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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.

 

 

 

SELLING A HOME DURING UNUSUAL TIMES

The current spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the efforts to contain it have impacted almost all aspects of daily life – and real estate transactions are no different. Yet despite current circumstances, real estate agents are still seeing sellers and buyers move forward with their plans in what is historically an active spring market.

 

“Precautions have changed, and people are doing life differently, but the demand and decision to buy a home is currently still very strong,” says Kerron Stokes, Manager of RE/MAX Leaders & Team Leader of Resource Group in Centennial, Colorado. “Our team has taken on two new listing clients and three new homebuyer clients this week, and have new buyer consults set up next week as well.”

 

Yet even with willing sellers and eager buyers, the current U.S. government guidelines recommend social gatherings be limited to fewer than 10 people – among other safety measures – which means selling a home this spring may look different than in years past.

 

“It’s going to require being creative and innovative, but there are still ways for real estate agents to interact with listing clients and potential buyers by leveraging technology,” Stokes says.

Ready to sell? Keep calm and log on.

With COVID-19 at the forefront of many sellers’ minds, for the time being, many home tours will start online. But according to Stokes, that’s nothing new and can be a powerful tool in marketing a home to buyers.

 

“A lot of these virtual tactics are things we’ve already been deploying for 5-6 years for clients who can’t be in a physical space,” Stokes says.  

 

He cites investors or potential buyers that work irregular hours, as an example.

 

“We’ll FaceTime them at work so they can ask questions about the property.”

 

According to Ryan Smith, Broker/Partner of RE/MAX Properties in Western Springs, Illinois, video tours between agents and buyers have been a useful tool in a variety of market conditions. Especially with current health concerns, he says more agents are using virtual tours to help reduce the number of buyers walking through a property.

 

“Things can look differently in photos than even a FaceTime call,” Smith says. “It can help narrow down properties in a buyer’s price range so they know which ones they want to see in person.”

 

If an interested buyer is ready to visit a property, Smith still recommends limiting the number of people that tour a listing.

 

“Agents aren’t bringing caravans of people into a home,” Smith says. Only when a buyer is seriously considering putting in an offer can additional stakeholders return to see the listing.

 

"Agents have to be aware and smart – wash hands more often, use hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face and do more calls on speakerphone to avoid phone-to-face contact,” Smith says.

 

Still weighing your options? Get to work while you think it through!

“There are absolutely things sellers can do while we’re being asked to stay home,” Stokes says. “If you can get to a Home Depot, get paint and start doing touch-ups around the house. Or begin packing and put your stuff in the garage or basement in a central location. That way as we start to return to a more normalized market, you are ready to show your home.”

 

And of course, Vitamin D can help with stress relief.

 

“Take time to be outside,” Stokes says. “Get your yard cleaned up and landscaping prepped. Ask your agent for ideas of what you can do.”

 

Stokes adds that RE/MAX agents are not only some of the most professional in the industry, they’re also well-connected.

 

“We have some great resources at our disposal,” Stokes says. “This is a great time to reach out to your agent to see what services they have that can make your life easier.”

Be prepared for a market – and world – that is constantly changing

When it comes to COVID-19 and real estate, no one can accurately predict what the future holds. But in the current moment, Smith is seeing movement in the market.

 

“There’s still buyer interest – I currently have 50-60 listings, and we’ve had activity all weekend,” Smith says. “There are some challenges and hurdles behind the scenes – appraisers are sorting out their own safe-practices, title companies are considering creative and cautious options to facilitate closings, and local villages have closed, which is causing some delays in being able to obtain transfer stamps but only by a few days.”

 

Stokes points out that historically, real estate can lag behind other industries when showing the effects of a change in the economy.

 

“We really won’t know the full effect for a couple of months,” Stokes says. “But currently, it’s business as usual in a lot of ways as we work to anticipate and meet the new needs of buyers and sellers.”

 

The COVID-19 emergency is constantly evolving. Smith encourages everyone in real estate to stay informed.

 

“Like most agents, I will be watching the market's reaction to all of this closely.”

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    4 REASONS WHY HOME INSPECTIONS MATTER

    Buying a home is expensive, so why spend more money on a home inspection? Well, having a professional perform a home inspection can actually help your wallet in the long run. You’ll improve your chances of avoiding unwanted housewarming “gifts” –­ like a surprise rain shower from a broken pipe – and decrease your chances of experiencing buyer’s remorse. Need a few more reasons for why home inspections matter? Read on!

