Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 10/11/2015

You pack all of your belongings in a truck and hope for the best but even with the most careful movers, accidents can happen. Did you know that typical moving insurance barely covers your prized possessions in cause of a problem. Typical moving insurance pays about 60 cents per pound for damaged goods. So if you have a $1,000 item that only weighs 10 pounds you will get a whopping $60 back. To make up the gap you should consider purchasing moving insurance. There are several options for you to choose from: Full value insurance Full value insurance is the most expensive insurance because it covers your whole shipment. If anything is lost, damaged or destroyed, the movers can either offer to repair the item, reimburse you with cash or replace it with a similar item. Check the policy to see if there are coverage limits on certain items. Released value insurance Released value insurance is the most typical type of insurance. It usually covers goods for 60 cents per pound.  Released value insurance is usually offered at little to no cost to you. make sure to check your moving contract, some exclude coverage if you pack your own boxes. Third-party insurance If you choose the mover's released value option, you may want to opt for additional insurance  from a third-party. Under this type of coverage your mover would be liable for 60 cents per pound of damaged goods and the insurance company would pay any of the remaining costs. As with any contract make sure to read the coverage thoroughly so you can make an educated decision about what type of coverage you will have for your move.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/30/2015

Is your house a listing loser? Have you been on and off the market for years? There are many factors that influence whether a house sells or not. While most people will point directly to price, that may not be the only reason why a home sits on the multiple listing service without showings or offers and ends up on the expired list. Here are just a few of the reasons why homes don't sell: 1. Price The most common reason and usually the biggest factor is price.  Often a home is priced too high because sellers have unrealistic ideas about what their home is worth. Other sellers insist on basing the price of their home on their own personal financial situation and not the market. Even if a seller is willing to adjust the price of a home after listing it too high, it is the original asking price that matters. Pricing a home competitively will ultimately yield a higher sale price. 2. Location, location, location It is true location matters. Even the nicest house cannot always overcome a bad location. Homes that are on busy roads, close to high tension wires, power plants, waste-treatment facilities or other objectionable locations will struggle to sell. The only way properties in undesirable locations sell is when the seller understands that the asking price is significantly lower than similar homes in prime locations. 3. Having the nicest home in the neighborhood It may feel good to have the largest or nicest home in the neighborhood but buyers won't appreciate that. Buyers are not only paying for the home but also what is around it. If your home offers much more than other homes in your neighborhood you will have a tough sale. 4. The decor A home should appeal to almost everyone. So if your home has loud wallpaper, brightly colored walls, or an outdated kitchen it will be a turn-off. Most buyers won't be able to look beyond the 1970s kitchen and see the good qualities a home has to offer. 5. A dysfunctional floor plan The addition you added on may be your pride and joy but when the buyer looks at it they see it as a barrier to a sale. Many homeowners add additions or change the floor plan of their home to suit them. They were not thinking that it might not be okay for a future buyer to walk though a bedroom to get to the family room addition. This sometimes applies to older homes as well, smaller rooms and lack of storage does not top a buyer's wish lists. 6. Too many repairs If the home needs a lot of repairs, the buyer sees a money pit. Today's buyer is much more reluctant to take on a lot of renovations. 7. Bad Marketing This can be the agent's fault as much as the seller's fault. Are there agents who could do a better job marketing a home? Of course there is. Often times, the agent is limited by the seller's willingness to help. Agents that are forced to show photos of messy, outdated homes on MLS are not starting off on the best foot. There is only a small percentage of buyers who are able to see past the mess and cosmetic issues. 8. Unavailability Sellers sometimes do not make their home available for showings and this can hurt the sale of the home. Buyers have tight schedules and often want to view homes at inconvenient times. Sellers must try to accommodate as many showings as possible. You never know who the buyer will be or when they will want to look at the home.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/16/2015

One of the worst things that can happen to a would-be home seller is when the home never sells and expires from the multiple listing service. Waiting week after week or month after month for an offer is frustrating. Selling a home can be a stressful and emotional experience and when it doesn't sell there are a number of questions to ask before making the next move. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Should you renew an expired listing with the same broker?
  • Should you list with a new broker?
  • Should you relist the home for sale at all?
Before placing blame consider why the home didn't sell. Here are some questions to ask:
  • Were you motivated to sell?
  • Did you follow the recommendations of the broker?
  • What was the marketing plan to sell your home?
  • Ask the broker why the home didn't sell.
  • Was the home priced properly?
  • Was it available to show to potential buyers?
  • What was buyer's feedback about your home?
After honestly reviewing these questions consider if there is something you as the seller could have done differently. If you feel it was the broker who did not fulfill their promises than it may be time to find a new broker. If your broker did their job and worked diligently to sell your home then it is probably you that needs to make some changes. Before you relist and make another potential mistake visit other active properties for sale to determine how your home compares to the competition. Consider if you may need a price adjustment. Ask for another comparative market analysis to determine if your home is priced to beat out the competition. You may also need to do some repairs before selling. Staging your home for sale is also always a good idea.  





Posted by Kathy Foran on 7/12/2015

A common question for sellers is if they will owe capital gains tax when they sell their home. The answer to that question: it depends. The capital gains tax law known as the Taxpayer Relief Act went into effect in 1997 but there is still a lot confusion over who pays what and why. If you sell your home you will not have to pay capital gains tax if:

  • You are selling your personal residence.
  • You have $250,000 in profit or less if you are single and $500,000 if married.
  • You have lived in your home for two of the last five years.
  • The home is not an investment property.
The capital gains exclusion can be used as many times as you like as long as it meets all of the above criteria. If you are going to make more than $250,000/$500,000 in profit you will be taxed at a 20% capital gains tax rate on the amount over the $250,000/$500,000 threshold. There are exceptions to the rule. You may be eligible for a tax break if:
  • You need to sell your home because a change in health.
  • You need to sell your home because of a long distance relocation.
  • You are in the armed services and moved to fulfill your service commitments.
Your individual tax situation may be different, so make sure to consult a qualified tax accountant or attorney.  





Posted by Kathy Foran on 6/21/2015

If you are a seller, you need to know how buyers think. A study by the National Association of Realtors asked buyers who they are, why they need to buy, and what would make them buy. Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer's experience with this important transaction. Here are highlights from that report.

  • Sixty-six percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.
  • For forty-two percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to ninety-two percent.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • Eighty-eight percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.