CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
Home Selling Tips

Here we grow again in Monroe County


Mt. Pocono, Pa., — (March 4, 2010) – Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC., with offices in Stroudsburg and Mt. Pocono, Pa., has named three REALTORS to its team of real estate experts. They are: Marie Burkey, Agnes Diehl and Diane Hinson. Two agents are rejoining former broker, Vickie Brockelman, who had previously owned the Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate franchise before their sale in 2008.
Burkey has been a real estate professional and top performer for more than 10 years earning awards including Sterling Society for 2002 and 2006; Million Dollar Producer for 2002, 2008 and 2009; Solid Service Referral for 2002 and 2003; Above and Beyond Award for 2003; Multi Million Dollar Producer for 2003 through 2007; Company best listing sold volume and sold in units for 2006; and Accredited Seller Representative for 2006 – all major awards when she was with Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate. She specializes in Monroe, Carbon and Pike counties as well as all of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She knows the markets expertly including primary and vacation homes, investment properties, lots and land and can serve as an Accredited Seller Representative and Negotiation & Relocation Specialist.

Also a former Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate agent, Hinson has been a Realtor in the Poconos for nearly 9 years. While an agent with CBPRRE, Diane earned an award for being a Million Dollar Producer in Listings and Buyer Controlled Volume. In addition, she won an All Star Award for Exceptional Productivity. Diane was also designated as a speaker for Coldwell Banker Phyllis Rubin Real Estate Agents on the subject matter of Professionalism and Expertise as a Listing Agent.

Diehl has been in the real estate industry for more than 2 decades and has sold properties in the New Jersey region and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
While living in New Jersey, she was an agent with Weichert Realty in Roxbury and sold property through the state. When she moved to the Poconos she was in client services with Shawnee Development assisting Shawnee owners to upgrade to a Wyndham resort. With personal achievements including highest in-house sales and other company successes, she was offered employment with Wyndham World Wide and became one of the highest ranking sales people in the Pocono region assisting vacation owners and new customers to purchase Wyndham properties throughout the United States.
All three are members of the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS, the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS.

For more information, watch for the Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC, Web site launch coming soon at or call or call 570-839-0411 or toll free at 1-888-333-0464.

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

Home Selling Tips

First-Time Homebuyers Need Guidance, Expertise

Just two weeks into the Chinese Year of the Tiger — many are wondering…Will this be the year that First-Time Home Buyers ROAR and purchase their first homes.

According to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, the answer is Yes, Yes, Yes. He says there will be 1.84 million homes sold to first-time home buyers in 2010, compared with 1.73 million in 2009. That’s good news for the economy and good news for buyers.

A few tips to those new to real estate who want to purchase a home:

1) From the National Association of RELATORS:
a. In order to take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, you need to close by April 30, 2010. You can apply the credit to your 2009 taxes if you close and file your taxes on or before April 15 or you can file an amended 2009 return or apply the credit to 2010.

2) From the REALTORS at Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way with offices in Mt. Pocono and Stroudsburg, PA:
a. Find a REALTOR to work with. Do not try to purchase a home without the expertise, knowledge and guidance of a REALTOR. Using a REALTOR makes sense when its time to buy (or sell) a home. Particularly with the deadline for a major tax credit looming, many new to real estate will rush to judgment and make mistakes. For first time home buyers, REALTORS can look out for your interests and have experience negotiating and walking those in a real estate transaction for the first time through the process. REALTORS adhere to a strict code of ethics, they are constantly updating their skills, and they understand the marketplace.

It’s time to buy. There’s no doubt about it. The inventory is high, the prices are right and it you qualify as a first-time home buyer, the tax incentives are incredible.

Let this Year of the Tiger be your time to ROAR!

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

Home Selling Tips

Now is the time to buy a home in the Poconos

Buyers Who Wait May Lose a Lot
Potential home buyers who delay have a lot to lose.

First-time home buyer and move-up tax credits worth $8,000 and $6,500, respectively, expire April 30. Buyers who qualify get a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes or a cash payment if they don’t pay enough taxes to cover the credit.

Other factors that should spur buyers:

Low mortgage rates. If the Federal Reserve stops buying mortgage-backed securities at the end of March, 30-year rates will almost certainly rise to more than 6 percent.

Rising prices. About 30 percent of markets are already experiencing price increases. Prices are falling in 12 percent of markets, says Fiserv (but that only helps if you want to live there).

Source: Money Magazine, Beth Braverman (03/02/2010)
If you have been considering Purchasing your first home or A larger home, get out this weekend and take a look at all the great homes for sale in the Stroudsburg ,Mt. Pocono, Blakslee and all of the surrounding Pocono Region. Home prices, interest rates tax credits are the best ever.

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

Home Selling Tips

It’s Competitive Buyer’s Market… Where does your house fit in?



It is a competitive buyer’s market. More than 3,500 homes are listed for sale through members of the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors.

Where does your house fit in?


