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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.

November
18

How to Stage Your Home for that Holiday Appeal

How to Stage Your Home for a Holiday Sale
Believe it or not, the holiday season is a fantastic time of the year to sell your home. Although many home sellers may think that weather or festivities will interfere with their viewing potential, there are plenty of potential homebuyers that are highly motivated to purchase a home between November and January. Our REALTORS® have created this list of helpful tips on how to stage your home for the holidays without hurting its sale potential.

  • Festive Yet Functional
    Before you plan any interior or exterior holiday decorating, always remember that your goal is to present your home in the best manner possible. Too much holiday décor — especially if your everyday décor is quite prevalent — may create a feeling of clutter in your home. You don't want your viewers to feel cramped or to cover prominent features of your home with temporary decorations. Keep the festive decorations to a minimum.

  • Celebrate Conventionally
    Not only should you limit the number of holiday decorations you display, but you should also be mindful of how they may potentially detract buyers. Although you have no intention of offending or isolating your market, displaying decorations that have religious, spiritual or cultural connections may turn away some buyers. Always try to keep your décor winter-themed rather than focused on a specific holiday.

  • Stage Before You Decorate
    If you want to sell your home during the holidays, you need to make sure your priorities are in the right order. Before you break out the decorations, you should have your home professionally cleaned and staged to ensure it's ready for buyers to visit at a moment's notice.

  • Share Holiday Cheer in Other Ways
    Decorations can really showcase the season, however, there are plenty of other ways you can capture the magic of the holidays without decorations. Offer your prospective buyers a warm and inviting space to seek shelter from the cold weather by using sounds, tastes and smells to your advantage. Bake a few treats and leave out hot cocoa for them to enjoy while walking your home. Use subtle smells like fresh flowers or evergreens that don't overpower the senses. If you're hosting an open house, consider putting instrumental holiday music on in the background for easy-listening.

  • Consult Your REALTOR®
    Planning to sell your home is quite a task, especially during the holiday season. With so much to accomplish, trust that your REALTOR® will guide you every step of the way with the best advice. They'll make sure that your home is presentable for buyers while still allowing you to enjoy one last holiday season in this home surrounded by your favorite decorations.

For more advice to sell your home during the holidays, contact us today! We'll make sure your Harrisonburg homes for sale listing brings you tidings of great joy this holiday season!

June
17

Why Are You Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a big decision and one that you likely won't make without a good reason. Whether you want to upgrade to a larger home, relocate for work, cash out on a home in a favorable market, or move to a community that better suits your needs, the reason why you sell your home will have an impact on the sales process. It's essential to understand why and to work with a real estate agent who understands your needs. Our real estate agents are here with a checklist to common reasons why owners decide to sell their homes.

  1. Moving for a New Job
    Even if you love everything about your current home, sometimes a job offer is too good to pass up. If that job is far away – or far enough that a commute from your existing home is unmanageable – then you may need to start shopping for a new home closer to your new job.

  2. Increase in Family Size
    Have you recently gotten married, or do you have a child on the way? A change in family size is one of the most common motivations for selling a home, especially if your current home is a bit too small for the increased size of your family. If you're planning an increase in family size and expect that you might need to move, then it's good to start preparing early in the process.

  3. Home Is Too Expensive
    For some homeowners, the cost of maintaining and upgrading a home is higher than expected, or mortgage payments become too much to handle. Searching for a more affordable home can be a great way to recalibrate your financial picture, and find a property that fits more comfortably into your budget.

  4. What Happened to the Neighborhood?
    Finding the right neighborhood is almost as crucial to long-term satisfaction as finding the right home, but neighborhoods also change over time. If your neighborhood isn't what it used to be, you might decide to sell and seek another that better suits your needs.

  5. Selling in a Favorable Market
    Sometimes, the market provides all of the motivation you need to sell your home. If it's a strong seller's market, and you see the opportunity to cash out, earn a profit, and upgrade to a newer home in the process, then it may be time to strike while the iron is hot.

  6. Moving On Up
    Is your current home the very first property that you ever bought? Then a positive change in your financial situation may provide the perfect motivation to start shopping for Harrisonburg homes for sale and upgrade to something new. Even if nothing else has changed besides finances, that can be more than enough reason to seek something new.

  7. On to the Next Challenge
    Are you the type who likes to buy a home, upgrade it slowly but surely over time, and eventually cash out for more than you paid to start work on your next project? Many homeowners find joy in working on their home, so when the current home is "complete," they move on to a new home and a new challenge.

No matter why you're choosing to sell your home, our team is here to help you find the right buyer and the best deal so you can sell your home with confidence.  Contact us today to find out more about listing your home for sale as a part of our local real estate marketplace.

