Blog

Preparing Your Home for an Open House

Family Entering an Open House Getting your Greater Boston home ready to sell? Here are some tips to prepare your home for an open house that will attract more buyers and increase your chances of selling quickly for a better price.

Clean the exterior. Pressure wash your home’s exterior to remove any bird droppings, grime, mold, and mildew. Clean rain gutters, windows, and screens.

Freshen up the lawn. Prune bushes, trim trees, clean walkways, and mow the lawn. Put some container plants on your patio for a pop of seasonal color.

Make the front door inviting. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and replace the front porch light if it’s outdated. If your house numbers are fading, paint or replace them. Consider buying a new welcome mat.

Scrub the inside. Make your bathrooms and kitchen sparkle. Clean everything in your home from the ceiling fans to the floors, including the baseboards - and don’t forget to clean the inside of the windows.

Eliminate clutter. Rent a storage unit, make a donation, or borrow space in a friend’s garage. Remember, a cluttered home can cost a sale.

Depersonalize. Remove any family photos, school artwork, or other personal effects. This is all about neutralizing your home decor so that buyers can easily see themselves moving in.

Get organized. Organize kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets. Straighten up your closets. You never know when a buyer is going to peek inside.

Stage your home. Rearrange furniture to make rooms appear larger. Repaint any wild colored walls a neutral color and display fresh towels in the bathroom and fresh linens on the bed. Open up the blinds and turn on the lights in every room to make it bright and cheerful.

If you have any questions about selling your home in the Greater Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. We look forward to sharing our expertise with you!

    Comments

    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

    Expert Advice Seminars 2019

    Complimentary Seminars

    Please join us for one or more of our expert advice spring seminars. The sessions are free to the public and cover a wealth of information essential for those considering downsizing or planning to sell your home in the near future. The schedule for the seminars is below:

    schedule for spring expert advice seminars

    Register


    Downsizing:

    Gain valuable advice about how to refine the items you need to make a comfortable, beautiful lifestyle in less space. Learn the tips, tricks, and the resources to help you get the job done. This session is co-taught by Laurie Cadigan, President of Barrett Sotheby's International Realty, who personally went through the process and will share her advice and Marie Le Blanc of Transitions Liquidation Services who has a company dedicated to managing moves and ensuring a stress-free transition. Visit Marie's website.

    Preparing Your Home for Sale:

    You will learn to quickly and effectively clear clutter! Play up selling points through thoughtful furniture arrangement and accessorizing, and create room balance that will resonate with buyers.

    Art and Antiques Appraisal:

    Art and Antique expert Douglas Stinson of Carl W. Stinson Auctioneers and Appraisers (Established 1960), will be available to evaluate your treasures. A limit of three items per attendee, only from the following categories:

    Fine art, works on paper, etchings, bronze and marble sculpture, prints, watercolors, folk art, Americana, China Trade objects, sterling silver flatware and hollowware, all manner of objet d’art, Chinese ceramics, bronze and jade Chinese objects. For larger items too difficult to transport including 18th and 19th century furniture through mid-century furniture, oriental carpets and other cumbersome items, please bring photographs along with dimensions on your phone or IPad.  

    Feel free to contact Mr. Stinson directly with questions about the appropriateness of an object, or if you can’t make the event but are curious about an object that you have you will find his contact information on his website. Visit Doug's website.

    All seminars are held in the following offices of Barrett Sotheby's International Realty:

    Acton - 525 Massachusetts Avenue (978-263-1166)
    Bedford - 49 the Great Road (781-275-1990)
    Concord - 33 Walden Street (978-369-6453)
    Lexington - 1688 Massachusetts Avenue (781-862-1700)
    Lincoln - 152 Lincoln Road (781-259-4040)

    Close Up Series: Pinot's Palette in Lexington MA

    Perfect for a company party, family party, or date night, Pinot’s Palette is the place to be! This colorful paint and sip spot (byob), encourages you to unleash your creativity in a fun group atmosphere, and bring home a finished painting that marks this truly memorable experience. Agent Samita Mandelia and business owner Reshma Katwa discuss the unique time Pinot’s Palette offers, and how it adds to Lexington’s vibrant community.

