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Anatomy of an Offer on Your Home

How to evaluate an offer on your home

When an offer comes in your property, Mr. & Mrs. Seller, here’s what you can expect when we sit down together to go over it.

The first thing we’ll do, before we even look at the offer, is to examine an updated Market Trends Analysis for your local area that’s similar to the one I prepared for you when we listed your home. It’s the best way I know of predicting whether the market is likely to improve or decline in the coming weeks. Understanding the market trends may influence how we proceed with this offer.

Additionally, we’ll review an updated Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) to find out the specifics of home sales that may have occurred since the last CMA I prepared for you, as well as any details about active listings that are your current competition.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 8.49.34 AMThen we’ll take a look at the anatomy of the offer, as I highlight for you the contract terms most likely to impact your decision:

1. Price
2. Selling concessions
3. Net proceeds (your bottom line)
4. Financing, including buyer’s qualifications
5. Settlement and occupancy dates
6. Inclusions/exclusions, and
7. Contingencies, if any


Yes, there will be other details to consider, but these Big Seven are the bare bones of the offer, the factors that tend to have a “make it or break it” effect on any home seller’s decision regarding an offer.

Some sellers find it helpful to rate each of these major items with a score of 1-3, knowing that any offer scoring 19-21 is a definite keeper;  a score of 15-18 is a very good offer, worth considering in light of the market trends and CMA we discussed earlier; and, finally, you will most likely counter-offer anything with a score below 15 – at least on the factors that are on your priority list.

What happens next, you ask…

After a determination is made about these Big Seven, we’ll review the entire offer from start to finish, including any addenda and disclosures. As we do, I’ll take notes on a separate piece of paper about any missing or unsatisfactory details so we can consider them together at the conclusion of the contract review. I will make recommendations, based on my professional experience, but you will have full control over the decision to accept, reject or counter-offer – and what is included (or not) in any counter-offer.

While there are many details to every real estate contract, most of them are so-called standard practices. If you and the buyer agree about the bare bones of the offer, a SOLD sign is probably in your future!

Posted originally by the author to


Margaret Woda is a licensed Associate Broker in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore – Annapolis area. She specializes in Anne Arundel and nearby Prince George’s Counties, Maryland, including Fort Meade, Andrews AFB, and the U.S. Naval Academy. If you enjoyed reading this post and want to learn more about Real Estate the Woda Way, visit her website at Margaret

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Build Crofton High School Rally This Week

Build Crofton High School (BCHS) Rally
Anne Arundel County Board of Education

Wednesday, September 17 at 7 p.m.


Build Crofton High School (BCHS) supporters will rally at the Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m. to encourage the Board to include a 13th high school in the Capital Improvement Plan. 

Crofton Middle School currently feeds two distant high schools: South River H.S., 17 miles southeast of Crofton, and Arundel H.S., 13 minutes north of Crofton. Who could have imagined that this community would be celebrating its 50th Anniversary without yet having a local high school!?!?!?

Nine of the twelve Anne Arundel County high schools will be over 100% capacity by 2023, including both South River and Arundel High Schools. In spite of this fact, the Board of Education and County Council have no plan for building a thirteenth high school. If the BCHS effort isn’t successful, children currently attending Crofton, Crofton Woods, Crofton Meadows and Nantucket Elementary Schools will be attending overcrowded schools AND spending countless wasted hours on the road to get there and back home. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 8.30.08 AM

Several local politicians attended an August 28 meeting of BCHS, including Republicans Councilman Jerry Walker and Delegate Cathy Vitale, candidates for the House, Henry Green (D), Tom Angelis (D), Sid Saab (R), and Wes Adams (R). BCHS organizer John Boniface quipped that the official color of BCHS, which is purple, is a perfect blend of Democrat Blue and Republican Red.

School bus

In addition to capacity problems, several residents at the August meeting mentioned the cost of transporting Crofton students to South River and Arundel High Schools. Since a Crofton high school would be located behind the current Crofton Middle School, many students would be able to walk, significantly cutting transportation costs for the county. (And, I might add, avoid the expense of purchasing land to build a high school.)

Local schools are important to your property value. As a long-time real estate agent in Crofton, I can’t emphasize enough how important the schools are to property values in a community. Relocating home buyers often investigate factors like overcrowding and distance to school before they will consider a community. Even if there are no children in your household, it’s important for you to support BCHS now – if only for financial reasons.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Crofton residents must persist in “squeaking” – a strategy used successfully by Severna Park residents to get a new high school. Please take an hour out of your evening this Wednesday, September 17, to attend the BCHS rally at the Board of Education, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401.  Your mere presence will help create a visual impression on Board members that Crofton is serious about building a local high school.

