Date Archives: July 2017

House Talk with Toria Home

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How to Use Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

Pricing Your Home Comparables

When you choose to sell your home, it's a big financial decision. Whether you're transferring to another city, moving to a retirement community, or relocating to a bigger home, you want the best possible return on your investment. Accomplishing this goal is easier when you establish the right asking price. 

Your Comparable Pricing Strategy

It's important not to price yourself out of the market, nor do you want to lose money on your sale. In reaching the optimum selling price for your home, our real estate agents help you research a number of significant price determinants. The sale price of comparable homes in your community is one of the most relevant factors in deciding your list price. While no two homes are the same, ideally, the comparables you look to for pricing guidance should have very similar features.

Architectural Style

If your home was built in a contemporary style, your pricing research should focus on similar contemporary homes in your community. Comparing the price of a colonial home to a home with a contemporary style is like comparing apples to oranges.

Construction & Layout

Before you select comparison sales on which to base your home price, you must consider the distinct features that placed them into their pricing category. A Moorefield real estate professional can assist you in comparing local home developers, square footage, lot sizes, number of bedrooms and baths, garages, central air, and other features that are important to pricing a home


In your search to find homes with prices comparable to yours, it's important to stay within your neighborhood. While two different communities may be economically similar with the same desirable home styles, the sale prices may vary a great deal due to school districts, shopping, traffic, and other factors. For example, if your home is located in Harrisonburg, the value would likely be out of sync with the value of a home in Staunton, even if they have identical features.

Date of Sale

When you're researching comparable prices for homes similar to yours, it's important to look at recent sales. Real estate pricing in the region fluctuates depending on many factors. Your real estate professional can help you understand how this affects your pricing and other decisions.

Home Upgrades

Pricing on what appears to be a comparable home can vary due to upgrades such as a deck, a pool, or extra storage. Seemingly comparable condominiums can differ in value if one community has a gym, a tennis court, and a garden, while the other has fewer conveniences.

Value-Added Options

When a buyer closes on a home, the owners may have included incentives to encourage a sale at the desired price. A seller who is anxious for a speedy closing may offer down payment assistance, closing cost sharing, decor upgrades, owner financing, or other items not reflected in the sale price.

Considering Short Sale and Foreclosed Homes

Even though the style, location, construction, and date of sale may be similar to your home, foreclosure homes may exhibit adverse condition issues or damage. Short sales may not reflect a home's true value.

Our Real Estate Professionals Can Help

We understand that pricing your home can be a critical balancing act. There are many factors to consider. When you contact Old Dominion Realty, we work closely with you throughout the pricing and listing process. We provide the professional advice and guidance you need to put your home on the market at the right price.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


Men vs. Women: Differences in Home Buying Process

Differences in Home Buying Process
We have all heard of the book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, about the differences between how men and women communicate. Those differences continue when it comes to making home buying decisions. Everyone looks for something different when they are buying a new home ... that can get tricky if you're trying to buy a home as a couple. Our real estate agents have taken a look at some of the latest surveys, which indicate that, while there are certain things men and women tend to agree on during the home search process, there are also areas where the dividing lines are pretty sharply drawn.

To successfully buy a home as a couple, you have to find a house that both partners are excited about. That makes it important to understand how men and women tend to approach home buying decisions differently.

  • Location
    It's said to be the most important factor in real estate, and indeed location is crucial to men and women alike. Both want a home in a good neighborhood, but definitions of what exactly that means may vary.

    Surveys suggest that women look for good schools, safe streets, and homes that are close to family and friends. Men on the other hand tend to value excitement over safety when it comes to location. Men are typically willing to compromise more on the safety of the neighborhood if it means being closer to good restaurants, nightlife spots and other amenities. Men also value a short commute to work more highly.

  • Maintenance
    Men often pay closer attention to the details of a home from a maintenance standpoint. And while both men and women are often equally willing to invest in a fixer-upper, men are generally more wary of a home with major issues related to plumbing, wiring or structural integrity. Women are more inclined to look at the home's potential rather than fixate on certain details of the home's condition, as long as an inspector gives it a pass.

  • Kitchens
    Contrary to whatever stereotypes you may have heard, men and women both consider the kitchen to be one of the most important rooms in the home. But women typically look for a kitchen with an open, airy atmosphere and lots of work space, while men tend to be drawn in by modern kitchen gadgetry, like an advanced dishwasher and commercial-grade range.

  • Neighbors
    Most studies agree that women care much more about their neighbors than men do. For female home buyers, friendly neighbors are a big plus, and many women tend to prefer a home with neighbors that are in a similar demographic as themselves, such as young parents or retirees. Men, in general, don't really care as much, and as long as the neighbors keep to themselves and don't make too much noise, it's not really all that important.

Contact Old Dominion Realty to find your dream home, or to list your home for sale. Our team offers unparalleled experience and expertise in the real estate market of the eastern West Virginia and central Virginia Shenandoah Valley.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


Are You Ready to Buy a Fixer Upper?

Buy a Fixer Upper
When you're ready to make the leap from apartment living to home ownership, you have two main options: buy a new, move-in ready house, or invest in an older home that may need more than a little work before it's livable. It's a big decision.

If it's a fixer upper you're looking for, our real estate agents can help you find just what you're looking for. That said, you should always make sure you're completely ready to invest in a "project" house that will require the patience and know-how to renovate. Of course, even though fixer upper homes have their drawbacks, they offer some considerable advantages as well:

  • You will typically pay a lower sales price (and lower property taxes down the road).
  • There will be less competition from other buyers, since not everybody wants a fixer-upper.
  • You have the ability to redesign your home based on your own unique style and taste.
  • There is huge potential for resale profit.
  • You will gain repair knowledge, which will help you to maintain your home in the long run.
  • You get the personal satisfaction of having renovated your own home.

Think you're ready to tackle a fixer upper? Be sure to take a few things into consideration before you take that leap:

  • Can it be fixed?
    Some homes are like ugly ducklings waiting to be transformed into beautiful swans. Others are just total wrecks that may be beyond saving. It's important to know the difference, but keep in mind that most flaws can be fixed, so approach each home with an open mind and try to envision the potential behind the chipped paint and worn-out carpets.

    One of the great things about a fixer-upper is that you get to have the experience and satisfaction of transforming an old worn-down house into a palace you can be proud of. Just make sure the problems with the house aren't beyond your abilities.

  • Can you afford it?
    The sale price of a fixer-upper is lower than a new home for a reason--it requires an additional investment to fix it up. Some flaws don't cost that much to fix, but some do. Repainting the walls and replacing the windows may be well within your budget, but issues with the structure and foundation can be prohibitively expensive. Roofing, siding, driveways and major appliances may also be very expensive to repair or replace.

    Before you buy an older home, figure out the total cost of the renovations to the best of your ability, and decide if the costs are worth it. Then, have a structural engineer evaluate the house to make sure it is sound.

Whether you're looking for a fixer upper to make your own, or have a home that you want to list for sale, our real estate agents can help. Contact Old Dominion Realty to learn more about your options.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

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