Archive for the ‘The Trends’ Category

Tuesday Tip – 5 Reasons Sellers are Better Off With an Agent`

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

If you’re planning on selling your home, you might be drawn to the perceived cost savings of listing it without a real estate agent, but according to data from The National Association of Realtors, a home on the market listed “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) takes longer to sell (and eventually sells for less) than homes represented by a real estate professional.  A recent blog post featured on Trulia.com lists 5 key reasons – pricing, negotiating, exposure buyer perception, and a smooth sales process – it pays to get the help of a real estate agent when selling your home.

For more tips on how to get the most money out of the sale of your home, feel free to reach out to our experts at The Charles Realty, 617, 236-0353.

Tuesday Tip – How to Sell Your Condo When you Have Tenants

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

As the landlord of a tenanted property, you have a lot to think about if you’re looking to sell.  There’s the obvious – how do you make sure the tenants keep the home clean and organized for pictures and showings – but you also have contractual, and possible legal obligations to consider, and decisions to make about how to market the home to potential buyers. Today’s Tuesday Tip comes from Brick Underground, and focuses on the things you must consider and plan for when you have a tenant living in the apartment or condo you’re looking to sell.

The Charles Realty has a team of experts that focus primarily on real estate investments and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to buying, managing and selling investment properties.  For more information, call 617-236-0353 or visit our website to learn more about the team.

Tuesday Tip – Easy Improvements That Will Increase the Value of Your Listing

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

You don’t need a major renovation to increase the value of your listing. There are plenty of inexpensive  improvements that can yield a generous return.  Today’s Tuesday Tip, 5 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Listing comes to us from Realtor Mag, the official magazine of The National Association of Realtors, and offers 5 simple ways to increase the value of your home by up to 12%.

There are plenty of resources out there offering additional ideas, like these tips from HGTV.com, but your first step should be a consultation with a real estate professional who is trained to counsel sellers on this topic.  They will have the best understanding of the characteristics and features that are most attractive to potential buyers, and will therefore be your best resource when prioritizing improvements.  To speak with one of the experts at The Charles Realty, please call 617-236-0353 or meet our team here.

Tuesday Tip – What do Increasing Rates Mean for Buyers and Sellers?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The Federal Reserve has indicated that there will be a gradual rise in rates throughout 2015 and into next year. Here’s a quick summary of what that means for buyers and sellers:

For buyers – Always the good news first!  An increase in rates will deter other buyers from borrowing money, so you will have less competition and a better chance of avoiding a bidding war.  Now for the bad news – while the trend of bidding wars and over-ask offers will wane, the increased rate will cost you far more over time.  So, if you’ve been wanting to buy in Boston but have been waiting until the supply-demand variance evens out, it might not be worth it.  Long story short, rates aren’t going down for quite some time, and it also doesn’t seem likely that there will be a surplus of new (non-luxury) homes in Boston in the foreseeable future.  So, now is a great time to secure a low rate and lock something down, especially if you fall into the 42% of millennials that Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries says will be buying a home in the next one to five years.

What it means for sellers:  There are way too few condos and single-family homes to meet the current demand, which is an ideal situation for sellers, but the rate increase means that the number of buyers will be decreasing throughout the year.  This will mean fewer bidding wars and fewer over-ask bids, and more buyers deciding to keep renting.  So if you’ve been on the fence about selling your home, now is the time to get top dollar by tapping into the large market of buyers that low interest rates have created.

The real estate market in Boston has gotten a lot of attention lately, as it is quickly becoming one of the most desirable cities in the country to live and invest in.  Whether you’re buying or selling (and then buying again) now is the time to gather information and resources that will ensure you’re making smart decisions about your real estate investment.

For more information about the trends we’re seeing in the Boston real estate market and what impact they will have on both buyers and sellers, reach out to our experts at 617-236-0353 or meet our team online.

