The Blog

Seller’s Home Inspection Tips

You’ve got a contract on your house, and you’re wondering about what to expect from a home inspection. If you’d like some home inspection tips for sellers, you’ve come to the right place, ‘cause that’s what we’re talking about today, and we’re starting right now!  My name is Harry Moore and I am a realtor in the Washington DC Metro Area and I post new videos every week about all things real estate in the DMV.

If you’d like to view my YouTube video on this topic, click the image below

Whew, you’ve got a contract on your house. Congratulations! Now you can relax, well…not quite yet. Once they have a contract, most people tend to lighten up a little. That’s natural, and I’m not saying that you need to keep your house “ show ready” but there are still a few more hurdles to overcome before you get to settlement.

In this episode of the series on home selling tips we’ll talk about the home inspection . For many sellers it can be almost as stressful as having their house on the market.Today I’ll share a list of some simple tactics that you can use to avoid potential issues and keep things moving along as smoothly and possible towards settlement.  

If you’d like some great tips on other parts of the home selling process, from thinking about curb appeal all the way to settlement, then click the link above, or check the notes below to access  other videos in the home selling series. Enough of that, let’s jump right in.

  1.)Try to keep the house looking tidy. It doesn’t have to be as spotless as you kept it when it was on the market, but don’t let it slide back to the way you live normally. Spend 15-30 minutes the morning of the home inspection cleaning it up a bit. Remember this will be the first time that the buyers have been in the house since the contract was accepted. They’ll be excited and a little nervous. You want them to be happy and feel reassured  when they walk in the door.

2.)People won’t be surprised if you’ve started packing, just try to keep the boxes away from the walls, especially in the basement and garage if you have one. Stack things neatly in the middle of the room. Inspectors are usually more interested in the stuff  that’s along the walls; plugs and pipes and such, so keeping your things towards the middle will enable them to see what they need to. This doesn’t mean you have to move furniture, just don’t have stacks of boxes backed right up against the walls.

3.)Keep the utility area clear of clutter and easily accessible- A lot of times people have all sorts of things stored around the furnace and hot water heater. Keeping those areas clear for the inspector so they can access those systems easily will keep the inspection moving along smoothly. Inspectors generally can’t move personal items for insurance and liability reasons. If they’re not able to access the major systems, then the issue of a reinspection could come up, and you’d rather avoid that if at all possible.

4.)Make sure that all appliances which convey with the house are plugged in and operating, so they can be tested. That includes things like fans on fireplace inserts, spare fridges or freezers and other things like that.

5.)This might  seem a little silly, but make sure you don’t have any burnt out lightbulbs, especially in hard to access light fixtures. It’ll keep the inspector from noting it in their report and suggesting an electrician come out to confirm the fixture is working.

6.)Make sure your toilets are functioning properly. Often people get used to the “personality” of their toilets when they live in the house, the fact that you have to jiggle the handle, or that it’s slow to refill…things like that.  But the inspector and the buyers won’t be. Sometimes there is a toilet that does not get much use, maybe in a basement bathroom. Check it and make sure it’s working.

7.)Change your HVAC air filter and dust off the return grills. Dirty filters are a sure sign of deferred maintenance, and that’s a big red flag for one of the more expensive systems in the house.

8.)Check the roof and gutters. Clogged gutters, or even worse gutters that have plants growing in them are not good. Also check the roof for fallen branches and other debris.

9.)Make sure that all keys and remotes are available and working, and that any out of the way places such as crawl spaces and sheds are easily accessible. It’s human nature to fear the unknown. If they can see everything the first time, they’ll feel better about the whole house.

10.)Provide any documentation for substantial upgrades, or repairs and major maintenance items so that the buyers and the inspector can see them. That will help them to understand what you’ve done to maintain your home. A classic example is if you’ve had major work done to your furnace. The inspector might look at the outside  of the unit and say that it looks old, but you might have replaced the heat exchanger or the condensor recently. That could influence their opinion about the remaining life of the unit.

