Beat the Home Selling Competition with Condition

If you intend to sell your house, it generally helps to allocate time and resources to improve your home’s condition. That way, you can impress potential buyers as soon as they see your residence.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to ensure you can bolster your house’s condition before you list your home.

1. Install Energy-Efficient Fixtures

Updating fixtures usually is quick and easy. Plus, if you install energy-efficient fixtures, you may be able to reduce your home energy consumption while you sell your house.

Energy-efficient fixtures use a fraction of the energy of traditional fixtures. Meanwhile, energy-efficient fixtures may prove to be a key differentiator for your house, one that is sure to garner homebuyers’ attention.

2. Revamp Your Bathroom

Believe it or not, the appearance of your bathroom can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. If your bathroom looks modern and beautiful, it may help your house stand out to potential buyers. Conversely, if your bathroom appears small and outdated, it is unlikely to do you any favors as you try to sell your house.

To renovate your bathroom, you may want to replace the vanity, old plumbing and lighting fixtures. In addition, it may be beneficial to install a new tile floor that will help you transform your bathroom from drab to fab.

It also is important to keep in mind that bathroom renovations may prove to be less expensive than renovations in other areas of your house. Thus, if you complete assorted bathroom renovations, you may be able to increase your house’s value without a significant time and resource investment.

3. Enhance Your Lawn

If you’ve failed to maintain your lawn over the years, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can replace patchy weeds and grass with fresh new sod to improve your house’s condition and curb appeal.

Oftentimes, you can perform lawn care and maintenance on your own. But if you want expert help, you can always hire a professional landscaping company. Because with a team of professional landscapers at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your lawn.

For home sellers who want extra assistance as they get ready to list their houses, real estate agents are available to provide expert support as well.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and can help a seller identify and address such issues. Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide a home seller with recommendations and suggestions about how to improve a house’s condition.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer assistance at each stage of the home selling journey. From the moment a house is listed to closing day, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to guide a seller along the home selling process.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble beating the home selling competition thanks to the condition of your house.

Kitchen Organization Tips

Your kitchen is an often used room and can become cluttered very quickly. There are plenty of strategies that you can use to keep the room in order. Below, you’ll find tips that will help you to keep your kitchen decluttered and your supplies organized once and for all! 

Make Space For Storage

This sounds like an obvious need in any room of the house, but the kitchen is a place where you need ample storage. There are a few ways to do this. Outside of your cabinets, you can install freestanding storage units, like shelving or extra cabinets. Even an armoire can help you to have a space to beautifully display your dishes. 

Under your sink, you can keep your most frequently used items like soap, sponges, and detergent in easy to access solutions. Either install a small turntable, or simple get bins that can be labeled and pulled out as needed. This will keep everything you need together neat and tidy. It will be difficult to actually disorganize this space once you have completed this small task. 

Coffee Time

What would a kitchen be without coffee? If you brew a cup of joe every morning, you’ll want easy access to coffee supplies. Dedicate a space next to the coffeemaker where you’ll keep the coffee, mugs, beans, and other supplies. You can even keep your travel mugs near this space within reach when you’re running out the door. If there’s little room on the counter, hang hooks on the wall to keep coffee mugs and travel mugs out of the way.

Tackle The Trash And Recycling

There’s nothing worse than having trash and recycling all over your kitchen. Keep these items concealed in dedicated cabinets. The perfect place for the trash and the recycling is next to the sink since that’s the most convenient location for the trash to be in. 

The recycling will follow the same pattern as it needs to be rinsed out and ready to go outside in the bins.  

Keep The Family Organized

A kitchen is a great place for you to have a center of communication for your family. This is where a bulletin board can be placed with important documents. A calendar listing all of the family’s activities and appointments can be hung for everyone’s reference. This area make use of a small space that would otherwise be wasted in your kitchen. It also serves a dual purpose in keeping the family organized.

Small changes can make a big difference in the kitchen when it comes to clutter, storage, and organization. Once you get started, keeping the clutter at bay can be very easy.

I’ve Accepted An Offer On My Home, Now What?

Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief–and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing–inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.

Closing Costs 101: A Breakdown of Home Loan Closing Costs

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.

For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees – a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees – an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points – a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee – the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits – Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees – fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees – fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.

Why Detached Garages Are A Huge Benefit

Many buyers are searching for a home with an attached garage. It helps to keep cars out of the sun, rain, and snow. An attached garage allows you to walk directly from your vehicle into your home without worry. 

Garages used to be detached. These structures offered many benefits to homeowners that seem to be forgotten. As cars became more popular and larger, families began to own two cars at their properties. When this became common, so too di the attached garage.  

While an attached garage is seen as a luxury and often a necessity, the good points a detached garage have shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Attached garages can be converted into living spaces. This affords you as a homeowner much more room without the need to move. Homeowners can then build a detached garage for storage or the placement of a vehicle. 

Other Advantages To Detached Garages

A detached garage adds character to a home. Many buyers complain of tired suburban architecture, where the garage often becomes somewhat of a focal point for the front of the home. Detached garages can be more pleasing to look at.

