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The new DCAR office is under construction, and while we don’t have an exact date yet for its grand opening, it’s coming along nicely. We went to take a look at its progress last week, and we wanted to share an update with you, as you’ll be affected by it as much as anybody.

1615 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20009

Some pictures are available below, and more information — including initial details, parking options, driving directions and more — is available here.

More to come soon. As always, please reach out to us at contact@dcrealtors.org if you have any questions or concerns.

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Don’t Wait Until Winter

It’s important to act early. Winterizing your home once winter has already started is like putting on sunscreen after you’ve already gotten a sunburn. Take some time to winterize your home now to save yourself a huge hassle — and bill — later.

How to Winterize Your Home

It feels like we were all walking around in short sleeves just a few weeks ago, but this past weekend brought the first frost of the year. And according to The Washington Post, the first snow usually comes to the DC area about a month from today.

That means now is the time to take preventative measures. While the weather is still moderate, take a few hours to make sure your home is in good shape for the coming months. And, of course, don’t forget to pass on these tips to your clients, especially those who are entering their first winters as homeowners!

  1. Buy a faucet protector: Faucet protectors prevent cold air from getting into your pipes and home via outdoor faucets. They’re available from a variety of retailers for less than $10, and they could prevent a disastrous and pricey flood.
  2. Clean your gutters: Nobody likes to clean gutters, but clogged gutters can lead to water and snow seeping into a home’s foundation, which can lead to incredibly expensive repairs.
  3. Seal cracks: It’s so cheap and easy to fix cracks in window sills, but people always put off doing it. Yet spending an hour caulking those cracks can help cut down on heating bills over the next few months.

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Help us help you!

Have an idea for a Tuesday Tidbits subject? Looking for help on a particular topic? Send an email to bfrantz@dcrealtors.org with your input and you might see it in a future Tuesday Tidbits email.

The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.

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Creepy Crawlies

Whether you have spiders or crickets, rats or bats, or any other unwanted guests this Halloween, help is available.

Halloween Dangers and Damages

Halloween is a holiday that can be enjoyed by any age group, but all it takes it one little slip-up and the whole day can be ruined. Here are some tips to help you have a happy Halloween, and not a harrowing one.

  • Homeowners insurance has a fun way of paying for itself on certain holidays. Halloween is one of them. A trick-or-treater takes a tumble down your steps? Some hooligans find their way to the dairy aisle of the grocery store before going out for the night? Most of these are covered by standard policies. Read more here.
  • Speaking of egging, if your house does fall victim to Halloween hijinks, here are some tips on November 1st cleanup.

Help us help you!

Have an idea for a Tuesday Tidbits subject? Looking for help on a particular topic? Send an email to bfrantz@dcrealtors.org with your input and you might see it in a future Tuesday Tidbits email.

The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.

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Angela Jones has been named the DCAR 2017 REALTOR of the Year! Please join us in congratulating her.

Angela has been an authentic and powerful voice for DCAR. She has never been afraid to ask the hard questions, whether it’s of the Council or her peers, and she has helped keep DCAR on the right path for years. She has been actively engaged in public policy for nearly a decade, and her guidance and leadership have been considerable assets for the Association for years.

Whether it was starting our Advocacy Happy Hours or more recently testifying on TOPA, Angela has helped move DCAR and DC real estate forward.

If you know Angela, be sure to congratulate her. And if you don’t know her, you surely know somebody who does!

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Here at DCAR, we want to make your jobs easier. That’s why we’ve started up our Tuesday Tidbits series, a now bi-weekly email that will provide you with a useful, relevant piece of information that will hopefully come in handy as you work. If you missed any of the previous editions, those are archived here.

Much of the information we use in these emails comes from the National Association of REALTORS® resources RealtorMag and HouseLogic. We encourage you to browse through their content for other useful tips.

Intangibles Matter

More often than not, the highest bid for a home will be the one that a seller ends up choosing. However, that’s not always the case. If your buyer isn’t willing or able to top the other offers, there are other ways to win the bid.

How to Help Sell Your Buyer

Money talks, but there are plenty of examples of sellers choosing a lower offer, and the reasons they do so vary greatly. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances with the specifics of the offer. Sometimes the seller would rather see the house maintained as opposed to demolished and rebuilt. Sometimes they simply don’t like the individuals who made the highest offer.

The point is sometimes it’s going to all be about the money, but other times, you can tip the scales in your favor without upping the offer.

