Selling A Home


Before you start packing up your home, it's important to remember that there are certain things you need to leave behind for the new owners. Below is a quick checklist of things you will want to make sure you don't pack with your belongings.


  • Any personal property specified in your contract, this includes items that the buyer specifically wrote into the contract and anything that is part of the standard language of the contract. For example, the standard Virginia Real Estate Contract includes all fixtures located in the property on the date of the contract ratification, so make sure you read through your contract closely and chat with your agent if you have any questions.

  • Owner's manuals and warranty information for any appliances you are leaving in the house.

  • Garage door openers.

  • Keys to the house, storage sheds, and any other locked space inside the home.

  • Codes to the security alarm or any coded door locks. Don't forget the contact information for any security companies that you utilize.

  • Contact information for your homeowners' association or condo board.

  • Access to smart home devices. Make sure that any smart devices left in the home are reset for the new homeowners to connect their accounts. Be sure your accounts and data are fully disconnected and wiped from the device. Leave instruction manuals or app information for the smart devices.

  • Numbers to local utility companies and a list of local service providers. Moving to a new area often means finding new lawn care services, plumbers, electricians, etc. If you have a favorite local business that you're sad to be leaving behind, give them the gift of sharing their information with the new homeowners. The new owners and your local businesses will appreciate your efforts.

  • A roll of toilet paper in each bathroom and paper towels in the kitchen. It's a little thing that the new owners will be grateful for.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a home or the real estate process in general, call New Leaf Team at (434) 214-6121. Rives, Kelly, and John will be glad to help answer your questions.  


If you're thinking of selling your home in the future, it can help to make some improvements or upgrades before you go on the market. But not all upgrades will help your home sell at a better price.

Here are a few places where you can focus your money and efforts to improve your ability to sell your home.

Curb appeal: First impressions are important, and the first thing buyers will see of your home is the front yard. Take care of your yard and be sure garden beds are tended to and everything is mowed, trimmed, and edged. Potted plants are a great way to add a pop of color to your yard.

Paint: Painting your home can be a relatively inexpensive DIY project and can give your home a whole new look. Painting the exterior and the front door can be a great way to add more curb appeal and painting the interior to a fresh, neutral color can help buyers envision the home with their belongings inside.

Steam clean the carpets: Even the nicest carpets are bound to get stained over time. This is especially true if you have pets or children at home. A clean carpet will be softer and more inviting.

Replace your HVAC filters: Your HVAC filters should be replaced regularly to keep your system functioning at its best, but if you can't remember the last time you replaced the filters now would be a good time to do so.

Fix any roof issues: Roof issues are high on the list of things that buyers will want repaired before they purchase a home. Take the time to have a qualified roofer come out and make repairs or replace the roof (if necessary) before you go on the market.

Replace broken windows: Broken windows can age a home and make it look less desirable. Replace the broken windows, fix any cosmetic damage, and make sure all of your windows are sparkling clean before you list.

Tidy your home: Before you go on the market is a great time to start decluttering for your move. If there are items that take up a lot of room but aren't needed on a regular basis, it may be worth investing in a storage unit to keep them out of the home while you're on the market.


These are just a few of the more common suggestions that your Realtor® may make before you list your home on the market.  At New Leaf Team, our agents will do a pre-listing walkthrough to help determine the value of your home and see if there are repairs or improvement projects that we recommend you take on before listing.

If you have questions about listing your home and projects that would improve your value, call New Leaf Team at (434) 214-6121. We look forward to working with you.


For most home buyers, the search begins online before ever talking to an agent. In fact, in 2020, 97% of all homebuyers surveyed used the internet in their search for a home. That's why taking high quality photographs is one of the most important steps of selling a home. 

New Leaf Team is very lucky to have an agent who is also a professional photographer on our team. Kelly takes beautiful photos of our listings and will work with you to make sure we get top notch photos of your home. But before she walks through the door with her camera, there's a few things you should do to help prepare for your home's photo shoot.

  • Tidy the yard: make sure your yard is cleaned up with freshly mown grass, cleaned flowerbeds, and yard waste disposed of. Make sure all toys, bikes, and other items are stored away and make sure your patio set is clean and inviting.

  • Turn on the lights: while the photographer will use flash in photos, it always helps to have bright lighting in the room. Make sure there are no missing or burned-out bulbs and open your blinds and curtains to let natural light in.

  • Make sure there is open space: a home that feels cozy in person can look jumbled in photos. Make sure there is room to walk around furniture and consider putting larger items in storage while your home is on the market. Counters should be 75% empty and your fridge should have minimal paperwork and magnets on it.

  • Clean your home & make it shine: the camera will magnify grime in your home. Go through each room and take time to dust, clean floors, and make sure each room shines its brightest.

