Blog :: 02-2017

Welcome to Our Real Estate Blog!

Read our latest insights into the Greater Washington real estate market, including Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our team of expert real estate professionals at RE/MAX Realty Group/100 have a finger on the pulse of the local market. Stay tuned for news and analysis on all the most important topics pertaining to real estate and home ownership in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

 

 

 

3 Home Features That May Not Be Worth the Work (or Expense)

(RE/MAX Blog)- As you compose your list of "must-haves" for your next home, make sure you're up for the work and added maintenance expense each item may require. Here are a few things to think over.

1. Wood-burning fireplace
Snuggling by a cozy fire can be sublime, but beware of the splinters that come with maintaining a wood-burning fireplace. There's the bill from the annual chimney sweep, the cost of wood and the hassle of keeping critters from camping out in the pile. Plus, a fireplace can raise your energy bill. A chimney sucks up most of the warmth from a fire, along with some of the room's heated air, according to the EPA.

2. Extensive landscaping
A beautiful garden may draw you to a home, but keep in mind how much work it will be to maintain once you move in. Perhaps you find trimming topiaries a soothing form of meditation. If not, a home with less landscaping may be a better fit.

3. More square footage
Vast rooms with cathedral ceilings come come with soaring energy bills. Unused rooms leech heating and cooling energy from the rest of the house. Keep this in mind if you're considering purchasing a home to grow into.

As you think about what you really must have to make you happy in your next home, talk to a Realtor. He or she will be able to help you understand the cost of different features as well as evaluating them for potential resale value. 

Begin the search for your new home today. 

5 Winning Tips for Writing an Offer Letter

(RE/MAX Blog)- In some hot housing markets, including a letter with your formal offer to buy a home is all but required. Unfortunately, Hallmark doesn't make a card for the occasion (yet). Here are a few tips:

1. Get emotional
Take advantage of this opportunity to sail beyond the facts and figures to convey a personal connection to the home. Pick one or two features and talk about how they fit into your vision of the perfect home. For example, “Holiday meals are important to my family. Your large kitchen has everything I need to re-create my grandmother's recipes, and would fit all of my relatives who like to gossip while cooking." Or, “During our showing my children escaped to climb trees in your back yard. They fell in love with the home as much as I did."

2. Connect with the seller
Find one or two similarities between your family and the seller's, based on what you can discern from the home. Show you have something in common, but be careful not too dig too deep (nobody wants to sell to a stalker). For example: “We're so excited that your home not only has a beautiful, fenced yard, but also a dog door. Our lives revolve around our two rescue pups, Sonny and Cher, who would literally leap for joy in a yard of their own."

3. Don't be afraid to flatter
Tell the seller why you adore specific features that have been upgraded: “We love those colorful tiles you used on the kitchen back splash. They remind us so much of our honeymoon in Portugal."

4. Don't whine
This is not the place to play the sympathy card. No sob stories about why you sold your last place, or how many deals have fallen through. You want the seller to feel good reading your letter.

5. Grammar matters
Check spelling and grammar. Have a grammar-nerd friend triple check it for you. You want the seller to know you put time and care into your honest appeal.

Still searching for the dream home? Begin the process of finding your perfect home with us today.

6 Things to Consider Before Finishing Your Basement

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(RE/MAX Blog)- Is this winter's bout of cabin fever got you dreaming of more space in your home? Do you find yourself fantasizing about a separate room where you can cloister the kids when it's too cold for them to play outside? Your solution may be right beneath your feet. Here are few things to keep in mind if you're considering refinishing your basement.

1. Water, water, anywhere?
Have a pro come in and investigate any evidence of water damage in your basement. You'll need to resolve any moisture issues before you begin remodeling.

2. Know the code
Before you design your dream basement, check the municipal code for any restrictions that may impact your project, such as the number of exits required or regulations about adding bathrooms and kitchens below the main floor of your home.

3. Kill the chill
Check with a contractor to find out if there are ways to adjust your home's current ventilation and heating configuration to efficiently heat your basement. Installing quality flooring can help with insulation.

4. Light up your (underground) life
Avoid creating a well-decorated dungeon by installing adequate lighting, especially if there are no windows.

