Martie Mitchell, Long & Foster

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Bethesda Gateway Office
4650 East West HIghway
Bethesda, MD 20814
Office: 301.907.7600
Cell: 301.873.2425


In terms of getting the house itself ready, there are several rules of thumb to follow:

Curb appeal is crucial. It’s the first thing potential buyers see, both online and when they drive up. A well-kept house on the outside will signal that they can expect the same inside. Hire a professional landscaper if need be to prune, trim, edge, mulch and plant seasonal flowers and shrubs. Clean the gutters and make repairs to siding, brickwork, stair railings, decks, etc. Paint the front door and install new hardware if the finish has worn off.
De-clutter the inside of the house. Now’s a good time to go through all the closets and bookshelves and decide if you’ll be taking all that “stuff” with you. Same for furniture. If not, then either sell, donate or trash it. If you need to rent a storage unit, they’re not as expensive as you might think.

There’s nothing like a freshly painted house to make it feel like a home. This is one of the least expensive things you can do to update your house and it pays great dividends. Choose a neutral color that will go well with your furniture.

If you have old wall-to-wall carpet over hardwood floors, consider pulling them up. Everyone loves hardwoods and they brighten a house tremendously. Especially if they’ve been covered for a long time, you might be surprised at the good condition they’re in. If you have old carpet in the basement, replace with an inexpensive, light-colored Berber carpet.

Spruce up your kitchen and baths with simple tricks like replacing cabinet hardware, clearing countertops and buying new towels.

Let the sun shine in. Take down old heavy drapes and have the windows professionally cleaned. Have the entire house professionally cleaned while you’re at it.
During showings, pets should be kept in a crate if possible. If there’s an open house, your pet should go with you to the park or a friend’s house. Make sure your home is free of pet hair and odors as much as possible.
Keep valuables locked away or somewhere safe, even if it means removing them from your home. And don’t keep prescription medicine in plain sight or in the medicine cabinet or dresser top.

Now’s not the time to put a lot of money into your house. Save that for the next one. But these inexpensive steps will go a long way to getting your house sold quickly and will yield a great return on investment.

Martie Mitchell is a real estate agent with Long & Foster in Bethesda; or 301.873.2425



Montgomery Writes

WHERE ARE YOU?You need to get off the beaten path to find this piece of Montgomery County history, but the red sandstone should be your first clue. Photograph by Ryan Cogswell

One winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers received by May 10.
Jono Sirovatka of Bethesda recognized the bridge over the Fishladder Channel of the Potomac between Olmstead Island and the C&O Canal and wins the framed print.
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