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Leading Real Estate Professionals Q&A

Mar 24, 2017 12:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Leading Real Estate Professionals 2017 Q&A

What are the secrets for getting the most money for my home?

You want buyers to have a great first impression and to see the value in your home. The easiest things to do are decluttering, cleaning, and painting. If the house is cluttered, dirty, and needs a fresh coat of paint, the buyers’ perception of the home’s value will decrease. Some homes also could use new flooring. When it is time to put your home on the market, work with an experienced real estate professional. They can design a plan customized for your home to maximize its value. Typically, you can spend a little bit of money to make more in the end.
DAVID ORSO, David Orso Group of CENTURY 21 New Millennium

What can someone buying waterfront property in Annapolis expect to find?

Annapolis is a diverse community rich in history and culture and offers a huge selection of waterfront homes. Currently, there are homes ranging from condos in the $400s to a historic estate set on 26 acres for over $14M. With our direct access to the Chesapeake Bay and some of the best boating, fishing, and crabbing in the world, it’s not surprising to see waterfront home sales and values on the rise. Welcome to the Annapolis lifestyle.
TRAVIS GRAY, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

How is the waterfront market shaping up for Spring?

We have seen tremendous activity so far this year in waterfront home sales. Between January 1st & mid-February, 70% more waterfront homes went under contract than in the same period last year. With the waterfront housing inventory at an all-time low, sellers are in a position to get their house sold while buyers stand to benefit from the price increases that are likely to come. We rate the market as a moderately strong Seller’s Market and predict a 5% price increase for waterfront homes in good condition in 2017.
CHARLIE BUCKLEY, Associate Broker, Mr. Waterfront® Team of Long & Foster Real Estate

Should I price my home higher than recommended when I first list it?

The short answer is no. But it obviously depends on the accuracy of the recommended price. Your real estate agent should provide you with a recommended price or price range after carefully reviewing the real estate market in your area and your style of home. Once you have a research-based price range to work with, it is best to price the home using that information than to overprice the home. Buyers are more interested in new listings versus homes that have sat on the market for a while. You will receive the most money by selling quickly. Price it right initially and it will sell quicker for the closest amount to the asking price that you will ever get. Or you may even get multiple offers, pushing the sales price up.
DAVID ORSO, David Orso Group of CENTURY 21 New Millennium

What can one an agent do differently than others to get my home sold?

Finding the right match can be tough. You need an agent that will be honest with you about the value of your home, one that has a process in place to get your home staged and ready for market, one that has excellent communication and negotiating skills, and one that stays current with new marketing trends.
Mike and Melissa Murray, The Murray Home Team of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

How important is staging your home when preparing to sell?

First impressions are critical when it comes to selling your property. Buyers usually make up their minds within seconds of seeing a home. A seller, who takes the time and thoroughly stages a home, has a competitive advantage over one who doesn’t. Statistics tell us, staged homes sell 88% faster and net 17% more than a home that is not staged. When preparing your home to present to potential buyers, it is always important to remember that less is best. Cleaning and decluttering is the best place to start. The Northrop Team offers complimentary staging consultations for our listings because we know how important presentation can be.
CREIG NORTHROP, President of the Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate

How will the possibility of rising mortgage interest rates affect buyers and sellers in the coming months?

Rising mortgage interest rates are a concern to both buyers and sellers. Buyers may be faced with monthly payments that are significantly higher than expected. This often results in having to make an adjustment to the price range they were considering. Sellers are equally affected and may have to reconsider the asking price of their home because the increased rate has decreased the affordability. Working with a local reputable lender and experienced real estate agent are your best defense with buying or selling in a fluctuating financial environment.
KATHERINE DAVIS, Long & Foster Annapolis Fine Homes

What are the qualities I should look for in selecting a Realtor to work with?

Things that should matter...An agent’s dedication to their business as a full time Realtor and their dedication to making your real estate goals a reality. Request the agent’s track record for the last 12 months, don’t be afraid to ask for references and what their reputation in the industry is. (Networking among our peers is crucial to a Realtor’s success). Ask for a 90 day business plan in writing for your sale or purchase. Keep in mind this is a business transaction and make sure you handle it exactly that way (you can become friends after the transaction). Ask for a realistic “days on the market” strategy and a marketing game plan when listing your home. When buying a home, make sure you meet and interview to decide if all the personalities mesh. Most of all make sure you select an adequate and knowledgeable guide and advisor to one of your largest purchases or sales.
CHRISTINA PALMER, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

What part does technology play in real estate today?

Technology has become more and more important when it comes to marketing homes to potential buyers. Most homebuyers find their homes online. With current 3D and virtual reality trends, a buyer can take a complete home tour by virtually walking through each room and experiencing spaces from their computer or mobile device like never before. We find this to be a remarkable tool in many ways, and it’s such a time saver when touring a property. Potential buyers can view our listings at their leisure from any location. We have even had cases where a listing has gone under contract before the buyers ever set foot on the property.
CREIG NORTHROP, President of the Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate

What marketing trends are emerging for 2017 homes?

