How to Prep Your Home to Sell Quickly

As someone with decades of experience in real estate, there isn’t much I haven’t seen over the years.  And outside of partnering with me as your realtor, it’s important to know the work that goes into preparing a house, well before the listing goes live.  These steps increase the perceived value of your house as well as showcasing the best features to every potential buyer.  You can certainly move faster than this timeline, but be sure to be realistic regarding the work, time, and costs involved so you can keep your stress under control…

Posted on August 20, 2019 at 3:53 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

How to Prep Your Home to Sell Quickly

As someone with decades of experience in real estate, there isn’t much I haven’t seen over the years.  And outside of partnering with me as your realtor, it’s important to know the work that goes into preparing a house, well before the listing goes live.  These steps increase the perceived value of your house as well as showcasing the best features to every potential buyer.  You can certainly move faster than this timeline, but be sure to be realistic regarding the work, time, and costs involved so you can keep your stress under control…

Posted on August 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

DIY Interior Home Makeover Tips: Refresh The Look of Your Rooms

Sometimes you just need a change, but you find yourself on a tight budget. Those are the perfect times to side-step big new furniture purchases and hiring outside help to dig into a few tips that allow any homeowner to spruce up their space without breaking the bank. After you take some of these steps, then you can easily consider if a few choice purchases might be the finishing touches you need to feel like new in your existing space.

Make Two Lists

The first list should include all the major pieces of furniture that are in the room or which you wish to place in the room. It’s important to have an inventory of the major pieces so that you can make a plan. In addition to the first list, make a second list that includes what uses and feeling you’d like the room to embody. These two lists together will allow you to plan a layout that evokes the types of environment and movement you want the room to achieve.

As you create the lists, think outside the room about other pieces of furniture that are throughout your home. Is there a nightstand that could switch out with an end table for a fresh look or something similar? Sometimes just switching up the location of furniture between rooms can have a powerful effect.

To get started making a layout, look at the entrances and outlets in the room to make sure you don’t place things far from the creature comforts that are essential to everyday living. Once you have a rough idea of how you want the furniture to be placed, sketch it roughly on a sheet of paper and make sure that you think that movement and comfort are accounted for. Finally, move the furniture into the general spaces that you have decided and let it sit for a few days to ensure that you are happy before you move to additional steps.

Consider Colors

Once the layout of the room feels comfortable, take a look at the colors of fabric, walls, flooring, and accent elements. You want the colors to complement each other, so consider coverings for couches or chairs that work well with the wall colors. These kinds of changes are easier to adjust time and again than paint colors or other more intensive projects. If you have trouble matching colors and textures, consider using existing palettes that are distributed by designers as a foundation. For example, House Beautiful published some of the most anticipated color palettes for 2017.

Focus on Lighting

Lighting occurs in two environments, so you have to consider both and decide how to balance your decisions based on how you utilize the room.

Start by looking at the placement of natural light (including considering what time of day the sunlight will move through the room based on the direction the home faces) and how you can use that light during the day to showcase spaces in fresh ways. Perhaps you place a décor piece that you want to be a focal point where a sunbeam will fall in mid-afternoon or adjust the placement of a throw rug so that the light splashes across a pattern in a unique manner.

Next, consider what happens once the sun goes down. What kind of light will set the mood and environment that you need in order to utilize the space? Overhead lighting can splash a wide even light, but might be too much for some spaces. Floor lamps of different heights and wattage bulbs can offer adjustable options for bright areas and lower-light elements too. For relaxation, consider different lighting elements such as salt lamps or other diffused light options like electric candles that glow more than shine. With evening lighting, you even have the opportunity to layer lights in such a way that the room can be bright and filled with light or dim and cozy for watching movies or quieter times. If you want to invest a few dollars, consider installing dimmer light switches for an added element of lighting control! Ellen Dudley, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249

Together, these interior home makeover tips will get you started looking at your spaces and pieces in a different light, giving fresh life and feeling to your home. Use them as a foundation and start one room at a time, picking your most used room as the first space to transform, and you’ll soon be seeing your home in a new way!

