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I'm Phil Gerdes with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long and Foster Real Estate | Christine's International, and this is “Did You Know”.  In this episode of “Did You Know”, we're talking about local agents compared to an outside agent. 

Now what makes someone a local agent?  It's important for you to understand that a local agent has market knowledge, they have industry knowledge, they've got success, and we'll get into success in a minute, they’ve got an understanding of your community, your neighborhood, your town, your city, they do the research.  Whether they live there or not, they do the research to become one with that market. 

I told you we talked about success.  When I say success, I don't mean a local agent is someone who came in and sold every house on your block, I mean a local agent is someone who sells homes in your price point, your home style, because those agents are going to be the ones that have the buyer pool to market your home too. 

Now let's just touch on what a local agent is not.  A local agent is not your best friend Sally who has been selling real estate on and off for the past ten years, and has sold one and a half homes.  A local agent is somebody who shares all the characteristics that we just talked about. 

So make absolute sure that before you hire a buddy, a friend, a pal or somebody you just happen to meet, you do your research.  How many homes have they sold?  Do they know the market?  If they don't know the market, does everything else about that agent outweigh what they know and can you trust them to do the research, and become the local agent in the market. 

So what makes up your local agent?  It's simple.  Every market we touch we learn everything we need to know about not only the market, not only the community but what the buyers in the market are reacting to.  We find out the key price points in the market that sell the best.  We find out the home style, everything you need in order to get the most money for your home.  So that makes us the local agent.  Whether we live there or we don’t, we do everything we need to, whether it's joining community associations, helping out in different areas in the neighborhood or the towns, we do it all. 

Let's make sure that you get with us and find out more about how we sell home so fast for top dollar and help you get the best possible results.  I'm Phil Gerdes from Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long and Foster Real Estate | Christie's international.  Make sure you share this video, make sure you love this video and make sure you like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/GerdesRealEstate.

I’m Phil Gerdes from Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long & Foster Real Estate | Christie’s International.  And today, this is ‘’Did You Know?’’.   

The question is, on my paper, “What is Mold?”  So, whether I can balance up here or not it won't change the fact that we need an answer to the question.  So, what is mold?  Mold is a Fungus, it grows in moist places, well, watch my head….  So, it grows in moist places and guys, it tends to make people sick depending on what kind of mold it is.  

Let’s learn a little more about mold.  Now when you get mold, it’s typically due to moisture or leaks; some form of moisture is creating a haven for mold to grow.  Speaking of moisture, here is the thing.  What happens when you do identify that there is mold in your house?  The first thing you do; hire a professional, don’t go about it on your own.  Make sure a professional comes out, tests for mold, identifies the source of the problem and then decide, with that professional, is it something you can remediate on your own or if you need them to do it.  

Don’t be cheap here, make sure you dive in and do the proper remediation.  And understand this, mold prevention is really important.  So take the steps necessary.  If you see bowing or bulging in your ceiling, chances are there’s some moisture up there. It might be a little bit, but it only takes a little bit sometimes.  So do your due diligence and make sure you prevent every opportunity for mold to grow in your home, and in effect keeping your home super safe.   

So what exactly do you do when you're thinking of selling your home or buying a home that has mold?  Well, if you're a seller, the first thing is remediate.  Go through the steps we just talked about and remediate.  The last thing you want to do is come into a situation where you've got mold in the house and buyers are walking through.  Take the proper steps and remediate the issue.   

Well, see, now what if you're a buyer?   If you're a buyer, hop off the bike… Here you go, hop off the bike and understand that you don't have to overreact.  Listen, most houses actually have some form of mold.  So find out what the seller did, maybe hire another expert to come in and do a test of your own.  But don’t overreact, it might not be as bad as it seems.   

So whether you're a buyer or a seller, the key here is; get all the facts, all the information, make sure all the proper remediation has been done, make sure multiple tests have been done pre and post remediation and then make an educated decision about whether or not the source of the mold has been stopped and you feel comfortable moving you and your family in this home or if you feel comfortable selling your home to someone else.   

