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Moundsville, WV | 2 Posts
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Wheeling, WV | 22 Posts

Feel like celebrating? Well, July is the month to do that. It's nice out, we are vacationing, we
are swimming and camping. All is good in July. We also celebrate our great nation's
independence! The 4th of July is the day we take to celebrate our great country and all our
freedoms that others fought so hard for us to have!! The 4th of July is a federal holiday that
allows most Americans to take the day off, barbecue, hang with family and then, for the grand
finale, we gather family and friends and watch the local firework celebrations!! It is a grand
time for all!

"To be successful in real estate, you must always
and consistently put your clients' best interests
first. When you do, your personal needs will be
realized beyond your greatest expectations."
- Anthony Hitt

Perhaps you are also celebrating your decision to finally get that bigger house you so badly
need and put yours on the market to sell. You find the perfect realtors at First Choice Realtors,
and they take you by the hand to lead you through your Real Estate Journey. One of the
discussions you will have with your Realtor is to whether or not to have an open house to help
sell your house. For many homeowners, holding an open house seems like a given thing to do.
But it is important to consider the pros and cons of an open house before you make a decision
to have one.

Here are some of the Benefits of having an Open House.

An Open House Can:

  • Increase the initial visibility and hopefully shorten your home's time on the market.
  • Make it easier for people who are just considering buying or allows those who are looking but are not quite sure that your home or your neighborhood is
    suited for them. By seeing it, they can visualize living there better.
  • Show off all the advantages that your home has over neighboring homes or other listings that are on the market, and if your home has been maintained
    well with updates, etc., that shows that your house is more desirable than others.
    While there are these benefits to having an open house, there are some disadvantages that
    many home sellers may not be aware of or fail to consider.

Some of the disadvantages of an Open House are:

  • Open houses have not been linked to higher selling prices.
  • There are theft and security issues associated with allowing strangers to go through
    your home.
  • An open house often attracts people that real estate agents sometimes call "lookie-
    loos." These are people who are not considering buying a home and are simply curious
    or nibby of what the inside of your home looks like.

These are just some of the factors that our realtors at First Choice Realtors will openly discuss
with you during your real estate journey with us. When you choose First Choice Realtors, we
give you individualized, personal service and we have the expertise, experience, energy and
enthusiasm to guide you through the complex and often overwhelming real state process.
Our Realtors live in the area, are active in the community and command an unsurpassed
knowledge of the local market and we can help you with selling your home! Then, once we find
a buyer for your home, we'll help you manage all phases of the purchase process.

We will not leave your side until the very end. That's why more people use First Choice

We are looking forward to selling your home. 


Listing Your Home In Spring

Flowers, gardening, graduations, Memorial Day Weekend. All are things that identify with the month of May. In May, people are finally ready to move forward with warmer weather, leaving the cold, snow, and grey, rainy days in the dust. It's time for warmth, sunshine, and bright sunny skies.

For many, the time to either downsize or get more space has been swirling around in a lot of people's heads. They have been thinking of it and kept saying that you would "wait until spring." Well, guess what? Spring is here and now is the time to finally start your new adventure by selling your current home.   

So how do you even start this whole process of preparing your house to be sold? It sounds petty tiring right, especially if you don't even know where to start! How about letting the experienced Realtors at First Choice Realtors help you out! We want to help you get the upper hand on preparing your home to be put on the market.

We know you love your current home and have likely made a lot of great memories in it. Maybe you grew up in it, raised a family in it or have spent precious time there with friends and family.

With so many memories attached to your home, it can be easy to believe that your home is worth more than it actually is. A common mistake that homeowners make when they sell their home is over-valuing it and pricing it too high. Our experienced Realtors at First Choice Realtors can help you determine how to price your home. They'll consider recent home sales and current market conditions to figure out a good price point to attract buyers and bring in offers.

Our agents at First Choice Realtors are also great listing agents who will work hard to sell your house! We would not only handle you listing agreement, but we would also help you create your agenda to promote and then show and sell your home. In addition, we will make sure your home doesn't spend too much time on the market.

The first step is to de-clutter and de-personalize your home. That flowery wallpaper in your master bedroom that you applied yourself may years ago is so pretty, right? You may adore it, but will your buyer? Perhaps removing that paper and having a fresh coat of a new neutral paint color will give that room an entirely different feel and look. You should remove distinctive personal touches in your home too, like bright painted rooms and mementos. By doing this, it will allow the potential buyer to envision themselves in your home which often will lead to a higher selling price and less time spent on the market.

