How to Skip the System: Maryland Broker Waiver for Maryland Lawyers.

Are you a licensed attorney in the State of Maryland? Would you like to broker real estate? Do you want to skip being a licensed salesperson and avoid working for someone else that takes part of your commission and charges administrative fees? Do you want to avoid time-wasting activities such as answering phones, desk duty, mandatory house tours, and marketing meetings? I did. And here’s how I did it.

        I. Let’s start with the law:

Annotated Code of Maryland: Business Occupations and Professions – §17-305

(2) If an applicant is qualified to practice law in the State, the Commission shall waive the educational and experience requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection for that applicant.

So, if you’re a licensed attorney in the State of Maryland, then you can complete the broker application and take the exam without having to meet the educational ...

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Value Added: Tax Records, Land Records, and Zoning Maps.

At Lawyers Realty Group, we pride ourselves on exhausting all available resources that may potentially benefit our clients, and that includes examining tax records, land records, and zoning maps for information that may prove valuable for our clients. To the best of our knowledge, other brokerages don’t do this, and it sometimes gives our clients a decided advantage. How? Below are just a few examples of the types of value added services that clients of Lawyers Realty Group enjoy.

At Lawyers Realty Group, we examine the tax bills associated with each and every property that we write a contract on. Tax bills give more information than just taxes. They can contain facts about water liens, whether the property is owner occupied, and tax classifications to name just a few. The following example illustrates the type of valuable information that can be gleaned from a tax bill. If a property in the District of Columbia is in rough ...

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Block to Watch: Petworth

Cullen P. Watson, Esq.

Block to Watch: Petworth (100-200 block of Ingraham Street NW)

I usually don’t post about specific neighborhoods or blocks, but this is an exception. I do business all over the city – Chevy Chase to Brookland, Georgetown to Capitol Hill, Petworth to Penn Quarter. Over the years I’ve been in hundreds of row houses in DC, maybe even thousands! Most were built between 1890 and 1940, and almost all of them have similar floor plans. I recently had clients close on a house on the 100 Block of Ingraham Street NW, however, and it was different… much different. If you’re looking for a house that doesn’t require major renovations or living with an antiquated floor plan, keep your eyes open for a house on this block. They’re a great value for smart homebuyers looking for a more contemporary floor plan.

The Traditional Floor Plan.

For better or worse, the classic row houses of DC were built for different times. They tend to be structurally sound, but ...

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Personal Note with the Offer: Good Idea?

Cullen P. Watson, Esq.

Personal Note with the Offer: Good Idea?


When making an offer on a property, many agents ask their clients to write a personal note to the seller in an attempt to sway the seller to accept the offer as presented. Does this actually work, and is it a good idea? The answer, like much in life, is “it depends”. I only advise clients to include a personal note with an offer when there are clear signals that the seller may be emotionally influenced. The personal note is a two way street, though, and if you mention something that doesn’t agree with the seller, it can backfire. So proceed with caution, and keep the note short and sweet. When in doubt, write about the house instead of yourself. Below are two common scenarios one might encounter when buying a house. In the first scenario where a builder is the seller, a note is not recommended. In the second scenario where a property owner has lovingly maintained the home, a carefully crafted personal note may be appropriate. ...

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Staging....It Depends.

Cullen P. Watson, Esq.

Staging....It depends.

Staging a home for sale entails placing temporary furniture in the house to frame how rooms can be used and soften what might otherwise be a blank canvas. Make no mistake, though, staging can be expensive and time consuming, and in certain circumstances can even backfire. Is staging for everyone? No. Is staging the right choice for you? It depends. Regardless, if you are going to do it, do it right.

Staging is most important for non-traditional floor-plans.

If the house listed for sale has a non-traditional floor-plan, staging it can help potential buyers see how the space can be used. Not everyone can visualize how a particular room might be used. Where should the couch go? Can a table fit here? What is the purpose of this room? Properly staging a space gives it a purpose, and the extra effort may be the difference between a potential buyer passing on the house or making an offer.

Keep the staging neutral.

Don't allow loud furniture to overwhelm the space. ...

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