The Crucial Role of Feasibility Study Contingency When Buying Land in Northern Virginia


Buying land or a lot can be an exciting and potentially rewarding investment. Whether you plan to build your dream new construction home or hold it as an investment, the decision to purchase land is not one to be taken lightly. One critical step in the land-buying process that often goes overlooked is the feasibility study contingency. In this article, we’ll delve into why a feasibility study contingency is crucial when purchasing land and how it can protect your investment.


Understanding the Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is an in-depth analysis of the property’s potential uses and limitations. It provides prospective buyers with valuable information that can help them make an informed decision. The feasibility study typically covers various aspects of the property, including:

  1. Zoning and Regulations: Local zoning ordinances and regulations can significantly impact how the land can be used. A feasibility study will investigate the current zoning of the property and any potential changes that might affect your plans.
  2. Environmental Considerations: The study will assess environmental factors such as soil quality, potential contamination, flood zones, and any other environmental restrictions that may affect your development plans.
  3. Utility Availability: It’s essential to determine the availability of utilities like water, sewage, electricity, and gas on the property. The feasibility study will help identify any costly infrastructure requirements.
  4. Land Topography: The topography of the land can influence the cost and feasibility of construction. Steep slopes, for example, may require costly grading or engineering solutions.
  5. Cost Estimates: Feasibility studies often provide cost estimates for development, including construction costs, permits, and any required site improvements.


Why Feasibility Study Contingency is Needed

Now that we’ve covered what a feasibility study entails, let’s explore why it’s essential to include a feasibility study contingency in your land purchase agreement:

  1. Risk Mitigation: Investing in land carries inherent risks, and a feasibility study helps you identify and mitigate these risks. If the study reveals unforeseen issues that would make your project unfeasible or cost-prohibitive, the contingency allows you to back out of the deal without financial repercussions.
  2. Informed Decision-Making: A feasibility study equips you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. Without it, you might discover costly obstacles or limitations after the purchase, leading to financial losses and frustration.
  3. Negotiating Power: Having the results of a feasibility study gives you leverage in negotiations. If the study uncovers significant challenges, you can use this information to renegotiate the purchase price or terms.
  4. Financing Approval: Lenders often require a feasibility study before approving a loan for land acquisition and development. Including a contingency allows you to secure financing with confidence, knowing that potential obstacles have been identified and addressed.
  5. Protecting Your Investment: Buying land is a substantial investment. A feasibility study contingency ensures that you protect your investment by minimizing risks and unexpected costs.

In Conclusion

In the world of real estate, knowledge is power. When buying land or a lot, a feasibility study contingency is your shield against unforeseen challenges and financial pitfalls. It empowers you to make informed decisions, negotiate effectively, secure financing, and ultimately protect your investment. Remember, the cost of a feasibility study is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and financial security it can provide in the long run. So, before you embark on your land-buying journey, make sure to include this critical contingency in your purchase agreement. Your future self will thank you for it.



The Verse Condos in McLean, VA

The Verse Condos: A Fusion of Luxury and Sophistication

Welcome to The Verse Condos, an architectural masterpiece meticulously crafted by the renowned architectural firm Shalom Baranes Associates. Soaring 25 stories high and housing 140 residences, The Verse offers an exclusive collection of elegant and sophisticated condominiums and luxurious amenities with breathtaking panoramic views of the Northern Virginia skyline.

Setting itself apart from neighboring buildings, The Verse embellishes the city skyline with its distinctive design, featuring projecting terraces and expansive windows that flood the interiors with abundant natural light.


The Main Lobby: An Oasis of Comfort and Timeless Elegance

The Verse Condos McLean VA Main Lobby
The Verse Condos Main Lobby

But the allure of The Verse condos extends beyond its captivating exterior. The lobby of The Verse is a perfect blend of drama and welcoming charm leaving a lasting impression from the moment you arrive and setting the stage for a remarkable journey within. Step into an oasis of comfort and elegance and immerse yourself in the inviting atmosphere created by the rich wood and stone finishes, evoking a sense of warmth and tranquility. Take a seat on the plush seating, surrounded by inspiring artwork that sparks the imagination. The flowing curtains add a touch of grace, enhancing the overall ambiance.


Verse Condos Interiors: Modern Luxury and Timeless Beauty

The Verse Condos in Tysons VA Living Rooms
The Verse Condos Living Room Design

At The Verse, it’s the meticulous attention to detail that sets it apart. Step into the extraordinary condo interiors crafted by internationally acclaimed interior design firm Cecconi Simone. The Verse condos embody a perfect blend of modernity and warmth, showcasing refined classic elements with timeless finishes. From the custom detailing to the concealed lighting, every inch of Verse’s condos exudes beauty and sophistication. Welcome to a place where hosting guests and finding comfort in your own home becomes an art form.


Kitchens at The Verse

The Verse Condos in McLean Virginia kitchen design
The Verse Condos Kitchen

Indulge your passion for cooking and entertaining in the meticulously designed kitchens at The Verse. Each kitchen is a testament to fine craftsmanship, featuring integrated Italian cabinetry that cleverly conceals the refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave. The composite stone countertops, adorned with full-height backsplashes, exude elegance, while chef-caliber appliances elevate your culinary experience to new heights.


Indulge in Serenity: Bathrooms at The Verse

The Verse Condos in Mclean VA bathroom designs
The Verse Condos Bathroom

Step into a sanctuary of tranquility, where every aspect of your bath experience has been meticulously considered. Immerse yourself in a world of impeccable detailing, where porcelain Calacatta marbleized flooring and tile surroundings create a luxurious ambiance. Admire the custom Italian vanity and storage towers, thoughtfully designed with built-in linen cabinets, providing both elegance and practicality. Prepare to be pampered and rejuvenated in the comfort of your own home.


Exquisite Amenities

Designed to cater to the most discerning tastes, The Verse features a range of luxurious amenities, including a rooftop pool and lounge, a state-of-the-art fitness center, Grand Entertainment Lounge and an expansive Skypark with an outdoor kitchen, bar, gas grills, outdoor dining areas, fire pits and TV screens.


The Verse Condos Amenities Grand entertainment Lounge
The Verse Condos Grand Entertainment Lounge

For the social butterflies, The Verse offers spacious Entertainment Lounge where you can meet and connect with fellow residents, host special events, or simply unwind with a book in a cozy reading corner. This space features flexible partitioning for private events, an open kitchen with high-end appliances, and 14-foot glass-top island, fireplaces, billiards and flat-screen TVs.


