Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales
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Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update – May 2017

June 11th, 2017 by Mike Cooper

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update – May 2017

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market continued to strengthen in May 2017. Sales are up, prices are up, distressed properties and days on the market are down. Those are all great details for sellers in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market.

The current inventory of available homes in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market is steady at 531. The local market thrives in the 500-600 available homes range and this market is thriving. The number of pending sales is at 283.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market by the Numbers

There were 182 home sales in May 2017. That compares to 178 in 2016, 153 in 2015, and Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update - May 2017154 in 2014. The trend is up and so is the average sales price. The average sales price for May 2017 was $282,698, compared to $274,080 in 2016, but if you go back to 2015, the number increases. The May 2015 sales price average was $242,980. The nearly $40,000 improvement in the May 2017 sales price is good news for current sellers.

Days on the market has stayed steady for the past three years. Currently, the average days on the market is 62. Compared to 2014, that is a 38 day shorter time on the market. Another exciting piece of news for the current real estate Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update - May 2017market is the number distressed sales in May 2017. There were only 6 distressed sales in May 2017. That is 3.3% of the total sales. That is extremely good news. The market has recovered from the worst days of the recession, and buyers are flooding back into the market. Sellers can list their homes in the current Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market knowing that the trend is on their side.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market – Strongest Areas

Three areas in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market made up 73% of total sales for May 2017. Winchester City (22601), Frederick County (22602) and Stephens City (22655). The 22602 area code made up 54 of total May sales, followed by 22601 at 44 and 22655 at 39. Stephens City made up 22% overall sales for the month of May. Stephens City has become the fastest growing area of the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market for the past year.

There is a great deal of new construction in the Stephens City market. Businesses are moving into that segment of the market, as well. Stephens City, as a part of the Frederick County real estate market, is giving home buyers and sellers a glimpse into the market. It continues to drive sales, building and remodeling for the community. It’s quick access to a variety of major highways make it a great place commuters, and yet it offers a small town feel with a growing access to the amenities of a larger city.

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market is healthy and prospering. When you’re ready to sell your home, be sure to call Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., for a free home value analysis. We would be happy to offer one to you, and when you’re ready to buy, we’ve got you covered there too. We are your local real estate sales pros.

This post was originally posted at www.winchestervarealestate.com: Winchester-Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Update – May 2017. #mikecoopersellshomes, #cornerstonehomesales, #winchesterhomesales, #yourlocalrealestatesalespros.

Make your home inviting when you list to sell.

July 7th, 2016 by Mike Cooper

Make your home inviting when you list to sell.

Make your home inviting when you list to sell. That makes sense, right? But, how do you do that? If you are still living in your home, there are many ways to make your home inviting, but let me give you my favorite simple inexpensive ways to do it.

  • Make sure you have the lights on when a potential buyer shows up. Light is make your home invitingalways your friend. You want to set the mode for a buyer to feel like he/she is coming in from the day.
  • Have paddle fans on low to move air and keep the rooms comfortable.
  • Make sure it’s clean and smells fresh. No incense. No burning scented candles. No air fresheners unless they are extremely faint. A clean smell is better than a perfumed smell. You don’t want it to smell like bleach, but you want it to smell fresh and clean.
  • Leave a music channel on your stereo (do people still have those) or on your TV as background noise. Keep it to something smooth and soothing like a smooth jazz or classical (especially strings, no vocals) station. You don’t want it to be loud, but you want it to be noticeable.
  • Make sure the bathrooms have fresh towels neatly folded over their towel bars.
  • Make the beds and stage them with throw pillows.
  • Keep your closets neat and arranged. Shoes in order. Clothes neatly hung. Shelves should not disheveled, but arranged orderly.
  • Make sure your dresser drawers are closed with no clothes hanging out.
  • In the kitchen, keep the counters clean and free of unnecessary items. Keep the cabinets closed and neat inside. Buyers may open them to see what the inside is made of.
  • Leave a list of upgrades on the kitchen counter so buyers will know right away how you cared for your home.
  • Keep a bowl of snacks available for buyers to enjoy. Make it simple like mini-candy bars, mints or some sort of hard candy. Avoid cracker type treats. Leave a welcoming note encouraging the buyers to enjoy a snack.
  • Put sports equipment away, and freshen sports clothes, bags and shoes to avoid unnecessary odors. I have two sons, and I can tell you that some of those sport clothes, bags and shoe smells could send a buyer running out of a house.

You can see how simple it can be to make your home inviting. It doesn’t a big financial investment. You want the buyers to feel welcome when they walk through the door. You want them to imagine coming home after a day away and sensing the comfort of being home. Make your home inviting, and it will sell. When you’re ready to sell, give Mike Cooper at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

Make your home inviting when you list to sell.

Originally published at www.winchestervareaestate.com, Make your home inviting when you list it to sell. #cornerstonehomesales, #mikecoopersellshomes, #winchesterhomesales, #yourlocalrealestatesalespros.

