Archive for the ‘Selling Your Home’ Category

Rx for Bedford Real Estate Inspection Jitters

As worrisome physical symptoms go, house inspection jitters should not be worrisome in the least. Neither Bedford home buyers or their counterparts (Bedford home sellers) need be troubled if they find themselves awaiting the house inspector with mounting anxiety: these are perfectly normal symptoms. My advice echoes HGTV’s prescription for a “Drama-Free Real Estate Rx”—in their words, “Don’t Freak Out.”

The utter normalcy for pre-inspection jitters is indisputable—as is their cause. If you are the seller, you can be perfectly satisfied that you have done everything possible to ensure that your Bedford home is in tip-top shape, and yet be aware that some totally unknown malady (that only a sharp-eyed house inspector could ever uncover) might be lurking. If you are the buyer, you’ve found the house you’ve been searching for, but know that all the plans you’ve set into motion could be derailed by some unanticipated dire structural finding.

With so much on the line, the house inspection is usually viewed as the last possible monkey wrench that could be thrown into the works of the deal. Jitters are appropriate.

The prescription for real estate inspection jitters is to realize that although deal-killing inspections are certainly possible, they aren’t all that likely. The reason is that almost any set of negative findings can be dealt with rationally: in terms of dollars and cents. Your Bedford real estate agent (hopefully me!) is expert at doing away with post-inspection jitters. If the problems are so minor that they don’t bother the buyer, the jitters disappear all by themselves.

If more major items are in play, contractor bids can be gathered and compared, and the probable costs factored into a renegotiation which results in a deal that seems fair to all. The most frequent result is the calm knowledge that the house inspection jitters were quickly put to rest via a mature and rational solution: freak-out not warranted.

Helping buyers and sellers appraise the results of Bedford real estate inspections is only one part of how I can help you when it comes to the very important project of buying or selling Bedford properties. I hope you’ll consider giving me a call!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

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9 Home Hacks to Ease Daily Billerica Homeowner Hassles

You don’t have to be holding a showing or Billerica open house to appreciate time-saving maintenance and organizational tips. Nowadays, many of these are being called “home hacks”—but no matter what you call them, when you find yourself repeatedly dealing with recurring cleaning and household organizational problems, simple shortcuts are what is called for.

Without further ado, here are 9 home hacks for Billerica householders. I’ve noted them as briefly as possible so you can quickly spot familiar situations in your own household:

  1. Oil-stained garage floor? Some recommend sprinkling with cat litter—but it can get messy. Try Coca-Cola first!
  2. Don’t throw out those plastic clips that keep bread bags closed—label them with the names of the electronic devices plugged into the media center’s power strip. They’ll hang perfectly on the cords—and let you know which is which without unplugging (and triggering a date/time reset).
  3. When you are doing all the bedrooms at once for a showing or open house, you’ll be glad if you’ve kept the separate sheet sets in their matching pillowcases.
  4. Curtain rod hack ONE: Suspend a curtain rod from ceiling hooks near the washer/dryer. All you need is a bunch of coat hangers—and see how handily they organize the clean shirts!
  5. Curtain rod hack TWO: Too much cleaning stuff jammed together under the kitchen sink? Install another curtain rod near the top, and hang all the spray-nozzle-type bottles from it. Now there’s plenty of room for all the rest of the stuff below.
  6. Stubborn water spots on shower doors and mirrors? Use dryer sheets.
  7. If you’ve stashed family board games in storage containers, label them. It’s easy to forget how family board and card games can make family gatherings—but without labels, all those old games are out of sight and out of mind.
  8. Cleaning Billerica properties that have lots of stainless steel appliances can be frustrating unless you’ve heard about using rubbing alcohol with a microfiber cloth. Always wipe with the grain.
  9. Tie a baggy with vinegar around a clogged shower head and leave it overnight— sometimes this actually works!)

These are nine of the “home hacks” that can save Billerica householders time and frustration. Saving my Billerica real estate clients both is part of my job description!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

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Billerica Listing Photos Set the Stage for the Sale

Some key preparations for the marketing of any Billerica home actually start well before the first showing or open house: they take place in the hours before the Billerica listing photos are taken. Those Billerica listing photos will become the definitive beauty shots—the equivalent of the glamorous depictions that grace product packaging.

