Monday, February 16, 2009


A lot have been written about landscaping yards for curb appeal because buyers see the outside first when they drive up to a home. So it makes sense to make this area as attractive and inviting as possible. I realize it's February, cold and dull right now, but let's think ahead. Investing money in your landscape could make a huge difference to a buyer. In fact, curb appeal can be the sole reason prospective buyers ever end up entering a home. That's why listing agents often give the sellers tips to help them fix up their homes. So, here are a few ideas to improve your landscaping.

1. An attractive landscape usually has color. Colors that grab the most attention are red, orange, and yellow. Cooler colors such as blues and purples helps you to relax. So, if you have a meditation garden, these should be included.

2. Use colorful mulch. Rubber mulch uses recycled ground rubber that comes in several different colors including green, brown, blue, and cypress. An added benefit is that if your home has a backyard playground and you have mulch underneath it instead of wood chips, you can a higher level of protection and an additional selling point to feature.

Oh, and another area many do not consider to be landscaping is the driveway. If you have been a do-it-yourselfer with you vehicles (oil changes,etc) maybe it shows on your driveway.Clean up any spills and move the parked cars to give buyers a chance to take in the entire residence.

For more information on improving value through landscaping, visit

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Should I Consider A Home Auction?

If you've had a "For Sale" sign in front of your house for months, you want something to happen and you want it to happen yesterday. Why not consider an auction? I know. When we think of auctions, we tend to think of auctions strictly for distressed properties. However, this is not true any longer. Selling premium homes via auction has become somewhat commonplace in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Now the trend has gained momentum in the Baltimore and surrounding areas.
The idea makes good marketing sense for sellers who missed the real estate boom over the last few years. What are some seller benefits?
It significantly lowers your commission as seller
You have a quicker sale ( 5 weeks from signing agreement to auction date)
Maximum buyer participation
Maximizes dollars
No contingencies
Buyer pays ALL transfer taxes and recordation fees.
These are just a few benefits.

Now suppose you are the buyer? What benefits to you?
Auctions are fun
Open, fair bidding process
Simple and transparent (Since you receive all information needed prior to auction; thus no surprises)
Buyers buy at their price
The decision to bid is reinforced by the immediately preceding bid
6% buyers premium is financeable.

So, auctions are good. Auctions can maximize the value of a property because of the competitive bidding process.
Buyers are eager to bid for a chance at a bargain. This is the only time you can go and buy something at your price.

If you want any more information on the process involved or a list of homes in the area that are offered through auctions, contact me.