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Articles Tagged "selling your home"

November
14

Knowing When to Sell - Badger Peabody & SmithSell your house! You're bombarded by ads every day. But how do you know if that's the right move for you? Our real estate agents would like to point out some indicators that the time may have come. 

  • Rising Interest Rates
    The Federal Reserve is raising the prime, which will soon translate to higher mortgage rates. That will make it more difficult for buyers to obtain loans. The wise seller would get the house on the market as soon as possible to avoid a shrinking pool of potential buyers. If this describes you, it means you will also want to buy your new home quickly. Although you may face higher interest rates than your current mortgage, a significant down payment may keep your monthly payment manageable.

  • The Commute is Killing You
    If your home is a long distance from your place of employment, the price of gas and the time spent in traffic may conspire to make your life miserable. If a new job isn't on the horizon, you might consider relocating. Imagine shaving two hours off your work day by reducing the drive. The money you save might make up the difference in a new mortgage.

  • You Need More, or Less, Square Footage
    Looking to transition to a smaller house, a condominium, or a townhouse? There's a good chance that you can cash in on equity sufficient to make your new mortgage less than your current house payment. On the other hand, a cramped house isn't comfortable for anyone. You may find yourself wishing for more square footage. One of our Franconia homes for sale may fit the bill!

  • You're Tired of Home Maintenance
    Newer construction can mean an end to the repairs and an opportunity to spend more time and money on furnishing the house according to your taste. Do you want to experience a new beginning with fresh paint, new fixtures, and a new view from the front window? A profitable sale and a great deal on a new place may mean just the change you have been looking for.

  • The House Doesn't Suit Your Lifestyle
    The way people socialize has changed a great deal in the last few years. More people are entertaining at home than they have in decades. If your home is too crowded to entertain guests or the yard is too small for the garden you want, it may be time to leave it. Many people now work at home and need additional space to work that offers the privacy necessary for the job. Whether you need more room or an updated kitchen, it may be easier to buy a home that works rather than paying for an expensive remodel. 

No one can predict the future, but if recent trends continue, the time to sell and reinvest in a new home is now. But don't rush into a costly mistake. Take the time to review your finances, gather market data for the area, and weigh your choices thoughtfully. Rather than trying to study the market on your own, contact us for assistance. Our licensed professionals will help you gather the information you need to make the best choice. 

November
4

Earnest Money Explained - Sell a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyOur real estate agents know that many sellers go into the process with immediate plans for the money they'll make in their transaction. They may wish to use the proceeds for a new home, so timing is crucial. Or they might have something else in mind that's no less important to them.

Whatever the case may be, there's no time to waste. Jackson homes for sale tend to sell for a higher amount the faster they get on and off the market. There are many things sellers and their agents can do to ensure a property moves quickly.

But there's one factor that's difficult to control: Buyer behavior.

When your house is on the market, you want to meet with serious buyers as soon as possible. Some of the methods used by real estate agents, such as open houses, are especially good for this. But even if a buyer says all the right things at first, there's still a chance they may back out before the end.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to be sure your buyer will see things through? While there's no 100% certain method, there is one traditional approach that can be very effective.

Let's talk about earnest money.

Earnest Money Helps Separate Buyers from Window Shoppers

When a buyer sticks around long enough to make an offer on a home, it's easy to assume the tough part is behind you. But many issues could come up between that moment and closing day. You may be within days of signing on the dotted line, only for a would-be buyer to back out.

In short, they need some "skin in the game." This is the concept of earnest money.

An earnest money deposit is made when a real estate purchase contract is submitted. Unlike the down payment, which is mainly there to impress the lender, earnest money is for your benefit as the seller.

Earnest Money Amounts Can Vary

You've probably heard that a good down payment is about 20%, and maybe even more. But there are no such rules, even informally, when it comes to earnest money. Earnest money can vary from $100 to the whole purchase price. It's ultimately up to you to decide how much earnest money is enough.

When you're thinking about it, consult your real estate agent. Consider the overall market condition, how desirable your home is, and how many other offers you're passing up to follow up with this one. Also bear in mind the buyer's financing may dictate how much cash they have on hand.

Earnest Money Isn't Always a Done Deal

You will receive the earnest money if the buyer terminates the sales agreement. If the transaction goes through, on the other hand, the earnest money is returned to the buyer.

But this isn't always the case. The sales contract may have certain stipulations that allow the buyer to walk away "free and clear." You'll have to agree to these for them to be enforceable. For example, a seller may be allowed to exit the deal if an inspection turns up the presence of mold or other issues.

Requiring earnest money is a terrific way to protect your interests. An experienced real estate agent can do the rest. Contact us to find out more or get started.

October
28

Common Fixes Before Selling a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyOur real estate agents know sellers often think for weeks or even months before putting a home on the market. By the time your property joins the ranks of beautiful Littleton homes for sale, you've given lots of thought to what the sale will mean in the context of your goals.

To get the best deal for your home, it's crucial to take the right steps early—before you even list. If you do, you'll have the opportunity to avoid the most common issues that can slow down a sale or stop the property from getting top dollar. That's well worth the effort!