The Verse Condos Amenities Skypark
The Verse Condos Skypark

Enjoy the outdoors in the beautiful Skypark with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The Skypark makes the most of the outdoors and offers serene green spaces, and seating areas, covered kitchen with a bar and gas grills, outdoor living and dining areas and fire pits with chairs for relaxing and stargazing. It’s the perfect spot to relax, meditate, or enjoy a picnic with friends and family.



The Verse Condos McLean VA Fitness Center Gym
The Verse Condos Fitness Studio

Step into our state-of-the-art Fitness Center, equipped with the latest exercise equipment for cardio workouts, weightlifting equipment and well as a yoga studio with TV for programmed workouts.



The Verse Condos Tysons Virginia Pool
The Verse Condos Pool

Take a refreshing dip in the sparkling rooftop pool, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline. Lounge on the comfortable poolside furniture, bask in the sun, and let the worries of the day melt away.


Discover the Epicenter of Urban Living at The Verse

The Boro Center McLean VA and Tysons VA
The Boro Center

Located in the heart of Tysons at The Boro Center, The Verse is surrounded by the best of Northern Virginia’s shopping, dining, and entertainment, putting you at the center of it all.

Explore the pedestrian-friendly streets, immerse yourself in the charm of community parks, and enjoy the convenience of everyday amenities at your doorstep. With a bustling array of vibrant shopping and dining options, The Boro creates the perfect backdrop for discerning residents seeking an unparalleled urban lifestyle.

The Boro is conveniently located just a short distance from the Silver Line Metro stations, providing easy access to Washington, D.C., Dulles International Airport, Tyson’s Corner Center and the surrounding areas. With its mix of amenities, upscale living options, and convenient location, the Boro at Tysons is a highly desirable destination for both residents and visitors alike.


The Verse Condos Info:
Condo Fees are determined by the size of the condo units and start from around $500 per month to $1,600 per month
Condo Fee Includes: amenities; common areas; elevators; trash removal; parking; amenities, 27/7 concierge service.
Additional Fees: capital contribution fee; move-in & move out fees.
Size: 25 floors with 140 condo units
• If you are purchasing the Verse Condo with an intent to rent, please contact condo association first. The Verse Condo building has restrictions on the number of units that can be rented at the same time in order to maintain a balance between owner-occupied units and rental units within the community.


The Verse Condos Video Tour:


The Verse Condos For Sale:

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Thriving Transformation: New Developments Shaping Tysons, Virginia


Tysons, Virginia, often referred to as Tysons Corner, is undergoing a remarkable transformation, solidifying its position as a vibrant and dynamic urban center. With its strategic location just outside of Washington, D.C., Tysons has long been recognized as a hub for business and commerce. In recent years, however, it has witnessed a surge in development and revitalization efforts, turning it into a thriving community that seamlessly blends commercial, residential, and recreational spaces. In this blog post, we will explore some of the exciting new developments taking place in Tysons, showcasing the progressive spirit and forward-thinking initiatives that are reshaping the landscape.


The Boro: A Modern Mixed-Use Destination

ICON Movie Theater at The Boro

At the heart of Tysons lies The Boro, a transformative mixed-use development that has garnered significant attention. The Boro embraces the concept of live, work, and play, offering a variety of residential options, office spaces, trendy retail outlets, and diverse dining experiences. With its pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, green spaces, and thoughtfully designed architecture, The Boro aims to create a vibrant urban environment that fosters community engagement and connection.


Capital One Center: A Hub of Innovation

Capital One Center Building in tysons
Capital One Building HQs at Tysons, VA

The Capital One Center is another exciting development that aims to redefine Tysons as a hub of innovation and creativity. This 24/7 mixed-use campus is designed to cultivate collaboration and provide a platform for tech companies, startups, and entrepreneurs. The campus will feature state-of-the-art office spaces, world-class amenities, and a diverse range of dining and entertainment options. Additionally, the Capital One Center will prioritize sustainability, incorporating green spaces, energy-efficient buildings, and sustainable transportation options.


Tysons Central: A Modern Transit-Oriented District

Recognizing the importance of efficient transportation infrastructure, Tysons is committed to developing a comprehensive transit-oriented district. Tysons Central, situated around the Greensboro Metro Station, is a prime example of this initiative. The development plans include walkable streets, bike lanes, and enhanced public transportation options, making it easier for residents, workers, and visitors to navigate the area conveniently. Tysons Central will also feature mixed-use buildings, retail spaces, and open plazas, creating a vibrant and bustling district.


The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center: A Dynamic Outdoor Destination

Tysons Corner Shopping Center
The Plaza at Tysons Corner Shopping Center

The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center is an innovative outdoor space that combines retail, entertainment, and community events. This open-air destination provides a unique setting for concerts, art installations, and cultural festivals, fostering a sense of community and enhancing the overall experience for visitors. With its inviting atmosphere and diverse programming, The Plaza contributes to Tysons’ transformation into a lively and inclusive urban center.


The View: A Luxurious Residential Development

The View in Tysons Virginia
The View in Tysons Virginia

Adding to the allure of Tysons is “The View” – a luxurious residential development that sets new standards for contemporary urban living. Located in the heart of Tysons, The View offers stunning panoramic views of the city skyline and provides residents with a host of amenities and services. With its sleek design and upscale finishes, this development aims to attract discerning individuals who seek both comfort and sophistication. The View represents Tysons’ commitment to providing diverse housing options that cater to the needs of its growing population.


Scott’s Run: A Premier Live-Work-Play Community

Scotts Run development in Tysons Virginia
Scotts Run development in Tysons Virginia

Adding to the landscape of Tysons is the Scott’s Run development, an ambitious project that aims to create a premier live-work-play community. Developed by Cityline Partners, LLC, Scotts Run is a dynamic project featuring a combination of offices, apartments, hotels, retail stores, and restaurants. Divided into two distinct sections, Scotts Run South and Scotts Run North, the development spans both sides of Dolley Madison Boulevard, with easy access to major interchanges and the Washington Metro McLean station.


Heming: A Modern Urban Neighborhood

Heming in Tysons Virginia
Heming in Tysons Virginia

One notable addition to Scotts Run is Heming, a luxury development set to elevate the standard of upscale living. Heming offers refined residences with exquisite finishes and breathtaking views, providing residents with the pinnacle of contemporary luxury. With an expected delivery in the second quarter of 2023, Heming has recently reached its ‘topping out’ milestone, signaling the completion of its impressive 28-story structure. Alongside Heming, Scotts Run will feature an array of amenities, including sprawling parks, scenic stream valleys, and vibrant public spaces, fostering a sense of community and connection. Scotts Run, with its visionary design and prime location, represents a remarkable opportunity for individuals and businesses seeking an unparalleled urban lifestyle in the heart of Tysons.


