massachusetts homes for sale: So Much has Changed... - 10/08/21 09:03 AM
A lot has changed in the world of Real Estate over the years. As I move into my 36th year of helping buyers and sellers reach their goals of buying and selling their homes, I can't help but reflect on all that has changed. October 1, 1986, was the first day I began this incredible career and what a ride it has been.
In 1986, we had black and white MLS Books that we anxiously awaited to be delivered every two weeks. It had one photo per listing and bare-bones basic info. To get the new listings, we had to call the … (16 comments)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: Feels like Fall... - 09/20/21 08:07 AM
Where did the summer go? It went by so fast. All the rain, excessive at times, made it feel even shorter. Though the calendar still says it is summer, seeing the mums and pumpkins at the store and starting to pop up on homes and businesses, the kid going back to school and the Franklin County Fair come and gone, it feels like Fall is here.
These, too, are signs that we are moving into the Fall market in Real Estate. There seems to be this shift in focus with buyers and sellers from trying to make a move before the school … (2 comments)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: Letter to the Sellers - 04/30/21 08:12 AM
As the real estate market continues to be red hot, with many homes receiving multiple offers, buyers are looking for ways to encourage sellers to choose their offer. Recently we have seen an increase in the number of buyers who are writing letters to the seller requesting their letter accompany their offer submission.
 
Writing a letter to the seller seems like a nice thing to do, right? At face value, yes. Depending on what is written in the letter, it could create some unintended consequences. While it looks innocent and not done intentionally, it could put the seller and the seller's agent … (0 comments)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: Evolution of the Code - 03/23/21 10:49 AM
One size doesn't fit all when it comes to the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector requirements in Massachusetts. The regulations have changed over the years adopting new technologies and placement requirements to make us safer and prevent loss of life and property. 
One and two-family homes built before 1975 are permitted to have battery-operated smoke detectors. After 1975 they are required to have hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup.
Changes were made to the code in 1997, 2008, 2011, and on December 1, 2016, the ten-year sealed battery requirement went into effect for homes built before 1975. The Carbon monoxide … (0 comments)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: 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)

massachusetts homes for sale: Looking Forward - 01/12/21 12:46 PM
As we venture into 2021, there is much hope for the Pandemic to subside as the vaccination begins to roll out. It directly affects all of us, including real estate, and many are wondering what is instore for Real Estate in 2021. Will it be a continuation of 2020, or will we see some changes?
The National Association of Realtors surveyed 23 economic and housing market experts and other key US bureaus and compiled their responses for the 2020 Real Estate Forecast Summit last month. They forecasted key economic factors they believe will affect Real Estate in 2021 and 2022.
They predict the … (1 comments)

 


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