Blog :: 03-2017

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.

 

 

 

6 Smart home features that could help you sell your house faster

(RE/MAX Blog)- Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you're selling your home, you'll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home.

"Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you're trying to sell a house," says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC."Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers."

According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That's a 64 percent increase from 2015.

Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers' attention and help sell your home faster:

Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don't want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can't remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren't always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today's home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family's needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

"Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install," Lewis says. "Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017."

RE/MAX Realty Group/100 Announces their 2016 Top Producers

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD- Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100, Ken Crowley, has announced the 2016 top producing agents and teams in the categories of volume, transactions, listings and sales for the brokerage as a whole.

Jessica Adams, Ross Simone, Lisa Wills, Kathy Xu, Klaus Breitsameter, Patricia Nicely, Gary Mead, Matthew Pfau and Mercedes Fitzgerald were the top producing individual agents for 2016.The Prigal Brothers and Associates, Andy Werner and Associates, The Connie Fitzgerald Team, The McKnew Realty Group, Phil Kelley Team, Michael Foster Expert Advisors, Christopher Cecil’s team, The Linda Lindley Group and The Wendy Slaughter Team were the 2016 top producing real estate teams with RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100.

Jessica Adams, Ross Simone, Lisa Wills, Kathy Xu and Klaus Breitsameter were the top five producing individual agents with RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 in the category of volume. In the category of transactions, the top five producing individual agents were Lisa Wills, Ross Simone, Patricia Nicely, Klaus Breitsameter, and Gary Mead. Top five producing individual agents in sales were agents Ross Simone, Matthew Pfau, Lisa Wills, Mercedes Fitzgerald, and Kathy Xu. In listings, the top five producers were Klaus Breitsameter, Lisa Wills, Patricia Nicely, Jessica Adams, and Gary Mead.

The top producing Real Estate Teams in the category of volume were The Prigal Brothers and Associates, Andy Werner and Associates, The Connie Fitzgerald Team, The McKnew Realty Group and Phil Kelley Team. In the category of transactions, the top producing Real Estate Teams were The Connie Fitzgerald Team, Andy Werner and Associates, The McKnew Realty Group, The Prigal Brothers and Associates, and Michael Foster Expert Advisors. Top five producing teams in sales were The Connie Fitzgerald Team, Michael Foster Expert Advisors, Christopher Cecil’s team, The Linda Lindley Group and Andy Werner and Associates. In listings, the top five producing teams were Andy Werner and Associates, The McKnew Realty Group, The Connie Fitzgerald Team, The Prigal Brothers and Associates, and The Wendy Slaughter Team.

The brokerage would like to congratulate all their real estate agents and real estate teams who ranked as a company top producer for 2016 and sincerely thanks them for their hard work and loyalty.

RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 is a locally owned and operated full-service real estate brokerage with offices located throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia. The brokerage has over 400 Realtors® and specializes in Residential and Commercial real estate. RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 is a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. To learn more, please visit www.ournexthouse.com.

8 Tips for Keeping Out Rodents

(RE/MAX Blog)-  Rodents don't just gnaw holes into walls and floors and destroy wiring, they can also bring in germs and disease. Follow these tips to help keep them out.

1. Prevention is the best defense

Don't keep favorite rodent hangouts like trash cans, firewood and piles of junk close to your home.

2. Fill the gaps

Find out where the buggers have been getting in and stuff the holes with steel wool or aluminum foil – both stand up against mouse teeth. Make sure to seal up both the inside and outside of your home.

3. Someone "hoo" can help

Put up an owl box in your yard to attract owls, who snack on mice.

4. Use Scent

Certain smells convince critters you have an army of predators guarding your house. Try sprinkling ammonia (smells like predator urine), used kitty litter or snake poop. (Yes, you can buy Python Poo online for $15) around your yard.

5. Minty fresh defense

Douse cotton balls with 100 percent peppermint oil and put them in the back of cabinets, behind the fridge and other places mice hang out. Replace the cotton balls at least once a month.

6. Dryer sheets

Mice loathe the smell of fabric softener sheets. Leave one or two in their favorite spots.

7. Adopt a hunter

Your local animal shelter is sure to have a cat who would help with critter removal in exchange for a good home.

8. Ultrasonic power

Ultrasonic rodent repellers drive mice away with sound waves. The sound bothers cats and dogs, too, so don't use them if you have furry family members.

    

6 Fire Pit Snacks: S'mores and More

(RE/MAX Blog)- Fire pits were the number one outdoor design element for 2016, according to a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects. And now that the weather will be warming up, it may be the perfect time to enjoy fire pit snacks. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Porksicles

Bring a little snap, crackle and pork to your pit by wrapping strips of bacon along the length of a stick and roasting slowly over the flames. Beware: The aroma might attract neighbors.

