South Shore News

Beaches on the South Shore

Beaches on the South Shore of Massachusetts have long been known as a major benefit of living in nearby coastal communities south of Boston such as Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell, Hull, Scituate, Marshfield, Hanover, Duxbury, Braintree, Weymouth and Quincy. There are a multitude of choices when it comes to deciding which beaches on the South Shore to visit. Some beaches are for residents only and you need a summer parking sticker, some are hidden gems with no parking at all and some are too well known as the place to go for city dwellers looking to cool off. But with so many choices, there is plenty of sand and waves for all to enjoy. I’ve lived on the South Shore all my life and have been to all of these beaches at one time or another. They all have their own unique features that make people fall in love with them. Get out and enjoy the weather and the beaches on the South Shore no matter what time of the year it is.

This is a list of Beaches on the South Shore of Massachusetts:

1. Nantasket Beach, Hull: This is by far the most popular and largest stretch (3.5 miles) of Atlantic Beaches on the South ShoreOcean beach on the South Shore. Nantasket Beach was recently voted the cleanest (water) beach in Eastern Massachusetts and I can attest to that. This beach has mostly hard packed sand as it has a very low tide, which is great for little kids wading in the water. There are lifeguards, bathhouses and an arcade (circa Paragon Park). There is a 1,000+ car parking lot, which is not enough on hot summer days. Everyone seems to have a secret spot they like at this beach for both parking and swimming. I love this beach late afternoon from 4 PM to 8 PM when the mass of sunbathers head home and the sun isn’t too high. There are plenty of fast food and snack eating options as well as family-style sit down restaurants and finer dining establishments like Jake’s Seafoood, LaDalat, Bridgeman’s, Mezzo Mare, The Red Parrot, Saporitos, and Schooners. I think it’s one of the best beaches on the South Shore!

2. Sandy Beach, Cohasset: This is a small but beautiful sandy beach offering resident only parking. Try heading to this beach after normal beach hours when the parking lot empties and non-residents can sneak in.

Beaches on the South Shore3. Humarock Beach, Scituate: Some people think this beach is in Marshfield, but once you go back over the bridge, you’re on the Scituate peninsula, which was washed away from the mainland years ago. This is one of the more popular beaches on the South Shore offering a long stretch of beach with fine hard packed sand. Parking is limited and many of the beach-goers own homes and cottages along this stretch of ocean. There are eating and drinking options like the Bridgewaye Inn and Sands End Cafe. The Fourth of July is lots of fun on this beach.

4. Pegotty Beach, Scituate: This is a small half-mile long beach with hard packed sand just outside of downtown Scituate Harbor, which is walkable. You’ll find some surfers here when the wave action is good.

5. Minot Beach, Scituate: This is a well known Scituate beach, mostly for it namesake and views of Minots Ledge Lighthouse. You’ll either have to live near the beach or know someone that does to access the beach.

6. Egypt Beach, Scituate: This is a small private resident-only beach in the North Scituate section of town.

7. Rexhame Beach, Marshfield: This is one of my favorite beaches on the South Shore. It’s a long Beaches on the South Shoresandy stretch of beach in Marshfield that is just perfect for a hot summer day. I think it’s one of the best beaches on the South Shore. There are limited non-resident parking spaces, so get there really early if you’re planning on a long family beach day. Did I already say this is one of my favorite beaches on the South Shore!

8. Brant Rock Beach, Marshfield: Brant Rock is a well-known small local hangout beach. Typically people that own or rent homes in the area frequent this beach due to its convenience. It’s rocky like many of the beaches on the South Shore and it has very limited parking.

9. Green Harbor Beach, Marshfield: Lots of people think this is one of the best beaches on the South Shore. It offers a good sandy beach with minimal rocks. Public parking can be tough on hot summer days but there’s parking available at the local lobster pound. Like anything, plan accordingly and either leave for the beach early or go later in the afternoon when others have had their fill of the hot midday sun. Green Harbor is a lot of fun at night with plenty of restaurants and watering holes.

Beaches on the South Shore10. Duxbury Beach, Duxbury: When it comes to best beaches on the South Shore, this is one of the state’s most popular beaches with 4 miles of beautiful sand perfect for the summer. Yes, there are rocks and pebbles, but remember we’re in New England not Cozumel. This beach includes sand dunes, ample parking (on the beach with a sticker), a bathhouse and concession stand with the typical beach shack menu items. Get there early on summer days, it gets packed quick. The beach extends out to Saquish Neck and Saquish Village, a peninsula which actually is part of Plymouth. The large sand dunes provide a great backdrop for beach goers. Duxbury Beach is also home to piping plover nests throughout the warmer months of the year so be careful. Parking is about $15 for non-residents unless you buy a summer beach sticker. If you don’t want to pay the parking fee, find the entrance to Powder Point bridge a few miles south. This is the entrance to the resident area where there is a small free lot. If you pack light and are a good walker, you can enjoy this beach for free! You just have to walk the bridge, as all of the parking over the bridge is for residents. This is truly one of the most beautiful beaches on the South Shore.

