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Libby Gatewood
REALTOR®, ABR,GRI,RAA
Associate Broker/Appraiser
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Articles Tagged "Seller Advice"

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August
15

Get Ready for Fall With These Landscaping Ideas

Landscaping Ideas

Now that summer is drawing to a close, you can no longer rely on lush greenery to make your property look its best. The final days of summer are approaching, and it's time to start thinking about fall landscaping ideas. Our real estate agents know how important curb appeal is in any season. Here are some of their favorite tips to help get your home ready for the fall months.

  • Use Dead Leaves for Mulch
    Fall weather means lots of dead leaves to rake up – or does it? While it's become common to rake away the last year's foliage before the winter sets in, this practice actually robs your gardens of valuable nutrients they need to grow.

    Instead of disposing of the dead leaves, gather them up and place them around your still-growing plants. If you want to keep your garden beds looking neat, you can use a leaf blower with an attached mulcher to grind up the leaves before scattering them. The result will look just like store-bought mulch but will provide much more nutrition for your plants.

  • Choose Plants That Flourish in Fall
    Fall landscapes may not be as rare with growth as spring and summer ones, but some plants thrive in this season. There are many impressive vegetable plants (such as kale and cabbage) and ornamental grasses that do well in cooler weather. Some fruiting plants (including roses, elderberries, and winterberries) continue to produce fruits well into the colder months. 

  • Add Pumpkins and Other Squashes
    Cliché or not, there's nothing like pumpkins to bring out the beauty of fall. Their fellow gourds may not be as well known, but squashes, in general, are still unmistakably connected to the autumn months.

    Squashes grow well in colder weather, which is part of why they are so deeply connected with the season. You can grow your own for an impressive display, but be sure to start early to give your gourds time to grow. If you don't have the time or money for this, you can try using plastic pumpkins and squashes instead. If they're viewed from afar, no one will know the difference.

  • Incorporate Gates and Archways
    Doors and arches are a classic symbol for transitions, making them an apt landscaping decoration during changing seasons. They can also serve a practical purpose by blocking access to parts of your property where you may not want animals or other uninvited guests.

    If you have a gate or archway in your garden already, dress it up with some vines, trees, or shrubs to draw attention to it. If you don't have one, add one. Stone arches are particularly good for creating a fetching fall look. 

  • Add Rock and Water Features
    Want to keep your garden looking great all year long? Try adding some rock and water elements to the mix. Rock formations and water features add some flair to a garden and look great in all seasons, not just the sunny summer months. 

    Fountains and sculptures are some of the most dramatic landscaping elements available and are sure to draw the eye as part of your fall display. If you prefer to keep things more low-key, a tranquil pond, a low stone wall, or some decorative path stones might be just what your need to bring new life to your outdoor spaces.

Wish you had a little more outdoor space to try out these ideas? Many of our Richmond homes for sale have sprawling yards and gardens. Contact us today to book a viewing of any of our stunning properties and see for yourself.

November
15

7 Common Real Estate Myths

Real Estate Myths

Sometimes a myth is fun to believe, but other times, it has a negative impact on your ability to accomplish your goals. Our real estate agents know that real estate myths are fairly common in our industry. Here are several we've heard over the years that we want to debunk. 

  • Myth 1: Real Estate Agents Want You to Hurry Up and Buy a Home
    Real estate agents absolutely want you to find and buy a home, but they don't want it to be just any home. They want you to find a home that meets your needs so that you're a happy client. Unhappy clients are often very vocal about their experiences, and many agents receive recommendations from their satisfied clients. 
  • Myth 2: You Need a Lot of Cash to Buy a Home
    While it's always wise to have cash set aside for emergencies or homebuying expenses, you don't need a ton of cash to purchase a home. An FHA mortgage allows a down payment as small as 3.5 percent of the home's purchase price. Conventional mortgages may call for a down payment of 5-10 percent of the home's purchase price.
  • Myth 3: The Best Mortgage is the One with the Lowest Payment
    The loan with the lowest payment isn't always your best choice. Choose a mortgage that fits your financial needs. A shorter loan term will have higher payments, but you'll have a lower interest rate and pay less interest over the life of the loan. Look at a couple of options and decide which one is the right fit for you.
  • Myth 4: You Should Start Searching for a Home Before Anything Else
    Hold off your home search until you're preapproved for a home loan. Obtaining mortgage preapproval lets you know that you can for sure obtain a mortgage and it lets you know exactly how much you can spend. Make sure you get preapproved rather than prequalified for a loan. The preapproval process is much more intensive and accurate than the prequalification process. 
  • Myth 5: Open Houses are Absolutely Necessary to Sell Your Home
    The success rate of an open house depends in part on your area. However, it isn't absolutely vital to hold open houses in order to sell your home. If you decide to forgo an open house, you do need to make sure that your family is prepared for a showing on short notice. Buyers typically want to view potential homes as quickly as possible, and sellers are generally expected to adjust to the buyer's schedule. 
  • Myth 6: You Can Save Money Selling Your Home Yourself
    Some home sellers try to sell their homes on their own. This move can potentially cost you money and lengthen the amount of time that it takes for you to sell your home. When you hire a real estate agent, they'll add your home to the MLS database of Richmond homes for sale. This allows it to reach more potential buyers. Agents also know to negotiate a fair deal and confirm that all the necessary tasks are completed before your closing date. 
  • Myth 7: Start with a High Listing Price
    It's a bad idea to list your home at a high price, assuming that you can always lower the price if it doesn't sell. The longer a home is on the market, the less attractive it is to potential buyers. Buyers tend to assume that homes on the market for extended periods have something "wrong" with them. They're unlikely to pay a price that seems above the fair market price for the home. 

Our team has the experience needed to help you successfully navigate the Central Virginia real estate market. Contact us today for assistance!

August
9

Pay Attention to These Things When Your Neighbor Lists

Neighbor Selling

Has your neighbor recently listed their home? After you spot that for sale sign, this is an opportunity to find out more information about your neighborhood, your competition, and even your own house. Here are five things our real estate agents recommend you check out, especially if you plan on listing your home in the near future.

  1. Who is listing the house? 
    Is it someone who specializes in your neighborhood, for instance? It might not be a bad idea to have a conversation with your neighbor's real estate agent. See how well they know the area and if they have any recommendations.

  2. How similar is their home to yours?
    If you've never been inside your neighbor's house, go to the open house or ask if you can schedule an appointment. Another option is to view the listing photos online. If you do attend the open house, while you're there, consider features such as square footage, floor plan, number of rooms and bathrooms, and how updated their home is compared to yours. Taking a look around can tell you whether your home is comparable to theirs, so you know whether you can use their final sale price as an indicator for what your home might be worth.

  3. What does your home look like from a neighbor's point of view?
    Before you go into your neighbor's house, stand on the walk and look over at your house. Try to view it as a prospective buyer or a neighbor would. Take a look at your house from the neighbor's windows and backyard, too. What would you think about your house if you were a homebuyer visiting your neighbor's home? 

