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If you owe more than the value of your home and you want to learn more about short sales, call or text me at 301-643-1822.

I specialize in short sales, first time home purchases, standard sales, military relocations, foreclosures and investment properties.

Buyers: Build a Plan of Action and Get Ready

Buying a home will probably rank as one of the biggest personal investments one can make. Being organized and in control will contribute significantly to getting the best home deal possible with the least amount of stress. Is important to anticipate the steps required to successfully achieve your housing goal and to build a plan of action that gets you there.

Before you can build a plan of action, take the time to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process.

First, ask yourself how much can you afford to pay for a home. If you're not sure on the price range, find a lender and get preapproved. Preapproval will let you know how much you can afford so that you can look for homes in your price range. Getting pre-approved helps you to alleviate some of the anxieties that come with home buying. You know exactly what you qualify for and at what rate, you know how large your monthly mortgage payments will be, and you know how much you will have for a down payment. Once you are pre-approved, you avoid the frustration of finding homes that you think are perfect, but are not in your price range.

Second, ask yourself where you want to live and what is the best location for you and/or your family. Things to consider:

* convenience for all family members
* proximity to work, school
* crime rate of neighborhood
* local transportation
* types of homes in neighborhood, for example condos, town homes, co-ops, newly constructed homes etc.

Have Fun
Relax. Finding your new home can be a rewarding experience. Have a good time and enjoy the process.

Credit
Owning a home helps you establish financial credibility.

Independence
Owning your own home provides you with independence and more privacy than renting. You are free to paint walls, plant flowers, keep pets and anything else within legal bounds.

Investment
As you make more payments and own more of your home, you add to its investment value. Most improvements you make will also add to its value.

Pride
A home reflects its owner's values and lifestyle. Owning a home can provide you with a source of pride, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Security
A home can provide security against inflation because the value of your home increases as prices go up.

Stability
Being established in a community provides a sense of belonging, stability and security.

Tax Advantages
Interest on your mortgage loan is deductible on your yearly personal income tax return. Many of the closing costs associated with purchasing your home are deductible, as are your property taxes.

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Sellers: Making a Good First Impression

If you are thinking of selling your home, chances are you're caught up in a mass of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new home or facing the uncertainty of a major move across country. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new and exciting adventures. Remember, I am here to help you with any of your needs. Call or e-mail me today!

If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer into making an offer; it influences a buyer emotionally and visually. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price.

A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don't show your property until it's all fixed up. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation.

Typically, there are some general fix ups that need to be done both outside and on the inside. As a seller, you should consider the following:

* Landscaping - Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition?
* Cleaning or Redoing the driveway - Is your driveway cluttered with toys, tools, trash etc.?
* Painting - Does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of?
* Carpeting - Does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty?

Pricing Pointers

Here are some tips on how to price a home you're selling:

  • Don't base the price on what you paid or what your neighbor got a few years ago.

  • Do examine the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood, as well as the prices of comparable homes that have sold in the past three to six months.

  • Don't pick an agent simply because he or she suggested the highest list price.

  • Do pick an agent who offers a thoughtful explanation for the price he or she is suggesting.

  • Don't go overboard with remodeling. Rarely can you recoup the cost.

  • Do make minor improvements so that your home is in as good as or better shape than the competition.

  • Don't set your price based on emotional attachments and cherished memories.

  • Do ask your agent to reassess the competitive landscape every few weeks to make sure your asking price is in sync with the market.

  • Don't be stubborn. If weeks go by without any offers, the price most likely does not reflect the value of the home. It's time to consider cutting the price.

  • Do be patient. You might have to wait longer for buyers to pull their money together now that lenders have toughened their standards.

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