Behind the Transformation — 201 Franklin Street in Stoneham

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — staged homes sell faster and for more money! In fact, your average realtors will dramatically discount a house based on poor appearance because they, like many buyers, can’t see the transformation possibilities underneath the clutter and outdated decor.

It takes creative vision like that of our very own realtor and interior designer to transform “what it is” to “what it can be,” setting the scene to achieve top dollar numbers!

You’ll be amazed to see what a little face lift can do for a home. That’s why we’re introducing our new series, “Behind the Transformation,” where we’ll show you how COVELLE & COHEN can make your home a 10 and ultimately sell for thousands more.

201 Franklin Street

Another realtor in the area priced 201 Franklin Street at $350,000 after seeing it as it is in these photos.

After these sellers sought our help, we provided them with a staging consultation report. Here’s a snippet of it:

Kitchen

  1. Remove all items off countertops with the exception of a few pieces.
  2. Remove table in the kitchen and replace with the white island and the two stools too
  3. Paint our neutral shade selected for the entire first floor
  4. Paint cabinets Super White BM in a semi gloss finish
  5. Replace cabinet hardware
  6. Price out granite countertops with Brazusa Stone. We will ask them to provide an overhang to support extra stool for a breakfast bar.

We suggested paint and small aesthetic changes in every room. Because our professional strategies are tried, tested, and streamlined, we quickly arranged with our preferred vendors and trusted partners to stage this home to sell fast. We put these sellers in touch with the best in the biz — a professional house cleaner, a handyman, purveyors, and more. Here’s the finished result:

Here are a few standout before and after shots:

Kitchen

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Entryway

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Bathroom

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Deck Entrance

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In the end, we priced this two bedroom house at $450,000 — $100,000 more than the other realtor, and it sold for $490,000! That’s $140,000 more in this seller’s pocket and case in point that both staging and professional photography are a must.

Selling your home? It’s clichéd but it’s true — you never get a second chance to make a first impression! Don’t leave money on the table. COVELLE & COHEN GREATER BOSTON REAL ESTATE helps clients sell two times faster for an average of 1.4 percent more. At an average sale price of $600,000, that’s $24,000 more! Call us today to hear more about our top agents offering an exclusive white glove service: covellecohen.com/contact-us  

Selling Your Home Takes More Than Luck: 4 Reasons to Hire a Pro

Selling your home takes more than luck — hire Covelle & Cohen Greater Boston Real Estate.

Why not FSBO? Any realtor will tell you that for-sale-by-owner when selling your home is a risky move, one that ultimately costs you both your time and money. It goes without saying, but selling a home is a lot of work! From the paperwork to the negotiations, here’s why you might want to leave the heavy lifting to us.

1. We have the experience to close the deal. 

We’re a team of seasoned realtors with tenure and experience coupled with talent and originality. We offer proven success! As skilled negotiators, we can get you the best possible terms and price for your property in the shortest amount of time. We’ll help you avoid all the many pitfalls you could face when trying to sell your home, ultimately saving you time and getting you the best price possible. After inspection, our team will expertly navigate any negotiations that may arise. As we come closer to the actual closing date, we’ll handle all the critical documents for you, including but not limited to smoke and carbon alarm inspections, final utility readings, and Title V regulations. While we handle the paperwork, you pack those bags!

2. We have connections in the industry you’ll need.

Our team develops a strategy with our clients to lead successful broker open houses, commuter tours, public open houses as well as exclusive invitation events and daily agent showings. We strongly recommend hiring an experienced real estate attorney to assist in your transaction. We’re happy to connect you to one of our many preferred and trusted attorneys with whom we’ve conducted business before. Planning a huge move? We work globally with major companies who transfer employees and have a full-time relocation department. We also have partnerships with reputable moving companies, home inspectors, electricians, and plumbers in the area, saving you time and headache.

3. We guide you through professional staging.

In an image-driven society, it’s the image we create that drives the sale. We happily offer a home staging consultation to make it impossible for buyers not to fall in love! Staging your home gets it sold faster and for more money.

4. We build a custom marketing plan. 

Our goal is to create a vision that begins with the subconscious, through a strong online presence and creative marketing efforts. From professional photography to custom email marketing, open house brochures, exclusive property videos, and social media advertising, we pull out all the stops to get as many eyeballs on your listing as possible. That’s something that can’t be said for every realtor!