  4. How does the sale go?
    Continue tracking the listing, and note important details such as how long it takes to sell and what the final sale price is. If it sells within days, for instance, now might be an excellent time to list your home, too. If it takes weeks or months to sell, on the other hand, it might benefit you to wait out the slow market and list once home sales in your area pick up more.

  5. Is this an opportunity to work together?
    If you were about to list your own home, consider whether your neighbor's listing is an opportunity to work together. Rather than viewing your neighbor as competition, for instance, consider the ways in which your homes are different. You and your neighbor could use the same agent or encourage your agents to work together. Not all Richmond homes for sale are the same, and your two homes may have important differences that set them apart and make one or the other more appealing to specific buyers.

Whether you're thinking of selling soon or just biding your time, your neighbor's home sale can provide a wealth of information to help with your decision. If you're interested to learn about selling in your Central Virginia neighborhood, contact us today, and one of our experienced agents will talk to you about what you can expect when listing your home for sale.

March
22

Know These Things Before Starting a DIY Project

DIY Project Tips

Whether your home needs a few upgrades or you want to complete some overdue repairs to get it ready to put on the market, opting for a DIY project can help you save money and let you complete the project on your terms. Our real estate agents know that an updated, well-maintained property is attractive to potential buyers. Here are some best practices to follow before starting a DIY project. 

  1. Know What Tools You'll Need
    Having the skills and ability to complete a DIY project is part of the process; you also need to confirm that you have the tools to do the job (or can access them). It's surprising how many tools a seemingly simple project requires. You don't want to put your project on hold because you have to scramble to find a special wrench or drill bit to complete the work. If you don't have the tools in your toolbox, see if you can borrow the items from a friend or even rent the piece. Many hardware stores have rental programs for tools commonly used in DIY projects. 
  1. Consider the Time Required for the Project
    Another component to research is how long the project will take. Remember, you'll need to prepare the space for the project and gather supplies for the project. Once the project is complete, you'll need to clean the space and return it to its former appearance. All of these tasks can add hours to a seemingly quick project. If something goes awry during the project, this will add even more time.

    For example, let's say you want to paint your living room. After all, a fresh coat of paint often helps Richmond homes for sale look their best. Before starting, you'll need to research your options for paint and paint tools, compare prices, and purchase your supplies. Moving and protecting your furniture and photos will take some time. You'll also need to clean the walls and fill any holes or cracks; this adds another hour to the project. You anticipate spending two hours painting the walls. However, this is for one coat of paint. If the paint requires two coats of paint, you'll need to double your estimate. Once all your painting is complete, factor in an hour to clean up, uncover the furniture, and move things back into place. A job that you thought might only take 2-4 hours can actually take double that amount of time. 
  1. Go Through the Project Before You Get Started
    Before you start the project, read through the instructions from start to finish. This ensures you understand the time, resources, and skillset required to complete the project. Make sure to keep your limitations in mind. Some projects seem simple but call for advanced skills that novice DIYers may not have. 
  1. Know How to Handle Mistakes
    Mistakes are a part of any DIY project. Try to prevent mistakes by using the correct materials and tools. Slow down, and make sure to double-check your measurements. When a mistake occurs, have additional materials on-hand to remedy your errors.

After you complete your latest DIY project are you ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

January
15

2020's Final Market Update

Final 2020 Market Update

Central Virginia had a very active December 2020! After an unexpected year, we are happy to see the market staying active and fast-moving!

December had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Let's see what 2021 will bring for CVA! Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs and view homes for sale now.

November
9

Lighting Upgrades That Make a Noticeable Difference

Lighting Upgrades

No home makeover is complete until you upgrade the lighting. Proper lighting choices can set the ambiance, change the mood, and help highlight a room's design. Plus, why settle for outdated and inefficient lighting when the fun, functional options out there are unlimited? With the right pendants, recessed lights, lamps, task lights, sconces, and flush mounts, you can purposefully give your rooms an entirely new look. Here are our real estate agents' tips for transformative room-by-room lighting upgrades.

  1. In the Kitchen
    Cooking, baking, cleaning, and gatherings can benefit from careful consideration of task and ambient lighting. When it comes to your kitchen, lighting should set the mood and help you see properly for all your food preparation. Think in particular of under-cabinet lighting that can illuminate your countertops while you work without relying on an overhead light that casts shadows. Light the dark corners of your kitchen like counters, pantries, shelves, cupboards, and counters. These areas become more beautiful and functional when properly lit. Pendant lamps above kitchen islands, breakfast nooks, and kitchen sinks can be a fun and functional upgrade.


  2. The Bathroom
    With an emphasis on personal grooming, the bathroom requires proper lighting placement. Most bathrooms have a central ceiling-mounted fixture and over-the-mirror strips of lights that cast odd shadows. You can replace those with recessed light in the ceiling and vertical wall sconces on the sides of the mirror. Alternatively, you can install vanity lighting around your mirror to cast the perfect amount of light and create a soft glow. 


  3. Living Rooms
    As an area where people spend a lot of time and engage in a wide range of activities such as watching TV, chilling after work, having conversations, hosting friends, or playing board games, the living room is incredibly versatile. As such, you should consider making your lighting as adaptable as the room. The concept of layering light works great in the living room. Table lamps are great, but adding a big floor lamp, oversized pendant, or large lantern can create a great focal point.

  4. In Hallways and Along Staircases
    Staircases often form the main focal point in a hallway, but dark ones aren't safe. This offers great opportunities for fun, dramatic, and practical lighting. To begin with, the space above a staircase is a perfect place to add sparkle and visual interest with a show-stopping chandelier. You can also layer your lighting and bring a dramatic effect to your hallways and stairs with inset floor-level lights, LED strips, and wall lights. If you want to focus on the stairs, LED strips underneath individual stair treads can bring that noticeable difference you're going for. LED lights are a good choice because they're inexpensive to burn, cool to the touch, and have a lifespan of 10 or more years.

In general, when you are planning to install new lighting fixtures in your space, it's best to:

  • Install layered lighting. Go for general lighting (pendant or overhead), ambient lighting (decorative sconces or candles), and specific lighting (table or task).
  • Incorporate reflective surfaces such as metallic finishes, glossy floors, and mirrors.
  • Choose the right shade for fixtures.
  • Install smart lighting, energy-efficient lighting, and dimmers.

Contact us today to learn more about how lighting can bring a noticeable difference to your space while also appealing to buyers looking for Richmond homes for sale.

October
26

Give Your Fall Landscaping a Boost with These Tips

Fall Landscaping

The temperature is starting to drop, and the sun is setting earlier in the day. Fall might be here, but that doesn't mean it's time to skimp on your lawn maintenance. While raking leaves is most often associated with autumn lawn maintenance, there are actually several things you should do to improve your yard's appearance and ensure it's in great condition when spring arrives. To help, our REALTORS® compiled a shortlist of ways to improve your landscaping this fall:

  1. Clean Up Around the Yard 
    Once fall arrives, it's time to clean up around the yard. In addition to raking leaves, make sure you pull weeds, remove dead annuals, and pick-up any fallen fruit or dead branches. Eliminating debris in the fall is essential for maintaining lawn health throughout the winter or if you are wanting to boost your curb appeal when listing your home among other Richmond homes for sale.