December
24

6 Tips to Rock Your Kitchen Reno

Kitchen Renovation - Old Dominion Realty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

May
3

Selling a Home in Staunton Open House Tips from the Pros

Open House Tips from the Pros
Selling your home in Staunton? While the internet brings buyers and sellers together like never before, most home sales still come down to one thing: first-hand impressions of the home. Personal tours still play priceless roles in the decision to make a bid, but because most sellers can't keep their home ready for guests at all times, they rely on the open house to show off their space to anyone who might be interested.

So, how do you make sure your open house results in serious offers? Make sure you take the following five steps before opening your doors.

  1. Advertise your open house online.
    Marketing your home is easier than ever, with dozens of apps and websites that attract potential buyers with comprehensive, up-to-date local listings. Take advantage of these tools to list your open house, including the location, date, and time. Include all the info you'll put on your property description sheet, then spice it up with extra digital content like slideshows, maps, and virtual tours that help your home stand out.

  2. Inform and invite your neighbors.
    Some of the most helpful traffic at your open house might not be from house-hunting strangers at all. Your own neighbors could actually serve two unexpected purposes during your open house. First, potential homebuyers will get to interact with their potential new neighbors, making life in the neighborhood feel more real. More importantly, your neighbors might have friends or family who want to move closer to them, and they can spread the word on your behalf.

  3. Make your space as neutral as possible.
    Remember: your guests have other homes in Staunton to consider. If they spot something that violates their values or upsets them, they can simply choose to take their money elsewhere. Taxidermy, nudity, profanity, and politics are off-limits, so scan each and every room for any décor or belongings that could turn people off. Of course, neutrality is also important for a more subtle, subconscious reason: buyers need to "see themselves" in your home. Family photos aren't controversial décor, but too much personalization could prevent your buyers from picturing their own family members in each room.

  4. Clean and de-clutter every single room.
    A clean, organized home tells buyers it's also loved and well-maintained. Show how much you value your home, and make sure every surface is spotless and functional before guests arrive. Get rid of any clutter or extra furniture that makes rooms look smaller, and close the toilet lids in every bathroom. This is also the time to take care of any minor repairs you've been putting off, especially leaky faucets or missing bulbs. Finally, on the day of the open house, show off all your hard work in a good light. Open all the curtains and blinds to let natural light flow through every room.

  5. Guide the way with eye-catching signs.
    When the big day finally arrives, make sure you place signs throughout town. Advertise at busy intersections, with arrows clearly pointing the way to your street, and mark your actual home with matching signs and balloons that tell homebuyers they're in the right place. Today's buyers have a lot of listings to sift through, and someone who missed your post might spot a sign that changes everything.

Need help selling your home in Staunton, VA? Our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty are passionate about Virginia real estate, and they're ready to help you stage and sell your home in Staunton. Contact Old Dominion Realty today to find a professional real estate agent near you.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

June
1

Selling a House How to Draw Multiple Offers

5 Tips to Get Multiple Offers When Selling Your Home

It feels good to be popular; and when it comes to selling a house, you want to be the most popular person in the neighborhood. Having more offers to consider makes it possible for you to sort through your options to choose the one that will go through while putting the most money in your pocket. Our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty have created this list of tips to attract multiple offers from potential home buyers when listing your home for sale.

1.  Price the Home Below the Market.

Everyone loves a bargain, and people will come out of the woodwork to take a look at a great deal. Increasing the number of people who look at your home will increase the number of offers you receive. As the offers roll in and they realize that they are competing for your home, this will create an auction environment that will encourage the bids to start climbing.

2.  Make Your Home Look Like a "10."

A beautiful home inspires people to open their wallets. Sprucing up your home not only increases the appraised value, it creates a visually appealing property for buyers to look at. If your home looks like it would make the Jones' blush with envy, you can attract bids that are well above your listing price. Thus, it is well worth the investment of time and money to make repairs, paint the walls, plant new flowers, and make sure that your home looks like it has a date for the prom before you list it on the market.

3.  Utilize All Marketing Channels.

Selling a house requires using multiple marketing channels. Make sure your real estate agent has a proactive marketing plan that includes using social media, web listings, brochures and open houses to market your home. The more active and diverse your marketing strategy, the more interest you will generate, and the more offers you will receive.

4.  Stay Realistic Expectations and Remain Flexible.

Have an idea of the price you want to sell your home for, and the concessions you are willing to offer in order to make that happen. Knowing your price point and the things that are up for negotiation will help you sort through offers when they come in. It will also help potential buyers craft bids that match your expectations. Having a flexible range in your mind will give you more offers to consider that fit your plans and objectives.

