Wanda Mooney

Selling Tips

Easy Projects to Improve Your Home During Winter

During this time of year, many of us spend a lot of time at home. If you're starting to experience cabin fever, here are some easy projects to freshen up your home in the middle of winter:

bathroom makeover home winter projectsThe Closets

Winter time is perfect for decluttering and cleaning out your closets. Organize your clothes and eliminate ones that you haven’t worn for years. Dig deep into the back of your closet and see what's been hiding out of sight. Then you can donate any unwanted items to the local Salvation Army or Goodwill.

The Bathrooms 

The bathrooms can be a place where a lot of scum and germs build up. Take the time deep clean your bathrooms. Go through the linen closet and vanities to see what unwanted items are filling up the space. You might also consider painting the walls, freshen up with new towels and bath mats and add a plant to give your bathrooms some life. 

The Laundry Room

It's easy for dust to build up in the laundry room and for the space to become untidy. Give your laundry room a thorough dusting and cleaning. Organize the linens to make it easy to access the ones you need. Add some shelving or wall art to give it a fresh new look.

home office organization winter cleaningThe Home Office

Most of us are working out of our home right now. If the space where you do most of your work is cluttered, it can be uninspiring and difficult to be productive. Freshen up your work space by decluttering table tops and organizing items and paperwork in draws or cabinets. Then add some inspiring artwork or a plant to make the space feel calm and appealing. An organized space will make it easier to work on your goals for the upcoming year.

The Walls

There is nothing better than a fresh coat of interior paint to make your rooms feel new again. Choose some new colors that appeal to you and then have fun painting the walls. Once it has dried, you can freshen up the rooms by adding matching pillows and wall decor. Update your photos with new frames or recent photos. You can also place candles on some of the furniture to make the house feel cozy and warm.  

Smart Homes

You might want to explore incorporating smart home devices into your living space.  There are various thermostats, alarms, light switches and interesting gadgets that you can get to make your home work smarter! This can help you save money, make your home more energy efficient, and make your house more appealing down the road when you may want to sell. Check out my blog posts on smart homes and smart home devices for more information.

Energy Efficiency

Lastly I would contact MassSave and have an energy audit done on your home. They will contribute to having your home insulated and you can also take advantage of their interest free loans and rebates!

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Selling Your House With Today's Technology

In a survey by realtor.com, people thinking about selling their houses today indicated they’re generally willing to allow their agent and some potential buyers inside if done under the right conditions. They’re less comfortable, however, hosting an open house. This is understandable, given the health concerns our country is facing this year. The question is, if you need to sell your house now, what virtual practices should you use to make sure you, your family, and potential buyers stay safe throughout the process?

selling house online real estateWorking with a trusted professional who is skilled with today’s changing virtual practices may help you win big. While always abiding by state and local regulations, agents know exactly what today’s buyers need, and how to put the necessary digital steps in place. For example, according to the same survey, when asked to select what technology would be most helpful when deciding on a new home, here’s what today’s homebuyers said, in order of preference:

  • Virtual tour of the home
  • Accurate and detailed listing information
  • Detailed neighborhood information
  • High-quality listing photos
  • Agent-led video chat

When it’s time to show your house in person, agents are also able to regulate the process based on the recommendations given by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), to help you proceed safely. Here are a few of the guidelines, understanding that the top priority should always be to obey state and local restrictions first:

  • Limit in-person activity
  • Require guests to wash their hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Remove shoes or cover with booties
  • Follow CDC guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings

Bottom Line

In this era of life, things are shifting quickly, and virtual seller strategies may be a gamechanging option for you. Let’s connect so you can safely and effectively navigate through all that’s evolving when it comes to making your next move. 

For more selling tips, check out my Seller's Guide: Fall 2020 Edition.

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Leveraging Your Home Equity

According to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity, and 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear.

homeowner equity leverage CoreLogic also notes the average equity mortgaged homes have right now is $177,000. That’s a tremendous amount of forced savings for homeowners in today’s market.

