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Selling Your Home Soon? Rightsize Your Life Before You Do

rightsize your home

“Where will we put all of our stuff?”

      This is one of the foremost questions on homeowners’ minds when they’re making a move. Whether it’s a relocation from a suburban to a city environment, or downsizing for a more comfortable retirement, “stuff” can cast a big shadow. To lighten the burden before the big day, it can be helpful to “rightsize” for your move far in advance. Not only will rightsizing save you time, money, and energy as you transition to a new home, it can also help you learn how to evaluate what you really need versus what you’ve been hanging onto for no good reason.

If you’ve compared your current floor plan to your new one, you’ve probably already made the determination that some things must go. But how do you winnow the pile? Here’s a set of criteria you can use to rightsize your possessions:

1. Is this right for the weather? If you’ve lived in places with severe winters and you’re heading for a zero-snow climate, recognize what doesn’t fit and let it go.

2. Is this right for the lifestyle? Your massive outdoor grill and patio furniture may be a waste if you’re settling into a city high-rise. The same might even be said of a second car or recreational vehicle.

3. Is this expensive to move? Some items cost more to move than replace. This is especially true if the item forces you to upgrade the size of your moving truck.

4. Is this something I really use? If you’re in a storage space looking at stuff you haven’t touched in six months or a year, you probably don’t need to transport it to your new space.

5. Is this going to look out of place? Sometimes a new house will make old furnishings and objects seem tacky or trashy. Imagine where you’re going to move it and see if you can do without.

Once you’ve decided something should go, it’s a simple matter of deciding if it’s a “sell,” “donate,” or “ditch” item. While the income from selling items may be appealing, be sensitive to how much time you have before the move. If time’s short, gifting items to friends, charity, or even the dump is a reasonable way to go.

Ready to look for your rightsized home? Let me help.

Michael A. Pallares, Realtor & Listing Specialist,

mpallares55@gmail.com, (617) 899-3162

Are We Ready to Sell Our Home?

        At some point in your life you'll need or want to make a move. Job relocation, retiring to a warmer climate or simply downsizing. Whatever the reason, the first question you're sure to ask yourselves is "Are we ready to sell our home?" While the housing market might indicate that it's a good time to sell, the more important question to ask is whether or not you're comfortable doing it at all. Here are some questions many homeowners ask themselves before deciding to make the big move.

  1. Why Are We Selling Our Home At This Time? It's imperative for you to be clear in your intent. Are you hoping to derive a substantial profit on the sale? Are you relocating out of town for a new job? Downsizing? The answers to the "why" question can help determine the how, what and where of your next home purchase.
  2. Is Our Home Move-In Ready for Interested Buyers? If the interior paint is faded, the shingles are a bit off, the lawn hasn't been green since ABBA was hot and the bathroom is a mildew farm...then you need to jot down a list of improvements that will make a good first impression to any and all potential buyers.
  3. Is This The Right Time of Year to Sell Our Home? Historically speaking the months of April, May and June see a peak in home sales. The weather's great, the kids are just about to finish their school term and your garden has never looked better. If you have to sell at another time of the year, then the right marketing tactics you choose will help bring the right buyers to your door. Selling in the fall? Promote the idea of a "new home in the new year." Selling in the summer? Mention how the buyers can enjoy the in-ground pool as soon as they unpack. People need a home at all times of the year so don't stress about the "ideal" time to sell.
  4. Do We Really Need to Hire an Agent? Even in the hottest of seller's markets, there are factors involved in the sales and marketing of a home that you will want to leave to the professionals. An experienced Realtor will make the stress and worry of selling your home disappear. He or she will handle all aspects of the sale from determining the proper market value; producing marketing materials; handling all the contracts; negotiating the best sales price; ensuring the safety of your home during all showings; and, more importantly, sell your home for the best price in the shortest amount of time. 
  5. What Happens If We Sell The House Before I Buy a New Home? Whatever you do DO NOT put your home on the market until you have a transition plan. If all goes well and you have a great offer for your home, you don't want the lack of a plan to stop the sale. Can you stay with family if you sell before you buy? Have you researched short-term or month-to-month rentals to move into? The timing of your sale and transition solutions are issues that you should work out with your Realtor when you first decide to sell.

When you're ready to sell your home, give me a call. I can promise you a smooth transaction with little or no stress. The only question you'll have then is "Why didn't we call Michael sooner?" 



Tips On How To Make Your Offers More Desirable to Sellers

If you’re house hunting in a competitive market, you’ve probably had the heartbreaking experience of losing out on a place you thought you would make your own. It can be frustrating and demoralizing to find out your offer was rejected in favor of another buyer. How can you do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Well here are some tips on how to make your offers more desirable to sellers.

When a seller entertains multiple offers, it’s important to understand that many different factors are in play. If you’re an all-cash buyer you tend to have an advantage, as potential financing roadblocks are taken off the table. But if you’re like most people, paying cash for a house simply isn’t an option. What then?

First and foremost, make sure you have 100% of your financial house in order. This means getting pre-approved for a mortgage as well as having proof of funds handy. Being organized and ready to go will help give you a small edge from the start. 

Beyond these factors, there’s another way to boost your offer’s profile: Personalize it.

