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September
26

Simple Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Kitchen Updates

If your kitchen is due for a makeover, it's important to know that a kitchen update doesn't need to be costly or time-consuming to be effective. Our real estate agents suggest these simple tricks to update your kitchen. 

  • Remove Your Cabinet Doors
    Feel like your cabinets date your kitchen? A simple fix is to remove your cabinet doors. Removing your cabinet doors will open up your kitchen and allow you to embrace the open shelving trend that's popular with many potential buyers looking at Rockingham County homes for sale. Once your doors are off, fill in the holes left from the hinges with wood filler. Then, sand the cabinet frame until it's smooth and paint or stain the exterior and interior surfaces. 
  • Upgrade Your Faucet
    Replacing your kitchen faucet is a fast, simple way to upgrade the look and functionality of your kitchen sink. Since the kitchen faucet is so frequently used, it's an update that's easily noticed and will impact the entire aesthetic of your kitchen. A kitchen faucet with a removable head is an excellent choice for any kitchen. 

Floating Shelves

  • Hang Floating Shelves
    Floating shelves are another way to embrace the open shelving trend and add more functional storage to your kitchen. Use the shelves to display your favorite cookbooks, decorative kitchen pieces, or some of your treasured plates or glasses. 
  • Create a Coffee Bar
    A coffee bar is a cozy addition that works well in small spaces that are tricky to utilize. Position your coffee maker in your desired spot, add a basket or storage basket for filters, coffee pods, or other accessories, and store mugs on a nearby shelf or mug tree. This upgrade isn't limited to coffee; if you prefer a cup of tea or hot chocolate, it's fine to create an area for these beverages. 

Kitchen Rug

  • Add a Rug
    A rug is a fun, easy way to add color and texture to your kitchen. Incorporating a rug instantly makes any room feel warmer and more inviting. Utilizing rugs can also help you define the different spaces in your kitchen, especially if your home features an open floor plan. You can even repurpose a rug from another room in your home if you feel like it isn't the right fit for that space. 
  • Incorporate Contrasting Elements into Your Kitchen
    It's normal for homeowners to favor darker or lighter hues in the kitchen. Using contrasting pieces can help the kitchen feel larger and add visual interest. If your kitchen primarily uses dark hues, add white or light-colored towels, placemats, and draperies. Or, you can add light decorative pieces to your walls. Consider adding white photo mats to any art or photos in your kitchen to instantly create contrast. Apply these same guidelines if your kitchen currently utilizes light colors. Dark-colored shelves, photo frames, linens, and window coverings are easy additions that effectively update your kitchen. 

Cabinet Paint

  • Use Two Colors for Your Kitchen Cabinets
    Kitchen cabinets that use multiple stains or colors are a hot home trend; this look can help your kitchen look larger and add color to the room. One popular option uses a separate color for the upper and lower cabinets. Another alternative is to paint cabinets in distinct sections of your kitchen different colors to help define the room. For example, the cabinets in the portion of your kitchen where you cook might be white, and the cabinets near the area of your kitchen that you use for entertaining and dining could be gray or teal. 
  • Replace Your Window Shades
    The window shades in your kitchen lend privacy and a decorative touch to the room. Use your window shades to ensure that your kitchen is a reflection of your style and aesthetic preferences. When possible, look for window shades that permit natural light to enter your kitchen. Natural light brightens any room so that it looks its best. Avoid selecting oversized drapes that cover all of the window and window frame, as they can completely block out your kitchen's natural light. 

Light Fixtures

  • Upgrade Your Light Fixtures
    Incorporating proper lighting into your kitchen is an excellent way to brighten and refresh your kitchen. Ample lighting will also ensure that you have sufficient illumination for all the activities that take place in your kitchen, like cooking, packing lunches, and catching up with friends and family. Light fixtures that include geometric shapes or metallic finishes add a contemporary touch, while pieces with vintage shades create a more classic look.

With a few hours and a small budget, you can dramatically enhance the look of your kitchen. Interested in a home with more kitchen space? Contact us to put your home on the market. 

August
1

ODR's Affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Old Dominion Realty

As an independent real estate firm, our goal is to provide the best possible service to you and provide comprehensive assistance in achieving your real estate goals. This is true whether you're moving to a Virginia/West Virginia community from across town or across the world. One of the ways that we provide that level of service is through our affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a worldwide network of top independent real estate brokerages.

Both our real estate agents and our clients benefit from our affiliation with LeadingRE, whose mantra is "Making the Best Brokerages Better." No matter where you're moving from, our team is here to help you find the home that perfectly suits your needs.

Get to Know Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

Founded in 1997 by 50 of the largest real estate brokerages in the United States, LeadingRE has grown into a worldwide network over the last 25 years. It's now comprised of 550 companies in more than 70 countries, with 4,700 offices located across the world and 136,000 sales associates. LeadingRE is a by-invitation-only network focused on raising the bar in real estate, with industry-leading metrics in sales and market coverage.

What this means for clients is that no matter where you're currently located and where you're planning to move, there's a global network of like-minded real estate firms ready to serve you. Long-distance moves are so much easier when you have a worldwide network to lean on, and we're proud to be part of a network that's built to serve you.

Global Network

A Global Network with Local Knowledge

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is made up of industry-leading local and regional real estate firms. As a client, one key benefit of working with a local or regional real estate brand is that you have access to unparalleled local knowledge. In our case, that means helping you find the right home, in the right neighborhood, in Virginia and West Virginia communities.

When you're relocating from far away, there are so many factors to consider, whether you're relocating for work, family, military service, or simply to experience something new. Starting a new life in a new location is so much smoother when you have access to a global network with unmatched local knowledge. Take the guesswork out of a long-distance move, and find a real estate brand you can trust to make your transition a smooth, streamlined experience so you can focus on settling into your new home.

Local Team

Our Affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

You can find our Old Dominion Realty page on the LeadingRE website and our video on Old Dominion Realty and LeadingRE to learn more about our affiliation with the network. If you're moving from out of state or outside the country, we can help you manage the logistics, find the right neighborhood, and find the right home. If you're moving from Virginia/West Virginia to another location, our affiliation with LeadingRE means that we can help you find the right agent in communities across the world.

On the LeadingRE website, you can also access tools like the Global Cost of Living Report, Currency Converter, and Mortgage Calculator to help you make informed decisions. The goal is to provide you with the best possible service, no matter where you're moving from or where you're moving to, through a network with global reach.

Services from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® offers a variety of tools to help facilitate long-distance moves for individuals and organizations.

  • Luxury Portfolio International®
    Luxury Portfolio International® is geared toward luxury clientele, with more than 50,000 of the world's finest properties listed annually. If you're searching for a luxury home, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® can help you find it.

  • RELO Direct, Inc.®
    RELO Direct, Inc.® is a service for corporate clients, providing comprehensive administrative support to help employees move with high satisfaction rates. It also has extensive certifications to help government organizations manage employee moves.

  • Solutions Group
    The Solutions Group program helps us help you. LeadingRE partners with a wide range of service providers that allow members to leverage the best tools, technology, and services in the real estate industry to provide the best possible service to our clients.

Our Team

Let Us Help You Plan Your Next Move

Whether you're shopping for Augusta County homes for sale or homes in another Virginia or West Virginia community, our team is here to help you accomplish your real estate goals. Our affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® can help us accommodate your needs, no matter where you're moving from or what is motivating your move. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Augusta County, VA area.

May
9

Impress Buyers With These Outdoor Staging Tips

Impress Buyers with Outdoor Staging

Your home's exterior is your best chance to make a good first impression on home shoppers. Your exterior has a huge impact on your ability to sell quickly and drive clicks to your listing online. Taking the time to ensure your garden, lawn, and patio area are all in tip-top shape before listing your home is essential for success.

Home staging is the process of dressing up your home in such a way that it is attractive to home shoppers. It's a process that can help your property sell fast, and it can also help you earn a higher sale price. When it comes to home staging, many sellers are quick to prioritize the interior; however, our real estate agents always tell clients to not forget about the outdoor space. Here are a few tips to keep your home's exterior looking great:

Deep Clean

  • Deep Clean Everything
    Deep cleaning isn't just for the indoors. It's also an important element of outdoor staging. This means pressure washing your siding, porch, and patio, as well as cleaning the windows, gutters, and downspouts. Make sure to also rid your yard of any leaves, branches, or debris. At the end of the day, you want your home to shine bright like these Augusta County homes for sale.

  • Boost Your Curb Appeal
    Curb appeal is a term that describes the view of your home from the street. Curb appeal encompasses all elements of your facade, including your front door, landscaping, driveway, and front porch. There are many easy ways to give your curb appeal a boost. Paint your front door, buy a new mailbox, add some porch furniture, or even replace your address numbers. Your efforts will really show on your listing photos!

Refresh Landscaping

  • Refresh Your Landscaping
    Spring and summer are the perfect times to wow buyers with amazing landscaping. Make sure your lawn is mowed, bushes and hedges are trimmed, add a fresh layer of mulch in any garden areas, and clear out any weeds. Flowers can really help set the scene, so either plant some new ones or buy some potted flowers for the porch or patio. 

  • Add Comfortable Seating
    Outdoor gathering spaces are important selling points, so make sure to optimize yours. Whether it's a porch, patio, or firepit in the yard, comfortable seating is a must. Big, comfy patio furniture with a nice center table can make for a nice scene. Or, stage a nice backyard gathering spot with Adirondack chairs. 

Painting

  • Add Some Paint
    Take a look at the various elements that make up your exterior and determine where a fresh coat of paint is needed. Consider your fence, deck, porch, front door, and garage door. If anything is looking a bit faded, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards brightening things up. 

  • Ditch the Personal Decor
    The goal of any home staging effort is to make things as neutral as possible. When home shopping, buyers are trying to imagine themselves in the space. Personalization can make this difficult. Take the time to remove any outdoor clutter, such as garden decorations, toys, yard ornaments, porch decor, or hanging flags.