  2. Fertilize Your Lawn
    Fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawn because it helps strengthen grass before winter sets in. Strong roots in the fall mean a healthy, green lawn in the spring. Also, don't forget to reseed any bare spots! The actions you take now will make for a vibrant yard when the weather gets warmer.

  3. Mow Your Lawn As Needed
    Be sure to keep mowing until the grass stops growing. It's generally recommended you keep your grass between 2 and 2.5 inches tall in the fall. If your grass is too long, it could grow mold from snow or heavy rainfall and cold temperatures.

  4. Add Some New Plants
    There are some flowers, such as pansies and mums, that are great to add to your garden in the fall as they thrive in cool weather. Autumn is also the time to plant some bulbs, like daffodils, tulips, and crocus in your garden, so they're ready for springtime. Be sure to plant before the ground freezes. Talk to your local nursery about options for fall planting. 

  5. Aerating Is Key
    Over the summer, your soil tends to compact, restricting air, water, and nutrients from reaching roots. Aerating your lawn is the process of penetrating holes in the soil so these vital elements can make their way into the ground. There are several aerating tools you can use, such as spikes, slicers, or plugs, or you can hire a professional.

  6. Eliminate Excess Thatch
    Thatch is a layer of organic matter that develops between soil and grass. When thatch builds-up, it can also prevent water from reaching the soil and can also create a breeding ground for lawn disease. If thatch is more than 1/2 inch thick, you'll want to invest in some dethatching tools to pull it up.

A beautiful spring lawn starts in the fall. Don't wait until spring to work on your curb appeal when you can get started now! For more tips on fall lawn maintenance, contact us today.

September
14

Home Improvement Projects that Can Help You Sell

Home Improvement Projects

If you're planning to sell your home, you'll want to make it stand out positively from other houses that are on the market. This often requires making some upgrades. When making your decision on what you'd like to upgrade, you'll obviously want to concentrate on those improvements that will help you recoup your investment.

Our real estate agents suggest the following home improvement projects that can help your home stand out from other Richmond homes for sale.

  • Install – or Refinish – Hardwood Flooring 
    Most of today's homeowners prefer hardwood flooring over carpeting because of its appearance, as well as its easy maintenance. If your home has carpeting, replacing it with hardwood flooring can more than pay for itself when it's time to sell. And in some cases, you might even find that the carpeting was installed over hardwood flooring. You'll then only need to remove the carpet and refinish the hardwood. If your home already has hardwood flooring, refinishing it can show it off to its best advantage.

  • Update Your Kitchen
    A kitchen can often make or break a home sale. But if you opt for a full kitchen remodel, you may not recoup what you spend. Instead, make smaller upgrades by applying a fresh coat of paint and installing new energy-efficient appliances. Depending on their age and condition, you can also consider updating your countertops, cabinets, and hardware.

  • Improve Your Landscaping  
    If your landscaping is less than attractive, prospective homebuyers may never take the time to see the inside of your home. Trim overgrown shrubs and trees, edge your lawn, apply fresh mulch, and plant some colorful perennials. These improvements are quite inexpensive, especially if you do the work yourself, and they can make a big difference in your home's curb appeal.

  • Install a Deck   
    Homeowners appreciate an outdoor living space like a deck, which can become a family gathering and relaxation spot. If your home doesn't already have a deck, you can add one that's relatively simple or one that has more features, such as built-in seating and two sets of stairs. As you choose your features and materials, you'll have control over exactly how much you invest in your deck.

  • Paint Your Home
    In any home, interior paint will look dingy over time and develop scuffs or other imperfections. Invest in a fresh coat of paint, which will make your home look its best and instantly give it a brighter, cleaner appearance. This will also give you the chance to choose a neutral hue if you have rooms with more unique paint colors. 

  • Upgrade Your Garage Door
    An older garage door can make a home look dated, so an upgrade can give your home an instant facelift. Look at current styles, designs, and colors and choose an option that complements the look of your home.

  • Refresh Your Home's Exterior
    Your home's curb appeal goes beyond your landscaping to include your front door and porch, as well your walkways, driveway, mailbox, and other exterior elements. A freshly painted porch with attractive furniture and colorful throw pillows will welcome prospective buyers. Also, consider replacing your mailbox and front door if they aren't in tip-top shape. First impressions are important!

Contact us to learn more about selling a home in the Richmond area. Our experienced agents can suggest home improvement projects that will provide the best return on your investment while attracting buyers.

August
17

7 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Kids' Toys

Decluttering Toys

As a parent, you may think that decluttering and organizing your kids' toys is a lost battle. Their numbers seem to frequently multiply as they threaten to take over your living spaces and make your home messy and disorganized.

Our REALTORS® have experience in helping sellers show their homes in their best light. When it comes to decluttering and organizing toys, here's what we recommend.

  1. Toss Broken Toys
    As toys are played with, some will break or stop working, and vital pieces will be lost over time. Although you may think you'll try to fix it or that missing part will magically show up, if it hasn't happened by now, it probably won't. So it's easy to start your cleanup by grabbing a trash bag and putting in broken toys to toss.

  2. Gather Toys to Donate
    After you've tossed broken toys, team up with your kids to decide what they'll keep and what can be given to someone else. Emphasize the fact that another child would enjoy the toy that they've grown tired of and gather boxes and bags of items to share with another mom or two or donate to a non-profit organization.

  3. Sort and Store Toys by Categories
    Gather your kids' toys and group them together in logical categories, such as books, dolls, plush, art supplies, and blocks. Use bins to put one category of toys in each one and label it with words or pictures for pre-readers. This lets kids take the lead in cleaning up since it's easy to understand where a toy should go.

  4. Corral the Toys in a Specific Area
    If you have a finished basement, a dedicated playroom, or a bonus room, you already have an area that's ideal for storing toys. But even if you don't, control the kids' toys by blocking off an area of your living area where you can store them in their proper containers.

  5. Rotate Toys
    Kids don't need to have access to every single toy they own all the time. Instead, stash some in a closet or other area. Once a month or so, swap out one toy container for another of the same type. So, for example, bring out another bin of action figures and stow the bin full of ones your kids have been playing with. This helps keep toys to a manageable level and prevents your kids from getting bored with their toys.

  6. Set a Good Example
    Kids learn by watching what we do, so if you tend to keep too many things and don't organize your belongings, they're likely to do the same. Set a good example by keeping a clean, well-ordered home that will let them learn good habits. 

  7. Keep Your System Going
    A one-time organizing spree isn't going to have a big impact if you fall into old habits again. Instead, keep your system going and make it a part of the kids' evening chores to put away the toys they've gotten out during the day. 

