Blog :: 12-2016

Benefits Of Listing Your Home During The Holidays

When we think of the holidays, holiday parties and spending time with loved ones is at the forefront of everyone's mind. With all the events taking place during the holiday season, we all are bound to get very busy, which means moving is probably something you will put on the back burner, if you can. Don't overlook many of the benefits of putting your home on the market during this time.  You might be surprised to learn some little-known facts about listing your home during the holidays.

When you sell your home during the holidays, the inventory of the competition decreases. Many sellers take their listings down during the holiday season, which leaves the homes that remain on the market to be shown to the serious buyers that are out shopping during this time. Having very little competition means that your home will stand out. If you wait until after the holidays, you will be competing with everyone who waited and there is the chance that your home could get lost in the shuffle. During the holidays, your home may not get as much exposure as say, during the spring, but you will be well positioned to sell.

These serious buyers may want to show off their new home to their family and friends when you invite them over for holiday parties and as such have an immediate need to move in. If anything, your home might sell faster during the holiday season than it will during the months right after the holidays end. Another bonus about selling to these serious buyers during the holiday season is that these buyers might want the home quickly so they can enjoy their new home for the holidays.

The ambiance that comes with the holidays could also make your home look more attractive to a buyer. During this time, you can take advantage of seasonal décor give your home that warm fall feel, which helps those buyers envision themselves in the home. In the winter, you can showcase pictures of the freshly fallen snow on your home to enhance its beauty and capture the essence of the season. When marketing the home, you will want to showcase pictures of the fireplace with a roaring fire (if you have one) or any non-denominational decorations that you have put up for the holidays. These small touches can leave a lasting impression on a potential buyer.

These are just a few of the many reasons that you should consider listing your home for sale during the holiday season.  Even if you still would rather wait until after the rush of the holidays, it makes sense to meet with an agent now, so you are prepared to be first to market when the holiday season concludes. Rarely does a house go on the market without some important preparations, so better to know what to expect than wait and miss an opportunity.


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    How To Sell Your Waltham Home When You Have Pets

    While there’s no better feeling than coming home to your furry friend’s tail wagging or having your precious kitten nuzzle up to you, pets can be a setback for home buyers in Waltham. It’s critical to remove any trace of your pets from the home especially if you have an open house coming up. The focus should be on the beautiful interior and exterior of your home, not the constant barking from the dog or strands of cat hair covering the rug.

    Make Sure You Have Insurance

    Even if you have a well-trained pet, you should play it safe by making sure you have insurance. If you do decide to keep your pet around and it accidentally bites someone, you could get in some serious trouble. Look at your homeowner’s insurance to see if it covers these types of occurrences.

    Clean Up Your Yard

    Your yard should be as well-maintained as possible so make sure to clean up after your pet. Potential home buyers in Waltham will be attracted to a bright green yard, not one that has yellow stains in some areas.

    Remove Any Odor

    It can be difficult to notice any smell from your pet lurking in the home but those walking in will notice a different scent. Moving the litter box is important but you need to do a deep cleaning of the rugs and hardwood. Use a bacteria-eating pet odor to permanently remove signs of your pet. 

    Vacuum The Pet Hair

    Pet hair should be completely removed from the home as potential home buyers in Waltham may have pet allergies. 

    Hide Pet Toys & Accessories

    Since you don’t want Waltham home buyers to know you have pets, it’s important to store away all the pet beds, leashes, toys, etc.

    Have Someone Take Care Of The Pet

    If you have a friend or relative nearby, see if they can take care of your pet. If you have a dog and no one to take care of it, put it in a crate in a specific area of the house. If your dog is constantly barking, you’ll want to bring it to a doggy daycare so your home is pet-free.

    In need of a Realtor to help sell your Waltham home? Give me a call at 617.968.0022 to get started. I have years of experience providing professional and expert knowledge so your Waltham move goes as smooth as possible.


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      Tips For First-Time Home Sellers

      Even though selling a home is a much different process than buying a home, both can be tricky and overwhelming for residents doing so for the first time. Not fully understanding the process, sellers could end up selling their home to unqualified buyers not willing to pay the best price. I provided some tips for first-time sellers that will make the selling process stress-free.

      Need The Right Agent

      Choosing the right agent makes a Difference.  Please make sure that your agent has a great reputation and is very knowledgeable of your local market.  Your listing agent's name recognition in your area is also very important as it will help you get more exposure for your home and therefore get a better price for it. This agent needs to know the market inside and out to help you sell at the proper value of your home.

      Ready To Sell

      Before embarking on the selling journey, you need to be ready to sell your home. Many first-time sellers think they are ready to sell their home when they are still attached. Some signs of being too attached is setting an unrealistic price tag for their home. Making the first impression is the most important factor in life and with selling a house. Make sure to have good quality pictures that show the house is in good condition.  

