I am very proud to announce the sale of 507 Tobacco QuIMG_20160816_214046ay in Old Town Alexandria. Our claim to fame? A sales price this high has not been achieved in 11 years since the economic downturn and it’s not by accident.

The property:

507 Tobacco Quay Alexandria, VA 22314
2 bedroom / 2 full bath 1,184 finished square feet with patio
Sales Price: $660,000
Days on Market: 6

Prior to putting the home on the market, we met with the sellers and went over our design + prep approach.  This consists of several upgrades/improvements laser targetted to make a strong impact on buyers.  Always remember, buyers buy with their eyes!  It’s important to focus on the visual impact. If we were selling books, we’d be focusing 90% of our energy on the cover art.

Some updates are always worth doing, others are on a case by case basis. Paint fits easily into the category of must do. It’s about the cheapest way to really define the mood of a home.  Our house got the Sherwin Williams “Topsail” treatment in the living room.  Even the back of the built-ins got a coat to really set off those awesome display items.

A major part of a real estate professional’s job is to align themselves with other professionals.  First on that list needs to be photographers specific to capturing architecture.  The days of agents clicking photos with their consumer cameras are over.  You don’t want your house to end up on my photography wall of shame, do you?



Other upgrades are much more questionable and considerably more expensive.  Take flooring for example. Here we started with a hardwood parquet type floor.  It’s an old school design coupled with an out of style light oak stain color.  The choices are to leave it, refinish it, or rip it out and replace it. We opted to rip it out completely and replace it.  The feel for this property was certainly one with modern style, parquet just wasn’t going to blend well with that theme.  Those wall color tones lend themselves much better to a darker stain.  Out come the old floors and in with the dark, rich and wide plank hardwoods.

Staging is a fiercely debated topic in real estate land.  Allow me to settle the topic.  Staging is very effective when you have space that is not well defined and is subject to interpretation or questioning by the buyer. For example, in a small bedroom, a buyer would question “will my bed even fit in here”?  In our unit, “how does this dining room work”? A properly staged home will eliminate those questions from occurring altogether.



Then there are even more expensive but extremely high impact areas to consider an upgrade.  The master bathroom.  For a home built in the late 70s its bathrooms were simply built with 4×4 white contractor grade tiles. A real snooze fest if you ask me. If the white contractor tiles put you to sleep also, you’ll likely be dreaming of stunning Carrara marble imported from Italy. Well, that’s what we have here. It is simply beautiful. The effects of its beauty cause buyers to fall in love.  When they love it, just as in life, all reasoning flys right out the window.

On all those HGTV shows all you hear are the reasons why people DON’T like a property.  It’s non-stop negativity, and that’s exactly what it’s like in real life.  People are very critical.

Removing potential negative aspects of a property is one of the most undervalued skills of a real estate professional.  The fewer the negative remarks, the more likely a property will find a buyer. This is the main objective in my design + prep approach.

Have any questions, let’s connect!  We can speak over the phone, text, through email or even face to face.  Please feel free to reach out to me directly at 703.593.4149 or fill out the form below.

Ron Leffler – Real Estate Professional in Alexandria, VA