11.Hingham Bathing Beach, Hingham: This is a small stretch of man-made beach sand in Hingham Harbor. Not a great beach for sunbathing and swimming as it is an inner-harbor stretch of sand with no wave action. Many visitors use it for a picnic or a place to read a book in the adjoining shade-filled park. It’s a great place to watch the Fourth of July fireworks or have a picnic with the family! When I first entered the real estate business 18 years ago, I remember reading my study materials for the real estate license test under a nice shady tree overlooking Hingham Harbor. This is a nice and peaceful place to visit.

12.Wessagusset Beach, Weymouth: Wessagusset Beach has had a revival over the years. Once a beach you would not even consider, it is now a place that is not only convenient, but attractive and safe to swim in. There is newer sand and lifeguards. Bring a cooler with lunch and drinks. Plenty of parking.

13.Wallaston Beach, Quincy: If you’ve traveled to or from the City of Boston to the South Shore and Beaches on the South Shoretaken the alternate coastline route, you’ve probably driven down Quincy Shore Drive (aka Route 3A) and have passed Wallaston Beach. Over the years, this beach has undergone several major improvements including new sand and most importantly, cleaner water as part of the massive Boston Harbor water cleanup project started 20+ years ago. Today’s Wallaston Beach offers beach-goers 2.5 miles of fairly clean sand and plenty of room to spread out for a game of volleyball or football. There are on-duty lifeguards and free public parking. Most people don’t think of Wallaston beach as a place to swim because of its history and being off-limits so much, but people say the water is clean and okay for swimming. Lots of people just choose to sit on the wall and people watch or work on their tans. It’s a popular beach for walking and jogging after some excellent fried clams and crinkle cut french fries at the local eating establishment like the famous Tony’s Clam Shop, the Clam Box and the long established Beachcomber Irish Bar, featuring live bands and performers for over 50+ years. Another popular spot, just down the street is Quincy’s Marina Bay, offering fabulous views of Boston and the Boston Harbor. This is a destination point for many people during the summer months and weekends.

14.Gray’s Beach, Kingston: This is a small resident-only sticker beach near the Rocky Nook section of town. It’s easy to get to just off Route 3 and Route 3A.

These are not all the beaches on the South Shore but some of the best.

There are some very small private and resident-only beaches on the South Shore, too many to name, as well as lots of beautiful beaches in Plymouth so you don’t have to get stuck in traffic with all the tourists visiting Cape Cod. But this should give you a decent choice of beaches to think about visiting. If you’re thinking about moving, want to be close to the beaches on the  South Shore and need to buy a home, please consider using my professional buyer-agent Realtor services. For more information, please contact Realtor George Jamieson with Capital Residential Real Estate at 781-659-2005 or by email at george@capitalresidential.com. Oh, and if you’ve enjoyed the last 25, 30 or 40 years in your South Shore home near our great beaches on the South Shore and think it’s time to pass it on to another family, please call me. I have buyers who are waiting for the perfect home on the South Shore.

The Norwell Real Estate Market Is Looking Up

The Norwell real estate market and median home prices continue to be stable as inventory has been seasonally adjusting upward. There have also been more homes coming on the market due to overall market improvement. Empty-nesters who have been waiting for the last several years for the market and house values to improve seem to be coming to the realization that this might be a good time to put their single-family home on the market.

Norwell real estate market action has increased significantly

The uptick in the Norwell real estate market seems to have coincided with the taxpayer approved property tax override in Town that will further boost the Norwell Schools with the hiring of 17 new teachers and cadre of new technology, smart boards and iPads for students. In fact, Norwell real estate market action has been so intense that the ‘average days on market’ has slipped below the 140 day mark, though as action increases and properties go under contract, so does the median price per square foot, which is hovering around the $242 per sq. ft. level.  Since last summer, the median price per square foot in the Norwell real estate market has been declining, but as of May of 2012, things finally changed as the direction moved positive. The interest in Norwell from buyers continues to be fueled by historically low interest rates at 3.5% for 30-year mortgages.

In the Norwell Real Estate Market, Buyers are Back and Sellers are Taking Notice

Things are looking more positive in general in the Norwell real estate market as buyers seek out Norwell as a great place to live with a strong school system. If you are interested in learning more about the Town of Norwell and the Norwell real estate market and detailed data or if you’re thinking of selling your home and would like a free appraisal, please contact Realtor George Jamieson at Capital Residential at 617-877-4839 or email: george@capitalresidential.com. If you would like to search Norwell homes for sale, click here.

