The weather may be colder, yet the real estate market is still plenty warm!  Don’t let anyone tell you differently!  If you’re ready to sell your home, don’t wait! Here are some great reasons to list your home during the Holidays.


1.      People who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers! Everyone is busy in December, so the buyer must buy! They are not “just looking.”


2.      Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the holidays. Less competition means more money for you.


3.      Since the supply of listings normally increase in January, there may be less demand for your particular home. Less demand means less money for you.


4.      Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays.


5.      Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price.


6.      Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than they do during a working week.


7.      Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.


8.      January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market.


9.      You can still be on the market and have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the holidays.


10. You can sell now for more money and provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year if needed.


11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses traditionally are on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.


12. Lenders are traditionally less busy this time of year. Therefore, their service is more responsive.

Sept. 21, 2023

Starting Your Home-Buying Journey: A Chat With Your Lender

Here’s what you need to know about starting the lending process. 

Today, we'll discuss what it's like to initiate a conversation with a lender. There are often misconceptions surrounding the initial steps of engaging with a lender. Contrary to popular belief, the process doesn't always begin with a credit check. At least, that's not my approach. When I first speak with a client, my primary goal is to understand their financial situation and how I can best assist them in securing financing.

While having an idea of your credit score can be helpful, it's not mandatory at this stage. There are ways to access soft credit checks on your own, which won't negatively impact your credit score. These checks can provide lenders with a general sense of the loan products you may qualify for.

It's important to clarify that you don't need to immediately share your Social Security number when reaching out to a lender. Instead, it starts with a conversation. We can provide preliminary insights and outline potential scenarios for you. While these estimates may not be 100% precise without a formal application, they offer a fairly accurate picture of your eligibility, budget, and alignment with qualification requirements.


"Reaching out starts with a conversation. "


This approach is beneficial for both those eager to buy immediately and those in the early stages of planning, with dreams of homeownership a year or more down the road. Even if you're not ready to purchase right away, understanding the financial landscape can be valuable. We can help you gain insights into the financial aspects of the homebuying process, including what funds you'll need for closing costs.

For those in situations where their current credit score doesn't align with their goals, we can discuss strategies to improve creditworthiness and secure more favorable loan terms. A minor improvement in your credit score can lead to significant savings on your monthly payments.

In summary, it's never too early to start a conversation with a lender. You don't have to divulge all your personal information initially. The key is to initiate the discussion, whether you plan to buy within a few weeks or are considering a purchase in the distant future. We're here to help you navigate the path to homeownership, no matter your timeline or circumstances.

If you have any questions for our lender, Sarah, feel free to call or email. We're here to assist you in achieving your homeownership goals.


Posted in Real estate
Aug. 29, 2023

Mastering the Seller's Market: Your Guide to Realizing Homeownership Goals

Three strategies buyers are using to get ahead in this seller’s market.

Are you finding yourself endlessly drafting contracts in the competitive real estate market, only to be left empty-handed? The current state of the housing market can be tough to navigate, but fear not – we've got some valuable insights to share with you. Today, we'll delve into a couple of strategies that can significantly boost your odds of securing that coveted property:

1. Be the first in the door. When it comes to making a lasting impression, timing is everything. We recommend being the first to step through that front door. Why? This tactic sends a strong signal to the seller – it shows that you're not just an average buyer, but someone genuinely committed to purchasing their home. Strive to be the inaugural viewer, and you'll likely leave a lasting mark.

2. Act swiftly and decisively. Imagine you've found your dream home and it rates a solid 8.5 or higher on your scale of desirability. Don't hesitate – take the initiative to draft an offer promptly. Being the first to present an offer can be a game-changer. This proactive approach gives the seller the option to accept, reject, or counter your offer, putting you in the driver's seat of negotiations.


"By adopting these strategic approaches, you can significantly increase your chances of winning that dream home."


3. Build a strong relationship with the listing agent. Your real estate agent plays a pivotal role in this process. Cultivating a positive rapport with the listing agent can work wonders. A solid working relationship demonstrates your commitment and cooperation, two traits that listing agents value. Aligning your actions with the seller's preferences, such as their choice of a reputable title company, displays your willingness to collaborate smoothly.