    No Surprises

    The excitement of homeownership can skew perspective – as though you’re seeing through rose-colored glasses. Thankfully, a certified home inspector has no emotional attachment to your soon-to-be residence and can objectively identify structural, electrical and plumbing issues. 

    “Most home inspections aren’t pass or fail. What a good home inspection will do is prepare you for what’s coming down the road,” says Geoff McLennon, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Advantage in New Westminster, British Columbia. “Every home is going to cost money to own, but a good inspector helps you anticipate and plan for those costs. I like to think of the inspection guide as the user manual for your new home.” 

    Bargaining Power

    Since home inspections are typically conducted after an offer is accepted, the inspector’s detailed report can – and should – be used as a negotiating tool with the seller. 

    “Provide the seller with a copy of the inspector's report. Now that they've seen the report, the seller may have increased liability if they know about a defect and don't fix it or disclose it. They are better off dealing with you now rather than later,” says McLennon.

    Save Money Down the Road

    Inspections can help you gain bargaining power, and with this bargaining power, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road. It’d be quite a burden to skip a home inspection only to later find out the entire home needs rewiring. 

    “People will spend half a million dollars on a home but try to save $500. Homes can come with some pretty expensive surprises, and most of the time it’s foolish to skip the inspection,” McLennon adds.

    Safety

    You’ve heard it before: “Safety first!” This is especially true for your new home. Home inspections not only uncover minor damages to the house but also life-threatening issues like lead paint, asbestos, radon and mold.

    “Other than pointing out things that don’t meet today’s safety standards, one of the best things about using a home inspector is catching safety issues. I’ve had inspectors identify foundations that were moving or that the wiring in the home was only used for a few months before it was recalled,” says McLennon.

     

    As you continue your path to homeownership, it will be important to have an agent guide you through the process. Find an agent in your area today!

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      WRITING AN OFFER LETTER: 4 THINGS TO AVOID

      In a competitive seller’s market, it doesn’t hurt to set yourself apart from other home-buying candidates when making an offer on a home. Writing an offer letter can be the key to standing out. But be careful – evoking the wrong tone can be a deal-breaker. Here are four important mistakes to avoid when writing an offer letter.

      Negativity

      If you aren’t happy about the price of the home, your real estate agent should discuss it during negotiation. If you’re in a time crunch, avoid pressuring the seller. And if you have a sob story about your last home, tell it to a friend instead.

      Sellers need to feel good when they’re reading your letter, and whining will have the opposite effect. As an alternative, connect with the seller and address commonalities you share. Do you both have dogs? Great! Explain how much your pups would enjoy their beautifully fenced-in yard.

      Changes to the House

      You may love everything about the home but think the kitchen needs some renovating. Be careful about sharing that detail – after all, the kitchen just might be the seller’s favorite room in the house. Expressing the changes you would make may come across as insulting or offensive.

      Flattery is a much better approach. Be specific and authentic with phrasing like, “We love the antique hardware and the checkerboard marble tile in the kitchen; it reminds me of the house I grew up in.”

      Desperation

      This house is everything you could have wanted and more! You cannot imagine a life without it!

      If you’re feeling this way, that’s great. Enthusiasm means you’re serious about the home. Excitement and all, you should still avoid a tone of desperation. A competitive “I’d do anything for this house” attitude may actually hurt your chances in negotiating power. 

      Writing an Essay

      Don’t beat around the bush – keep the letter short and concise. Avoid boring the seller with a never-ending list of why you want the home.

      Lastly, bring the letter back to yourself by succinctly highlighting your favorite features and simply telling the sellers why you’d like to live in their cherished home.

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      10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU SELL YOUR HOUSE

      Before you put your house on the market, ask your real estate agent for guidance on improving your home's presentation. Your agent can tell you what buyers expect in your particular market and at your home's price point. The following 10 steps are a way to get a good head start on preparing to sell your home.

      1. Welcome buyers. Make your front door visible and accessible to buyers. Paint the door, clear debris and clutter from the walkway and yard, mow the lawn and prune hedges. Pot or plant colorful annuals and perennials to attract attention from the street. Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles, shingles and outdoor lighting, and replace your doormat. Exterior defects can make a poor first impression on buyers.

