DC, Maryland, and Virginia Real Estate Blog

The Poliansky Group at Keller Williams Preferred Properties is committed to providing top notch advice, market updates and local knowledge to help navigate the competitive real estate market that makes up DC, Maryland, and Virginia also known as the DMV.

Feb. 28, 2018

DC, Maryland, and Virginia Real Estate Blog

6 Home Spring Cleaning Tips

1.   Power Wash siding/sidewalks

2.   Plant

3.   Landscape

4.   Paint

5.   Deck

6.   Clean Gutters

Power Wash siding/sidewalks – With Spring just around the corner and the weather starting to warm up now is a great time to prepare for outside house maintenance. You’ll want to pressure wash any areas that may have dirt and debris left over from winter. Start with the siding on the house, if necessary to freshen up the curb appeal. Power washing will help eliminate any dirt buildup and make the siding look like new! Don’t forget to hit the driveway and sidewalks. This is a great way to make sure any remaining salt from winter is washed away. Salt is very corrosive and can cause discomfort in pets and children walking barefoot outside. Also, buildup underneath your car can cause premature rusting and parts to fail early than usual. Power washing the outside of the home will also add to the overall look and show the pride of homeownership!


Plant – If you are thinking about a garden, or want to freshen up the curb appeal, now is a great time to begin the process of planting. It will take some time to grow a garden and the best time to start is right when the weather starts to break, or now! If you are not much of a green thumb, don’t sweat it. A few potted plants that are hung from porches or lining the walk way leading to the door will look great, too!


Landscape – Before the grass begins to grow and the lawn cutting season begins, this is a great time to begin any projects or simply clean up any leftover leaves and debris from fall and winter. If your home is already landscaped nice consider trimming back any overgrown areas before they become a hazard or make the house look less appealing from the outside. You may even want to consider hiring a professional landscaper to help with tree/bush trimming, adding patio blocks, or landscape ties, anything that you dream of that will make the house feel more like a home to you.


Paint – If your house has wood siding, now is a good time to touch up any areas that are peeling. If it is brick, aluminum or some other type of material, this is a great time to go around and see if the door and window frames are wood and need to be touched up. A little paint can go along way with the curb appeal. It will make your home feel warm and inviting.

On a side note, if you live in an HOA community and you’re considering painting the front door a color, you will want to check the rules and regulations. There may be certain colors that you are to use or avoid using. This is a good time to reach out and make sure the HOA will not have any issues with you painting your front door. (Yes, they can suck sometimes).


Deck – Have you considered building a deck for outdoor entertainment? This is a perfect time to begin the process of planning and designing. This way you will be able to have all spring and summer to enjoy your hard work if you plan on doing it yourself or enjoy your beautiful design.

Already have a deck? That’s great! Don’t forget to reseal and/or paint if needed. This will protect the life of the wood over the course of many years. It will also help prevent the wood from rotting from excess water and damage from the elements.


Clean Gutters – Last, but not least remember to clean out the gutters. The winter can wreak havoc on gutters and leave them clogged or damaged from ice and extreme weather. You will want to make sure to clean out any debris and free up the connection from the gutter to the down spout. Make sure as you are cleaning that the gutter is properly fastened to the house and adjust if needed. Ensuring the gutter is fastened and cleaned will help prevent water damage from any major storms that can result. This will also help extend the life of your siding and roof by allowing water to exit the exterior of the house as opposed to building up and pooling on the roof or exterior of the structure.

Double check downspouts to make sure they are connected. Also, you will want to have extensions on your downspouts that pull the water away from the home as far as possible. This is especially important if you have a basement. The last thing you want is a lot of water building up near the foundation that will over time become problematic to deal with.


Hope you enjoyed these 6 tips for spring cleaning!

Posted in Selling
Feb. 23, 2018

D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Real Estate Blog

8 Tips To Prepare Your Home To Sell

1.   Paint

2.   Curb Appeal

3.   Make Repairs

4.   Declutter/Organize

5.   Clean

6.   Let There Be Light

7.   Keep It Show Ready

8.   Price It Right



Before the home goes on the market, now is a great time to do touch ups or paint where needed. It’s important that the house has a neutral color that will help make the home appear brighter, larger, and attractive to buyers. This cost-effective improvement can vastly improve the home’s value. A coat of paint will not only look good in the photos, but it will look good on the eyes of the potential buyers that will be walking through your home.


Don’t forget about the exterior of the home. A lot of homes have wood siding or trim pieces located on the outside. Make sure that these areas are free of debris, loose paint chips, and clean before touching up or repainting as needed. This is also a good time to paint or reseal a wood deck, paint doors, door frames, and window frames. 