You’ll also have a bit more wiggle room as to how you design your home. If you build a detached garage, it can be placed at an angle on the property. The garage can also be hidden in the backyard, or designed to look like a smaller version of the larger house. A path can even be built through the yard to the garage to bring a design to the entire yard. 

Another advantage to a detached garage is that toxic fumes from your vehicle won’t get into the house. Homes with detached garages can often receive green points for environmentally friendly building practices. There’s also less of a risk posed to you and your family for things like carbon monoxide poisoning. You can’t leave a vehicle running very long in an attached garage without that risk.   

A detached garage also affords the possibility of adding living space above the garage. It can be a great play space for kids or a game room for adults. You can even build a home office in the upstairs portion of the garage. The area will indeed be quiet if placed strategically. If the attached garage is new construction, you can run wild with it. The design is up to you and the possibilities are truly endless. 

While many buyers search for a home with an attached garage, detached garages can have many pros and allow great flexibility to you as a homeowner.           

Sustainable Landscaping for your Home

Sustainable landscaping, while often called “green” on labels and in the media, usually comes in a variety of other colors. The idea behind dry-scaping or xeriscaping is to use less water, conserve and protect local wildlife, promote the local environment and use less energy. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the desert look though. Most environments support a wide variety of plants, so just think about what grows naturally in your area. Before you get started on updating your home from a high-water consumption—though beautiful—green lawn to modern eco-friendly desert-scaping, dry-scaping or xeriscaping in a variety of reds, blacks, blues, and browns (and some green too) it’s essential to plan. 

Who is going to Use it?

Think about who uses your existing lawn or patio. Do the kids play on it? What about BBQs with outdoor games? It’s important to ensure that your new dry-scaping features serve similar purposes, or you could end up with useless outdoor space, which is not good at all. Stay away from harsh gravel for kids play areas, and try something like recycled tire rubber, mulch, or sand for softer landings and fewer skinned knees. Use paving stones to create paths and borders around local flora you don’t want visitors to walk through and combine it with various gravels for a stylish look.

Where Should Each Part Go?

When setting up your new yard, think about what elements you currently have, and how shade, sun, natural water, and wind fit into your yard. Pay attention to how the ground slopes, using the lowest points for plants since water pools there. Keep any existing trees and other local flora and include additional shade tolerant plants around them. Anywhere wind is likely to blow away your ground covering, go with heavier ground cover such as rocks, paving stones, or plants that are anchored in by the roots.

What Should You Use? 

In addition to natural ground coverings such as rock, mulch, and paving stones, try alternative recycled materials to add some color to your landscape. Recycled tires make soft, brightly colored additions for play areas; recycled concrete and brick can be used in retaining walls and rock gardens; even glass gets recycled and tumbled into colorful “mulch” which is excellent for adding designs to pathways or as borders to raised rock gardens and flower beds. Ask at your local gardening shop, find an eco-certified landscaping company or just search the internet to find out what plants are best to use in your area for water and soil conservation. Double check their water usage requirements, and if they need a boost in the driest seasons, try installing a drip-irrigation system that adds water in a slow and controlled manner which helps reduce waste caused by overwatering. 

How to take care of it?

There is no lawn to mow all the time, so it should be easy, right? Yes and no. Keep an eye on your new xeriscape to ensure it doesn’t become a bed full of weeds that quickly get out of control. Before using any old weed killer, check to make sure the herbicide works within the environment and may safely be used around children and animals. As a preventative measure, try covering the ground underneath any gravel, mulch, or stones with water-permeable landscaping fabric. The larger rocks or ground coverings will hold it down, but for lighter materials use garden staples for extra security. Never, ever use plastic underneath your gravel or mulch. It will collect water, slide around and eventually end up in a landfill, which is what you’ve tried to avoid in the first place. 

Whether you want to know if your current property value will increase with xeriscaping or want your agent to choose homes with “green” landscaping just ask! Your real estate agent will happily assist you.

Another Property Sold – 13 Agawam Drive Northborough, MA

This Single-Family in Northborough, MA recently sold for $435,000. This Split Entry style home was sold by Bernadette Calvario – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.








13 Agawam Drive,



Northborough, MA 01532

Single-Family

$459,900
Price

$435,000
Sale Price

8
Rooms

4
Beds

2
Baths

A pleasant surprise tucked away on a private cul de sac location in a popular desirable neighborhood. Move right into this Spectacular home with extraordinary updates in 2018! New Maple custom kitchen with stainless steel appliances, tiled floors & back-splash, opens into formal rooms with, hardwood floors and slider to back deck that overlooks beautiful grounds! A great size master suite with full bath- shower, granite counters & tiled flooring. Two more additional bedrooms, hardwood floors and plenty of closet space and another updated full bath. New interior painting, moldings, doors, roof, garage doors , driveway and more! Lower level offers a spacious family room with brick fireplace, a walkout with sliders to back yard. A fourth bedroom or office, and a separate laundry room, all with new flooring. All of this in a very convenient hot location to local shopping, restaurants, the T, and major routes. Top notch schools! Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

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Is Your Offer to Purchase Competitive?