The Monarch: Luxury Residences Redefined

Monarch Condos in Tysons Virginia
Monarch Condos in Tysons Virginia

Introducing The Monarch, a sophisticated residential development that epitomizes luxury living in Tysons. With its sleek architecture, elegant interiors, and upscale amenities, The Monarch offers residents an unparalleled living experience. The spacious and meticulously designed residences at The Monarch provide breathtaking living spaces. Each unit is thoughtfully crafted to offer a blend of style, comfort, and functionality. The interiors feature high-end finishes, modern fixtures, and premium materials, creating an atmosphere of sophistication. The Monarch goes beyond just the living spaces. Residents have access to a wide range of upscale amenities that enhance their lifestyle. These may include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a luxurious spa, a rooftop swimming pool with panoramic views, beautifully landscaped outdoor areas, and private lounges for relaxation or socializing. Additionally, The Monarch may offer a variety of services to cater to residents’ needs, such as 24/7 concierge services, valet parking, and on-site maintenance. The building may also have advanced security systems to ensure residents’ safety and privacy.


Mather: Award-Winning Senior Living Residences

The Mather in tysons virginia
The Mather Condos in Tysons Virginia

Introducing Mather: Award-Winning Senior Living Residences, a remarkable community that redefines the concept of upscale retirement living. Nestled in the heart of Tysons, Virginia, Mather’s newest development promises an extraordinary lifestyle for its residents. From meticulously designed homes to thoughtfully curated community spaces, every aspect of Mather’s residences exudes elegance and sophistication. But it’s not just about the aesthetics; Mather goes above and beyond to provide an exceptional living experience. Residents can indulge in a wealth of amenities, partake in engaging programs, and savor unique experiences that foster personal growth and connection. With a focus on promoting a fulfilling and satisfying lifestyle, Mather truly sets the standard for senior living communities. Discover the epitome of luxury and well-being at Mather in Tysons, where every day is an opportunity for enjoyment, enrichment, and lifelong memories


Conclusion: Tysons, Virginia is undergoing an exciting transformation, driven by ambitious development projects that aim to enhance the quality of life for residents and create a thriving economic and cultural center. The Boro, Capital One Center, Tysons Central, and The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center are just a few examples of the progressive developments shaping Tysons’ landscape. With its strategic location, commitment to sustainability, and focus on creating vibrant community spaces, Tysons is poised to become a model for successful urban revitalization. As the transformation continues, Tysons is destined to attract businesses, residents, and visitors who seek a dynamic and forward-thinking environment.



Vienna VA New Construction Homes: View Listings & Schedule Showings

Welcome to my real estate website! All Vienna VA New Construction Homes listed on this page come directly from my professional MLS account with most Up-to-Date information.

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Vienna VA New Construction Real Estate Market Review

Out With The Old, In With The Vienna VA New Construction

All across Vienna VA, new construction homes are popping up. The reason? Homes built between 1950-1969 simply do not have the look and feel that families today are looking for.

The trend for modern families is clear: open floor plan, a large gourmet kitchen, a luxurious master bathroom, walk-in closets, and large garages. This is what Vienna VA new construction homes—mostly Craftsman, Contemporary, and traditional brick homes— provide.

It’s not easy, though.

Vienna is quickly becoming the place to call home with its proximity to Washington D.C. and the Metro Stations, and space is becoming more limited as residents work to maintain that close-to-nature feel by protecting the trees while still finding space in this great place to live.

The solution, according to a recent The Washington Post article, is demolishing older homes that no longer work for the modern family. “Typically, land on its own is hard to develop or overpriced,” Francisco V. Alonso told The Washington Post,  “When no house has ever been there before, there’s no utilities. There’s several fees you have to pay: tap fees, connection fees. When there’s already a house there, those fees have been prepaid by somebody else.”

While not every Vienna VA new construction home is the replacement for an older one, you will see the most popular zip codes (22180, 22181, 22182) dotted with mismatched houses for that reason. The mismatched neighborhood doesn’t seem to deter those who are anxious to become a part of the Vienna community, though. And they’re willing to a pay a good price for it.

Buying one of the Vienna VA new construction homes in this desirable location also means that you’ll be paying a modern price. Vienna VA new construction single-family homes tend to sell from anywhere around $1,550,000 to $2,500,000, depending on the sq footage, size of lot and amenities.

These Vienna VA new construction homes are ones that you’ll want to see for yourself. Each one is built by famous or distinctive builders local to the area; and it’s clear that they put the heart and soul of their businesses into their work.

Want one of these new homes?

With its highly-rated public school systems, extensive biking and walking trails, the proximity to the airport and D.C. as well as Tysons shopping center—Vienna VA new construction homes will go fast, there’s no doubt about it.

In other words: run, don’t walk as you search for the right builder in the area to help build the house of your—and your family’s—dreams. vienna va new construction homes.


Buyer’s Market vs Seller’s Market

Buyers vs. Seller’s Markets- Strategies for Buying & Selling a Home

Buy in the off-season, sell in the Spring or Summer is the mantra, but is it always accurate? When planning to buy and sell a home, it’s important to know about real estate market condition in your area. In this article, I’ll outline the differences between a buyer’s and a seller’s market, and the ways you can use this information to your advantage.


What is a Buyer’s Market vs Seller’s Market?

Here are a short definitions.

A buyer’s market occurs when the supply (available homes for sale) exceeds demand (the number of buyers seeking to purchase homes).
A seller’s market occurs when demand exceeds supply, or there are more buyers seeking to purchase homes than there are available homes on the market.


How to determine if my local area is in Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

The way to determine a type of housing market is to calculate the absorption rate. To do this, we’ll use a few market stats: 1) a number of active homes listed in your local area, 2) a specific time frame (for most accurate stats we’ll use 180 days), and 3) a number of homes sold within that time frame.

Let’s walk you through an example.

Area:  Vienna, VA. Type of properties: Single Family Homes.

The Numbers:

Timeframe: 180 days

Number of homes sold: 300

Number of active homes listed: 101

The Math:

Calculating the rate at which homes are selling:

Timeframe/Number of Sold Homes= Rate of Home Sales

180/101= 0.6

The rate of home sales is the amount of time it takes one house to sell. So, in this case, one home is sold every 0.6 days.

Absorption Rate:

Number of active homes listed x Rate of Home Sales= Absorption Rate

101 x 0.6 = 60.6

This means that the absorption rate for Vienna, VA is every 60.6 days, or about 2 months.

