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.

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.

What Are Buyers Paying? Recent Home Sales on the South Shore

A Comparison of Recent Home Sales on the South Shore Over the Last Month

The holidays may have been last month, but they did not stop recent home sales on the South Shore. Buyers and sellers managed to close quite a few sales across the South Shore and across the board in terms of price and home size. The recent home sales on the South Shore did vary a bit from town to town, with some areas seeing high activity.

How Are Home Sales on the South Shore?

Recent home sales on the South Shore indicate what today’s home buyers are looking for and what they are willing to pay for a house. The starter and mid-size homes in the $300-$700k range are popular with current home buyers, with sales activity being higher at those price points.

recent home sales on the south shore

Recent Home Sales on the South Shore: Scituate

Among the recent homes sales on the South Shore in December 2011, Scituate had 18 home sales. Most of the homes sold were under 2,000 square feet in size with all of those sales coming in under $500,000. There were a few homes that sold for more than $500k. This home at 3 Hickory Lane, Scituate sold for $609,000. It’s a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 3,200+ square foot home. Search current home listings in Scituate, MA.

recent home sales on the south shore

Recent Home Sales on the South Shore: Norwell

Homes sales in Norwell were a little light in the month of December 2011, with a total of 3 home sales. However, 11 home sales in November gave a little boost to real estate activity in this South Shore community known for its smaller size and excellent schools. 3 of the 14 sales in November and December were over $500,000. The vast majority of home sales in Norwell were in the starter and mid-size home markets. Among the recent home sales on the South Shore was this oversized cape-style home on a quiet cul-de-sac in Norwell, MA. The 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,442 square foot home sits on 1.38 acres and sold for $587,500. Search current home listings in Norwell, MA.

recent home sales on the south shoreRecent Home Sales on the South Shore: Hingham

December 2011 was a good month for home sales in Hingham, MA, with a total of 20 home closings. This affluent and historic South Shore town has a resilient real estate market reflected in consistent home prices and sales. While Norwell and Scituate had no home sales in the $1 million range, Hingham had two sales, with one 4,ooo square foot home selling for $1,635,000. This home at 11 Edgar Walker Court in Hingham, MA sold just under $1 million. The traditional 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 3,400+ sq. ft. colonial sold for $912,000. Search current home listings in Hingham, MA.

 

Ready to Sell? 7 Tips for Selling a House in the Spring Market 2012

selling a house in the spring marketSelling a House in the Spring Market on the South Shore

With snow on the ground it’s hard to imagine the daffodils and crocuses budding, but they are coming, and so is the time for selling a house in the spring market. And it starts early. On the South Shore, the spring real estate market actually begins just after February vacation, so there’s really just a few weeks before we see houses listed and the spring market cycle begin to take shape. Selling a house in the spring market depends heavily on preparation and timing. The stronger listings, the ones carefully evaluated before coming to market, tend to do better.

7 Tips for Selling a House in the Spring Market 2012

Planning is key for success when selling a house in the spring market. And now is the time to enhance and position your property for a sale. Consider these tips before selling a house in the spring market on the South Shore:

Schedule Contractors Now.

Whether you need roof or chimney repairs, exterior or interior painting, or a top coat on the driveway, now is the time to line up the contractors. Schedules fill up quickly as other homeowners prepare their properties for sale. Start the process now so you have plenty of time to get projects complete before selling a house in the spring market 2012. If you need a referral, contact me or visit my local business page.

Finish the “Little Projects.”

There are always a few small things that homeowners wish they got to before selling a house in the spring market. It might be a leaky fawcet, a hole or dent in the drywall, or maybe just a lightbulb that has blown, but whatever that little project is, now is the time to complete it. Too often homeowners look past the little things until it’s time to list the house for sale, and then the pressure is on. Reduce the stress by finishing the projects now.

Add to Your Home’s Best Features.

Take a look at your house and put yourself in the home buyer’s shoes. What parts of your home are the most attractive? Try to lengthen that list by boosting your home’s curb and interior appeal. Paint the front door. Clean the windows and drapes. Freshen the paint on woodwork and trim.

Clean the closets and drawers.

Storage is always a top priority for home buyers, and open houses inevitably lead to a closet or drawer being opened. And a messy, cluttered appearance gives the impression that the house lacks adequate space. Clean the utility drawer and organize the closets. Showcase the functionality of your house.

Declutter.

Now is the perfect time to sort through totes, storage bins, and closets and figure out what you don’t want or need to bring to your next home. Drop household items to the Salvation Army on Route 53 in Hanover, drop a bag of clothes in the St. Vincent de Paul bin behind St. Helen’s Church, drop gently used clothes, coats and toys to the Closet located at Norwell Town Hall. Removing these items now will save you time when you go to move, and it will make your home neater for open house. Buyers are able to visualize themselves and their furniture better when less of your belongings are visible.

Clean the Yard.