      If you resist your agents price range for your home, then the number of days on the market (DOM) can increase which could be detrimental in the long run. As buyers looking for homes on the market will question why the house has not been bought yet. To avoid this, make sure you talk with your agent on the best price as well as getting a good portfolio of quality pictures on the listing site.

      Agents Over Brokerage

      When selling a house, it is always good to go with a well-known brokerage as it can increase your probability of selling your home. No matter what brokerage you decide to go with, the agent you choose is the person you will be in contact with throughout the selling process. Make sure you choose an agent that you trust completely and have a good repertoire with. That way you know they will do a good job no matter what brokerage they are affiliated with. Buyers will recognize the brokerage on your listed house, but it is the agent who will sell the home to those buyers. 

      If You Get An Offer, Move Swiftly

      Once you get an offer that meets you and your agent’s specifications, the window to closing the deal starts to close.  Many people do not realize the time it takes to list, sell and close a home, as different markets are quicker than others. Makes sure you know everything in your market so you can plan properly before you put a listing for your home. Your agent will inform you if the market you are listing in is fast moving or not. This should give you enough time to plan properly so you are not left selling a home without a place to go.

      I recommend to plan everything in advance to contacting a great local agent. That way you have a place in mind to go for once the house is sold, you know how fast the market moves and that you are completely ready to sell. 


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        Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

        Purchasing a home for the first time can seem like a long and exhausting task, leaving some home buyers with the urge to buy the first property they see or continue renting. I’ve provided a list of helpful tips for first-time home buyers to make the buying process as simple and stress-free as possible.

        Consider Your Long Term Goals

        Determining your homeownership goals is a huge milestone when getting ready to purchase a home. Are you trying to buy a home to reduce mortgage payments or do you like the concept of being a landlord?

        Weigh out the pros and cons of the different types of residential properties including traditional single-family homes, duplexes, townhouses, condos, etc. A fixer-upper is another property to consider as it allows you to save on the purchase price.

        Making a list of qualities you desire in a home is a great way to narrow your options and again, save time. Think about the neighborhood you’re looking for, bathroom layout, kitchen layout, etc.

        It’s critical to get pre-approved for a loan prior to placing an offer. Often times, sellers won’t even consider an offer unless it’s paired with a mortgage pre-approval. Do this by applying for a mortgage as well as all the required paperwork. The lender will verify the information and then they will pre-approve the buyer for a specific amount. Although you could qualify for a hefty mortgage, there are costs that need to be paid for upfront. It’s important that you have some money saved so you can afford the down payment.

        Understanding the Home Buying Process

        The first and most obvious step is finding a house that’s within your price range. Don’t walk into an open house without a real estate agent because it could be a difficult situation if you’re dealing with a seller’s agent.

        If you do find yourself on a tight budget, seek homes that are full of hidden potential. There may be a few items here and there that are unappealing such as wallpaper or the carpeting, but don’t turn away from a property whose size and locations fit your needs. It’s advised that first-time home buyers should purchase a house that they can add value to.

        Fortunately, first-time home buyers have a variety of choices such as the Federal Housing Authority Backed Mortgages or down payments between 3%-5%.

        Ready to Make an Offer

        Always make sure to check your budget one last time before submitting an offer. Take into account closing costs, repairs, appliances, etc. If you’ve found a larger home, think about utilities costs. Once you’ve made the deposit, this transaction will turn into escrow where the seller has about 30 days to take the property off the market. 

        If you’ve found your dream home or you’re just getting started, feel free to contact me at 617.968.0022. I’ll help you determine how much money you’d like to offer and I will present an offer to the seller’s agent. 


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          Fall Flavors in Waltham

          With fall in full swing, many people are taking advantage of the popular New England season. The smell of autumn is in the air and with each step you take, you can hear the crunching of leaves underfoot. For those leaves that are still clinging to the trees, people can admire their wide array of colors as they stroll around town. Many New Englanders love fall because of its natural beauty but the beauty is not the only thing that fall has to offer. Many towns, such as Waltham, have special events that take place in the fall.

          One of the most popular attractions that Waltham holds in the autumn is the Waltham farmers market. At this market, people can buy fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and many more organic foods. The market also sells juices and sauces along with other farm products such as eggs, cheeses, syrups, honey, and coffee. Vendors also sell pork, beef, chicken, fish and smoked fish for people who want those farm-fresh meats.