5.  Know Your Market and Speak to Your Buyers

You can increase the number of offers you will receive by marketing your home to the most likely home buyers. Start by ascertaining your neighborhood profile and crafting a marketing strategy around that. Know who your neighbors are and what they do for a living. Determine what features and attractions your area has to offer. These details can help your REALTOR® craft a marketing strategy that speaks to your potential home buyers. The more directly you speak to your client's interests, needs and desires, the greater the likelihood that they will want to make an offer on your home.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

When you're selling your home in the West Virginia or Virginia real estate areas, contact Old Dominion Realty and we will be happy to help you devise a plan that will help you attract the greatest number of offers possible.

May
25

Selling Your House A Homeowners Checklist

Selling a House Checklist

Thinking of selling your house? You should know that the home-selling process involves far more than just calling a REALTOR® and listing it.  Before jumping in head first, review the nine-step checklist our team of REALTORS® from Old Dominion Realty has created for you to help minimize the challenges and stress of selling your home.

1. Understand Why You Are Selling
Some people have no choice but to sell their home—they've been transferred, they need to be closer to family or maybe it's time to downsize. Determine why you are selling?

2. Calculate Costs
It's easy to be shocked by how much money it can take to sell your home. Instead of being surprised, obtain the information right away. Costs you may accrue during the selling process are:
•  Any repairs or updates necessary prior to listing, both interior and exterior
•  Potential capital gains taxes (check if you've lived in your house long enough to avoid them)
•  Mortgage payoff penalties
•  Commissions, staging, and various real estate and marketing expenses
•  Moving expenses
•  Price of buying a new house
•  Cost of living in a new area

3. Go on a Cleaning Frenzy
Home buyers want a house that is clean. It's a sign that the previous owners have taken care of their property and home. Target everything inside and outside. Work on cleaning the garden, windows, siding, roof, cabinets and everything else you'd include in a deep spring cleaning. Open your windows and let the fresh air in. Enlisting help from a local cleaning service is helpful too.

4. Paint
Painting is one of the more affordable ways to refresh your home. Try to cover any colors that are too dark, outdated or may be marred from every day wear and tear.

5. Make as Many Fixes as You Can
The majority of buyers don't want a house they have to move into and immediately make repairs on. List any electrical, plumbing, and other types of issues and fix whatever you can. Make sure to hire licensed professionals to work on your home's systems.

6. Decorate and Stage
During this phase you'll minimize clutter, remove personal objects, and optimize layout and décor so buyers see your home in the best light. Consider removing excess furniture, removing heavy drapery to enhance natural lighting and box up all the knick-knacks and clutter.

7. Maximize Lighting
Buyers like bright spaces that feel warm and welcome. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and add extra lighting if you have a particularly dim space.

8. Make Plans to be Out of the House
If you will be living in your house while it's on the market, you need to be able to pick up and leave at a moment's notice. Putting too many stipulations on when people can view your home is a "no-no." Have a plan for pets, children and the family during a showing or open house. Do you have a friend, neighbor or family member you can visit? Where will you go during open houses?

9. Choose the REALTOR® for You.
A good REALTOR® is worth their weight in gold. They will list your home, market it, attend showings and open houses and negotitate contracts.

If you live in the Virginia or West Virginia real estate markets and would like to list your home for sale, contact our team at Old Dominion Realty to help guide you through the home-selling process.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

February
18

How to Tell the Kids We Are Moving

8 Can't-Miss Tips to Help Your Kids Cope with a Move

Moving with Kids


Moving is difficult for the majority of us, but for a child, it can be an overwhelming experience that creates a large sense of loss. Even well-adjusted, happy children can be extremely affected by a new setting. However, there are moving tips and ideas you can put in place to ease the transition. Depending on how far you're moving or the age of your children, you can use multiple approaches to deal with issues that may arise.

1.  Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Children are amazingly adaptable and resilient. Even so, it helps to encourage those natural attributes by preparing them for a big change. For children, moving into the house next door is a big change. If the kids are young, read some age-appropriate books about moving. Describe the process, and what they'll see and experience. Even if the move isn't something you want to do, find ways to make it positive for your child. By being open and communicative about it, your child will start to prepare.

2.  Keep Kids Involved

One way children work through tough situations is to be a part of them. Allow your kids to have their own responsibilities during the move. Once you have the date on the family calendar for all to see, assign some easy tasks. Have them pack a couple boxes and let them label and decorate their boxes. Also, start having them design their new space by writing or drawing ideas.

Another area to keep kids involved in is the house hunting process. A viewpoint from another perspective is always helpful, and it's a way for them to feel a part of the decision. Start your search by making a family wish list of attributes you'd like to see in your new home.

