Chris Lorenzen | Ashburnham Real Estate, Leominster Real Estate, Westminster Real Estate


Photo by John Wollwerth via Shutterstock

No matter how well-intentioned, when it’s time to sell your home taking the advice of friends and family while disregarding the advice of your agent is a recipe for slowing down your home’s sale. Your professional agent knows the current market and what buyers look for. In fact, they may even have specific buyers in mind; so mind your agent’s input for staging your home.

When staging, remember these things and follow your agent’s lead:

  • They know the competition. Your agent has seen other homes like yours on the market. They recognize that when buyers see two or three similar houses in the same neighborhood, the one that resonates is the one they choose. Pitting your DIY staging against a professional’s is not the battle you want to take on if selling your home is your goal.
  • Less is always more. Your agent knows that fewer pieces of furniture show your home better. But these aren’t just any pieces of furniture. Specific pieces attract buyers, while others repel them.
  • The same holds true for collectibles. Some buyers cannot see themselves in a home with specific memorabilia and collectibles. This group includes sports and competition awards, trophies or doll and figurine collections. Even rock displays can be off-putting. Anything that personalizes your home makes it harder for buyers to see themselves there.
  • Be willing to paint. Even if the deep, ocean blue wall evokes restful imagery to you, it may instill irritation in a potential purchaser. If your agent suggests toning down a color or painting a room in a neutral rather than orange, go with it. The best options are pale shades of cool or warm neutrals that showcase architectural details such as trim and crown-molding.

For the most exceptional selling experience, trust your real estate professional. They know the market, the pool of buyers and the competition. If you’re ready to put your home on the market, call for a consultation today.




Image by StudioDin from Shutterstock

Homeowners wishing to sell their home for top dollar might consider a kitchen remodel to increase its value and efficiency. Aside from the kitchen being the heart of the home, it also has several surfaces you can quickly upgrade that affect the entire space. The tips below give you a guide to which areas in your kitchen give you the best return for your investment.

Cabinets and Hardware

Cabinetry is often the primary component that determines the style of your kitchen. Replacing or refreshing your cabinets is one way to improve the look and feel of your kitchen. If the current cabinetry is in decent shape, refinishing or repainting the faces might achieve the look of new without the expense of a complete replacement. If you choose to tackle this project yourself, take the time to remove the doors, and hardware before you begin. For best results, closely follow notes for sanding and drying time for the paint or stain you’ve selected. Top off your cabinetry with updated hardware.

Paint or Wall Finish

A fresh coat of paint gives the house a clean, updated look. If you decide to paint your kitchen walls, create a neutral but inviting kitchen space. Colors trends are often regional, so let your realtor in on your plans and follow their lead for the best options. 

Another trend for kitchen walls is adding a backsplash. While its purpose is to protect the kitchen wall from water damage, the backsplash has become a modern kitchen focal point. Choose neutral materials that complement the counter and cabinet surfaces and show the kitchen in the best light.

Countertops and Fixtures

Of all the surfaces that add value to your kitchen space, countertops are most desirable. Materials like natural granite and marble give you a good return on your investment. For people who want a countertop that can resist scratches and stains and requires little or no maintenance, quartz serves perfectly.

Replacing tired or scratched faucets with new, updated versions not only enhances the look of your kitchen, but it also improves functionality. Consider a high-profile faucet with a pull-out sprayer and single-handle operation in a style that matches your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Light Fixtures

Lighting has a powerful effect on a room. It brightens your kitchen up, making it appear more inviting. Use lighting to create a vintage style kitchen with chandeliers and or give a modern twist with recessed lighting or pendants. Under-cabinet or task lighting gives a soft glow and makes meal prep easier.

Flooring

An overwhelming variety of flooring options exist for your kitchen; from vinyl and tile to laminate and hardwood. For stylish kitchen flooring design, choose a product that enhances the other elements in the room. A cohesive look is more important than spending all your money in one place.

There are many areas in your kitchen where you can make simple changes to add value to your home. Determine your budget and consult with your realtor on the best options for the greatest return on your investment.


If you plan to buy a home in the immediate future, there are several concerns that you should address before you embark on your house search. In fact, some of the most common homebuying concerns include:

1. Lack of Home Financing

You know you want to purchase a house, but obtaining financing sometimes is difficult. Fortunately, if you meet with various banks and credit unions, you can review all of the home financing options at your disposal and map out your home search accordingly.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask a bank or credit union relative to home financing. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable home financing specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. These specialists can respond to your home financing concerns, and as a result, help you make an informed mortgage selection.

