real estate: Busting myths about buying a house - 05/13/19 04:41 AM
For first time buyers who are just getting started in their search for a home, there is plenty of conflicting information out there. You might hear one, or more, of these statements, from well meaning friends or family.
All of the information that you need is on line. 
You don't need an agent--you can just call the sign agent.
You can apply for your mortgage on line. Just fill out the form and wait for approval.
Buying a house is pretty straight forward...why should anyone make a boat load of money of your purchase?
Let me just say that while there is a kernel of truth in (some of) these … (1 comments)

real estate: Closing out 2018 - 12/21/18 05:21 AM
Yesterday was my last closing of 2018.
I was able to help some first time home buyers find and purchase their first home. It took us several months to find the right property, and it included one 'mulligan,' but they are thrilled with the final selection and are planning their New Years Eve party in a new house! My other closing this week began last Saturday, when I met an out of town client at the property they were selling, along with a closing agent,  and they signed the paperwork, using a Power of Attorney (POA), on behalf of a relative. The purchaser, also … (1 comments)

real estate: What about that house? Will you stay there? - 10/15/18 12:12 PM
There comes a time in your life when conversations shift from soccer practice and school plays to vacations and places to retire.  It can be an exciting time for some, but it can also be overwhelming for many!
Once the kids have moved out (and moved back in and moved out again), you may begin to think about trading in the old house and getting a new one.The problem that many of us have is that, along the way, we have collected a lot of stuff!
Some of you may have made-do with a smaller-than-ideal home while you were raising your kids and now … (2 comments)

real estate: The Myth of the Millennial Home Buyer - 04/12/18 09:53 AM

I was at an event last week and one of the speakers, very profoundly, said that statistics bear out that Millennial home buyers are behaving much as their predecessors did when it comes to home purchases and other life decisions. They might be making these decisions a little bit later, due to social norms and student debt, but they are, nonetheless making predictable choices. The negative/antecdotal info about the way they behave can really be attributed to a small percentage of the group. My thought is that the same was true of every other group in history. Wasn't there a group … (1 comments)

real estate: 10 Steps Toward Buying Your First Home - 01/09/18 05:13 PM
 We all know that practice makes perfect, but what are you supposed to do when you have never bought a home before? How do you get that practice? Why you hire a great Agent with a great team to get you through! It is always a good idea to sit down with a Realtor, or two, and talk to them about the process that they follow and the team of people that they work with. Let me give you a brief description of how I work with my clients.  Initial Conversation: this is when we talk about your goals, your dreams, your fears … (1 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 'Thanks for your help, we used a different Agent...' - 09/20/17 08:08 AM

I belong to a lot of Realtor Forums and I feel like lately, they have been inundated with stories of friends or family who said they would use a Realtor and then at the last minute used someone else to buy or sell a house. This, unfortunately, is part of the fabric of real estate. There is no single reason that this happens, but over the years, I have assembled a list of reasons that I believe contribute:  We work odd hours, including nights and weekends,  and often from home, so our friends and family don't necessarily see us in a 'professional' setting. … (1 comments)

real estate: I would love your VOTE for Best Reston Real Estate Agent! - 07/25/17 12:46 PM
As Realtors® we must constantly be staying in front of our clients and the public. This self-promotion is what keeps us working--and earning a living. It is part of the job and part of the reason that some succeed in this business and others do not. As a Broker and Owner in a small, privately held firm, this recognition is sometimes even harder to achieve.
Every once in awhile an opportunity comes along that makes it just a little bit easier to get that public recognition.
Our local paper is running their 'Best of' series of votes. I am a candidate for 'Best … (0 comments)

real estate: 10 Things I have learned in Real Estate - 04/08/15 08:11 AM
I have been selling real estate for a long time and it is my career. I have always been a good student, but frankly, there is a lot to learn about selling real estate that you can't get from book learning.
I thought I would share some of the 'Lessons Learned.' Not all of these lessons were easy to learn, but learning them has made me a better Realtor.
  Real Estate is a hard part-time job. I have always been in it full time, but I have watched others struggle to keep up with industry information and meetings while holding down a second … (0 comments)

real estate: You aren't on Facebook? Really? - 03/29/15 12:21 AM
I know there are still those folks who are not interested in being on Facebook. I get it. Yes, face-to-face relationships are the bread and butter of the service industry. In the past 24 hours, however, I have used Facebook in so many ways that are about face-to-face relationships, that I thought it worth sharing and maybe asking the hold-outs to reconsider.
  Met with some clients (and Facebook friends) who want to buy land and build. We walked the land and met with a potential builder. I came back to the office and posted on several local Facebook Real Estate … (4 comments)

real estate: How my Clients Sell a Home - 03/19/15 04:51 AM
Last week I wrote a post, How My Clients Buy a Home, and so this week, I thought I would write a similar one about how I work with sellers.
  When someone contacts me about selling their home, our first step is to sit down and discuss their objectives. I also provide them with information about me, my background, my techniques and local market data.   Often, we do a 'walk around,' so that I can get a sense of the property at the same meeting.   Once I have been given the listing, we do a more detailed walk … (0 comments)

