Regular tasks to be done to keep up the Resale Value of your Shrewsbury, MA home

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Nothing ruins the value of your home more than neglecting regular maintenance. It’s not about fixing things as they break, but rather preventative care to keep things from breaking in the first place. With every home, there are a myriad of things that simply have to be done every three months, every six months or yearly to keep your property in tip-top shape. Here is a tidy little checklist to keep on hand to make sure you are staying on track:

Yearly:

  • Inspect those gutters to make sure they are securely attached and free of leaves and debris
  • Inspect your chimney to determine if a professional cleaning is needed
  • Furnace must be inspected and cleaned by a professional
  • Clean and seal your wood deck and its railings
  • Vacuum all that lint from your clothes dryer duct and vent
  • Check your septic tank’s level
  • Re-caulk your exterior windows, doors, siding base and trim
  • Re-caulk along the fronts of tubs and showers
  • Inspect for worn fittings and connection on all plumbing fixtures in your home
  • Have your carpets cleaned by a professional
  • Garage Doors: oil the track, roller, hinges, pulleys and springs with a light gauge oil
  • Have your sprinkler system inspected and winterized
  • Drain and remove all hoses from the exterior of your house
  • Shut off all of your outside faucets before freezing temperatures

Every Six Months:

  • Vacuum vents and coils at the back of your refrigerator
  • Clean your stove’s vent and fan
  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

Every Three Months:

  • Clean or replace your furnace filter and air-conditioner filter
  • Fertilize your lawn – gorgeous laws generate resale value every time!

 

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us.

When considering updating your Shrewsbury, MA home, consider “Going Green”

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Despite the current economy, the United States’ green building market is growing at a steady clip. Some estimates show it to be at $85 billion and growing (http://construction.com/about-us/press/green-building-outlook-strong-for-both-non-residential-and-residential.asp). Some new green features for homes tailoring to the middle class include:

  • Square footage which ranges from 1,600 square feet to 3,500 square feet
  • Bamboo flooring
  • On-Demand Water Heaters
  • Rain Barrels
  • Insulated Windows
  • High efficiency heat pumps
  • Icynene spray foam insulation
  • Non-toxic finishes minus those nasty volatile organic compounds
  • Formaldehyde-free kitchen cabinets
  • All homes come complete with Energy Star specs

You may be wondering: “so what is it going to cost me?” Well, for starters, certain higher-cost “green” items can actually save you money in other places. For example, when installing thicker insulation, a smaller air conditioner is needed. Shorter duct runs create savings when the attic is well-sealed. In addition, you can reap benefits when it comes to resale, since the marketing of this type of home appeals to those looking to save up to as much as 50% on utilities or to live in a green home. The National Association of Home Builders has green building standards to help you assess how energy efficient your home could be with innovative green energy renovations.

I have worked with several excellent contractors in the Shrewsbury area, who pride themselves on going “green.” If you’re thinking of undertaking such a project, feel free to reach out to me anytime, and I’m happy to pass along a few names for you.

 

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us.

If selling your Shrewsbury, MA home is not an option, you may consider Renting

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – If you need to sell your home and find that you are having trouble selling it, why not rent it? For many, this is a frightening idea because people believe there are so many ways for problems to arise within this particular arrangement.

To avoid any possible problems, homeowners simply need to arm themselves with a few key pieces of information. For starters, you must be able to emotionally disconnect from the house. You need to approach this new situation in the way you would if you were selling the house, since tenants do have privacy rights. This will also allow you to deal with any tenant problems from an objective standpoint.

Secondly and most importantly, you must screen each and every tenant that you consider. You may consult the Landlord Protection Agency website for screening worksheets at http://www.thelpa.com/. Pay special attention to their reason for moving, the number of tenants, if they have children how many and how old are they, if they have pets, if there are smokers, the state of their credit, what their occupation is, and lastly if they have ever owned a home. Beware of “professional tenants” who seek out landlords that do not screen and bank on the idea that you may not know how to remove them from the house.

Thirdly, be smart about what you charge for rent. As your agent I can help educate you about current competition and rental prices in Shrewsbury. As with the purchasing of a home, the right price can make the difference between a renter signing an agreement or not.

