Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



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 So if your home has loud wallpaper, brightly colored walls, or an outdated kitchen it will be a turn-off.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 8/23/2015

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.