Eastern Shore Real Estate

Current information about the Eastern Shore of MD real estate market.

Aug. 28, 2013

Cloverfields on Kent Island

If you are considering buying a house on the Eastern Shore of Maryland Cloverfields is a neighborhood you may want to consider.  Cloverfields is located adjacent to historic Stevensville in Queen Anne’s County Maryland.  It is close to the Cross Island Trail, Love Point Park, schools, shopping, restaurants, and churches and provides one of the quickest and easiest accesses to Route 50 and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Cloverfields is bordered by the lovely Chester River giving the neighborhood the largest community beach on Kent Island which the residents enjoy tremendously.  There is also a boat ramp and community marina for all of your boating and water activity needs.  Located near the mouth of the river you are just a very short boat ride to the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, Rock Hall, Chestertown or even Baltimore.

One of the things I always tell people is that you just can’t beat Cloverfields for its amenities.  There is a neighborhood pool where they even have their own swim team.  There is also a club house and a playground.  And the Home Owners Association fee is CHEAP at less than $15 a month for all of this!

When you are looking at homes for sale in Cloverfields you will notice there is a wide selection of types, sizes and styles of single family homes.  Here you can find everything from your perfect starter home all the way up to really large homes and everything in between.

One last thing to mention is the wonderful community feel you will find in Cloverfields.  The neighborhood has several community events each year to bring the neighbors together.  Some of these are beach parties, parades and a community end of summer crab feast.

So when considering a move to the Eastern Shore of Maryland don’t forget to take a look at Cloverfields when doing your home search.  You won’t be disappointed.

If you have any questions about this or any other neighborhood on the Eastern Shore please give me a call.  And remember to Buy Smart, Sell Smart with Laurie Dellane.

Aug. 19, 2013

Your First Contract

You have received an offer on your home.  Now what?  Is it a good offer?  Is your buyer approved for a mortgage?  What type of mortgage is your potential buyer obtaining?  What inspections is the buyer asking to have done and what are your obligations financial and otherwise if an inspection were to come back in any way unsatisfactory?  These are all important questions and they can make a big difference to you, the home seller. 

The first thing you will want to look at other than the price is the financing for the potential buyer.  There are three main types of loans.  The first is Conventional.  This is generally the best buyer for your home for several reasons.  First, they have good credit and are putting some money down.  Second, the costs are less to you, the seller because there aren’t additional fees you have to pay for the buyer.  The next type is an FHA Loan.  An FHA loan is a loan which is insured by the Federal Housing Administration.  This type of loan allows a buyer to have lower credit scores, a higher debt ratio and put as little as 3.5% of their own money into the home purchase.  A home seller is allowed to pay up to 6% of the buyer’s closing costs.  An FHA appraiser may be slightly pickier than a Conventional appraiser about things like railings, gutters, etc.   A VA Loan is a government guaranteed loan used by qualifying Veterans.  This is the only loan of the three where the buyer can truly not have to put a down payment into the transaction and the seller is allowed to pay 100% of the buyers closing costs.  There are a few smaller fees which the seller must also pay on behalf of the buyer.  A VA appraiser may also be slightly pickier.  Above all when you are looking at a potential buyers financing make sure you really look at the lender letter and that it says credit has been pulled and assets and employment have been reviewed.  Make sure it also states the loan type and the amount of the down payment.  These things will all show you the strength of your buyer.  Your real estate agent will be able to guide you in this process.

Next you will want to review the rest of the real estate contract to make sure you understand what inspections the buyer is asking to have performed.   These will generally have a specific dollar amount you as the seller would be responsible to cover in the event any repairs are necessary.  You wouldn’t believe how often this is not thoroughly explained to the seller and it can make a huge difference in your bottom line.  For example did you know that if termites or termite damage is found you as the seller have agreed in a preprinted paragraph of the Maryland Real Estate Contract to pay up to 2% of the sales price to have this treated or repairs made?  Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland a huge percentage of the homes are on well and septic and if either of these tests fail in any way the seller is responsible to make repairs up to whatever amount the buyers have written in the contract.  The bottom line is that you need to read the contract and have it explained to you to avoid any unwanted financial surprises. 

Lastly, it is important to respond to the buyer in a timely manner.  Take the time you need to review the real estate contract, but make sure to get back to the buyer with a contract acceptance or counter offer as quickly as you can.  There are few people more excited or nervous than a buyer who has submitted an offer on your home!

Aug. 16, 2013

Home Selling Tips

No one is more important in the home selling process than you!  I have put together some ideas to help you sell your home fast and for top dollar.  If you follow these simple tips you will greatly increase the traffic to your home and therefore have more potential buyers.

The first thing you need to do is allow a yard sign on your property.  Believe it or not in these internet and social media times buyers will still drive around looking for houses in neighborhoods where they are interested in living.  Your neighbors will also have visitors who will see the sign and/or friends who might be just waiting for a home in the same community.  Next you must then allow a lockbox on your property for easy access to real estate professionals wishing to show your home.

