It certainly feels like spring today!

Spring is certainly right around the corner and even though the flowers aren’t quite blooming just yet, this is a great time to prepare your home for the spring market! 434_large_image

If you are a prospective seller, it is important to use this time to start getting your home ready:

 
Start Interviewing Prospective Realtors
One of the most important thing to do when selling your home is to find a great agent to represent you. If you don’t have one already, then get recommendations from friends and interview different agents to find one who will be the best fit for you. A good listing agent should have a great marketing plan, experience, and deep knowledge of the area and market. Don’t simply go with the one who tells you they can sell your home at the highest price – choose someone who can present you with a detailed and realistic market analysis to back up their numbers.

 

Make a Plan
A big mistake a lot of sellers make is not having a plan. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:

Are you planning on buying another home once your home sells?
Do you have the option to move in with family?
Can you rent?
Can you buy non-contingent?
Think about these things and discuss your financing options with a local lender before you list. If you can get pre-approved to buy a home non-contingent it will give you a huge advantage over another seller selling their home subject to finding a suitable property to purchase.

Clear the Clutter
This may seem like a no-brainer but its really important! Be proactive and start the cleaning process now.

Wash your windows, Dust your blinds, Dust baseboard trims, Clean appliances, Clean showers and toilets, Clean inside cabinets. When you’re selling your home, it’s important to de-clutter too. Plus it will give you a head start on moving packing. Clean out your closets and pack away anything that’s not a necessity. Your home will look so much better and most likely sell a lot faster if its organized and de-cluttered.

Prospective buyers are going to want to step into your home and see a place they can visualize living in and making their own. The best way to do that is to create a blank slate. Keep it neat, reduce the amount of clutter you have on shelves and surfaces, and depersonalize as much as you can. The idea is to showcase your home without distracting from it.

 

Make Repairs and Improvements
The last thing anyone wants to do before they sell their home is to dump a bunch of money into it for an extensive renovation; however, there are minor repairs and improvements that can be made to make a home look fresher for potential buyers. Here are a few worthwhile improvements that can be made without spending a fortune:

Freshen Up Paint, Front Door and Hardware, Applying a coat of paint to walls and trim, or even touching up certain areas, can make a world of difference in the appearance of your home. If painting isn’t an option, you can give the walls and trim a thorough cleaning to improve the overall space. It’s also a good idea to spruce up your front door, since that’s the first thing a buyer will see when they walk in.

 

Spruce up the Curb Appeal
You want to impress potential buyers as soon as they step onto the property or take a drive by, which means making the outside of your home look as appealing as possible. Make the extra effort to rake leaves, weed the garden, and mow the lawn. Clean and put out your outdoor furniture, and even consider adding some colorful plants to the front of the house.

 

Know Your Local Spring Market
Every market is different. The best way to be informed about yours is to connect with your realtor. They should advise you on current, past and projected market conditions as well as give you advice on when to list.

The time you list is critical! Wait too long and you could miss the prime selling time frame. There are some realtors who suggest listing earlier and not waiting till spring in order to beat the spring market competition. However, as stated above, it all depends on your local market. This is another reason having a good realtor is of key importance.

 

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Inexpensive Ways to Save on Your Home Heating Bill This Winter

Have you lost any deals due to a Home Inspection?? — Bill Nickerson’s Blog

A great read!

We hear so many times of home sales falling apart due to home inspections or some minor repair issues. Broken steps, missing railings, chipping or flaking paint and the list goes on. These are typically minor issues and can be fixed quickly and affordably. What if I told you I have the answers to your […]

via Have you lost any deals due to a Home Inspection?? — Bill Nickerson’s Blog

Tips To Make Spring Cleaning A Breeze

Home Buying & The Down Payment

Massachusetts Home Buying – Is the Purchase and Sale Deposit the Same as the Down Payment?
Being a Massachusetts home buyer is a bit different than buying in some other parts of the country. Here in Massachusetts we have a two part contract system. It consists of the “Offer to Purchase” and the “Purchase and Sale Agreement.”

Initially, at the offer stage it is customary to put a deposit of $500 to $1,000 along with the offerdownpaymentonhouse in order to bind the agreement.

Ten days to two weeks after the offer comes the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This is the actual complete document that will have all the terms and conditions of the sale. At Purchase and Sale signing, the buyer will put down a more substantial deposit in order for the seller to feel secure about taking the property off of the market.

The question then arises – is the Purchase and Sales deposit the same as the “down payment?”

The customary amount for the P&S deposit is equal to 5% of the purchase price you will be paying for the property. And, I would not advise putting down any more than this. There is really no reason to do so.

Unless you are in the situation with an FHA or VA loan in which you will be able to put a low down payment, 5% will not be a significant enough amount to qualify as your complete down payment. This is still merely a deposit that holds the property off of the market.

When the P&S is signed and executed, the deposit check is cashed and the funds are put into an escrow account. There they will stay there until your closing at which time this money is brought forward and applied to your purchase.

At the time of your closing you will be bringing “good funds,” usually a bank check, for the remaining amount of your down payment as well as any closing costs.

As a Massachusetts home buyer you should know – there is a definite distinction between the Purchase and Sale deposit and your down payment.