Archive for November, 2012

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

new pics 038

805 Haskins Dr   Suffolk, VA 23434

Immaculate home with fenced in yard. Large deck with screened in porch. Sunroom & Media/bonus room above garage. Formal living & dining room & eat-in kitchen.

Listed by: Susan Wilkins

new pics 027 new pics 003 new pics 031 new pics 010

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

new pics 047

213 Magnolia St    Suffolk, VA 23434

Brand new kitchen, new carpet, new custom paint, new deck, & new heat & air make this a must see home. The home features a fenced-in backyard, two master bedrooms, & a large shed. Located in a great neighborhood only 16 miles form Norfolk this home is priced to sell.

Listed by: Lee Cross

new pics 077 new pics 091 new pics 095 new pics 167

Harry’s Monthly Real Estate Insight

Monday, November 19th, 2012


As we approach Thanksgiving, I am thankful for an improving real estate market. Here are some good numbers for a change according to the REIN MLS statics. Sales are up over this time last year by 14.4% and sale prices are up 5% over the same time period. The Old Dominion Economic Forecasting Dean, Vinod Agarwal, noted in the Virginian Pilot that he sees a market that is continuing to improve. The challenge is that although the number of listings has decreased, the number of bank owned and distressed property sales are still at 28%, which simply is an indication of a stressed market. Active listings in our market dropped by 12%. We need for the supply of homes to decrease in order to stabilize the market.

All of these factors point toward an improving market. The rate of improvement is just painfully slow. At Cross Realty we did experience more demand last month and had a number of homes go under contract, but there is lots more inventory to work through. I was showing homes with 1 to 10 acres in rural areas Saturday and four of the six houses we viewed were bank owned or in a short sale position.

I am still thankful that the market is heading in the right direction. Knowing where to price a listing is critical to being competitive and getting sold. We know where that price point is, call us we can help you.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

DSCN0175[1] (2)1661 Great Fork Rd    Suffolk, VA 23438

Your horses will love this place and so will you! 2.74 acres with three fenced pastures & stables built in 1996, 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, great room with fireplace, dining room, master suite with full bath, front porch & back deck.

Listed by: Harry Cross

DSCN1658 DSCN1668 DSCN1682 DSCN0130

Recipe of the Month

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Turkey-and-Spinach Wraps with Cranberry-Walnut-Cream Cheese Spread

If you have left over Turkey…..


  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened2135402_WhipU_18021
  • 2 (4-oz.) packages goat cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 pound thinly sliced turkey
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach


Stir together cream cheese, goat cheese, cranberries, walnuts, honey, minced garlic, rosemary, and pepper. Season with salt. Cover and chill up to 3 days. Spread 2 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture onto each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Divide turkey and spinach among tortillas. Roll up, and cut in half or into slices.

Southern Living-November 2012

Your First Showing May Not Really Be Your First Showing!

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

In this Internet age, your first showing is long before the first potential buyers arrive at your doorstep: it’s actually the moment your listing appears on the MLS. The photos of your house, along with the pricing and listing description, determine whether or not your house is considered good enough for an in-person look, or placed on the “do-not-see” list.

This is why staging your house prior to the photos is so important! Your house needs to put its best (square) foot forward! Otherwise, buyers—who are much more in control today of what houses they see and which ones they don’t—will eliminate it just by looking at the photos online.

“That one looks dated”—gone off the list because there’s too much work to do. “Look at that wallpaper, yuck!”— wallpaper is too personal and doesn’t have universal appeal. “Who would paint rooms such dark colors?”—again, bright or dark paint colors can be a turnoff. “There’s only one photo! That must mean that the rest of the house looks awful!”—be sure there are enough photos to showcase your house properly and entice prospective buyers, not leave them wondering.

Consulting with a professional home stager prior to your ”first showing” can make a dramatic impact on how well your house shows in the photos. Stagers look at your house through a buyer’s eyes, as well as assessing how it will appear in photos. It’s important to follow the stager’s recommendations about furniture placement (compliment the architecture and maximize the space), accessorizing (bigger is better), paint colors (warm yet neutral, and NOT white), de-clutter (de-clutter, de-clutter—did I say de-clutter?), and decorate for the potential buyer (it’s not about you anymore!).

