12 Home Staging Tips That Are Designed to Sell

Staging your home helps you build that memorable first impression for potential buyers. You have to showcase your home’s strength and downplay its weaknesses. Staging is also especially important in slow markets with high inventory and many competing homes. Heed these simple yet effective staging tips that may just help you close the sale.

staging tips

1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

Get rid of your old items and things you don’t necessarily need. Give yourself a rule that when a new thing comes, the old one must go. Organize your shelves to show off how much storage you really have, as prospective buyers love homes with lots of storage spaces. Clearing away your clutter will definitely help make the house look tidier and bigger.

2. Place a Welcome Mat

An enticing entrance is key when you’re luring prospective buyers. A new welcome mat that complements the style of your home can easily convince them to see more. Remember, first impressions are always important. So adding fresh potted plants to an entry area could also create a relaxing atmosphere on the way in.

3. Swap Personal Photos with Artwork

Replacing those personal pictures of yours and your family with pieces of artwork will help your potential buyers envision themselves living in your home. You can opt to buy paintings of landscape scenes, modern shapes or floral motifs at thrift shops to create a focal point for your home. You can also print out inspirational travel images to display a certain lifestyle.

4. Refresh With Paint

Put a fresh coat of paint in white or neutral colors to give new life to outdated doors, walls, and casing. It will make the house look cleaner and more contemporary.

5. Give Importance to Home Lighting

The secret to a great staged home that looks warm and welcoming is great lighting. Nobody wants to go in a house that projects a dim vibe just because it is improperly lighted. Increase the wattage in your lamps or fixtures and put them in key areas. Also open up windows and curtains to let the sunshine in and naturally brighten up the whole room.

6. Group Furniture Away From Walls

Move away from the common idea that rooms will feel larger and be easier to use if all the furniture is pushed against the walls. Instead, reposition sofas and chairs into conversational groups and place pieces of furniture away from the walls. It will help make the space more user-friendly and make the room seem bigger.

7. Transform Old or Unused Rooms

Repurpose an extra room into a space that will certainly add value to your home. You can turn that old junk room into a mini library with a comfortable reading spot by placing a bookshelf, a comfortable armchair and a small table. Or turn it into a yoga room or a mini entertainment hub. Either way, it will help the potential buyers envision the room with a special purpose that will suit their lifestyle.

8. Recycle Your Resources

Look for ways to salvage old materials to save money. Repurpose old junk and turn them into something new and useful, like making headboards out of old doors or turning strips of hardwood flooring into new fences.

9. Arrange Decorative Displays and Group Them into Three’s

Assembling classy and colorful displays, such as vases, lanterns, books and other decorative items, atop dressers and counters could give your house a cozy and relaxing look. It will also increase the room’s general appeal. Arrange them in odd numbers, preferably in three’s, and in varying heights and shapes, while keeping them in the same color family.  You can also try to mix and match items from craft stores to create a unique but modern look.

10. Decorate the Bathroom with White Linens

Tidy up your washroom by using white towels, bath mats and shower curtains for that clean and elegant look. Take it a bit further by creating spa-like displays, such as adding candles, fresheners and special soaps. Stack hand towels neatly near the sink and complement it with other accessories.

11. Refurbish the Kitchen

The first thing to do when staging your kitchen for homebuyers is to keep the countertops nice and clear. Put only a few items as displays, or center a bowl of fresh fruits or a vase with flowers to add a touch of color. If you can’t afford new doors or cabinets, refresh the old ones with paint that match your kitchen walls.

12. Tend Your Yard and Improve Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is important when attracting buyers, so bring out a nice color into your walkway that will make it more appealing. You can also grace your yard with potted plants and flowers in bloom, depending on the season.

Everything You Need To Know About Mortgage Pre-Approval

Even if you’re not in a competitive real estate market where you need to do everything to stand out, a mortgage pre-approval is your key to understanding your budget, help you speed up the process, and prove to the real estate world that you are serious about buying your dream home.

mortage guide image

Here we’ve laid out everything you need to know about getting pre-approved, how long is your mortgage pre-approval good for, and what should you do if your pre-approval will soon come to an end. Heed these tips before even thinking of house-hunting so sellers will know you’re on top of your game!

mortgage 1

Before starting your search, your first step should be to prove that you have the financial capability to purchase a home. In the pre-approval process, the lender reviews your loan application and your finances to determine whether you will qualify for a mortgage. They will have a preliminary examination of your credit, employment, income, assets, monthly debts, and other financial information.

