May 7th, 2014 Categories: Random Topics
Crofton residents might enjoy reading about my first real estate experience, written for a challenge on Activerain. I’ve inserted the street names in parenthesis, since Crofton readers are familiar with the area.
There was little or no training for agents in the early 70’s. It truly was baptism by fire, trial and error, or the school of hard knocks – whatever you want to call it – or just good old fashioned luck.
With only one black and white photo in the MLS listings delivered to our office each week, agents learned about local listings the old-fashioned way: same-day tours of new in-house listings so we would be familiar with them if someone should see the sign and call our office for information about them, and weekly caravans of other companies’ new listings in nearby communities.
Lesson learned: Tour new listings so you know the inventory, or at least carefully review every online listing in your target market.
After my first caravan, I called a friend to tell her about the fabulous antiques I had seen in a nearby townhouse. At 7 a.m. the next morning, my phone rang (scared me to death, since my husband was deployed in Vietnam at the time). It was my friend saying that she and her husband had been talking about it all night and decided they didn’t want to see townhouses, only detached homes.
What? Are you kidding? Is this a prank?, ran through my mind. I didn’t know my friends were looking for a house and I certainly hadn’t intended to hint anything about real estate sales or listings to my friend when we spoke the previous day about antiques. But here was my first client!
Lesson learned: Anyone you know could be thinking about buying or selling a home, so talk about real estate with them – at least indirectly.
One problem… they wanted a house like mine and none were on the market. So I knocked on the door of a For Sale By Owner on my street (Jordan Avenue) and told them about my clients’ desire to purchase that model, and they invited me in. I had no idea it would be THIS easy to list a home! Before I left, they had signed the one-page listing form.
Lessons learned: Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and don’t be afraid of FSBO’s!
My friends didn’t choose this house, but another agent in my office did buy it for his own family a few days later. Meanwhile, I listed my friend’s house (on Walleye Drive), which sold within days.
Another home came on the market across the street from me (also on Jordan Avenue) the very next day, and my friends decided to buy it. I contacted the listing agent who told me to bring my buyers and their children into her office to meet the seller.
What???? I thought real estate agents were supposed to keep buyers and sellers apart, I said to the old pro. She said no, they would work it out. And they did… in about 15 minutes. The one-page contract was written and signed before we left the office.
Lesson learned: It’s okay for the buyer and seller to meet and talk… in some cases, it’s actually a good strategy!
Just to refresh… A casual conversation with a friend resulted in my first buyer, my first sale (after showing just two homes), two listings, and my first two listings sold – all in one week. My first real estate experience truly did multiply like bunnies!
Ka-ching, Ka-ching, Ka-ching… is that the sound of a cash register being stuffed with all the money I would earn in real estate over the next 40 years?
We all know the rest of the story. It’s NOT that easy! I was just “lucky.”
LUCKY to get into this business when there was no Internet (consumers NEEDED us to buy or sell a home because there really wasn’t a viable alternative)… LUCKY that paperwork was simple (one page), and… LUCKY to learn good habits that have contributed to my longevity in this business and to the success of agents I mentor today.
Today, my business is built on 40 years of experience, training, and evolving technology – and I’ve never enjoyed it more. It would be a privilege to put that expertise to work for you, and disappointing you is simply not an option.
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May 5th, 2014 Categories: Crofton News
Crofton May Basket Winners
Our community was the big winner on Tuesday, May 1, when several homes and businesses were decorated with May Baskets as part of Crofton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The sun came out just in time, after two tortuous days of heavy rain, and Spring was definitely in the air for May Day in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
May Day celebrations have been a Spring tradition in many countries and cultures on the first day of May for hundreds of years, and they often include dancing, singing, and food. Flowers are the most common thread, however, and baskets of flowers and treats left anonymously for neighbors and friends have given way in this area during recent years to floral baskets displayed by businesses and residents.
Locally, Annapolis is known for fabulous May Baskets displayed throughout the historic district, and you may have read about the successful May Basket fundraiser in the Broadneck area of Annapolis. In Crofton, twenty-seven May baskets were on display in the community’s first official celebration of the day. The event was conducted by Crofton Village Garden Club, who presented awards to non-member residents and businesses.
Second and third place ribbons were awarded, as well, and many other beautiful May Day baskets could be seen from the street as you drove around the community on Tuesday, including several by Crofton Village Garden Club members, who were not eligible for awards. I hope you had a chance to do that!
Many thank to everyone who participated and made a May Day memory that your entire community could enjoy.
Photos by Margaret Woda
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April 1st, 2014 Categories: Crofton News
Twenty years ago, you would either call a local real estate office or get into your car and drive around to find SALE or OPEN HOUSE signs. It’s a lot easier today.
Just click on the icon below to see a complete list of all current listings in the greater Crofton area. These lists are updated every 15 minutes, so they will be current whether you view them today, April1, 2014, or 3 years from now.
Long & Foster’s annual company-wide Open House Extravaganza will be held April 26 and 27, so mark your calendar now. If you’re thinking of selling any time soon, be sure to get your home listed in time for the advance marketing of this event.
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March 28th, 2014 Categories: Questions and Answers
Crofton Real Estate FAQ’s
Q. Does Open House Help Sell Homes?
HGTV fans know that a successful Open House is the goal of any home renovation prior to selling. An endless parade of prospective buyers walk through the Open House during the last five minutes of the show, raving about the scrumptious kitchen, spa-like bathroom, etc.
These shows generally conclude by saying how much everyone liked the complete makeover of the home that was performed over the first 25 minutes of the show. They rarely indicate that a contract of sale was the direct result of the Open House.
As a REALTOR® in Crofton since the 70’s, I’ve held my share of traditional Open Houses in this area. Years ago, this was the only option for consumers to view home interiors without working with a real estate agent. The situation is quite different in today’s market.
Every home listing is “open” online for viewing 24/7 by anyone, providing that first look at the interior of listed homes.
My daughter is a perfect example of today’s home buyer. She saw the interior photos of a beautiful Virginia townhouse online last month, clicked through to the map to see where the home was located, and immediately made an appointment to see the property. Less than 24 hours after seeing the home online, she submitted an offer and now she is the proud owner of that townhouse.
Statistics from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) indicate that the home-buying process began online for 42 percent of home buyers in 2013 and 92% of home buyers used the Internet to search for homes.
Don’t get me wrong… Open House can still be an effective strategy for marketing a home, especially private events held for local REALTORS® who sell homes in your neighborhood. And you WILL be seeing Open House signs in your neighborhood during the coming weeks.
Long & Foster’s company-wide Spring Open House Extravaganza will take place April 26-27. If you’d like to see your Crofton-area home included in the advance marketing for this event, contact me today at 410-451-6245 to get your home on the market before then.
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March 26th, 2014 Categories: Crofton News
Will winter never end? If I recall correctly, March is supposed to be the time of year when daffodils are peeking through the mulch, and buds on the cherry trees that line Crofton Parkway are teasing us with hints of color.
In a normal March, residents would be outside picking up the twigs in their yards, washing off the outside furniture, maybe event firing up the grill for their first barbecue of the season.
But cold temperatures and more snow (?!?!?!?!) are still appearing in our forecast!
All this bad weather is NOT helping the real estate market because we’re all snuggled inside, trying to keep warm. Neither buyers nor their agents want to go anywhere. In fact, car and retail sales are down, too.
Have faith, Crofton… Spring IS around the corner and we’ll appreciate it even more than we do most years. Before long you’ll be seeing homes framed by cherry trees, with an Open House sign in the front yard.
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