Blog :: 03-2015

Tuesday Tip - How to Find a Rental that's Perfect for You

According to a recent article in the Boston Herald, between renter spending, new construction and apartment operations, the rental industry contributed $17.7 billion to the Boston economy and supported 147,000 jobs in 2013 (the last year that statistics were available).  So if you're one of the tens of thousands of renters looking for a place in Boston, there's good news: you have options, and bad news: you've got competition.  The bad news you likely already knew if you've ever tried to rent a U-Haul the last week of August.

Avoiding the pain and difficulty of finding a good rental property takes a certain amount of preparation and education.  Realtor.com has put together a 9-Step Guide to Finding a Dream Rental, which is very helpful to new renters or those that are tired of having to look for a new rental year after year. To make the process even easier, enlist the help of a rental agent, preferably one with specific knowledge of the neighborhoods you're most interested in living in. Renting doesn't mean that you have to pack up all your belongings, submit rental applications and put first, last and security down every.single.year.  If you take the right steps and have a good advisor in place to guide you through the process and advocate for your rights as a renter, you'll be able to find a place that feels not like someone else's home, but like your own.

For more information about renting in Boston, reach out to our expert rental team, 617-236-0353 or through our website, www.thecharlesrealty.com.

(i.e. those that have moved every year since they graduated college and .  If you're sick of the September 1st rental rush, the stress and overheating that comes along with moving every summer, and

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Tuesday Tip - When (Exactly) Is the Right Time to List a Home in Boston

Tis the season to sell your home, but sellers in Miami might have more luck selling their home in March then those in Boston.  According to our friends at Zillow, there's a magic window - from mid-March to the end of April - that gives sellers across the country the best chance of getting the highest price (in the shortest amount of time), but the specific week within that window varies from city to city.  If you are a seller in Boston, you're 13% more likely to sell your home faster than average if you put it on the market between mid and late April - no earlier, no later.  You are also likely to sell your home by 4.6% more than the Zestimate, and at a premium of $8,100.  Conversely, if you list your home just a week or two before the magic window, you could be faced with an influx of competition or a barrage of  buyers who are (don't say it don't say it) "just looking."  For more information about the magic window, and why it exists, check out the Zillow blog.

This magic window is quickly approaching for homeowners in Boston who've been thinking of putting their house on the market, so if you'd like to speak with a listing agent that specializes in helping Bostonians sell their home for the highest price in the shortest amount of time, reach out to us at 617-236-0353 or through our website, www.thecharlesrealty.com.

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Tuesday Tip - 15 Words that Will Add Value to Your Listing (and 9 That Will Take it Away)

What do the words "captivating," "stainless," "basketball," and "gentle" have in common?  According to a recent analysis of 24,000 home sales in "Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate" when certain words are included in listing descriptions, the homes sell for more than expected, sometimes by as much as 8%!  Take a look at Zillow's recent blog post, "15 Words that Could Add Value to Your Listing for the full list.

Conversely, there are certain words that will give buyers a negative impression of your home before they even see it, including "potential," "opportunity," and "nice."  Here's a full list of which words to always stay away from, also courtesy of our friends at Zillow!

For more tips on effectively marketing your home, reach out to our experts at The Charles Realty.

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    Tuesday Tip - What Should you Pay for your Dream Home?

    Whether you're a first time buyer or you've been through the home buying process several times, there's one critical question that always comes up when you finally walk into a home that immediately has you planning your first dinner party and future holiday get togethers - how much do I offer?  Of course, market conditions and financing are primary considerations here, so the answer can vary quite a bit, but there are certain things you should always take into consideration.

    First - location, location, location.  Is the home in a desirable neighborhood with a solid reputation and good school systems?  Are you seeing many other, similar homes are on the market in the area?  In suburban, family-oriented neighborhoods with good schools, people tend to stay put for some time, meaning there's likely to be less inventory.  Ask your real estate agent to pull information about the sales of nearby homes (comps), and if the price per square foot is in line with the asking price of the home you're considering, your offer should fall somewhere around asking price (especially with the current market conditions in and around Boston).

    Second - How much work does the home need?  Some people love to throw themselves into home renovations.  Whether it's painting, tiling, adding space or taking down walls, some buyers will see nothing but opportunity, while others will be turned off instantly.   Generally speaking, the more work a home needs (especially structural) the smaller the pool of interested buyers.  This doesn't mean that you can take an estimated cost of renovations and subtract it from the asking price, however, as the seller has likely already been advised by their agent to factor repairs into the asking price, it just means that you'll likely have less competition, and therefore more flexibility with your offer.

    Third - How long has the home been on the market?  Current real estate conditions in and around Boston right now have very few homes sitting on the market for long periods of time, so if you look at a home that has been on for longer than 30 days, you have to wonder why.  Everybody values different things about a home, so what turned other buyers off might not be an issue for you, but make sure that the long market time isn't a result of a bad inspection, causing a pending sale to fall through, or another condition like high crime in the area.   While you shouldn't necessarily exclude a home that's been on the market for several months from consideration, due diligence is key.  If the home meets all of your criteria and you've done your research, you can factor the length of time on market into your offer.

    Fourth - Have there been price reductions since the home was listed?  While you might think price reductions indicate a desperate seller (and sometimes they do), a home is more likely to sell right after the price is reduced since it will suddenly meet the criteria of a whole new pool of buyers, so if you're interested in a home that has just fallen in price, expect that there are others who are as well.  (Example: if a buyer sets their maximum search price for $499,000, they won't see any homes listed for $500,000, but if the price falls just to $498,000, suddenly it will show up in searches and a pool of new buyers will be eager to see it).  That being said, if the price has been reduced several times, likely the seller is motivated, possibly because they already have another mortgage, and will consider lower offers.

    The home buying process is an emotional one and it's difficult for buyers to think of such an important decision as a business transaction, so it's critical to have an agent that you trust, who can help you weigh the factors and determine the right offer price.  Remember, they're experts when it comes to the local housing market, and though you should always do your own research, a savvy agent will make sure that you're paying the exact price that you should for the home of your dreams. For more tips from our expert team, visit us at www.thecharlesrealty.com.

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    Tuesday Tip - 5 Reasons Sellers are Better Off With an Agent`

    If you're planning on selling your home, you might be drawn to the perceived cost savings of listing it without a real estate agent, but according to data from The National Association of Realtors, a home on the market listed "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) takes longer to sell (and eventually sells for less) than homes represented by a real estate professional.  A recent blog post featured on Trulia.com lists 5 key reasons - pricing, negotiating, exposure buyer perception, and a smooth sales process - it pays to get the help of a real estate agent when selling your home.

    For more tips on how to get the most money out of the sale of your home, feel free to reach out to our experts at The Charles Realty, 617, 236-0353.

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