August 31, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Baltasar Gracian:  “Advice is sometimes transmitted more successfully through a joke than grave teaching.”  “Humor can temper a difficult message.”  Fred

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 596321.  This bank owned beauty has 3 BR, 3.5 BA, in 4100 sq. ft., an open floor plan, gourmet kitchen on 1.20 acres in White Owl Landing, Laurel, DE.  It is now only $239,000.  Call me to see this home at 320 258-6983.

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5 Ways To Provide Easy Access For Showings

Selling a home is not necessarily a convenient prospect. The best sellers keep their homes neat, clean, organized and smelling fresh and are also willing to vacate the property at a moment’s notice. Here are some tips to help you, as a seller, be a dream to work with:


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Selling a home is not necessarily a convenient prospect.  The best sellers keep their homes neat, clean, organized and smelling fresh and are also willing to vacate the property at a moment’s notice.  Here are some tips to help you, as a seller, be a dream to work with:

1.  Keep off hours.  Remember that most potential buyers have to work, so if your home is only available to show during “business hours” you are cutting out a lot of potential buyers.  Consider extending your hours until 8pm or so at least a couple of times a week.

2.  Allow a lock box.  If you insist that your home not have a lock box, many agents will forgo your home altogether to show more convenient homes to their clients.

3.  Consider the details.  The details count.  For example, if you live on a road where street parking is difficult, make sure your driveway is clear so that potential buyers and their agents can park there.  You don’t want potential buyers to be thinking of the downsides of purchasing your home before they even walk in the door.

4.  Don’t be too restrictive.  It’s a pain when buyers want to see your home on short notice, and it is within your rights as the seller to say no or ask to reschedule, but keep in mind that some of the most motivated buyers are moving from out of town and may not have too much flexibility.  Try to accommodate potential buyers as often as possible.

5.  Take care of your pets.  Just because you love your pets doesn’t mean a prospective buyer will.  In fact there’s a good chance a prospective buyer might be allergic, so having your furry friend roaming free is not going to help the home appeal to them.  If at all possible, make arrangements for your pets to leave your home during showings too.  If that’s simply not feasible ask your agent for suggestions.  Chances are they’ve shown lots of pet friendly homes in their career, so they can give you more tips.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Three Ways To Time The Sale Of Your Home

If you’re selling your home to move to a new one the most dreaded situation of all would be to be stuck with two mortgages. To avoid this, consider these tips:


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If you’re selling your home to move to a new one the most dreaded situation of all would be to be stuck with two mortgages.  To avoid this, consider these tips:

1. List your current home for sale and wait for some action before you go house hunting for a new home.

2. Don’t make an offer on a new home until your current home is under contract.  It is even better to wait until it is well into the escrow process.

3. If you do make an offer on another home, make sure the contract states that your purchase is contingent on the sale of your current home.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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August 29, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Arthur Schopenhauer:  “Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.”  “One of life’s hardest decisions is to say, I have enough; but once said, life can be truly enjoyed.”  Fred

Fred’s pick of the Day is MLS # 596832.This home in Ocean View, DE has been reduced to $349000.  The home has 3BR, 3BA, 2 half baths, an office, sunroom, den, hardwood floors, granite, 2 car garage, gazebo, a trail thru the woods, all on 1.03 acres.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.

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Weekend Update: August 31st-September 2nd

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Check out these local events:


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Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Check out these local events:

Friday, August 31st – Bronx Wanderers Doo-Wop Celebration
Enjoy this recreation of 50s and 60s music in an evening of toe-tapping, hand clapping, and dancing during this energetic doo-wop and rock-n-roll concert!  Tickets are $10 and kids are free.  Concert is at the Freeman Stage at Bayside (31750 Lake View Drive in Selbyville) and begins at 7pm.  For more information call 302-436-3015.

Saturday, September 1st – MSO Fireworks Season Finale
The Freeman Stage at Bayside (31750 Lake View Drive in Selbyville) has cooked up another fun, family event.  The internationally recognized Morgan State University Choir and Opera Workshop along with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony and Maestro Benichou will perform vocal and instrumental favorites including selections from the West Side Story.  The show begins at 7pm, is totally free, and will conclude with fireworks!  For more information call 302-436-3015.

Saturday, September 1st – Car Show
Jake’s Wayback Burgers in Millsboro (26670 Centerview Drive) will host a car show from 4pm-8:45pm.  Head on over to see some classics!

Saturday, September 1st-Sunday, September 2nd – Broadway at the Beach
Head down to Clearspace Theatre in Rehoboth Beach for an original revue of musical theater hits that are sure to please!  Show starts at 7:30pm, tickets range from $15-30/each.  For more info or to purchase tickets, check out this link.

