So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.
There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by condition, financing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.
Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:
With more competition coming to the market this spring, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.
Tam's Tip: When I'm working with buyers as a buyers agent, I can tell you that buyers want to be able to enter the home without obstacles when showing up to view a property. They've already decided from the online photos and virtual tours that your home is one they want to see, so make it easy. Have your listing agent use an electronic lockbox. Our lockboxes require a chip card, like most credit cards now, and they keep track of who has accessed the key, what time they entered, and what time they left. When I'm working with out-of-town buyers who have limited time, if there are any barriers to entry...NEXT. So sellers, the bottom line is, when you limit access to your home, you run the risk of dramatically increasing your days on market. This will cause buyer speculation and the inevitable 'what's wrong with it' question. It also open you up to lower offers or no offers at all because buyers will think that you aren't willing to negotiate.
January 1 has come and gone, your lease is ending soon, and you may find yourself thinking about jumping into the real estate market. Well, before you jump in, download your copy of our 2019 Spring Home Buyer Guide. You'll want to arm yourself with the general knowledge about qualifying for a mortgage, interest rate trends, down payments, and closing costs.
You may have heard lenders say, "be thankful you don't have to pay Mom and Dad's interest rates," but what are the interest rates now? Learn how interest rates have been trending over the years, and what's expected for 2019. There's also a helpful chart to show you how the varying rates impact your purchasing power.
Do you know everything you need to know about about getting your mortgage approval? Learn about the 4 C's that help determine how much you'll likely be approved for your loan.
We've made it interesting. We've made it simple. We understand how easy it is to get lost in the abyss of the internet when it comes to doing your research. So, use this free guide as a starting point, and when you're ready to meet with an Alexandria VA buyer agent who will help you with no pressure, give me a call at 703-623-8759.
Alexandria VA High-Rise Condos For Sale - What makes people want to live in a high-rise building in Alexandria VA? Usually, the top reason is security, followed by no exterior maintenance, and amenities that are included without the hassle of driving elsewhere.
That's all here at the Hallmark Condos located at 200 N Pickett Street. Units rarely become available in this building, but you can take advantage of this turnkey unit at #613. If you're venturing from Old Town Alexandria, drive down Duke Street westbound, and you'll see the Hallmark building next to the Charles Beatley library and adjacent to Holmes Run Trail. Also convenient to I-395, living at the Hallmark means you're close to Shirlington, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Washington DC.
There's ample visitor parking in the front, so invite your guests anytime. Buzz them in via the callbox at the front entry and they'll be greeted by a luxuriously renovated lobby with contemporary furniture and neutral colors.
Click here for more details and all photos for Unit 613, no registration required.
You may have put thoughts on buying a home in 2019 on the back burner for now, but if you're like most people, as soon as the last gift is opened, you'll be online checking out Alexandria VA real estate and the newest listings. Believe it or not, December is a popular month for people to start shopping for houses. With the new year, why not a new house?
While you're browsing, be sure to grab your free copy of our 2019 Winter Home Buying Guide. There's so much information online, and it can sometimes be overwhelming. So, instead of opening up multiple windows, doing a gazillion searches, start by reading our guide today.
Here's a sneak peak at what's inside:
Our buyers guide is not just boring data. It's easy to read and understand, and it covers the most common questions that buyer ask. So, take a look, and give me a call at 703-623-8759 to start your search. If you still want to browse and stay up to date, stay here and take a look at the Alexandria VA homes just listed and see if there's a home for you!
Resort-styled living in popular Skyline Plaza! Beautiful hardwood floors will greet you as you enter this 15th floor unit with breathtaking panoramic views. This bright and open unit is a true two bedroom home with one full and one half bath. If offers a modern chef's kitchen complete with granite countertops, all new stainless steel appliances with gas cooking. New front load, high-efficiency washer/dryer. Your private master bedroom has an oversized large walk-in closet. The master bathroom has updated vanity and lights, plus a shower with ceramic tile surround and new showerhead. After a hard day's work, relax and enjoy the breath-taking views of the city on your private balcony. Come and be part of the Skyline Plaza lifestyle. Monthly condo fee includes all utilities, and endless amenities with barber/salon, fitness center, party rooms, outdoor pool, picnic area, sauna, billiards, media room, and 24 hour front desk service. Bus lines at the community entrance mean you never have to drive. Leave your car parked in your deeded underground garage space and bus to Pentagon City, Old Town, Tysons Corner, Rosslyn, or into Washingtin DC!