As a homeowner, you may have more equity in your house than you realize. Using it to make your move to a new home while interest rates are hovering near all-time lows may be the best decision you could ever make.

In a season like we’re in now, when inventory is limited, equity is high, and interest rates are low, homeowners in a position to sell are in a great place to win big.

Today, sellers are also earning a significant return when making a move in the current market. In the Q2 2020 U.S. Home Sales Report, ATTOM Data Solutions notes:

Home sellers nationwide realized a gain of $75,971 on the typical sale, up from the $66,500 in the first quarter of 2020 and from $65,250 in the second quarter of last year. The latest figure, based on median purchase and resale prices, marked yet another peak level of raw profits in the United States since the housing market began recovering from the Great Recession in 2012.”

 

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to see if your home equity and potential profits position you to make your next move sooner than you may have thought possible.

home equity massachusetts

For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Prep Your Home to Sell

Are you thinking of selling within the next 12 months and wondering what type of repairs or renovations you should do before it hits the market? Here are some statistics taken from the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report. These suggestions do make sense based on our local market. However, it is always best to have this conversation with your local real estate agent to determine your highest return on investment.

The following is a list of renovations which will likely attract buyers:renovations to prep home for sale

  1. Complete Kitchen Renovation

  2. Kitchen Upgrade

  3. HVAC Replacement

  4. Install New Wood Floors

  5. Bathroom Renovation

  6. Refinish Existing Wood Floors

  7. New Master Suite

  8. Add New Bathroom

  9. Basement Conversion to Living Space

  10. Attic Conversion to Living Space

  11. Closet Renovation

Below are the top exterior and interior renovations that received the highest return on investment (ROI):

Exterior:
New Roof - ROI - 107%
New Garage Door - ROI - 95%
New Fiber-Cement Siding - ROI - 76%
New Steel or Fiberglass Front Door - ROI - 75% (steel) and 74% (fiberglass)

Interior:
New Wood Flooring - ROI - 106%
Refinish Existing Wood Floors - ROI - 100% HVAC Replacement - ROI 85%
Insulation Upgrade - ROI 83%

If you are thinking of selling and don’t have an agent, contact Wanda at 413-768-9848 or email hello@wandamooney.com.
   

November 2019 Sales Report of Single Family Homes in the Pioneer Valley

Single family homes western MassachusettsSales of single family homes in Franklin County remained the same and median price increased 8.9% in November 2019 compared to November 2018. The sales were down 1.4% in Hampden County and 24.1% in Hampshire County. Median price was up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties.

The average days on market was up 1.8% from 69 average number of days in November 2018 compared to 70 days in November 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 20.3% from 384 listings pending in November 2018 to 462 listings pending sale in November 2019.

November Sales Report Pioneer ValleyPioneer Valley Real Estate Sales MassachusettsLocal market update Pioneer Valley Real Estate

 

May 2019 Sales Report of Single Family Homes in Pioneer Valley

real estate sales report pioneer valley massachusettsSales of single family homes in Franklin County were up 22.2% and median price up 3.7% in May 2019 compared to May 2018. The sales were up in Hampden County, while sales were down in Hampshire County. Median price was up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties. 

The average days on market was up 4.2% from 68 days in May 2018 compared to 71 days in May 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 4.9% from 677 listings pending in May 2018 to 710 listings pending sale in May 2019.

may 2019 sales report pioneer valley key points

may 2019 single family home sales report pioneer valley

pioneer valley local market update massachusetts real estate sale reportfranklin county local market update sales report

Cost vs. Value: Is Your Home Renovation Worth It?

Deciding Whether to Renovate

Renovated Kitchen Western MassachusettsHow do you know whether it’s worth it to make a renovation to your home? Perhaps you want to improve the quality of living at your home, but don’t necessarily want to sell in the near future. Maybe you are planning to sell soon and want to increase your resale value. No matter what your reason, below is a helpful table which compares the average costs of specific home renovations to the resale value and cost recouped for New England.

