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Libby Gatewood
REALTOR®, ABR,GRI,RAA
Associate Broker/Appraiser
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Articles Tagged "Selling your home"

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October
24

Update Your Bathroom Vanity on a Budget

Bathroom Vanity

Updating a bathroom is one of the most surefire ways to add value to your home. Fortunately, you don't have to break the bank to update your bathrooms. Instead of updating your entire bathroom, turn your attention to your bathroom vanity! Whether you're selling your house or just planning on enjoying the updates yourself for a while, here are a few suggestions from our real estate agents for giving your bathroom a facelift while still staying within your budget.

  • Paint the Vanity
    A coat of paint is the fastest, easiest, and often the cheapest way to give your bathroom a facelift. Bathroom vanities are typically not very big and usually against at least two walls, meaning you don't have much surface area to paint for this quick upgrade. Black is a striking color for a bathroom vanity, depending on your color scheme, or go a different route and turn your vanity into a pop of color. Distressing and crackle finishes offer ways to add an additional level of interest. Be sure to plan your entire mini remodel before painting, as a newly-painted vanity, along with a bunch of other easy updates, can give your bathroom an entirely new look.

  • Replace Cabinet Hardware
    The best way to paint your vanity's cabinet doors is to remove them entirely, but don't put them back on quite yet! This is the perfect time to replace your dated cabinet hardware as well. Shop around for a modern style and finish that will blend with your intended overall look.

  • Replace or Refinish the Countertop
    Even if you're updating your bathroom on a budget, it doesn't hurt to price out modern countertops, and you might be pleasantly surprised: Bathroom vanities typically have a small amount of counter space, so it might not cost as much as you think. A new counter in a more modern material is a great way to top off a newly repainted vanity. If you can't afford the replacement counter, there are a variety of ways to update the existing one, such as paint, tiling, or even creating a faux concrete countertop.

  • Update the Fixtures
    Once you've repainted your cabinets and replaced or refinished your countertop, your outdated fixtures are bound to look a little shabby in comparison. Fortunately, new sink fixtures aren't typically very expensive, making them an affordable way to complement your new vanity's style. Look for something modern and classic but not too trendy, as you don't want it to become dated again too quickly.

  • Upgrade the Vanity Lighting
    It's not strictly related to your bathroom vanity, but while you're updating this area of your bathroom, it's worth updating the lighting fixture too. It's no secret how important lighting is, both to your decor and to your buyer's perceptions, if you are listing your home for sale. 

Updating your bathroom can be fairly easily and cheaply done with just a few surface improvements, and updates like these tend to make a big impression on potential buyers looking at Richmond homes for sale. For more information about what updates sell the best in today's market, contact us today.

September
26

How to Give Your Garage More Storage Space

Garage Storage Space

Does your new garage have plenty of space for storage? It's so convenient to have a place to store your sporting goods, holiday decorations, outdoor equipment, and other essentials, especially as the weather starts to cool down.

Instead of just storing items haphazardly in your garage, why not find a way to showcase your storage space? We've seen some Richmond homes for sale with truly attractive garage storage spaces. Here are some ideas to inspire you.

  • Tall Shelving Units
    Consider having a custom shelving unit built against one of the garage walls. Or, look for a pre-made shelving unit that fits into the space. Such a shelving unit allows you to make better use of the vertical space. You can put items you rarely use on the top shelves and those you use more often closer to the floor.

  • Wall Hooks and Hangers
    There are some items frequently stored in garages that have an awkward shape and don't fit well in cabinets. Bikes, scooters, weed whackers, and rakes all fit into this category. If you place several hooks and hangers on the garage wall, you can hang up these items and display them in a tidy way. 

  • Tool Kits on a Cart
    There are several brands that make spacious, stackable tool kits. These are really meant for storing tools, but you can use them for other items, too. Put your fishing equipment in one, your picture hanging tools in another, and your art supplies in another. You can stack them on a cart, park it in the corner of your garage, and then wheel it out of the way when you need space for projects.

  • Opaque, Open-Top Bins
    Another attractive storage option is to place opaque bins on a large shelving unit. Leave the lids off, and label the bins. You can use one for balls, another for shoes, and still another one for garden supplies. With the lids off, you can toss items in quickly. Yet, the opaque color of the containers hides the mess inside.

  • Hang Bikes From the Ceiling
    Do you feel like your bikes are always getting in the way, falling over, and being shuffled to the side? Consider mounting a few hooks to the garage ceiling. When you're not using your bike regularly, you can put it up on the hooks, out of the way. If you have lightweight road bikes, it may be easy enough to lift them and store them on the hooks all the time.

  • Drop Bin for Sporting Goods
    If someone in your family plays sports or participates in a lot of outdoor activities, they may come home with dirty shoes, wet gloves, and other items that need to be cleaned and cared for before being put away. You can keep these items tidy by designating a drop bin for them in the garage. Put the bin just inside the door so people can put items inside of it as they enter.

Whether you employ one or several of these strategies, they can make your garage a more suitable storage area. If you're still looking for the right home with the perfect garage to store everything you need it to, contact us soon. Our real estate agents can guide you through the home-buying process.

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.

June
20

Kitchen Gadgets that Come in Handy

Kitchen Tools

Cooking is so much more enjoyable when you have the right tools for the job. And yet, selecting kitchen gadgets is not always as simple as it may seem. You don't want to purchase tools only for them to sit there unused. Unused kitchen tools can make your kitchen feel cluttered, especially to potential buyers!