Tuesday Tip – 4 Ways to Get your Driveway or Sidewalk Shoveled

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

The upside to winter storms like Juno: all day pajama wearing, cozy movie marathons and extra indoor family time.  The downside: being buried inside your home until you muster the energy to dig your way out.  But luckily, the folks at BostInno have shared with us some services around the city that will do the work for you, so you can put your slippered fit up, pour yourself another mug of cocoa and watch your ninth straight episode Orange is the New Black.  Enjoy the snow!

Tuesday Tip – Picture Perfect! How to Make Sure your Home Makes a Great First Impression

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

This week’s Tuesday Tip is inspired by Curbed Boston’sListing Photo Fails” section.  Take a look at this week’s photos and join us as we ask a collective “what the …?”

Your home might have a stellar layout and be riddled with personality, but unless its photographed at its best and marketed in an effective and unique way – it’s likely potential buyers won’t even consider a showing.  To start, sellers must do their part to remove any items a potential buyer might not want to see in a photo – animals (and any toys, beds and food bowls that go with those animals), laundry, kitschy decorative items (your leg lamp replica from A Christmas Story might be a huge hit with your friends, but not all buyers will share their appreciation), bills and paperwork, personal pictures and magnets on refrigerators.  Also be sure to put the toilet seats down, close shower doors or curtains and fold towels and blankets.  Anything that will distract the viewer from what you want them to be looking at – spacious rooms, good lighting, interesting architecture – should be removed.

If you’ve already selected a seller’s agent, ask them for examples of other property descriptions they’ve written.  If you’re evaluating several different agents, make this a factor in your decision making process.  Keep in mind that buyers are more savvy than they used to be, and can see through disingenuous descriptions that use words like charming or cozy when what they really mean is small.  Also, with the prevalence of sites like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, buyers have likely read many other property descriptions by the time they get to yours, so you want to make sure your agent finds words that make the description of your home stand out among the rest.  Some agents go above and beyond, and will invest in additional tools to market your property, so be sure to ask them about their marketing strategy.

Most agents have a photographer that they use for all of their listing photos.  Ask to see examples of their work, and if you don’t think they’ve captured the property at it’s best, don’t be afraid to ask for a different photographer, or to find one on your own.  Marketing a set of bad listing photos is like wearing pajamas to a job interview, but it’s a mistake that too many agents make, so be an active participant in the process to ensure your home is making it’s best first impression.

For more information about how to make sure your listing photos and description generate excitement and intrigue among potential buyers, contact our experts at The Charles Realty, who work with a team of seasoned photographers and marketers to make sure that buyers are captivated by your home before they’ve even seen it in person!  617-236-0353.

Tuesday Tip – New Year, New Home? If You’re Buying a Home in 2015, Now’s the Time to Start Preparing.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Buying a home can be an enjoyable, minimally stressful experience, but if you don’t have the right team in place and haven’t prepared for the process, it can be quite the opposite.  Today’s Tuesday Tip comes to us from the folks at Zillow (www.zillow.com), who’ve put together a preparation guide for those who hope to buy a home in 2015.  For more information on how to prepare for the home buying process, feel free to contact our experts at The Charles Realty who will walk you through each step so you know exactly what to expect, 617-236-0353.

Tuesday Tip – New Décor for a New Year!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Welcoming a New Year tends to inspire people to make changes and jazz things up a bit.  It’s the perfect time of year to create a new feel for a particular room in your home, or add the accents that have made it feel incomplete (and as a huge bonus, you’ll get great deals on post-holiday sales).   Here are a couple thoughts for how to find inspiration and focus for designing the perfect space.

If you already have a subscription to magazines like House Beautiful or Home & Design Magazine, then you likely already use them for inspiration.  If not, now is a great time to start.  Rip out the pages, circle what you like on them and organize them into categories – kitchen, reds, beach, cottage, etc.  This will help you identify the themes, styles and colors that you’re consistently drawn to.

