Stafford / Fredericksburg Real Estate News & Market Trends

You will find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community life.  We love our region and want to share our passion with you!  Please reach out if you have any questions. We would be pleased to share a cup of coffee with you! (or a glass of wine)

Dec. 7, 2017

Fredericksburg Real Estate Overflows with Goodness

Fredericksburg real estate families eat healthy and feel great. Filled with fresh food each week, the Fredericksburg Farmers Market presents a vast variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and other staples. Wares are expertly displayed by the locale's farmers and bakers. Three convenient locations make shopping a breeze. It’s easy to skip the grocery store and shop in the fresh air instead.

The Hurkamp Farmers Market takes place year round Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hurkamp Park. Found on the sides of Prince Edward and George Streets colorful fruits and vegetables draw folks in. Grass fed meats, free range eggs, and local honey all line the aisles. Homemade baked goods tempt those with a sweet tooth. Cookies, brownies and cakes are prettily wrapped and ready for folks to take home for dessert. Handcrafted items are also often in the stands. Local artists proudly display their whimsical and unique efforts. Special events frequent the Hurkamp Farmers Market calendar. Favorite pastimes include Art in the Park, Kids’ Market, Farmers Market Week, Community Day and Harvest Festival.

Thursdays in May through October mark the season for the Mayfield Neighborhood Market. Held in the late afternoons from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the corners of Dixon and Tyler Streets this Fredericksburg real estate area is known for both produce and vibrant plants and flowers. Also activated seasonally, the Mary Washington Healthcare Market Express is accessed at 1001 Sam Perry Blvd. and open from May until September.

Fredericksburg Homes are Filled with Memories Tried and True

Many parents take the opportunity offered by the Fredericksburg Farmers Market to prepare farm to table meals. Simple times often make the best memories and cooking together is a tradition long inspired. Consulting a recipe, shopping for ingredients and then preparing dinner with youngsters in Fredericksburg homes creates feel good moments that are truly cherished. Information on additional Regional Farmers Markets in the area can be found here.

 

Posted in News
Dec. 5, 2017

Housing Inventory Disappearing

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, and the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report which gives insight into today’s market conditions.

Inventory Levels & Demand

Sales of existing homes rose 5.1% month-over-month in March and are 1.5% higher than this time last year. Sales rose in all four major regions in March.

Total unsold housing inventory is 1.5% lower than March 2015 at a 4.5-month supply and remains well below the six months that is needed for a historically normal market.

Consumer confidence is at the highest level in over a decade. Pair that with interest rates still below 4%, programs available for down payments as low as 3%, and you have an attractive market for buyers.

Homes sold in March were on the market for an average of 47 days and 42% of properties sold in less than a month.

Prices Rising

March marked the 49th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median price of existing homes sold rose to $210,700 (up 5.7% from 2015).

So What Does This Mean?

The chart below shows the impact that inventory levels have on home prices.

fredericksburg va real estate

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun gave some insight into the correlation:

“Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well. However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the Fredericksburg VA real estate market in 2016, now may be the time. The number of buyers ready and willing to make a purchase is at the highest level in years. Let’s meet up so we can get the process started.

Posted in News
Oct. 31, 2017

Guide to Selling Your Home When You Need it to Sell Yesterday

So you’re looking for a guide to selling your home. But you needed it sold yesterday. First, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. With the right professional help, you got this! Here are a few tips and tricks to get your started:

Guide to Selling Your Home

1. Price it right

The experts at HGTV suggest making a bold move when it comes to pricing: “Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids, (even in the worst markets), and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.” This approach isn’t for every seller, but it’s worth considering if you need your home to move fast.

2. Amp up your curb appeal

Your home’s first impression may be its only impression. A Texas A&M survey found that curb appeal increases sales prices by up to 17%. And you don’t need to spend a fortune to up your home’s game. Lush green grass is huge for potential buyers, so be willing to raise your water bill for a while. Spruce up your landscaping. Fix anything outside that could make your home look rundown, like:

  • Missing shingles
  • Rusty gutters
  • A fading paint job
  • A stained driveway

These fixes are relatively inexpensive, and can make a big difference in appeal to potential buyers.

3. Hire an expert

When you need your home to sell now, don’t go at it alone. Hire an expert with years of experience to guide you through the process. Working with a seasoned realtor takes the burden off the homeowner, allowing you to focus your energy on what really matters: your family, your life, and preparing for your big move.