Norwell Real Estate Market

Norwell Real Estate Market

Norwell Real Estate Market

Norwell Real Estate Market

Norwell Real Estate Market

Norwell Real Estate Market

Boston Magazine’s 2012 Best Places To Live

In Boston Magazine’s 2012 best places to live real estate guide, three South Shore communities including Scituate, Quincy and Plymouth made the cut. Boston Magazine picked Plymouth for its “savvy shopper’s dream” stating that you can buy a 1,600 square foot home for less than $275,000 and noted it will be even more appealing when the new high tech Plymouth North High School opens in September. Add to that Plymouth’s quaint downtown, its beaches and the Colony place outdoor mall making for the shopper’s dream Boston Magazine talks about.

Boston Magazine’s 2012 best places to live real estate picks

Boston Magazine’s best places to live real estate guide picks Quincy because it’s about to get a $1.6 billion downtown “extreme makeover” with new infrastructure, new retail and office buildings as well as 1,400 new residential units, which is expected to create a new vibrant downtown center. Boston Magazine’s 2012 best places to live real estate guide picked Scituate for its “bustling harbor” and a new wave of development in the downtown harbor area with restaurants, boutique shops and trendy residential living options. I’m not sure what matrix was used, if any, for this annual best places to live article, but it seems to be somewhat arbitrary, other than all three municipalities are coastal communities with beaches. With that being said, these three communities have been attractive to buyers for years due to their convenience to Boston, sense of community and quality of life.

Boston Magazine’s 2012 Best Places To Live Offers A Pricing Analysis Over The Last Five Years

The B0ston Magazine’s 2012 best places to live real estate guide offers a chart of single family home prices in the Greater Boston area including here on the South Shore. The matrix compares home prices in 2006, 2010 and 2011 outlining mostly percentage declines in value, but some communities such as Brookline, Dover and Newton saw increases in the last five years. Here on the South Shore, Hingham fared the best in the five year comparison with the median home value unchanged at $625,000 in the five year period. Other towns surrounding Hingham haven’t fared as well in maintaining their home values. Here’s a quick look at the local chart according to Boston Magazine’s article, which obtained the data from the Warren Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on information provided by MLS Property Information Network, Inc.the 2011 median South Shore single-family home value dropped to $325,000 from $340,000 with an average 4.41% decrease across the board with a few exceptions. Total single-family unit sales totaled 3,060 homes up from 2,931 in 2010. In 2005, total single-family home sales totaled 3,973 units. To follow weekly real estate trends and data in your community click here to view live updated real estate market statistics.

If you’re in the market for a new home or looking to sell your home on the South Shore or just want to discuss Boston Magazine’s 2012 Best Places to Live real estate guide, please contact local Realtor George Jamieson at Capital Residential Real Estate to assist you. To search for homes, please click here and register for daily email updates for homes that meet your criteria.

6 Seller Mistakes That Turn Off Home Buyers

Seller Pitfalls That Turn Off Home Buyersturn off home buyers

The last thing a seller wants to do is turn off home buyers. The entire real estate process of selling a home is doing everything to maximize exposure to interested home buyers and attracting home buyers to your property. But, sometimes seller interaction can turn off home buyers and lead to no sale. Don’t let this happen to you.

The List of 6 Seller Missteps That Turn Off Home Buyers

Buying and selling a home can be an emotional roller coaster. It’s a big decision on both sides, and it’s easy for buyers and sellers to take missteps that affect the outcome. Here are the biggest mistakes home sellers make that turn off home buyers.

OVERPRICING. Every seller wants top dollar for their home, but inflated pricing can turn off home buyers. What’s worse, it can turn off home buyers before they even walk through your front door. In a sea of home listings, home buyers often select potential properties by size, bedrooms, location, and price. And you may be pricing your home out of the range for qualified buyers. But, don’t undervalue your home either.turn off home buyers

Solution? Work with an experienced realtor who can compare your home to similar homes that have sold in the area, and help you determine an appropriate listing price. At Capital Residential we study home sales trends by South Shore community, so that we can give our clients the most current and comprehensive guidance when listing a home for sale. Rather than turn off home buyers, our agents do everything to position your home for a sale.

MESSY HOUSE. The easiest way to turn off home buyers is by listing a cluttered, dirty, sloppy home. Sellers should list a home that is in the best condition it can possibly be in. Your home should look its absolute best. A clean home with no clutter is essential. But more than that, home buyers are watching for fresh carpet, newer paint, and upgrades. Homes that aren’t “move-in” ready often turn off home buyers. Especially in an age of HGTV and home design shows, home buyers expect a tidy, organized, pleasing home. Home sellers will turn off home buyers without this preparation.