Some other additional tips are to re-decorate with as much generic appeal as possible. Use neutral colors on the walls. Use modern furniture, which gives it a fresh, young look. Pack up your family photos (which may make you feel sad, but you can put them back out in your new place.) Remove clutter from counter tops in the kitchen, to create a bigger room feel. Open all your shades, blinds, or curtains to allow the natural light to shine through. Declutter all rooms as possible, especially bedrooms. Remove all Nic knacks, your kids' toys, and any clothing that may be laying around or in baskets.  Keep them hidden neatly in a closet until potential buyers leave. Basic cleaning helps too: run the sweeper, have absolutely no dirty dishes in the sink, clean all the counter tops, bathroom sinks, tubs/showers and the toilet.  Hang fresh towels. Clean your windows. Light a candle or have essential oil misting to make your home smell clean and fresh. Have animals? A must is to clean the kitty litter box and please tie any animals outside. Or, put in the basement during a tour of your home. 

Touch up additional rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Make sure your kitchen appliances work. If your oven, stove, dishwasher, or refrigerator don't work, please try to get it repaired before your home gets shown. 

Bathrooms and kitchens are some of the most important rooms in the home. Clean, updated bathrooms are an absolute must. If any of the plumbing is leaky, schedule necessary repairs immediately. Fresh towels hung add a nice touch too.

Lighting can be a powerful asset when you sell your home – because it can change how a room looks. If your light fixtures aren't updated or energy-efficient, they can make your home look older and smaller. Soft white LED light bulbs are more affordable than ever before and can make your home feel cozier than fluorescent lights. No one wants a dark depressing home.

Roofing problems? This can be expensive to repair. A roof with leaks or missing shingles is likely to scare away many buyers. If you do have the money to repair the roof, it's best to do so before you list your home. If you don't have the money, you can still list your home, but make sure you disclose your roof's condition to the buyer well before closing.

So, now that we are aware of what to do in the interior of the home, let's talk briefly about your home's exterior. After all, it is the first thing they see when they pull up and curb appeal is very important to a potential buyer. A mowed lawn is a must and please make sure you prune your bushes and pull any weeds. Clean out leafy gutters and either wash your outside with warm water and a garden hose or get it power washed in advance. If your front door is peeling with paint, is dirty, or has dirty windows, please consider cleaning it up. As a bonus, try putting flowers or a pretty planter near your front door along with a welcoming "welcome" mat. 

All it takes is some effort you your part to make your home desirable to others. Call First Choice Realtors today and let's get you started!



Colors of the Year Wheeling

Nothing changes our mood like a change of color, be it in our homes, on our ourselves, or with our vehicles. Changing colors in the home offers a chance for renewal and a freshening of the interior (or exterior) landscape. The foremost paint companies know this, so every year, they expend a great deal of energy analyzing public mood, and then develop a palette that marks the trends for the year. It's a bit tricky with so many companies announcing "colors of the year," so you can certainly take your pick of these many sumptuous colors for your home listed among Wheeling homes for sale.

The color trend developers understand the prevailing mood this past year was influenced by comforting colors. However, that's not to say color trend artists aren't willing to make bold predictions for livening things up.

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Wheeling Heating Bill

The frigid winter months are upon us, and many of us are dreading what this means for our utility bills. Winter months can be costly when it comes to heating costs, especially if you have a gas furnace. However, as a homeowner, there are actually several things you can do to lessen the blow and shave a few dollars off of your utility costs. The trick is to do everything possible to keep warm air inside to save your furnace from working overtime. Our real estate agents are pros at reducing winter heating bills, and they've pulled together a list of strategies to help you do the same:

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Wheeling Lighting Upgrades

The right lighting can transform your home and make your rooms feel brand new. There is a myriad of lighting options you can install that will breathe new life into your home. The following are seven lighting upgrades that our real estate agents highly recommend.

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Fall Landscaping

You may think of spring and summer as the prime seasons to work on your landscaping, but your lawn and other outdoor areas still need attention in the fall. And there's a bit of good news – as the weather turns cooler, you'll be more comfortable as you work outside to beautify your landscaping.

Our REALTORS® have prepared the following guide to help you improve your fall landscaping:

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Decluttering Tips

If you've been looking at Wheeling homes for sale, you'll want to declutter before you move. This will make packing so much easier. Thinking about selling? You're not off the hook! Our real estate agents tell every seller about the importance of depersonalizing and decluttering before listing a home.

Getting the whole family involved is the best way to declutter your house once and for all. Here are 5 fun and simple ways to teach your kids how to declutter. 

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Interior Design Trends to Avoid

Before putting your home on the market, you want to optimize its visual appeal to potential buyers. Your first instinct might be to incorporate today's interior design trends. After all, they have proven popularity, right?

Actually, design trends have a specificity that can prevent buyers from seeing themselves in your home. Our REALTORS® share some trends you should avoid to keep an engaging balance of current and timeless.

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Staging Mistakes

Talk to anybody who has sold a home, and they'll all tell you the same thing—staging is crucial. Especially in a challenging real estate market, the right staging can make all the difference. 