Guys, if you need any help with this, call us, reach out, send us a message or an email, we will connect you with the proper mold remediation expert and we will figure out if everything's okay.  I am Phil Gerdes with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long & Foster Real Estate | Christie’s International.  Make sure you like this video, make sure you love this video and make sure you go to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/GerdesRealEstate and hit the like button. 

We will see you soon.  

Phil:  I am Phil Gerdes with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Christie's International and these are 7 home improvements that will surely increase your home's value.

Number 1:  Landscaping!  We've done a video about this.  Landscaping, landscaping, landscaping.  Guys!  Do you know that there is a 100% return on the landscaping?  So, do the fixes, spruce it up, cut down the trees that need to go down, whatever you do make the front of your house feel amazing.  

Number 2:  The kitchen!  Your kitchen is important, we all know kitchens.  Listen!  You put your money in your kitchen, you make it something that everybody loves, not your favorite pattern tile but make it something everyone loves and I promise you, you'll see a great return.

Number 3:  You knew it was coming.  Bathrooms!  Just like kitchens, the money in the bathroom surely pays off.  Guys!  Update the bathroom, make sure it's clean, smooth, comfortable.  Make sure your bathroom look sharp, people should walk in and ‘’Oooh!  And Ahhh!!  ’’ fall in love.

Number 4:  Open it up!  Guess what?  Guys!  Small choppy rooms, no one likes that anymore.  Open up the walls, don't be scared.  Here's the deal, you don't want to knock down every single wall but people want to come in and they want to have sight lines, they want a nice -- they want to feel open, they want to really feel good.  So, open it up, open up those walls.  

Number 5:  KISS!  ‘Keep It Simple Silly’.  Look, don't go overboard; pinks and greens and all sorts of strange colors and all sorts of crazy designs, keep it simple.  Do not go crazy with your updates because; whatever you do understand this, as much as a great update can help your house, a bad update will surely decrease value.

Number 6:  ‘’Energy is the Future’’ That's right!  Energy is the future.  Guys!  You gotta make sure you do the updates that stick with what's coming, not just what is.  So, the updated Thermostat, the lights and the plugs, and the wall outlets, all those neat things that everybody likes right now, make sure you do it.  Because; Energy is the future and oh!  Don't forget, all the appliances you put in, they've got to be energy efficient.  You know the deal, just make sure you're building your home for tomorrow not for what was.

Number 7:  Yellows out, grays in.  Pink and black have never been.  Listen!  Paint your walls but don't go crazy; black molding, pink rooms, favorite pictures of unicorns all over the place because; you simply can't do it.  You've got to make sure, you've got very neutral, fantastic colors in your home because; buyers again need to walk in and feel like everything is fresh, clean and move in ready.  

And that's it, 7 home improvements that will surely increase your home's value.  I am Phil Gerdes with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long and Foster Real Estate, Christie's International inviting you to come back and see the next video.  And remember if this helped you and even if it didn't, make sure you share it, you like, you love, spread it.  Let the world know!  

We're all through, thanks a lot.  See you next time!

Did You Know | What Does 98.99% Mean To You

98.99%! I’m Phil Gerdes with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long and Foster Real Estate, Christie's International and folks, I'm here to talk to you about the list to sell percentage. Your list to sell percentage is essentially the number you put your house on the market for, in comparison to what it sells. 

Well, I'm happy to say that with all that with us, that number is 98.99%. So, what that really means is; for every $100,000 your house is worth, we're going to get you, $98,990!  That's a big number! 

Now anybody can give you national or even local stats but the fact is; our numbers are better. Listen, the average agent sells a home right now at about 97% of the list price.  Like I said, we're at 98.99. So, we track everything, we know what every sale goes for and we get our clients top dollar.  I am Phil. Look, my number, 443-889-3095, that’s my personal cell. 

