Steve Casey
RE/MAX Real Estate Center | 508-341-4464 | stcreal@aol.com


Posted by Steve Casey on 10/16/2017

Although location is one of the most important factors that will impact the marketability of your home, it's not the only thing prospective buyers are thinking about.

If they're organized, focused, and serious about finding the right property for their needs, they've probably developed a detailed checklist of "must haves" and a "wish list."

In all likelihood, those who are working with a real estate agent are being shown properties that conform to their requirements and many of their wish-list items. A comprehensive list would include everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want to square footage and the quality of the school district.

Many people also have specific preferences about features like floor plans, amount of storage space, the size of the backyard, architectural style, and the availability of a fireplace, patio, porch, deck, eat-in kitchen, two-car garage, and privacy features. Some are even looking for the traditional white picket fence in front of the house!

While your home can't be "all things to all people," it is highly recommended to target the widest possible audience. Your agent, a home staging consultant, or a home decorator can provide you with valuable tips on how to achieve that outcome.

Stand Out and Get Noticed

Just looking good on paper, though, is not always enough to attract motivated buyers. Prospects need to love what they see and be inspired to envision themselves living in your house. Doing what you can to create irresistible curb appeal is one vital aspect of making a great first impression. A manicured lawn, a fresh coat of paint (if needed), and some strategic home staging -- inside and out -- can make all the difference in your results!

Curb appeal is vitally important because that sets the stage, so to speak, for creating high expectations in your prospects. Once you get them in a positive frame of mind, they'll be more inclined to notice all the positive aspects of your home. If your house meets all or most of their requirements and is arranged in a way that's pleasing to them, a purchase offer and negotiations may be right around the corner.

One of the most crucial hurdles to clear in getting prospects to consider buying your house is to help them imagine living, relaxing, raising a family, and pursuing their interests in your home. Your real estate agent can help you effectively stage the interior and exterior of your home to make it inviting and appealing to the widest range of potential buyers.

You can support their sales and marketing efforts by making sure your home is always clean, fresh smelling, and ready to be shown at a moment's notice to house hunters. Doing your best to eliminate clutter, keeping counter tops neat, and making sure pets are on their best behavior (or happily frolicking at the local "doggie daycare" center) can play a key role in winning over interested buyers and successfully selling your home!





Posted by Steve Casey on 10/9/2017

Buying a home should be an unforgettable journey, one that enables you to purchase a high-quality house at a budget-friendly price. If you start planning for the homebuying journey today, you may be able to reduce the risk of encountering homebuying hurdles as you attempt to acquire a first-rate house.

Ultimately, there are many important decisions for homebuyers to make before they enter the real estate market, including:

1. Where Do I Want to Live?

As a homebuyer, you'll want to know where you want to go so you can map out your property buying journey.

Consider your current and future plans before you enter the housing market Ė you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to consider where you'll be in the next few months and years and plan accordingly.

For example, if you currently work in the city and intend to stay at your present job, you may want to search for a home that makes it easy to commute to work.

On the other hand, if you plan to start a family in the foreseeable future, you may want to consider purchasing a home near various top-notch parks and schools.

2. How Much Can I Spend on a House?

You know that you'd like to become a homeowner, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? Meet with several banks and credit unions, and you can start budgeting for a home.

Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, with a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence.

Many banks and credit unions are available, and they are happy to teach you about the ins and outs of numerous mortgage options. Plus, lenders will respond to your mortgage concerns and queries and help you make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Will I Need to Hire a Real Estate Agent?

If you're on the lookout for your dream home, why not hire an expert to guide you along the homebuying journey? With a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing your ideal residence.

A real estate agent will provide expert support at each stage of the homebuying journey. As such, he or she will help you set realistic expectations before you begin your search for your dream house.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even offer expert real estate insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

When it comes to purchasing a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey and simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Steve Casey on 10/3/2017

The Massachusetts Homestead Law is a very useful law that was put into place as a protection of homeownersí property. The law may protect your home against the claims of creditors. The act applies to your home if: 

  • You live in the home or plan to live in it
  • You use the home or plan to use the home as your primary residence 

Things To Know About The Law


It does protect manufactured and mobile home

Homestead protection does not stop your home from being foreclosed on in the event that you donít pay your mortgage


Declaration Of Homestead


You must declare that your property is a homestead property in the state of Massachusetts. This declaration will protect the equity value of your home from creditors. The equity of your home is what the ďfair market valueĒ of the home is. To calculate this value, find out what the value of your home is, then subtract all home equity loans, liens, and mortgages that you have against the house. The number thatís left is what the equity value of your home is.


When a Declaration Of Homestead is in place, youíre protected from creditors who would otherwise force you to use your equity so that you you can repay the debts that are owed. Without this protection, creditors can foreclose on your home. The only creditors that a Homestead does not protect you from are home loan companies, the IRS and legal child support obligations. 