While most sellers want to go with someone who will pay the most for their home, you should never discount the emotional dynamic to the home selling and buying experience. Though sellers are ready to move on, they often want to feel as though their home is going to someone who genuinely appreciates it and needs it. Here’s how to make your offer personal:

1. Work with your agent to craft a personal letter as to why you love the seller’s home. What features do you love? How will this home help you personally, professionally, or with your family needs?

2. Include a photo of yourself and/or your family. Putting a human face on the offer can transform your offer from one more name in a pile of numbers into a genuine person worthy of living in the seller’s home. Have pets and kids? Bring them into the picture!

3. Have your agent personally deliver the offer to the listing agent. A lot of offers are going to be electronically transferred or dumped into a crowded email inbox. While an electronic offer can be convenient, delivering a beautifully prepared package complete with the personalized letter and picture makes an impact. And, an electronic version of the offer can also be sent to the listing agent to cover all your bases.

Want an agent who will go the extra mile to make your offer stand out? Contact me today via a call or text at (617) 899-3162. Let's get that house!



Clever Design Upgrades to Help Sell Your Home

What is it about a home that catches a buyer’s eye? Why is it when two homes are comparable to one another, buyers go with the one that just “feels right”? Sometimes the difference is so small, they don’t consciously notice. Little touches can give a home a major edge in the market. And, with the Boston housing market expected to be a strong "seller's market" in 2017, design upgrades that you can make when selling your home are always welcome.

In fact, here are five clever design upgrades which can provide your home with that indefinable feeling that it’s of higher quality than the competition:

1. Light switch plate upgrades. Homeowners always overlook their own dirty, chipped, or cheap-looking switch plates. If you spend a few bucks to swap out switch plates, any room in the house will seem a tiny bit fresher. Better yet: In the bathroom and kitchen, match the color of your new switch plates to the tile. Look at the accent color in the bathroom or the backsplash in the kitchen for inspiration.

2. Dimmers on major rooms. Bright lights are great for showing off a home, but there’s a little sense of luxury when the overhead lights in living, dining, family, and master bedrooms are on dimmer switches. For fixtures controlled by one switch, get single pole dimmers. For those controlled by two, you’ll need 3-way dimmers.

3. Tasteful crown molding. For rooms without crown molding, adding this touch can really make a plain room feel high-quality. Entryways and master bedrooms are good choices if you have a limited budget, but if you want to go all out, include the other bedrooms as well. The key is adding molding which doesn’t seem ostentatious or inappropriate given the size and existing decor in the room.

4. Custom home address plaque. For between $50 and $100, you can have an address plaque created with the home’s number and the street name spelled out. Look online for inspiration and a design which fits your home. This is a killer upgrade and many homeowners overlook it when they’re trying to add curb appeal to their house.

5. New cabinet and drawer hardware. It’s astonishing how much modern handles and drawer pulls go towards rejuvenating tired or outdated storage. At a minimum, concentrate on the kitchen, but if you want to go all out, look for options to upgrade the bathroom as well.

You might not be able to quantify the exact return these clever upgrades will net you, but you can bet they will help your home stand out from sellers who won’t take the time to make some simple changes.

So...are you ready to sell? What are you waiting for? Contact me today at (617) 899-3162 or mpallares55@gmail.com

The Truth Behind Renting vs. Buying a Home

Buying vs Renting

Are you doing the math these days around renting versus buying a home? Trying to decide if you can afford to buy? If so, you’ve probably Googled one of the many “rent versus buy” calculators out there to help you get a handle on your budget. Here's one eye-popping fact to keep in mind while you conduct your research: As of the first of the year, average apartment rent in Greater Boston is $2,955 with one-bedroom apartments going for $2,455 a month on average and two-bedroom apartments renting for an average of $3,062. Ouch.

While online calculators are helpful, and they can also help clue you in to things like insurance expenses and property taxes, they do overlook a number of key factors in the decision.

1. A mortgage is a surefire way to build wealth. Provided you don’t buy more home than you can truly afford, your mortgage is like a mandatory savings account. A portion of your payment each month is going straight into your equity in your home. With renting, it’s your landlord who is building equity, not you.

2. The tax situation has profound implications, especially in expensive markets. Until the laws change (and there’s little probability they will any time soon), your mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on your income taxes. In expensive markets, this can represent  massive deduction. (Also remember: Early on in a traditional mortgage you pay the most in interest and your deduction is the highest.)

3. Renting puts your wallet at the mercy of the market more often than buying. If you have a year-long lease on an apartment, your rent could go up significantly should the rental market heat up. Your rent isn’t likely to stay the same over a long period of time. In most cities, in fact, it will steadily go up. With a standard mortgage, however, your payments are fixed and predictable. It might seem like a lot at first, but if you buy within your means, it’ll seem like less and less of an expense as the years go on.

4. A mortgage gives you more future financial flexibility. The longer you have a mortgage, the more equity you build. The more equity you build, the more options you have to borrow against that equity or use it in ways which may be advantageous for debt and tax purposes. With renting, no such long-term benefit exists.

The key here, of course, is accepting the fact that you must buy a home you can afford which is priced in accordance with the market. Even if you’re not ready today, having a conversation with a Realtor will help you prepare for tomorrow.

How does renting look now? Should we have a conversation? Contact me today so we go over all your options.

Michael A. Pallares, Realtor (617) 899-3162, mpallares55@gmail.com

Michael A. Pallares

at Andrew Mitchell & Company

617-899-3162 | mpallares55@gmail.com Offices in Concord & Marion, Ma