The first stop for anyone looking for a new home in Lewes —or for anyone who is even mildly curious about what properties are currently available—is the Lewes real estate listings. Like those you find here on my site, today’s online real estate listings are updated regularly all across the internet. It’s a coordinated system that appears deceptively simple on the surface, bringing you what you ask for from within the mind-bogglingly vast amount of detail that encompasses all the properties being offered throughout the country at that moment.  

When a prospective buyer goes online to get a feel for the Lewes properties being offered, the real estate listings she or he sees appear to be straightforward enough. The information is clearly formatted, presented in a way that makes it easy to compare with other properties’ attributes. That apparent simplicity might be a little bit misleading, as anyone who has recently put their own home on the market knows.  

Before any listing goes online, all the property’s physical details have to be determined and verified. It’s your agent’s job to make sure the paperwork is complete—including the legal documentation that says, yes, this property is for sale at this amount. The 2015 NAR® handbook on multiple listing policy fills 152 pages for good reason. ‘Under the hood’ of the neighborhood listings is the structure of legal agreements that stitch together the cooperative framework that enables the smooth functioning of the modern real estate industry. Stripped of all its legal bells and whistles, it’s really an agreement among brokers and agents who agree to the way work will be apportioned and commissions shared. 

As you might expect, those 152 pages also cover some special kinds of real estate listings. Homeowners, for instance, can create Lewes real estate listings that are not made public. This is done when the seller withholds consent for a listing to be published with the MLS compilation. Although that might seem to be a particularly bad idea—like a candidate running for office who decides it would be a good idea to keep his name off the ballot—there are circumstances when it makes sense. Such ‘office exclusive’ listings can serve a useful purpose when maximum confidentiality is important. Celebrities and other public figures sometimes use this approach, as do sellers who’d rather not publicize their plan to jump ship until it’s a fait accompli.

All this is made as simple and straightforward as possible for the benefit of all. If it were too complex, sellers and buyers would hesitate to get involved. The market would suffer. In fact, today’s Lewes listings—especially as they are presented online, on sites like this one— represent a standout example of how technology can make even complicated commercial undertakings easier and more efficient than they have ever been. To find your next home, for instance, you need only check out the current Lewes listings, and then there’s only one other thing you have to do: call me up! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

You might think that professional home stagers in Lewes are intent on aiming for the kind of look that would draw oooohs and ahhhhhs if it were featured in Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens. In fact, you’d likely be more on-target if the magazine you thought of was actually RealSimple. In case you haven’t been near a newsstand lately, that’s the top-selling magazine “about simplifying your life.”

RealSimple (“Life made Easier”) has articles like “31 Pro Tips to Control your Clutter” and “Get Organized for Fall: systems in place, stress in check.” If you are planning to have a Lewes home for sale anytime soon you could do worse than picking up a copy—if for no other reason than to check out its editorial slant: Less is more. Open space attracts. Simplicity rules.

         Today’s home stagers in Lewes (and just about everywhere 21st century lifestyles have invaded) work towards the goal of clarifying room spaces—making it as easy as possible for prospective buyers to imagine their own furnishings and décor preferences in place.

A further refinement is subtlety. In that light, successful staging has something in common with many of the best classic movie scores: it moves you without your being conscious that it’s there at all.

An experienced Lewes stager will often put her or his expertise to work in ways that we would find hard to match, but for homeowners with a do-it-yourself bent, a good start can be to study some of the advice stagers agree upon:

Be willing to let go! Your home as you know it is likely not to be the version that will be easiest to sell. Be willing to say goodbye to anything: furnishings, floor plans, favorite décor items. In other words, remove that compact computer table from the dining room corner—the open space is more important (you future homeowners know they can set up an in-home office anywhere).

Color it neutral. Stagers usually shun bright colors, which may be lively but intrusive. Creamy shades, grays and soft earth tones allow viewers to cast their own preferences onto a scene. But this is a guideline that has limits, too: if neutral turns into sterile, you’ve gone too far.

Apply practical arithmetic. That is, be aware of the power of thoughtful addition and subtraction. From your now-spacious and neutral-toned rooms, subtract as much of the furniture as possible, then remove personal items and bric-a-brac. Then add back in the minimum you need to create a livable environment. If the budget allows, substitute rental furnishings (and even accessories) for original elements that are too well worn.

If your home staging efforts are successful, you will have created a more showable, sellable Lewes property. I can also be helpful by contributing feedback about what is currently popular with local buyers. Call me for a no-obligation consultation. Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.

