Buying a Home

4 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to List Your Home for Sale

While spring is typically the hottest time for real estate, the fall season has its perks as well! With summer coming to an end, many people and their families are getting back into their routines with school and work. If you are thinking of selling your home this fall, please feel free to give me a ring – I’d be happy to answer any and all questions about real estate. Whether you are thinking of listing this fall, or are planning to list in the spring, I’m here for you! Read more

Things to Consider When Hiring a Home Inspector

You’ve gone to countless open houses, searched online for months, and have finally found the house of your dreams, but before signing your name on the dotted line there are a few key steps you should not overlook. When purchasing a home, hiring the right home inspector can be the most important decision you make. Knowing the condition of the house you are going to purchase cannot be left to appearances or promises, and some undetected problems can be even more costly than the price of the house itself. Making sure you have the services of a home inspector who knows what he or she is doing can prevent what should be a great investment from becoming a financial disaster. So what steps can you take to be sure your home inspector is qualified? Here are a few things to consider.

How Long Have They Been In The Business, And What Is Their Professional Background?

The housing market has steadily increased over home-inspectorthe last several decades, and the home inspection business is booming. With new home inspectors becoming certified each day from a variety of programs, hiring the services of an experienced inspector can really make a difference. Though experience is always a good indicator of qualifications, also consider hiring an inspector who has a background in the housing industry, whether as a real estate agent or home builder.

What Are Their Qualifications?

With the incredible number of courses and schools offering certification in home inspection, knowing where your home inspector got their training and whether or not the course is actually recognized by the certifying body in your area is definitely worth the extra time to find out. Always ask to see proof of their certification, and make the necessary calls to the institution if there is any doubt.

Do They Have References?

This may seem an obvious question to ask any professional, but many people skip this step, and even fewer actually follow up on the references that they ask for. Always call the references that your home inspector provides, and be sure they can give you at least three recent referrals.

How Much Do They Charge?

While the costs involved in purchasing a new home can add up quickly, the temptation to try to save when hiring a home inspector should be resisted. Call several home inspectors for quotes, and if the one you have selected is considerably cheaper than the others, ask yourself why. Most certified and qualified home inspectors know what the competition is charging and will usually charge a similar rate.

While all this work may seem like a lot of effort for what may turn out to be just red tape, if there is a serious problem with the property you are hoping to buy and it goes undetected, what should be your greatest investment may turn out to be your greatest liability.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
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The Advantages of a Pre-Approval

The decision to purchase a home can be an exciting but sometimes confusing undertaking. When beginning your search for the perfect home, there are a number of factors that you will want to consider. Whether you are a first time buyer or already own a home and want to move up, getting pre- approval for your mortgage is a necessary and time saving step. Here are some of the benefits of getting pre-approved!

Know Your Budget!

Getting pre-approved means that you will have a clear picture of the credit you have available to you to purchase your new home, as well as your price range. This will prevent you from spending time looking at homes that may be out of your budget and perhaps getting attached to a home that you cannot afford. It means that if you find the home that is right for you, it can more easily become yours!

Close Quickly

pt_18_28420_oGetting pre-approved for your mortgage means that you can act more quickly once you find the home that is right for you. The process of getting the mortgage approved is generally the longest and most complicated process in any home purchase. It requires verification of your income and employment, an evaluation of your credit reports, and the completion of a loan application. Having this step completed can save weeks of time in the closing process. Pre-approval also means that you have an advantage should a bidding war begin. The seller can be confident that you can afford the bid you are making and that you can move quickly to finalize the sale.

Overall, there are a number of benefits to getting pre-approval for your mortgage before beginning the search for your new home. Most importantly, it can give you peace of mind in knowing that you are ready and able to make the commitment to homeownership, and that you are not wasting your time in looking at properties that you may not be able to afford.

Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

There is a major difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qual. When a lender pre-qualifies you, they don’t dig too deep into your financials and could easily miss something that could greatly affect your ability to purchase a home. When you get pre-approved, the lender digs deep to get a really good idea of your financial status. Most sellers require that you present a pre-approval letter from your lender when you submit an offer, and most won’t even consider a pre-qualification because it is so vague.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Things Needed After Purchasing A Home

Now that you’ve signed all the paperwork and your loan is approved, it’s time to move in. But wait! Before you put your feet up, there are a few things that you will need in order to make your new house a home.