Exterior Lighting

  • Add Some Exterior Lighting
    While most home shoppers will be visiting your property during the day, some may drive by your home in the evening. This is when it can really pay off to have some beautiful outdoor lighting. Add some garden lights that reflect off of your facade, or line your sidewalk and driveway with LEDs. String lights also make for great options on outdoor patios. 

Real Estate Agent

  • Find a Good Real Estate Agent
    Staging a home is both an art and a science. Because most sellers don't have a ton of experience in home staging, it can be helpful to turn to a real estate agent who does. Real estate agents are in the loop on all the latest design trends, and they know what buyers want. A good agent is very capable of guiding you through the staging process and making the most of your property.

Buyers are more likely to pay close attention to your home's exterior in warm weather months, so taking the time to stage your outdoor area is well worth the time. If you're planning to list your home for sale this year, we can help. Contact us today.

March
14

Features People are Willing to Move for in 2022

Home Features

As life changes, people naturally seek new homes that are better suited for that next stage of life. Whether it's starting a new family or starting to downsize, our needs are constantly changing.

Understanding what buyers are looking for can really pay off when it comes time to sell. Our real estate agents always recommend you put yourself in the shoes of your target buyer, so you can market features of your home that are most desirable. Here are some of the top home features we believe consumers are willing to move for in 2022:

Home Office

  • A Comfortable Home Office
    Remote work is here to stay, and so is the need for a comfortable home office. For most people, taking conference calls from the dining room table will no longer cut it. So many consumers are seeking out new homes with an extra bedroom or a finished basement area that can be easily converted into a spacious home office. Even if your home doesn't have an office, it can help to stage one during the selling process. If you're looking for some examples of beautiful home offices, check out some of these awesome Augusta County homes for sale.

  • More Space
    Size requirements vary over the course of a lifetime, and so some families move primarily for the sake of more square footage. As a seller, we recommend doing everything possible to highlight the storage features of your home. During the staging process, make sure your closets are freshly painted and not overflowing. Closets that are a little less than half full actually appear larger in size. 

Outdoor Features

  • Beautiful Outdoor Space
    A big backyard may not always be important in a first home, but as consumers begin to start a family, having a nice green space for the kids to play becomes even more important. A bigger backyard has always been a common reason for moving. As a seller, you can really bring out the best in your outdoor space through good landscaping, patio decor, and gardening.

  • A Large Garage
    Covered parking is a big deal, especially in the winter. Many homeowners are willing to move in order to avoid off-street parking or a one-car garage. If you have a nice multi-vehicle garage, make sure to clean it out and declutter to try to maximize the space. Also, consider adding new bright lighting to make it shine.  

Pet-Friendly Features

  • Pet-Friendly Amenities
    A great home for pets is often a non-negotiable for millennials, so it's no surprise to see consumers moving for more pet-friendly amenities. Whether it's a walkable neighborhood or a location with quick access to parks, vets, or pet-boarding, many people are considering their dog or cat's well-being when choosing a place to live.

Kitchen Features

  • A Big Bright Kitchen
    Kitchens in many starter homes are small and not conducive to cooking large meals. Many people are willing to move in order to obtain that big bright kitchen they've always dreamed of. Big kitchens make it easy to host dinner parties and holidays. It's worth considering a nice kitchen makeover with new lighting, flooring, and even upgraded appliances, as these renovations could earn you a nice ROI when it comes time to sell.

  • A Spacious Extra Bathroom
    The total number of bathrooms is an important selling feature, and often families are in search of homes with two, three, or even four full bathrooms. Adding an extra bathroom can really boost your market value. We often see homeowners add an extra full or half bath to a finished basement. 

Laundry Features

  • A Nice Laundry Room 
    A dedicated laundry room is often among the most desired features of homebuyers. Washers and dryers are often stored in the basement, due to easy access to utility lines; however, many prefer a comfortable laundry room with space to wash, dry, fold, and iron clothes.

By learning what buyers are looking for in a home, you can be better prepared to market the best features of your listing. For more tips on how to maximize your property, contact us.

February
28

Spring Cleaning Tasks That Will Get Your Home Ready to List

Spring Cleaning

Spring naturally brings out the desire to clean, and if you're interested in selling your home, it couldn't come at a better time. Before your home is listed for sale with one of our real estate agents, make sure it will look its best. Spring cleaning can make your home shine and look fresh and clean! This is sure to make it more appealing to prospective buyers and help it stand out from other Rockingham County homes for sale.

The following spring cleaning tasks will help you get your home ready to list:

Declutter

  • Clear the Clutter
    Everyone has possessions that they no longer want or use, and holding onto them makes your home look messier and harder to keep clean. A crowded home also will make prospective buyers wonder if your home has enough storage and makes it harder for them to imagine your home as their own. Before you start spring cleaning, go through your home and remove clothes that are no longer worn, broken, or outgrown toys and household goods that have outlived their usefulness. Items that are still in good shape can be sold or donated.

  • Make a Checklist
    Make a room-by-room checklist of what you need to clean. This helps keep you on track, ensures that areas aren't forgotten, and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you cross items off your list. Break each room down into areas, such as drawers, and then individual tasks such as wiping them down and swapping out any outdated hardware. This checklist can also be used to divide spring cleaning tasks among several family members.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Shop for Needed Cleaning Supplies
    Make sure you have what you need, including a good all-purpose cleaner and microfiber cloths, before you start cleaning. Supplies that can be used for a myriad of objects and surfaces are ideal to start with, and as you start cleaning, you can always buy a specialty product if there's a need for it. Look for cleansers that have a pleasingly light scent since this can also help your home seem fresh and clean.

  • Don't Forget the Outside
    It's not just your home's interior that needs freshening up in the spring - it's also the outside. The outside of your home will be seen by house hunters even before the inside is. And if it makes a poor impression, they may never make it through your front door. Walk around your home and yard to see what needs cleaning, repairing, and refreshing. You might need to pressure wash the exterior of your home as well as your driveway, patio, deck, and walkways. Paint touch-ups may also be needed. 

  • Wash Everything You Can
    Household items can collect dust that makes them look dirty and dingy, so wash everything you can. This includes curtains, some area rugs, bath mats, and shower curtains. Items that can't be washed should be thoroughly shaken outside and vacuumed using the right attachment. If they've seen better days, you may want to simply replace them, especially if they're relatively inexpensive items.

Spring Clean Windows

  • Make Your Windows Sparkle
    If you've had your draperies or blinds closed for a good bit of the winter, you may not have noticed how grimy they've gotten. Scrub each pane clean inside and out on a cloudy day so you're not left with streaks. And don't forget to also scrub any sills or trim. Clean windows can make your entire home sparkle and will let sunlight in, giving your home a bright, fresh appearance. Just be aware that sunlight streaming into a home highlights any dust, so make sure to add dusting to your list of spring cleaning to-dos.

  • Clean Easily Overlooked Areas
    Prospective buyers will be looking over your home from top to bottom, so no area is too small to ignore. Clean your light switch plates and outlet covers, and pay attention to the inside of your appliances, drawers, and cabinets because potential buyers will definitely open them.

Spring Clean Entryway

  • Spend Extra Time on Your Entryway
    Since your entryway will be the first part of your home's interior that prospective buyers will see, take extra time on the area so it makes a good impression. Invest in a new welcome mat, make sure your door is in great shape (including any glass inserts), and clean the floor thoroughly. And if you have any furniture to store shoes, coats, or other items near the door, make sure it's clean and uncluttered. Not only does this make a better impression, but it also gives prospective buyers a place to hang their jackets.

Contact us to see Rockingham homes for sale or Harrisonburg homes for sale. Whether you're looking to buy a home, sell one, or do both, we have the knowledge and experience to make your transaction go smoothly.

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!

November
22

How to Sell Your Home During the Holiday Season

Holiday Home Staging

You're ready to put your home on the market, but the holiday season is near. Should you wait to sell your home, or is there a way to find a buyer during the holidays?

Our real estate agents know that with a few adjustments, it's entirely possible (and even profitable!) to sell a home during the holiday season. Buyers tend to have more flexible schedules around the holidays, which gives them more opportunities to look for a home. Here's what you need to know about selling your home during the holidays. 

Home on the Market

  • Take Advantage of the Lack of Competition
    The winter months are commonly viewed as a poor time to sell a home. While there are some difficulties you'll need to address, the lack of competition during this period can be used to your advantage. It's true that there are fewer buyers (and home sellers) during the winter. Those who are buying are often ready to act fast when they see a home that meets their needs. Make sure that your home is as appealing as possible. The goal is for it to stand out as a fantastic option when compared to the small number of homes for sale. 

Winter Decorations

  • Opt for Classic Decorations That Showcase Your Home's Best Traits
    This isn't the year to break out all your holiday decor, but you do need to decorate your home before you add it to the list of Luray homes for sale. A well-decorated home is welcoming and inviting to potential buyers. It allows them to envision their family using the home for holiday celebrations. Buyers think of using the kitchen to prepare holiday dinners and consider how the living room will accommodate their family. A home with a strong emotional appeal is simply more appealing to prospective buyers. Your decorations will work to create this emotional pull while staging your spaces. Decorations must compliment your home without making it appear cluttered. Do you have a lot of large windows? Highlight them by hanging a classic wreath or bow on each one. Are your doors stylish and new? Draw attention to them with a wreath and holiday lights. Skip the inflatable decorations and avoid anything that obscures the view of your home. Stage your dining area with matching place settings and a holiday centerpiece. When putting up your tree, make sure that the size compliments the space of your room. Your buyer should feel that choosing a spot for the tree is an effortless holiday chore.
  • Pay Attention to Your Home's Curb Appeal
    The winter months are a little tricky when it comes to maximizing your home's curb appeal. Most of the grass is brown, the trees are missing their leaves, and the flowers aren't in bloom. Before listing your home with other Augusta homes for sale, check that it looks its best. Make sure that your leaves are raked and that there's no debris or dead plants in your gardens. See that your lawn and gardens are weed-free. Check that your exterior paint looks fresh and isn't peeling or cracked. Keep trash and boxes that tend to accumulate around the holidays removed or hidden from buyers. Stage your front door to create a positive first impression. A doormat, wreath, and garland are simple yet effective additions to instantly improve the look of your home. 

