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August 28, 2016
How to Know When to Replace the Windows in Your Home
Homeowners generally know when it’s time to replace a roof, repair a leaking pipe, or fix an appliance—but many people have trouble deciding when it’s time to replace or update the windows in a home. Window replacement can be troublesome and costly, but new windows offer numerous advantages, from energy savings to boosting a house’s sale price.
Here are some tips to help you decide whether or not it’s time to replace the windows in your home:
- Cracked or Damaged Panes. Obviously, broken windows need replacing immediately, but cracks and chipsare equally dangerous, especially in older panes. Shattering glass can cause serious injuries to people, pets, and property; repair or replace your windows at the first sign of cracks or other damage.
- Drafty Rooms and “Breezes” Near Closed Windows. Over time, wooden window frames and casings can warp, shrink, and crack, allowing air to enter the home. This increases energy costs and makes your home less comfortable. If you notice a breeze with the windows closed, consider replacing the window ASAP.
- Replacement of Non-Tempered Glass With Safety Glass.Older windows and sliding doors are often constructed from “standard glass,” which shatters into dangerous shards when broken. Modern building codes require replacement of standard glass with tempered or “safety glass,” which breaks into “pebbles” that carry a lower risk of injury or death. Replacing dangerous older glass with modern tempered windows and doors increases the safety (and, often, value) of your home.
- High or Increasing Energy Costs. As windows age, they shrink and warp, allowing for seepage of air both into and out of the home. This increases cooling costs in the summer months and makes it more expensive to heat your home in winter, too. Noticeable increases in your energy bills—especially in the summer and winter—may be a sign that it’s time to replace those aging, leaky windows with energy-efficient panes.
- Difficulty Opening or Closing. Windows should function smoothly, with little to no sticking or trouble opening or closing. Older hung or counterweighted windows tend to stick (or refuse to open) as they age, and may also slam shut without warning. In addition to making the windows hard to use, these problems create safety issues and risk of injury to adults and children. Once your windows refuse to open (or shut) without difficulty, it’s time to consider replacement.
Increasingly affordable prices and a wide range of modern designs have made replacing windows far simpler, and less expensive, than it was in the past. Ignoring the warning signs of aging windows leads to rising energy costs and even a risk of injury to your home and family members. Whether you’re planning to sell your house or simply want to improve your family’s safety and comfort, proper, timely window replacement is a wise investment for any home.
August 20, 2016
July 2016 Housing Sales and Market Update For Washington, D.C. & Surrounding Area
4 Brothers Buy Houses is proud to share this update on current Washington D.C. area housing sales and market conditions.*
*Market information courtesy of RBIntel.com
In July, Washington D.C. Area Median Housing Prices Showed a Slight Decrease From June, But Remain Slightly Above July 2015 Levels:
In July,median home sale pricesin the D.C. Metro area showed a slight overall decrease from June’s prices, but reached the highest average levels for the month of July since 2007. Condominiums saw a 4% overall increase from last year’s prices, but both single-family homes and townhomes had a very slight decrease—less than 1% in each category.
On average, the area’s most affordable homes are still in Prince George’s County, while Falls Church City remainsthe most expensive place to buy, with a July 2016 median sales price of $708,000.
Regional Housing Sales, New Listings, & InventoriesDecreased inJuly 2016:
According to figures published by RBIntel.com:
5,045home sales closed in Washington D.C. and the surrounding counties in July 2016, a 3.4% decline since July of 2015 but more than 5% above the five-year average for sales in July.
Pending sales decreased in July as well, with only 5,267 properties reported as “sale pending” at the end of July—0.9% higher than July 2015, but a 17% drop over last month’s pending sales figures.
New sales listings decreased by 17% over June’s new listing numbers, with only 6,225 new properties coming on the market in July 2016. Overall inventory decreased by almost 13% from last year’s numbers (3% since June), with 10,943properties reported as on the market in the Washington D.C. area (and surrounding counties) as of the end of July. Single-family houses, townhomes, and condominiums all show reduced inventory as of the end of July.
Average “Days on Market” Increased Slightly Over June 2016.
The median days-on-market for listed properties in Washington D.C. and the surrounding counties in July 2016 was 17 days –three dayshigher than June’s average DOM, but two days less than the average days-on-market for July of 2015.
July’s slowest regional market was Alexandria City (median days-on-market: 23), and Falls Church City remained the fastest-moving area, with amedian DOM of 8 (just one day slower than it was in June).
