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Find Sanctuary With Your Own Private Hideaway

The idea of owning your own private island is the stuff of childhood dreams.  Adventure stories and fairy tales often feature the idea of a magical, secluded space, separated by water, where anything can happen. As we grow up and get older, private islands and retreats become the ultimate aspirational home goal, with all the seclusion and luxury that is associated with them. There’s even a whole TV show dedicated to the idea of finding that exclusive piece of island real estate that you can call your own. Now a rare opportunity has opened up for someone to own their own island-like retreat right here in Clinton, MA. 

Recently featured in the Worcester Telegram35 South Meadow Road in Clinton is a spectacular secluded estate, only 30 miles west of Boston, surrounded by 27 acres of ponds and wetlands. You’ll share your space with eagles, blue herons and swans, plus many magnificent European Beech trees, rhododendrons, and arbors covered in wisteria, honeysuckle and grape vines. The property consists of a main house linked via a conservatory to a guest house, plus an awe-inspiring pool house which will transport you to a tropical paradise! See our listing pages for more details, or read about it in the Worcester Telegram.

If you are looking for more inspiration, Sotheby’s International Realty has compiled a list of private compounds available across the United States. From a wine country estate in California to a classic Connecticut getaway, these are the homes that turn dreams into reality!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    Celebrate Independence Day with a Bang! Fireworks and Celebrations Near You.

    4th of July is almost upon us, and after last year’s subdued event we are looking forward to properly celebrating Independence Day. Although the pandemic has still affected some events, several of our favorites are back in action this year, plus there are some new celebrations to add to the calendar. We asked our agents to recommend their favorite 4th of July celebrations and fireworks in local towns - browse the details below before planning your weekend!

     

    Fireworks in Boston - the traditional Hatch Shell celebrations may be off this year, but Boston is putting on not one but two firework shows to make up for it. Head to the harbour area to enjoy Boston Harborfest, the largest Independence Day festival in the USA, which includes fireworks on July 3rd. On July 4th Boston Common is where you’ll want to be to enjoy a spectacular display. If you can’t make it into the city, you can watch the broadcast of the traditional Boston Pops Concert, this year taking place at Tanglewood, which will include footage of the fireworks live.

    4th of July Carnival and Fireworks in Lexington - the annual Lions carnival in Lexington is back for 2021. The fun takes place at Hastings Park from July 1st - 5th, with a fireworks display on July 2nd.

    4th of July Concert and Picnic in Arlington - bring your blanket and a picnic to Robbins Farm Park for an Independence Day celebration!

    Independence Day Community Concert in Chelmsford - part of a series of free outdoor summer concerts, bring chairs or blankets to the town common and enjoy live music from the Community Band as they play their favorite Independence Day pieces.

    Declaration of Independence Recitation in North Andover - relive history at this special free event on North Andover town common. Enjoy live music and readings of historic speeches to mark this special day.


    Other locations to watch the fireworks include Gloucester (Stage Fort Park), Riverside Park in Haverhill, Patriot Place in Foxborough and Polar Park Stadium in Worcester.

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      Pet-Friendly Features for your Next Home

      We are a nation of pet lovers - 67% of American households own a pet, and dogs are the most popular. But how many of us actually considered our pet when choosing our house? You may have thought about whether there was a fenced-in yard, or durable flooring, but did you have a dog bathing station or a central vacuum system on your list of home must-haves?  Many modern homes are incorporating these features, along with energy-efficient pet doors, hidden feeding stations, and perches and platforms for cats to spy on the outside world. Sotheby’s International Realty has found the perfect homes for pet-lovers - browse through this list for inspiration on how to keep your furry friends happy with your next house purchase!

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Pet Bathing Station                                                                       Outdoor Space
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Fenced-In Yard                                                                              Durable Floors

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        5 Things You Can Do To Sell Your Home Fast in Greater Boston

        Home with Sold SignWe're all starting to recover from the effects of the pandemic, and the real estate market in Greater Boston is experiencing a surge of activity. If you're looking into selling your home in this area, now is a great time! Demand is currently high, and you are very likely to get a worthwhile offer, but how fast it sells depends on you. So how do you even set up for a quick deal? Here are a few helpful tips when selling your home in Greater Boston.