Sometimes sellers want to be at the inspection. That’s generally not a good idea. The buyers want to feel comfortable in the house, and be able to talk openly with the inspector and their agent about questions they might have. It’s really very much like a showing. You want the buyers to feel at ease in the home. Remember you want them to feel like its theirs.  I suggest that sellers plan to be out of the house for about 3 hours during the inspection, sometimes more or less, but that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

Here’s a little post inspection tip for you. Take a few minutes right when you get home after the inspection to check all the appliances, faucets, toilets and spigots and other systems to make sure that everything is in good order. You’ll  also probably have to re set your digital clocks on the microwave and your alarm clock, since they may have been testing circuits. Inspectors are professionals, but they’re human too, sometimes they forget things and it’s always better to nip those issues in the bud.

So, you’ve gotten some great tips about how to prepare for the home inspection. If you’ve sold a home before, do you have any tips and tricks that were helpful in preparing for your home inspection? If so, please share them in the comments. I’d love to hear from you and learn some new things that I can let future sellers know about.

Once the inspection has been finished there are a few different options, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of contingency that was negotiated.  In the next seller’s video we’ll talk about negotiating the home inspection contingency.

5539 Colfax Avenue Alexandria VA 22311

If you’d like to watch the YouTube video about this property, please click below!

For a different point of view, check out the 3D tour:

Located in the heart of the Dowden Terrace neighborhood in Alexandria, this lovely rambler situated on a beautiful ½ acre lot will capture your imagination from the first time you see it. As you walk up to the house, you’ll see the full array of solar panels on the roof which were recently installed, so big electric bills should be a thing of the past.

Step inside and you’ll notice the spacious feeling and beautiful natural light in the living room, which features a wood burning fireplace. You’ll love the classically proportioned dining room and large updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and new granite countertops. Both the dining room and the kitchen connect to the sunroom, enabling wonderful flow while entertaining indoors and out.

The back yard has been thoughtfully landscaped and has plenty of room for all sorts of activities from badminton to volleyball, and everything in between. The second and third bedrooms are adjacent to the living room, and share an updated bath. The master bedroom has an en suite bath, and ample closets.

There’s a bonus room between the living room and the large family room, which has a gas fireplace. It’s perfect for casual indoor time. There is lots of storage in the “gardening garage” and the two attics. The location is wonderful, with many neighborhood amenities close by, including the Dora Kelly Nature center, Dowden Terrace Park and the Dowden Terrace membership pool.

Shopping and dining choices abound, both along route 7 and also Columbia Pike including Trader Joe’s, Peking Gourmet, Clydes and so many more. There’s easy access to the 395 HOV lanes and other major commuter routes as well. Come and see for yourself, you’ll want to make it your own. Welcome to 5539 Colfax Avenue.

Kensington 1st Quarter Update 2019

So you’re wondering what’s going on in the Kensington real estate market these days? Well you’ve come to the right place, because that’s what we’re talking about today, and we are starting right now. Today we’re going to take a look at a summary of the Kensington Market for the first quarter of 2019. This area includes the entire Kensington zip code of 20895. Real estate is a hyper-local business, and there are quite a number of submarkets in Kensington, based on location and price range. However, it’s always good to step back and get a sense of what’s going on at the broad market level. So let’s take a quick look. All of these numbers are from Bright MLS, which is the database that most agents use, and where the majority of the real estate websites derive their information and data from, so we are going straight to the source.

We’ll start with a chart that I really like, one that shows the balance between supply and demand. First, we’ll look at the supply side.  As you can see, total active listings have moved up about 20% and new listings are up by over 100%. This is part of the normal seasonal cycle. We were heading into the spring market, which is the busiest time of year. Everyone wanted to put their house on the market when the azaleas were in bloom. On the demand side, new pending‘s are up substantially as well.  Not quite as large an increase as new listings, but the smaller increase in total active listings shows that demand was mostly keeping pace so far.

