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December
27

New Year's Resolution: Real Estate Tips for 2022

Sell Home in 2022

If your plans for 2022 involve selling your home and purchasing a different property, now is the perfect time to start your planning. Accomplish your New Year's resolution of selling your home! Here are some tips our real estate agents recommend in 2022 to help you streamline the selling process. 

Declutter Tips

  • Remove Half the Stuff in Your Closet
    No matter what year you're selling your home, some things remain timeless. Like the fact that a clean and decluttered space will show better to potential buyers. It's common knowledge that you need to declutter before listing your home, but it's best to cut the amount of stuff in your closets and cabinets by half. Buyers will open your closet and cabinet doors to get a closer look at the storage space in your home. Though it might seem like having the closet or cabinet packed full will showcase how much it can hold, it's better to stage the space with less stuff. Having less stuff in a closet or cabinet makes it appear roomier and well-organized, Both of these traits will increase its appeal to potential buyers. 
  • Price Your Home Right at the Start
    It's tempting to price your home at the higher end of what you think you can get for it in hopes of maximizing your profits. You may think that if it doesn't quickly sell, you can always lower the price after a few weeks. Most of the time, it's better to price your home at a lower, more realistic price. Homes that are correctly priced attract more interest and sell faster. A home that's on the market for an extended period often appears worrisome to potential buyers. They may worry that it hasn't sold because there are issues (like expensive repairs or strict offer requirements) that are preventing potential deals from closing. 

Natural Lighting

  • Illuminate Your Home with Attractive Lighting
    A simple, highly effective way to help your home look its best is to ensure that it's well-illuminated. Any home looks better when it's lush with atmospheric lighting. Go through your home and check that all your light fixtures have working light bulbs. Confirm that the lightbulb in the fixture is the best alternative. For example, fluorescent lighting often looks hazy and a little dull. Swap these light bulbs for an LED bulb that emits a soft, warm light. 

  • Optimize Your Home's Natural Light
    A space with lots of natural light looks cheery and inviting; it also appeals to potential buyers. Maximize the amount of light that enters your home by cleaning your windows, washing drapes and blinds, and moving any furniture that obscures the light.

Real Estate Agents

  • Work with an Experienced Agent
    A qualified agent with experience handling Staunton homes for sale transforms the home selling process. Since they have local experience, they understand how to properly price your home and what concessions are considered normal for your area. They can make recommendations that will help your home look its best. Your real estate agent will assist with scheduling tours and open houses, and they'll take care of the marketing for your property. Experienced agents know how to handle buyer negotiations so that you're able to get as much money as possible for your home. If a problem arises during the home inspection or appraisal, they'll try to salvage the deal. 

Home Upgrades

  • Be Strategic with Your Home Upgrades
    You might think that completing a few home upgrades is a simple way to get more money for your home. Some upgrades will have an excellent return and help your home sell faster and for more money. Others don't make a significant difference to potential buyers and provide a poor return for your money. One area that tends to have a strong return for your money is your home's kitchen. If your cabinets are old, consider painting them and adding new hardware to update their look. You can replace your countertops for a few thousand dollars. This instantly gives your kitchen a facelift, and you'll get your money back when your home sells. Remember, home repairs and maintenance aren't upgrades. These are the tasks that buyers expect to be completed in a home that's been properly cared for. Check that all your utilities and appliances are in working order. Doors should be even and on track. All your home's electrical components should work. It's also best to take care of any plumbing or structural repairs that your home needs before listing it. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

December
24

6 Tips to Rock Your Kitchen Reno

Kitchen Renovation - Old Dominion Realty

Our real estate agents at Old Dominion Realty are often asked how a seller can raise a home's value before going to market. No matter whether you're planning to put your house on sale or want to spruce things up, a kitchen remodel can bring plenty of value.

It's also one of the most complex home improvement projects, so it's vital to do the right way. You can save time, money, and stress with these six kitchen renovation tips:

  1. Start With a Budget
    No matter if you plan to spend $1,000 or $10,000, the budget for a kitchen renovation is where you should begin. You can use this as a basic guideline for dividing up your funds:

    • Cabinets and hardware - 29%
    • Design and installation - 22%
    • Walls, ceilings, floors - 16%
    • Appliances, ventilation - 14%
    • Plumbing and electrical - 9%
    • Miscellaneous - 10%

  2. Leave Your Layout
    Unless you have a big budget, consider leaving the layout as-is. You should budget about $5,000 for each time you need to move plumbing or appliances. If you are going to change the layout, it's extra important to do plenty of comparison shopping with different designers.

  3. Invest in Your Backsplash
    Taking backsplash tile all the way to the ceiling will create a more finished appearance and add visual height to the space. This technique is especially striking with narrower backsplash areas. A dramatic backsplash can add plenty of visual interest.

  4. Go for Lighter Cabinetry
    Lighter cabinetry helps the kitchen appear larger and is virtually always the popular choice. The latest trend is paneled appliances that match the cabinetry itself. This design method can create a sleek, homey look that appeals to many buyers. Darker cabinetry is usually limited to smaller apartments.

  5. Brighten and Lighten
    Speaking of "dark," brighter lighting can make any room in the home seem bigger. It is especially apt for the kitchen, though, since good lighting simplifies meal preparation. Smaller "task lighting" inserts around the sink and other key areas can help. New bulbs and fixtures refresh the room at a low cost.

  6. Open the Space
    If you have a larger budget and more time, an open floor plan kitchen is your best bet. You could add thousands to your asking price when you open the kitchen to the dining area. Opening the area makes the space welcoming in comparison to old-fashioned formal dining rooms.

Renovations are part of the fun of home ownership, so don't hesitate to get started on the project of your dreams. You'll enjoy your home all the more – and when it is time to sell, all that "sweat equity" is bound to put you a step closer to the deal you want.

