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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.

August
16

Why Hire a Professional to Sell Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Old Dominion Realty

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

 

October
26

Old Dominion Realty Open Houses | October 29

Open House Weekend
Don't forget to grab your umbrella when you head out to visit our open houses on Sunday.  The weatherman is predicting a 70 percent chance of precipitation with a high of 48 degrees; no better time to be inside getting an up-close look at what could possibly be your new home.

Our local real estate agents know the local Virginia and West Virginia real estate markets inside and out and are ready to show you homes in the area and to answer the questions you may have. Visit our open houses this weekend to find the home you've been dreaming of.

Featured Open Houses

158 Fairfield Dr, Staunton, VA 24401

Spring Lakes Subdivision

$445,000

Sq Ft: 2,250 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 2 (full) 

Open House: Sunday, October 29 from 2PM - 4PM

Open House - 158 Fairfield Drive, Staunton

 

166 Fairfield Dr, Staunton, VA 24401

$415,000

Sq Ft: 2,000 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 

Open House: Sunday, October 29 from 2PM - 4PM

166 Fairfield Drive, Staunton VA


14 Spring View Dr, Staunton, VA 24401

$247,500

Sq Ft: 1,610 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) /1 (partial)

Open House: Sunday, October 29 from 2PM - 4PM

14 Spring View Drive, Staunton, VA

October
13

7 Tips to Protect Your Home From Fire

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

"Don't Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years" is this year's theme for Fire Prevention Week sponsored each year by the National Fire Protection Association.  This year's choice of themes came from a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which revealed only a small percentage of homeowners know the age of their smoke alarms or how often they need to be replaced.

Whether you're a current homeowner or someone interested in buying a house, it's a good idea to review the age and location of smoke detectors in your current (or future) home. 

7 Tips About Home Smoke Alarms

Did you know that three out of every five home fire deaths in our country resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don't work?  Here are seven tips our team of real estate agents from Old Dominion Realty would like you to consider about the importance of smoke alarms as a homeowner, home buyer or if you're getting ready to sell your home.

  1. Install working smoke alarms in each bedroom as well as one outside each sleeping area. There should be an alarm on every level of your home as well as in the basement.
  2. Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  3. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the test button to be sure they are working.  Smoke alarms are an important first line of defense in fire prevention.  If they don't work (or aren't present), they can't protect you.  Information indicates nearly 40 percent of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms and another 23 percent in homes with smoke alarms that don't work.
  4. Installing interconnected smoke alarms is recommended because when one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.  There are two kinds of smoke alarms—ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It's best to use both types of alarms in the home.
  5. Mount smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.   Smoke alarms should be kept away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms and at least 10 feet from the stove.
  6. There are special smoke alarms for people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf that use strobe lights and bed shakers.
  7. The NFPA recommends replacing smoke alarms after 10 years because that is typically the life expectancy of the units and when they begin to lose their sensitivity.  You can determine the age of the smoke alarm by looking on the back or side of the smoke alarm, where the date of manufacture is shown.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

Incorporating these fire prevention safety tips are good practices to include as part of your homeownership plans. Contact our Old Dominion Realty real estate agents when you're ready to buy or sell your home.

August
22

6 Tips for Selling the House You Are Living In

Preparation is Key to Selling Your House

Selling a house that you are currently living in certainly adds a few extra challenges to the mix, as you balance keeping your home ready to show with keeping yourself comfortable while you live there. But it's nothing that you can't handle, especially if you start planning ahead of time. The key is to start preparing as soon as you know you'll be putting your home on the market, and if you have a family it really helps to get every family member involved in the preparation. With a bit of elbow grease and an eye for detail, you can keep your home in prime condition without sacrificing (too much) comfort.

Our team at Old Dominion Realty is here to help, with six tips for selling a house that you're currently living in and making it through with your nerves intact.