Photography

  • Use Pictures to Help Market Your Home
    Professional-quality photos are always valuable when selling a home, but they're even more imperative during the winter months. Buyers use pictures to decide if a home is worth venturing out in the frigid winter temperatures. Try to have photos taken before you decorate. Otherwise, holiday decorations may make your home feel "dated" if it's still on the market after the holidays. 

Interior Lighting

  • Refresh Your Lighting
    Since natural light is limited during the winter, it's important to check that the lights inside your home are functioning correctly. Replace any burnt-out light bulbs before adding your home to the inventory of Rockingham homes for sale, and see that your lightbulbs all provide the same type of lighting (i.e. don't mix cool and warm light bulbs). Using the same type of lightbulb throughout your home gives it a balanced, consistent look that produces a cozy, cheerful atmosphere.
  • Be Prepared for Wintery Conditions
    Don't let winter weather produce unsafe conditions for your potential buyers. Have lots of rock salt and a snow shovel on hand to prevent icy spots on your paved areas. 

Ready to sell your home this holiday season? Contact us today to get started!

March
1

Top 10 Things To Get Your House Ready for The Spring Market

List Home in Augusta County

Spring is just around the corner, and if you're thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to start getting ready. The real estate market heats up every spring, and with interest at historic lows, there couldn't be a better time to take advantage of the seller's market. 

Preparing to list your home can be a lengthy process, especially if it's your first time. From cleaning to staging, you may not know where to even start. If you want to make sure your home stands out among these beautiful Virginia homes for sale, be sure to follow these tips below:

  1. Find A Good Real Estate Agent
    The first and arguably most important step to listing your home is to find a reputable real estate agent. Referrals from trusted sources are usually the best ways to find a good agent. Working with a trusted real estate agent is the key to a smooth and successful transaction.

  2. Scope Out The Market
    Make sure to do some research about other Augusta County homes for sale, so you can get a sense of what other properties are selling for in your area. Look at homes that are similar in size to your own, as this can help you at least establish a starting point for a sale price.

update lighting

  1. Invest In Lighting
    Lighting is one of the most important aspects of the staging process. If you have rooms in your house that don't receive adequate sunlight, it's time to invest in additional lamps and lighting fixtures. Remember, bright rooms often appear larger and more welcoming. A real estate agent can help you optimize the lighting placements in each room.

  2. Declutter Your Home
    If you're planning to move soon, do yourself a favor and start the decluttering process early. Empty the attic and basement and get rid of any junk you no longer need. Decluttering will not only help streamline the staging process, but it will also make your move a lot easier.

  3. Make Repairs
    If you've been procrastinating on repairing that leaky faucet, running toilet, or squeaky door, now is the time to address it. Go through your home and make sure to repair anything that isn't functioning as it's supposed to. Even if it doesn't seem like a big deal, you can bet that potential buyers will notice.

  4. Depersonalize Your Home
    As much as you may enjoy looking at your family photos and favorite art, any personalized items can certainly be off-putting to prospective buyers. Seeing personalization in a home can make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in the home.

Fresh Coat of Paint

  1. Paint
    It's always a good idea to add a fresh coat of paint to your home's interior before listing it for sale. This can help give your home a fresh, clean look and also help your rooms appear brighter. Just be sure to stick to neutral colors, as anything bright or creative may turn off potential buyers. 

deep cleaning tips

  1. Deep Clean
    Once you're almost ready to list your home, it's time to clean like you've never cleaned before. Every corner, nook, and cranny will need your attention. It's also a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned. You don't want potential buyers noticing any dust or odors, so it's best to make sure the home is pristine. 

  2. Create a Relocation Plan For Your Pets
    Your furry friends might be cute, but not every buyer will think so. It's wise to come up with a relocation plan for your pets so they're not in the way when you're showing your home. Also, be sure to hide any bowls, litter boxes, or toys and eliminate any odors caused by your pets.

  3. Consider a Professional Photographer
    High-quality photos are one of the best ways to attract buyers to your listing, so you might want to consider hiring a professional photographer. Good photos are a great way to help your listing stand out from the competition. Check out some of the listing photos for these Staunton homes for sale. If you're having trouble finding a good photographer, ask your real estate agent for recommendations.

Selling your home doesn't have to be an intimidating process. Working with a good real estate agent is the best way to ensure a smooth transaction. If you're planning to list your home this spring, contact us today.

September
28

Last-Minute Staging Suggestions for Sellers

Staging

As you prepare to show your home, our real estate agents suggest that you and your agent take an afternoon to evaluate the entire house once more to ensure that everything is as presentable as possible. Unless you've hired a professional staging company, you may want to consider these easy last-minute staging suggestions that will showcase your home.

  1. Perform a Quick Clean
    If you've only got a few minutes to spare before a showing, devote that time to spot cleaning. Check corners for debris collections, wipe the dust from windowsills and countertops, and remove any trash that may have been deposited during previous showings. Remember to do a walkthrough of all areas, including bathrooms, the garage, and closets.

  2. Hide Your Cleaning Supplies
    After you've cleaned the space, finish tidying up by storing all cleaning supplies. Although you still want these items to be easily accessible after the showing, keeping them visible in the home is not recommended. Consider keeping them in a container in your vehicle, so they're always on hand yet always out of the way of your buyers.

  3. Perform a Quick Declutter
    Cleaning and decluttering a space have two different objectives. When you declutter, you're removing items that can distract or obstruct a viewer during the showing. For instance, put away all kitchen appliances that normally sit on the countertops. You should also remove all personal items on display in the home, such as photographs, awards, or other mementos that paint a picture of who you are in the buyer's mind. You want your home to be a blank slate for your buyer to fill in however they wish.  

  4. Remove Signs of Pets
    Although your pets are part of your family and home, not all buyers are thrilled to discover that animals once lived inside the home of their dreams. You may have kept your home in great shape, but some buyers will wonder if there are any stains or damages caused by your pets. Remove as many signs of your pet as possible and consider spraying a fresh scent in the areas where pet beds or litter boxes are usually stored.  

  5. Create a Comfortable Space
    Staging is more than a visual technique; it also involves creating a comfortable space that's appealing to the other senses. If the home seems stuffy or if a smell lingers, open the windows and let fresh air in. Look up at all of your lighting fixtures and replace any dim or dead lightbulbs to ensure that all rooms are adequately lit. You can also consider playing light music and leaving out refreshments that will help your guests relax while they browse the home.  

  6. Exit Stage Left!
    Now that you've finished staging your home, it's time to make a swift exit! While you may be excited to show potential buyers everything your property has to offer, you want to give them the space and time they need to take everything in.

When listing Virginia homes for sale, we typically recommend hiring a professional staging company to showcase your home for a successful sale! For help buying or selling homes in Virginia, contact us today.

July
27

Home Selling Ideas to Make Your House Stand Out

Home Selling Ideas to Make Your House Stand Out
Selling your house runs more smoothly when you begin with a plan.

Buyers have ample options when shopping for West Virginia real estate, so it's essential to present your listing in the most favorable light possible. Our real estate agents are here to help for selling your home, with six tips to make your home stand out in your local real estate market.

  • Clean Your Home, Remove Clutter, and Keep It Looking Great 
    A deep cleaning of your home – both indoors and outside – is an absolute must if you want to maximize the appeal of your property, and cleaning before you list will also make life easier when it's time to move. While you're cleaning, take the time to remove clutter as much as possible, whether you decide to store it, sell it, donate it, or toss it. Remember to keep the home clean throughout the sales process, so it will always be ready for buyers who want to visit.
  • Consider Curb Appeal for a Positive First Impression
    Buyers start forming an impression of your home the minute they arrive. Curb appeal is a crucial ingredient when you want your home to stand out from other Virginia homes for sale. Start by cleaning your yard, keeping the lawn cut, trimming trees, pruning shrubs, and removing any plant debris that has built up. If your home's exterior could use a boost, adding fresh landscaping features can be a cost-effective way to enhance curb appeal.
  • Fresh Paint and DIY Fixes
    When buyers visit a home, they will be looking for small indicators of how well you've taken care of the property. So if your home has any small maintenance issues, it's worth investing the time and effort necessary to fix them. While you're tackling maintenance issues, check whether any walls need a touch-up or a fresh coat of paint.
  • Highlight Areas Where You've Added Value 
    Have you made any improvements to the home that you feel deserve the attention of buyers? Perhaps you've added an area for entertaining guests outdoors, turned an unfinished basement into an attractive living space, or made improvements to the master bedroom/bathroom. While not every upgrade adds value in every buyer's eyes, it's well worth pointing out areas where you have upgraded the home.
  • Professional Photography Helps Your Home Stand Out Online
    With all of the work you've put into prepping your home for sale, you want to make sure that buyers get a great impression when they find your property online. Professional quality photography is a must for your online listing and will help buyers fall in love before visiting in person.
  • Pick the Right Price to Maximize Your Market
    Choosing the right price, based on a comparative market analysis (CMA) from your real estate agent, is one of the biggest keys to maximizing your home market. A price well above market value will scare off potential buyers, but you also don't want to leave money. Your real estate agent should be your number one resource for picking a price that will get your home sold.

Sell Your Home

The right real estate team can make your life so much easier when selling your home, and we're here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Eastern West Virginia and the Central Shenandoah Valley.

June
22

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

Help! We Sold Our Home Before We Bought Another

Buy and Sell Homes Simultaneously

If the first three rules of real estate are, "Location, location, location," the fourth rule would be, "Timing is everything." Selling and buying a home simultaneously is a tightrope act that defies the skills of the most experienced circus acrobat.

Fortunately, our real estate agents have a superior sense of balance. Here are their top tips for buying and selling a home at the same time.

