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


You may have a rough idea of what your home is worth. Maybe you have recently been given an assessed value on the home, or have peeked on an online search as to what comes up for your home. Do you really understand all of the things that affect the value of your home? There are many things that may not be obvious but are important to the number that you’ll come to when you decide to sell your home. 


The Number Of Your House


Do you live at 13 Elm Street or 7 Winner’s Way? Buyers have superstitions that surround numbers and street names. Don’t be surprised if the number of your house or even the name of your street brings buyers in or sends them running. There’s not much you can do to change the house number or street name, but it’s something to keep in mind. Sometimes the reason that certain buyers are turned off from your house is truly out of your control. If you do live on a desirable street, that can help bring up the value of your home due to the demand in the area. Remember that what some consider “unlucky” others consider a blessing (like the number 13!) 


The Neighborhood


While your home may be perfectly pristine, you don’t have much control over what your neighbors do. If there are neighbors nearby that have strange items in their yards, strange colored homes, or other eccentric tastes, buyers may be turned off from your home. This could actually cause the price of your home to drop slightly. You should be prepared for this to affect the sale of your home, but don’t be discouraged. If buyers enjoy your home enough, they’ll be able to turn off that all too bright paint color next door.


Greenery


Trees and greenery increase the value of a home. Don’t think of cutting down those trees on your property unless you have to! Trees that have grown up on your property will add a lot of value to the home in the future. If you’ve been living at your residence for 20 years or so, think of the value that those first seeds and bushes you planted have added! 


Interests Are Not Universal


If you have displays, shrines, or rooms dedicated to a certain hobby, it could either be beneficial or detrimental to your home sale. This all depends on who comes walking through the door for a home showing. If you’re a Veteran and have some Marine Corps things around the houses, it could attract the attention of other Vets. However, that strange Marilyn Monroe room you have might actually deter from the pool of people available to buy your home. Buyers like to be able to see themselves living in the home. Some circumstances make it easier than others for buyers to have a vision for themselves in your home.    



If you are in hot pursuit of your dream home, it is important to do everything you can to gain a leg up on the competition. That way, you can acquire your ideal residence as quickly as possible.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you gain a competitive advantage over your homebuying rivals.

1. Keep Track of the Local Housing Market

The top houses sell immediately, and as such, you may need to act fast to find and purchase your dream residence. If you keep track of the local housing market, however, you will be better equipped than other buyers to instantly acquire a house that suits you perfectly.

Monitor the housing market in cities and towns where you want to reside. Then, if you find a house you may want to buy, don't hesitate to set up a showing. And if you like what you see, you should submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Entering the housing market with pre-approval for a mortgage usually is a good idea. Because if you know how much you can spend on a residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. Find out what mortgage options are available, and learn how different types of home financing work. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to begin your house search with a budget in hand.

Of course, if you have any concerns or questions about home financing, you should address them right away. If you speak with mortgage specialists at a bank or credit union, you can get the insights you need to make an informed mortgage selection.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who is shopping for a residence in a fierce housing market. Typically, a real estate agent will work with a buyer to craft an in-depth property buying strategy. A real estate agent and homebuyer then will work together to put this plan into action and streamline the property buying journey.

In addition, a real estate agent offers guidance at each stage of the homebuying cycle. He or she first will help you hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns. A real estate agent next will keep you informed about houses that become available that match your homebuying criteria. If you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit an aggressive property buying proposal. And if your offer to buy a home is accepted, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to finalize your house purchase.

As you get ready to pursue your dream residence, you should devote plenty of time and resources to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prep for the homebuying journey, gain a competitive advantage over rival buyers and accelerate your house search.


The home selling journey may seem endless at times. Fortunately, once you accept a buyer's offer to purchase your home, the finish line of this journey may be in sight.

There are many things that a house seller can do to streamline the process of reaching a home closing date, and these include:

1. Establish Realistic Expectations

Although accepting an offer to purchase is a big step forward in the house selling journey, it is important to remember that many steps still need to be completed before you finalize your house sale. However, if you establish realistic expectations for the home selling journey, you can plan ahead for the steps you'll need to complete after you approve a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

Typically, a buyer will request a home inspection after you accept his or her offer to purchase your residence. If the inspection reveals there are no major problems with your house, you may be able to finalize a home sale in a matter of weeks.

On the other hand, if a home inspection raises concerns about your residence, you can always try to negotiate with a buyer. If you complete home repairs or offer a reduced price for your residence, you may be able to speed up the house selling process following an inspection.

2. Keep in Touch with a Buyer

It is important to maintain open lines of communication with a buyer as you work toward the conclusion of the house selling journey. If you work with a buyer to finalize a home transaction, you can minimize the risk of encountering time-consuming problems along the way.

If you have concerns or questions as you work toward the finish line of a home sale, don't hesitate to contact a buyer or his or her real estate agent. That way, you can address any concerns or questions and resolve potential problems before they escalate.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Collaborating with a real estate agent can make a world of difference for any house seller, at any time. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble achieving your desired home selling results.