Give me a call and let's talk about how much your home is worth and more importantly, how much we can get you for your home.  Don't forget; Like this video, love this video and most importantly, share this video!  We appreciate it.  Bye!

Did You Know | Are You Considering Selling Your Home On Your Own?

Hey guys, I'm Phil Gerdes with Phil and Victoria Gerdes of Long and Foster Real Estate, Christie's International, and I've got a question for you. Are you considering selling your home by yourself? Here's how to get it done. 

Clean, organize, landscape, paint. But here's what it really means. Yell at your kids, all three of them. Your son, your daughter and your husband, tell them to clean up over and over again, and don't forget every time one room gets cleaned, someone's going to go in there and make it a mess again. That's the truth about what it takes when you try and to sell on your own. 

You guessed it, professional photos and video. You know what? Pictures, they're so easy, they're so simple, right? Anybody can do it. Yeah, so break out your iPhone because; that's what it really means. Most people, they break out their iPhone, they take a couple of selfies, ‘’hey!’’, and then right from there, they think that they just sold their house because; they've got the most amazing pics ever. That's the truth! 

You guessed it, a sign. A little different than this one, but a sign nonetheless, you got to get a sign in your yard, so everyone that drives by can know that you're selling your home. So here's what it really means. You know that guy you see at the intersection and he’s flipping signs up in the air. That's now you. Congratulations. You got a new job. Except the problem is guys, no one's driving through the intersection. You put one sign out and thought the whole world was going to know and when you realize that you text your friends, you call them and say, “Hey, can you share my houses for sale on Facebook?” Hmm, not a good look guys. 

Next up, you know what it is. We got to get this house online. So where do we go? We go where 82% of people start their online search. You've got to get your house on Zillow so everybody can see it, right?

Zillow! Yeah, why don't you have views? How come? Yes, I'm on a sign. The question is why didn't anybody look at Your House on Zillow? Because; marketing matters folks, you can't just throw it on Zillow and hope it's going to sell, you need someone to help you with it. 

After you've got the house all prepped, ready stage, clean landscaping is done, guess what time it is, it's time for showings. We've got to get people inside so they see your house.

Stranger danger! Yeah, that's right. That's what happens when you let a bunch of people you don't know walk through your house. You might want to think twice before you allow showings, when you haven't vetted your clients. One showing, one showing, one showing, no, we've got to get a bunch of people on the house at the same exact time. So, schedule on open house. That's the next step. Get a big open house scheduled and get them in there. 

More stranger danger! Do I really have to say anymore? Do you want 15, 20, 30 people walk into your house all at the same time? Picking up your special little things? I don't think so. Showings have been going on, open house was awesome, huge tons of people.

What's next? Best case scenario. You just got an offer. Best case, you just got an offer, right? Except did you know that when you sell your house on your own without a real estate agent, most offers come in about 20% less than if you would've used an agent to sell your house in the first place.

All right, you just got an offer, you reviewed it, you like it, what are you going to do next? Accept. Accept the offer. That's the next step, accept your offer. 

Escrow, title, contracts, inspections, renegotiations, updates, guess what all that means? Loss, loss, loss. Yeah, you just got a contract, but did you know that once you go into escrow, there so much more? 

Alright, you made it to closing and guess what? You look like me. You lost all your hair because that was crazy. All the headaches, all the stress, you didn't have to experience it, so what do you do? How do you sell your home and not have to deal with all the stress and little tips to make more money? I'll tell you how now. 

So, how do you actually make more money selling your house? The answer is simple – us. You allow us to sell the house for you. We’ll come by, we'll share our marketing plan with you, we’ll sign a listing with you, and then you sit back and relax because; we're going to vet all the people that actually come see your house. We're going to accept offers for you, we're going to bring them to you, you can pick one, your favorite one, and then you just collect the check. Guess what guys? When we do that, chances are according to stats, you're going to make about 20% more than if you would've done it yourself. 