In plain English, this means that the current single family homes inventory will be gone in 2 months. A healthy (or balanced) market takes about five to seven months to absorb the current active listings.

As you may have already guessed, the calculations that we did above indicate that Vienna, VA would be in a Seller’s Market.


Seller’s Market

A seller’s market happens when there is not enough housing supply to support the demand for houses. Low supply and high demand mean housing prices skyrocket and bidding wars occur.


Selling in a Seller’s Market

When people see home values on the rise, many start listing their homes for sale. It’s a fantastic time for you to sell your home during a Seller’s Market. Usually the buyers offer above asking price and remove all or most of the contingencies. You as a seller, could secure a sale price that’s higher than your listing price and receive a clean contract without contingencies, such as Home Inspection or Appraisal.


Buying in a Seller’s Market

Buying in a seller’s market is not easy.

You have to stay on top of the housing inventory in case a home you like comes on the market, and you’ve got to be ready to pounce. Here are a couple of strategies to use when buying in a seller’s market.


Get Pre-qualified

One of the best things you can do when you go to make an offer is have a pre-qualification letter from your lender. A pre-qualification letter adds credibility to your offer and makes it more attractive to a seller because it shows a lower probability of backing out of the sale due to lack of funding.

To get prequalified, talk to your lender. It’s often as simple as a phone call and answering a few questions. Don’t have a lender? Talk to your real estate agent. They’ll have one that they have used in the past with great success.


Stay on Top of the Market

Having your real estate agent on top of things is great, but you’ll want to be on top of the market as well. If you see a house that looks intriguing and is within your budget, have your real estate agent schedule a walk-through.

You’ll have to be quick on your feet with an offer if you really want the house you find, so scheduling a walkthrough of your favorite homes as they pop on the market is a good idea.


Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market happens when the absorption rate is more than seven months. That means that the number of homes available for sale greater exceeds the number of buyers looking to buy.


Buying in a Buyer’s Market

This is great news for buyers – more homes to choose from, lower prices, flexible settlement, and you might be able to buy a great home for a lower cost than you would in a seller’s market.

You can take your time and really get to know a property before buying, and can usually get a great deal on real estate.


Real Estate is Local

Buyers and Seller’s markets can be seasonal, so you’ll want to pay attention to your local areas stats. For example, in Northern Virginia, the busiest time of the year is between March and August. This busy season does not always mean it’s a seller’s market, but it does mean if you want to sell your home, that’s the season to do it in.


Quick Recap

How well you buy or sell your home is dependent upon the market you are currently in. Just because the news says the nation is in one market doesn’t mean you are in the same predicament.

You can figure out which kind of market you are in by calculating the absorption rate or talking to your real estate agent.

The strategy you use to buy or sell your house is also dependent on the market you are in and your real estate agent. Choose your real estate agent wisely and stick to these strategies, and you’ll be able to buy or sell your house in any market.



10 Steps to Buying a Home: First Time Home Buyer’s Guide

A real yard… Closets bigger than your average microwave… The freedom to decorate however you wish please!  Making the switch from renting to owning is exhilarating, but many rookie home buyers find the process trickier to navigate than they expected. steps to buying a home.

This is why I’ve created this 10 Steps to Buying a Home Buyer’s check list. This list will help you sidestep common mistakes, such as paying too much interest or getting stuck with the wrong house. (Yep, it happens!)

To solidify your decision to purchase a home, first, please go over these benefits of home ownership.

Introduction: 7 Reasons to Buy A Home

  • Tax benefits:
    The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  • Appreciation:
    Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  • Equity:
    Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  • Savings:
    Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  • Predictability:
    Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
  • Freedom:
    The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
  • Stability:
    Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.


10 Steps to Buying a Home

STEP : Figure Out Your Budget

Before taking a first step to buying a home, determine how much house you can afford and want to afford. Lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 43% of your gross monthly income (called the debt-to-income ratio). This figure includes your future mortgage and any other debts, such as a car loan, student loan, or revolving credit cards.

There are plenty of calculators on the web to help you determine what you can afford. If you’re pushing the limits, start reducing your debt-to-income ratio now. To get a reality check on what you may actually be spending every month, use this worksheet.

Lenders are happy to lend you as much as your debt load allows. But will that amount make you house poor? Ask yourself, how much house do I really want to afford?

STEP : Make a Down Payment Plan

Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. If you can swing it, do it. You will avoid Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI – making your loan costs much less, and you’ll get a better interest rate.

If, however, you’re not quite able to save the full amount, there are many programs that can help. FHA offers loans with only a 3.5% down payment. But these programs require PMI, which will drive up your monthly payments.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a list of nonprofit home buying programs for each state – this one is for State of Virginia. Also check with credit unions; and your employer might even have an assistance program.

The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) offers loan programs tailored for first-time home buyers as well as homeowners who want to buy in Areas of Economic Opportunity.

As you’re planning your savings strategy, keep in mind that banks like you to “season” your money. That is, they like to see that you’ve had stable funds in your account for 60 to 90 days before applying for a loan. Don’t worry: You can still use a financial gift from a family member or bonus received near the time you buy.

Don’t forget about closing costs!

Closing costs are fees paid at closing and usually total 2% of the final sale price.

To learn more about closing costs and the fees that will be included in your final closing disclosure when purchasing in Northern Virginia, please click HERE.


STEP : Make A List of Priorities

What’s most important in your new home? Proximity to work? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street? Highly rated schools? Being near the Metro? Or maybe you are deciding between resale and new construction home?

You’ll make a much better decision on what home to buy if you focus on your priorities. If it’s a joint decision, now is the time to work out any differences to avoid frustration and wasted time. Perhaps most important: Know what trade-offs you’re willing to make.


STEP : Get Pre-Approved for Your Loan

Majority of sellers is Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun Counties and Washington DC, will not accept offers from buyers who are not pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval shows that the buyers have the financial resources available to make good on their offer.

Select a lender and apply for pre-approval. Your lender will check your credit and ask for all of your financial documents: tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements, student and auto loans, etc.—to accurately assess your financial situation.

Keep in mind that just because you’re pre-approved for a certain amount, it doesn’t mean you can actually afford that amount. Prepare your own monthly budget to figure out what you’ll be comfortable paying.

Once you’re pre-approved, don’t make any big purchases or life changes, such as quitting your job or buying a car, that could negatively affect your credit score.

STEP : Start Shopping for Your New Home

If you’re like most home buyers, you’re browsing homes for sale day and night on the Internet. Make sure to take advantage of Advanced Property Search available on my website – the properties listed, come directly from the local MRIS and have the most up to date information.