Posted on July 22, 2019 at 1:15 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

What Are the Best ROI Exterior Home Improvement Projects?

Taking on home improvements can be a fulfilling adventure, allowing you to transform spaces and looks whether you decide to sell or determine that your new space fits you once again! But if you are going to take on projects, my 20+ years of experience in real estate tell me that you’ll enjoy the project, outcome, and long-term effect of a project more if you consider the average return on investment you can anticipate. Here are a few of the best projects to consider to get you the best ROI on your exterior upgrades. It may be that you want to sell your current space and find a new home to customize into your very own…

Posted on April 20, 2019 at 5:48 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

4 Steps To Declutter Your House Before You List It

Clutter is one of those things that literally creeps up on you and your space.  Over time, our spaces can become cluttered with unnecessary items, surplus souvenirs, odd gifts, and other items.  Starting your quest to declutter your space will serve both a vital need for presentation when showing the property to potential buyers and will help organize and clear out items before you start packing…

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 3:42 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

How to Find the Right REALTOR for You

Real estate is a business that can be a little odd at times.  Whereas we traditionally source our barber, gardener, and other providers from our local network, when we are looking to move to another region or geography our local REALTOR may not be the best choice.  REALTORS specialize in learning their market, which is an amazing advantage when you are on the hunt for your next home.  A fantastic REALTOR can transform your experience, sifting through neighborhoods, school districts, features, and other details to bring you a handful of options that rapidly align with your specific needs.  But in order to supercharge this, the REALTOR has to know the area well and understand the unique culture.   That’s why I always recommend that you find the very best local or area REALTOR for the area to which you are going to make a purchase.

Why I’m a Trusted Real Estate Resource

In my region, I’m one of the top REALTORS and view myself as a partner to my clients, navigating the murky decisions that surround property purchase and closing so that my clients can relax and enjoy the process.  For over 27 years, I’ve treated clients as family and have come to be known as the trusted voice and expert in finding the perfect real estate fit for just about any need.  With roots that run deep in the area, my knowledge extends past databases and quick property searches.  I know the region, the people, the movers and shakers, the business deals, and the trends which impact neighborhoods and homes.  As you can see on my Testimonials page, I’ve been a favorite choice for clients for years, building relationships and watching transactions run smoothly.

With that in mind, I’m always looking to expand my network of great clients and to make more folks thrilled at their next real estate transaction.  And that means I can not only rely on my stellar reputation and network of client referrals but that I love to partner with other REALTORS across the country in dynamic ways that benefit us both.

I love seeing clients succeed. How do I do this?

  • I offer referral fees to qualified agents who send pre-screened buyers my way that are looking to relocate to the area.
  • I send out referrals to trusted REALTORS around the country. I trust that they will care for my local clients in their new regions just as deeply as I have cared for them during their stay here in the Triad.

Is Someone You Know Moving to Piedmont Triad, NC?

Check out my website, to take a peek at my expertise.  You’ll find a colleague with a depth of knowledge, one who you can trust with your clients who are moving to TRIAD NC.  We all know that our profession is built on our reputations, and sending pre-screened clients my way, ones who are ready to buy in the region and need the right real estate partner, will only enhance your reputation as a true partner and trusted resource.

In today’s marketplace, competition is fierce, but referrals to trusted Brokers like myself can serve as a winning combination all around.  I’ll happily pay a referral fee for the flow of incoming clients, the clients will have a stellar experience, and I get to meet new folks who are destined to make my region, and it’s culture even better as the years go on.  Give me a call today to learn more:  336-575-7249.

How Can You Find A Like-Minded Broker in Another Region?

