Jennifer Lee Mazeika

GRI, ABR

“Home is where your story begins, I’ll help you get there.”

Selling a house in the spring
People tend to shop for homes as the weather gets warmer. With tax refunds in their pockets, nicer weather for moving in the forecast, and summer break from the kids’ school coming up, it’s easy to see why spring is typically the most popular time to buy and sell.

According to Zillow.com
Best month to sell:                                         May
Best day of the week to list:                       Saturday
Why?   Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average, and for $2,500 more, compared to average points in the year

Selling your home isn’t something you do in a rush. It calls for planning and preparation. But if you’re like most homeowners, you probably aren’t sure where to start. Try following these steps:

1: Pick a date
I know Zillow says the best date is in May.  But you can’t always conform to someone else’s plan.  Pick the date that makes sense for you.

2: Research your local market (see my March 2019 blog – “Optimize the Value of Your Home”)

3: Get your house ready
Finish minor improvements and make necessary repairs. In today’s market, most home buyers are looking for “move-in” ready homes that don’t have long DIY project lists.  First impressions are important. Making your home stand out from all the rest of the homes on the market will help you sell your home.

4: Hire an agent
Find someone you feel comfortable and confident with. Make sure they are knowledgeable about your neighborhood. Have they done their homework and have an idea what your home is worth and other homes on the market comparable to yours?  If so, you can sign a listing agreement and start working out a marketing plan immediately. Your agent might want to discuss any additional fixes or repair work that will pay off for you.

5: Start moving out – really
If you can, rent a storage pod or unit and start packing up a little at a time. Not only will this help you with the eventual move, but a home that isn’t overloaded with furniture and personal items, just shows better. If you’ve been using rooms for storage, it’s time to move the storage offsite. Pack up as many personal items as you can. Those wedding pictures on the wall may look great but potential buyers will want to envision their own wedding pictures up there, not yours.

Talk with your neighbors about your plans. Not only is it nice to give them a heads up that you’re leaving, but they can help market the property. They may have friends looking for a house who already love your neighborhood.

6: Get great photos taken
Once you’ve got the house looking its best, it is time for pictures. Your agent should recommend a real estate photographer to do it. On photo day, no clutter should be visible. Shades should be open to let in as much natural light as possible. These are your home’s glamour shots. You need to appeal to potential buyers on-line so they can’t wait to walk through your property in person.

Your agent should also create an engaging, accurate and upbeat description of your home. What made you fall in love with your home when you bought it? Let you agent know so that they can convey that appeal to a potential buyer.

7: On Listing Day
Have your agent make sure they get your home listed on the major online sites; including Zillow, Realtor, MLS, Trulia, etc. Review the agent’s posting. Make sure it is accurate. After all we’re only human and you do know your property better than anyone else.  Your agent will also post outside signs and possible direction signs if your property is hard to find.

8: Live in a perpetual state of clean
(see my August 2018 blog – “Selling Your Home If You Have Kids” or October 2018 blog – “Selling You Home If You Have Pets”  for tips on quick and easy staying clean hacks

No matter how many ways you say you need a few hours notice before a buyer’s agent brings potential buyers, someone will call on the way to your home or even from your driveway. Be ready to clear out fast, leaving a sparkling home. Every bed must be made every morning. Even if you don’t have a showing scheduled, you have to assume a buyer will come by every time you leave the house. (Of course the surest way to get a buyer to come by is to leave a few dirty dishes in the sink.)

9: Watch the offers roll in
Your agent should give you feedback after every showing. If you aren’t getting a lot of showings and it’s a hot market, an early price adjustment may be in order. Remember, in any market, the sooner you sell, the higher the price you’re likely to get. So in these early days, you want to be responsive to what the market has to say.

For a Free No-Obligation Consultation, contact me at 540-537-2332 or email me at JmazeHomes4You@gmail.com.

Home sellers want to get the most out of their homes when they sell.  But what you need to consider before making expensive renovations and repairs  is — what is the condition of competing homes for sale in your area? Is it a hot or cold real estate market for sellers in your area? What are the chances of a good return on your investment?

These are all questions that I can help you answer.

