Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Finding the Right Listing Agent for Your Northern Virginia Real Estate

Choosing the right real estate agent in Northern Virginia is a decision that requires careful consideration, research and even gut instincts. You should feel confident that your agent has your best interests in mind, but many home sellers often ask exactly how much they need to trust them.

Trustworthiness is key to a successful real estate transaction in Annandale, Alexandria, Arlington, Burke, McLean and Springfield, to name a few. So as you set out to choose a real estate agent, contemplate if you trust them enough to accomplish the following:

Sell the biggest asset you have
For most families in Northern Virginia, their home is the largest asset they own. Many times the equity they have in the property is also the largest percentage of their wealth. Ask yourself if you trust your agent enough to negotiate the sale of an asset with this much importance. 

Find the right price
In my last blog post, I outlined the value of pricing your home from the beginning. The right real estate agent will suggest a price point that drives competition and interest, not one that places it outside of buyer affordability.

Agree with your schedule
Selling your home in Northern Virginia typically comes with a timeline attached. Do you know when you'd like to be out of your current home and into the next? Your real estate agent should be trusted to coordinate the home selling process to match a certain schedule.

Negotiate on your behalf
Real estate transactions involve many different parties and different negotiations. For sellers, one such negotiation is agreeing on the best price and terms with the buyers. NoVA homeowners should feel at ease with their agent handling these exchanges.

You can count on me to walk you through every step of the process and answer any questions you have along the way. I stake my reputation on each transaction and make it my priority to pursue what is best for each person. That is something you cannot always count on with the average agent!

Give me a call today to discuss how we can work together to sell your NoVA home!

I happily serve the areas of Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lake Ridge, McLean, Mount Vernon, Reston, Rosslyn, Springfield, Tyson’s Corner and Vienna. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rules to Follow When Pricing Your Northern Virginia Home

It is a big step to sell your home in Northern Virginia and one that brings many important decisions along with it. Homeowners will need to tackle choosing when to list, staging and of course, pricing. 

Pricing your home is a delicate process and it should be done right from the beginning. With my decades of real estate experience, you can be assured we will arrive at the best price for your property and the area, but as a home seller, it is always wise to do the extra homework. 

As you think over the pricing aspect of selling your NoVA home, here are a few things to keep in mind:

The listing price is key
When you list your home in Alexandria, Arlington, Annandale, Centreville, McLean or Springfield, remember that price is king. The listing price will determine how long the property sits on the market and how many buyers will take notice. 

Pricing too high will reduce the number of interested homebuyers, especially those who have set price parameters in online home searches. As a result, the home can sit and after several months, others may start to wonder what is wrong with the property.

Look into similar homes
As your local real estate expert, I will find a listing price that takes into account comparable homes that have sold in the area. You can also look into homes that have the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage for a better idea of what your home might be worth in today's real estate market.

What buyers want
Consider your neighborhood as well as what homebuyers want when pondering how much your home may sell for in the NoVA market. If there is a new construction property around the same size down the street that just sold at a high price point, that is something to take into account as you compare your 1950's home

Your renovations
A real estate agent will be able to give you an idea of how much value those new appliances will bring you when you list your home. There are certain updates that can boost your home's value and thus, listing price, but it's important that you remain reasonable. Improvements do not always recoup all of their cost at resale.

Pricing is just one of the keys to selling your home successfully this year! Contact me today to discuss what your home might be worth in the current real estate market

I happily serve the areas of Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lake Ridge, McLean, Mount Vernon, Reston, Rosslyn, Springfield, Tyson’s Corner and Vienna. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

3 Things to Consider Before Moving to a Bigger Northern Virginia Home

With mortgage rates at historically low rates and home values rising, many Northern Virginia homeowners are currently contemplating a move. Now is indeed the time to purchase a home with more storage space, more bedrooms, more overall square footage or even a home in a better neighborhood

As your real estate agent in Northern Virginia, I'm happy to help you find your bigger, better dream home, but there are just a few factors to consider in your decision to move up.

The right mortgage
When moving up in Alexandria, Arlington, Annandale, Springfield, McLean or Falls Church, to name a few, the type of mortgage you obtain is crucial. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be for you if you're not planning on being in the home for an extended amount of time. Adjustable-rate mortgages can save you money as the rate is typically lower than a 30-year fixed-rate and guaranteed for your particular loan term.

On the contrary, fixed-rate loans have a higher interest rate but provide the homebuyer security by locking in that rate over the entire life of your loan.

Mortgage qualifications
When you move to a larger home in Northern Virginia, you may obtain what's called a "jumbo mortgage." Jumbo mortgages are loans that are above "average" with an amount more than $417,000 for a single-family home. If this fits the bill for your new home in NoVA, be prepared! Jumbo mortgages do require stronger credentials and the process can be more intense than others, however it does all depend on your lender.

