When a homeowner decides to sell, they obviously want the best price and least amount of hassle possible. The best way to get those results is by hiring a real estate agent. Many of these buyers start their search without one, but then quickly realize that in order to write a good offer, negotiate terms, and do all the other things they need to do in order to secure a successful transaction, they need a professional agent’s help.
You need the experience and knowledge of a professional.
With multiple offers as the norm in our market, you need the experience and knowledge of a professional to be able to sift through the different offers and determine which ones are best for you and your goals. It’s very hard to do this on your own.
If you have any questions for me about real estate or if you’re interested in buying or selling a home, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
I get a lot of questions about Zillow and their Zestimates and why they're either too low or too high when it comes to the value of homes.
I recently talked to someone selling his house and the Zestimate from Zillow was really high. I did my due diligence and looked at comparable homes and found that the house was worth 26% less than what the Zestimate said it was worth.
We listed the home at the price I recommended and it sold at that price. It ended up selling for 84% of the Zestimate's value.
Zillow comes up with their Zestimates by looking all around the area and treating all homes the same. They don't consider things like upgrades or improvements that you've made to the house. It can be a good ballpark value, but it won't be exact.
If you want a more accurate idea of what your house is worth, talk to a real estate agent.
If you want a more accurate idea of what your house is worth, I would talk to a real estate agent and have them come out to your house. They can consider the condition of your house and any improvements you've made, and they'll only compare it to other houses that are in the same shape and condition. They'll also only compare it to homes sold in the last three to six month since that's the only relevant information for pricing.
If you have any other questions about Zillow or you want to know what your home is truly worth, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help!
Inventory is very light. In Wellesley we have about 100 homes on the market and only 10% of those are under $1 million.
If homes are priced right, there will be insane competition. In fact, this past weekend we had a few houses get offers that were $50,000 to $100,000 over asking price. Our market is tight and buyers want to buy a house. So, if you price your house right, you will be very, very happy.
If you’re looking to sell your home in this fantastic seller’s market or if you have any real estate questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I love what I do and would be happy to help you!
Technology is an incredibly important part of the real estate business. I just got back from a three-day seminar in New York called Inman Connect. They cover the latest technology in the real estate industry, and here are the top three trends that I learned about:
1. Drones. Everyone knows about drones and drone photography. I already use drones with my listings. Drones can provide aerial footage of your house, giving buyers a better idea of how big the yard is, where the house is in relationship to the town, and other special features. Drone videos and photography give people a real sense of the community.
Thanks to drones, 360° cameras, and VR, buyers can get a real sense of your home.
2. 360° cameras. I certainly plan to implement 360° cameras this year. This camera takes a 360° view of your house to create a virtual tour. Buyers looking at homes online can see every aspect of every room. They can really get a sense of what it would be like to live in the house without leaving the comfort of their own.
3. Virtual reality. Like the 360° camera, virtual reality masks allow buyers to get a full view of your home. They will feel like they are really there, even if they might be looking at your home from their apartment or office.
If you are a buyer who would like to get a virtual tour of a listing before you actually go out to see it, let me know. I can ask the listing agent if I can put together some 360° images for you.
If you have any other questions about the latest real estate technology or about the home buying or selling process, give me a call. I would be happy to help you!
Today, we’re covering the final actions in a real estate transaction in the surrounding Boston area. As a first-time home buyer, what are some steps you should take? What comes after signing a purchase and sale agreement and depositing a check?
Now, you have to apply for a mortgage. Fill out the paperwork.
Pursue homeowner’s insurance. You need a one-year binder.
Call the movers. Give them plenty of notice.
Turn on all the utilities. Find out who does garbage pick-up. Ask questions!
Get the funds to your attorney. If you do a wire transfer, do it two days before. Otherwise, obtain a bank certified check for the closing.
Closings typically happen in the morning, so you can move in the afternoon and celebrate inside your new home. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the Boston area, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to hear from you!
Let’s wrap up talking about first-time home buyers. Remember, the actual process of buying a house can take six weeks from start to finish. Before this process starts, the following steps must be taken:
Get your mortgage pre-approved.
Hire a buyer's agent.
Start looking for your home.
Write an offer.
From the time you write the offer, the six weeks begin. Sometimes, you can finish in as little as four weeks. You write the offer, do the inspection, get your mortgage commitment, close, and you move in. Then you celebrate and call your Realtor for a party!
Thanks for letting me share these steps with you. Whether you're a first-time buyer or not, please feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to continue this conversation with you.
The closing process is very important, but it can seem overwhelming.There’s a new mortgage process called TRID, and if you just work with your real estate attorney, it will all go flawlessly.