2. Tight Homebuying Timeline

If you are tasked with relocating to a new home as quickly as possible, you may have to conduct a fast house search. But if you explore ways to maximize your time and resources, you could boost the likelihood of conducting a successful home search, regardless of your homebuying timeline.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of homebuying tasks that you need to complete. You then can establish goals designed to help you stay on track with your homebuying timeline.

You also should keep a close eye on the housing sector in your preferred cities and towns. That way, if a great home at a budget-friendly price becomes available, you can instantly pounce at this homebuying opportunity.

3. Establishing Realistic Homebuying Expectations

The homebuying journey offers no guarantees. If you enter the housing market with realistic expectations, however, you can avoid potential disappointments during your home search.

To establish realistic homebuying expectations, it generally is a good idea to make a list of home must-haves and wants. This list will allow you to hone your house search to residences that meet your criteria. It also can help focus on available residences that fall within your price range.

In addition, it often helps to hire a real estate agent before you conduct a house search. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about finding and purchasing a house. Plus, he or she can provide expert insights at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides when you are ready to submit an offer to purchase a home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal and submit it to a seller. If a seller accepts your offer, a real estate agent then will help you finalize your house purchase.

Ready to embark on the homebuying journey? Address your homebuying concerns, and you can minimize risk as you begin your search for your ideal residence.


Establishing a competitive initial asking price for your house often can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you determine the ideal asking price for your home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set the right initial asking price for your home.

1. Study the Housing Market

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Evaluate the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, and you can narrow your home price range.

Furthermore, it helps to examine the prices of recently sold residences in your area. With this housing market data, you can find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market. Then, you can map out your home pricing strategy accordingly.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal offers a valuable learning tool for a home seller. It allows a seller to receive expert insights into the value of his or her residence. As a result, a seller can get a property valuation from a home appraiser and use this figure to establish a competitive home asking price.

In addition, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing your house. An inspection enables you to learn about any problems that may affect your house's value. And if you choose, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize assorted home repairs that may help you boost the value of your house.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to price your residence, there is no need to stress. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent to receive comprehensive support at each stage of the home selling journey.

A real estate agent is happy to help you assess your house and determine the right price for it. He or she is unafraid to be honest, and as such, will offer unbiased home pricing recommendations. That way, you can establish a competitive price from day one of the home selling journey and increase the likelihood of a quick home sale.

Also, a real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist a home seller. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, he or she will keep you up to date about offers on your residence. A real estate agent will even negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf to ensure you can maximize your home sale earnings.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your queries throughout the home selling journey. If you ever have home selling concerns or questions, you can simply talk to your real estate agent and receive expert support.

Take the guesswork out of pricing your residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you can set a competitive price for your home in any housing market, at any time.


Your HVAC system keeps everything cool and comfortable, but only if it is working properly. You don't have to have any repair or DIY skills to determine if your air conditioner is struggling, just look for one or more of the signs below. Finding problems now, at the first sign of trouble, can prevent costly repairs later -- and keep you more comfortable at home, too. Be on the lookout for sounds, odors and even unusually large energy bills, and you'll be able to determine just how healthy your HVAC system is.

Unusual or loud noises: If your air conditioner suddenly sounds louder than normal or seems to be working very hard, it's time to have it seen. Loud noises, including rattling, grinding and squealing are all signs that your system is not working efficiently and that it should be seen.

Soaring energy bills: If your energy bill spikes or even has a steady, ongoing increase, it could be a sign that your air conditioner is working too hard to comfort your home. Some increase in energy use is normal during the summer months, since you'll be using the system more, but a bill that seems shocking should prompt you to investigate your HVAC system and see if it's to blame.

Mildew or musty odor: If your home smells even slightly of mildew, then your air conditioning system should be seen. Mold and mildew can circulate through your home, powered by the air conditioner; this will impact your home's scent and your indoor air quality, too. Masking the odor with scents is not enough, you should have your system inspected to make sure it is safe to use.

You're too hot: If the air conditioner is constantly running, but you are still too warm, you should have it checked out. In this case, you're paying for the electricity to power the HVAC, but not getting any benefit from it. In many cases, a simple repair is all that is needed to correct this problem, so you can get comfortable again in record time.

Your system is older than you are: Older homes have legacy heating and cooling systems that could have been installed when the home was built. They may still operate, but they are likely not as efficient as a modern system. If your system is aging, it simply won't be as comfortable as a newer model and is likely to need repairs in the future. Look for the ENERGY STAR label; if your system has it, you have a more modern, efficient air conditioner. If it doesn't, you're likely spending too much each month, and risking a costly repair.

Any of these signs should trigger an inspection for your system. In most cases, you'll find that a tuneup is an affordable way to ensure your HVAC is running well and that your home is in great shape. Keeping up with maintenance on your HVAC ensures your home stays comfortable and that you are ready to entertain guests at a moment's notice.




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