2. Aloha bites

Add some Hawaiian flavor to your night with skewers of ham and pineapple roasted over the open flames. The fire caramelizes the fruit, while escaping juices soak the meat.

3. Deluxe weenie roast

Hot dogs on a stick are classic, but why stop there? Up the flavor by slicing a sausage, stuffing it with cheese, wrapping it with bacon and then sticking it over the fire. Or, wrap hot dogs in canned biscuit dough and cook up outdoor pigs in blankets.

4. Peppers al fresco

Scrape the seeds out of baby bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, stuff with your favorite cheese, skewer and roast over the flame until the peppers blister.

5. Elvis s'mores

The King himself would swoon for marshmallows and bacon roasted over the fire, smooshed between slices of banana, smeared with peanut butter and bookended by graham crackers.

6. Grasshopper s'mores

Try adding a few York Peppermint Patties among the marshmallows on your stick.

Looking for a patio with room for a fire pit? Start your search today.

    

Smell Something? 7 Ways to Oust Odors

 

(RE/MAX Blog)- Whether you have an impending open house or are simply trying to freshen up your home, try these suggestions for getting rid of odors from seven commonly smelly items.

1. Trash cans

After rinsing out a stinky garbage can with soap and water, stash a few scented laundry dryer sheets at the bottom to absorb odor.

2. Freezers

An old (clean) sock stuffed with coffee grounds can absorb the musty smell in your freezer. Coffee socks can also help de-mustify stale closets. Tie one to a hanger.

3. Litter Box

Extremely porous activated charcoal is a big-time odor absorber. Pet stores sell versions made especially for pet odors. Keep it near the litter box.

4. Carpet

When your carpet smells icky, try sprinkling baking soda. Let it sit for half an hour, then vacuum it up.

5. Dishwasher

Who wants to use a dishwasher that never smells quite clean? Pour white vinegar into a dishwasher safe cup and stick it in the top rack. Run the machine through its cycle. Though your kitchen will smell like vinegar for a bit, the inside of your dishwasher will soon be odor-free.

6. Basement

If a dehumidifier doesn't help, try adding a dozen drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle of water and blasting the basement with this natural fungicide.

7. Refrigerator

Clear out smell by wiping down the wall with hydrogen peroxide.

Making sure your home smells fresh is just one of the critical things to do before an open house. Contact one of our office locations to learn more about how we can help you sell your home. 

5 Things You Should Love About Your Home Before You Commit

(RE/MAX Blog)- You swoon at the curb appeal and your heart flutters at the sight of the kitchen countertops, but is the home you're considering buying really The One? Before you make an offer, be sure you love these six, hard-to-change things about your potential new place.

1. Square footage

Too small and you may quickly outgrow your new space. Too big can mean unnecessary energy bills and money spent furnishing space you never use. Aim for "just right."

2. Drive time

Be sure your daily commute won't leave you sitting in traffic, rethinking your relationship with your house. Consider driving to work from your potential home a couple times during rush hour to make sure you know what you're getting into.

3. Walkability

Being able to stroll to shops, restaurants, parks and public transportation can really boost your quality of life. If it's important to you, check out your potential home's official walkability score at www.walkscore.com.

4. Community

Does the neighborhood include features that you feel are critical to your particular lifestyle, like yoga studios, late night takeout options or a safe playground for your kids (or pups)?

5. Planes, trains and automobiles

If you travel frequently, be sure you love how close your potential new home is to the airport, main highways or public transportation. Not a fan of planes flying overhead – or late night trains? Keep that in mind when scoping out areas as well.

If you're crazy about these five aspects of the house, it might really be true love. Start the search for your new home today. 

Ninety-Four RE/MAX 100 REALTORS 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

5 Projects to Tackle This Spring Break

(RE/MAX Blog)- March (hopefully) means the weather is warming up. If you don't have a trip planned to an exotic locale, take some time to get ahead on home maintenance projects. Here are a few projects you can complete during a spring fling of home repair.

1. Fun with water
Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle factor, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a machine at your local home improvement store and tackle your siding, deck and driveway.

2. Check your AC
Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system can save you bucks in the long term. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system now, before contractors get busy.

3. Go with the flow
Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters and check that they're connected securely.

4. Bask in the sun
Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning the interior and exterior of your windows. Try a squeegee and skip the paper towels, to avoid looking out through a filter of lint.

5. Hit the fridge
Dust and grime on your refrigerator's coils causes the machine to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work.

And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break.

Thinking about selling your home? Contact us today.