3.  Create Lasting Memories

Letting your child say goodbye can be a crucial step in letting go of the old and moving onto the new. Give your kids a camera, journal, or scrapbook and let them document favorite memories or aspects of the home you're leaving. If you're making a longer-distance move, make an address book filled with friends and their information so they can keep in touch.

4.  Throw a Party

Parties are an easy way to turn something into a celebration. Invite friends and family, and celebrate a wonderful big life event. Include everyone in your lives that matter most.

5.  Have Special Options

Without help or childcare, getting everything done can become an impossible task. Provide kids some alternatives that will help them stay out from underfoot when you're scrambling to finish it all. This can include things like a bag of new toys, renting a couple movies they've never seen, or finding special activities that will keep them occupied.

6.  Pack an Essentials Bag

There are certain items that should be kept out until the last moment and have a special spot in the car so they're easily retrieved. Include favorite books or toys, lovies, snacks, a favorite CD, a change of clothes, and bath and bedtime necessities.

7.  Maintain Routines

In your new home, try and set up an area for your child that is filled with familiar things. Reassure them that they have access to you and that you're there to listen and help them work through their feelings. If you have a special pizza dinner on Friday nights, make sure to continue with that or any other regular routines you've instilled.

8.  Take Time

Moving can be exciting. Take time to explore your new neighborhood and play with moving boxes. Don't rush to unpack too quickly, and work together to make your new place into a home.

Contact Old Dominion Realty
If you're looking to buy or sell a home in Harrisonburg, VA, contact our team at Old Dominion Realty today. They'll use their experience and knowledge to help your family through the moving process.

January
14

What Home Buyers Really Want

10 Features Home Buyers Want In a Home

What Home Buyers Want

What are today's home buyers looking for in a home? If you're selling a house, you might be thinking ... That's a good questionHomes differ and features span a variety of tastes and needs.  However, there are some aspects the majority of home buyers appreciate.  We've listened to what our clients have told us.  Here is our list of ten features home buyers want in a home.

1.  Laundry Room

Laundry rooms have become a coveted space. Filled with cabinets for organization and Energy Star-rated washers and dryers, these rooms are convenient and helpful. According to home experts, counter space, a utility sink, and ample storage are key components for the laundry room. When creating yours, make sure each step of the laundry process is represented in the space.

2.  Garage Storage

Reality home shows have shown the benefits of having excellent storage systems. An area that's often overlooked is the garage. Creating spaces to put tools, outdoor equipment, and other odds and ends helps leave room for cars. According to a few surveys floating around the internet, around 1 in 4 people have too much clutter to park in their garage.

3.  Natural Light

The more research that's done, the more people are seeing the perks of natural lighting. Many older homes were built compartmentalized with small, ill-placed windows. Buyers love the airy openness of rooms with large windows, well-done skylights, and expansive doors that let the light in.

4.  Heated Floors

They say once you've had heated floors you'll never go back. Gone are the winter mornings you have to swing out of bed and place your feet on ice-cold flooring. You don't have to invest in radiant heating throughout the whole house. Bathrooms are usually good enough for the average buyer.

Home Buyers Want Kitchen
5.  Kitchen Eating Areas

Most families would rather walk a short distance to get dinner on the table. While dining rooms are a pleasant space to have if you entertain a lot, most people prefer to eat in the kitchen. A nicely done breakfast nook appeals to most buyers.

6.  Landscaping and Hardscaping

The outdoor area doesn't have to be fancy, but a well-thought-out garden design with designated use areas are popular. If it's easy-care, it will be more attractive. Think of the outdoor area as an extension of the home. It's an additional living space people want to use.

Home Buyers Want Linen Closet

7.  Bathroom Linen Closet

It's helpful when towels, toiletries, and various paper goods are easily accessible. Bathroom linen closets are back on buyers' radars.

8.  Green Features

As an environmentally-friendly nation, efficiency is a hot topic for many buyers. They look for Energy Star appliances, double-pane windows, and anything else that maximizes the efficiency of their home.

9.  Exhaust Fans in the Bathroom

This may seem like a no-brainer, but what people are looking for are exhaust fans that do their job well. If there are dated fans (or worse, no fans) that increase the risk of excess moisture and mold-producing conditions in the bathroom, it's a definite turn-off for savvy consumers.

10.  Smart Home Features

As a tech-obsessed culture, Smart Homes are becoming as desirable as Smart Phones. Some unique smart features that appeal to the masses are the Learning Thermostat, wired homes, automated lighting systems, and security systems controlled by your phone.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


What features do you want in your next home?  If you're in the market to buy a house in 2016, contact Old Dominion Realty for real estate help and advice.

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.

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
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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