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Gaithersburg, MD Home Sales for October 2016

Gaithersburg Home Sales for October 2016

In 20878, the median sold price for Gaithersburg home sales for October 2016 was $590,000, representing a decrease of 3.3% compared to last month and an increase of 3.1% from Oct 2015. The average days on market for Gaithersburg homes sold in October was 64 days, 5% below the 5-year October average of 67 days. There was a 3.1% month over month increase in new contract activity with 33 New Pendings; a 9.8% MoM increase in All Pendings (new contracts + contracts carried over from September) to 45; and a 9.5% decrease in supply to 86 active units.

Gaithersburg Townhome and Condo Sales for October 2016

In 20878, the median sold price for Gaithersburg Townhome and Condo sales for October 2016 was $380,000, representing an increase of 9.7% compared to last month and an increase of 9.5% from Oct 2015. The average days on market for Gaithersburg Townhomes and Condos sold in October was 42 days, 12% below the 5-year October average of 48 days. There was an 8.2% month over month decrease in new contract activity with 45 New Pendings; a 10.8% MoM decrease in All Pendings (new contracts + contracts carried over from September) to 66; and an 18.5% decrease in supply to 88 active units.

Copyright © 2016 RealEstate Business Intelligence, all rights reserved. Chart and report provided by ShowingTime. Data provided by the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.
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Take a look at Jamie's client reviews on Zillow.com. You won't be disappointed!

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A Good Real Estate Agent in Gaithersburg Will Do This

Finding a good real estate agent in Gaithersburg doesn't need to be difficult. I'm a real estate broker who doesn't like surprises for my clients- especially the negative ones. The ones that crop up at the last minute and make a client very unhappy. I never want that to happen. I make sure that my clients are well-informed all the way. That means that they should also be familiar with what documents I'll ask them to sign. Sending them a copy of blank offer docs in advance gives them time to review them. I invite questions/concerns and we discuss the documents before contract acceptance. Some clients won’t take the time to read them, but I encourage it so that they have a full understanding of the legal implications of the docs.

Here's an example of how a good real estate agent in Gaithersburg knows the contract documents

Buyers and sellers are totally unaware that there’s a nasty little sentence in our contracts in the “Title” clause. That sentence that allows a seller up to 30 days beyond settlement to clear defects on title. That may not seem earth-shattering at first glance but it could be. Especially if your client can't go beyond a specific date without monetary penalties. A good real estate agent in Gaithersburg should be aware of our client’s needs and they should ask questions. Knowing our contract docs inside and out is a must for a good real estate agent in Gaithersburg.

Needing extra time to clear those defects doesn’t happen that often, but you should make sure that it won't be a problem before contract acceptance. If your client can't go beyond the settlement day, you should call your local real estate attorney. The attorney can help you adjust that clause to protect your clients.
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Looking for a Gaithersburg home? You might be working with a Newbie!

If you're looking for a Gaithersburg home, you may discover that you're working with a new agent. I'm a seasoned real estate broker and I always have a heart for newbies. I can remember those first months/years in real estate and how I always looked like a “deer in the headlights”.

I was licensed in 2003 and the firm that I joined had a requirement that I attend two full weeks of classes. Looking back on it now- it was such a waste of time. You can’t possibly force-feed years of experience to new agents in two weeks and then expect them to get the job done correctly. Oh, there are going to be issues (maybe a few lawsuits too!). That's pretty much a given.

I was one of those agents that knew what I didn’t know. So I think I was lucky in that aspect. In other words, I didn’t know squat about the right way to practice real estate. I had no understanding of the massive number of contractual forms and how they impact our clients. So, I knew I needed help. I paid agents to help me because I didn't want to make any major mistakes with my clients. I did that until I knew where to go to get answers to all of my questions. The important thing for new agents who are working with buyers who want to buy a Gaithersburg home is to question everything.

Where can a new agent go for help?

The local real estate board was a wealth of information and I took as many classes as possible. To this day, 13 years later, I’m at the local real estate board almost every week taking a class. You can be in this business for 30+ years and not totally understand the contract docs, addendums, disclosures, etc. and how they affect our clients. One little item missed on the contract or disclosure docs could be disastrous for our clients. And every deal is different- that's for sure.

Here's a good article for tips on how to find a good real estate agent.

