Blog :: 2019

Serious About Selling? 5 Steps to Make Your Home the best on the Block

 5 Steps to Make Your Home
the Best on the Block

 

 

We all want to be good neighbors. But when it comes to selling your home, it’s not just about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s about outshining them at every opportunity!

 

If you’re looking to sell your home fast and for the most money possible, you’ll need a strategy to set it apart from all the other listings competing for buyers in your area. That’s why we’ve outlined our proven, five-step plan for serious sellers.

 

Use these five tactics to help your listing get noticed, win over buyers, and net a higher sales price than your neighbors!

 

 

STEP 1: Stage Your Home to Show Its Full Potential

 

The average seller will do the minimum to prepare their home for market: clean and declutter, fix anything that’s broken, mow the lawn. And while those tasks are essential, today’s buyers want more than just a clean house and tidy yard. When they dream of buying a new home, they envision a designer house with modern finishes. Help them see your property’s full potential by staging it.

 

Home staging is one of the hottest trends in real estate—because it works! According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are professionally staged spend 73% less time on the market.1

 

So what exactly is staging? In a broad sense, staging is the act of preparing your home for market. The goal is to highlight your home’s strengths, minimize any deficiencies, and help buyers envision themselves living in the space. When staging a home, you might rearrange the furniture to make a room feel larger or remove heavy curtains to make it appear brighter.

 

Some sellers choose to hire a professional home stager, who has specialized training and experience, to maximize the appeal of their home to the largest number of potential buyers. Others may opt to do it themselves, using guidance from their agent.

 

We can help you determine the appropriate budget and effort required to push your home ahead of the competition in your neighborhood. The good news is, an investment in staging pays off. A 2018 survey found that 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than their unstaged neighbors homes.2

 

 

STEP 2: Draw Buyers in with High-Quality Listing Photos

 

You only have one chance to make a first impression with potential buyers. And many buyers will view photos of a listing before they decide whether or not to visit it in person. In fact, 87% of buyers find photos “very useful” in their home search.3 Poor-quality or amateur-looking listing photos could keep buyers from ever stepping through your door.

 

Since good photography plays such an important role in getting your property noticed, we only work with the top local professionals to photograph our listings. But we don’t just rely on their photography skills when it comes to showcasing your home.

 

We go the extra mile to ensure your listing photos showcase the true essence of your home. We’re always on site during the photo shoot to help the photographer capture the best angles and lighting, and to let them know about unique or compelling selling features that they should photograph. The extra effort pays off in the end. In fact, listings with high-quality photography sell 32% faster than the competition … and often for more money!4

 

 

STEP 3: Price It Properly From the Start

 

This is a Farrelly Realty MUST! All of our listings are encouraged to price right from the moment their home comes on the market.  Even in a strong real estate market, there are homes that will sit unsold for months on end. This can be the “kiss of death” in real estate, as buyers tend to imagine that there must be something wrong with the property, even if it’s not the case.

 

But why are those houses still on the market in the first place? It’s because they are often priced too high.

 

Every buyer has a budget. And most will be viewing listings within a particular price range. If your property is overpriced, it can’t properly compete with the other houses they’re viewing that are priced correctly. Which means it’ll sit on the market until you’re eventually forced to drop the price.

 

Alternatively, if you price your home aggressively, it can be among the nicest homes that buyers have seen within their budget. This can lead to emotionally-attached buyers, who are often willing to pay a premium or settle for fewer seller concessions. And in certain markets, it can lead to a multiple-offer situation, or bidding war. The end result? More money in your pocket.

 

We can help you determine what that ideal listing price is for your home in the current market. Pricing it properly in the beginning is the best way to ensure a fast and profitable sale.

 

 

STEP 4: Put on a Good Show at Each Showing

 

Once buyers are interested enough to schedule a visit, it’s crucial that you put on a good show at each showing.

 

The first step is to make your home readily available—and often on short notice—for buyers to see it. A missed showing is a missed opportunity to sell your home. If you set too many restrictions on when it’s available to view, busy buyers will simply skip over your listing and move on to the next one. Our agents go above and beyond for their clients and because we work as a team there is ALWAYS an FRG agent available!

