franklin county: Pending... - 12/02/21 07:19 AM
When a seller accepts an offer from a buyer,  they do not just agree to the price. They also agree to the dates and conditions spelled within the agreement. Once the seller accepts an offer from the buyer, the property is considered under agreement, or sometimes you will see "Pending", which means it is pending conditions of the sale. It could be pending home inspection, financing approval or other conditions like the sale of the buyers home.
During the pending process, the buyer is following through with the conditions of the sale. If they require a loan to purchase the home, they … (1 comments)

franklin county: Time to sell... What's next? - 11/22/21 09:07 AM
You decided to sell your home, what's next? The first question on most prospective sellers minds is, what can I sell my home for? So, that is usually the first place we start.
In the initial meeting, we gather the information on the house and property, talk about any planned changes or suggested improvements to maximize the value if the homeowner is looking for that information, and set up another appt to go over the market data to establish the recommended list price.
Time to Sell? What’s next
Once the homeowner is on board with selling, it's time to move toward the pre-listing phase. … (0 comments)

franklin county: The Perc Test - 10/01/21 08:37 AM
If you own a home with a private sewer system and the system fails the Title 5 inspection because of the leach field, it will require a new one. The next step is a Perc Test to determine the location, size, and type of system needed to replace the old system.
"Perc" test is short for a Percolation Test. The purpose of the Perc Test is to allow the fluid's safe distribution to dissipate into the ground preventing it from entering any water supply.  To that end, it must also be placed over 100' from you and your neighbors well/water supply.
The Perc … (1 comments)

franklin county: More Resources... - 08/26/21 08:24 AM
You can find just about anything you are looking for by searching on the internet. Real Estate is no exception. Many websites offer the ability to search for homes that provide pictures, maps, taxes, and other information pertinent to the home search. There are so many to choose from. You can also find other information surrounding buying and selling homes and home buying and selling tips. They are also readily available on the internet if you know where to look.
On our website, FITZGERALD-RealEstate.com, we also have a 'Community Info' section in addition to homes for sale, setting up home searches, and … (0 comments)

franklin county: Resources... - 08/18/21 08:19 AM
Whether you are a homeowner, soon-to-be homeowner, thinking about being a homeowner, thinking of selling your home, in the process of selling, or just sold your home, most likely, you will need the help of some type of contractor or service provider.
There are the more commonly used providers such as electricians, plumbers, heating and cooling technicians, inspectors, mortgage lenders, attorneys, painters, landscapers, house cleaners, and movers to the more specialist type like environmental consultants, structural engineers, architects, well drillers, and water testing and septic installers and title 5 inspectors. There are many more.
Since the pandemic, with more people at home, there … (0 comments)

franklin county: Rainy Days - 07/19/21 10:15 AM
With all the rain we have seen this summer, showing property tends to be less fun and takes longer than sunny days. Rainy day, especially long spells, like we have been experiencing lately, requires us to be more cautious about tracking water and mud into the homes prospective buyers view in the warm months and snow in the winter. A lot of times, buyers will walk around the house and yard before going inside. It's fair to say at that point, it would be easy to track in dirt, water, snow, or worst of all, mud.
So, what is the proper etiquette … (5 comments)

franklin county: Pool or No Pool? - 07/12/21 08:12 AM
Pool or no pool, that is the question. Homebuyers historically either look for a house with a pool or do not want a home with a pool. It is rare to find a buyer that is lukewarm about it. However, last summer, with the pandemic in full force, vacations canceled, and people were staying home, pools were in high demand to the point that the pool companies could not keep up with the demand. Many were on backorder, and it seems to have carried over to this year for many folks.
 
This year the sediment about pools also seems to have changed … (1 comments)

franklin county: Winter on your mind **even when the sun shines** - 06/18/21 10:09 AM
In the summer, it's safe to say that people are not thinking about getting ready to heat their homes in the colder months soon to come. We New Englanders tend to like to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and though the seasons change every few months, we tend to live and enjoy the season we are in, especially those warm summer days and cool summer nights. Thinking ahead to the next season, especially winter while in the summer, is usually not top of mind. 
However, when you own a home, you should think about a few things … (0 comments)

franklin county: The Pressure - 05/21/21 09:53 AM
The competitive real estate market that we are experiencing here in the Valley, across the state, and much of the country has created incredible pressure on all participants in the real estate transaction. In any part of the real estate cycle, whether it be a seller's market or a buyer's market, there typically is pressure and competition on one side. But, in this market, the pressure has been building and is now being felt on all sides.
It's fair to say that we are still in a seller's market—low inventory and an abundance of qualified buyers. Some are local, and some are … (4 comments)

franklin county: Percentages can be misleading... - 04/21/21 12:57 PM
Every month, the Realtor Association both local and State releases the monthly single-family and condo sales report. Among other statistics it covers the number of sales and the median price compared to the previous year. It is presented by county and the entire Pioneer Valley as a whole, covering all three counties.
The percentage posted can differ significantly from month to month. As a result, it may give a misleading picture of the market, especially in Franklin County, where the number of homes that sell in any given month is modest. For example, in February, the numbers show that Franklin County saw … (0 comments)