Maybe you’ve been diving into this article, and you feel a bit perplexed.  You live in the region and know my excellent reputation, but life’s pathway is pulling you to a different locale, somewhere outside of our area.  Perhaps you are curious how you navigate the waters of finding a great REALTOR/Broker in the area where you have your sights set and aren’t quite sure where to start.  You could sift through REALTORS and try to look at reputations and reviews, but a local trusted partner and REALTOR such as myself would sure make that process a lot easier!

Because I realize how valuable a great REALTOR can be, I’m happy to work with anyone who wants assistance in finding just the right REALTOR for their needs.  Let me do the legwork, as a fellow colleague and professional  Broker.  I know the questions to ask and the facts to consider when choosing the best agent in any region of the US or Canada.  Share your needs, desires, and situation, and let me find you a REALTOR partner that’s the perfect fit.

The best part?  My referral to a qualified agent won’t cost you, as a client, a dollar!  As a professional courtesy, I work with many of the most professional and qualified REALTORS.  They pay a referral fee to receive the privilege of working with my clients in their region.  That means I only partner with professionals who I know will be a great fit, ones who I can trust with MY reputation and my clients.

There is a saying that the biggest compliment that you can give to a business is a referral from clients.  Referrals rely on trust and reputation.  Referrals are truly the heart of the real estate business, and they are built on a solid reputation.

For over 27 years, I’ve been building a rock-solid reputation with clients and colleagues.  Folks trust me to guide them through their real estate transactions and have come to expect the superior service I provide.

Let me know how I can help you find your perfect REALTOR/Broker in another region or how I can assist those coming to the Piedmont Triad with their real estate needs.

For more information on how this works, please call me, Ellen Dudley, REALTOR, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249

Posted on February 15, 2019 at 10:42 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , ,

Hire a stager or not? Benefits Winston Salem, NC Ellen Dudley

Living Room with Gas Fireplace



You won’t believe what it does to assist you with your home sale!!  Check out the possibilities!!  Just make sure you are beware of the good and bad ones!!

A lot of real estate agents are looking for a good, reliable home stager that can magically transform their listings into the price point their seller is hoping to achieve.


Understanding and questioning about Home Staging in Triad NC

Posted on January 9, 2018 at 7:35 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , ,

4 Benefits of Professionally Staging a House to Sell

As we live in our own spaces, we become somewhat blind to the ways in which our possessions impact the feel and nature of our house. To get a fresh perspective and renew the layout and details of our home, a professional staging expert can be highly valuable in setting a feel and experience that moves your house from “For Sale” to “Sold” faster and closer to your asking price. Take a look below at just a few of the amazing benefits of having your home professionally staged…

Posted on March 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Tips to Attract Young Home Buyers

When preparing your home for sale, it’s important to consider the varied ways different markets of buyers will view your home. What appeals to you, may not be ideal for those shopping for a new home. Take, for example, the impending power of Millennials (aka Generation Y, born between 1982 and 2002), who are the largest group of home buyers in America for the third year running. Fail to consider how these young home buyers are looking at properties, and you could miss out on 35% of all buyers. Check out these tips to make sure you are considering young home buyers in your marketing plans…

Posted on December 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

3 Pitfalls Every Home Owner Should Avoid

It happens to all of us, we get tired of the space that surrounds us and long for fresh use. Maybe we moved into our current home during a different period in our lives or perhaps we discovered a new hobby we need space to explore. Regardless of why our space needs to be shifted, it can be tempting to jump feet first into home improvement projects that twist and turn our spaces in new manners. Some of these changes can certainly improve a home’s resale potential: updated kitchens and bathroom fixtures, neutral color paints, crown molding and added accent touches, for example. Other improvements can work wonders for us in the short-term or temporarily fulfill a need, but quickly fall short or cause friction when we decide to sell. Let’s explore 3 of the top caution zones…

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 8:22 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , ,

Top-Rated Elementary Schools in Winston Salem

Winston Salem offers a variety of education options for different types of learners and selecting property in the proper district can make a huge difference in the educational experience and opportunities for your children. From varied after school activities to social styles, look below for four top rated elementary schools in the Winston-Salem area…