Certified Military Relocation Specialist Missy Walden is the expert you need to get your home sold fast, and for a great price. Call or text her today at  540-903-5171 !

Posted in News
Oct. 25, 2017

How to Market A Home: Tips from the Experts

How to market a home? There’s no magic formula. But there are some key tips that will help you make the most of what you’ve got, and get the best price for it. Homes in this market aren’t just listed. They need skillful and attentive marketing. Nothing can replace the advice of a seasoned professional, so make sure you have one on your team as you start this journey.

How to Market A Home

Tip #1: empty out your closets.

Buyers adore ample storage. It’s a huge selling point. So take the time to declutter, organize, and at least half-empty your closets and cabinets. Potential buyers will peak and snoop. Make sure they like what they see.

Tip #2: maximize natural light.

“Good light” is one of the top things buyers seek in a new home. Throw open the shades, trim back shrubbery, and do everything you can to make your home as bright and cheerful as possible. If possible, arrange showings for the time of day when the lighting is at its best advantage.

Tip #3: hide evidence of pets.

Potential buyers don’t want to stumble upon pet hair, odors, or chewed-up toys. Not every buyer is an animal lover. If possible, keep pets out of the way during showings, and tidy their spaces thoroughly.

Tip #4: upgrade your kitchen.

When marketing your home, the kitchen is often the first thing buyers look at. A great kitchen can sell a home like no other room in the house can. Make sure it looks clean, modern, and not out of date. Update the hardware and fixtures, add a fresh coat of paint, and make sure the cabinets are neutral. If you can swing it, adding at least one upgraded stainless steel appliance can add value to the whole space.

Tip #5: depersonalize your space.

A buyer wants a home they can see themselves in. They want to envision their lives in the new space. Walls covered in family photos and personal knick-knacks can distract from that vision. Do your best to make the space clean, lovely, and devoid of very personal items. Think of making your home look like a great hotel room. Gorgeous, but neutral.

Tip #6: hire a professional.

Marketing a home is not a job for the novice. Hiring a professional realtor can make all the difference in the world when it comes to selling your home quickly and getting the price you deserve. Don’t go at it alone!

If you’d like to speak to a real estate professional, contact Missy today!

Posted in News
Oct. 18, 2017

5 Pitfalls of DIY Home Marketing

While it can be tempting to do your home marketing by yourself, tread with caution. The wiser choice may be to have a professional realtor on your side. Their years of experience and success are worth more than gold when it comes to selling your home. Here are just 5 potential pitfalls of trying to market your home on your own.

5 Pitfalls of DIY Home Marketing

1. Bargain Hunters

Bargain hunters tend to prey on families who are selling their homes themselves. They often come with cash in hand or very large down payments, but with heavy pressure to sell well below market value. They are usually very good at what they do, and know who they can most easily take advantage of. It can be hard to navigate these shark-infested waters without the help of a seasoned professional on your side!

2. Buyers without Adequate Financing

It’s very important to ensure your potential buyers have the financing required to purchase your home. Homes can be tied up for months while a buyer tries to get financing they may not be qualified for, costing you critical time and maybe even the sale. Never tie your home up in a contract unless the buyer can provide you with a letter from their lender stating that they are pre-approved. Note that this is not the same as pre-qualified. Hiring a professional realtor can help you avoid the months of potential stress and headaches that unqualified buyers can bring.

3. Difficult Hours

When selling your home on your own, you need to be prepared for very late and very early phone calls, and potentially inconvenient showings. Potential buyers are generally only concerned with their own schedules, which can be difficult for the sellers. If you plan to sell your home solo, you will need to set firm boundaries about your availability and stick with them. A truly interested buyer will be accommodating to your family’s schedule.

4. Subpar Photography: The Home Marketing Dead-End

Many a marvelous home has been passed over based on poor photography and dreadful (or even non-existent) video walkthroughs. Homes cannot just be sold, they must be marketed. That includes top-notch photo and video documentation, a strong web and social media presence, and someone to do that marketing skillfully and consistently.

5. Inappropriate Pricing

When homeowners price their homes themselves, they often do so without enough research. Some homeowners overprice, thereby destroying their home’s marketability. Or they underprice and fail to get the cash their home deserves. If you plan to price your home yourself, you must commit to extensive market research beforehand.