Home buyer first impressions are based on the exterior of your house, and selling a house in the spring market is competitive. Tidy the yard, pick up fallen branches, toss old pots and plantings from last season, and shovel and salt walkways and driveways.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

It’s not too early to start the process of selling a house in the spring market 2012, and the first step is to find the right real estate agent to list your house. Home sellers should look for an agent knowledgable of the local real estate market. Capital Residential specializes in the South Shore towns of Norwell, Hingham, Cohasset, Hanover, Marshfield, and Scituate and surrounding communities. We keep up-to-date on the the real estate market here on the South Shore, and therefore can help our clients determine appropriate listing prices, stage their homes for buyers, and market their homes effectively.

If you’re thinking of selling a house in the spring market 2012 on the South Shore, contact me. I’m happy to answer your questions about the South Shore real estate market and selling your home. And sign up for my free market reports so I can email you the latest numbers for homes sales and trends in your town.

Halloween Tips for Homeowners

halloweenMake Halloween Safe and Fun

It’s almost time to trick-or-treat, and a few homeowner preparations can help make the Halloween evening safe and fun for the little ones. So before the kids less loose in the Norwell neighborhoods, take a few moments to walk through this Halloween checklist:

Keep the Exterior Well-Lit on Halloween

Illuminate paths, steps, and entranceways to ensure that trick-or-treaters can safely navigate their way to your door. Use wattage that is appropriate for the fixtures, and check for dark spots that could use a little light. A well-lit property is a safer Halloween environment for everyone.

Clear Paths and Walkways for the Kids on Halloween

Remove limbs, rocks, hoses, or any other obstruction on steps, paths, and walkways to your home. Check for loose stone or rocks in paths, and tripping hazards.

Practice Candle Safety

Jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween favorite, but they are also a hazard. If you are going to use candles be sure to keep jack-o-lanterns away from the path of trick-or-treaters. A simple bump or brush with a costume can lead to harm. A safer alternative is a battery-powered light for your pumpkin.

Don’t Spook the Pets

While we love a pet in costume, keep the pets away from the trick-or-treaters. An open door is a temptation to most pets and the costumes and parade of people can stress even the most mild-tempered animal. Place dogs, cats, and other pets in a separate part of the house to eliminate the risk of an incident.

Test the Smoke Alarms

Halloween decorations and illuminations are fun and festive, but they are also a fire hazard. Check smoke detectors in advance to ensure that they are in good working order before the trick-or-treating starts.

Use Caution with Wiring

Strings of pumpkin lights and animated witches and goblins require electricity, but be careful not to overload extension cords. Use power strips to streamline the process and tuck cords under mats or affix to trim to minimize tripping hazards.

Selling a Home? New Study Reveals Best Day to List

sellingHome Selling Data Points to Friday Listings

When it comes to selling, does it matter which day of the week you list a house? A new study from Redfin analyzed home sales and listing dates to see if there was a correlation. According to the data which analyzed 1.2 million listings in 16 markets over 21 months, a Friday listing will have a greater chance of selling.

The Selling Science of Listings

The Redfin data showed that new listings on the market are spread pretty evenly between Monday and Friday. Each day averages about 17 to 19% of the total share of listings, with Saturday and Sunday coming in lower at 5 to 7%. However, when it came to analyzing how listings compared in terms of online views, tours, and selling price, day of the week seemed to played a big factor.

Friday Tops Selling In Every Market

Across the board in the Redfin study Friday had the strongest numbers. According to Redfin homes listed on Friday are 12% more likely to sell within 90 days. In addition, homes listed on a Thursday or Friday sold for slightly closer to the list price, 94.4% compared with 93.9% for homes listed on a Sunday or Monday. And homes listed on Friday were toured 19% more by buyers than homes listed on any other day of the week.

The Theory Behind Friday and Stronger Sales

Analysts at Redfin have a theory to support why Friday listings produce better results. According to Redfin, Friday listings are top of mind to potential home buyers who primarily tour homes on the weekends. The theory is that home buyers plan weekend open houses and tours based on newest listing so as to not miss out on the best deal or a popular property. Analysts suggest that Friday listings have the most potential of being toured, leading to more buyer interaction, and increasing the chance of offers.

Spirited Halloween Races at Hingham Derby Street Shoppes

HinghamHingham Fun Runs for the Family

Derby Street Shoppes will be hosting Halloween races on October 23, 2011. Wear your costumes, bring the family, and be prepared to get into the spooky spirit of Halloween with an afternoon of fun activities!

Pumpkin Fun Run spons0red by Hingham Rotary Club

The races kick off in Hingham at 11 a.m. with a children’s Pumpkin Fun Run sponsored by Rotary Club of Hingham and Rotary Club of Hull. Kids are invited to come in costume and participate in the race at Derby Street Shoppes. The cost is $10 per participant with proceeds to benefit the Rotary Club of Hingham and the Rotary Club of Hull. Parents can register runners online.

Back on My Feet Mile in Hingham

HinghamAt 11:30 a.m. the races continue with the first annual Back on My Feet Mile. Runners in the one-mile competitve race will compete for prizes in the category of fastest, slowest, and best costume. The cost to register is $23 to benefit Back On My Feet, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency of the homeless by engaging them in running to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.