  1. Study the Market
    At any given time, based largely on the overall economic climate, the real estate market will favor either buyers or sellers. Knowing where the current advantage lies will help direct your strategy.
  2. Crunch the Numbers
    Get a solid handle on your financial picture. Determine your current liquidity, a realistic resale value of your home, and how much equity you have. This will give you an idea of the budget you're working with, including the amount of down payment you can comfortably afford.
  3. Get Pre-Approval
    "Your reach should exceed your grasp" is fine advice, except when it comes to real estate. Many people mistakenly assume their purchasing power will go much further than it actually does. With a pre-approval in hand, you won't be tempted to waste time on a home you can't afford.
  4. Have a Backup Plan (or Two)
    If you sell your home first, you'll need to arrange temporary housing. On the other hand, if you buy first, two mortgages can be a significant drain on your cash reserves. Draw up a workable game plan for either of these possibilities. Options include rent-back agreements, contingency clauses (for buyers and sellers), bridge loans or renting out your home. Keep in mind that each method comes with its own set of pros and cons.
  5. Prepare Your Home for Sale
    Take a good look at your home. Would you buy it today as is? Take care of any upgrades or repairs immediately so the home is ready to roll once it hits the market. Consider getting a pre-inspection so you're not caught off-guard by any unseen conditions.
  6. Work With a Qualified Real Estate Agent
    While it doesn't absolve you of responsibility for making informed decisions, the assistance of a reliable real estate agent is invaluable. Along with providing market insight, a good agent successfully steers you through the curves and speed bumps of buying and selling a home simultaneously.
  7. Negotiate Terms
    Selling price is only one of the terms that may be negotiated in a real estate transaction. If you need some adjustments to accommodate your timeline, your agent can negotiate the closing date, contingency clauses, and other elements that factor into your backup plans.
  8. Don't Operate Out of Fear or Emotion
    Yes, we develop emotional attachments to Virginia homes for sale but save that for the business of living, not the business of real estate. Remain level-headed and clear-eyed, and you'll find it much easier to make good decisions.
  9. Be Flexible
    No matter how carefully you construct your plans, there's a wild card you can't account for: the behavior of others. Accept the fact that you can't control what other buyers and sellers, lenders, and inspectors will do, and be prepared to pivot when need be. 

Buying and selling West Virginia real estate can be a roller coaster ride, but we can reduce the scares and increase the thrills. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to get started.

November
25

Selling Your Home | It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Home Sale

Selling Your Home During the Holidays
It's beginning to look a lot like a home sale! Homeowners across the city are listing their Harrisonburg homes for sale during the most wonderful time of the year. If you're interested in listing your home during the winter, our REALTORS® have eight things you should know about selling your home during the holidays.

Eight Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

  1. Winter is an excellent time to list your home.
    Despite the colder weather and busyness of the season, the winter is a uniquely advantageous time to sell your home. Typically, there is less inventory on the market which lessens your competition. Many buyers are also more motivated to secure a home as quickly as possible, as many are buying to meet their immediate family or career needs.
  2. Reliable REALTORS® know how to capitalize on an opportunity.
    Your REALTOR® is your best resource when selling a home. These dynamic individuals know that everything from listing to staging to negotiating in the wintertime requires a slightly different approach and they're able to proceed accordingly. Make sure you hire a REALTOR® who has the knowledge and experience you need to sell your home successfully without stress during the holidays.
  3. You'll need exterior photographs from prior seasons.
    Of course, all homeowners should hire a professional photographer to take updated interior and exterior photos for the listing. However, the winter weather doesn't always showcase your exterior as dazzlingly as possible. By including photos of your property from the greener seasons, you can show off the full potential of your outdoor spaces.
  4. Landscaping is still an important element to curb appeal.
    Although you can't control the snow, ice, and slush that makes its way onto your property, you can prevent it from detracting from your curb appeal. Shoveling sidewalks and driveways and removing icicles can make a world of difference, as can trimming dead branches off of trees and raking up debris around the yard. Remember, curb appeal is one of the most important elements of your home and a top reason why buyers will consider your property.
  5. Your appliances will need to be ready to run without fail.
    While you may be able to sell your home even if it requires a few touchups in certain areas, your appliances must be running at peak performance. Homeowners will need to immediately use the stove, heater, fireplace, furnace, and hot water tanks. Any issues with these appliances can immediately make a buyer consider another property.
  6. Flexibility can dramatically increase your potential for success.
    The holidays are a busy time for buyers and sellers alike, but being flexible and understanding of your seller's needs can go a long way to helping you sell the home. Whether they need a fast close, small repairs completed or negotiated terms, being willing to find a compromise can help you seal the deal much smoother and faster.
  7. Seasonal décor can positively and negatively impact your viewings.
    Holiday decorations are often cherished by many homeowners and there are certainly plenty of buyers who will enjoy seeing your home and neighborhood spectacularly decorated. Unfortunately, there are also some buyers who may find religious, spiritual or cultural decorations to be off-putting. Be sure to consult your REALTOR® regarding how you can best present your home while still enjoying one last season with your favorite holiday décor.
  8. Timing is everything.
    Although there may be more motivated buyers and less inventory on the market, you still need to time your listing appropriately. If you don't need to sell your home before the New Year, it may be in your best interest to wait until January to list it.

If you'd like help selling your home during the holidays (and all throughout the year), contact us at Old Dominion Realty today!

Sell Your Home with Old Dominion Realty

 

August
16

Why Hire a Professional to Sell Your Home

Hire an Agent to Sell Your House
There is a reason most sellers--roughly 90 percent--use a professional real estate to sell their homes.  Professionals have the real estate "know how" to sell your home quickly and for the right price.  If you're still considering a FSBO to save the price of a commission, think again. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® reports people who choose to "go it alone" and sell without a REALTOR® often make less money than they would hiring a REALTOR®

Selling a house quickly and for the most money takes time, marketing skills, knowledge of the local neighborhood, and negotiation skills--to name a few.  Using a real estate agent can be the difference between a successful sale and months of frustration.

If that's not enough cause to hire a professional, here are four more reasons why hiring a REALTOR® like those on our team at Old Dominion Realty is the right choice for you.

  1. Your Trusted Guide
    There is more work to selling your home than sticking a sign in your yard and hoping for a buyer to knock on the door. Many people do not know where to begin. You need to understand both the process of selling your house and the market you are trying to sell it in. Without this knowledge, you could end up selling your home for too low a price or not selling it at all.

    With the right REALTOR®, you can rest easy knowing that they will guide you every step of the way. These real estate professionals can take you from setting the right price all the way to the closing table. Every step in the process is critical to the success of selling your home.

  2. Knowledge and Experience
    Selling a home at the best price requires expertise and experience. Your real estate agent should know the local market well. They know what areas are selling well and what options are motivating sellers. Armed with this information, you can quickly prepare your home for sale and establish a fair market asking price.

    REALTORS® also have the experience to handle any surprises. They are trained in the entire process of listing, pricing, negotiating, and selling your home. Regardless of what happens during the sales process, your real estate agent has more than likely handled it before and will be able to handle it for you as well.

  3. Network of Professionals
    Our real estate offices have teams of professional real estate agents that work together. This team also has access to an entire network of worldwodie real estate professionals not just in Virginia and West Virginia. Through Old Dominion Realty's affiliation with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), professionals across the globe and their clients will see your real estate listing.

    By unleashing the power of this network, your real estate agent can connect you with interested home buyers from another country or across town. They can also narrow the list to qualified buyers that are looking for homes in your neighborhood. Your agent can connect the right type of buyers with your house in a shorter period possibly resulting in a faster sale at a better price.

  4. Marketing Plan for Success
    Perhaps the most important reason for choosing an Old Dominion Realty professional to sell your home is the fact that they can provide a proven marketing plan to sell your home.

    It starts with a thorough assessment of your house and your expectations for selling. They will leverage their capabilities to market your home to qualified buyers. Using market-driven research, they will negotiate the best price and get you through to the closing table.

So are you ready to answer the question of "what is my home worth?" Contact Old Dominion Realty and let our real estate agents help you sell your home.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

July
18

5 Reasons to Use Professional Photography to Sell Your Home

Sell Your Home - Professional Photos
Our real estate agents
understand the importance of professional photography and its powerful impact on selling your home. Professional photos make a lasting first-impression and can help you sell your home quicker and for more money. Over 90 percent of home buyers use the internet to search for a house, and the use of professional photos of your home is a great way to grab their attention.

Here are just five reasons why you should consider using a professional photographer for selling your home.

  1. Generate Additional Leads
    One of the main advantages of using professional photography to sell your home is that it has a significant impact on generating new leads. Home buyers are attracted to professional photos, as they produce 61% more views compared to other pages without professional images. A professional photo that elegantly displays the interior and exterior of a home is a powerful way to generate additional interest in your home.
  2. Staged Photography
    Emotion plays a vital role in any purchase decision and staged photography can grab the attention of a home buyer and help them envision themselves in the home. On the other hand, an empty or poorly furnished house makes it much more difficult to capture the imagination of a prospective home buyer. A professional photographer can rearrange each room or bring in additional props to create a powerful image of each room inside your home.
  3. Focus on the Best Angles
    One of the main challenges of photography is to focus on the right angles for each photo. A professional photographer will understand the best angles for each room and concentrate on creating top-quality photos that display the beauty of your home. A tripod can deliver the perfect shot, and a professional photographer will take multiple photos for the best results
  4. Add Ambience
    Creating the perfect lightning is another key aspect of photography. A professional photographer will understand how to take advantage of the natural light coming through the window or if a lamp is needed to create the perfect ambiance within a room. Capturing the right amount of light is a small detail that has a significant role in creating a high-quality photo that displays the characteristics within a home.
  5. Post-Production & Editing
    The post-production process is critical in selecting the best photos available and enhancing the quality of each image. Each photo will be edited to maximize the appearance of the exterior and interior of a home. Ensuring that the landscape surrounding the home, such as the trees and lawn is perfect is just a small detail that has a significant impact on improving the quality of the photos.

Professional photography plays a vital role in attracting potential home buyers and can help improve the speed of the entire process, while also allowing you to sell your home at a much better price. If you wish to learn more, feel free to contact Old Dominion Realty for more ideas on selling or buying your home in the Virginia and West Virginia real estate markets.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

March
28

Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

Sellers - Home Inspection Tips
When selling your home, you may teeter between having a professional home inspector evaluate your home prior to listing or not.  

