November’s Newsletter is Here!

November’s newsletter is ready for you. View it below or click here to download.

The newsletter’s helpful articles include financial mistakes to avoid when buying a home, fall book recommendations, and the latest Northern Virginia real estate market statistics.

Read all about local photographer Justine Smith and her business Fluttering Shutter Photography. I met Justine through a friend who is one of Justine’s clients, and I was impressed by her photography portfolio. Looking to have some family photos taken? Talk to Justine today!

Thinking of buying or selling a house? Reach out for an appointment now.

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Interior Design Versus Home Staging

People love their homes, and many customize their homes to their personal tastes with interior design. Perhaps you have sentimental items or family photos on display. Maybe a prized family heirloom is featured in your living room. Is your favorite color highlighted in accessories, or maybe even painted on the walls?  Your home has been a haven for you and your family, and that is reflected in the interior design.

When it’s time to sell your house and find a new place to call home, it is important to stage your home to sell, which has some differences compared to interior design. Interior design’s goal is to make your house beautiful and functional for you, while home staging is focused on making your house appeal to everyone else.

While it is work to stage your home to sell, it is well worth it as staged homes sell faster and for more money.  Home staging recommendations (even for homes with great interior design) are to depersonalize, minimize, and create space.

Depersonalizing is making your house more neutral and generic so buyers could see themselves living in that space. Family photos, diplomas, and any accessories or furniture that may be sentimental but aren’t on-trend should be removed. Strong colors should also be replaced: bed linens, throw pillows, and wall paint are easy switches to make a home more neutral. Anything related to pets or politics should be packed up: both can alienate a potential buyer.

Minimizing is getting rid of the stuff on the horizontal surfaces of your home. These items may be great interior design elements that add beauty or utility to your day, but remember that your house, not the stuff in it, is the focus when you are selling. You want buyers to look at the house, and not your possessions. Common items that need to be removed are collections or collectibles, magazines, and small kitchen appliances.

Every buyer wants a house that seems spacious, not cramped. Therefore, a goal of home staging is to create the sense of space. That may mean rearranging (or removing) furniture so that a Realtor and buyer(s) can easily flow into and out of rooms without feeling cramped while touring the home. An interior designer may not have to consider if you have dozens of people in the house for an open house, but a stager certainly does!

Creating a sense of space also means getting rid of any extra storage: you want buyers to think the house has ample storage, not that you’ve needed to create more. An interior designer may come up with beautiful ways to have extra storage, but for home staging purposes all of that extra storage needs to be gone. While an interior designer may not focus on your closets, a stager will. Closets should appear spacious, so excess items need to be removed, and the closets need to be organized.

A house with great interior design is a joy to inhabit, but it may not be optimized to sell. Using the staging strategies of depersonalizing, minimizing, and creating space will help even the most beautiful house sell faster for the most amount of money.

Condo Renovation Part 1: Original Condition

In case you missed it, here’s the Facebook video where I made the big announcement: my husband and I are renovating an investment condo, and I’m sharing every step with you!

I’m excited to help those who are considering real estate investing, or buying a fixer upper, or the standard homeowner who needs some help with home maintenance and renovation.

In this Facebook video I take you on a tour of the unit right after closing, in its original condition. Here are some photos to supplement that video, so you get the full picture.

Stay tuned for future videos and posts detailing the renovation plan and following every step of the process!

A Few Home Improvement Notes: Paint & Open Showers

Hello! In today’s Facebook Live video I discussed some recent home improvement questions I’ve been asked.

Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter is a great color because it’s a neutral with many tones in it, so it works well with whatever other paint colors are in your house.

Open showers: I shared my views on and experience with them in the video. Here’s a Realtor.com article that shares some thoughts on the concept, too.

Open House Sunday 7/15 in Brambleton: 3Bd/3.5Ba Townhouse for $509,000

This Sunday I will be hosting an open house for a wonderful townhouse in Brambleton! This 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath townhouse is well built with many high end touches.

Things I love about this townhouse include that every bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and a walk-in closet.  Another strength is that it has a two car garage, driveway, and there’s plenty of street parking (always a tough find with townhouses). Plus it’s just across the street from Brambleton Town Center!

Full details about the house are here.

I hope you come see this great townhouse this Sunday the 15th! I’ll be there from 1-4pm.