Manufacturers know very well the import of how their product looks on the carton, jar or bag. It’s why top commercial photographers rely on “product stylists” (they’re the experts who sort through 100 bags of potato chips to come up with the two or three that will photograph perfectly).

Billerica listing photos no longer have anything to do with 20th-century cameras or film. But it’s not just the move to digital that’s responsible for creating a higher quality Billerica listing photos. To guarantee you maximize the quality of your own Billerica home’s listing photos, it remains a team effort…and you’re on the team. Four elements are called for:

  1. Equipment. Even now, the technology behind photo equipment is advancing rapidly. What used to require compliments of hot lamps, stands, and even a reflector or two can now be accomplished with a single travel case of lightweight equipment. Still vital: the “eye” of the knowledgeable pro behind the lens.
  2. Patience. For the critical exterior shot, Mother Nature controls most of the timing. The photographers creating the best Billerica listing photos don’t just take weather into account—they factor in the house’s orientation and the time of day that will show it to its best advantage, and plan accordingly.
  3. Homeowner prep. The NAR®’s real estate photo tutorial emphasizes how important homeowners can be on the big day because “little things can make—or break—listing photos.” Examples are paying special attention to blinds, bedspreads and shower curtains (making sure they are smooth)—as well as removing any and all unnecessary knick-knacks.
  4. The digital finale. It used to be that fine photo correcting was a time-consuming art practiced mainly in the production studios of national publications. That’s no longer the case. Digital images can be quickly refined via ubiquitous photo processing software that makes retouching and image enhancing part of the professional’s everyday bag of tricks.

Starting out with dynamic listing photos is important—as are the many steps to follow. When it’s your time to list, I hope you’ll allow me to demonstrate the personal care that makes selling your Billerica home a low-stress experience!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

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A Tenant-Occupied House Sale Can be Smooth Sailing

Even investors whose Burlington rental homes have served long and well as income-producers can eventually decide it’s time to sell. Given today’s tight housing inventories, the current market does stack up as one where selling your tenant-occupied house can be a timely financial move.

But if that is under consideration, what should you do about the current tenant? Is it better to wait until the current lease expires—so that the vacated property can be shown without having to deal with an inconvenienced (and possibly miffed) tenant? Or will it be better to go ahead and list the property while it’s still occupied? Massachusetts landlord-tenant laws will have to be observed in any case, and specifics depend on the terms of the rental agreement, but experience teaches that following a few straightforward guidelines will usually solve any tenant-occupied Burlington rental home sale issues before they become problematical.

As with so many “people” matters, keeping the lines of communication open should be the first order of business. For the planned sale of a tenant-occupied house, that means letting your tenant know as soon as possible that the house is going to be put on the market, and that you and your agent will actively minimize any inconvenience that might result. This is also the most opportune time to suggest that they consider buying the place themselves—an option that eliminates further complications.

If that’s not a possibility, be prepared to address their likely concerns, such as—

  1. Having to allow strangers into their home. Impress on the tenant that showings will only be conducted for qualified prospective buyers who will be escorted by your agent—a Massachusetts-licensed real estate professional.
  2. Having home life suddenly interrupted. Let them know the terms of your agreement with your Realtor® specifying the required advance notice for all showings.
  3. Having to move. This is only a possibility since their good history as a tenant increases the possibility that the new owner may choose to continue to offer the property as a rental.

The solution depends on the specifics. If you are selling a property that tracks well as an investment, tenants may be a plus. If you are selling an upscale property, having it vacant and staged to the 9s may well be your best bet (and a good one, too!).

In any case, the most accurate advice will come when you give me a call to come out and see your property. That’s how we can develop the right game plan!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

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The Economics 101 Reason to Sell Your Bedford Home Now

Give me one good reason why selling now is better than waiting until next spring,” is a perfectly legitimate request. It’s a challenge to the traditional peak of Bedford’s selling season. Why should right now, at the start of September, be the right time to sell your Bedford home?

Statistics show that more homes are sold in the spring and summer, that—plus sheer inertia—can be powerful arguments to the contrary.

So here’s the “one good reason.” In fact, it could be the best reason. It’s the textbook Economics 101 basic rule about markets and pricing.

Simply put, the supply of housing all across the nation continues to be low. Really, really low. A few weeks ago, USA Today put inventories of homes for sale at “a 20-year low.” By the start of summer, that explained why the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index was up 5.6% from the year before—an all-time high.

