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Communication from Realtor Jimmy Hayden. Your trusted Real Estate Professional
Direct Office:
301-863-2400
jimmyhaydenrealtor@gmail.com
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Communication from Realtor Jimmy Hayden. Your trusted Real Estate Professional
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Direct Office:
301-863-2400
jimmyhaydenrealtor@
gmail.com
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Welcome To My Blogs!

​March 18, 2019

Headline: What to Repair Before You List

When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

  1. Repaint walls. Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.
  2. Repair floors. Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!
  3. Refresh the landscaping. Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.
  4. Fix your fixtures. Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds.
  5. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.

March 11,  2019

Because much of southern Maryland has had so much rain this past year everyone should pay attention to this article if you're planning to list your home for sale! 

Headline: Kick Mold to the Curb

Finding mold in your house is the last thing a homeowner wants to encounter. Not only is it unsightly and smells unpleasant, but it can pose a serious health threat to you and your family.

You should take steps up front to prevent molding in your home by checking gutters and downspouts to ensure water is draining away from your home’s foundation. Check under sinks and near dishwashers and clothing washers for any signs of leaking and repair immediately. Finally, don’t forget to use bathroom fans when showering to limit moisture.

After taking these steps, if you still encounter mold, don’t fear! Here are our top tips for dealing with it.

  • Take precautions. When cleaning mold found in your home, make sure to wear proper protection such as eye covers, face masks, and rubber gloves. Try to keep children and pets out of rooms where mold exists and run fans and dehumidifiers to expel moisture.
  • Use proper cleaning solutions. The best way to remove mold really depends on the surface it has grown on. For interior walls and flooring, use a mixture of bleach, detergent, and water with a sponge or mop. For exterior walls or cement, use the mixture alongside a strong bristled brush to scrub the area.
  • Clean clothing immediately. To prevent the transfer of mold spores, place clothing worn while cleaning in a plastic bag and wash separately with hot water.
  • Consider hiring a professional. If the mold in your home is extensive, it may be beneficial to hire a professional. A good rule of thumb to follow is to call for help if affected surfaces surpass 10 square feet.

March 4, 2019

Yard sale season is right around the corner

Headline: Strategies for a successful yard sale

It always feels great to get rid of the things you don’t need. One option for decluttering is to haul everything to a donation center, or perhaps even a dump (where you’ll have to pay to get rid of your stuff). But with a little more effort, you can get rid of the things you no longer need and get some extra cash: have a yard sale. Here are some tips for a successful sale.

Marketing: Hey, even a yard sale needs some marketing and advertising! Post flyers in your neighborhood, set up a sign down the block directing traffic to your sale, and post the information about your sale online.

Go to the bank: Garage sales are typically a cash-only operation. Buyers won’t have exact change, so go to the bank and get several rolls of change and various bills.

Don’t get too caught up with haggling: Don’t give something away without a fair price, but also remember to look at the big picture: Most of the items you’re selling is stuff you’d just donate or throw out anyway. You want it gone, first and foremost, and the extra cash is a nice bonus.

Going out of business sale: As the day or weekend wears on, you’re going to have stuff that doesn’t sell. To minimize your remaining items, mark them down or put them in a free pile as the sale winds down. It’s better than taking junk back into your home!


February 25, 2019

Short sale and foreclosure: How are they different?

As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a brief overview.

A short sale comes into play when a homeowner needs to sell their home but the home is worth less than the remaining balance that they owe. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the amount owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament.

On the buyer side, short sales typically take three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs are shifted from the seller to the lender.

On the other hand, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner can no longer make payments on their home so the bank begins the process of repossessing it. A foreclosure usually moves much faster than a short sale and is more financially damaging to the homeowner.

After foreclosure the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction. For buyers, foreclosures are riskier than short sales, because homes are often bought sight unseen, with no inspection or warranty.


February 18, 2019

Unexpected findings when selling a home!