        1. Find a real estate agent.

        It shows great determination to want to get your house on the market on your own. However, an expert guiding hand makes the whole process so much faster and easier for you. Consider selling your home with the help of a Greater Boston-based real estate agent. They understand the state of the local market better than most and will offer insight into what buyers are looking for. On top of this, a real estate company will handle all the paperwork and groundwork to help you list your property as efficiently as possible. It saves you lots of time and much of the hassle to have a professional handle it for you.

        2. Price it well.

        The Greater Boston real estate market may be great for sellers at the moment because the demand for homes is high, however it is still possible to overprice your property with a high asking price. Consult your real estate agent to find out how much your home is worth in the current market, and base your asking price on this value. Make it a competitive amount, or your property may stay on the market longer than expected. You want to attract as many potential buyers as possible.

        3. Pick the right time to sell.

        It is important to remember that the real estate market never stays in the same state for long. Many factors make it fluctuate, and levels of demand and supply are constantly changing. With this in mind, the best time to list your property on the market is when said demand is higher than the number of available properties. That's what you call a seller's market, and it could mean higher offers for your property from multiple buyers competing to purchase it. The opposite of this is a buyer's market, and it means more people are selling their properties at a time when few are looking to buy them. It could force you to lower your asking price. Your real estate agent will help you identify these peak times to help you price your property well and sell it fast. 

        4. Take some time to do repairs and upgrades.

        A home in good condition is far more likely to sell faster than one that isn't. Set aside the resources to get your property ready and carry out necessary repairs. If possible, replace broken tiles, fix cracked floors and patch up any leaks. Consider a fresh coat of paint. Upgrade elements such as fixtures and appliances if your budget allows it, and you may be able to increase your asking price as well. Your goal should be to get your home looking as good as new because plenty of buyers prefer homes that are ready to move into rather than those that need a bit of extra work.

        5. Kick up your curb appeal.

        You want as many potential buyers as possible to visit your home when you list it on the market. This way, you get the best possible offers on your property, increasing your chances of selling it faster. Make your property more inviting to them from the outside by improving your curb appeal. Enhance the appearance of your yard, making it alluring to them when they visit. Cleaning up the environment, adding more plants, and even installing unique features are a few things you can do to improve curb appeal. The best part of this is that you can get a higher offer, just because yours is the better-looking yard!

        At the end of the day, quickly selling your home within the Greater Boston region is very possible. It takes the resourcefulness that goes into fixing your property up to make it more alluring to potential buyers. It also involves having the foresight to consult a local real estate agent to help you along the way. Get in touch with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty and begin the process of listing your home in the Greater Boston real estate market today.

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          The Boston Suburbs Housing Market - May Round-Up

          The stats for homes sales in May tell a familiar story. Once again, we see prices are up year over year in towns such as Concord, Lexington and Acton. Days on market continue to shrink, and now we are seeing homes with accepted offers in less than a week in Acton, Lincoln, and Westford. Looking at the number of homes sold, figures are down by as much as 50% in Acton and Lincoln, so it’s hardly surprising that market volume is down across the board. It’s not because of a shortage of highly motivated buyers though. We have been tracking the sale price / list price ratio, and it's now well over 100% in many towns, with homes selling for an average of 113% of the list price in Acton last month. The demand is still high for homes in all our towns. There are some signs of hope for buyers though. Inventory is up year over year in Lexington and Winchester - a sign, perhaps, that people are finally ready to make a move after months of putting plans on hold. For sellers though, with prices still rising and demand still high, it really begs the question “what are you waiting for?” 