5. The right steps
Don't skimp on the stairway. Carpeting on the stairs, bright lights and handrails make access safer and more inviting.

6. Turn down the volume
If you have plans for an entertainment center, consider installing sound insulation in the ceiling to help tone things down.

    

Remodeling? 3 Ways to Get Rid of the Wreckage

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(RE/MAX Blog)- Demolishing your seventies kitchen and upgrading to stainless steel and granite can produce all kinds of happy feelings. It can also produce piles of materials you might not be sure what to do with. Here are a few ways to remove all those building by products.

1. Donate

If your stuff's in half-decent condition, there's probably a drop-off donation center willing to take it. Habitat for Humanity has a national network of home improvement stores stocked by donations. They take everything from light fixtures and appliances to counter tops and windows.

2. Reclaim, reuse, recycle

Roll up old carpet and use the Carpet America Recovery Effort website to find a company near you that will reclaim, recycle or reuse it. Check with your municipality to find out if they recycle any other types of construction material. The Construction and Demolition Recycling Association can help you locate local companies that will take materials such as asphalt shingles, gypsum drywall and concrete.

3. Options for paint

PaintCare is an organization that works on behalf of paint manufacturers in states with paint stewardship laws to set up places to safely recycle and dispose of unwanted paint. Many municipalities have drop-off days for oil-based paint, which is considered household hazardous waste.

Is your home remodeled and ready to sell? Find out your home's worth today.

4 Ways Tech is Used in Real Estate

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(RE/MAX Blog)-  You may not think "real estate" when you think about modern technology, but several advances are making the lives of homebuyers, home sellers, and agents a lot easier – not to mention adding peace of mind with added security measures. Here are a few.

1. Drones

Fitting a small camera onto a helicopter drone lets agents capture aerial images of homes, properties and neighborhoods to feature in sales listings. Drones can also be useful for checking out things like roof damage without a ladder. The Federal Aviation Administration loosened its guidelines on commercial uses for drones in June, making it easier for more agents to adopt the technology.

2. Digital signature platforms

Years ago, an agent could spend hours driving back and forth to collect buyer and seller signatures on forms. Today, they can toss their pens and manage everything from the office – or wherever they may be – thanks to digital signing platforms. The government passed laws that make electronic signatures as valid as physical signatures. Platforms like DocuSign let agents securely send documents for clients to authorize with a simple click on a computer – or a phone.

3. Electronic lockboxes

Smart lockboxes on homes have several features that can make showing a home more secure. These new boxes allow smart phones to work as keys, which means they also can track who enters and leaves the home. Some boxes can also be programmed to host real-time information about the home and the neighborhood which visitors can access using their smart phones.

4. Wireless video monitors

Security cams help agents (and homeowners) keep an eye on vacant properties without having to physically stop by to check things out. Cameras can provide interior and exterior views, allowing agents and homeowners to monitor everything from maintenance issues, like whether leaves or mail deliveries are piling up on the porch, to basic security, like seeing if someone is parked outside.

Ninety-Four RE/MAX 100 Agents 2016 SMAR Award Winners

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Congratulations to the ninety-four RE/MAX 100 Agents who will be recognized during the SMAR Awards Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

The ceremony, which will be held at 6:00 pm at the Greater Waldorf Jaycee’s, recognizes agents and teams who have accomplished a specific volume of business throughout the year.

Below is our full list of the RE/MAX 100 2016 SMAR Award Winners.