Stagers will also make recommendations about the best ways to update your house: new lighting, new handles on cabinets, replacing worn carpeting, painting older cabinets, replacing counters, framing bathroom mirrors, getting rid of wallpaper and borders.

Often, a house shows poorly (in pictures and in person) because of the furniture—the style doesn’t match that of the “target market”, the condition is worn or worse, or it’s just too large or overstuffed. Stagers have ideas for dealing with these issues as well, often suggesting slipcovers, or even rental furniture. Sometimes, borrowing from friends or family can be a great “temporary” solution.

Your house needs to stand out from all the competition (after all, it’s now a product on the market), and great photography can help with this. Ask your Realtor if they use a professional photographer, and look at photos of their other listings. Make sure the simple issues are addressed—no toilet seats up, no pets in the pictures, not blurry or poorly lit shots, no pictures of the photographer reflected in bathroom mirrors, etc. A moderate wide-angle lens really helps to showcase your rooms; a fish-eye lens is too exaggerated and can distort ceilings and doorways.

Buyers need to have an emotional connection with your house. There is a reason people say that they “fell in love” with a particular place. Staging addresses the emotional elements of presentation, as well as the rational ones. You are not only selling your floors, windows, counters and space—you are selling a lifestyle!

Photos can add to the emotional connection. Take an outside picture at sunset with the lights on inside the house, and the warm glow instantly says “home”. If you have wonderful views of mountains, lakes, trees, or a garden, make sure these are included. Detail shots also add to the emotional appeal—beautiful moldings, wonderful cabinetry, a fire in the fireplace, romantic bedding, candles and flowers. Use some unique angles for even more appeal, such as a lower angle (look at shelter magazines for examples) or a higher view (from a catwalk or stairway).

You’ve often heard that selling your house is all about “location, location, location.” (And lately, “price, price, price.”) But equally as important is “emotion, emotion, emotion.” Make sure your first showing allows a buyer to experience “love at first sight”!

What Are Today’s Buyers Looking For?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Every person shopping for a home has a personal list of what they are looking for. While these lists often vary greatly because of family, career, pets and hobbies, there are a few things that just about every buyer wants to see. Below is a lists of three things every home seller should keep in mind:

Value – In other words, buyers want to get as much for their money as possible; and this means you must price your home to sell. Pricing your home accurately according to its location, its features and other comparables in the area is the best way to attract the largest number of buyers. If you price it too high you can be certain you will exclude a large percentage of potential buyers.

The “wow” factor – If you are selling a three-bedroom bungalow in a neighborhood with a half dozen other three-bedroom bungalows for sale, be prepared for competition. A great way to make your home stand out from the crowd of other homes for sale is to give it the “wow” factor. Your “wow” factor may be new, stainless steel appliances, newly refinished hardwood floors or new landscaping. Whatever it is, make it impressive so that buyers will be captivated with your home the moment they walk through the door.

Maintenance issues tackled – Although not every property will be turn-key, most buyers expect basic maintenance issues to be addressed by the homeowner. For example, a buyer should never see a leaky faucet, a torn carpet or chipped ceramic tile. Even if your home is in good condition otherwise, small maintenance issues will immediately turn buyers off and make them suspect that there are a number of bigger issues in the home. Take the weekend and make sure all maintenance issues are handled, and don’t forget about the details, such as burned-out light bulbs, squeaky door hinges and dirty walls.

Featured Property of the Week

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

new pics 138

1952 Whitemarsh Rd    Suffolk, VA 23434

Peaceful country paradise! Great open floor plan, eat-in kitchen, large master closet, & a huge bonus room (FROG) not included in bedroom count. Two car attached garage with an additional three detached garage spaces. Lots of room for horses with over 15 acres.

Listed by: Lee Cross

new pics 085 new pics 034 new pics 215 new pics 008

Entries (RSS)