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Shawn & The 12:45 Team Did It Again

Last year the 12:45 Team helped 96 families buy, sell or invest in real estate.  We were ranked in top 15 of all real estate agents in VA/MD.  When it comes to your most important asset, hire the best to look out for your best interest!    shawn@1245team.com - 571-477-1245



Jiffy Lube Coupon - Do you get your car oil changed at Jiffy Lube?

Jiffy Lube Coupons

The 12:45 Team when we get our oil changed goes to Jiffy Lube and we thought we would pass these 2 coupons on to you guys.  Its always good to save money :)

$8 off coupon for VA and some MD locations

$10 off coupon for MD Locations

Salem Fields Townhome, Villa & Single Family Homes November Sales Report 2014

www.MySalemFieldsHome.com


Relevant Real Estate Information for the Salem Fields Community of Townhomes, Villas and Single Family Homes in Fredericksburg, VA  For a free consultation of what your home is worth in today's market call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245

To find out the value of your home CLICK HERE

Upside Down?  Find out when your home will be an asset again CLICK HERE

As of today (December 1, 2014) there are 9 active homes in Salem Fields, 7 homes that are under contract, and 4 homes have sold in the last 30 days.

Here's the breakdown of all active listings in MLS:

Townhomes- 1
Villas -3
Single Family - 5




NEW LISTINGS
According to MLS, there are(is) 3 new listing(s) this month!

UNDER CONTRACT
According to MLS, there are 7 homes under contract.
I will have the final numbers for these once they close


SOLD in last 30 days
According to MLS, 4 have sold in the last 30 days.



OBSERVATIONS
We have seen a few new listings this month that came on the market and go off rather quickly. The key is to price your home ahead of the market and utilize all marketing channels possible.  As you can see some of the homes that have been on the market continue to rack up days.  Buyers do see this as a warning sign that maybe something is wrong with it or they wander why does nobody else want it.  You only get one first impression and for a home this last about the first 2-3 weekends.  In this market you need an agent that is aggressive and has a marketing plan to get your home sold for top dollar.  We would love to chat with you if you are thinking about selling in early 2015.  Call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245



Thanks for reading our Salem Fields Real Estate Blog!
Posted by: Nate Johnson & Shawn Derrick - Salem Fields Real Estate Agent
The 12:45 Team is apart of Keller Williams Realty,
specializing in real estate in VA, MD & DC.



Disclaimer: Information was gathered from the MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Tips To Help You Decide Whether To Remodel Or Sell

Tips To Help You Decide Whether To Remodel Or Sell
As home prices increase, homeowners have options. Some are quickly gaining back the equity they lost over the last several years. That creates opportunity to maybe refinance, remodel, or sell. If you're sitting on the fence trying to determine whether to list your home for sale or to remodel it, consider these important tips.

Tip 1: Do a "Love it or List it" Analysis.

On a sheet of paper write down the things you love about your home and the things that might cause you to decide to list your home for sale. Take your time doing this. Really give every aspect of your home consideration. Do you like the neighborhood? Is it where you want to stay for a long while or even retire? Is the area or your home lacking something? Could remodeling your home be the solution? Once you do the "love it or list it" analysis, you'll be able to identify which parts of your home are bothering your the most. With that information, you can now start to explore more options.

Tip 2: Do your research.

This applies to both options–remodeling or selling. Visit other neighborhoods that you might like to live in. Carefully explore the surrounding area, the homes, the types of people, the shops, businesses, and churches. Think about your commute. Would it be longer? Would it cost more in gas? Are there any gains to offset extra costs? Gathering these details will help you add more to your "love it or list it" analysis. Also, invite some real estate agents to your home to get some expert advice on how much your home would sell for and how long it might take. When you get that information, it can help you determine if selling is best. Next visit some remodeling companies. See their remodeling projects and invite their team to your house to offer their suggestions. Sometimes what a homeowner thinks is a difficult remodel is really quite simple. Of course, the opposite is true too. For instance, if a home doesn't have the supporting structure it needs, a remodel could become very complex or, in some case, impossible, which might prompt an immediate desire to sell.  