I have a few suggestions to brokerages. Don't unleash your newbie on the streets and hope for the best. How about having the newbie VERY closely monitored until they’ve done at least ten deals (or more)? Brokers should supervise the new agent every step of the way. If so, there'd be many more happy clients and fewer lawsuits.

I'm working with a newbie right now and I know she'd benefit from a system like that. Her buyers who have been looking for a Gaithersburg home would be the most appreciative of all!
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Want to Buy a Gaithersburg home? No Commenting While Touring Them!

I always advise my clients who want to buy a Gaithersburg home to refrain from making comments while touring. Some sellers will go to the extent of having a recorder running in the background- whether it’s legal or not. A complaint from a seller because my client said something really negative about the home is not fun. And, let’s face it. Some of these properties that we’re showing bring new meaning to the word “staged”. Some are just downright awful. It's easy to say something when you see it, but I warn my clients to wait until we’re well away from the home.

Even if the seller isn’t recording, they may be waiting somewhere around the home while I'm showing it. We don't want the seller to overhear comments that would be considered less than optimal. That’s the listing agent’s job to let them know. I’ll provide honest feedback if asked, but it’s not my job to educate the seller on why their home isn’t selling. And it's not the job of my clients who want to buy a Gaithersburg home to educate the seller.

It's not just the negative comments that should be withheld from buyers who want to buy a Gaithersburg home...

This also works in the reverse. Again, I warn my buyers to not show any emotion or excitement when touring home. This is especially true if the seller is home or the listing agent is somewhere around. Even if the seller isn’t recording audio, you just never know where they might be waiting for you to finish your tour. And open houses can really present a problem. When my buyers who want to buy a Gaithersburg home decide to stop by an open house and tour it when I'm not with them. Hmmmm....what do you think is going through the listing agent's mind when she hears my clients raving about the home??? Buyers don’t understand that the agent sitting in the open house is representing the seller. Everything they say can and will be used against them (sounds legal, doesn't it?) if they move forward with an offer.

So, Mum’s the word when showing properties! Hopefully our buyers will heed this warning. And here's another article on Zillow that might make the house buying process a bit easier for the buyers and their agent!
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Selling a Gaithersburg Home- How do I add color this time of year?

You've pondered selling a Gaithersburg home, but want to know how to add curb appeal this time of year. This is when we start to see mums of all shapes and colors showing up at our favorite hardware and garden stores. If you’re thinking about selling a Gaithersburg home this Fall, it’s a great time to put some color on the front of it with the wide array of color from beautiful mums.

Costco won't let you down if you're selling a Gaithersburg home this season

I was at Costco yesterday and noticed that they’re selling HUGE pots of them for only $10.99. You can’t beat that price and they’ll add so much curb appeal as Buyers are driving up to the home.

They're great value, for certain. Buy them now so that by the time you list your home they’re just bursting with color. Homes with lots of color are a magnet for buyers!

Give me a call or email me if you're selling a Gaithersburg home. I'm an experienced broker and can offer lots of tips for you to add value to your home that doesn't break your wallet.
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Your Gaithersburg Home for Sale Has Foggy Windows!

You've got a Gaithersburg home for sale with foggy windows. No amount of cleaning corrects the problem. The photo to left shows a dual pane window where the seal has broken and the same window after repair. There are many different reasons why the seal can break but it’s usually because of overzealous painters or a pressure washer being applied directly to the window. Pressure washers and dual pane windows do not go together. If you want to improve your foggy windows because you've got a Gaithersburg home for sale then contact Glass Doctor. Ask them if they’ll replace just the damaged pane of glass rather than the entire window. Replacing just the panes doesn’t require as much time and usually offers the homeowner a great savings.

Buyers can use the damaged windows in a Gaithersburg home for sale

And here’s a Buyer Tip: If you encounter this when buying, get a quote to replace the damaged windows. Provide that quote to the sellers when you write an offer. You should also call Glass Doctor who will quote on replacing just the damaged panes of glass. That second quote should be substantially lower than replacing the entire window and you’ve just negotiated a sweet deal for yourself!

So, if you've got a Gaithersburg home for sale or you're trying to buy one, call or email me and I'll be able to offer many more tips from the many years of experience that I have.
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Sell a Gaithersburg Home Without Painting Everything!

You've made up your mind that it's time to sell a Gaithersburg home. Most agents will tell you that remodeling it right before coming on the market is not such a great idea. It’s extremely difficult to get dollar for dollar out of remodeling. That’s not true all of the time, but many times it is.

