DIY Home Repairs: Our Favorite Articles, Videos & Resources

DIY Home Repairs: Our Favorite Articles, Videos & Resources

Repairs and maintenance are a reality of home ownership. There are some jobs that are definitely best left to the professionals, but there are many repairs you can do yourself. Mastering a few simple DIY home repair techniques will save you a lot of money in the long run. Here, we share a few of our favorite tips and resources for DIY home repair.

Kitchen Home Improvement & Repairs

DIY Kitchen Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a bright, modern white kitchen)

How to Fix a Clogged Sink

It is quite common for food to get clogged in the sink. To clear the path, you can take a plunger to try and suction the particles out of the drain. If pesky particles are remaining, make a baking soda and vinegar mix to unclog the sink.

How to Fix Burns on Laminate Countertops

Hot pans can do serious damage to laminate countertops. Large burns will call for a replacement, but minor burns are a simple fix. First, start by scrubbing the area with steel wool or a rough material like sandpaper, then create a homemade abrasive cleaner (baking soda and water) to remove all excess material.

Check out other great kitchen repair tips at the DIY Network blog!

Bathroom Repairs & DIY Renos

DIY Bathroom Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a tiled bathroom with soaker tub)

Planning & Managing Bathroom Renovations

Whether your vision for your bathroom involves tile, vinyl, wallpaper, or paint, this book will ensure you are repairing and remodeling your bathroom like the professionals. It also includes steps for planning out your project and finding fixtures that fit! This is a great beginner’s guide to bathroom renovations.

Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies

How to Fix a Broken Faucet

Make sure when fixing a broken faucet, you have a replacement at the ready! Also, ensure your water is turned off and you put a stopper over the drain to keep any pieces from falling into the pipes. These are the basic things you need to do to prep your bathroom for a faucet repair or replacement. Check out these handy videos on how to actually tackle the job!

Repairing a Leaky Faucet

How to Replace a Bathroom Sink Faucet

Keeping Every Room Beautiful

DIY Home Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a high-end bedroom with vaulted ceilings)

How to Paint Like a Pro

Nothing makes your home feel cleaner than a fresh coat of paint! It’s incredible what a difference a fresh paint job can make. It’s one of the easiest, most affordable, and most dramatic home improvements you can make. Check out this article about how to paint a room like a pro!

Top 10 Ways to Paint Like a Pro

How to Change Out Lights Fixtures

Light fixtures are like jewelry for your house! Updating ceiling fixtures can make a HUGE difference in your home. Light fixtures may seem difficult to replace, but this video will teach you how to do it step-by-step. It’s much easier than you’d expect!

How to Replace a Ceiling Light Fixture

How to Replace Doorknobs & Cabinet Hardware

Okay, doorknobs and hardware are ALSO the jewelry for your home! This is another simple change that can make an amazing difference. Few things can cause a home to look as dated as doorknobs and hardware. To change out cabinet hardware, just unscrew from the back side of the cabinet door, pop in the new one, and tighten. Replacing a doorknob is almost as easy!

How to Replace a Door Knob

Bonus tip: If your cabinet hardware is a dated color or finish, you can give it a SUPER affordable update with spray paint! Just remove the hardware and give it 2 – 3 coats. Let everything dry thoroughly before reinstalling.

DIY Outdoor Spaces

DIY Exterior Home Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a backyard patio with plants)

How to Repair Chipped Outdoor Paint

When your exterior color begins to crack, it’s not just unsightly; it’s a sign that your interior and exterior walls may be compromised. Any exposed wood can start to rot and decay, leaving your home vulnerable to moisture and pests. Pressure washing your house will get rid of chipped paint and will allow you to create a new coat to avoid the wood becoming molded. Check out this link for other important exterior maintenance tips!

6 Must-Do Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

Weeding Out the Weeds

Getting rid of weeds is one of the simplest and most dramatic ways to improve your curb appeal. The best solution is to pull weeds out by the roots to make sure they don’t continue to grow. Pre-emergent herbicides can help prevent weeds from sprouting without doing damage to your lawn. Specific tools are more manageable for different types of weeds because of the way the root structures grow. Check out this article about determining which device works best for your needs.