Sunday, September 2nd – Breakfast at the Bethany Beach Firehouse
The heroes of Bethany continue their summer tradition this weekend!  If you haven’t gone yet, you should try it…  This delicious, all you can eat breakfast is hosted at the firehouse in Bethany Beach (215 Hollywood Street).  Enjoy a tour of the firehouse plus an all you can eat feast of eggs, French toast, biscuits and gravy, potatoes, muffins, bacon, sausage, juice, and coffee.  There are also special activities to keep the kids busy.  Breakfast is $10 for adults and $5 for children over 5 and free for kids ages 5 and under. 8am-11am.  For more information call 302-539-7700.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Tips for Evaluating An Agent

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market and you aren’t going the “for sale by owner” route, you need a listing agent. There are many choices when it comes to real estate agents, so here are a few tips to help you evaluate the agents you are considering.


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If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market and you aren’t going the “for sale by owner” route, you need a listing agent.  There are many choices when it comes to real estate agents, so here are a few tips to help you evaluate the agents you are considering.  First, considering asking the agent’s for their data.  Looking at the sale-to-list ratio (how much the homes your agent has listed have sold for as compared to what they were listed for) as well as how long their homes have been on the market will give you a good idea of how well they know the local market.  Just remember that there is no absolute rule here since everything is relative so there is no “magic number” you are looking for when you look at these statistics, but if you are comparing several local agents this information can help you.

At Cooper Realty Associates we would be happy to share our experience and local stats with you.  Feel free to give us a call and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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August 28, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Mark Twain:  “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”  “Since Eve was made, mankind is better in pairs.”  Fred

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 597013.  This renovated townhome is in Ocean View, DE and is now only $239,000.  The unit has 4BR, 3.5BA, SS Appliances, in 2752 sq. ft. and the HOA fee is $830.00.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.

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August 27, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Martin Luther:  “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”  “Sound marriage advice, a happy home does more for society than anything else.”  Fred

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 595446.  A canal front home in Selbyville, De has been reduced to $779,000.  This home has 5 BR, 4 BA and all the bells and whistles, and was built in 2003.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this property.

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The Truth About Driveway Repair

Driveway repair can be costly, and unfortunately is considered to be a maintenance issue of home ownership. Believe it or not, a damaged driveway can be a deal-breaker on an otherwise marketable home,


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Driveway repair can be costly, and unfortunately is considered to be a maintenance issue of home ownership.  Believe it or not, a damaged driveway can be a deal-breaker on an otherwise marketable home, but offers extremely low (and often no) return on investment.  If you’re thinking of selling your home and your driveway needs some repairs you should ask your agent if they feel your driveway is going to hurt the sale of your home.  If you decide that you need to go ahead with repair, or if you aren’t selling your home and just want to fix up the driveway for yourself, speak with several contractors and get multiple bids (ask friends, family, and even your agent for recommendations!).  Finally, depending on how damaged your driveway is, consider resurfacing instead of replacing, which is likely to be much more affordable.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Spotlight On Timothy’s At The Beach in Rehoboth


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Timothy’s At The Beach (19598 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach) is a casual restaurant offering quintessential American favorites, especially steak and seafood!  Timothy’s has an extensive selection of beer, wine and spirits and offers great happy hour specials from 4-6pm every day.  If oysters are your thing, Timothy’s offers a decent raw bar selection.  Timothy’s also features great specials every night, including my favorite on Saturday – prime rib for $1 an ounce and ½ price bottles of wine.  Yum!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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August 24, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Mencius:  “Friends are the siblings God never gave us.”  “A good friend can be better than a sibling.”  Fred

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 596056.  An approved short sale in Greenwood, DE is now only $99,000.  The home has 3 BR, 2 BA, in 1744 sq. ft. on 5.78 acres, built in 1948, some updates are needed.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.

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5 Projects That You Can Do This Weekend

Looking for a quick pick-me-up for your home? Try these projects, which shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete!


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Looking for a quick pick-me-up for your home?  Try these projects, which shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete!

1.  Add Molding:  Any room can be improved with the finishing touch of crown molding, and you can match the style of molding not only with your own personal taste but also with the architectural style of your home – it’s win, win!

2.  Change Up Your Interior Doors: Your interior doors are often overlooked as necessary, but they don’t necessarily have to be boring to be useful.  Considering replacing interior doors with more unique or stylish counterparts.

3.  Put Your Lights on Dimmers:  Adding dimmer switches to your light fixtures is one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to add ambiance to any room.

4.  Install a Ceiling Fan:  Installing a ceiling fan is a relatively inexpensive way to cut down on your cooling costs and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.