          At the farmer's market, people can also find homemade soaps and even dog treats for their four-legged friends. People can also find homemade jewelry, bags, and other handcrafts. With this wide variety of products, everyone who visits the Waltham farmers market can find something that they like. Even if someone were to just browse through the products, they still might catch a free concert, which happen on several of the market days. With Live music and a relaxing atmosphere, the Waltham farmer's market is the place to be. 

          Bentley College and Brandeis University both have performing arts departments. These theatre departments perform art series year-round shows that are incredibly detailed. If your kids aren't up for the theatre, take them on a fun-filled day at the Central Rock Gym or Launch Trampoline Park, both located in nearby Watertown.

          You will also get a chance to take in the beauty of autumn with all that Waltham has to offer. Everyone in Waltham knows that fall is over as soon as the holiday lighting starts in the park. So get out while fall is in full swing and enjoy everything you can do in Waltham. 


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            How To Prepare For A Home Inspection

            While many home sellers are preparing for their move, they often overlook the home inspection process. It’s not uncommon for a home buyer to undergo an inspection, helping them to gage a better understanding of any issues they may be facing down the road.

            Home sellers should remedy any issues the property is facing such as dirty gutters, failing mortar, dirty cooling filters, etc. I have provided a list of simple tasks for home sellers looking to thoroughly prepare for their home’s inspection.

            Checking the Exterior of the Home

            • Mulch should be at least six inches from the clearance
            • Downspouts & sump pumps must be set away from the home
            • Roots, trees, & bushes should not be near the windows, doors or chimney
            • Repair damaged siding & trim
            • Fix caulk surrounding doors & windows
            • Exterior doors & door knobs should be working properly

            Checking the Roof

            • Remove debris from the roof with broom (use pressure water if necessary)
            • Repair the roof if damaged & avoid caulking
            • Repair rust or sagging from gutters; clean out gutters

            Checking the Garage

            • Make sure garage door is fully functional
            • Garage door should reverse against pressure
            • If you have a self-closing door to the interior, the door should close and seal by itself

            Checking the Kitchen & Bathrooms

            • Repair leaks under the sinks
            • Check for any damage to the floor surrounding toilets and tubs
            • Fixtures and appliances should be functioning correctly

            Checking the Plumbing

            • Fix leaks or damage to the water heater
            • Plumbing leaks in the crawlspace should be fixed
            • The water heater pilot light should be on

            If you are ready to sell your Waltham house or property in the surrounding towns, give me a call at 617.968.0022. I have made myself available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to assist home sellers with their real estate needs.


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              Five Ways To Increase Home Value

              If you’re ready to sell your house in Waltham or the surrounding area, I’ve provided a list of some quick fixes to help increase your home’s value.

              1. Add More Space

                Opening space in the home such as knocking down a wall or removing the kitchen island is a great way to gain attention from buyers who can afford to be a little picky. Open floor plans have become increasingly popular in home designs and for just a few hundred dollars you can achieve this desired look. If you’re looking to sell your home rather quickly, this is a surefire way to get more offers.

              2. Keep Up with Landscaping

                If you have unkempt bushes on your front lawn or tangled trees, these can seriously block the view of your home. In fact, a survey conducted by HomeGain found that when you invest between $400-$500 in landscaping your yard, you’ll see a return in investment of four times that amount.

              3. Incorporate More Lighting

                For homes that don’t have enough natural light, I advise adding recessed lighting or under cabinet lighting. If you’re on a tight budget look for broken panes to fix. Adding motion detector lights is another unique feature you can incorporate into your home. Keep in mind, high wattage bulbs make the room appear larger and soft lights create warmth in a room that appears empty.

              4. Enhance the Entryway

                While it may seem obvious to make sure that the doorbell is functioning properly, many homeowners let this fall by the wayside. A portico is also another feature that can be added above the front door, helping to protect the next homeowners from the rain when searching for their keys.

                Exterior upgrades on the back of the house can also improve your home’s value. Consider adding a deck to enhance the yard. Even if you are limited on backyard space, a large deck will still be eye-catching.

              5. Upgrade the Bathroom

              It’s not wise to begin a major home remodel right before putting your house on the market. However, minor bathroom upgrades are both affordable and fast. Instead of frosted glass, opt for clear glass and be sure to remove any stains, update doorknobs and even consider updating the faucet.

              Other Quick Home Upgrades

              While the suggestions above will surely help you sell your home faster, there are several other actions you can take to increase house value.

              • Fix chipped paint or repaint the home with neutral colors
              • Repair broken tiles
              • Patch old floor boards
              • Remove old wall-to-wall carpets
              • Install a new heating or cooling system

              Choose Top Realtor Hans Brings to Sell Your House

              Since 1990, I have been a Realtor in Waltham MA, assisting both home buyers and sellers in the neighboring towns with their real estate needs. Whether you’re looking to sell your Newton, Watertown, Waltham, West, Belmont, Lincoln or Needham home, I am here to guide you in the process. My clients are my number one priority which is why I’ve made myself available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Feel free to read my other tips on getting your home ready to show buyers.