Reach out to Wanda Mooney to discuss which renovations will provide the highest return for your home based on when you plan to sell. Email Wanda at Wanda@WandaMooney.com or call (413) 768-9848. 

New England Home Renovation Cost vs Value ReportNew England Home Renovation Cost vs Value Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Builders in Western Massachusetts

Once you have made the decision to renovate, check out these local businesses who can help you in your home renovations.

Bathroom Renovation Western MassachusettsWright Builders, Inc: Wright Builders is a Western Massachusetts' sustainable, high performance and zero net energy construction expert. With nearly 45 years of high-performance building practices; from planning, to design, to construction, their expertise and commitment to excellence will bring your home, workplace, institutional or commercial project from concept to fruition. They have ongoing partnerships with the EPA's ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPlus programs to enhance the quality of the living and work environments they create with you. Contact Wright Builders at (413) 586-8287 or info@wright-builders.com.

Scott DiGeorge/DiGeorge Builders: Based out of Bernardston, Mass, DiGeorge Builders provides excellent service in custom building and remodeling. Contact Scott DiGeorge at (413) 648-0584. 

JPH Building, Inc: JPH Building is a full service residential and light commercial building company. Located in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts and founded by Jay Heilman, a master craftsman with over twenty years of experience. Contact JPH Building at (413) 775-3305 or Jay@jphbuilding.com

AIP Builders: AIP or Aging in Place Builders specializes in renovations which help the elderly or those with disabilities to renovate their home in a way which allows them to continue to live comfortably in their home. They are a family owned and operated business based out of Northfield, MA. Contact AIP Builders at (413) 225-3047.

 

(Source: https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/new-england/)

 

Should You Keep Your Home on the Market in the Winter?

Your home is still listed for sale. You might be thinking it is best to take it off the market and re-list in the spring. However if you are serious about selling, rethink removing it from the market for the following 4 reasons.

1.  If you remove your home from the market, you will have less completion on the market place, which means buyers will have less to pick from. You actually might sell at a higher price in the winter than if you wait until spring when you'll have greater competition.

2.   The winter months are the best time for buyers to make a purchase. They normally have more time to look around before the spring, when life gets busy with kids getting out of school and summer vacations being planned.

3.  Buyers want to already be in their new home in winter so they can enjoy the start of the spring and summer season.

4.  Bad weather is no longer an issue for buyers like it used to be in the past, traveling to view different homes. Nine out of ten homebuyers search for their homes online at their workplaces, on their smart phones, and from the comfort of their homes after dark.

I have sold many of my listings during the winter. My sellers were glad they listened to my advice about keeping their homes on the market. Don’t let the winter season discourage you from trying to sell your home.  

Happy Winter Selling!

5 Staging Tips Before You Show Your Home

Did you know that a staged property usually sells for more money and in less time than an unstaged property? In a recent article by House Logic, “81 Staging Tips That Helps Buyers Fall in Love,” an example of this is shown with two condo listings. Both units were in the same complex and were the same size and layout. One of the units was staged and the other was not. The staged unit sold for $30,000 more than the unstaged one. While staging your home does not guarantee you more money, putting that extra effort in before showing your home can go a long way.

The article continues on to share some helpful tips to prepare each room of your house for showing. Here are some tips that I found to be most important:

1. Depersonalize your home.

It is important that buyers can envision themselves living there. Remove family portraits, refrigerator decorations, and other memorabilia around the home. Instead, hang interesting artwork on the walls or set out a tea set or a board game in the living room so that buyers see what life would be like in your home.

2. Declutter.

This can be a great way to start packing up the house! Clear all countertops, tables, and other surfaces, leaving only one or two decorative items such as a vase. Take away a few pieces of furniture, especially in the living room. Clean out the cupboards, leaving only one matching set of dishes and a few glasses. Clean and organize the pantry. The goal is to make the rooms feel larger and to show the full potential for storage areas such as cabinets and closets.