5.  Style Your Staircase:  By adding some distinctive rails, architectural embellishments, or even a coat of paint you can give your staircase a whole new look.  The best part of this project is that you can get as creative as you’d like!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Thursday Three: 3 Things Sellers Must Disclose

If you want to sell your home federal, state, and local laws require you to disclose any information that affects the value or desirability of your property to potential buyers from the get-go. Here are three pieces of information you must disclose:


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If you want to sell your home federal, state, and local laws require you to disclose any information that affects the value or desirability of your property to potential buyers from the get-go.  Here are three pieces of information you must disclose:

1.  Physical condition: This refers to the overall structure of the home and includes the foundation, roof, electrical system, plumbing, insulation, sewage, etc.

2.  Health & safety hazards: This includes environmental hazards and disclosures about past damage from natural disasters as well and includes disclosers about lead-based paint, asbestos, radon.

3.  Legal concerns: This includes disclosing any pending lawsuits and compliance with local building and zoning codes.

As always, your agent can guide you through this process, so you want to be sure you have a great one…  give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Weekend Update: August 24th-26th

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Check out these local events:


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Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Check out these local events:

Saturday, August 25th – Bargains on the Broadkill
This 23rd annual event in Historic Milton features arts, crafts, jewelry, good, and lots of other goodies.  The popular Great Duck Race offers cash prizes to the top 25 finishers with a grand prize of $500 and other prizes as well.  This event is sponsored by the Milton Chamber of Commerce.  The 10 mile Canoe & Kayak Race takes place simultaneously.  For more information, contact the Milton Chamber of Commerce at 302-684-1101.  There’s something for everybody on Saturday, so head down to Milton Memorial Park (Chandler Street) from 9am-3pm this Saturday and join the festivities!

Saturday, August 25th – Beach Barbeque
The Children’s Beach House is sponsoring their annual Beach Barbeque Fundraiser Saturday evening from 6:30-9:30pm.  Tickets for this bay-front bash are $85 and include dinner on the beach, beer, wine, & entertainment.  Dress is casual for this popular, local event.  For more information or to register for tickets, check out this website.

All Weekend: The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
Of course, if casual entertainment is your thing, the summer series at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand is your thing.  The series is winding down as we near the end of August, so if you haven’t been out yet, be sure to check out the bandstand this weekend!  Friday The Blue Tips Rhythm Revue will perform.  Blue Tips is a variety band with a 6 piece line-up and smokin’ brass section.  Saturday will be a concert by Sounds of Society which is a Chicago Tribute Band, and She Said Sunday will round out the weekend on Sunday.  She Said is a popular, award winning band that plays favorites from the 70’s through today.  All shows begin at 8pm and are totally free.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Understanding Escrow

Escrow basically means to place something important in the custody of an impartial third party. In real estate, an escrow account is utilized after an offer has been accepted and while the buyer and seller are working to meet the conditions of the contract. This is the state of being “in escrow.” The escrow officer could be an attorney, title company, specific escrow firm, or other qualified and impartial third party. The escrow officer orders a title search, requests payoff information for the existing mortgage and any other liens on the property, prepares all documents including the grant deed to transfer ownership, prepares the closing documents, and takes charge of all funds involved in the transaction, such as paying off the existing mortgage.


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Escrow basically means to place something important in the custody of an impartial third party.  In real estate, an escrow account is utilized after an offer has been accepted and while the buyer and seller are working to meet the conditions of the contract.  This is the state of being “in escrow.”  The escrow officer could be an attorney, title company, specific escrow firm, or other qualified and impartial third party.  The escrow officer orders a title search, requests payoff information for the existing mortgage and any other liens on the property, prepares all documents including the grant deed to transfer ownership, prepares the closing documents, and takes charge of all funds involved in the transaction, such as paying off the existing mortgage.

Of course, like all things confusing things, the term escrow also has a second meaning in the real estate world.  It can also mean an account that your mortgage company requires you to keep a certain balance in to cover the cost of property taxes and insurance when they come due.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Personal Items In A Home Purchase

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you want to be sure that when you buy (or sell) a home your contract is definitive when it comes to what comes with the house and what doesn’t.


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Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you want to be sure that when you buy (or sell) a home your contract is definitive when it comes to what comes with the house and what doesn’t.  Even if there is a spoken agreement about what comes with the house, be sure to get everything you care about in writing, otherwise it is not binding.  For example, if you are a buyer who desires the washer and dryer that were in the house during the showing, ask for it in writing.  Typically, items that are permanently attached such as flooring, light fixtures, built in bookcases are included unless they are specifically excluded in writing.  If, for example, a seller excludes the fireplace mantel because it’s a family heirloom that would need to be in writing.  Be sure to ask in writing for the buyer to replace the fixture before closing.  Likewise, if the house is equipped with a wall mount for a flat screen television that you don’t want, write it into the contract for the sellers to remove it and make any necessary repairs to the walls, etc.