Something you need to know ... A report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that nearly four out of every five homes sold in the United States are evaluated by a professional home inspector before they are sold. In addition, realtors recommend buyers get a home inspection nearly 99 percent of the time.  Most buyers heed their agent's advice and request a home inspection in 84 percent of all transactions.

Understanding the home inspection process and getting your home ready for the inspection only helps to ensure that your home sale goes through reaping the best selling price possible.

Getting Ready for a Home Inspection

During a home inspection, a qualified inspector will check over every aspect of the home and produce a detailed report on potential issues. Ideally, everything from the roof to the foundation will get a once-over from an expert.

It's often best to hire your own inspector, not wait for the buyers to decide they need one. When you hire an inspector, they work for you and will provide the inspection report only to you. With enough lead time, you have the option of resolving any serious issues.

For a successful home inspection:

  • Pick a Qualified Inspector
    A home inspection isn't something you should leave to a general contractor. It takes specialized knowledge and training. To get the right professional for the job, use the "Find an Inspector" database on the ASHI website, HomeInspector.org.

  • Do the Easy Stuff First
    A strong first impression can take the sting out of inspection issues for your buyers. Take care of pre-listing basics like lawn maintenance, exterior paint, and clean up – all inexpensive projects that will foster attachment and "buy-in" from potential buyers.

  • Let the Inspector Work
    No matter whether you decide to allow a buyer to attend the inspection or not, it's always best to leave the inspector alone while he or she is working. Sure, you can be on the property, but don't hover – save all questions until you get the final report.

    An inspector will often be able to advise you on the fastest and easiest ways to resolve certain kinds of problems. However, even they don't have the full picture until they take time to compile their findings in the form of a completed inspection report.

How to Move Forward from Home Inspection Surprises

The worst-case scenario for a seller is that a home inspection turns out to be bad news that throws the potential sale into doubt. Still, you can usually get your sale back on track if you know how.

Follow these steps to stay on track:

  • Remember the Bright Side
    Although a bad home inspection report is a setback, there's a silver lining: With everything on the table, you're much less likely to have liability issues later. Unsatisfied buyers have taken sellers to court over things like sewer and electrical issues!

  • Get Ready to Negotiate
    Issues with a home inspection don't mean the sale is a wash. Instead, you will have to go back to the negotiating table. Buyers may request concessions, including getting major issues fixed before closing. You can prepare yourself by getting bids so you know the potential costs involved.

  • Review the Situation with Your REALTOR®
    Your real estate agent is your best ally when it comes to achieving a successful sale. He or she may have seen situations similar to yours in the past. An experienced REALTOR® has inside insight on the best way to negotiate after a bad home inspection and minimize concessions.

For expert advice from our REALTORS® about selling your home, contact Old Dominion Realty.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

 

February
19

10 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for a Spring Sale

10 Tips for a Quick Home Sale SpringAs Punxsutawney Phil popped his head into the daylight on February 2, he saw his shadow...calling for six more weeks of winter weather.  If you're planning on selling your home this spring, lucky you! It gives you a few more weeks to get your home ready for the spring selling season because as the days warm up, so does the real estate market.  

Our REALTORS® offer these ten tips to get your home ready for a quick spring sale.

  1. Declutter inside and out
    What you see as rooms full of keepsakes and a yard full of treasures, a buyer may see as clutter. Clutter can sabotage your sale by preventing a buyer from seeing your home as their own. It's easier to identify and manage with help from an unbiased friend, neighbor, or agent.

  2. Clean, clean, clean
    As you prepare your home for the market, it's important to do a deep-down cleaning--just like grandma used to do. Buyers see every piece of dirt as an imperfection. A soiled baseboard, smudged light fixture, or grungy dishwasher can reduce your chances of a quick sale. Consider hiring a cleaning professional.

  3. Paint your walls
    Rethink your interior walls. Consider a fresh coat of pale taupe to brighten your living room. Try pale shades of blue in your dining room or kitchen. Light blue and blue-gray can be a soothing addition to your bedroom. Avoid white-whites or deep reds. They can be home buyer turn-offs.

  4. Lighten and brighten
    Remove heavy winter drapes. Redo your windows with minimalist treatments such as blinds or shades. Install LED lighting for more illumination.

  5. Clean your exterior
    Clean away winter grime with a whole-house powerwash. If your paint is worn or peeling, schedule a paint job when the weather warms. White shows off your home's exterior features. Greige (gray & beige) is popular. Paint your front door blue for a decorative, inviting accent.

  6. Maintain your gutters
    Your gutters have had several months to fill up with leaves, twigs, and dirt. To prevent clogging, clean away the debris with a gutter scoop or a small rake. Rinse away the remaining debris and check for gutter and downspout leaks with a water hose.

  7. Inspect your roof
    Check your roof for problems caused by winter weather. Look for damaged or missing tiles or shingles. Check flashing, vents, and pipes for proper position and seal. If you're uncertain what to look for or you can't handle heights, call a roofer for an inspection.

  8. Freshen your landscaping
    If your grass is still brown, the Toro Spring Lawncare Checklist recommends you avoid mowing, aeration, and maintenance until it's green. It's okay to gently rake away the winter's accumulated debris. Your yard will look neater and sunlight will get through to green-up your grass.

  9. Clean and maintain sidewalks and driveways
    Inspect, clean, and repair sidewalk and driveway chips, cracks, and potholes caused by winter weather. Areas of disrepair can diminish your home's curb appeal and cause a safety hazard for visiting home buyers.

  10. Clean your windows
    Dirty windows might seem like a little thing, but buyers will notice streaks, smudges, and fingerprints. Clean windows add a hint of shine to your exterior and allow more light to enter your home.

If you plan to list your home this spring, we can tell you what to do right now to make the process easier. Contact Old Dominion Realty when you're ready to list your home for sale.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

March
28

Beginner's Guide for Buying a Home in Staunton

First-time Home Buyers

Beginner's Guide for Buying a Home

Staunton, Virginia is a vibrant community with many attractive attributes, and a great place to settle down in your first home. There are a wide variety of cultural and social opportunities in the area including outdoor exploration of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. Deciding to buy a home can be intimidating, though, no matter how much you like the community. Here's some helpful information for anyone considering buying a house for the first time.

Make the Most Important Decision

It's perfectly natural to feel some anxiety about buying a house for the first time. However, if you're feeling anxious because you're unsure whether you want to own a home at all, it's extremely important to make the decision of whether you really want to own a home, or if it's just what you're "supposed to do" when you're an adult. It's much better to explore your options before getting involved in securing a mortgage and becoming a homeowner than to go through the process and be unhappy with your choice.

Get Ready for a Mortgage

Once you've decided home ownership is right for you, start looking at your finances. They should be well organized before you start talking to lenders about a mortgage. Getting ready for a mortgage might include:

  • Paying down credit card debts and keeping the balances low.
  • Gathering two years' worth of bank statements, pay stubs, salary verification and income tax information.
  • Refraining from doing anything that requires a credit inquiry, such as buying a car or furniture, or opening a new line of credit.

Before shopping for a specific loan, ask various lenders about any available first-time homebuyer programs, government-backed loans that you might be able to use, and their fees for financing your mortgage. It's your right to ask questions about anything you don't understand. Remember, just because you talk to a lender doesn't mean you're obligated to go through them for your loan.

Look to Your Future

Buying a house means being fairly certain of your plans over the next several years. You should know whether kids will be coming into the picture, which amenities might be most important over the long term and if there's enough room for your future growth, both personally and professionally. A list of things you might want in your new home can help you narrow your choices to properties that fit your needs now and into the future.

Be Open to Different Situations

When you're looking into buying a house, it's best to consider a lot of different properties that are offered for sale due to foreclosure, short sales or as part of a real estate auction, especially if you're willing to make some investments in the home. Many of these situations will have different requirements than a traditional "fair market listing" sale, so it's best to work with a local real estate agent to understand different sale options and find the right property for your needs.

Work with an Experienced REALTOR®

At Old Dominion Realty, we have a lot of useful information about relocating to Staunton, VA. You can even view our listings for gorgeous homes in Staunton easily from your computer. Contact Old Dominion Realty when you're considering buying a house in Virginia. Our REALTORS® in Staunton have all the experience and information you'll need to find your perfect new home.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

May
4

7 Benefits of Downsizing into a Smaller Home

The Upside of Downsizing Your Home

7 Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
Have you noticed your friends and neighbors talking about downsizing their homes?  Whether their decision is the result of a life event or a need to live more simply, people are realizing that many advantages exist when you live in a more manageable space.  If you're trying to decide whether downsizing is the right move for you and your family, here are some benefits to consider before taking the plunge.

1.  Less Means More Manageable

The larger the home, the more you have to maintain. Properties, no matter how new, require consistent care. People downsize for several reasons, whether recent empty nesters, divorces, lifestyle adjustments or to save on expenses. The nice part living smaller is less to worry about in interior and exterior care and cleaning, meaning you have more time and money to spend doing other things.

2.  An Ideal Environment for Time Together

Large, spread-out floor plans often leave people going in their own separate directions. Families and roommates that live in cozier situations often talk about the ability to spend time together and bond. It's perfect for learning to co-exist with one another, and grow closer in a way you may not have before.

3. Reduce your Carbon Footprint

If you're an eco-conscious person, downsizing your home will make you feel good. Less space requires fewer resources. You'll reduce energy consumption markedly. It's a win-win for go-green fans and the Earth.

4.  A Perfect Way to Refresh your Outlook

People who are going through a major life change like children leaving the home, divorce, or death of a spouse often find a change of scenery refreshing. Living in the same house can bring up painful memories and elevate depression. Downsizing has its perks. You can choose to live in a place with grounds maintenance assistance, or even a condor or townhome where there's less exterior care. Plus, with a new space comes the opportunity for a new outlook, something that can be extremely important for healing.

5.  Increase your Leisure Time and Travel

By increasing savings and decreasing time spent on home maintenance, you increase the ability for leisure time and travel. Not only can you close up shop easier and take off for a bit (especially if you go with a condo), but if you're saving a lot from the downsize, you can put that money into a vacation home.

