A picture might be worth a thousand words in some circles, but in the Annapolis real estate market, it’s worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. With today’s über-professionals, gone are the days of leisurely roaming neighborhoods for house hunting. Instead, savvy realtors in Anne Arundel County use web sites, virtual tours, blogs, social networks, email, and text to forward qualified listings to clients, usually chockfull of high-quality images that help buyers narrow their choices. “It works. More buyers have told me that [these tools] are what make them ‘feel’ the property,” says Beth Tyler, a local agent with Long & Foster, who updates clients with a mix of her own high-quality photos and House on Mouse, an interactive floor plan tour.
Primary Structure Built: 1994 Sold For: $790,000 Original List Price: $865,000 Last Sold/Price: 1998/$360,000 Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 3 full , plus 2 half baths Living Space: 4,274 square feet + 2,402 square feet of finished basement Lot Size: 1.2 acres The buyers were already familiar with the charm of this Davidsonville neighborhood, with such amenities as a pool, clubhouse, playground, volleyball court, and community pier. But by exploring the property online, “I fell in love with the house even before going into it,” says new homeowner Stephanie Heydt. Indeed, the house hardly shows its 18 years, having undergone top-to-bottom renovations upwards of $200,000. It’s a great example of how the right updates can result in top-dollar returns and quick sales, notes Long & Foster’s Deborah Laggini, the buyer’s agent. Upstairs, a sumptuous master bath contains a grand claw-foot tub, a two-person glass and tile shower with a built-in bench, and oversized separate vanities of cherry wood and granite. The large master bedroom includes its own sitting room accompanied by a gas fireplace, as well as a discrete walk-in closet with a washer/dryer. The upstairs hallway offers open views of both the soaring two-story foyer and family room. On the main level, a library, dining and living room revolve around a stunning gourmet kitchen. Creamy cabinetry with raised panel doors and corbel wood bracket finishes balance nicely against a vast three-level granite island. Perfect for multiple vices, a separate wine and coffee bar area comes equipped with a built-in Miele coffee system and wine refrigerator. A two-sided gas fireplace seamlessly joins the kitchen to a window-laden sunroom, offering plenty of room to sit and enjoy that beverage of choice. Down one more level, a finished and colorful basement includes media, game, and fitness areas, as well as a wet bar and storage area. Outside, a multi-tiered deck leads to a lush wooded lot, offering privacy and flat, grassy play space. As if the house’s features weren’t enough to seal the deal, all parties involved praised a flexible negotiation period: The sellers were preparing to build a home by the water and needed extra time while the buyers needed to wait out terms of their rental lease, so the agents worked on a creative “delayed settlement.” The result was picture perfect. Sources: Beth Tyler (listing agent), Realtor, Long & Foster, cell-443-254-5250, office-410-266-5505, BethTyler@davidsonville.com, www.davidsonville.com. Deborah Laggini (buyer’s agent), Long & Foster, cell-410-991-6560, Deborah.email@example.com, www.deborahlaggini.com.
St. Margaret’s Landing
Primary Structure Built: 2001 Sold For: $640,000 Original List Price: $679,000 Last Sold/Price: 2009/$675,000 Bedrooms: 5 Baths: 4.5 Living Space: 3,676 square feet Lot Size: .34 acre Another great example of the benefits of online real estate images, these buyers (relocating from the Eastern Shore) originally visited the property but set it aside because of timing issues with selling their existing home. Months later and after a contract had fallen through on another home site, the buyers were doing online vetting and were pleasantly surprised to come across it again. The rest, as they say, is history. Home guides might be a good way for agents to get their names out, but online marketing is critical, notes Rachel Frentsos, one of the Long & Foster listing agents for this property. As part of one of the earliest subdivisions in St. Margaret’s Landing, the home is in a private yet established neighborhood, with its tall trees, family-friendly amenities, and easy access to Route 50, the Bay Bridge and downtown. Another favorite feature for the buyers: an ample deck that leads to an expansive and grassy backyard, surrounded by a charming white picket fence. Indoors, the new homeowners particularly love the trim work throughout the home, with its “exquisite” crown and base molding, as well as chair rails in various rooms. The floor plan is well-configured, with separate eating and desk areas in the Corian and hardwood kitchen, for example, as well as a fully-finished basement with a rec area, separate bedroom, and full bath. Most importantly, the home includes various spaces that can be used flexibly as the needs of the homeowners change, even though the only thing they plan to do now is some painting for freshening up. Sources: Rachel and Jerry Frentsos (listing agents), Long & Foster, cell-410-271-6246, office-410-260-2800, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rachelshomes.com. AJ Eckert (buyer’s agent), Coldwell Banker, cell-410-271-6076, office-410-919-2643, email@example.com.