Contact Covelle & Cohen today for help selling your home: info@covellecohen.com

8 Tips Every First-Time Homebuyer Should Know

Happy Covelle & Cohen homebuyer at closing

So, you’re ready to purchase a home? Congrats! As Suze Orman says, “Owning a home is a keystone of wealth — both financial affluence and emotional security.” There’s no place like a home of your own, but for the first-time homebuyer, what follows the decision to buy can be both overwhelming and intimidating. Here are some tips and tricks to consider before you start house hunting.

1. Hire The Professional

You’re about to execute the biggest investment of your life. Work with an expert who can guide you through the process! You’ll need someone who understands current market conditions and can evaluate a property, negotiate, walk you through the paperwork, and more. Professional buyer’s agents have the tips and tricks to help you save the most money, and they often don’t cost the homebuyer anything. (Pssst! We can help you.)

2. In a Few Years, Everyone’s Going to Wish They Bought Now

Interest rates are at a historical low — mortgage loan rates are currently at 4 percent! Now’s the time to buy because those rates might soon go up. And Steve Murray, owner of Real Trends, reports that homes will steadily appreciate in the next 8 years. Consider your new home a smart investment.

3. Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

How much home can you afford? Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores they’ll need. Pre-approval will tell you how much you can afford and give you confidence to dive into competitive markets. Plus, you’ll need an ironclad pre-approval letter for a winning offer. If you can’t find a bank willing to lend to you, consider an FHA loan. The Federal Housing Administration insures the mortgages of many first-time homebuyers. And, they’ll only require a down payment of 3.5 percent.

4. You Should Buy Smart (Buy the Ugly House)

Buying smart is buying good location, flow, light, amenities, and space for the price. The homes your realtor takes you to see aren’t always going to look like Pinterest masterpieces. If you can see past clutter and outdated decorating, there’s a good chance you’ll buy into property with more equity after minor cosmetic overhauls. Visit those sloppy listings that other buyers are overlooking, and have vision!

5. Sometimes, Speed is Key

If you come across a well-priced property, don’t hesitate to put in an offer. Hesitation opens the door to competition from other potential buyers, and when someone else wants it, the seller’s more likely to raise the asking price.

6. Strengthen Your Good Faith Deposit

When you execute a purchase contract as a homebuyer, it will specify how much you’ll initially put down to secure it and show “good faith.” In other words, it’ll show the seller how badly you want this property — and how serious your offer is. Increase your good faith deposit from the usual $1,000 to as much as $10,000.

7. Be Aware of Additional Fees

Yes, you’ll need to put a deposit down of about 5 percent. But did you know you might also need to pay for additional closing costs? Home inspection, appraisal, oil left in the home’s tank, one year of homeowner’s insurance, seller adjustment for taxes and condo fees, and next quarter’s tax payment can all add up. You’ll want to have extra cash for home improvements, surprise fixes, and furniture to make that house a home. Before buying, pay down your debt and have money in the bank.

8. Be Flexible — and Realistic

We’re fortunate to live in Greater Boston, a hot market where there’s continuously a demand for real estate. That being said, certain towns have extreme competition! If you’re uncomfortable paying tens of thousands over asking price, be open to shopping in a more gentle market. Don’t commit to more than you can financially handle.

Ready to buy? Using cutting edge strategies, Erica & Mike help buyers save money. We’re happy to guide you home. Contact us here or call 857.529.SOLD (7653).

5 Things You Need To Know Before Renting A House

1. Research the area.

Think about the area before you move in. Is it near a hospital? If so, can you hear ambulances all the time? Is it near a noisy pub? Check all the surroundings before you sign. “It is up the tenant to do their own research and inspect the dwelling and surrounding area before they sign the agreement and move in,” James Plunkett, head of consumer research at Citizens Advice, tells BuzzFeed Life.

2. Discuss pets early.

“Bring up pets early in negotiations with your prospective landlord,” Plunkett says.

“If the landlord does not want pets at the address, then the tenant should look elsewhere. Having a pet in breach of a tenancy agreement that prohibits pets will generally lead to a possession action and eviction further down the line.”

Renting

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