Real Estate Agent

RE/MAX 100 Office

Category

Award

Kim Abner

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Jessica Adams

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Diamond

Gabriela Agostinelli

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Sharyn Ahmad

PAX River

Individual Residential

Bronze

Jennifer Allen

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Susan Alt Shelley

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Cindy Arnone

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Bonnie Augostino

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Diamond

Russ Boyce

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Geri Brown

White Plains

Team

Diamond

Robert Brown

White Plains

Team

Silver

Sami Brown

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Matthew Burgan

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Michelle Camaioni

PAX River

Team

Silver

Mary Chambers

White Plains

Team

Gold

Scott Chambers

White Plains

Team

Gold

Susan Cleary

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Joseph Cocimano

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Stephanie Corley

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Platinum

Linda Crakes Lindley

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Dennis Crecelius

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Julie Cronan

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Matt Davis

White Plains

Team

Gold

Terry Davis

White Plains

Team

Gold

Terri Davis Herbert

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Diana Divver

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Silver

Teresa Dove

PAX River

Individual Residential

Bronze

George "Tim" Dyson

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Connie Fitzgerald

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Michael Fitzgerald

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Wayne Floyd

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Platinum

Michael Foster

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Katie Franklin

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Judy Fulir

PAX River

Individual Residential

Silver

Carlos Gautier

White Plains

Individual Residential

Platinum

Karen Gioia

PAX River

Team

Silver

Kim Gosnell

PAX River

Team

Silver

Michael Gray

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Jamie Hoffman

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Ebon Jackson

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Silver

Marie Jozwik

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

Mary (Kay) Kingsbury

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Teresa Klopfer

White Plains

Team

Silver

Kimberly Lantz

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Daniel Long

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Ron Lord

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Platinum

Roberta MacFarlane

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

William Matthews

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Mindy McGaffin

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Frank McKnew

White Plains

Team

Diamond

Ruth McLean

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Gary Mead

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Catherine Meyers

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Kadie Moffitt

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

Beverly Moody

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Bronze

Ruth Ann Mudd

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Gold

Leann Nagi

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Tammie Neall

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Bronze

Christopher Nolan

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Diamond

Tammy Oakes

PAX River

Individual Residential

Silver

Jack O'Steen

White Plains

Team

Silver

Lara Owings

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Matthew Poole

White Plains

Individual Residential

Platinum

Michele Posey

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Miranda Potter

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Bronze

Fred Pumphrey

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Beverly Rasmussen

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Larry Rice

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Melinda Roark

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Carolyn Roberson

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Kelley Rollins

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Michael Ryan

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

Judy Rye

White Plains

Individual Residential

Platinum

Karan Schwencer

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Bronze

Kimberly Scott

PAX River

Individual Residential

Platinum

Charles Seifert

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Mitchell Seifert

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Judith Shaner

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Platinum

Ross Simone

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Danielle Sloan

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Douglas Smith

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Errin Smith

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Brent Sweet

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Corrine Tan

White Plains

Team

Gold

Karen Taylor

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Clarissa Tellechea

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Stewart Tellechea

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Michael Tresanky

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Cindy Van Hoy

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Christina Vaselaros-Stevenson

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Carol Wargo

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Bronze

Edward Weibrecht

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Kathy White-Thorne

White Plains

Team

Silver

Lisa Wills

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond


Learn more about the SMAR Awards Recognition Ceremony at southernmarylandrealtors.org.

Selling Your Home? 4 Signs It's Time to Call an Agent

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(RE/MAX Blog) - Thinking of selling your home on your own? Online listing sites may lure you into thinking that the process is simple. Take a few photos, buy a "For Sale" sign and wait for buyers, right? But the process is much more complicated than that. If you're considering selling your home on your own, here are a few sure signs you should call a professional real estate agent.

1. You're not sure what your home is worth

Calculating the right price for your home is an art and a science. Price your home too high, and it can grow stale, sitting on the market. Price it too low, and you could leave money on the table. Agents have the most current information about how much comparable homes in your neighborhood sold for and how long they were on the market. Agents use their deep knowledge of local and national market factors and the nuances of your particular home to calculate the right price.

2. You're losing sleep because this sale will be the biggest financial transaction of your life

Rest easier with an agent - research finds you'll make more money. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical FSBO (for sale by owner) home sold for $185,000 in 2015, compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

3. You can't decide whether or not to renovate your 1980's-era chrome and mirrored dining room before listing

Your favorite HGTV host may say buyers love the 80s, but is that what home shoppers in your area are looking for? An agent knows which features and design styles are selling now in your area, the details of competing homes in your neighborhood and the relative value of different renovation projects.

4. You think "staging" refers only to Broadway musicals

An agent knows how to best show off your home's features. He or she can provide tips for basic de-cluttering and furniture rearranging. Your agent may also have a great referral for a staging pro.

Begin the process of finding out what your home is worth.

