real estate: Home Inspections... For informational purposes only... - 05/02/22 09:18 AM
A Home Inspection is a common practice in the home buying process. The purpose of the inspection is to allow the prospective buyer the opportunity to learn about the house they hope to own from a professional knowledgeable in all aspects of the home's construction and systems, preferably a licensed home inspector. However, a home inspection is not required to buy a home, but most contracts to purchase have a provision for an inspection contingency built-in.
The buyer has three options under most home inspection contingencies: They are fine with what they learned and move forward. They could withdraw and terminate the … (1 comments)

real estate: Being Competitive - 04/12/22 08:12 AM
In this ultra-competitive Real Estate market, buyers are often competing with multiple offers, and some have lost out numerous times. If you want to purchase a home, a few things could help you.
First, be sure you have representation. Having a buyers' agent representing you is highly recommended. It will give you the best opportunity to get the advice and guidance you need to make a solid offer. Next, make sure you are set up on the Auto email program in MLS. The market is moving very fast. With this program, you will receive an email within a minute of the home … (3 comments)

real estate: Frigid Weather Prep - 02/09/22 08:02 AM
Winter can bring challenges to homeowners in colder climates like ours here in New England, especially when the temperatures get down into single digits and go below zero. There are a few easy precautions that can help prevent catastrophes. 
Outside faucets should have a shut off valve in the basement that should be closed. Frost-free faucets are recommended, even so, it’s still advisable to shut off the interior valve to be safe. It's easy to do and can prevent frozen pipes.
You should consider running the water a little more than a drip to keep the water moving on those frigid days to … (0 comments)

real estate: Year End Numbers... - 01/24/22 07:12 AM
2021 was another banner year in Real Estate. Single-family home sales in the Pioneer Valley were up .7% over 2020, a record high year in its own right. However, Franklin County was slightly down 5%, with 616 single-family homes sold in 2021, whereas 649 sold in 2020. Hampshire County is down 2%, with 1,269 sold in 2021 compared to 1,272 in 2020.
The Median Price throughout the Valley was up 14%. Franklin County went from $245000 in 2020 to $281,500. Hampshire County $320,000 to $365,777. The original list to sale price was 101% on average.
Days on market, (from list date to accepted … (3 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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,, we also have a 'Community Info' section in addition to homes for sale, setting up home searches, and … (0 comments)

real estate: Gutters or No Gutters... - 08/04/21 10:32 AM
....That is the question. For the most part, the professionals say, Yes. Over the years, I've been at close to if not more than a thousand home inspections. During the home inspection, inspectors usually will talk about the gutters or lack of them. They talk about their purpose and the reason for having them.
For the most part, they all agree that having gutters on the house is important. The main reason is to capture the water from the roof and help divert it away from the foundation, preventing any water penetration to the basement. Keeping rain from falling at the house … (1 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)