 

My best to you always, 

 

Missy Walden

National Association of Expert Advisors

www.askthewaldenteam.com   

 

Posted in News
Oct. 11, 2017

Marketing Your Home When You’re Stationed Across the Country

Marketing your home can feel like an overwhelming process even when you’re living in it. Trying to sell it from across the country, (or even the world), is a different struggle entirely. You’ll need all the help you can get to have peace of mind as you embark on selling your home. Here are a few expert tips to get you started.

Tips for Marketing Your Home

Consider having your home professionally staged.

Staging can make a huge difference in selling your home quickly, and getting the best price possible for it. If you are currently living elsewhere, half the job is already done. Much of the bother of the staging process involves removing clutter and personal items from the space, which is a non-issue if your home is already unoccupied. A beautifully staged home can really set your home apart in a crowded market.

Invest in excellent photography.

Most home marketing happens online and via social media, which is an ideal setup when you are living far away. Often, your marketing is only as good as your pictures. Find a great photographer that will show off your home to its best aspects, and do a high definition video walkthrough as well. Many lovely homes have been passed over by potential buyers due to low-quality photography.

Hire a professional when marketing your home

There is no better time to hire a realtor who is a military relocation specialist than now. They can be your representative and advocate in your absence, and ensure that you get the best possible price for your home. A military relocation specialist is uniquely trained to meet your family’s needs from afar. There is no better choice you can make when selling your home from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. No other type of realtor is as thoroughly educated in the unique needs of the military family, and how to meet them with both efficiency and compassion.

Talk to Missy Walden today to start the journey of selling your home! Call or text: 540-903-5171

Posted in News
Oct. 4, 2017

5 Tips for Staging Your Home

Staging your home beautifully can make all the difference in the world when it comes to making a quick sale at a great price. It’s an investment that will pay dividends in the future. According to Kara Vallenari, owner of Prime Home Staging in Dallas, “Staging costs less than your first price reduction. Put your best foot forward and stage before you list. Don’t have buyers flipping over your home and then decide to stage later.” Here at 5 quick tips to get you started!

Tips for Staging Your Home

1. Declutter your home.

This is the time to be brutal! Begin by packing up everything but the essentials. Clear surfaces and countertops. Put away family photos. (Not only does this help the potential buyers see themselves in the home, but it keeps your images off the internet.) Use attractive storage containers to tuck away essentials and keep them out from underfoot. The less clutter, the better. And the more clutter you get rid of now, the less you’ll have to pack when the time comes.

2. Take the time to make simple updates.

Think new light fixtures, updated faucets, and polished landscaping. These small upgrades can make a big difference in buyer appeal.

3. Take advantage of what nature has to offer.

Fling open the window shades to allow as much natural light as possible. Bring in fresh flowers before photos are taken and potential buyers see the home. Beautifully arranged flowers can set any room apart. Also, vibrant green grass goes far in the minds of potential buyers. So water, water, water and make that lawn stand out!

4. Appeal to all the senses when staging your home.

When staging your home, consider all the senses. Play soft instrumental music while buyers take a turn about the rooms. Artfully place fresh flowers. Utilize lush throws and area rugs for texture. Hire a cleaning service to ensure every nook and cranny is spotless. And throw some cookies in the oven. You can’t beat the smell of fresh baked goods!

5. Hire an excellent photographer.

All the staging in the world won’t help you sell if you can’t show off your home. High-quality photography and video shared on the web and social media can really set your home apart. The investment is worth every penny when you consider how many homes are passed over due to low-quality cell phone pictures.

Posted in News
Sept. 27, 2017

I’m Looking to Sell My House: What’s Next?

If you’re Googling “looking to sell my house,” you may not know where to begin. Preparing to sell your home can be overwhelming, but it can also be an exciting time of anticipating new adventures. Here are some things to consider as you get started:

When “looking to sell my house,” give yourself a deadline.

Houses sell fastest during the spring and summer months. But if you find yours is still on the market into the fall, consider taking it back off the market. Most homes that sell will sell within the first month of listing. If your house has sat on the market for six months or more, buyers may assume something is wrong with the property.

If at all possible, sell before you buy.

Paying two mortgages is never ideal. No matter how great a prospective new home looks, try to sell your current home before making an offer. It will save you plenty of stress headaches in the long run.