Curb Appeal

Research says that buyers know within a few seconds of walking into a home if it is the right place for them. This is why curb appeal is so important. You will want the home to be free of weeds, overgrown bushes, and anything that may be blocking the path to the front door or any windows. If you are deciding to sell in the spring time, that is a good time to get potted plants, and fresh flowers to place near the entrance to make the home enticing for buyers to enter. Keep the lawn groomed and bag leaves, and if necessary, hire a landscaper to help.


Make Repairs

If you know you have a leaking faucet or running toilet, a cabinet that sticks, screens that are warn or broken, fix them. It may seem minor to do those things; however, you do not want any reason for a buyer to not write an offer. Buyers pay attention to little details and if they notice a list of things that add up, it could be the difference between an offer on your house and another one on the market.


Haven’t done any recent renovations, or have an outdated kitchen or bath? It may be time to think about making those changes. Sometimes, sprucing up a kitchen or bath with minor changes, like faucets, painting, or changing cabinets out can add to appeal and value of the home. Unsure if you the renovations are necessary? You can always consult with a local real estate professional who can walk through your home and let you know any suggestions that may appeal to buyers and add value.


Keep in mind big ticket items. If the HVAC, A/C, roof, kitchen, baths, electrical system, septic, well, or anything like that hasn’t been repaired, or replaced in a long time it is something that may come up on inspections. Savvy buyers also will keep an eye out for items that look like they haven’t been replaced. Let’s say the roof, HVAC, and a bathroom all need to be replaced, this could be a turn off for a buyer. That is not to say you absolutely need to repair these before listing, but they may come up in the future and can affect appeal to potential buyers.



Make sure that your house is easily shown. That means that if you have a lot of big furniture pieces, it may be a good idea to get rid of or place in storage. Not only does a lot of furniture make rooms appear smaller than they are, it also makes traffic flow difficult. On the other hand, if you do not have enough furniture you can always borrow, rent, or have a stager stage the house to show the room off.


Organize your house by packing up personal photos and any clutter that is around. This allows the potential buyers to see more of the home and what it offers. Plus, this always a head start on packing and it will only ease some stress of packing up the entire house down the road.



As a seller, this is one of the top things you have control over. It is a good time to clean every single inch of your house. Think for a second you are a buyer, would you rather buy a clean house, or a messy house?


Make sure to make your windows and floors shine. If you have a carpet, make sure to deep clean. Don’t forget to clean shades, blinds, behind appliances, furniture and any other neglected areas. Eliminate any odors that may exist.


If needed, hire a professional cleaner. They will do all the cleaning for you and get it done in a timely manner. Either way, a clean home will make the moving process easier and allow you to get top dollar and your home sold!


Let There Be Light

Open blinds and curtains and turn on lights. A house that is well lit will show better not only for pictures, but also when touring in person. Light inside a house brings a sense of happiness and euphoria to most potential buyers, and really allows them to see what the home has to offer.


Keep It Show Ready

Trust me, as a real estate agent, we know that life happens. It may be inconvenient to keep the house in the best shape always, but it is important until you have a ratified contract. Each room should be free of clutter and clean. If you have kids, try to have an organization system so you can quickly clean up for a showing if needed without being too much hassle. Same thing for pets, have their toys, bowls, and beds organized so they do not create tripping hazards, also be prepared to take your pets with you. Some buyers may be allergic or afraid of animals so as a courtesy to them, try your best to take your pets during showings. These steps will allow buyers to picture themselves and their belongings in a room.


Price It Right

One of the most common reasons why a home does not sell or a seller does not get top dollar is because of price. It is important to price it right the first time around to sell quickly. A common mistake sellers will make is “I want to price it high that way I have room to negotiate”. Good buyer’s agents, and savvy buyers know the market well. An overpriced home can be a turn off for buyers. They may think that the seller is unreasonable or see the exact same home priced way less and decide to offer on the lower priced home instead. Another issue is if you do get an offer at the high price, the home will need to appraise, assuming the buyer is not paying cash. This could lead to an appraisal coming in lower than the contract price, and you as a seller taking less for the house after all.


A good way to know if you are pricing the home right is to take your emotions out of the home and put your shoes on as if you’re a buyer. Look at the recent sold comparable homes, and the current active homes that are the most like your home. Which home would you choose as a buyer? The one that is lowest priced, since you think it is a better deal. Exactly! If your home is the highest price home on the block, all other things equal, buyers may avoid seeing it altogether. This does not mean giving your home away, it means pricing your home to net the most money possible!


The longer your home sits on the market with no offers, the more price reductions you will need to make, and the better chances of a lower offer from a buyer. Do not make that mistake! There are too many examples of homes that we see that sit on the market for one reason or another and the seller ends up taking way less than they should have. Why through away money like that?