Solution? Don’t turn off home buyers with a messy house. Clean, repair, spruce up your home before listing. Work with an experienced agent that can help direct your work efforts. At Capital Residential we understand the expectations of home buyers, and work with clients to present a home that brings in home buyers and offers. We also have a great pool of resources such as cleaners, stagers, and contractors to put the finishing touches on your listing.

LINGERING SELLERS. Of course home sellers are interested in how home buyers react to their house, but to stick around for showings and open houses is one big way to turn off home buyers. It’s hard for home buyers to relax when you, the seller, is there. It can turn off home buyers when their first impression is to be guarded. You want potential home buyers to feel free to explore and consider the possibilities of living in the house, and it’s hard to do that when the current homeowner is standing by.

Solution? You won’t turn off home buyers if you’re not there. Out of sight, out of mind, is a good thing during an open house. Plan to be out of your home whenever a potential home buyer is coming for a tour. It can be an inconvenience, but it’s well worth it when it leads to an offer.

MISLEADING INFORMATION. As a home seller you absolutely want to accentuate the positives of your home, but it will turn off home buyers if you inflate the truth about your home. If you are willing to stretch the truth about some things, potential home buyers will wonder what else you’ve hidden. It will turn off home buyers and can damage you and your home’s reputation. Be honest about the home so that when interested home buyers come for a tour the home will live up to their expectations, and maybe lead to an offer.

Solution? Be straightforward about the home’s positives. If the seller is concerned that the home has little to attract buyers then consider ways to improve the home’s appeal. Touch up the paint, take care of minor repairs, bring in a professional home stager. At Capital Residential we work with our cients to accentuate the positives in a home. Don’t turn off home buyers with misleading information. Instead, work on making your home the best it can be.

NO PHOTOS. These days, many home buyers conduct their searches online for home listings. Not only does it turn off buyers, but it is a such a turn off home buyerslost opportunity, when a home seller does not add photos of their home to their listing. Square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, and other details are helpful to home buyers, but nothing compares to a visual of the home for sale. Many home buyers will skim right over the listing when there are no photos, leaving the home seller with a reduced number of viable leads. No photos of your listing will also turn off home buyers because it is an indication that maybe the house isn’t attractive.

Solution? Take photos of your home before you list the house. It is part of making a good first impression, and it is equally important that the photos are done well. At Capital Residential we take professional-quality photos of each of the homes we list. We know how important photos are to attracting home buyers. Most of the time, photos are the first visual home buyers have a property, and they need to trigger enough interest for home buyers to take the next step and tour the house.

POOR UPGRADES. Nothing puts a smile on a home buyers face than an unexpected quality upgrade in a home, and nothing will turn off home buyers more quickly than a poorly-executed upgrade. Most of the time good intentions are there, but often home sellers will pick and choose what they upgrade and how much they invest in it, and this can turn off home buyers. Making some upgrades in the kitchen or bathroom without carrying over those upgrades, can draw attention to problem areas, and upgrades that are done on a budget can detract as well.

Solution? Before a home seller invests in an upgrade, take a closer look at how much value it adds to the house. At Capital Residential we provide clients with professional consultation regarding ways to increase a home’s value. Some upgrades make sense, others don’t, and all upgrades should be done with the goal of adding to the home seller’s bottomline while providing value to the home buyer.

turn off home buyersHow Working with a Real Estate Agent Can Avoid These Pitfalls

At Capital Residential our goal is to attract qualified buyers to home sellers. We are aware of what will turn off home buyers, and help our clients position themselves and their homes to sell at top dollar. If you are considering selling your home, please contact me, George Jamieson at Capital Residential in Norwell, MA. I can be reached by email at George@capitalresidential.com or call/text me at 617.877.4839.

Staging Your Home to Sell in the South Shore’s Spring Market

Appealing to Buyers: Staging Your Home to Sell Makes a Difference

Staging your home to sell is one of those things that sellers want to do before they list a house, but they don’t always get around to doing. And it’s also one of those things that can make a huge difference in the house selling process. Staging your home to sell is really about maximizing the positives in your home and appealing to the greatest number of home buyers.

Staging Your Home to Sell Quickly

The simple answer is yes. Staging your home to sell can reduce the time your house is on the market and increase your selling price. According to recent data compiled by Stagedhomes.com, 94% of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional sold in 29 days or less, compared to an average of 145 days for homes that were not staged. And homes staged by Accredited Staging Professionals stayed on the market 83% less time than a home that had not been staged.

Staging Your Home to Sell: Is it Worth it?

