Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Creig Northrop Team Announces Expansion into New Service Division

The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster® Real Estate, Inc., the top real estate team in the state of Maryland, and #2 in the United States, announces today their expansion into a new division, Corporate and Military Relations. Northrop team member Karla Pinato will be appointed to head this division as director of the Corporate and Military Sales Division. Formerly the Executive Director of The Creig Northrop Team, for the past 4 years, Pinato has been a Top Producing member of the sales team and has built strong relationships with many government agencies & corporations like WR Grace. Continue reading

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5 Home Remodeling Trends for the New Year

Remodeling and decorating trends in 2010 are likely to reflect the fact that many home owners are settling in for the long haul.

Here are some ideas for updating homes and gardens from decorators and leading real estate practitioners:

  • Environmentally sensitive furniture. Natural fibers, sustainable woods, and recycled products are key to attracting environmentally concerned buyers.
  • Classic neutral colors. Deep gray browns and gray blues, muted beige, and chalky white will be particularly popular shades, Pittsburgh Paints predicts.
  • Backyard gardens. First Lady Michelle Obama led the way in 2009 when she installed one at the White House.
  • Backyard living. Wood-deck additions offer an 80.6 percent payback, according to the annual Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine and REALTOR® magazine. Simple fire pits and outdoor fireplaces also will be popular, trend-watchers say.
  • Made in America. As more people feel compelled to support local employment, U.S. manufactured products and antiques will become more popular, says Patricia Shackelford, author of design blog, Mrs. Blandings.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, Jean Patteson (12/26/2009) and Kansas City Star, Stacy Downs (12/27/2009)

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Keeping the Momentum – Let’s Go Ravens!

The Creig Northrop Team is gearing up by getting into gear for this weekend’s Ravens vs. Colts game. Creig Northrop, a huge Ravens fan and season ticket holder, declared today, Friday, January 15, Team Spirit Day. The entire team will show homage to their favorite team and wear their jerseys or colors tomorrow in anticipation of this weekend’s big Ravens game!

Creig has been giving out words of wisdom to encourage his team echoing Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “One Team. One Name. One Goal,” says Northrop. Northrop himself leads one of the most “winningest” real estate teams in the nation. The team is number one in Maryland for selling over 700 homes year after year. They are also the number two team in the nation. In fact, Creig just returned from a trip to the West Coast. Newport Beach to be exact. While there he met with John McMonigle, the real estate agent who holds the title of # 1 in the Nation. “There’s nothing like learning from those around you who are doing it right,” said Northrop. A big believer in the power of a team, he is exuding enthusiasm over this weekend’s rivalry. This energy and enthusiasm also spills over to the bright outlook he has for real estate this coming year.

“The excitement around our office is huge. We are all playing off the energy our great football team has brought to the Baltimore area,” he adds. This past year The Creig Northrop has sold more than 700 homes and more of 300 sold in less than 60 days. So when others think the market is slow, Creig Northrop has proven if the house is in good condition and priced right, it does sell quickly!

The Northrop Team is made up of over 40 real estate agents and over 15 administrative and customer support staff. Not every member of the team is a Ravens fan. But The Northrop Team already sent out a formal statement to the Dallas or Redskin fans among the group to BEWARE. The Ravens fans on The Northrop Team are die-hard and won’t look kindly on the likes of a Cowboy or Skins fan in their midst!

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Going to sell the house? Don’t wait for ‘spring’ in February

The busiest season for home sales traditionally begins the day after the Super Bowl. But putting off getting the word out about your property would probably be a mistake, some experts say.

By Mary Umberger
January 10, 2010

Reporting from Chicago – It’s nearly spring — at least that’s the case in the parallel, slightly weird universe of real estate.

Traditionally, the “spring” home buying season, theoretically the busiest time in the marketplace, begins the day after the Super Bowl. Why this is so has never been clear, but it probably has something to do with finally being able to pry spouses off the couch to tour houses.

This year, “spring” arrives later than usual: The big game is Feb. 7.

But if you’re thinking of selling, waiting to list until the bowl festivities have passed probably is a mistake in the current market, according to some experts.

If you’re new to the selling game or haven’t sold a house in years, here are a few thoughts:

* Think about planting that “for sale” sign in the yard before your neighbor gets around to doing the same thing.

“We’re going to see a lot of property coming on the market,” said James Kinney, vice president of luxury home sales for Chicago-based Baird & Warner Real Estate. “We’re going to see everything that people took off the market in the fall, knowing they were going to be back in the spring.”

Plus there will be genuinely new listings in addition to the continuing cascade of foreclosures and short sales, he said.

* Don’t be surprised if, in determining an asking price, listing agents emphasize how much the competition is asking, rather than relying solely on data for recently sold homes.

Agents have always at least considered what else is on the market in setting an asking price, said Jim Merrion, regional director of Re/Max Northern Illinois.

“Now there’s more weight being placed on the current inventory, because in many cases it’s pushing prices to lower levels,” Merrion said. “I don’t know if it’s the effect of HGTV shows or what, but now we’re seeing agents taking sellers right into active listings” to get a true comparison of what they’re up against. “That never used to happen.”

Still, there’s a danger in relying too much on what the guy down the street is asking.

“An awful lot of listings are wrongly priced,” Kinney said. “If people use those as a guidepost, they could get into trouble. Do a combination of historical data and looking at who you’re competing against, once you’ve determined whether they’re valid prices.”

* And then there’s the thorniest issue: Most people have inflated notions of their home’s value in this boom-gone-bust market.

Experimenting with trying to net a price that’s rooted in the past can taint a house as an “old” listing, Kinney said.

“If you’re asking a price commensurate with or higher than prices achieved in 2006 and 2007, you’re incorrectly priced,” he said.

(Source: BaltimoreSun.com, Mary Umberger, January 10,2010)

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Happy New Year

One of the best parts of ringing in the New Year is remembering the good times of the past year and this year has been an exceptional one!

We’d like to thank our clients for entrusting us with the purchase or sale of their home this past year. We were blessed to work with each and every one of you and learned so much from our experiences.

Success in real estate comes from experience. Experience in understanding our client’s needs. Experience in helping people. Experience is knowing what to do, and what not to do to best serve our clients. Each agent on our team consistently closes a high number of real estate transactions every year. While the average agent sells around 3-5 homes per year, our agents average about 3-5 homes per month! A high number of closed transactions brings a great amount of experience.

We look forward to working with you toward building lasting success in 2010! Have a happy & healthy New Year!

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