Small gestures can make a big difference. If the seller prefers working with a specific title company, accommodating their request can show flexibility and willingness to cooperate. Easygoing buyers are often favored by listing agents, as they contribute to a smoother transaction process.

If you're seeking more in-depth insights and strategies, keep an eye out for our upcoming webinars and seminars in the fall of 2023. These resources are designed to provide you with a deeper understanding of navigating the current seller's market. We understand the frustration you might be feeling, and we're here to equip you with the tools you need to succeed.

By adopting these strategic approaches, you can significantly increase your chances of winning that dream home. Stay tuned for our upcoming events, where we'll delve deeper into these tactics. Your dream home could be closer than you think. If you have any questions, please call or email us. 

Posted in Real estate
Aug. 10, 2023

Flipping the Script: Secure Your Dream Home First, Sell at Your Pace

Our creative solution will help you buy before selling in today’s market. 

Do you want to buy a new house but are concerned about selling your current one first and potentially facing homelessness? I frequently encounter these types of buyers. Today I’m sharing my strategy to help them become successful with their real estate plans. 

Our primary goal is to prevent anyone from facing homelessness. To address this, we offer a solution known as a home-contingency clause or a "contingent on the seller purchasing another home" clause. This is an additional addendum integrated into the contract. Essentially, this clause stipulates that the contract is contingent upon the seller (the person selling their home) successfully finding another home of their choice. Here's how it works: before finalizing the contract, you incorporate this clause as the seller. If you're unable to find another suitable home within a designated time frame, the contract becomes null and void.


"This arrangement benefits both the seller and the buyer."


This approach is particularly effective for buyers who aren't in a hurry to move but want to secure a house and are willing to wait for the seller to locate their next home. Typically, this contingency period spans 30, 60, or 90 days, allowing the seller ample time to explore their options.

Once the contract is ratified and progressing smoothly, the seller can remove this home choice contingency. This arrangement benefits both the seller and the buyer, especially if the buyer isn't urgently seeking to move and is comfortable allowing the seller time to find their next residence.

If you have questions or want further detailed discussions about this strategy, please don't hesitate to reach call or email. I’m here to assist and guide you in the right direction. 

Posted in Real estate
July 28, 2023

Counting the Dollars: Understanding the True Price of Homeownership

These are the different expenses you can expect when buying a home.


What should you expect financially if you're looking to purchase your first home? Here at Homes from DeHart, we often conduct buyer webinars and seminars for clients. When they ask about the financial aspects, we explain that there are several factors to consider when purchasing a home. Today, I’m sharing what they are.


One of the key factors is the purchase price. We advise clients to discuss this with their lender to get a clear understanding of their monthly payments. It's essential to compare this with their current rent payments and recognize that the main difference between buying and renting is the down payment amount.



"Apart from the down payment, there are additional costs to consider."



Currently, the minimum down payment can be as low as 0% for VA loans, 3.5% for FHA loans, and 5% for conventional loans. However, the best deals and interest rates are usually obtained with a down payment of 10% to 20% on conventional loans.


Apart from the down payment, there are additional costs to consider. A home inspection may range from $200 for a basic walk-and-talk inspection to as much as $10,000 for more extensive inspections. The appraisal cost typically falls between $600 to $800, depending on the property's size. In some cases, you may need to pay for two appraisals, depending on the property's purchase price. Lastly, closing costs can vary but are generally around 2% to 3% of the sales price.


Adding up the down payment, inspection, appraisal, and closing costs will give you the total amount required to buy a home. If you have enough saved up to cover these costs and plan to live in the property for at least five years, it might be a good idea to consider buying a property in the area.


If you have any questions about your financial obligations when buying a home or need help with your real estate goals, feel free to give us a call or send an email. I’m happy to help.



Posted in Real estate
July 20, 2023

Pre-qualification vs Pre-approval: Does it make a difference?

These are the differences between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification.

What’s the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval? Many people are often confused by these two real estate terms. To help with this, I’m explaining what the two terms are and how they’re different from each other.


