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Using Airbnb With Investment Properties


Buying an investment property to use as a short-term Airbnb rental is a new idea many people are exploring right now.

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There's a new concept out there in the world of real estate where people buy real estate as an investment by using it as an Airbnb rental. Airbnb essentially provides a home away from home you can rent when you travel or go on vacation.

My brother-in-law had a townhouse in Annapolis that he turned into an Airbnb, not knowing if it would work out. He hired a company to take care of the rental logistics and things like cleaning the house and sending him a check at the end of the month, and it worked out great. He's making enough money to cover all his expenses from the mortgages to the insurance and even the management fee. It's a great way to have someone else pay off your mortgage.

If you're thinking about buying an investment property—especially to turn it into an Airbnb—there are some key points you should consider. First, you have to consider the location and the zoning, and whether you're even allowed to use it for short-term rentals. That will probably rule out most homeowners associations and condos, which tend to have strict rules on what you can do with a property.

However, there are plenty of places in the D.C. area that don't have an HOA that would work perfectly for Airbnb. There definitely needs to be a management company in place to take care of everything; you don't want to get a call in the middle of the night saying the heat isn't working or that the sink is leaking. The management company will take care of all of that.
Are short-term rentals even allowed where you're looking to buy?
The third big thing to consider is your exit strategy. If the investment doesn't work out, what will you do? You want to make sure the property is in an area with good resale values in case you need to sell. You might also want the property to be in an area where it could be rented long-term for enough money to cover your monthly costs.

If you have any questions about using Airbnb as an investment, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help you out!

What’s the Key to Getting Your Home Sold This Spring?


The key to selling your home this spring isn’t location—it’s price. Let me explain what I mean.

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The spring market is here, and it’s the best time of year to sell your home. Winter is over, the flowers and trees are in bloom, and lots of houses are on the market. Buyers are primed to buy, and they’re out in droves.

If you’re a seller, what’s the most important consideration in getting the best return on your investment? Some might say location, location, location, but that isn’t true. Of course location plays a predominant role in determining the market value of your home, but it’s price—price, price, price—that determines how much your home will sell for and how much you will ultimately net.

We’ve helped buyers and sellers buy and sell over 700 homes. Our experience has been that sellers invariably want to price their home high in the hope that it will sell at a higher price, thereby putting more money in their pocket. In many cases, homeowners feel the home is worth more than it is for a variety of reasons.

In reality, it’s the buyer who determines the value of your home. Your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. A house is a commodity, and its value fluctuates based on the dynamics of the market. Buyers know value, and in today’s market with today’s technology, they have access to all the information they need to determine the market value of homes. They have access to tax records, home sale comparable statistics, crime statistics, school performance statistics, and a host of other data. The vast majority also work with real estate agents who advise them on the state of the current market.
It’s the buyer who determines the value of your home.
Most importantly, buyers have eyes. They’ve been in every home that meets their criteria, and they compare your home to every other home they see. If your home is overpriced compared to other homes on the market, they will know immediately.

The key to getting the most money out of your home sale is to price it competitively from the start. The quicker a home sells, the more money the seller nets. The longer it stays on the market, the less money a seller nets. The first question a buyer invariably asks a listing agent is, “How long has the house been on the market?” This is because they intuitively know the longer the house has been on the market, the less worth it has.

If you want to make more money on the sale of your home, bite the bullet and price it competitively. You can’t change the current market value of your home, so act accordingly.

If you have any questions about selling your home in the spring market, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.

Why Stage Your Home to Sell? Part 2


I’m back with Patricia Ebrahimi from Show Smart Staging for part two of “The Benefits of Home Staging.”

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 Selling your D.C. Metro home? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Welcome back for part two of our staging series. Today, Patricia Ebrahimi from Show Smart Staging and I will go over the final things you need to know about staging your home for sale.

When your home is staged it sells faster and you don’t incur any extra costs from having it on the market longer. For example, some of Patricia’s clients had their unstaged home on the market for six months, which means they were still paying for lawn care, insurance, and the mortgage.

On average, staging costs about 1% of the list price if the home is vacant. Occupied staging is different in that Patricia has to see the home and see what she needs to bring in and how much of the owner’s things are usable for staging. There are many variables that go into occupied staging, so it does require an initial consultation.

Vacant key room staging is the process of giving every room in the home a use and highlighting the usefulness of already established rooms like the master suite or the kitchen. The goal is to get fabulous and enticing online photos.
The goal is to get fabulous and enticing online photos.
The return on investment for staging is incredible. The cost of having to keep your home on the market longer or having to reduce the price is far more than the cost of staging. In fact, staging is going to get you a better return than painting, floor stripping, or any other typical upgrades. More than anything else, you want to make the home look attractive, and staging will certainly do that.

The actual process of staging a home usually takes an afternoon. From the time Patricia sees a home until the time she is ready to begin staging, it usually takes about 72 hours.

In today’s market, staging is the thing to do to get your home market ready.

If you have any questions for Patricia, you can give her a call at (757-619-9789). As always, if you are looking to buy or sell a home, or if you have any other real estate questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!