As a homebuyer, it is important to do everything you can to find your dream residence. Once you discover your ideal house, you should be ready to submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider as you try to put together a competitive offer to purchase your dream house. These factors include:

1. A Home’s Age and Condition

Examine a house closely before you craft an offer to purchase – you will be glad you did. Because if you leave no stone unturned in your quest to learn about a residence, you can create an offer to purchase that accounts for a house’s age and condition.

If you have questions about a house, you should reach out to a seller’s agent. That way, you can address these questions before you submit an offer to purchase.

Also, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as a “bad” question to ask about a house. A home purchase may be one of the biggest transactions you will complete in your lifetime. And if you devote time and energy to learn about all aspects of a house, you can ensure you are ready to purchase this home. Perhaps best of all, you can identify potential home problems that otherwise may prove to be costly and time-intensive down the line.

2. The Current State of the Housing Market

Differentiating between a buyer’s market and seller’s market is key, particularly for those who are ready to submit an offer to purchase a house. If you assess the local housing sector, you can find out whether a buyer’s or seller’s market is in place and submit an appropriate offer to purchase your dream residence.

In a buyer’s market, homes may remain available for many weeks or months after they are listed. Thus, a seller may be willing to accept an offer to purchase, even if it falls below his or her initial home asking price.

Comparatively, in a seller’s market, there is a shortage of quality houses available. And in this market, the best houses sell quickly, which means you likely will need to submit a competitive offer to purchase to secure your ideal home.

To determine if a buyer’s or seller’s market is in effect, take a look at how quickly houses are selling in your city or town. You also should find out if homes are selling at or above their initial asking prices. With this information in hand, you will be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream house.

3. Your Homebuying Budget

There is no need to overspend to buy your ideal house. Therefore, you should try to submit an offer to purchase that accounts for your homebuying budget.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you embark on a home search. This will allow you to get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the homebuying journey with a budget at your disposal.

As you navigate the homebuying journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble crafting a competitive offer to acquire your dream residence.

Another Property Sold – 29 Olde Coach Rd Westborough, MA

This Single-Family in Westborough, MA recently sold for $600,000. This Colonial,Gambrel style home was sold by Bernadette Calvario – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.








29 Olde Coach Rd,



Westborough, MA 01581

Single-Family

$609,999
Price

$600,000
Sale Price

12
Rooms

4
Beds

2/1
Full/Half Baths

Priced to Sell~ You will be amazed when you step into this renovated home that maintains the charm of old and new.First floor master suite w/spa like master bath,marble floors,huge walk-in tiled shower,dual sinks w/Quartzite counters.The half bath on the first floor has its own stackable laundry w/separate built-in sink & granite counters.Brand new custom kitchen cabinets,high end ss appliances,marble back-splash,farmers sink,under cabinet led lighting, w/granite counters.The new wide pine kitchen floors flow into the family room w/a custom brick fireplace.The step down spacious living room is showcased by a brick fireplace w/custom decorative mantle and moldings that lead to a private sunlit office w/cathedral ceiling and skylight.The newer heated cathedral sunroom features recessed lighting,beadboard,& overlooks the private fenced in backyard.Upstairs you will find three good sized bdrms all with hardwood flrs.W/O finished LL offers media room,mudroom,&bonus rm. Stellar schools!

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Selling Your Home in a Competitive Market

Creating curb appeal is an essential ingredient to attracting potential buyers to a house for sale. Similar to the concept of “dressing for success,” when you make a strong first impression, your chances for producing positive results are greatly enhanced.

Looking good from the outside is the first step to capturing people’s interest, but that’s only the first of several hurdles that you have to clear. The last thing you want to do as a home seller is disappoint prospective buyers when they start looking around inside. That’s why it’s important to start strong and finish strong! While that may be easier said than done, it’s a principle of success you can’t afford to ignore.

Once you put your house on the market, there are two factors that could potentially work against you: the elements of time and competition.

  • Time is of the essence: Time can either be your friend or your adversary, depending on how long your house has been on the market. When house hunters see the words “just listed,” it creates a feeling of excitement and urgency. For many eager home buyers, those two words mean there’s a fresh opportunity to discover the house of their dreams… or at least a reasonable facsimile! It’s especially enticing to frustrated buyers who have already looked at a lot of homes, without having found the right one yet. When a new house is listed and put on the market, couples will be thinking and saying “Maybe this house will be the one!” Your challenge as a home seller is to do everything possible and cost-effective to live up to their expectations! An important factor to keep in mind is that the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it generally is to prospective buyers. Once a house has been languishing on the market for more than a couple months or so, it also puts the sellers at a negotiating disadvantage.
  • Competition is a fact of life: Buying a house is weighty decision. No one takes it lightly, and few buyers are going to make an offer on a house if they haven’t looked at several others, too. Well-organized house hunters will have wish lists, “must have” requirements, and detailed notes and recollections about how each house stacks up. So it’s important to work with your real estate agent to present your home in its best possible light. When your home compares favorably to other similar properties on market, your chances of getting it sold within a reasonable period of time are greatly improved.

Maintaining an appealing exterior will help give you an inside track in the competitive real estate market, but making sure your property is in good shape from top to bottom will often be the deciding factor in how soon you get to the finish line!