When you’re at the closing table, the bank attorney will give you the most important document, which is the note itself. The note will be about 16 pages long and detail everything about the mortgage, including the rate, terms, and amortization schedule.
The other key document is called the closing document, which used to be known as HUD. The closing document spells out everything. You get the closing document three days before you actually close on the property, so make sure you review everything. If you have any questions, get with your attorney so they can answer them.
Other key things to pay attention to include the down payment, what the bank is funding, and other fees like attorney fees, courier fees, and mortgage fees. Review everything before closing.
Review everything before closing on the property.
Finally, there’s title insurance. There is an owner policy and a lender’s policy. You don’t have an option not to pay the lender’s policy. However, you can choose whether or not you want the owner’s policy. I recommend buying the owner’s policy; it will protect you down the road, and it’s a minimal expense for maximum protection.
After everything is signed and done, you get your keys to your new house! If you close at the registry, they will type it up and report it right away. If you close at the attorney’s office, it can take a few hours. If you close in the morning, you can get into your house that afternoon. If you are at the attorney’s office in the afternoon, be aware that you might not get the keys until tomorrow morning.
If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!
When you buy a home, it’s important to do due diligence on the property. Most of this is taken care of by inspections. There are a number of different kinds of inspections you may need in your home—how do you know which ones to order?
The first is a building inspection. This is the general home inspection most buyers get where they look for major flaws with the systems and structure of the home. They are mainly looking for anything that can be a health or safety issue.
The next inspection to consider is a radon inspection. Any radon level over four picocuries per litre (pCi/L)requires us to take action. We just had a home that was at eight picocuries per litre but we got it back under two. There are two different types of radon inspections. One involves placing a cannister in your home, then sending it off to a lab to get measured. It will usually take five to seven days. The other option involves a machine in your basement that will allow you to get the results a few days quicker. However, this option is more expensive.
A pest inspection is also something you should consider. A pest company will come out and take a look to see if there is anything of concern in your home, for a nominal fee, of course.
If you have an older roof or think there may be some leaks, it may be worth it for you to have a roofing company come out and take a look. Otherwise, the building inspector will be able to tell if something is up in most cases.
If you have a chimney, you should probably get it inspected as well. Chimneys can be expensive to repair, but they don’t have to be if you’re proactive about getting them taken care of.
You can also go to your town’s engineering department to pull the records from your sewer line. It will tell you what’s going on. It’s definitely something worth looking into.
If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you're planning on taking advantage of the great fall and winter market by selling your home, there are five key things you need to do to prepare your house:
Curb appeal. I always say people will make a decision about your house within five or six seconds of walking up. Make sure the leaves are cleared, everything is picked up and cleared from the lawn, and it has a nice presentation. Putting out some mums or seasonal plants is a great idea, too.
Holiday decoration. We all want to celebrate, but don't overdo it with the holiday stuff. It's fine to have some holiday decor because, after all, buyers will expect to see it when they walk in. Just don't do too much.
Make it an inviting space. You can achieve this with smells, like a seasonal candle.
Fireplace. If you don't use it much and there are a lot of ashes, it might give off a strong smell, so keep it clean. If you know a showing is coming, start a Duraflame log or a small fire. It's always welcoming to have a fire going during a showing.
Fall sense. Create that cozy sense of fall in your home in any way you can. As I mentioned, a scented candle like cinnamon or pumpkin spice can really help here.
If you have any other questions about making your home stand out during the fall or winter selling season, give us a call or send us an email soon. We'd be happy to help you out!
Usually, the fall market is a little bit soft. However, only 10% of homes currently on the market are under the $1 million mark. As a result, home values are definitely higher right now.
Another thing that’s unusual for fall is the number of homes on the market. Right now, there are 156 homes for sale. Typically, there are only about 90 to 100 homes on the market because fall usually turns into a buyer’s market.
In the spring, the average days on market is usually about 30 to 40 days. In the fall, the average days on market goes up to about 70 or 80 days, as homes tend to take a little longer to sell this time of year. That trend will continue through Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you will start to see the average days on market drop again in February.
As for multiple offers, we are not seeing as many multiple offer situations as we were in the spring and summer. If you are priced under $1 million, though, your home can get a few offers. If your home is priced right at or just below market value, you will draw multiple offers, just not as many as you would in the spring.
Interest rates are still incredibly low right now!
Finally, interest rates are still very good right now. You can get a 30-year fixed loan with a 3.2% interest rate. The 15-year rate is down to 3.5%. However, depending on how the election goes and on what happens in our economy, we may start to see those rates pick up after the first of the year.
If you have any other questions about our current market, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!