Now, it could turn out that the supply of competing homes on the market remains low throughout the fall and winter—and even throughout 2018. But it’s also possible that conditions change, and that the housing inventory slump finally reverses. In fact, the economy, jobs reports, and consumer confidence are on the rise…

But until then, it’s what those Econ 101 introductory texts lay out: a basic truth that the price of an item is a reflection of supply and demand. Unless the annual pattern does a surprise about-face, come springtime, many more competing homes can be expected to enter the market. In other words, right now an already-constricted supply is likely to thin out even further. And most homeowners will wait for the traditional peak selling season to sell their Bedford homes.

The long and short of it is that listing now isn’t just a good time—it could be the good time. If you were looking for that “one good reason,” it’s also another reason, too—to give me a call me to discuss how best to sell your Bedford home!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary    LAER Realty Partners

JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com   cell 978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com

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Top 4 Post-Labor Day House Hunting Changes

A while back, Forbes noted what they called “The Four Ways the Real Estate Market Changes” after Labor Day. The article recognized a truism that holds for most parts of Massachusetts—namely, that the period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving is what most of us think of as “fall.” It went on to describe four ways the change of seasons alters the house hunting landscape.

Although I may not agree entirely with their broad brush proposition that a great number of house hunters throw in the towel after Labor Day, the four market changes described are often true enough.

  1. More of a buyer’s market. Buyers who have held off through the prime selling seasons are more apt to find sellers who are more open to negotiation.
  2. Action increases for vacation homes. This is prime time for Billerica home shoppers whose eyes are on vacation homes. By purchasing in the fall, “you can have it bought and furnished by spring.”
  3. Price dips. House hunters find that asking prices, like the autumn leaves, fall. Forbes may have simply been unable to resist the simile, but in many cases, it’s true!
  4. Open-ended house hunting. Time pressures (like having to be moved in by the first day of school) will have vanished by Labor Day, so many Billerica house hunters tend to adopt a more leisurely house hunting attitude. There may also be something about crisp autumn days (and they’ll be here soon enough) that helps contribute to a more relaxed atmosphere—at least until the Holidays loom!

Every Billerica house hunter has specific individual goals and expectations—and of course, the same is true for sellers, as well. But it does seem to be true that post-Labor Day Billerica listings tend to include an uptick in price reductions—as well as some withdrawals that, as Forbes might have it, “will sprout anew” come springtime.

If your busy summer included activities and travel that kept you fully occupied, now may be an opportune time to inaugurate your own Billerica  house hunting venture. If so, do give me a call!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners        www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com   c  978-376-3978

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The 5 Top Reasons for Selling Your Burlington House Now

When you have a firm timeline that governs when you’ll be selling your Burlington house, it’s one decision that’s made for you. Of course, it’s not always that easy. If a move from one home to another, or from Burlington to another area isn’t dictated by outside events, you have to make the decision anew every week or month.

On the one hand, the adventure and energizing prospect of a new home tugs in the direction of getting the project going…while on the other hand, the mountain of details and effort pulls in the direction of putting it off a bit longer. Here are five prime reasons why now—at the tail-end of this summer, right before autumn sets in—is an increasingly good time to be selling your Burlington house:

  1. It’s the BEST time to be moving up…at least for the foreseeable future. The most reliable projections say that prices are projected to appreciate 23.4% by 2021.
  2. The season is right. Whenever the spring/summer selling season starts winding down, competition begins to fade. And as soon as you have made your own Burlington sale, the homeowners you will be looking to buy from are more likely to be flexible.
  3. Selling your Burlington house can move faster. The processing (paperwork, approvals, etc.) tends to find quicker action as seasonal activity slows.
  4. Overall, there’s just less competition. Aside from the seasonal aspect, overall, the big picture continues to be one of a housing supply that isn’t keeping pace with demand.
  5. You’ve decided to sell sooner or later—but until you make the decision to take the plunge, many aspects of your life can get stuck. Major changes of all sorts have to be postponed when a big move is in the wind (especially when it gets stuck in that wind)!

The prime reason for knowing you are going to be selling your Burlington house, but not acting on it, is the hassle factor (the many details that have to be attended to). I can be a major help with all those parts—and since I enjoy every part of what I do, it’s a feeling that’s easily spread to my clients!

Making the decision that now is the time is actually simpler than stewing over it any longer. Just give me a call!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
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