Our real estate agents have been involved in countless home sales in Wheeling and the surrounding areas, and we asked them to share some of the biggest mistakes they've seen when it comes to staging a home. Here's what we've learned to avoid.

  1. Not Having a Plan
    Before you even start moving furniture around your home, you need to have a strategy. Professional interior designers never 'wing it,' and neither should you. See how the space is laid out, how lighting affects its appearance, and how the rooms can best be made to flow together. It's also worth considering what demographic might be expected to be interested in your home, and how you can appeal to your target audience. But be careful about targeting your home too specifically; you don't want to turn buyers off either. 
  2. Leaving Too Much Furniture
    Too much furniture in your home can leave it looking cluttered and small. Most home staging experts recommend removing somewhere between one-third and half of your furniture before showing your home. That being said, don't get too hung up on the exact number of pieces you leave behind. Just make sure your home appears spacious yet not empty. It's important to find the right middle ground. As much as you don't want your home to look cluttered, it also shouldn't be empty to the point that it feels cold or uninviting.
  3. Trying to Be Trendy
    It doesn't matter what type of decor is hot right now, and it doesn't matter what colors are in style. Everything eventually looks dated, so it's best not to go out of your way to impress buyers with your great taste, or with the hipness of your decor. Classic design elements and neutral colors are usually the way to go. Plus, as great as your design sense might be, buyers should be able to see their vision for the house, not yours. The style most staging experts aim for is what's known as transitional style—a few trendy elements accenting a classic overall design.
  4. Making it Personal
    Before showing your home, remove anything that might suggest that somebody already lives there. Family photos, children's drawings, toiletries, cosmetics, items of clothing, and other personal effects should all be packed up and out of sight. Your home should become a blank canvas onto which the buyer can project their future.
  5. Making it Too Generic
    Chances are, anyone who comes to your open house will be looking at a lot of other Wheeling homes for sale. You don't want yours to look just like all the rest. While it's important to avoid doing anything to turn buyers off (i.e., trendy colors, personal objects), you also don't want your house to be forgettable. Highlight any unique or unusual features that might appeal to buyers, and don't be afraid to try a unique layout when you arrange the furniture. As long as the design has a good balance and flow to it, a unique layout can catch a buyer's attention.  

Contact us today to learn more about staging your home to sell, and talk to our real estate agents about how we can help sell your Wheeling home. 


Listing Stand Out

As the weather gets warmer, more buyers are looking for a home, and more homes are on the market. If you're planning on listing your home, you'll be competing with many other sellers and will need to find ways to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Our REALTORS® suggest the following 9 ways to make your home a stand out!

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Air Quality Tips

Indoor air quality is a key ingredient to a healthy, happy home. Whether you've just finished shopping for Wheeling homes for sale or have been at your current residence for a long time, now is the perfect time to make sure that the air in your home is as clean as possible. There are so many little things around the home that can negatively impact air quality, but as our real estate agents can tell you there are also solutions to every air quality challenge.

  1. Clean or Change A/C Filters
    The vents in your heating and air-conditioning systems are key to air quality, so it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for keeping them clean. For central HVAC systems, that typically means replacing filters a few times a year. Window units usually don't have replaceable filters, so for those you simply remove and clean the built-in filter by hand before putting it back.

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Cleaning Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a popular finish found in many homes. Appliances, hardware, cookware, and light fixtures are just a few options for incorporating stainless steel into your decor. Not only does stainless steel complement a variety of home styles, but it provides a modern touch to any space. Follow these spring cleaning tips to get your stainless steel finishes looking like they're brand new. 

  1. Look to Your Pantry for Cleaning Materials
    Though there's nothing wrong with store-bought stainless steel cleaners, you don't need to make a special trip to the store to get your stainless steel looking its best. One homemade cleaning option consists of vinegar and some type of oil, like olive oil or mineral oil. 

    Apply the vinegar to a soft cloth until its wet and use it to wipe down the stainless steel and remove any debris and grease. Or, spray the vinegar onto the stainless steel with a spray bottle before wiping it off.  Then, apply your olive oil to another cloth and use it to polish your stainless steel so that it gleams. When cleaning or wiping your stainless steel, make sure that you rub in the direction of the grain to minimize streaking. The grain refers to the direction of the metal the comprises the stainless steel.

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Picking a Real Estate Agent

Although it's easier than ever to find real estate information online, choosing the right real estate agent to help you sell your home can be daunting. It's important to find someone you feel comfortable with and with a track record of selling Wheeling homes for sale. Our real estate agents can help you understand the process so you can make informed decisions and get the most for your money. These tips can help you pick the agent who best suits your needs.

  • Ask around.
    Although a lot of agents have good reviews online, nothing beats a recommendation from someone you know. Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they've used an agent they'd recommend (or not) and why.
  • Shop around.
    Although recommendations are helpful, the internet can be a useful tool for researching agents as well. Once you've narrowed it down to a few, take the time to interview each of them.

