Jill Kelly Top Realtor Boston Suburbs | Westwood MA Real Estate, Norwood MA Real Estate


If you want to maximize your home sale profits, it generally is a good idea to conduct a property appraisal before you list your residence. That way, you can receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. And with this property valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

A home appraisal may prove to be a stressful experience, particularly for a seller who is unsure about the value of his or her house. Lucky for you, we're here to provide insights into the home appraisal process and ensure that you can prepare for this evaluation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach a house appraisal with confidence.

1. Understand How a Home Appraisal Works

Although you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your house, it is important to remember that the condition of your residence is one of several factors that a home appraiser considers. In fact, an appraiser will evaluate the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses in your area and other factors to provide an accurate property valuation.

Oftentimes, it helps to work with a real estate agent if you plan to sell your home. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive immediate responses to any of your home appraisal concerns and questions.

2. Establish Realistic Expectations for Your Home

Let's face it – what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your residence's current value. If you set realistic expectations for your residence prior to an appraisal, you may be better equipped than ever before to accept the evaluation results.

It may be beneficial to look at the prices of houses in your area prior to an appraisal. This information can help you understand whether the housing market currently favors buyers or sellers – a factor that may influence the valuation of your house from an appraisal.

3. Explore Ways to Boost Your Home's Value

There are always options to bolster a house's exterior and interior. Therefore, following an appraisal, you should plan to complete home repairs that could help enhance your house's value.

As you search for ways to upgrade your residence, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and tips to help you improve your residence, even if you're working on a tight budget.

Of course, a real estate agent provides extensive assistance throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful house appraisal that leads to a fast, profitable home selling experience.


If you plan to sell your house and need to declutter quickly, hosting a yard sale may prove to be ideal.

Ultimately, a yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items and earn extra cash at the same time. It also may help you connect with neighbors and lay the groundwork for long-lasting friendships.

When it comes to hosting a yard sale, it is important to sell the right items to the right buyers. By doing so, you can increase your chances of transforming an ordinary yard sale into a successful one.

Now, let's take a look at three items to sell during your yard sale:

1. Clothing

If you're moving from a warm-weather climate to a cold region – or vice-versa – you should sell clothing that you no longer need.

Wash any clothes that you plan to sell as part of your yard sale. This will ensure all clothes are stain-free.

Furthermore, consider the buyer's perspective as you determine which clothing to sell. And if you find that some of your t-shirts, turtlenecks and other clothes are faded or ripped, you may want to dispose of these items altogether.

2. Electronics

TVs, video game consoles and other electronics often prove to be popular yard sale purchases. As such, if you have excess electronics, you should sell these items at your yard sale.

If you plan to sell an old desktop or laptop computer, make sure to clear the hard drive. This helps eliminate potential cybersecurity headaches down the line.

Also, test any electronics to ensure they work properly. If electronics are battery-operated, install batteries to make it easy for yard sale shoppers to test these items. Or, if electronics require an electrical outlet, set up a power source that allows potential buyers to try these electronics.

3. Appliances

If you are moving to a new house that already has a refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances, a yard sale provides an excellent opportunity to sell your current appliances.

Be realistic when you set prices for your home appliances. Check out the prices of brand-new and used appliances, and you can establish a price range for your appliances based on their age and condition.

In addition, don't hesitate to negotiate with buyers on appliance prices. Because if you fail to sell your appliances at your yard sale, you may be forced to move these big, heavy items on your own.

Those who understand which items to sell at a yard sale should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in any yard sale, at any time.

Lastly, if you want extra help as you plan for a yard sale, a real estate agent can offer expert assistance. This housing market professional can provide home decluttering tips to ensure you can sell the right items during your yard sale.

Start planning for a yard sale today, and you can move one step closer to decluttering and selling your house.


Photo by Andy Dean Photography via Shutterstock

The phrase “the joys of homeownership” is a staple in most households. But sometimes, you think you hear a snicker behind the smile. Now that you’re finally ready to become an owner, you might be wondering if that term is truthful or sarcastic. The answer is “Both.”

How can it be both?

No doubt about it, buying a home and making it yours is a fantastic achievement. Taking on part of the American dream builds your confidence, creates community stability and sets your household’s future on a positive trajectory. However, a home can also become an albatross. That could be what happens when you blindly purchase a home without an upfront and thorough inspection. Even a home that a relative or friend sells to you needs a professional home inspector to give you a baseline of what maintenance and repairs it may need.

How do you stay "joyful?"

