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Preparing the Home


Watch Casey Samson, CEO of The Casey Samson Team, as he discusses our valuable tips for preparing your home to sell, whether you are thinking of selling now or later.

The traditional style is out and a turn off for todays buyers. Characteristics of the traditional look are oriental rugs, heavy drapes, sheers, plants, flowers, wall paper, antiques, lamps, ceiling lamps and dark trim. If a buyer feels the home is dated, they will eliminate it within seconds.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association and 825 of their leading interior designers, transitional style is in! The transitional style is the most popular look for today’s buyers and combines the traditional style with the modern. Sellers who make the transition, get increased traffic, multiple buyers and the highest possible price and terms.

Characteristics of a Traditional home:

  • European influence. Elegance and comfort with antiques and classic pieces of art. Traditional design prides itself on harmony, order and it’s friendly charm
  • Symmetry, almost everything comes in pairs
  • Dark rich colors. Dark wood, rich tones and refined colors. Pairing bold accent colors with neutral walls
  • Heavy window treatments with sheers and screens on all of the windows
  • China cabinets and heavy knick knacks throughout
  • Hardware and plumbing fixtures of gold or brass
  • Old lighting fixtures give away a homes age
  • Regal furniture. Heavier brown furniture pieces, armchairs, high end fabrics usually chosen for upholstery including leather, velvet and silk
  • Elegant furnishings such as candle holders, china, classic lamps, shades, vases, heavy curtains, drapes, oriental area rugs

Traditional Home

Characteristics of a preferred Transitional home:

  • Transitional style takes the best elements from both contemporary and traditional design to create warm, elegant and timeless space
  • Neutral walls make for a great backdrop for furniture, accent decor, statement pieces and artwork. The most popular colors are colors in Grey or Greige ( a combination of grey and beige).  Revere Pewter is Kelly’s favorite!
  • Kitchens have stainless steel appliances, Quartz counters and white shaker cabinets. Kitchens can easily be updated without large expense by changing hardware, plumbing or lighting fixtures
  • Refined furnishing. Furnishings are a perfect blend between traditional and contemporary elements. You can play with colors in your upholstery, wall treatments and accessories
  • Simple lines. Clean lines and simple architecture. Mix of straight and rounded profiles making it a nice balance of feminine and masculine design elements
  • Natural elements. Rich wood to compliment the neutral color scheme. This style also incorporates quartz, stone, granite and marble which works perfectly with both contemporary and traditional style
  • Neutral floors. Light hardwood floors and tiles are a popular choice. Just like with traditional design, rugs are used for a cozy touch
  • Minimalism. Less accessories and elegant finishes

“Transitional appeals to both the husband and wife providing us with the largest possible buyer pool.” Casey Samson

Transitional Home

Cost effective ways of converting a traditional style home into a transitional style home. 

 No Cost Changes:

  1. Declutter
  2. Remove heavy curtains & sheers
  3. Remove screens from windows
  4. Remove window treatments
  5. Remove knick knacks
  6. Thin out book cases
  7. Remove old lamps
  8. Remove or thin out large furniture
  9. Remove all items from table tops and counters
  10. Remove any oriental rugs
  11. Remove silk and large plants

Smart Money improvements that return at least 2-5 times your investment include:
(10 Minor Changes Under $2000)

  1. New paint in 2023 colors with our preferred professional painter
  2. New rugs from Wayfair
  3. Modern mirrors
  4. Update plumbing fixtures from Home Depot in kitchen and baths
  5. Update lighting, especially recessed lighting or a new globe light in the kitchen or dining room
  6. New hardware on kitchen doors or in the bathrooms (gold is out, brush nickel is in)
  7. Optional: If you are buying new furniture for your next home, buy it now and showcase the home with newer furniture
  8. Replace large framed pictures with modern pieces from Home Goods or Wayfair for a few hundred dollars
  9. Power wash walkways
  10. Edge and mulch exterior landscaping

Major Changes are only recommended in extreme circumstances:

  • Cabinet refacing.
  • Renovated kitchen and baths
  • Refinishing or changing hardwood floors

Pricing varies based on condition of your home.

Updates are a more complicated component to the pricing model. Dates of renovation, and materials, dictate whether an upgrade is customary or extraordinary.

If you look at a 1988 $750,000 home, a customary kitchen would have been renovated within the last 10 years. An extraordinary kitchen would have been recently renovated with today’s hot button materials like: white shaker cabinets, quartz counters, brush nickel hard ware, GE Monogram or Kitchen Aide appliances*, plumbing, lighting and new hardwood floors. This is where a professional needs to determine what buyers are willing to pay. As far as bathrooms are concerned, timing is everything.

“Styles change every few years, so depending on how up to date a kitchen and bathroom are matters immensely.” Casey Samson

Other upgrades that pay:

  • Flooring, as long as it appeals to today’s buyers
  • Exterior illumination
  • Upgraded appliances
  • Frameless glass in the master bathroom

Upgrades that are for the benefit of the owner but will not return the cost of installation:

  • Finished basements
  • Screen porches
  • Large decks
  • Extravagant landscaping
  • Pool
  • Hot tubs
  • Movie rooms

40% of homes in Northern Virginia withdraw unsold. The reason is a seller has not prepared their home for sale and priced it according to condition and upgrades. Following these rules will help. *Price range dictates customary materials from extraordinary.

 Update Schedule

 Why Staging Your Home Pays 

Our track record of selling our listings at 107% of our list price in an average of 7 days is unmatched by any other real estate team in the industry. Pricing and attention to detail are our keys to success. Contact Casey before making any renovations,, 703-508-2535.

Watch Casey’s Home + Remodeling Seminar, filmed at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. 


De-aging a Home Can Generate Huge Gains for Sellers!

The first step is taking your home from the Traditional Look to a Transitional style. This take little morey or energy. It is mostly based on less is more.

The next step is to increase the value of your home by de aging it. The price difference in a home built in 2002 and a home built 2010 is 4% of the homes value or $50,000 on a $1.2M home. How does De aging work? Homes built before 2005 tend to have a lot of gold and brass. When a seller replaces the gold hardware, plumbing and electrical fixtures, the shows more favorably to a newer more expensive home. Another huge help is turning your home from a traditional style to a buyer friendly transitional style by removing items that date the home and introducing minor items that make the home look fresh.

By the time a home is 30 years old, the price can vary 20%. The determining factors are the type of upgrades the homes has, and the way the home is presented. Today’s buyers will first see your home on line and determine in 15-20 seconds whether they eliminate it or drive the 30 minutes to go see it. The more buyers to see the home, the higher the price and easier the transaction.


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