How to Buy Real Estate in Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake & Wisp Resort
Pick Jay Ferguson & Taylor-Made! Its makes a difference WHO you hire to represent you in your real estate transaction! You want to choose someone who is hard-working, honest, passionate & someone with a track record of getting the job done. I have 15+ years of experience in this unique resort market and specifically Deep Creek Lake. I am the Broker & an owner, too. Let me put that experience to work for you!
See EVERYTHING that is FOR SALE – get automatic emails.
When you shop online for homes at Deep Creek Lake & in Garrett County, you are only seeing half the listings that are available. Worse yet, when you search on sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, you are seeing homes that may not even be for sale - like pre-foreclosures or even tax records. It can get confusing very quickly. Rather than keep up with 3-4 different sites every time you want to look, let me set you up with your very own, customizable MLS search (straight from the source). It will simplify your search, believe me. You will get an up-to-the-minute accurate list that you can check once a month or 24 hours a day. Its VITAL in today's information age that you see the homes as soon as they come available – or else you may not have a chance to see them. Use this incredible tool to your advantage!
Learn the Deep Creek Lake market. You can learn a LOT about Deep Creek Lake online through our website, Facebook, videos and maps. Our user-friendly website offers lots of other tools that you can use to educate yourself on different styles & types of homes and to research amenities offered by various communities. Nothing beats seeing it in person, though, and walking around on the shores to see what the ‘buffer strip’ is and seeing Type A dock in person. I'll have you up to speed in no time and assist in identifying prime areas of the lake that suit your needs. Every property you see has a ‘story to tell’ – good or bad. I’ll help you understand the nuances of the market!
Planning your budget. You likely have an idea what you are comfortable spending, but perhaps you want to rent the place to leverage a bigger property or for tax reasons? Will the mortgage program you are using allow for an investment property? How does it affect your interest rate? How much are closing costs? Taxes? Insurance? How much money do you need to put down? How to structure ownership? Does a trust make sense? Are you in a position to use a 1031 exchange? Have a conversation with your accountant or financial planner. If you are going the route of a traditional mortgage, I recommend checking with at least 3 mortgage providers - your hometown lender and 2 local people who know our market.
Use our knowledge to YOUR Advantage– We have over 50 years+ combined experience in the DCL vacation home market. We can speak to virtually every aspect of owning, renting and maintaining real property. Ask your questions, express your concerns. Read our blogs, stay in touch with our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. We pay attention every day to news and developments that affect the market and we keep our clients informed.
Plan a trip to look at homes. This is by far the best way to get up to speed in a hurry. Narrow down your list of homes and we’ll make the arrangements. Nothing beats seeing the house and lot it in person -what may look great on the internet photos may not be so impressive up close. We’ll see as many homes as it takes until we find the perfect piece of Deep Creek!
Make an offer. We'll provide you some research on comparable sales and help determine a strategy. Home inspections, chimney, mold, radon, water bacteria, septic dye tests, buffer strip inspections, TVRU...they all have their place and time. What are other homes actually selling for? Has the owner maintained the house or does it need some work? Is it a rental home? What dates are booked?
Negotiate the contract. Lots of moving parts here. Are furnishings included? Electronics? Is it 'turn-key' (down to the sheets, artwork & dishes)? How long to settlement? Escrow deposit? Inspection time frames? Who should you call for an estimate? Relax. We have it under control and can handle all the smallest details!
Settlement. Time to seal the deal. Deeds. Notes. Title insurance. Utility transfers. Insurance policies. Walk-through. Title attorneys. Certified funds. I know exactly who to call for help in every circumstance - we'll help guide you to the finish line! And it all ends with a shiny set of keys…to your new vacation home!
Happy vacation home-owner :) Take that new set of keys and start living the good life. Black bear sightings! BBQ's. Late nights around the fire-pit. Family get-togethers & reunions. Entertaining. Morning jogs along Deep Creek Drive. Fishing at sunrise. Dinner by boat. Skiing all day at Wisp. Getting snowed in. You name it - you can do it. Welcome to life at Deep Creek Lake & Garrett County!
Use a professional - A REALTOR. We, literally, live and breathe Deep Creek real estate & vacation rentals every day. We see virtually every property that comes on the market and spend countless hours reviewing MLS data and compiling sales numbers and statistics. There is a lot of truth in those numbers, so we take them seriously. BUT, we realize that there are other factors at play. Selling a vacation home is also an emotional decision. When you work with us, we’ll keep you even-keel with market realities and help guide you through every step of the process.
How much is your home worth…really? The best answer is – it’s worth exactly what a buyer is willing to pay and what you are willing to sell for at this point in time. You know what it’s worth to you - the comparable sales tell the rest of the story. Ultimately, recent sales are the defining factor of what a buyer may be willing to pay. We'll review the last 12 months of sales data with you & get a better idea of where the home should be priced in TODAY’S market. Tax assessments and appraisals can also be useful when determining value – but they aren’t always indicative of current MARKET value.