Finally, be prepared to decide who is responsible for which repairs and upgrades. A basic rule of thumb is that if something breaks that affects quality of life or poses a danger to your tenant, you are responsible for it. Upgrades are obviously not requirements, although you may want to consider them if you find an agreeable tenant that you wish to keep long-term.

 

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us.

Consider these small fixes that can add value to your Shrewsbury, MA home

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – You may be surprised to hear that adding value to your home and property is not as costly as you may think. The first and most popular is paint. Both the exterior of a home or an interior room can be seemingly magically transformed with the right shade of paint. If nothing else, it changes old and dingy to fresh and new. This is a relatively inexpensive way to update your home and add value.

The exterior of a house cannot be neglected either, and value can be added here without ripping out the front stoop and repaving the driveway. Replacing that dated or worn front door can make a tremendous improvement in the way your home looks from the curb. Changing old and worn light fixtures is another way to update and freshen your home’s exterior. Adding foundation shrubs, bushes, and flowers is another smart and inexpensive way to boost your home’s value, while adding a whole lot of curb appeal.

Inside the home, studies have shown that chrome fixtures are highly preferred to the more dated gold fixtures and that a fixed glass screen is preferred over a shower curtain. If you plan to add window treatments, simple blinds are the most popular choice. You may also consider changing your bathroom and kitchen drawer pulls and light fixtures with more modern choices. You may be surprised to see just how much it can transform the look of the room.

 

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us.

There are inexpensive and easy ways to lower your Energy Costs and increase the Resale Value of your Shrewsbury, MA home

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Since there are several easy ways to cut your home energy costs and low energy costs add to resale value to your Shrewsbury home, what better time to start implementing them than right now? These tips are tried and true and really can help you save on the energy costs of your home.

– Washer and Dryer Use: You can halve your energy usage simply by changing the temperature from hot to warm on your clothes washer. And if you line dry just half of your clothing on an indoor drying rack, you can save up to $52 per year. An energy efficient dryer will also reduce the energy costs of using the appliances; look for Energy Star certified washers and dryers.

– Replace your upright freezer for a chest freezer. Chest freezers consume up to 25% less energy because the cold air does not pour out each time you open the door. You can calculate what your current model versus a new one would save you online. Consider this amount if you decide to renovate, and calculate that into the resale value of your home.

– Change all of your bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent bulbs or light-emitting diodes. Incandescents only use 10% of their energy for light; the remaining 90% is turned to heat. This switch can be part of a slew of things that you do to make your home more energy-efficient, a large selling point for many buyers nowadays.

– Make it possible to unplug devices when not in use. Many of these devices use power even in they are in stand-by mode. A simple way to do this is to plug your televisions, printers, iPods and cell phones into a power surge protector. By switching one button, you can turn them all off at once. This small change could save you up to $100 per year.

– By weather stripping drafty doors and caulking windows you can save up to 20% on heating and air conditioning costs. In addition, installing double-paned Low Emissivity windows can save you up to $450 per year in energy costs. Use these as contributing elements to your energy-efficient home.

– Choose an Energy Star Appliance when the time comes to replace your home’s leading energy guzzlers. These include your refrigerator, clothes washer, clothes dryer and dishwasher. You will save up to $75 per year.

– Lastly, Wood Burning stoves can save you anywhere from 20% – 40% on your home heating bills, and may add to the warm feeling and ambience of your home.

All of these considerations can add value to your Shrewsbury home, and I would encourage you to contact me for recommendations of people who will be able to give a consultation on the cost and value of these appliances and who will even be able to install them for you!

 

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us.

In renovating your Kitchen, consider Laminate Flooring over Hardwoods in Shrewsbury, MA

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – In my experience, certain renovations yield such returns in the buyer’s feeling about the home and the final selling price that they are absolutely worth the investment. One of these investments may be the flooring in a kitchen.

Between the kids and the dog your kitchen floor can take quite a beating. For this reason when choosing flooring for your kitchen, you may find yourself second-guessing hardwood. Although the beauty of hardwood flooring is hard to deny, the eventual cost to maintain it may negate the desire for its natural beauty. Unfortunately, wood absorbs moisture that can cause cracking and warping over time. In a worst-case scenario it could even end up cupping or crowning in spots. Your only solutions to these problems are to either sand down the affected section and re-finish, or replace it entirely.