Here are some key kitchen gadgets that our real estate agents recommend adding to your collection. Each of these tools simplifies your life and cooking routine in its own unique way.

  • A Pressure Cooker
    If there's one countertop appliance worth buying, it's a pressure cooker. These devices can cook meals like stews and braises in 30 minutes, versus the 4 or 5 hours they would take on the stove. You can also use your pressure cooker to make perfect rice, steam veggies, and craft perfect risotto.

  • An Electric Can Opener
    Opening cans with a handheld can opener can be pretty frustrating. If you have money in your budget for an electric model, definitely spring for one. You won't have to suffer through wrist fatigue to make tuna casserole ever again.

  • A Salad Spinner
    Buying whole heads of lettuce is often cheaper than buying pre-bagged lettuce, but then you have to clean it. Luckily, cleaning heads of lettuce is easy if you have a salad spinner. You just spray them down, then pile the leaves into the spinner. Press the button a few times, and the spinner will dry the lettuce, preventing it from wilting in your fridge. You can even store your lettuce inside the spinner.

  • A Spray Bottle for Oil
    Are you tired of trying to lubricate your pans without flooding them with oil? There are spray bottles made specifically for cooking oil. Fill one up, and spritz your pans with ease. This is also a more eco-friendly option than using aerosol non-stick sprays.

  • A High-Powered Blender
    If you like making smoothies, dressings, and sauces, then it's worth investing in a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix. They do a much better job than low-end blenders, and their motors last longer, too.

  • A Vacuum Sealer
    Are you tired of throwing away food that spoiled too soon? Maybe you like to pre-portion food into bags, but they often leak. A vacuum sealer will solve both of these problems. Vacuum-sealed food stays fresh for a lot longer since it is not exposed to air. Plus, vacuum-sealed bags are far less likely to break open and leave a mess in your fridge or freezer.

  • A Knife Sharpener
    When your knives get dull, you don't have to throw them away and replace them. Instead, invest in a good knife sharpener, and use it to keep your blades in tip-top shape. If you get into the habit of sharpening them every week or two, you'll never find yourself fighting with a dull blade again.

  • A Digital Thermometer
    If you're looking at Richmond homes for sale and you see a digital thermometer in the kitchen, you know the owner is a serious cook. A thermometer lets you cook meats and other foods more precisely. Digital versions are easy to read and give quick results.

If you fill your kitchen with these gadgets, you'll have a lovely time making your favorite meals and snacks. Contact us if you're still looking for the perfect place to call home. We'll help you find a kitchen to decorate and fill. 

April
25

7 Ways to Increase Your Home's Storage Space

Storage Space

Is your home looking a little cluttered? Getting rid of any extras is a good first step, but you'll also want to look at ways you can improve your home's storage space. Creating more and better storage solutions will ensure you have places to stash your items so they don't keep cluttering up your counters and tables. Luckily, our real estate agents have some useful storage tips to help make your space look more open and inviting for potential buyers.

  1. Use Your Vertical Space
    Take advantage of the space above your refrigerator, the space on top of cabinets, and even space at the top of your living room walls. Look for some easy-mount shelves you can add in these places.

    These higher-up shelves are perfect for storing lightweight items and smaller containers. For example, you can keep your extra kitchen towels on a shelf above your fridge.

  2. Store Sheets in Your Pillowcases
    If you're tired of having sheets tumble out every time you open the linen cabinet, shove each set of sheets inside its matching pillowcase. The stuffed pillowcases should then stack neatly in your linen closet.

  3. Replace Your Footstool With an Ottoman
    If you have a basic footstool in your living room, consider donating it and replacing it with an ottoman. An ottoman has a lid that you can lift off, revealing empty storage space inside. 

    Ottomans are perfect for storing magazines, books, remote controls, and other living room items. They'll give you a convenient way to clear off your coffee table, and you can also use them as footstools or makeshift seats, as needed.

  4. Purchase Clear, Plastic Storage Bins
    Storage bins are perfect for storing items in your basement, attic, or spare room. However, if you can't see what's inside a storage bin, you're likely to rifle through several of them before you find what you need. This problem is easily solved with clear plastic storage bins.

    As you fill your plastic storage bins, position the items so you can see them from the outside of the bin. This saves you from having to label the totes and makes it easier to find what you need.

  5. Hang a Pot Rack in the Kitchen
    Having to go through a drawer overflowing with pots and pans can make cooking an annoyance. You probably end up with pots and pans sitting all over the counter because putting them away is a hassle, too. A pot rack makes storing your pots and pans much easier. 

    You can hang the pot rack next to your stove or over the stove, depending on your kitchen design. Hang large, heavy pots on the bottom and smaller, lighter pots near the top.

  6. Use an Over-the-Door Pocket Hanger in the Bathroom
    In the bathroom, there tends to be a lot of items you want within reach. You don't really want to hide these things away in a drawer.

    For convenient bathroom storage, purchase an over-the-door pocket hanger. Use this to store your hair products, brushes, razors, and other toiletries, so they're tidy within reach.

  7. Hang Hooks Inside Kitchen Cabinets
    Whether you screw hooks into the cabinet doors or purchase stick-on ones, they give you a convenient place to store items like measuring cups and extra mugs. Put some in your lower cabinets for dish rags and scrubbers, too. This will help highlight the space your cabinets have to offer.

