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FUN GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS DAY IN MARYLAND

by Phil Kelley

~The lead up to Christmas Day is often full of excitement and anticipation for everyone, with events, shopping, and dinners to attend, most of us have little time for boredom.  Christmas Day; however, can often be another story.  Once the gifts are opened and the dinner is done, many Americans will be found lounging in their living rooms, watching an endless loop of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

One surefire way to avoid the after-dinner slump is to roll out a few fun and festive family games this Christmas!

The Decorating Game
The first step to a successful round of this game is to find someone in your family that is a good sport.  Once you’ve determined the best family member for the job, the idea is to decorate that person as a Christmas-sy object or figure.  Some ideas are a Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, an Elf, or a reindeer.  Provide decorations like crepe paper, aluminum foil, wrapping paper scraps, bows, and of course, tape, and then watch the hilarity ensue!

Christmas Trivia
Tis the season for a Christmas trivia showdown!  Pull some trivia from online lists like Santa trivia, Christmas tree trivia, or trivia about Christmas traditions from around the world, and have at it.  This is a good activity at the dinner table, or for lounging in your living room (with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation playing in the background).

Present Scramble
This last idea does take a bit of prep work, but it will definitely pay off when the time comes to play.  First, wrap a small gift in a small box, then wrap that box in a larger box, and repeat until you’ve exhausted your box stash.  To play, choose a number, and have everyone take turns rolling the die.  The first person to roll the chosen number can start unwrapping, but there’s a catch.  The unwrapper must wear oven mitts!  As they are unwrapping, the remaining family members continue to roll the die until someone again rolls the chosen number, and they take the mitts to continue the unwrapping.  Continue playing, and the person that unwraps the actual gift can keep it.

DO LISTING PHOTOS REALLY MATTER?

by Phil Kelley

~The short answer: Absolutely.

Gone are the days when the first stop on the home search was a drive-by.  In today’s market, the average buyer begins their search on the internet, and contacting an agent or taking the time to view the exterior of a property comes second and third.  As a result, the first impression most buyers have of a home is from the photos that accompany the listing in online real estate searches.  If your listing photos don’t measure up, buyers will simply move on to the next listing.

In order to make your home’s listing photos count, it is important to invest in good quality equipment, and to take the time to think through the highlights of your home.  The only type of pictures you should use for your listing are high resolution, properly lit photos.  Using a smartphone may be tempting, but a good camera can make all the difference.  Many home sellers use experienced photographers when creating their listings, so that is also something to consider.  Looking through nearby home listings will give you a good idea about the caliber of photos required.

While a high quality photograph is an essential step towards creating a lasting impression, not even the best camera equipment can make an unattractive room appealing.  You may have never imagined your home in a lifestyle magazine, but now is the time to awaken your inner stylist.  Both you and your agent should spend as much time and preparation on your home’s photo shoot as on preparing for an open house.  Some quick tips for a successful photo shoot are the following:
Schedule the shoot for when your home has the best natural light.
Clean your spaces before the shoot. 
Try to declutter your home as thoroughly as possible.  Your collection of vintage figurines may be appealing to you and your family, but clearing them out of the shot may make your home more attractive to a broader audience.

Consider your home a product, and your listing photos the catalogue shots.  Try to capture your rooms at their best, your time and effort will make all the difference!
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Phil Kelley
RE/MAX Realty Group
Six Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 200
Gaithersburg MD 20879
Phone: 301-983-2428
Cell: 301-873-7635
Fax: 301-417-9736

 Each Office Independently Owned and Operated