And here's the thing that you want to remember. Yes, there is about a 6% cost when doing that, but that's a 14% increase off of the potential headache that you had to deal with. So it's simple. Come to us, Phil and Victoria Gerdes of Long and Foster Real Estate, Christie's International, and let us get the job done right for you. 

Hey guys, I hope you liked this video. Hope you enjoyed it. Don't forget, like it, love it, and most importantly, share it with all your friends, all over social media. We're done. See you next time. Bye!

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Phil: Hey guys, I am Phil Gerdes back, with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long & Foster Real Estate | Christie’s international and this is another episode of "Welcome Home."

Today, we are featuring Annapolis.  This is Welcome Home Annapolis, I'm fortunate enough to be here with Eric Evans at "Dinner Under the Stars”, right here on West Street. 

Eric, tell us a little bit about what Dinner Under the Stars is, how long has it been going on, share with us about this opportunity here.

Eric: This is my favorite dinner event; we do every Wednesday night from end of May to middle of September.  Thousands of people from the neighborhood come out every Wednesday night to enjoy dinner, dancing, live music and just a chance to hang out with your neighbors and have fun.

Phil: Awesome, that is fantastic!  So, you don't have to be from Annapolis to come, you can be from, anywhere right?

Eric: You can come from anywhere, we've had people from all over the world come to this event but it's truly a local’s event and of course, the tourists do love to come experience what the locals love.

Phil: Absolutely, absolutely, so as you guys can see all the restaurants in the area.  You know the roads are shut down, they bring their tables out and they basically you enjoy dinner and it's just getting started this place is going to pack up right?

Eric: It's going to fill up, it fills up every night.  Eight hundred to a thousand people typically come out and enjoy the evening.

Phil: Awesome, you guys can hear the music behind us.  Tell us Eric, why did you start this?  What prompted you to be the driving force behind "Dinner Under the Stars”?

Eric: I love creating a community events that locals can get behind and community build and there's nothing better to build community than a good dinner.

Phil: That's 100% true, I agree.  Thank you!

Eric: Thank you!

Phil: So, guys, I am here with Joe, Kelly, Jane and my favorite Winston George here and they are Dinner Under the Stars veterans.  So, guys, tell us a little bit about your favorite part about dinner under the stars.  What do you love the most?

Joe: I like seeing all my friends from Annapolis.  You see, everybody you know in town and of course it's great for meeting new friends as well.

Phil: Awesome!

Joe: Like you, I just met you today.

Phil: There you go.  [Laughs]

Joe: Nice haircut by the way.

Phil: You too.  [Laughs]

Kelly: I like to seeing all of our friends and of course we can bring the family. 

Phil: Fantastic, Jane?

Jane: Well, I have been passionate about ‘’Dinners Under the Stars’’ since it began.  We live maybe about eight blocks down West Street so it's easy to walk up here to have dinner.  And as they've already pointed out, you run into people you know, it's a community gathering.  It becomes, what might be like Europe, the center of town where everybody gathers and eats and drinks and has a great time and we have a band.

More often than not, there's a man that dances the Jitterbug he's got to be in his 90's.  And he dances with really young people and he has a great time and he just cannot just stop been happy and being here.  And we need more opportunities I think, for people to get together.  It doesn't matter what your politics are, it doesn't matter what your color is, it doesn't matter what you wear, we are just happy to be outside.

Phil: Fantastic, I love it.  Guys, you can see, it's not just us, everyone loves ‘’Dinner Under the Stars’’.  So, come on out, join us, you'll probably miss the rest of the season but come out next season and join us every single Wednesday night and be a part of what Annapolis truly is; Community, fun, family.  We will see you soon. 

This is ‘’Welcome Home’’, I am Phil Gerdes with Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long & Foster Real Estate, Christie’s International. 

