Reston Real Estate - Detached Homes in 20191

Friday, June 25, 2010

Real Estate in Reston:

Focus: Detached Homes

Active Listings: Currently, there are 28 detached homes in 20191 on the market with an
average list price of $577,939 – with an average of 4 bedrooms,
3.5 baths, 3 levels, 1 fireplace and a garage.

Under Contract: There are presently 23 homes under contract with an average list price of $473,467.

Sold: Thus far, 9 homes have sold in June with a average price of $593,311.

The Reston Association annual fee is $515 and offers the amenities of 55 miles of walking paths, 14 pools, 48 tennis courts, 4 lakes – all with public access, several tot lots, basketball courts and soccer fields.

As a resident of 20191 since 1990, I feel the mature trees and natural settings make this part of Reston more park-like than any other. Sightings of deer, owls, foxes and raccoons are common. This area truly offers serenity among the trees!

For homeowners considering a move, Selling Homes by Design offers a successful Client Experience centered around your goals, and a unique consultative style that caters to your desired outcome. Communication is paramount in developing a winning relationship.

experience expert guidance for the process of preparing the home for sale. Professional marketing strategies (efforts begin even before the house is on the market) and negotiation tactics work in tandem to achieve the final result of SOLD. Proven Staging techniques maximize the home's best features and make it memorable to the buyer.

Call today to schedule your consultation with Selling Homes by Design AND ask about our SUMMER INCENTIVE for HOME SELLERS!

Sharon Goetz

Realtor®, Accredited Staging Professional, Certified Interior Decorator

Keller Williams Realty


Preparation / Presentation !

Friday, June 18, 2010

If you've ever entertained, you know that preparation is just as important as presentation. I mean you can’t have Williams Sonoma (preparation) without Pottery Barn (presentation). Same is true if you are planning to sell your home.

Preparation is all that behind the scenes work that can ensure you get top $$ for your house. Savvy buyers want turn-key - make it turn key.

Repair anything that’s broken – this shows your home is well taken care of. Make sure all windows operate freely, replace any worn locks or torn screens. Clean carpets, use wood cleaners / conditioners on wood floors and wood kitchen cabinets. This restores the natural beauty. Fix any plumbing issues. Tighten loose handrails. Know the age of your furnace, your roof. Clean the gutters. Do all the lightbulbs work – a buyer won’t know if it’s just a burned out bulb or an electrical problem.

Presentation is of course the eye candy - and that's where Staging becomes KEY. If you're selling, you're moving, if you're moving - start packing! This is a double-duty task. It declutters the house you’re selling and readies your belongings for their new space.

In every room, stand in the doorway and look thru the eyes of a buyer. What do you really see – pack everything you can live without while your home is on the market. This includes any family photos, collections of any kind, guns, swords, hunting trophies and religious and political items. The buyer needs to “picture” himself living there, with his things.

Even the proper furniture placement can have a huge impact. Does your furniture have a “titanic effect” in a particular room? Meaning too many heavy pieces on 1 side of the room. That can be easily addressed. It’s always better to “float your furniture” – never have all your pieces placed around the perimeter of the room. Floating the furniture gives a cozier feeling and shows off your space better. Trim-work and architectural features stand out more in a carefully arranged room.

An Accredited Staging Professional will create a sense of calm in a room. Colors should be limited to 2 major shades. Any strong color is reserved solely for accessories or accent walls.

Solid fabrics work best for upholstered pieces when showcasing a room. Slipcovers are always an affordable option to give patterned pieces an updated look. When the house is on the market, leave lights ON and blinds or drapes OPEN – more light, whether natural or artificial, makes a space seem larger.

Truth is, buyers lack imagination. “They only know what they See, not the way it’s going to Be!” That is why each room must have a defined purpose, must be clutter-free, “Q-Tip clean” and rid of excess furniture and personal items.
Show off all the space in your place!

Now take a good hard look at your efforts! Ta-da! You have a product that's appealing and ready for "showtime"!

Selling or Staying: Tips for Bathroom Make-overs!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The HGTV adage of "kitchens and baths" sell houses really IS true!
If you're planning a move sooner or later - it's time to re-evaluate your bathroom(s). Yours probably isn't quite as glamorous as the one above - however; a little sprucing up can go a long way!

Today's buyer is looking for a spa-like feel. Try taking a photo of your bathroom from the doorway - that's your prospective buyer's first impression.

Here are a couple of Staged baths courtesy of Staged and

Carefully evaluate the condition. Exhaust fan - is it dirty or dated? Does the grout in the tile floor need to be cleaned or repaired? Next take a hard look at the vanity - consider replacing it with a new one for an instant makeover. Is the sink chipped, are the faucet handles loose or dated? 70's faux marble counters need to go! They give the impression your home hasn't been maintained / cared for / updated. The big box home improvement stores provide lots of cost effective options and will prevent your buyer from subtracting serious $$ from his offer if he doesn't have to do these updates!

