Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 6/18/2018

Selling a home for the first time can be tricky. In fact, first-time home sellers often make mistakes that prolong the home selling process. Perhaps even worse, these errors may cause a home seller to miss out on opportunities to optimize the value of his or her residence.

Now, let's take a look at three common mistakes that first-time home sellers make, as well as ways to avoid these problems.

1. Setting an Unrealistic Initial Asking Price

Although you might have paid a hefty sum for your house a few years ago, what your home was worth then is unlikely to match its current value. However, if you set an unrealistic initial asking price for your residence, you risk alienating dozens of potential buyers.

Before you set a price for your house, it pays to perform plenty of housing market research. That way, you can see how your home stacks up against the competition and price it based on the current real estate sector's conditions.

Furthermore, you may want to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your house. Following a home appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation to help you establish a competitive price for your residence.

2. Failing to Provide Full Details About Your House

No home is perfect, and a home seller who withholds information about his or her residence risks wasting precious time and resources. To better understand why this may be the case, let's consider an example.

If a home seller fails to include information about a faulty heating and cooling system in a home listing, a buyer will be unaware of the problem. A buyer then may submit an offer on this house that a seller accepts. But during a home inspection, a property inspector likely will discover the defective heating and cooling system, which leads the buyer to rescind his or her offer. And at this point, the seller will have to restart the home selling process from square one.

When it comes to selling a home, it helps to be honest. If you provide full details about your residence, you can help a buyer make an informed decision and reduce the risk of that a purchase agreement will fall apart after a home inspection.

3. Choosing an Ineffective Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent should have a seller's best interests in mind. As such, this housing market professional will collaborate with a seller throughout the home selling journey to ensure a seller can optimize his or her earnings.

Unfortunately, not all real estate agents possess the same skills. But if you evaluate a variety of real estate agents, you can increase the likelihood of finding one who matches or exceeds your expectations.

Employ a real estate agent with a proven reputation. And if you're uncertain about whether a real estate agent can help you achieve your home selling goals, it usually helps to request client referrals from this housing market professional.

Streamline the process of selling your home – avoid the aforementioned first-time home seller mistakes, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a quick, profitable home selling experience.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 6/11/2018

Selling your home is a major decision, and as such, you likely will need to allocate significant time and resources to determine whether now is the right time to add your residence to the real estate market.

Ultimately, there are many signs that may prove now is the ideal time to list your home, including:

1. Your house feels too big or too small.

Does your home feel cramped? Or, do you feel like you have too much space at your disposal? In either scenario, listing your home may enable you to relocate to a house that better suits your lifestyle than your current residence.

Working with a real estate agent will enable you to determine the right price for your home and generate plenty of interest in your residence. Plus, your real estate agent will help you narrow your search for a new home, ensuring that you can discover a new residence that suits you perfectly.

2. Your financial situation has changed.

Land a high-paying new job? Or, are you looking to cut expenses to save for a baby who is on the way? If your financial situation has changed dramatically, you may want to consider selling your home.

Furthermore, collaborating with a real estate agent may enable you to maximize the value of your residence in any housing market, at any time. Your real estate agent will set up home showings, provide tips and recommendations to help you bolster your house's curb appeal and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to drive interest in your home.

Let's not forget about the personalized support that a real estate agent can provide, either. Your real estate agent will be able to respond to any of your home selling concerns and queries. Thus, your real estate agent can play an important role in your ability to sell your home and optimize its value.

3. You're ready for a change.

Tired of dealing with New England winters? Or, do you want to enjoy the warm, sunny California weather day after day? If you're ready for a change in your life, you may want to sell your house sooner rather than later.

After you sell your home, you can relocate to any location you choose. Meanwhile, selling your home may open up new opportunities for you, as you'll be able to establish a new life in a new location at your convenience.

If you're ready for a change, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you add your home to the real estate market and offer plenty of housing market data to ensure that you can price your house competitively. In addition, your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get the best home selling results.

Don't wait to make a change in your life. Instead, meet with a real estate agent, and you can explore your home selling options today.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 6/4/2018

Choosing outdoor furniture for your home can be a challenging task. You might not even know where to start. What type of furniture do you need? What colors should you choose? The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you take it step by step, and look at your own needs, the process will be easier for you. 


Pick Your Colors


The outdoors have a bit more flexibility than the indoors of your home. There are no wall colors to worry about, only the natural landscape and the shade of your deck. You can choose from a spectrum of colors to suit the feel you want to create in your outdoor space. Color will provide everything from a fun party atmosphere to a classy, refined outdoor space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match as well.