Tips & Tricks for Eliminating Lawn Weeds

6 Cases When you Should Hire a Professional

When to Call in the Professionals for Home Repair | Powell Realtors (showing a man with drill and lumber)

Photo source:

Installing Crown Molding

This may seem like an easy DIY, but you should leave this to the experts. There are dozens of different angles you’ll have to consider and your math has to be exact. Save yourself a LOT of frustration and call in a pro!

Replacing Windows with French Doors

This job requires a lot of specialized materials and tools. You also have to consider how to keep the wall structurally sound during the replacement. Finally, you may have electrical wires that need to be rerouted to accommodate the new doors. Because of this, this project is best left to the experts.

Removing a Load-Bearing Wall

Knocking down walls should be left to the pros. Structural changes in your home require tons of planning. A licensed contractor is familiar with this procedure and will get the job done right.

Replacing an Old Driveway

There is a lot to consider when replacing an old driveway. This is hard work that requires specialized equipment. A small miscalculation may be costly, so play it safe and hire a professional.

Building a Pergola

Building a pergola involves site planning and understanding local code requirements. It also involves digging and setting concrete footers, which is no easy task for most homeowners.

Waterproofing Your Basement

Every home is unique, and no one game plan for waterproofing your basement that will work in every house. There are different approaches that professionals will recommend based on your home’s unique challenges.

We hope these resources are helpful to you! If you’re ready to tackle home ownership and all it entails, give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to help!


Meet Our Newest Team Member: Heather Kramer!

Meet Our Newest Team Member: Heather Kramer!

Powell Realtors is excited to welcome our newest team member, Heather Kramer! Heather is new to real estate, but she is already a huge success!! She closed her first sale shortly after joining Powell Realtors in March of 2018, and she quickly picked up three additional listings.

Heather’s transition to real estate is a natural fit. She spent 27 years as a hair stylist, and always loved talking with and helping people. She also has a passion for renovating houses. She and her husband Rob have purchased and restored several homes over the years. Heather has a real knack for spotting a “diamond in the rough” and seeing the full potential every home has to offer. This skill is a real asset to homebuyers! She advises buyers to look for architectural details and unique features that make a home special.

Heather is especially excited about helping newcomers discover the many advantages of living in Dorchester County and the greater Eastern Shore region. She has lived in the area her whole life, though she’s had the opportunity to travel extensively. She always enjoys coming home to the natural beauty of the Shore. She likes to spend as much time as possible outdoors and is an avid gardener.

Heather Kramer and Rob Kramer in Alaska

Heather Kramer and her husband Rob enjoying their vacation in Alaska

Heather has two grown children, Collin and Emma. She and her husband share their home with two rescue dogs, a black lab and a German shepherd.

Heather’s children Emma and Collin

German shepherd and black lab

Heather’s rescue pups, a German shepherd and black lab.

If you’d like to chat with Heather about buying or selling a home, you can reach her by email or phone at 443.521.1470. If you’d like to begin your property search online, you can view our listings here.

Commercial Listing! 5106 Rhodesdale-Vienna Rd | Rhodesdale, MD

Commercial Listing! 5106 Rhodesdale-Vienna Rd | Rhodesdale, MD

This is a wonderful opportunity to own your own country store! The Reids Grove Country Store has been serving the community for more than 60 years. Recent updates include a Health Department-approved kitchen. Available now for a reduced price of $199,900!

There is a living space with the store, plus a cottage next door for additional income. This is truly a turn-key property!

Interior:  2,200 square feet  |  Lot size: 0.80 acres

Please see below for additional photos. If you’d like to receive the full MLS listing with additional photos and information, please send us an email or call us at 410.228.9333.

Photos: Country Store

Commercial Listing | 5106 Rhodesdale-Vienna Rd, Rhodesdale, MD | Powell Realtors | Eastern Shore Real Estate

5106 Rhodesdale-Vienna Rd, Rhodesdale, MD | Powell Realtors Commercial Listings | Country Store on the Eastern Shore

Photos: Living Space Above Store

Living Space Above Country Store | Powell Realtors Commercial Listings | Eastern Shore

Photos: Cottage on Property

Cottage on Property of Country Store | Powell Realtors Commercial Listings | Eastern Shore

Do’s & Don’ts of Selling Your Home Over the Holidays

Do’s & Don’ts of Selling Your Home Over the Holidays

The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but ‘tis not the season for peak real estate sales. It’s such a busy season that it’s no surprise activity drops off over Christmas and New Year’s. However, there are some buyers who take advantage of the downtime from work to go house hunting, so it’s important to be prepared. While there may be fewer buyers, the ones who are out there are usually pretty motivated!