Locks

Regardless of whether you purchase a newly constructed home or one that was formerly owned by someone else, it’s important that you have the locks changed. Everyone from REALTORS® and contractors to friends and family of the former owner may have a key, which is why getting new locks should be at the top of your list.

Furnishings

You can’t hang your hat without a hatrack, so don’t forget to add some necessary furnishings. Some home7015813_mls may include appliances and possibly even some furniture, but most homeowners prefer to decorate their house themselves. After all, someone else’s taste in decor may not necessarily be the same as your own. If you purchase from a furniture store, they will handle the delivery for you. Otherwise, you can hire a moving company.

Appliances & Cookware

Even if your new home is equipped with appliances, you may still need to add a few items into the mix. For instance, a coffee maker, toaster, microwave or blender may be items you want for your kitchen. You will also need flatware, tableware and a quality dish drainer to hold your dishes that require the handwash method.

Tools

When you move into a new home, there will likely be some things to do that require the use of tools. Whether you need to assemble furniture, a desk for your office or just need to tighten some bolts here and there, a good set of tools is a necessity.

Personal Touches

No home is complete without personal touches that represent the new owner’s taste, so don’t forget to include them on your shopping list. Pictures, paintings, special window dressings, accent pillows, plants, decorative throws, accent rugs and bedding sets will create a custom interior that’s all about you. Other things to consider include portable air cleaners, water filters, an answering machine, wastebaskets and a bathroom plunger.

Outdoor Décor

If you like to entertain, equipping your backyard accordingly is a must. Patio furniture, an outdoor grill, landscaping tools and garden supplies are essential to creating an outdoor atmosphere that your family and friends are sure to love. Speaking of the outdoors, don’t forget to purchase a lawnmower and trimmer unless you live in a subdivision where lawncare is included in the maintenance fees. If you live in an area that’s prone to snowfall, keep this in mind when shopping for maintenance supplies.

The best way to tackle a large list of necessities is to keep a pad of paper nearby and write down each item as you think of it. Think about each area of your new home and do a mental inventory of what is needed. There will always be new items to add to the list, but you will cover the basics with your handy checklist of necessary items for your new home.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Should You Agree to Pay the Closing Costs?

Many of the closing costs on the sale of a home usually fall to the buyer, who is responsible for paying a variety of fees in order to finalize the sale. In some situations, a seller may offer to help with these costs or even cover them in full in order to help complete a sale. This isn’t always a necessary or even appropriate move, but in the right situation it can sell a house faster.

When To Offer To Pay Closing CostsHow-To-Get-a-Seller-to-Pay-Your-Closing-Costs-in-Today’s-Housing-Market-1200x480

As a general rule, a seller should consider offering to pay the closing costs when they really need to get the home sold fast. Offering such an incentive may mean that your home sells faster and more easily than had you not offered.

You might also offer to pay closing costs if you have a lot of equity and will make a good profit off the sale. In a market when it is harder for buyers to get loans or come up with down payments, sometimes a seller who is motivated and has the extra equity to handle closing costs can make the difference between buying a home and waiting to save up even more money.

When To Let The Buyer Pay

In most cases, if the topic isn’t brought up in the negotiations, you can simply allow the buyer to handle the closing costs and not worry about it. This is the traditional way home sales are handled, and most buyers are aware of it and prepared for it.

If the buyer does request that you pay the closing costs as part of the negotiations for the sale of the home, consider whether or not you really want to accept their offer. If you have a lot of interest in the home and potential for more offers to come in soon, then you can probably safely refuse in your counteroffer. Odds are good that in such a situation the buyer will back down on the closing costs.

Splitting The Costs

You may want to consider splitting the closing costs with the buyer in order to save you both some money and get the deal to go through more smoothly. You can work the details out in your negotiations with the buyer. This is often a good compromise.