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Winter Home Improvement

Is your home ready to handle the challenges that come with winter weather? Focusing on home improvement is a good idea no matter the season, and the right home improvement projects can make life more pleasant.

Winter home improvement projects can help you save on heating costs while making your home more efficient. Our REALTORS® are here to help you prepare for the season, with seven tips for improving your home in the winter.

  1. Seal Windows and Doors
    Do drafts in your current house have you thinking about shopping for new Wheeling homes for sale? Keep drafts – and heating costs – to a minimum this year by sealing all of your windows and doors. Silicone caulk does a great job of sealing drafts when possible, and weatherstripping is perfect for areas where caulk is impractical. Be sure to check vents and other openings for air leaks, in addition to all windows and doors.

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Holiday Home Staging

Our brokers know that when it comes to the best Wheeling homes for sale, there is no wrong time to list. With help from the right real estate expert, you can sell your West Virginia home any time of the year – and that includes holidays.

After all, sometimes you can't wait!

You may have heard that the holidays aren't the best time to list. After all, spring and summer tend to be busier seasons. However, buyers are on the lookout all year round. Their needs, like yours, don't end between Thanksgiving and New Years.

There are even some great advantages to doing so. For example, you'll be more likely to attract motivated buyers who'll take action on your listing. 

To maximize a home's appeal during the holidays, take these steps:

  1. Use Subtle Holiday Decorations
    All in all, the main lesson is to decorate tastefully. You can still enjoy any type of holiday flourish in moderation. For example, you might decide on a smaller wreath for the front door.

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Create Curb Appeal to Sell Your Home

Our REALTORS® are making it easier than ever for you to find the best Wheeling homes for sale. Wheeling is a major city and the county seat of Ohio County. Located right in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it offers both natural appeal and wonderful amenities.

If you're thinking about putting your home on the market, one kind of appeal beats them all:  That's curb appeal!

Curb appeal is one of the most essential elements of getting a home sold. The view of a home from the curb will be prospective buyers' very first look at it. That first impression can frame everything else they see around the property.

Luckily, your home doesn't have to be brand new or have all the latest gadgets to have head-turning curb appeal. If you're selling in the spring months, you have an advantage: Gorgeous foliage, light, and weather in the spring can make homes look more charming.

You've heard plenty about curb appeal, now let's see how your home can have even more of it!

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Wheeling WV 6 Tips to Sell Your Home
Are you considering putting or keeping your home on the market over the holidays? Selling over the holiday season – from November through January – can be challenging. People are busy this time of year, and the weather isn't always inviting. However, there can be advantages to holiday season selling. With fewer Wheeling homes for sale on the market this time of year, there will be less competition for buyers. Holiday buyers are likely to be serious ones if they are squeezing home shopping into such a busy season. Additionally, you'll be able to put the cheer of the season to work for you in showcasing your home. Here are six tips for selling your home during the holidays:

  1. Be especially mindful of curb appeal – The exterior of your home is on full display in the winter months, with no leaves on the trees to provide any cover. Make sure it's up to snuff by touching up paint, washing windows and cleaning gutters, etc. Also, be sure that your yard is clean, neat and attractive, and that all pathways and stairs are kept clear of leaves and debris, or ice and snow.

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Sellers - Should You Accept That Offer
You've put a lot of time and effort into getting your home ready to go on the market and listed it for sale. A few showings later, that hard work has paid off – you have an offer. But what if that offer isn't quite what you expected? Perhaps the proposed price is significantly lower than your asking price, or there are too many contingencies – enough to make you feel that the offer is way too shaky for comfort.

The good news is that you are not obligated to accept an offer you are not happy with, nor do you have to reject it outright and risk cutting your potential buyer loose to consider other Wheeling homes for sale. In most cases, that first offer is not a "take it or leave it" sort of deal, but merely a starting point in negotiations between a potential buyer and you, the seller. So what's your next step in those negotiations? Making changes to the buyer's proposed terms, which is called making a counteroffer.

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Prep Your Home for Sale
Are you planning to sell your home? If so, there are a few things you should know about getting it ready to go on the market. There are things you can do to make your house stand out from the crowd of Wheeling homes for sale, making it easier to sell and maybe even getting over your asking price. Our real estate agents know the ins and outs of selling your home.  Here are ten ways to prep your home for sale:

  1. Curb Appeal
    Making a great first impression is essential to making your best sale, and that starts the minute home shoppers pull up to your home for a viewing. Brighten up your exterior, whether that means having your siding power-washed, touching up the trim with fresh paint, washing windows, tightening up loose porch railings, or replacing missing shingles or shutters. Your yards, front and back, should also be tidy and attractive. Keep your lawns mowed, shrubs trimmed and plant some bright flowers.

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