So what do you do if your home is still on the market over the holidays? Don’t worry! You can still decorate for the holidays and enjoy family traditions, all while having your home show-ready for buyers. If you are willing to go the extra mile, you can use the season to your advantage and make your home a true standout on the market. The key is to decorate in a way that emphasizes your home’s best features. This may mean scaling back or changing your usual holiday décor. Read on for the do’s and don’ts of selling your home over the holidays!

DON’T Overdo It

Less is More when it comes to holiday decorating if you're trying to sell your house. Advice from Powell Realtors, Eastern Shore real estate experts!

Before you pull out your bins full of holiday cheer, remember to declutter and clean your living space. You don’t want to overcrowd buyers’ senses as they walk from room to room. For every holiday decoration you add, remove another item to storage. Less is more!

Too many decorations can distract buyers and take away from your home’s best features. Think strategically about every decoration you place in your home. Don’t block a beautiful view by putting stick-on snowflake decals on your windows. Do draw attention to an elegant fireplace with tasteful garland, but don’t overdo it with too many knickknacks or personalized stockings.  Emphasize your home’s architecture by hanging mistletoe in an arched doorway or wrapping garland around the staircase. Place a bowl of pinecones on a table, and hang an evergreen wreath on the front door. These are examples of neutral decorations that accentuate everyday features of the house.

The less-is-more mantra of home staging may tempt you to forgo holiday cheer altogether this year. But a few subtle, tasteful touches can create a warm and festive feeling that really appeals to buyers!

DO Put Up a Christmas Tree – but proceed with caution!

Make sure your Christmas tree is in proportion to your furniture if you're selling your home over the holidays | Advice from Powell Realtors | Eastern Shore Real Estate

Even when buyers are house hunting in July, they often try to envision where a Christmas tree can be placed in the home. So this is a great opportunity to show them!

But before you put up a tree, there are some important things to consider. First and foremost, you want to keep proper proportions among the furniture and accessories in your house. If the Christmas tree overpowers the room and forces the furniture to be squeezed together, the look is unappealing and the room will feel smaller. Go ahead and remove extra furniture if necessary. You can also consider getting a skinnier tree than usual to avoid overcrowding the room.

If you have tall ceilings, show them off with a tall Christmas tree. If you’re fortunate enough to have multiple large rooms, you may consider adding additional trees throughout the house. As long as the proportions are right, having multiple trees can draw attention to how large and spacious your home is.

Keep your Christmas tree ornaments simple and tasteful if you're trying to sell your home over the holidays | Powell Realtors Blog | Eastern Shore Real Estate

Regardless of the size of your tree, tasteful ornaments and trimmings are essential. If you have funny or over-the-top family ornaments, it’s a good idea to leave them boxed away this year. Instead, go with a cohesive color scheme for your ornaments, accented with white lights. This is certainly a less personal approach, but that’s a good thing… You want to present a neutral backdrop that lets buyers imagine their own tree and decorations in the home.

DON’T Go Overboard with Exterior Lights & Decorations

Outdoor decorations should be simple and neutral if you're trying to sell your home over the holidays | Powell Realtors Blog | Eastern Shore Real Estate

When it comes to decorating the exterior of your home, steer clear of inflatable snowmen on the lawn or a Santa on the chimney. One person’s “merry” is another person’s “too much!” Make sure to stick with classic light displays while your home is on the market. Use simple, white string lighting to play up your home’s architecture and landscape. If a Realtor wants to show the house in the evening, outdoor lights can be appealing and bring a feeling of holiday cheer.