Ninety-Four RE/MAX 100 Agents 2016 SMAR Award Winners

Congratulations to the ninety-four RE/MAX 100 Agents who will be recognized during the SMAR Awards Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

The ceremony, which will be held at 6:00 pm at the Greater Waldorf Jaycee’s, recognizes agents and teams who have accomplished a specific volume of business throughout the year.

Below is our full list of the RE/MAX 100 2016 SMAR Award Winners.

Real Estate Agent

RE/MAX 100 Office

Category

Award

Kim Abner

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Jessica Adams

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Diamond

Gabriela Agostinelli

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Sharyn Ahmad

PAX River

Individual Residential

Bronze

Jennifer Allen

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Susan Alt Shelley

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Cindy Arnone

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Bonnie Augostino

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Diamond

Russ Boyce

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Geri Brown

White Plains

Team

Diamond

Robert Brown

White Plains

Team

Silver

Sami Brown

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Matthew Burgan

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Michelle Camaioni

PAX River

Team

Silver

Mary Chambers

White Plains

Team

Gold

Scott Chambers

White Plains

Team

Gold

Susan Cleary

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Joseph Cocimano

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Stephanie Corley

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Platinum

Linda Crakes Lindley

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Dennis Crecelius

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Julie Cronan

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Matt Davis

White Plains

Team

Gold

Terry Davis

White Plains

Team

Gold

Terri Davis Herbert

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Diana Divver

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Silver

Teresa Dove

PAX River

Individual Residential

Bronze

George "Tim" Dyson

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Connie Fitzgerald

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Michael Fitzgerald

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Wayne Floyd

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Platinum

Michael Foster

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Katie Franklin

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Judy Fulir

PAX River

Individual Residential

Silver

Carlos Gautier

White Plains

Individual Residential

Platinum

Karen Gioia

PAX River

Team

Silver

Kim Gosnell

PAX River

Team

Silver

Michael Gray

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Jamie Hoffman

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Ebon Jackson

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Silver

Marie Jozwik

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

Mary (Kay) Kingsbury

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Teresa Klopfer

White Plains

Team

Silver

Kimberly Lantz

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Daniel Long

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Ron Lord

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Platinum

Roberta MacFarlane

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

William Matthews

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Mindy McGaffin

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Frank McKnew

White Plains

Team

Diamond

Ruth McLean

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Gary Mead

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Catherine Meyers

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Kadie Moffitt

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

Beverly Moody

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Bronze

Ruth Ann Mudd

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Gold

Leann Nagi

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Tammie Neall

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Bronze

Christopher Nolan

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Diamond

Tammy Oakes

PAX River

Individual Residential

Silver

Jack O'Steen

White Plains

Team

Silver

Lara Owings

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Matthew Poole

White Plains

Individual Residential

Platinum

Michele Posey

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Miranda Potter

Leonardtown

Individual Residential

Bronze

Fred Pumphrey

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Beverly Rasmussen

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Larry Rice

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Melinda Roark

White Plains

Individual Residential

Bronze

Carolyn Roberson

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Kelley Rollins

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Michael Ryan

White Plains

Individual Residential

Silver

Judy Rye

White Plains

Individual Residential

Platinum

Karan Schwencer

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Bronze

Kimberly Scott

PAX River

Individual Residential

Platinum

Charles Seifert

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Mitchell Seifert

White Plains

Team

Platinum

Judith Shaner

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Platinum

Ross Simone

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Danielle Sloan

PAX River

Team

Diamond

Douglas Smith

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Silver

Errin Smith

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Brent Sweet

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Corrine Tan

White Plains

Team

Gold

Karen Taylor

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Clarissa Tellechea

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Stewart Tellechea

White Plains

Team

Bronze

Michael Tresanky

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Cindy Van Hoy

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Gold

Christina Vaselaros-Stevenson

PAX River

Individual Residential

Gold

Carol Wargo

Dunkirk

Individual Residential

Bronze

Edward Weibrecht

White Plains

Individual Residential

Gold

Kathy White-Thorne

White Plains

Team

Silver

Lisa Wills

White Plains

Individual Residential

Diamond

Learn more about the SMAR Awards Recognition Ceremony at southernmarylandrealtors.org.