Before ever stepping foot on Maryland soil, I had the insurmountable task of deciding where to live all the way from our hillside bungalow in Monterey, CA. The cliche of ‘home is not a place, it is a feeling’ ringing in my mind as I google searched and hashtag-stalked the various towns that seemed reputable. I figured out rather quickly, that Severna Park was where I wanted to be- me and every other twenty-something that couldn’t afford it. Right now, the most inexpensive detached home is $235,000 and that gives you a grand total of 900 sq ft.
Guys, it is 20 square miles of curb appeal to put it simply. Beyond that, it is home to my most favorite yoga studio where I got my 200hr Certificate (shameless plug). For a couple of reasons, we did not settle on living in Severna Park, but my office and some of our favorite family spots are there so I will still call it part of my home.
As if I didn’t have enough of an itch to explore I have an upcoming listing appointment in the area i.e. the perfect excuse to wander about for the local scoop. I was recommended to check out the Breakfast Shoppe -because you know it is fancy with a silent ‘E’- and without a doubt had to hit up Kinder Farm. This park is operated by the County, but I became familiar with it by the Friends of Kinder Farm FB page. The non-profit organizes some of the great events that we’ve attended through the years: egg hunts, fall festivals and all sorts of unique iron-working demonstrations.
Over the past 6 months we have become close friends with ‘Dot’ the pig and saw her with 17 piglets (no more bacon for this Mama). Kinder Farm also has an Antique Tractor Club, if you’re into that sort of thing: ‘Tractor’ was a first word of my daughters so it was a big deal to us. Like local businesses, I go out of my way to support a 501 (c)(3); for a long time my dream job was to be a grant writer for a nonprofit as I have a B.S. in Human Services. But to bloom where I am currently planted, I can support by sharing it’s beauty with YOU!
So now if I am showing this particular listing property about a quarter mile away from the farm, I have the experiential knowledge to share with a prospective client. Who knows, maybe he/she has an antique tractor collection!?
Listing a home is a different beast than working with a buyer; I do much more of the latter. When you buy a home, there is a level of excitement for the newness of it all but selling often means ‘leaving’ something you created. I like to enlist the help of the owner to really give me neighborhood qualities that he/she want to share with a prospective buyer. The owner of the home I’ll be selling wanted to tell me all about the quick walk to the pool, and the bus stop outside of his property and how his neighbors have been so for 20+ years in some cases. What do you love about your home? When someone visits from out of town, where are the places you have to show them?
What ultimately makes a good listing agent, the one who works with the owner, is knowing the mind of a buyer and setting up those expectations. For example: I have a buyer in the same area that makes comments about the Little Free Library at the community park, she thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
No one is going to buy a house because of a feature like that, but understanding what that symbolizes is the most important thing. It speaks of community, that whole ‘feeling of home’ thing. Wide sidewalks mean that you are going to know your neighbor, low speed limits show that safety is important and there are gaggles of kids about. A buyer may not always be able to articulate what energy they want in a home, but listening to the cues is my job and I LOVE IT. Integrating that mentality, I set out to see what’s what.