listings: 7917 Mandan Road, #201, Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 02/10/10 11:47 AM
Greenbelt MD | Condos for Sale | near U of MD | near Goddard Space Flight Center | Pool … (3 comments)

listings: Do You Really Want To Sell Your House? -- By Appointment Only - 11/09/09 06:21 AM
OK.  For whatever reason you decided you want to put your house on the market.  If someone comes along with the right price and the planets are in alignment, you'll accept the offer.  In the meantime, people who may want to take a look at your house can do so "by appointment only" with no lockbox. 
This means:
you need to be home when anyone comes by and hardly anyone will want to come by Yeah, I know.  There used to be a time when there were no lock boxes and agents had to jump through all kinds of hoops to … (11 comments)

listings: The Cost of an Open House - Theft - 10/06/09 02:40 PM
I was writing a blog post on my Outside Blog about an article in today's Washington Post about a "father/son" team that went to a bunch of Open Houses and pilfered the home owner's jewelry and took it to local pawn shops to unload it. 
Due to some good police work and getting the word out within the local Realtor community, the Open House thieves have been caught.  The Alexandria (VA) police are still seeking additional victims of the Open House thefts in order to wrap this case up.  You can find the phone number of the Detective on the case … (12 comments)

listings: Second Guessing the Price - 08/16/09 07:12 AM
Every now and then I'll encounter a home seller that when they say "I want to sell this house." they really mean it. They listen to my rationale for recommending a price. They look at the comparable sales. They make a decision to price the home so it will attract the largest number of potential buyers through the front door and provide an offer that will end with the sale of the house.
A lot of the time, I encounter home sellers who will say "I want to sell this house." and what they really mean (but don't say out loud) … (5 comments)

listings: Yard Sign Marketing - 06/14/09 06:36 AM
Every now and then I get a client who tells me they don't want a yard sign.  It seems they don't want the neighbors to know they are selling their home.  Maybe breaking up with the neighbors is too hard.  Maybe they just don't want to answer a lot of questions about why they're moving or where they're going and, oh by the way, how much are you asking? 
Who knows?  I've never really figured it out. 
What I do know is that homes without yard signs seem to sell equally as fast as home with yard signs, all else being … (13 comments)

listings: 1320 Swingingdale Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20905 - 06/04/09 02:32 PM
If you ever wanted to live in a great community at the end of a private cul-de-sac (think: no traffic!) than this might be the perfect home for you.The spacious deck, above ground pool and huge back yard make this house stand out...and that's just the outside! Inside this lovingly cared for home is a roomy kitchen with new, stainless steel appliances and a family room with a warm and romantic wood burning fireplace. The basement is fully decked out as an entertainment center for friends and family. The master bedroom goes on forever with plenty of closet space for all … (1 comments)

listings: Sometimes You Just Have To Tell Them NOT To Sell - 06/01/09 03:13 PM
It seems that in February of 2007 I was asked to come over to present a CMA and talk about how wonderful I am to a potential Seller.  This particular Seller was in a subdivision I market to all the time and I've actually sold quite a few homes.  I may not be "The King" yet but I do pretty well.  I went full out.  I took lots of pre-listing appointment photos and prepared a nice pre-listing package. I was ready...or so I thought.
The guy in this house had been living in it for decades and it looked like he … (7 comments)

listings: Trapped in Your Own Home - 05/23/09 08:35 AM
I mentioned here before that I try to pay attention to my little micro-niche -- Sellers with Equity.  These are the folks who are current on their mortgage payment and may have even put a little money down on their home when they bought it.  Alternately, they bought their home way before 2000 and, even after recent price declines, they have enough equity in their home to be able to sell it.
I've run across a few clients, recently, that aren't so lucky.
They bought their home sometime during the 2000-2006 frenzy and now, because of the short sales and REOs … (8 comments)

listings: Am I The Only One....? - 05/22/09 06:29 AM
I keep hearing that the market is picking up. 
my fellow Realtors are crowing about the multiple offers their listings are getting within days of putting the home on the market.  my fellow Realtors are complaining that they are coming up against multiple offers on properties their buyer clients want to purchase.  can't get mortgage underwriters to move fast enought to get to settlement, homes inspectors can't get out to inspect properties fast enough, appraisers taking forever to come out to the home and then send in the appraisal report to the mortgage company. All I can say is:, "Huh?"
I … (11 comments)

listings: The Market Is Picking UP...These Home Prices Are Going DOWN - 05/11/09 08:30 PM
Recently, I had two of my clients re-think their pricing startegy. I've been gently encouraging them to do something. Yes, the market is picking up. Yes, the media is saying that we may be hitting the bottom. However, the sad fact is that prices are still trying to find the "just right" place to stabilize. Meanwhile, the foreclosures and short sales are still out there in plentiful supply.Wouldn't it be nice, though, if there were some nice homes, in good shape (can you say, "No repairs!") that are being sold by real people (not banks) who can say "Yes!" to your … (2 comments)

listings: Do Virtual Tours Make The Difference? - 04/05/09 07:23 PM
I generally believe that Virtual Tours are a good thing.  They are an especially good thing if the house is in great shape or has been staged to look great.  In fact, I've heard from lots of buyer clients and people who never turned into buyer clients that if there aren't interior photos or a Virtual Tour they can look at, the house is crossed off the list.
This seems a bit extreme and it got me to wondering how widespread this type of mindset is.  In fact, I have a listing that's been on the market awhile and I had … (9 comments)

listings: "I Only Want to Work with Listing Agents...." - 02/23/09 09:20 PM
So I get this e-mail lead from RE/MAX Lead Street.  It's an in-house lead generator that distributes potential buyers leads who visit remax.com. It's not the most wonderful lead generation tool on the planet but it's free (to me).
This particular lead is looking at a very nice house that I can comfortably say is in the luxury market tier.  A very nice house with a very nice sales price.  I get a little excited.  "A good lead!", I think. In fact the e-mail accompanying the lead says the buyer is relocating from another area and will only be here a … (12 comments)

listings: I Love It When FSBOs Price Their Homes WAAAAAY High - 02/06/09 07:37 AM
I recently got a request from someone in an area I market religiously.  It seems they wanted to know what the final price and concessions were for a house I sold in their neighborhood recently.  They also mentioned that they has put their home on the market as a FSBO.
Now, I'm not sure whether they were really looking for pricing/comp information so they'd be in the ball park or if they thought they were just trying to get the word out that their home was on the market and would I please find them a buyer.  Perhaps they're just testing … (7 comments)

listings: Existing Homes Sales UP and New Home Sales DOWN...Is This a Good Thing? Not for the Media - 01/31/09 05:59 PM
In another post I wrote recently, I was holding forth on the seeming paradox of the recent statistics from December 2008 that showed existing homes sales were UP by 6.5% while new home sales were having their worst time on record.
Since the stats come out a few days apart and they come from different sources (existing home sales stats came from the National Association of Realtors and the new home sales came from the Commerce Department), the great news about existing home sales got a lot of media attention...for two days.  Then the negative number for new home sales came … (9 comments)

listings: A Change (price adjustment) We Can Believe In -- College Park, MD - 01/26/09 04:53 PM
This home has been inspected, detected, selected and upgraded in all the places it counts:

* great open, remodeled kitchen
* huge renovated master bath with a Jacuzzi and water temperature control (the hot water stays hot!)
* a working sauna
* a fully finished walkout basement
* Pella doors
* hardwood floors
The new, new, new price on this is only $314,999 and it's very close to METRO and the University of MD.
(5 comments)

listings: Thank You, Mr. & Mrs. Buyer For Paying For The Inspection - 01/16/09 06:34 PM
A few posts ago, I wrote about one of my listings going under contract soon after the settlement of another of my listings.  I was pretty excited and thought I was on a bit of a roll.  Maybe too excited.
I forgot my primo rule - don't count the money until it's in the bank - otherwise known as "It ain't over 'til the Fat Lady sings!"
It turns out the buyers for this house wanted to do a home inspection.  Nothing wrong with that.  Inspections are good things.  Besides the house was in good shape,  A lot of upgrades.  Still … (66 comments)

listings: Is College Park Having a Renaissance? - 01/05/09 09:27 PM
A couple of posts back I wrote about a great end-of-year settlement for a nice Split Level in College Park Woods.  The house hadn't been on the market that long and the previous owner had kept it in good shape.
Now, just days after that one settled an offer cam in on another listing "across town" from College Park Woods near the Town of Berwyn Heights. We're really just talking a couple of miles here. Still a great neighborhood with great access to the University of MD and major employers as well as major commuter routes and METRO.
You can read … (5 comments)

listings: Negotiation May Get The Deal Done - 11/30/08 10:29 AM
We all know that we are supposed to represent our client's best interest and I've been to plenty of seminars and read plenty of blog posts about how Realtors are not supposed to show their hand to the other guy.  Things like "I'm sorry this offer is so low.  It's what they buyer told me to put." or "Hey, I know this offer stinks but see if you can't get a counter offer."
No. We're supposed to represent exactly what's on the paper and hope the other Realtor can "read between the lines." 
The fact is that even if I … (3 comments)

listings: But You May Not Get Another Offer For Awhile... - 11/25/08 05:57 PM
Recently, I've been lucky (I think) to get some listings that have Sellers with equity.  This means that when an offer comes through there's no waiting for a bank or other "third party approval".  You would think that would mean that these Sellers would be ready to work with reasonable and even not-so-reasonable offers that come to the table.
You would be wrong.
In fact, I'm working with a Seller now that has equity and can certainly make a decision to move forward pretty quickly...if they really wanted to. Of course, they tell me they're ready to sell but, of course, … (10 comments)

listings: Why Can't You Call? - 11/20/08 07:09 PM
What is it with Realtors who drive around with their clients, see a yard sign and then go up and knock on the door and ask to be let in?  What is it with homeowners, who open the door and let these folks in with nothing more than a business card and a "Can we see your house"?
Realtors -- You don't know the price, you don't know the status (Active, Pending, whatever), you just roll over and do tricks because your client in the car says, "I wanna see that one."  Where is your common decency to make an appointment … (18 comments)