When the loan for your home is in good standing and a Homestead is in place in Massachusetts, the following applies:


A creditor cannot auction your home if you, other owners of your home, any family members, or any family members who move into your home at a future date live there. This means that even in the event of your death, these people will all be protected from creditors taking value from the property while they are living on the property. 


Key Points


Any family members who have debts and are living in the house are also protected under the Homestead Act in Massachusetts. 


$125,000 is automatically protected. 

A Homestead Declaration needs to be filed for up to $500,000 of protection to be initiated.  


How A Declaration Of Homestead Is Filed


Youíll need to go to the Registry Of Deeds in the county where the property is located in Massachusetts to file a Declaration Of Homestead. The document will need to be notarized and there is a fee associated with filing. You may be asked if youíd like to file the Homestead Protection during the purchase agreement signing for your Massachusetts home. Note that if a lien was put on your property before the Homestead Declaration is filed, you are not protected.


Talk to your real estate attorney and realtor for more details and information on how to file a Homestead Declaration when you purchase your Massachusetts home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Steve Casey on 10/3/2017

Ever wondered what the market value of your home is? Or what the market value would look like for your dream home? If youíve done a quick Google search youíve probably come across at least a handful of websites offering tools to help you determine the value you on your own. But the numbers these tools put out should always be taken with a grain of salt. Calculating a homeís value is a complex calculation taking more than just hard data into account. And thatís where your real estate agent comes in with the information you need to know that an online tool couldnít possibly obtain.

The first thing you should know is that the market value is not a number set in stone. Itís also not a number that is reached from purely quantitative data. This is because market value is what buyers are willing to pay for a home and there are so many qualitative factors that go into this decision. Factors a computer canít find or determine on its own and that usually require someone local who has extensive knowledge of the area.

Someone like a real estate agent! An agent is well versed in selling homes in the area and connections to the community. Agents also have access to a database that stores information from all the local home sales to use as a jumping off point when calculating the home value.

So this isnít a hard and fast rule that necessarily goes by the book. While homes that have sold with similar features as yours are part of the equation they arenít the whole picture.  So yes, the number of bed and baths in your home, amenities, recent updates, the overall condition of the home, location, and age of the house will all be carefully considered this is just a piece of the bigger picture.

Factors such as current market conditions,  how many other houses are on the market, and the various reasons why nearby homes have sold are a few factors that can make an impact on your home value. Afterall, you donít want to underprice your home based off of other homes that have sold at a lower price point to attract buyers fast or overprice for your neighborhood based on what you feel your home is worth.

Lenders want to ensure the home is selling at or above the market value so getting the price right will ensure a smoother buying process for potential buyers. However, if a property is on the market for longer than 30 days, which happens often to those that are overpriced, buyers start to wonder why. They may avoid your home as a possibility. In this scenario, sellers often have to significantly drop pricing, often below market price, to attract potential buyers.

Real estate agents are truly the best source for all of this information. They can perform what is called a competitive market analysis (or CMA). We have access to resources third-party websites and DIY-appraising just canít access.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Steve Casey on 10/2/2017

Home: House is Sold SuccessfullyWhether you lived in your house for only a few years or spent many years in your home, getting your house ready to sell can be over whelming.† Here are few tips on how to approach this task and hopefully bring in top dollar for your home.

  • Depersonalize your home by removing photos and memorabilia. You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves in your home and this is a lot easier when they donít see pictures of your children or your favorite team decorating the walls.
  • Make sure you price your house correctly from the start. The first few weeks a house is listed is usually when you will get the most traffic.† Asking the right price from the beginning is key to moving your house quickly.† When the price is high and then lowered later, this can result in a slower sale.
  • Quick fixes are better than over upgrading. Doing a massive improvement on your home to get it ready to sell doesnít always give you a return on your money. Instead, do some in-expensive upgrades, like painting the walls and the ceilings. Resurface kitchen cabinets if they are in bad shape. †Maybe give your kitchen appliances a facelift with some new panels or new doors.† Toilet seats and bathroom vanities can be very inexpensive to replace as well. Donít forget the kitchen and bathrooms are the rooms that potential buyers really focus on.
  • First impressions are real important, so put emphasis on your homeís curb appeal. Make sure your homeís exterior is not in need of paint. You should have fresh mulch and new sod. †Freshen up your flower beds and have some nice hanging or potted plants in the entry way.† Give the front door a new fresh coat of paint.† Donít forget, you never get another chance to make a good first impression.
  • Storage is an important factor to a potential buyer. It is very important to make your home seem like it has ample storage. Itís probably a good idea to clean out closets.† Make them appear half empty, as people will open closet doors and cabinets. This is a good time to clear out your clutter. Remember storage space sells.