When selling your home you may encounter a lot of expenses you were unprepared to make.  When an offer is made, there are many areas of the offer that could cost the seller money if the offer is accepted.  1)  If the offer has inspections that the buyer wants to do, don't be surprised if they ask you to make repairs or discount the purchase price for the home inspection findings.  Even if the house is sold "as is" an inspection can be part of the offer and the buyer can request the seller to make the repairs.  if the seller agrees to adjust the sale price or provide money in lieu of making the repairs, the buyer can call the contract null and void as that is not the same as the seller making the repairs.  2)  the buyer can request or make it written in the offer that the transfer taxes, which are typically split by the buyer and seller, be paid for by the seller.  3)  If financing is involved, some loan programs may make loan approval only if "required Repairs" are completed before they will issue the loan.  These required repairs are typically in the financing addendums and the seller is usually responsible for the repairs up to a certain amount and then if they go over that the seller will have the option to get out of the contract.  if they don't go over the amount on the financing addendum, the seller will be responsible for paying them.  4)  Many buyers ask the seller to pay closing costs.  this will be another addendum that you'll need to pay close attention to.  5)  always pay attention to the section of "included/excluded" items.  some offers may select the washer and dryer to be part of the contract even though you hadn't stated they would go with the sale.  if they are selected on the offer, they will have to go with the sale if you sign the offer.  6)  If the property being sold is in an agricultural or forest preservation the buyer can write in the offer that the seller is responsible for paying the tax.  7)  Remember what you see at the property is not always what is being sold.  One of my first transactions years ago was a big backyard that had a chain link fence around it giving the impression that the chain link fence was on the property.  It was not.  because the property backed to woods, the home owner had cleared land and put up the fence without the owner of the land knowing or consenting to it.  when a survey was done the fence was clearly over the boundaries so obtaining someone to do a survey with the sale is always a good idea.  8)  the bottom line is, an offer once signed becomes a "legal" and enforceable contract so pay attention to what you're signing and if there's questions to ask a professional.  

February 11, 2019

Headline: Take 5: What to Negotiate When Buying a House

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.  I prefer for buyers to use a percentage or dollar amount to represent the "closing costs assistance" vs. stating seller to pay closing.
  2. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  5. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.  Keep in mind that any bartering back and forth with inspections, leaves an open contract and a chance to lose the contract.  

February 4, 2019

 What To Do ASAP as a New Homeowner (your future you will thank you)

Security & Safety

These are the very first things you should do after buying a house (for obvious reasons):

1. Change locks. Spares could be floating around anywhere.

2. Hide an extra key in a lockbox. Thieves look under flower pots.

3. Reset the key codes for garage doors, gates, etc. The former owners might’ve trusted half the neighborhood.

4. Test fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Who knows when the last time was. Definitely install them if there are none.

5. Check the temperature on your water heater, especially if you have young ones, so it won’t accidentally scald. Manufacturers tend to set them high. (but the best temperature setting for hot water is 120 degrees).

6. Make sure motion lights and other security lights have working bulbs.

7. Put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and each additional floor.

Maintenance Planning

Start your master maintenance plan (and good home-keeping habits) by setting reminders in your calendar to do these basic maintenance tasks:

8. Clean out the dryer hose and vent yearly. Clogged ones burn down houses. And you don’t know the last time the previous homeowner did it.

9. Change your HVAC filters at least once a season. You’ll save on heating and cooling — and your unit will last longer. (While you’re at it, go ahead and stock up on them, too.)

10. Schedule HVAC maintenance for spring and fall.

11. Clean your fridge coils at least once a year. It’ll run better and last longer. (Don’t see any coils? Lucky you! Newer fridges often have coils insulated, so there’s no need for annual cleaning.)

12. Drain your water heater once a year.

13. Clean your gutters at least twice a year.

14. And if all items on your inspection report were not addressed, make a plan to fix them — before they become bigger and more expensive repairs.

Emergency Preparedness

You really really don’t want to be figuring any of this out in a real emergency. Do it now. You’ll sleep better and be less likely to ruin your home.

15. Locate the main water shut-off valve. Because busted pipes happen to almost every homeowner at least once. And water damage is value-busting and pricey to fix.

16. Find the circuit box, and label all circuit breakers.

17. Find the gas shut-off valve, too, if you have gas.

18. Test the sump pump if you have one. Especially before the rainy season starts.

19. List emergency contacts. You already know 911. These are the other numbers you often need in an emergency. You should have them posted where they’re easy to see. In fact, here’s a worksheet you can fill out and post.

  • Your utility companies
  • Your insurance agent
  • Plumber
  • Electrician

20. Assemble an emergency supply kit. Some key items are:

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Non-perishable food and water
  • Blankets and warm clothing
  • A radio, TV, or cell phone with backup batteries

Home & Mortgage Documents

In case there’s a dispute with your mortgage lender or a neighbor over property lines, or if you’re a bit forgetful about due dates.

21. Store copies (the originals should be in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box) of important home documents so they’re readily available. Go paper, cloud, or better, yet, both.

  • Lender contact information
  • Property survey
  • Inspection report
  • Final closing documents
  • Insurance documents

22. Set mortgage and other bills to auto-pay so you’re never late.