  1. Don’t be a ruthless negotiator: You want to get the best deal for your client, but sometimes pushing for that extra perk can break the deal. “Don’t nitpick over items that are insubstantial, like a torn window screen or a $50 valve on a hot water heater. This will anger a seller more than anything.”
  2. Make a personal appeal: Sometimes a seller doesn’t want their home going to an investor or somebody who’s going to destroy the house, and instead wants to sell to somebody who will take good care of it. If your buyer feels a personal connection to a home, it can be a good idea to write the seller a heartfelt letter.
  3. Each seller is different: Some sellers are trying to get out as quickly as possible, others need time to find a new home. Learn what’s important to the sellers, then appeal to that. “The more flexible a buyer can be on closing and possession, the more likely they’ll be able to negotiate a lower price. They’re giving the seller peace of mind and the comfort of not having to rush out.”

READ MORE

Help us help you!

Have an idea for a Tuesday Tidbits subject? Looking for help on a particular topic? Send an email to bfrantz@dcrealtors.org with your input and you might see it in a future Tuesday Tidbits email.

The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.

Posted by & filed under Tuesday Tidbits.

Here at DCAR, we want to make your jobs easier. That’s why we’ve started up our Tuesday Tidbits series, a weekly email that will provide you with a useful, relevant piece of information that will hopefully come in handy as you work. If you missed any of the previous editions, those are archived here.

Much of the information we use in these emails comes from the National Association of REALTORS® resources RealtorMag and HouseLogic. We encourage you to browse through their content for other useful tips.

First-Time Buyers Beware!

Buying a home for the first time is exciting, but it’s also scary. The possibilities are endless, but so are the mistakes. Make sure your client doesn’t ruin their new investment with one of these common mistakes.

Your Buyers Just Got Their New Home! Now What?

There are a million different things a homeowner can do to hurt the value of his or her home, and some of those mistakes will inevitably be made at one point or another. But we’d like to provide you with a list of some common mistakes that you can pass onto your clients in hopes that they can save themselves some trouble. There are additional tips at the link provided at the bottom of this email.

Note: This list pairs nicely with our Tuesday Tidbits from August about what to do when moving into a new home. You can find that list here.

  1. Go easy on the bleach: Bleach is a fine cleaning product for certain things, but it can also have devastating long-term effects on grout, laminate and linoleum. A better option? Simple water and vinegar.
  2. Avoid the ivy: Ivy growing on the brick walls can be an elegant touch for a home. But here’s the thing: “Anything that climbs on the house will damage it.” Tell your buyers to leave the plants on the ground and off the home, the gutters and drain pipes will thank you.
  3. Don’t over-mulch: When you’ve finally got your own house, you want to make it stand out, but going overboard on the mulch can actually suffocate the plants.
  4. Keep the firewood away from the house: This is an all-too common mistake. Make sure your buyers aren’t stacking the wood for their new fireplace against the wall, otherwise they might be inviting a bunch of new pets into their home — but termites don’t make very good pets.

READ MORE

Help us help you!

Have an idea for a Tuesday Tidbits subject? Looking for help on a particular topic? Send an email to bfrantz@dcrealtors.org with your input and you might see it in a future Tuesday Tidbits email.

The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.

Posted by & filed under Tuesday Tidbits.

*Tuesday Tidbits is back this week after a one-week hiatus, which was used to focus on TOPA. If you missed all the TOPA updates, check out our wrapup of the hearing here.*

Here at DCAR, we want to make your jobs easier. That’s why we’ve started up our Tuesday Tidbits series, a weekly email that will provide you with a useful, relevant piece of information that will hopefully come in handy as you work. If you missed any of the previous editions, those are archived here.

Much of the information we use in these emails comes from the National Association of REALTORS® resources RealtorMag and HouseLogic. We encourage you to browse through their content for other useful tips.

The Power of Social Media

You’re probably on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or Pinterest, or maybe some combination of the four, or possibly others. Maybe you use those platforms for personal reasons, or maybe you post some of your listings there. But you could (and should) be using social media for so much more, and it can be a major tool for your business.

Social Media as a Real Estate Tool

The numbers are incredible: 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each month, and one billion tweets are posted each week. So how can you stand out in that crowd, and do so in a way that positively promotes your business?

For starters, mix up your posts! If your entire digital advertising strategy is simply posting your listings, you’re only going to appeal to people looking to purchase a home at that moment. That’s only a fraction of your potential customer base!

In addition to posting listings, add in some facts about the market as it currently stands. We offer two market reports each month on our website, and you can find plenty of useful information to share there.

You can also share periodic tips for buyers and/or sellers. Some of our Tuesday Tidbits would work well for this (here’s an example of one that would work), and there are countless resources available through NAR.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re giving everybody in your audience a reason to pay attention to what you post.

“If a REALTOR® really wants to engage followers, they need to post less about listings and become a true local area resource,” says one survey respondent. “If clients see them as an expert, their sphere of influence will grow.”