If you work on creating more storage space and simplifying your storage approach, your home will stay tidier. Don't forget to contact us if you're looking for Richmond homes for sale. Our experienced and professional agents can guide you through the process.

January
10

Get Your Home More Organized in 2022

Home Organization

The year has just started but there's still time to make a New Year's resolution for your household. Perhaps you could resolve to keep your home more organized! A good organizational scheme makes it easier to find what you need and tidy up when you're done for the day. Or if you're getting ready to list your home for sale, a well-organized home will show better, and be easier to get ready for prospective buyers.

So, how do you go about keeping things more organized in 2022? Our real estate agents have a few helpful tips.

  • Divide Your Fridge By Food Group
    When your fridge is disorganized, you're more likely to misplace things until they spoil. An easy way to organize your fridge is to divide it into zones based on food groups. Keep fruits and veggies in the bottom drawers. Put your dairy on one shelf and your meats on another shelf. Drinks deserve their own spot, and you can put condiments on the door. Label your shelves if you think you need a reminder to put things back where they belong.

  • Buy Some Over-the-Door Organizers
    Those plastic shoe organizers that hang over doors are good for more than just shoes. Put one over your child's bedroom door, and use it to store their small toys. Or, put one over your own bedroom door, and use it for belts and other accessories.

  • Gather Your Cleaning Supplies in One Spot
    Do you have cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink, others in the kitchen, and still others in the basement? Get organized by consolidating them all into one cleaning supply storage area. This could be an extra cabinet in your laundry room or a shelf in your hall closet. Put the cleaning supplies you use most often in one bucket so you can grab the whole bucket and go.

  • Designate a Clutter Basket
    Buy a large basket, and set it in one corner of your living room or hallway. When you find an item someone left out, put it in the clutter basket. Once a day, empty the clutter basket, putting these stray items back where they belong. This will help keep your home from getting too disorganized when life gets busy.

  • Put an Outbox by the Door
    Put a box or a basket in your entryway, and use it to hold onto items that you need to take outside or to your vehicle. This will help prevent items from building up in the entryway and being forgotten again and again. It will also keep your entryway looking tidier for those last-minute visitors.

  • Swap Out Your Seasonal Clothing and Items
    Gather up all of your warm-weather clothing and decor, and put it in tote boxes. Store it out of the way until spring comes again. This will help eliminate clutter, making more space for your winter items. Don't forget to declutter while going through your seasonal items as well! 

Once you get your home more organized, you'll feel so refreshed and at ease. Contact us if you're still looking for Richmond homes for sale. We can guide you through the process and ensure you end up in a home you love. 

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!

September
27

Home Security Tech Upgrades

Richmond Home Security

Home security is a big deal for Virginia homebuyers. Whether showing historic homes with older features or new homes with all the bells and whistles, our real estate agents are always asked about home security.

While some Richmond homes for sale have state-of-the-art security systems, others may need security improvements. If you're a techie, you may know about laser security systems, safe-room doors, and biometric locks, but those aren't the only ways to keep your home safe. Take a look at 7 tech-centered ways to increase home security:

  1. Smart Home Alarm Systems
    Smart home alarm systems like Google Nest and SimpliSafe are easy to install and affordable for DIY homeowners. Both systems link to smartphones and come with sensors that attach to windows and doors. Google Nest also syncs with your Nest camera and Google Assistant. These systems will help give you peace of mind whether you're home or away on a trip.

  2. Biometric Digital Door Locks
    Sure, a conventional key works for locking your doors. But are you looking to secure your doors even more without making a trip to the locksmith? Check out the Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Push Pull Biometric Touchscreen Digital Door Lock that requires dual activation by a fingerprint and a password for entry. An IR sensor sounds an alarm if suspicious movements are detected or if doors open while you're away.

  3. Ring Video Doorbells
    Ring video doorbells have been around a while, but they're upgraded each year. The Ring Video Doorbell Elite works during the day and at night with its infrared night vision. By linking to your smartphone, it immediately sends an alert when someone approaches your door.

  4. Shatterproof Windows
    Windows are common entries for home intruders, but not anymore with shatterproof, bullet-resistant, high-security windows. For added protection, these windows can be fitted with electronic keypad readers and electro-mechanical locks. 

  5. Perimeter Fencing
    Perimeter fencing may not be a high-tech home security feature, but it does protect your home against unwanted 2 -legged and 4-legged intruders. Seco-Larm E-9644- IR Curtain Sensors added to your fence top will trigger when a single beam or two adjacent beams are disrupted.

  6. Landscape Lighting
    If your front or backyard is unlit after dark, you're welcoming intruders to your home. Protect your home with security lights, up-lights and down-lights in trees, spotlights on walls, and pathway lights along driveways and walkways. An upgrade like this will help deter potential intruders. 

  7. Locking Mailboxes
    Mail theft is big business these days for burglars and thieves who want to steal your identity. A locking mailbox will deter mail thieves, porch pirates, and hackers who can make your life a nightmare. Check your local hardware store for a variety of locking mailboxes to protect your home.

Still searching for a home that you'll want to add all the latest smart home technology to? Contact us today to learn more about homes in Central Virginia. We can help you find your dream home!

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.