Keep these tips in mind if you’re preparing to sell. With these 8 easy steps you will ensure that you will net the most amount of money in the least amount of time and get your house SOLD!!!





Posted in Selling
Feb. 14, 2018

D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Real Estate Blog

Top 4 Reasons Homes Don’t sell

1.     Poor Marketing

Gone are the days when agents could do what we call the 3 P’s of real estate, place the home in the multiple listing service, place a sign in the yard and pray for a buyer. The changes to the internet have led to changes to the real estate market. Agents need to really understand and keep up with technology to ensure that they are marketing their homes to every potential buyer that may be interested. After all most home buyers now use the internet for house hunting. Top listing agents, like the Poliansky Group are computer-savvy, putting listings on lots of websites and utilizing social media skills to attract buyers. The Poliansky Group also prospects daily to find buyers for their listings.


Believe it or not, not many agents are trained in the art of sales and marketing. There are agents that put forth little effort to sell homes by only doing the 3 P’s and there are those that put a lot of effort into marketing their listings. In sales and marketing, the Poliansky Group implements sensational, effective marketing plans for their listings to get SOLD!!!

2.     Bad Photos

Many buyers will say “NO!” to houses simply because of poor photos that are used on the internet, on the Multiple Listing Service and in ads. Many agents will let the buyers discard a house based on that criteria. That means that potential buyers will not even step foot in a house to figure out how it shows in person and really determine if it is the right for them or not. Good photos are not easy to get. The sun is not always shining and an agent may have a lousy camera or is trying to take pictures with a smart phone. Most real estate agents are not professional photographers and really do not have any business taking photos of a house themselves. At the Poliansky Group, we hire a professional photographer who will take amazing photos that will work to get your home SOLD!!!

3.     You Had A Lousy Agent

Yep, unfortunately, they exist: real estate agents that mislead, misfire and misbehave. Their bad advice can cost you plenty in time, money and the hassle of keeping the house show-ready 24/7.  The wrong agent will misrepresent (“If you list with me here’s what I can do for you!”), not market properly, be unresponsive to suggestions, interest from other agents, interest from potential buyers and keep you totally in the dark throughout the process. What’s more, if your agent is abrasive, arrogant, or unknowledgeable, other agents may not want the hassle of dealing with showing any of their listings to prospective buyers. The Poliansky Group is well liked and well respected by agents in the real estate community and will work hard to get YOU the best price in the least amount of time. Plus you’ll get feedback on every showing, great communication and no long-term commitment!

4.     Pricing

Some home sellers want to price their homes above market value, because they think it will give them more negotiating room. But what overpricing actually does is eliminate potential buyers. In today’s competitive market, buyers are looking for any advantage to feel like they’ve won the negotiation. If two similar homes are on the market, do you think a buyer is going to want to offer on the house that is priced $10,000.00 more than the other? Of course not, they will think the lower priced home is a better “deal.” The Poliansky Group is constantly studying the market to work with you to get the most money in the least amount of time!


If you were having trouble selling your home the first time around, or are thinking about selling your home in 2018 and want to interview agents, give us a call today! We can show you what we do to get homes SOLD!!!

Posted in Selling
Feb. 12, 2018

Best Restaurants in D.C., MD, and VA

BEST RESTAURANTS IN D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

With Valentine’s Day around the corner are you looking for a special place to take your significant other, or to celebrate a special occasion? Then look no further! We have the list of the best restaurants of 2017 in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area according to the Washingtonian. Best Restaurants list.

At the Poliansky Group, we like to consider ourselves foodies and to adventure out to try some of these places ourselves. If you’re looking for a good spot for brunch then we would have to recommend Le Diplomate. Not only is the food good, but you would mistake yourself lost in a French café while you’re there. Looking for an intimate spot or for a small group? The Red Hen and Rose’s Luxery are must eats! In the mood for Pizza or good Italian food? Then, 2 Amy’s and All Purpose are about as close as we’ve come in the area to the great pizza in New York and New Jersey. If you’re in the mood for Greek food then you need to check out Zaytina. Those are some of our favorites from experience. If you have any recommendations that we did not add or didn’t make the list we would love to hear about them!

Posted in Restaurants
Feb. 7, 2018

6 Steps to Buying a Home

The Home Buying Process


·        STEP 1 : Complete (Find a Realtor)

·       Step 2 : Get Pre-Approved

·       Step 3 : Find your dream home!

·       Step 4 : Make an Offer/Go Under Contract

·       Step 5 : Home Inspection/Contingency Period

·       Step 6 : CLOSING!!!