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Tips for Planting Grass in Fall

Curb appeal literally starts roadside at the curb and everyone knows that a beautiful green carpet of grass leading up to a doorstep can transform first impressions of a home. Aside from sod or professional lawn services, there are plenty of things that you can do to fill brown patches and encourage a consistent blanket of carpet throughout your yard. Once you get some of these tips started, give me a call at 336-575-7249 and let’s discuss other ways you can upgrade your yard or otherwise prepare your property for maximum enjoyment. After all, planting grass in fall is the best time of year to ensure success!

Posted on September 13, 2016 at 9:26 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

Four Tips to Navigate the Process of Downsizing Your Home

There is a lot to think about when considering downsizing your current home to better fit your space and maintenance needs. It’s a step worth the time and energy to take, but it will be much easier if you have a strong partner to help guide you along the way…

Posted on February 4, 2016 at 10:50 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Three Tips to Improve Home Buyer's First Impressions

We all know that seeing is believing, but for many who are trying to sell their home, understanding how to see their home through the eyes of potential buyers can be a difficult task. After all, most of us have lived in our home for a period of time which has allowed us to truly make them our own by incorporating our taste and personality. Yet potential buyers that come into our home may not see the world the way we do. You may have heard of the term ‘staging,’ a term which can refer to everything from the color of the walls and furniture placement to how pictures are placed on walls and even the lighting selection. Professional stagers can be a costly yet valuable investment during the selling process, but it probably will be worth the costs involved!

These insights have not only held true through my 25+ years of experience, but have also been used by real estate agents nationwide to quickly prepare homes for a good showing.

First Impressions Really Do Matter

From the moment a potential buyer pulls into your neighborhood, they begin assessing how well the area fits their needs and personality. These impressions continue as they pull up to your home and take full effect after they step over your threshold. Buyers who have a bad impression in any of these areas will be more hesitant to consider your property. To address these types of issues, you may have more power than you realize.

Neighborhood Associations and protective covenants and restrictions are your allies in sprucing up the neighborhood. Get in touch early and know your rights. On the homefront, ask several friends and/or family to provide their top three suggestions of easy and affordable ways to increase curbside appeal. Then, share the results of that mini-test with me, your real estate partner, and together we can work to select the best improvements to implement for a stellar first impression.

Plan for Right and Left Brain Thinkers

The vast majority of the market is left-brain dominant. Left brain thinkers are highly analytical and feed on organization. To appeal to these buyers, your home must be uncluttered and orderly. At the same time, elements that increase the flow and overall feel of a property will strongly appeal to the right-brain emotional side of buyers. These elements include paying attention to lighting and furniture placement.

Strive for Balance

Given the suggestions above, it may feel as if you will need to live in a sterile environment in order to sell your home, but that is simply not true. Yes, buyers desire attractive neighborhoods and clean homes, but they also want to see properties where they can honestly see themselves living day-to-day. Investing in temporary storage gives you an opportunity to not only clean up some of the clutter that accumulates over the years, but also gives you a head start on packing for your own move. To begin this process, go into each room and determine what the essential items are that must stay. For example, music and book collections can often be packed away without much impact on your daily living, as can specialty kitchen items.

If the only steps you took were those three insights above, the new you would be automatically positioned in a stronger place than many comparative properties in your area. Yet having a real estate partner with decades of experience can take this process to even greater heights and can smooth out the process and lessen your stress. Call me today at 336-575-7249 to get started preparing your home to ideally present to the market of buyers just waiting to call your home their own.