real estate: Are Real Estate Agents Sales People? - 03/17/15 05:45 AM
If you are a Realtor, you have probably struggled with the question of whether or not you are a sales person.  Of course, the answer is 'yes,' but the product is not what the public thinks.
  I sell myself to my clients. They need to believe that I am the best person to help them sell their home or to help them buy a home. I do not 'sell their home' or 'sell them' a home. What I am selling is my services to help them sell or buy a home.   It isn't that I am afraid of the word. I … (1 comments)

real estate: How My Clients Buy a Home - 03/12/15 05:47 AM
I read a post recently (and I apologize for not linking it, but I cannot find it!) about how millenials are being grouped together and treated as a single entity for marketing purposes. The auther stated, correctly, that they should not all be treated the same way, that each 'Millenial' is a person with preferences and their own unique style.
I could not agree more! I treat all my clients the same way and adapt to each client's preferences.
When I get a call from a client or referral stating that they want to buy a new home, the very first … (2 comments)

real estate: The new program that will wreck havoc on home sales! - 01/12/15 06:56 AM
On January 26, Fannie Mae will roll out a new program designed to facilitate appraisals. The problem is that it will do anything but make this process easier or more effective!   The theory is that rather than having the appraisers 'waste' their time finding the comparable sales, there will be an automated process that will provide them with comps.  That sounds okay unless you have ever had to price a property! Ken Harney, Washington Post, outlined this program in his article,Fannie Mae’s bid to boost appraisals’ accuracy draws fire.
Unless you are talking about a subdivision where no one … (5 comments)

real estate: "Hey Uncle Jim, Can You Sell My House?" - 12/02/14 11:49 PM
You have a house to sell, he has a real estate license. What could be simpler? And best of all, Uncle Jim will cut the commission. It seems like a perfect fit...not so fast!
I read an article this morning that got me thinking about this scenario. Why You Shouldn't Mix Real Estate with Relatives. The points made in this article are all very valid.
What it doesn't address is WHY people choose to work with a relative. Sometimes it is pressure from Mom.  Some of us are still not too good at ignoring her unrelenting nagging.  Sometimes it is for … (5 comments)

real estate: The Contract is Signed...Now What? - 11/23/14 09:51 PM
You have a ratified contract to purchase your dream home! What happens next?
  When you wrote the contract, you provided an earnest money deposit check. At this point, the check will be deposited in an earnest money account (a special account that can only be used for this purpose)  as specified in the contract (often the Buyer's Broker, but sometimes the Listing Broker or the Settlement company).
  Next, your agent will submit the contract to your lender and to the settlement company and they will each begin their processing. You will be asked to provide them with necessary … (0 comments)

real estate: What next now that contract contingencies are removed? - 11/19/14 04:36 AM
You and your Realtor have been working hard and all of the contingencies have been removed from your contract.   What now?   Now you enter the 'logistics phase.'   You will be contacted by your settlement company to answer questions as you approach settlement.  You will want to be sure to answer all their requests promptly to avoid any delay in closing.
  The move will be happening soon, so you need to figure out the final timing of your settlement. The date should be specified in the contract, so assuming everything has remained the same, you need to … (0 comments)

real estate: Why you have to spend money to sell your house - 10/22/14 06:14 AM
You have decided to sell your house (your very nice house, by the way) and the Realtor® comes in and starts itemizing all the things that you need to do and all the money that you need to spend. You become quickly frustrated. Why should you have to spend all that money to sell your house?   The hardest thing for sellers to do is stop thinking of their house as their home and start thinking of it as a commodity. For a commodity to sell, there must be something about it that causes a buyer to choose it over … (3 comments)

real estate: Where have all the buyers gone? - 10/16/14 10:04 PM
Where have the buyers gone? This is a refrain that I have heard over and over during the first couple weeks of October 2014 from both sellers and fellow Realtor®s in Northern Virgina.   Inventories are good; there are a variety of homes at every price point.   Interest Rates are low; they are back under 4%--this, after we were told they would likely never get that low again.   Employment numbers are strong in the Washington Metro area.   So where have all the buyers gone? Last year at this time, the government was facing Sequestration. In the D.C. metro … (5 comments)

real estate: A Brutal Apology to Consumers from the Real Estate Industry - 09/16/14 01:42 AM

This is a great post by Bryan Robertson! Hire an agent who is willing to work for you...and has the experience to know what they are doing.
Dear Home Buyer or Seller,
You've been so patient with the real estate industry and for that, those of us who know what we're doing, are eternally grateful. You've been suffering through poor performance for so long that you now trust a website more than the agent you meet at an open house. We understand, really, that it's hard to put a major financial and legal decision in the hands of someone who … (1 comments)





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