Archive for the 'Real Estate' Category

Jan 09 2013

Real Estate Market Update - Washington DC Metro Area

carolyn-thompson-bethesda-homes.jpgReal Estate Market Update - Washington DC Metro Area

In such a fluctuating market, it would be challenging to see whether the market is recovering in the Washington DC Metro Area unless you looked at several reports.

While some areas such as Arlington and Washington DC are showing great recovery and double digit increases in value in 2012, it is important to note that some areas are not recovering as well.

Take a look at the Washington DC Real Estate Market Report and you’ll see that while the days on market is diminishing and the home prices are going up, inventory is very low.  This is great news for sellers, but what does this mean for home buyers?   Home buyers who elect to purchase now, may beat the pendulum as it swings back toward an upward direction.

Please see the Bethesda Real Estate Market Report.  Bethesda, although not as strong as the Arlington Virgina real estate market has remained stable and continues an upward trend in home sales.

Whether you are planning on selling now or not, it is helpful to continue to be informed about market conditions.

Please email Carolyn Thompson, Associate Broker  if you would like monthly reports emailed to you.

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Dec 05 2009

Realtor Screening

Realtor Screening- How can you find a good Realtor?

  •  A Realtor must be doing transactions currently and in the recent past in order to:

- know the market trends

- know current real estate laws

  • A Realtor should be able to provide at least five current references.

-If you are a buyer, make sure that you get buyer references.

-If you are selling, make sure that you get references from the Realtor’s clients that have sold their properties using the particular agent.

-Ask the references if the property closed on time.  Did they get the offer that they anticipated?  Were their issues that the agent could have handled better.  When you ask specific questions, you will be able to determine whether the experience was actually positive or if there were problems that would go undisclosed.

  •  Ask the Realtor for a letter of recommendation from the broker.  It is essential that the agent has a good relationship with the broker.  This also shows that the broker may be accessible if there are problems that need to be resolved.
  • Has there been any disciplinary action claimed against the agent?  Many states will post agents who have had complaints filed against them and any disciplinary action that has been taken.
  • How much will the agent charge you to represent them.  In many states it is assumed that the home seller will pay the buyer’s agent.  In states, such as Maryland the buyer agent agreement is actually unclear.  It assumes that the seller is going to pay, but does not specify.  There have been cases in which the buyer’s agent has collected from both the seller and the buyer, without disclosing this to the buyer first.
  • Ask the agent to produce comparables and a executive summary of their findings.  Agents often interpret information differently.  This does not necessarily mean that one agent is right or wrong, it simply gives insight to their thinking process and lets you know if you think that they can decipher the information that the computer will spit out to them.  This also helps prevents hiring an agent that is trying to get your business by telling you that you can get more for your home than other agents that you are interviewing.  Agents that sell you are not necessarily agents that will be able to get your home sold. 

-If you would like Real Estate Search and Sale LLC to pre-screen an agent for you please contact us @  write “prescreen agent” in the headline.

 If you select an agent that we pre-screen for you, you will be given $200.00 toward your closing costs.

We get paid by the agents we refer.  If you would like to send us a list of three agents that you would like screened, we will ask each of the agents if they are willing to pay a screening/ referral fee.  Most say, yes.  This program is only applicable if the real estate agent signs the screening / referral form.   The form states that they will be completely transparent regarding their prior transactions and that they are to document any issues that may have arisen along with an explanation.

After the screening process we email you our findings. 

When your title company/ closing agent is determined, you simply send us a note and we will send them, verification that we are paying $200.00 toward your closing costs or cash back at closing if allowed by the title company and your state law. 

Getting a professionally screened real estate agent the first time will can prevent some headaches in the long run.  An experienced agent knows many of the pitfalls and how to address them.

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Nov 03 2009

Property Insurance- Are you insured?

Published by Carolyn Thompson under Real Estate

Property Insurance Laws have changed in many states such as Maryland.

 Maryland recently passed a bill that states that the master insurance policy of condominiums and homeowner associations do NOT have to cover the individual units.

 Property owners are under the false assumption that they are covered.  They are NOT. 

Since the law has been passed stating that the master insurance policy does not have to cover unit owners, associations are filing for changes to their policies in record breaking numbers.

If you are not sure if you are covered under your master insurance policy, as your association to send you something in writing.

 I will work to get a bill passed that requires all associations to notify owners of any changes to their insurance policies.

 As always, your feedback, insight and support are appreciated.

Without the proper property insurance all of your assets may be at risk.

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