Remember that as the seller, you are not required to handle the buyer’s closing costs, and the choice to do so should benefit you in some way. Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Negotiating Tips for the Home Buyer

When it comes to buying a home, the ability and willingness to negotiate is a must for both the buyer and seller. In general, sellers ask for more than they are actually willing to accept and buyers offer less than they are willing to pay. The trick is to find the perfect balance so that you, as a buyer, feel good about the purchase price without leaving the seller feeling insulted.

Know Your Marketnegotiate-price

Real estate is a business that either favors the buyer or seller, hence the terms buyer’s market and seller’s market. When negotiating a purchase price, it’s important to know which of the two you are in. As the buyer, you will have the best chance at a successful negotiation if you research the price of other comparable homes in the area before making an offer.

Make It Personal

When you make an offer, the seller will see nothing more than a piece of paper with some numbers on it that represent the price you are willing to pay. If you really want the seller to take your offer to heart, let them know why you want to buy the home. You can do this by preparing a handwritten letter expressing your interest and the reasons you fell in love with their house. If you have a family, tell them about everyone who will be living in the home. Let them get to know you and allow them to picture the happiness that you can bring to their house. Believe it or not, some sellers actually look at the process like finding a good home for a lost puppy. They want quality people to buy their home, so do your best to show them that you are sincere.

Nobody Likes Rejection

Not every offer is accepted, so don’t be disheartened if your first offer isn’t a winner. In some cases, the seller will make a counteroffer for your consideration. Have you ever heard the old saying, “never take the first offer?” The same is true in real estate, and almost every seller knows it. Your first offer is likely to be less than you are actually willing to pay, which leaves you some bargaining room.

Why Your Offer May Not Be Accepted

There are a number of reasons why a seller may choose to reject an offer, including a feeling that the offer was just too low, the house is newly listed on the market or another offer may be higher than the one you created. In some cases, sellers may also reject an offer that includes owner financing or other requests that are impossible to meet. One example may be an offer that requires the house be available within a certain amount of time. Most contracts require that the seller move out within 30 – 60 days, but anything less would require negotiation.

Read The Fine Print

Before you sign anything relating to a real estate transaction, make sure that you read over every detail of the agreement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. After all, negotiating is a major part of my job!


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Is Buying a Fixer Upper a Good Idea?

Always dreamed of renovating a home exactly to your specifications, or have you found an older house that is structurally sound but needs a lot of work inside? Perhaps the price is right and you can’t resist all that house you can get for your money. Whatever the reason, buying a fixer-upper can be both an exciting and rewarding purchase or a financial and time consuming disaster, depending on whether you are prepared for what you have gotten yourself into. So what should you know before buying a home that requires a little or a lot of tender loving care?

The Benefitshome_remodeling_mistakes

The benefits of purchasing a fixer-upper are obvious. The price is usually right, and if the seller wants a quick sale because of decreased interest in the home, you may be able to negotiate a really great price. Also, if you intend to flip the home after the renovations, the profit for the money and time you have invested can be quite considerable. The trick to getting these benefits, however, is knowing what type of property to look for, as well as having an accurate idea of the associated costs, and realistic expectations of the time and labor it will take.

What Makes A Great Fixer-Upper?

There are several features that may make for a great fixer-upper.

Location—Buying a home in a desirable neighborhood is always a smart idea, particularly with homes that require a lot of work. Purchasing a house in a sought after area can mean a greater profit margin for resale value.

Layout And Configuration—This is especially important if you plan to sell the home after the renovations are finished. Selecting a home that will appeal to the greatest number of buyers will get you the best price. Also, choosing a home with a layout that flows may save you a considerable amount on the actual renovation costs because you are less likely to need custom installations and work.

Condition—Ultimately the most important consideration is the actual condition of the home. Choosing a fixer-upper with only cosmetic problems such as damaged flooring or old fixtures and appliances, and in need of only a new paint job, can often have the greatest profit margin and require much less money and time.

Overall, when purchasing a home that needs work, getting a qualified home inspector’s advice and getting estimates of the cost of work to be done before making your offer can make all the difference.