              If you are ready to sell your house, fill out my contact form or give me a call at 617.968.0022 to get started.


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                Why You Should Sell Your Home This Fall

                While spring is a particularly busy time for the real-estate market, fall is the second best time of year for those looking to sell their homes. Both “empty nesters” and young adults who aren’t concerned with moving once the school year has begun are now on the lookout for a new home.

                Take a look at why autumn is the perfect time to post that “For Sale” sign in your front yard.

                Higher Buyer Demand

                According to the Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, buyer demand is actually quite strong. It’s important to take advantage of the buyer activity during this period since the competition for buyer attention significantly decreases.

                Natural Curb Appeal

                Since curb appeal plays a major factor when selling your home, the gorgeous New England foliage will absolutely enhance your home’s appearance. Come winter, homeowners aren’t as lucky as the snow and barren trees will downplay your home’s exterior.

                Moving is More Challenging When It’s Humid

                Moving in the summertime has its advantages but this also can be incredibly hectic, especially in towns surrounding Boston. The weather is humid during this time so carrying heavy boxes up several flights of stairs is much more difficult. It’s much easier and less time consuming to move when the weather is a bit more comfortable.

                Better to Buy a More Expensive Home Now

                According to CoreLogic, prices will increase by 5.3% over the next year. This means, in raw dollars, higher-priced homes will be very costly. Over the next 12 months, interest rates will increase slightly but even this can affect the housing cost.

                I have extensive knowledge when it comes to selling your home in Massachusetts. Located in Waltham, MA and servicing the Greater Boston area, I will ensure you get the most out of your property. Let me provide you with a stress free move! Call today at 617.968.0022.


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                  Why Waltham?

                  (As Featured on the Waltham patch)

                  You may know of Waltham as the ‘watch city' or for its role in the American industrial movement, but you might be unaware of the many other benefits living in Waltham offers. Everyone wants to buy a home in Waltham, and for good reason. It is a great family town, somewhere where your children will enjoy growing up. Waltham has tight-knit neighborhoods that all center around a bustling downtown. The tree-lined streets are great for children to ride their bikes down, and the center of town offers many safe places for teenagers to meet.

                  The Waltham public school system has several elementary and middle schools and one high school, home of The Hawks. There are also several highly respected private schools throughout Waltham. There are also two well-respected colleges in Waltham, Bentley University and Brandeis University. Both schools are among the top employers in the city. 

                  Waltham's location to Boston can't be beat. You can drive into the city in under half an hour, or take public transportation. Several buses and the commuter rail run through Waltham and in to Boston.  With Waltham's proximity to the Charles River, you could even kayak into the city. 

                  Downtown Waltham is always busy, and you will never be bored. Moody street alone has restaurants from every corner of the world. If you are looking to see the latest movie but don't want to travel far, Waltham has a great little theatre. 

                  One of the benefits of owning a home in Waltham is that you develop long lasting connections to your neighborhood.  You are part of a community and have a sense of pride that comes with owning a home. However, whether you buy or rent, Waltham has options for everyone, and a community that will make you glad you moved here.


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                    Did You Know… Waltham Trivia Edition

                    (As Featured on the Waltham patch)

                    - Waltham was created after separating from Watertown in 1738.

                    - Waltham is known as the "Watch city of America" after Waltham Watch became the first US city to mass produce watches. 35 million watches were created during Waltham Watch Company's 100-year tenure.

                    - Aerosmith had a studio in Waltham called "The Wherehouse" in the 1970s.

                    - Waltham has over 1,000 acres of parks and recreation land in their 19 parks. 

                    - Fashion icon Yolanda Celluci, a Waltham resident and designer, has worked with such people as Eva Gabor and Joan Rivers.

                    - Co-creators of the hit series ‘Friends', Marta Kauffman and David Crane both graduated from Brandeis. As well as actors Debra Messing and Tony Goldwyn. - 

                    - The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis is home to work from artists such as Andy Worhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum was designed by architect Shigeru Ban, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize.

                    - A cat named Sockington, the first cat to reach 500,000 Twitter followers, resides in Waltham.  Sockington now has over 1 million followers.

                    - Paul Moody, developer of the cotton loom, was a resident of Waltham and the namesake for Moody Street.

                    - Carroll Spinney, voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street was born in Waltham.

                    - The top 5 employers of Waltham residents are: Brandeis University, Cimpress, Bentley University, Bank of America, Astra-Zeneca.


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