    Visit Pinot's Palette at:
    7A Meriam Street in Lexington, MA 02420
    781-862-3200

    Check out  their website  and be sure to Like them on facebook.
    Check out this episode and all of the archives on our Close Up Series page

    Follow along as we release new episodes on our social media pages:
    Facebook: Barrett SIR
    Twitter: @barrett_sir
    Instagram: @barrettsothebys

    New Year's Resolutions for Any Home!

    Whether you’re looking to enjoy the home you’re in or invest in a new one, these New Year’s resolutions for your home are a great way to start the New Year!

    Minimize the Clutter

    • Start your year off by giving everything in your home a place to live. Designate space and stick to it! If it does not have a home, evaluate if it’s really needed in your house and proceed accordingly!
    • Label when necessary. This is especially helpful for kids once you set a designated area for each item. Shoes? We know where those go! Jackets? They’re in the coat closet. Laundry? You get the idea.
    • While shopping in bulk may often be a time and money saver, if you don’t have the space for the item, save the peace of mind and keep only what you need on hand.

    Maintain the Clean

    • Spend 15 minutes each day speed cleaning! Take a break from social media or spend your commercial breaks wiping down the counters.
    • Set daily, weekly, and monthly rules for yourself and others in your home. Daily tasks might include filling the dishwasher right after eating or wiping down the bathroom counter. Weekly rules might include vacuuming the carpets and changing the linens, while monthly cleaning might include checking the pantry for expired items.

    Maximize the Safety

    • Sometimes a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be an overarching goal. Making a to do list of all the items that have been piled up and making a goal to complete them all over the next year is a great resolution to set! This can span from fixing the squeaky hinges in your home to more safety-oriented things like cleaning out the vents and ducts behind your dryer.
    • If you’re planning a renovation of any kind, be sure to do research into what new safety measures may apply to the job. For instance, adding ventilation to your bathrooms and attic can help prevent mold spores from developing.
    • Doing a check for radon and confirming the carbon monoxide and fire detectors are working are also great things to do at the turn of the year for added safety.

    Invest in Expertise

    • If these tasks sound overwhelming, it’s always a great idea to invest in professionals to help you complete your goals.
    • Looking to keep a squeaky-clean house? Invest in cleaning services.
    • Adding, expanding, or repairing your home? Not everything needs to be DIY, so reach out to a professional.
    • Looking to sell your home or buy a new one? We might be able to help with that!

    Close Up Series: The Concord Market

    The Concord Market is finally here! This one-stop shopping in Concord center is full of fantastic locally-sourced foods containing some of the highest quality ingredients. In episode 9 of our Close Up series, agent Lisa McLean and co-owner Elizabeth Akehurst-Moore show you this new staple in the community. Stop in soon for some delicious holiday items!

    Stop into The Concord Market at 77 Lowell Road in Concord, or visit their website 
    Check out this episode and all of the archives on our Close Up Series page

    Follow along as we release new episodes on our social media pages:
    Facebook: Barrett SIR
    Twitter: @barrett_sir
    Instagram: @barrettsothebys

    Easy Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill this Winter

    Keeping Warm in Front of FireplaceIt’s hard to believe winter is almost here again! Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to lower your heating bill this season.

    Caulking

    Caulk around the windows and check for any holes outside your home.

    Weather Stripping

    Replace weather stripping around the doors. If you can see light or feel a draft, it needs to be replaced.

    Drapes & Rugs

    Put drapes over the windows to help keep the heat in and the cold out. The heavier the drapes, the better. Rugs add a layer of insulation above the floor.