Sell Your House With the Wow Factor

June 11th, 2016 by Mike Cooper

Sell Your House With the Wow Factor

I’ve shown a lot of houses recently, so it gets harder and harder to be wowed by a home. Like so many things, if you are inundated with them, they become mundane. After showing dozens of houses each week, they all seem the same unless there is something that sets them apart, and that something is what I call the Wow Factor. Sell your house with the wow factor

What is the Wow Factor?

For instance, when you list your house, there are certain things that contribute to the Wow Factor, such as:

  • Have your home clean. A house that smells clean is a great place to start. Have a friend give you an honest assessment as to whether your home has a smell that is distinctly yours. If so, scrub the house top to bottom, paint, shampoo carpets and
    Wow factor

    Sell your house with the wow factor

    remove or clean anything that is smelly in itself, like cat litter, dog beds, sports equipment, etc.

  • Bring in the light. Light is one of your best friends when selling a house. The more light, the better. If you have dark drapes, always have them wide open. Be sure all areas are property lit. Have all light bulbs working. I encourage you to use LED lamps over other forms. They give a whiter light, costs less to run, come on instantly and they don’t get hot.
  • Kill the clutter. Rent a storage container to house unnecessary items. Most people have things that can be stored and not missed for a few weeks. Make the home lived in, but not overly so.
  • Make it easy to show. If you are living there while tying to sell, it will be a bit more of a challenge to make the home readily available at a moments notice. But remember, the harder it is to show, the longer you will have to put up with the challenges of keeping it in pristine condition. Expect to be encouraged to leave at the most inconvenient times. It will happen. I regularly ignore homes that have 12 – 24 hour wait times to show. Most clients are on a schedule, and that can be too far outside of their ability to view the property. Make it easy to show.
  • Make sure it is well appointed, but not overly so. What does that mean? Only keep things out and visible that need to be out and visible. A coffee pot on the counter is common, but a food processor, juicer, toaster, dishes in a drain rack and a host of there things might be overkill. Keep counters clean, clear and uncluttered. The same is true of every room in the house. 
  • Keep personal items out of sight. Don’t leave mail on tables. Keep those areas free of personal items that buyers don’t need to see and shouldn’t see.
  • Avoid artificial smells. No potpourri, air fresheners, incense, etc. Let the cleanliness of the home be the smell buyers are greeted with.
  • Always have fresh towels in the bathroom, keep the toilet seat down and make sure soaps on sinks are decorative and not used. A clean fresh smelling bathroom is a big plus. Dirty or wet towels hanging over the shower stall is a turn off. Make your bathrooms look like they are waiting for privileged guests in a high-end hotel, inviting and ready. 
  • Shine the floors. Beautiful hardwoods are a home-buyers dream come true. Shiny clean hardwoods are a step toward a contract. 

Most of my Wow Factor items relate back to cleanliness. Home buyers want to feel they are viewing the prized possession of the seller. Make sure you leave it that way for them every time you walk out the door. When you’re ready to sell, make sure to give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., real estate agent a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

Sell Your House With the Wow Factor

This blog was originally posted in www.winchestervarealestate.com; Sell your house with the wow factor. #mikecooperselleshomes.com, #winchestervarealestate, #sellyourhomefast.

For Sale by Owner Properties Often Fail. Why?

May 21st, 2016 by Mike Cooper

 For Sale By Owner Properties Often Fail. Why?

As a licensed real estate professional, I’ve seen my share of for sale by owner properties around. Most of theFor sale by owner properties often fail. Why? time, they end up with a Realtor sign in the yard after months of languishing on the market with a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) sign. I just passed a former for sale by owner property yesterday. As usual, I chuckled when I saw the Realtor sign in the front yard.

Why do for sale by owner properties fail at a higher rate than a professionally listed property?

  • Homeowners seldom really know the current market. That leads to an overpriced home that savvy buyers would never buy. I showed one this past Monday that was 62% overpriced. I guess the seller assumes there is always a buyer with more money than brains out there. What you want, and what a home will sell for may be light years apart.
  • Showing a for sale by owner can be challenging. When an agent sets up a dozen showings in one day, scheduling becomes an art. Access is the key to making that day successful. If a for sale by owner can’t allow the house to be shown except on a limited schedule the odds are radically against him. That’s true of listed properties too. Access is really important.
  • Homeowners may not know how to negotiate an offer. There is usually some give and take in a real estate offer. If a for sale by owner is locked on a price and won’t budge, or won’t let a home inspection or repair request become a part of the deal, or is refusing a termite inspection, or is demanding of a closing date closer than a lender can accommodate, then a buyer can’t buy it.
  • Homeowners may not disclose things, or they may disclose too much.
  • Homeowners may not understand legal contracts. I ended up re-writing a contract for a for sale by owner last year because there were so many legal liabilities in in it that could eventually come back to bite the seller. The seller had no idea, and the buyer, who wasn’t represented either had no idea of the legal ramifications of a binding contract full of potholes.

This list could go on and on, but the reality is that a FSBO is almost always better off selling through a competent Realtor. It will reduce stress and it will help the seller get across the finish line with a better deal.

