realtor: Don't Judge a House By Its Exterior - 11/29/17 11:18 AM

I love symmetry. There is something about it that makes me feel like all is right.  The picture below shows great symmetry!               Alas, my home is NOT symmetrical. Despite the fact that my home is not as visually appealing to me as it could be, I am glad that I came inside on that fateful day. When I did, I saw that the inside of the house was nearly perfect and exactly what I was looking for. We have all heard,' Don't judge a book by its cover,' and I would suggest that you also look beyond the exterior of a home. Through … (2 comments)

realtor: Selling Your Vacant Home in Northern Virginia - 10/14/14 12:24 AM
It is time to sell your property, but you don't live in the home. How do you choose the right Realtor® to help you get the job done?
  Over the years, I have carved out a niche for myself assisting Sellers, who do not live in their home, to get their property sold.   There are many reasons why a home could be vacant before going on the market. A seller may have moved to a new or second home, there may have been a death in the family, the family may have intentionally moved out to make showing … (0 comments)

realtor: What Quality Makes a Successful Realtor? - 04/14/14 12:31 AM
What differentiates a GREAT Realtor from a good one? I have been giving this some thought lately. My office is a new Keller Williams office and many of the agents who have joined are new to the business. Are there ways to know who will succeed and thrive and who will quietly pass up their license renewal? Are there obvious characteristics that differentiate the two?
There are some obvious personality characteristics that we see in new Realtors: a self-starter, organized, personable, good business sense. But we all know people who succeed who don't always exhibit all of these characteristics. And we all … (51 comments)

realtor: Buyers: Starting Your Home Search - 01/17/14 09:48 PM
If you are envisioning a new home in your future, you are probably beginning to put together your plan to find your new place. You may have even begun surfing the internet looking for new listings. STOP! Searching for your house is the easy (and fun) part. Before you even step out the door--or pull up a home-search site-- you need to get your financial home in order.
There was a great article in the Washington Post (this version is from the website, so the title is different), 1/18/2014, With home buying, planning ahead will make the multi-step process easier.  This article … (2 comments)

realtor: Will you buy a new home in 2014? - 12/30/13 09:57 PM
The New Year often means a reevaluation of our personal goals and objectives. We might want to improve our diet, work out more often, volunteer with more consistency--or maybe we just want to like where we live a little bit better!
If your 2014 goals include selling your home and buying a new one, here are some things to think about before you jump in.
Mortgage rules have changed. Don't begin the process without having an in-depth conversation with a mortgage lender.  A good lender is going to want to have a solid understanding of your financial position. Do not be afraid … (2 comments)

realtor: When you are both a Seller and a Buyer - 08/27/13 06:52 AM
 A lot of my clients are moving out of the area, or moving in, and may only need my help for one side of the transaction.

There are plenty, however, that I work with to both buy and sell their home.  This can be a particularly stressful combination. Not only are you buying a new home, but you are living in one that needs to be 'showing ready,' at all times.     But how can you structure both deals to minimize moving-week stress?   So often, settlements are delayed by financing not being ready or a transaction earlier in … (3 comments)

realtor: It's a house, not your baby! - 07/17/13 06:49 AM
We are often blind when it comes to our children.  They are earlier to walk, to speak, to smile than other children. They are cuter and more precocious than anyone else can detect. Because we spend so much time with them, we fall in love and we fall in love hard! It is fair to say that a parent can easily lose their objectivity.   Our houses can be a little bit like children. Who hasn't puffed with pride when a neighbor admires your new paint job or your very green grass?   This pride, however, has no place in pricing your home. … (43 comments)

realtor: Out Come the Haters! - 01/14/13 07:56 PM
This weekend I received some hate mail.  I occasionally write for a local paper about real estate issues (who doesn't love free publicity?). Last week, I had an article published about how Realtors®, in addition to helping people buy and sell homes, work to protect property rights through our association memberships in local, state and the  National Association of Realtors®.   I received a hate-filled diatribe, via email, explaining to me why Realtors® are such awful people.  The author had taken time to think out his/her (non-sensical) arguments and present them to me in what, I suppose, was a case designed to get me … (80 comments)

realtor: Thinking of Vacation Property? - 11/24/12 09:29 PM
Owning a vactaion home can be a great way to invest in real estate and, at the same time, have a great place to get away.
If you have considered buying a vacation property, your timing can make a difference in your purchase price.
A beach house can sell for slightly less in the off season (when it is not generating income) than it will in the summer when it is probably paying for itself. The same goes for a ski chalet; if you buy during ski season, you will probably pay a premium.
Being willing to carry the costs of … (2 comments)

realtor: Dog-Friendly Realtor...How Can You Tell? - 05/10/12 09:12 PM
I am a Realtor, a wife, a mother and the owner of 2 four-legged babies, Emmy and Gigi.  There are times when these two dogs drive me crazy, but I love them both and they keep me grounded. This morning, as I prepared for a private showing of one of my upcoming listings, it occured to me that I probably wear my love for pets on my sleeve--or pants, as the case may be. So how can you tell I am a dog-owning Realtor? Here are some of the ways: All my slacks and skirts have tell-tale slime at dog height. I try to … (4 comments)