    Water Heater

    If you have an older hot water heater, put a cover on it to help it stay warm.

    Fire Place

    Close the flue to your fireplace when it’s not in use and make sure it closes all the way. If you don’t already have them, you may want to consider adding glass doors to help with insulation.

    Furnace

    Change your filter monthly during the cold weather season. Don’t make your furnace work harder than it has to!

    Thermostat

    Get a programmable thermostat so you can keep temperatures cooler when the house is empty and warmer when it’s occupied.

    Recycle

    Keep your bathroom door open when you shower so the heat can spread to other rooms. Leave the oven door open after you turn it off until it cools down so you can enjoy the added warmth.  

    Questions about real estate opportunities in the Greater Boston area? Contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty!

      Comments

      1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

      Diamonds, Champagne and Ol' Blue Eyes

      2018 has been a brilliant year for gems. Sotheby’s jewelry auction sales this year have totaled a massive $403 million.

      Sotheby’s fine jewel auction on December 4, 2018 featured collections with stunningly designed necklaces,  brooches, bracelets, and rings by powerhouse designers Van Cleef and Arpels, Harry  Winston, Cartier, and Bulgari. The diamond engagement ring that Frank Sinatra proposed to Barbara by slipping it in to her glass of champagne was sold after intense bidding for just shy of $1.7 million. The ”Lady Blue Eyes” diamond will twinkle on for its new owner. Cheers!

      The “Magnificent Jewels” and “Storied Provenance & Iconic Design” Auctions at Sotheby’s in New York totaled $46.4 million in sales. In addition to the Sinatra jewelry collection, important jewels from other well-known collectors were also auctioned. Of note was a flawless Harry Winston diamond which sold for $4 million. 

      There is still time to own a piece of the “Ol’ Blue Eyes” collection. Art work, jewelry, and collectibles owned and collected by the Sinatras will be available by on-line auction. Included in the sale are paintings by recognized artists as well as a number of abstract paintings by Sinatra himself. 

      Contributing to this year’s superlative results in jewelry sales was the Marie Antoinette collection of precious jewelry. Personal and important jewels and gems not seen by the public for over two centuries were presented for by Sotheby’s Geneva. The most notable item being the exceptional, natural pearl and diamond pendant which Marie Antoinette wore on her three strand pearl necklace. The lot garnered over $36 million CHF.

      While many of the fine art, jewelry and collectibles offered at auction may be too pricey for the average consumer, it still is a pleasure to “window shop”. Collections give us insight into what was appealing and coveted by their owners Sinatra’s collection is worth a look, you may learn something about Ol’ Blue Eyes that may surprise you. He was a singer and a painter and of course “he did it his way”.

      Close Up Series: Salon Reyna

      At Salon Reyna, everybody loves what they do, and it really shows! In episode 8 of Close Up in Our Community, Barrett Sotheby's International Realty team Laura Ferrara and Sheila Horne speak with Salon Reyna owner Lori Reyna about what makes this Salon stand out. The keys to their success are the quality of the work that goes out, as well as the friendliness and professionalism.

      Stop into Salon Reyna at 326 Great Road in Bedford, or visit their website 
      Check out this episode and all of the archives on our Close Up Series page

      Follow along as we release new episodes on our social media pages:
      Facebook: Barrett SIR
      Twitter: @barrett_sir
      Instagram: @barrettsothebys

      Holiday Cheer in the Community

      Barrett Sotheby's International Realty is proud to sponsor and participate in several holiday events. We hope to see you there! 

      Concord Museum Holiday House Tour

      Saturday, December 1st from 11am - 4pm
      Tickets and Maps to be picked-up at Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike
      Seven of Concord's most beautiful private homes will be professionally decorated in the holiday spirit by local and Boston-based interior designers. Guests will be welcomed inside these gracious residences, each decorated in a different holiday theme.
      Tickets: $45 members/ $50 non-members

      Bedford Winter Walkabout

      Saturday, December 1st from 4 - 6pm
      Bedford Town Center and Common
      There will be live music, family friendly activities, treats, business give-aways and discounts. The tree lighting will take place on the common at 5pm. Our office, located at 49 Great Road, Bedford will be providing hot chocolate and free professional photos with Santa! 

