Market Prep Matters: A Return on Your Investment

Whether you’re moving across the country for a new job or want to upgrade to a larger space, Kara and Wayne are here to support throughout the process of preparing your home for sale. We will ensure it makes the best possible impression on the market. Most homes need a bit of design help and staging, and some need more attention. After an initial tour of your property, Kara and Wayne will prepare a customized plan and budget to get your home ready for the market.

We know your home is also an investment and you want to benefit from the best return the market will support. So, is the market preparation work worth it? Yes! A few strategic upgrades can add value to your property and make it show well to buyers. Design updates and staging will appeal to that feeling buyers get when they tour a home. It will make them want to say “this is the one!”. Keep in mind, buyers buy with their heart and not always with their head. This added value can lead to a higher property value and higher list price and ultimately yield a higher sales price. Take a look at a couple of our recent examples.

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Wayne’s recent one-bedroom Coop listing in Kalorama only had an arched opening between the living room and the adjacent bedroom. With no door to the bedroom, the appraiser was inclined to appraise it as a studio. After discussing this with the sellers, they quickly saw the value of adding French doors to the opening. For a small added cost, they also added an arched transom to maintain the architectural integrity of the original 1917 apartment. The cost of the materials and labor was $4,600 and added $10,000 to the appraised value. This structural update combined with a fresh coat of paint and chic staging yielded a full-price offer!

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Kara’s spacious two-bedroom boutique condo listing on Capitol Hill felt a bit dated and drab having been last renovated in 2003. At Kara’s suggestion, the seller chose to make some minor kitchen and bathroom updates, add a fresh coat of paint and invest in professional staging.  This investment of about $6,000 meant that we could list the condo for $10,000 more than we would have without the cosmetic updates. These strategic updates highlighted the large kitchen and allowed this sunny corner unit to shine, ultimately resulting in multiple offers and a sales price of $18,500 above list price.

Client Success Story: Kalorama

Our clients, Sarah and JB, are happily building equity in the home they purchased with Wayne’s help four years ago.  They purchased a 1,440 square foot 2-bedroom condo in Kalorama in 2012.  They were able to buy it for under the list price at that time for $526,000, and just recently, in anticipation of adding a 2nd full bathroom, they had their home re-appraised for a home equity line of credit, and the appraisal came back at $800,000 – and that was WITHOUT the 2nd bath added yet.  Congratulations, Sarah and JB!

Now expecting their first child they have embarked on adding the 2nd bath and a walk-in closet off the master bedroom.  The other day we had the pleasure of touring their work in progress which is almost finished except for some final tile work and fixtures.  It looks beautiful and is sure to add even more value than the pre-renovation appraisal indicated.  We are always thrilled to hear stories like that as our clients increase their net worth through real estate.


Follow-up to Blog Post: Client Success Story Shaw

As a follow-up to a blog post I wrote in October 2015 about a client success story, our client Josh recently had his 2-unit property in Shaw re-appraised and the value came in at $1,085,000! So if we do the math, he paid $625K in 2014, it appraised for $925K in 2015, which makes a grand total of $460,000 in appreciation in 2 years! He invested in renovations and put in a lot of sweat equity and it really paid off!

Disclaimer: This example does not represent the average rate of market appreciation in Washington, DC and I make no guarantees as to the appreciation potential of properties I sell.

Client Success Story: Insane Equity in 1 Year


 Josh in front patio

Josh Zimmerman, an engineer who works for the U.S. Patent Office, is a savvy investor whose sweat equity paid off big time. Josh purchased his purple 2-unit rowhouse in Shaw in October 2014 for $625,000. He used a 203K renovation loan to help finance the critical renovations (mold remediation, gutting the lower level unit, structural and roof repairs) and he put a lot of sweat equity into the kitchens, master bath, and cosmetic updates. In August 2015, he refinanced and his new and greatly improved home appraised at $925,000. That’s almost a 50% increase in value in less than 1 year and $300K in equity! Way to go, Josh!

Josh master bath before
Upper Level Master Bath Demo
Master bath AFTER
Master Bath AFTER
LL in progress
Lower Level in Progress
Josh basement kitchen after
Lower Level Kitchen AFTER
Upper level Kitchen in progress
Upper Level Kitchen in Progress
Upper Level Kitchen AFTER
Upper Level Kitchen AFTER
Upper Unit Main Level in Progress
Upper Unit Main Level in Progress
Main Level Upper Unit AFTER
Main Level Upper Unit AFTER