Contact us for more tips on how to declutter your home so it stands out from other Richmond homes for sale. Even if you're not ready to sell yet, you can ensure that your home is organized and meets the needs of your family!

June
15

Summer 2020 Market Update

May & June are going strong in Richmond's Real Estate Market

It's a GREAT time to list your home in Central Virginia because home inventory is low and prices are rising.

The real estate market in our area continues to be extremely active and in the month of May alone, 2,513 homes were listed, and 1,952 homes were successfully sold!The average sales price in our area was $300,826 in May 2020 compared to $288,203 last May – more than a 4% increase!

If you've been putting off listing your home, this could be the perfect opportunity to contact a Napier ERA sales professional, who can give you an accurate assessment of what you can expect in your market.

Contact Napier ERA today to get started!

 

June
8

The Home Improvement Projects for Your Summer To-Do List

Break out the sunscreen and dig out the flipflops – summer will be here before we know it! While we all want to hit the beach, relax by the pool, and enjoy hours in the great outdoors, the warm weather also presents an excellent opportunity to tackle a few home improvement projects. Our real estate agents are here to help you create a summer to-do list that includes a handful of projects that will breathe new life into your home. 

  • Restore Your Comfort
    Beat the heat by weatherproofing your home. Replace old windows with energy-efficient models, reapply caulk or weatherstripping around your exterior doors, and give your HVAC system a seasonal tune-up. Not only will it keep you cool all summer, but these projects will also help you stay warm throughout the colder months.   

  • Restore Your Curb Appeal
    Your curb appeal is always one of the most important aspects of your home, whether or not you're trying to sell it. Take advantage of the sunshine and plan a few outdoor home improvement projects that will spruce up your exterior. Re-siding or repainting your exterior is a great way to renew your home's appearance, but there are also smaller projects that can transform your curb appeal. Consider planting flower beds, creating a welcoming porch or front entryway with décor, or trimming your trees will make noticeable differences to your exterior. If nothing else, remember that unclogging your gutters, pressure washing your exterior walls or driveway, and cleaning your garage door will refresh your curb appeal.

  • Restore Your Functionality
    If you feel like you've run out of storage space or have trouble keeping items in your home organized, one worthwhile project you can take on is to improve the functionality throughout your home. Purchasing closet organizers, updating kitchen cabinetry, and installing shelving in your garage can increase your storage space and help your family's belongings stay organized. On the tech side, you can install smart home devices to increase the connectivity throughout your home. 

  • Restore Your Beauty
    Freshen up your interior with a few beautiful new updates. Give the kitchen a facelift with new cabinetry, countertops, and backsplashes. Create an oasis in your master bathroom by replacing your tub with a walk-in shower with a bench. Don't forget about the kids' rooms either! Let them spruce up their space by painting their walls in bright colors. You can even refinish or repaint your existing wooden furniture as an affordable and fun craft project.

  • Restore Your Fun
    Who says all of your home improvement projects need to be dull? Now is the perfect time to dedicate your efforts to create an area for you and your family to enjoy. Maximize your backyard by building out an outdoor entertainment area with a firepit, comfortable furniture, and maybe even a wide stretch of space where kids can play with their toys. Inside, consider revamping your loft or extra bedroom into a multipurpose space where your family can relax with guests. An office desk, bookshelves, and a bar cart can instantly turn the space into a functional yet fun area for the whole family to enjoy.

Are you hoping to spend the summer renovating one of our charming Richmond homes for sale? Contact us today to schedule a safe, private showing or a convenient virtual tour.

May
11

Budget-Friendly Tips for Making Your Home Look More Elegant

Budget Friendly Home Improvements

Whether you're preparing to list your home for sale or to make it high-end looking, you don't have to spend an extravagant amount of money to get big results. Instead of running up your credit card or depleting your savings account to renovate your home and get that high-end look you dream of, consider small and inexpensive changes that can transform your space.

Our real estate agents share these simple and inexpensive ways to make your home look elegant.

  • Cut the Clutter
    One of the easiest ways to make your home look elegant is actually free. All you have to do is declutter and clean your home. Regular cleaning helps you to avoid clutter, allows other elements to really stand out, and makes your home welcoming. So, dust and vacuum every room on a weekly basis, take care of stains on area rugs and furniture, and clean your windows. Another great way to make your space neat is to hide the unsightly wires and cables that may be sticking out of your internet router or television.

  • Swap Out Your Throw Pillows
    Throw pillows offer a layered feeling to your rooms, provide a little extra comfort on the couch, and can really punch-up the elegance factor. Whether you buy or make them, incorporating throw pillows is an easy way to create a very plush, elegant appearance, if they are chosen and arranged correctly. Consider replacing your older throw pillows with bright, fuller pillows from another room – or just buy new pillow covers. Blend different groupings and mix and match colors, but make sure you don't go overboard.

  • Lighting Makes a Difference
    Bringing your lighting up-to-date with interesting and expressive lighting pieces can give you that high-end look without that high-end price. Think of lighting fixtures as the jewelry of the room. Lean toward unique pieces with an interesting design, shape, or finish, focusing on lighting that will make a statement in a room. In addition, be sure to have the lighting in various heights and sizes and include floor lamps and table lamps to increase the elegant feeling.

  • Accessorize
    Most homes lack accessories to bring that elegant touch. The most common excuse for this is that accessorizing is expensive and would over-extend the budget. However, there are many affordable home décor shops online or stores that offer stupendous finds to create a luxurious and upscale look. Try accessorizing with gold or silver mirrors, trays, candleholders, picture frames, or small sculptures. Coffee table books can also create an elegant feeling.

  • Minimize or Move Furniture
    A minimalist approach is another great way to transform your space. When a home has too many accessories and too much furniture, the space can feel cramped and overwhelming. When it comes to furniture, choose items that you need versus those you want. Another trick is moving furniture pieces slightly farther away from one another of a few inches from the wall. This will give your space a lighter, airier feel.

Are you selling or shopping for Richmond homes for sale? Our real estate agents are here to help you learn more about buying, selling, and making the most of your home. Contact us today for your homeownership needs.

April
13

How to Prepare for a Virtual Home Tour with Kids

Preparing for a Virtual Home Tour

With kids home from school for the foreseeable future, parents in Richmond are wearing many hats these days! In particular, parents getting ready to list a home have extra obstacles to face.

Potential buyers are utilizing virtual tours to view properties in the Richmond area to help narrow down their home search. While they might not be seeing your home in person, staging your home is still a must. 

The following tips from our real estate agents can help you stage your home for virtual tours without causing too much disruption.