DO Delight the Senses

Christmas Cookies - Stimulate the Senses when selling your home over the holidays | Powell Realtors | Eastern Shore Real Estate Blog

The smell of simmering cider or baked cookies will delight the senses. Even if you decide not to decorate, introducing seasonal scents can make buyers feel right at home. When you know a real estate agent is bringing clients to look at the house, leave a plate of holiday treats on the counter. A roaring fireplace is also a cozy way to celebrate the winter, warm visitors, and show off one of your home’s best assets.

When it comes to candles and other home-scent products, opt for scents that are very subtle. Scents of pine and balsam are pleasant during the holidays, as long as they aren’t overpowering. Be wary of other popular seasonal scents; you never know who will have an aversion to heavy cinnamon or vanilla!


In the end, the most important holiday decision you’ll make is whether to keep your home on the market during the holidays. You may have fewer house hunters, but more motivated buyers. And remember, very few home buyers are turned off by holiday decorations – unless they’re truly over-the-top! Your holiday decorations may not match buyers’ tastes, but it’s kind of like paint colors… They can certainly help if they look good, but they’re rarely deal breakers. So go ahead and embrace the season! When buyers see your home full of holiday cheer, they’ll envision their own family sharing special holiday moments in the house. A festive home is a great selling point that can certainly be used to your advantage!

Don’t want to wait to get your home on the market? We’d love to help! Contact us and one of our expert Realtors will be in touch!

5 Tips for Selling Your Home in Fall & Winter

5 Tips for Selling Your Home in Fall & Winter

It’s no surprise that the housing market spikes during the spring and summer months. Kids are out of school, things slow down at work, and people are anxious to get into a new house before schedules become hectic again. But it is definitely possible to sell your home in the fall and winter, especially on the Eastern Shore. There may be fewer buyers, but there are also fewer listings. This means you have a lot less competition, so it’s easier for your home to stand out as a great choice.

Fall and winter bring colorful foliage, warm scents, and an abundance of decorating ideas. You can leverage these advantages to make your home feel bright and welcoming. Read on for our tips and advice on how to sell your home in the fall or winter!


#1: Prepare your home for cold weather

When buyers are house hunting during the fall or winter, they pay a lot more attention to your HVAC system and overall home insulation.  Have your heat pump, furnace, or boiler serviced prior to putting your house on the market. Change your air filters and check all weather stripping on doors and windows. If you have a fireplace, show it off! Have it on when buyers arrive so they can appreciate the advantage of having an additional heating source.

It’s a good idea to have a file buyers can look through with maintenance records and receipts for products you’ve purchased to winterize your home. This will highlight that your home is ready for the upcoming months, and it gives buyers confidence that they’ll stay warm through the winter and cool through the summer.

#2: Clean, clean, and clean some more

This rule applies no matter the season! It is so important to make a positive first impression with a clean, tidy house. And it’s especially important in the winter.

In colder months, potential buyers will pay more attention to your interior space. They’ll probably take only a quick look around your yard, but they’ll spend lots of time inside. That means buyers will notice every little detail. Clean your house, and clean it well! Scrub both outside and inside cabinets, dust ceiling fans and scrub the tiled shower. Declutter all spaces, organize the closet and the garage – nothing should go unnoticed.  This is your chance to show of your space!

Don’t forget to maintain your exterior space as well. Leaf and snow-covered sidewalks can make a perfectly nice home look sloppy and poorly maintained. Rake up those dead leaves or shovel the sidewalk and deck after it snows. This demonstrates that even in inclement weather, their future lawn can be easily managed and maintained.

#3: Appeal to the senses

The fall and winter months are associated with the scent of pumpkin spice, peppermint hot chocolate, cookies, and yummy homemade pie. These are the scents of comfort and home, so use them to your advantage! You can also use holiday decorations to play up the warm, welcoming feel of your home.

If hosting an open house, bake fresh muffins and have holiday music playing softly in the background to set a warm and welcoming mood. Try displaying vases of fall foliage, or add a bowl of seasonal fruit to the kitchen table. Don’t overdo it though; you want to enhance your home’s appeal, but not obscure it. A tasteful display will show off your home in its best light. A cozy atmosphere will give potential homebuyers a warm feeling.

One note of caution, though… When you take photos for your online listing, it’s best to stay neutral with your décor. Avoid seasonal or holiday décor in your listing photos. That way, if your house is on the market for a few months, your photos won’t look out-of-date.