      2. Make it sparkle. Cleanliness implies a home has been well taken care of, so deep cleaning can win points with buyers. Buyers scrutinize homes, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Recaulk and repaint to give these grime-prone rooms a fresh and clean look. Clean rugs and carpets to eliminate unsightly stains or dinginess and eliminate odors. Tidy each room, including cabinets, closets and the garage, before showing. And if it seems daunting to do all that cleaning yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of all of it for you.

      3. Start packing. Cramped and cluttered rooms turn buyers off and make your house look smaller. A home packed with your personal belongings also makes it difficult for others to envision living there. Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations, such as family photos. Pack up things you don't use on a daily basis, and put them in storage or ask a friend to hold onto them. Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move.

      4. Paint wisely. A well-done, no-frills paint job is all you need. Put a fresh coat of paint on white or beige walls, and repaint walls that have eccentric or unconventional colors. Nature- and spa-inspired neutral colors, such as taupe and subtle gray, are the best choices. Definitely don't forget the trim and molding either. And a fresh paint job on outdated or worn cabinetry goes a long way, too.

      5. Fix the small stuff. Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home. You can install new door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods - fixtures that are readily visible to homebuyers - rather inexpensively. New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves the functionality and safety of these components.

      6. Update lighting. Replace decorative light fixtures that no longer fit your home's cleaner, fresher look. Install new bulbs with the appropriate lighting for specific areas of your home. For example, ambient, low-key lighting fills a room, whereas directional or task lighting works better in areas like a reading nook. Use accent lighting to highlight focal points in a room, such as the artwork above a mantle, to draw buyers' attention to certain selling points.

      7. Frame windows. Ensure you have the right window treatments, which enhance natural brightness and boost the appearance of a home. Window treatments also can impact a room's temperature because they reduce or increase the amount of light entering the space. Adjust window treatments appropriately when showing your home in the mornings, afternoon and evenings.

      8. Set the table. Fresh, decorative flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table are always a nice touch. Also, keep place settings handy for your tables so you can quickly set them out right before showings or an open house. Pull out all the formal stops for a dining room, and keep the table casual in the kitchen.

      9. Hide unsightly everyday items. Don't leave children's toys and pet belongings out in the open during showings and open houses. Move litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, animal crates and kids' entertainment to less conspicuous areas of the home, such as an outdoor storage unit or garage before each showing or open house. Also think about where you can store things like dirty laundry and dirty kitchen sponges.

      10. Don't forget the back. Keep your backyard looking spacious and functional. Plant or pot colorful flowers and keep the landscaping trimmed and neat. Consistently pick up after your pets so buyers feel comfortable touring the yard.

      Find a RE/MAX agent who can help you every step of the way.

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        4 NEGOTIATION TACTICS YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT KNOWS

        Negotiating the purchase of your new home is one of the most crucial aspects of your real estate journey. It’s also when your real estate agent’s experience can make the most dramatic difference during the process of buying a home. RE/MAX agent Tony Iacoviello with RE/MAX Escarpment Realty in Hamilton, Ontario, shares four ways an agent acts as a professional negotiator, helping to ensure you’ll receive a fair closing agreement for your new home.

        Being in the Know

        Your real estate agent is a scholar when it comes to the real estate market. With their niche industry knowledge, they can take lead when it comes to negotiating a reasonable closing agreement based on the appropriate value of the home.

        “Knowledge is key in any negotiation, whether the real estate agent is representing the buyer or the seller of a property,” Iacoviello says. “Knowing the facts about a neighborhood, particularly sales history and current sales trends, is what helps to establish the value of a property, allows an agent to speak intelligently and confidently, and helps to ensure the client arrives at a fair and reasonable purchase or sales agreement.”

        Objectivity

        Your agent is trained to resolve conflict and knows how to remain cool, calm and collected during any intense moments of negotiation.

        “Emotion and anticipated enjoyment of a property are huge factors for both buyers and sellers and often lead to overestimates of a home’s market value, especially in comparison to recent sales history,” Iacoviello says. “An agent’s role, like that of any trusted advisor, is to acknowledge those emotions while remaining objective. Agents keep a level head so they can protect their client’s best interests and keep them grounded in reality.”