Even if you list a home "as-is," most buyers are required by their mortgage lender to get an inspection done. If the inspection raises serious worries, many buyers will walk away. So, it can be helpful to schedule your own inspection before listing and use it as a guide to potential repairs.

Which repairs should you take on, and which can wait for a new owner? In most cases, "mandatory" fixes are those required to make the property safe for human habitation. Below that threshold, any repair can be considered optional, but some have a bigger impact on buyers than others.

Here are a few ideas that can be helpful:

  • Roofing Updates
    The average shingle roof is more durable than ever and may last more than 20 years. As they cross the halfway point, though, buyers wonder about being on the hook for a new roof. Repairing and updating the roof can give them peace of mind while going short of a full replacement.
  • Sewer and Septic Fixes
    An aging sewer connection or septic system can cross the line into safety concerns that render a home unfit to live in. If you've noticed mysterious woes like drastically reduced water pressure or frequent clogs, getting a plumber to run a camera through your lines and identify the source can be worth it.
  • Electrical Performance
    Of the most common home inspection findings, nothing rattles a buyer's nerves quite like an electrical issue. If you suspect your wiring is getting unreliable, an electrician can use specialized thermal cameras to seek out hot spots that need to be rewired, typically without having to redo the entire structure.
  • Heating Repairs
    A heater is an absolute must-have before any New Hampshire winter. Furnaces run the gamut in terms of age and technology. Since they're every bit as diverse as the homes on the market, buyers are often keen to ensure they are in good working order before signing on the dotted line.
  • Dead Trees and Trip Hazards
    The house's interior isn't the only place that might need a little attention. Dead trees can become serious hazards in harsh weather, so buyers often want them gone. Likewise, roots, broken pavers, and even old cement walkways can cause trip and fall hazards.
  • Faulty Appliances
    If you'll leave major appliances for the new owners, be sure they work as intended. You will likely need to sign a document attesting that the stove, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and other on-site and built-in devices are functional and safe to operate.
  • Pest or Wildlife Infestation
    Any active infestation is a big hindrance to a home sale. Home inspectors won't necessarily find the evidence unless it's in plain sight, but the law may require you to disclose if the property has had a history of infestation.

Contact us to learn more about real estate opportunities in the Western White Mountains area.

October
6

Surprise Seller Costs - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtySelling your home can cost you money before it pays off. You are probably already counting on paying your agent and the closing costs, but our real estate agents recommend also budgeting for miscellaneous expenses. Each situation is unique, and not all of these costs will apply to every sale, but in many cases, you'll have at least a few miscellaneous expenses to cover before your home sells.

  • Interior painting. Holderness homes for sale look more appealing to buyers when they have a new coat of neutral paint on the walls. New paint will erase any wear or soil like it was never there, giving you a chance to pick a buyer-friendly neutral color. Expect to spend around $1,000 on an interior paint job, although you can save a little money if you do the labor yourself.

  • Repairs. As a homeowner, deferred maintenance is almost inevitable, so you most likely have a handful of repair jobs that need to be done before you put your home up for sale. In addition, the buyer may ask you to complete repairs before closing, depending on what the home inspection says. The amount you'll spend varies based on the nature of the repairs, but you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

  • House cleaning. You may have heard that a house only needs to be "broom-swept" before you sell it, but a clean house will show better and sell better, so it's worth spending a little on a professional cleaning before listing. Even if you choose to do the deep cleaning yourself, consider steam cleaning your carpets by hiring a professional or renting a steam cleaner. Expect to spend a couple hundred dollars on cleaning, less if you do some of it yourself.

  • Storage. If you're living in your home while selling it or renting a smaller place until you find a new home, chances are you'll need to store some of your belongings until after the move. Putting some of your stuff in storage helps you open up your home and make it look more welcoming to prospective buyers. Storage can run you as much as a couple hundred dollars per month.

  • Staging. If you want your home to show its best, you can have it professionally staged. Staging makes your home look magazine-ready and ensures it has that generic look that allows any buyer to imagine themselves living there. Professional staging costs around $1,200, but it can pay off. Realtor.com reports that staged homes sell 88 percent faster and 20 percent more than they would have otherwise.

  • Vacant house upkeep. Even if no one is living in your home, it'll cost you upkeep until it sells. Make sure you consider the cost of regular bills, such as the mortgage and utilities, the cost of lawn maintenance or shoveling, and potentially even the cost of vacant house insurance.

Given the ongoing costs of maintaining your home and keeping it show-ready, you'll want it to sell quickly. Contact us today to get the process started.

September
27

Bridge Loans - Buying and Selling a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtySometimes life sneaks up on you. You weren't expecting that fantastic job opportunity, and you certainly weren't expecting to transfer out of state. Suddenly, without warning, you find yourself in the position of having to find a home in a new place, and you haven't sold the one you're in. How do you manage that balancing act?

Our real estate agents may suggest you consider a bridge loan. But what is that, exactly? Essentially, it is a short-term loan backed by the equity in your existing home that will allow you to cover the time gap between its sale and the purchase of a new house. That may seem simple enough, but the borrower needs to understand this complex transaction with many ins and outs. 

