Buyer Agent – 5 Things to Look For

How should you screen Buyer Agent leads to make sure you get a good Buyer Agent? Here are five things you should look for before you even start to consider whether the agent is a good fit for you.

Bad Home Inspection Report. Now What?

After all the effort to choose a property, the Home Inspection Report is bad! You researched agents, and looked at houses. Then you analyzed, and evaluated, and deliberated. You asked for input from friends and family. And maybe you pulled out some of your hair. You finally made the decision to go for it, and then you suffered through agonizing negotiations. But, after all that, the home inspection report is bad! Now what do you do? Don’t panic! Here are step-by-step guidelines for dealing with this new challenge.

LEED (green) Certification for New Construction in the Boston Area

New construction gives builders the opportunity to use current technology so they can build green buildings. Wondering what “green buildings” are? Or what’s involved in LEED – the most popular certification for green buildings in the world? Want to know how LEED impacts Boston Area real estate? If so, read on!

Save energy and save energy costs in Massachusetts

Home owners in Massachusetts have high energy needs and costs. The extremely long and cold winters mean you use a lot of energy to heat your home. The spring and autumn seem to get shorter every year. And our desire for air conditioning in the summer continues to grow.

New construction takes advantage of the latest technology for energy-saving features. Of course, many Massachusetts homes are older construction. They were built with technology that has relatively high energy costs. And, even though some older homes have added energy-efficiency updates, there is always room for improvement. Even in new construction, there is usually room for improvement.

OPEN HOUSE QUESTIONS – Condo Apartments

Open Houses are a great opportunity to gather information about properties that are for sale. In a recent post, we suggested questions to ask at open houses for single family homes. Here is a list of questions for you to ask at open houses for condos. They are specifically for apartment-type condos (i.e. those in a condo association building as opposed to townhouse condos).

MLS listing sheets have data fields to accommodate detailed information about each property. It’s a good idea to review the sheet carefully – either in MLS reports you get from your agent or from the agent at an open house. That way, you won’t waste your limited face-to-face with the open house agent asking for information that you already have in writing. The questions below aren’t covered in the standard MLS data fields.

Open House Questions

An open house is an excellent opportunity to gather important information about a property. In a recent post we discussed do’s and don’t for open houses. And, we encouraged you to ask the agent questions. Here are suggested questions to ask the listing agent when you are viewing a house. In a future post, we will list suggestions for questions to ask when you are looking at condos.

Please note that MLS listing sheets have data fields for detailed information about each house. It’s a good idea to review the sheet carefully – either in MLS reports you get from your agent, or in the MLS sheet typically provided at an open house. That way, you won’t waste the limited face-to-face time you have with the listing agent asking for information that already you have in writing. The questions listed below are for items that aren’t covered in the standard MLS data fields.

Of course, if you don’t like the house and you wouldn’t consider buying it, no need to ask anything. But, if you go through the house and like it, ask the questions below about the physical condition and the neighborhood. And if you get past all that, and are still interested, ask the agent the suggested questions about the listing (i.e. the marketing and offer process). Knowing more about the listing can help you better position yourself to make an offer on the property that will be accepted, even if there are competing offers.

OPEN HOUSES – DON’Ts and DO’s

Have you been looking to buy a property? Even if you just started a week ago, you probably know how important open houses are to a home search. And, even if you have a buyers’ agent, many times you will likely be on your own at open houses. There are etiquette guidelines for this that your mother probably didn’t teach you. And, if you follow them, you can avoid confusion about how to act at open houses. But, it’s not just a matter or being polite!

Following the guidelines can help you in your search: the seller’s agent may encourage the seller to come to terms with any offer you make because of the good impression you will undoubtedly make on the agent. If you know what to ask and how (see next two future posts), you will be in a better position to take full advantage of the open house to get information about the property and its status. That means that if you are seriously considering buying the property, it will help you position your offer more effectively. And, on the other hand, it may help you to eliminate the property faster than you could otherwise, thereby saving you time and wheel-spinning.

Your Home – price and price reductions

When it comes to pricing a home, or lowering the price of a home eventually, there are some comments and ideas that owners come up with over and over. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.

Think like a seller – not like an owner

AN OWNER
An owner is someone who has taken a property that s/he liked enough to buy – and turned it into their home. Owners tailored the colors to their taste. Not just the colors, but the floor coverings and window treatments, too. They made room on the walls for photographs of loved ones that they want to look at often. And they’ve made room for the knick-knacks that make them feel good…that bring back fond memories. Maybe they had the time and money to make some fantasy renovations…gold faucets, anyone? When owners shows guests around their home, they point out their favorite things, and perhaps shares a few memories.

A SELLER
Of course, every seller is also an owner. But, the “owner mindset” has to be replaced by a “seller mindset” if owners are to be successful at marketing their property. Owners have to stop thinking of their property as “home sweet home” and start thinking of it simply as a house that is for sale. A house that other people will buy and make into their own “home sweet home”. And once owners start thinking of their house this way, they start to understand what potential buyers see, and they can become effective sellers.