For Home Buyers

The 5 Most Common Costs of Selling a Home

Home Seller CostsHere’s an overview of the typical costs associated with selling a home. Some of these expenses are negotiable and will fluctuate with the real estate market, but don’t let these costs catch you off guard.

1. Agent Commissions

It’s common for sellers to use the proceeds of the sale to cover the commissions for their listing agent and the commissions for the buyer’s agent. This can total around 6% of the sales price. It’s important to understand where some of your proceeds will be going. Your listing agent is a valuable resource who will help guide you through the entire home selling process from start to finish. 

2. Closing Costs

You may not be responsible for all closing costs and many of these fees are negotiable, but it’s smart to prepare. Common closing costs may include sales tax, attorney fees, title transfer fee, unpaid homeowners association dues, prorated property taxes, transfer taxes, title insurance, escrow fee, and closing agent fee. Be sure to check with your mortgage lender to find out if you have a prepayment penalty. Also, if you have a home equity loan or line of credit, you will need to pay it in full at settlement. Closing costs can range from 2 to 4% of the sales price.

3. Staging Costs

These costs can vary depending on where you live, the size of your home, and how many rooms you want to stage. Your home may only need a few minor adjustments like depersonalizing, decluttering and rearranging. If needed, you can choose to rent or buy decor. Barrett Sotheby’s offers free advice on how to stage your home to sell. We will help you figure out the best way to stage your home so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves living there.

4. Home Repairs

Your home inspection may reveal some serious issues and costly repairs. You may or may not have to fix them; but if you don’t, buyers will expect a discount or credit. Some sellers choose to get a home inspection before listing their home. This is not required, but it’s a great way to find out about any structural or mechanical problems so you can make any major repairs ahead of time. Barrett Sotheby’s offers complimentary advice on any minor repairs that will make your home more attractive to buyers. 

5. Moving Expenses

When you sell your home, you’re also moving! The average cost to move a three bedroom home within 100 miles is between $560 and $1,000. Larger homes, long distance moves, large items, packing, and storage can increase these costs. If you’re not immediately moving into your next home, you’ll also need to budget for rental and storage fees. 

If you’re looking to sell your home in the Boston area, contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty today. We can help you arrange the sale of your home with these costs in mind.

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.

Start Your Home Search

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!

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!

Bringing Your Interests Home: Finding the Right Space is Key

Heading for the home stretch of summer can mean a lot of things, but it should never mean the end of the fun! For car aficionados the summer and fall months are golden, filled with car events all over.

This coming weekend alone there are Chevelle and El Caminos to see in Westford, the Sons of Italy Car Show in Wilmington, the New Marlborough Classic Car Show, the Whitinsville Cars in The Park, and the Road Devils Boston Massacre in East Bridgewater!

When you’re looking to bring your interests home however, finding the right space is key.

If you or a loved one are a tinkerer or a well-skilled craftsman, you are surely aware that not all hobbies are odorless or quiet. That’s where the builder of 15 Charles Street, Bedford, MA one of our recently listed new construction properties, says his garage stands out from the competition. In fact, he highlights this as a selling-point for the garages he built there, “For the car community, a big advantage is having the garage detached from the house.”

For the car community, a big advantage is having the garage detached from the house.

The garage at 15 Charles Street not only allows for car enthusiasts to enjoy their interests, but also provide space that could be used for snowmobiles, boats, or tools for tradesmen. Ample loft space allows for storage of additional tools and items that are necessary for winter or summer hobbies such as skis, snowboards, beach gear, and more. The epoxy floor allows durability for all types of work, and the heated office space just off the garage adds an opportunity for tranquility when the problem just won’t be fixed!

To search all of our listings with garage space click here. For more details on this weekend’s events click here.

4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Retirement Home

GolfingMany people want to buy a home after retirement because specific wants and needs change as you get older. There are lots of things you should consider before buying a retirement home. Here are four of the most crucial factors.

Lifestyle

Probably the most important thing to consider is your long term lifestyle desires. As you get older, you’ll want easy access to things that are important to you. Do you like golfing, hiking, playing tennis, going to the beach, skiing, or boating? You don’t want a long commute to get the things you want to do. You want to spend time doing these things!Sailing

Location

If you’re considering a move to a different town or state, be sure you’ve spent plenty of time there. Do some research and talk to your realtor about the area and different neighborhoods. If you’ve been living in the same place for a long time, you probably have a large social network of friends, family, and coworkers. Would you miss them too much, or are you ready for a new adventure in a location you’ve always dreamed of?

Think about how easy (or how hard) it will be to get around. Larger cities and suburbs offer a wealth of amenities, public transportation, healthcare, and local attractions while rural areas can be more appealing if you have friends and family nearby.

Layout

Single story homes are ideal for retirees who don’t want to worry about the future aches and pains associated with climbing (or falling down) stairs. If you’re buying a new construction home, popular features like wider doorways, hallways, and walk in showers are great options to consider. If you have a large home, you may want to downsize so your home is easier to manage. Also, keep repairs and maintenance in mind.

Finances

When you make a financial plan, consider your income limitations from no longer working and include pensions and social security. The price of the home, HOA dues, property taxes, insurance, other monthly expenses, and recreational activities should be included. Weigh the pros and cons of putting a large down payment on your home. You may pay it off faster, but it may not be the best financial move for you.

Thinking about buying a retirement home in the Greater Boston area? Contact Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty today and learn how we can help!