A real estate agent is happy to work with you throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to potential buyers and help you analyze offers to purchase your house. Then, when you are ready to accept an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will help you finalize a house sale.

The days and weeks leading up to a home closing can be stressful, but a real estate agent can help put your mind at ease. He or she will offer expert tips and recommendations as you navigate the home selling journey. As a result, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to quickly and effortlessly sell your house.

Enjoy a successful home selling journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit risk as you conclude the home selling process.


Some houses benefit from extensive care over the years, while others show a lot of tough love. When it comes time to move on and sell your house, it might need repairs to get top dollar when selling. Fixing it up to sell is one option, but for those selling hurriedly without extra funds for significant repairs, here are tips for selling a house that may need a little work "as-is."

Clean it Up

Keeping your house neat and tidy can go a long way. While looking around at the ins and outs of your home, the day-to-day living will show. It is always worth giving a great first impression to a potential buyer. Buyers that see a cluttered house also will see that there aren't many storage options. 

A delightful and maintained garden creates an appealing outer appearance. If there is not much to your landscaping, there are options to create a more welcoming lawn. If dealing with mostly concrete, adding gravel can be soothing to the eye. The area will become more attractive with this simple addition. Getting rid of weeds, keeping the grass trimmed, and adding some potted flowers can make quite a difference. Don't be afraid to stand out!

Another simple clean-up task is the windows. Most buyers head to windows right away to get a view of the house. Clean windows and sills can change a good impression to a great one. 

Display Outstanding Features

Every house has its own unique gems. Don't be afraid to boast about the good qualities of your house. Floor plans, original fixtures, or anything unusual about the house are useful to point out to any type of buyer.

Create a focus on your selling points. A beautiful patio, ample storage, and distinctive views matter to many buyers and help with the transition of a sale. 

Highlight the location of the house as well. If the house is in a well-known, desired neighborhood, be sure to point it out. Don't forget to mention public transportation, schools in the area, and the commute to specific stores or parts of town. People desire to live in a great house, but they also want great surroundings. 

Sweat the Small Stuff

Taking the initiative to fix smaller repairs can be beneficial. Huge renovations aren't always needed. To make your place have a better appearance, often cosmetic repairs are what is necessary: Any holes or stains on the walls and ceilings should be taken care of right away. Deep cleaning appliances and bathrooms will go a long way. Leaky pipes and other small broken fixtures should be fixed immediately. Broken hinges and doors are noticeable but also easy to fix. 

The Price is Right

Presenting a charade isn't the goal here. The buyer will see the amount of work needed to achieve their dream house, and that should be reflected in the price as well. An overpriced property can turn away a lot of buyers.

Rely on the advice and expertise of your real estate professional to help you set the correct pricing for a quick but profitable sale.


You got a reverse mortgage on your home to help with your retirement, but now, you want to move out. Maybe its because your kids want the house, or it just doesn't work for you anymore due to the climate or just how far away your family lives. Makes sense, when you were younger your life changed all the time, that doesn’t stop after retirement. So, are you stuck? Or can you sell it?

First, what is a Reverse Mortgage? 

A "reverse mortgage" is a special form of home financing that pays out based on the equity of your home. While you continue living in the home, the loan pays either a single lump sum, as a line of credit, monthly payments, or in some combination thereof to help cover the cost of your retirement. In the United States, the home must be the primary residence, and the homeowner must be over the age of 62 to qualify. While originally started to allow seniors to keep a more stable income, the IRS doesn't see it that way and instead looks at the income as a "loan advance" and taxes it accordingly.

Paying off Your Reverse Mortgage

Typically, the point of a reverse mortgage is for the income. That means you defer payment of the loan until you die, though it comes due when you sell the home or if you live elsewhere for a whole year. That means it usually falls to your heirs to handle it. They can pay it off, refinance it or sell the home. As a last resort, they can give up the property to the lender in place of repayment, but they give up all the rights of ownership to the property. Its possible to get a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) from the FHA restricted to the value of your home. This type of loan protects your heirs since the mortgage can't be more than the value of the house, which means all they have to do is hand over the property and they are free and clear.

Selling Your Home Under the Reverse Mortgage

Selling your reverse mortgaged home can be complicated. Your reverse mortgage compounds interest over its whole life on both the owed interested and the borrowed amount. That means the mortgage could be substantially higher than the original borrowed amount. If you want to sell the home, no matter if its family or open market, first start by figuring out just how much remains on the mortgage. Include the whole borrowed amount, owed interest, compounded interest and any fees your lender may charge. Double check that number by requesting a payoff amount from the lender. They will send you an estimated payoff amount based on your current status and will only apply for a specific date range. Keep in mind that regardless if you sell the home for the original amount, if it takes longer than you originally planned, those numbers could go up.

Want to know if your home is a good candidate for a reverse mortgage sale? Refer to your local real estate agent to find out if the market value of your home is high enough to make it a good idea.