        Knowing What to Ask For

        Agents are well-versed in the language that surrounds negotiation. As your advocate, they’ll request maintenance, like concessions and repairs, in a manner that’s appealing to the seller.

        “Just like having knowledge of the neighborhood and local market conditions, facts are important when negotiating concessions and repairs,” Iacoviello says. “That knowledge isn’t limited to knowing what needs to be fixed, but also to the cost in time, money, and inconvenience of those repairs. Experienced agents can articulate what the buyer can expect based on what negotiations have yielded in similar situations.”

        Building Bridges, Not Burning Them

        Negotiation isn’t about working against the seller, it’s about working with the seller to get the best and most appropriate closing agreement for you.

        “While a real estate agent is bound to act in the client’s best interest and negotiations can become heated at times, negotiating isn’t a war or a battle,” Iacoviello says. “There are two groups of people, buyers and sellers, who want to work together to complete the sale of the property. The purpose of negotiating is to determine if there are terms like pricing, repairs, etc. both parties can agree to that will make the sale possible. It’s more about building bridges than blowing each other up. That’s it, really. It takes a lot of perseverance, patience and skill.”

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        8 Tips for Quick Cleaning Before Guests Arrive

        (RE/MAX Blog)

        No doubt you’ll want your home to look its best for visiting family and friends during the holidays. Here are a few cleaning tips to minimize the time you have to spend making things sparkle.

        1. Grout and tight corners
        Cleaning nooks and crannies doesn’t require elbow grease. A toothbrush is much more effective.

        2. Showerhead residue
        Fill a plastic bag with vinegar, tie it around the head and leave it overnight to dissolve mineral deposits. A vinegar-soaked rag held in place by a rubber band works, too.

        3. Microwave build-up
        Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a small bowl of water and microwave for about five minutes. The lemon scent eliminates old food smells and condensation from the lemon water loosens caked-on grime, making it much easier to clean.

        4. Garage floor
        Don’t bother sweeping – a leaf blower is much quicker.

        5. Pet hair on furniture
        Wet rubber dishwashing gloves are magnets for pet hair. Put on a pair, rub your furniture, and leave the vacuum extension tool in the closet.

        6. Ceiling fan
        To avoid a shower of dust and dead bugs, use an old pillowcase to clean the fan one blade at a time. Slide the case over the blade and pull it back slowly and the case will capture the dirt.

        7. Toilets
        Dump a spoonful of Tang into the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. The citric acid scrubs so you don’t have to.

        8. Garbage disposal
        Run baking soda and lemon juice, or ice cubes and lemon peels, through your garbage disposal to eliminate odors. White vinegar will do the same for your dishwasher.

        Looking for a home that could fit the whole family for the holidays?  Find a RE/MAX Realty Group or Re/MAX 100 agent who can help.

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          It's Back to School Time: Top Tips to Stay Sane

          (RE/MAX Blog)- Going back to school is an exciting time. Kids get to see their friends, have a new year of field trips to look forward to and, with any luck, get the teachers your neighbors rave about. However, with homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school can be stress-inducing for both parents and children. Here are some tips to keep calm, cool, and collected.

          Parents:

          • Consolidate school-related items: Have a space in your home, such as a section in your mudroom or home office, that is just for hanging backpacks and storing school supplies. This will help you and your kids know where everything is during the morning scramble to catch the bus.
          • Keep a calendar handy: Between soccer practices, ballet lessons and art classes, it can be hard to keep a schedule straight. Keep a monthly desk calendar with your children's activities in a central area so that you are all on the same page. The fridge or a bulletin board are great options. A magnetic dry-erase version makes it easy to update when plans change.
          • Have low-stress mornings: Helping your kids get ready for school while you're getting ready for work can be a challenge. Formulate a routine that both you and your children are comfortable with to take the chaos out of mornings.

