Articles Tagged "sell a house"

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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. 


  • 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.


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.


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:


  • 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.


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!


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. 


  • 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!


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.


Last-Minute Staging Suggestions for Sellers


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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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Get to Know Staunton and Your New Neighbors on a Bike

Welcome Fall at the 26th Annual Fall Foliage Bike Festival in Staunton

Staunton Fall Foliage Bike Festival
Whether you're moving down the street or across the country, settling in to a new home can be a fun adventure.  If you're buying a home in Staunton, get to know the city and your new neighbors at this year's 26th annual edition of the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival, a weekend-long event with fun for the whole family.

The beautiful city of Staunton has earned many accolades for its fall foliage over the years, including a mention in U.S. News and World Report's rankings of the best fall bike rides in the country. Our natural scenery is a big reason why, and Staunton also does a great job with special events during the height of the foliage season.

Our team at Old Dominion Realty is excited for this year's Fall Foliage Bike Festival, and we've got all the details on what to expect as you see the sights in Staunton, VA.

Fitness, Fun, and Foliage: The 2016 Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival

When: October 14-16, 2016

Where: Staunton, Virginia

Who's Invited: Everyone! There are routes fit for every level of rider, kids included, and plenty of fun events for you to unwind after a day of spectacular scenery.

A Day of Riding and Sight-Seeing: The Fall Foliage Bike Festival really has two distinct stages each day. During the morning and afternoon, you can choose from a selection of 11 routes to ride, which take you through the heart of Staunton's fall foliage. You can opt to push the pace on one of the more challenging routes, or take a leisurely cruise on a more relaxed route with the whole family. There are also some great meal stops planned along the way, including:

  • Byers Street Bistro – 18 Byers Street Staunton, Virginia – Far from the average bistro, Byers Street puts its own spin on the classics, and adds more than a few creations of its own. Enjoy a sandwich, a light salad, or munch on a few tasty appetizers.
  • The Depot Grill – 42 Middlebrook Ave. Staunton, Virginia – The Depot Grill combines a casual, welcoming atmosphere with some of the best steaks and seafood in Staunton. And you're sure to enjoy the setting, in a beautifully maintained historic rail depot.
  • Mill Street Grill – 1 Mill St. Staunton, Virginia – Another dining spot that's big on atmosphere, the Mill Street Grill is set in a historic flour mill. The menu features pasta, seafood, steak, and tender, slow-cooked barbecue ribs.

An Evening of Food and Entertainment: After a day of riding through Staunton's best fall foliage on Saturday, you'll be treated to the free Saturday Night Street Party, which gets rolling at around 5 p.m. and continues through the evening. There will be a free, live concert for the public by Melissa and the Growlers, and fantastic food from the city's best restaurants at Staunton Wharf. Adults in your group will also enjoy sampling some local micro-brews, or trying a tasting with wine from Ox Eye Vineyards. Staunton Wharf is a great place to spend a fall evening, and it's even better with a few hundred of your closest friends during the festival.

Experience Staunton: The Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival is a great showcase for all of the growth that Staunton has experienced in recent years, and we have a feeling you'll like what you see. Our city has never had a more diverse collection of businesses, dining spots, and beautiful natural spaces to explore. Add it all up, and it's easy to see why Staunton, VA homes for sale rank among the hottest in the region.

Contact Old Dominion Realty
Want a front-row seat for the annual Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival? Contact our local team at Old Dominion Realty to buy and sell homes in Staunton, VA.


10 Tips for a Flawless Openhouse

Selling Your House? 10 Tips For Hosting an Open House

Preparing for an open house can be a stressful experience, especially if you're selling a house for the first time. Your to-do list is a mile long, you want everything to look perfect, and you can't shake the nagging feeling that you've forgotten something important. Don't worry. Take a breath, collect your thoughts and read on to find 10 steps for a flawless open house from your team at Old Dominion Realty.

  1. Outdoor Appeal – A home buyer's first impression isn't formed when they walk through the front door. It's formed as soon as they see your property. Be sure that your front yard is clean, your garden is looking nice, and your lawn is trimmed.
  2. Keep It Clean – Clutter is the last thing that open house visitors want to see, so keeping your home clean is critical. If you're living in the home that you're selling, start packing early to minimize clutter. Whether you live there or not, be sure to clean the home from floor to ceiling.
  3. Fancy Furniture – If you're selling a house that's vacant, consider staging some showpiece furniture to help the interior of the home look its best. For a home where you're currently living, even small touches like fresh flowers or tasteful accessories can add some pop to your home.
  4. Pet Vacation – Many of the people who come to see your house will have pets of their own. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they want to see your pets when they visit. If possible, have your pets stay with a friend or relative when showing your home.
  5. Open Curtains – When showing a clean, organized home, natural light is your friend. Be sure to open all blinds and curtains during your open house, to let the sunlight pour into every room. A small touch, but it can make a big difference in selling a house.
  6. Tasty Treats – Keeping some light refreshments on hand is a great way to make visitors feel welcome during an open house. A few chocolate chip cookies won't add value to your home, but they'll definitely leave open house visitors with a positive first impression.
  7. Keep It Private – Home shoppers are a curious bunch, so don't assume that your personal items will go unnoticed. There's nothing wrong with protecting your privacy by keeping personal items out of sight, and doing so allows shoppers to better project how their own life would be in your home.
  8. And Keep It Safe – The same basic idea goes for your valuables, so be sure to store your most valuable items somewhere safe before open house guests begin to arrive. While the overwhelming majority of open house visitors simply want to see your home, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
  9. From the Rooftops – Okay, you don't really need to shout it from the rooftops, but you'll definitely want to spread the word about your open house. You're REALTOR® will be a big help in this regard, so don't be afraid to ask for advice.
  10. Low Profile – During an open house, it's best to let visitors explore without making your presence obvious. Your real estate agent will typically take point on answering questions while the open house is in progress.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

No matter how you choose to prepare for an open house, there's simply no substitute for the help of an experienced REALTOR®. Contact our team at Old Dominion Realty and lean on our real estate experience when selling your home.


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

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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.


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).

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