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

            

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

          If you want to know the full story behind these numbers, talk to one of our experienced agents.  They can give you detailed information for your neighborhood, advise on the best way to market your home to maximize your value, and talk to you about our services such as Buy Before You Sell, which can make your dream move a reality.

           

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            FSBO? Why You Should Say No to Selling Your House Yourself

            For Sale By Owner SignThe boom in the housing market has got a lot of people thinking about selling their home. Are you one of them? With prices high and demand at a peak, you may be tempted to forego working with an agent and just sell your home yourself. You think, “If there are lines of people outside open houses, multiple offers, and homes going under offer within days, why would I need an agent to sell my home? How hard can it be in a seller’s market?” We take a look at exactly what value your agent brings to the party and bust some of the myths surrounding For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transactions.


            Money

            Let’s start with the big one. One of the main reasons owners decide to sell their homes themselves is to save money - believing that in a high-demand market they can sell their home easily and that not having to pay an agent’s commission will mean more money in their pocket at the end of the day. This is one of the biggest misconceptions around FSBO transactions. We took a look at single-family home sales in our towns since the beginning of the year* and what we found may surprise you.

            • Homes sold by owners reaped 7% less than those sold using an agent (dispelling the idea that a 2 ½ - 5% commission would somehow mean more money in a seller’s pocket at the end of the transaction)

             

            • Homes listed with a realtor typically sold for 2% over the asking price as a result of marketing bringing competing offers to the table

             

            • Homes sold more quickly, too - the average Days to Offer for homes listed with a realtor is 28, compared to 31 for FSBO homes and …

             

            • Digging deeper, homes listed with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty sold for 4% over list price, and had an accepted offer within just 14 days 

             

            Pricing

            Owners tend to overestimate the value of their home, which is understandable as it holds a lot of emotional as well as monetary value. However, accurate pricing is critical to securing a quick sale - aim too high and your home could sit on the market for longer than average, which can in turn lead to less interest in the home and lower offers.

            Your agent has access to information that will enable them to price your home competitively to comparable sold properties in the area, making your home an attractive proposition. Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty agents also work collaboratively with their colleagues, often inviting other agents to view the home and give an Opinion of Value. This ensures that the price you agree upon is one that the market can sustain.

            Also bear in mind that savvy buyers (and their agents) will know that, as a FSBO, you are not paying a commission to a seller’s agent. They may take that into account and make a lower offer than they otherwise might assuming you’d be willing to accept less.

             

            Time

            Many sellers will underestimate the time taken to get your home ready for sale. If you want to get the best price for your home, you need to present it in the best possible light. That means a long to-do list:

             

            • You’ll need to clear out clutter, stage, and tackle some of those small repair jobs to make the home present well

             

            • You’ll need to take pictures, which typically requires hiring a professional photographer to ensure your home can compete against all the other homes on the market

             

            • You’ll need to coordinate showings, which can be extremely time-consuming, especially if you are also working a full-time job and are not available when the buyers are

             

            • And, once an offer is accepted, you’ll need to coordinate and provide appraisals, smoke certificates, water readings and more.

             

            All these tasks would be taken care of by your agent, whose job it is to oversee the process from beginning to sold. They can advise on small repairs (hiring contractors if necessary), stage your home themselves, arrange (and pay for) photography, attend showings and / or host Open Houses, coordinate with appraisers, chase down permits and complete all final checks and readings before closing.

             

            Marketing

            Marketing matters, and the right marketing brings the biggest benefits. Without full exposure to as many potential buyers as possible, you are unlikely to achieve the true market value for your home. Do you know how to make sure your home is marketed to the widest possible audience? Having a “For Sale” sign in your yard and posting on Facebook is not going to cut it.

            Realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for their area, which they use to quickly see which new homes are available and match their buyer’s criteria. If you are not listed in MLS, you will need to find another way to let other Realtors® know about your home. MLS also feeds details to all the major home-search websites, such as Zillow, Realtor, Trulia and Redfin.

            Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty agents also have their listings on the award-winning Barrettsothebysrealty.com, which ranks highly on Google Search. According to a recent NAR survey, 93% of buyers used the internet to search for their next home and, for 44% of them, this was the first thing they did (before talking to a realtor). If your home is not easily found online, you are going to miss out on a huge swath of potential buyers.

            Our agents can also provide marketing activities and materials that would cost you a small fortune to do yourself. With access to a large marketing department, our agents can tap into a much broader social media network (with specific interest in real estate) and include your home in print and digital advertising regularly done by Barrett.

             

            Cost

            As already mentioned, to get the best value for your home you need to show it in its best light. That means professional photography, videography, staging, brochures - all of which eats into your profits. Most, if not all, of these costs are typically covered by your agent - and Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty agents bear the upfront cost of these marketing expenditures and more.

             

            Liability

            As part of their ongoing license requirements, realtors undergo training to ensure they are up to date and in compliance with all legislation regarding selling homes, including fair housing law and true representation of the home. A professional Realtor® ensures that your home is accurately described and takes responsibility for liaising with the buyers over any terms of the offer. As the owner, without an agent, that responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders and mistakes could be costly - far more costly than the commission you would pay to your agent.

            Another downside of FSBO is buyer’s agents may be reluctant to show your home, knowing that they will not be working with a real estate professional on the sale. Not only does it make their job more difficult, they know it could expose their clients to a problematic transaction - a risk they may not want to take. 

            To do your home justice and secure the best price and terms, trust the sale of your biggest asset to a professional. Contact one of our experienced agents today and let them show you how Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty will work for you.



             

            *Source: MLSPin Single Family Homes Listed as Entry Only vs Homes Listed with a Registered Agent / Office in Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Westford, Winchester from 01/01/21 to 05/28/21

             

             

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              Memorial Day Weekend Activities Around Boston

              Memorial Day FlagMemorial Day Weekend is here, and with it the unofficial start to summer! A day to commemorate those who gave their lives for their country, Memorial Day has also become a calendar landmark for the beginning of the summer season. It feels like it’s been a long time coming this year (and it has - the last time Memorial Day fell on the very last day in May was 2010) and we are so ready for it.  Many people are taking the opportunity to travel and visit family and friends, some for the first time since the pandemic. For those of you staying home, there are plenty of places to explore in our local area. City, coast or mountains, we are lucky to have numerous choices right on our doorstep. Here are our top suggestions for fun days out over the long weekend.

              Boston 

              Take the opportunity to be a tourist in your own town! The city is opening up and many attractions are now welcoming visitors again. Some restaurants have very cool new outdoor dining areas where you can enjoy a meal in the sunshine (or shelter from the rain). Take a stroll around the waterfront, ride the Greenway carousel or hop on the ferry across to the Harbor Islands. Visit The Lawn on D for games, food and live music. Head to Boston Common and take a moment to pause at the Garden of Flags and reflect on the reason we have Memorial Day. If the weather is not cooperating with outdoor plans, museums and attractions are open for business  - just remember to book your tickets in advance to guarantee entry.

              Beach

              Summer means beach! Ok, maybe it’s not quite warm enough for that yet (where’d the sun go??), but a visit to the coast is good for the spirit whatever the weather. The North Shore is easily accessible from points north of Boston - most beaches will open for the season this weekend, meaning bathhouses will be open and lifeguards will be on duty (although you may have to pay for parking). For families, Marblehead has the perfect “playground next to the beach” set up at Devereux Beach, or try Wingaersheek Beach on Cape Ann for long stretches of shallow waters and tidal pools. If you are looking for something beyond sea and sand, head for Rockport for quaint art galleries, Gloucester for the lively fishing port, or Newburyport for shops and restaurants. If antiquing is your thing, be sure to pay a visit to Essex, with over 30 stores each with their own style. Beverly is another pretty coastal town with beaches, cafes and sites of historical interest.