While your home is on the market make sure it is always in show ready condition.  You will often get plenty of notice when a showing will occur, but it is also relatively common for a potential buyer to be driving around and see your home and just have to see it in an hour.  Even if you are getting plenty of notice try to be as flexible as possible when you get a call that someone wants to see your home.  Buyers will often just go on to the next house if they can’t get in to see yours.  With today’s still struggling market and higher inventories you don’t want them to go buy your neighbors home just because they couldn’t get in to see your home.

When you know a showing is scheduled make sure the house is clean and smells fresh.  Then turn on all lights and open drapes and blinds.  Bright homes show the best.  If you have pets either securely pen them up or take them with you when you leave for the showing.  A barking dog is a big distraction to potential buyers.  And trust me, that cat you say not to let out will get out!

If you happen to have someone knock on your door to see the house do not let them in without an appointment and/or if they are not escorted by an agent.  Also refer any questions a potential buyer or their agent has to your agent.  You could inadvertently disclose too much about your situation.  You don’t ever want a buyer to think you are desperate to sell.  Your agent’s job is to protect you and get you the best deal.  If your agent is doing their job they will have the information a potential buyer would need and will be able to provide it to a buyer’s agent without weakening your position.  Remember that no matter how nice the other agent or their buyers are that their goal is to get the best deal for the buyer.

Finally, now you must leave!  I know you think you know your home better than anyone and of course you do.  However, all of the helpful information you want to share with the buyer will not sell your home.  Buyers will feel uncomfortable and stay much less time than they would if you are not there.  They will also spend their time talking to you and not really looking at the house.  They will not open closets or notice all of the details they need to see.  After all the goal of this is for the house to be someone else’s now and you being there doesn’t allow them to see the home as potentially theirs.

Aug. 16, 2013

Prepping Your Home to Sell

When prepping your home to sell there are a few things you can do to show your home in its best light and therefore get you the best price in the shortest time. 

The first impression a potential buyer will get of your home is when they pull up in front  for the first time.  The immediate curb appeal of your home is vital.  What can you do to make a buyer say, “WOW”?  Power wash your siding and walkways.  Nothing says neglect like mildew.  If a buyer sees this they will automatically think the rest of the home is neglected.  Weed and mulch your flowerbeds and put out bright potted plants.  Mow your lawn and wash your windows.  If your house looks great from the outside it will draw potential buyers inside.  I have driven so many people around to look at homes that have pulled up to a home and refused to even go inside because of the exterior condition. 

On the inside clean, clean, clean!  Steam clean your carpets, wash your windows, scrub your sinks and bathrooms including showers and tubs because if you were wondering, yes they will look!  Organize your closets, cabinets and kitchen drawers.  Buyers are going to open these.  Next clean out your basement and garage.  Buyers want to be able to see the potential storage space. 

Next, declutter.  It is important to remove as many of your personal belongings as possible.  While you love the pictures your child drew which are hanging all over your refrigerator remember that a buyer isn’t going to find them as endearing as you do.  Likewise your walls and walls of family photos aren’t going to allow a potential buyer to see the house as theirs.

If you have walls which are full of crayon markings, finger prints or are painted bright purple you should consider repainting the walls in something bright and neutral.  Remember that the goal is for a home buyer to be able to envision this as their new home. 

It is never a bad idea to consider having a few inspections done prior to putting your home on the market.  A termite inspection is a good idea as are well and septic tests if you live where there is private water and sewer.  A regular home inspection is also a good idea.  Most sellers will have at least a few things that need to be repaired and it never hurts to be proactive and get them done prior to listing your home.

Finally you can move on to staging.  If necessary rearrange furniture to show a room to its maximum potential.  The way most of us actually live isn’t necessarily the best way to show your home.  Consider placing fresh flowers in vases around the home.  Open your drapes and blinds.  And don’t forget to stage the outside.  If you have a gorgeous patio or screened in porch try to arrange the furniture in a pleasing way so that a buyer can envision spending many enjoyable hours here. 

Many of these things are cheap to do or even free, but they can make a huge difference in attracting potential home buyers. 


Aug. 12, 2013

Commuting To and From the Eastern Shore

If you are considering moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and are wondering about neighborhoods offering easy commutes here is some helpful information.  Almost everyone moving to the Eastern Shore for the first time thinks primarily about Kent Island as the closest area for ease in commuting to the Western Shore.  There are great areas on Kent Island for easy commuting.  For instance Cloverfields which is north of Route 50 is a great neighborhood offering easy access to Route 50.  There is less traffic and you can very quickly be on Route 50 east or westbound.  On the south side of Route 50 Bay City is a great choice because it has a traffic light to quickly let you get on the road to your destination.

However, there are other great areas a little further east of the Bay Bridge.  In Grasonville you have Prospect Bay and Greenwood to name a few which are close to an overpass allowing for quick access to Route 50 in either direction.  Another great choice is anything off of Bennett Point Road.  There is a quick and easy overpass to westbound Route 50 and very easy access to eastbound Route 50.

When you venture just a few miles east of the Bay Bridge you may actually find the trip shorter and easier than some areas of Kent Island.  There are so many great choices to make commuting a breeze.

If you have any questions about these or any other neighborhoods on the Eastern Shore please give me a call.  And remember to Buy Smart, Sell Smart with Laurie Dellane.