Archive for the ‘Selling Your Home’ Category

For Bedford Real Estate, Halloween Marks a Turning Point

Fa la la la la, la la la la: it’s carol time again!

Not quite? You can’t almost hear those sleigh bells ringing? Well, brace yourself. Halloween is today—and nowadays, that means that by Wednesday, holiday advertising will be with us for the duration.

Whether we admit it or not, the Thanksgiving start of holiday season is a thing of the past. Hallmark has already launched its “Countdown to Christmas;” Bedford mailboxes are filling with gift catalogs; store windows are only weeks away from being transformed into snow-sprayed winter wonderlands.

As far as Bedford real estate is concerned, a couple of the advantages to buying during the holiday season will arrive more or less simultaneously. And there are advantages.

One real estate education company, FortuneBuilders, counts five key reasons why “the holidays are a great time to buy.” In short, they are:

  1. Limited inventory. Less activity means fewer competing buyers.
  2. Sellers are motivated. Those who have not sold during the peak season are more likely to welcome offers.
  3. This depends on the particular financial situation of both Bedford buyers and sellers.
  4. Lower interest rates. Historically, interest rates tend to be lower during the holidays—probably because mortgage companies need to pep up sleepy demand.
  5. Faster closing. Although lenders, brokers, and inspectors may be thinking it’s time to take a vacation, when business does appear, they clear the decks and move!

Those reasons may seem like distant abstractions in the week before Halloween, but they are very much in play starting with the first stirrings of November….and Thanksgiving…and all the rest of the holiday onslaught! For those who will be in the market for a new Bedford home—in reality, they’ll be shopping in a “holiday” market environment! As the educators put it, “some of the best deals you can make during the holidays involve real estate, not 72-inch televisions.”

Give me a call me anytime!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

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

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn is Burlington’s Landscaping Window of Opportunity

Burlington gardening enthusiasts already know this—but for those whose thumbs are anything but green, right now is a special time of year where landscaping is concerned. It’s Burlington’s high season for planting and transplanting!

You don’t have to intend on listing your Burlington home anytime soon to have a vested interest in maximizing your home’s curb appeal. After all, year in and year out the plantings in front and back yards can make all the difference in the kind of impact your property makes—it’s a pride of ownership fundamental. Neighbors and casual passers-by may not realize how much of a difference a pleasingly planted yard makes, but it’s one area that’s readily within every Burlington homeowner’s control. And experienced gardening hands know that right now it’s the key season for making the most difference for the least expense.

Autumn’s cooler temperatures are what creates the opportunity. The soil is still holding much of the summertime warmth while cooler air temperatures make for less stress on plants’ roots (and on the gardener doing the planting, too). Like bears, perennials need to hibernate. Their dormancy period constitutes a nice restorative siesta. It’s also a low-stress way for roots to settle into their new digs.

Most non-gardeners only start thinking about boosting the color and variety of their gardens with the arrival of springtime…but for many spring-blossoming bulbs, shrubs, perennials, and trees, that’s not the optimal time to get out the digging forks and shovels. Right now is when experts say it’s best to divide clumps of any perennials that have been doing well. It’s how to spread the color to other parts of the garden—at a total cost of nada. It’s also prime time to watch for sales at Burlington garden centers.

Burlington house flippers approach their projects on a much-compressed schedule—but for homeowners who aren’t thinking about selling anytime soon, taking the long view of property enhancement begins with their home’s setting: its landscaping. October is the perfect season for turning any long-range creative ideas into next spring and summer’s lush garden reality. Then when the time does come to buy or sell Burlington real estate, I hope you’ll think of giving me a call. I’m always here to share some no-obligation counseling and advice!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

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

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

Billerica Homeowners Gain from Home Value Optimism

More than half of U.S. homeowners expect their home’s value to rise in the coming year. For Billerica real estate watchers who track public sentiment as a market indicator, the news comes as a welcome addition to other reports of rising consumer optimism regarding the economy as a whole.

The finding comes from a national telephone and online survey conducted earlier this month by the Rasmussen Reports organization. It signals an acceleration in a year-long trend of rising expectations among U.S. homeowners. A year earlier, fewer than 40% had predicted that their own home values would rise in the coming year. In this latest report, that number has increased to 53%—a leap of 12% over the March finding. According to Rasmussen summary, this amounts to “a record high” in optimism about future home values.

Billerica homeowners who plan to list their own properties in the immediate future have reason to welcome measures of positive expectations. When most people expect Billerica home values to rise, buyers are apt to view current market prices in terms of their investment potential. This can prove to be important—especially when values have been on the rise for a while.

This latest Rasmussen finding was all the more impressive in that it marked the first time in eight years that a majority of those sampled expressed optimism about future home values. It is in sync with a heavy majority of industry prognosticators who predict home value increases in the coming year.

It’s always good news when there is general agreement that Billerica home values are expected to continue to rise. If your own future includes the possibility of buying or selling in the coming year, I’d like to help—call me anytime!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

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

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

 

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timing Your Billerica Home’s Sale

Hardly anyone decides to put their own Billerica house up for sale without wondering whether there wouldn’t be a better time to do so. There are a couple of different ways to look at the timing of your Billerica home’s sale—but only one of them is controversial.

Controversial: timing by the calendar. A good number of real estate commentators think that the optimal timing for any home’s sale is during the spring/summer season. In the residential real estate lexicon that’s the “peak selling season.” Statistics validate their point. Since the majority of transactions are in fact initiated during the good weather months when the sun shines the longest, it might seem to make the most sense.

The controversy arises when it’s pointed out that this notion is so commonly held that timing your home sale to list it during the peak puts you in competition with many more sellers. Peak season proponents don’t think that’s a problem since there are also more buyers in the market. Naysayers counter that house-hunters in poorer weather are demonstrating that they are more committed—by definition, they are better prospects. And so on—and on. The argument isn’t likely to be settled any time soon.

Non-Controversial: timing by your personal calendar. This argues for disregarding the wall calendar in favor of letting your personal situation dictate the timing for your own Billerica home sale. Financial commentators make the argument that when your home no longer fits your lifestyle, that’s all the timing you need to pay attention to…if your financial ducks are in a row. The seasonal timing debate can be argued either way, but almost everyone agrees that the underlying economics should dictate the final word on timing.

Once your debt situation is in control, and you’re confident that you can afford the move to your next house, the only timing issue remaining is allowing enough of it to bring your current Billerica home up to prime showing condition. Whenever your personal situation aligns to suggests it’s time to start thinking about selling, one timing element I can heartily suggest is to give me a call. We’ll have a no-obligation discussion about if and when to get the ball rolling

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

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

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

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

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

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

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

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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