Mary Cusano
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate | 508.561.5411 | [email protected]


Posted by Mary Cusano on 10/14/2018

Let's face it – a first-time home seller may encounter many problems as he or she tries to navigate the home selling journey. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of listing your residence and ensuring you can maximize your house's value.

Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time home sellers might face:

1. You don't know what your home is worth.

What you paid for your house several years ago is unlikely to match your home's value today. Fortunately, a property appraisal can help you gain the insights you need to better understand your house's current value.

During a property appraisal, a home inspector will evaluate your residence from top to bottom. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can plan potential home improvement projects accordingly.

When it comes to figuring out what your home is worth, don't forget to assess the prices of homes that are currently available too. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses.

2. You don't know how to enhance your residence's interior and exterior.

Consider the homebuyer's perspective as you examine your house's interior and exterior – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to think about the best ways to enhance your house and ensure it will dazzle homebuyers consistently.

Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on property buyers. And if you allocate the necessary time to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and remove dust and debris from walkways, you may be able to boost your house's chances of generating substantial interest from property buyers.

Don't forget to declutter your home's interior, either. By doing so, you can make it simple for property buyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your residence.

3. You have no idea what it takes to add your house to the real estate market.

Adding a house to the real estate market should be simple, but myriad problems may arise that prevent you from listing your residence and getting the best price for it. However, if you work with a real estate agent, you can avoid any potential pitfalls throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house. As such, he or she can serve as an expert guide through each stage of the home selling cycle.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, market your house to potential homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will be happy to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time.

For first-time home sellers, there's no need to panic. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the optimal results during the home selling journey.




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Posted by Mary Cusano on 6/10/2018

Ready to sell your home? You'll want to work with a friendly, experienced real estate agent to streamline the home selling process.

Although many real estate agents are available, only the best will suffice, particularly for home sellers who want to maximize the value of their residences. Fortunately, home sellers who devote the necessary time and resources to search for a real estate agent can improve their chances of finding a trusted real estate professional to sell their houses.

When it comes to searching for a real estate agent, it is important to remain on the lookout for red flags too. In fact, there are many red flags that may help you differentiate a great real estate agent from a mediocre one, including:

1. Lack of Communication

Ideally, you'll want to find a real estate agent who will keep you up to date throughout the home selling process. By doing so, this professional will ensure you are able to make informed decisions.

Ask a real estate agent how he or she communicates with clients. If you employ a real estate agent who will stay in touch via emails, phone calls and text messages, you should have no trouble remaining informed about any offers on your residence.

Also, request client references from a real estate agent. This will allow you to get firsthand insights from past clients and understand how a real estate agent communicated with them during the home selling journey.

2. Poor Negotiation Skills

Your real estate agent should have your best interests in mind at all times. And if a homebuyer submits an offer that fails to meet your expectations, your real estate agent should be equipped to negotiate on your behalf.

A real estate agent who lacks negotiation skills may struggle to get the best offers for your residence. However, if you learn how a real estate agent will handle a tough negotiation in advance, you can employ a real estate professional who is ready for any challenges that come his or her way.

To learn about a real estate agent's negotiation skills, ask this professional to provide an example of a time when he or she faced a tough negotiation. Ultimately, this will help you understand whether a real estate agent has what it takes to handle a difficult negotiation.

3. Insufficient Expertise

It often is better to err on the side of caution when you choose a real estate agent. Thus, if you are forced to decide between two real estate agents, you may want to consider expertise as a determining factor.

A real estate agent who has sold a broad array of homes over the years likely is equipped to deal with buyer's and seller's markets. As a result, this professional knows the ins and outs of the housing market and will do whatever it takes to help you optimize the value of your house.

Take the guesswork out of selling your home – hire a courteous, talented real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of maximizing the value of your house.