 

Part of making your home available means keeping it relatively show-ready as long as it’s on the market. Most of us don’t live picture-perfect lives, and our homes reflect the day-to-day reality of our busy (and sometimes messy) families. But a little extra effort spent keeping your home clean, fresh-smelling, and ready for buyers will help it sell faster … which means you can get back to your regular routine as quickly as possible!

 

 

STEP 5: Use a Proven Promotion Plan

 

Most agents are still marketing their listings like they did 20 years ago  … put a sign in the yard, put the listing in the MLS, and pray that it sells. Yet, we know that 93% of buyers search for real estate listings online.3

 

That’s why we invest in the latest training and technology—to ensure your listing appears in the places where buyers are most likely to look. Our dual-level promotion strategy includes both pre-launch activities designed to seed the marketplace and post-listing activities to ensure your home stays top-of-mind with potential buyers.

 

By utilizing online and social marketing platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents, your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers. Our contacts are your contacts!

 

 

LET’S GET MOVING

 

Are you thinking about listing your home? Get a head start on your competition! Or call us to schedule a free no-commitment consultation. We’d love to put together a custom plan to maximize the sales potential of your property!

 

 

Sources:

  1. Real Estate Staging Association - https://www.realestatestagingassociation.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=304550&module_id=164548
  2. Home Staging Resources -
    https://www.homestagingresources.com/2018-home-staging-statistics/
  3. National Association of Realtors -
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2018-real-estate-in-a-digital-world-12-12-2018.pdf
  4. RIS Media -
    https://rismedia.com/2018/12/12/shocking-stats-importance-photography-real-estate/

 

 

Top 6 Home Organization Upgrades that “Spark Joy” for Buyers and Improve your Property Value

The hit Netflix series “Tidying Up,” has made home organization a hot topic right now.  At Farrelly Realty Group we see an actual link between the hot topics inspired by these tv shows and what actual buyers in our market expect to see in the homes for sale.  It makes a difference! The "Tidying Up" host, Marie Kondo, encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and keep only those items that “spark joy"  just as the Farrelly Realty agents advise their clients on the items that "spark joy" for the buyers in the market.

With spring in full bloom (finnally!), now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and add organizational systems to your own home. Not only will you clear out clutter, your efforts can actually increase the value of your home.

Ready to give it a try? Here are six home organization ideas that will “spark joy” for you, your property value and potential buyers if you are looking to sell.

Boost Bathroom Storage Capacity

When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom cupboards? If it’s been awhile, remove everything and take a look at each item. Toss any old or expired products—keep only what you actually use.

If your vanity has drawers, add drawer organizers, so you have a dedicated space for smaller items, like makeup and jewelry. For deep cabinets, install roll-out shelves or baskets to maximize the use of space.And don’t forget about the walls! Mount open shelves to store towels. If you’re short on storage space, a cabinet over the toilet can offer additional room for supplies. These inexpensive additions can make your morning routine a little easier while giving your bathroom a more custom feel. And on average, minor bathroom remodeling projects like these see a 102% return at resale.1

 

Upgrade Your Laundry Room

Sort through the items in your laundry room and throw away or donate anything you no longer need or use. If you’ve been holding onto a collection of old washcloths and single socks, it’s time to say goodbye. Then give your laundry room an upgrade with some customized organizational features.

A mix of open cubbies and cabinets with doors will give you plenty of options for storing detergents and supplies. If you have space, a divided hamper or set of laundry baskets can provide a place to sort your clothes before washing. Install a hanging rod or drying rack for delicates and a flat work surface for ironing and folding clothes. With a few simple tweaks, you can turn this chore into a score!

Fully Utilize Your Basement or Attic

Basements and attics can easily become a dumping ground for clutter. If that’s the case in your home, you know what to do!