For an interesting historical perspective here is the change year-over-year in the same data. Here you can see on the supply side, the total number of active listings are up vs 2018, by about 13%. New listings are up year-over-year as of March by about 2%. Whereas pendings which are  the demand-side of the equation have moved up by almost 65%. So you’ve got higher supply, but even stronger demand, and that means prices moving up. You’ll notice the upside down movement in February, Again,this is related to the normal seasonal ebb and flow of the market. Usually supply moves up first, as people start to put their homes on the market, then we watch to see if demand keeps pace, this March it certainly did!

Now let’s move onto the median days on market.  As you can see in January it was 92 and it has moved down dramatically to 28 days on the market in March. This is also tied to the transition from the winter market to the spring. A lot of houses that go under contract and settle in December and January have been on the market during the slowest time of year and were unable to sell, so they will show longer days on market when they do finally get an offer and go to settlement. As more “fresh” inventory comes on the market in the spring, the properties that go under contract tend to show lower days on market.

This next chart shows the ratio of the sale price to original list price for properties that  settled in the first quarter. In January, it was 97.7% and that moved up to almost 100%. That means that most houses that went under contract this year and settled in March sold for full price. Part of this is tied to the last chart. Properties that stay on the market longer tend to attract lower offers.

Let’s take a quick look at the past 10 years, just to give you a little historical perspective. You can see that the lowest number was in October of 2010 when the median was 90.6% of the asking price.  That has steadily moved up over the past 9 years and has basically been hovering between 96 and 100% since December 2015.

Now let’s move onto the months of supply.  As you can see although it’s moved up slightly it’s still just under 2 months of supply. A balanced market nationwide is generally considered to be about six months worth of inventory.  In the DC metro area, I would say that number is probably closer to four, maybe 4 1/2 months worth of inventory. At 2 months it’s in seller’s market territory for sure.

Again let’s take a quick look backward for historical perspective. In September of 2010 it peaked at  5.7 months of inventory. It’s been trending down consistently since then, and has been below 4 month’s worth of inventory since August of 2012.

 

And finally, the one that most people focus on is the trend in sales prices. As you would expect with inventory sliding down, prices have moved up in the first quarter. This chart shows a big jump in Median Sold prices, which is somewhat misleading. The January sales price was much lower than it had been in prior months and was impacted by the small number of properties which went under contract in December of 2018 ( only 8 properties went pending in that month). That very small statistical sampling, could be easily skewed downward by just one or two inexpensive houses settling that month.

So the picture overall is that the market that is still favoring sellers, although things may be trending towards a more balanced market if inventory keeps increasing later in the spring. There are big differences between submarkets and price ranges. Having a skilled professional agent on your team will help you to understand the nuances of the market so that you can make the best decisions regarding your real estate needs.

If you’re interested in a more detailed analysis of what’s going on in your immediate neighborhood, or in a part of Kensington where you are thinking of buying, reach out and let me know. I’m happy to put together some neighborhood-specific data for you.If you know someone, maybe a friend or neighbor, who might benefit from this information, please share this blog post with them.

The Best Home Improvements that Increase Value

Click the thumbnail to watch the video, or if you’d rather read, scroll down.


Everyone’s always wondering what home improvements add the most value. The problem is that lots of home improvements don’t have a great return on investment financially. They may bring you great joy and pleasure, and be an expression of you and how you want your home to be which is totally fine, but that does not convert to getting your money back when you go to sell your home. There are lots of things you can do to improve the look and feel of your home without breaking the bank. Today we’ll look at some project ideas in 6 different areas that can really freshen up the look of your house without spending tons of money or time.

1.) A minor bathroom remodel- Re-caulking the tub, removing those old nasty shower doors and either replacing them with new ones or a nice shower curtain and rod can be a big step towards bringing your bathroom into the 21st century. Another project that can really help with the refresh is replacing or re-glazing the tub. Deciding which of those makes more sense depends on the age of the tub, what the surround is made of and whether you are doing other things to the bathroom. Another low-cost way to modernize the look of your bathroom is with a new light fixture and a new mirror.