      Concord Tree Lighting and Parade

      Saturday, December 2nd from 3 - 7pm
      Concord Center
      This annual tradition is sure to delight with festivities including dozens of roadside attractions and a parade highlighted by Santa leading the tree lighting. Our office, located at 33 Walden Street, Concord will be providing cookies and a visit with Rudolph! 

      Acton Holiday Stroll

      Saturday, December 8th from 12:30 - 4:30pm
      West Acton Village
      Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy hot chocolate, peruse the craft fair and gift basket raffle, explore local businesses and go on a scavenger hunt for the grand prize 40" TV. Our office, located at 525 Massachusetts Ave, Acton will be one of the stops for a clue along the hunt!

      We are also fortunate to be participating in opportunities to give back.

      Toys for Tots Collection

      Now through December 7th
      Donations can be made at any Barrett Sotheby's International Realty Location.
      We're collecting new, unwrapped toys this holiday season. Please consider dropping off a gift for a child in need.

      American Girl Doll Raffle

      Now through December 20th
      Tickets purchased at our Concord office located at 33 Walden St, Concord.
      Three dolls will be raffled to benefit Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Suggested donations are 10/$10, 3/$5, and 1/$2.

       

      Shop Small Map: 2018

      Shop Small Saturday 2018 is November 24th. We are fortunate to have an abundance of small shops to frequent year-round and during the holidays! We asked our agents what their favorite stores to stop in for gifts are to prepare our Saturday plans. The recommendations were abundant!

      Acton, MA

      Handworks was suggested by Linda VanEmburgh. VanEmburgh said, "Handworks in Acton has the most distinctive, artistic gifts."

      Concord, MA

      "Favorite holiday small shop… hands down Nestings!" said Anna Travias. A favorite of many, this name popped up with agents and staff alike!

      Revolutionary Concord was also a repeated recommendation, mentioned by owner, staff, relocation department, and our agent Nancy Wright.

      A new addition to the center of Concord, Graham was mentioned by Laurie Cadigan.

      Sharing a good laugh, Laura McKenna mentioned Priscilla's Candy Store, my favorite local shop for holiday gifts, quality chocolate truffles packaged beautifully, and they make the most gorgeous chocolate Santa Claus. Just don't put them in the stockings when there's a fire! Did that!"

      Lexington, MA

      Bobbi Tornheim mentioned the Holiday Marketplace of LexArt. Tornheim said, "Over 150 local Artisans sell hand made crafts priced from $5 to $1,200. Jewelry, hand woven clothing items, wooden bowls and boxes, some furniture, some excellent children's toys and puzzles, painting, photography, note cards, wide range of ceramics, sweaters, etc. Much of the work is Gallery  Quality." Tornheim also mentioned the location, 130 Waltham Street in Lexington, open November 30th through December 23rd from 10 AM to 5 PM most days.

      Lincoln, MA

      Something Special in Lincoln was noted twice, first by Terese Surrette who said "They have something special for everyone on your list."

      In Lincoln, Terry Perlmutter mentioned the Old Town Hall Exchange.

      Surrounding Towns

      Although our offices are located in the towns mentioned above, as well as Bedford and Carlisle, they are not the only places we are fortunate to enjoy!

      In Littleton, Cataldo's came up more than once. "They decorate dozens of trees with themed ornaments, have great stocking stuffers, and fun unique items," said Karen Wallace.

      Nicolette Mascari also suggested B Happy in Wayland, MA, with great gifts for any home.

      We hope you'll have the opportunity to visit one of the towns we get to call home during your holiday shopping this year!