I advise my Sellers that a minimum of carpet and paint should be done before they sell a Gaithersburg home. Painting walls and laying new carpet go a long way toward sprucing up your home. Choose neutral colors and introduce splashes of color in to the home with blankets, comforters, furniture, pillows, decorative pieces, etc.

Advice for Painters...

But here’s a word to the wise when you're ready to sell a Gaithersburg home: Make sure to tell your painters that they are NOT to paint the electrical outlets. Another big one is painting the electrical panel cover. If you want to hide it, you can always put a picture over it. However, painting it to the wall is not a good thing. Here's an article about the same topic. It might prevent the property inspector from being able to remove it for an inspection of the wiring within it. I see this over and over again during inspections. Sellers are unaware that a buyer will most likely ask them to pay for the inspector to return if the cover is painted.

And it’s ok to paint the outlet cover but don't paint the actual plugs (see photo). Your painter may have to paint around the outlet and electrical panel, but that's better than the alternative. Most inspectors will fail them if they're painted. And your painter won’t be anywhere around when you’re hiring an electrician after a property inspection. The electrician will replace outlets and remove the electrical panel because the painter wanted to take a shortcut!

Make sure that you choose an agent who can help you with similar issues when you're ready to sell a Gaithersburg home. Call or email me and I'll be happy to meet with you to discuss your real estate needs.
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Find a Gaithersburg Real Estate Agent Who Knows about REO

It's really important to find a Gaithersburg real estate agent who is familar with REO properties. What is an REO? That's short for "Real Estate Owned" and it means that a bank now owns the property and is selling it. It's the same as a foreclosure.

So, I'm really skeptical when an REO bank offers a "free Owner's Title Insurance Policy" to my buyers. The catch is that the buyer must choose the REO bank's title company to handle the escrow.

Still doesn't sound too bad, right? Here's why you need to find a Gaithersburg real estate agent who knows REO properties. What those banks are offering is a Basic Owners Policy which provides very little coverage for the buyer. It’s something, but most buyers should pay the difference between the Basic and the Enhanced policies. The Enhanced one is approximately 20%30% higher. This way, they have optimal coverage for the entire time they own the property. It would be crazy to do otherwise and if your agent doesn't tell you about it how would you know?

If you’re buying a foreclosure property and the foreclosure bank is offering to pay for your Owner’s title policy, ask them which one they’re providing. Upgrading to the Enhanced policy could prevent lots of heartache should there be a title issue in the future. More than likely there won’t be a problem, but you don’t want to be the property owner on the receiving end of a lawsuit without the best coverage possible! You should find a Gaithersburg real estate agent that will help you navigate the stormy waters when buying a home. Please call or email me and I'm ready to help with all of your real estate needs.

Here's an article to further explain the difference between the policies.
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How to find a Gaithersburg Real Estate Agent Who Will Verify the Deposit?

As a seller it's important for you to find a Gaithersburg Real Estate Agent who will make sure that there are no "loose ends" during a transaction. An agent has many things to keep track of when a home sells. And one of those things is to remind myself to confirm with the title company (or selling broker’s office) that the buyer’s deposit is indeed in the escrow account.

I work in the DC Metro area and MD, DC and Virginia each have their own time limit for that deposit to be in the escrow account. Maryland law requires that the buyer’s deposit be in there no later than 7 business days after contract acceptance, Virginia is 5 banking business days and DC is 7 calendar or 5 business days following contract acceptance.

You should find a Gaithersburg real estate agent who will stay on top of the transaction

I contact the title company or the selling broker’s office, via email, to confirm that the deposit is in the account. The the last thing that I want is my seller finding out that there is no deposit in the account AFTER the buyer has breached the contract. That's not a good thing. Sellers have a right to be irate if that happens.

So, I’m just wondering- is there a better way to handle this? How about if the selling broker or title company would automatically email you a receipt as soon as they deposit the check in to the escrow account? Is that asking too much? Obviously, we should still have a reminder to look for the confirmation of deposit before the deadline ends. However, it would be really nice if the title companies and selling brokers would automatically do this as a courtesy? Here's a sample form that can be used.

One thing is for certain. If you're a seller and you're trying to find a Gaithersburg Real Estate Agent who dots the i's and crosses the t's- look no further! Call or email me if you're thinking about selling a Gaithersburg home.
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