Since the pre-approval letter will also indicate the actual loan amount you qualify for, you should use that as your guide when shopping for a home because your lender will only let you borrow up to that certain amount.

When you found a home you want, your real estate agent will submit the pre-approval letter together with your offer to the seller. This will prove to the seller that you are serious about buying and can obtain a mortgage.

mortgage 2

Buying a house does take time. Your home search and loan approval process could go on for weeks, even months, before you could actually close the deal and get the keys to your home. If your journey to being a homeowner actually took a long cut, will your pre-approval letter still be valid by the time of your purchase?

While there is no definite duration for the validity of the mortgage pre-approval letter, in general, it is typically good for 60 to 90 days or about three months. Still, the actual time frame is indicated in your letter. So if you need a longer time frame, you have to ask for it beforehand.

However, many lenders and sellers may consider your letter too old after three months. Yes, making a decision as huge and remarkable as buying a home shouldn’t be put into such a short timeframe. However, your financial situation can change anytime within that three-month period. Lenders could have a hard time trusting you if your letter is more than a few months old because you could’ve done things that hurt your DTI and credit, like losing your job or buying a car. There is an expiration date to ensure the potential borrower has excellent DTI from the start until the end of his or her homebuying journey.

Also, the expiration date lenders placed on your pre-approval letter acts as a hastening mechanism so you can choose a home before the interest rate indicated in your letter goes up. It prevents you from taking a leisurely stroll through open houses for weeks and extending the buying process.

mortgage 3

If your house-hunting journey is taking a bit longer than planned and your pre-approval letter is about to expire, you’ll likely need to renew it. However, there’s no need to go through all the trouble of applying all over again. Just take it back to your lender, together with your updated financial statements and pay stubs to show there’s been no change to your income, debts, or credit scores.

And since pre-approval letters are only valid for a certain period, it might be best to only get it when you’re already serious about looking for a home.

mortgage 4

When you’re applying for a mortgage, having one or two checks on your credit report will indeed temporarily lower your credit score. It can lower your score for a few points, depending on your initial score and the number of payments you’re making, but it shouldn’t be significant. The problem comes when the hard checks or inquiries on your FICO score raise too many flags, which could get you disqualified from getting a loan.

If you don’t want the pre-approval process to cause any significant stress to your credit report, you can pull a soft report or a soft inquiry. Unlike hard checks, it won’t affect your credit score and you can use it as reference. Since soft inquiries are only visible to you, if you found out your score is lower than 620, it might be best to hold off purchasing a house for now and do the necessary steps to improve your score.

Selling Power! Why NOW is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

Selling Power! Why NOW is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

2019 has seen a shift in the Real Estate Market for the Loudoun County area, and especially in South Riding. Interest rates are at the lowest they have been in 3 years (our lender quoted us 3.375% just days ago!) and they are holding steady – for now. So how does this translate into Selling Power?

The average home sales price in South Riding this year has been about $539,000 – which is UP .97% over last year! Inventory is also low, and homes are averaging about 4 weeks on the market before they’re being snapped up. Low inventory plus low interest rates means demand for homes is HIGH. We had a listing recently that went on the market on a Thursday and by Tuesday – just 5 days later – had multiple offers over asking price!
If you’re on the fence about selling your home, NOW is the perfect opportunity to capture a Buyer!

The Donny Samson Team offers a cutting edge, all inclusive, enhanced listing service for just 4.5% Total Real Estate Commission. This means even more cash in your pocket!

We KNOW Real Estate… and we have the SOLUTIONS:

  • Huge Database of Buyers
  • Staging & Decluttering Options
  • Hassle Free Remodeling & Repair Solutions with NO upfront costs (pay at settlement)
  • Results Driven Marketing

Knowledge is power in today’s competitive Real Estate Market! We would love to help you determine exactly what your home is worth with a FREE Home Market Analysis.

Call us today at 703-864-4894!

Immaculate Fairfax Condo For Sale

Immaculate Fairfax Condo For Sale

The Oxford House and Penderbrook communities offer tons of amenities including a swimming pool, sport courts, fitness center, playground, and MORE! There is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy! Minutes away from Fair Oaks Mall, Penderbrook Golf Course, and all the shopping, dining, and entertainment you can dream of! Plenty of free, unassigned parking, nearby to Rt. 50, 66, Fairfax County Parkway, and convenient bus stops and commuter lots!untitled--70

Living Area Features

Gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, under-cabinet lighting, and tile backsplash; office area with beautiful, extra glass door cabinets.untitled--39

Open floor plan perfect for entertaining!untitled--33

The cozy living room features a wood-burning fireplace great for the cooler months and built-in shelving.untitled-2

Sun room leads to a private balcony that overlooks trees and parkland.untitled--32untitled--21

Bed & Bath Features

The relaxing master bedroom offers two large closets and plush carpet.untitled--49

The luxurious, attached bath boasts granite countertops and an upgraded walk-in shower with a custom glass door.untitled--56

Additional bedroom is filled with sunlight from three huge windows, and has a large 2 door closet.untitled--9

The double entry, additional bath features granite countertops and a shower/tub combo.untitled--15

Contact Realtor Susan Holbrook at 703-862-3000 for more details or to set up a showing!