Once you’ve conducted a thorough clean out, think about how you can better utilize the space to meet your family’s needs. Install cabinets and a table so you can use the area as a craft room. Or you could turn it into a game room with a media center and ping-pong table. Investing in your basement will not only add function for your family, but also the average basement remodel can see up to a 70% return on investment when it’s time to sell.2

If you have an attic, consider adding a cedar closet to store your off-season clothing. The cedar lining will keep your clothes free from moths and smelling fresh year round.3 Turning your attic into a more usable space will pay off down the road, too. A finished attic sees an estimated 60% return on investment.2  

Customize Your Closets

Cleaning out the closet is a chore most of us dread, but by now, you’re a pro! Get rid the clothes and shoes that don’t fit you, are uncomfortable to wear, or that no longer “spark joy.”

Then it’s organizing time. So where do you start? You’ll want to create a designated space for each type of clothing: high hanging rods for dresses and long jackets, lower rods for skirts and shirts, and shelves for folded items like jeans. And accessories need a place to go, too. Add racks for your shoes, drawers for jewelry, hooks for hats, and shelves or racks for handbags.

A well-equipped closet can be a major draw for buyers—the average return on a closet remodel is 57%.4 But more importantly, it’ll improve your day-to-day life. Surveyed homeowners gave their closet remodel a “Joy Score” of 10 out of 10, higher than kitchen or bath upgrades.5

Install Built-in Bookcases and Cabinets

Built-in furniture adds functionality and storage to a room while giving your home a high-end look. Built-in bookcases can turn an empty room into an office. Custom cabinets can be used in a living room to display media equipment while providing hidden storage for DVDs, board games, and family albums.

When designing any built-in feature, remember not to go too custom. A design that only fits your tastes or belongings could turn off future buyers. Instead, select standard sizes and classic finishes to appeal to a broad range of buyers when it comes time to sell.

Equip Your Garage

If you can no longer fit your car in your garage, it may be time for a clean out. Similar to an attic or basement, the garage can quickly become overrun with clutter. A thorough cleaning will help you assess which items are worth keeping.

When adding organizational systems your garage, start with a small rack to store yard tools and larger racks for bikes and sports equipment. Overhead racks are a great place to put seasonal items and bulky luggage. A workbench against a wall lined with pegboard and hooks creates a dedicated space to use and store tools. If you have children or pets, add a cabinet with a lock. This will give you a place to securely store harsh chemicals and sharp tools. With a little effort, you’ll be pulling in your car (and buyers) in no time!

SPRING INTO ACTION

If you’re searching for service providers to help with your spring cleaning or home organization efforts, let us know! We can connect you with our trusted network of local home improvement professionals.  In addition to the WHO to hire there is the COST of these upgrades and renovations to consider.  Should you use a credit card or your home's equity?  One in three homeowners use at least one credit card to fund home renovations, typically in combination with other forms of payment.  Creditcard.com has created a comprehensive guide to help homeowners compare the funding options that may be at their disposal, such as home equity loans or HELOCs.  Their guide breaks down the pros and cons of using these options in comparison to a credit card to help readers more easily finance home renovations. 

Before you start any home project call us to help you determine which organizational upgrades or renovations will add the most value to your home!!   Call an FRG agent today (978)664-3700, we can help!

 

 

Sources:

 

  1. HGTV -
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/top-home-updates-that-pay-off-pictures
  2. Nationwide -
    https://blog.nationwide.com/valuable-home-improvements/
  3. HGTV -
    https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/maximum-home-value-storage-projects--attic
  4. The Closet Doctor - https://www.closet-doctor.com/news/what-is-the-return-on-investment-on-closet-organizers
  5. NAR Remodeling Impact Survey -
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2017-remodeling-impact-09-28-2017.pdf

 

A Boutique business in a Box business world!

Personalized service is becoming a rare commodity in 2019.  From my own recent experience, you can travel from coast to coast and be surrounded by people but not interact with a single one.   Automation and artificial intelligence is taking over!  In some situations it makes perfect sense but in the real estate world with your biggest investment on the line you deserve more.  You deserve personal attention not a one size fits all box approach!    You deserve a local market expert!   You deserve a team approach where you are the top priority!  Farrelly Realty Group is just the firm you deserve. Geri Farrelly, the Broker/Owner of Farrelly Realty Group is keeping her firm "Boutique Size" where personalization is the corner stone of the business. Geri and her team believe "Your Roots are Their Foundation".  Check out the recent press on this unique personal approach to real estate.   