First, you need to talk to a reputable and knowledgeable real estate agent before making any repairs  to weigh the pros and cons with your particular home and your personal situation.

Are you going to sell your home in  “As Is” condition and price it low enough to attract multiple offers from contractors and flippers?

Or are your trying to get “top dollar” for a move-in-ready home? I would say most home buyers in the Smith Mountain Lake area fall into this category. So making smart value-added repairs and renovations is important.

Before you decide to add skylights to a master suite or a hot tub to your outside deck, please keep in mind that historically, upgrades to your kitchen and baths carry the highest return on investment.
These are key areas that attract the most attention of potential buyers.  Home buyers want to imagine themselves using those areas everyday and being happy with them from the start.  Costly and time-consuming renovations are not appealing to most home buyers looking in the Smith Mountain Lake area. They want to move in and start enjoying the lake life-style that they have just purchased.

A Few Ways to Evaluate Your Home
or  how your home stacks up against other homes in your neighborhood

  1. I will show you printouts of comparable homes in your area. This will give you idea of what is available to buyers in your area and what selling price similar homes are being listed at. If you price too high, potential buyers will never walk thru your home and your home might sit on the market getting stale. You will be missing important selling opportunities.  If you price too low, you might feel like you didn’t get the full value.  My job is to help you find the balance.
  2. Go to ‘Open Houses’ in your area. This way you will see first- hand what other sellers have done with their homes. What improvements have they made? What features of their home appeal to you? Are these features available in your home?
  3. View your neighborhood with an objective eye.  What would be appealing to potential home buyers? Are there any drawbacks?
  4. Hit the How Much Is Your Home Worth link to Zillow Estimates on the sidebar of this blog page. Enter your address to get an estimate of your home from Zillow.

Where To Start If You Home Needs Some Work
I am not an expert in home renovation but as a realtor, I have walked through hundreds of homes in Moneta, Goodivew, Wirtz and Huddleston areas.  I have witnessed my home buyers’ reactions to homes that they have fallen in love with and other homes that they have found fault with.  With a quick walk through, I can give you a heads-up as to what home features  buyers will find absolutely appealing and to what features will turn them off.  With this insight, I hope to help you get the most value from your home.

Next, you need to make a list.  Yes, it always starts with the dreaded “To-Do” list. You need to walk thru each room of your home with an objective eye. Make a  list of everything that’s defective, broken or worn out. Buyers might wonder what else in the home has been neglected if they spot problems.

Cosmetic Touches
Minor improvements include fixing leaky faucets, patching holes and cracks in the walls. Repair ANY water problems you might have in a ceiling, roof, basement, etc.  Any water problem should be addressed immediately so that you don’t develop mold problems which is a big no-no when selling a home. This is a repair that is best taken care of before you put your home on the market and before the buyer’s home inspector comes through.

Replace broken windows or screens. Replace or get professionally cleaned  older carpets.  Replace old appliances that aren’t working or look like they are worn out.

Put a fresh coat of paint. The color of your interior walls has a huge impact on the rooms’ appearance. Pick a color that is neutral if possible.  This is one of the most cost-effective improvements you can give your home.

And don’t forget the outside. First impressions are key. A welcoming entrance sets the tone for the whole walk-thru.

But also keep in mind, so many potential home buyers browse Zillow and other home search sites these days. So attractive and professional-looking photos of your home “freshly painted” and newly landscaped on-line are equally important to the selling process.

If your DIY skills do not cover any of the repairs/renovations that you need to make, I recommend a list of vendors that I work with on a regular basis. Just click-on My Preferred Vendors Who Will Help you Get Your Home Ready to Sell and print the list.

Optimize the Value of Your Home
So my advice boils down to this. A little work and minor repairs can go a long way toward increasing your home’s value before you sell. The more upgrades and improvements you have made, the better your chances of selling your home for what you are asking.

You can email me at Jmazehomes4you@gmail or call me at 540-537-2332 for any other information
I could help you with.  I offer a free no-obligation consultation in the Bedford, Franklin and Roanoke County areas.

Are you trying to get your house ready to sell? Are you overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to do it without going broke? I know a couple who are going through this experience right now.  As a realtor, this is the advice I give them.