Essentially, a pre-qualification letter from a lender is a quick and free, no-obligation conversation. It usually takes less than 10 minutes and involves discussing assets, liabilities, and potential income. However, it's essential to note that this is just the beginning phase of the conversation. When submitting an offer, it's not advisable to include only a pre-qualification letter, as it doesn't hold much weight. Instead, buyers should provide a pre-approval letter as well.


A pre-approval letter, which is obtained from a lender or mortgage company too, is also a free no-obligation letter. However, it involves a more thorough qualification process, including checking your credit, assets, liabilities, debts, and income. Sellers feel much more comfortable working with potential buyers who have submitted a pre-approval letter.


"Sellers feel much more comfortable working with potential buyers
who have submitted a pre-approval letter."



As a borrower, it's crucial to be transparent with your lender about all relevant financial details. They will ask you in-depth questions to understand what you can afford, and honesty is essential, as they will eventually verify the information provided.


If you have any questions or are looking to purchase a home soon, it's a great idea to talk with a local lender. Even if you're planning to buy six to 12 months from now, understanding the roadmap to obtaining the loan you need will be beneficial. Our team is here to assist you every step of the way, so feel free to call or email us if you need help. Get in touch with us today and secure your dream home with confidence.


Posted in Real estate
June 22, 2023

Join My Homebuyer Seminar and Gain Insights for Your Real Estate Journey

Announcing my upcoming webinar which will be packed with buyer information.

Today, I am excited to invite you to my upcoming homebuyer seminar! This will be on July 11 at 7 p.m. over Zoom. This will be very beneficial for all kinds of people, and I’m here today to tell you a little bit about it. 


Click here to register!


During this webinar, I will be going over important information about the national and local economies, as well as how inventory is changing with this small amount of supply. I will also cover interest rates, as you need to know about lenders and the process you will go through to get into your next home. Lastly, I will cover why it might be a good time for you to buy instead of waiting until later. It does pay to buy now and then wait instead of wait and then buy. 


This session will be great for someone who wants to buy their first home, someone who wants to downsize, and someone who wants to upsize. There is specific information you need for each of these three avenues, so know that I am here with that knowledge. No matter what situation you're in, even if you're looking to invest in real estate, this webinar will be very valuable for you. 


Click here to register!


If you have any questions about the webinar, call or email me. I hope to see you on July 11! 


Posted in Real estate
June 16, 2023

What Sellers and Buyers Need To Know About Assuming VA Loans

Everything buyers and sellers need to know about assuming VA loans.

VA loans are a great option for veterans. However, the legal rules and regulations around them can make them difficult to assume. In case you don’t know, you can sometimes assume someone’s loan when purchasing a house from them. This is a great option that is especially popular in this market since many homeowners have mortgages with very low interest rates. While assuming VA loans may seem tricky, we were able to pull it off for one of our clients recently. Today, we’ll explain how we did that and what benefits it gave our client.


You can listen to our full explanation in the video above or skip to each topic using the timestamps provided: 


0:00 — Introduction


0:33 — Assuming VA loans is rare


0:51 — Why assuming loans is becoming more popular


1:42 — A few things to know about VA loans


2:22 — Typically, VA loans have lower rates


3:21 — Assuming a VA loan can take time, but it’s not complicated


3:43 — The seller can make more money with an assumption


4:40 — Wrapping up


If you have questions about assuming a VA loan, either as a buyer or seller, please call or email us. We’d love to help you!

Posted in Real estate
May 31, 2023

Insights from Gary Keller's Mastermind: A Closer Look at the Current Market in Northern Virginia

Stay ahead of the game with our June 2023 housing market update.

Welcome to our June 2023 market update for the Northern Virginia, D.C., metropolitan area. In this edition, we'll discuss the current state of the market based on insights gathered from the recent Gary Keller's Top 200 mastermind event in Austin, Texas. Low inventory continues to be a prevailing trend, leading to multiple offers and potential price appreciation in certain areas. As a local real estate agent, I'll also share my observations on buyer behavior and provide valuable tips for both buyers and sellers in this market.