2.) Landscaping – A green lawn and colorful plantings can really enhance the front of your home and make it pop in the pictures that buyers will see. Often times local gardening centers have people on their staff who can help with basic suggestions regarding plants that go well together. Make sure to take a few pictures of your house and the areas you want to change so they can get a sense of what you’ve got to work with.

Here’s an interesting tip that I picked up: if you have slate or flagstones, you can clean and seal them to give them a fresh look and a deeper color. Click on the link in the remarks to see some before and after pictures I found.  If you’re looking for more ideas to make your house look great when buyers first arrive, check out my earlier video about curb appeal from the street.

3.) Minor kitchen remodel – if your kitchen could use a refresh and you don’t want to change the floor-plan, then a minor kitchen remodel might be just the thing for you. You could consider options like refacing the cabinets and putting new hardware on or possibly just painting the old cabinets, depending on their finish and the style of the doors.

More contemporary lighting can also provide a whole new feel for a dated kitchen. Well placed, recessed lighting and under cabinet lighting can help brighten up the whole room and shed more light directly on the counters.

Speaking of counters, if you’re thinking about replacing them don’t just assume that granite would be the best choice. For many installations, quartz countertops have become a popular alternative

4.)Hardware- Another way to give an updated feel to your house is to install some new hardware. Doorknobs, kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls, front door hardware, and maybe some new hardware in the primary bathroom. Good choices distributed throughout can give the key spaces, a much fresher, more contemporary look, without really changing many of the major components.

The front door is the place where most buyers are going to “ shake hands” with your house for the first time, so if you’re interested in some good tips about what to do there, check out my earlier video about dressing up that part of the house.

5.)Let there be light!! A couple of strategically placed new fixtures, and fresh new bulbs throughout the house that are a consistent hue, can make a real difference in how the house feels. LED bulbs have come down in price substantially over the past few years, so replacing bulbs with these energy efficient alternatives isn’t nearly as expensive as it used to be.

Paint, Paint, and a little more paint. One of the best things you can do to freshen up the look of your house is getting out the roller and brush, or in my world, calling your favorite painter. It may be a good idea to change the color scheme of your home a bit. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the post below from the Sherwin Williams site with the 50 most popular colors in 2019.

If you don’t feel up to the agonizing process of picking a new color, then you may want to consider a strategic re-painting of high traffic areas to get rid of those nicks and marks that life throws at your walls. You can start with the magic eraser before you paint, that’s sometimes good enough, but if that still doesn’t do the trick, then a fresh coat of paint may be in order.

So, we’ve looked at some great low-cost, high return home improvement projects to get your house ready for sale. If you’re considering some other projects, and you’re wondering whether they’re going to give you a good return, then put them in the comments or reach out to me directly, I’m happy to give you some feedback about that. If you know someone who might be interested in this information, please share this with them, and if you have any suggestions for real estate questions you’d like answered, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for topics you’d like to hear about.

Here’s a great paint color from Sherwin Williams: https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-collection/top-50-colors?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInq3vvdb14QIVAVuGCh3YeAuTEAAYASACEgJbQ_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds 

Flagstone before and after: https://www.google.com/search?q=flagstone+sealing+before+and+after&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiw74GNkvjhAhXMwFkKHe0aD7YQ7Al6BAgIEA0&biw=1306&bih=616

 

 

 

1st Quarter 2019 Market Update

Today we’re going to take a look at the overall market in the DC metro area for the first quarter of 2019. This area includes Montgomery, Prince Georges, and Fairfax Counties, Falls Church City, Arlington, Alexandria and of course, the District of Columbia. These are very broad statistics, and as you know, real estate is a hyper-local business. However, it’s always good to step back and get a sense of what’s going on at the broad market level.

If you’re interested in viewing this in video format, please click the image below! If you’d rather read, please continue.

