Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/23/2015

Staging your home for potential buyers can be quite the hassle. You may start moving your furniture around spontaneously, or become tense when your children or spouse make messes in a room that you just prepped for show. With all of the planning that one can put into making their home shine, one crucial step in home staging is often overlooked: your family pet. For the sake of simplicity, I will outline a few things that you must keep in mind when cleaning up after your pet in a home for sale. Pet presence - For obvious reasons, some pets can't leave the house. Giant enclosures, aquariums, and disabled pets are hard to relocate sometimes, and a lot of people will be understanding of this. But if your dog or cat is healthy, then you'll want to strongly consider relocating your pets temporarily. Many people aren't pet owners, and don't like being around an excitable golden retriever or a yippy chihuahua when they are trying to imagine their family occupying your home. Remember....You are trying to make the potential buyer as relaxed as possible. Ask a friend if they wouldn't mind looking after your loved one for a bit, and if all else fails, look into a reputable boarding service for your pet. Fur - Fur can get everywhere. Even in places that you, as a resident of your home, don't necessarily notice all of the time. Be sure to give your couches, chairs, and love seats proper attention. That means taking the pillows and cushions off, and using a hand vacuum or brush to remove all of the fur you see. After you are sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, use a fabric freshener to finish it off. Try to do this well in advance of the potential buyer, as some people have sensitivities to fabric fresheners. Litter - No matter what kind of animal you have, odds are you have do deal with some form of waste. It may sound pretty obvious, but make sure your litter beds are clean and well hidden. Even if you own an exotic pet like a reptile of amphibian, this includes you too. Many people don't like snakes, but they'll like a messy snake cage even less. Another important thing to remember as an exotic pet owner is this: even though you may not be able to smell anything offensive coming from your reptile's cage, that doesn't mean that there isn't an odor. Many people who live with reptiles get used to the subtle odors that emit from the cages, and will tend to spot-clean their animal's cage without giving it the proper scrub-down that it needs. Odors - Don't use air fresheners to mask pet odor. It is meant to freshen the air...Not cover pet odors up. Instead, use powdered cleaners on carpets and rugs that your pets frequent. These can be purchased at your local pet store in the cleaning isle. Odds are, if someone has a severe allergy to animals, then they are going to be at risk of having a reaction. The cleaner the house, the less dander will be in 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 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.
 





Posted by Kathy Foran on 3/22/2015

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we often focus so much on the photos of our home that we put little emphasis on the words that are used in Words are powerful and because the multiple listing service limits the amount of words that can be used in a listing it is important to make them count. Here are some words and phrases to bring in the buyers: Create an emotion: Buyers buy on emotion so be sure to tell them what it is like to live in the home. Paint a picture of sitting by the fire or entertaining in the open floor plan. Use specifics: Don't just say new or updated. If the kitchen boasts high-end appliances tell the potential buyer the brand name. Describe the shelves and racks in the walk-in closets or the brand name replacement windows. Highlight location: Is the home blocks away from stores, transportation or can you see the beach from the bedroom window? If so, tell the buyer exactly how close it is to desirable amenities and community resources. Update the listing: Change up the wording if the house has been on the market for a while. Try highlighting some different features. Don't forget to remove the comments about the Open House or how the listing "won't last". The words that describe your home can be just as important as the pictures so make sure that you use every character allowed to highlight the features and bring in the buyers.  





Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/10/2014

Did you know that home sellers that use a real estate professional on average get 16% more in the sale of their home? In rare instances, some people are able to sell their own homes without the services of a real estate agent but for most it is tricky business. Here are a few reasons why you can't sell your own home. 1. A home for sale needs to be in the MLS (multiple listing service). You need to be a licensed real estate broker or  agent to be able to put a home in the MLS. Not having your home in the MLS is problematic, it will be difficult to advertise your home on many home search engines and websites. 2. Many real estate agents won't show homes that are for sale by owner. For a real estate agent it can be difficult to deal directly with a home seller. Agents are used to receiving a commission on the sale and without a written agreement there is no guarantee that the buyer's agent will be compensated for his or her services. Not having the cooperation of local agents significantly limits the pool of potential buyers. 3. Many buyers do not want to deal directly with the seller. Potential buyers usually feel uncomfortable looking at a home if the owner is present.  They will also be less likely to make an offer if they have to negotiate directly with the seller. Real estate agents create a much needed buffer between the seller and the buyer. 4. A real estate transaction is not always easy. Many times there are potential liability issues. Sellers would need to be well schooled in the real estate laws especially surrounding escrow and disclosure requirements.