May
17

Why You Shouldn't Skip These Home Maintenance Tasks

Richmond Home MaintenanceOwning a home is a great investment, but it's not all fun and games. Any property requires regular maintenance to keep it in good repair, and as the owner, it falls to you. You'll find that there is typically a hierarchy of maintenance: things you can hold off on for a little while versus things that need to be done on time or immediately lest bigger problems develop. Here are five home maintenance tasks our real estate agents say you shouldn't skip and why you should prioritize them.

  1. HVAC Tune-ups
    A professional should set eyes on your HVAC system at least once a year, preferably twice if you have central AC. The general rule of thumb is to have your furnace tuned up in the fall and your AC tuned up in the spring. This not only keeps everything running smoothly and extends the life of the system and its components but also enables your technician to keep an eye out for developing problems before they become large (and expensive) problems. Having a well-maintained HVAC system can also help when it comes time to sell, as the furnace is one of the things buyers look at when they browse Central Virginia homes for sale.

  2. Water Heater Maintenance
    Many people install a water heater and forget about it until, of course, it stops working or starts leaking. Annual maintenance can actually make a huge difference in the life of your water heater, however, and possibly even catch problems before they lead to significant water damage. A tech will inspect your water heater for signs of problems and then drain and flush it to get rid of sediment buildup that collects on the bottom of the water heater, leading to corrosion and heating element failure.

  3. Gutter Cleaning
    Cleaning your gutters is another thing that needs to happen on a seasonal basis. Most experts recommend having your gutters cleaned in the spring and fall, but if you live in an area with many big trees, you may need to clean them more frequently. Gutters that aren't cleaned regularly may get clogged with debris from nearby trees, causing them to back up. The resulting overflow of water could cause expensive water damage to your home if not caught in time.

  4. Sump Pump Testing
    A sump pump isn't a "set it and forget it" kind of feature. It's easy to forget that it's down there in the basement, but if you don't do some periodic maintenance, you could end up without it when it's finally needed. You can test your sump pump by simply pouring some water in just to make sure it'll still kick on when needed. If it doesn't, you should get a technician out to have a look as soon as possible.

  5. Dryer Vent Cleaning
    Many people forget or don't realize that their dryer vents need to be cleaned out periodically. The lint trap collects most of the lint from your laundry, but some still gets by and will build up in the dryer vent over time. In addition to making your clothes dry more slowly, if that lint buildup gets bad enough, it can actually start a fire!

A well-cared-for house requires less emergency maintenance and will show better when it's time to sell. If you're thinking about selling your home, take the time to get caught up on all of your deferred maintenance, and then contact us to get the listing process started.

April
12

Fun Features to Add to Your Landscaping

Landscaping Ideas

With landscaping season finally upon us, it's time to start thinking about how you can boost your home's curb appeal. Your yard and landscaping are the first things guests, and potential buyers see when visiting your home. As a result, good landscaping not only makes your home look nice but can help to boost your home's value. 

Consider incorporating these fun features into your landscaping this spring before listing your home among Central Virginia homes for sale.

  1. Add Outdoor Furniture
    With a record-breaking number of people spending more time outside of the house last year, stylish outdoor furniture has definitely become a major trend. Creating an outdoor oasis with a comfortable sitting area near the patio, pool, or garden can create the best outdoor feeling. Just make sure to pick styles, sizes, and designs that fit the surrounding area.

  2. Optimize Your Lighting
    Outdoor landscaping lights are generally inexpensive and a great way to add a romantic vibe to your lawn this summer. String lights over the patio, LED lights along your flowerbed, or lantern lights along your walkway -- these are all great ways to shine a little extra light on your landscaping this spring. 

  3. Add a Fire Pit
    What better way to spend time with friends and family than to gather around the fire pit on a cool spring evening. Not only does a fire pit provide a source of heat, but it can also serve as the focal point of an outdoor gathering space. Consider a stylish fire pit made of brick, stone, or concrete.

  4. Create a Grand Entrance
    Our real estate agents love using spruces or shrubs to create a grand entrance. By planting two trees or shrubs on either side of your driveway, front door, or garden, you can really define your entrances and impress your visitors. 

  5. Incorporate Levels
    Adding terraced levels to your yard or garden is not only visually appealing, but it can actually make your yard look larger. If your yard slopes, consider creating defined spaces or sections. Terracing your yard can allow you to define specific spaces for dining, fire pits, or gardens.

  6. Add Some Native Plants
    It's easy to see why native plants are popular these days. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they're also easy to take care of since they thrive locally. Not only do they look nice, but they also are important for supporting natural wildlife. 

  7. Try a Vertical Garden
    Vertical gardens are really becoming popular these days, and they're incredibly easy to create. Just choose a location and grab a vertical frame, a plastic sheet, and some fabric. You can then plant whatever you'd like - flowers, edibles, or succulents. For a more traditional look, you can even try adding some vines or ivy.

Beautiful landscaping is the best way to make a great first impression when visitors stop by your home. For more tips on how to make the most of your yard, contact us today.

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
19

2019/2020 Market Recap

2019 to 2020 Market Recap

The local housing market took some unexpected turns in 2020, but hey, that's on par with everything else we saw from 2020!

We've unpacked 2019's trends and compared them to 2020's to stay up to date with what may come in 2021. ⁠ ⁠

Looking for advice on how to handle this market? Contact Napier ERA to stay in the know!

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!