Since the kitchen demands a flooring material that can withstand high foot traffic and stains all while optimizing comfort, laminate flooring may be the perfect solution. There are a myriad of styles and colors available, and most materials are moisture-resistant. Stains can be cleaned quite easily as well.

This material is not only affordable, but also relatively simple to install. If you do decide that laminate is your best option, allow the tiles to sit in their future home for a few days so that they can adjust to the atmosphere they will eventually be installed in. The individual tiles will expand and contract. Also when installing, don’t forget to leave a quarter of an inch between the wall and the flooring. A wet tile saw is perfect for cutting this material to size. As always, before installation make sure to fill in any holes or dings, and sand away any bumps on your sub-flooring. These blemishes could affect the final result, and an impeccable result may have a significant impact on the final selling price of your home.

For referrals to contractors for these jobs, feel free to contact me.

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us.

Curb Appeal is essential in the selling of your Shrewsbury home!

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – If you are putting your house on the market, or own a rental property that is in need of a new tenant, get it to move more quickly with what experts say the market is currently calling for – more curb appeal.

In the past the two main things sellers focused on were making sure their kitchen was up to par and bathrooms were fresh.  Now we are finding that in this softened market, curb appeal is king. Make sure your property is ready when it is shown to prospective buyers. The first look makes a big difference, and this could be the only shot you have to make a good impression.

If you are having trouble deciding what changes need to be made, have no fear, because it’s what I do each and every day here in Shrewsbury. I start with the approach of simple economics, asking myself, “What can I do to the home in a few days that will cost $X, but will generate five times X in additional sales price?” It just doesn’t make sense to put in $3,000 worth of granite counters to only get $3,000 more for the home…but if I can spend $1,000 on paint and earn $10,000 in profit, I’ll do that all day long!

One thing that may be the single best asset to my real estate career in Shrewsbury, has been to put together a “pre-marketing team” that I can count on to help in a pinch. After we meet and come up with a plan, I just need to make a few calls, and in comes my painter, handyman, electrician, carpet cleaner, etc. They all know each other and all work based on the same fundamental principle of getting you as much as possible for your home.

An average of $3,000 is what one National Association of Realtors survey found was needed to make homes look cleaner, fresher and more modern. De-cluttering was high on the list of priorities as well. Make that first impression the best it can be since today’s Shrewsbury homebuyers are jumping much more quickly on homes that appear to be updated and fresh.

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us .

If you do not qualify for a Loan Modification, what’s next?

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Even though the Federal Housing Finance Agency has come up with a plan to help millions of homeowners from losing their homes to foreclosure by working out new payment terms, there are still many people out there who will simply not qualify for this assistance. If you are finding yourself in this predicament, there are some things you can do to improve your situation.

Before anything else, give your lender a call to try and work out a payment arrangement that works better for you. This is your first move, however if this is to no avail you do have other options.

You might consider a short sale, which is when a lender will accept less than what is due on the loan. In this instance you will avoid foreclosure, but you risk the possibility of having to pay taxes on the short.

Another option is to transfer your title in exchange for the cancellation of your debt, otherwise known as a “deed in lieu of foreclosure”. This is an arrangement in which the owner of a home turns over the deed to their home rather than going through the foreclosure process. This saves you the stress of having your home foreclosed upon and allows you to make arrangements ahead of time, and it saves the bank the time and money of the foreclosure. You will lose your equity, but you will not damage your credit.

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us .

Are foreclosed homes really a great bargain in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts?

SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – In today’s market if you have a good credit score or have lots of cash available to you, you may be considering purchasing a foreclosed home. This can be a very good opportunity to make some money, but if you have ever tried to get information on a specific foreclosure you have probably found that the process is not so easy.

Make this process easier on yourself by choosing one Shrewsbury neighborhood and sticking to it. As your agent, I can give you the neighborhood’s property values and take special care to make sure there are not too many foreclosures there. Make sure that there is potential for job growth down the line in this particular neighborhood. If the neighborhood is a good, you’ll want to seriously consider the home in it as a viable option, and the extra legwork will likely give monetary return.