Six Tips for Selling the House Where You Currently Live

  1. Start Packing Early – Clutter is your enemy when selling a house, even if it's high-end clutter. A clean home is a clutter-free home, and shoppers want to be able to project their own vision of what the home will look like if they buy it. Packing non-essential items early will make it easier to keep your home ready to show, and limit your workload when it's time to move into your new home.
  2. Involve the Kids – Moving is an emotional experience for children (parents too!) and keeping your kids involved – especially when you pack – will help prepare them for your move. While your kids don't need to understand the fine details of a showing or open house, it's also helpful to develop a routine for showing so that they know what to expect when your home is under the spotlight.
  3. Squeaky Clean – As you pack, you're sure to uncover dust, dirt, and messes in unexpected places. When in doubt, clean everything – even those hidden corners that haven't seen sunlight since the day you moved in. Discerning shoppers will look for signs that the home is well taken care of, and cleanliness is a huge positive.
  4. Prepare Yourself – If this is your first time selling a house, you probably have some questions of your own about what goes into showing your home. Don't be afraid to lean on your REALTOR for advice! Your REALTOR has been through this process countless times, and can tell you exactly what you need to do to keep your home looking its best for potential buyers.
  5. Safe Storage – Packing belongings into boxes is just the start. You also need a safe place to keep all of that stuff while you wait to sell your home. Consider renting a storage unit or portable storage so that you can keep your belongings safe and ready to go. Just remember that while portable storage units are convenient, renting one also means you'll have a big metal box in front of your home.
  6. Pampered Pets – No matter how well your pets behave, most home shoppers (even pet owners) will have some concerns if they see your furry friends running around during a showing. If possible, try to find a friend or family member to watch your pets when showing your home. That way, shoppers won't be worried that Fido left a mess in a hidden corner.

Contact Old Dominion Realty
Selling a house is much easier with the right REALTOR® on your side. Contact Old Dominion Realty for everything you need to make your next real estate transaction easy.

August
9

Get Your House Sold Faster Update Your Closets

Closets Are Key When Selling Your Home

Sell Your House Closets

Closets are one of the key features that buyers pay attention to when they look for a new home. Many potential home buyers are giving as much attention to spacious closets as they do other rooms in the house. In fact, in a survey by the National Association of Realtors, 60 percent of home buyers were willing to pay an extra $1,350 for just one walk-in closet in the master bedroom.

Unfortunately, sellers often do not pay much attention to their closets when preparing their home for sale. What many sellers do not realize is that closet organization plays a critical role in the perception of the overall maintenance of a home. Shoes thrown all over the place, mismatched hangers and a disorganized space can result in a lower sale price when it comes time to sell your home.

So, how can you use your closet space to attract a potential home buyer? There are quite a few things that you can do to enhance your closet.

Improve Function

Although large closets are popular, many homeowners are becoming more interested in functional space. Shows on HGTV have helped to fuel this trend. So, if you want to increase the value of your home, make sure that your closets look organized and neat. How can you make your closet space more functional? There are literally hundreds of ways to create a more organized closet. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Built-in benches:  Add areas to sit down on to change shoes or fold clothes. These built-ins are highly sought-after by home buyers.
  • Additional storage:  Center islands for additional storage or other built-in storage areas will make your closet more attractive to buyers.
  • Telescoping belt and tie racks:  These are pretty inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Pull-out hampers and ironing boards:  Buyers like these because they are convenient and easy to use. They also save space and help give your home a tidy look.
  • Rotating shoe storage:  This type of shoe storage is great if you have a lot of shoes as they save tons of space. Some of these can hold hundreds of pairs of shoes.

Add Lighting

Incorporating lighting into your closets is an easy way to impress potential buyers. There are many types of lighting that can be used in closets. Directional lights are great for illuminating specific items in the closet. Combined with a flat Earth-toned paint, directional lighting gives your closet a warm glow. LED lights are can be placed right above a drawer unit or even in the hanging rods themselves. Backlight display cubicles are also a creative way to store items.