realtor: How Hard Can it Be? Selling Your House FSBO - 05/09/12 03:56 AM
I am well aware that the general public believes that Realtors are overpaid (I could spend a whole blog post letting you know how the commission we receive is divided and spent until we get a fraction of it to deposit, but I will save that for another day). Friends of mine are always saying, 'we might try to sell it ourselves.' My response is always, 'you should.' And then I go on to tell them how they should handle the security issues and how they want to be sure to get legal advice as they go through the contract negotiations. … (32 comments)

realtor: Bogged Down By Inefficiencies? Make a Change! - 03/06/12 07:59 PM
If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that I came to real estate after a career in software. This expereince has served me well, in some cases, and caused me to make bad decisions in others. When it comes to setting things up for myself, I have a real 'can do' attitude. And while I usually CAN do it, it doesn't always make sense for me to do it. Shortly after the new year, I made a big mistake. I was cancelling several products to which I subscribed and I accidentally cancelled my website.  After a couple of minutes … (7 comments)

realtor: I Really Don't Want To Waste Your Time... - 02/22/12 11:44 PM
It is time to start looking for that new house. You have a Realtor picked out, but they are really good at what they do and you don't want to waste their time while you try to figure out what you want. You think you will use someone less experienced to help you look around. Chris Ann Cleland wrote a blog about this last week, You Aren't Saving Your Buyer's Agent Anything By Calling the Listing Agent Directly . I re-blogged it because I think there is a big misconception about how our industry works, but a conversation I had with another Realtor … (9 comments)

realtor: You Aren't Saving Your Buyer's Agent Anything By Calling the Listing Agent Directly - 02/18/12 11:33 PM this and understand that we want you to bug us!  Don't feel like you need to wait until a Sunday open to see a house that you really think you might want.  The more time we spend with you, the more we understand EXACTLY what you are trying to find in a home. Let us do our jobs...we want to do them.
Thanks, Chris Ann for getting this exactly right!
You Aren't Saving Your Buyer's Agent Anything By Calling the Listing Agent Directly
I've worked with many buyers who somehow feel guilty if they are in the preliminary home buying … (6 comments)

realtor: The right to turn down a listing...or discrimination? - 11/06/11 09:24 AM
Prejuidice? Discrimination?  I am sure there are unsavory agents who have turned down listings for the wrong reason, but what about turning down a listing because you don't want the media coverage?   I ran across this article, Octomom Real Estate Agency REFUSED to Sell My Home.  Nadya Suleman is contending that the brokerage's refusal to list her home is discrimination against her, as someone who gave birth to 8 babies. Wow.    People should not throw around the word discrimination so lightly.     We have all turned down listings--or at least found ways not to list properties we believed would be difficult to … (30 comments)

realtor: Hooray for the Nosy Neighbors! - 07/10/11 09:52 AM
I was out front with the dogs when my good friend, and neighbor, came by to report on the Open House down the street. I had been in earlier in the week to preview the property, so she stopped by to give me her perspective. It got me thinking about a comment I heard recently from a prospective seller.  She said if she listed with me, she did not want me showing the house to the neighbors--ever-- and certainly did not want me doing an Open House. In her words, 'they just want to see how you have decorated and report … (30 comments)

realtor: I Don't Need No Stinkin' Report to Tell Me About the Market! - 04/26/11 02:35 AM
The Spring Market is alive and well in Northern Virginia! How do I know this? It certainly isn't from the reports I hear daily on my local news, I know it because my favorite pants are getting snug and my blog has been neglected! In theory, those things that are important to our well being (such as exercise and marketing) should NEVER be neglected. People will tell you that you can always find the time for things that are a priority. Well, when the Spring Real Estate market kicks in, I beg to differ. I am a life-long exerciser. I was … (0 comments)

realtor: Looking for a New Home in Northern Virginia? Let me help. - 12/20/10 11:39 PM
If one of your New Years Resolutions is to buy a new home in Northern Virginia, let me help you get started. There is no shortage of information available on line, but if you have done any amount of searching, what you will find is that it is hard to know what information is current and what is not. I believe that most agents make an effort to keep their information current, however, we cannot always control what happens to it on-line. Let me explain why. When I post a listing to the MLS, I am making it available as public … (0 comments)

realtor: Holly Weatherwax, Your Realtor® in Northern Virginia: A Video Introduction - 12/09/10 10:58 PM
My name is Holly Weatherwax, Your Realtor® in Northern Virginia. If you are looking for a new home, I hope that you will watch my video introduction and call me to begin the process of finding your new house in Northern Virginia.>

realtor: A Great Business Lesson From The Kids - 10/29/10 01:13 AM
Cranky clients, incompetent representation, unplanned errors. These are all things that we run across in the real estate biz and can learn from.  A bad experience, or an unfortunate mistake, can be turned into a life-lesson which will help to make us stronger practitioners.Lessons learned outside of the business are also a great source of inspiration and improvement.I have three children. The two oldest, daughters, are a Junior and Freshman in college (different schools, different kids). My youngest, a son, is a freshman in high school.This week I have had conversations with each of them where the final conclusion was that they had accomplished … (5 comments)

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