The study by Stagedhomes.com also revealed that staging your home to sell brings an average 3% minimum increase in final sales price compared to homes not staged. While buyers may be reluctant to spend money, staging your home to sell is often a wise investment. It costs several hundreds of dollars, upwards of a few thousand for a professional home stager, but this may be money well spent. Sellers with homes that sit on the market with little activity often have to drop the listing price of the home by thousands. The expense associated with staging your home to sell is often much less than dropping the listing price by thousands of dollars.

Simple Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell Like a Pro

Staging your home to sell is an art, and professional stagers are recommended for home sellers looking to reap the most reward from the staging process. However, there are simple tips that the professionals use for staging your home to sell:

  • Clean, declutter, remove. Clean the entire house, top to bottom, until every surface sparkles. Wash all fabrics: drapers, rugs, pillows, etc. Remove all personal items. Clear the shelves, counters, tables, dressers, bookcases and built-ins.
  • Start with a fresh canvas. Staging your home to sell is all about finishing touches. But it’s impossible to do this without a blank slate. Be sure that you are working with a minimum amount of furniture and accessories in the house.
  • Grouping. Home stagers often group items in bundles of 3 and 5. Odd numbers work well so if you are adding color to a mantle or side table remember to group items in 3 or 5. For example, a vase, a candy dish and a paper weight. This also works with groupings of framed artwork on walls.
  • Scenarios of comfort. Design kitchens, bathrooms, and master bedrooms to be clean, welcoming and relaxing retreats. Clear kitchen counters of everything. Add one colorful bowl of fruit, a healthy, green plant, or a set of new canisters for a fresh look on the counter. Place a small basket of clean, rolled washclothes, designer bathsoaps and lotion in the bathroom along with a small flowering plant. Make the master inviting with big, stylish pillows on the bed and spa-like finishing touches in the bathroom.
  • Dress up the outside. Along with trimming shrubs and keeping the lawn mowed, staging your home to sell requires some creativity outside. Add pots of plants along decks and steps. Clean and arrange deck furniture and set the outdoor table with a vase of fresh flowers and colorful plates and serving pieces.

Staging Your Home to Sell: Where to Start?

The first step is to work with an experienced real estate agent. At Capital Residential, we specialize in home selling and buying on the South Shore, and work with experienced staging professionals who will make your home attractive to the largest pool of qualified home buyers. Our agents work and live right in the community. We watch and study the trends, and understand what both buyers and sellers want in this market. Wondering how homes are selling on the South Shore? Sign up for our free market reports to receive the latest real estate numbers for Norwell, Hingham, Hanover, Marshfield, and other surrounding towns. If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact me, George Jamieson at Capital Residential in Norwell, MA. I can be reached by email at George@capitalresidential.com or call/text me at 617.877.4839.

Medical Center Coming to Longwater Drive in Norwell

Rendering by Steffian Bradley Architects. Composite of proposed Longwater Place, a medical complex on Longwater Drive in Norwell, MA

Old WearGuard Building To Be Converted Into Medical Center

The former WearGuard plant at 141 Longwater Drive in Norwell has sat vacant for two years, but now the sprawling site is set to be transformed into a medical campus to serve patients on the South Shore. Foxrock Properties, a Quincy developer that bought the building and acreage for $12.5 million, won town approval last week and will soon be converting half of the 175,000-square-foot warehouse to medical offices. In addition, the developer will build an 80,000-square-foot satellite building for the expanding South Shore Medical Center.

Medical Center on Longwater Drive

The old WearGuard warehouse will be renovated this summer, with groundbreaking on the new building in about a year. The new medical center, which will be named “Longwater Place,” will have a new look, with plans to significantly alter the appearance of the former uniform company’s plant. The new medical center will be accessible by Longwater Drive, located off of High Street in Norwell. Norwell has maintained strict zoning rules in this area with the satellite building expected to be a two-story facility.

Multiple Practices to Occupy New Medical Center

“Longwater Place,” the new medical center on Longwater Drive will house several medical practices including South Shore Medical Center, which plans on expanding its space in the satellite building to be constructed next to the former warehouse. While South Shore Medical Center plans on keeping the Norwell office on Route 53, the new facility will include 60 physicians, a full-service lab, diagnostic radiography and ultrasound services.

Office Space in Longwater Medical Center

A 90,000-square-foot office building also located at the medical center will serve as office space to new tenants as well as current businesses including TriCore Solutions, Thorbahn, and Onpoint Financial Corp. The developer expects that businesses and companies in the health care industry will be interested in space in the new medical center because of its prominent brand and proximity to other medical practices.

What Today’s Home Buyers Want

home buyers want

Today’s Home Buyers Want Upgrades, Space, and Efficiency

The spring market is heating up on the South Shore, and today’s home buyers want to find the right house. So how do you make the house your selling a must-have for today’s home buyers? To compete in the spring market you have to know what home today’s home buyers want.