  • Insist on a home inspection. As mentioned earlier, even if someone you know sells you the home, paying for an inspector to report on what’s up with the home’s major systems means you can plan for your future. If the inspection says the roof needs replacing in five years, you can factor that into your budget and not be surprised or upset when, in five years, you need a new roof.
  • Ask for a warranty. As part of the negotiations, have your agent request a home warranty for at least a year. You may even opt for renewal after that year. Get a warranty that covers problems with major systems such as the electrical panel and wiring, plumbing, water heater, HVAC and sprinkler systems. The cost to the seller is typically low, and helps maintain peace of mind when things start to get a little worn.
  • Stay on top of maintenance. If you’re handy, this is your moment to shine. Get a list of the most common maintenance issues in a home and schedule it into your free time. These include monitoring for water leaks, changing air conditioning and furnace filters and clearing out the gutters and downspouts before the winter weather wreaks havoc. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, then ask your agent to recommend someone to keep an eye on things for you so that they don’t turn into major problems.

Is homeownership a reason for joy? Of course. But don’t let unexpected expenses and maintenance issues dim your happiness. Ask your agent about home inspections, warranties and repair contractor referrals.


Photo by Rafa Bordes via Pixabay
 

Real estate closings could be quite simple at one end of the spectrum or very difficult at the other end. In most cases, you will need to understand the legal ramifications of signing several documents, including the note, mortgage, transfer of title, mineral rights, title insurance and tax documents. If your closing is complicated, you should always have an attorney present.

Simple Closings

It is very rare to have a simple closing, but it could happen. If you are buying raw land for cash, the closing is usually quite simple for the buyer and seller. You don’t need a mortgage, but you will need title insurance for yourself. You’ll also need a deed. The seller will need to sign the requisite tax documents.

Another simple closing is when you purchase a manufactured or modular home and put it on land that you already own. The closing, even with a mortgage, is easy and between the buyer and home manufacturer. However, if you need a construction loan while the home is being built and/or set up, the closing becomes more complicated since you must close twice. The first closing is the construction loan on the money you borrow for the home. The second loan is the loan that covers the finished product. Closing with a builder of a home that is built on-site is more complicated than closing on a manufactured or modular home.

Closings Gone Wrong

While no one wants to have a closing go wrong, it does happen. Your lawyer might find mistakes in documents, including the loan estimate. You might find that the seller did not disclose pertinent information about the home – information that would have prevented you from making an offer on a home and could be cause to break the contract without prejudice. It is always better to have a real estate lawyer review the documents prior to closing and at the closing to ensure that your best interests are met.

List of Closing Documents

At the closing, you will have to review and sign most of these documents:

  • Closing disclosure that dictates the terms of your loan and the closing costs you will pay.

  • Your loan application. You must sign a new copy of the application you submitted to the mortgage company, so be sure to review it and make sure everything is correct.

  • The mortgage note that binds you to repay the loan should have the amount you borrowed, the interest rate, payment date, the amount you will pay over the life of the loan, the length of the loan and other information.

  • The mortgage or deed of trust is what provides security for the loan. When you sign this document, you are putting your house up as collateral. If you bought land separately, the lender might also use the land as collateral.

  • The title and/or deed to your home. The deed is proof of ownership.

  • Affidavits, depending on your situation.

  • Escrow disclosure that tells you how much of your payment goes to escrow and what the escrow is used for. It is usually for county taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

  • Property transfer tax documents.

When scheduling your closing, even if your real estate agent is using a closing agent, consider having your own attorney present. It could save you a lot of headaches and heartache if the lawyer catches something amiss with the closing. 


For those who plan to list a house in the foreseeable future, it often is beneficial to track the real estate market. By doing so, a home seller can identify real estate market patterns and trends and quickly address any potential property selling hurdles.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze housing market data so you can accelerate the property selling journey.

1. Review the Prices of Recently Sold Houses in Your Area

Check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can find out whether sellers are accepting offers to purchase at or above their initial home asking prices.

Furthermore, it may be a good idea to see how your house ranks against recently sold residences. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.

2. Determine How Quickly Houses Are Selling

As a home seller, you should find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market. If you look at how quickly houses are selling in your city or town, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.

In a buyer's market, you will find many sellers and few buyers. Conversely, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and few sellers.

The differences between a buyer's and seller's market are significant. If you understand whether you're getting ready to sell your home in a housing market that favors buyers or sellers, you can determine how to price your residence so it will generate plenty of interest from buyers. And as a result, you may be able to streamline the home selling journey.

3. Assess the Prices of Homes That Are Similar to Your Own

Your home may be one of many available to property buyers. Thus, you should review the prices of houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data will help you narrow the price range for your residence.

Also, you may want to review rival home sellers' property listings and see how these sellers promote their residences to prospective buyers. Because if you can find ways to differentiate your home listing from competitors', you could boost the likelihood of a successful house selling experience.

As you prepare to add your house to the real estate market, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent will offer recommendations so you can enhance your residence both inside and out and help you establish a competitive initial home asking price. Plus, a real estate agent will help you review an offer to purchase your home and determine the best course of action.

Take the guesswork out of selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can monitor the real estate market and use housing sector data to simplify the property selling journey.




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