6.  A Great Way to Go Urban

Downsizing your home can involve moving to the heart of the city. What you lose in space you gain in new, exciting things to do nearby. Urban areas are lively, dynamic, and full of walkable options for art, music, food, culture, and other types of attractions. The trade-off is ideal for those looking for a boost in activity.

7.  Reduce Debt, Save Money, and Improve your Finances

Reducing debt and saving money are perhaps the most essential advantages to downsizing your home. You'll save in many areas, including:

  • Home improvement costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Energy costs
  • Less furniture expenses
  • Less need to shop (think one TV instead of four)
  • In many cases, a lower mortgage
  • Ability to use increased savings to reduce debt, improving your overall financial picture

Contact Old Dominion Realty

Let Old Dominion Realty Help you Downsize Your Home

If you're convinced that downsizing your home is the right option, contact our experienced REALTORS® in Virginia and West Virginia.  Our team of professionals at Old Dominion Realty can help you sell your current house and buy a new house to move into the next chapter of your life.

March
25

Old Dominion Realty and the Augusta Home and Garden Show

Get a Taste of Virginia with Old Dominion Realty and Kline's Ice Cream

Join Old Dominion Realty at the 36th Annual Home and Garden Show on April 2 – 3, 2016 at the Augusta Expo in Fishersville, VA.

Old Dominion Realty 2016 Augusta Expo Home and Garden


Get a true taste of what living in Virginia is all about with Old Dominion Realty at Booths K10 and L10 for the unveiling of our new Myers Corner model home plans and subdivision plat as well as complimentary scoops of delicious ice cream from Virginia's own Kline's Ice Cream.   104.3 Country KCY will be onsite with a live remote from 11AM – 1PM with giveaways throughout the day.


Old Dominion Realty along with other "home and garden" businesses ranging in categories from real estate, home improvement, home repair, building and remodeling, HVAC, financial, and travel will showcase their services and products to the local Augusta County community.


Originating in 1980, the Augusta Home and Garden Show showcases great ideas for your home and garden to check a few of those "honey do" items off your list.  Show times are Saturday from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM and Sunday from 10AM – 4PM.  Don't miss the Home and Garden Show's demonstrations and displays to get your spring season started right.


CVR, Home Depot, Dutch Way, Cox Construction, Outback Heating, Valley Building and Absolute Stone Design are among the sponsors for this year's event.

 

The Augusta Expo is located in Fishersville, VA just off I-64 and only 4 miles from I-81.

If you're interested in buying or selling homes in the Augusta County real estate area, contact our team of local REALTORS® in Fishersville, Virginia.  Old Dominion Realty is a locally owned real estate broker with offices in the West Virginia and Virginia real estate areas (Harrisonburg, Crossroads Plaza, Augusta County, Moorefield and Franklin) and a proud Member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.LeadingRE.com).

Contact Old Dominion Realty

March
18

8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Home Sellers

Polishing Your Home to Perfection

House for Sale Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Spring arrives on Sunday.  As we welcome warmer weather, you might be considering selling your home.  If you are a newcomer to the real estate market, you might not know where to start.  Not to worry…our team of REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty is filled with real estate wisdom when it comes to selling and buying homes.  We've created this simple, spring cleaning checklist that will add a little sparkle and shine to your home, helping it stand out from the crowd.

1. Start with the Windows: Getting your windows in tip top condition should be at the top of your spring cleaning checklist. Clean windows let in more sunlight, making your home feel brighter and more beautiful. Mix an eco-friendly solution of 1 part white vinegar, 8 parts water and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Keep your windows streak free by using newspapers and washing windows on a cloudy day.

2. Don't Ignore the Landscaping: Your home's first impression begins at the curb, meaning your yard needs to be as pretty as your home. Pay attention to the often-ignored yard chores or hire a professional landscaper for a spring spruce up. Rake up old leaves. Clean out flower beds and fill them in with new soil and fertilizer. Bring a smile to a buyer's face by adding in some pretty, fresh blooms.

3. Freshen the Walls: In a well-loved house, our walls show the wear. Giving your walls some love goes a long way toward making your home look fresh and clean. If possible, consider a fresh coat of paint. At a minimum, wash the walls to get rid of grime and fingerprints. For best results, use an all-purpose cleaner and use a mop to scrub from the top of the walls to the bottom.

4. Say Goodbye to Clutter: When you're preparing to sell, it is essential to make rooms look spacious and functional. Help your home put its best foot forward by making a whole-home organization plan. Clean out drawers, getting rid of junk. Clean out the fridge, giving it a good scrub down and tossing unwanted food. Untangle and hide unsightly electronic wires. Go through each room, eliminating unwanted items and furniture.

5. Dust Frequently: Keep your home looking and smelling fresh with frequent dusting. Work from top to bottom, using a dust-trapping product. Start with ceiling molding and fan blades, working your way down to the furniture.

6. Clean the Carpets: Cleaning the carpets should be on everyone's spring cleaning checklist. If you are planning to sell, removing deep down grime instantly makes the home feel refreshed.

7. Vacuum, Vacuum, and Vacuum: When it comes to spring cleaning, your vacuum will quickly become your favorite tool. It is certainly is not just for the carpets. Use the vacuum to remove dust from the mattress, drapes, dust ruffles and upholstered furniture. Ensure your rugs and carpets look their best by using long, even strokes. Bonus tip: Make your bed, every morning!

8. Give the Bathroom Attention Daily: Keep disinfecting wipes on hand, giving your bathroom a daily wipe down. Couple this with a good, weekly scrub and you will always be prepared for an unexpected showing. Bonus tip: clean tile grout and caulk around the tub. If it doesn't easily come clean, consider removing and replacing grout and caulk.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


Now that you've checked off your spring cleaning checklist and you are ready to sell your home, contact Old Dominion Realty today. Our team of REALTORS® in Virginia and West Virgina will help take you from "for sale" to "sold."

December
22

6 Ways Not to Sell Your House in 2016

How Not to Sell Your House in 2016


Avoid These 6 Deadly Home-Selling Sins

So you want to sell your house?  Did you know while most home buyers make a list of features they want in a home, many also have a list of "pet peeves" that will send them running as soon as they see them?


If you want a home buyer's heart to go pitter patter, avoid these six deadly home-selling sins.

  1. Bad Odors
    Nothing makes a home buyer think (or say) yuck more than a house that smells bad.  Specifically, homes that smell from cigarette smoke, pets or mildew.  Before your first showing, walk through your home with someone you trust to give you an honest opinion like a friend or your REALTOR®.

    If your home fails its "sniff" test, eliminate the source of bad odors before your first showing.  Your home buyer should be greeted with a clean, fresh atmosphere.

    Manage Your Pets When Selling Your House

  2. Not Managing Your Pets
    While a dog is man's best friend, they are NOT your best friend when selling your house.   Some potential home buyers may be frightened, distracted, and even irritated by the presence of your family pet.  Be it cat, dog or pet snake, it's better to remove your pets during a showing to receive the best response possible.  If that is not possible, crate your pets for their own safety and out of respect for possible buyers.

  3. The Lived In Look is NOT in Style
    When your home is on the active selling market, consider it a showpiece.  It is no longer some place to put your feet up or hang your hat.  It must be kept clean and organized—especially the bathrooms and kitchen.  Vacuum your floors, clean up spills, crumbs, and dirt.  Another great idea is to keep a set of clean, dry towels on hand for display in the kitchen and bathrooms specifically for showing purposes.

  4. Poorly Lit Rooms
    A home buyer wants to see the home they are buying.  If your home is poorly lit, potential buyers may wonder what flaws you're trying to hide.  Replace burnt out or dim light bulbs to brighten dark corners of the room.  Adding a few stylish lamps not only illuminates your space, but adds to home décor as well.

    Wash all windows and make sure drapes and blinds are not blocking natural sunlight.  When selling your home, lighting can make a world of difference to home buyers.

    Remove Wallpaper to Sell Your House

  5. Screaming Wallpaper
    Shush a home buyer's fears by removing loud wallpaper and splashy paint colors.  Not everyone has the same taste and style.  You want a home buyer to envision your home as "their home."  Don't distract them by NOT removing wallpaper or toning down bright colors.  Use softer, more neutral color palettes.  Most buyers will realize what a job removing wallpaper can be.  Stop the argument before it happens by removing the wallpaper for them.
      
  6. You
    Do not be present during a showing.  Sellers being at home during a showing can be a big reason why a buyer will not buy a house.  If you stay at home, buyers won't stay long.  Home buyers can become distracted or even feel like an uninvited guest.  Leave selling your house to your REALTOR®.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


Need help selling your house? Our team of experienced REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty has the knowledge and resources you need to make your home selling process hassle-free.  Contact us to take the first step toward selling your home.

September
9

Old Dominion Realty A Proud Sponsor of Good Times Festival

Let the Good Times Roll

"Let the Good Times Roll" will be the theme in Augusta County, VA at this year's Good Times Festival presented by Blue Ridge Beverage and Seven Arrows Brewing Company and hosted by the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Perhaps the perfect place in the Blue Ridge Mountains to find the best burgers, beverages, and bands on September 19, the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual signature event has been relocated to the Shenandoah Acres Family Campground.

Good Times Festival 2015


With the goal of telling residents and visitors about the local Augusta community and businesses, the Chamber of Commerce will feature:

  • A gourmet burger cook-off
  • A battle of the bands and
  • A beer competition featuring 30+ craft and domestic brews
  • Virginia wines vendors will be sold by the glass


About the Good Times Festival

 


The Good Times Festival benefits the Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce. However, it also embraces community spirit and brings people together for some serious fun.  This year's event takes place on Saturday, September 19 at Shenandoah Acres Family Campground. All ages are welcome, and the event features activities for the whole family. Some festival highlights include:

Hackensaw Boys Performance

  • Music – Listen to local artists and popular bands at two different stages. Gypsy Town, Jacob Paul Allen, Tara Mills, and Hound Dog Hill will perform on the smaller stage while the main stage has incredible acts like Jeremy Staubus, The Hacksensaw Boys, and Dylan Scott.