#4: Show buyers what your home looks like in the spring and summer

In the dead of winter, you won’t be able to show off your wonderful garden or flower beds. So it’s a good idea to display photos of your house that were taken in spring and summer. Show off your yard when the grass was green and the peonies were blooming by the pool. Highlight garden beds and decorative patio furniture. This will allow future buyers to envision themselves enjoying the home year-round.

#5: Be strategic with your listing price

During the fall and winter months, it’s particularly important to avoid setting your listing price too high. You have an advantage listing during these cooler months due to less competition. However, overpricing your home will still scare away potential buyers. It’s always a good idea to ask a local real estate professional for comps in order to pick a reasonable price range. Comps will allow you to compare similar homes in your neighborhood, including the prices of homes that are currently on the market and those that recently sold.  You don’t want to get your heart set on a certain price if most buyers in your area are negotiating and buying homes at prices significantly lower than yours. With these details, your agent can help you select an appropriate asking priced based on the current market trends.

Using these tips and tricks will help your home stand out, and you’ll find a homebuyer and seal the deal before spring arrives!

Are you ready to list your home this fall? Contact us and we’ll match you with the right Realtor to get your home listed and sold!

Powell Realtors Search Party

Powell Realtors Search Party

The Fun Way to House Hunt with Family & Friends

One of the best features on our new website is the Search Party function. This feature is awesome! It lets you invite friends and family to your online home search. You can share listings with each other, react to listings, and share comments. All of this happens privately within your group, so you can be totally honest with your feedback.

To use this feature, you just need to create an account on the Property Search page. You can sign up with your email, or by using your Facebook or Google+ account.


Sign up for social search - online home search & house hunting with family & friends - From Powell Realtors | Eastern Shore Real Estate


Once you’re signed up, you’ll see a section called Search Party. Click the button to invite your friends or family to join your search. Just enter their email address and they’ll get an invitation.


Online Home Search - invite friends and family to house hunt online with Powell Realtors | Eastern Shore real estate


Now that you’re part of the same search party, you can begin your house hunt together! Visit any listing on our site and you’ll see the Social Search box below the listing photo.


Online home search - social search & search party with Powell Realtors | Eastern Shore real estate


React to the listing and/or add your comments to share your thoughts with the other people in your search party. If you want to invite someone else to join the search, you can invite them directly from the listing by clicking “Add a friend to your search.”

This is a fantastic way to streamline your search and save time. When you’re ready, you can even invite your Realtor to join your search party. That will help your Realtor get an even better idea of the types of homes you want to see.

Set up your search party today and let us know what you think!

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

Your home is probably the largest investment you’ll ever make. The process of buying a home can feel overwhelming at times. With more than 40 years of real estate experience under our belts, we wanted to share five mistakes to avoid when buying a home. The more prepared you are for your home search, the more successful you’ll be!

Mistake #1: Not fully considering the importance of location

It’s easy to fixate on all the amenities you want in your home… Open floor plan, granite countertops, hardwood floors, sparkly new appliances, etc. You might find all these wonderful things in a house that isn’t in the best location for your lifestyle. Try not to be so dazzled by the home’s amenities that you neglect to consider its location. Remember, you can always change a house, but you can never change its location!

Do your legwork to be sure a particular location is right for you. Visit the neighborhood at different times of day. The area may be quiet and peaceful during the day, but loud and raucous at night. That’s something you want to know before you buy the house.

Mistake #2: Thinking short-term

If you plan on moving again in just a couple of years, buying a home may not make financial sense. There are closing costs and moving costs that can add up quickly when buying a new house. If you’re in your home for only a short time, you may not be able to recover these costs.

It’s also important to consider how your lifestyle will change over the years. If you hope to be in your house for a long time, you need to look ahead five or ten years – or more – to what your needs will be. Will there be enough space for a growing family? If you’ve always wanted to get a dog, does this house have a good yard? If you think you may be working from home in the future, is there space for an office?

Life can be unpredictable and none of us know for sure what will happen years from now. But if you have some clear goals or ideas about what your life may be like in the future, take that into consideration when choosing a home.