Crafts and Family Fun in Hingham

Pumpkin carvings, haunted rides and ghoulish good fun will follow the races. The Boo Town Academy will be on-hand with lots of entertaining activities, food and prizes for the entire family.

Rolling Ahead with Norwell’s Bike Path

NorwellNorwell Purchases Land for Bike Path

The first phase of Norwell’s new bike pathway is nearly complete with the purchase of a parcel of land, assessed and purchased by the town at a cost of $3,900. The 2.5 acres sit between Cushing Hill Road and the Norwell Middle School, and is the last piece needed to link existing town-owned properties.

The Need for a Bike Path in Norwell

The town of Norwell has been tossing around the idea of a bike path for quite some time. With few sidewalks and designated walk ways in town, a bike path seemed like both a practical and positive suggestion, creating natural links throughout town for both commuting and leisure. A Norwell Pathway Committee formed in 2008 to study the feasibility of creating paths throughout Norwell, and to survey residents on their preferences and recommendations. The Committee ultimately secured $700,000 from community preservation to start the process.

Phase One of the Norwell Bike Path

The first phase of the Norwell Bike Path carves out a trail connecting the Norwell Middle School to Norwell High School. Rather than biking or walking along Main Street, students can utilize the 8-ft wide paved path to traverse town. The town planner is in the beginning stages of the projects, however, the required permits have been granted, a consultant has been hired, and the project will be open for bid in a few weeks.

The Vision for the Norwell Bike Path

Based on town and resident interest, the Norwell Pathway Committee is hoping this is just the start of a criss-crossing path all over town. The possibilities of connecting Norris Reservation by path to Scituate, as well links from Norwell into Hanover or to the Greenbush Station are all being vetted. It’s just the start of a new era of biking, running, and walking in Norwell.

 

Fire Safety Open House in Norwell

Norwell Fire Department To Host EventNorwell

This time of year is for pumpkins and goblins, but October is also National Fire Prevention Month and the Norwell Fire Department is doing its part to bring awareness to residents and children of Norwell. The NFD is hosting a Fire Safety Open House on Sunday, October 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the fire station at 300 Washington Street, Norwell.

Reaching the Norwell Community with Fire Prevention

Sponsored by Papa Gino’s, the Fire Safety Open House in Norwell will combine fun, hands-on components with practical educational information geared toward children. The goal is to engage the community, educating and preparing residents for potential fires and arming adults and children with tips aimed at saving lives. Highlights include a demonstration by firefighters showing the way to escape a smoke-filled room, cooking safety tips, fire prevention tips, and Sparky, the fire safety mascot, interacting with children.

Fire Safety Tips for Norwell Residents

This year’s National Fire Prevention Month’s theme is “Protecting Your Family From Fire.” According to the U.S. Fire Adminstration, 75% of all fire fatalities occur in home fires. Federal and local fire officials urge residents to follow these guidelines to help prevent a fire at home and to protect loved ones in the event of a fire:

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home,
  2. Test smoke alarms once a month,
  3. Change smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and
  4. Make and practice a home fire escape plan.

Attend the Norwell Fire Safety Open House

For additional information about this open house, contact Norwell Fire Captain Shane McMahon at 781-659-8156.

MCAS Makes for Teachable Moments in Norwell

Norwell Schools Analyze MCAS Scores

Interesting article titled, “MCAS: Drilling Down Into Numbers” in the Norwell Mariner this week. Talks about how the Norwell Schools utilize the data collected from the results of the MCAS scores to determine the concepts that require more attention in the classroom as well as the ones that the students have grasped well.

Targeting Curriculum Weakness In Norwell

While most attention turns to the overall scores across the state, Norwell School administrators and teachers study the responses of each student tested by MCAS. This evaluation of individual results provides a platform for conversation about how well each child is learning and what areas of study can be improved. Based on the most recent scores, administrators and teachers were able to pinpoint a mathematical plotting concept that was misunderstood by several young students. Faculty of Norwell Schools can now use the test results as a truly “teachable moment” to articulate the lesson to the students and fine-tune the lesson plan for the next crop of students.

Norwell Scores Overall

Norwell continues to rank high in its MCAS scores. The article highlights some of the statistics from the recent results:

  • According to figures provided by the Massachusetts Department of Education, 90% of all Norwell students scored at either the advanced or proficient levels when it came to English
  • 81% of those same students scored at either the advanced or proficient levels for math
  • 36% of 1,366 Norwell students tested scored at the advanced level for English followed by 54% at the proficient level, 8% at the needs improvement level and 1% at the warning/failing level.
  • In math, 1,362 Norwell students took the test and the overall results are as follows: 40% advanced; 41% proficient; 16% needs improvement; and 3% warning/failing.
  • On the grade 10 science exam, 178 Norwell students took the test. Of that group, 19% scored advanced, 67% scored proficient, 13% scored needs improvement, and 1% scored warning/failing.
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