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 →


Remove Seasonal Decorations for Your Real Estate Photos

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Fall DecorationsHoliday and Seasonal decorations can make a house listing look old real fast

In an effort to make a home look it’s best in preparation for a home sale, at this time of year many sellers will reach for the seasonal and holiday decorations. That may be fine, if not overdone for showings, but it is important to keep them out of the photos . Read More →


Wondering how your renovations will affect your home’s value?

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Renovations and Home Value

This is a question we are asked frequently. We have addressed the question in a post before and decided to bring it back with a new post, since it is continuously a popular subject. Remodeling magazine has updated their data for 2016 with the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report. They explain what their numbers mean and the method they used to obtain them. It is a great tool to play around with.

Many factors can greatly effect the cost of a renovation or building project. We continue to use the calculator to get an idea of what people are spending in different locations for different projects. Check it out. Read More →


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”


Quick! What’s the price of that home? Want details & photos?

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Get the Home Snap App!If you are out driving or walking through a neighborhood and you would like immediate information about a home that you see, this app will give you the information. If it is a home that is currently on the market or has recently sold you will get photos and details straight from the MLS.  Just snap a photo of the home or your location with one button. We have tested it out and it works very well. Click on the photo to get the app. It’s easy!




Contact John & Cindy Farrell if you want more information or need assistance. 978-468-9576


Don’t overlook! 11 Things To Clean Right Before Your Home Goes On The Market.

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Bathroom FixturesThere’s a lot of physical work involved with the process of selling a home. Starting with removing, passing on and discarding the things that won’t be going with you to your new home. Then on to the staging of your home. Additional preparation is needed for the photos. The cleaning process should be taking place throughout each step. It’s easy to miss a few items. Below are a list of eleven details that are often overlooked.

  1. Light switch plates and plugs
  2. Appliances – Don’t forget these areas;
    • The inside of the microwave, and refrigerator.
    • The gaskets for the dishwasher, refrigerators and freezers.
    • The water and ice cube dispenser in the refrigerator.
    • Make sure the washing machine smells fresh.
  3. Underneath the sinks
  4. Kitchen and bathroom fixtures – have them sparkling and dry
  5. Ceiling fans
  6. The garbage pails both inside and out
  7. Hand rails, banisters, and trim work
  8. Door knobs and cabinet pulls
    • Both inside the house and exterior doors
  9. Light bulbs and light fixtures both inside and out
  10. Driveway Stains
  11. Windows inside and out – Remove any unnecessary stickers

It’s important to get your home sparking clean to make your home as appealing as possible. Don’t let overlooked cleaning tasks become a distraction.

We help people early in the home selling process.

Contact John & Cindy Farrell 978-468-9576

Updated December 22, 2022






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.

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 →


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 →

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