Good Times Gourmet Burgers

  • Food – The Good Times Festival will introduce you to some of the best food in Virginia. Save room for BBQ, kettle corn, farm fresh fixings, and of course, burgers. The burger cook off is a main event that has local businesses battling it out for the coveted title.

    Good Times Beverage
  • Drink – Augusta County is known for its craft beer and wine. Sip and taste your way around the festival to see what new offerings regional vendors have.

    Shopping at Good Times
  • Goods – Find jewelry, clothes, and more perusing the different vendors.

  • Kid's Area – The littlest attendees won't be left out with a designated area of their own at the festival. Activities and fun will be waiting.

The festival runs from 12 - 5 p.m. and the concert from 5 - 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per car, and you can pre-purchase online. Preferred seating and VIP tickets are also available. Beer passes are $5, and the burger cook off sample tickets are $1 per slider.

Good Times Festival


With a little bit of planning, the Good Times Festival can be a weekend getaway. The Shenandoah Acres Family Campground has tent sites, RV sites, and cottages. With access to a beautiful lake and other wonderful amenities, your whole weekend can be a celebration of the wonderful area you live in, or would like to live in.


Contact the Great Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce if you are interested in volunteering during this event.


About Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce is focused on the growth and development of area businesses, industry, and agriculture. The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber serves Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County and welcomes small businesses to large industrial complexes and remains true to their motto is, "Your Success is our Business!"


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A Proud Sponsor of the Augusta County Community

Old Dominion Realty is a proud sponsor of the Good Times Festival. For us, introducing people to Augusta County and its surrounding communities is a worthwhile endeavor.  The festival has a positive impact on the region, one we are thrilled to be a part of.  If the Good Times Festival is enough to convince you to become a member of Augusta's community, contact one of our real estate agents to find your new home in Augusta County.

August
27

Technology and the Real Estate Industry

Everything you wanted to know about the digital house hunt, but were afraid to ask.

Remember when all it took to sell a house was an ad in the Sunday classifieds?  That's okay--I don't either.  Back then, home buyers depended only on their real estate agents to lead the way to find a home.

Technology and Real Estate


Fast forward to 2015 and discover over 90 percent of house hunters search for their "dream homes" on the Internet.  In today's digitally driven marketplace, real estate and technology go hand in hand.  Technology has improved the way business is done for both customers and real estate agents. 

Real estate customers are web savvy.  They use specific online tools during different phases of the home buying process.  Information such as property listings, prices, neighborhoods, demographics, real estate agent reviews and mortgage rates are available with one click of a mouse.  The use of mobile devices—whether smartphones or tablets--is steadily increasing as we search for the American dream.  2014 trend research shows that mobile traffic will soon rise above 50 percent for some real estate brokers.

Old Dominion Realty Desktop Search



How does all of this impact the way Old Dominion Realty serves our customers? 

As real estate professionals, we understand selling real estate is as much about the people as the properties.  Because of our customers' growing demands for information, Old Dominion Realty has provided them with specialized and enhanced services. The use of innovative technologies has allowed us to help buyers find homes; sellers list houses; and real estate transactions to be closed quickly and easily.

  1. Online Property Search.  Our OldDominionRealty.com website puts property listings within easy reach of customers.  Our auto-complete feature gives customers faster results when inputting city and state, county, subdivision, MLS# or zip code.
  2. Real Estate Videos. Old Dominion Realty's real estate agents spotlight property listings through high-quality, professionally created, online videos.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then our property videos tell home buyers the entire story before they walk through the front door of a home.

    Real Estate ODR Tablet
  3. Real Estate on the Go. Mobile devices like smartphone and tablets put real estate in customers' hands 24/7.   Customers can access property listing information, driving directions to listings and contact our real estate agents from their mobile devices.  Our real estate agents gain increased accessibility to their customers.

  4. Rave Reviews. Old Dominion Realty's online customer reviews allow new customers to read comments about our real estate agents past transactions and interactions with other clients.
  5. New Listing EmailsWe've taken our "seek and find" functionality one step further by allowing customers to create accounts that will automatically send new listing emails from virtually the minute they are enter our system.
  6. Dotloop and E-signatures.  No more waiting for a signed contract.  Dotloop is a digital transaction system that links people, paperwork, and tasks so work can be completed quickly and easily.

Real Estate Agents and Clients


As the real estate industry continues to advance with the help of technology, Old Dominion Realty's goal is to give our clients the best possible online experience.  By providing customers with the information they want when they need it, we are bringing our agents closer to their clients. However, the digital house hunt is only part of the story.  Home buyers still rely on their real estate agents to marry their online and real worlds. 

Search for Homes Old Dominion Realty


Contact Old Dominion Realty to buy and sell houses in the Virginia real estate and West Virginia real estate markets.

July
3

See the Shenandoah Valley from Skyline Drive

Shenandoah Valley Draws Local Attraction

Virginia Shenandoah Valley

The unparalleled beauty of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley attracts thousands each year.  From rolling hills and mountain vistas to stunning wildflower meadows, the landscape throughout the Shenandoah National Park System offers sights that simply should not be missed.  Include a drive along the area's picturesque Skyline Drive at the top of your list of things to do  Virginia list this summer.

Not Your Typical Sunday Drive

Skyline Drive stretches for 105-miles through the Shenandoah National Park.  A drive along the Skyline evokes a different time, when life moved at a slower pace, and people commonly took drives for sheer pleasure.  Families trying to decide what to do in Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, should consider a cruise down the park's only public road.  Running north and south through the park, Skyline Drive travels along a crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering unique views of the park and the surrounding region. 

Explore Nature's Beauty

Shenandoah Valley Black Bears

Animal lovers need to look no further for things to do in Virginia.  Skyline Drive is frequently visited by the park's wildlife, especially during dawn and dusk.  The Shenandoah National Park is home to one of the country's largest populations of black bears.  In addition to bears, use Skyline Drive's vantage points to spot white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and gray fox, river otters, woodchucks and over 200 species of birds.

Shenandoah Valley Views

Bring Your Camera 

For photographers and artists, the Shenandoah Valley's  natural beauty brings new inspiration. Scattered along the drive are 75 scenic overlooks  providing plenty of photo opportunities for residents and visitors alike.  Of course, you do not need to be a professional artist to find inspiration along this drive.  Skyline Drive varies greatly in width as it curves along the mountains, offering varied and stunning views.

Go For A Hike 

Shenandoah Hiking Trails

Along Skyline Drive, you will find plenty of opportunities to get out of the car and stretch your legs.  Hiking often tops the list of what to do in Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley National Park for many nature and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.  The Appalachian Trail, one of the East Coast's most famed and challenging hiking trails, runs parallel to Skyline Drive.  Overall, you have access to more than 500 miles of hiking trails from various points along the drive. Additionally, horseback riding and cycling are allowed along the Skyline. 

Drive Safely 

Keep in mind, animals frequently dart into the road, so please adhere to the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour.  A cruise along Skyline Drive is a ride meant to be savored; slow down, take your time and do not forget to stop and smell the wildflowers.   You are welcome to tow campers and trailers along Skyline Drive.  Just be prepared to shift into low gear. Make sure your trailer will clear Mary's Rock Tunnel, which features a 12'8" height limit.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

Old Dominion Realty to Find Homes for sale in the Shenandoah Valley

Claim a piece of the Shenandoah Valley for yourself. Contact Old Dominion Realty to begin your home search today and discover the many, picturesque communities dotting the region. 

June
19

7 Tips for Summertime Energy Savings

Simple ways to save energy and money this summer

Summertime Energy Savings Tips ODR

Summer officially arrives this weekend on Sunday, June 21.  Just because temperatures will be on the rise doesn't mean your electric bill needs to increase also.  If you are looking for ways to reduce the costs of using your air conditioning system this summer, consider these tips from us at Old Dominion Realty. With a few small changes, you can enjoy energy savings all summer long.

#1  Have a Cook Out

Dining out may not be cost effective, but cooking out can help prevent heat gain by using your oven or stove.  Grill outside as much as possible or use the microwave and crock pot to cook your food without heating up your home. Using the oven during hot days will cause your air conditioner to work overtime.

Energy Savings Tips Close the Blinds

#2  Close the Blinds

The summer sun beating through your window can cause quite a bit of heat gain.  Eliminate this by closing the blinds to block out the warm rays especially when you are not home to enjoy the light.  Your air conditioner won't have to work as hard and you will enjoy energy savings with one simple step.

#3 Clean the Filters

The air moving through your air conditioning system is dirty and grimy.  Unfortunately, much of that grit ends up in the air conditioning filter.  Over time, a dirty filter can lessen the efficiency of your system overall.  For simple energy savings, keep the filter clean . US News and World Report recommends cleaning the air conditioning or replacing the filter once a month.

ODR Programmable Thermostat

#4 Use a Programmable Thermostat

It's easy to forget to increase the temperature in your home at night or when you leave for the day.  Use a programmable thermostat.  You can save up to 30 percent on energy savings every year by increasing the temperature when you leave for the day during the summer so the air conditioner works less.  Raising the temperature by as little as five degrees for the eight hours you are at work can lower cooling costs by three to five percent.

#5 Unplug Electronics

If you leave your electronics, including your TV and radio, plugged in when not in use, you are using up electricity unnecessarily. Electricity still flows to these items, and then when they do not use it, back through the cord, and this causes some electricity to be lost. Either learn to unplug these items when they are turned off, or use a Smart Strip that will cut power to them.

#6 Have Your System Inspected

Unless you are an HVAC professional, you have no way of knowing if your system is working efficiently.  Have your air conditioning system inspected at the start to the summer to rule out any problems that may be increasing your energy costs.

#7 Use Fans

Fans cost less energy to run than the air conditioner and create a cooling effect in rooms.  To make the most out of your fans, only run them in rooms you are using. The wind effect does not actually lower the temperature of the room, but only how comfortable you feel, so turn the fans off when you leave a room.

Old Dominion Realty Contact US

Old Dominion Realty Serving Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta & Rockingham Counties

Everyone needs to pay attention to energy savings especially when the temperatures in Virigina and West Virginia start to soar.  If your summer plans include buying or selling a house in the area, contact Old Dominion Realty.

