Ask the Experts – Bethesda Magazine interview
How can I maximize the value of my property before entering the market?
The condition of your property is paramount to the way buyers will react to it and perceive its value when compared to other properties. Condition refers to two separate but related elements. One is the physical shape of the house. This includes items like fresh paint, replacing rotted trim, cleaning/repairing roof tiles, cleaning windows, replacing old carpets, and—possibly—updating bathrooms, the kitchen and unfinished basement or walk-up attic areas. Second is staging the house by removing excess furniture and personal items that clutter spaces and "hide" the true potential of the property. In today's market, buyers and agents will judge your property online before ever setting foot in your house, making it so much more critical that your online presence is pristine. Lastly, choosing the right Realtor that knows how to guide you through the process and provide solid advice on prepping your house for market can translate to a return of tens of thousands of dollars!
What qualities should I be looking for when choosing a real estate agent?
The short answer is market expertise and experience. In my mind though, the selection of a real estate agent goes well beyond that! It's about making a personal connection. You, the client, should feel you can truly trust the agent to provide a level of service that incorporates personal care, open communication, accessibility, solid advice on every aspect of the selling process and strong negotiation skills. The agent should also demonstrate wit, possess creativity and resourcefulness to deal with the unexpected, and above all, have great integrity!