Tip 3: Have your financial records in order.

Whether you decide to remodel or sell, having your financial records easily accessible is vital. You'll need these documents for both situations. Knowing what upgrades you've already done to the home will help when it comes time to sell. And, having your tax documents and other financial information on hand will help you if you decide to remodel using financing.  

Tip 4: Evaluate the process.

Talk to expert listing agents and remodeling companies so that you can completely understand what to expect with both processes. If you're listing your home, learn about the marketing process, holding open houses, showing your home, what large items might need to be removed, and the overall timing of how long you'll need before you close escrow. For remodeling, get details about the length of the expected renovation. Will you be able to live in the home or will you have to find a place to stay? Will you use one firm to do both the design and build process? Often this is easier and can be less costly than using several contractors.

Take your time and pay close attention to all the details. Both selling and renovating a home are major decisions. Make sure you give the decision-making process ample time as well as compiling a considerable amount of research to make your final decision. Written by Phoebe Chongchua

The Biggest Mistake Sellers Make

The Biggest Mistake Sellers Make
Home prices are starting to inch up again in most areas, which is encouraging sellers to believe that their homes will sell quickly and for more money. And that's when they start making mistakes.

Don't be one of them.

Overpricing a home is the biggest mistake a seller can make. Asking a high price for your home says more about you than it does about your home. It may show you value your investment, that you have cared for the home and kept it updated and in good repair. But if the price is too high compared to other similar homes, it can make you appear unrealistic.

Buyers shop in a range that they've either been given by their lenders or one where they feel comfortable. If they're searching on the MLS, they will typically look at homes they can afford and may miss seeing the page where your home is advertised because it's out of their price range.

It's also psychologically easier for buyers to negotiate in their price target range. Buyers feel more comfortable asking for a little discount on a home within their reach than to ask you for a big discount on a more expensive home.

You won't get the more affluent buyer either. Buyers who can afford to pay the price of your home will simply compare your home to others in the same range. They will quickly find out that other homes have better locations, more square footage and snazzier finishes than yours and for the same price.

You'll find your home will get few showings and if you get any offers at all, they will be low. To get traffic to your home, you'll have to lower the price. You may find that offers still aren't coming, even though your home is now fairly priced for its location, amenities and condition.

Why wouldn't buyers jump at a price reduction? First impressions count, and you didn't make a good one. The first impression the market had of your home was that it's overpriced. An overpriced home is a reflection of the seller, not of the home.

Other agents and their buyers don't want to deal with a seller who is unrealistic. They may have already jumped to conclusions about you and your home that are more negative than you deserve. You've overpriced your home because you're unreasonable, greedy, out of touch with current market conditions, or you're heavily in debt, upside down on your mortgage, or otherwise in some sort of trouble.

A wounded seller tends to bring out the predator in buyers. Often, homes that have been repriced attract lower offers than other similar homes in the same price range. Buyers think you're desperate, so they may offer less than market value hoping you're strapped enough to take it.

It's far better to make a good first impression on the market -- that your home is offered at a fair price because you're a reasonable seller who understands your home's value and current market conditions.

Keep in mind that a home will never sell for more than a willing buyer will pay for it, or that a willing bank will finance. You're always better off pricing your home so that you can get as close to 100% of your asking price as possible.

Only then, will your home sell quickly and for more money. Written by Blanche Evans


Salem Fields Townhome, Villa & Single Family Homes October Sales Report 2014

http://www.mysalemfieldshome.com/

Relevant Real Estate Information for the Salem Fields Community of Townhomes, Villas and Single Family Homes in Fredericksburg, VA  For a free consultation of what your home is worth in today's market call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245

To find out the value of your home CLICK HERE

Upside Down?  Find out when your home will be an asset again CLICK HERE

As of today (November 3rd, 2014) there have been 6 homes have sold in the last 30 days.