Clean, Clean, Clean. . .
Whether you do-it-yourself or hire a one-time professional cleaning service, a clean home will sell faster. New home buyers will see and smell everything you don’t when walking through your home. And first impressions matter. Home buyers will appreciate the extra work you have put in to make your home move-in ready.

Clear Clutter and Extra Furniture
New home buyers want to imagine themselves in your home.  Removing clutter and depersonalizing your home will help them do that. That extra large comfy recliner in your family room might make your home more comfortable to you but maybe it blocks a clear view and makes the room look smaller.

A Welcoming Entrance
Since curb appeal matters, make sure the entrance to your home is inviting — meaning if your door or trim needs a fresh coat of paint or you need to freshen up landscaping, it would be a worthwhile investment in time and money.

Staging That Matters
No one says you need to hire a professional stager although studies have shown they are worth the money especially if you have already moved out of your home.  But you can borrow some staging tips from the professionals:
In the bathrooms – buy fresh towels and only bring them out when you have a showing scheduled.
Make your bathroom as spa-like as possible.
In bedrooms – buy fresh bedspreads and accent pillows to bring out the best features in the rooms.
In the kitchen – make sure all appliances and cabinets are clean.  Home buyers will open cabinets and drawers so make sure they are de-cluttered and organized. Showing ample storage in kitchens can be a key feature. Highlight the best feature in the kitchen with new home accents that you put out at showings.  For example, if the feature is the large eat-in island, place settings or a bowl of fresh lemons or shiny red apples will help.
In the Living room/dining room/family room – make sure there is ample light. If you have great windows, make sure they are clean and drapes are open. Turn on and leave on lights that will help illuminate darker areas.

Quality Photos Sell Your Home
Now that your home is clean and fresh, let’s get some great photos. Buyers start by looking for homes online.  Having at least 10 photos showcasing your home allows them to be drawn in.

I hope this couple takes my advice. But as a friend of theirs I would also add,  ‘Do the best you can. Whatever appealed to you when you bought the house will appeal to other home buyers.’

If you are thinking of listing your home for sale, please contact me for a free no-obligation consultation at 540-537-2332 or email me at JMazeHomes4You@gmail.com.  

Selling your home can be very stressful. But the right Realtor came make it a lot easier. Here’s why:

  1. Statistics show that realtors net 25% more on average than a ‘For Sale By Owner.’
    Getting top dollar for your home must be a priority. The right realtor recognizes how important your home investment means to you.
  2. Realtors know, understand and interpret local market data.
    How many comparable properties are for sale in your area? How are they priced?
  3. Realtors help you determine the appropriate listing price.
    The right realtor prices your house right the first time so that your property sells quickly and doesn’t become stagnant.
  4. Your Realtor will market your home online to give it maximum exposure.
    Having access to multiple online outlets to reach the maximum audience is important.
  5. Professional photography of your home.
    The right Realtor knows how to capture your home’s best features to help them stand out from other comparable properties.
  6. Realtors collaborate with other Realtors.
    Realtors us their contacts in the real estate industry and network with other Realtors to optimize their chance of selling your home quickly.
  7. Realtors know how to negotiate professionally.
    The right Realtor will recognize and execute an offer with your best interest in mind.
  8. The right Realtor can see potential problems before they occur
    And work quickly and efficiently to solve them reducing your stress.
  9. Realtors can offer you tips to increase your home’s return-on-investment.
    The right Realtor will increase your home’s value to prospective buyer’s by letting you know what current buyer’s are looking for. (see my blog from June 2018 titled ‘Secret To Selling Your Home for 10% More’).
  10. Find the Right Realtor For You.
    One of the most important decisions you will make is finding the right realtor for you. How do you find the right match? Do they show up on time to your initial consultation? Are they prepared with home market comparisons for your area so they can help you set the best possible price? Are they professional in their appearance? Is the agency they represent one you would use to buy a home from? Do they answer all your questions and concerns? Are they creative about your listing photos and information?

I’d like to help you when you decide to sell your home. I love being a real estate agent. I am very detail oriented and I will make sure that the selling process is as stress-free as possible.