When you read up on the dos and don’ts for selling your home, there is one piece of advice that’s universal when it comes to negotiating a successful deal: don’t let emotions get in the way. It does seem peculiar that something that is so obvious about any negotiation would have to be stated at all—much less repeated so often. You have to conclude that it happens a lot.

It does, and there are deep-seated reasons. Although selling your Lewes home is primarily a business venture, it’s one with some of the emotional overtones usually associated with creative endeavors. When an artist or sculptor, jewelry designer or photographer—any creative professional—decides to offer works for sale to the public, it’s nearly impossible for him or her to remain completely objective about how it is received. Or to avoid forming feelings about those who accept or reject the creation.

Selling your Lewes home only seems to be all business. True, it’s a single-transaction enterprise. It begins with preparing the property, and concludes with negotiating to close the deal. Every step of the process may seem to be all business. But in reality, it’s almost unavoidable for emotional cross currents to seep in from the very first step.

Consider preparing the property. If there were such a thing as a perfect home, this would be a cut-and-dried affair: all it would involve would be to eliminate every flaw. But since perfection exists only in some alternate universe, deciding which of a home’s features need to be enhanced, replaced, or done away with altogether involves making subjective judgments. Some of these can require paying significant amounts of money; others, significant amounts of elbow grease.

When the work is done and the results are first put on display, it’s like Opening Night. It is only human to feel personally connected with how prospective buyers react. Not only is the ‘product’ that’s being evaluated one that reflects your tastes and efforts—it’s also where you live! Your home, for goodness’ sake! It deserves to be appreciated at the very least

Especially when it comes to the negotiations phase of selling your Lewes home, this is one business venture wherein it’s nearly impossible to avoid the personal element. Acknowledging it is simple. And knowledge is power—if you expect that you might experience an emotional reaction at some point, you’ll recognize it for what it is. If it’s an overreaction, you will be much more likely to be able to simply take a deep breath, put it into perspective—and come up with an appropriate response.

 “A lot of times buyers and sellers will argue tooth and nail over things that aren’t really that important,” New York City closing attorney Sandor Krauss blogged recently; “and sometimes it blows deals.”

One of the great advantages to having a Lewes agent by your side when selling your area home is to have an experienced intermediary working on your behalf. It can put you at a professional remove from the direct negotiations with buyers—and their emotions! If you will be selling your home in Lewes this winter or fall, I hope you’ll give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.

With fall newly arrived, it’s a time of year when Leweshomeowners can breathe a sigh of relief; relax and take it easy. With summer behind us, most gardens require less attention. The demands harsh winter weather will make are off in the distant future— or are they?

This year it might be prudent for Leweshomeowners to mentally remove a month or two from their home maintenance timetables. The reason comes in two familiar words (and they aren’t English): El Niño.

According to the government’s NOAA climate forecasters, there is “an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-2016…” Since that is definitely our area’s hemisphere, they’re speaking to us.  They answer the question, “How strong is this El Niño now?” with, “it’s pretty strong.”  In August, it ranked second all-time (behind August 1997) in the Equatorial Southern Oscillation Index, which is one way of measuring its power. El Niño is the condition where weather shifts occur due to a change in warm ocean currents in the Pacific.

What this means to Leweshomeowners is as unpredictable as…well, as the weather! What is acknowledged is that normal patterns can be disrupted to varying degrees. The reason we can never get much clarity about how it’s going to affect us is that (unsatisfying though this answer may be), winter could be markedly more—or markedly less—stormy than usual. Since the maximum effect is expected in late fall through December (hence the Christmas allusion of the ‘El Niño’ name), Leweshomeowners might consider getting on with their winter maintenance preparations earlier rather than later.

So here—a bit earlier than usual—are some regular fall maintenance heads-ups:

  • Check and fill the exterior gaps where critters, bugs, and cold air might enter
  • Chimney maintenance: if you sweep once a year, schedule now
  • Rain gutter check: even though leaves haven’t begun to fall in earnest, cleaning out the mucky old debris now will make later leaf removal a breeze
  • Inspect the roof: if damage has happened, now is the time to schedule repair
  • Ditto the driveway: fill cracks before winter
  • Now is the perfect time to clean and stain the deck. Depending on how much sunlight it gets, it may need to be renewed annually (no matter what the stain can says!)
  • Replace worn weather stripping around doors and windows—your winter heating bills will reward the effort.

As a check of comments on the weather sites confirms, local homeowners have differing memories of how previous El Niños have affected them. But since we are now officially in an El Niño year—it can’t be a bad idea to prepare ahead of time (and if you have Lewesreal estate plans in the offing, now would also be a good time to give me a call)! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com