 

So let’s take a quick look. I should say that all of these numbers are from Bright MLS, which is the database that most agents use, and where the majority of the real estate websites derive their information and data from, so we are going straight to the source.

We’ll start with a chart that I really like, one that shows the balance between supply and demand. First, we’ll look at the supply side.  As you can see, total active listings have moved up slightly and new listings are up sharply. This is part of the normal seasonal cycle. We are heading into the spring market, which is the busiest time of year. Everyone wants to put their house on the market when the azaleas are in bloom. On the demand side, new pending‘s are up substantially as well.  Not quite as large an increase as new listings, but keeping pace with them so far.

An interesting way to look at it to get a broader historical perspective is to look at the change year-over-year. Here you can see on the supply side, the total number of active listings are down vs 2018, almost 10%. New listings are also down year-over-year as of March by almost 4%. Whereas pendings, which are  the demand-side of the equation, have moved up. So you’ve got lower supply and higher demand, and that means prices moving up. As I said earlier, some of this is related to the normal seasonal ebb and flow of the market. Usually supply moves up first, as people start to put their homes on the market, then we watch to see if demand keeps pace.

Now let’s move onto the median days on market.  As you can see in January it was 51 and it moved down dramatically to 26 days on the market in March. This is also tied to the change in the seasonal market. A lot of houses that go under contract and settle in December and January have been on the market during the slowest time of year and were unable to sell. Due to this, they will show longer days on market when they do finally get an offer and go to settlement. As more “ fresh” inventory comes on the market in the spring, the properties that go under contract tend to show lower days on market.

This next chart shows the ratio of the sale price to original list price for properties that have settled in the first quarter. As you can see in January it was 98.3% and that has moved up to almost 100% so that means that most houses that went under contract this year and settled in March sold for full price. Part of this is tied to the last chart we saw. Properties that stay on the market longer, tend to attract more low offers.

Let’s take a quick look at the past 10 years, just to give you a little historical perspective. You can see at the bottom of the market in 2009 most homes were selling for 94.3% of the asking price.  That has steadily moved up over the past 10 years and has basically been hovering between 96.8 and 100% since February 2015.

Now let’s move onto the months of supply.  As you can see although it’s moved up slightly it’s still right around one and a half months of supply. A balanced market nationwide is generally considered to be about six months worth of inventory.  In the DC metro area, I would say that number is probably closer to four, maybe 4 1/2 months worth of inventory. The DC metro area has a much more fluid and dynamic real estate market than many other parts of the country.

 

Again let’s take a quick look backward for historical perspective. At the bottom of the market in 2009, it was right around 6 months worth of inventory. It’s been trending down consistently since then and has been below 4 month’s worth of inventory since 2011.

And finally, the one that most people focus on is the trend in sales prices. As you would expect with inventory sliding down, prices have moved up in the first quarter.

But if we take a minute to look at things from a different perspective, the rate of appreciation has decreased over the past few months, although it’s still well within the historic range.

So the picture overall is that the market that is generally leaning towards sellers, although maybe trending towards a more balanced market. Obviously there are big differences between neighborhoods and price ranges. Having a skilled professional agent on your team will help you to understand the nuances of the market so that you can make the best decisions regarding your real estate needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you’re interested in a more detailed analysis of what’s going on in your neighborhood, or in a neighborhood where you were thinking of buying, reach out and let me know. I’m happy to put together some neighborhood-specific data for you. If you know someone, maybe a friend or neighbor, who might benefit from this information, or who may have questions about real estate, please share this post with them.

 

 

2915 Rittenhouse St NW

Nestled in the heart of Chevy Chase DC, this dignified home will catch your eye and charm you from the first moment you meet.  Take the tour!

As you walk in you’ll immediately notice the open feeling and beautiful natural light that flows from the living room, through the study and out on to the gracious back deck. 

