Betsy Spiker Holcombbetsy@deepcreekvacations.com301-616-5022
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Deep Creek Lake Buyers and Sellers

How to Buy & Sell Real Estate in Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake & Wisp Resort.


Choose Taylor-Made Real Estate at Deep Creek Lake, MD! 

We break the mold of traditional real estate sales and are a true FULL SERVICE brokerage.  It is our goal to simplify the lives of our clients; we have created a ONE-STOP SHOP for everything you would need or want at Deep Creek Lake. Not only can we assist with finding the perfect vacation or primary home, we can assist you with EVERY aspect of home ownership with our full service property management division, whether you decide to rent your property or not. You will be working with an entire team of professionals every step of the way! 

Shop ALL homes for sale – automatic email service. 

When you shop online for homes at Deep Creek Lake and in Garrett County, you are only seeing a portion of the homes for sale. Not all real estate companies participate in the IDX program which would allow their listings to be displayed on all search platforms.  As a consumer, it makes finding all available listings for sale a cumbersome task; you would have to search multiple websites to get a true glimpse of everything that is available for sale.  However, REALTORS® belonging to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), like us, can access ALL of the area listings for you.  Once we understand the parameters for your ideal property, we can begin looking for things that may be of interest to you in the MLS and email them to you.  We can also set you up on an automated email service through our MLS system with your specific criteria so that you are notified of new listings that match those specifics just as soon as they hit the market.  In fact, you will probably become aware of it before I even see it.  It’s 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. Your ‘Taylor-Made’ search results will keep you up-to-date with the area of the market you want to focus on and give you a tremendous advantage. 

Absorb the Deep Creek Lake market. 

Our website offers fantastic tools that you can use to learn the different types of properties that are out there, as well as research communities and amenities. Visit our FAQ’s page: What is the buffer strip? What is a Type A dock? Who regulates the lake and why is that important to water oriented properties? What is a TVRU?  Betsy Spiker Holcomb is an experienced and seasoned agent, as well as a native of the area, who has the know-how to make sure you have the answers you need to make an informed decision about your purchase or sale at the lake.  Lakefront homes are always in high demand on any lake – the lot is more valuable and often has several amenities: water access, a view and a dock. But what other kinds of properties are there? Lake area houses offer much more living space and often yard space for the money, but don't offer as much in terms of amenities - views, ski slope access, water frontage, dock slips, etc. Condominiums & townhomes offer low maintenance ownership, and often have attractive common areas. All of these factors are considered in the pricing of the properties you see online. Beyond that, every listing you see has a ‘story to tell’ – good or bad. We’ll help you understand the nuances of the market. 

Develop your budget. 

You already have an idea what you are comfortable spending, so the next step is to determine how you want to pay for your DCL home. Are you using a home equity line from your primary home? Do you intend to rent your home as a vacation rental and how does this play a role? How much are closing costs, taxes, and insurance? How much money should you put down to get the best interest rate? How should you structure ownership – in your individual names, as an LLC, in a trust? Do you have funds from a 1031 tax deferred exchange that you can use for the purchase?  If you are going the route of a traditional mortgage, it’s a good practice to check with at least 3 lenders – your local bank or loan officer and 2 people in Deep Creek who know our market. 

Use our knowledge to YOUR Advantage.

We have over 120+ years of 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 follow the local and national news and are engaged with our community so that we can keep our clients informed of the latest zoning/building/tax/mortgage developments specific to Garrett County. 

Plan your visit to DCL to preview homes and get acquainted with the area. 

There’s no better way to get up to speed with an area than to see it firsthand.  Of course we can educate you substantially through phone and email correspondence but seeing is believing!  Let’s narrow down your list of properties and we’ll make the arrangements to get you inside. The internet is an amazing resource but what may be your favorite property online could turn out to lose ranking once we take a tour.  We are committed to finding you a little piece of heaven at Deep Creek no matter how long it takes!

Take action…make an offer. 

Once you find your number one, we'll provide you the data on comparable sales and help determine a strategy. Home inspections, chimney, mold, radon, water bacteria, septic dye tests, buffer strip inspections, surveys...some of these may come into play during the offer process.  What are other homes in the neighborhood with similar amenities selling for? What does the property need?  Should you factor in some repairs/upgrades in your offer? Is it a current vacation rental home or do you want to convert it to one? What dates are booked and how will this be handled?  We can guide you through the process with ease and help you get the best price for the home. 

Negotiate the contract. 

There are many angles and details that will need to be discussed during negotiations. Are furnishings, electronics and accessories included? Is it 'move-in” ready (down to the sheets, artwork & dishes)? How much time should we allow from contract to settlement? How much good faith money/escrow deposit? What inspection time frame will work for you? Who should you call for an estimate on future repairs/upgrades? Relax. We have it under control and can handle all the smallest details! When you work with Betsy, you have a liaison for life.        

The closing process…settlement. 

We’re almost there. Just a few more details until the keys are yours!  Rely on us to work with the title company/settlement agent/attorney to help facilitate the title search, deed preparation, title insurance, utility transfers, homeowner’s insurance, wiring of funds, pre-settlement walk-through, etc. Betsy knows exactly who to call for assistance in every circumstance. And it all ends with a new vacation home where you and your family will build memories to last a lifetime! 