Whether you're buying or selling, an experienced real estate professional can help you achieve more on the market. Contact Old Dominion Realty to find out more today.

 

June
20

5 Great Ways to Add Personality and Value to Your Home

Add Value to Your Home
No matter if you're thinking of selling in the future or plan to put your home on the market in the next few days, our real estate agents want you to know there's never a wrong time to raise a home's value!

You don't have to spend tens of thousands to get a return on your renovation projects. Many projects are inexpensive – some, you could do yourself with only the cost of supplies – and the right ones are eminently worthwhile.

No matter what your timeframe looks like, you want to be sure you're making the right selections to make the most of your investment. Luckily, there are consistent winners that stay the same no matter what style trends are popular.

Let's look at them now:

  1. Refurbish the Kitchen
    The kitchen is always the #1 place to add value to your home. Buyers will spend a lot of time in the kitchen and family gatherings tend to center around the kitchen and dining area. With that in mind, they'll be giving its current state a close look.

    You don't have to start over with a completely new kitchen to get the benefit of updating. New appliances are reasonably inexpensive and will stand out to your prospective buyers. Updating countertops and finishes will also add new life to the space.

  2. Upgrade the Bathroom
    The bathroom is another area people spend plenty of time in but don't often think about much.

    To maximize value, it's always best to add a second bathroom if you can. If this isn't feasible, though, you still have options. Small touches go a long way in the bathroom: Classy towel bars, new fixtures, and re-grouting your tile will revitalize things with much less hassle.

  3. Brighten Things Up
    Color is powerful, but lighting has the most profound effect on the psychology of a room.

    People are subconsciously tuned into lighting conditions at all times, even if they don't notice it. The brighter a room is, the bigger and more open it feels. In addition to installing brighter bulbs, you can also bring in airy curtains and drapes to optimize natural light.

    LED lighting is extremely inexpensive and energy efficient – plus, it generates a tiny fraction of the heat associated with older bulb styles. This gives you more potential to add new lighting, such as under-counter lighting in bathrooms and kitchens.

  4. Add a Coat of Paint
    Fresh paint is an ideal solution for bringing a house in line with today's styles. Since would-be buyers form their first impression based on the outside of your house, an exterior paint job is just as valuable as anything you decide to do on the inside.

    What about indoors? Neutral shades, focused on living areas that form early impressions and stick in buyers' minds, are the best bet. If there's not much time, zoom in on painting trim.

  5. Do Some Landscaping
    Depending on where you are, your front yard could be a huge asset for your home sale. Many people look forward to the ability to have a garden of their own, and the stock of housing that offers this space is not always ample – but green spaces must be neat and tidy.

    Dark-colored mulch can rejuvenate an outdoor area quickly. Replace cracked or broken paving stones and concrete paths, too: Damage makes it feel like the space will be a chore to care for.

This is only a small sample of the many ways you could raise your home's value before it goes to market! Contact Old Dominion Realty today to find out more.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

June
13

How to Add Home Value with These Backyard Investments

Add Home Value with Curb Appeal
Whether you're preparing to sell your home or interested in adding value to it, look no further than your own backyard.  Getting started doesn't necessarily require a major investment because many backyard projects will fall comfortably in the DIY category for homeowners. Even if you have to hire a contractor, updating your backyard with the right additions will typically generate a solid return on your investment – both financially and in terms of curb appeal.

Our team of REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty knows what catches the eye of home buyers, so we've gathered a collection of backyard curb appeal ideas that are sure to add value to your home.

Outdoor Updates Add Major Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home

Before we dive into the updates, it's time for a little tidying up. Literally. If your backyard has doubled as a storage space or your garden has seen better days, cleaning up is the perfect way to get started. It won't take much time, you can do it yourself, and it's always best to work from a nice, clean slate when updating your home's outdoor aesthetics. With that out of the way, you'll be ready to move ahead full-speed.

  • Outdoor Lighting – Just as it does inside, lighting makes a big difference in the visual appeal of your home's outdoor spaces. Adding outdoor lighting is also quite affordable, and the many solar-powered lighting options available make installation a breeze. Get started by scouting your lighting options online for inspiration, or visiting your favorite home improvement store.
  • Rustic Walkways – Another relatively simple update, adding walkways is an excellent way to boost your yard's visual appeal while also saving wear on your lawn. Slate walkways are still popular and have a classic look, while pavers are easy to install, with plenty of variety in shape, color, and size.
  • Outdoor Cooking – There's nothing like a backyard barbecue, and adding a dedicated cooking space provides a perfect excuse to fire up the grill regularly. You can opt for something simple like a grill enclosure on your patio, or even add a full outdoor kitchen if you're aiming to appeal to the luxury market.
  • Landscaping – There is a ton you can do to upgrade outdoor landscaping, so this is one place you can get creative with curb appeal ideas. Trees take time to mature, but add serious value if you plan to wait a bit before selling your home. For a more immediate upgrade, shrubs, flowers, and a healthy lawn are perfect. Sticking to plants that are native to your area will simplify maintenance, for you and your home's lucky buyer.
  • Just Add Water – If you're looking to create a peaceful, tranquil backyard atmosphere, a water feature will look great next to your updated landscaping. Adding a small pond or fountain won't take a major investment, either. Just remember to add a few nice chairs nearby for relaxation.
  • Decked Out – An outdoor deck or patio is the perfect place to spend a warm summer evening with friends and family. It's also an effective way to increase the value of your home. Most homeowners will want to call a contractor for this one, but there are few better ways to dramatically update the look of your yard.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

Upgrading your yard is a great start, and your REALTOR® will help you find shoppers who are ready to fall in love with your home's new look. Contact our team at Old Dominion Realty for more ideas and advice on selling your home.

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