Mistake #3: Shopping without understanding your finances

Doing a deep-dive into your finances should happen at the very beginning of your home search. You need to fully understand your finances and what you can comfortably afford to spend on your new home. If you wait to do this, you risk falling in love with homes that are outside your price range.

It’s also important to get pre-qualified for a loan as soon as you’re serious about your home search. This will put you in a strong position to make an offer as soon as you find the right house.

Mistake #4: Overspending on Your Home Purchase

It’s really important to stick with your budget and only purchase a home you can comfortably afford. Again, don’t be so dazzled by amenities that you throw your budget out the window. If you overspend, you’re going to feel stretched financially every single month, and you may grow to resent your home. That’s a terrible way to feel!

If you can’t get everything on your wish list within your budget, that’s okay. Keep in mind that you can make upgrades to your home over time. In fact, making changes later will let you customize everything to your tastes and lifestyle.

Mistake #5: Skipping the home inspection

Never, ever skip a home inspection! An inspection costs a few hundred dollars, and it can be awfully tempting to forgo it and pocket that money instead. BIG mistake. An inspection will reveal problems with the house you need to be aware of before you own it. If a mistake is uncovered, the inspection will save you thousands of dollars. Either you can choose to walk away from the purchase at that point, or you can use the problem to negotiate for a lower price.

Depending on the property you’re considering, you may need additional inspections. If it’s an older home in a rural area, you may want to have the septic system inspected. A failing septic system is expensive to replace, so that’s something to be aware of before closing. It’s also a good idea to have a pool professionally inspected.

In summary, you’ll be successful if you balance the financial and emotional considerations of buying a home.

Buying a home is both a business transaction and a very personal and emotional process. That can be tricky to navigate. But if you have a budget and a plan from the very beginning, it will be easier to stay on track.

Happy hunting!

Get to Know Janet Emerson

Get to Know Janet Emerson

Meet Janet Emerson! Janet has been with Powell Realtors for just over a year, though she’s been in real estate since 2003. That’s about the same time she moved back to the area. After living all over the world with her husband, Janet was ready to return to her roots. Real estate was the perfect fit.

Janet’s favorite things about working in real estate are the flexibility and the opportunity to work with all kinds of different people. She loves that every day is a new adventure. The work is never monotonous, so there’s always something new to look forward to.

Janet’s top advice for home buyers is to keep in mind that there’s no such thing as the perfect property. There are lots of great homes out there, so it’s important to keep an open mind. Try to narrow your wish list to a few key must-haves. There are lots of things you can change after you buy your home.

For sellers, Janet’s advice is, “Clean it up and clear it out!” A clutter-free house that’s been cleaned top-to-bottom makes a great first impression. Buyers will love it!

When Janet isn’t working, she enjoys playing pickleball and reading mysteries and historical fiction. She’s also active in her church and loves spending time with her grandkids and her cats. Janet also enjoys traveling, especially in Hawaii and Europe.

If you’d like to talk with Janet to see if she’s the right Realtor for you, just send us a message!

5 Tips for Selling Your Home FAST

5 Tips for Selling Your Home FAST

Do you need to sell your home FAST? You need to approach things a little differently if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible. Read on for our top five tips for selling your home fast!

1: First impressions are everything!

Buyers draw a lot of conclusions based on what they see within the first minute of visiting your home. A house that looks neat and tidy suggests that the home has been well maintained. A messy house makes buyers wonder if you’ve been messy with maintenance and repairs.

Make sure your yard is tidy and has good curb appeal. This is one area where you may want to consider doing some upgrades before listing your home. Usually, investments in curb appeal have a significant positive impact on the value of your home. It’s still a good idea to discuss this with your Realtor first, though. Your Realtor can advise whether or not the investment is likely to pay off.

If nothing else, just make sure the exterior is well mowed, weeded, and clutter-free. If algae has formed on the side of your house – something very common in our humid climate – have your home professionally power washed.

On the inside, make sure your home is spotless and free of clutter. Clean, clean, clean, and then do some more cleaning! Do whatever it takes to scale down your stuff so that buyers have nice, clear views throughout the home. This includes removing personal photos. The old adage is true… You want buyers to picture themselves living in your house. That’s hard to do when your photos and stuff are all over the place.

Consider fresh paint if your walls are scuffed or dirty. Even if you’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, dingy walls can create the impression that the home is dirty.