In addition, I will send you a hot list of attractive properties that haven’t hit the market yet. That way you’ll get a jump on other buyers before the new listings are advertised or held open. If you locate a “must see” property, please feel free to schedule a private showing with me.

As your agent, I will be targeting homes that meet your priorities in your price range. This way you won’t be wasting time looking at homes you can’t afford. Take as much time and tour as many homes as you need to find the right one.

Important note: the sellers pay all real estate commissions in a home sale, so working with me won’t cost you a thing!


STEP : Make an Offer on a Home

Before submitting an offer, I will make sure to inquire information on a current status of the property and request instructions on offer submission.

Anticipate three common scenarios:

1) sellers will have offer-review date deadline;

2) the sellers will be open to any offers that come in and will review them as they come; or

3) the sellers have an offer/offers in hand. In a competitive conditions, most sellers will have offer-review date. For example, if the house goes on the market on Thursday, the offer deadline date might fall on Monday night; this will allow as many interested buyers as possible to see a home in person and prepare an offer. Steps to buying a home.

When you’re ready, taking into consideration the property’s status, I will help you determine how much to offer and which contingencies to include. In addition, I will provide a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA will show the list and final sale prices for similar homes that recently sold in that area.

The traditional Offer Package in Northern Virginia, consists of:

  • Residential Sales Contract.
  • Conventional, FHA or VA Financing and Appraisal Contingency Addendum.
  • Home Inspection and Radon Testing Contingency.
  • Buyer’s Pre-Approval Letter.
  • Earnest Money Deposit (a personal check in the amount of 1% of the property’s sales price).

STEP : Go Into Escrow

Once you and the sellers agree on all the terms of the offer, the contract will become Ratified, and you’ll enter the escrow – it will take 30 to 45 days from day of ratification to settlement. During this time, you’ll be in very close communication with your agent, lender, and escrow agency – also known as title company.

Follow instructions of your lender and title company, apply for a mortgage right away, and submit requested paperwork promptly. Please download Buyers’ Escrow Checklist HERE.


STEP : Get a Home Inspection

Once your offer is accepted, and a contract to purchase a home is ratified, it’s time to schedule a Home Inspection.

Do you need a Home Inspection? I always recommend to my buyers to inspect the property. The Home Inspection will not only allow you to make sure that the house you are buying has fewer defects as possible, but will also give you an opportunity to renegotiate the price offered for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away from the deal. As your agent, I will advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.


STEP : Do a Final Walk-Through

Do a final walk-through of your new home to make sure the home is in the shape you and the seller have agreed upon. New Pre-Settlement Access to the Property Law in Virginia, allows buyers to conduct multiple walk-through inspections for a period of seven days prior to Closing.


STEP Settlement

This is a final step of home purchasing process. You will arrive to the title company’s office to sign the documents.

Please make sure to bring to closing:

  • Your photo ID
  • Checkbook
  • Certified or cashier’s check for the balance of your down payment plus estimated closing costs.

You will get the keys at the settlement table.

And don’t forget to transfer utilities to your name on the day of closing to ensure uninterrupted services.

That’s it. Congratulations! Steps to buying a home.

What Home Renovations Will Get You the Most Bang for Your Buck?

In the world of home renovation television shows and lucrative flipping businesses, homeowners are constantly asking themselves the question, “what home renovations are really worth it?”

It’s scary to think about dropping large chunk of your hard-earned cash into remodeling efforts when there’s a big question mark over how much money you’ll even recoup at the time of sale.

Luckily, the National Association of REALTORS®, National Association of the Remodeling Industry, or NARI, and Remodeling Magazine have conducted studies and created reports around some of the most common home renovations and the likelihood of losing, gaining or breaking even on your investment.


A New Roof

One of the big questions that comes up when we’re showing homes to potential buyers is, “how old is the roof?”

Putting on a brand-new roof might seem like a huge hassle for an insignificant aesthetic return, unlike a bathroom remodel, but potential buyers see it as a huge make-or-break condition. A whopping forty-five percent of REALTORS® have suggested sellers add a new roof before attempting to sell their home, and the typical value recovered from such a project is 109%. Yes, that means you’d be making money off this investment. Doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

• Median Job Cost: $7,500

• Cost Recouped: $8,150 or 109%

A Kitchen Overhaul

When selling a home your kitchen can either be your greatest selling point, or your worst nightmare. Because this is such a prominent and frequently used part of your home that so easily shows its age, kitchens are always a big part of the house hunting discussion.

Kitchen remodels are a huge expense and you may be at risk of not recouping your entire investment, with a 62% return being the average. But if you’re looking to make a big impact with just one room renovation to stand apart from the competition in the area – this is the way to do it.

Keep in mind that if you are remodeling with the intent to sell, even in the distant future, try to stick to a neutral palette that will appeal to a wide range of buyer tastes and preferences. A kitchen remodel will backfire if all your potential buyers are adding up the cost of removing those bright red cabinets or gold-toned countertops you fell in love with.

• Median Job Cost: $65,000

• Cost Recouped: $40,000 or 62%


New Vinyl Windows

You may not immediately think to replace windows as part of a smart remodel investment strategy, but this project offers a number of benefits for a new homeowner. Windows can provide added safety, more enjoyable sunlight, or energy efficiency, and twenty-one percent of REALTORS® have suggested sellers add them before attempting to sell their home.

It’s very possible to just break even or lose a small amount on this investment, but it’s much lower in overall cost than a huge kitchen remodel and still offers a huge selling point.

• Median Job Cost$18,975

• Cost Recouped: $15,000 or 79%


A Bathroom Update

Because bathrooms are typically amongst the smallest spaces in your home, they need to pack a big punch when it comes to efficiency. Outdated bathrooms often suffer from poor layout or lack functional elements such as storage, a tub for the kids, or removable shower heads.

When it comes to the shower versus tub debate it’s best to let both win. While large walk-in showers are often seen as a luxury add-in, if you must choose between that and a tub you’re better off sticking with the more versatile tub. If you have more than one bathroom to work with, go ahead and put that nice large shower in the master and leave the tub for the second bathroom. After all, a tub is often needed in a spare bathroom for growing families and bath time for the kids.

Also Read:

“Insider Home Staging Tips: Here’s How To Sell Your Home For The Best Price”

Bathroom updates that focus on increasing the functionality and livability of this small space have fared the best when it comes to home renovation returns on investment. It’s likely you’d recover at least half the investment but you would surely succeed in making a space more livable for a potential new owner.