franklin county: The Escalation Clause - 04/17/21 05:51 AM
In an ultra-competitive Real Estate market such as one we are experiencing, prospective buyers are looking for ways to be the one the seller chooses when competing with multiple offers. Some situations cannot be avoided, such as a cash buyer being chosen over a buyer with a low-down-payment requiring PMI. Most sellers will choose a cash buyer over one needing financing, especially loans that will require the seller's house to meet specific standards of loans requiring FHA, USDA, and VA backing, which adds another layer to the loan approval. Buyers are looking to get a leg up on their competition trying to … (4 comments)

franklin county: The color GREEN - 04/06/21 10:59 AM
Color adds to the experience of selling and buying a home. Green is a welcoming color and most anticipated as we leave winter and enter the much-awaited spring. After the pristine white of winter is gone and the grays and browns are left before spring arrives, the much-needed spring clean-up of yards and gardens uncover and await the colors of spring. People associate spring with seeing the grass turn green, and the added colors from crocuses, daffodils, and pansies bring it to life.
Spring traditionally is the most active time in the Real Estate seasonal cycle. Homeowners who have been preparing to … (5 comments)

franklin county: Spring Forward, Check Your Detectors - 03/17/21 07:22 AM
Changing the clocks in the spring and fall has created a tradition to prompt us to test our smoke detectors and change the batteries. Since the onset of this tradition, a lot has changed with smoke detectors, their technology, their placement requirements, and the addition of carbon monoxide detectors. These updates are designed to keep us safe and to minimize loss of life and damage to our homes.
The most recent change to the fire code in Massachusetts was regarding homes that sold after December 1, 2016, requiring homes built before January 1, 1975, be equipped with smoke detectors containing a 10-year … (3 comments)

franklin county: Video & Recording Devices - 03/17/21 06:53 AM
Videos have become a welcomed addition to buying and selling homes, especially this past year during the pandemic. Buyers have found the ability to see pictures and videos very helpful in the home buying process. In many cases, it makes the difference of whether to make an appointment to see a house and, in some cases, making an offer sight-unseen based on the photos and videos.
As professionals representing the sale of the property, we receive permission from the seller to post photos and videos online and in print. If a buyer or a buyer's agent wants to take pictures, video, facetime, … (2 comments)

franklin county: Sight Unseen - 03/03/21 10:04 AM
When selling your home, would you accept an offer from a buyer who has not physically walked through your house, the property or seen the neighborhood or surroundings? Would you accept an offer from a buyer sight unseen?
In the market we are currently in, where there are few homes for sale and more buyers than there are sellers, there are a few reasons why buyers are submitting offers "sight unseen." Some live out of the area and will not be able to view it in person. They rely on photos and videos. Others are concerned with COVID and do not want … (1 comments)

franklin county: Off to a GREAT start - 02/24/21 10:12 AM
2021 is off to a great start in Real Estate here in the Valley. The January single-family home sales were strong. Overall, there was an increase in sales of 7.3% over January 2020. Franklin County saw a 33.3% increase, while Hampshire County only saw a 2.6% increase.
The median price overall was up 17.3% year over year. Franklin County up 34.4% from $200,000 to $268,500. Hampshire County up 25.6% from $267,500 to $336,000. Note: The median price reflects the middle range of the homes that sold. It does not mean the price of homes increased by that percentage. Though there has been … (2 comments)

franklin county: Be Prepared - 02/17/21 09:02 AM
When winter storms, ice, and high winds result in power outages, we could be in serious trouble if we go without power for any length of time. So what is the best way to be prepared for an outage that would protect ourselves and our homes?
Besides having an emergency kit that includes battery-operated flashlights, candles, water, can and dry foods, and blankets, having a gas or propane generator to power the critical parts of your house is something to consider.
Sometimes we take for granted or forget how vital electricity is and what it powers. Especially in the winter, electricity is required … (2 comments)

franklin county: The Real Estate Contract - 02/10/21 09:48 AM
A real estate contract is slightly different than other contracts in that it must be in writing. While verbal agreements may be allowable in some situations, they are not binding in real estate.
The basic requirements in a real estate contract must include the parties' legal names, the property description, either by the address of deed reference, the purchase price, earnest money deposit to bind the agreement and signatures of both parties. Without all of these elements, the contract is not binding.
The method of payment to the seller, though not a requirement, is expected. The seller will want to know if the … (0 comments)

franklin county: Year-End Numbers Are Telling - 02/03/21 06:35 AM
The year-end numbers are quite telling. They show that the higher-end properties significantly contributed to the robust real estate market here in the Valley. Will we see this trend continue in 2021?
The median sales price of single-family homes sold in the Pioneer Valley in 2020 increased overall by 9.2% over 2019, going from $229,000 to $250,000. Franklin County went from $226,500 to $245,000. Hampshire County $291,500 to $319,900. Much of the increase in the median price has to do with the high-end sales.
In Franklin County, the single-family homes that sold between $300,000 - $400,000 in 2020 were 131, whereas, in 2019, … (1 comments)

franklin county: A Step in the Right Direction - 01/14/21 08:46 AM
2021 has started off in the right direction in addressing the housing shortage in Massachusetts as there is good news on the legislative front. On January 7th, the House and Senate passed the Housing Choice bill, H. 5250, An Act enabling partnerships for growth, as part of the economic development package.
This legislation will enable cities and towns to adopt zoning related to housing development by a simple majority vote rather than a two-thirds supermajority as it currently stands.
Other important provisions in this 101-page bill will directly affect us here in the Valley. It includes 5 million dollars to fund broadband improvements … (4 comments)