Today’s buying audience is shopping online, scrutinizing home photos, virtual tours, and property details on user-friendly real estate websites. It is crucial that as agents we provide quality pre-market home staging, photography, and rapid access information to best present your home with its special features and Bay living amenities. Through direct mail and vast internet presence, we not only must display your home to its greatest advantage, but paint an entire picture of the enviable lifestyle it offers to potential buyers!

What are the most important things to do when marketing a luxury property?

Professional marketing is important in order to ensure that you, the seller, receive the greatest value for your property. Have a professional help you get the property ready to show at it’s best. You may be able to spruce up an area with minor work and make a big impression on potential buyers. Marketing materials, photos, postcards, and Internet ads should be of the highest quality, on message, and designed to attract your buyer. Be sure the professional representing your property understands and makes the most of target marketing; attracting those buyers in the high end market.
DEBRA FORTIER, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

What is your advice to both buyers and sellers to ensure the swiftest and smoothest settlement day?

To ensure the swiftest and smoothest settlement day, it is important for the seller to make sure everything in the house is in working order. If there are repairs to be made, hire a quality professional to do the repairs. That way the work is completed on time and the buyer has a professional they can contact if there are future issues/questions. Be sure to be completely moved out and all personal items and trash removed prior to closing. We see many closing delayed because the sellers are not completely moved out of the home. It is important that the buyers are able to have a final walk-through of the home prior to closing, to ensure everything is as stated in the contract.

For buyers, my advice is to be sure all of your documents are provided to your lender, real estate professional, and title company as soon as possible. Providing documents in a timely manner helps to ensure a smooth transaction and on-time settlement. Don’t make any major purchases (e.g. furniture) or change your credit situation in any way. A late payment or new credit card can affect your loan and possibly your ability to purchase your new home.
Janice Hariadi, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

Does it make sense to list a property after spring?

Undoubtedly, the spring market is a lovely time to list your property, but don’t be discouraged if you miss this timeframe. In our market, summer brings many people on holiday that find our Eastern Shore a delightful place to purchase their perfect vacation or retirement home. And, remember there are buyers out there that maybe weren’t ready for the spring market! Fall is another great opportunity, as inventory could be very low, giving you a good opportunity to get your highest and best price.
JANET FREEH, Long & Foster Real Estate

Why should I choose an expert to sell my waterfront home?

Waterfront homes have their own vocabulary: rip-rap, bulkhead, mean low water, riparian rights, docks, slips, phragmite, etc. You need a Realtor who uses these terms fluently, can explain possible advantages/disadvantages to certain properties, and is capable of problem solving in these specialized areas if necessary. My extensive personal and professional background make me a natural choice.
DEE DEE McCRACKEN, Coldwell Banker Residential Mortgage

Regarding home staging and design, where do you draw inspiration from?

People are always asking for design advice because I sell real estate. I use several easy and friendly apps to help both my sellers and home buyers get their house ready. Houzz App is my favorite and gives you tons of design ideas that inspire. Color Capture is another: snap a picture and this app will produce its matching color. iHandy Level app ensures everything in your home hangs straight and Magic Plan app lets you keep all your measurements in your back pocket. Enjoy and have fun!
KATHLEEN COALE, Long and Foster Real Estate

Why should you use a local REALTOR®?

It’s in your best interest to use an agent who knows the local real estate market. No one knows the local real estate market better than a local REALTOR®. Local real estate agents have extensive knowledge of the area and unique insight into local property values, current issues, and trends. They know the listing inventory and their way around the area, which saves time when looking for a hard-to-find listing. A local REALTOR® also knows what inspections you should have when buying your home, as well as any restrictions that might apply here on the Eastern Shore.
BARBARA WATKINS, Benson & Mangold Real Estate

Do you specialize in only one price range?

No! The well rounded Realtor is proud to sell properties in any price range. While I do specialize in Kent Island, Queen Anne’s County and Waterfront Properties – I love selling smaller homes and town homes just as much as the multi-million dollar estates! My experience and professional system work well for all of them. I love the variety and continual challenge of new and different properties.
DEE DEE McCRACKEN, Coldwell Banker Residential Mortgage

What trend in promoting homes for sale have you seen gain importance?

Staging is a very important and cost effective part of the home selling process. It’s not just about a home’s décor; it’s a multi-faceted means of enhancing a home’s appeal, no matter what the price point is. According to one source, on average, sellers receive $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they invest into staging a home. Using the services of a professional stager or a realtor with staging expertise are sure to give sellers an edge on the competition. Studies have shown that staged homes sell more quickly and for more money than those that are not.
Elinor Warring, Long and Foster Real Estate