Pros of a Bridge Loan

  • You can make an offer on a property you like without waiting for your house to sell. You don't have to buy on contingency. 
  • You won't incur a long-term commitment to additional debt. A bridge loan is typically for six months to a year. 
  • You can get the cash quickly to help you through a sudden need to relocate. Bridge loans generally close much faster than other borrowing options. 
  • You may be able to make lower payments. You may obtain an interest-only payment option or even a deferred payment plan. Of course, you will need to keep in mind that you will eventually have to pay back the entire principle, which will take a bite out of the profits from selling your existing home. 

Cons of a Bridge Loan

  • Most lenders require the seller to have at least 20% equity in the home and cap the loan amount at 80% of the combined value of the two properties. Not all sellers, even those with good credit, will qualify. 
  • Bridge loans charge higher interest rates because of their short-term nature. High rates mean the lender makes money on short-term loans.
  • Bridge loans include closing costs and fees just like a traditional mortgage. These include origination, appraisal, escrow, and possibly more. 
  • You may have trouble selling your house. Even in times of seller's markets, sales can fall through, leaving you with two mortgages and a lot of headaches. 

Other Options

  • A home equity loan will still allow you to tap into the equity in your existing house without the urgency of a quick sale. You may still find yourself holding multiple mortgages, but you will have more time to pay back the loans and a lower interest rate. 
  • A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, will generally mean a lower interest rate and fewer limitations on the use of the funds. You can, for example, use part of the money to make repairs necessary for the sale. You will still enjoy more time to repay the loan as you would with a home equity loan. There may be associated prepayment fees.
  • You may prefer an 80-10-10 loan. You would make a 10% down payment on the new property, take out the first mortgage for 80% of the cost, then a second mortgage for the remaining 10%. When your first home sells, you can use part of the proceeds to pay off the second mortgage. 

Are you ready to shop for one of our lovely Berlin homes for sale now that you're armed with this new financing information? Contact us when you are ready to take the next step. 

September
10

Clearing Clutter - Sell a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyIf your home is starting to feel a little cramped and uninviting, it may be time to get rid of the clutter. To create a spacious, bright interior, our real estate agents suggest a home makeover that clears out all the household clutter and creates a welcoming home for potential buyers.

Central New Hampshire is full of green mountains, blue skies, and charming Jackson homes for sale that draw buyers to the area. Before you list your home, make sure you create an inviting atmosphere by clearing clutter that makes your home feel smaller, darker, and less appealing. Take a look at some helpful tips to attract potential buyers.

  • Clear Out the Clutter
    If you're like most homeowners, you're probably shocked by all the clutter that's lurking around your house. It's time to take action and eliminate unwanted or unused items that make your home feel cramped and uninviting. To begin, walk from room to room and take a serious look at the clutter. Go through your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, bedroom closets, and garage to find household items, clothing, linens, and tools you no longer want or need. Pack these items in bags or boxes and take them to a local charity or donation center.

  • Clean Up the Kitchen
    It doesn't take much in any home to make a kitchen feel cluttered and messy. Leaving pots and pans on the stove, dirty dishes in the sink, and greasy spills on the countertops will quickly create an uninviting kitchen. Get rid of old pots, pans, and small appliances cluttering up your kitchen cabinets, so you have space to put things away. If you want to attract buyers, make sure you have a tidy, spotless kitchen that looks and smells like the comforts of home.

  • Brighten Up the Space
    Clutter makes a home feel smaller and darker than it really is, not to mention creating a cramped, chaotic environment. Once you eliminate clutter, your spaces will feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting. It's time to open the windows, sliding doors, and draperies and let some natural light into your home. If you don't get much sunshine, invest in some ceiling fixtures, floor lamps, and table lamps to brighten up your home. Once you declutter, you may even have space for a cozy built-in window seat where you and relax and enjoy the view of your garden.

  • Keep the Furniture Low
    If you have small rooms and lower ceilings, you can make the room feel more spacious by keeping the furniture low. Rather than using bulky armoires or tall bookcases for storage, use low tables and cabinets next to sofas and chairs. Consider benches or ottomans with a storage compartment under the seating area for family rooms and bedrooms. Avoid floating large furniture in the middle of the room unless you have large rooms. This will make your room feel cluttered and block passageways to seating areas.

  • Avoid an Overload of Patterns
    Large, colorful patterns in wallpaper, upholstery, window treatments, and area rugs can add visual interest and excitement to a room unless the room is small with minimal natural light. Overloading patterns in small, dark spaces will make the space feel smaller and cluttered. If you love large patterns with bright, bold colors, go for it, but only in large rooms that get plenty of light. In small rooms, keep patterns and colors smaller and lighter.

If you're considering a move to the area, contact us to take a look at available homes with great features that fit your lifestyle.

August
21

Staging Mistakes to Avoid - Sell a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyFirst impressions are key when attracting potential homebuyers; you want them to envision their lives in your house. Home staging is a standard real estate tactic for selling a home quickly, but many homeowners get it wrong. Our real estate agents have compiled the top staging mistakes they see among sellers:

  1. Poor Furniture Staging
    Too much furniture in a living space makes it feel smaller, and buyers find it harder to envision how their furniture will fit into the space. You may love the large sectional sofa in your family room, but is it too large for that area?

