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Jimmy Hayden
Direct Office:
240-925-1928
jimmy.hayden@obrienrealty.com
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Jimmy Hayden
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Direct Office:
240-925-1928
jimmy.hayden@
obrienrealty.com
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Welcome To My Blogs!

​September 24, 2018

6 Tips Before Selling Your Home
Meet with your trusted real estate agent: Your agent can save you a lot of time and energy by guiding you through the pre-listing phase. They are there to serve you and help you decide if listing your home is the right option.


 

Pre-qualify to buy your new home: Get pre-qualified to buy your next home before putting your current one on the market. Working with a reputable mortgage professional will help you understand what you need to net from your current home and achieve your goals for your next one.

 

Price correctly: Listing your home at the proper market value is critical to selling your home within a reasonable time frame. Be cautious of making decisions based on valuations online and instead use your agent’s in-depth knowledge of the local area as a resource.


 

Pre-inspection: Home inspections are often a sticking point where a home sale can go wrong. Material defects may need to be repaired prior to a buyer purchasing the home, so determine these potential fixes before you list, instead of during the negotiation process.


 

De-clutter: If your house is cluttered or filled with personal mementos, it can be more difficult for a buyer to picture themselves living there. Placing large pieces of furniture or family photos in storage is worth the effort to help your home sell quicker.


 

Professional photography: The modern-day home search almost always starts online and first impressions are very important. Make sure your real estate agent uses a professional photographer or company specializing in real estate photography to show your home in the best light.
 

 

September 10, 2018

Create an Evacuation Plan For Your Pets

Brought to you by Jimmy Hayden, O'Brien Realty!

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.

Assign pet evacuation to an adult. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.

Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible.
If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.

Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!

Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.
 

September 4, 2018

Turning a Bedroom Into a Lux Bedroom

Brought to you by Jimmy Hayden, O'Brien Realty!

For most of us, our bedroom is little more than a place to sleep and relax. However, just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean that we have to settle for drab and dreary.

One trend that’s gaining steam these days is converting your current bedroom into a luxury suite (or something comparable). If you want to live like you’re renting a room at the Ritz, then you want to follow these tips.

  • Compartmentalize Your Activities Making your bedroom more functional is going to make it more luxurious. Add a gorgeous desk for working and a TV area for entertainment, and you’ll be living it up in no time.
  • Make it Chic Choose a color palette that is both luxurious and classy. Silver and gold can seem tacky, so choose muted shades that compliment each other. Also, a brilliant and commanding headboard can instantly upgrade the look of your room without any other changes.
  • Light it Properly Finally, make sure that you have the right light to show off your designs. If it’s too washed out or yellow, then it will look drab and run down. Switch to brilliant LEDs and see the difference.
  • Choose Your Accents Wisely We already mentioned a headboard, but some elegant drapes can also make your room feel more royal. Being strategic with your furniture accessories is going to both keep you under budget and avoid doing too much with the space.



Are you ready to lux your bedroom? You’ll be impressed by the results, and the feeling of decadence will make you more confident in your surroundings.

 

 

august 27, 2018

Headline: Why You Need to Work with a Buyer’s Agent

The home buying process can be exciting and fun, but also complicated, stressful, and overwhelming. Maximize your chance of success and minimize the amount of time spent trying to keep track of all the details by working with a buyer’s agent. There is a plethora of benefits to using a buyer’s agent, and here are our top four!

They can find the right properties for you. When starting your search, generally you will already have a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your new home. Your buyer’s agent will have access to extensive search resources and all the new listings hitting the market, so they can ensure you are looking at homes that meet most, if not all, of your criteria.

They know the background. Experienced buyer’s agents have a breadth of knowledge on different neighborhoods in the area. They can let you know what similar homes in the area have recently sold for, if there are any new commercial projects on the horizon, what the nearby schools have to offer, and more.

They are in your corner during negotiations. A buyer’s agent is your advocate when it comes time to put in an offer and negotiate. They have your best interest in mind, understand what you are looking for, and can help you get the best price and terms for the home.

They provide trusted recommendations. Buyer’s agents that have been in the business for several years have likely built strong relationships with professionals in other parts of the industry. Turn to your agent when you are ready to find a home inspector, moving company, lender, and more.

August 20, 2018

5 Simple Steps For a Better Home Appraisal


If you’re looking to refinance your home or possibly sell, you’ll need a killer appraisal. A bank will not refinance a home for more than it is worth, and a potential buyer will not pay more than the recognized value of the home.

Here are 5 simple steps for a better home appraisal.