Here's the breakdown of all sale listings in MLS:

Townhomes- 2
Villas -0
Single Family - 4










OBSERVATIONS
1 of these sales was a foreclosure at a really great price so we will ignore those stats for now because those don't reflect the current market for Salem Fields.   The other 4 the average days on market 61 days but one of them was on the market for 163 days. So without that one the average days on market was 31.  This is typical for the Salem Fields community right now in this market. 

One important factor was the average sale price to list price was 98.5% which is really good.  The average seller subsidy to the buyer was a little over $4,000.  Sometimes buyers have exhausted all their money for a down payment and need a little bit of help.  This is a negotiable thing and we negotiate hard at every point to make you the most amount of money.

We would love to chat with you if you are thinking about selling in early 2015.  Call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245



Thanks for reading our Salem Fields Real Estate Blog!
Posted by: Nate Johnson & Shawn Derrick - Salem Fields Real Estate Agent
The 12:45 Team is apart of Keller Williams Realty,
specializing in real estate in VA, MD & DC.



Disclaimer: Information was gathered from the MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Salem Fields Townhome, Villa & Single Family Homes September Sales Report 2014

http://www.mysalemfieldshome.com/

Relevant Real Estate Information for the Salem Fields Community of Townhomes, Villas and Single Family Homes in Fredericksburg, VA  For a free consultation of what your home is worth in today's market call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245

To find out the value of your home CLICK HERE

Upside Down?  Find out when your home will be an asset again CLICK HERE

_____________

As of today (October 2nd, 2014)    1 home has sold in the last 30 days, 6 went under contract and 7 came active.

Here's the breakdown of all sale listings in MLS:

Townhomes- 1
Villas -0
Single Family - 0







OBSERVATIONS
The one townhouse that sold was a foreclosure that was bought at a great price. These stats do not reflect the current market. Be encouraged though, 6 homes are under contact. Which means there are plenty of buyers shopping. 3 of these were under contract with under 20 days on the market. The remainder 3 were between 62 and 125 days.

This means, you must price your home correctly. If you do, it will sell quickly. If you place your home on the market overpriced, buyers do not come and see the home. If buyers do not come and see the home, you do not sell your home. The name of the game is, price to sell.

We would love to chat with you if you are thinking about selling in early 2015.  Call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245



Thanks for reading our Salem Fields Real Estate Blog!
Posted by: Nate Johnson & Shawn Derrick - Salem Fields Real Estate Agent
The 12:45 Team is apart of Keller Williams Realty,
specializing in real estate in VA, MD & DC.



Disclaimer: Information was gathered from the MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Salem Fields Townhome, Villa & Single Family Homes August Sales Report 2014

www.MySalemFieldsHome.com


Relevant Real Estate Information for the Salem Fields Community of Townhomes, Villas and Single Family Homes in Fredericksburg, VA  For a free consultation of what your home is worth in today's market call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245

To find out the value of your home CLICK HERE

Upside Down?  Find out when your home will be an asset again CLICK HERE

As of today (September 2, 2014) There were 0 homes sold and 1 went under contract.


UNDER CONTRACT
According to MLS, there is 1 home under contract.
I will have the final numbers for this once they close


OBSERVATIONS
No homes sold in August but 1 are under contract.  At the end of the summer the numbers look like the market is shifting to a buyer market. This means your home has to "pop" to entice agents and buyers to come to your home. The pricing, marketing, and showing quality need to stand out among the homes. This is why the 12:45 team hires professional photographers, professional stagers, markets aggressively and prices your home ahead of the market. All so that your homes stands out among the rest and to sell your home for the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.  If you would like to learn more about how we sell homes call Nate or Shawn at 571-477-1245.



Thanks for reading our Salem Fields Real Estate Blog!
Posted by: Nate Johnson & Shawn Derrick - Salem Fields Real Estate Agent
The 12:45 Team is apart of Keller Williams Realty,
specializing in real estate in VA, MD & DC.



