Maintaining the Equity in Your Home

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It happens often, people don’t give enough thought to maintaining and increasing the equity in their homes, until they call us to help them sell it.

From the moment home ownership is taken, the impact of improvements and revisions should always be in the forefront of the decision making process, with attention given to increasing and maintaining home equity.

We advise our clients that they should be mindful and prepared for the possibility of selling. Even if they plan to keep their home forever. A tempting, unexpected opportunity may come along, or life circumstances may change, and suddenly a decision may be made to sell. It is at this pivotal point that the homeowner would understandably like to get as much return as possible on their valuable asset.

Below are just a few things to consider with regard to maintaining home equity: Read More →


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”


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 →


Seller’s Checklist – What to do Once Your Home has an Accepted Offer

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Your Home has an Accepted Offer! Now what?

Seller's Checklist - After your home goes under agreementOnce you have an accepted offer you move to the final phase of the selling process. Our clients find it helpful to have a checklist to help make sure things are done in a timely manner and they don’t have to wonder if they have missed anything. All real estate transactions are unique. Although there is a common list of things that need to be done. Leave some space to add items that are particular to your sale. Read More →


What is the value of a home? How do I figure it out?

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Tax Assessment? Bank Appraisal? Comparative Market Analysis?

Real Estate Values North Shore of Boston

Questions we are often asked by both sellers and buyers in reference to the value of a property are: What is a Tax Assessment, a Bank Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis? How do they differ?

There are definite differences in who calculates these numbers and how the figures are determined. Below is a general explanation of the differences.


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Windows – Should you replace or restore them?

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John & Cindy Farrell – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Windows - Repair or Replace? - Real Estate Boston's North Shore

Homeowners are often too quick to decide that if windows aren’t efficient or working, they need to be replaced. We have seen replacement windows that are in need of replacing and original windows that are in great shape, work beautifully and are a significant feature of the home. Here are just a few questions to consider while you are thinking about what to do with the windows in your home. Read More →