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A House or Condo: Which is Best for You?

Buying a Home in Greater BostonYou’ll find a variety of beautiful homes and condos in the Greater Boston area. How do you know which property type is best for you? The most important things to consider are the actual home itself, the location, and your budget. 

For the type of home, would you prefer more privacy over a better chance of interacting with your neighbors? Or would you like to make close connections with your neighbors and have a stronger sense of community? Condo complexes feature common areas, which are great for daily interactions. With a single family home, you’ll have more space between you and your neighbors and some added privacy with landscaping and fences. 

As far as location, do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops, and community activities? Do you need to be convenient to public transportation for work? Which neighborhoods do you like the best and would you like to be closer to friends and family? Condos are typically located in convenient areas, offering easy access to town attractions. You’ll also find some great onsite amenities like pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, clubhouses, private balconies, and beautiful Boston views. Some of these amenities may not be practical with a single family home. 

Condos are also low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about spending time maintaining the exterior of the property or the common areas because the association fees cover those items. If you’re looking forward to doing some renovations and expansions, a house will provide you with more options.

The sales price of a condo is usually less expensive than a comparable single family home, just remember to factor in the monthly association fees (which can vary greatly) to make sure you are staying within your budget.

Thinking about buying a home or condo in the Boston area? Contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty or start your search.

Thinking of Buying a Home without an Agent? Think Again!

Buying a Home with a RealtorAccording to the National Association of Realtors, 87% of buyers used a real estate agent in 2018, which has increased from 69% in 2001. It’s easy to search for homes online, but you’ll never be able to replace the guidance, insight, and local knowledge that a real estate agent provides. Here are some other reasons to use an agent when you buy your next home.

Save Time and Effort. There is an extensive amount of paperwork involved in the home buying process. A real estate agent is familiar with offers, counteroffers, disclosures, addendums, and amendments. Finding the right home also takes time. You can provide a list of criteria and your agent will find homes that match your needs and your budget.

Relax and Stay Calm. A good real estate agent will be able to calm your nerves while you’re making one of the biggest purchases of your life. Realtors manage communications and paperwork throughout the home buying process. This can reduce your stress and give you peace of mind. They will also keep you informed along the way. 

Negotiations. Your real estate agent is your middleman and they will negotiate on your behalf. If you have questions or concerns about a home before you put in an offer, your agent will reach out to the seller. They will negotiate repairs, credits, and the best price for you. You won't have to worry about paying too much for a property either. They will pull data for homes currently on the market and properties that have recently sold. 

Connections. A local agent can connect you with mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and other professionals. 

If you’re planning to buy a home in the Greater Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty today! We’re happy to share our local expertise with you.

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The Home Selling Process

Selling Your Home in Greater BostonAre you selling a home in the Greater Boston area for the first time? Or has it been a while since you’ve sold a property? If so, it’s helpful to get a general overview of the selling process from start to finish. Here are the basic steps.

1. Find a Real Estate Agent

The agents at Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty will guide you through each step of the selling process. We will help you navigate the market with confidence by sharing our local expertise and we will look out for your best interests. 

2. List Your Home

Once you've chosen a real estate agent, you'll sign an agreement that gives the agent exclusive rights to list your home on the market.

3. Get a Market Analysis

Your agent will provide a comparative market analysis and recommend the best listing price for your home. You’ll find out how much your property is worth so you can price it competitively to sell in the local market. Our team provides you with an accurate Opinion of Value based on statistical data.

4. Market Your Home

Your agent will gather all of the information for the MLS listing and will advertise your home for sale. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty gives you the most exposure to buyers locally and around the world.  Learn about our services for sellers

5. Show Your Home

Agents and prospective buyers will walk through your property, so it’s important that buyers are able to see themselves living in it. A clean and de-cluttered home that’s properly staged will do the trick. Our team offers free advice on staging, minor repairs, and more.

6. Get Offers

Your agent will negotiate any offers received on your behalf. If market conditions are good and your home is priced right, you may receive multiple offers. We will continue to negotiate with your best interests in mind until you receive an offer you are willing to accept. 

