JoAnn Asselin | Westfield Real Estate, Agawam Real Estate, West Springfield Real Estate


For those who want to sell a home sooner rather than later, there is no time like the present to start preparing for the home selling journey. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you put together a home selling strategy.

1. Learn About the Local Housing Market

The real estate market is in constant flux. Thus, a housing sector that favors buyers today may shift into seller's favor tomorrow, or vice-versa.

If you learn about the local housing sector, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling plan accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. If you find that homes are selling at or above their initial asking prices, this may be a sign of a seller's market. Or, if houses are selling below their initial asking prices, the current real estate sector likely favors buyers.

Furthermore, examine how long houses stay available before they sell. If you discover that residences linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you will need to prepare to enter a buyer's market. On the other hand, if houses are selling as soon as they become available, a seller's market may be in place.

2. Find Out What Your House Is Worth

Conduct a house appraisal – you'll be glad you did. If you perform a property appraisal, you can obtain an accurate valuation of your house and price your residence appropriately.

Typically, a home appraiser will examine your residence both inside and out. This property expert also will evaluate assorted housing market data. After a home appraiser's work is complete, he or she will provide you with a property valuation.

With a property valuation in hand, you can establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence. This price will help you stir up interest in your residence as soon as you list it.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to work alone as you try to navigate the home selling journey. Thankfully, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can take the guesswork out of selling any house, at any time.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your house and promote your residence to dozens of potential buyers. Plus, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and make an informed decision.

When it comes to getting ready to sell a home, there is no need to stress. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can craft an effective home selling strategy.


Let's face it – after you buy or sell a home, moving can be a major hassle. Lucky for you, moving companies are available to help you streamline the process of transporting your personal belongings from Point A to Point B.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to hire a moving company to assist you with your upcoming move, including:

1. A moving company can help you transport heavy items to your new address.

When it comes time to move, there is no reason to put a strain on your body. Fortunately, a moving company employs moving professionals who are happy to take heavy items to your new address.

A moving company hires only the best moving professionals to provide day-to-day support. As such, these professionals will take care of your belongings to ensure they can reach your new home quickly and safely.

Furthermore, a moving company may even be able to help you pack your belongings. This will ensure you can speed up the process of getting your belongings ready to take to your new residence.

2. A moving company can help you save time.

The time it takes to pack up all of your belongings, place them in your car, drive them to your new address and unpack your items can add up quickly. However, with support from a moving company, you may be able to reduce the time it takes to get settled at a new location.

A moving company will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get your belongings to the right location, at the right time. In fact, this business will work with you to fulfill your moving requests without delay.

3. A moving company can help you alleviate stress.

Moving to a new residence may seem like a long, arduous and complex process at first. Conversely, a moving company can help you take the guesswork out of getting your belongings to your new house.

A moving company is available to help you transport your belongings to a new location at your convenience. This business will do whatever it takes to help you enjoy a fast, seamless move.

Typically, a moving company will offer tips to help you prep for moving day and will assist you as you get your items ready for your upcoming move. Moreover, this company employs friendly, knowledgeable moving professionals who are readily available to respond to your moving concerns and questions.

If you're unsure about whether a moving company is right for you, don't hesitate to consult with your real estate agent.

Your real estate agent is committed to helping you in any way possible. Therefore, he or she may be able to provide moving company recommendations to ensure you can work with the best professional movers in your area.

Ready to transport your belongings to your new address? Employ a moving company – you'll be happy you did. If you hire a moving company today, you can get plenty of support to help you complete a successful move.


Photo by David Gonzales via Pexels

When it comes to selling a home, presentation is key. A well-staged home highlights the best features while leaving plenty of room for imagination in the minds of home buyers. Here are a few tried and true home staging tips to help your home steal the show and bring in the best offers.

Make an Exquisite Entrance

It's hard not to judge a book by its cover, and the outside of your home can make or break a buyer's interest. Make sure the lawn is kempt and walkways clear of leaves and debris. Surfaces should be clean and look like new. Trim hedges and tree branches. Add colorful flowers and/or subtle outdoor lighting to drive home the inviting feel.

Prioritize the Important Areas

You don't need to spruce up every nook and cranny of your home. Focus on the heaviest hitters - the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom - first. If a buyer is on the fence about purchasing, a fancy guest bedroom won't make a difference, but a dazzling kitchen might.

Add a Touch of Nature

Nothing breathes life into a home like a few eye-catching plants. Whether it's a large floor plant or a few small flower pots, it's important to give each plant plenty of space to stand out and accentuate the area. For example, a vase of vibrant lilies can liven up a dining room, while a tall snake plant can add charm to a living room. If you're short on time, faux plants can do the trick as well.

Make It Neat and Neutral

Rearrange items to maximize walking space. Each piece of furniture should add charm or function to the room. Stick to subtle colors and stow away personal items such as photos, ornaments, posters, and collectibles. While it can be tempting to get creative, try to keep the tone as neutral as possible. The goal is to highlight the potential of each area and leave the rest to the buyer's imagination.