  • Tidy your space Make sure your yard looks well-groomed and the interior of your home is clean clutter-free. It is well worth the investment to have the home professionally cleaned and have your yard serviced.
  • Invest in the right types of renovations Kitchens and bathrooms are the best types of renovations. They will typically provide 80% ROI. High-efficiency appliances and upgrades that improve the overall efficiency of the home are well worth the investment.
  • Document your upgrades Provide the appraiser with a list and documentation of all upgrades, renovations, and improvements to the home.
  • Do your homework Research and provide your own comparable valuations for similar properties in the area. Note your tone. You don’t want to come off as defensive but rather helpful.
  • Be available but not in the way Be present to assist with the process but don’t be the appraiser’s shadow. You want to appear helpful, not nervous that he’ll find something wrong!


Appraisals can be helpful in increasing the sale of your home or assisting in refinancing your mortgage. Use these tips and you’ll get a better value for your home.


 August 6, 2018

​Priority tasks for your move in day

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.


 ​​July 30, 2018

​Tips on finding the right listing agent

Selling your home can be an exciting, but stressful time. Luckily you are not alone in this process. Finding the right listing agent is key to having a successful, smooth experience. Your listing agent will help you price and market your home, negotiate with home buyers, and walk you through home inspection and closing. You want to find someone who has your best interest in mind and is knowledgeable and experienced. Select an agent about six to eight weeks before putting your home on the market. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do thorough review searches online, and conduct in-depth interviews with several agents before making a final decision. During each interview, make sure you clearly state your goals for the sale and what you are looking for in an agent. To help you pick the best agent for you, here's what you should consider.

• Are they a full-time agent?
• How many years have they been a listing agent?
• Have they sold any homes in your neighborhood in the past year?
• What types of homes/properties do they normally list?
• What is their process for marketing homes?
• What does an open house event look like for them?
• Will you be working with the same individual throughout the process or will it be a team?
• What is their level of responsiveness?
• What is their average sold-to-list timeline?
• How many listings are they managing right now?
• What will be expected from you throughout the process?
• What is their fee?
• Can you talk to one of their previous clients?

Using this criteria, you can narrow down your options and find the right fit for you!


July 9, 2018

Many sellers may be tempted to select the highest offer they receive, but there are several other factors to consider. Here are five areas important to evaluate.


1. Down payment. The size of the down payment should be heavily considered when comparing offers. It is often tied to the size of the loan the buyer is taking out and a larger one indicates higher financial stability.

2. Earnest money deposit. The EMD is the sum of cash the buyer is willing to put up when the sales agreement is signed to show their high level of interest in purchasing the home. If they back out of the transaction without a good reason, the seller typical keeps it, and if the sale goes through, it typically goes towards their down payment.

3. Contingencies. Contingencies are standard for most offers and outline the evaluations and appraisals that need to be completed before the sale is final, such as financing, appraisal, sale of current home, title, and home inspection. The fewer contingences, the higher the chance of reaching the closing table.

4. All-cash offer. Not only does putting down an all-cash offer boost the likelihood of loan approval, but the buyer will not need an appraisal or financing contingency, reducing the chance of the sale falling through.

5. Closing date. Consideration of the closing date differs for each seller. For example, if you have already purchased a new home, you may want to close quickly. But, if you are waiting on the money from the sale to start house hunting, you may be okay with a slower settlement.
 

Headline: Pick the Best Listing Agent for You

Selling your home can be an exciting, but stressful time. Luckily you are not alone in this process. Finding the right listing agent is key to having a successful, smooth experience. Your listing agent will help you price and market your home, negotiate with home buyers, and walk you through home inspection and closing. You want to find someone who has your best interest in mind and is knowledgeable and experienced. Select an agent about six to eight weeks before putting your home on the market. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do thorough review searches online, and conduct in-depth interviews with several agents before making a final decision. During each interview, make sure you clearly state your goals for the sale and what you are looking for in an agent. To help you pick the best agent for you, here’s what you should consider.

  • Are they a full-time agent?
  • How many years have they been a listing agent?
  • Have they sold any homes in your neighborhood in the past year?
  • What types of homes/properties do they normally list?
  • What is their process for marketing homes?
  • What does an open house event look like for them?
  • Will you be working with the same individual throughout the process or will it be a team?
  • What is their level of responsiveness?
  • What is their average sold-to-list timeline?
  • How many listings are they managing right now?
  • What will be expected from you throughout the process?
  • What is their fee?
  • Can you talk to one of their previous clients?

Using this criteria, you can narrow down your options and find the right fit for you!