    Many homeowners place furniture on the diagonal or push sofas and desks toward walls to make rooms feel larger. Instead, move sitting arrangements toward the center to make living rooms feel spacious. Also, determine where the real estate agent stands to take listing photos to ensure that the furniture doesn't crowd the pictures at those angles.  


  2. Not Repainting Your Home
    Painting is an affordable way to revive your home's appearance. A fresh coat of paint makes your home seem brand new, especially if the walls and ceilings have peeling paint.

    Neutral, light palettes attract buyers looking at
    Bretton Woods homes for sale because they can visualize injecting their personality into your home. If you have bold colors across your home, buyers are put off by the extra effort to paint over your walls when they move in. So, use neutral colors and add color with rugs, pillows, and other accessories.


  3. Personalizing the Décor
    It's natural for homeowners to furnish their houses with sentimental items like family photos and collectibles. But remember that potential buyers don't necessarily share your interests, and a large number of collectibles can be overwhelming to potential buyers. At the same time, your home shouldn't lack any style. Think about staging your house more like a hotel room to appeal to a broad range of buyers.


  4. Forgetting to Stage Storage Areas
    Often, homeowners hide items in closets, garages, and other storage areas when staging their homes. Today's homebuyer is interested in storage space and will check those areas when evaluating your home. Before you stage the house, declutter, donate, or throw away unused items. Then, clean and organize the entryway storage area, pantry, and closets for a neat finish.


  5. Hanging Pictures at Awkward Heights
    Leaving a picture or two on the wall enhances the aesthetics of living spaces. But, the wrong proportion and height can throw things off balance and influence a buyer's first impression. Artwork should take up no more than two-thirds to three-quarters of your wall space and hang 60 inches from the floor.

  6. Ignoring Odors
    You may have gotten used to certain smells in your home, but they can drive away potential buyers. Commonly, homeowners often use air fresheners, scented candles, and chemical fragrances, but some buyers are sensitive to perfumes and strong scents. Also, artificial scents make buyers assume that you're masking unpleasant odors.

    Fresh air is the best way to sell your home. So, open all the windows, empty the litter box, throw away the trash, and have a professional check for mold and other reasons for foul odors.

When you stage a home, you want to provide a lived-in feel but avoid crowding your space with too many personal items. Contact us for more tips to sell your house quickly.

July
30

Handling Disclosures - Sell a Home - Badger Peabody & SmithOur real estate agents know how important it is to you to sell your home quickly and with minimal fuss. Sellers, like buyers, tend to get the best deals when they move fast—and there are still plenty of people out there looking for the right Plymouth homes for sale.

Although it's important to present your property in the best light possible, there are also rules you need to follow. Your real estate agent is a crucial ally, ensuring your home's listing is accurate. A serious oversight can result in penalties or even legal liability down the line.

Details that absolutely must be communicated to a seller are called disclosures.

Disclosures vary from one place to another. For example, there are some parts of the United States where required disclosures include whether or not a crime has ever been committed in the home or whether it has ever been believed to be haunted. Luckily, this is out of the ordinary.

Disclosure laws are usually easy to understand. Not all states define disclosure rules, known as "Caveat Emptor" states. Here, it's primarily the buyer's responsibility to sleuth out anything that might be wrong with the home. This means the buyer must be especially diligent.

Even though New Hampshire features limited disclosures, sellers still have some obligations.

As a seller in New Hampshire, you must disclose the following:

  • Type of Private Water Supply System
    Sellers are generally required to disclose the location, installation date, and any known malfunctions with the private water supply system. The date of the most recent water test and its outcome (especially negative) are also specified under New Hampshire disclosure rules.

  • Private Sewage Disposal System
    Your septic or sewer system connection is another area of concern, and you must disclose much of the same information that applies to the water supply system. In addition, you'll need to include the date on which it was most recently serviced and the name of the servicing contractor.

  • Roof and Wall Insulation
    The type and location of insulation in the home are covered under disclosure rules in New Hampshire.

  • Responses to Specific Questions
    If the buyer or the buyer's agent asks a specific question to you or your agent, you must be truthful in your response. It is unlawful to lie, obfuscate, or conceal information that a "reasonable person" would rely on in deciding whether or not to buy a home.

  • Additional Disclosures
    Since it's up to the buyer not to overlook information that might harm them in the long run, they often use standardized forms to gather certain facts. It's not unusual for a buyer to ask a seller to state that the property contains no underground storage tanks or certain toxic chemicals.

  • Property Inspection Outcomes
    Listing a property "as-is" does not protect a New Hampshire seller from the possibility that the buyer will commission a home inspection at their own expense, usually for $100 to $200. This is a requirement for many lenders, who will not finance a home with significant electrical, roofing, or septic issues.

  • Voluntary Information
    Any information you or your agent "volunteers" to a potential buyer isn't protected by disclosure laws and may be used as the basis of the buyer's decision. It's wise to get on the same page with your agent on what needs to be disclosed and what you will discuss in detail only at the buyer's request.