If you’re a buyer don’t make the mistake of thinking that everything you saw when you viewed the house is coming with it just because it “goes with the home.”  For example a fountain, potted plants, custom bar stools, or a table that fits so perfectly in the breakfast nook that it seems like a built-in may or may not come with the home.  So, what’s the moral of the story?  If you’re a buyer and you want it, you need to ask for it.  And if the buyers agree, be sure to write it into the contract!  If you’re a seller and you’re planning to take your items with you, making that clear to the buyers from the get-go can make your life easier, but whatever you do, be sure to write everything that you care about into your contract.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Spotlight on Hopkins Family Creamery in Lewes

Hopkins Family Creamery is one of the top rated ice cream shops in Lewes for good reason! The ice cream is DEEE-LICIOUS! (And you can trust me, I am an ice cream connoisseur!) You can’t get much fresher… this creamery is located right on the dairy farm.


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Hopkins Family Creamery is one of the top rated ice cream shops in Lewes for good reason!  The ice cream is DEEE-LICIOUS!  (And you can trust me, I am an ice cream connoisseur!)  You can’t get much fresher… this creamery is located right on the dairy farm.  The prices are high, but not absurd and there is a great selection of flavors.  Personally, I’ve tried moo cookies, coconut, brownie, and strawberry and all were rich, creamy, and delicious.  Located at 18475 Dairy Farm Road, right off Route 9, it’s not too far off the beaten path, and the atmosphere is great too.  There is a picnic area to enjoy your ice cream, a play area for kids, and a lot of times you can even see the cows!  If you haven’t tried Hopkins Family Creamery yet, you definitely should.  I love that it’s family owned, and it’s some of the best ice cream around!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Things To Consider Replacing Before You Sell

If you’re trying to sell your home here are five things you should consider replacing before your home goes on the market:


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If you’re trying to sell your home here are five things you should consider replacing before your home goes on the market:

1.  Worn flooring… especially carpet.  Replacing worn carpet is fairly inexpensive when you consider the amount of time your home could potentially stay on the market if the floors are turning potential buyers away.  You don’t have to replace carpet with carpet either… consider wood or laminate alternatives which can be attractive to buyers.  If you can’t replace the carpet in your home, at the very least, shampoo it and get out smell and stains, or even better, get it professionally cleaned.  Dirty and worn flooring is a huge turn-off to potential buyers.

2.  Wallpaper.  Wallpaper is very personal to each persons taste, so if you’ve got any in your home (including borders) you should consider removing it and replacing it with a coat of paint.  You want the potential buyers to see your home, not your personal taste, when they walk through the door.  If you don’t want to take the time to remove all the wallpaper in your home, at the very least remove any that is peeling, cracked, or faded and paint those walls.

3.  Outdated fixtures.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but changing out the hardware and faucets in your kitchen or bathroom can be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to make the room feel fresh.  Likewise, changing out doorknobs, light switch covers, socket covers and lighting fixtures for new ones can give every room a little makeover.  The little things really do make a big difference!

4.  Faded/old paint.  Repainting is the most cost efficient way to get your home buyer-ready.  By choosing warm, but neutral colors you can freshen up any space.

5.  Personal décor.  You want potential buyers to envision your home as theirs, so pack away any personal photos and knick knacks.  Remember, less is more when you’re trying to sell.  Likewise, get rid of any potentially offensive décor, for example deer heads, gun collections, etc.).  Remember, just because it’s your taste, doesn’t mean it’s everybody elses, and you don’t want to scare away potential buyers when you’re trying to sell!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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August 17, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Maximilien Robespierre:  “To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty.”  “When I first read this I thought it was backward, but it might be true.”  Fred

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 594707.  This 3 BR, 2 BA home is a Fannie Mae Homepath candidate located in Milford, DE and is now $109,900.  The home has an oversized 2 car detached garage.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.

 

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Thursday Three: 3 Reasons to Consider Getting a Home Inspection Before Selling

Most people don’t ever have their homes inspected, but most potential buyers do. Here are three reasons you should consider getting your home inspected before you put it on the market:


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Most people don’t ever have their homes inspected, but most potential buyers do.  Here are three reasons you should consider getting your home inspected before you put it on the market:

1.  Your buyers are 99% sure to get one anyway.  Since your buyers are going to get one anyway, you can be one step ahead.  Yes, a home inspection costs money, but having a heads up about what will surface in an inspection will keep you and your buyer from any surprises and keep the process moving along smoothly.

2.  You can make repairs now.  If your home inspection turns up repairs that you can fix before putting your home on the market it will save you money in the long run.  Most buyers over estimate the cost of small repairs, so if you’re a step ahead and fix everything now, you won’t have to bump your price down later to compensate for repairs that the buyers first hear about at inspection.

3.  You’ll be prepared.  In the unfortunate case that an inspection turns up costly repairs and you choose not to fix them, you can disclose the information to buyers or be prepared to negotiate your price after their inspection, rather than be caught off guard.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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