Pricing strategy - WHY are you selling? Are you upgrading to a better location at Deep Creek? Or are you leaving the area entirely? What is YOUR timeframe to sell? That is THE fundamental question that helps determine a pricing strategy. Do you NEED to sell or do you WANT to sell? There is a HUGE difference. Comparable sales can give us a range of prices that I correlate to a sales timeframe. If you need to sell in 30-60 days, the price is $X. If you have 3-6 months, ideally the price needs to be in the $X range. If you can afford to wait 12 months or longer, then you can try this price $X and see how the market responds. Another factor is the condition of the property. No buyer wants to pay top dollar knowing they must spend more money to upgrade a roof or paint/stain a house that hasn’t been properly maintained. We have a pricing strategy that works for every home.
Staging & preparations – Staging your home is critically important for that first good impression, and staging can be simple & cost-effective, too. We manage 200+ rental properties and staging is part of our daily routine. We have great ideas that will help. On a scale of 1 to 10, how does your house measure up? Is it cluttered? Is the siding broken or in disrepair? Is the carpet showing its age? Are you willing to invest the money in preparing your home to sell, or would you rather sell it for less money in exchange for less hassle? These are factors which we can discuss and then weigh the options.
Paperwork – Time to review our listing & sales contracts. In this day and age, there are disclosures and addenda that cover EVERYTHING. And a few days from now, we’ll have another disclosure to cover some new hot-button issue. Windmills, chinese drywall (Fortunately, none have been found in homes in Garrett County!), lead based paint, water quality, mineral rights. Financial disclosures, inclusions, disclosures, HOA, DNR buffer strip, building permits, material facts. You name it, we have to cover it in our documents. Our MAR (Maryland Association of REALTORS) contracts can make all the difference in the world when selling your home. I will explain it all in detail, and we will present any and all buyers with a complete picture of the home they are considering. In fact, we go above and beyond normal disclosures to ensure that the person that buys your house knows everything they need to know up front. We want to avoid awkward, avoidable situations after settlement when it may be too late to correct.
Marketing - This is the easy part-----Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales has an incredible marketing plan. Your home will be advertised on our website, where thousands of people will see it as they peruse vacation options. Our comprehensive marketing plan encompasses all aspects of advertising media. Your home is guaranteed to receive top notch exposure! We will "taylor” an advertising campaign to cover all aspects of internet marketing – Google ad-words, Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, drip email marketing, blogging, e-newsletter, 200+ in-home vacation rentals, direct mail and more.
Showings - One of the most integral parts of the selling experience is showing your home to potential buyers, as well as to local real estate agents. We follow up with the buyer or the real estate agent and his buyer in order to get real-time feedback. They have valuable opinions, and we always try to pay attention to their comments. Our office staff will coordinate any and all showings of your home, and we will keep records of all showings that are logged in at our office. Showings by themselves are representative of whether the home is priced correctly and/or if the marketing is effective. If we aren't getting regular showings of the home, it may be time to adjust the pricing strategy.
Feedback - What did the buyers think of your home? Did they like the view or the updated kitchen? What did they think of the price? What did the other agents think? Communication is key. We strive to get the best feedback from agents who show your home, as they are on the front line with the buyers. The goal is to sell your home; so, brutally honest feedback is what we’re hoping for. We ask tough questions and rely on the response - this is a huge part of selling your home. Price? Size? Condition? Location? What didn’t they like about it? What factor is keeping them from making an offer? We must use this feedback and correct any issues we can control to effectively sell the property.
Negotiating an offer – If we are getting offers on the property, we are on the right track. The terms may not be right for you, but even a bad/low offer serves a purpose. And it is not just about price – buyers often negotiate for furnishings and contents, right down to the dishes and linens. Everything is on the table here – boats, lawn-mowers, rental income and inspections. There are many different terms to negotiate and consider, especially timing. How you respond to these offers is critical. I will help find the middle ground on points of difference and try to hammer out an acceptable accord. Negotiation truly is an art form - there are as many strategies out there as there are situations in which to apply them.
Contract to settlement – We have a signed contract! We're almost there. No deal is ever finished once it’s committed to writing – that’s just the beginning. There are inspections to navigate, repairs to negotiate and loose ends to tie up. We have a property management team and transaction coordinator that will make this process easier for you. The logistics involved from this point on are trying, but that's why you've hired a team of professionals to represent your best interest. We’ll keep the train on the rails and watch for trouble around the bend. There are always bumps and being prepared for these little surprises is the difference between success and failure. Rest assured, if it’s possible to get the deal done, we’ll get you there.