  • Snap pictures with your own camera: take a few photos with your camera or cell phone to see what they may look like before the photographer arrives. This will help you see what changes you can make.

  • Add color: if you think your rooms are looking dull, add a pop of color with a plant, bright vase, or colorful blanket on a couch.

  • Keep the home in shape: buyers who like the house online will expect to see it in similar condition when they come to visit. Do your best to keep it clean and tidy while on the market.

If you're ready to put your home on the market, our team would love to work with you! Call our agents at (434) 214-6121 to discuss your goals. 



Decluttering, minor repairs, and simple staging can make a HUGE difference in how a buyer views your home both online and in person. And we want to make sure your house makes a great first impression to all potential buyers! When our team performs a pre-listing walkthrough to discuss your goals and home pricing, we'll also give you a list of personalized suggestions to make your home leave a good impression on buyers. 

Here are a few general tips to help you showcase your home's value: 

Remove Clutter & Let It Shine

Give your home a deep cleaning. Remove clutter, clear off counters, and pack away unnecessary decorative items. Put extra furniture in storage & don't forget to clean up your storage areas. 

Give your windows & screens a good clean to bring more natural light into your home. Replace any burnt out bulbs & consider adding brighter bulbs to darker rooms. Clean your walls or give them a new coat of bright, neutral paint. And replace heavy curtains with sheer ones to show off a view.


Keep It Clean

A deep clean before listing your home will make regular upkeep easier. Consider hiring a cleaning service to help keep things neat while on the market.

Try to tidy your home each night and make beds each morning in case of last-minute showings during the day.


Perform a Sniff Test

Open your windows to air out the house and clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate odors. Consider using scented candles and diffusers to pump fresh scents into the house.

For some quick fixes in the kitchen, place cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract to make the fridge smell nicer. You can boil lemon juice in your microwave and add it to your dishwasher to help eliminate odors. Then, run the lemon rinds through your garbage disposal for a similar effect.


Maximize Comfort

In summer, shut A/C vents on the first floor so more air will get upstairs. Reverse the process in winter.


Take Care of Repairs

Sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they'll give buyers the impression that the house isn't well-maintained.


Tidy Up Your Yard

Your front yard is the first impression a buyer will have of your home, so make it a good one.

Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds great curb appeal.


Set the Scene

Stage your home to look welcoming.  

Bright accent pillows can easily jazz up a dull room. And pretty dishes or simple centerpieces on a table can help buyers picture themselves living there.

If you have a fireplace, clean up any ashes and lay fresh logs inside.

In the bathrooms, make sure your personal toiletries are out of sight, along with old towels and toothbrushes. Add a new shower curtain and some fancy guest soaps.


Lock Up Valuables & Medication

While we like to believe the best in everyone, agents cannot watch everyone at all times. Make sure any valuables and medications are safely stowed away.


Head Out

It can be awkward for everyone if you're at home at the time of a showing. Make plans to be out of the house when showings occur.

If you have pets that will be home during a showing, try to crate them or confine them to one room and let real estate agents know where they will be to eliminate surprises.



These are just a few suggestions that we offer to make sure your home leaves a great impression on buyers. To learn more about how our team can help your home stand out from the rest, call our agents at 434-214-6121.


If you're preparing for a move, you can find yourself with accumulated clutter that you don't want to bring to your new home. Garage sales can be a great way to downsize some items and help you earn a little extra cash before you move.
But before you start setting up tables in the yard, there are a few things you should do to prepare. Here are some do's & don'ts to help you maximize your garage sale potential.

DO Contact your HOA

Some HOAs & municipalities require you to obtain permission to hold a garage sale or post signs promoting one. Make sure you know the rules of your area before you start making your plans.

DON'T Wait until the last minute.

Depending on how long you've lived in your home and how much stuff you want to sell, planning a garage sale can take a lot of time and energy. And that's on top of the effort of putting your home on the market!

DO Schedule the sale.

Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early — 8 or 9 a.m. is best — and be ready for early birds.

DON'T Forget to advertise. 

Place an ad in the newspaper, free classified papers, and websites, including the date(s), time, and address of the garage sale. Add information about what will be available, such as kids' clothes, furniture, or special equipment. On the day of the sale, use balloons and signs with prominent arrows to grab attention.

DO Price your goods.

Clearly mark rounded prices (50 cents, 3 for $1, or $5, for example) with easily removable stickers.

DON'T Forget to stock up on supplies.

Before the sale begins you'll need stickers for pricing, signs to direct people to the sale, and a plan on how to display items. 

On the day of the sale, having a stock of old shopping bags that can be reused will encourage people to buy more items. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile goods.

DO Display items nicely.

Organize items by category and don't make customers dig through boxes to find items they are looking for.

