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All Blog Entries by Lorna Rafferty

Found 80 blog entries published by Lorna Rafferty.

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Should I Rent or Buy When Downsizing

A couple living in suburban Baltimore have thought a lot about what they might do when both are no longer working every day. The husband has been a man-of-leisure for some 8 years now, having retired from the Baltimore City Schools after more than 30 years of teaching high school there. A handful of years younger, the wife is gearing up for her retirement as an administrator at a large national company in just a year or so.

Both have a list of activities they’d like to enjoy together once the constraints of work no longer have a hold on either of them. Traveling to NYC, a favorite pastime is on the top of the list, and visiting their grown kids in other parts of the country is major, too. So, it made sense for them to give up that large house in

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Home Buying Etiquette

Buyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are simply lovely and are the ideal clients. Agents love working with them and vice versa, and – as such – the entire home-buying process proceeds smoothly, from that first venture out to view potential homes all the way to the settlement table. 

Then there is the buyer who is totally unfamiliar with buyer etiquette. They are the individual, couple, or family who simply doesn’t follow the rules. They call listing agents on houses they like (even if they’re working with their own agent), they fail to show up for appointments, and they don’t know how to behave during showings.  

Suppose you’re new to the home-buying process, and you cringe to think that you might be lumped into that “difficult buyer”

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Home Buying and Asbestos

The importance of “green” construction and environmentally-safe homes has, in many cases, moved to the forefront of the minds of those seeking to buy a new or previously owned house. Buyers have become more and more astute about the hazards that may be lurking inside the homes they are considering for purchase.

While some dangers are more than obvious – like peeling lead-based paint or mold and mildew – others are not quite as apparent…such as asbestos.

Asbestos has been in the news a lot lately. Former President Obama signed a bill that would have perhaps eventually led to a ban on the material, but President Trump doesn’t think asbestos is a danger. No laws are currently pending demanding a total ban on new and existing uses, so products

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Things that Repel Prospective Buyers

Whether you're listing your home during a hot buyer's market or at a time when the market favors the seller, there are several things you need to do to make your home appeal to those who might be interested in purchasing it. Lots of small changes can make your home more enticing. 

Conversely, there is plenty of so-called faux pas you can commit while getting your house ready for the market. Below, we've compiled our list of top 10 things that will make buyers think twice about purchasing your home or – worse yet – will have them immediately heading for the door. Read them carefully if you're considering a sale in the near future.

1.                 A dirty house – You might think this would go without saying, but you might be surprised at the

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Marketing Yourself Before and After the Health Crisis

 

Many realtors are likely viewing the Covid-19 virus as a hindrance to their business and career. It's a natural reaction. Normal as we know it has halted, and it's likely that even when we're back to business as usual, it won't really be business as usual.

During this challenging time, the general public probably won't hear from the vast majority of real estate agents in their area, but – on the other hand – this is a good time for those with a little drive and ingenuity to market themselves in a unique way, a way that will help potential clients remember your name when things return to the new normal.

Indeed, you can tastefully market your services and even continue to promote any listings you have while still showing your caring and

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Home Buying Out-of-State

Each year, millions of American households move. Some go to a new house around the corner, and some go to a neighboring town or city, others move to a state next door. Still, others take the big plunge and move far away from their current location.

According to statistics, almost 50% of out-of-state moves are done to take a higher-paying job or one that better suits the person’s needs and wants. Others move for retirement or to be near family, while some choose to move simply to reduce their cost of living.

In many cases, these about-to-be-transplanted individuals, couples, or families will be purchasing real estate in their new locale. Unfortunately, some of them will have little time to make a decision and to see the properties they wish to

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Tips on Selling Your Home this Summer

Spring is the best time of the year to sell a house. It’s been proven time and again that this lovely season of blooming flowers and mild weather is the ideal time to put your home on the market.

There are a number of reasons why spring is the perfect time to sell a home, not the least of which is that it allows families who are buying a new home time to get settled and adjusted before their children start school in the fall.

In addition, the buyer who makes a decision about a home purchase in spring can do so without the distractions of summer, which include vacations as well as kids who are home from school and need undivided attention. In other words, the less-busy days of spring can be the ideal time to take your time to look carefully at

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Showing Homes Post Pandemic

We all know the pandemic really isn’t over yet. Scientists and medical professionals tell us it could come back in surges or simply stick around for a while.

But as much of the country tries to return to some semblance of normal, agents are starting to think about the best way to show their new or existing listings, paying close consideration to keep all parties safe and healthy.

Whether you’re working with the potential buyers for your listing or whether they are someone else’s clients, you should have some guidelines in place that can be shared with them before, during, and after the showings. These will need to be okayed by and shared with your sellers, too, as well as all agents that wish to show the house.

Before in-person showings

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    Home Office Space after the Pandemic

    Before the coronavirus hit the United States, about 5 percent of the workforce worked from home each day on a permanent basis. Some 46 percent noted that they worked from home part of the time but had to be physically in their office for meetings and other obligations at least for a portion of the week.

    Now that Covid-19 has changed the way Americans work, more than half of the country reports that they are working from home, notes a study by The Brookings Institute.

    Furthermore, more and more companies are discovering that it really is okay if their employees work from the comfort of their own abode. Most aren’t goofing off, as some higher-ups suspected they would, and – in general – things are happening as they should.

    Experts predict that

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    Here's Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

    It seems that everything is about DIY these days. Fix your own car. Remodel your own kitchen. Organize your own vacation.

    You get the picture.

    But how about buying or selling a home? Myriad television shows will tell you that it’s okay to do it on your own. So will a plethora of websites that are devoted to helping FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) negotiate the process and that strive to encourage buyers to believe they’ll get a better deal if they skip over the “hiring an agent” part of the process.

    Indeed, it sounds tempting when they describe it. Sellers can avoid commission, and buyers will likely have a better chance at negotiating without the middle man…or woman. Right?

    Maybe not.

    And then there are those mobile apps that can lead you to

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