If you are considering selling your home, I’d like to help. Give me a call at 540-537-2332 for a no obligation consultation today.

  1. With interest rates projected to keep rising, many buyers are getting off the fence and into the market!
  2. Inventory is limited for many areas and there may be someone waiting for a home just like yours!
  3. Many people start thinking about a new home purchase after the holidays are over.
  4. The Spring market will be flooded with New listings. Why not get the chance to showcase your home when the market is not so saturated?
  5. People start thinking about how they will spend their tax return… a down payment on a house is a great way to utilize the extra income!
  6. The winter keeps a lot of people inside and what better time to search the web for a new home!

Why You Should Buy A Home Now. . .

  1. Interest rates are only projected to rise. . . In November 2017, interest rates were at 4.25% and by November 2018, they had risen to 4.75% for a 30-year mortgage. Doesn’t sound like much, but it means a difference of a few hundred dollars in your monthly payment.
  2. It is a Buyer’s Market – inventory continues to stay steady, which means that buyers have choices in their home search, therefore making it a “Buyer’s Market”.
  3. You can purchase with NO Money Down! First-time buyers have a loan option available that will allow them to purchase a home with very little out of pocket expense!

When you are selling your home, you may find yourself competing for potential buyers.

Staging your home can give you a competitive edge – and help you earn a higher sale price.

Why Staging?

Staging your property does much more than just making it look nice. According to Real Estate Staging Association, professionally listed staged properties spend 73% less time on the market.

  • Typically sell for more money
  • End up on Buyer’s “must see” lists
  • Are considered well-maintained
  • Have fewer concessions requested of the seller

Is Staging Worth It?

Consider home staging a cost of doing business. It’s an investment that will pay off when you sell your home.  The median amount spent on home staging is $675.00.

What’s the return on investment?

  • 37% of realtors representing sellers believe that buyers most often offer a 1-5% increase on the value of a staged home and 22% believe that buyers get an offer a 6-10% increase on the value of a staged home

All buyers hope in their hearts that the purchase of a new home will make their lives better. So showing your home in the best possible light will only reinforce that idea.

Contact me at 540-537-2332 for a free no-obligation consultation.

Source: Homestratosphere.com

We all adore our pets and make our homes as comfortable for them as it is for us.  But even if a potential Home Buyer is a pet lover, they don’t want to smell or see any damage your pet might has caused in their possible new home.  Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when selling your home if you have pets.

Remove Pet Odors and Stains
Pets have accidents.  You have probably gotten used to the pet smell over time, but new visitors to your home will be sure to notice the smells. 56% of all homebuyers have said they are “turned-off” by an odor and have listed that as one of the top reasons they will pass on a home.

Avoid this by having your carpet and flooring professionally cleaned, with a focus on removing pet odors. If the staining or odors are too bad, you may need to replace the carpet in the problem areas.

Repair Any Damage Your Pet Has Made
Pet damage is never attractive when selling your home. Dogs and cats will inevitably destroy something, including carpets, furniture, hardwood flooring, walls, trim, doors, turf in your yard and your fence.

All of this damage should be repaired prior to listing your home. The value you will get for your house from making these repairs will be well worth it.

Cleanup Your Yard
Pick up any messes in the yard and have any damage repaired. You may be the kind of person who picks up after your pet regularly or you may have a cat that causes very little impact to your yard. Remember the yard is just as important to some buyers as the inside of the home.

Remove Your Pets and Their Toys During Showings
When selling a home with pets, you should remove them from your home when you are showing the property.  All the cute things your dog or cat does will not help you sell your home and will only remind the potential homebuyer that the house has contained pets previously.

Ideally you should have your real estate agent showing the home while you are out. Having a pet in the house or yard can create complications for your agent and puts your pet at risk of accidentally getting out during the process. There are also liability issues to deal with as well.

Maybe due to your job you can’t come back and remove your pet at the time of the showing. The next best option is to put them in a contained space and let the agent know about it ahead of time. Also don’t forget to remove the litter box if possible or if you have to leave your cat in a confined area, leave a just cleaned litter box.