As with everything these days, technology offers a seemingly unlimited number of resources, so while magazines are a great place to start, they don’t allow you to refine your search or dig in deeper when you see something you like.  Check out apps like Houzz.com and pinterest.com and blogs like remodelista.com for inspiration and clever ideas.

Once you’ve gotten a feel for the looks like excite you, find a piece you LOVE to anchor the room. Oftentimes a piece of art or furniture will make the best anchors, but get creative and don’t be afraid of color.  The more colors your anchor has, the easier it will be to find things that match it.  Just make sure it effectively establishes the vibe that you want for your room.

Don’t feel like in order to create a room that matches you can only shop at one or two similar stores.  That will make your project for more expensive – and more boring.  There’s nothing wrong with shopping at Pottery Barn, but do some research and see if you can sprinkle in some good finds from a local thrift shop, or a store that specializes in international décor (bonus points if you find something great while traveling).   Sure, this approach will take more time and effort, but it also guarantees a more eclectic and unique look, plus it makes for better conversation when showing off your new space to friends!

And perhaps most important, be patient.  Oftentimes the best-decorated rooms sat unfinished for some time.  Inevitably you’ll be eager to complete your project, but being impatient will leave you making hasty decisions and spending money on pieces you’re not completely in love with.  Your best rooms will be a reflection of your personality, so make sure you’re completely invested in everything you put into it!

Tuesday Tip – Finding a Christmas Tree in Boston

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

If you live in the city, chances are it’s going to be tough for you to venture out into the wilderness to Paul Bunyan yourself a Christmas tree.  It’s a romantic idea, but impractical for most.  Today’s Tip offers 10 Places to Buy a Christmas Tree in the City, and comes to us from the folks at Bostinno.

And, if you suddenly get the urge to throw on a flannel shirt and carry your ax out into the woods, they also have a related post that lists some great local farms that allow you to cut your own tree.

Happy holidays!

Tuesday Tip – 5 Ways to Entertain with Ease During the Holidays

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

So you just closed on your new house and can’t wait to host the holiday celebrations, what a great way to show off your new digs!  But when you’re running around the morning of your get together trying to find a gift for the unexpected, last minute guest your sister is bringing while trying to rework the menu to accommodate for the Gluten allergy you forgot about, your inner scrooge is likely to emerge.  Here are 5 tips to help you get through the chaos of entertaining during the holidays.

- It’s like the song says, make a list and check it twice.  If you wake up in the middle of the night with a genius gift idea for your hard to shop for Uncle, write it down.  If you’re on the treadmill and you think of an obscure ingredient that you CAN NOT forget at the store, write it down.  Keep a note pad with you so you can keep all of your thoughts and plans together in one spot, and at the end of the day organize them into topics or columns.  Once a thought is on paper, let it go and use that vacated real estate in your brain for more important thoughts.

- Once you’ve made your menu, it’s a good idea to identify and pull out the dishes that you’ll be serving them on.  That way when the oven timer goes off and your famous dish starts to burn, you’re not digging through cupboards trying to find the one platter that is buried beneath every other dish you own.

-Create a natural, and simple table scape using fresh holly, produce or other easy to find, inexpensive items.  You can find inspiration and easy to follow directions on sites like Pinterest.  Name cards are also a good idea, as it prevents confusion and stammering when it’s time to sit down.

-Make your out of town guests feel welcome with a small greeting kit containing everything they might need during their stay, plus a few extras like local treats, brochures for local tours, or a book on the history of your town.  This will go a long way with making your guests feel comfortable and at home, and it will also make them more self-sufficient during their stay.

-The last one is most important – delegate!  When someone asks what they can do to help, give them a task, it makes them feel good to contribute and it frees up your time for other things.  Make a list of simple tasks that don’t require your direct attention, and don’t be afraid to assign chores, like dish duty, to the relatives you’re closest to you.

We hope this helps make your holiday hosting a little merrier!