  1. Box Up the Extra Toys
    Children regularly play with less than half of their toys. Have your children choose which of their toys they want to keep out, and which toys they want to pack up for the move. Ideally, you will want to clear the rooms of more massive toys such as dollhouses, playsets, and other items that dominate their bedroom or playroom.
  2. Invest in Storage Containers
    Keeping your children's toys in storage containers will help keep their bedrooms, and your home, neat and tidy. This will make it so you can show off storage space in a neat and organized way. These storage containers can be repurposed at your new home to keep that space orderly.
  3. Repaint the Rooms
    If your children's rooms are brightly colored, it is advisable to repaint the room in a neutral color. Neutral colors make it easier for prospective buyers to visualize their personal uses for the room.
  4. Tackle the Cleaning
    It's always a challenge to keep a home clean when you have children. It's even harder with everyone being cooped up. Staying on top of the cleaning and clutter will make this less daunting. Take one day to tackle your spring cleaning and then do touch up cleaning throughout the week to keep your home looking spotless and camera ready.
  5. Fun Incentives
    If your kids are old enough to understand that you're getting ready to sell the home, enlist your children's help in keeping the house clean. Let them know when virtual showings will be happening. Make it a game or offer them rewards for doing chores like wiping down countertops, sweeping floors, putting their laundry in the basket, etc. Possible incentives you can use to help get them involved in the action include video game time, takeout from a favorite restaurant, or a small allowance. 
  6. Get Rid of Your Clutter
    One of the best ways to get kids to declutter their rooms is to lead by example. Have your children help you sort through the cabinets, pick through your closets, empty the garage, etc. Seeing you do what you are asking them to do will make them enthusiastic helpers.
  7. Limit Activity Areas
    You might be trying to find new ways to keep your kids entertained at home, and some of these things might get a little messy! Whether it's a science experiment or an art project, some of these entertaining activities might come with a bit of extra clean up. Limit these messier projects for a designated area, like a certain table or play area. This will limit the clean up to one specific area before your virtual showing. 

Contact us for more staging tips that can help your home stand out among the Richmond homes for sale this season. 

April
6

Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Clean Stainless Steel

Cleaning Stainless Steel

Spring is here, and in between listing Richmond homes for sale, you'll also find our REALTORS® working diligently on their spring cleaning for the year.

There are plenty of cleaning and tidying tasks that can easily end up at the bottom of the priority list. 

Stainless steel is one area where homeowners often find themselves scratching their heads about the best way to proceed. After all, it is called "stainless" – but discoloration can and does happen. The question is, what to do about it?

How Does Stainless Steel Work and Why Does It Sometimes Get Rusted?

Stainless steel is designed to be highly resistant to rust and other forms of corrosion.

The secret of stainless steel is its inclusion of chromium. Chromium guards the surface of the steel, forming a thin protective layer against the oxygen that causes oxidization – also known as rust. In some circumstances, this "sacrificial coating" of chromium wears away.

Although it performs better and lasts longer than many other metals, stainless steel can still require periodic restoration. Some household chemicals can encourage corrosion even on it. Chemical stains are one of the biggest hazards for a stainless steel sink.

When the chromium coating on stainless steel is rubbed away, the protective film quickly repairs itself. However, the metal can temporarily become damaged while this process is underway. This is why you might occasionally find rust in limited quantities on a stainless steel surface.

The Three Most Common Stainless Steel Cleaning Challenges

Here's how to restore stainless steel from three common issues:

  1. Stains
    Rub the stain in the direction of the grain brushed into the stainless steel using a soft pad or brush, such as a toothbrush. You can use a homebrew mix of one tablespoon baking soda in two cups of water. After rubbing, use a soft cloth dipped in clean water to rinse. Finally, apply a purpose-made stainless steel cleaner.
  2. Scratches
    Check whether your brushed stainless steel surface is coated with clear anti-fingerprint coating. If not coated, you can use the method above to treat fine scratches. Deep scratches can be sanded out. While sandpaper may work for those familiar with it, it is easier to use a commercial scratch remover kit with a variety of grit pads for different stainless steel products.
  3. Rust
    Try wiping down small rust spots using the method for stains. For larger areas, rinse out the rusted surface thoroughly, then sprinkle a layer of baking soda over it. Wait about an hour before you scrub with a soft bristle brush, then dry with a paper towel. If the rust still resists, use a grit-free cleaner that includes oxalic acid.

For day to day cleaning of dust, dirt, and fingerprints, feel free to continue using mild dish detergent and warm water. Most of the time, keeping stainless steel fresh should take only seconds every few days. When it is cleaned right, stainless steel thrives for many years.

We can't join you for spring cleaning, but Napier ERA is always here to help you take advantage of real estate opportunities in Richmond and across Central Virginia. To get started, contact us.

March
23

Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring: Pros and Cons

Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring

If you're getting ready to install new flooring, you'll be faced with a choice between laminate and hardwood. Though they may look similar, each of these two flooring options has its pros and cons. Our real estate agents have summarized a few key factors to help you decide which is best for your home.

  • Appearance and Aesthetics
    When it comes to aesthetics, the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring is glaringly obvious. Hardwood has a timeless appeal and tremendous texture variation of the wood grain. No two planks of hardwood flooring appear exactly alike. They can also take on different finishes and stains.

    When copying real wood, laminate flooring cannot look as genuine due to repeated patterns in the photographic layer. While the quality of synthetic materials continues to improve, repetition is unavoidable because it's impossible to replicate the uniqueness of authentic wood grains. 

  • Durability
    The durability of the flooring surface greatly depends on foot traffic, wear and tear, adherence to manufacturer recommendations, and maintenance practices. Laminate flooring is made from pressed wood and has a wear layer that protects the photographic layer. The tough surface makes this type of flooring more durable and is almost impervious to stains, moisture, dents, and scratches. However, if laminate flooring is grooved, deep scratched, or heavily worn, it cannot be sanded or refinished – it must be replaced.

    Natural hardwood is softer and can dent more easily. Hardwood is also susceptible to scratching, will easily show wear, and can get damaged from excessive moisture. But solid hardwood can be repaired, refinished, and renewed, usually without the need to replace the planks or entire floor. 

  • Repair and Maintenance
    Regular sweeping, wiping, damp mopping, or vacuuming is all that's necessary for cleaning and maintaining laminate flooring. No floor waxing is necessary for laminate wood floor. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, require a little more care because they need special cleaners that restore and preserve the finish.

    Most solid and engineered hardwood floors have excellent resistance to many household chemicals, red wine, and soda. The floor can be refinished many times, and noticeable imperfections can be reversed, without reinstalling everything, as is the case with laminate flooring.

  • Moisture Resistance
    Wood is an organic material that responds to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Hardwood's water resistance qualities depend on the species of wood, finishing, and maintenance practices. Unfinished wood is more likely to get damaged if installed in the kitchen or bathroom.

    Laminate surfaces are stain and water-resistant. The tough top layer makes this material a good choice for areas where spills are a possibility, such as in the kitchen. 

  • Cost
    Hardwood flooring is made from harvested trees; the type of wood you choose would determine the cost. But generally, hardwood is more expensive to buy and install. The stronger the wood, the more you spend. There are also added costs to wax, finish, and treat the floor. Laminate flooring is considerably cheaper than hardwood. The installation cost is about 50 percent less than it is with solid wood flooring.