Immaculate Manassas Home For Sale

Immaculate Manassas Home For Sale

Outdoor Features

Absolutely incredible backyard! Deck with hot tub, and a swimming pool perfect for summer! Fully-fenced, private backyard is surrounded by trees and even has a sports court for basketball, hockey, or anything you want!untitled--102

Main Level Features

Gourmet kitchen with granite counters, breakfast bar, pantry, cooktop, two wall ovens, and a breakfast room overlooking the incredible backyard through a large bay window. Breakfast room leads to screened porch with steps down to the backyard.untitled--21untitled--38

Separate dining room is perfect for entertaining; play board games in the spacious  family room with a wood-burning fireplace. (But it has a gas pipe!)untitled--17untitled--37

Upper Level Features

Incredible master suite!! Archway leads to the sunny sitting room, bench seat by the window, amazing built-in vanity with granite counters, luxurious master bath, and the wrap-around walk-in closet.untitled--53untitled--59

Lower Level Features

Basement boasts a full bar, built-in shelving, and pool table.untitled--83

There is even a cozy movie theater room with a gas stove! The projector turns the entire right wall into a movie screen!untitled--90

Don’t miss out on your chance to own this gorgeous home in Manassas! Contact Scott Koval at 703-625-3446 to set up a showing.

Beautiful Aldie End-Unit Townhome For Sale

Beautiful Aldie End-Unit Townhome For Sale

This sparkling, end-unit townhome nestled in Aldie is now listed For Sale! Home is in a great location within the community; the wooded common area offers additional     privacy! Come see tons of amenities including sport courts, a pool, exercise room, walking paths, and playgrounds. 1 car garage and plenty of visitor parking available. Home is convenient to Rt. 50 and Rt. 15 as well as offers a park and ride commuter lot.

If you’re on the hunt for your dream home—this is it!

Main Level Features

Meal prepping just got easier in the gourmet kitchen with maple cabinets and tile floors.GetMedia (4)

Stunning hardwood floors are found in the separate dining room and bright living room areas—great spots for hosting friends and family!GetMedia (8)GetMedia (5)

Spend time out on the large balcony that gets 8 hours of sunshine per day and is private/backs to trees!GetMedia (3)

Bedroom Level Features

The spacious master suite on the second level is the perfect spot to relax after a long day. It’s complete with a walk-in closet and luxury bath with a soaking tub, separate shower, and dual sinks.GetMedia (11)GetMedia (16)

Head upstairs to the third level and you’ll find two additional spacious bedrooms that share an additional bath.GetMedia (14)

Sitting areas with tons of potential on both floors!GetMedia (9)

Don’t miss out on your chance to own this gorgeous home in Aldie! Contact Associate Broker Scott Koval at 703-625-3446 for more details or to set up a showing.

Charming Fairfax Home For Sale

Charming Fairfax Home For Sale

Investor special—priced $100k below assessment! This charming all-brick home on over half an acre of land is now listed for sale. Home boasts easy access to all major highways—great for commuters. Location, location, location! Live near the amazing Mosaic District! And as a bonus, the 2 bed, 1 bath apartment over the huge garage can be lived in while you renovate the main living space, and then rent out the apartment for some    extra income!

Main Level Features

Enter to the sun-filled living room that boasts a cozy wood-burning fireplace.untitled--11

The kitchen provides table space as well as access to the large deck spanning the back of the home, perfect for entertaining.untitled--22untitled--25

Two entry-level bedrooms with ceiling fans and a full bath on main level.untitled--28

Upper & Lower Level Features

Head upstairs and you’ll find dual master bedrooms that share a bathroom. One bedroom boasts beautiful hardwood floors.untitled--36

Spacious recreation room on lower level with tons of potential, as well as a large laundry/storage room area. Walk-out basement.untitled--39

Contact Realtor Susan Holbrook at 703-862-3000 for more details or to set up a showing!