Today’s Home Buyers Want Value

Some things don’t change, and today’s home buyers are no exception. Today’s home buyers want a good deal. That’s not to say that home sellers have to undervalue their home listing, but it does mean that sellers should accentuate the positives about the home and give buyers every reason to pay top dollar. Show off the space. Remember the 50% rule and try to remove half of your items in each room. According to Realtor Magazine, 62% of home buyers are looking for one additional bedroom and bath in their next house, and 76% are looking for additional storage.

Home Buyers Want Upgrades and Quality

Today’s home buyers want practical amenities and good construction. Radiant flooring, energy-efficient appliances, modern fixtures and hardware, and high-end appliances top the list of today’s home buyers wants. Hardwoods and fireplaces are excellent features, but can detract from the home if they are not in great condition. Have hardwoods sanded and polished, and service fireplaces so they are in good working order.

Don’t Forget about the Outside

Today’s home buyers are as concerned about the exterior living space as they are of the interior space. Decks and outside entertainment areas go a long way with buyers so maximize the appeal of your exterior space. Freshen up older decks with stain, add flowers in ceramic pots, and clean the deck furniture. If the space seems uncared for it will be reflected in the buyer’s offer so take the time to make the backyard look tidy and maintained.

Home Buyers Want Useable Space

Today’s home buyers want useable space, and they are turned off by space that serves no function. Take a look at your house with fresh eyes. Arehome buyers want there spaces that seem to be a collect-all zone? Or is there an area that would be better served with different furniture? Some of these fixes are easy. If you’ve turned a bedroom into an office or playroom, turn it back into a bedroom. Bedrooms sell, and you want buyers to see the space set up as a bedroom. Other instances require imagination. Make small nooks into efficient office spaces or storage areas.

Priorities buyers have for their next home according to Realtor Magazine:

  • Affordable price: 78%
  • Energy efficient heating and cooling: 68%
  • Energy Star rating: 61%
  • No wasted space/smart design: 56%

What are some of those extras that buyers dream of?

  • A separate laundry room: 80%
  • Additional storage: 76%
  • Outdoor grilling living area: 63%
  • One additional bedroom and bath: 62%

 

10 Simple Ways to Get Your House Ready to Sell

get your house ready to sellWhat You Need to Know to Get Your House Ready to Sell

Every seller wants top dollar, but the deciding factor is most often what’s been done to get your house ready to sell. Just because two homes are the same square footage or in the same neighborhood doesn’t mean they’ll sell for the same amount. It comes down to buyers and how they react to the homes.

Get Your House Ready to Sell Checklist

So what can you do to get your house ready to sell? Start with this checklist to get your house ready to sell.

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.

Use a critical eye to evaluate your home and property. Get your house ready to sell by looking for the flaws outside. Cracks in the driveway or pathways, peeling paint, missing window trim, broken gutters. These eye sores indicate to buyers that the home has not been cared for. They can be easily remedied, and will go a long way in first impressions with buyers.

Don’t make it personal.

You probably have wonderful memories of the home, but to get your house ready to sell you need to let the personal part go. Remove the family photos, the mementos and knick-knacks, and all of the other personal items that can be distracting to buyers. You want them to imagine owning the property, not being reminded that it belongs to someone else.

Be neutral.

You may love magenta walls and orange-striped pillows, but your taste may not coincide with the average buyer. To get your house ready to sell neutralize the design and décor. Cream and beige tones are good choices because they are not offensive. Some buyers have a hard time seeing past a color they don’t like. Make it easy on them by creating a completely neutral palette.

get your house ready to sellDwell on the details when you get your home ready to sell.

It’s easy to overlook a small crack on the wall especially if it’s been that way for years, but when you get ready to sell your house you need to notice those details. Just because you learned to live with it doesn’t mean the next buyer is willing to. Address the cracks, fill the holes, smooth the wall surfaces. Fix the door that sticks, the step that creaks, the light switch that doesn’t work. And don’t rely strictly on a fresh coat of paint. Take care of wall imperfections before touching up the paint.

Clean out the closets and drawers.

It can be a big task, but to get your house ready to sell you need to purge. Buyers open doors and drawers, and you don’t want them to be a mess. Stuffed drawers and bursting closests tell buyers that the house doesn’t have adequate space. Pack clothes up and put them in the storage if you have to. Streamline the closets so they look functional and neat. Do the same with drawers in the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. Buyers can imagine themselves in a neat, efficient space.

Organize the kitchen.

Get your house ready to sell by removing everything from the counter. It may not be what you are used to, but buyers like to see every inch of counter space. A tidy kitchen is an efficient and more spacious kitchen. Organize cupboards and pantries, and remove clutter.

Less is more.

