Cathy Stewart - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Merrimack Valley | 978-270-2280 | cathystewart@kw.com


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 6/19/2018

You may be ready to sell your home. However, before you add your residence to the real estate market, you should consider involving your neighbors in the home selling process.

There are many quick, easy ways to connect with your neighbors and ensure they can help you sell your house, including:

1. Meet Face-to-Face with Your Neighbors

Although you've enjoyed many wonderful years in your neighborhood, you may determine that now is a good time to relocate. As such, you should meet with your neighbors to share the news.

A face-to-face meeting with a neighbor usually is a good idea. At this time, you can provide details about your future plans and respond to your neighbor's concerns or questions as well.

Plus, you can ask your neighbor if he or she knows anyone who may be interested in your home. And if your neighbor answers, "Yes," encourage him or her to share the news that your house will soon be available.

2. Provide Neighbors with a Copy of Your Home Listing

Ultimately, you'll want to provide your neighbors with as much information about your home as possible. By doing so, you can make it simple for your neighbors to keep colleagues, family members and friends up to date about your residence.

If an online home listing is available, feel free to share a link to the listing via email or social media. Then, your neighbors can copy and paste the link to the listing to share it with anyone they choose.

Also, if your neighbors prefer a paper copy of your home listing, you should be able to provide them with a print-out that outlines your house's features. Be ready to provide paper copies of your home listing to your neighbors at any time, and you can boost your chances of selling your home quickly.

3. Be Available to Respond to Home Selling Concerns and Questions

After you share details about your home with neighbors, it may be only a matter of time before your residence sells. Meanwhile, neighbors may return to you with additional concerns and questions about your residence.

Be available to your neighbors via phone call, text and email. This will ensure you can provide your neighbors with the home information they request, any time they need it.

Lastly, it is important to remember that home sellers should try to do everything they can to promote their residences to the right groups of homebuyers. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can improve your chances of connecting with the right homebuyers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and work with you to ensure you can achieve them. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses and respond to your home selling concerns and queries to guarantee you are fully supported throughout the home selling journey.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence.





Posted by Cathy Stewart on 6/12/2018

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a home. Not just a place to cook meals itís also often the entrance to a home and where families gather together at the end of the day. Arguably, itís also the most important room in the home and the one home buyers should be most astute of.

The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms to remodel ranging between $20,000 and $50,000. Whether youíre eager for some renovation projects or looking for a move-in ready home, youíll want to assess the level of work this room will need as your shop potential houses.

Start with perhaps the most obvious - is the room large enough for your daily needs? Is there plenty of counter space or room to expand cabinetry? Do you have a lot of kitchen tools that call for plenty of storage space or perhaps prefer an island to prep dinner at? Know what your ideal kitchen space ahead of time, especially if it is a priority, so your realtor can help you find the perfect fit.

Check that all appliances to ensure they are in working order as per the disclosure statement claims. Appliances are a big expense and youíll want to have a good idea of what will need replacing or to be installed. Consider if they are an easy color to match when it comes time for replacement and if any are under warranty.

Youíll also want to examine the cabinetry. Check to ensure all drawers and cabinets are properly aligned and open smoothly. If they are wooden cabinets you can easily swap out hardware or change the color if youíre not a fan of the current style. However, other materials are not as convenient so consider replacement costs if youíre unhappy with the current installation.

Countertops can be another major expense. Have the granite countertops been properly taken care of? If they are laminate are they scratched or chipped? If this isnít an upgrade youíre looking to make, be sure to look closely at what each home already has in place.

Kitchens are one of the busiest rooms in your home, especially if you love to cook. Check flooring for loose tiles, discoloration or poorly maintained wood flooring. This tells you a few things. Firstly, the quality of the materials used to build the home. And secondly, how well the house has been maintained over time.

Remodeling isnít on everyone's list when house shopping. And with kitchenís being one of the most expensive to renovate, this is one room you want to pay extra attention to as you view each potential home. Happy house hunting!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 6/5/2018

When moving one of the room most families dread packing the most is their childís. Overflowing toy boxes, stuff crammed under the beds, and who knowís what in the closet. Itís an epic task to take on, usually with just as much cleaning needed as packing. But with a move comes a new room and a clean slate. 

Here are my top tips to keeping an organized childís room (and for longer than 2 hours):

The most important step is to downscale the amount of stuff your child has. Toys are usually the number one culprit when it comes to a childís clutter. Plan a day to have a massive clean sweep with your child where you work together what toys stay and which need to go. The more you can clean out the less youíll have to move and the easier it will be to organize at the new house.

As you decide what stays think about the different categories the remaining toys fall into it. Which does your child reach for the most? Do they like to play with trains and action figures at the same time but just legos by themselves? Asking yourself these questions will help you to create organizational categories that make sense to your child.

Once you have some categories decided on, think about how to organize them. What systems do you already have in place and how do they work for your child? One of the biggest stumbling blocks families face in maintaining an organized home with children is a lack of understanding for how much a child can handle.

