Boston real estate is a hot topic. Daily newspaper articles comment on whether or not a bubble exists in the Boston real estate market, when and if it will pop, how interest rates affect the market, why Boston residents are snapping up interest-only loans, and how foreign investors in our treasuries keep interest rates low. There are articles about the location and amenities of Boston homes, why those factors make our region so desirable, and why the completion of the big dig is going to make Boston real estate even more desirable.
Journalists remark on the gentrification of our neighborhoods and the development of the Boston Seaport. Reporters poll Boston real estate agents for comments on the empty nesters moving out of suburban neighborhoods to buy luxury Boston condos, the rapid pace in which Dorchester homes are being converted into condos, whether large firms leaving the city might impact Boston real estate, or if bio-technology firms will continue to drive up home prices. We are flooded with theories and statistics of how the weather affects Boston real estate, or how the parking affects South Boston real estate. We hear about the growth of mortgage companies and the increase in mortgage products available to today’s real estate consumer. It isn’t unusual to hear dinner conversation revolving around the next investor hot spot, if having a buyer agent is a necessity, if a 5 year-arm is a good product for a Boston condo purchase, or if the success of the Patriots and Red Sox has any influence on the Boston real estate market.
However, as a Boston real estate agent, I do know that despite all of the external influence driving our market: foreign investors, fed hikes, an influx of jobs, and the relocation of Boston companies; the Boston homeowner still has a great amount of power and influence over the sale of their Boston home.
Despite what the Globe, the Herald, the Times or the WSJ reports about what drives the real estate market, people buy and sell homes. There are numerous factors that go into each home buying decision, and although everyone is different, there is some level of emotion that plays into the majority of home purchases. It could be that the buyer likes the cast iron lights that line the streets, the willow tree that shades the backyard, or the coffee-house at the end of the street. The prospective buyer might like the color of the living room or the view of the water from the second floor. It won’t be the only reason to purchase your home, but for every purchase, there will be at least one defining influence that is based on emotion instead of reason.
And what that means for each seller is that when a prospective buyer walks into your Boston home, they are influenced by the color of your walls, the clutter on your shelves, the cleanliness of your windows. If your home looks like a page out of Home and Garden, then no matter how old, worn or non-existent their own furniture is, on some conscious or subconscious level, they will leave with the impression that their stuff would look this good if they moved into your home. Conversely, if your home looks like the before photo of Extreme Makeover, they might not be able to get past the wet dog smell or the fluorescent turquoise molding to see the beauty of your property. Here are a few guidelines that might be helpful when getting your Boston home ready for sale.
1) Don’t give them reason to cross you off the list. While it would be ideal to put out flowers, light candles or bake a batch of cookies prior to open houses or showing appointments, the most important thing you can do is make sure there are no easy reasons to eliminate your house from the prospective pool of Boston housing stock. This means there should be no odors emanating from your home, pathways should be cleared for walking, and that nothing should be broken or falling down.
2) Paint walls neutral colors. In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of trendy paint colors, you might just love Tangerine Zing in the bathroom or Purple Rain in your kitchen. Consider repainting. It’s much more difficult to have a hate relationship with Antique White or Ecru.
3) Eradicate clutter. Invest in some organizational storage equipment. You might ask yourself why you would make your home look perfect just as you are about to move out of it? It will be worth every penny and minute spent de-cluttering. You can take the letter sorter/shoe organizer/magazine holder with you. In the meantime, you want your countertops as clean and your closets as organized as possible.
4) Remove excessive furniture. Make rooms feel more spacious. If carpets are hiding nice hardwood floors, remove those too.
5) Let the sun shine in! Open blinds, pull back heavy curtains, but make sure the view is something that won’t scare off a future buyer. Clean the windows so that they sparkle. Turn on all lights even during daytime showings. If you have views of the Boston skyline or shoreline, make them the focal point of the room!
6) Get curb appeal! Clean your gutters, get a new doormat, put a potted plant outside your door, and make sure your house number is visible.
The Boston real estate market is a complex and ever evolving marketplace. If you are looking to put your Boston home up for sale, being prepared and following our helpful tips on staging your home is the first step towards your success. Make sure you ask your listing agent how to enhance your Boston condo, single or multi-family home. Prospective buyers and Boston real estate agents will be scouring the MLS listings, websites and newspaper ads to find homes that are well kept and look appealing. As a seller in the Boston real estate market, you want your home to shine through in website photos, real estate ads and marketing materials.
Rooney Real Estate is a full service residential real estate company servicing South Boston, the South Boston Seaport, and Dorchester for more than twenty years. In 2003 Rooney Real Estate was recognized by LINK, the Listings Information Network, as the top real estate firm in South Boston, MA, in total sales revenue. On May 10, 2005, MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listed Rooney Real Estate as the top firm in South Boston, MA, in total sales and total dollar volume thus far in 2005. Rooney Real Estate also has an unparalleled record of giving back to the youth sports leagues and non-profit organizations in the communities they service.
Call 1-866 ROON DOG, or visit www.rooney-re.com for more information.