If you're in the market to purchase a home in the DC area and are looking for a lender recommendation, do not hesitate to reach out! I have decades of expertise in the area and can connect you to a professional that will assist you in your mortgage process.

Refinancing options
There are mortgage options—commonly called piggyback options— that allow for a second mortgage or home equity loan to be taken out by a homeowner at the same time their first is refinanced or even started. When you're moving to a larger home, you may be mulling over combining your first and second mortgages to reduce costs. It is always wise to explore all of these options in your decision to move up. 

The real estate market has been improving over the past year and now is the time to make a move! Contact me today to get started on your house-hunt for your NoVA dream home.

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Alexandria, Burke, Mount Vernon Fall Festivals Come to Northern Virginia

It's that time of year again! Labor Day is officially behind us and the fall season is soon to arrive. If you're a resident of Northern Virginia, you know that our area boasts some of the most beautiful scenery as the seasons change, but that's not all! NoVa is home to a host of fall festivals that are planned to kick off over the next month.

Get ready to enjoy the cooler weather and the best of Northern Virginia communities like Burke, Reston, Alexandria and Mount Vernon by visiting the follow events:

September 11-12, 2015
Reston Town Center
Reston, VA

Reston begins its ChalkFest with professional artists, sponsors and businesses on Friday, September 11, before opening the event to the public on Saturday, September 12. ChalkFest is held between Library and Presidents Streets and celebrates street art made with of course, chalk. There will be prizes awarded in various categories as well as the chance to watch some true artists in their element.

Burke Centre Festival
September 12-13, 2015
Saturday: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM, Wine Garden 5-10 PM; Sunday: 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Burke Centre Conservancy Grounds
Burke, VA

Admission is free to the 38th Annual Burke Centre Festival! Highlights include amusement rides, live musical entertainment, food vendors, nature show, arts and crafts and more.

Colonial Market and Fair
September 19-20, 2015
9 AM-5 PM
George Washington's Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA

This annual event features dozens of America's best craftspeople, as well as 18th Century music, military drills, General Washington himself, speciality food and numerous craft demonstrations!  

Alexandria King Street Art Festival
September 19-20, 2015
Saturday: 10 AM-7 PM; Sunday: 10 AM-5 PM
King Street
Alexandria, VA

Just minutes from Washington, DC, Old Town Alexandria is home to a thriving arts scene. This local festival transforms the city's historic main street into a one-of-a-kind outdoor gallery. Booths will line King Street, with over six blocks of artwork from more than 200 artists both local and international. 

If you've been contemplating a move to Northern Virginia, do not hesitate to give me a call! I will put my decades of local real estate experience to work for you and help you settle into our community just in time to enjoy all that the beautiful fall season has to offer.

I happily serve the areas of Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lake Ridge, McLean, Mount Vernon, Reston, Rosslyn, Springfield, Tyson’s Corner and Vienna. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Buying a Home in Northern Virginia in September Brings Opportunity

Summer presented a host of opportunities for both new and seasoned homebuyers in Northern Virginia. The historically-low mortgage rates prompted area residents to jump into the real estate market and rising home values gave local homeowners a needed push to make a move.

And while the summer is just about over, the opportunities are not ending with it! Northern Virginia homebuyers will have ample time to purchase a home and reap the rewards this September.

The school year plays a big part in homebuyers scoring a deal on a home in NoVa and with the kids back in school, it's time to get started on your home search. Follow these tips for finding a home in Arlington, Alexandria, Springfield, Falls Church, McLean or Annandale this fall:

Get started!
You may have waited to start your home search all summer and if you plan to buy in September or October, that can really pay off! But don't procrastinate any longer— get started on your home search in NoVa as soon as possible. There is less competition in the market due to buyers wanting to move before the start of school and you will now have a better chance of getting an accepted offer.

Remain flexible in your terms
It is not unreasonable to ask for certain concessions in your home purchase in Northern Virginia— for instance, sellers contributing to closing costs. However, it is also important that you remain flexible. If the seller cannot budge on their price, other things to ask for might include appliance upgrades or a warranty.

Your real estate agent is your go-to for any questions about formatting a great offer. If you're not sure what you can ask for from the sellers, know that your agent is a wealth of knowledge!

Feel free to take your time
In the height of the summer months, it was not uncommon for homes to sell within days of coming on the market. But now that school is in session, you can take your time in finding the perfect NoVa home. Less competition means more time to find the property that fits your needs and more time to make an offer that you feel comfortable with.

If you're ready to take advantage of the fall real estate market in Northern Virginia, contact me today

I happily serve the areas of Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lake Ridge, McLean, Mount Vernon, Reston, Rosslyn, Springfield, Tyson’s Corner and Vienna.