Keeping things simple with baskets and buckets toys can be placed in can make a huge difference in how tidy a room stays. Zippered, closed, sectioned or stacked containers, especially for young children, are harder to manage. Paired with piles of toys a child can become quickly overwhelmed at cleanup time.

By cutting down on the number of toys your child has, organizing them in a way that makes sense to how your child plays with them and opting for open containers sets your child up for cleaning success. The simpler you can make it the easier it is for them to take on the task. Pairing this setup with learning habits like cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to another will keep your childís room tidy for months, and even years, to come.

And the biggest secret to avoid clutter from building up again? Before each birthday, holiday or gift receiving event go through your childís toy collection and clean out what they no longer use to make room for new toys. If you want to go even further, encourage friends and family to gift your child experiences instead of material goods for celebrations.




Tags: playroom   child   organize  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 5/29/2018

Are you in a hurry to acquire a deluxe residence as soon as possible? Ultimately, you'll need to prepare accordingly to ensure you can beat dozens of homebuying rivals as you search for the perfect house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help homebuyers accelerate the property buying journey.

1. Track the Housing Market Closely

A diligent homebuyer will monitor the housing market and keep track of new houses as they become available. By doing so, this property buyer will be better equipped than others to pounce on an opportunity to purchase a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Also, a homebuyer should consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, a homebuyer can enter the real estate market with a clear understanding of how much he or she can spend on a house. Then, this homebuyer can map out his or her house search.

2. Don't Hesitate to Submit a Competitive Offer

If you walk through a home and feel comfortable with the residence, don't wait to submit a competitive offer on it.

Remember, the early bird catches the worm. And a homebuyer who waits too long to submit a competitive offer on a residence risks losing it to a rival.

To define a competitive offer, consider the current asking price for a residence as well as the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town. This housing market information will help you understand how one house stacks up against another and ensure you can submit a data-based homebuying proposal.

Furthermore, look at how long a home has been available. If a house has been on the market for several months, a property seller may be more likely to accept an offer that falls under his or her initial asking price.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to relocate to their dream home in the near future, hiring a real estate agent is a must.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to discover a terrific house that won't force you to break your budget. As such, he or she will work with you throughout the homebuying process and ensure you can get the best results possible.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. This housing market professional will even allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about your homebuying goals and help you achieve these aspirations in any way possible.

Let's not forget about a real estate agent's active listening skills, either. A real estate agent will listen to your homebuying concerns and questions and is happy to respond to them at any time. That way, you can receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying process.

Ready to speed up the homebuying journey? Use these tips, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a wonderful residence at a price that matches or exceeds your expectations.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Cathy Stewart on 5/22/2018

If youíre selling your home it can be frustrating when you arenít receiving any offers. Perhaps youíve heard that itís a sellerís market and that the offers on your house would be flying in. However, itís more complicated than that.

Whether or not your house receives offers is determined by a number of reasons--some that in your control, others that arenít. But, that doesnít mean you have to give up and sell your house at a low price.

In this article, weíll discuss what to do if your house just isnít selling. Weíll talk about some reasons why people may be hesitant to bid, to inquire about a showing, and to seal the deal and purchase your home.

Revisit the comparable properties

If your home has been on the market for a while, itís a good idea to check out the other recent homes in your neighborhood to see how their prices compare to the listing price of your home. Since the market fluctuates, other sellers could be adjusting the cost to reflect the current rates, leaving yours higher than it should be.

When pricing your home, make sure you are comparing your house to those that have actually sold. Using houses that have been on the market for a while as a baseline might mean youíve priced your home too high to sell just like theirs.

Also, make sure you are using houses that share many of the common features that yours does. This can include:

  • Square footage

  • The year the house was built

  • Number of bedrooms and baths

  • The lot size

  • The condition of the home

Remember, it isnít all just about location.

Getting more leads

If people arenít making inquiries about your home, there are a few things you should check up on. First, make sure your listings are updated and accurate. The contact info should be easy to find, and you or your real estate agent should provide multiple means of contact (email, cell phone, text, etc.).

Next, ensure that youíve given enough details about the house. If people are searching for a specific number of rooms but your listing doesnít mention the number of rooms you have, you might be missing out on several inquiries.

Finally, make sure your photos are high resolution and well-lit. You want to make sure visitors to your listing can get a clear idea of what your home looks like. If your photos are small, dark, blurry, or if they make the house look cramped and cluttered, you should retake your photos or consider hiring a photographer.

Getting more offers

If youíve had plenty of inquiries and showings but you arenít getting any offers there may be a deeper, underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Usually, this means your home needs important repairs and upgrades that buyers simply donít want to make.

If your house is priced to be move-in ready but itís not, youíll have to make some upgrades or lower the price.

Not working with an agent

Sellers can also have a difficult time getting offers if they attempt to sell the home themselves without using a real estate agent. If your home is FSBO (For Sale by Owner), youíre missing out on a number of listing services and connections that an agent can provide.