Ask Jean Posts Tagged as Home Sales

Jean Allard, SRES is Vice President and Sales Associate with Keystone Real Estate Group. Feel free to comment on Jean's blog posts and ask any questions you may have on all facets of real estate!

Don't Touch That Dial!

Published 04/01/2015

So, here you are, bopping about the Internet looking at houses. And then...there it is!  The perfect house! You pick up the phone and call the listing agent.  STOP RIGHT THERE! Rewind. You may have made a very costly mistake.

Did you know that the listing agent has an obligation to work for the SELLER'S best interests? Sure, they can fill out the paperwork for you. However, who is on YOUR side? You need a buyer's agent.  Here's why:

  • No fee to you
  • The seller pays the commission, NOT the buyer
  • You need someone to navigate the process for you
  • The buyer's agent will help you with the inspection process, negotiations, etc.
  • They will be sure you stay within the contractual timeframes

Once you fall in love with a house, your emotions are on your sleeve. Trust a reputable buyer's agent to negotiate in your behalf. They have an objective view of the property.  You don't want to end up purchasing a money pit. Let your agent lead the way.






How to Win a Bidding War

Published 03/11/2015

The spring housing market is geared up for a busy season.  There's lots of pent-up demand due to the bleak winter we've experienced here in New England. We're sure to see some bidding wars.  How do you ensure your offer beats your competition's? Be sure you work with a Designated Client Representative. In this capacity, the licensee has a fiduciary obligation to act in your best interests. Once you are emotionally invested in a house, your negotiating skills go right out the window.  Your agent should be well versed in this regard. 

  • Is the seller in a hurry to move?
  • Do they have an offer on another home?
  • How extensive are the repairs that may be needed?
  • What else is selling in the neighborhood?
  • Is the house priced appropriately, or is there room to negotiate?

These are only a few of the factors that go into the strategy of negotiation.  If you have a Realtor that you trust, the lines of communication should be open, and they will fight to get you into the home of your dreams.

Uh oh...Where's the Key?

Published 03/04/2015

Unless you are a real estate professional, you are probably not that familiar with lockboxes.  Essentially, it is a box with a combination lock that stores keys.  They are typically attached to an entryway door.  Many agents use them so that buyer's agents can have easy access to the home.  We don't like them for a number of reasons.

  • Are the other agents diligent in returning the key and locking the house up properly?
  • How do you know for certain that the key doesn't get lost or stolen?
  • We've heard horror stories of agents giving the codes to the clients.  They let themselves in.  Is this ethical? No. Does it happen? Yes.
  • A key cannot tell you how old the roof is, or explain that mystery leak in the basement.
  • If a key is not in the lockbox, you can bet the buyers will go on to the next house.  They most likely will not return. Result? A potential sale is lost.
  • If a seller is paying a commission to an agent, why is a key doing the work?

Think long and hard before deciding to allow a lockbox to sell your house. Used properly, it's convenient. Used improperly, it's a waste of time and a potential sale.


Published 02/24/2015

Say it isn't so! It's February and you still have Santa on your roof? Holiday lights are hanging from the bushes and wooden reindeer are still on the front lawn?  What message does this send to a potential buyer for your home?  Subconsciously, they are wondering if they even want to bother looking inside.  The message they get is that you just don't care. If you don't care enough to take care of seasonal items, what else have you let go? Roof leaks? General maintenance?

It's been a loooong, cold and snowy winter.  We get that. While the winter months typically slow down for listings, serious buyers are still looking, however.  Here's the opportunity to shine. Go ahead. Take down that inflatable Grinch. He's been buried under the snow and needs to go back in the garage. Untangle those lights and put them away. Hang a wreath of fresh lemons or oranges on the front door to add a pop of color.  It's SO much more welcoming than dead twigs.