          And a few tips to share with your kids:

          • Write things down: During the school day, a million things can happen. Recording due dates and taking notes on the specifics of an assignment will help you forego the stress of forgetfulness and earn a higher grade. On the bright side? Doodling in your notes has been shown to help with memory and focus. Sharpen your pencil!
          • Do the reading: Pop quizzes are the worst. Avoid anxiety by staying current on your reading assignments. Reading a couple chapters at a time, as your teacher assigns, is much easier than trying to tackle the Odyssey the night before a test.
          • Keep everything together: Stay organized with a folder or binder for each class with all of your notes and the handouts given. Adding a date to the top of your pages and keeping them in order will be helpful when it comes time to prepare for a test.
          • Don't accept bullying: Bullying can occur at any age but is never acceptable and should not be tolerated. Let your teacher or an adult you trust know if you are being mistreated or teased by your classmates. This will definitely save you stress, and will help you focus and feel safe in school.

          Questions about the school district in the area you live in? Contact us for assistance today. 

          8 Tips for First-Time Sellers

          (RE/MAX Blog)- If you're selling a home for the first time, it's quite a different ballgame from what you experienced as a first-time buyer.


          Ultimately, you're in control of the process. You call the shots on prepping your home for sale, deciding on a listing price, accepting (or rejecting) offers, and a host of other factors. 

          But you might want to heed the following tips:

          1. Hire an experienced real estate agent
          A real estate transaction is filled with complexities and nuances that a professional, skilled agent can help you navigate. Ask friends and family to recommend an agent they've used and were pleased with, or search for a local RE/MAX agent.

          2. Detach yourself from the process
          You've made memories to last a lifetime in your first home, and saying goodbye is hard. But be careful not to let your emotional attachment get in the way of making sound decisions, particularly when it comes to staging and pricing your home. Try to see your home as a potential buyer would. Pretend you're a potential buyer and walk through your home. Make a list of what you like about each room – and the things you'd change.

          3. Don't overprice
          Some sellers might think that in today's low-inventory market they can overprice their home and get top dollar. In reality, if you price it competitively, you'll create a flurry of activity and (possibly) get in a situation where multiple offers are rolling in. Overpricing at the start hurts your chances of getting a quick sale, especially if numerous price reductions are needed.

          4. Declutter and stage for a quick sale
          Buyers who tour your home will have a hard time picturing themselves living in it if they only see paint colors or décor that fits your own unique style. Repaint the walls with neutral, earth-tone colors, and remove excess decorations from walls. Consider renting a storage unit to store large furniture that overpowers your main living areas; rooms should appear as spacious as possible.

          5. Make the necessary repairs/upgrades
          Ensure that all systems and appliances are functioning properly, as these items will come up in a home inspection that might cost you more money and, possibly, the whole sale down the road. The rule of thumb is to make improvements to your home that will help the property show well, but don't put a ton of money into capital investments such as a basement refinish or high-end flooring, particularly if such upgrades aren't consistent for your neighborhood. You likely won't get that money back in the sale.

          6. Give your home curb appeal
          Your home's front exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see when they drive by, and it's likely the first photo that will appear in an online search. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, add some bright flowers to your entryway, and make sure that any cracks or major cement damage is fixed. Consider renting a pressure washer to get rid of the grime and buildup on the outside of your house, and definitely keep the yard mowed and tidy. A little elbow grease goes a long way to making a positive first impression on buyers.

          7. Keep an open mind for negotiations
          What's more important to you: Walking away with your asking price (or more)? A quick closing time? Putting out as little up front cash in closing costs as possible? All of these are considerations you'll need to make as you evaluate offers. Also, keep in mind that you have the ability to negotiate with counter-offers. Sometimes, you can sweeten the deal by offering to pay a buyer's closing costs (if feasible), or leaving some appliances behind. A few concessions can go a long way in the negotiation process, and your Realtor can work with you to carefully evaluate and respond to each offer.

          8. Get ready for closing
          Once you've accepted an offer and signed a sales agreement, you'll start prepping for a closing. Also called “escrow" or “settlement," closing is the final meeting between the buyer, seller, their agents and a loan officer (or an attorney, in some states) where the buyer pays their portion of the costs to the seller and the buyer's new title and any mortgage liens are properly recorded. The closing agent will calculate what monies are due to the owner and what credits need to be applied to the transaction, such as taxes, title fees and other closing costs.

          Ready to sell your home? Begin the process today. 