Print a flier about the September 17 rally

Like BCHS on Facebook

Many thanks to Jenn Morson for contributing to this post. Jenn grew up in Crofton and her children attend Crofton Elementary School. She is an active participant in the BCHS effort. Thank you, John Boniface, for providing a copy of the flier.

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The Maryland Renaissance Festival Opens Tomorrow

The Maryland Renaissance Festival 2014

The Maryland Renaissance Festival opens tomorrow, August 23, 2014, and runs weekends through October 19. There’s talk about them moving to another site in the future, so don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a day in another era without leaving Anne Arundel County.

Just to get you in the mood, here are some photos I took at the Maryland Renaissance Festival a few years ago.

Renaissance Festival

Renaissance Festival5Renaissance Festival Catskill Mountain Moccasins

Renaissance Fesstival Music


Renaissance Festival8

Cropped joustersP9070048

Renaissance Festival9

Check out the Maryland Renaissance Festival website for details about their packed-full schedule of performances, costume rentals (not required, but fun to do), information about parking and handicap access, tickets, etc., etc., etc. LOTS of fun for everyone!

P.S. If you find yourself in a lot of traffic on Defense Highway (Rt. 450) between Crofton and Annapolis Mall, be patient… those unexpected cars are probably headed to The Maryland Renaissance Festival, located at 1821 Crownsville Rd., Annapolis, MD 21401



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Have You Been Newk’d Yet?

“Have you been Newk’d?” is a phrase making its way around Crofton, Maryland, as more and more people discover a new dining option in The Village at Waugh Chapel known as Newk’s Eatery.

It’s a question I asked a friend yesterday and she had not even heard of Newk’s but, sure enough, she was intrigued when I said that it was an upscale sandwich, soup, and salad eatery. We met there for lunch at 12:30, encountered no line to place our order, and the meals were promptly delivered to our table.

It was definitely a 5-star lunch experience!

Triple Take Salad Newk's


I ordered the Triple Take salad, described online as seasonal fresh fruit, pasta salad, and homemeade chicken salad with grapes and pecans on a bed of mixed greens with grape tomatoes, cucumbers and your choice of dressing. The chicken salad was so good that I’ll likely be tempted to order a chicken salad sandwich in a future visit.



My friend ordered the Black & Bleu salad, whick is described as mixed greens, choice beef tender, Gorgonzola cheese, pecans, grape tomatoes, and sliced red onion tossed with Newk’s bleu cheese dressing. She enjoyed her salad so much that she ate every last morsel and I will surely order the Black & Bleu salad the next time I get a salad at Newk’s.


The salads were made with appropriately crisp cold lettuce and we both were happy with our choices. The two lunches cost less than $20.00 total, and that’s hard to beat!

(During previous visits to this restaurant, I’ve enjoyed several of their sandwich and soup options. All of them were delicious.)

Give Newk’s a try if you’re looking for a hearty and delicious salad, sandwich or bowl of soup that you can enjoy at your own pace, whether on the run or for a leisurely meal. They’re located at 1360 Main Chapel Way in Gambrills, between Pier 1 Imports and Applebee’s.


Margaret Woda, Long & Foster Real Estate, 410-451-6245

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Invest in Crofton Real Estate – The Timing Couldn’t be Better!

Crofton’s real estate market is one of the few in our nation to benefit from changes to our nation’s defense strategy. While 70,000 service members will be cut from our armed forces in the $75 million leaner military budget, nearby Fort George G. Meade will welcome 4,000 more military men and women over the next few years.

They will support the information, intelligence, and cyber security missions of the National Security Agency, Defense Informaton Systems Agency, Defense Media Activity, and Cyber Command, which are located at Fort Meade. In fact, 13 major construction projects are currently in progress to house this expansion. But these folks also need a place to live.

Crofton’s location in the middle of a triangle formed by Fort Meade, the U.S. Naval Academy and Joint Base Andrews is often the first factor in attracting military personnel to our community. The easy 20-minute commute is often overshadowed as a priority, however, when buyers and renters see American flags flying over Crofton Parkway, learn about the annual Armed Forces Day Parade, and discover the Blue Star Memorial in front of Crofton Library. No wonder that so many retired military, DOD civilians, and active duty military personnel choose to live here… it’s convenient to work, the houses and townhouses are affordable, and the community just feels like home.

This military factor has provided stability and potential to the Crofton real estate market for decades. With this latest expansion at Fort Meade, the timing couldn’t be better to purchase a home or rental property. There are more than 80 properties on the market in Crofton now that are priced under $500,000. One of the best investent opportunities in Crofton is 1615 Dryden Way.  Call me for an appointment to see this and several other homes.

Crofton Homes for Sale

Posted originally on 7/23/14.


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