• Median Job Cost: $30,000

• Cost Recouped: $15,000 or 50%


New Hard Wood Flooring

You can’t go wrong with wood flooring — it’s one of the few materials that just refuse to go out of style. It has warmth, blends with any décor, and makes you feel like Lord (or Lady) Grantham just looking at it. Put it where everyone can appreciate it — living room, great room, and your kitchen.

• Median Job Cost: $5,500

• Cost Recouped: $5,000 or 91%


A New Garage Door

This one might surprise you. After all, how many listings have you seen boasting a brand-new garage door? This is one of those smaller home remodel investments that see a high return from potential home buyers.

The reasons for updating this less-than-glamourous amenity typically relates to worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials. If you’re likely to see a high return on your renovation budget for this project – why not add it in?

• Median Job Cost: $2,300

• Cost Recouped: $2,000 or 87%


An Upgraded Landscape

Many homeowners might ignore the state of their lawn when listing their home for sale because they assume the new owners will want to make their own outdoor space changes based on their personal preferences. On the contrary, your lawn can be one area of your home offering the highest return on investment for improvements.

The simple act of seeding or sodding your lawn will typically more than pay for the project. The percent value on adding sod to a lawn brings in an average 143 percent the cost of the renovation, and seeding pushes that to a shocking 417 percent.

Even if your lawn is already looking its best, performing a standard lawn care program can be a real selling point for buyers – who knew? A standard lawn care program typically involves six applications of fertilizer and weed control, and returns an impressive 303 percent on your investment. This sounds like a weekend warrior project that pays.

Other outdoor projects will, on average, allow you to recoup your investment and maybe make a little more on projects such as a new wood deck, patio, or the addition of some new shrubbery.

It’s often hard to know exactly what will make a potential home buyer fall in love with your home or renovation project, so it’s important to stick to the areas with the greatest need and likely largest return. And the more TLC you put into your renovation project the more obvious it will be to your home’s potential new owners that this house has truly been loved and well cared for.

Sod Lawn Median Job Cost: $700

Cost Recouped: $1,000 or 143%

• Seed Lawn Median Job Cost: $120

• Cost Recouped: $500 or 417%!

Sources: NARI & National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Remodeling Impact Report. Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report for Washington DC Metro Area ( © 2017 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

The Truth About Zillow Zestimates


Homeowners and buyers across the country often answer this question by turning to a figure known as a Zestimate, produced by Zillow’s intention is to create an accurate value estimate for the over 100 million homes indexed by the site. Although it won’t give you a figure that’s right on the nose, it can provide a price range to start with during your real estate negotiation.

Wait, What’s a Zestimate?

A Zestimate is Zillow’s attempt to use algorithms and publicly available data points that influence housing prices to estimate a home’s value at any given time. While this is a good idea, in concept, it’s important for buyers and sellers to realize that there’s a bit more to predicting prices than the cold, hard facts.

Often, real estate becomes a very personal and emotional buy. Two houses with the same floor plan, but different shades of brick or different trees in the front yard can have different values to the person doing the buying. That’s really what matters. Ultimately, a home is only worth what the market will bear and what a buyer will give.

The Perception Versus the Reality of Zestimates

Zestimates became popular because outside of an appraisal or comparative market analysis generated by an experienced Realtor, it can be really hard to judge whether your home is gaining or losing value. After all, no one wants to bet on a losing horse, even if they live inside that horse and it provides them with shelter from the elements and a place to make memories (must be a Trojan horse).

Unfortunately, the Zestimate has been responsible for a great deal of confusion since Zillow started using the original algorithm in 2006. Even though the algorithm has been upgraded several times since its inception, it’s not perfect. Unfortunately, people deeply enveloped in the stressful process that is buying a house sometimes become ultra focused on the numbers that Zestimates provide, treating them more as an absolute than a flexible guide.

Because most people don’t really know what goes into valuing a home, this issue of getting married to a valuation that’s not quite on the dot isn’t new. Even before Zillow, many homeowners believed that their home was worth so many dollars due to tax assessments that were often based on outdated information, collected during the initial construction of their home and updated based on average inflation.

In order to determine the most accurate sales price of your home, I will create a Comparative Market Analysis Report that will include a list of similar homes sold in your neighborhood in the last 6 months. This report will allow you to evaluate how your home will fare against the competition.

Also read: “Even the CEO of Zillow Thinks You Should Ask a Real Estate Agent What Your Home is Worth”.

Why Have a Zestimate, Then?

Zestimates aren’t the most accurate way to assess the value of a home because they aren’t able to pick up on the harder to quantify items that go into determining the value of a home. They can’t tell a freshly remodeled 1960’s ranch home from one that’s still got the original shag carpet, for example. They aren’t appraisals. For many homes, though, a Zestimate will get you in the ballpark.

Zestimates work best in areas of high turnover, in neighborhoods with fairly similar homes. Because a Zestimate relies on public data like tax assessments and homeowner corrections of the basics, including the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, it can make a fine starting point for the potential home buyer or seller.

Since you don’t buy and sell real estate constantly, having an overview of the neighborhood’s stats is helpful when you do–but you have to allow for wiggle room. Just because a listed house on Maple Drive has a Zestimate of $203,000 and it’s almost identical to your house next door, it doesn’t mean you won’t get more (or less) when you go to sell.

Taking Your Zestimate to the Next Level

Zestimates can give you a very general idea about the value of your home or a home you’re considering buying, but they aren’t appraisals. The only way to know what a home’s actual value is in the moment (because this can change rapidly in some markets) is to reach out to a home pro for their formal opinion.

If you’ve reached that point where you’re ready to buy or sell a home and want a highly accurate price point to start from, contact your Realtor for a comparative market analysis. Once you have a contract in hand, a professional appraiser will take it from there and give you an exact dollar figure based on hundreds of factors that are a bit too nebulous for the technology we currently have available to reliably assess.

Would you like to know how much your home could sell for today? Click HERE to request my Free comprehensive Home Valuation Report.


Is Your Northern Virginia Home Radon Free? What Every Home Buyer and Seller Needs to Know About Radon Testing & Remediation

Radon Testing & Remediation Information for Home Buyers and Sellers

When buyers fall in love with a home and ready to sign sales contract, one of the questions that comes up during contract review is whether or not the buyers would like to include Radon Resting Contingency. From my experience, majority of home buyers and owners are unfamiliar with what Radon is and don’t know that it might be present in a home. After all, this invisible, odorless gas doesn’t really give itself away.

Testing for Radon and installing remediation system may sound like just an expensive unnecessary task that adds to your laundry list of home improvement projects and expenses. But it’s worth your while to have the home tested because levels of this gas can vary a significant amount, even from one home to the next. Understanding what Radon is and how it enters the home is an important part of the resolution process.