If your mirror is not framed - painted mitered molding strips add a finished touch. Replace those old hotel style light fixtures for an instant improvement. Clean, clean, clean - Barb Schwarz (founder of the Staging industry) says your home MUST BE "Q-Tip Clean" -- nothing less will do. Next hide the evidence...Put AWAY all personal care items like toothbrushes, hairdryers, get rid of messy bar soap. Keep bath / shower products to an absolute minimum. Buyers are NOT interested in your choice of health and beauty aids. Clean out your medicine cabinet and vanity - buyers DO look.

Get rid of anything fuzzy! No fuzzy toilet lid or tank covers! No little fuzzy rugs in front of the toilet!
Now comes the fun stuff. Invest in the most luxurious towels in a neutral color that you can afford. Neatly put them on towel bars, roll a few to place near the tub or shower. We're thinking spa-ahhh here.

If your shower or tub has a curtain - you can use a pre-made drapery panel for a real lux look. This has a much richer, custom appearance than the plastic shower curtain. Try Target or Pier 1. I used this chocolate drapery panel with suede-like trim. It has a great texture you wouldn't find in a typical shower curtain!
Just use a plastic or vinyl shower liner behind the drapery panel.

Have suggestions on giving a bathroom a makeover? Please share!!

Out is the new In

Friday, June 4, 2010

In recent years, the trend of considering outdoor space as an extension of the home has really caught on! Decorators emphasize blurring the distinction between outside and inside.

The choices for stylishly outfitting your little oasis are staggering. There are outdoor chandeliers, rugs, floor lamps, outdoor art and of course the usual fountains, party lights and fire pits. AND, there's a whole range of prices. I checked out some offerings from,, and

Consider how your outdoor living room is used by your family and friends.

Is it covered or uncovered. Should you go with the versatile market umbrella that can be moved anywhere or with the trendy canopy. Do you have storage for cushions, lanterns and other decor that isn't thunderstorm proof? AND there's the maintenance...will you really oil your teak dining set every year? Hmmmm.

Have some interesting ideas for outfitting your space? Pass 'em on!

Housing Market Update:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Housing market update: June 1, 2010
Courtesy of Hal Johnson at Embrace Home Loans

New Home Sales at 2-Year High:
The Commerce Department reported that sales of newly built homes rose much faster than expected in April, rising to their highest levels in nearly two years. Sales jumped 14.8 percent (month-over-month) to an annualized rate of 504,000 units in April. This is the highest rate since May of 2008.

The year-over-year increase was in excess of 22 percent. Certainly, the rush to sign a contract prior to the tax credit expiring has had an impact. But there is something else that it less temporary that is also having an impact. Consistently low 30 year fixed rates, an increase in consumer confidence, and a rise in non-farm payrolls are helping to fuel demand for housing. And unlike the tax credit, these items will not expire but continue to move upward.

The report also showed that inventories of new homes for sale fell a record seven percent to 211,000 units in April. That is the lowest level of inventories since October 1968! Lower inventories will eventually lead to further price stabilization.

Consumer Sentiment Rises:
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's report showed that consumer sentiment rose again in May. The final May reading on the overall index was 73.6, up from April's reading of 72.2.

Consumer Spending drives 70 percent of our economy, so an increase in consumer sentiment readings could be good for economic growth in the near-term. Also, both consumer sentiment and consumer confidence are significant drivers for housing demand. Simply put, consumers are more likely to purchase a home if they feel more confident about their own financial outlook.

What Happened to Rates Last Week:

Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -69 basis points last week which caused 30 year fixed rates to increase for both government and conventional loans. The prior week, they were at their best levels of 2010. MBS pricing decreased (which causes mortgage rates to go up) due primarily to a rebound in the stock markets which pulled some money way from bonds. We also saw some strong economic data such as the Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment and Initial Jobless Claims. As the economy shows sign of expansion, it takes a toll on long bonds such as mortgage backed securities. However, mortgage rates remained at fantastic levels.

What to Watch Out For This Week:
The following are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:
Date ET Release For
1-Jun 10:00 Construction Spending Apr
1-Jun 10:00 ISM Index May
2-Jun 10:00 Pending Home Sales Apr
2-Jun 10:30 Crude Inventories 29-May
2-Jun 14:00 Auto Sales May
2-Jun 14:00 Truck Sales May
3-Jun 8:15 ADP Employment Change May
3-Jun 8:30 Productivity-Rev. Q1
3-Jun 8:30 Unit Labor Costs Q1
3-Jun 8:30 Initial Claims 29-May
3-Jun 8:30 Continuing Claims 29-May
3-Jun 10:00 Factory Orders Apr
3-Jun 10:00 ISM Services May
4-Jun 8:30 Nonfarm Payrolls May
4-Jun 8:30 Unemployment Rate May
4-Jun 8:30 Hourly Earnings May
4-Jun 8:30 Average Workweek May

It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets. Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.