Take your time as you move through the main floor. You’ll notice plenty of architectural features including handsome built-ins, dentil crown moldings, stained beadboard paneling and trim; all complemented by glowing hardwood floors and a distinctive split entry staircase. The roof was recently replaced, and the owner kept it slate to maintain the architectural integrity of the exterior. The owner also installed a distinctive limestone mantle in keeping with the Tudor style of the house and the traditional feeling of the living room. 

The kitchen is spacious, with ample cabinets, dressed in white and a comfortable sunny breakfast area, all with direct access to the deck making it perfect for indoor-outdoor living.

As you move up the staircase, you’ll find 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths, one of them ensuite, with a fixed staircase attic upstairs for additional storage.  Downstairs you’ll find a comfortable inlaw suite, with private entrance, and a full sized table space kitchen. It’s just right for visiting family or an au pair.

The location is prime, with easy access to the great variety of shopping, plentiful dining, public transportation and cultural amenities that make Chevy Chase so desirable. You’ll love the close proximity to Rock Creek Park and Lafayette Elementary School. Your search is over, welcome to 2915 Rittenhouse St.

2018 Year in Review

2018 was an interesting year. It started off on a high note, with lots of activity and anticipation that it would be busy. The first half of the year was just that. Driven by high demand and some of the lowest inventory levels in years it was a spring for the sellers. 

Then things started to turn a bit. Inventory levels moved up, although not dramatically. Interest rates moved up as well. They started at 4.15%, jumped up to 4.85% by October, then settled to 4.55% in late December. For some historical perspective from 1971-2009 the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage never fell below 5%. Even during the run-up in home prices from 2000-2007 rates were in the 6-8% range.

Combine interest rate volatility with a mostly downhill roller coaster ride of the stock market starting in October, and by year’s end, most people had a case of whiplash. But if you take a step back, it was still a solid year for real estate in the DC metro area. The total number of properties sold was the second highest in the past five years; not too shabby.  Let’s dig in and take a look at some of the numbers.

Regionally*– Inventory was up less than 1%, and pending contracts were up about 2%.  The total number of units sold was off by 2.3% and prices were up by about 3.5%. That’s lower than the rate of price appreciation for 2017 but close to the historical average of 4.3%  

So there was a change in the market, but not a dramatic one; more a change in tone than direction. In my mind that’s good news, we don’t need a repeat of 2007-2011. The market needed to cool off a bit, and it seems to be doing just that. As is always the case, the regional news only tells part of the story. Let’s take a look at some of the local jurisdictions to see how they fared.

Alexandria City seems to be one of the winners. Inventory was down by 53% year-over-year, and pending contracts were up by 16%. The total number of sales was up by 6% and prices moved up by 3.1%. Of all of the major northern Virginia jurisdictions, Alexandria had the highest increase in the number of total sales at 5.7 %. Three out of the other five showed a decrease in sales activity.

Next-door in Arlington the story was not quite so rosy. Inventory was down by 40%, and pending contracts were up by 20%, but prices had moved down by 2.6%. So out of the 4 NOVA jurisdictions in the list Arlington and one other showed price depreciation. The Arlington numbers seem counter-intuitive to me, given the pending and inventory numbers.  Sometimes the real estate market, like the stock market, doesn’t seem to make sense. 

Quarterly Report

We looked at Potomac MD, zip code 20854. Potomac as a whole has been a difficult market over the past couple of years. Lots of people who bought 20-30 years ago when they had kids in school are now empty nesters. They’d like to be in a more “walk to” location. The problem is that the younger buyers are interested in being in those same locations, most of those younger buyers don’t want 1-2 acres of land and 6000 sf of house, and all of the demands that go with both of them.  Demand is down and prices are softening. Many people would say that Potomac is a tough market, but it really depends on the price range. Look at these 2 charts:

To give you a bit of perspective, the National Association of Realtors says that 6 months of inventory is a “ balanced” market. My opinion is that the DC area has a lower threshold of 4-5 months for a balanced market. DC is more active and fluid than many other parts of the country. 