Sales numbers vary from county to county, and even among neighborhoods, and the speed and success of a housing sale is dependent on many factors, from listing price to home condition and comparable listings in the area. Your personal experience may vary, but knowing the average numbers is still helpful when making plans to sell your home, either through a realtor or to an investor.
August 15, 2016
How to Sell Your Home Fast
If you’ve decided to sell your home (or need to sell a house you inherited from a relative or family trust), you don’t want to spend months waiting around while the property sits on the market. Once a homeowner makes the decision to sell, most people want to sell the property fast.
While nothing can guarantee a rapid sale, here are some top professional tips and tricks for selling a home, and closing the sale, more quickly:
- Choose a Proper Listing Price. This might seem obvious, but overpriced houses take longer to sell—sometimes several weeks (or even months) longer than homes with proper listing prices. Consult an experienced real estate agent, review the comparable sales in your area, and set a price that accurately reflects what your home is actually
- Clean, Clean, Clean! Cluttered, dirty homes don’t sell. Put away clutter and personal items, clear out crowded closets, and give your home a thorough cleaning before each open house or buyer tour.
- Make Smart Repairs & Improvements. Some upgrades, like fresh paint, can bring big returns in terms of price and sale speed. Other upgrades—especially those that don’t impact the overall look and modernity of a home—don’t normally bring in great returns. Consult a realtor or other specialist, and make the most of your repair and improvement dollars.
- Advertise Properly, & Use Good Photos. Buyers can’t buy your home if they can’t find it, and will pass your listing by if it looks unappealing in photographs. Make sure your listing appears on all major sales websites and the MLS, advertise in the real estate listing section of local newspapers, and make sure your ads feature high-quality, professional photographs that make your home look spacious and attractive.
- Remove Pets (&Odors). Most people love their pets . . . but most home buyers don’t want to see, hear, or smell someone else’s. Remove your pets from the home during open houses and buyer tours, and make sure the house is free of pet-related smells and stains.
Many factors influence the speed at which a house might sell, and not all of these factors are within even diligent sellers’ control. However, by pricing your house properly, preparing it for sale with smart repairs and proper cleaning, and arranging for proper, professional advertising, you can significantly increase your chances of a rapid sale.
However, if you want—or need—to sell your home even faster, consider cutting out the listing process entirely and selling directly to an investor. 4 Brothers Buy Houses buys homes for cash, in any condition, and can often close a sale in under two weeks. For a free, no obligation quote, click here and get more details now!
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August 6, 2016
How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
Most people don’t buy and sell houses for a living, and the prospect of putting a house on the market can seem like an overwhelming task. The right listing agent can make an enormous difference in the speed and price at which a house will sell—but how do you know which agent is right for your home?
Here are some tips to demystify the process of choosing a listing agent (or Realtor) to sell your home:
- Pay Attention to Open House and Listing Signs in Your Area. Real estate prices and market tactics vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood. Agents with active listings in your area are likely to know the market, which gives them an advantage when it comes to pricing and selling your home.
- Interview Multiple Agents. Don’t sign the first listing contract an agent offers. Meet with several agents, learn about their recent sales and listings, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the agent’s experience as well as the strategies the agent would use to sell your home.
- Talk With the Agent’s Former Clients. Most real estate agents will happily provide a list of referrals—contact information for other people whose houses the agent has sold, or who the agent assisted with the purchase of a home. Talking with former clients can help you decide if the agent will be a good fit for you.
- Ask Your Friends & Family. Many people know (or are related to) a real estate agent—but remember: although these recommendations may be trustworthy, you still need to interview multiple agents and check the agent’s references, license, and sales experience to make sure that he or she is the right one for the job.
- Make Sure the Agent is Properly Licensed.By law, a real estate agent needs a license (either a salesperson’s license or a broker’s license) in order to sell property. License requirements vary from state to state, and a real estate agent must be licensed in your state in order to sell your home.
- Find an Agent Who Sells Real Estate Full-Time. Selling homes effectively requires an active, ongoing understanding of the real estate market. Market conditions change from season to season and even week-to-week. Full-time real estate agents have a significant advantage over part-time salespeople, especially when it comes to tracking trends and prices.
Choosing the perfect real estate agent requires some time and research, but finding an experienced agent who understands your neighborhood, market conditions, and effective sales strategies will help your home sell faster and, often, at a better price.