On January 25th Patch.com reported that Massachusetts is seeing the fewest first-time homebuyers in twelve years, according to their source the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. They reported that first-time home buyers made up just 39 percent of the total homes bought in Massachusetts in 2014 (down from its usual 44.5 percent).
There certainly are buyers out there looking. I'm working with first-time-buyers right now who are searching for an affordable home, but with low inventory and high prices, they don't have a lot to choose from. I have to agree with MAR president Corinne Fitzgerald who says “While the market in Massachusetts has been steadily improving, the lack of homes for sale, and the resulting upward pressure on prices has pushed a lot of first-time buyers to the sidelines.”
I see this as a great opportunity for sellers under $400k in Metrowest. There's plenty of time left to begin preparing your home for the Spring Real Estate market, and make the American Dream of home ownership a reality for an eager first-time buyer.
To read the full Patch article click here:
* Listing data per MLSPIN.
Contact Maria Romero Vagnini to find out your home's value in the current Real Estate Market at 617.640.1400 or email email@example.com.
Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home
#10 Show off your closets. Storage is very important no matter what size house you’re selling. Buyers want to see that there’s more than enough room for their belongings. Remove half of the items in your closets and put in storage. Get matching wood hangers, organize by color (like a store), and don’t forget to clean out drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers look everywhere.
#9 Keep it light. Replace lights bulbs, remove dark drapes, choose light and neutral paint colors. Clean your windows, make it light and bright.
#8 Conceal your pets. Of course you love your pets, but not all buyers will. Make sure dog and cat bowls are neat and tidy, hide the Kitty litter box, and make sure there is no visible dog and cat hair, as it gives the impression that the house is unclean. If possible, take your pets out with you during showing and for Open Houses.
#7 Don’t over-improve. Small improvements like repainting, changing outdated hardware, having carpets cleaned, re-staining a deck, and getting the yard neat will pay off, but major renovations may not yield a big enough return on your investment. If you’re already thinking of moving, discuss the financial implications with me so you don’t over-improve.
#6 Stage your home like it’s a model home. Depersonalizing your home will allow any buyer to envision him/herself living in your home. Remember, when you sell your home you’re going to have to move. When you move you’re going to have to pack. Most of the principals of Staging just mean that you’re going to pack up some of your things early. It’s a little bit of work, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, so do it before you put it on the market so you can get top dollar for your property.
Here are some general rules:
• Pack up all collections as they become a distraction for buyers from the desired focal point....your home.
• Reduce the number of books on bookshelves.
• Reduce the number of family pictures on shelves, pianos, and tables.
• Reduce the number of wall hung photos and paintings in every room to one large piece on a wall or a small group of three.
Still not sure how to make your home appealing to Every Buyer USA? I can help you stage or recommend a stager who will rearrange your furniture, pick paint colors, and give your home a fresh look that will appeal to the masses.
#5 The Kitchen is everything. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. If you don’t want the headache or expense of a kitchen remodel, simple updates like new hardware, and neutral wall paint will give your kitchen a facelift. A kitchen can never be too clean so before every showing clear off counters, clean appliances, wipe down the sink, and take out the trash. Don’t leave any dishes or unnecessary objects on the counters, and remove magnets from the refrigerator.
#4 Always be ready to show (and leave). Keep your house clean, and be ready to evacuate at a moments notice. Don’t put restrictive timeframes on showings. Houses that don’t get shown, don’t get sold, so buyers should be granted access during typical showing hours.
#3 Don’t underestimate curb appeal. A freshly painted front door, well-manicured yard, and lovely planters on the front porch will give buyers a feeling that this a well maintained home. Stage the backyard as well. Make sure deck and patio furniture is in good condition, and show buyers how lovely Sunday brunch could be in your yard.
#2 Hire an agent. All agents weren’t created equal. A tech-savvy realtor has many tools to market your home. Find a realtor who knows the comps in your area, monitors the Multiple Listings Service, has a great Marketing Plan, and has a great list of professionals from a good handyman to a Radon Specialist to share. Also remember, you will be communicating with your realtor frequently during what could potentially be a stressful time in your life, so choose someone who is forthcoming and that you’ll enjoy doing business.
#1 Price it right. Buyers are well informed and know the comparables in your neighborhood, so be “real” about pricing your home. If you want to sell it quickly, price it aggressively and it will sell. Houses that “sit” on the market for extended periods of time become less desirable and put the seller in a vulnerable position when negotiating.
* Courtesy of HGTV.com
Maria Romero Vagnini
I am a Realtor with Mathieu Newton Sotheby's International Realty, working with buyers and sellers in suburban Boston's Metrowest communities.