Make sure your finances are in order.

Is all of your non-mortgage debt paid off? Do you have at least three months worth of emergency funds set aside? Is your credit good?  If so, you’re probably in good shape to sell your home and invest in a new one.

Put your home’s best foot forward.

Make any and all needed repairs and improvements. Spruce up the landscaping. Add a fresh coat of pain. Make sure your curb appeal is up to snuff. When the time comes to show the house, consider having it professionally staged to make the space look its best.

Don’t just list your home; really market it.

This is where hiring an expert real estate agent comes in. You may be tempted to try to save money by selling your home solo, but don’t be fooled. Working with a great realtor will get you the most money possible from your home, not to mention a quicker sale. Your realtor knows how to make your home shine in the eyes of potential buyers. They will market your house with top-quality photos, video walkthroughs, and an excellent social media presence. This is no area to scrimp on an expert.

Posted in News
Sept. 21, 2017

Why Hire A Realtor?

Why hire a realtor? It may be tempting to consider doing it alone when it comes to buying a home. Perhaps you think you’ll save money and have more control over the process if you skip hiring a realtor. This is simply not true! Working with a seasoned, licensed professional will make your home-buying process go infinitely more smoothly. Here are just a few reasons why hiring a realtor is a great idea:

Hiring a realtor means you’ll have access to every single home on the market.

A professional realtor can access every single listed home on the market, even homes that are not listed publicly. Using the tools of their trade, they can find your dream home more quickly and efficiently than a layman ever could. A realtor can even get tips on great deals before they hit the market, keeping you a step ahead of other buyers.

Hire a realtor so your “Dream Home” can fit your budget

An excellent realtor will find homes that both meet your exacting criteria, and meet your budget. A professional knows how to make the venn diagram of “perfect home” and “perfect price” overlap just right. A task that isn’t always easy to accomplish without a professional eye and resources.

A realtor can negotiate on your behalf

Negotiations are not for the faint of heart. Without the right training and experience, it’s easy to end up paying a less-than-ideal price. An expert realtor can negotiate fiercely and effectively to ensure you’ll get the best deal possible on your dream home. They have the skills to close the deal quickly and efficiently, getting you into your new home faster.

A realtor knows the local neighborhoods and communities.

Working with a realtor will ensure that you choose a neighborhood that will meet your family’s needs. A realtor knows the neighborhoods, the schools, and the local culture and attractions. A realtor can guide you toward a neighborhood that will be an ideal fit for your family and lifestyle. Need to be close to work? A realtor can help with that. Need a special school to meet your children’s needs? A realtor knows where you need to be zoned. Want to be close to great food, parks, and attractions? A realtor can guide you to the ideal community.

Posted in News
Sept. 15, 2017

How to Hire An Agent

If you’re looking to purchase a home, your next step is to hire an agent. You should seek out a real estate professional who is seasoned, highly trained, and sought-after in your community. But how do you know if an agent will be a good fit? Here are some key points to keep in mind as you seek the perfect professional to work with:

Talk with some of the agent’s recent clients.

A good real estate agent will be willing to share a contact list for homes they have listed and sold in the past year. When speaking with their past clients, try to get a feel for their overall experience with the agent. If they were selling, ask them how long their home was on the market. If they were buying, ask if they got a price they were pleased with.

Choose an agent with awards to their name.

Any peer-given award says a lot about the agent. Keep your eyes open for agents who’ve been designated “Realtor of the Year” by a state or local branch of the National Association of Realtors. That award is a tremendous endorsement.

Hire an agent with solid licensing and credentials.

You should be able to do a quick search for your agent online to assure that they are licensed in your state. This same search should reveal any disciplinary actions or complaints against the agent in question too. You also may want to choose an agent with specialized credentials that will better meet your needs. For example, a CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) will have completed additional training in handling residential real estate. An SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) will be certified in helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range. A MRS (Military Relocation Specialist) is certified in meeting the unique needs of military families. An agent who calls him/herself a Realtor with a capital “R” means that they are a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Find out how long the agent has been in business.

Ideally, you want to choose an agent who has been in business for at least 5 years or more. Anything less, and you may be part of their learning curve. Choosing an agent with many years of experience under their belt, and with many satisfied clients, will help ensure that you also have a great buying or selling experience.

Posted in News