Have other questions about New Hampshire disclosures? Contact us to find out more or get started.

July
6

Listing Your Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyIf you're watching the news about rising interest rates, you may be shaking your head and thinking you missed your window to sell your home at a sizable profit. Our real estate agents would like to assure you this is not the case. Here are several reasons why Plymouth homes for sale are still fetching excellent prices.

  • Not all buyers are concerned about interest rates.
    That may seem to be an absurd statement on its face, but many buyers are also recent sellers. To avoid capital gains tax, they need to re-invest in another home. If they are downsizing, they may have adequate cash to avoid financing altogether or dramatically reduce the balance at the time of purchase. Even though interest rates are rising, many buyers are accelerating their purchasing plans to capture a reasonable rate before reaching higher levels.

  • Housing inventories are low.
    The market is not as competitive as it was in 2021, but there are still fewer homes for sale than buyers. Multiple offers mean sellers can still set high asking prices while remaining competitive. Buyers waiting for prices to come down may find themselves paying much more for rent than anticipated and don't want to see their savings dwindle. Selling prices continue to rise, over 2021, by about 13%. Available homes fell by 28%. This means your equity also remains high.

  • The workforce is changing.
    As many corporations have discovered that offering their employees the opportunity to work from home saves them a lot of money in office space, more workers choose that option. Those employees often seek more comfortable workspace in the form of home offices and, subsequently, larger houses. Americans are spending more time at home and seek entertainment space as well as larger, better-appointed kitchens. They are exchanging their minimalist condominiums for spacious homes to accommodate those desires.

  • New Hampshire offers a great tax climate.
    With the absence of sales and income taxes, as well as a host of others, both corporations and individuals are attracted to the area for financial relief. Additional homebuyers contribute to the low home inventories that are bolstering sale prices. The unemployment rate in New Hampshire was 2.3% as of April 2022, compared to the national average of 3.6%. When you add a low crime rate to a healthy job market, you are looking at attracting home buyers from across the country.

  • Sellers can forgo some repair work.
    Many buyers have been looking for a while for a home that fits their lifestyle and budget. They are often willing to take care of cosmetic details themselves, eliminating the need for sellers to paint and upgrade. That helps the seller on two fronts: minimizing their cost of selling and shortening the time necessary to list the house. This also means the buyers can decorate according to their tastes instead of the neutral color palettes sellers normally choose.

If you're considering selling your home but still have additional questions, contact us. Our friendly professionals will be happy to guide you toward the best decision for your financial plan. 

June
29

Selling With a Real Estate Agent- Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyThere are almost as many ways to sell your home as there are Plymouth homes for sale. But if you want to get the job done quickly and effectively, with as little hassle as possible, your best bet is to do it through an agent. Here are six ways an agent makes it easier to sell your home.

  1. More Buyers to Choose From. Agents know the area and how and where to find people looking to buy a home. What's more, they have a resource that independent sellers don't: the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of information on available properties, their locations, values, etc. Listing your home on the MLS allows agents to cast a wider net and find a suitable buyer more quickly.

  2. More Money. You may think selling your home yourself (a For Sale By Owner or FSBO deal) will save you money since an agent takes a cut of what you make on the sale. However, without an agent's help, your home will likely have a lower sale price. Agents know how to negotiate and get you a better price than most people could get on their own. An agent's fee is typically 6% of your home's sale price. But without one, sale prices average 6% lower anyway. Better to hire an agent and make your job easier.

  3. Save Time. How do you know how serious a potential buyer is? They could be someone looking to see what's out there or a neighbor curious about the resale value of other homes in the area. The longer you spend dealing with lookie-loos, the less time you have for serious buyers. An agent can help weed out the ones who aren't serious. They know what to ask to determine a person's genuine interest, so you can spend more time on the buyers and less time on the lookers.

  4. Objectivity. When you live in a place day in and day out, there are many things you become accustomed to. Certain issues may be things you've dealt with for years and have adjusted to without thinking. Others may have come on so gradually that you never realized there was a problem in the first place. An agent lends your home an objective, expert eye. On a walkthrough, they can spot all the problems you can't and show you exactly what needs to be done to fix your home up and raise its resale value.

  5. Paperwork. What contracts, disclosures, and other forms do you need to prepare and sign to make your home's sale legally binding? There's a lot of paperwork involved in selling your house, and if you neglect some of it or file it incorrectly, you risk exposing yourself to legal troubles. Your agent, however, does this for a living. They know exactly what paperwork you need and how to do it properly and can guide you through the entire process, beginning to end.

  6. Experience. The bottom line is that an agent knows what they're doing. They're experienced in selling homes—finding the right buyer, getting the most money, and getting your home on and off the market as quickly as possible. They're someone in your corner, looking out for your best interest. When hiring an agent, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

If you're ready to sell your home or buy your dream home, contact us. Our real estate agents will guide you through the process, every step of the way, to help you get what you want.

June
24

Kitchen and Bath Updates - Sell a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyMany sellers are being urged to list their homes without making upgrades based on the current housing market. But our real estate agents can tell you that wise sellers offering Plymouth homes for sale are maximizing their profits by focusing on two specific rooms: the kitchen and the bathroom. They'll be happy to discuss the return on investment potential from budget-mindful improvements to luxury remodels.