Disclaimer: Information was gathered from the MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Salem Fields Townhome, Villa & Single Family Homes 1st Quarter Sales Report 2014

www.MySalemFieldsHome.com


Relevant Real Estate Information for the Salem Fields Community of Townhomes, Villas and Single Family Homes in Fredericksburg, VA

To find out the value of your home CLICK HERE

Upside Down?  Find out when your home will be an asset again CLICK HERE

As of today (April 1, 2014) there have been 22 homes that have sold in Salem Fields




OBSERVATIONS
7 Townhomes sold, 5 Villas & 10 Detached Single Family Homes. 10 of the 22 sales in the 1st quarter this year were distressed properties. ie Short Sale or Foreclosure. This # is pretty high compared to 2013 where we had 18 distressed sales for the entire year.  The good news is these were all started in early to mid 2013 and took months to finally close.  So we are now just seeing this in 2014.  We expect there to be plenty regular equity sales in 2014.



Thanks for reading our Salem Fields Real Estate Blog!
Posted by: 12:45 Team - Salem Fields Real Estate Agent
The 12:45 Team is apart of Keller Williams Realty,
specializing in Northern Virginia Real Estate.



Disclaimer: Information was gathered from the MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Real Estate Home Inspection

VA Home Buyers, Sellers & Realtors®: Prepare for the Home Inspection!

A couple years ago, the real estate market was so crazy that many buyers were waiving their right to a home inspection just so the seller would accept their offer. But those days are over and in the current buyer's market, the inspection period is once again being used as a time to negotiate price. Although each contract is different, most Virginia home buyers have a 10-day inspection period. During this inspection period, buyers can generally cancel the contract based on their inspections and receive a refund of their earnest money.

As a result, the inspection period is a very nerve-racking time for many real estate agents and sellers. While most experienced Realtors® want their buyers to have a thorough home inspection, some real estate agents are scared to death that an experienced home inspector like myself will 'blow the deal' and cost them a commission.

But in my experience, most buyers don't want to cancel their contract when the inspection reveals problems. Some buyers do, but usually the buyers will ask for major problems to be repaired, or for monetary compensation in lieu of repairs. Sometimes, sellers will be offended or will refuse to negotiate based on the inspection and it does blow the deal. But usually, the buyers and sellers come to a reasonable compromise and the deal closes.

I'm often asked by sellers and real estate agents if there's anything they can do to 'prepare' for the inspection. Here are some things that can be done to make the home inspector's job easier:

SELLERS & SELLER'S AGENTS:

1. Make sure ALL utilities are on prior to the inspection. Most sellers keep the utilities on while their home is for sale, at least the electricity anyway. But sometimes the gas or other utilities will be off if the home was vacant for an extended period of time. Foreclosures and bank owned properties usually do not have the utilities on. If the gas is turned off, the inspector cannot operate gas appliances such as the heater, water heater, stove, etc. There are still many items that can be inspected, but you will not get the best inspection possible if any of the utilities are off. If the water is off, I will not be able to properly evaluate the plumbing or anything else which uses water. If the electricity is off, I cannot inspect anything that requires power.

My home inspection company always asks the client or Realtor® who makes the inspection appointment to verify that all utilities are on, but sometimes the gas or water company doesn't have it on when they say they will. If I'm unable to inspect something due to the utilities being off and I need to come back to the property, I have to charge the client a re-inspection fee (currently $100, and likely to increase soon due to gas prices). Even when it's not the buyer's fault, the buyer is the one who usually ends up paying it. A good buyer's agent will insist that the sellers reimburse the buyer for this re-inspection fee since it's usually the seller's responsibility to have the utilities on for the inspection (I believe the standard AAR contract requires this). But this is a cost that can be avoided altogether with some prior planning.

2. Unlock gates and remove locks from electrical boxes, sprinkler timers, pool equipment or fences, etc. Basically, unlock everything that's locked so the inspector can access it.

3. Secure your pets if necessary. I love animals and I frequently have animal friends accompany me through the house as I do my inspection. One time, I even had about a half-dozen weiner dogs follow me through a two-story house I was inspecting (have you ever seen a weiner dog try to run up stairs!) I realize I'm in their territory and I try to introduce myself to the pets in a non-threatening way. I don't mind being followed and I even enjoy interacting with the animals. But if you have a large or aggressive pet that needs supervision or restraint, please do so! In the thousands of home inspections I've performed, I've never been attacked by a pet - but I've had a few big dogs I wasn't sure about that were definitely a distraction. Also, if you have a pet that likes to sneak outside when the door is opened, please make me aware so I can watch out for him/her!