August
10

July/August 2020 Market Update

July and August are going strong for home sales!

The time to list your home in Central Virginia could be now! 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 July alone, 2525 homes were listed, and 2655 homes were successfully sold! The average sales price in our area was $320,592 in July 2020, up 6.8% over last year.

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 local market. 

Contact Napier ERA today to get started!

July
6

Summer Project: How to Clean and Organize Your Garage

Organizing Your Garage

Summer is the perfect time for reorganizing your garage. The long daylight hours mean you have plenty of time to tackle this task and better showcase the space your garage has to offer. Depending on the size of your garage, you may be able to have everything cleaned and organized in a weekend!

When potential buyers are viewing Richmond homes for sale, a well-organized garage will help them envision the possibilities, or at least not trip over an unruly extension cord. If your garage hasn't been cleaned lately, a cleaning plan will help you get through the task efficiently. Use the tips below to get started. 

  1. Break Down the Big Project 
    Working in sections or categories will help you break the work down into manageable sub-tasks. You can divide the garage into sections to thoroughly clean and organize each section. This can work very well if your garage is small or relatively uncluttered. You can also break the work down into categories for what you normally store in the garage. You may decide to organize auto care supplies, outdoor decor, tools, or other items you store. This approach is ideal if your garage has been recently cleaned or is new, but you need to cull items. Either method will help you efficiently divide cleaning your garage into tasks that you can delegate to helpers or stretch out over a long weekend.

  2. Keep, Donate, Toss
    Every reorganization will turn up items that you may not use often. If you don't have use for an item, but it's in good condition, a local thrift store will often be happy to have them. If you have a tool that needs a new home, the RVA Tool Library accepts donations of gently used tools. If you need to dispose of potentially hazardous items such as paint or car batteries, the Richmond Department of Public Works accepts multiple types of hazardous waste.

  3. A Clean Slate
    Decluttering will improve the look of your garage, but gleaming surfaces will complete the makeover. A scrub brush and soapy water will work on many surfaces, but a drill with brush attachments and a pressure sprayer will help with rust, oil stains, and dirt that's become deeply embedded into surfaces. If you're not sure if a cleaning solution or method is appropriate, please test it on a small hidden area first. 

  4. Just A Touch Up of Love
    The surfaces of your garage endure a lot of wear and tear, and it's common for surfaces to become chipped. Perfectly clean surfaces can look less, so when they're scratched or chipped a fresh coat of paint will make your garage look new inside and out and show the pride in your home that our real estate agents love to see.  

Reorganizing your garage can seem like a daunting task, but it's deeply satisfying to see the clutter and grime melt away into a space that makes it easy to find the tools you need and retrieve the items you've stored away. But if you're looking to make a more dramatic change in where you live, contact us today. 

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!

October
28

7 Tips for Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time

Buying and Selling a Home

Buying and selling a home at the same time is essentially doing two jobs at once. Coupled with other life obligations, you will have a lot on your plate. While our real estate agents know it seems like a daunting challenge, the following tips can help you sell your home, buy a new home, and stay balanced.

  1. Study the Market
    Timing is critical, and you should have a solid understanding of prevailing market trends where your home is located and where the home you want to buy is located. This can help you position your home to sell so you won't have to wait to buy a home where you want.

  2. Secure Funds for a Down Payment
    Apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) before you list your home. This will give you access to funds you can use as a down payment. Alternatively, build up your savings, or speak with your bank about a bridge loan.

  3. Be Ready to Make a Contingent Offer
    If you find the home you want before you selling, then you may want to broach the subject of a sales and settlement contingency with the seller. This allows you to put an offer on a home with a first-right-of-refusal if the seller accepts your offer. Ideally, you will want to wait until you have an offer on your own home and then discuss a settlement contingency that allows you to buy the home when your home is sold.  

  4. Consider Renting Your Home Out
    If the market is slow and inventory of rental properties is low, you may want to rent your home out. This can ease your financial burdens and allow you to move into your new home right away. However, you will need to be willing to accept the risks and responsibilities of becoming a landlord.

  5. Consider Renting Your Home
    If you sell your home first, it may be possible to negotiate a rent-back agreement. In this scenario, you agree to pay rent on your property for a set time until you find a new home. It's important to note this is usually an option in a seller's market, and it may reduce the number of offers.  

  6. Have a Plan B, C, & D
    Selling and buying a home at the same time means you may miss out on your first choice. Because of the variables in play, it is vital to identify a second, third, and even fourth home that you would like. Giving you a little more flexibility during the process.  

  7. Sign on with an Experienced Agent
    An experienced agent can help you market the home effectively. They can also help you zero in on the ideal listing price for Richmond homes for sale and strategy for selling your home as quickly as possible. 

We encourage you to contact us for more tips on buying and selling a home at the same time. Our team can guide you through the steps you'll take on the way toward your new home. 

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.

October
24

Celebrating the Best of Glen Allen at The Cultural Arts Center

Supporting the Visual and Performing Arts in Glen Allen

Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center
When you're touring homes for sale in Glen Allen, take time to visit The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen.

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen offers local residents in the Richmond area an opportunity to discover the arts, develop a talent, and experience  all our community has to offer.

Young and old gather at the Center to share artistic experiences and develop creative skills. Four galleries showcase work from local and regional artists. Performance stages come alive with music, dance, and theater presentations. Regional artists and artisans market their work in a warm and friendly setting. The Center also rents four beautiful spaces for special occasions.