              Back to Nature

              The cooler weather this weekend brings perfect hiking conditions, and the three-day weekend gives you plenty of opportunity to spend a few hours or a day exploring nature. We are fortunate to live in an area with plenty of reservation land to explore - the Middlesex Fells in Winchester, Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord and Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle are all beauty spots right on our doorstep. If you are feeling more adventurous, the White Mountains of New Hampshire are within a 2 hour drive and offer countless hikes and trails - and with the long weekend, you’ll have plenty of time to recover! Head to Franconia Notch State Park for inspiration. 

               

              Whatever you decide to do, we hope you find time to relax and enjoy some downtime. If your weekend plans include house-hunting, be sure to check out our list of Open Houses across Boston and Massachusetts.   

              With thanks and remembrance for those who sacrificed their lives so we can be free to live ours.

               

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                Want to Get the Best Value for Your Home?  Marketing Matters!

                Barrett Sotheby's International Realty: Sold SignWith all the buzz about the current Seller’s Market and a surplus of buyers around, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all you need to do to sell your home is post a sign in your front yard.  But if you want to get the best value for your home you need to fully expose it to the market. After all, you wouldn’t want to sell your most valuable asset to the first person who walks in the door - without maximum exposure, how are you going to know you got the best value? Nothing compares to the marketing offered by Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. Our agents have access to the latest technology tools, local and national advertising, and their own strong community links to promote your home to the widest audience. They know the best ways to get your home seen by as many potential buyers as possible to ensure you get the best price and terms for your home sale. Here are some of the ways we market your home to the biggest pool of potential buyers.

                Community Connections

                Our agents are all well-connected and respected in the communities they serve, and know the best ways to get your home in front of well qualified buyers. We have our own base of over 150 agents across our 7 offices, who work collaboratively to share information about new listings in a timely manner. They also have great working relationships with other local realtors, which together means that your home will be exposed to a wide pool of buyers from the get-go.

                Virtual Tours and Quality Photography

                We have our own in-house videography team who produce high quality home tours, including drone footage to give a birds-eye view of your home. We also own 3D cameras, giving us the ability to create virtual tours - so potential buyers can view your home from wherever they are.

                Online 

                According to a recent NAR survey, 93% of buyers used the internet to search for their next home, and for 44% of them this was the first thing they did (before talking to a realtor). Our award-winning website barrettsothebysrealty.com displays our homes for sale with crystal-clear photography, maps, school and community info as well as virtual tours, showing your home in it’s best possible light. And thanks to our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty, your home is also displayed on other property sites including Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow, as well as on Apple TV.   On top of all that, sothebysrealty.com - which also features our homes for sale - was just named Best Real Estate Website in the 25th Annual Webby Awards (People's Voice Category). 

                Advertising

                Alongside these websites, we also invest in advertising our properties on a number of popular and relevant local online channels, such as local news site Wicked Local, and Facebook. We don’t forget the traditional marketing methods either - we advertise our listings in the local papers and popular publications for our towns.  We think big too - our latest TV commercial airs on HGTV and other popular channels. All advertising drives people to our website - meaning more pairs of eyes on your home.

                Get your home the attention it deserves.  Talk to a Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty agent today.

                 

                *Source: 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, National Association of REALTORS® Research Group March, 2020

                 

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                  The Boston Suburbs Housing Market - April Round-Up

                  Housing Inventory UpdateIf you are looking to buy a new home, your heart may sink when you hear about the “seller’s market” - stories of long lines at open houses, multiple offers, homes selling for well over the asking price, and not enough new listings to go around. April’s sales figures seem to back this up - in Concord, prices are up almost 30% compared to April 2020, days to offer are in single figures in Bedford, and the median house price has increased by over 30% in Westford. All great news for sellers, not so good if you are a frustrated buyer. A quick glance at the number of listings on the market right now compared to last year might make you conflicted - you know if you were to list your home now you stand a great chance of getting the maximum value, but then how you find your next place? Don't let the worry about your next move hold you back - there are some steps you can take to get yourself in the best position to secure your dream home.