    Hardwood flooring can go for $3-$10 per sq. ft., including installation. Good-quality laminate flooring cost about $3.00 per sq. ft. and up. You can get lower-quality laminate at a much lower price but at the expense of performance and looks. 

Looking for more home improvement advice before listing your home among the many Richmond homes for sale? For more tips and advice, contact us today!

February
24

5 Rooms Holding You Back from Selling Your Home

Rooms Preventing You From Selling

When it comes to making your home stand out, it's critical to ensure every room in the house is attractive to buyers. Our real estate agents help tons of clients with Richmond homes for sale understand how to prepare to put their homes on the market.

Sometimes it may be a certain room holding you back from getting offers on your home. Beware of the following pitfalls that may leave you wondering why buyers aren't biting.

  1. Cluttered Rooms
    It doesn't matter if it's a children's playroom, your bedroom, or basement, clutter plain turns buyers off and putting your house on the market is a perfect excuse to get rid of it. It's critical. When potential buyers see clutter, they often assume that your house is dirty. It's also difficult for them to envision themselves and their things living there. Sell, donate, or throw away anything and everything you don't need or want to keep. And don't forget closets, cabinets, and drawers—the last thing you want is a pile of clothes falling on someone's head when they open the door to check out closet space in the hall or bedroom.
  2. Poorly Lit Rooms
    Nobody wants to walk into a dark, creepy room, even if the rest of the house is bright and light. Make sure to open all the curtains and blinds before showing your home. Turn on lamps or add new ones if a room is in desperate need of light. One easy, affordable way to make your house look updated is to install more modern overhead light figures. Sparkling clean windows and a pretty plant by the window or in the corner will also brighten up any room. If any area of your home is painted in dark colors, painting it a lighter color like beige or gray will also lighten things up.
  3. Damp, Creepy Basements
    If your basement needs a little TLC, consider putting up some shelves or bookcases and neatly storing books, toys, or other items. It's also essential to make sure your basement smells good. Mildewy smells can make buyers think there's been a flood or there's something wrong with the foundation. If there is a problem—fix it before listing.
  4. Outdated Kitchens
    The kitchen is the heart of most homes, so if yours looks old and decrepit, buyers might consider it a dealbreaker. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make your kitchen look clean and updated. Painted cabinets and new hardware can make it look like new, and mid-grade vinyl flooring that looks like tile is an affordable way to make your kitchen pop. As far as appliances go, swap them out with newer models. Even if they're used, and in good condition, it's an improvement. 
  5. Yucky Bathrooms
    The bathroom is another room that can make or break a sale. Scrub it down, paint the walls, and invest in new towels, a shower curtain, and small bath rugs. If your bathroom (unfortunately) has carpet installed, rip it out and install the tile. If your toilet, tub, or sink is in particularly bad shape, consider replacing it.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in or around Richmond? Contact us to get started.

January
30

Platinum Status: Achieved!

Cartus Platinum Broker

We are very proud to announce that Napier ERA has achieved Platinum Status in the Cartus Broker Network for 2019!

Cartus is the industry leader in corporate relocation services. We have been working with the Cartus Broker Network for many years and are proud to have the Platinum status for 11 years in a row. 

Napier ERA Realtors congratulates and thanks the Relocation Team and our agents for their outstanding service to our Cartus clients! 

December
2

4 Painting Projects That Can Help You Sell

Painting to Sell Your Home

When you're selling a home, every detail matters. From the smallest closet wall to the largest exterior wall, you need to showcase your property as well as possible. Upgrading appliances, repairing fixtures, and renovating rooms can increase your home's value. But don't overlook completing painting projects that can transform your house into a buyer's dream. Our REALTORS® have identified these four simple painting projects that you can easily accomplish before you list your home.

  1. Consider Painting Exterior Features
    While you can certainly paint your full exterior, you can make the outside of your home look fresh and new without such a large project. Consider washing your exterior walls to let the color shine. Then apply a new, complementary color of paint to the front door, the railings of your porch banister, your window shutters, or other notable features.

  2. Repaint & Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
    You already know that the kitchen is one room in the home that draws plenty of attention from prospective buyers — make sure it looks as amazing as possible. Consider repainting and refinishing your cabinetry. Take it to the next level by choosing two-tones to give the space a dynamic presentation. It's best to choose a dark and light color combination, usually with the darker color on the bottom and the lighter on the upper cabinets. If you plan on painting the entire kitchen, be sure to plan to determine which color palette will look best when the project is complete.

  3. Use Accent Walls Strategically
    Just as adding a splash of color into the kitchen is a great idea, you can also pick a few rooms to add accent colored walls. We suggest focusing on major rooms like the master bedroom, the main living room, or a multipurpose space. Be sure to choose appropriate colors for the space as well. Choose a rich and darker color for the accent wall in the bedroom to create an inviting, warm atmosphere. Similarly, you should use a brighter color in the multipurpose room that may be used as an office or playroom. For rooms not sectioned off by doors, pick a rather neutral color that won't be too distracting or clash with the rest of the colors in the adjacent rooms.

  4. Be Simple in Some Spaces
    A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference in nearly any room. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to utilize the full rainbow of colors. One of the best tips we can give home sellers is to remember that neutral, basic colors are extremely effective in selling homes. White, off-white, light grey, and a light beige are preferred colors for many homebuyers. These neutral colors give them a blank space to envision how they'll want each room to look. It's also easier for them to paint over a white wall than to try and repaint a darker colored wall.

Simple painting projects can help you sell your property if you apply the right colors to the right spaces. When in doubt, remember that neutral is always the best option because potential home buyers may not love the same color scheme that you adore. For more help selling or buying Richmond homes for sale, feel free to contact us!

May
13

Why Are You Selling Your Home?

Why Are you Selling Your Home?
Achieving any big goal starts with understanding why you want it. Our real estate agents believe this is especially pertinent when selling your home. If you don't feel motivated, it may never get done.

That's not surprising since selling your home can seem like an intimidating prospect. That's true of just about anywhere, including our local Central Virginia real estate market.

But, if you feel drawn to pursue your goal, everything becomes much easier.

We advise sellers to clarify in their mind exactly why they are selling and what they hope to accomplish by doing so. This clear mental picture helps them take action – for example, moving faster when they find the right next home for them.

Naturally, all sellers have their own motivations. Let's consider some of them now:

  • Improving Your Financial Health
    Sometimes, the cost of maintaining a home simply becomes too much. You might find that the utilities are much more expensive than you thought or that major repairs are becoming a fact of life. While you might have to cut back on location or size, the sacrifice need not be dire. A real estate agent can help you find a home that matches your needs better and provides peace of mind.

  • Reaping the Benefits of the Market
    If you've been in a home for a few years, odds are good the market conditions have changed. Each real estate market has its own ebb and flow. Sometimes, the opportunity to profit from a sale is very compelling. Remember, though, that you'll have to move fast for the outcome you want. Don't hesitate before contacting a real estate agent who understands your local area.