Toth, Tori. “Home Seller Tips: Focus Perceptions by Enhancing Your Visual Thinking.” RISMedias Housecall. N.p., 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

Koziol, Nina. “As with Love, First Impressions Matter in Home Sales.” RISMedia As with Love First Impressions Matter in Home Sales Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

Posted on October 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

4 Unexpected Tips to Sell Your House Fast

Most people will not sell enough real estate in their lifetime to learn some of the tips and tricks of the trade that come with years of experience as a successful agent. Partnering with a real estate agent who not only knows the market and region, but who also is well-versed in the little shifts that can sell your home faster can make putting your home on the market an easier experience. I bring decades of experience and knowledge with me to every listing and engage that background to align your home with the market and set successful expectations. Keep reading for a few of my favorite tips that I’ve engaged over the years…

Posted on July 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

6 Tips for Prepping your Home for Sale in Summer

As summer gets fully underway, real estate buyers are on the hunt for new opportunities, new investments and new homes! Summer combines longer variations, good weather, children out of school, and natural outdoor bursts of color that get buyers motivated. My decades of experience have helped me to zero in on some of the most effective ways to enhance buyer experience on your property. Find some of my top tips…

Posted on June 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

How to Stage a Home for Quick Sale

I’ve seen so many sellers who believe that their personal taste should dominate a house that is up for sale, yet I know from experience that buyers are looking for a place they can envision their own style and personality. People rarely buy a house, they instead buy a vision they have of their next home. Transitioning your home into a showcase that will appeal to the widest variety of qualified buyers is essential to getting the offers and traffic you need to sell. To get started, learn how to stage a home for quick sale by focusing on these three main areas that buyers consider…

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

Why You Should Use My Free Home Value Estimator

Home values fluctuate regularly and with the economic ebb and flow of recent years it can be hard to understand exactly what your home is worth in today’s market. Should you start by looking at recent sales on your street and in the area? What if you live in an area where sales happen infrequently? Maybe you should start with a look at tax valuations, but then again those can vary greatly and may not align with actual sale prices. Knowing what your home is worth involves running comparatives and understanding the specific area where your home is located, a process that can be daunting. As a part of my service to the community, and efforts to reach the most sellers, I’m including a link to my personal “Back At You” home value estimator below. I’m providing this service to you free of charge…

Posted on April 5, 2015 at 11:05 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Spring Landscaping Tips to Get Your Yard Ready for Home Showings

As weather warms up and buyers thaw out, the beauty of your yard can begin to shine once more. In order to make sure your yard is ready for Spring to arrive, it is important to take some steps to prepare the soil and foliage now for maximum beauty and impact.

Landscaping decisions are so important because 71% of buyers list curb appeal as important in their property buying decision, according to Your yard offers the first impression, so taking the time now to prepare the soil for Spring landscaping is vital to great curb appeal.

Spring Landscaping Tips in North Carolina

  • The Piedmont Triad of NC is considered Zone 7 for planting, so look for plants that will fair well in our climate by reading labels and adding a few accent bushes to your yard
  • Cut back Liriope and other perennials to stimulate Spring growth
  • Prune only dormant trees and shrubs, avoiding anything that blooms in the Spring
  • Apply crabgrass preventer towards the end of the month to get a head start on a lush lawn
  • Select roses with various bloom times and get them rooted and spaced for wonderful presentation throughout the coming seasons
  • Divide and transplant perennials
  • Spruce up edging lines on bedding before growth begins

I know from experience that small steps can transform your buyer traffic and impressions. Get started with these tips that are designed for our unique climate. Then give me a call at 336-575-7249 and let’s discuss other ways to prepare your property for ideal presentation. The interest rates are low so it is time to buy before they get out of range.

Sources: Earth Graphics and Greensboro Gardens

Posted on February 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

Do Open Houses Sell Homes?

s you interview real estate agents and work to list your home professionally, you may hear some agents touting the necessity of holding a few open house dates to drive traffic to your property. Open houses can have a role in the selling process, but you should select an agent who is going to help make sure that having an open house is the right choice for your home. Because the real consideration is: “Do Open Houses Sell Homes?” and will holding one sell yours?

Posted on February 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,