Things to Consider When Buying an Older Property

Whether it’s the character and charm of an older home with its original features, hardwood floors, and wood burning fireplace, or the quaint historic feel of the neighborhood in which it is found, there is a certain appeal to older property. But purchasing an older home may involve additional work and costs that a newer home may not. With a little research and preparation, however, you may find that purchasing an older property may be the right decision for you. Here are a few things to consider before making an offer on an older home.

Age Of The Home

Depending on where you live, an older home canhome-inspection mean 30 years to 300 years. Naturally, this is the first point to consider when deciding whether an older home is right for you. The age of the home, the foundation, and the roof can make a big difference in the type of maintenance it will require, how frequently things may need to be replaced, and the difficulty and expense of replacing them. You will also want to know what kinds of materials were used in the construction of the home.

Age Of The Features

Older homes can sometimes have very old features and appliances lurking within them. Be sure you consider whether or not you will have to replace the kitchen appliances, and be sure to ask when features such as the furnace were last replaced. The age of the home you are looking to purchase may also mean that your decoration budget will have to include costs that you might not have originally anticipated.

Importance Of Home Inspection

The importance of getting a home inspection cannot be understated when purchasing any home, but when in the market for an older home this is a step that should also be done with the utmost care and by a true professional. A home inspection can find problems that are more common in older homes, such as electrical and plumbing issues.

Knowing what you are getting yourself in for when purchasing an older property can make all the difference in finding a home that is right for you. Older homes can certainly be a rewarding purchase, and if you recognize the maintenance costs and any potential renovation costs you will be prepared to make your new house a home.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

What Are Buyer Closing Costs?

closing_costMost people who are in the market for a new home are aware of the costs associated with purchasing a home and moving, but closing costs can be expenses that may be overlooked, especially for first-time home buyers. The amount of the closing costs will depend on where you live, the type of home you are purchasing, and the type of mortgage you are going to carry, but in most cases they can equal anywhere from two to four percent of the purchase price of your home. So before planning your home purchase budget, here are some hidden expenses that you may want to include.

In general there are two types of closing costs, recurring and non-recurring. Recurring costs include things like fire and flood insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance; these are expenses that will have to become part of your monthly budget and in most cases are often anticipated by new home buyers. Non-recurring costs are one-time costs that are associated with closing a home purchase, and in most cases make up the bulk of extra expenses. Non-recurring closing costs usually include:

  • Title Policies
  • Escrow
  • Wire Fees
  • Delivery
  • Attorney Fees Endorsements
  • Recording
  • Transfer Taxes
  • Home Protection Plans Natural Hazard Disclosures Home Inspection
  • Lender Fees

Depending on your particular circumstances, the actually closing fees may include just a few of these costs, or even include ones that are not listed here. Purchasing a home is a huge investment and expense, and getting a clear picture of the cost before signing your name on the dotted line is important.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Tips on Buying Your First Home

There’s a lot that goes into making the decision to purchase your first home. Becoming a homeowner for the first time can be overwhelming for many people – but don’t fear, our team is here to help you through the entire process, start to finish. Here’s a few tips to help ease the anxiety of owning your first home.

Do Your Research

It is best to speak with your lender to discuss the many incentives available for first-time home buyers. They will discuss the many options that can assist you. 3-5% down payments and low interest rates make home buying very attractive for first-time home buyers. The best way to understand your options in regards to down payment options, interest rates, and different loan programs, is to sit down with your lender and compare your options.First-Time-Home-Buyers

Save That Money

Save as much money as you possibly can so that you will enough money to put a decent down payment on a home. You want to have enough money to be able to pay for closing costs and still have money to furnish and decorate your new place.

Don’t Mess With Your Credit

Obtaining a loan from a lender relies a lot on your credit. You want to make sure that your credit information is up-to-date and accurate. You don’t want to have an offer accepted on your dream home and then get denied by the bank. Unfortunately this happens all too often. When applying for a loan, it is very important that you do not make any big purchases such as a car.

Starting You Search

With the World Wide Web being what it is today, it’s no surprise that many potential home buyers start their search online. Our website here offers our clients the ability to search for homes directly through us. When you see something you really like, you just let us know and we set up a showing for you.

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