Wood Is Good

Quality hardwood floors are a huge selling point. Yet, many sellers make the mistake of burying them under carpets and rugs. Even if your hardwood floors have seen better days, it's worth it to fix them up and show them off.

Let in the Light

Without proper lighting, all of your cleaning, repairing, and redesigning will be for naught. Part the curtains and raise the blinds to let daylight highlight all your home has to offer. If it's still too dark, consider swapping your window treatments for something lighter and airier, or simply remove them. In addition to daylight, you'll want to turn on overhead, floor, and table lighting when visitors arrive. 

These are just a few tips to help you make a great impression on prospective buyers. Of course, you can modify these tips depending on the size and layout of your home. Want to talk more expert tips on staging and outstanding open house? Contact me, and we'll find the right fit for your home staging needs.



 Photo by Solomon Rodgers via Pixabay

When you've been in the same home for a while, it is common to get an itch to switch things up a little bit. For many homeowners, this means renovating the kitchen. Renovation is a great way to not only add a little bit of style but also increase the value of the home at the same time. There are a few great ideas to think about when it comes to kitchen renovations.

Add a Backsplash

One of the most popular kitchen renovations is to install a backsplash. This is a great way to upgrade and personalize the food prep area. Furthermore, a backsplash is easy to clean, functional and durable. There are plenty of ideas that people can use to make their kitchen backsplash unique. Consider neutral stone tile with colored or patterned pieces randomly interspersed, a pressed metal design or colorful glass tiles.

Open Up The Area

Consider opening up additional space in and around your kitchen. This can be accomplished with the removal of upper cabinets, introducing a window or skylight or, for a larger-scale project, removing walls to connect with other rooms. If you can't change the floorplan of your room, swapping in glass-front cabinets or open shelving for your upper cabinets can create more visual space.

Add Flair to the Counters

Counters are a common target for kitchen renovations. Styles change and, over the years, you may find the need for additional space. One solution is to add a kitchen island. This adds both storage space and workspace for your kitchen. Don't be afraid to go with unique countertop materials like concrete or wood.

Upgrade the Appliances

Finally, consider upgrading appliances to incorporate new technology and conveniences. Newer appliances not only come with new features like convertible compartments and touch screens but are also more energy-efficient than older models. This means you might also be able to save additional money over time with this investment.


Image by Sue Smith from Shutterstock

House owners frequently remodel, upgrade, or otherwise make changes in their homes for which they do not secure a permit. While some changes do not require permitting, others do. The challenge comes when you attempt to sell the home. You may run into a problem when a buyer makes an offer on such a property, and their inspector discovers unpermitted changes. Their mortgage lender may be unwilling to give them a loan until you remedy the permit issue.

Additionally, since building codes often change from year to year and certainly from decade to decade, and the property may have changed hands more than once before it came to you. Even if the upgrade occurred before you purchased it, you might be the one responsible for fixing it with your municipality.

What can you do? When you believe your home has unpermitted construction, learn as much as you can about it:

  • When did installation take place? Before you took ownership of the house? After? 

  • What is the construction? A pergola? A sunroom? That necessary second bathroom?

  • In the year or era of construction, was a permit required? Is there a permit in place of which you're not aware?

  • Can it be grandfathered?

What is “Grandfathering”?

The term “grandfather clause” refers to an exception to a code, restriction, or legal requirement. It allows anything already done legally “at the time” to continue even if a new limitation would not allow it. Regarding unpermitted home upgrades, if the construction was before the change in the code, check to see if the code requires retroactive compliance. In that case, exceptions typically pose a danger to anyone living in the home or on the property and need remediation. When code changes do not require retroactive compliance, knowing the date of the construction puts you in the clear.

Retroactive Permitting

When you discover retrofits, additions, upgrades, or renovations in your home, search city or county records for a permit. Ask for help to see if that type of work in the year(s) of its completion required one. If it needed a permit, and you do not find one in place, either request a retroactive authorization or plan to sell your home "as is" to a willing buyer. Municipalities often have methods in place to offer retroactive permits. Check to determine the total cost of the permitting process. In addition to the permit fee, you may have to pay fines, inspections, and other fees. Any modifications required because of the permitting process become your responsibility. When the total cost of obtaining retroactive permits and related fees and construction costs is higher than the return on your investment, consider the “as is” process.

Selling Your Home "As Is"

When you choose to sell your property "as is," you no longer need to disclose to the municipal building department that you may have unpermitted construction. Until you are sure you want to request a retroactive permit, do not disclose information when you communicate with building code offices that might trigger an inspection. 

In the selling process, however, fully disclose to your real estate agent all items you know about for certain. That is, tell them about additions or upgrades you installed while in ownership. Make sure a sale is not delayed or falls through because a lender requires a permit. Have an appropriate "as is" clause written into the sales contract. 

Confer with your real estate agent to determine if seeking a permit is in your best interested when selling with unpermitted additions.