Team Zabar-Shulkin | Swampscott Real Estate, Nahant Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


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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 If they post outdated images where curb appeal is lacking, take a similar shot, and post it instead.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.



Entering the housing market for the first time can be daunting, particularly for those who want to quickly and seamlessly buy a top-notch residence at an affordable price.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of navigating the homebuying process.

Now, let's take a look at three vital tips to help a first-time homebuyer acquire a residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market constantly changes, and as a result, differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market can be tough. Fortunately, a homebuyer who analyzes the real estate sector closely should have no trouble discovering a variety of outstanding houses at budget-friendly prices.

To assess the housing market, you'll first want to look at the prices of residences that are currently available. This will enable you to better understand the prices of homes in cities and towns where you'd like to live.

Next, you should analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your region. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out whether you're preparing to buy a home in a buyer's market or a seller's one.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A first-time homebuyer may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can prepare a homebuying budget and narrow your home search accordingly.

To obtain a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal and make an informed mortgage decision.

Furthermore, don't forget to share your mortgage concerns and questions with potential lenders. This will enable you to choose a mortgage that won't force you to overspend to acquire your ideal house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – the homebuying journey can be long and arduous, particularly for a homebuyer who is exploring residences for the first time. But with a real estate agent at your side, you can remove the guesswork of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

A real estate agent is an expert of his or her craft, and as such, will do everything possible to help you achieve your homebuying goals.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying expectations. This housing market professional also will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences that fall within your price range and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress throughout the homebuying cycle. A real estate agent understands the challenges of buying a house and will do whatever it takes to help you avoid or overcome potential homebuying hurdles.

Don't miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream residence – use the aforementioned tips for first-time homebuyers, and you can boost your chances of acquiring a terrific house without breaking your budget.


You don't need to be a home selling expert to counter a buyer's offer to purchase your house. In fact, sellers who know what factors to consider as they evaluate a homebuying proposal may be better equipped than others to submit a successful counter-offer.

Now, let's take a look at three factors a seller should consider before countering a buyer's offer to purchase his or her home.

1. Your Home Selling Goals

If an initial offer to purchase your home falls shy of your property selling expectations, there is no need to stress. By countering this proposal, you and a buyer may be able to find common ground. And as a result, both parties may be able to come to an agreement on a house sale.

Analyze your home selling goals closely. And if you find a buyer's offer to purchase comes close to helping you achieve your goals, you may want to submit a counter-proposal.

2. Your Home's Condition

The condition of your home may have far-flung effects on your house selling experience. If your home is in need of assorted upgrades, a buyer may be more inclined than ever before to account for these repairs in his or her offer to purchase. Meanwhile, as a home seller, you need to consider your residence's condition as you assess an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.

If you feel a buyer's initial offer to purchase your home is low based on your residence's condition, you may want to counter the proposal. However, if you account for the costs of potential home repairs in your counter-proposal, you may be able to come to terms with a buyer on a home selling agreement.

3. Your Home's Price

Although you may have allocated significant time and resources to price your home appropriately based on the current real estate market's conditions, you may receive an offer to purchase that falls short of your expectations. Fortunately, if you submit a counter-proposal, you can make it clear about what price you are willing to accept for your residence. And if you provide a counter-offer to an initial homebuying proposal, you can show a buyer exactly how much he or she will need to pay to purchase your house.

As you analyze an offer to purchase your home, keep in mind that you can always collaborate with a real estate agent too. If you work with a real estate agent, you may be able to gain the insights you need to make an informed property selling decision.

Typically, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting, rejecting or countering an offer to purchase your house. If you are looking for in-depth home selling recommendations and suggestions, a real estate agent is happy to provide them to you at your convenience.

Assess an offer to purchase your home carefully – you'll be glad you did. If you feel you may be able to reach an agreement with a buyer, you may want to counter his or her homebuying proposal.


Promoting a house to potential buyers sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to stir up interest in your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you promote your residence to buyers.

1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

Amazing curb appeal is essential, particularly for a seller who wants to differentiate his or her house from other available residences. If your house boasts outstanding curb appeal, it is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. And as a result, buyers may be more likely to request showings to view your home in comparison to other available houses in your city or town.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and remove dirt and debris from exterior walkways. Also, devote time and resources to repair any damaged home siding.

If you require assistance with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to local contractors as well. In fact, these professionals can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab in no time at all.

2. Create an Engaging Home Listing

An engaging home listing makes it easy for buyers to learn about your home. It is clear and concise, and as such, enables buyers to determine if your home matches their expectations.

To craft an engaging home listing, it often helps to make a list of your home's features. If you include relevant information about your house in your listing, you can teach buyers about your residence.

In addition, you may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. With high-resolution images, you can show off the true beauty of your house to potential buyers.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you create a home listing, you can share this listing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. By doing so, you can make it simple for buyers to learn about your residence.

Don't forget to share your home listing with family members and friends as well. If loved ones can access your home listing, they can share it with others and help you promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible.

For a seller who is worried about generating interest in his or her home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you employ a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to buyers in any housing market, at any time. He or she will develop an in-depth plan to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will help you analyze any offers to purchase your home and ensure you can optimize your house sale earnings.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your residence to potential buyers and speed up the home selling journey.


When you have a small yard, you may feel like there’s not much you can do with your landscaping scheme. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to perk up your yard and give it some character. Read on for tips for your small yard. 


A Yard With A View


First, you should create a focal point in your yard. You want a place that your eyes are drawn to each time you enter your yard. This focal point could be a fountain, a pergola, a tree, or even some outdoor artwork.


Create An Intimate Spot


Even though your backyard might be small, having a spot for intimate conversation and entertaining can be a nice touch to your yard. When there is a space that exists for reading, relaxing, eating, or whatever you like to do outside, it becomes more inviting. This is landscaping with a purpose.   



Use Color To Your Advantage


Make bold colors pop in your yard. Attention will be detracted from the size of your yard and the focus will switch to the beautiful blends and colors that are in the space. Placing bright colors strategically will even make your yard appear larger. 



Trick Imagery


By creating a focal point and allowing your yard to form in long, clean lines, the perspective of the outdoor space will change from small to just right. One trick is to use fences to define your yard. If you have a garden, you can use a small fence to define this area. Define the boundaries of your backyard with a fence as well. Repeating rows of flowers or bushes is another way to create those straight, defining lines. 


Use Vertical Features


When space is limited, just as you would in the inside of your house, don’t be afraid to go up! You can plant things that grow on a vine and can be tamed with a trellis or pergola. This creates and elegant effect in your home. 


No Lawn No Problem


If your yard is small enough that you may not even have much grass, don’t fret. Any kind of greenery can help you to enjoy nature. Whether you live in a rural area or a large cityscape, there’s always room for plant life and green natural accents.      


Don’t Forget To Add What You Love


If you have an admiration for sitting by the fire, you certainly should install a fire pit. If you want a fountain, you should install it. No matter what the size of your yard, it’s a place that you love and should serve you and your needs. No yard is too small for enjoyment. The key is that your outdoor space allows you to bask in the glory of your own little piece of natural heaven.    


 





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