This attractive price is great for first-time buyers so ask me about GRANT funds and down payment assistance to see if you qualify for up to $4900! Don't miss this opportunity!
Is now a good time to sell my Alexandria VA home? That's a good question. And you'd be surprised to know that the answer is an absolute YES!
Buyers who are actively looking at homes for sale in Alexandria VA are serious. Many are motivated by the emotions of the holidays, and want to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas in their new house. Others may be motivated by Uncle Sam and want to finalize a purchase before the end of the calendar year. So while the overall pool of buyers may be smaller than what we typically see in the spring real estate market, fall is still a good time to get your home sold quickly.
Download my free 2018 Fall Home Selling Guide today. There's no registration required, so take a look, and don't forget to share with your friends. If you're not quite ready to sell your Alexandria VA home, be sure to sign up for your free Market Report. You'll get a monthly email report of all the homes that have come on the market and sold in your neighborhood. This will help you keep your finger on the pulse of the market and see how home values are trending in your backyard.
If you find this information helpful, please share it with a friend!
There no shortage of information online, but when it comes to understanding exactly what you need to know when you're ready to buy a home in Alexandria VA, it can be pretty overwhelming. There's national real estate news, and there's local real estate news. What about interest rates, what are they doing, are they going up or down? Are home prices trending up or down?
Are You Covered in Alexandria VA?
A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide
The weather in Alexandria VA has taken it's toll on homeowners in 2018. We started the year off with bitter cold temperatures that lasted for days, then we had a couple of weeks of non-stop winds in March, causing power outages throughout Northern Virginia, and now we are ending a hot and humid summer with the threat of a hurricane. Governor Ralph Northam has just declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.
No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowners insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be financially protected if disaster strikes.
A homeowners insurance policy covers your home—as well as the belongings in it—in case of theft, accidental damage, or certain natural disasters. In fact, most financial institutions require that you purchase homeowners insurance before they issue a mortgage. While coverage varies, most policies also help to protect you from liability should someone outside your household become injured on your property. And that liability coverage is often extended to include damage you (or anyone living in your household) may do to someone else’s property.1
With all the protection offered, it’s equally important to understand what a home insurance policy does NOT cover. For example, homeowners insurance won’t pay to repair malfunctioning systems and appliances within your home. And terms vary, but standard policies typically exclude coverage related to floods, earthquakes, slow leaks, power failure, neglect, aging, faulty repairs or construction materials, and acts of war.2
Homeowners Insurance Covers Things Like:
? Furniture/Personal Belongings
? Liability for Non-Residents Injured on Property
? Liability for Damage or Injury Caused by You or Your Pets
Most Standard Policies DON’T Cover:
? Malfunctioning Systems & Appliances
? Slow Leaks
? Power Failures
? Neglect or Aging
? Faulty Repairs
? Acts of War
NARROWING THE COVERAGE GAP
So how do you minimize your risk when so many potential issues are excluded from a standard homeowners policy? Many insurers offer supplemental coverage options that can be tacked on to a basic policy. We explore this further in the section below on “7 Tips for Purchasing Homeowners Insurance.”
Some homeowners also choose to purchase a home warranty, which covers many of the systems and appliances in your home that are NOT covered by homeowners insurance. Home warranties are separate from homeowners insurance, so if interested you’ll need to seek out a policy through a dedicated provider.
While terms vary, a home warranty will often pay to repair or replace components of your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and some appliances that fail due to age or typical wear and tear. Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties aren’t required by mortgage companies. But many homeowners like the added financial protection and peace of mind that home warranties provide.3
Keep in mind, if you do purchase a home warranty, you will still be responsible for paying a service fee, or deductible, every time you use it. And you will be limited to using service providers who are contracted through your home warranty company.
7 TIPS FOR PURCHASING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
Whether you’re shopping for a new policy on your first home or you’re considering switching providers on an existing policy, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not all insurance policies—or providers—are created equal. A little due diligence can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
When choosing an insurance provider, ask around for recommendations. Check with neighbors, friends, and family members, particularly those who have filed an insurance claim in the past. Find out if they had a positive or negative experience. Read online reviews. Ask your real estate agent for a referral to a reputable insurance broker who can help you compare your options.
Don’t just choose the cheapest policy. Instead, search for one that offers excellent client service and provides the best coverage for the cost.
Your policy limits should be high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Don’t make the common mistake of insuring your home for the price you paid for it. The cost to rebuild could be higher or lower, depending on the value of your land, your home’s unique features, market factors, new building codes, and local construction costs.4
Also, consider whether you need a higher level of liability insurance to protect your assets. If your investments and savings exceed the liability limits in your policy, you may need to purchase an excess liability or umbrella policy.