At the Poliansky Group, our goal is to provide top quality service for our clients – maybe you – to find the home of their dreams. Throughout the home buying process, we are here to assist whether searching for your home or a great real estate investment.

Our experience throughout each transaction has allowed us to put systems in place to ensure a smooth transaction. We have a team of experts to take the stress out of home buying. Whether buying a home for the first time, the 100th time, or investing we are ready to find you the best home at the best terms! In the article, you will find the 6 steps to buying a home.

STEP 1 – Choose a Real Estate Agent

This is a very important step in the home buying process and we hope that if you are not currently working exclusively with an agent, you choose the Poliansky Group. We view each transaction as an opportunity to build a life-long relationship. It is important you find an agent you can trust as you will be spending a lot of time with them and they are helping you with one of the biggest financial commitments you will make. You will want to make sure that your agent has local knowledge and can be there to work through problems and get you to closing on your home with as little stress as possible. Of course, each transaction is unique and finding an experienced expert to navigate through is going to make the process a lot smoother. If you are searching for an agent, make sure you look at client testimonials and ask a lot of questions to make sure that they are a good fit for you.

At the Poliansky Group, we set up buyer’s consultations with our clients to better understand their wants and needs. This not only helps us narrow down the list of homes, but it allows us to avoid wasting time by showing houses that are not a good match. We educate our clients on current market conditions so when it comes time to write an offer they can write terms that financially make sense. During the consultation, we explain the benefits of using the Poliansky Group to assist throughout the home buying process.

STEP 2 – Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage

The second most important step in the home buying process is getting pre-approved. It is important to know how much home you can afford and what program is best (FHA, VA, Conventional, etc.). For example, the U.S.D.A. offers 100% financing for a rural development loan and can be used in a lot of rural areas in Maryland and Virginia, but not all. Knowing this, a good agent can then find the areas and homes that will qualify for the loan and fit your criteria.

Having a pre-approval in hand also improves your purchasing power with the seller. The seller can see that a mortgage loan officer has viewed your financial picture and can be confident that you will get to the closing table. It helps take the fear away from the seller of missing out on another qualified buyer.

We always recommend finding a local mortgage lender to assist you. They are not only close by if you need them for anything like submitting documents, but they know more about local lending programs that can be a good fit. For example, a lot of first time home buyer programs exist and local lenders know all the facts about them such as if and when they may expire and what qualifications are needed for those programs.

STEP 3 – Find your dream home

Now comes the fun part – home shopping. What is important to you in your dream home? Are you looking for a detached house or a townhouse? How many bedrooms do you need? Are there any styles of homes that you like, such as colonial, rambler, etc.? The beauty of living in the DMV is having access to so many different styles of homes from farm houses, to Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, colonials, ramblers, and the list goes on and on.

STEP 4 – Make an offer / go under contract

Once you find your dream home it is time to make an offer! This is why step 1 and finding an agent you trust is so important. They will review the current market conditions, create a CMA (comparative market analysis) and help you make an informed offer. You will review any disclosures available and negotiate the terms that work best for all parties (closing date, seller contribution, any contingencies. Etc.). A great agent will make sure you get the best house at the best price possible.

When the buyer and seller sign and agree to all terms and conditions the offer is fully ratified. Congratulations, you’re now under contract! Next, the loan officer will secure financing and the title company will do a title search to make sure clean title to the property exists (no outstanding liens, or judgments that are attached to the property).

STEP 5 – Home Inspection / Contingency Period

This is the time for the buyer to do your due diligence as it is sometimes referred to and ensure that the property is a good fit. A typical home inspection period will be 10 – 14 days and allows time for a home inspection and any additional inspections (septic, well, lead based paint, etc.) to be performed and reports returned. Once the reports are returned, the buyer will negotiate any needed repairs with the seller. Once the negotiations are complete, the home inspection contingency is removed and then we focus on any other contingencies in the contract.

Any financed offer will need to pass an appraisal to secure financing. The appraisal is usually ordered and performed within 21 days from ratification. It will be looking at the purchase price to see if the value is fair and the buyer is not paying too much for a home and if the home needs any lender required repairs. These are repairs that are necessary for the loan to be funded.


Once all contingencies have been satisfied, the loan is ready to fund and the closing disclosure is approved by both buyer and seller, the closing can be scheduled. A final walk through of the property is typically done 24-48 hours before closing (as close to closing as possible) to make sure the home is delivered the way the buyer expects it. The buyer will schedule movers if they decide to hire them and change over all utilities.

After all the paperwork is signed by buyer and seller the house is SOLD!!!

That is the home buying process broken down into 6 steps. We hope that you found this information helpful. We understand buying a home is a lot of work. Our goal is to make the process as stress-free as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read this information!

Posted in Buying