Popular Kitchen Features

  1. Kitchen islands top the wish list of the typical home buyer. More people are cooking at home than in decades, and they demand adequate workspace. Doing double duty as home classrooms and even office space, an island is a very attractive feature. This is one of the most expensive improvements you can make, but the increased sales price may be worth it.

  2. Cabinet space is critical to a well-organized kitchen, so if additional cabinets are possible, they deserve your consideration. If not, you may wish to consider installing pull-out shelves or a lazy Susan to maximize hard-to-reach spaces. 

  3. Cabinet lighting does more than brighten the kitchen; it makes the work area much more efficient. The soft glow from under the cabinet makes the room feel cozier, while the family cooks will appreciate the ability to see what they're doing. 

  4. Smart accessories bring the kitchen into the 21st century. Pizza ovens, butcher blocks, and quartz worktops perk up real estate listings, capturing the attention of serious buyers.

  5. Simple facelifts are the least expensive way to make the kitchen more attractive. Freshly painted cabinets, new hardware, and crown molding are just cosmetic, but they impart a feeling of newness that buyers want.

Bathroom Upgrades

  1. Converting a tub to a shower offers a stylish replacement for a bulky, aged tub that is convenient, low-maintenance, and safe. Grab bars and seating can provide additional safety and comfort. Multiple showerheads combine luxury with convenience with little additional cost.

  2. Jacuzzi tubs elevate a comfortable soak to an indoor hot tub experience. Buyers will imagine tired, sore muscles relaxing in their own private spa.

  3. Non-porous acrylic tubs and sinks are stain-resistant and easy to clean.

  4. Upgraded toilets may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering where you spend your remodeling budget, but for a few hundred dollars, you can install a much more comfortable option. Higher models and elongated seats are often preferable for taller individuals. The bidet is also gaining popularity and can be attached to an existing toilet or can be a stand-alone feature.

  5. Cosmetic treatments in a bathroom are all about cleanliness and light. New paint or wallpaper, bright new lighting, and upgraded floor treatments are all inexpensive methods of making an old bathroom feel like new. 

A full kitchen remodel can cost anywhere from about $10,000 to $25,000, but cosmetic treatments can cost just a few hundred. Many renovations recoup 60-80% of the investment when the house is sold. Before you invest unnecessarily in expensive upgrades when putting your house on the market, contact us to discuss the pros and cons of your remodeling efforts. We'll help you make the best choices to obtain the sales price you want. 

June
17

Passing a Home Inspection - Sellers - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyA home inspection is a little like a first date. You might have butterflies in your stomach, frightful thoughts racing through your head, and you'll think of a million things that you forgot to do, or that can go wrong before you open the door. But, as with dating, there are some things you can do to sway the odds of a positive home inspection in your favor. By rolling up your sleeves and following these tips from our real estate agents, you'll pass your home inspection with flying colors.

  • Go Through Your Home With Your Real Estate Agent
    Your agent has gone through this process many times. They know what the inspector will look for, and they can help you create a strategy to efficiently tackle any deficiencies with home maintenance, plumbing, wiring, pests, and more. Specifically, they will help you identify damage to your roof, plumbing problems, electrical issues, and other problems that could diminish the home's structural integrity.

  • Take Fido to the Park
    Whether you have the friendliest pug or the sweetest lab, take your pets out of the home for the day. Take them to the park or a friend's house. This is especially important if you have a protective pet that could impede the inspector's ability to inspect the home.

  • Declutter
    Clear out the closets, toss trash from the garage, and dig through the piles of trophies and other accumulation within basements and attics. You should clear the clutter to show the home, and you won't want to move it with you to your new home, so getting rid of it now means it is one less thing to do later. Plus, it will make it easier for the home inspector to gain access to every area of the home.

  • Roll Up Your Sleeves (and pick up the phone!)
    You can fix many minor problems such as leaky faucets and other general maintenance tasks. However, you should hire a professional to repair any issues with HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc. Even in a seller's market with many fabulous Plymouth homes for sale that need a little work, buyers want "move-in ready" homes that they don't have to put a lot of initial effort into.

  • Ensure the House is Fully Operational
    Ensure that gas, water, and electric systems are connected and operational. You should also make sure that all remote controls or smart home systems are available for the inspector to use when they arrive.

  • Know the Home's History
    Has the home been remodeled by you or a previous owner? If so, was the work performed to code, and were the proper permits secured? Anytime a home is remodeled, it falls upon the current owner to address any deficiencies with remodeling work. The more you know about the status of the work performed on your home, the better.

  • Give Them Time To Work
    Most home inspections take between 2-4 hours to finish. While it is natural to want it to be over with quickly, you should give your inspector time to thoroughly and properly examine the structure.   

Home inspections can be nerve-wracking, whether it's your first time or your tenth. Contact us to learn more about the steps we take to help ensure our clients are ready when the date of their home inspections rolls around. 

