real estate advice: Do you need a REALTOR® to buy a New Construction Home?? - 09/17/18 06:46 AM

Are you ready to buy a home and considering going in the route of new construction? It may seem like an easy enough process, where you get to call the shots of how you want your dream home to be, but there is a lot of risk when it comes to new construction if you are going in blindly. It's unfortunately not as trouble free as we'd like to hope, if you don't have the right representative by your side to help with the things that need to be looked out for from a professional's eye. Below, we'll dive into … (2 comments)

real estate advice: 5 things to do to enjoy your home NOW! - 01/29/18 05:03 AM
One aspect of my job is to counsel home sellers about maintenance and upgrades that they need to take care of before listing their home for sale.  Often these tasks are completed, literally, days before the property goes on the market. It is a shame because many of these tasks are things that, had they done them in advance of listing, the homeowner would have enjoyed while they still live there. Here are 5 of the things that often get pushed out until just before it is time to sell:
  Clean out closets and drawers: chances are you have old coats, mismatched … (4 comments)

real estate advice: 5 Home Maintenance Oversights--that can cost big money! - 07/08/16 12:03 AM
We all have that list...the running list of home maintenance  items that we try to get to when we have an extra couple of minutes. Oftentimes, real life gets in the way and that list keep growing--until, sometimes,  items are forgotten.  There are a couple of tasks, that while they seem minor, you should prioritize. Not doing these home maintenance tasks can end up costing you big money! I see these things later become home inspection repairs on many of my listings.   Clean the gutters: Gutters take the rain water from your roof to the ground. Make sure you … (1 comments)

real estate advice: Sellers: Get What You Pay For With Photos - 05/06/15 06:27 AM
It is very tempting when you are signing a listing agreement to negotiate the commission way, way down. You will always find some agent who will agree to your super low offer. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand how that will affect your sale.
  The number one way that buyers find homes today is on the Internet. They might use an independent site, a famous site, their Realtor®'s site or they might use email links from their Realtor®. But what is the one thing all of these ways have in common? Yes, they all feature photographs.   … (3 comments)

real estate advice: 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 advice: 'They' might be watching...and I don't mean Big Brother! - 02/19/15 12:19 AM
If you are just thinking of beginning your home search, something really big has probably changed since you last toured homes. More and more homes are taking advantage of home technology and installing home cameras.   It used to be that you might see an occasional 'Nanny Cam,' or a security camera--in a very high-end home. As costs have dropped and technology has become more readily available, more and more folks are installing cameras that they can monitor when they are away from home.   As a buyer, remember, part of the success of these cameras is that they are very, very small. You … (12 comments)

real estate advice: "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 advice: Is this the best time to buy or sell? - 01/19/14 10:42 PM
Is this the best time to buy or sell?
As a. Realtor, this is the question that I hear most often.  Frankly, it is a fairly personal question.
Why are you asking? Do you need more space? Do you need to downsize to reduce your payments and maintenance? Have you experienced a life-event such as a marriage, death, divorce or new family member? Maybe you have a new job and are hoping for something larger or more grand? Maybe you need a different layout or a property closer to your office?
If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes,' … (1 comments)

real estate advice: 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)

real estate advice: The One Skill All Successful Realtors Must Have - 05/19/13 04:35 AM
Every year, thousands and thousands of hopeful Realtors-to-be take the Realtor Course, pass their state licensing exam, send in their fees and dues and are rewarded with a shiny new license (some, including me, think that the process to become licensed is too easy, but that is a discussion for another day).
Once licensed, the world of real estate looms large in front of them. Some of these hopefuls will make it and some won't. The longer I am in this business, the clearer  it becomes to me what distinguishes the successful from the mediocre.
Communications skills. 
A good Realtor … (3 comments)

real estate advice: If You Want it, Put It In Writing! - 03/23/13 01:09 AM
The Northern Virginia real estate market is hot. Buyers are competing for homes and finding that they need to be efficient and organized in their approach to making offers to purchase.
  Last month, I listed a home for approximately $450,000. We had over 50 groups through the open house the first Sunday it was listed. We had at least 15 agent-led groups through on the first weekend. By Monday, the calls started coming in.   'My client loves the house. Would your client consider their offer of $425,000?' 'That house is perfect for my client, would your client sell for … (23 comments)

real estate advice: How Low is Too Low? - 03/25/12 10:53 PM
Dear Holly, I am getting ready to buy my first home and I am getting advice from all directions. Most people are telling me to 'go in low' on whatever offer that I make.  The last thing I want to do is offend the seller by coming in too low. How low is too low when putting in an offer to buy a new home? Sincerely, Curious about the Market Dear Curious about the Market, This is an exciting time for you. You will find that this 'helpful' advice will continue up until the day you get the keys to your new … (6 comments)

real estate advice: Perception is Reality in Real Estate - 03/20/12 09:25 PM
Buying or Selling a home can be very stressful. Hiring a Realtor can help, but cannot entirely prevent, missteps along the way.
As a party to the transaction, you will be called upon to respond at different points in the transaction. How you react--and even when--can affect how the other side views your offer.  Does this matter? It can.  I recently worked with a move-up buyer. They found the house of their dreams and submitted an offer. The sellers countered. The buyers, understandably nervous, took some time to think about the counter and how they wanted to respond. The sellers interpreted … (5 comments)

real estate advice: When It Comes To Buying a House, Unique is Not Always Better - 02/06/12 12:43 AM
As I show buyers homes, I am constantly pointing out features that will, and will not, make it easier to sell in the future. I think it is critically important to consider resale, even as you are selecting the home you want to buy.   If you are considering a condominium, for example, it is best to buy the model that has the features most in common with the other units in the development. You might be attracted to a 3 bedroom, 1 bath model, but remember, when you go to sell, that might not be the most popular model available if most … (6 comments)

real estate advice: My Top 10 Real Estate Tools - 09/02/11 02:30 AM
In 2005, my partner, Carol Kearney, and I started our own firm, Momentum Realty. We embraced the decentralized model that so many other practitioners have selected and created good, solid home offices and no commercial presence (we have an office of record, as required by state law).
Technology has made this vision easier and easier to implement. Rarely is there anything at all that I can't do from my home office.
So what are my top 10 tools (technical and not), in no particular order?

Smart Phone (currently a Blackberry, but considering an iPhone) HP All-in-one Printer/scanner/copier Docusign efax bluetooth Closing office doors and … (45 comments)

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