  • Expanding Your Family
    Many established professionals find themselves moving into larger homes after changes in the family. Newly-married couples may want extra space to grow into as they plan for little ones. It's always best to get ahead of the curve and find a new home before the change is actually upon you. Getting your big move done will help you stay focused on what's important in your life.

  • Downsizing Your Home
    Elders often seek to downsize so they can have all the enjoyment of a home with less effort. An "empty nest" might be too big, or it could simply be inconvenient. Stairs and other safety issues come into play. Yes, downsizing an old family home is bittersweet. It's often worth it, however, to save money and move closer to amenities that fit your current lifestyle better.

  • Moving to a Completely New Area
    Now and then, it's simply time for a change of pace. Many younger people and mid-career pros find themselves moving to follow the job market. Others might feel the call of a different climate, a different way of life, or the support of their "found family." Whatever the case, selling a home can be the first step to a completely new lifestyle that's much more fulfilling.

  • A New Perspective on Your Needs
    Every home you buy is a snapshot of your needs at that point in time. Sometimes, you find there's just "something missing" that your existing home can't provide. You might realize that you wanted a front lawn after all. Or you might want to move to a neighborhood with a different vibe. Whatever the case, a new home can be freeing once you put in the footwork.

No matter what your reason for selling is, start by contacting a trusted local real estate agent devoted to getting you the best price in the least amount of time. Contact us for advice on selling your home in and around Richmond.

February
25

7 Tips to Get Your Tri-Cities Home Ready to Sell This Spring

Tips to Sell Your Tri-Cities Home
It might feel like winter is never going to end, but spring will be here before you know it.

If you're planning to list your Tri-Cities home for sale on the spring real estate market, now is the time to prepare. Getting your home ready now will minimize your stress later and allow you to get a jump on your listing before other spring home sales come on the market.

Not sure where to start? No problem! Our REALTORS® are here to share their list of the top seven things you can do now to help make your house stand out this spring.

  1. Create a "To Do" List
    Take a careful look at each room in your home and create a list of small improvements you can do yourself. Keep an eye out for things like missing trim, chipped paint, broken light fixtures, smudges on the floor, and carpet stains.

    Once you've completed your list, get started! Taking on small projects in your free time is far better than trying to tackle them all at once right before your listing. 
  1. Declutter Your Home
    If your house is a mess when prospective buyers some to check it out, it might cause you to miss out on a sale. While you're cooped up inside, use it as an opportunity to thin out your belongings.

    It's important that prospective buyers can visualize themselves living in the home, so go ahead and pack up things like framed photos and personal items, and put excess furniture in storage.
  1. Brighten Up the Interior
    Assess your home honestly to determine if you can make some changes to brighten it up. Is the paint too dark? Does the wallpaper need to be replaced? Are the drapes heavy and outdated?

    Consider adding fresh coats of light, neutral-colored paint, replacing dirty carpets, polishing wood floors, and swapping out your furniture for lighter, more modern pieces.
  1. Do Your Basic Maintenance
    Now is a great time to take care of any maintenance projects you may have been putting off. This includes tasks like changing out your air filters, maintaining your septic tank, fixing leaky faucets, flushing out your water heater, and oiling your garage door hinges.  
  1. Assess Your Kitchen
    The kitchen is one of the most important considerations for potential home buyers, and upgrades typically take time. This means that right now is the best time to do an assessment and decide if you need to make any changes.

    Painting cabinet doors and replacing countertops are some minor upgrades that can make a big difference. If you're not sure whether an upgrade is worth the investment, consult with a realtor who can give you honest feedback. 
  1. Plan Your Spring Landscaping Projects
    As soon as the snow melts, you'll want to jump on your outdoor projects. Start by raking up fallen leaves and branches, then trim and prune your trees and bushes.

    Aerate your lawn, so it grows in full and lush.  Add seed to any bare spots. Buy some plants and fertilize them, so they look full and healthy when prospective buyers arrive.
  1. Find a Great Real Estate Agent
    If you wait until the springtime to start looking for a real estate agent, both you and your agent will feel rushed to make important decisions. Starting now will give you a chance to conduct interviews and make sure you find an agent with whom you're comfortable working.

Many buyers planning to move in the spring start viewing homes early in the spring. Our REALTORS® can help you put your home at the forefront of Central Virginia's real estate market. Contact our Tri-Cities office to make it happen.

December
24

Powhatan Today Picks Napier ERA Agents!

Powhatan Napier ERA Real Estate Agents

The community newspaper of Powhatan, Powhatan Today, holds an annual contest for readers to put their favorite local businesses in the spotlight, and Napier ERA is honored to have our agent Mike Williford voted the #1 Realtor in Powhatan!

Mike Williford was born and raised in Midlothian and Powhatan and is a local expert on all things real estate. From his great work for buyers and sellers to his connections with investors, builders, and people from all walks of life, Mike thrives on making lasting connections in the community. Mike has an infectious laugh and never fails to make folks smile. We are incredibly proud of Mr. Williford and love having him on the Napier ERA team. Congratulations on being voted first place in Powhatan, Mike!

Powhatan, Virginia is a very special place for Napier ERA Realtors. The community feel, the developing neighborhoods, and the many local business make it a perfect place to call home. Perhaps that's part of the reason why Napier ERA is the top selling real estate agency in the area! From January til November 2018, we listed and sold 189 units in the Powhatan area. Powhatan Today readers voted Napier ERA as an honorable mention in the Powhatan Picks contest and we are so grateful to our friends and family in the area for the privilege of doing work together.

An honorable mention was given to the real estate team of Terry Adcock and Lindsey Eck. They were also honored in the contest in 2017 and consider themselves very grateful for years of support from the Powhatan area! Terry and Lindsey are known for their professionalism and expertise in buying and selling rural land, particularly historic homes and horse farms.

Congratulations to our team and a big thank you to Powhatan Today readers for voting for Napier ERA! We look forward to further serving this wonderful area in 2019.

March
15

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro

Hire a Realtor Napier ERA
Every once in a while, you'll pass by a home that's for sale by owner (FSBO). If you're selling a home you may wonder if that homeowner knows something you don't know. The truth is that FSBO comes with many risks because listing (and selling) a house effectively requires time, experience, and specialized skills. Working with a REALTOR® makes life easier when selling a home, and our real estate agents are excited to tell you more about how we can help.

  1. Why Working with a REALTOR® Is Always Best
    Whether this is your first time selling a home or you have done the dance before, there is so much that your REALTOR® can do to simplify the process. From generating interest in your property to negotiating and closing the deal, your REALTOR® will be with you every step of the way.

  2. The Right Price for the Right Place
    Setting a price is one of the biggest challenges of going the FSBO route because there are a ton of variables that factor into the equation. The home itself is of course very important, but so are neighborhoods, school districts, entertainment destinations, and employment options. An experienced REALTOR® will also be a neighborhood expert and can provide a comparative market analysis to help set a price that maximizes your return. When it comes to pricing, having a trusted, experienced expert on your side is very valuable.