Make sure you share this video, get it out there, let other people see what we're about Annapolis and yes, I know Winston George, he's hungry.  Be sure to love the video and most importantly go to Facebook.com/GerdesRealEstate and like our page.  We love you, see you next time, thanks!

Ethan Gerdes: Hey guys, it‘s me Ethan Gerdes. I am here at the Taco festival, filling in for my dad, Phil Gerdes and this is, “Welcome Home’’.

Today, we are at the Taco festival in Baltimore, Maryland with Rob, who helped put this amazing event together. Rob, can you give us a little bit of information about this event?

Rob: Absolutely, so we are here live at the 2018 Baltimore Taco Festival. We have about 30 vendors, we have a fun area, good things for the entire family, kids activities, a margarita bar, tequila expo tent, some eating contests and generally fun for the entire family.

Ethan Gerdes: What is your favorite part about this amazing event?

Rob: It’s actually the people, and this city of Baltimore, is absolutely amazing. The reception to this event has been phenomenal.

Ethan Gerdes: Hey guys, I am here with Chris and Chenay. And what are you guys’ favorite part of the Taco festival?

Chenay: I will say, it has to be going to all the stands and getting all the awesome Taco’s!

Ethan Gerdes: Yeah, let’s go!

Chenay: Don’t leave me hanging…

Ethan Gerdes: Thank you guys for watching. Remember to like my parent’s Facebook page @GerdesRealEstate. We will see you next time. Bye!

Welcome Home | Maryland Seafood Festival | Annapolis

Phil: Hey guys, Phil Gerdes from Phil & Victoria Gerdes of Long & Foster Real Estate, Christie’s international and we are here with our first official episode of "Welcome Home." We are super excited, we're starting out with what Maryland is known for and that's seafood. So, this is ‘’Welcome Home Annapolis’’. Folks I am here with Garrett Kuge, who helped put together this entire event. We are at the Maryland Seafood Festival. So Garrett, hello!

Garrett: Hi! Thanks for coming out today in all this it's crazy.

Phil: Yes, the weather is beautiful people are strolling by - alright so the weather is going to be different today. But we didn't want to stop because the event is definitely big. Can you give us a little bit of a background on the event. Tell us maybe how long the events been happening. Anything you think is important for people to know?

Garrett: This is our 51st year doing the seafood festival. It started out in downtown Annapolis, it's the Oyster festival – nope, it’s the clam festival. It started out in Annapolis as the clam festival. It outgrew that space, so we came out here to Sandy Point and it just grown and grown, and we were really trying to focus and showcase Maryland seafood. So, people know everything we've got out here.

Phil: Absolutely, that's awesome. And guys, and this place was full yesterday. Yes, we are contesting with the weather but you’ve got to understand, everywhere you can see behind us, on the other side where you can't see, full of vendors so this is a big event we're super excited about it and it happens once per year. So next, it won't be raining I promise you and you're going to come out and see it.

Here's the plan today, we are going to walk around, we are going to check out some vendors with Garrett. She's going to introduce us to some people and I am going to eat some see food.

Garrett: We are so excited.

Phil: Yes, I don't like to seafood so this is going to be fun. Hopefully today, things are going to be definitely… . So stick around, stay tuned and let's get through this. 

Hey guys, so we are here with Bob from Cup O’ Dough, I am going to let him tell you about what he does here and what the whole dough game is about. But this is his first time at the Seafood Festival, so that's really exciting.

Tell us a little bit about your time here even though it's a little rainy and tell most importantly about Cup O’ Dough.

Bob: I think it's been great, except the rain of course. I look forward to it next year. Cup O’ Dough is a we do edible cookie dough we serve it like ice cream. Perfectly safe to eat, there is no egg in it, we treat the flour so it’s completely safe.

Phil: Where can people get it when they're not here?

Bob: My other business, Oh My Chocolate in Kent Island, we have Cup O’ Dough there.