June
3

Cleaning Tips Before Moving - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyCongratulations! What a relief that the house had sold, right? But our real estate agents know that as the excitement wears off, you're probably going to look around and suddenly realize that the hardest work lies ahead of you. The longer you've been in your home, the more daunting the task of cleaning before you go. But don't feel too stressed out. We've compiled a few tips to keep the process as simple as possible. 

  • Start With an Empty House
    Packing and cleaning simultaneously can be a nightmare. Before you lift a single rag, make sure you have packed and removed everything but cleaning supplies and equipment. Inspect every inch of the house to ensure no dishes are left in the dishwasher, towels in the linen closet, or goods in any closet. Check basements, attics, garages, and storage sheds for any rarely used items. Don't forget personal items in the bathroom cabinets. 

  • Make a Plan and Follow It
    Work from the top-down, cleaning upstairs before tackling the ground floor. In each room, begin by removing cobwebs and dust from the ceiling, lights, and fans. Dust first, followed by wiping down stains. Move next to blinds, windows, and doors. Always dust before attempting to clean with damp cloths. Wash windows and wipe down the frames. Clean fingerprints and grime from wallplates and light switch covers.

  • Deep Clean Appliances
    Stoves often require a lot of elbow grease, so it may be helpful to apply oven cleaner and let it sit while you attack the refrigerator and the microwave. Use plenty of hot, soapy water to cut through any spills. Rinse well with clean water to remove soap residue. Sanitize with a solution of an ounce of bleach in a gallon of water in a spray bottle. Unplug the refrigerator and open the door slightly. Prop it open if necessary to ensure that unpleasant odors and mildew can't form.

    Move to the stove, starting with the exhaust fan. Wash the stovetop and burners. Clean the oven to remove burned-on grease and debris. Remove racks and wash them in the sink. After rinsing the cleaning solution from the walls and floor of the oven, spray it down with white vinegar. Replace the racks. To clean the microwave, place a bowl of warm water and dishwashing liquid in the unit and run it at high heat for 5 minutes. Let it stand for another few minutes to allow the steam to loosen any debris and wipe it down. Remove the turntable and wash it as necessary. Wipe the floor of the microwave before replacing the turntable.

  • Wash It Down
    Using plenty of hot soapy water, wash and rinse cabinets and countertops. Wipe them dry to eliminate streaks. Sweep and mop the floor. Make sure the baseboards are free of dust and dirt. Sweep, mop, vacuum, and clean carpets as necessary. Change dirty water frequently to ensure thorough cleansing.

  • Tackle the Bathrooms Last
    Once again, start at the top and work down, cleaning the insides of medicine cabinets and washing mirrors. Use vinegar on shower doors to remove soap scum buildup. Scrub toilet and sink, finishing up by moping the floor. While we normally recommend taking everything as you vacate, it might be nice to leave a roll of toilet paper, soap, and paper towels for the next resident. 

We hope you've found this clean-up plan helpful. If you're in the market for one of the lovely Plymouth homes for sale, be sure to contact us. We'd be happy to help you find the perfect new place. 

February
17

If you're planning to sell this year, you're probably thinking about what you'll need to do to get your house ready to appeal to the most buyers. It's crucial to work with a trusted real estate professional who knows your local market to get your home ready to sell. But there are a few things you should consider when deciding what to renovate and update before listing this season. Here are three things to keep top of mind as you're making your list of projects to tackle this year.

1. The Number of Homes for Sale Is Very Low

Housing inventory sits far below what is normally considered a balanced market. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the latest data indicates inventory is hitting an all-time low. Because there's such a limited supply of homes available for sale, you're in a unique position when you sell your house to benefit from multiple offers and a quick process.

But you want to do so while buyers are still scooping homes up as fast as they're being listed. Spending time and money on renovations before you sell could mean you'll miss your key window of opportunity. Of course, certain repairs may be important or even necessary. The best way to determine where to spend your time – and your money – is to work with a real estate advisor to confirm which improvements are truly needed and which ones aren't likely to be deal-breakers for buyers.

2. Buyers May Be Willing To Take on Projects When They Purchase Your House

Today, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves to get the house they're after, even if it means putting in a little extra work. A recent survey from Freddie Mac finds that:

". . . nearly two-in-five potential homebuyers would consider purchasing a home requiring renovations."

If more buyers are willing to tackle repairs on their own, it may be wise to let the future homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle. Depending on the structural condition of your house, your efforts may be better spent working on small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior to make sure the home stands out. Instead of over-investing in upgrades, the buyer may change anyway, work with a real estate professional to determine the key projects to tackle that will give you the greatest return on your investment.

3. Your Agent Will Help You Spotlight the Upgrades You've Made

Over the past year, many people made a significant number of updates to their homes. The most recent State of Home Spending report finds:

"Home improvement spending rose 25% year-over-year to $10,341. Homeowners who invested in home improvement did an average of 3.7 projects, up from 2.7 in 2020, . . ."

With more homeowners taking on more projects in the past 12 months, there's a good chance you've already made updates to your home that could appeal to buyers. If that's the case, your real estate advisor will find ways to highlight those upgrades in your listing.

