Salem MA- the 1900’s Restored Gem

From demo day to the final touches, its finally complete! Its been a busy year with this 3-unit condo conversion in Salem MA. The entire building was completely rehabbed. From design/layout to plumbing and electric, and kitchen and bath renovations and custom lighting, its going to be hard to part with this one! I am crushed to sell it as i’ve seen this project develop from an old and worn distressed property to a restored beautiful gem. I knew from the moment I saw this property that it would be a diamond in the rough and today,  it sparkles.

My favorite rooms in this restored conversion are the half baths in units 1 and 2.  I would not allow any of my employees to touch the original kitchen pantries during demo and construction and we protected them. You see, the half baths were originally connected to the kitchens as pantries that were used for storage. Today you can’t find pantries like this – from the detailed finish work and the woods that were used to the amazing 1900’s hardware that still works on all the cabinets and drawers!  We added plumbing to both pantries and created what you see today – half baths with vessel sinks that look amazing! We also painstakingly restored the original pocket doors in units 1 and 2 and restored those gorgeous fir hardwood floors!

Loved this project for its character and charm and love it now for how beautiful it has become! It will forever be one of my faves.

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Renovations and Flips!

It has been an incredibly busy 6 months! My business partner and I renovated a single-family home in Salem MA and sold it to a wonderful couple. This summer we also renovated and sold a 3-unit multi family as condos and the place turned out spectacular! Amongst all this, I have renovated a 3000 square foot home that needed extensive work in the Beverly Cove area. This truly distressed property has become a gorgeous jewel! Here are some pics of the properties we have renovated in the past 6 months!

 

De-bunking Short Sale Myths

I called a gentleman yesterday as I heard his house was vacant. Turns out he is going through a short sale process on his home in Danvers but did not want to speak with me; he was already working with an attorney. I also mentioned I had a buyer for his property. But still, he couldn’t get off the phone fast enough. I’m not sure if he was embarrassed, caught off-guard  or his attorney told him not to speak to anyone regarding the matter. Here’s the thing, if you think you need to short sale your home, please keep an open mind. Here are a couple things you may want to know:

  • If you are working with a reputable short sale company there should be NO COST to you for services. That’s right, not even attorney’s fees. Some people pay an attorney a retainer! Its maddening-don’t do it and don’t waste your money.
  • Your real estate agent should only get paid if they successfully short sale your home. If your agent does not succeed they will not get paid or receive a commission.
  • The bank pays your real estate agent- not you!
  • The short sale process can be daunting at times and the process often fails when attorneys and realtors who don’t specialize in short sales attempt it. Each passing day the home owner becomes closer to foreclosure.
  • Foreclosure kills your credit, if you short sale your home you can purchase again in 2 years. With a foreclosure you need to wait years.
  • With owner occupied properties, we obtain relocation money for you (our sellers/clients) – funds PAID TO YOU at closing.
  • Last but not least, if you need to short sale, don’t leave your home. Stay in it!

Let us know how we can help.

Selling Your Home

Realtor.com has pulled together a 7-step process to selling your home.

However, the most important steps in selling your home are marketing, staging and asking price.

Let’s talk about marketing. If your agent does not market your property correctly, buyers won’t know what unique benefits your home has to offer. Social media is a MUST these days- make sure they are up-to-date on social media strategies and marketing. Oh, and one more thing, MAKE SURE YOUR AGENT TAKES PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY! It drives me nuts when agents make a huge commission off a property and they can’t spend $300 bucks for professional photography. Their listings sit for days because they don’t drive buyers into your door.  9 out of every 10 buyers view photos of homes online FIRST, before stepping foot into a home. What does this mean? It means your home MUST look amazing through photography so you get the foot traffic you need to sell!  Make sure you give a good first impression as you only have ONE chance to go on market! Make it count.

Another crucial step in the selling process is staging. Staging also goes beyond placing  furniture in a certain way- its about painting, lighting and overall impression. If you are lucky enough to have an agent who is also a stager, put them to work. They want to sell your home as much as you do and they should give you pointers on what will sell.