Phil: Awesome, do you have Instagram, Facebook, anything that they can find you on?

Bob: I just started this like two months ago, so it's like I got Facebook, Cup O’ Dough and Oh My Chocolate also on Facebook.

Phil: Awesome, so guys, let's really help Dave to about Cup O’ Dough, it sounds delicious, I am going to have some in a little while, but make sure you check him out on Facebook and on YouTube of course.

Awesome, Snicker Doodle Cup O’ Dough I am going in, I am not even going in small guys, we are going for all the marbles, stay tuned, we will be back. This is awesome, really awesome.


So Garrett, obviously we're going to spend a lot of time talking about the food but what else happened at the Seafood Festival outside of the food...

Garrett: We’ve got so much stuff, people that like the seafood, people that don't like the sea food and people who don't want to eat it at all.

One of the main stage that bands to play all day long, weather permitting obviously, firework show at stage, we have chef demonstrations. Chef comes in restaurants all throughout Maryland and the tour everywhere to showcase what they can do. There's a big kids area, with bounce castle, with climbing wall and all that good stuff. Beer and oyster tastings, craft beer tastings, there is Maryland wine tasting, Maryland Cigars...

We're out here with the Baltimore Kings, which one of our professional soccer player teams in the area and they were doing a clinic and they were supposed to have a great match between the professional teams today, but couldn't do it today in this weather.

Phil: Yes, that's awesome. There's so much more happening today than just food. The last thing you want is for people to think that when you come out to the Seafood Festival, it's just about eating. You're going to eat, you are going to eat some really good food especially if you like seafood but there's so much more happening. So bring kids, bring family, bring friends make it a day or better yet, make it a weekend, right?

Garrett: Right, yes!

Phil: Really, yes. Two solid days of fun. Awesome thank you.

Garrett: Yes!

Phil: All so Garrett, there's a lot of Seafood, there's a lot of different types of food and a lot of things to do but what is your favorite sea food?

Garrett; Oh my gosh man, I grew up eating oysters. I love oysters. So I am so excited, you are going to have your first one, you are going to love it, it's going to be great.

Phil: I will find out.

Garrett: [laughs]

Phil: Alright thanks, let's do some oysters guys.

All right guys, we are here at Mad House. Guys, we've got oysters and we are about to go in. We got Garrett, Scott and Scotty. We got to super loud because of the party right now. Guys tell us really quickly about Mad House?

Scotty: Mad House is a farm raised oyster from Hooper’s Island Maryland. We’ve been doing business for 5 years now. We ship out all over the country to Colorado, Florida, all over the place.

Phil: All right, are you ready? I don't know if I am but let's do it. All right guys we are going in, we are not hesitating. Just give me one, it's not going to be pretty. Do we toast? I’m going to do some lemon, I’m going to lemon mine. I am ready. Here we go.

Garrett: Here we go.

Phil: Oh God.


Phil: I did it. I am not saying thank you.


Phil: I don't eat seafood. I don't want to have anymore. But it was great. On a serious note, don't take it by me, I don't eat anything out of water. These guys are awesome, check them out at Mad House. Where could they find you online?

Scotty: MadHouseOysters.com

Phil: MadHouseOysters.com so check them out at ‘’MadHouseOysters.com’’ big one guys.

Scotty:: Thank you man.

Phil: All right guys, let welcome home. Thanks for joining us for our first ever episode we're excited to highlight all things Annapolis, Baltimore, the Shore and everything in between. Today, you got with spend an evening with us and afternoon with us with Garrett at the Maryland Seafood Festival. I ate an oyster for the first time thanks to Garrett and there's a lot more to come.

So thank you, stay tuned. Thanks for having for having us, we really appreciate it.

Garrett: Yes, thanks for coming out today.

Phil: We'll see you at the next one. Don't forget, Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/GerdesRealEstate. Make sure you share and love this post, thanks a lot. See you later.