The potential homebuyers might be pet lovers like I am but why take the chance?  By removing any obstacles, you are helping your real estate agent show your home in the best possible conditions and make the best possible impression on your homebuyers.

When Viewing Potential New Homes:

  • 70% of home buyers are put off by damp patches, stained walls & ceilings
  • 56% said they are turned-off by odor
  • 54% mentioned dull lighting is unattractive
  • 25% found an outdated bathroom unappealing
  • 15% are disappointed with a cluttered room
  • 14% are not flattered by over the top décor
    Source: Gocompare.com

As your Re/Max agent, I want to help Home Sellers present their homes in the best possible light. And I think the above statistics help illuminate areas of the home that should be considered when selling.   After all, the end goal is to sell your property as quickly as possible at the best price!

So give me a call and let’s get it SOLD!!

Call me at 540.537.2332 to setup a no-obligation consultation.

(or What do I do with all the kid clutter before my agent arrives to show our house)

Even though that heading really says what this article is all about. I thought it was a little too long. But here is a short list of things to help you cope with showing your house:

Declutter Before You Sell
After we went through our stuff, we wound up donating multiple bags to Goodwill and threw away a lot of junk. ‘If you haven’t used it in a year, you most likely won’t use it.”  We also could have had a yard sale but I have to admit that with two kids, a full time job and just running our household, I didn’t have the time. Decluttering the house made the cleaning up process before a showing so much easier because there was a lot less stuff in our house.

Use Your Car for Storage
We bought three large laundry baskets and kept them in the back of our car during each showing. We typically received 3-5 hours notice before a showing which gave us plenty of time to cleanup. I would bring in the three baskets and load them up with all of the toys, clothes on the floor and things I didn’t have time to put away. It’s a quick way to get stuff off your floors and countertops.

Make a ‘Get Ready for Showing’ List
 I wrote a list of things to do before each showing. This kept me on track and helped me remember everything I needed to do to get the house “ready.”  Your list should be specific to your house. The list made the getting ready so much less stressful.

This is an example of my list:
1. Remove toys (kids and pets)
2. Wipe down countertops and appliances; put away all dishes, clear countertops
3. Close all toilets, clean sinks and mirrors
4. Make beds – add decorative pillows
5. Remove diaper bin, cat litter box and kitchen garbage
6. Open blinds, shades and curtains
7. Turn on lights
8. Turn up heat or ac (depending on weather)
9. Sweep front porch
10. If you have time or help, vacuum all carpeted areas

Consider a Storage Unit
I personally think houses with less clutter look bigger and are more appealing to home buyers. Less stuff equals more room. We cleaned out some of our kitchen cabinets and our closets. You don’t want a closet overflowing with stuff.

I hope this helps. I know it will make my job as a realtor a lot easier.

Client Tesimonials

“Over the last year we have spoken with several real estate agents in the area. Jennifer was the first person that earned our trust by working closely with us, asking relevant questions, and by being extremely responsive to find a home we would love. She took the time to send us updates on homes that were within our budget and exactly what we were looking for. She didn’t just set up a filter and let it automate results. I felt that she looked at new houses on the market and thought about how they might fit our family and what were looking for. We would recommend Jennifer to anyone looking for a real estate agent in the Smith Mountain Lake area.”

Zachary B.

bought a home at Smith Mountain Lake

“Jennifer has been the best realtor I’ve ever dealt with. She was always quick to respond and meet us wherever, whenever. She got to know us personally and would match us with the best houses. She cared more about our happiness with a home than the incentive she was getting. She helped with dealing with house inspections and dealing with the seller as well.”

Stephen C.

Bought a home in Thaxton, VA

“Jennifer was our realtor and did an excellent job. She found us a great house and it fit our budget. We put a contract on it in two days it was a pleasure working with her.
Awesome job Jennifer.”

Lee T.

Bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“We had a lot of issue’s with selling and buying another home, but Jennifer’s negotiating skills kept us from making big mistakes, like not having a home inspection. Otherwise, it would have cost us $1000.00 dollars. She was on top of every detail, even if it was a small one. Also, she was very responsive in returning phone calls. We highly recommend her as your agent. We will certainly use her again if need be.”

Barbara A.

Bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“Great realtor to work with. I came in with no knowledge about the process or anything just knew I wanted a house. She helped me and taught me every step of the way, giving great advice on everything.”

Kirsten S.

Bought a home in Vinton, VA

“I highly recommend Jennifer with any home buyer/seller needs. Jennifer was always on time to our appointments and she is so kind. Jennifer knew exactly what our family’s needs were and found us the perfect home.”

Christian J.

Bought a home in Boones Mill, VA

“I would defiantly recommend Jennifer for all your real estate purchases. Her knowledge, drive, and response times are excellent. She is very understanding and passionate about her job. She kept us informed every step of the way despite any hiccups (which she had no control over). Not only did she find us the perfect home, she did so in a way that was respectful and with class. Jennifer is by far the greatest realtor I have ever worked with.”

Jesse W.

Bought a home in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer was so helpful throughout the entire process, her recommendations for home, loan officers, and title company were the best in the business. Jennifer always had multiple options available and took our needs into consideration for every home we looked at until we found the perfect home for our family. Jennifer put a personal touch we will never forget into the home buying process and we will be forever grateful for the best service. We highly recommend Jennifer to everyone and have already enlisted her help with the selling of a family home, and she will be representing other friends and family in the purchase of their new home.”

Michelle H.

Bought a home in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer Mazeika was very attentive to our needs and prompt in answering our questions. She helped us find a beautiful home with everything we were looking for.”

James B.

Bought a home in Moneta, VA

“This was my first time buying a home and Jennifer was more than reliable.
She always replied to me quickly and took mental notes
about everything I was looking for in a home.”

 

Jessica P.

Bought a home in Union Hall, VA

“Jennifer was a delight to have as my agent. Her dedication to me as her client was superb and her knowledge of the area here in the Smith Mountain Lake is extensive.”

Nita F.

bought a home in Hardy, VA

“Jennifer was near perfect. She was always responsive; we never had to call twice. If she didn’t answer the phone, she got back to us very quickly. She was always willing to go the extra step. She is enthusiastic and her concern for us always seemed to be genuine. To put it succinctly, Jennifer made the ordeal of shopping for a
house much more pleasant than it usually is.”

Kurt S.

bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“Jennifer is absolutely wonderful to work with. She answered all of our questions (we had a lot) and took the time to help find us the right place. I highly recommend her!! I hope we get to see her around the lake!!”

Shannon W.

bought a condo in Moneta, VA

“Very professional, highly prepared, genuine, sincere and knowledgeable about the market. Prompt in returning phone calls and emails and appointments. Always enthusiastic about finding a home that meets the buyer’s wishes.”

Irene C.

bought a home in Wirtz, VA

“Very personable and knowledgeable in her profession. We got along quite well in searching for houses. Traveled throughout three counties in search of the perfect home. Continued despite numerous disappointments and setbacks.”

Doug O.

bought a home in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer has been the best realtor I’ve ever dealt with. She was always quick to respond and meet us wherever, whenever. She got to know us personally and would match us with the best houses. She cared more about our happiness with a home than the incentive she was getting. She helped with dealing with house inspections and dealing with the seller as well.”

Stephen C.

bought a home in Thaxton, VA

“Jennifer is a real estate agent we would use again. When choosing a real estate agent you want someone knowledgeable in all areas of buying and selling, who knows the “ins and outs” of the local area that also has a great personality who can make the sometimes stressful experience as enjoyable as possible. Jennifer is a triple threat! Very knowledgeable of the real estate business and the processes that go along with it. VERY RESPONSIVE. We were buying a property in Smith Mountain Lake and we lived out of town and that was difficult for us. Jennifer made us feel like we could call her anytime and that gave us a level of comfort.”

Gretchen R.

bought a condo in Moneta, VA

“Jennifer has been one of the best agents to work with. She has been very knowledgeable through the whole process. She went above and beyond and did more for us than we could have ever asked for. Answered all of our questions and understood completely what we were looking for and got us into the house of our dreams. Jennifer is an AMAZING agent. We plan to use her in the future and refer her to everyone we know. ”

Tiffani H

Bought a home in Moneta, VA