Our real estate agents live and work in the area. We know The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is a valuable community asset and celebrate the Center's best by sharing these upcoming programs and special events with you. 

Glen Allen Community Events   

  • Halloween: Dia De Los Muertos
    The Center celebrates Halloween with a cultural twist. The family-friendly event celebrates Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with the Latin Ballet of Virginia. Visitors will enjoy music, dancing, treats, food, and creative activities. The Richmond Ballet Mind and Motion Ambassadors from will perform. Mercado Muertos will sell themed merchandise. October 29, 2017, 1-5PM; Free

  • Virginia Cultural Marketplace
    Regional artists and artisans will sell jewelry, bath & beauty products, wreaths, pottery, and more just in time for you to purchase gifts for the holidays. The Center's Atack Family Gift Shop will sell creations by local and national artists and artisans. The galleries will be open as well, showcasing a collection of art by local and regional artists. Friday, November 10, 2017, Saturday, November 11, 2017, 10AM-8 PM; Free
  • 19th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
    The Center will collaborate with the Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks to present the annual lighting of the Center's 60-foot Christmas tree. Guests will enjoy a bonfire, hot chocolate and cookies, a musical presentation and a visit from Santa. Saturday, December 2, 2017, 4:30PM; Free
  • Illumination: A Festival of Trees
    After the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Cultural Arts Center hosts "Illumination," a festival that celebrates Christmas trees. The event features an exhibit of specially themed trees. Santa will be there with his elves and young visitors can participate in a holiday scavenger hunt. Saturday, December 2, 2017, 5-7PM; Free

Live Presentations at The Cultural Center

The Cultural Arts Center celebrates the season with live concerts and theater performances. These upcoming events will start your holiday season out on a joyful note.

  • A Tribute to the Carpenters: Susan Greenbaum Band
    Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 7PM; Tickets: $30.

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Friday, December 8, 2017, 7PM; Saturday, December 9, 2017, 11AM and 1PM; Tickets: $12.

  • The Richmond Divas: Holiday Divas
    Debra Wagoner, Cathy Motley-Fitch, and Desiree Roots perform holiday favorites. Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 7PM; Tickets $30.

  • Twas The Night Before Christmas
    The VA Rep Tour presents a fun musical inspired by Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Saturday, December 16, 2017, 11AM and 1PM; Tickets: $12.

When you need information about Glen Allen real estate, we're available to answer all of your questions. Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes in Glen Allen, Virginia.

September
14

Hopewell VA –Main Street America

Hopewell's Time to Shine

Hopewell Revitalization
Anyone who has spent some time in Hopewell, VA is probably familiar with the Hopewell Downtown Partnership (HDP). HDP is an organization focused on building a vibrant and prosperous downtown area for the Hopewell community.

It's behind many initiatives throughout the year that help to give Hopewell its unique character.

Hopewell, VA is a charming little city of about 23,000 people that overlooks two rivers – the James and Appomattox. Founded in 1613 and originally associated with the Quakers, it has been on the rise since an ambitious urban renewal plan launched in the 1960s.

Although the original idea hit snags, it sparked greater community interest in rebuilding the downtown area. That inspiration has carried forward to today, where the Hopewell Downtown Partnership is one of the most active community groups of its kind anywhere in the country. 

2017 National Main Street Accreditation Boosts the HDP Mission 

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership is committed to the highest standards of quality, and it shows – just ask Main Street America™ , which accredits similar community groups for following strict standards in community revitalization and involvement.

HDP was one of only 24 community groups throughout the state of Virginia to be accredited.

In recent years, HDP has consistently maintained the credential. It depends, among several other things, on demonstrating broad-based community support and reporting results regularly. Community members must be deeply involved in the organization's work, too.

The Main Street America™ program was founded in 1980 and has been adopted by more than 1,000 communities coast to coast. It delivers a program of restoration for historic commercial district by balancing preservation and economic development.

Hopewell Downtown Project has been accredited since 2011. 828 programs made the cut this year. Accreditation of organizations throughout the U.S. is managed by a state-level Main Street program, which in turn coordinates with the National Main Street Center.

During its accreditation period, HDP has sparked more than $7 million in public and private investment in the Hopewell downtown area. Burnette's Baked Goods, K&J Fitness, and a variety of others have been attracted partially through HDP's work.

A Flourishing Community Awaits You in Hopewell

Hopewell homes benefit from all the hard work done in the downtown area and so much more. A growing downtown means a strong economic engine and diverse jobs for people at any stage of their careers – essential for a growing community you may want to make your own.

Want to find out more? Expert help is just a quick call away. Contact Napier ERA to learn about your many Hopewell VA real estate opportunities. Our real estate agents in the area will be glad to work with you to find an amazing home.

September
5

Come to the Richmond International Raceway on September 9

Don't Miss the Federated Auto Parts 400 in Richmond 

Federated Auto Parts  400

Have you been searching for the perfect way to cap off another exciting summer in Richmond, VA? Whether you're a lifelong racing fan or you're enjoying the action for the first time, the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway is sure to be one of the most exciting events of the summer. In addition to all of the action on the track, families and fans alike will find fun activities, interesting exhibits, and fantastic food all throughout the event. Our real estate agents love taking in the action at Richmond Raceway, and we're here to give you the details on one of this summer's most exciting local events.