                  Get Close to your Agent

                  In this hot market, your best asset is your realtor. Our realtors are well connected, know their communities inside out, and are best positioned to hear about upcoming listings first. By working with your agent before you start your search, you give yourself the best opportunity for success. They can help you work out your budget, hone in your area search and figure out your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” before you are under pressure in an offer situation.

                  Arrange Pre-Approval

                  It pays to have your finances in order ahead of time, so speak to your lender about getting pre-approval for your loan. When the time comes to make an offer you’ll be in a stronger position if you have completed as much of the paperwork as possible.

                  Buy Before You Sell

                  If you are keen to take advantage of the demand and get the best price for your home but are worried about being able to find a house to move to, then our Buy Before You Sell program could be the answer. This program enables you to make a non-contingent offer on a new home without the need for double moves or a bridge loan and lock in today’s low interest rates. Talk to your agent about whether Buy Before You Sell is right for you.

                  Even in this competitive market, we are still successfully securing homes for buyers. So if you have been thinking about jumping on board and taking advantage of the seller's market, talk to us today - we'll help you make a move!

                  Acton Real Estate Market Update Bedford Real Estate Market Update

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Carlisle Real Estate Market Update Concord Real Estate Market Update

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Lexington Real Estate Market Update Lincoln Real Estate Market Update

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Westford Real Estate Market Update Winchester Real Estate Market Update

                   

                   

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                    5 Reasons To Sell Your Home In Spring 2021

                    If you’re wondering “should I sell my home this spring?” you’re already on track to success. Take actionBlue single family home with colorful tree in front yard on that thought and sell with confidence because selling your home in the Boston area is a great idea! Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty’s worldwide relationships are working in your favor, as well as the factors explained below.

                    Market Trends Indicate High Demand and Low Inventory

                    This spring is a particularly special season. Spring 2021 is following the trend of real estate in the pandemic. Buyers are now working from home and long to stretch out and live in a larger space. Demand for housing, especially single-family homes, is sky-high. When demand is high, supply, or inventory decreases. It’s in your best interest to put your home on the market in these hot conditions!

                    Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low

                    Mortgage rates are lower than ever, hovering around the 3.3% mark for a 30-year payment and 2.5% for a 15-year plan. They are expected to continue to be below 4% for the duration of 2021. Low rates drive buyers’ demand because they want the best rate when they buy their home. Many buyers are on the market right now in search of their next dream home to purchase with a great mortgage rate, so put your home on the market while buyers are looking! 

                    Starter Homes Are Flying Off the Market

                    If you own a starter home, you’re in luck. With prices high, buyers are looking to pick up starter homes to fit within their budgets. As a seller, this is good news for you, because you can likely sell your starter home for more than you paid for it. Buyers are getting into bidding wars, which indicates that you will get an extremely healthy price for your home. 

                    Greater Boston Area Homes Are Especially Popular 

                    The Boston market is booming right now. There is a high demand for single-family homes in the Boston suburbs. Last year, the median cost of a single-family home in Greater Boston climbed nearly 10 percent. People want to move to the Boston area, and after all, who can blame them? Massachusetts is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

                    Global Connections and Local Insights Are Waiting For You

                    If you do decide to list your home this spring there is a wide world of opportunities waiting for you at Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. No listings in the Boston area market get more exposure to buyers than those listed with Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty. We use the latest technologies, marketing strategies and tactics to advertise your home to the widest possible audience. Contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty today to get your home on the market this spring!

                     

                    Not Ready to Move? Introducing White Glove

                    If all this sounds great, but you don't think you are ready to sell your home right now, think again.  Our White Glove suite of services can help you get moving in this fast-paced market.  Our Pre-Listing Prep Service will enable you to prepare your home for market without paying for the cost of repairs or renovations upfront.  If you want to take advantage of the demand but don't have anywhere to go yet, the Buy Before You Sell program means you can purchase the home you want before you sell the home you are in.  Get in touch to find out more.