March 23, 2007

YLD Presents 2nd Annual Comedy Night at Academy of Natural Sciences May 12

width=90,height=130 Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12, 2007. Read more...

Chancellor's Forum for Mayoral Candidates April 10

CMSResources/candidates.curve.jpg The Philadelphia Bar Association will host a Chancellor's Forum for mayoral candidates Tuesday, April 10 beginning at 11:45 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building.

The program is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section and Young Lawyers Division, the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, the South Asian Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Hispanic Bar Association and the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division.

The candidates set to appear at the forum include (clockwise from top left) Chaka Fattah, Tom Knox, Michael Nutter and Al Taubenberger. The event will begin with a luncheon at 11:45 a.m. on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad Streets, opposite City Hall).

Applications are now being accepted for the Young Lawyers Division Minority Scholarship Program

The scholarship, established in 2006 by the YLD Executive Committee, awards $500 for deserving minority law students who desire to practice law in Philadelphia upon graduation.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible to the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Barrister's Association of Philadelphia, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia and the National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter. Each group will forward three applications to the YLD for consideration on April 16, 2007. The YLD will award the scholarship based on academic achievement; demonstrated commitment to community service and involvement; financial need; and career aspirations and goals.

Interested candidates should submit to the appropriate minority bar association named above a resume, transcript and a brief essay (not to exceed 850 words) addressing (at the candidate's discretion) the scholarship criteria set forth above. Any questions regarding the scholarship should be directed to Sozi Tulante at spt@hangley.com or 215-496-7073, or to the individual minority bar association to whom a law student is interested in applying.

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YLD Presents 2nd Annual Comedy Night at Academy of Natural Sciences May 12

Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12, 2007. In addition to a night filled with entertainment, attendees will join together to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation -the charitable arm of the Bar Association, supporting legal agencies assisting the indigent, elderly and disabled, as well as abused women and children. The event, which runs from 7-11:30 p.m., features comedy, dancing, an open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction.

Comedian and Philadelphia-native Chris Coccia will open for Ty Barnett and serve as emcee for the night.

The YLD Comedy Night is part of an annual mission to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation by promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. That mission is accomplished by providing grants and technical assistance in support of quality legal services, addressing unmet legal needs and providing education on matters in the public interest.

Tickets are $65 per person and the show is open to the public. All tickets are general admission. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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Staging Your Home for Sale by Lisa Getson

There is a new phenomenon happening with respect to the sale of homes - it's called staging. What is staging? Staging is setting the scene throughout your house to create a certain image, which will in turn result in your home selling faster and for the highest possible price in today's market.

I had heard about people staging their homes for sale and it intrigued me. As a real estate agent, I am always in search of anything that will make my listings sell more quickly and for more money. However, I was still a little unclear as to what exactly staging meant. What makes a home sell faster and for more profit? I desperately wanted to find out, so when a class offered the opportunity to become a "professional stager," I quickly signed up.

As I entered the class I was very excited. I noticed a display table with such things as cleaning items, various tools, and before and after pictures of rooms in houses. Wow! This looks easy! It appeared that staging was just cleaning and decorating, or so I thought. But after a two-day training class in which I became an accredited staging professional Realtor, I learned that it involves much more.

There are four basic steps to staging. The first and most important step in staging your home for sale is to de-clutter. A room should not be overcrowded with furniture, as too many pieces can make a room look smaller. A room should also not look messy. Toys should be put away and bookshelves should be straightened. There should not be an overabundance of knickknacks on shelves or on tables around the room. Buyers don't want the house to look "lived in". They want the house to look as if it were a model home.

The second step to staging is to de-personalize. When buyers are looking at a home, their focus should be on the house itself and not the sellers' personal property. Pesonal pictures and memos on refrigerators and bulletin boards should be put away. Papers on a desk should be put in a drawer and important documents should be put in storage for safe keeping. A few family pictures scattered around are okay, but they should be limited. Buyers need to imagine how their belongings would look in a home, and too many of the sellers' paraphernalia scattered throughout might cloud their perception.

After you have de-cluttered and de-personalized, it is time for the third step to staging. This entails putting the house back together room by room so that it shows like a sample home. When setting up furniture, don't block a room's entrances or exits. One trick to making a room appear bigger is to place larger furniture on an angle. Another recommendation is to group seating areas together rather than scattering odd pieces of furniture. This will make the room more appealing to buyers because they will perceive more living space for themselves. The coziness of these seating areas will also give the house more of a homey feel. Finally, it helps to bring the outside in. This will continue the visually appealing outdoor landscape inside the house as well as provide an overall feeling of tranquility. To achieve this step, place plants and flowers everywhere in the house. Since it can get quite expensive purchasing fresh flowers on a daily basis, try cutting some branches from a tree in the backyard, pick some flowers from the garden if you have one, or use tasteful silk arrangements in baskets or vases around the house.

The last step to staging is to clean. Buyers want to walk into a home that sparkles, where they can see their reflection in the countertop and eat from the floor. It may be hard work to keep your house clean every day, but it will surely pay off. Some stagers might go so far in the cleaning process as to suggest taking down old, dirty wallpaper and putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls. This is a good idea if it is not too time-consuming or cost-prohibitive for the seller.

I hope that this article provides you with some insight on how to stage your home in order to sell it in less time and for more money. Please e-mail me with your thoughts on real estate and any real estate questions that you would like me to address in next month's article.

Lisa may be reached at lisa.getson@prufoxroach.com.

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