7. Close

The paperwork is signed by the buyer and seller and the closing is complete! 

If you would like more information about selling your home, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty today!

The Home Buyers List: Identifying Needs & Wants

Home in Greater BostonBefore you start your home search, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and how much house you can afford. You may already have a good idea about the things you want to have in your new home, but what about the things you really need? The most important factors to consider when buying a home are the actual home itself, the location, and your budget. 

You’ll save valuable time in your house hunt by creating a list of wants and needs. Start out by listing all of the features in your dream home and then qualify those things as either wants or needs. Different wants and needs affect your home buying costs and you may not be able to get every single thing you want in a home, so it’s good to know what you can and can’t live without. 

Your Needs

The needs are the absolute deal breakers. These are the essentials for the property. If a home doesn’t have these things, you won’t even consider it. These features are either very difficult or impossible to change, such as the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, lot size, property type (condo, townhome, house), and distance from work.

Your Wants

The wants are extra things that would be nice for the property to have, but you would look at a home without these features as long as it meets everything on your needs list. A home that meets all your needs and has lots of these added features would be a great option to consider. Keep in mind that wants are things you can change or add later on, like a pool, skylights, or hardwood floors.

Finalizing your wants versus needs checklist before starting your property search will save you lots of time and frustration. Just remember that no home is perfect, but you do want to make sure you get the best home for you.

If you have any questions about buying a home in the Greater Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty! 

4 Hot Reasons to Buy a Home this Summer

Outdoor Deck in SummerIt’s hard to believe summer is almost here again! Although the nice weather means more competition for home buyers, there are many benefits to buying a home in the summer months. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider buying a home this summer.

More homes on the market. Summer is one of the most popular times to buy a home, and also one of the most popular times to sell a home, so there will be more properties to choose from. The larger inventory gives buyers more opportunity when it comes to selecting specific floor plans, amenities, and locations.

School is out. This means less interruption for the kids. Kids can more easily attend showings, giving each family member an opportunity to weigh in and approve the new home. Plus, they can start the new school year in their new home, rather than trying to uproot them when school is in session. Many parents know that moving and changing schools during the school year can be difficult for kids.

Weather is ideal. It’s easier to go home shopping and explore different neighborhoods when the weather is nice and the days are longer. Communities are typically more active during the summer months, which gives buyers a better perspective about potential neighbors. You’ll also get to see all of the landscaping in full bloom. Enjoy wearing your flip flops and shorts to showings, too!

It’s a great time to meet your neighbors. A wonderful way to get to know your neighbors is to have a summer housewarming party on your new deck or patio. You can fire up the grill, enjoy the sunshine, and play some yard games. The kids will be able to make some friends before the new school year starts.

Ultimately, the best time to buy a home really depends on your particular circumstances and goals. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Greater Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty or start your home search today!

3 Tips on Downsizing in Retirement

House in Greater BostonAre you planning on downsizing your home for retirement? If so, you may some mixed feelings about it. Moving into a smaller home can be an exciting and emotional process. Here are a few tips to make things a little easier.

1. Stay positive. Look forward to all of the good things to come! You’ll be improving your lifestyle and your finances. You won’t have as much home maintenance or housework to do and your utility bills will be lower. You’ll have more time to enjoy the things you want to do, places you want to go, and people you want to see.   

2. Plan ahead. Take the time to carefully assess how much downsizing you really need to do. Visualize your new home, the floor plan, and the amount of space in it. Consider your budget, healthcare needs, and location. Where do you really want to live? Closer to attractions, amenities, family, friends, or all of the above? Planning ahead will make the transition easier for you and your loved ones.

3. Don’t rush. If you try to declutter or get rid of things too quickly, it can be overwhelming. Take your time and go through your home room by room and separate the items you want to keep. If there are things you haven’t worn or used for years, do you really need to keep them? Are you going to have room for these things in your new home? Now, it’s time to purge everything else. You can give the remaining things to family, friends, or charity, have a yard sale, or throw away.

If you would like to learn more about real estate opportunities in the Greater Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. We can help you find the right property for your needs.

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!

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    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

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