You’ll want to drive the neighborhood and focus on finding a home that may need some work.  Another way to learn about the property you are interested in is to ask me to get in contact with the local assessor’s office. They will be able to tell you the property owner’s name, the home’s tax information, its assessed value, its square footage and even what the current owner paid for the home.

Once you know what the seller wants, you are one step closer to being able to negotiate a deal. As your agent, I can make this whole process easier for you and the Seller, as I have experience understanding the complexities of this kind of transaction.

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts.  A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets.  Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us .

Report #4 – Establishing the proper listing price for your home

People often ask me when the most critical time period is, in the marketing of their home.  Many assume quite logically, that it’s the first week in which it is exposed to the open market.  While that time is critical, of course, there is one time period which is even more important, and that is the two weeks BEFORE it hits the market.  It’s during that time, that we are working together as a team to accomplish two important goals.  First, as mentioned in one of the earlier reports is the preparation of the house itself.  Next, comes the issue for this report, which is establishing the proper listing price for your property.

As I look at the many successful sales I’ve worked on in the last year, the one common theme has been that they were priced right to begin with.  None of them were “underpriced,” but they were properly prepared, and priced competitively, and every one of the Sellers got top dollar in the end.

Often times, I am told the same line by home sellers, “I don’t want to give my home away!”  Well, that makes sense, neither do I.  So far I haven’t yet figured out a way to make more money by selling my clients homes for less!  In the end, we all have the same objective, which is trying to get the best price possible in todays market.

The first goal in doing so, is to analyze just how much a property is actually “worth.”  That’s not as easy as it may seem, however, because ever home is different, and the more unique a property is, the harder it will be to find comparables.  Even if there are comparables, are they “identical?”  Two homes are the same size and on the same street.  One has been updated more than the other, yet the updated one sits on the corner of the adjacent road.  How does one adjust for that?  Will it matter to some buyers, or to all?  Most importantly, which factors will have the largest influence on the ultimate price.

This is where the trained eye of a Realtor like myself can often come into play.  Since I am out in the trenches with Buyers each and every day, hearing what they say about different properties, I can read between the lines, and look beyond the sheer numeric aspects of it all.

I did want to talk about one more thing, before we get into strategy, and that is the difference between value, and marketability.   For some, perhaps most, it would seem as though those two terms are the same, in that they both have to do with price, yet there are subtle differences worth noting. In the world of cars, it’s sometimes easier to understand.   When you go to buy a Ferrari from the factory, you can actually order it in any color you want.  There’s no extra charge, and therefore the red Ferrari, and the lime green one, have, by definition, the same “value.”   Now, fast forward a few months down the road, and imagine that you’re trying to sell the car.  Who in the world would want to buy a green Ferrari?   You might have to sell it for 50K less, not because the “value” is any different, but just because it has lower marketability.

If I haven’t lost you by now, the point I’m trying to make is that once you have accurately defined the value, you need to loo further at the marketability factors that may influence the ultimate sales price. For example, two identical homes in an identical neighborhood are defined as having the same value, but the one on the cul-de-sac has greater marketability, as does the one with the larger and more private backyard.  There is no tangible formula for defining this, so don’t wrack your brain trying to equate number of feet of yard space to X dollars of sales price, but rather it’s just a general feeling that will only be apparent once Buyers walk through your home.

When evaluating a potential listing price, the first place we all start, of course, is looking at the similar properties which have sold in the last six months.  This is totally relevant and proper to do, however it fails to take into account the simple fact that while those homes may have sold for a particular price months ago, they are no longer for sale today – as well as the fact that the market fluctuates constantly, based on supply and demand. When looking at comparables, therefore, it’s important to also look at the competing listings in the marketplace.  After all, these are the properties that will ultimately determine whether yours commands top dollar.  If properties are for sale in the market that are better than yours, for less money, then you are totally out of luck.  As you review the current listings, and again this is in the weeks before yours is ready to go on the market, you need to be objective, which is obviously hard for anyone, since we all think our property is the best.  The question to pose, however, is what do other people thing? Yes, your home on the exit ramp of Route 290 is, “close to major routes,” and I’m sure that’s been handy in the past, but would most people think that it’s better than living adjacent to Dean Park?  Probably not.