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.usmre.com/6172/GERI%20FARRELLY%20(1).pdf

Step by Step Relocation Guide

Relocating to a new city can be an overwhelming task. Ideally you’d take several trips to your new city to get to know the place and find out exactly where you want to live. Realistically, though, that probably won’t happen. Our lives are busy and money is limited. To help guide you through the relocation process, save you time and money, we’ve put together this step by step guide to relocating to the North of Boston Area.

Step 1: Research North of Boston Towns and Neighborhoods

For people who are getting relocated with a company, this part is a bit easier because you know where you’ll work and can focus your search around neighborhoods with an acceptable commute. Traffic is definitely a factor when commuting to Boston but check out the Waze App to help determine average commute times between two locations

If you’re moving to the Boston area without a job, or can work from home, or just have the flexibility to choose exactly where you want to live, that can be a monumental task as the Boston area is huge.  The good news? The towns North of Boston are different in terms of amenities, look and feel.  Usually people are drawn to one area over the others, so it makes the choice easy.

How to Research: Visit the area info/town tidbit section of our website to help you drill down further.

Step 2: Contact a local North of Boston Realtor

An local Realtor who is knowledgeable about the real estate market, neighborhoods and relocation process can save you a lot of time right off the bat. We work with people who are several months away from their move and help them narrow down their search criteria so they don’t spend weeks they don’t have focusing on places they aren’t going to like when they see it in person. If you give us an idea of what you’re looking for (price range, type/size of house, company/industry you work in (to help us narrow down geography), where you’re coming from, and any other pertinent info), we can recommend areas you can start your search.

Remember, working with a local Realtor costs buyers nothing! Our fee is paid by the seller. So, there is really no reason not to reach out. Scared of getting pressured or hundreds of emails asking you when you’re ready to buy? You don’t have to worry about that with us. We’ll move as fast as you want to move and act as a resource, not a nuisance.

To get started, head our website to understand who we are and how we can help you during this transition. Have a question or prefer to speak to someone? Email us at info@FarrellyRealty.com or call us at (978) 664-3700. We would love to hear from you!

 

 

Step 3: Get Pre-Approved by an Local North of Boston Mortgage Broker

This is the step most people miss. If you need to get a loan to purchase a home North of Boston, you should talk to an local mortgage broker early in the process. One of the big myths we hear is getting pre-approved too early will hurt your credit. That’s simply not true. The credit monitoring bureaus understand finding a house can take months. A good mortgage broker can help you determine the best loan program for your situation and help you determine how best to approach the home buying process during your move (there are certain rules you need to follow, or your loan will be denied). They can also explain local property taxes and HOA dues and how they impact what you can afford.

We have a couple of great mortgage brokers we can refer you to. Check out our preferred vendors list on our website or simply email us at info@FarrellyRealty.com.  We are also available by phone,  call us at (978) 664-3700 and we can get you their contact info.

Step 4: Prioritize Your Housing Wants and Needs

Once you know exactly how much you can afford, it’s time to prioritize what’s important to you in terms of the house you want to buy. Are schools important? Is commute time a factor? Can you afford homes you like where you are looking? Are you taking your long term needs into consideration? Do you want to be in a more urban or suburban area? Do you need to be able to walk to shops and restaurants?

These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself to help you determine what is most important in your house hunt. Sometimes these answers can help further narrow down areas of focus and will help you make the best home buying decision.

Need help determining your priorities? We can help you think through the process.

Step 5: Narrow Down North of Boston Neighborhoods

At this point, it is time to start narrowing down areas. This is a key step to get straight before you take a trip so you don’t waste time on areas that just won’t work for you. Make a list of the Top 5-10 neighborhoods from favorite to least favorite. Our recommendation would be to start exploring the neighborhoods you like most first. Then when you can’t find something you like there, keep going down your list until you do. 

Step 6 Get Set Up on an Email Home Search

Once you’ve come up with your top neighborhoods list, ask your Realtor to set you up on an email home search so you don’t have to waste time searching every single day. We set up each neighborhood in a separate search so you don’t get confused.