Across the country, agents are reporting a significant shortage of homes in the market, and our area is no exception. In fact, the current inventory levels in Northern Virginia are among the lowest we have ever seen. In a balanced market, we would typically expect around six months of inventory, but right now, we have only one to two months, varying by county. Fairfax and Arlington counties, for instance, are currently experiencing approximately a month's supply of inventory. This hyper-low inventory situation is driving multiple offers and contributing to the stability and potential appreciation of property prices, especially in close proximity to D.C.


An interesting trend we've noticed is the increased activity from buyers who have been on the sidelines for the past year or more. These buyers are now realizing that prices are not decreasing and are witnessing price appreciation in several counties closer to D.C. Consequently, we're seeing a surge in mortgage applications and more buyers entering the market, particularly as we enter the summer season. However, the low supply and inventory levels will likely keep prices stable and potentially drive further appreciation throughout the year.


"Low inventory continues to be a prevailing trend, leading to multiple offers and potential price appreciation in certain areas."

If you're considering buying a property within the next three to six months, the summer season might present an opportunity to secure a favorable deal. As the market typically experiences a slight slowdown in terms of property showings, you may have a better chance of finding a below-market or fair-market deal. On the other hand, if you're planning to sell your property, there is still time left in the spring to take advantage of the current market conditions. It's crucial to price your property fairly to attract potential buyers, as an overpriced property during the summer may sit on the market longer.


The Northern Virginia, D.C., metropolitan area continues to face a low supply and low inventory market, leading to multiple offers and the potential for price appreciation. With buyers recognizing the upward trend in prices, mortgage applications are on the rise, indicating increased buyer activity. If you're looking to buy, the summer season might offer an opportunity to secure a favorable deal while sellers still have time to list their properties in the spring market. As always, if you have any questions or require assistance navigating this market, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone or email.





Posted in Real estate
May 5, 2023

Transform Your Home Into a Buyer’s Dream With No Upfront Costs to You

Our program lets you prep your home without paying anything until closing.

How do we get your home ready to sell for the market, make the improvements, and not require payment until closing? Here at Keller Williams, we have a ready-to-sell concierge program called Keller Concierge.

What's great about this program for you is that if you're thinking about selling your home, we can perform all the improvements and renovations for up to $75,000. You won't have to pay for these renovations until your property closes. It's an interest-free loan for one year, so you can get it done at any point in time.

"If you can plan ahead, this program is phenomenal."

Once you’re ready to sell, we list the house just like we would in any other situation. When the property goes to closing, you would pay that money back to us. This means there's little to no out-of-pocket expense and very little risk for you as a seller in this market. We've noticed over the past ten years that when properties are ready to sell—freshly painted, newly carpeted, and well-presented—those homes consistently yield the highest prices.

If you can plan ahead, this program is phenomenal. We just want to make sure you qualify, so there are some qualifications we can discuss. Feel free to reach out to talk about this. If you're looking to sell your home now, this is a great time to start looking into this program and getting the work done.

This way, when you're ready to put it on the market, your property will show immaculately without any doubts. Give us a call or send an email—we'd love to answer any of your questions. 





Posted in Newly listed Homes
April 25, 2023

Online Property Valuations: Convenient, But Can You Rely On Them?

Why you shouldn’t rely on online home valuations when pricing your home.

Online valuations have been around for several years now, and there are now countless websites that offer them. You can find online valuations on real estate websites, Zillow, and even lenders and banks are providing them. However, the accuracy of these online valuations is still questionable, especially in Northern Virginia.

Online valuations are typically based on tax records and previous sales, which may not consider the discrepancies in prices of properties that are right next to each other. For instance, one property might be valued at $2 million while its neighboring property is valued at only $500,000. Additionally, online valuations don't take into account the differences in interior alterations, such as different kitchens, bathrooms, floors, square footage, backyards, and pools.

If you're looking for a more accurate valuation of your property, it's best to contact a professional. As real estate experts, we'll provide you with a broker opinion of value or an estimate of what your property is most likely to sell for in today's market. We'll take a look at your property, inside and out, and give you a personalized assessment that considers all the variables that an online valuation may miss.

Don't rely on online valuations alone; give us a call for a more accurate valuation of your property. Contact us today to learn more.


Posted in Real estate