3. Scrub.

Deep clean your entire home or hire a cleaning service to do it for you. Be sure to remove all dirt and grime from walls, backsplashes, and cabinets, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have a pet, remove all pet hair, stains, and odors. Make your home so clean it shines!

4. Repair and Refresh.

Replace any old tiling or use paint instead. Fix leaky faucets or running toilets. Fill in nicks or holes in walls and add a fresh coat of paint. Replace any broken or torn window screens and any damaged or aging hardwood floors.

5. Don’t forget about the exterior!

Most buyers drive by houses first before setting up showing appointments. Make sure that their first impression is a positive one. Mow the lawn, trim the shrubs and trees. Power-wash the outside of your home, driveway, and porch. Store any yard equipment or toys out of sight, but leave out something welcoming such as porch furniture or a hammock. Revive the grass with fresh sod or new seed. Brighten up the yard with colorful flowers. Then take a step back and look- make sure things look clean!

Then on the day of showing, add some seasonal touches, such as sizzling cinnamon in the fall or flowers during the spring and summer. Tidy up whatever else may be lingering and then take off while potential buyers admire your beautiful, clean home.

As an accredited staging professional, I have received specific training in staging homes. I work with all my clients to make sure their home is staged properly before it hits the market. 

Read the full article on House Logic.

More tips by me for making a positive first impression.

 

 

Do You Have These 9 Items Ready as You Prep Your Home for Sale?

9 Items to Prepare Your Home For SaleRecently I came across an article in Coldwell Banker’s blog about 9 overlooked items necessary to prepare your home for sale, by David Marine. I found the list to be very helpful since we often are so focused on the big, cosmetic tasks, that we skip some of the details behind the scenes. Here are some things you should be sure to have done before putting your house on the market:

1. Survey

Keep a current copy of your home’s survey and be sure to give your listing agent a copy, as well. This document will provide important information to buyers, such as property lines, easements, conservation buffers, etc.

2. Floorplan or Appraisal Sketch

Whether deciding on furniture placement or parking space, a floorplan is crucial for a buyer to know property dimensions. It is suggested to have an appraisal sketch done to confirm exact square footage of a home, rather than using tax records.

3. Utility Bills

Review your utility bills to give buyers an average cost for heating and cooling your home. This helps them figure out total costs of owning the home.

4. Termite Bond

A termite bond is a protection plan in the case of a termite infestation. In many markets where termites are common, buyers are interested in knowing the termite bond policy.

5. Pest Control

If your propety requires any type of pest control maintenance, have all of the details ready. Include how much you pay, how often maintenance is done, and who your provider is.

6. Insurance

Buyers are interested in knowing the seller’s current home insurance provider, since sometimes it can be easier for them to go through the same provider, rather than trying to acquire a new one.

7. Product Manuals and Warranty Documents

For any home appliances that will remain in the home, such as water heaters, ceiling fans, refrigerators, etc., have the manuals and warranty information ready.

8. Service Providers

Have a list of all vendors and service providers. The buyer may eventually opt to find their own providers, however they will appreciate having help available initially.

9. Covenants and Restrictions, Neighborhood Rules and Information

This information is very important to new owners. You can find it by contacting your neighborhood association or going to your municipality’s website.

If you really want to go above and beyond as a seller, once you have all this information, store it in handy binder or folder that can be easily passed on to the buyer. While it may seem like a lot to compile, it will be less stressful to do it before putting your home on the market and can even move your sale along faster.

Read the full article here.

Contact me today for help in preparing your home for sale!

Source: Marine, David. “9 Overlooked Items to Prep Your Home for Sale.” Coldwell Banker Blue Matter, 7 Dec. 2017, www.coldwellbanker.com/blog/9-overlooked-items-to-prep-your-home-for-sale/.

 

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