Generally every space looks better and bigger with less furniture and items in it. To get your house ready to sell minimize what you have. You’ve likely grown out of your house or are downsizing anyway so take the time to get rid of old furniture and items you don’t want anymore. Donate or toss them. Remove at least one piece of furniture from every room. Try to narrow bedrooms down to just bed, bureau, nightstand. Remove everything else. Clean out under beds and give everything a thorough cleaning.

get your house ready to sellFocus on finishing touches.

Niceties go a long way when you get your house ready to sell. Add the little features that buyers appreciate. Update older kitchen cabinets with contemporary knobs, fill vases with fresh flowers, stack potted plants on decks and back steps, and place nice bath soaps in a dish with fresh hand towels in the bathroom.

Make surfaces sparkle.

Every surface needs attention when you get your house ready to sell. Everything from your front lawn to kitchen floors need to look like new. When surfaces look dingy the buyer assumes they’ll need to replace it and this comes off the listing price. Buyers are more willing to pay top dollar when everything looks pristine and new. Sand and refinish hardwood floors, regrout tile in the bathroom, wash tile floors and windows, trim the grass, and steam vacuum carpets. Some sellers invest in professional cleaning services on an ongoing basis during the home selling process to maintain maximum cleanliness.

When you get your home ready to sell, choose an experienced real estate agent.

get your house ready to sellOnce you get your house ready to sell it’s important to work with a real estate agent that is familiar with your neighborhood and real estate market. Capital Residential specializes in home selling and buying on the South Shore. Our agents work and live right in the community. We watch and study the trends, and understand what both buyers and sellers want in this market. Wondering how homes are selling on the South Shore? Sign up for our free market reports to receive the latest real estate numbers for Norwell, Hingham, Hanover, Marshfield, and other surrounding towns. If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact me, George Jamieson at Capital Residential in Norwell, MA. I can be reached by email at George@capitalresidential.com or call/text me at 617.877.4839.

Norwell Schools To Offer Full-Day Kindergarten

Norwell SchoolsNorwell Schools is Piloting Full-Day Kindergarten Next Year

Norwell Schools has announced plans to pilot one section of full-day kindergarten at the Cole and Vinal Elementary Schools during the 2012-2013 school year. Norwell Schools currently offers half-day kindergarten to children in Norwell. There are limited spots available for the full-day program so Norwell Schools will be choosing students based on a lottery system.

Norwell Schools Full-Day Kindergarten

Norwell Schools will be charging a fee for the full-day kindergarten program. The tuition is estimated to be $5,700, or one-half of the total per-pupil expenditure from the 2011 fiscal year. Those interested in the full-day kindergarten program through Norwell Schools are invited to register online for the lottery or by phone by calling Ms. Tricia White at the Norwell Public Schools Central Administration Office at 781-659-8800. Lottery registration closes on Friday, March 9, 2012 with the drawing to be announced at a later date.

Norwell Schools Info Sessions for Full-Day Kindergarten

Norwell Schools will be hosting informational presentations about the program and process onTuesday, February 28, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in the Cole School Library and at 6:30 p.m. in the Vinal School Library. The sessions will be led by Norwell Schools administrators and teachers who will answer questions and explain more details about the program. Norwell residents are invited to attend either session regardless of which school their child will attend.

Norwell SchoolsNorwell Schools Half-Day Kindergarten Registration Starts in March

Norwell Schools will also be taking registrations in March for half-day kindergarten at the Vinal School and the Cole School for the 2012-2013 school year. Parents with the last name beginning with letters A-K are asked to visit the school to register on March 6 between the hours of 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Parents with the last name beginning with letters L-Z are asked to visit the school to register on March 7 between the hours of 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.

FSBO? How To Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent

What Does it Take to Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

It’s a big temptation for sellers: should we sell a home without a real estate agent? In today’s real estate market sellers are considering FSBO (For Sale By Owner) more and more as a means to cut cost and increase their bottomline. But the risks are high, and it may end up costing you more in the end when you sell a home without a real estate agent. It’s not a decision to take lightly, so before you decide to sell a home without a real estate agent consider these questions.

Do I know How to Price My Home to Sell?

Seems like an easy question. But, in today’s market setting the right listing price can mean the difference between selling a home or being left with an expired listing. Even worse, setting the wrong listing price can lead to selling the house for less than you could have.

To sell a home without a real estate agent, sellers must research data and reports of recent sales in the area to determine how much comparable homes, or “comps,” are selling for. This requires analysis of market conditions, timing, days on market, listing price versus selling price, and a load of other factors. Deciding to sell a home without a real estate agent is a huge time investment. And unfortunately FSBO time spent doesn’t always equate into dollars.

