Smart Home Technology

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What is a smart home? Many people have been talking about “Smart Home Technology”. Although it’s an industry that started long ago, it is rapidly expanding and the products that are available and continue to be developed is growing with increasing speed and diversity. The term “Smart Home” has become a common phrase but until recently there was no working definition. CNET and Coldwell Banker have worked together to create a definition that has offered consistency that consumers and professionals can work with. Coldwell Banker has also supported CNET in creating a Smart Home home in Louisville where they are able to test out Smart Home products and technologies.

Coldwell Banker has just attended the consumer electronics show, CES 2017, and has been reporting on many of the the new smart home products we will be seeing in the market place. It won’t be long before we see Smart Home products in homes as frequently as we see common household appliances and features like central air conditioning and vacuums.

As we watch the rapid flood of products enter the marketplace we advise really thinking about what benefit any particular product will provide and how they work with each other. There are so many types of products to choose from.

We are now both certified as Smart Home agents. Contact John & Cindy Farrell for guidance and to answer questions about Smart Homes. 978-468-9576


The Importance of the Buyers Appraisal to the Seller

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35-44 Collins Street Danvers, MAAs a future home seller, you may not have considered the appraisal a bank will have, if the potential buyer for your home, is financing their  purchase with a mortgage.

The buyer will notify their bank once they have an agreement on your home. The bank will arrange for an appraiser to come out to your home to determine the value. Even if your buyer is qualified in every other way, if the appraisal comes in too low, their mortgage will get denied and there is a high probability that they will withdraw from the sale. The only other options the buyer may have is to either come up with more money to put down or to ask you to lower your price.

Pricing is a crucial part of presenting your home to the market. It doesn’t matter what your home goes under agreement for, if it never goes to the closing table, and the sale doesn’t take place. The initial marketing is important to achieve the optimal outcome and the success of your sales transaction. If your home comes back on the market you run the risk of selling for less than you could have received if you listed it at a proper price from the beginning. A future buyer may offer you less than they would have, if they were making the offer when it first came on the market.

Appraisals can vary to some degree but the appraisers do have to be able to support their price. If it is an appraisal for an FHA mortgage there is the possibility that it will stay in their records for a period of time. This may limit the buyer pool.

If you have a home that is likely to be purchased with financing then the buyer’s appraisal should be considered when you determine the listing price. You can ask whatever price you want for you home, but it doesn’t mean you will be able to sell it for that price. Over pricing can sometimes bring less than the house is actually worth. Strategic pricing plays a large part in the final outcome of a home sale.

Are you confused by the differences between an Appraisal, Assessment and a Market Analysis?

There are many details to consider when selling real estate. We can assist you early in the process. John & Cindy Farrell 978-468-9576.

Download our free copy of “Preparing Your Home To Sell”


What About The Pets? – Our Home Is On The Market.

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Georgia the cat - Taking care of pets while your home is on the marketWe rarely get asked “What about the pets?”!  Many people don’t consider the importance of planning the critical detail of how to manage their pets while their home is for sale.

Pets often behave differently than expected when confronted with an altered routine. A dog that is usually quiet and calm may become extremely upset when their home is being accessed by strangers and their family isn’t there. Fear and uncertainty can trigger non-stop barking or uncharacteristically aggressive behavior. Not only is this uncomfortable for your dog, but to potential buyers as well, who may turn their attention from viewing your home and instead try to comfort your dog!

An indoor cat that never tries to escape to the great outdoors can also become scared under the duress of a house full of strangers without their family present. They may hide or wreak havoc, doing all they can to remove themselves from a stressful situation.

We have successfully shown and sold many homes while pets were present and many where the home owners opted to take the dog for a walk, ride or have a trusted caregiver take them before a showing. If feasible, arrange care for your pets in a stable environment outside the home during showings and open houses.

Pet smells are often unnoticed by the people that live with them, because they get used to it. On more than one occasion we have experienced a crated dog that has pooped in it’s crate because they were scared and the showing was compromised. Oftentimes buyers choose not to visit a house that has pets for fear of the condition and odor.

Ultimately, the house should look and smell like there are no pets. All food dishes should be cleaned and put away.The litter box should be removed. Place toys, extra food and litter bags out of sight.

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Don’t become victim to a rental scam

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Renter Beware!

Homes for Rent - North Shore

A person has been looking everywhere for an apartment or house to rent. There aren’t any available in the area they’d like to live. When they do find something that suits them, it costs more than they want or are able to pay. Finally, they find something listed online in an ideal location and for a great price. They are excited and want to act quickly to secure it. They may even drive by the provided address to make sure it is truly something they want to pursue. Without hesitation, they provide their personal information, possibly their social security number for a required credit check. They may even wire money as a deposit to further guarantee securing the unit. Read More →


Nails, Picture Hangers and Real Estate Sales

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What do we do about the holes in the walls when we take our pictures and decorations down?

Aren’t the sellers going to repair the walls when they take their pictures and decorations down?

Nails and picture hangersThese are two questions we are frequently asked, but often very late in the process. Sometimes it happens the week before the closing, throwing a potential obstacle in during the home stretch.

For the Sellers: In the process of getting your home ready to put on the market we recommend editing and staging to make your home look and feel the best it can. This includes removing, organizing, streamlining and cleaning up. Anywhere you have taken things down from the wall repair and repaint. If you are removing things from the walls or windows or ceilings, patch repair and touch up paint.

For the Buyers: When you agree to buy a home you are buying it in the condition that it has been presented to you. It is safe to assume that if there is a painting on the wall there is a nail or picture hook in the wall behind it. In the event you would like the holes repaired and repainted make sure to have an agreement made with the sellers early in the process.

For Both Buyers and Sellers: Make sure your expectations are clear and in writing. The earlier in the process that this is done the less likely there will be problems during the walk through or right before the closing. Read More →


Be Careful of Potential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning with all the Snow!

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Clear exhaust vents!

WM Winter North Shore - HamiltonMake sure to clear the exhaust vents for your furnaces, hot water heaters, chimneys and cars! With all the snow building up and the winds causing drifts, there’s potential the vents will get covered up with snow and cause carbon monoxide to back up into your living spaces and cars. This can cause a life threatening situation.

  • Check the vents everywhere, including where you work.
  • Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working and that they have a fresh battery in them.
  • Don’t sit in the car or let anyone else sit in the car while plowing and shoveling. It’s very easy for the snow to block the car exhaust. This can happen with very little snow accumulation.
  • Don’t forget the chimneys. They can get blocked as well.
  • Check vents, exhausts and chimneys regularly throughout the storm and during clean up.

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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home

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Centerville Beverly, MAThe process of buying a home seems simple enough. You decide to buy, you find a home, you get a mortgage and you move in! It’s not that simple and those steps are only a small piece of the entire process. The following list outlines common mistakes to avoid during the early part of the home buying process.



  1.  Not taking care in choosing the professionals you work with. This includes but is not limited to your real estate agent, attorney, mortgage broker, and inspectors. There could be others depending on the property you plan to purchase. Check references and reviews. This is the most important as these professionals will be your guides and primary source for information. Make sure they are qualified!

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Should I put my property on the market with tenants?

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Railroad Avenue Rockport, MAWe filed this under frequently asked questions but the reality is, many sellers don’t ask this question and we think they should! There is no definite yes or no answer for this, and there are variations in how to move forward with either way you choose to proceed. It is not a consideration to take lightly. There are many things to consider and there are more options and ideas that could benefit both you and your tenants. It is best to give as much time as possible before putting your property on the market to make sure it is being presented the best way right from the start. Your decision can easily effect the selling experience and the value. Read More →


“Do we need to clean up the garage when we put our home on the market?”

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Garage - Beverly CoveStage the garage when putting your home on the market!

The garage may not be the focal point of your home but it is a substantial asset. Some people won’t even look at a house if it doesn’t have a garage. As you are prioritizing, getting ready, staging, and preparing for photos, consider taking the garage to the next level.

Imagine the potential buyer opening the door to your garage and seeing the unexpected. An exceptional, smart use of space rather than the more common, unremarkable, disorganized space that’s been given little thought or attention. The garage is often used as an overflow landing zone, especially when staging the house. Whether it is a small space for one car and minimal storage, or an amazing workshop, make your garage the best it can be. The garage is an important space that often times is not presented at its best. Read More →


Get Ready For The Buyers Home Inspection Before Putting Your Home On The Market

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Kitchen 67 Rust Street Hamilton, MAPutting your home on the market? Chances are your home’s buyer will have a home inspection and if issues are identified during the inspection the buyers will want to renegotiate the price or have you complete repairs. This is something you will not want to contend with just before the closing. There is so much to be done in preparation for a move and you will want to be focusing on moving to your new home and all the necessary tasks involved with it. In an effort to ensure the best deal and smooth transaction for your home, prepare for the buyers home inspection prior to putting your home on the market. Read More →

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