The Outdoors Are Your Indoors


If you have the style of your home down to a science, don’t be afraid to carry that look over to the outside of your home. You can use the same types of fabric textures and colors. Keep in mind that you’ll want a more durable fabric since your furniture may be exposed to the elements. 


Use the same design principles outdoors that you would with your indoor furniture. If you have an outdoor fireplace, for example, you can use that as a focal point to gather your furniture around. Don’t be afraid to have a setup similar to that of your living room including a coffee table, sofa-like chair, and other cozy seating.       


Keep It Visually Stimulating


Just like the inside of your home, the outside of your home is also a reflection of your personality. You can embrace the feeling of fun, bright colors, and contrasting shades. Use what makes you happy and the rest of the design will fall into place! 


Remember one of the simplest design principles when designing your outdoor space- use throw pillows! Throw pillows can add so much to a space. Find colors that bring out the best in your outdoor furniture and desired color patterns. When it comes to the outdoors, know that the bolder you go, the better your space will be! 


Forget The Rules


Your outdoor space is a place where you can just “forget the rules.” Go with what feels right for you. The outdoor space is less “stuffy” than the indoors. Not that the inside of your home isn’t comfortable, but the outdoors is a place where an “anything goes” attitude can really work for you.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 5/28/2018

If you want to buy a house, it pays to enter the real estate market with a checklist in hand. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three things to include in your homebuying checklist.

1. Your Budget

Your budget will dictate whether you're able to afford a condo, luxury home or something in-between. As such, you'll want to assess your finances closely as you determine exactly what type of house that you can afford.

Oftentimes, it helps to get a copy of your credit report. You are eligible to receive one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you know your credit score, you can determine whether now is a good time to enter the real estate market, or whether you should improve your credit score first.

You may want to consult with several banks and credit unions too. These financial institutions can teach you about various mortgage options and help get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house and tailor your home search accordingly.

2. Where You Want to Live

Living in the suburbs is very different from residing in the city. Therefore, you'll want to consider where you want to live so that you can search for a home in specific areas.

For example, if you prefer the peace and quiet of a small town, you may want to consider houses in small towns in the state of your choice. These towns may feature dozens of available homes. Plus, in many instances, small town houses are priced lower than big city residences.

Or, if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city, you can search for residences in any city, at any time. These houses likely will ensure that you'll have quick, easy access to a variety of big city attractions and landmarks.

3. Real Estate Agent

There is no telling whether you're about to enter a seller's or buyer's market, as the housing sector often fluctuates. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, successful homebuying experience, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success and will do what it takes to help you find the right home, at the right price. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and offer expert insights into the real estate market. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to address them.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying process, it helps to hire a real estate agent. And if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the assistance that you need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Get started on your homebuying checklist, and you can simplify the process of acquiring your ideal residence.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 5/21/2018

Ready to upgrade from a condo to a house? You'll first need to add your condo to the real estate market to ensure that you can sell this property and buy a new residence. However, selling a condo sometimes can be difficult, particularly for those who are selling a property for the first time.

Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of selling your condo. Here are three tips that you can use to list your condo on the real estate market and maximize your property's value.

1. Set a Competitive Price for Your Condo

Spend some time learning about the prices of condos in your area. By doing so, you'll be able to establish a fair price for your condo and improve your chances of generating substantial interest in it.

Condo sellers should look at the prices of similar properties in their respective neighborhoods. This will enable condo sellers to understand how much other condo sellers are asking for their properties, along with how much various condos have sold for over the past few months.

Also, don't forget to include your assets in your condo listing. If you have extra storage space or a covered parking spot, you may be able these amenities into your condo listing to help your property stand out from others.

2. Understand Your Condo Association's Rules

A homeowners association (HOA) sets guidelines and rules for condo owners to follow in a community. And if you fail to comply with these regulations, you may face fines or other penalties from the HOA.

When it comes to selling your condo, it always is better to err on the side of caution. Thus, you should reach out to your HOA in advance to inform the association of your decision to sell your condo. This will allow you to find out whether a homebuyer will need to be approved by the HOA before he or she can purchase your condo.

3. Work with an Experienced Real Estate Professional

Collaborate with a real estate agent who understands what it takes to sell a condo. With this real estate agent at your disposal, you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your condo in a short amount of time.

An experienced real estate agent will possess many years of condo selling experience and can share his or her insights with you. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your condo, your real estate agent will be happy to respond to these queries immediately.

In addition, an experienced real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to sell your property. He or she will host condo showings and keep you up to date about any potential offers. This real estate professional also will provide expert guidance to help you optimize the value of your property.

Hire an experienced real estate agent to sell your condo, and ultimately, you can streamline the condo selling process.




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