For more tips on how to turn social media into a tool for your business, check out the link below.

There are so many apps these days, it’s an exercise in futility trying to keep up with them all. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t get left behind, and many of these apps are definitely worth knowing about.

READ MORE

Help us help you!

Have an idea for a Tuesday Tidbits subject? Looking for help on a particular topic? Send an email to bfrantz@dcrealtors.org with your input and you might see it in a future Tuesday Tidbits email.

The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.

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The historic DC Council hearing on TOPA reform was yesterday, and what a day it was! Nearly 200 people showed up and more than two dozen people took the stand in front of the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, all to support fixing TOPA.

Councilmember Anita Bonds, who chairs the Housing Committee, was shocked by the size of the crowd and was forced to ask a number of attendees to wait outside, as the room was over capacity.

The hearing got started with a bang, as Council Chairman Phil Mendelson used his opening statements to announce his support for a full exemption from TOPA for all single-family homes. That was more than anybody bargained for, and the crowd responded by giving the Chairman a standing ovation. Chairman Mendelson pointed out several problems with TOPA as it currently stands, which he states would not be resolved by the proposed legislation.

Councilmember Robert White also was not thrilled with the state of TOPA, expressing his skepticism toward the legislation as it currently stands.

All in all, it was a massive success, and we couldn’t be much happier with how the day went. NBC Washington was there to cover the hearing — you can watch their story here.

Thanks to all who showed up in support, and an extra special thank you to Councilmember Bonds. Without her, this hearing never would have been possible.

See the photos

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For years, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and real estate professionals around DC have struggled with the flaws in the current TOPA legislation. Now, we finally have a chance to get it fixed.

The DC Council is holding an historic hearing on proposed changes to TOPA on Thursday, Sept. 21st. We encourage all REALTORS® and interested parties to join us in Room 500 of the Wilson Building (map) that Thursday at 10 a.m.

To help make it easier for you to attend, we’re sending buses to four locations around DC. Those buses will pick volunteers up and drive them down to the Wilson Building. Once the hearing is over at 1 p.m., those buses will take volunteers from the Wilson Building back to their initial pickup spots.

Additionally, we’ll provide coffee in the morning, then lunch at the Wilson Building before you leave.

To reserve a spot on a bus, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact advocacy@dcrealtors.org.

Posted by & filed under Tuesday Tidbits.

Here at DCAR, we want to make your jobs easier. That’s why we’ve started up our Tuesday Tidbits series, a weekly email that will provide you with a useful, relevant piece of information that will hopefully come in handy as you work. If you missed any of the previous editions, those are archived here.

Much of the information we use in these emails comes from the National Association of REALTORS® resources RealtorMag and HouseLogic. We encourage you to browse through their content for other useful tips.

Technology in Real Estate

We have long since reached the point where a smartphone is an absolute necessity to advance in the world of real estate, especially in a modern city such as DC, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A REALTOR® must be able to check his/her email, schedule appointments, access maps and directions, and all other basic elements of today’s world at a moment’s notice.

But there’s so much more than that. Here’s a sampling.

The Appsolutely Must-Haves

You should have your email client and a good calendar service on your phone by now, and you should definitely have your favorite navigation tool (Google Maps or Waze are among the most common). But those are mainstays among the average smartphone user.

NAR’s REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR) has compiled a list of 14 less-common apps that every real estate professional should be familiar with. Some of them are specific to real estate, others are just generally useful tools that will absolutely come in handy.

All of the apps noted here are available to both Apple and Android users, though there are exceptions in the full list.

  • DocuSign: You should absolutely have DocuSign by now, but if you don’t, it’s the preferred method of electronic signatures in a wide variety of industries.
  • Cloze: Cloze syncs your emails, contacts, calendar and to-do lists to create an inclusive agenda for a given day. It’s perfect for the many of you who are swamped with emails and tasks.
  • Expensify: This app tracks the money you spend on the job, making tax season much less dreadful. It even tracks the miles you drive and the money you spend on gas!
  • Matterport: Virtual reality is one of the biggest trends across media these days, and not many realms can utilize it more effectively than real estate. Matterport is your key into that world.
  • Magicplan: Few things in real estate are more vital than a floorplan, and Magicplan lets you create one from your phone.

There are so many apps these days, it’s an exercise in futility trying to keep up with them all. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t get left behind, and many of these apps are definitely worth knowing about.

READ MORE

Help us help you!

Have an idea for a Tuesday Tidbits subject? Looking for help on a particular topic? Send an email to bfrantz@dcrealtors.org with your input and you might see it in a future Tuesday Tidbits email.

The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.