Enjoy World-Class Racing Action Close to Home

The Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway
Date: September 9, 2017
Time: Race starts at 7:30 PM, with fun at the track all day

Richmond International Raceway

What to Expect from the Federated Auto Parts 400

Maybe you're a hardcore NASCAR fan, or maybe you're just looking for an awesome way to spend a summer evening in Richmond, VA. Either way, the Richmond Raceway is an inviting place, which caters to fans and casual observers alike. There are family-friendly events throughout race-day, and you can feel the excitement in the air when the green flag starts waving.

  • Richmond Raceway is a truly impressive venue, and the crowd is a big part of what makes every event here special. So it's a good thing the stands hold more than 100,000 people.
  • Racing fans will tell you the Richmond Raceway has a unique, challenging layout, thanks to its D-shaped track. The track checks in at .75 miles, which makes for some truly intense, side-by-side action.
  • Richmond residents are looking for a day of family fun at the track, while others may be looking to enjoy one more big party before summer turns to fall. Richmond Raceway caters to both.
  • Families will enjoy the low-cost tickets for children, and the family section of the stands where alcohol is prohibited. For adults who want to enjoy the race with hot food in one hand and a cold drink in the other, Richmond Raceway has you more than covered, too.
  • While the race is the main attraction, there is plenty to do around the track at the Federated Auto Parts 400. Arrive early to explore the Raceway, take in the fascinating exhibits located throughout the grounds, and learn more about the legendary races that have taken place here over the years.

Richmond Raceway

History and Bright Future of Richmond Raceway

Located just outside Richmond, VA in Henrico County, Richmond Raceway has been delighting locals and visitors alike for nearly 75 years. Richmond Raceway is known as one of the country's premier short-tracks, hosting races from NASCAR, IndyCar, USAC, and the Camping World Truck Series. There are two big NASCAR weekends at the Raceway each year, which each feature events from both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Most racing here takes place under the lights, which only adds to the atmosphere.

Residents of Richmond, Henrico County, and beyond will also find a busy schedule of non-racing events throughout the year at Richmond Raceway. There are big trade shows, outdoor events, conventions, and even opportunities to rent space for a corporate event of your own.

Searching for homes in Richmond, and looking for an experienced, local real estate team to make life easier? Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes in the Richmond, VA area.

August
28

Family Fun at the Goochland Drive-in Theater

Summer's Not Over Yet - Plenty of Fun Left in Goochland

Goochland Drive-in Theater

No matter what, there are certain places that take you back to your youth and a time you'll never forget. For many living in the Richmond area, it's a summer evening at the Goochland Drive-in Theater. The Goochland Drive-In Theater is a community-oriented, family establishment that offers new/current release movies and plenty of fun for the entire family.

The Goochland Drive-In Theater

A much-loved staple of the community in Goochland, the drive-in's focus is on family entertainment, and provides a safe, wholesome atmosphere for people of all ages. No alcohol is permitted. It features a playground for kids under 12, and you can bring games, Frisbees, or footballs for pre-show fun (arrive early to get a good spot). Quiet, well-behaved pets are also welcome. No outside food or drink is allowed, but the Goochland Drive-In offers affordable, classic-American food and concessions, a gluten-free menu, and admission is just $4 for kids and $8.50 for adults.

In the late 1950s to early 1960s, more than 4,000 drive-ins captivated American moviegoers. While drive-ins have slowly disappeared around the US, they have seen a revival in recent years. The beloved Goochland Drive-In Theater has been bringing movie lovers and people of all ages together since 2009, creating and nurturing a sense of community and human connection. Just a 30-minute drive from Richmond and Charlottesville, the Goochland Drive-In attracts people from miles around.

Reminiscent of the classic drive-ins of yesteryear, the Goochland Drive-In is an ideal night out for families. A fun and unique way to catch a movie and connect with members of the community, come and enjoy some nostalgia laugh and hang out with friends and neighbors.

Can't get a babysitter for date night? Bring the kids and let them enjoy the playground while you chat with new friends or neighbors; then hunker down and enjoy a movie from the comfort of your car (you can bring chairs and enjoy a movie under the stars, too!). The Goochland Drive-In also provides a safe and wholesome environment for teens, so you can rest easy knowing that your teenagers have a positive and entertaining place to go on dates or out with friends.

Call Goochland Home

If you are interested in buying a home in Goochland, our real estate agents can help you find a home you'll love. From new construction to classic historical houses, we have a variety of available homes for sale Contact Napier ERA to get started.

August
24

Salesperson Licensing Course September 11-15

Salesperson Licensing Course

Sept. 11-15 9am-5pm

Napier ERA now offers a 5-day, 60-hour course that will fully satisfy your Virginia Real Estate Salesperson License Education requirement.  

Classes will run from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you'll leave fully prepared to begin a rewarding career in real estate!

Click here to complete the registration form, and you will be contacted promptly so that we can get you into the next class!

 

August
21

Historic Homes in Hanover County - Hanover Tavern

Take a Step Back in Time at the Hanover Tavern

Hanover Tavern Hanover County

Large or small, Virginia's communities have so much to offer that it's hard to choose one to settle in. One of the most attractive things about the state is how history seems to come alive in so many ways. Every chapter in the nation's history has played out in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

There's perhaps no better example of this than Hanover Tavern in Hanover County, VA.