Potential buyer turn-offs:

• Exterior deferred maintenance.
• Moss on roof, unsightly dirt on siding.
• Water marks on the ceiling.
• Moldy, damp basement.
• Stinky odors such as pet, cooking, mildew and cigarette smoke.
• Leaky faucets and dirty, rusty appliances.
• Striking bold colors on walls should be painted neutral, not white.
• Dark interiors. Open the blinds and let the sun shine in.
• Replace burnt-out lightbulbs.
Appealing to the senses:
• People respond more favorably to brightly lit rooms.
• Keep the noise down. Be aware of the barking dog. Avoid vacuuming, lawn mowers and dishwashers while showing your house.
• The nose knows. The smell of cleanliness is the best selling technique.

Try baking cookies or a pie to arouse the sense of heartwarming. No time to bake? Light a candle or apply furniture polish.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your house quickly and get the right price, you may need to take a good look at your house through an extra pair of eyes. Not everyone wants a fixer-upper. Usually those who do are looking for a real bargain.

With the spring weather comes the hope that home sales will start to pick up again. Some tips from the pros can help make your home stand out from the rest and sell in a timely manner.

Vickie Brockelman, broker/owner of Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way in Mount Pocono, advised first and foremost to make sure your home is priced right.

“Using a certified broker or an appraiser is important in this difficult market. In our area, buyers are not looking for a particular style of home, they are looking for the right number of bedrooms and square footage that will suit their needs,” she said.
The seller can do other things to speed up the process. “A motivated seller should consider pre-certifying their home before it goes on the market by having a home inspection done and making any repairs needed. Also, have a title search done beforehand to clear up any title issues you may encounter,” she said.

A title search is done to make sure there are no liens on the property that may cloud the title when it comes time to transfer to the new owner. Once you have your house appraised, inspected and have a clear title, a little staging goes a long way.


Honey, stop the car! This is where it all begins.

Within the first 15 seconds of arrival, the buyer has already formed an opinion of your house. The first impression is the most important to any homebuyer.

“Homes are purchased based on emotions and love at first sight,” Brockelman said.

Does your home have curb appeal? Is it inviting or are buyers going to not even want to get out of the car?

Even if you use the woods as your “natural landscaping,” you can spruce up your front yard by just picking up dead tree branches and place a grouping of potted flowers on the porch.

Act as if your home is on an interview. Sprucing up the front door by painting it can be a quick and cheap fix that really shows the buyer you care about your home. “You don’t want your front door to add to a buyer’s disappointment but to increase their enthusiasm,” Brockelman said.

Fresh mulch on your landscaping gives a new look and well-kept appearance.

Make sure your lawn is kept well cut. Weeds up to your knees is the first sign of neglect.


“Take a box to every room in the house and pack up any personal items that are not being used,” she said. A potential buyer can then mentally place their own belongings in the room instead of being distracted by clutter.

Neutral colors on the walls are best and appeal to more buyers. A buyer may have a hard time visualizing her plaid sofa with your floral wallpaper. Try to stay away from white, except for the ceiling.

Dawn Libecap, an accredited staging professional of Affordable Home Staging in East Stroudsburg, explained that staging a home is depersonalizing. It is not decorating. Decorating is personalizing.
“I truly believe that you cannot stage your own house. You need a fresh set of eyes to see all the things you would normally overlook,” she said.

Not everyone wants the handyman special. “If you have to ask if you should fix the broken fence, then the answer is yes. A buyer will think, ‘What else is wrong?’” Libecap said.

Go through every room in the house and jot down anything that might stand out to you that you always wanted to repair, but never got around to. Then repair them.

Little fixes make a big difference. “Buyers are very savvy now and they want the best. Even if they can’t afford it,” she said.
Want a simple fix? “A fresh coat of paint not only looks nice but can also make the house smell new. Paint is the least expensive way to make a big change,” Libecap said.

Clean the carpets if you cannot replace them to get rid of those nasty pet odors. You might not be able to smell them, but a non-dog lover will pick up on that right away.

Cigarette smoke is the biggest of offenders, so leave your butt outside while the house is up for sale.

Libecap said, “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. The money you spend fixing up and staging your home will be less than your first price reduction.”

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

Home Selling Tips

Staging Your Home – How to get your home from For Sale to Sold

staging your home

Your home is a reflection of who you are, so it’s only natural that it would bear your signature — something that is uniquely your own.

However, when you put your house on the market, it may not be easy, but it’s time to pack away those things that identify your house as belonging to you. You want buyers to “mentally move in” and picture themselves living there, but that’s difficult for them to do if everywhere they look they’re reminded that this is your home.

Do think twice about displaying family photos. In addition to reminding buyers that they’re in your home, every minute they spend eying your precious photos is a minute less that they’re actually looking at your house — the very thing that you want them to pay attention to.

De-personalizing your home may be emotionally difficult, but think about what it is that really makes a house a home. It’s not the “stuff” or the “things” that are proudly displayed. It’s a mixture of laughter and dreams and memories — a combination that no amount of money could buy.

So, it’s time to pack up all those things that tug at your heartstrings, make you smile when you’re down, or just bring you pleasure by simply looking at them. That’s the good news — all of those things will be going to your new home with you.

And believe me, once you remove your signature, you have in deed made room for someone to sign on that dotted line.

By: Tammy Kemp, professional home stager and owner of First Impressions. Tammy has worked with some of the most successful builders, developers, investors, real estate agents, and home sellers in the Lehigh Valley and Pocono Mountains.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can sell your home for more money in less time, please visit Tammy’s website at

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville