Cynthia Lanciloti - Kraft Fine Homes | Newton, MA Real Estate, Waltham, MA Real Estate


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Are you preparing to list your older home for sale on the market? While older homes are still widely sought by both first-time and returning home buyers, sometimes they will need a little sprucing up so that you can maximize your sale price and get it sold more quickly. The good news is that you don't have to invest a fortune to make an older home more saleable. Below are a few simple home improvement projects that can get your home noticed.

Give Your Bathroom a Modern Update

Bathrooms are one of the areas that many home buyers are looking to be move-in ready. Older, worn fixtures and poor plumbing can make a potential buyer look twice. Bathroom models can range from cost-efficient to extremely expensive, but you don't need to go with deluxe upgrades to get buyers to notice. Purchase some inexpensive fixtures, fix any tiling, add new faucets and hardware, and make sure to address any leaks and clogs. A buyer will be able to identify new fixtures, which will show it has been recently updated, and if the bathroom looks clean and updated, they are likely to think the rest of the house is the same.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

For many people, this may seem like an unnecessary task as many new homeowners will paint their new home in the colors they want. But the truth is that a fresh coat of paint can make a room look newer and fresher. Wall can quickly become blemished with scratches and marks, and the new paint will remove these imperfections and spruce up the color in the room. Consider sticking with more neutral colors that will work with the floors and furnishings. Neutral colors can make spaces look larger, and if the new homeowners wish to paint when they move in, it will be easier for them to cover up with their desired paint colors. 

Make Your Backyard Look More Inviting

Many homeowners will focus on curb appeal and pay little attention to the backyard. A backyard can be a great selling point as a space for entertaining or an inviting play area for children. Trim back bushes or overgrowth to create more landscaped areas and open up the space as much as possible. The goal is to have your backyard look neat, kempt and as large as possible. If there are any areas that need grass, make sure to address those as well as removing any weeds. A lush lawn can be extremely inviting for potential home buyers.

You don't have to spend a lot to make your older home more appealing to buyers. Follow the simple tips above to help you get your home sold quickly and for the price, you are looking to get. 


Contingencies on a contract to buy a home are there to protect both the buyer and the seller. The contingencies give the buyer the right to back out of the contract if any of these contingencies aren’t met. There are many reasons that buyers back out of deals including financial issues and problems with the home. Below, you’ll find a break down of some of the most common contingencies and what they mean for you as a buyer or a seller.   


Financing Contingency


Most home contracts come with what’s called a financing contingency. This gives you the ability to walk away from a deal if the financing falls through when trying to buy a home. Usually this is due to a credit reason or some other financial reason. You can’t rely on financial cracks to help you to back out of a deal on a home. Lenders will only deny a loan for real financial reasons. There’s no way to ask a lender to lie for you so you can get out of buying a home! This is why you need to make your decision about a home purchase wisely.   



Inspection Contingency


This gives the buyer the right to have an inspection on the home within a certain time frame which is usually 5-7 days. If something is really off with the inspection that you as a buyer don’t feel comfortable with, you have the right to back out of a deal without repercussions. While seller disclosures are important, the seller can’t disclose what they don’t know about. That’s why the home inspection is so important. The seller’s disclosure cannot protect you from hidden damages that may cost half of a home’s worth to repair.   


Appraisal Contingency


If homes are selling fast and you want some secure way to back out of a deal you should consider an appraisal contingency. If the home you want to purchase doesn’t appraise at a price high enough to meet your mortgage requirements, you have a legal way to back out of the deal. For example, if you put down 20 percent of the purchase price of a home and the home doesn't appraise for the value of that purchase price, you’d need to come up with the remainder of the money in cash. An appraisal contingency protects you from having to face this. You’ll still need to have a home inspection done on the home to search for any problems, but an appraisal contingency protects you from any problems with financing and your own disposable amount of cash that could arise due to a home appraising low. 


While contingencies aren’t necessary as a homebuyer, they’re highly recommended. Without contingencies, you could be left with a number of expenses such as damages that are extremely costly to fix.


Unfortunately, selling a house sometimes can be a long, complicated process. And if you're not careful, you risk costly, time-consuming mistakes that may prevent you from achieving your home selling goals.

When it comes to selling a house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to simplify the home selling process.

1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal

The first impression that your home makes on potential buyers can have far-flung effects on the home selling journey. If your house dazzles homebuyers, you may increase the likelihood of a quick, profitable home selling experience. On the other hand, if your home misses the mark with buyers, you may struggle to stir up interest in your house.

Perform home exterior upgrades to enhance your house's appearance. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and clear debris from any walkways. Also, repair any cracked or damaged siding to further bolster your house's appearance and ensure homebuyers will fall in love with your house as soon as they see it.

2. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter may dominate your home's interior, and if you don't clear it out, you risk missing out on opportunities to sell your house.

Fortunately, there are many ways to eliminate clutter. For example, a yard sale is a quick, effective way to sell assorted items before you list your residence. Or, you can list items online or donate them to charity.

If there are various items you want to keep, you may want to rent a storage unit. With a storage unit at your disposal, you can keep a wide range of items safe and outside your home until your residence sells.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is committed to helping home sellers achieve the optimal results. He or she will work with you throughout the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a successful home selling experience.

Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your home and craft a personalized home selling strategy. This housing market professional then will promote your residence to buyers and host open house events and home showings. Furthermore, if a homebuyer makes an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns or questions. Thus, if you are uncertain about how to navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to offer guidance.

There is no need to stress as you get ready to list your residence. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can eliminate the guesswork commonly associated with selling a house.


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You’re getting ready to put your house on the market and scurrying to make everything look perfect for potential buyers. While it’s important to focus on readying your home’s interior for viewing, remember not to neglect your exterior. According to some estimates, 81% of real estate agents believe curb appeal is one of the primary ways to attract a buyer.

Keeping the lawn tidy, manicuring bushes, removing yard clutter, and ensuring exterior paint sparkles are things you'll want to do. Here are five additional ways to make your home’s exterior pop.

Install Gutter Covers

Gutter covers serve a practical purpose by ensuring gutters are clear of debris to prevent breakage or destruction caused by backed up water, but they can also provide an attractive exterior accent. Modern covers come in different designs and colors to add an attractive feature to your home. (Bonus: Many buyers might find the idea of low-maintenance gutters appealing!)

Seal the Driveway

Maintaining a driveway is one of those items many people forget to tick off on their to-do list. A dirty or cracked driveway might immediately bias a potential buyer, but a newly sealed and crisp-looking driveway can go a long way towards grabbing their attention.

Add ‘Green’ Highlights

Today’s consumers actively seek to go green. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 68% of buyers seek environmentally-friendly homes (even if they don’t want to pay extra for them). Adding exterior improvements to your home can give it a “green” feel.

  • Install solar lighting: These aren’t as elusive as they once were, you can buy solar lighting at your local big box store or warehouse to use along patio borders or integrated into your landscape.
  • Add a sustainable garden: Gardens are always a nice touch and low-maintenance sustainable gardens are a plus. (Consider installing a barrel to collect rainwater to water your garden to further increase your home’s “green” appeal).
  • Replace windows and doors: Adding attractive Energy Star certified windows and doors are appealing perks and, while costly, bring a strong ROI in resale.
  • Giving your home environmentally-conscious features and "feel" adds curb appeal and, depending on the improvements made, also enhances its value.

    Add New Door Hardware

    Buyers greeted at the door with a dingy outdated doorknob will have a different reaction than if met with a brand-new shiny one. Adding new front door hardware is a great way to bring a more inviting feel to your home as buyers arrive. Best of all, replacing it is an inexpensive and easy DIY fix.

    Ditch Concrete Walkways

    Traditional concrete walkways are considered retro. If yours are looking outdated, you can make appealing improvements by investing in stamped concrete, stone or reclaimed brick walkways to replace older ones.

    According to Remodeling Magazine, nine of the top 10 home improvements to increase a home’s value are exterior upgrades. First impressions matter. If you can “wow” a buyer before they even step in the door, you’ve got a far better chance of receiving your asking price.


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    If you've owned your house for a long time and are putting it on the market, take time to consider how the buying and selling process has changed. Today’s buyers are both smart and cautious. They have access to more information than was possible a decade ago. Research shows that buyers begin shopping twelve to eighteen months before they're ready to buy. Your real estate professional has inside information on the local market, they can help you navigate the new selling terrain.

    Take advice to heart in these essential areas:

    • Choose a reasonable price. Setting the wrong price gets your market plan off on the wrong track. When it’s too high, it will sit on the market for days or weeks derailing your plans to move. You want to get the most that you can from a home sale, but the market will bear only so much. Smart shoppers already know the comparable homes recently sold and come armed with a wealth of information before making their offer. Setting the price too low can backfire too. If a buyer is not interested in rehabilitation or renovation work, they may pass over a property that is not priced competitively.

    • Take great photos. Most serious buyers begin their search online. If your agent suggests hiring a professional real estate photographer, it’s often worth the investment. Internet shoppers quickly pass over blurry, out-of-focus, dark, or cluttered shots. Clean the windows and take pictures with the shades and curtains wide open. Bright and inviting photos encourage the buyer to visit in person.

    • Staging is more than décor. Take the time to remove personal objects, family photos, and collections. Organize your furnishings to make the best use of your space. Downplay dated areas that need updating and focus on the “bones” of the home and curb appeal if the entire house requires a makeover.

    • Test drive the online experience. Go online yourself to see how the photos look. Upload new ones until you're satisfied. Also, check out the street view on Google or Safari Maps. If they post outdated images where curb appeal is lacking, take a similar shot, and post it instead.


    Make sure you know how the buyer sees your house when you put it on the market. Modern buyers are cautious. They come armed with information. Let your agent help you address issues relating to how your house appears online.





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