Ready for an email search? Email us at info@FarrellyRealty.com and we’ll get it set up for you.

Step 7: Schedule a Neighborhood Scouting Trip

At this point, you probably have a good handle on which areas might work for you. Now, it’s time to check them out in person. The goal of this first trip is simply to rule in or rule out neighborhoods, not to necessarily find a home. Driving through each neighborhood and looking at a few houses in your price range will give you a good indication whether or not you want to keep this neighborhood on the list, or if you want to rule it out completely.

This neighborhood scouting trip is a crucial part of the process and one that shouldn’t be ignored. Investing a little time and money at this point in the process could mean the difference in liking or not liking the place you live.

Contact us to let us know when you’re planning your trip. We’ll show you around the area and help you narrow down your favorite neighborhoods. We take pride in North of Boston towns and would love to show them off to you!

Step 8: Don’t Forget to Make Time for Exploring

Let’s face it, looking at home and neighborhoods all day can get pretty exhausting. Make sure you carve out some time to visit some of our local attractions, eat at our great resturants, check out our local parks and enjoy driving just 17 miles and experience all that the city of Boston has to offer!.  Doing something fun during your visit may help ease the stress of the move and help you realize the North of Boston area can be a great location for you.

Not sure what to do? Here is a list of the Top 10 Things to Do on Your First Visit to Boston.

Step 9: Finalize Your List of Favorite Neighborhoods

When you see the neighborhoods in person, you’ll be surprised how easy this step becomes. Make notes while you are looking so you remember what is what. After looking at 20 homes in 8 neighborhoods, they start to run together, especially when you aren’t familiar with the area.

Then, make a list of your favorites and have your Realtor adjust your home searches. With a picture of what each neighborhood looks like, you’ll be able to focus on finding the home you like.

Step 10: Find a House and Move

Sounds easy, right? Though its not “easy” (especially not the actual moving part), we can help make the relocation process as easy as it can be. We will know many of the answers to the questions you have, even if you don’t know to ask them. We are local experts so if you are considering a move to the North of Boston area, email us at info@FarrellyRealty.com or call us at (978) 664-3700, no matter how early in the process you are. We’ll put together a tailored, step by step program designed for your specific move. We look forward to hearing from you!!

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    A homeowner's Best Friend ~ The Spring Cleaning Checklist!

    *Please click on image for your complimentary printable Spring Cleaning Checklist

    The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is finally beginning to warm. Why? Because springtime is here! and whether you plan to sell this season or simply want to enjoy a clean home, our spring cleaning checklist will help you tackle your most daunting projects. Commit to completing three tasks every day and by the end of the month, your house will shine like brand new.

    Spring Cleaning Checklist Part 1: The Preparation

    • Buy your favorite cleaning products: You won’t be excited to embark on your cleaning extravaganza with a five-year-old bottle of windex and half empty bleach. So head to the store and stock up on essentials.
    • Make appointments in advance: Planning to get your carpets professionally cleaned or hardwood floors refinished? Just be sure to schedule your appointments ahead of time as to not interfere with your personal cleaning agenda.
    • Create an upbeat playlist: Spring cleaning should not be liberating for just your home, it should also be a cathartic experience for yourself. Let decluttering feel good! Create a playlist of your favorite songs to keep you motivated and on task.
    • Replace your linens: After months of dark and dreary whether, brighten up your home with fresh linens. Replace heavy curtains, blankets, and comforters with a lightweight alternative and your home will feel cleaner immediately.
    • Throw it away: Haven’t worn it in six months? Haven’t cooked with it for over a year? Get rid of it! Even better, donate it! Take some advice from decluttering expert Marie Kondo and toss away items that no longer “spark joy” in your life.