Charming Townhome in Burke For Sale

Charming Townhome in Burke For Sale

Charming townhome backing to trees and nestled in the heart of Burke has just been listed for sale. There are plentiful community amenities such as walking paths, pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, and tot lot—there is something for everyone to enjoy! The home is painted throughout and has new landscaping. VRE is around the corner—perfect location for commuters! Shopping, dining, and entertainment options nearby. Burke Lake Park is minutes away and offers a mini train, picnic area, mini golf, boating, camping, events, and much more!untitled-7266

Main Level Features

Enter the main level and you’ll find the bright living room with beautiful floors, a perfect place for entertaining.untitled-7040

The dining room has a modern pass-through window and leads to the spacious deck.untitled-7053

Kitchen boasts granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and also has table space—making it the perfect place to spend your mornings!untitled-7100

Bedrooms & Lower Level Features

Head upstairs to the relaxing master suite with ceiling fan, large closet, and attached,  remodeled bath with walk-in shower. 2 additional bedrooms with plush carpet share an additional, remodeled bath.untitled-7130untitled-7141

In the basement you’ll find a large rec room with tons of potential! A sliding glass door leads out to the stone patio in the sunny backyard. Large laundry and storage room with full window, sink, cabinets, and shelves.untitled-7181untitled-7157

Contact Realtor Nancy Femrite at 703-346-7395 for more details or to set up a showing!

Stunning Springfield Home For Sale

Stunning Springfield Home For Sale

No HOA! Community pool less than half a mile away will be a great hangout spot this summer; shopping, dining, and entertainment minutes away. Corner lot with a private driveway nestled in Springfield; brand new roof and gutters. 2 parks nearby! Brookfield Park and Lake Accotink Park feature activities such as kayak rentals, trails, mini golf, and so much more! Perfect location for commuters—VRE station and Springfield Metro nearby, and close to 395/95/495/Fairfax County Parkway.PARK2

Living Area Features

Beautiful and modern kitchen features brand new stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a custom backsplash. Meal prepping just got easier! Sunny dining room off kitchen with designer lighting.untitled--15

Eye-catching wood-burning fireplace with white brick surrounding in the bright living room; living room has built-in shelving and leads to backyard. Gorgeous hardwood floors and tile throughout entire home; open layout wonderful for hosting.untitled--10

Incredible, spacious backyard with brand new fence, large patio, and landscaping.untitled--43

Bed & Bath Features

Enter the relaxing master bedroom that features a white brick statement wall and you’ll find a huge walk-in closet and luxurious attached bath with a walk-in shower complete with stunning tile. Laundry room is off the master bath and boasts a sink, backyard access, and a brand new stacked washer and dryer.untitled--21untitled--26

3 additional bedrooms feature large closets and share an additional bath.untitled--32

Contact Associate Broker Scott Koval at 703-625-3446 for more details or to set up a showing!

South Riding Townhome For Sale

South Riding Townhome For Sale

Where to start! South Riding boasts a seemingly endless list of amenities for all to enjoy—swimming pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball and tennis courts, parks, stages, trails, a fishing pier, dog park, ponds, and so much more! Hutchison Knoll and Murrey Park with a picnic pavilion are right beside the home! A 1 car garage with additional parking space in the driveway, and plenty of visitor parking, and convenience to Route 50 makes this a great location for commuters. If you’re on the hunt for your dream home, this is it!untitled--40

Main Level Features

Enter into the sparkling living room complete with gorgeous hardwood floors, crown molding, and a huge bay window that lets in tons of sunlight.untitled--5

Making meals just got easier in this bright and beautiful kitchen with a pantry and    custom backsplash. The dining room off the kitchen is the perfect place to spend your mornings (and don’t forget to check out the awesome mason jar lighting!), and leads out to the spacious deck with steps down to the landscaped, fenced yard—great for entertaining in all seasons!untitled--2untitled-2245

Bedrooms & Lower Level Features

The master bedroom is the perfect spot to relax—ceiling fan, vaulted ceiling, a walk-in closet, and luxurious attached bath with Jacuzzi, dual sinks, and a walk-in shower.untitled--26untitled--21

Plush carpet throughout upper level; other 2 sunny bedrooms share an additional bath.

The cozy family room on the lower level has a gas fireplace with marble surrounding; movie nights just got better! Family room leads out to patio and backyard. Tons of storage space, washer and dryer, and even a bonus room that could be turned into a playroom!untitled--30untitled--35

Ready for your in-person tour? Contact Realtor Scott Koval at 703-625-3446!