June
10

Seven Secrets for Selling Your House

Best-kept Secrets for Selling a Home in Record Time

Seven secrets for selling a house


Rarely is selling a home a simple decision. Once you've determined an asking price, found a real estate agent, and listed your home, you may think the hard work is over. Taking a little more time to properly prepare your home can help you up the chances of selling a home quickly and for top dollar.
 

#1 Get Social 

When selling a home, add your home's social profile to your list of must-have tools. Your home should have a presence online. Studies show that many buyers begin their home search online, and often skip over listings without online photos. Also, consider posting a video love letter to your home. Buyers want to be able to see themselves in a home, but also appreciate a home that is well-loved. Walk through the home and your neighborhood, talking about what makes both truly special.

Take the social sell to the streets. Host a block party for local agents, potential buyers and your neighbors. Encourage everyone to mingle, providing your neighbors with the perfect opportunity to talk up the neighborhood and your home.

 

Creating Curb Appeal

#2 Pay Attention to Curb Appeal 

Your home's curb appeal makes a first impression upon buyers when selling a home. Create a facade that's inviting and pretty, encouraging buyers to stop the car and come inside. Display easy-to-read address numbers. Clean the exterior and lawn. Plant fresh flowers in the flower bed. Make your porch more attractive. Take the time to play-up your home's exterior place. Show how it adds to a family's overall, quality of life. For example, clean the pool and stage its deck with outdoor furniture. Place plush, club chairs around an outdoor fire pit. Hang a hammock from your mature, shade trees. 

Plan a kid and pet vacation

#3 Plan a Pet (and Kid!) Vacation 

When selling a home, it's important to remain objective. You love your dog and your kids, but not every buyer is an animal-lover. Kids do not factor into every family. Make arrangement to send your kids and your pets to a neighbor's or a family member's home during showings. Be sure to clean up pet-related and child-related clutter. Give your furniture a quick vacuum, removing hair. Keep attractive storage at hand, in order to quickly stash toys. 

Selling a House Clean Slate

#4 Create a Clean Slate 

While you may love your home's style, it probably is not the style of every buyer. Make your home more attractive by creating a clean slate. Remove personal effects and clutter. Shine up your appliances, keeping the kitchen clean and sparkly. Give your floors some extra love, shine up hardwoods and steam cleaning carpets. 

#5 Give Each Room Definition 

Almost every home as the same challenge: there are always awkward spaces. Turn those spaces into assets when selling a home. Stage awkward places, showing how each of them could function for a family. Create a mini-office from an unused area. Place a bench or console table in the foyer, creating an inviting interest. Give each room in your home a purpose, helping buyers see how the home function as a whole.
 

#6 Create a Deal They Can't Resist

Finally, sweeten the deal, helping your home stand out from the competition. Consider a transferable home warranty, giving the buyers some peace of mind regarding future repairs. Consider leaving behind some personal property, such as a large television, the hot tub or your top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, basically anything that helps buyers feel "at home." 

Old Dominion Realty Contact Us

#7 Contact Old Dominion Realty for Real Estate Help and Advice

Last, but not least, in our "Seven Secrets to Selling a Home" is to contact Old Dominion Realty today. An expert in Virginia and West Virginia real estate, Old Dominion Realty has been connecting sellers and buyers since 1962. Let us help you turn your home from "for sale" to "sold." 

October
13

The 6 Best Ways To Add Value To Your Home

6 Tips for Adding Value to Your Home


Renovating any house requires a homeowner to make a host of difficult decisions as they go. No matter how you plan on retooling an existing home, your modifications should add to the cumulative value of the domicile rather than subtract from it. The following upgrades are sure to bump up the resale value of any house.

1.  Jazz Up the Kitchen

As a focal point of the modern home, the kitchen is an obvious renovation target. Update your existing layout with a multi-purpose island, some custom fixtures or a few unique storage options such as hanging racks. If you feel like going all out, you could always put in a granite or marble countertop.

2.  Gussy Up the Interior Trim

You'd be surprised at how big a difference things like crown molding and wainscoting can make. Such accents can completely change the look and feel of a house's interior without costing a fortune. Spend a little time researching novel interior design ideas such as the use of reclaimed wood to make your home's insides really stand out.

3.  Install or Upgrade Hardwood Floors

Beautiful Room with Hardwood Floors

Nothing improves the overall look of a home like beautiful hardwood floors. Though a quality installation or renovation is never cheap, hardwood floors are an excellent long-term investment that can yield serious dividends come sales time. Whether you're partial to pine, maple or red oak, hardwood floors are a home improvement no-brainer.


4.  Overhaul Your Paint Job

Like it or not, appearances matter greatly when it comes to home value. They're almost as important as structural integrity, quality materials and square footage. As such, an interior or exterior paint makeover can make an aging house look brand new. Repainting your digs is an excellent opportunity to play around with a new color scheme.

5.  Install a Relaxing Sunroom

Adding a sunroom greatly increases the appeal and versatility of any home. It can even reduce heating bills during the winter months if you position it properly. A well-planned sunroom with french doors, retractable screens and access to the outdoors can bump up the value of a home by a surprising amount.

6.  Build a Deck

Relaxing Deck

Building a deck in your backyard makes the area much more functional and enjoyable. A deck is the perfect place to entertain guests, and it's an ideal spot to enjoy a good book on a Sunday afternoon. In terms of return on investment, decks are one of the best home improvement projects to take on.

Consider All Changes for Your Total Value

There are hundreds of other ways to add value to your home such as putting in a new bathroom or adding a covered deck. Be sure to carefully consider how any upgrade will jive with the rest of the house before pulling the trigger and you'll be pleased with the results.

Contact an Old Dominion Realty real estate expert to discuss more ways to add value to your home!

Tim Smith writes for Modernize.

June
2

Modern Kitchen Trends

The kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. The kitchen is where people get together to enjoy food in the presence of friends and family members. Trends in kitchen design are always changing based on current styles and tastes. Here are a few popular trends in kitchen design for people that are thinking about a remodel or want some inspiration to spruce up their kitchen.

Modern white kitchen cabinets
Photo courtesy of Kitchen-Design-Ideas.org

White Cabinets

This popular neutral color will go well with almost any other kitchen design scheme. Karin Beuerlein and H. Camille Smith wrote in an HGTV article about kitchen trends that while white cabinets are still the most popular, gray is another very desirable color for kitchen cabinets and may soon overtake white's top spot. Many tasteful homeowners will choose to contrast their lighter color cabinets with a dark backsplash or darker appliances. 

Lighting Fixtures

Although hidden lighting was stylish for a long while, modern trends in kitchen design are shifting back towards sconce and other types of exposed lighting fixtures. A large chandelier-style light in the center of the room will serve as an elegant focal point. Be sure that lighting is also set up in a way that makes it easy to complete work that needs to be done in the kitchen.

Sophisticated Appliances

Today's appliances are very high-tech: it is common to see a refrigerator that can play music or a sink that turns on and off automatically. Many new kitchen design trends incorporate technology. At This Old House Online, Kristen Mucci shows readers a multimedia ventilation hood that includes a 17" LCD display that can be used for television or DVDs.

Expressive Backsplashes

Like an accessory in a trendy outfit, backsplashes allow homeowners the ability to express their unique tastes. White tile is a common material, but many people decide to accentuate other colors in the room with their backsplashes. Other homeowners add flair by using bright oranges, greens, and pinks for their backsplash.

A kitchen should have the right balance of sophistication and comfort. People that want to remodel their kitchen to sell their home or those that are buying a new home and are curious about trends in kitchen design should research consistently to find out about trends as they change. At Old Dominion Realty, we help our customers use kitchen trends and other information to quickly sell their home or find their ideal residence.

April
4

Selling a Home: Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Selling a home begins long before the sign goes in the yard. In the months prior to officially listing your home for sale, you will be spending time prepping the home, getting everything from the carpets to the walls clean and in move-in condition. Sometimes knowing where to start on this task is difficult. These tips will help you get the job started well, so you can enjoy a fast sale for a good price.

Step 1 – Cleaning

In order to sell well, your home needs to be clean. You need to deep clean everything, and consider hiring a professional for jobs like the carpets. Remember, potential buyers are going to look at everything in more detail than the occasional house guest would, so your home needs to shine.

Step 2 - Repairs and Upgrades

Repairing things in your home that are broken is one of the most important tips for selling your home. Buyers do not want to purchase someone else's problem. If you're moving because the home needs updating, and you aren't willing to do the updating, you will struggle to find an interested buyer.

That said, this is not the time to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars into upgrades for your home. You need to weigh the potential benefit on the sales side against the investment you would be making. If your carpets are worn out, for example, you may be able to get by with a professional cleaning and even re-stretching. investing in brand new carpets is an investment you might not see again.

If your kitchen or bathrooms are in need of upgrading, proceed cautiously. Often you can give the appearance of an upgraded space without spending a fortune. For instance, refinishing counter tops or cabinets, rather than replacing, will make the kitchen look brand new, without as big of a monetary investment. Your Old Dominion Realty real estate agent is ready to help you see what areas you can improve, and what areas are best left untouched.

Step 3 - A Look Outside

What is your home's curb appeal like? Another of the most important tips for selling your home is curb appeal. Trim shrubs, clean up yard waste and plant a few colorful flowers to make your home look great for those people who are driving by. Drive by buyers will turn into showings and potential buyers if the curb appeal catches their eyes.

Step 4 – Arrangement

Finally, pay attention to the arrangement of your home's furnishings. You may need to de-clutter and remove some furniture to a storage unit for a period of time. You want the home to look spacious and inviting, not crammed and cluttered.

Preparing your home for sale can be a frustrating process, especially if you aren't sure of the specific steps you need to take. Old Dominion Realty is here to help.

Join us on April 15 at 6:30PM for a live webinar on this very topic. Watch our webinar by going to www.OldDominionRealty.com.  The live webinar will be streaming on our home page beginning at 6:30PM.  Our real estate experts will provide you with tips for selling your home from industry experts. Email us your questions to mail@odrva.comour experts will answer them live during the webinar.

 If you can't attend the webinar, contact Old Dominion Realty to get started on listing your home.

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