The same is true for any projects you invest in moving forward. No matter what, before you renovate, contact a local real estate professional for expert advice on what work needs to be done and how to make it as appealing as possible to future buyers. Every home is different, so a conversation with your agent is mission-critical to make sure you make the right moves when selling this season.

Bottom Line

In a sellers' market like today's, it's important to spend your time and money wisely when you're getting ready to move. Let's connect today so you can find out where to target your efforts before you list

August
16

February
23

Luxury Portfolio International recently released their newest study, "State of Luxury Real Estate", focused on consumers in the top 1%-5% income bracket of 17 countries, representing more than 30 million households. It was conducted by the Affluent Consumer Research Company, a full-service market research and voice-of-the-customer organization, specializing in high-income and high-asset consumers around the world.

Peabody & Smith Realty, as members of Luxury Portfolio, are proud to help share this study with you now - click here for your copy to read online or download and print.
  H
ere are some key findings as reported by the study and Luxury Portfolio International:

  • More than 15.5 Million Affluent Households across the Globe are in the Market for Residential Real Estate over Next 3 Years, According to a Study by Luxury Portfolio International.
  • Conversely, the report also revealed that demand for purchasing residential real estate by this sector far exceeds the number of sellers, with slightly more than 10 million looking to list their home for sale.  

The more than five-million-home gap between those interested in purchasing and those interested in selling creates a seller's market within the overall high-end residential real estate market.  The implication of this lopsided market is near-term price increases and greater demand for new development. 

 Other highlights from State of Luxury Real Estate include: 

  • While real estate prices vary dramatically from country to country, a viable luxury threshold is homes in excess of US $1 million.  Of the 15.5 million consumers who indicated interest in purchasing residential real estate, 66% of that segment (10.3 million consumers) noted a desire to purchase a residence valued at US $1 million or more over the next three years. 
  • Real estate is the leading investment category of the day, with luxury buyer sentiment a strong 'buy,' and a low inclination to 'sell.' 
  • One-quarter of global luxury buyers have an investment or rental property in mind for their next purchase. 
  • The pandemic has impacted homes at all price levels, including the luxury sector, with trends borne from quarantining including adjusting to all members of the household working from home; a heightened need for self-reliance at home; and recognition that spontaneity brings a welcomed break.  For the most part, all three circumstances can be addressed within a luxury home setting.
  • Luxury buyers are planning for extended shelter-in-place scenarios for themselves, family and guestsExpectations are high that over the coming year, more time will be spent at home, with about half of luxury buyers seeking a residence with accommodations for long-term guests. Whatever their individual reason, the result is preparation for non-household members to shelter with them. 

    The luxury customer is more interested in high-quality offerings and customer service than low price. The ultra-luxury segment values brands that feature corporate citizenship, reputation and loyalty. 

    • While real estate as an industry has had significant technological disruptors such as online agencies over the past few years, luxury buyers overwhelmingly prefer to work with a traditional brokerage firm70% of luxury buyers noted as much, with 19% noting they would work with an online agency. 
    • Luxury buyers are bullish on the residential real estate market. 45% of those surveyed believe that it is getting stronger (more buyers) -- compared to 31% who believe that it is softer (these results are impacted by in-market, in-country specifics). 
    • 60% of affluent consumers expect an increase in their current home's value, primarily in the 1% to 10% range.   
    • 50% of luxury buyers believe that now is a good time to buy real estate, being the number one result in the survey -- beating out stocks, private equity and gold, among others.  
    • More than one-half of ultra-luxury buyers (52%) perceive their current home value to have risen by more than 10%, perhaps incenting them to trade up or add to their portfolio.
    • As to an outlook for 2021, barring unforeseen economic or geopolitical issues, a record number of affluent households will be in market to acquire, especially within the luxury segment.


      To learn more about the Luxury Real Estate market in your area, feel free to call one of our Peabody & Smith Realty agents today - proud members of Luxury Portfolio International.
    February
    10

    selling your home Deciding to sell your home is a big decision, and the process can be stressful and time-consuming. However, we have put together a list of the most important things to do to prepare to sell your home. It is always important to allow plenty of time for the home to sell before needing to move. Homes sell better when they are clean, uncluttered and decorated sparsely with only a few nice pieces of furniture. Here are the top ten things to do to prepare a home for sale: 1.     Work with a trusted local real estate agent to determine the fair market price for the home. 2.     Remove some of the furnishings - This makes the rooms feel bigger. 3.     Organize half of the stuff in the closets - This make the closets look bigger. 4.     Remove at least half of the things in kitchen cabinets - Organize the contents neatly. 5.     Remove a lot of personal items - This allows the new buyer to imagine the home as their own. 6.     Fix damage to walls and re-paint - Use neutral colors (not white) that appeal to everyone. 7.     Clean everything and wash windows inside and out - Let the light shine in. 8.     Repairs - Make minor repairs. Make sure all major appliances are in good-working order. 9.     Trim exterior landscaping and lawn - This increases curb appeal. 10.  Add plants and fresh flowers inside and out. Find additional information about home selling in our recently published Frequently Asked Questions page about Home Selling! Contact a local real estate agent at Peabody & Smith Realty to help you start the selling process.

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