  3. Effective Marketing to Generate Interest in Your Home
    Let's say you are looking for a real estate agent who sells homes in Midlothian, and you want to make sure that your home moves as quickly as possible. Your REALTOR® understands how to market to your target audience, and how to showcase the community where your home is located. Staging an open house is hard work, and that's just one piece of the marketing pie. Your REALTOR® can also help generate interest in your home through online listings, showcasing your property on social media, and turning interested prospects into active bidders.

  4. Negotiating the Sale and Closing the Deal
    It takes real effort to make it to the stage of serious negotiations, but the work isn't over just yet. There is often a difference between the list price and the ultimate sale price of a home with plenty of smaller terms to negotiate in order to find a deal that works for both sides. Your REALTOR® will be a huge help with the negotiation process and has experience with all of the fine-print details required to complete a transaction.

    When you work with a REALTOR®, you also make negotiations easier on the buyer--assuming they're working with a REALTOR® of their own. Many REALTORS® don't like to negotiate with FSBO sellers because there are often unexpected snags that don't come up when negotiating with another real estate professional. Your REALTOR® is also your advocate, working on your behalf to get the best possible deal.

  5. Real Estate Is a Passion
    Ask ten different real estate agents why they became a real estate agent, and you might get ten different answers. The one thing that remains the same? Real estate is a passion, because it's a challenging, rewarding, exciting profession. The best REALTORS® are passionate about what they do for a living, and that passion translates to plenty of hard work on behalf of clients.  Hire a real estate pro who is passionate about what they do and the communities they serve.

Looking for the right REALTOR® to help with your next real estate transaction? Contact Napier ERAOur REALTORS® are experts in the Central Virginia real estate area including Richmond, Powhatan, Colonial Heights, and Glen Allen.

January
31

Selling Your Home - Top Reasons Why FSBOs Fail

WHY FSBOs FAIL
If you're the kind of person who likes to do things on your own, you might find the idea of an FSBO sale – for sale by owner – intriguing. Unfortunately, the benefits that people expect often fail to materialize ... and the final sale turns out to be much less profitable than planned.

Homeowners who are going into their first sale often believe they can save money and even speed up the process by going it alone. When things go poorly at first, it's easy for inexperienced sellers to double down and feel like they just need to "tough it out."  By the time they decide to work with a qualified real estate agent, they may have done more harm than good selling their home.

By the time someone is there to get the sale on track, trends in the housing market could be shifting. Sometimes, the changes are positive ones. In many cases, though, sellers find themselves running after the initial conditions that persuaded them to sell in the first place.

That can be a disaster – it could even sabotage the prospects for selling at all.

How FSBOs Go Bad

It would be one thing if an FSBO went south in a few days or even a few weeks – that would leave you time to recover. But problems often unfold slowly, with their own gravity, that brings you inexorably to a failed sale. There are simply so many factors creating headwind against a successful transaction that virtually anyone would struggle with them.

Let's look at some of them:

  • House Valuation
    Real estate agents get housing valuation info from a number of sources. That includes historic data on recent sales in the area and trend lines for similar markets. A valuation is not simply "how the agent feels" about a home, it's calculated to attract the right kind of buyer. Sellers risk losing thousands by undervaluing a home or pricing it out of the market by overvaluing it.

  • Contract Errors
    Real estate agents bring procedural know-how and connections to ensure legal errors are kept to a minimum. Scams happen, and selling or buying a home without contracts in place will leave unscrupulous characters free to run off with your money or turn around and leave you in the lurch when you might believe a deal is as good as done.

  • Honest Mistakes
    Real estate agents carry errors and omissions insurance – E&O – to protect them against liability if facts in a listing turn out to be wrong. Without that added layer of protection, FSBO sellers can find themselves in the hot seat. Even buyers who agree to purchase a home at a certain price could turn around and sue, claiming you misrepresented the merits of the property.

  • A Longer and Much Less Lucrative Process
    All other factors being equal, FSBOs sell for less and spend more time on the market than other properties do. In 2015, they were estimated to lose about 16 percent of their sale price compared to agent-assisted sales. Prices dropped even further when the buyer was someone the seller knew. At the same time, around 18 percent of FSBOs failed to sell within the desired timeframe.

When you choose to work with Napier ERA, you'll see the value you get from day one. Our real estate agents are experienced local experts who know what it takes to help Richmond homes for sale succeed on the market. For personalized advice that will put you on the road to the sale you really want, simply contact Napier ERA today.

July
10

The Seven Hills of Richmond - Church Hill

Church Hill Richmond
When you're searching for a home in Richmond, you are sure to hear about our Seven Hills. Although never receiving an official designation, according to a 1937 ordinance by the City of Richmond, the seven hills of RVA are: Union Hill, Council Chamber Hill, French Garden Hill, Navy Hill, Gambles Hill, Shockoe Hill and Church Hill. These neighborhoods have shaped RVA's history and are part of what makes it such a special place to live today.

Church Hill - Richmond's First Neighborhood

Church Hill Home

Church Hill holds the distinction of being the first official neighborhood in Richmond. It's home to the original 32 blocks of the city and as such has a rich history and many historic buildings. The old architectural styles are still enjoyed and protected in Church Hill, and gas street lamps still line the red brick cobblestone sidewalks. This is a distinctive community that is full of character and charm.

Church Hill is found on the eastern end of Broad Street. It sits within walking distance of Richmond's downtown, but has its own collection of shops, restaurants and businesses. Church Hill also has a beautiful collection of residential properties that embrace the historic ambiance of this neighborhood. Here you can find homes that show the Greek Revival, Federal, Queen Anne and Italianate architectural styles and these properties have been carefully and lovingly maintained throughout the neighborhood's history. Today, the Church Hill North Historic District is part of the National Register of Historic Places.  Homeowners and business owners alike are dedicated to preserving the history and architecture of the community for future generations.

Unique Blend of Past and Present

Today, Church Hill provides Richmond homeowners with the perfect blend of historic with modern. The homes and their classic architectural styles, along with the beautiful streetlamps and cobblestone sidewalks, are the historic side of Church Hill. It's also home to Chimborazo Park and the Richmond National Battlefield, which is home to a museum that houses artifacts from Civil War history. Patrick Henry Park is also in Church Hill near the site where he uttered his famous quote, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Libby Hill Park, one of the first parks established in the city, is another historic community site. Everywhere you look in Church Hill, history awaits discovery.

Church Hill - The Roosevelt

Church Hill is modern at the same time. The community is located within walking distance of the city's vibrant and modern downtown. Within Church Hill, you will find local eateries, photography studios and locally owned shops. This blend of modern and historic is part of the reason Church Hill has continued to be a popular Richmond residential community.

Find Your Church Hill Home Today

If the history and ambiance of Church Hill appeals to you, our real estate agents at Napier ERA are ready to help. Contact us to start the search for your own historic property in Richmond's charming Church Hill neighborhood.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 11/27/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 11/27/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 11:10:19 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Sun 11/27/2022 1:07:42 AM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 10:54:24 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 10:26:31 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 8:50:22 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --


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