Create a Boutique Feel

One of the newest trends are closets that look like high-end clothing stores. Dream closets are no longer just for the rich. More and more homeowners are building luxurious closet spaces. Giving your closet a boutique feel is one way to seriously impress potential buyers. Boutique closets provide a comfortable, cozy feel making them a great place in which to relax as you get dressed in the morning. There are some low-cost, easy ways to create a boutique atmosphere. One is to add a chaise lounge or chandeliers to your closet.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

If you are thinking of selling your home and want to learn more about how you can make it appear more attractive to potential home buyers, contact Old Dominion Realty today. Our team of real estate agents has helped numerous home sellers just like you sell their home quickly and for the best possible price.

July
27

10 Common Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid These Pitfalls When Moving Into Your New Home

Home Buyer Moving Mistakes

Moving can be chaotic and complicated.  When clients share their experiences about moving into a new home, we often hear the same types of stories and answer similar questions.  Consequently, our team at Old Dominion Realty has compiled this list of the top ten most common moving mistakes home buyers make when moving into a new home with tips on how to avoid them.

# 1 Procrastinating

Waiting until the last minute to pack and hire movers is a no-no. Save yourself stress by preparing in advance of your moving date. It might be helpful to complete one thing each day so that you are not overwhelmed.

# 2 Hiring the Wrong Mover

There are many movers to choose from and services vary greatly. Conduct research before choosing a moving company. If their offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before signing anything, go over the fine print, looking for hidden fees.

# 3 Not Getting a Written Estimate

A written estimate is important when it comes to hiring movers. There are typically two different kinds of estimates:

  • Non-binding-This gives you an idea of how much your move will cost. If the estimate is in writing, the rate can only be increased 10 percent.
  • Binding-This is a legal document. It provides a detailed estimate of the charges, which cannot be changed unless you withheld pertinent information from the mover.

#4 A DIY Move

Although it might be cheaper, trying to move your things yourself can lead to hassle. In the end, it is probably not worth the money saved. Many things can go wrong with a DIY move, such as dropping your new 65-inch television or crashing into a parked car with the moving truck.

# 5 Not Organizing Boxes

When you are in a hurry, you might be tempted to just throw everything into boxes. Trying to sort through unorganized boxes can be a nightmare. Properly organize and label everything. Pack things that you will need right away, such as toilet paper, into a specially-labeled box to make it easy to find things that you will need immediately.

#6 Forgetting to Donate

Most people have things that they do not need anymore. Moving is an opportunity to get rid of possessions that you do not use. As you pack up your belongings, ask yourself if you really need each item that you come across. Keep only things that you really will use.

#7 Not Securing Your Valuables

The majority of moving companies are not liable for valuables. Take the time to separately pack valuables, such as expensive jewelry, and transport it to your new home yourself.

# 8 Forgetting to Transfer Your Utilities

There is nothing worse than moving into your new home, only to realize that you forgot to transfer the utilities. Request that major utilities be turned on by your move-in date and do not forget to turn off the utilities at your old house.

#9 Not Making an Inventory List

An inventory list is very important as it lets you know that everything from your home is packed. Check the list again when your items are unloaded at your new home. Mark any missing items and ask out how you can make a claim for them.

#10 Forgetting About Your Pet

With the chaos of moving, it is easy to forget about your pet. If you have a pet, ask yourself these questions ahead of time:

  • Do you have a carrier?
  • Is your pet current on all of their shots?
  • Do you have all of your pet's medications and necessary supplies?

Contact Old Dominion Realty

Old Dominion Realty specializes in helping families in the West Virginia and Virginia real estate areas sell their houses and find new homes for sale.  When you have a trusted REALTOR® on your side, finding and moving into a new home is a sna p.  Contact Old Dominion Realty today.

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

March
18

8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Home Sellers

Polishing Your Home to Perfection

House for Sale Spring Cleaning Tips

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Old Dominion Realty


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

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." 

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