What is Radon?

First, let’s talk about what all the buzz is about. According to the EPA, Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the soil, and it’s produced by the natural breakdown of the uranium found in most rocks and soils. Radon breaks down into solid radioactive elements called radon progeny, which attach to dust and other particles that can enter the house through the cracks or openings in the  foundation. Exposure to high levels of Radon for extensive periods of time, might cause lung cancer.

How Does it Sneak In, Anyway?

Radon, like water vapor, is actually capable of seeping through the pores of solid concrete. That’s right, the radon creeps in through the very foundation of the home. While some new homes are constructed with gas permeable layers and other radon-resistant building materials, radon can sneak in anyway.

Radon Levels in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is a particular problem area, with 56% of the tested homes containing Radon levels higher than recommended by EPA standards. Map below breaks down levels of Radon by area.

Northern Virginia Radon Levels Map
Northern Virginia Radon Levels



Is Radon Gas Present in New Construction Homes?

It doesn’t matter if old or new, radon can find its way into any home.  In fact, realizing the potential problem, majority of new home builders in Northern Virginia rough in PVC Radon ventilation pipes during construction. So later, if you discover high levels of Radon in your new home, you can easily add a fan to convert the Radon vent from passive to active.

Radon Testing

Radon gas is tasteless, odorless and colorless, so the only way to determine if the air in a home has elevated levels of this invisible gas is through Radon testing.

Since Radon sneaks into the house through the foundation, the testing is done in the basement. Many home inspectors are certified to test for Radon, so Radon testing machine can be installed on the day of home inspection.

The test requires all vents, exhaust fans, windows, and doors remained closed, for 48 hours. That’s all. The EPA recommends if the test result are 4pCi/L or higher, you take the steps to lower levels to minimize the risks of exposure. Some choose to opt for longer tests for 30, 60, or 90 days which you may find yield more precise results.

If you are Northern Virginia homeowner thinking about selling your home, you should consider conducting Radon testing and correcting a problem if discovered before putting your home on the market, so that a timely and cost-effective solution can be found.

Is Radon Testing Expensive?

A test is easy and inexpensive but requires the technical skills and knowledge of a trained professional. As an example, a home in Vienna, Virginia was recently tested for only $140.

Lowering Radon Levels

Radon is in the air, both inside and out, so it’s impossible to avoid it completely. But there are things you can do to lower your exposure.

A simple approach to radon reduction is sealing cracks in the floor and walls. This limits the flow of radon into your home, as well as stops the clean, conditioned air from escaping.

For homes that need a drastic reduction, a Radon gas remediation system may also need to be put into place in addition to the sealing of the home. If it turns out there are dangerous levels of radon gas in your Northern Virginia home, you will need a remediation system installed.

The average cost of remediation system in Northern Virginia totals $800-$1,500 and requires special skills and technical knowledge so it is highly recommended to consult an expert.

When searching for homes, don’t be afraid to ask your agent to point out and explain the type of remediation system installed in the home.

Radon Testing Contract Contingency

Because, for most people, the largest potential source of radon exposure is in their own home, with particularly high levels found here in Northern Virginia, it would be wise to include Radon Testing in the sales contract as a contingency. A Radon testing contingency is usually 7-10 days.

If you are a home seller, it is essential to know that Radon testing could be added to a sales contract as a contingency. This means that if high levels of Radon are detected, a buyer can ask the seller to remediate the problem, choose to pay for the remediation themselves, or simply walk away from the contract.

Bottom Line:

While radon is a real issue, it should not be a real estate deal breaker.


How to Prepare Your Home for Sale and Make it Sell Faster

Buyers’ agent won’t have to say: “Picture this!”  The buyers will see your home at its best.

Before listing your home, it’s essential to prepare your home for sale, as it plays an important role in making sure that the home sale becomes a success. The buyers are looking for the best, so the house for sale can become unnoticeable, if it’s not in pristine condition.

Depending on your home’s condition, some renovations or even minor touch-ups, such as a coat of fresh paint, can go a long way towards making a favorable first impression on the potential buyers.

You can prepare your home for sale by using pro staging tips from this article or by hiring a professional to stage your home. In fact,  according to the National Association of REALTORS® “2021 Profile of Home Staging”, 82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, and 41% of buyers were more willing to walk through a home they saw online. The reason –  well staged homes look better, photograph better, and show better. And as a result, sell for higher price, and sell faster than non-staged homes.

Helping buyers fall in love with your property takes more than running the vacuum and fluffing the pillows – it’s all about de-cluttering, repairing, updating, and depersonalizing. It can be as simple as changing the room’s color or as drastic as gutting and updating the bathroom.

When you preparing your home for sale, imagine being a buyer and walk through your home like it’s the first time. The goal is to make potential buyers to become overwhelmed with the “Wow!” factor. You want the buyers to walk in and say, “This is where I’ll curl up with my favorite book.” Or “This is where I’ll entertain the boss, or relatives for Thanksgiving!” Or “This is where the kids will play and that is where we will relax and watch TV!”

The right Home Staging will feature the home and not the occupants and their personal items. Remember, you will only get one opportunity to make a positive first impression with potential buyers.

In order to present your home in the best possible light and beat the competition, all these areas of the house will need your special attention:



Living Room

  • When placing anything from accent pillows and table lamps, go for symmetry, which is pleasing to the eye.
  • Light it up with lamps. Chic lamps provide both added lighting and appealing decor.
  • Make that fireplace glow. Scrub away soot stains and replace the old screen.
  • If you’re using staging furniture or buying slip covers, choose light colors for an airy, inviting feel.
  • Whatever amount of furniture you have in your living room, remove a few pieces to make the room feel spacious.
  • Use bright, coordinated accessories like accent pillows and throw blankets for a chic splash of color.
  • Help buyers imagine their life in your home. Set the scene by displaying a board game or tea service on the coffee table, and arrange furniture in conversational groups.
  • Let a slideshow of beautiful images play on your television like a screensaver. prepare your home for sale



  • Clear everything from THE countertops except for one or two decorative items, like a vase of flowers or bowl of fresh fruit.
  • Pack up all the dishes except one attractive, matching set. Do the same with glassware, flatware, and cookware, and pare down all other cupboard and drawer items down to the minimum.
  • Freshen up and modernize those cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or stain and new hardware.
  • Seriously evaluate your appliances. Can they look new again with a good scrubbing? Give it the old college try or consider replacing with new models. The Real Estate Staging Association strongly recommends stainless steel.
  • Remove those fridge magnets and give the door and handles a good cleaning.
  • Scrub dirt, grime, and stains from walls, cabinets, and backsplashes.
  • Clean cabinet interiors, especially under the sink.
  • Clean and organize the pantry, leaving some empty space to make it look bigger. Store items in decorative baskets and display a few jars of fancy jam and other upscale condiments.
  • Empty all trash cans and move them out of sight. prepare home for sale


  • Pack up all but the clothes you’re wearing this season to make you closets look larger.
  • Swap out the motley crew of mismatched hangers in your closet for a set of wooden ones to create a classy, boutique look.
  • Put jewelry and other valuables in a safe spot.
  • Consider giving extra bedrooms a new identity as a home office, sewing room, or another interesting function.
  • Remove televisions or video game consoles from bedrooms to depersonalize and create a serene setting.