Last but not least is asking price. Make sure your agent does their due diligence and pulls comps. An asking price that is too high can be detrimental to you selling your home. The biggest problem with an asking price that  is too high is that your property will sit on market and buyers will think something ‘is wrong’ with the home. On the flip side, if your asking price is too low – well, you’ve sold out and you’ve missed out on some money. The price has to be just right. Make sure it is. This is where you must have confidence in your agent.

In a nutshell, you must have a perfect trifecta of marketing, staging and asking price if you want to sell your home and sell it quickly. If you don’t have all 3 you are dead in the water. If your price is too high, forget it. Your house will stay on the market with no action. If your marketing isn’t effective, no one will know about you. And, if your home doesn’t look as good as it could, buyers will most likely offer less money.

Check out this guide to selling your home:

http://www.realtor.com/advice/7-step-guide-selling-house/

Buying a House at Auction – On-line

Yes, that correct. You can seriously buy a house on-line, at auction – much like Ebay! This is how it works- just bid and if you are the highest bidder you win!!

Here is what they don’t tell you upfront – there are fees you will pay  to the negotiating company outside of your purchase price. The auction house hires a negotiating company that you as a buyer will work with at the beginning of the process.

Here is my story. I have had a 3-family home under agreement for the past 3-4 months through an online auction house called homesearch.com I still have not closed as there is a title issue and I have been waiting. In this case, I am paying a 5% buyers premium to the negotiating company! So, if my purchase price is 363,000, I am paying an extra 18,150 on top of my 363,000. But, truth be told, i’m fine with paying the premium! That’s because I know the market and know that the purchase price is way more than justified. But, be SURE to run title before you commit to any contract!

So, what is a girl to do? Wait. That’s right, I will wait. That’s because I am getting a great deal.

And if you can, work with an agent in your area to find these deals, no matter how long you need to wait! They can be very lucrative.

 

Selling Your Home in Massachusetts

If you are selling your home in Massachusetts, you will be surprised to hear that there may be a bidding war on your property. Inventory is limited in certain areas, specifically in the North Shore: Salem, Danvers, Beverly, Peabody, etc. and sellers have it pretty good right now!

However, in order to sell your home, you must have a good list agent. Here are a few tips if you are selling your home:

-Price! This is key! If your home is priced to high it won’t sell. Know what the kicker is? Every time you put your home on the market, every agent can see that it did not sell previously. This is a killer. Why? Because they will think something is wrong with your home. And, they won’t want to waste their time. They would much rather sell another home to their own buyer because it is more of a safe bet.

-Your agent should hire a professional photographer to market your property correctly. There are so many beautiful properties that NEVER sell because no one ever steps foot inside them. Your agent, if they are good, will drive traffic into your home. How? With pictures. 9 out of every 10 buyers view photos of homes online FIRST, before stepping foot into a home. Those pics better look good!!

-Your agent should understand the value of social media and should market your property the way it should be marketed, online. Your reach will be much greater.

-Stage or redesign. If you have been living in your home for a while, chances are its pretty cluttered. Its well worth it to have a stager come in for a consult, etc. Professionally staged homes sell over 50% faster and on average for 6-10% more.

For more information, or to pick my brain, please call 617-838-0042 or email me at cvbeckerrealty@gmail.com.

Why Staging a House is Different than Plain Old Decorating

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When it comes to selling a house, you want to stage or redesign your home. Staging a home is very much about furniture placement, traffic flow, focal points, room usage and deterring from the not-so-great features of a home while accentuating the positive.

The purpose of staging is for the buyer to visualize them self living in the home, while understanding the use of every room as they tour the home.

Sometimes buyers have trouble understanding the function of a certain room, or sometimes cant visualize their own furniture placement. This is where a good stager can help. A good stager will help the buyer to understand their own furniture placement and that weird nook that has no use? The stager will find a reason for its existence.

Take a look at this great article written by the Home Staging Resource:

http://www.homestagingresource.com/defined.asp

Also if you are selling your home, check out these tips:

http://www.homestagingresource.com/sellers_tips.asp