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            Own It: 5 Tips for Staging Your Home Yourself

            (RE/MAX Blog)- By Carriann Johnson, interior designer and TV personality

            So you've decided to sell your home. While you're preparing for this next chapter in life, keep some of your attention and energy on the importance of preparing your home to outshine all others on the market. Selling your home in the shortest amount of time, receiving your asking price and having an all-around flawless sale can be achievable if you properly prepare this (very large) item you're about to sell. Here are my tips to ensure that success. 

            1. Emphasize the idea of move-in ready
            A neutral palette (regardless of how boring you may think it is) will always be a timeless choice when it comes to paint, furniture and window coverings. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer to arrange things within your home – visit some model homes in your area and take note of how they're staged. Simple DIY projects go a long way. 

            2. Declutter and depersonalize
            Potential buyers want to see themselves in your home; need to envision how they can make it theirs. Simplify spaces (including entryways) by removing everyday items such as TV remotes, schoolwork, piles of laundry, to-do lists on the fridge, personal photos and excessive amounts of pet toys. Clean out closets and begin boxing up items. If you know you're moving, why not get a head start on your packing anyway? Clean, well-organized and minimal closets showcase space potential, not your personal items. And adding fresh flowers, plug-in air fresheners, a foyer table, simple décor and a nice rug can give buyers that well-needed hug when they enter your home!

            3. Appeal to the senses
            Walk your home and ask yourself (or others), "What do you see, smell, touch and hear?" Deep clean your home or hire a professional cleaning company to make it sparkle – it gives buyers the impression the home has been well cared for. Remember, sticky floors and filthy light switches appeal to no one. If you have pets, consider confining them to one area of the house while your home is on the market. Barking dogs (or chirping smoke detectors) can hurry a potential buyer along during a showing. Consider leaving on some instrumental music during showings to appeal to your buyers' ears.

            4. Remove the eyesores 
            Look around your home and ask yourself these questions: "Would I purchase this home today? Do I like the overall style? Is my home dated? Is my backyard a sanctuary for a family?" The answers to these questions will help you identify the eyesores. Look for items in your home that are dated, have harsh patterns or edgy colors, are too small to fill a wall or are too large on a small one. Styles that clash with one another, aged wallpaper, broken items you can't repair, rusted car parts or clutter in your yard or patios all create eyesores. It's better to have an empty wall, an empty room or nothing at all than something that doesn't work for the space or is unappealing. Mirror your space after current styles and trends found in design magazines.

            5. Consider using my checklist
            Here is my checklist when I am staging a home. This list has never failed me and keeps me accountable – and sets my Realtor up for success!

            • Exterior: 
              - Grass is cut, edged and looks healthy.
              - Weeds are pulled.
              - Any dead bushes or trees have been removed.
              - Simple flowers or wild grasses are added on patios and porches.
              - House itself is cleaned and/or power washed. 
              - Toys, yard hoses, dog leashes, dog waste, yard statues are all cleaned up and put away. 
              - Back patio and yard are "lightly staged" with plants, cushions on chairs, and rugs under seating areas 
              and patio table. Add outdoor lanterns and candles. 
              - Patio or deck is cleaned. 
              - DIY projects are completed. To include: freshly stained deck, repaired broken floorboards, loose 
              banister railings, exterior lights, sheds or outbuildings organized and cleaned. Any landscaping 
              projects are not left incomplete. Large cracks in driveways or sidewalks are repaired. 
            • Interior: 
              - Home smells clean, looks clean, is decluttered and appeals to the senses. 
              - Eyesores are removed. 
              - Personal photos and items are put away. 
              - Daily messes and countertop items (in both the kitchen and bathroom) are put away.
              - Toiletries, perfumes and jewelry are not left on vanity counters. 
              - Small appliances, dishes and kitchen needs are not cluttered on kitchen counters
              - Fresh flowers or artificial plants are placed throughout the home to add life
              to spaces. 
              - Color palettes and themes in each space are transformed to a more neutral palette. Bold patterns in décor or too many colors are minimized. 
              - Themes and prominent styles in home are minimized as to not assume the home is exclusively Santa Fe style, Tuscan style, Western, etc.
              - DIY projects are completed. To include: replacing dated textures, fixtures, wallpaper, window coverings, faucets, general household repairs, etc. 

            Keep these items in mind when staging your home for resale, and you'll enter the selling process with the confidence your home deserves!

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