Posted by Mary Cusano on 8/20/2017

After years in your current residence, you're ready for a change. As such, you've decided to add your home to the real estate market in the hopes of moving on to bigger and better things. Selling a home can be a daunting task, particularly for first-time sellers. Fortunately, we're here to help you maximize the value of your home and accelerate the home selling process. Here are three tips that will ensure you can become an informed first-time home seller: 1. Stay the Course. Although you may expect immediate interest in your residence, it may take some time for interest in your home to pick up. However, a patient, dedicated home seller knows how to stay the course and remain calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling process. For instance, a home seller may add his or her residence to the real estate market and continue to share the online home listing with friends, family members and colleagues. By doing so, this home seller may be able to stir up interest in his or her residence over an extended period of time. It also is important to remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and much in the same vein, the first offer you receive on your residence might not be the best one. As a result, you should only accept an offer that makes you feel comfortable, i.e. an offer that meets your expectations. 2. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. After you accept an offer from a homebuyer, the buyer likely will want to set up a home inspection. And if he or she encounters unforeseen problems with your home, problems could arise that may slow down the home selling process. If a homebuyer notices substantial issues with your home, he or she may rescind an offer or ask that these problems be resolved. Furthermore, home repairs can be costly, which means you may be forced to invest in expensive home improvements or risk missing out on an opportunity to sell your home. As a home seller, you may encounter obstacles as you attempt to sell your home. But when difficulties arise, try to focus on what's important – selling your home, maximizing its value and ensuring both you and the homebuyer are satisfied with the end results. A home seller who lets minor issues cause his or her blood pressure to rise may put a home sale in danger. Therefore, if you feel stressed, take a deep breath and try to work with a homebuyer to find a resolution that fits both sides. 3. Employ a Real Estate Agent. The home selling journey often is filled with twists and curves along the way. But with a real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to overcome any pitfalls immediately. Your real estate agent can promote and showcase your residence to prospective homebuyers. This professional also will provide expert tips, enabling you to streamline the process of selling your house. Remove the guesswork from the home selling journey – become an informed first-time home seller, and you can speed up the process of generating interest in your house.





Posted by Mary Cusano on 7/30/2017

If you're in the process of preparing your home for sale, nothing can replace the marketing benefits of making it look its absolute best!

Successful home staging is all about effectively appealing to all the senses -- especially sight, smell, and sound. When prospective buyers are touring a home, they're essentially looking for two things: aspects that are appealing to them and areas of concern. To a large degree, their impressions will be based on emotional reactions and subconscious impressions. For example, if there's anything about your home that reminds them of fond childhood memories, then that will definitely work in your favor.

In some cases, the right kind of music playing in the background can have a positive effect on first impressions. Fragrances, such as cinnamon, lavender, citrus, baking bread, or coffee brewing can also help create an appealing ambiance. On the other hand, the presence of pet odors, stains, fur, or cat litter boxes can send a very negative message to prospective home buyers -- especially if they don't own pets or have allergies. By the way, one other item that can be an enormous turn off to people is seeing mouse traps anywhere in the house. (A worst case scenario, of course, is a visible mouse trap that has recently been sprung! That could easily be a deal breaker!)

Home Staging 101

It can be challenging to consistently keep your house in tip top condition while you're still living in it, but, considering all that's at stake, it's worth the extra effort. In addition to impeccable cleanliness, other priorities for staging a home include fresh coats of paint where needed (preferably a neutral color), attractive landscaping, up-to-date appliances, and furniture that's in good condition. If you're at all unsure whether a room looks cluttered, dated, or poorly decorated, your real estate agent can provide helpful suggestions and feedback. An experienced real estate agent can spot potential problem areas in seconds and offer valuable advice about improving the marketability of your home. After having observed hundreds of buyer reactions to everything from cluttered rooms and mismatched furniture to peeling wall paint and water stains on ceilings, they can advise you on what needs to be fixed, spruced up, replaced, or rearranged.

Curb appeal -- or lack, thereof -- is literally the first impression your home will make on prospective buyers. If you can give your lawn a manicured look, eliminate signs of peeling paint, repair cracks in walkways and driveways, and remove grime from windows, concrete surfaces, and siding, then you'll stand a good chance of making a positive first impression on home buyers. Although home staging does not have to be an expensive undertaking, it can help you get top dollar for your property and minimize the time it remains on the market.





Posted by Mary Cusano on 3/27/2016

It is common question that real estate professional get; what is my home worth? Unfortunately, it is a question that does not have an exact answer. There are ways to determine about what your home is worth. You may find online estimates that say one thing but is that a true test of what the market will bear? So, how can you really determine what your property is worth? 1. Consider Solds-Look at other comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. This will give you a good idea what buyers are willing to pay. 2. Consider Under Agreements/Pendings-Although it is difficult to tell what a home has sold for before it closes you may be able to tell the demand in a price range. Look at the asking price of the home and how long it was on the market. If you see a trend of homes going under agreement quickly you may assume they are going closer to the asking price. 3. Consider Active Listings-Real estate is about competition just like any other commodity. It is important that your home be competitively positioned against other comparable listings. The asking price is a part of the marketing plan of the home. 4. Online Values-Be wary of online estimates. The very definition "online" takes the human factor out of determining the value.  A computer program cannot take into account the nuances of location, home style and home condition. 5. Sell It-The only way to know a home's true market value is to sell it. At the end of the day a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.