Dining Room

  • Let buyers entertain the idea of entertaining. Set out some chic place settings around the table, or a few wine glasses and a decanter on the buffet.
  • Strike a balance between overly formal and too casual with an attractive runner and a few fun, decorative elements — think small floral vases or short candle holders.


  • It’s de-grime time: Scrub and sanitize the walls, floor, shower door — virtually every surface that comes in contact with steam.
  • Spend extra time scrubbing that tile grout and re-caulk around the tub if necessary.
  • If your bathroom tile is dated, try paint instead of replacing it. Start with a high-adhesion primer and either epoxy or latex paint.
  • Remove clutter from the countertop, tub, and top of toilet. Clean surfaces until they gleam.
  • Pack up and hide all your personal products — from medicine to razors.
  • Create a luxury spa look with a fancy soap dispenser, fluffy white towels, decorative baskets, candles, plants, a white shower curtain, and a new bath mat.
  • Fix leaky or running toilets and replace toilet seats.
  • Remove hard water stains on faucets and shower heads. (Try vinegar!)
  • Take a daring sniff of the drains. Odorous? Clean them out, and deodorize with baking soda, boiling water, or vinegar.
  • Time for a new sink anyway? Try a pedestal sink to optimize precious bathroom space.

Walls, Windows & More

  • Have a dark corner or hallway? Brighten it up with a decorative mirror.
  • Neutralize the walls. If any rooms are painted in dark colors, repaint white or beige.
  • Paint adjacent rooms the same color to make the whole space feel larger.
  • Fill nicks and holes in walls, and touch up with paint.
  • Sorry, wood paneling. It’s time. Paint over paneling with a neutral color. To really cover your tracks, use wood filler between panels and paint over the entire thing.
  • Make sure every switch plate and outlet cover matches and looks brand new.
  • Wash the windows, inside and out. Repair any holes or tears in screens.
  • Replace those family portraits with interesting art placed strategically throughout the house. Avoid leaving dead space on walls.

Throughout the House

  • Declutter! Consider it pre-packing for your move. Box up books, clothes, and personal items and place them (neatly!) in the garage or — better yet — a rented storage unit.
  • Don’t forget to include memorabilia in those decluttering bins. Family photos, diplomas, and the kids’ artwork should all go.
  • Keep closets, basements, and attics as empty as possible to maximize the appearance of storage space.
  • Transform underused areas of the house — the alcove under the stairs or the end of a hallway — into functional spots. Add a desk to create a mini office, or a chair and small bookshelf for a reading nook.
  • Swap dim lights for high-wattage bulbs.
  • Check every door, drawer, and cabinet to ensure they open and close easily. Swap out any faulty — or dingy — hardware.
  • Damaged or aging hardwood floors? Replace damaged boards with new wood, sand down the entire floor, and re-stain.
  • Do a deep (deep, deep) clean. Hire a professional cleaning service to clean your home from top to bottom — including carpets — before viewings.


  • Hang attractive house numbers that are legible from the road.
  • Brighten up your porch with fresh paint or stain.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door, preferably red, black, blue, or wood stain, so long as it complements the trim and doesn’t blend, says The Real Estate Staging Association. Steer clear of unconventional colors like purple.
  • Buy a new doormat to welcome home buyers.
  • Power-wash the house exterior, walkway, steps, driveway, and porch until everything sparkles.
  • Make sure the locks and doorbell function.
  • Make that mailbox look clean and welcoming, or get a new one.
  • Plant lots of colorful blooms in attractive pots and planter beds.
  • Trim back trees and shrubs from the approach to the front door.
  • Whip that yard into shape with fresh sod or new seed
  • Store yard equipment and children’s toys out of sight.
  • Repair shaky banisters.
  • Get a hammock (or bocce ball game or raised fire pit) to show off how fun your yard can be.
  • Dress up any imperfect planting area with mulch.
  • Make sure entryway lights function and are free of cobwebs and insects.
  • Hide trash cans, recycle bins, and garden hoses.
  • Don’t forget your outdoor living space. Stage your patio like a second living room, with fashionable furniture, accent pillows, an outdoor rug, and other patio-friendly decor.

For Pet Owners

  • Scrub those pet stains on the carpets and rugs until totally gone or replace them if necessary. Try cleaning formulas made especially for pet odors.
  • Pet odors soak into your best friend’s favorite things. Completely remove pet beds (or Fido’s most-loved couch), blankets, toys, play structures, food bowls, and the like.
  • Use air fresheners that eliminate odors, rather than simply mask them. There’s nothing worse than the smell of artificial pine with kitty litter undertones.
  • Repair or remove any furniture that’s been scratched or gnawed on.
  • Clean all pet “presents” from the yard.
  • Keep cat boxes immaculate and hidden away, or — better yet — see how your feline-loving friends feel about a temporary house guest and remove litter boxes altogether.
  • Remove any dog or cat doors. Pets? What pets?
  • When you leave the house for a viewing, take all the furry (or feathery or scaly) residents along with you.
  • Make a pet hair sweep the last thing you do before you leave the house.

Day of Showing


  • Add a seasonal touch. Simmer cinnamon sticks in the fall and set out fresh cut lilacs in the spring.
  • Tidy like you’ve never tidied before.
  • Avoid cooking any food for your own meals, but do bake some cookies or other baked goods to leave a welcoming aroma behind.
  • Take off. After all that staging work, you deserve a trip to the spa while potential home buyers are busy falling in love with your house.

Bottom Line

When selling your home, staging tips described in this article have to be used as an important marketing tool to help you compete with other homes and, at the end, to Get the Most Money.

Ready to make a move? Click Here to schedule free no obligation seller consultation!

Sources: – Natalie Burg; “Home Staging For Profit” by Barbara Jennings.