Ultimately, you should make sure your coverage is adequate to mitigate your losses—but don’t pay for excess insurance you don’t need.
Ask your insurance agent about additional coverage options that can help close any gaps you have in your policy.
For example, if you’re in a flood or earthquake-prone area, experts strongly recommend that you add those coverages to your policy. In fact, flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard, and a significant percentage of insurance payouts are for homes outside “flood zones,” or areas known to be at risk of flooding. So even if your home is not technically located in a flood zone, you may want to add flood coverage to your policy, just in case.5
Expensive jewelry, furs, collectibles, or artwork may not be fully insured by a standard policy. Ask about raising your limits for any items of particular value, or check with a specialty insurer about a separate policy for such items.
Insurers can use a variety of methods to determine how much they will pay to reimburse you for a loss, but the two most common are “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.”
If your seven-year-old sofa is damaged in a fire, replacement cost coverage will pay you the cost to purchase a new, comparable sofa at today’s prices. Actual cash value coverage will pay you for the depreciated value of the sofa you lost—so what you would pay to buy a seven-year-old sofa rather than a new one.6
While a replacement cost coverage policy will result in a bigger payoff if you suffer a loss, it will probably require a larger annual premium. Compare both options to find out which is the better fit for you.
A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying on a loss before your insurance company will pay a claim. Opting for a higher deductible can reduce your premiums.
Note that in some cases, your insurance policy may have a separate or higher deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by floods, windstorms, hail, or earthquakes.
While a higher deductible can save you money on your premiums, opt for one that is still affordable given your current financial situation.
Combining your home, automobile, and other policies under one insurer can often result in a significant discount. And some insurers offer additional benefits, such as a single deductible if property insured by multiple policies is damaged. For instance, if a fire destroys your home and your car, you may only have to pay the higher of the two deductibles. Bundling can also make payment and renewal of your policies more convenient.7
However, bundling isn't always the best or least expensive option. In some cases, you may find better coverage options, service, and/or pricing if you split your policies between multiple insurers. So be sure to consider all of your options before making a final decision.
Even if you’ve done all your due diligence before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, don’t set your annual renewal on autopilot. Instead, when it comes time to renew, take some time to consider factors that have changed over the past year.
For example, have you made any home improvements that would require you to raise your coverage limits? Have you made any security or safety improvements that qualify you for a discount on your premiums?8
Has there been a shift in market conditions that would make it more or less expensive to rebuild your home now? If so, you may need to adjust your coverage levels accordingly.
If you’ve made any changes to how you use your home, you may need to adjust your policy, as well. For example, if you’ve started a home-based business or occasionally rent out your home on a home-sharing site, you may not be fully covered by your existing policy.9
Finally, consider any changes to your financial situation that may require increased liability coverage limits. If you’ve grown your investments or inherited property, it may be time to purchase additional coverage to protect your expanding asset base.
MINIMIZE RISK, MAXIMIZE VALUE
Now that you understand the basics of homeowners insurance, you should be ready to start shopping for a policy that best fits your needs and budget. Your goal should be to minimize your risk while maximizing the value your policy provides.
While you never want to leave yourself without a safety net should disaster strike, you also don’t want to overpay for insurance you don’t need (and will hopefully rarely use). Aim to strike a balance that will provide you with adequate protection at an affordable price.
NEED MORE GUIDANCE? WE CAN HELP
If you’re in the market to purchase homeowners insurance or a home warranty, give us a call! We get a lot of feedback from clients on the best (and worst) providers and are happy to share what we know.
We can also put you in touch with a trusted insurance professional who can answer your questions and help you find the best policy to meet your needs.
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial or insurance advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.
1. Insurance Information Institute -
2. Insure.com -
3. American Home Shield -
4. Insurance Information Institute -
5. Realtor.com -
6. Texas Department of Insurance -
8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners -
Nestled in between Shirlington and Del Ray, this turn-key two bedroom, two full bath condo was just rented at The Grove. The unit at 2321 S25th Street Unit 208 was on the market for 23 days and received multiple applications.
With conveniences like easy access to I-395, Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Rosslyn, this is an ideal location for north bound commuters, or residents who want to be in a bike friendly area.
Do you currently own a home in Shirlington or Del Ray and would like to know how much your property would rent for? Give me a call at 703-623-8759 today. Our tenant application process is easy and online, so you can get your property rented much faster than processing paper applications.