2: Price your home competitively.

This is probably the #1 factor that will determine whether or not your house sells quickly. If you over-price, you’ll have little interest from buyers. And the longer your home sits on the market, the less appealing it is. It’s hard to overcome the initial impression that the owner (you) isn’t willing to sell at market value.

It’s your realtor’s job to understand the market and provide guidance on pricing – carefully consider their advice! This article about how to price your home also has some helpful advice.

If you aren’t seeing much activity once you’ve listed your house, it’s probably because your price is a bit high. Discuss lowering the price with your Realtor. It’s better to do that sooner rather than later if your goal is to sell your home quickly.

3: Tackle any necessary repairs.

Most offers will be contingent upon a home inspection. Also, you’re legally required to let buyers know about any problems you’re aware of. So if there’s something that needs to be fixed, go ahead and take care of it. This will result in a better inspection and a faster close.

A word of caution though: Be realistic about your ability to tackle any repairs yourself! If you’re not experienced with repairs and maintenance, you’ll be better off hiring a professional. A sloppy repair is often worse than none at all.

Also, don’t pursue any major renovations without discussing with your Realtor first. It’s unlikely that a remodeled kitchen or bathroom will increase the value of your home enough to make it worth the cost. You’re better off reducing your price a bit to account for these outdated spaces. That gives the buyer the opportunity to make their own changes that suit their tastes and lifestyle.

4: Get great photos of your house.

Listings with great photos get significantly more traffic. Great photos practically pull buyers through your front door!

Take exterior photos on a bright, sunny day. Make sure interior photos are well lighted and in sharp focus. Open the curtains to let the natural light in. Make sure your rooms are clutter-free and looking their best. If you’re not a great photographer, ask a friend with a good eye to help you out. You may even want to consider professional photography. If that’s not an option, this article about taking real estate photos with an iPhone offers great advice.

5: Harness the power of social media!

It’s your Realtor’s responsibility to market your property, but social media makes it easy for you to help out. Ask your realtor to post your listing on their Facebook page and other social media platforms. Like and share the post, and ask your friends and family to do the same. This exponentially increases the number of people who will sell your listing.

We’d be happy to share more tips on how to sell your home fast! Just give us a call or shoot us a message if you’d like to discuss a marketing plan for you home.

Advice for Buying Waterfront Property

Advice for Buying Waterfront Property

Life on the water is one of the things we love best about the Eastern Shore. Finding your own slice of waterfront real estate can be a dream come true. But there are some unique challenges with buying waterfront property that are important to understand. We’ve learned a LOT about buying waterfront homes over the past 40 years. Read on for our top advice for buying waterfront property!

1: Take time to thoroughly research the property. 

When it comes to buying waterfront, it’s impossible to ask too many questions. If you want to make changes to the property, find out what’s allowed. Environmental regulations may limit your options. This not only impacts your ability to add or change structures on the property. It may also impact your options when it comes to landscaping and tree removal.

Your Realtor can connect you with local, county, and state agencies that oversee the various permits required for any sort of alteration in the critical area. Meet with these folks before you buy the house. You want to do as much of your investigatory work as possible before you put in an offer. If the market is hot and you feel you need to get an offer in before your research is complete, discuss including contingencies that will enable you to back out of the deal.

Finally, don’t forget to research the unique insurance needs of waterfront homes. You may need not only flood insurance, but also special wind or storm insurance as well.

2: When buying waterfront, it’s more important to consider the property than the house. 

Not all waterfront property is suitable for how you may want to use it. Think about the activities you’d like to do on the property. Is it easy to get down to the water? Do you need deep water? Is it a good spot for fishing? Think about your lifestyle to determine if a particular property is right for you and your family. Share this information with your Realtor to help focus your search.

3: Look into the utilities available at the property. 

Cable and broadband internet may not be available for more secluded waterfront properties. Are you prepared to live without these modern conveniences? Also, consider the condition of the septic system. If a new one is needed, make sure you understand the permitting process and costs involved. Homes in the critical area require special septic systems that are more expensive.

We have true waterfront real estate experts on our team. If you’re interested in finding the perfect waterfront home, message us and we’ll help you get started!