As things stand, the 800-999K price range is a strong seller’s market, with 2 months worth of inventory and an average of ??? days on market in 2018. The 1.0-2.5 million range, not so much. With 7.5 months of inventory it is solidly in buyer’s market territory,  Those sellers should be prepared to wait for a while to get their house sold. 

Tinder® and Trulia® – Are dating and buying a home the same?

 

I’ve helped people with the process of selling and buying houses for over 23 years. It’s a complicated sometimes volatile mix of analysis and emotion that people have compared to death and divorce regarding the strain it puts on people. There’s another stress-inducing activity I’ve been thinking about recently, dating. There are plenty of similarities between those two as well.

The home search process and dating have changed in the past 20 years. Now they both are driven, at least in the beginning stages, by the internet. The last time I was dating, it was mostly a question of who you knew, and who they knew, which watering hole you frequented, where you worked or went to school.

Those were the places where many people met their partners. As for houses, when I first started in real estate, there was no online access to the public and no online photos for anyone. You had to go out there and look. You had to kiss a lot of frogs before you found the right one.

That leads me to another similarity, the fact that pictures online can tell one story, but face to face can be a very different one. I advise my seller clients that the war for the buyer’s hearts and minds is won or lost with the first picture they see, and the same can indeed be said for online dating sites, swipe left or right, the decision happens in an instant.

In today’s low inventory market, the buyers and their agents have to play a waiting game. They watch their phones, hoping that the “right one” will appear today. Every time their phone pings they jump. When they see something that looks like a winner, rush right out to see it. They pull up front, and nervously walk to the door, the agent fiddles with the lockbox, and finally, they open the door. Is it going to be love at first sight or just another disappointment?

Now let’s look at the seller’s side for a moment, there is waiting for many of them as well. They get their house all gussied up in a pretty black dress by clearing out the house, put on makeup by staging and maybe even get a manicure and a pedicure, landscaping and exterior improvements. Next are the pictures, and preparation of marketing materials, and finally I push the send button, and the listing is live!!

Then the waiting starts; they’re hoping for the first call or online showing request. It seems to take forever, but eventually, it arrives. Now comes the last minute primping before a showing or the open house. More dusting, straightening and putting things away. Finally, the buyers come and look, sometimes they’re in and out quickly, but maybe they linger. The sellers wonder, what do they think, will they come back for a second look? What other houses are they seeing? If the buyers don’t call quickly, then the sellers start to wonder and worry. Why didn’t they like our house? What’s wrong with them?

My job as an agent is to help my clients, buyers or sellers, understand the emotions, and come to grips with them. My goal is to help them look at the situation with a clear lens, to put the rose colored glasses away and try to focus on what’s important. 

The Joys of Homeownership

Whenever I send out a mailer, I wonder how many people read it, or if it goes straight into the circular file. Mostly, I get good feedback, but sometimes just silence… So let’s try something new in 2018, a little crowdsourcing for stories.

Most of you are homeowners. That’s probably how we met. I have helped people in DC Maryland and Virginia over my 24 years in Real Estate. You’ve bought diverse types of housing and in all kinds of neighborhoods. You may be happily ensconced in an early 1900’s farmhouse or a brand new condo, or something in between. One thing all homes have in common, no matter their size, style, age or location, are they consistently present us with projects that need to be done. Some are big, some small, some need a specialist, and some are DIY projects, which always seem to involve a minimum of 2 trips to the hardware store for me :).

So here’s the plan. I’m going to reach out to you soon to see if you’ve had an “interesting” home ownership challenge, a story that you think might resonate with other people like you. It could be that something broke, or maybe you just wondered why the gizmo that’s attached to the water heater is there. I’ll get a little bit of background, and perhaps a couple of smartphone pictures of the item in question. Then I’d like to share your story with my other readers, no personal attribution, and see if it might help someone else.

I thought it’d be informative to share with each other. The particulars will be private, with just enough information to help everyone benefit from the lessons learned by others. I’ll try to include some feedback from expert tradespeople, when possible, to give a different point of view. C’mon it’ll be fun!