Still in that mode of analyzing the current listings, you’ll want to break free from the bonds of having to look only in the town you live in, and consider the fact that customers are often looking in multiple communities, and that you need to consider the properties for sale in those towns as well. It may seem odd for a homeowner in Westboro to look at comparables in Shrewsbury, Northboro or Grafton, yet in the end, many consumers that are out house hunting are looking in those towns as well.

The striation factor is another aspect to always take into account in any pricing structure.  This comes in the form of striations, or layers, in price points which must be considered as relevant to any pricing structure. The premise behind it is that you want your home to always be the best one that a particular client saw all day long.  The way you do that is to evaluate what ranges particular Buyers will be looking in, and always be at the top of that range.  Logically, for example you would never want to list your home at $501,000, but rather at $499,900.  In the latter case, your home will be viewed by people looking between 450-500K.  To them, it will be the best home they see.  At $501K, you’ll be seen by Buyers looking between 500-550K, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever win that battle.

The last factor, or at least the last one I’ll talk about for the moment, is the pool of available Buyers out there, looking in a particular community and price point.  Each town has it’s own unique micro-economic world, which varies from time to time, and in which there may be either a surplus or dearth of inventory.  It’s important to research this and play off it to ensure that you get the best possible price that you can. In Shrewsbury recently, there was 9and still is) a huge backlog of Buyers in the mid-$500’s.   This means that if you have a home that you know may be worth $519k, based on all the different factors mentioned up above, you might be able to get substantially more for it, based neither on value, nor marketability, but rather based solely on supply and demand.  I had such a property recently, which I was perfectly ready to put on at $525K.   After an analysis of the Buyer pool, however, I opted to start it at a much higher price than might have been otherwise warranted, and I think our highest bid the day we hit the market was close to $590K!!   In such cases of undersupply or over demand, you need to be able to do all of your exhaustive analyses, but then throw it out the window and start from scratch.

One this has always been true, however, and that is that your FIRST shot, is always your best.  Because of this, you’re far better to be underpriced, and have multiple over full price offers, rather than being overpriced, missing that initial pop on the market, and starting from scratch down the road, with one price reduction after another.  I often discuss this topic with my home sellers, who again are understandably worries about whether or not they will get the best price.  I tell them, somewhat tongue in cheek, that in the end, they could put the home on the market for a dollar, and at the end of the week, they would know exactly how much it was worth.  They’d have 1000 offers, and when they laid them out of the floor in order of lowest to highest, and picked out the highest one, that’s “the value.” After all, you might note, that’s how most other things are sold, right?  I mean Sotheby’s doesn’t start the auction on Marilyn Monroe’s dress at $100K.  If they did, nobody would show up to bid on it.  Instead they start at zero and see who will get passionate about bidding, and almost always drive the price well beyond the original estimate.

In any event, this is a report that I will probably continue to add to over time, so feel free to check back.

If you have a great idea for topic #5, by all means send me an email and I’ll consider it.  You can always reach me at steve@shrewsbury.net

 

About Steve Levine

For nearly three decades, Steve Levine of REMAX Professional Associates, has been one of the top Real Estate agents in the Central Massachusetts. A ten-time honoree as #1 REMAX Agent in New England, he brings to the table the experience that comes from working successfully with over 2000 Buyers and Sellers, through all types of real estate markets. Adept at everything from land development, to custom home building, to residential single family and condo sales, his “can do” approach has made him one of the most sought after agents in the region.

A consummate marketing aficionado, and recognized as one of the most innovative Realtors in the industry, he has spoken nationally on many occasions, training other real estate agents on customer service, marketing, and web presence, and is currently developing a suite of instructional videos designed to enable agents to take their business to the next level.

When not out selling Massachusetts’s real estate, Steve is a passionate photographer, musician and writer, and is constantly looking for new ways to express himself.

For a private consultation on your Massachusetts real estate needs, he can be reached by email at steve@shrewsbury.net, by phone at 508 735-4663.

You can also check out his photography website at www.stellarimages.us .