    Spring Cleaning Checklist Part 2: Mistakes To Avoid

    • Failing to plan ahead: We’ve already discussed the importance of having a plan, so just do it. Don’t waste your time flailing from one project to the next, completing only half of each one. Be specific. Plan out which rooms you’re going to clean, on which day and in which order. (Pro Tip: Tackle the hardest rooms first)
    • Avoiding the deep clean: In the fashion of true spring cleaning, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty if you want results. Don’t avoid those hard to reach areas like ceiling fan blades or under the fridge. When you do it right, you’ll feel accomplished.
    • Hasty scrubbing: If you want all of your expensive cleaning products to reach their full potential, you must live by the mantra: spray and walk away. Shower mold, mineral deposits, dirty grout and rusty appliances are not impossible to clean. Just be sure to use your products as directed and let soap soak into your surfaces before scrubbing.
    • Cleaning windows on a sunny day: Cleaning windows is a must to fulfill an authentic spring cleaning ritual, but if the sun is out, save this project for another day. Window cleaner dries far quicker in the heat, resulting in streak marks across your glass, no matter how hard you squeegee. So before tackling this task, wait until the temperature drops below 65 degrees.

    Spring Cleaning Checklist Part 3: The Clean

    The Kitchen

    The kitchen, also known as the heart of the home, goes through a lot of wear and tear. From expired food, to gnat infested cabinets, this room deserves a thorough scrub down.

    • Remove the contents of every cabinet and drawer. Wipe down both the inside and outside of each space with detergent and a warm cloth. Organize and replace items back in their designated spaces.
    • Sharpen knives.
    • Deep clean cutting boards.
    • Remove crumbs from toaster.
    • Clean microwave and stove.
    • Shine silverware
    • Dust any displayed china.
    • Dust light fixtures, blinds, ceiling fans, and window sills.
    • Scrub the stove.
    • Sweep and mop floors.
    • Wipe down counters
    • De-grease backsplash
    • Shine faucet, sink, and clean the drain.
    • Reseal grout if necessary.

    Pro Tip: Start from the top and work your way down to avoid having to re-mop floors as a result of settling dust.

    The Bathrooms
    Because so much moisture is trapped in your bathroom on a daily basis, the room is a breeding ground for mold. Not to fear, your floor to ceiling clean will stop mold growth in its tracks.

    • Scrub mirror with glass cleaner.
    • Remove all items from vanity and scrub insides with detergent.
    • Replace items back in vanity in an organized fashion and discard expired medicines and products.
    • Clean toilet bowl
    • Remove lid and set from toilet to scrub around seat bolts.
    • Spray anti-mold cleaning agent on shower doors and walls.
    • Wax bathtub.
    • Shine faucets.
    • Dust vent covers.
    • Clear sink and shower drain.
    • Clean window sills.
    • Sweep and mop floors.
    • Wash towels and bathmat in hot water.

    Pro Tip: Keep a squeegee in your shower year round to prevent mold growth and mineral deposit build-up to simplify next year’s spring cleaning.

    The Bedrooms
    From the master bedroom where you spend a majority of your time to the guest room that receives little to no attention, bedrooms collect dust mites and deserve a full overhaul.

    • For each drawer: remove items, dust, replace drawer liner, organize items and return nicely to their dedicated spaces.
    • Donate items you no longer use.
    • Launder bedding in hot water.
    • Sprinkle baking soda on uncovered mattress, wait, and vacuum.
    • Air out mattress pad.
    • Vacuum under bed and behind dressers.
    • Clean out closets.

    Pro Tip: If you are uncomfortable using harsh cleaning products in your most intimate spaces, consider going “au naturel” with a DIY cleaner. A lemon juice and salt scrub or a vinegar and water mixture will get the job done.

    Everywhere Else

    • Open windows
    • Vacuum dust from baseboards and scrub trim.
    • Vacuum spider webs from corners.
    • Deep clean carpets and rugs, refinish hardwood floors, and shine tile or linoleum surfaces.
    • Dust window screens.
    • Vacuum, sweep, mop (In that order).
    • Spot clean walls.
    • Dust art and light fixtures.
    • Sweep porch.
    • Replace welcome mat.
    • Clean upholstered furnishings.
    • Ensure fire safety by changing the batteries in smoke detectors.

    Pro Tip: As you clean, make a list of things you notice you need or that need to be fixed (i.e. out of flour or a chip in the banister). Don’t look at this list until you have completed your entire spring cleaning.

    Good luck and happy cleaning! 

    *to receive a complimentary printable Spring Cleaning Checklist please click on picture above