Published June 2nd, 2015 by

5 Stub Toe Lane (41 of 46)

 

By John Szolomayer

Are you currently in the market for a new house?  Believe it or not, the good, old fashion, open house can be a great way to find the best home in your budget.  This is especially true in the spring when weekends are typically packed with open houses; many debuting fresh properties to a market currently experiencing low inventory. Many homes are currently not available for showing until an open house.

Unless you are prepared for the crowds, and confident of your purpose, spending a weekend open house hopping can feel more like a tough mudder event than a useful way to find your dream home. However, if you do a little advanced training, you can beat out your competition and score a great price on the freshest home on the market. Here are some tips:

  • Make a plan – Select a day and pick a target area you’re interested in. Most open houses occur between 11-4:00 p.m. Check with your real estate agent to recommend four to six homes you would be interested in. Visiting any more than six in one day can simulate the feeling of crawling through mud on your belly to get under barbed wire.  A good agent will inform seller agents at the open houses you’re coming, or accompany you on your tours. If you are going it alone, use a mapping app to program addresses so you don’t get lost, something like the SIR mobile app.
  • Crunch the numbers before hand – Chances are if a home is new to the market, it is being listed at its highest possible asking price and therefore up for negotiation. If a home is a few thousand dollars above your price range, it’s ok, pack your mortgage preapproval letter, and add the home to your list. Double check to see how long each house has been on the market, this can tell you a lot about how each house is fairing in the market, and also creates room for negotiation.
  •  Know what to look for and who to talk to – When the listing agent greets you at an open house, let them know who your real estate agent is, hand them a business card from the stack your agent gave you, and then feel free to ask all the questions you can think of: What are the utility costs? How old are the appliances and heating system? Where are the closest amenities? Use the selling agent’s knowledge of the home and ask for marketing materials to take notes. Send a text or email to your agent while you are at each open house to share your thoughts on each home.

Open House hopping can be a fun, fast, and easy way to hunt for your dream house so long as you hop in prepared. Enjoy the process by working with your local agent on the above tips, and you will be positioned to take full advantage of the exciting, and fast moving, spring market.  Information provided by John Szolomayer from Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty in Hopkinton.  Each office is independently owned and operated.  John can be reached for more information at 508.259.4788 or JohnSzolomayer.com

Published May 4th, 2015 by

By John Szolomayer – Realtor with HSIR

Last month we talked about how the advent of warmer temperatures and increased sunlight is awakening our motivation to achieve housing goals as sellers. This month we focus on how the spring Real Estate Market can benefit buyers. If you are a perspective home buyer, now is the time to start shopping. Inventory is the best it has been in months. windows server As houses continue to come on the market, it is important for buyers to be equipped to capture the home of their dreams. Here are some helpful hints to consider as you start your home search:
• Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help determine a price range for your home search. With the help of your Real Estate Agent, a pre-approval will assist you in determining which towns and neighborhoods would best fit your desires and budget. Your Agent will be able to create a list of homes meeting your needs in each desired location you wish to conduct your house hunt.
• Target your search. Do you have a specific city or town you want to move to or are you open to a wider area? Do you have a particular house style in mind? Again, your Real Estate agent can help you refine your search based on your needs and goals. Considering your work commute is important during this process. Make a list of big ticket necessities, and use this opportunity to determine what style of home you would like to live in. It is also important to determine if you are willing to put a little “sweat equity” into a home or if you need it “move in ready.”
• Pace yourself. When you start viewing homes with your Real Estate Agent, keep the number to under eight for each visit. Seeing more than eight homes in one day is overwhelming and can cause confusion when trying to stick to your goals. Keep notes of each home tour. Important items to note at each property are; the age of the home, the sources of fuel used in the home, the age of the roof, if the home has a well or is on city water, if there is a septic system or is it town sewer, and also if proper permits have been pulled for recent updates.
• Listen to your gut. If you are knowledgeable about what you are looking for in a home, you will know it when you see it. When you do, sit with your Agent to make a strong offer. He or she should present you with comparable housing prices so you understand the price range your target home falls in, and feel confident you are not overpaying for your dream home.
House hunting can be a fun activity when you are well prepared. Enjoy the process by working with your local Real Estate Agent on the above tips, and you will be positioned to take full advantage of the exciting, and long awaited, Spring Market. Information provided by John Szolomayer from Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty in Hopkinton. Each office is independently owned and operated. John can be reached for more information at 508.259.4788 or JohnSzolomayer.com

Published March 16th, 2015 by

By John Szolomayer – Real Estate Agent from Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty

Set the Stage

Set the Stage

The advent of warmer temperatures and increased sunlight is finally awakening Spring fever! The positive effect on our mood motivates us to achieve housing goals, and the melting snow provides long awaited accessibility to properties. These are small parts of the equation that makes Spring the most convenient, lucrative, and exciting time to sell your home. check broken links The Spring Housing Market has been delayed by our epic winter this year and inventory for perspective buyers is remarkably low. So, if putting your house up for sale is on your growing to-do list this month here are some helpful hints to consider:

  1. Thin out your household. Cluttered rooms look small and unattractive.  You might have a sentimental attachment to a collection of sports memorabilia, or arm chairs, but these are best suited in storage or handed down to a family member in order to successfully sell your home. Eliminate personal touches such as family photos so potential buyers can envision your home as their own. Clean out your closets and garage and think about donating items to charity.
  2. Set the Stage. First impressions play a big factor in house hunting. Now that your material items are thinned, do a big Spring cleaning.  Find a place, out of site, for shoes, coats, and bags to make sure all entry ways to your home are inviting. Clean your windows.  Your local Realtor can recommend updates and renovations that will increase the value of your home, and by taking a simple walk around your home with you point out areas that need fixing or improving.  Many fixes include: Painting (walls and trim inside and out), removing wall paper that is over a decade old, replacing old or dirty switch plates, changing outdated lighting fixtures, and possibly updating bathrooms and kitchens. Be sure to attend to the outside of your house as well as the inside by removing or trimming over grown shrubbery and installing some seasonal plantings.
  3. Conduct a Pre-Sale Home Inspection. This is always a good idea so you can eliminate any surprises that might pop up when you have a top dollar offer for your home. Your local Real Estate Agent should be able to assist you in this process.  This is also a great time to obtain a Title V Certificate on your home if you have a septic system.

By working with your local Real Estate Agent on the above projects, you will be positioned to take advantage of the exciting, and long awaited, Spring Market.  For those of you who are thinking about beginning a house hunting adventure this Spring, stay tuned next month for how the Spring Market can best serve you as a buyer.

Information provided by John Szolomayer from Hallmark Sotheby’s International Realty in Hopkinton.  Each office is independently owned and operated.  John can be reached for more information at 508.259.4788 or JohnSzolomayer.com