homes for sale: Selling your home in the winter... - 03/11/22 09:17 AM
Selling a home in the winter can be beneficial. There are benefits of putting our house on the market in the winter and some tips to help you reach your goal of selling your home in the next few months.
Some believe selling your home is best in Spring and summer. Some will hold off putting their house on the market until Spring. Yes, Spring offers more cheerful surroundings. The grass is green. Trees are full of leaves and bushes, and flowers begin to bloom, adding much-welcomed color after the gray, brown, and while monotone of winter. Days are longer, the sun … (0 comments)

homes for sale: New Year's Resloution Continued... - 01/14/22 07:54 AM
If your goal is to purchase a home in 2022, what steps should you take in preparation for that move?
If your home purchase requires a loan, the first step should be to get pre-qualified to know what price point you should be looking in and have a clear understanding of what to expect and feel comfortable with your monthly payment.
Once you know the price range you are comfortable in, you should start thinking about what you want in a home, things like how far from work, your family & friends, and places you frequent to choose the locations/towns in your search. … (1 comments)

homes for sale: Deposits - 12/16/21 09:01 AM
There can be two types of deposits in a real estate transaction. There is the earnest money deposit, and if the buyer needs financing to purchase the property, they could be required to make a down payment, depending on the loan type, which can also be called a deposit. Though they are both deposits, they are for two different purposes and will not necessarily be or need to be the same amount.
The purpose of the earnest money deposit is to bind the agreement. It is held in escrow by the listing agency or sellers attorney as security for the seller and … (1 comments)

homes for sale: Preparing to close... - 12/13/21 08:21 AM
Once all the contingencies in the contract are met the last part of the buying and selling process is preparing to close. If the buyer is financing their purchase, they will receive a commitment letter from their lender outlining any final conditions to get the "clear to close."
A lot is going on behind the scenes. The buyer's attorney will order the title search to make sure the chain of ownership is clear. They will be preparing the settlement statement with the buyer and sellers expenses. They will order the payoff figure for the seller's mortgage, the final water reading, the (MLC) … (1 comments)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: Market Update - 07/23/21 10:19 AM
The Real Estate market here in the Valley continues to be strong and telling more of the same story.  High demand, low inventory, prices holding and increasing in many areas.
The June numbers show single-family home sales and the median price in the Pioneer Valley combing all three counties are up 20% over June of last year with the exception of Franklin County, which was down slightly, going from 60 sales in 2020 to 54 in 2021. Affecting this decrease is the low supply of homes for sale. At the end of June 2020, there were 140 single-family homes for sale and … (2 comments)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: Don't forget the basement - 05/12/21 10:21 AM
Springtime triggers spring cleaning for many homeowners. When we think of spring cleaning, we think of things like washing windows, taking down curtains, and washing them to freshen them up, sweeping off the porches and steps to get rid of any signs of winter. One area that sometimes seems to get overlooked is the basement. Some homeowners don't spend much time in the basement, especially if their laundry is up in the living area. Therefore, for many, it is out of sight and out of mind. 
As I go through homes with buyers, especially in older homes with unfinished basements, they sometimes … (3 comments)

homes for sale: Highest & Best OFFER - 03/31/21 07:39 AM
With the Real Estate market as competitive for buyers as it has been and continues to be, they could be asked to make their Highest and Best Offer by a specific date and time. So what does this mean?
The “Highest “is just that. It's the highest price the buyer is willing to pay. But, be wary of bids too high over the list price because if the buyer requires financing from a lender to purchase the home, the lender will require an appraisal. If it does not appraise at the amount agreed upon, either the seller will have to reduce the … (1 comments)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: 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)

homes for sale: Internet Access Update - 01/27/21 07:43 AM
Internet access has never been more critical than in the past few months. Since the pandemic, many schools have closed or are operating part-time which means many students need to do their schoolwork from home, others need to communicate with doctors and other health care providers through telehealth, and those fortunate to remain working, many need to work remotely and telecommute with their place of employment.
The Baker-Polito Administration recently launched programs to increase internet connectivity. One of which is designed to help those seeking employment through MassHire through a subsidized program called “Mass. Internet Connect” with MBI. (Mass Broadband Institute) MBI … (3 comments)

homes for sale: The Gift - 12/06/20 11:43 AM
As we enter the Holiday Season, the season of giving, many of us are looking for ideas for gifts for our loved ones.  Why not give the gift that keeps on giving? The gift of homeownership, by providing hope and a goal of owning their first home.
Those who would like to own their first home may need help getting started, whether through support and guidance or financial assistance. Having the funds for a down payment and closing costs can seem like it is so far out of reach for some people.
If you have the means, this is where you can help. … (2 comments)

homes for sale: Checking in on the Market - 11/17/20 10:46 AM
Numbers are in for September numbers confirming the robust market continues. The Sales of Single Family homes throughout the Valley are 6.9%, and the median price is up 15.2%.  Franklin County is up 10%, while Hampshire County is down 24.8%.
Franklin County saw as 9.5% increase in the median price as the high-end homes continue to sell at a record pace. However, year to date, sales are down 4.5%. Considering the market coming to a screeching halt with the announcement of the pandemic, this is understandable. Pending sales up 18.9% 53 to 63 homes in September year over year. The good … (0 comments)