4. Move ALL items that may limit the home inspector's access. And please don't stuff everything in the garage or in closets, because I have to inspect in those areas too! Home Inspectors are not going to move personal items to inspect behind or underneath them. If access or visibility is obstructed, that area will not be inspected. This isn't because we're being lazy, but moving things really isn't a home inspector's job. In fact, the state standards specifically say home inspectors are not required to move personal items, furniture, equipment, etc. And it's really best for the homeowner that we don't move their stuff. Most homeowners wouldn't want us to, and we don't want to take a chance of breaking something (which sometimes happens when you start moving stuff).

5. Replace bad light bulbs. This makes my job easier and I won't call a light fixture bad when it's really just the bulb. I have a tool I can screw into the light bulb socket to test the light if it won't come on, but it will only fit regular light bulb sockets.

6. Don't try to hide stuff with last minute paint or repairs! This never works and will likely call more attention to the area. For example, painting the ceiling to cover a water stain doesn't keep me from knowing about a roof leak. I'll still see the evidence on the roof and in the attic. Likewise, fresh caulking in the shower may cause me to look more closely at that area.

BUYERS & BUYER'S AGENTS:

1. Buyers should be present at the inspection. The scariest way for a buyer to learn the results of their home inspection is by reading the report. If a buyer is at the inspection, they can ask questions about the problems that are found and the repairs that are necessary. They can ask questions like "is that common for a house this age?". As a home inspector, it's my job to make sure my clients learn as much information as possible from my inspection. I report on everything I see, but I'm not doing my clients any favors if I scare them unnecessarily. Sometimes, a big list of defects in the home inspection report can scare an unprepared buyer out of one deal, only to find the next house they put under contract has most of the same problems (because the problems are common for the age/type of house). So I make sure my clients understand as much as possible about the problems I find, and those problems are put in perspective. A client who comes to my inspection leaves with an understanding of what problems I found, and a good idea which ones are major expenses. When clients are not at the inspection, I often get frantic phone calls from buyers who are worried about something that's really no big deal. But when they read the report without the ability to be there, see it and ask questions, it's much more scary.

Many buyers are out-of-state and cannot attend the inspection. But if at all possible, the buyers should attend the inspection. A normal inspection takes several hours, and I know it's boring to sit around that long while the inspector inspects! So ideally, the client and agent should show up during the last half hour of the inspection (ask what time that will be when you make your appointment). That way, the inspector can give the client and agent a summary of what was found and address their questions.

2. Verify that all utilities are on.

3. Understand what a home inspection is, and what it is not. A pre-purchase home inspection is an opportunity for the buyers to learn more about the home's condition before they own it. Most buyers schedule their home inspection while they can still back out of the deal or negotiate repairs/money.

While sellers may agree to make some repairs, buyers need to understand that a home inspection report is not intended to be a repair list for the seller (except perhaps on new homes/warranty inspections). Even on brand new homes, I will usually find dozens of problems. So a home inspection report with only fifteen deficiencies is a pretty clean house. But when a first time buyer who's never had a home inspection and thinks they're buying the perfect house gets a report with fifteen deficiencies, they can be scared to death. Or they may expect the seller to repair every single item, which almost never happens in a re-sale situation. Unreasonable expectations from one party can blow a deal.

In short, buyers and sellers need to be prepared, and know in advance what to expect from the home inspection. From my experience, fear of the unknown is the primary reason most deals fall out of escrow after the inspection. But even when the home has problems, a home inspection should remove both the fear and the unknown, giving the buyers confidence in their purchase rather than scaring them away. Now don't get me wrong, if the house has several expensive, unexpected problems, there's no amount of preparation that can overcome that. But knowledge is power, and the home inspection goes much smoother when all parties are prepared and know what to expect.

Written By: Scott Hubbard
Certified Home Inspector, ASHI® Member