When you sell a home without a real estate agent you run the risk of listing the home too high, leading to little interest, or an interested buyer who can’t secure a loan. Prospective buyers using a bank loan rely on bank appraisers to assess the home’s worth, and if this comes in less than you’ve asked for it’s likely you won’t be able to sell at that price. This is where the right realtor makes a difference. For example, in addition to synthesizing local real estate market reports daily to know the selling trends in Norwell, Hingham, Hanover and other South Shore communities, Capital Residential provides a third-party appraisal as part of our value-added service to clients. It gives our clients a sense of security knowing that the listing price matches the home’s true worth, and is the first step in securing solid offers

Am I Prepared To Take on the Role of Realtor?

When you sell a home without a real estate agent you are, in essence, taking on two roles: home seller and realtor. Before you decide to sell a home without a real estate agent ask yourself if you’re prepared and willing to perform the following tasks as a FSBO:

Paperwork:

  • prepare and provide documents, forms, and disclosure packets to interested buyers and their agents
  • answer questions about documents

Show the House:

  • arrange individual walk-throughs of the property
  • provide a lockbox
  • take interested buyers with no real estate representative on tours of the home
  • coordinate open houses including weekday open houses for real estate brokers and weekend open houses for the buyers
  • order and arrange exterior signs, set the home for the tour

Screen Buyers:

  • check that interested buyers are pre-approved to purchase the home (this is extremely important. Banks are requiring proof of higher salaries and sizeable down payments before giving pre-approval on mortgages). Even if it’s uncomfortable, when you sell a home without a real estate agent, you must be willing to ask interested buyers for proof (a reputable pre-approval letter) of their ability to buy the home

Negotiate:

  • review offers on the house from interested buyers
  • evaluate offers for acceptance, rejection, counteroffer
  • actively secure backup offers
  • negotiate with the buyer’s agent until the purchase contract is complete
  • coordinate with the buyer’s agent throughout the escrow period, making the house available for inspections and appraisals
  • consider reductions in purchase price due to repair issues revealed during inspection
  • work with buyer’s agent to determine the percentage of the home sale the agent will receive (buyer’s agents expect a percentage even though you’ve decided to sell a home without a real estate agent)
  • attend the closing

There’s a lot of leg work, paperwork, running around, and details that have to be managed when you sell a home without a real estate agent. And with so many factors at play and people involved, issues pop up that need to be addressed. The advantage for seller’s to work with a qualified realtor is that the seller doesn’t have to worry about any of these details or how to work through issues when the arise. At Capital Residential we’ve been through the process countless times, we know what to expect, and when issues come up we are prepared to deal with them professionally and always in you, the seller’s, best interest. There’s no second-guessing along the way because this is what we do. We have years of experience working with sellers, buyers, agents and attorneys, and will guide you through the process, start to finish. We’ll take care of the details, so you can concentrate on the move.

Do I Know How to Market a House When I Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

Part of a realtor’s job is marketing, and when you sell a home without a real estate agent all of the selling strategy falls on the FSBO. Direct mail, newspaper advertisements, MLS listings, web listings on the major online home search sites are just a few of the facets of marketing that realtors use when listing a house for sale. It requires home staging, taking quality photos of the interior and exterior of house, submitting the home and its details to MLS (which costs a fee,) working with the newspaper to produce and run ads, and more. Today’s buyers expect to find out a lot about a home for sale right at their fingertips so if your home has little marketing prominence chances are you’ll get zero interest. There’s a lot of competition among sellers and a weak marketing plan really lowers your shot at a sale.

Often when sellers work with realtors some of these marketing aspects are part of the service. At Capital Residential we customize a complete marketing strategy for selling your home. It’s a robust campaign that combines traditional advertising and the latest social media platforms so that your home has a prominent and strong presence with potential buyers. We stage and design your home, we take professional photos of your property, we shoot video of your home to upload as virtual tours online, we submit MLS listing, we feature your property on all the major home search sites, we run ads in papers, we network with buyer agents and encourage tours with well-matched buyers, we promote your listing on our capitalresidential.com web site, our facebook page, and twitter, and more. There’s no end to the marketing we do for our clients.

So Should I Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

The process to sell a home withouth a real estate agent is an extremely time-intensive undertaking, and there’s no guarantee the house will sell. And even if it does sell, there are many instances in the process where the seller can lose out on money if the deal is not negotiated well. It’s risky to sell a home without a real estate agent, and in this real estate market it doesn’t make a lot of sense to take that chance. Selling a home with a qualified real estate firm such as Capital Residential provides security that your home will be listed at the right price and promoted actively and professionally to buyers. And when qualified buyers make solid offers, you can be confident that we’ll manage and negotiate the closing process.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact me, George Jamieson at Capital Residential in Norwell, MA. I can be reached by email at George@capitalresidential.com or call/text me at 617.877.4839. I am happy to answer your questions and work with you to set a real estate strategy for selling your home in today’s South Shore market.

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