DON'T Expect people to buy junk. 

If it's truly garbage, throw it away or place it in a freebie bin. Don't try to sell broken appliances, and have an electrical outlet nearby in case a customer wants to try plugging something in.

DO Manage your money.

Obtain ample change for your cashbox, and have a calculator on hand. Assign one person to man the "register," keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much.


According to NAR research, the most common reasons to list a home for sale are a desire to be closer to friends and family, a too small current home, or a change in family situation. But before you decide to put your home on the market, you should find out if selling your home is the right move to make.

These questions can help you decide whether you should list your home for sale or stay where you are a little longer.


1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home?

Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you've paid down. Usually you don't build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But if you've owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

2. Has your income or financial situation changed?

If you're making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. If your income has decreased, you may want to consider downsizing.

3. Is the effort and cost of maintaining your current home becoming difficult to manage?

You may want to consider whether a smaller house, condo, or rental would be more appropriate for your current lifestyle.

4. Have you outgrown your neighborhood?

The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same one in which you want to settle down for good. And the neighborhood where you've spent several happy decades may not be the one where you want to spend retirement. You may realize that you want to be closer to your job, live in a better school district, or spend less time traveling to see family & friends.

5. Are there reasons why you can't remodel or add on?

If you need more space, you can sometimes create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn't large enough, your municipality doesn't allow it, or you're simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

6. Are interest rates attractive?

Low rates can help you buy "more" home and make it easier to find a buyer for your current place. It may also help you expand your search to find a home you might have previously overlooked.

7. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market?

If the market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy will also be more expensive. If the market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you'll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home. Our agents can tell you what we see happening locally and how the current market will affect your ability to sell and buy within your desired timeframe.


If you've answered yes to most of these questions, then it might be a good time for you to sell. New Leaf Team would be glad to talk to you about your home ownership goals and how we can help you achieve them whether that means helping you sell and buy a new home or recommending someone to help you expand your current one.

Call us at 434-214-6121 to talk about what your next steps might be.


Preparing your house for sale can be an intimidating process, especially when you're still living in the home. But there are things you can do that will help your home look its best for potential buyers and help you prepare to move. 

De-personalize & disassociate yourself from the property.

The goal is for prospective buyers to envision that this could be their new home. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts. You want them to imagine their own photos on the walls and their belongings in the home. This can be challenging and a distraction if there are too many of your own. 


Too much stuff conveys a message of too little storage. Organization and cleaned empty space emphasizes good storage space.

  • Make sure there is room on every bookshelf for more books.
  • Pack away knickknacks.
  • As a general rule of thumb, any surface should be 75% empty.
  • Remove personal items from the refrigerator & clean the appliances.
  • Daily essential items used can be stored in a closet or cabinet when not in use.
  • Organize & declutter closets and cabinets. 
  • Neatly stack dishes.
  • Minimize items on the floor.

Consider renting a storage unit.

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. 

  • Remove pieces of furniture that block or hinder paths and walkways 
  • Remove any unnecessary furniture such as bookcases or end tables 
  • Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. 
  • Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose

Make minor repairs.

  •   Patch holes in walls, caulk, and touch up paint where needed.
  •   Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  •   Fix leaky faucets and toilets.
  •   Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  •   Consider painting your walls neutral colors.
  •   Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  •   Consider replacing worn out bedding and pillows

Remove/replace favorite items.

If you wish to take window coverings, appliances, fixtures, etc. with you, it is best to remove them prior to listing. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary. If that is not possible, specify that these items are to be excluded from the sale so we can communicate that to prospective buyers from the beginning.

Arrange and stage.

Imagine how your house will look to a buyer. Make sure window coverings and pictures hang level and arrange furniture to be presentable, not livable.

Make the house shine!

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent or hire a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean any cobwebs.
  • Polish fixtures.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum floors and carpets.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fans and light fixtures.
  • Consider using an oil diffuser or purchasing a timed fragrance sprayer to make the home smell nice

Curb appeal is important.

  • Starting from the beginning of the driveway, make sure everything looks well attended and welcoming.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
  • Keep the sidewalks clear and the lawn mowed
  • Plant flowers or group flower pots together. 
  • Trim bushes and trees if necessary.
  • Mulch and edge beds.
  • Paint faded trim and front door if necessary.


  • A physical survey or plat (if you have one) and/or any documentation pertinent to the home sale
  • A list of any improvements/upgrades to the property and a few reasons why you love your neighborhood, etc.
  • Information that buyers may find useful including utility providers, average utility cost, age of appliances and roof, and what kind of cable/internet options are available in your area.

We hope you find these tips useful as you prepare your home for sale. If you have questions about any of the tips listed here or are thinking of selling your home soon, give our team a call at 434-214-6121 to start planning your next steps. 

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