 with their own possessions in that home; which in turn helps to move the buyer from thinking to acting…writing a contract.

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

  • Chuck Morningwood
    • Eve Thompson

      The San Francisco market is crazy. One of my daughters lives in SF my advice to her was to NOT buy– it doesn’t take any kind of science to know that a 1950’s, 1250 sq ft ranch won’t hold value at 800k!

    • Eve Thompson

      San Francisco is a very different market– one of my daughters lives in the area and I’ve been adamant that she rent and save– it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a crystal ball to know that a 1950’s 1500 sq. ft. ranch for north of 750K isn’t going to hold it’s value!

      • Chuck Morningwood

        My home now is valued at 1% more than it was in 2007, and about 40% over it’s lowest value in 2010 since the bust. Considering that a house is the biggest investment that a person can make the question is, has your pay check gone up 40% since 2010? I know mine hasn’t.

  • ugly truth

    the biggest problem with Reston homes is not clutter but mold. many of the residents smell like mold and so do their belongings. mold may be due to

    . unconventional ac
    . improperly maintained ac
    . not running ac and or windows open

    these just off the top of my head. and to add, if you have a moldy home you likely also have a cluttered home because mold creates not only health problems but also affects your mental hygiene.


    • Eve Thompson

      Mold can be a problem but I don’t think that’s specific to Reston– all of the more humid climates have the potential for this issue. I agree that making sure your home is dry is important.

    • Greg

      The residents smell like mold?

    • Eve Thompson

      I think that mold is an issue in more humid regions– If a house is “moldy” it much more likely that the cause is water intrusion– leaking basement or problems with gutters. A good home inspection can help you sort out what problems exist.


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