When you’re ready to sell your home, don’t waist weeks or months trying to sell yourself, give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and Mike Cooper a call. We are you local real estate sales pros.

Stephens City, VA real estate market for the first quarter in 2016

May 10th, 2016 by Mike Cooper

The Stephens City, VA real estate market had a good first quarter in 2016. There were 75 homes sold with only 5% of them being distressed (short sale or foreclosures). The market is steadily returning to stability.

The minimum price a buyer paid for a home in Stephens City, VA in the firstquarter of 2016 was $89900 and the maximum was $464,530. The average price was $235,343. The average corresponds to other areas of Frederick County, VA. The average days on the market was 77 with the minimum being 0 and the max being 549.

Of those sold, 28 had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Twenty-four had 4+ bedrooms and 2+ baths. Four had 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, and the remaining number fell into a mystical place we call “other.”

Homes sold the following categories:

  • 32 – Colonials
  • 19 – Ranchers
  • 6   – Split Foyers
  • 6   – Traditionals
  • 2   – Cape Cods
  • 2   – Contemporary
  • 1   – Rambler
  • 7   – Other (Townhouses, Condos, Manufactured Homes)

New construction has picked up in the Stephens City, VA real estate market. Most homes sold in the first quarter were previously owned homes, but the new home market is beginning to have its own revival. When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Stephens City, VA real estate market, be sure to give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are your local real estate pros.

 

Stephens City, VA real estate market for the first quarter in 2016

#winchestervarealestate, #mikecoopersellshomes, #cornerstonehomesales

 

Winchester, VA Real Estate Market – January 2016

February 26th, 2016 by Mike Cooper

The Winchester, VA real estate market cleared a huge hurdle in January 2016. The number of distressed properties fell to 5% of the total market sales for the the month. That may sound like a lot, but that is more of an average number across the wide Winchester, VA real estate market.

The total number of distressed sales (short sales and foreclosures) in January2015 were 18%. A drop to 5% year to year is incredible. There were no disclosed short sales in the local market according to January 2016 MLS record. Foreclosures made up the full 5% (4) for the month.

The low level of distressed properties may be bad news for bargain hunters and house flippers, but it is great news for home sellers and buyers. Home sellers can anticipate more consistent prices and less volatility, and home buyers can expect better appraisals and home values on the purchases they are making.

There were 81 properties sold in the Winchester, VA real estate market in January 2016. The average sale price for a single family home was $247600, and the average days on the market was 74. Days on the market has crept up slightly over the past 18 months, but it hasn’t entered into an area of concern. A boost in the number of available homes in July of 2014 carried through until the Winter of 2015. The number of available properties extended the length of time a home sat on the market.

Today, the number of available homes has returned to the pre-July 2014 numbers (518). The lower inventory will likely spur more aggressive buying in the immediate future. A recent RealtyTrac study revealed that October was the best month to buy a home. It was followed by February, December and January.

Now is the time to get that house on the market folks. When you’re ready to sell, or buy, make sure to call your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent because we are you local real estate sales pros.

Winchester, VA real estate market in January 2016

Winchester / Frederick County, VA 22602 Video Real Estate Market Update January 2015

February 26th, 2015 by Mike Cooper

Cut your overall mortgage expense by pre-paying principal.

November 30th, 2014 by Mike Cooper

Homeowners know that a mortgage is a great way to buy a house.  But, too many don’t realize just how much a mortgage can run the price of house up over the course of a loan.

If I told you that I would sell you a $200,000 house for $364,813.42 you would never do it, but a 30 year mortgage can run the purchase price of a house up $164,813.42 in interest at 4.5% over a 30 year mortgage.

There are ways to reduce that number that are simple and within reach.  Anytime you take out a mortgage, make sure you have the privilege of pre-paying principal without penalties.  Let me show you how this works.

Let’s start with a $200,000 mortgage with the first payment beginning January 1st.  Interest is loaded on the front of your mortgage, so your early payments are predominately interest.  Let me give you an example.  Payment one is $1013.37.  Of that fee, only $263.37 is paid on the principal.  The remaining $750.00 is interest.  On month 2, your second payment is $1013.37 of which $264.36 is principal and $749.01 is interest.

So, in two months, you have paid $527.73 in principal and $1499.01 in interest.  Now, if you add the principal of the second month with your first payment you can skip the interest on payment two.  So, on January 1 you would pay $1277.73.  That eliminates $749.01 in interest from your loan.  

In February, you would pay payment 3.  Payment 2 has been paid with the January payment – minus the interest which you won’t ever pay.  In February, if you paid the principal of month 4, $266.34, you can skip the interest of $747.03.  In two payments, you have reduced your overall mortgage costs by $1496.04 in interest.  If you repeat that every month throughout your mortgage, you can radically reduce the overall interest costs of your mortgage.  There is another way to pay your mortgage off early and reduce the overall interest.  I’ll show that in the next blog.

 

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Stephens City, Virginia Real Estate Video Market Report: June 2014

July 9th, 2014 by Mike Cooper

Winchester, Virginia Video Market Report for 22602: June 2014

July 8th, 2014 by Mike Cooper