You’re a homeowner. 

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® and a Deep Creek Lake expert. 

We live and breathe Deep Creek real estate & vacation rentals every day. On a daily basis, we review every property that comes on the market and spend countless hours scanning the MLS data, compiling sales numbers and analyzing statistics. There is a lot of truth in numbers, so we take them seriously. BUT, we realize that there are other factors at play. Selling or buying a vacation home is an emotional decision. Betsy will keep you informed with market realities and help guide you through every step of the process.

How much is your home worth?

Real estate is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer is willing to pay. You know what your home is 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. Although tax assessments and appraisals are useful when determining value, they are not always indicative of current market value.

Pricing…let’s talk about 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 correlate to a sales timeframe. Do you want to sell in 30 days or 6+ months? The timeframe and time of year we go on the market can play a role in the price. Another factor with pricing is the condition of the property. Buyers will not pay top dollar for a property knowing that they will have to spend money right away to upgrade the roof, or deck, or kitchen. There is a pricing strategy that works for every home. How well a property is priced will determine the length of time it’s on the market. Betsy’s 18+ years in the business gives her the know-how in this very important part of the sales process.

Staging & preparations.

Setting the stage for a good first impression is extremely important and it can be relatively simple and cost-effective to do. At Taylor-Made, we manage 230+ rental properties and staging is part of our daily routine. From being on appointments with buyers and staying up-to-speed with the latest trends, we know what people are looking for and what to do to present the home in the best light. It’s important to take an objective approach.  For instance, on a scale of 1 to 10, how does your home measure up? Is it cluttered or overly furnished making the rooms look smaller? Is the siding in need of paint or replacement? Is the carpet nearing the end of its useful life? Investing the money upfront to prepare it for sale will net you more money at the end of the line. But, if you choose to opt for less hassle we need to account for these things in the price and weigh the options of how it could play out.  It helps to wear the shoes of the buyer and look closely at the other homes on the market in your price range to see how things stack up. 

Let’s get rolling…it’s time for paperwork. 

There’s no need to cringe; we know these documents like the back of our hand and take time to review our listing and purchase contracts with you. There are disclosures and addenda that cover EVERYTHING you can think of. And a few days from now, we’ll have another disclosure to cover some new hot-button issue – windmills, mineral rights, mold, radon, water quality, mineral rights, inclusions, exclusions, property condition, homeowner’s association, DNR buffer strip, building permits, material facts. Our MAR (Maryland Association of REALTORS®) contracts can make all the difference in the world when selling your home. Betsy will explain it all in detail, and will present any and all buyers with a complete picture of the home they are considering. It’s better to over-disclose than under-disclose to avoid any situations that could come up after settlement when it’s too late to correct. 

Marketing your home. 

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 tailor an advertising campaign to cover all aspects of internet marketing – Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, drip email marketing, blogging, e-newsletter, 230+ in-home vacation rentals, direct mail and more.

Property showings.

When the appointments start to roll in for prospective buyers who want to preview your home, we all get excited. This means we are priced right and our marketing is doing its job.  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. We follow up with the buyer or the buyer’s real estate agent following every showing in order to get real-time feedback. Their opinions are valuable and it’s important to pay attention to their comments and act on them if necessary. If we aren't getting regular showings or if the feedback we are receiving is consistently similar, then it may be time to adjust the price and address the objections.

Analyzing the feedback.

We got them through the door of your home, now let’s find out what they thought. Did they like the upgraded kitchen?  How about the neighborhood and beautiful view? What did they think of the price when compared with other homes they saw in the same range? What did the buyer agent 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. We want them to be upfront with their true take of the property and ask tough questions to get those responses.  What did or didn’t they like about it? Are there specific objections we can overcome to get them to an offer position? Betsy will discuss the feedback with you and see how we can correct any issues that would help sell the property.

Negotiating a purchase offer.

Offers from buyers are a sign that we are positioned well and are moving in the right direction.  Many terms to an offer may not be exactly what you’d hoped for but we now have a written model from which to work.  There’s more to it than price, in many cases.  A buyer may ask for certain contents, a delayed settlement, a credit for repairs, a number of inspections and so forth. There are many different facets to consider, and timing and pricing play a big role on how things may shake out. How you respond to an offer will set the stage for how the rest of the transaction may go. Betsy will help find the middle ground on points of difference to help you reach the closing table. Negotiation is an art form and there are as many strategies out there as there are situations in which to apply them.

From contract to settlement.

We now have a signed contract and we’re nearing the finish line. No transaction is ever finished once it’s committed to writing – that’s just where the next steps begin. We have property inspections to navigate, home repairs to negotiate, closing details to finalize and loose ends to tie up. Taylor-Made has a property management team and transaction coordinator that will make this process easier for you. There can be some logistics to work through along the way but we’ll keep the train on the rails and watch for trouble around the bend; that’s why you’ve hired a team of experienced professionals to represent your best interest. There are always bumps in the road 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, Betsy will get you there!

Area Information

So much to do throughout all four seasons! Whether you reside all year round or looking for the perfect second home, there are many local events, activities, and things to do in the area.

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