Hanover Tavern is a Unique Glimpse Into Colonial America

Located right in Hanover Courthouse, Hanover Tavern is the direct descendant of the original tavern that was licensed to stand on the spot all the way back in 1733 – more than 40 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As taverns go, it's one of the oldest in the United States.

It's not surprising, then, that Hanover County locals throughout the centuries have worked hard to maintain and protect it. Not only has so much of its history been preserved, but it has actually continued to function as a tavern for much of the time it has stood.

The story of Hanover Tavern started through necessity.

One of the Epicenters of Virginia Community Since the Start

In the country's early history, the vast majority of people lived in rural areas. The population was so sparse that it was only necessary to hold court once a month in most places.

The judge and those with legal complaints would typically travel from very far away. With that in mind, a tavern was a crucial part of giving them all good food and a warm bed. Stables and other amenities were needed for the large stagecoach teams.

The Hanover Tavern was the solution and has been a fixture of the community ever since.

Since opening its doors 284 years ago, this unique landmark has had many famous guests.

During the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette and several of his comrades stayed at the Hanover Tavern. Likewise, George Washington wrote diary entries about it. We know that he stayed at the Hanover Courthouse complex at least twice. Patrick Henry once lived there, and the Patrick Henry Tour – known as Road to Revolution – is a popular attraction even today.

Throughout the Civil War, the Hanover Tavern gained even more importance. It entered the National Registry of Historic Places and became one of the keystone sights on the various Civil War tours and trails. As time went on, more and more notable people passed through.

Some of these include literary giants Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens.

The Hanover Tavern Today: A "Must See" For History Lovers

Today, Hanover Tavern – and Hanover County in general – is still welcoming guests.

The Tavern offers seasonal menus showcasing local favorites like the lunch brisket sandwich, duroc pork, and shrimp and grits. All year around, you can get tavern fare with a distinctive local flourish that's helped the Tavern command rave reviews online.

No matter when you visit, you'll also find a full calendar of events at the Tavern. Businesses and community groups alike use it. Adult education in things like painting and handicrafts are held frequently.

Want more? The Tavern can be rented for other special occasions, or you can simply visit as part of your grand evening at the Virginia Repertory Theater. The Theater is just steps from the Tavern and is the oldest continually-operating dinner theater in America.

There's never been a better time to explore great Hanover homes. Contact Napier ERA to find out more. Our real estate agents are glad to assist you with expert help and advice.

 

June
20

At Home in Henrico County's Short Pump Town Center

Discover 140+ Shops, Restaurants & Entertainment Venues

Short Pump Town Center
Imagine living in an area where you have top of the line retail shops, luxurious amenities and fine dining area just outside your front door. Sounds great! If you dream of such a life, you could have it all right here at Short Pump Town Center in Henrico County. This center is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex with over 140 stores and has been popular with shoppers since it opened its doors in 2003. You can enjoy the best of luxury living in homes available near the Short Pump Town Center.

Living in this spectacular community will give you access to luxurious amenities, shopping, entertainment, and world-class dining. The best thing yet, you only take a short walk from your home. All the things that you need close to your home are right here at the Short Pump. The Center is a convenient location that offers easy access to notable areas including Barnes & Noble, Red Robin and Chipotle.

Luxurious amenities

Short Pump is a planned community that will give you the luxury of walking along beautifully landscaped walkways with serene water features and hanging lanterns. During the chilly months, you can still enjoy the atmosphere since there are heated pavilions and outdoor fireplaces. Shopping and dining has never been this amazing in winter. Enjoy the luxurious amenities in this community including Red Door spa, full-service fitness center, and beautiful outdoor spaces. 

Short Pump Restaurants

Dining

The Short Pump Town Center offers an excellent selection of dining options. This is an awesome place to share a meal with family and friends. Whether you want to have a cup of coffee or a gourmet entrée, you will have no trouble finding a place to grab something at the Short Pump Town Center. Dining options include California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Lehja, Maggiano's Little Italy, The Boathouse and Rock Bottom Restaurant. Cold Stone Creamery is also available to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Short Pump Retailers

Shopping

You can enjoy a versatility of shopping in over 140 unique shops including Macys, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, TUMI, Madewell, Sephora, Free People, Athleta and Pottery Barn. There are popular clothing stores, high-end retailers and even stores that are sure to become your favorites. The Short Pump aims to be an awesome place for people who love everything about shopping.

Short Pump Park

When it comes to picnics, walks, kids' fun and pets, this is the best place to live. The park has a water play area with an enclosed dog park and fountain sprays. The dog park is open from dawn to dusk. The park also has play equipment, shelter building, restroom, and additional trails. The Short Pump is a wonderful place that will make your stay in Henrico County an exciting experience.

Excellent Entertainment

Do you want to enjoy a movie but don't feel like driving to the closest theater? No worries! All you have to do is to take a short walk to the Regal Short Pump Stadium 14 & IMAX. And when you are in the mood for a laugh, just head over to the Funny Bone Comedy Club.

Short Pump, has more to offer than just great places for entertainment and dining. It's a place with amazing people and a great history. If you are looking for homes in Henrico County, our real estate agents can help you find the perfect place to settle down at the Short Pump Town Center. At Napier Realtors, we have the experience to help us find your dream home. Contact us today for more information about homes in Richmond and finding a great place to live in the Short Pump Town Center.

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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