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SML Real Estate Market Update- February 2015


High sales levels, sellers negotiating, and good buyer traffic are the main headlines to report for the Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate market this month. This year has started off terrific in the local real estate scene with numbers up in some property categories by almost double of what they were at the same time last year.

This Month’s Market Advice:

  • Buyers – Sales are flat with additional pricing pressure for both water access homes and condos/townhomes.  If you’re interested in these segments, you’re likely to find sellers who are willing to negotiate on price to get their listing sold.
  • Sellers – Qualified buyers are in the market to BUY!  You need to already be on the market if you want to sell in 2015 — especially if you are selling a waterfront home or property where pending sales activity is trending off the charts!

Stay Up To Date On The Smith Mountain Lake Market With Monthly Reports!

My team and I produce a monthly market report full of numbers, trends, analysis, and advice that you can use to navigate the waters of the Smith Mountain Lake real estate market.  Check out the report preview below and click Sign Me Up subscribe to my real estate newsletter — Living Lakeside.  With these resources, you’ll always know what is happening in the local market.

Historically this time of the year is slow, this is not the case for 2015. We are busy as ever here at the office with serious buyers looking at properties, and sellers inquiring about putting their home on the market before the competition gets fierce in the spring and summer selling seasons. Despite the train of thought that spring and summer are the best times to buy or sell, many (including myself) say that now is the time to be in the market.

Contact me to learn more about the great opportunities that currently exist in the Smith Mountain Lake markets for both buyers and sellers.

Top 5 Myths about Real Estate

In the real estate business we hear myths all the time, such as “The home on the cul-de-sac will sell better than the one down the street.” But just because someone has a preconception about something doesn’t mean its true, nor does reading something on the internet make it true either. A myth can be defined as “any idea, concept, or invented idea.”  Here are the five most common real estate myths that I hear and are also commonly misconstrued.

Myth #1: First-floor condos are not desirable 5 Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Mythsbecause of privacy and noise concerns.

First-floor units are common here at Smith Mountain Lake and also very desirable. They offer a number of advantages, one of which is the ease of access. No stairs to climb or elevator to deal with. Noise concerns may be a concern no matter what level a condo is on, so my suggestion is to look into soundproofing options if it is an issue for you. You can purchase sound-dampening acoustical panels or specific window treatments that decrease noise. If you are looking for more privacy in a ground floor unit, you can look into installing “top down, bottom up blinds”. These can be raised up and down to let in light but also allow for additional privacy.

Myth #2: You get back all of the money that you put into upgrading and remodeling when you sell a property.

I see cost versus value surveys all the time that show what a seller typically gets out of certain remodeling projects and other home improvement upgrades. Mind you these are just averages and each property and project will be different, but usually no one ever sees a 100 percent return on a remodeling project investment. But it can help the resale value, increase the buyer pool and also decrease the time on market when a property has had certain upgrades completed. Buyers are always on the look out for remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, but not one that has been updated to taste specific.

Myth #3: First impressions are everything. If your home doesn’t appeal to a prospective buyer from the outside, they won’t take the time to go inside.

It all depends on the buyer. I have had prospective buyers drive by a house and not be impressed with the outside but still schedule an appointment to view the home. In some instances, the inside of the home impressed the client, and they did make an offer despite the lack of curb appeal. Once they purchased the property, then they made alterations to increase the curb appeal and it made a tremendous difference. Other clients may not even take the time to look inside based on the appearance outside.

Myth #4: All paint colors must be neutralized before listing a property for sale.

If you have a red kitchen or yellow dining room, it doesn’t necessarily need to be repainted for resale purposes. In some instances, the color of the room brings out other features or adds more ambiance. Every buyer is going to have their personal preferences in terms of color, so even if you were to change the paint color to something more neutral they may paint it again later after purchasing the property. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s not too bold and detracts from the space then the color can stay. But I will admit that throughout my career in real estate I have seen some pretty awful color choices that in my opinion wouldn’t appeal to any buyer.

Myth #5: Swimming pools never add much value to a property.

While a lot of Smith Mountain Lake residents have the biggest swimming pool right in their backyard (i.e. the lake), some homes also feature a swimming pool as an additional luxury. Having a pool doesn’t necessarily make a property tougher to sell, in fact, some buyers have a pool on their list of must have’s in a home. Granted you will find increased utility bills and maintenance with a pool. A property with a swimming pool usually increases the value somewhat, but never to the full extent of what the pool costs to install.

Don’t fall victim to a real estate myth. A real estate professional, like myself can always help you better understand buying and selling.

Kitchen Staging: How to Make Buyers Hunger for Your Kitchen!

Regarded as one of the top rooms to stage, the kitchen serves as the hub of activity for many homeowners. Whether your kitchen is an ode to the culinary arts with its gourmet capabilities and top of the line finishes or perhaps seen better days, the appearance of the kitchen is crucial to the first impressions of your home.

Here are my top 6 tips for staging your kitchen to sell!

  1. Remove anything attached to the refrigerator. Magnets, photos, calendars and any other item. The last thing that buyers want to see are personalized items. Staging Your Kitchen to Sell
  2. Clean the refrigerator. Although you may think that prospective buyers don’t check inside the refrigerator, in most cases they take a peek.
  3. Less is more. Try to limit countertop items to just two essentials at the most. This could mean leaving a coffee pot and stand mixer out, or whatever you think that you can’t live without on the counter. But ideally a counter would be completely free of all items. Read More→