Make Your Home Stand Out This Summer

As May comes to a close, school ends and the summer officially begins, that means one important thing – home selling season is upon us. With the kids home from school and vacation time accumulated, both buyers and sellers are ready to enter the market as the weather heats up. As the market begins to grow, you may wonder how to make sure your home stands out among all the others trying to sell during the summer months. Here are a few tips to make sure you can catch the eye of potential buyers during busy season!

1. Tour Other For-Sale Homes
Check out open houses for homes similar to yours that are also on the market. As you are preparing to list, use these tours to see what decor and design-types are attractive to you and potential buyers. If there are things you notice that you do not like, be sure to remove those features from your own home if you have them. Sometimes stepping out of the box (or in this case, your own home) will allow you to look at your home through the lens of a potential buyer.

2. Complete Your Home Inspection Up Front
The home inspection can be a dreaded part of the closing process. Instead of waiting for a buyer, complete your home inspection ahead of time. The goal is to set your home apart from the others on the market, and an easy way to do so is letting those potential buyers know that your home is not just for sale, but it is already inspected. If you repair any issues found by the inspector, you’ll be one step ahead and gives potential buyers peace of mind.

3. Completely Remove Clutter
Decluttering and cleaning is always the first step on the list when you are preparing to list your home, but often we don’t take the clutter ‘removal’ part as seriously. Instead of just moving clutter from a room to a closet, completely remove the clutter from your home. Whether that means donating, storing, or just tossing those items, removing clutter will allow potential buyers to picture themselves in every part of your home, including your closets and garages – rather than just picturing your clutter stashed away there.

4. Curb Appeal Is Key
With spring quickly transitioning to summer, your yard may need a little love. Spring rains and warmth might’ve left your lawn a little overgrown. Take the time to remove weeds, mow your lawn, and add new plant life around the outside of your home. The outside will be the first thing potential buyers see, and you want them to be drawn in by your yard, not turned away by it.

5. Use Refreshments To Your Advantage
Whether you’re a baker or just love buying baked goods, open houses are the perfect opportunity to draw potential buyers in with sweets. With rising temperatures, a thoughtful treat with a glass of lemonade or ice water adds a personal touch to your open house that will, at a minimum, guarantee that potential buyers cross the threshold of your home. Sometimes, getting them in the door is all you need.


Posted on June 3, 2019 at 7:28 pm
Allison Higgins | Posted in Selling, Summer | Tagged , ,

Tips to Get Settled In A New Home

Moving into a new home? We know how exciting it can be! We’ve compiled a list of a few things you can do after your move to make sure your experience is comfortable. The hardest part of a move is getting settled in, after that, you just’ll need to handle a few loose ends that sometimes get forgotten about until the last minute.

CHECK MAJOR APPLIANCES
Be sure to check all the appliances to ensure everything is still in working order after the move. You want to make sure nothing was broken in the move or stopped working suddenly. Look at things such as your stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, and microwave. If you brought any appliances yourself and you used movers, you’ll want to make sure everything still works as soon as possible, since mover’s insurance companies give a limited timeframe for when you can make a claim.

CHECK ALL OF YOUR BOXES & FURNITURE
Be sure to go over all your boxes and furniture to make sure nothing got damaged during the move. Be sure that everything has arrived and nothing got lost in the process. If you notice something is missing a month later, it may be too late to file a claim with the moving company. Even if you don’t plan on unpacking everything as soon as you move in, just do a quick review and inventory everything you brought to protect yourself and your belongings.

SET UP UTILITIES
Did you remember to set up your utilities before moving in? There’s nothing more frustrating than moving into your home to realize the lights don’t work. Make sure you’ve gotten with all of the necessary utility companies to have everything turned on in time for your move.

REGISTER INTO A GOOD SCHOOL
You may have already known to look for a school for your kids prior to your move, but if you haven’t yet found one, be sure to research all the schools local to you to find the right fit for your family. The sooner you can find the right school and register, the easier and less stressful it will be to get them in and settle.

REGISTER YOUR CAR
If you’ve moved to a new state or country, you’ll want to make sure to register your car in your new hometown and update your driver’s license, tags, and plates.

CONNECT TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Join sites like Nextdoor.com or get a subscription to your local magazine/newspaper to stay in touch with what’s going on in your neighborhood. Be sure to also join local community Facebook groups. You can find out about events or concerns relating to your community.

GETTING YOUR MAIL
Have you updated your address for all the people you’ll be expecting to get mail from? Like your bank, friends, family, and services you still pay for after your move. Check with the post office to have things redirected to your new address while you work to update your info with everyone else.

FIND THE RIGHT PROFESSIONALS
If you’re moving far from your last home, you’ll want to have the right connections. Find a new doctor, dentist, vet, handyman, plumber, etc. Add them into a contact book that’s easily accessible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST
If you’re moving to a new country, 911 won’t be the local emergency number. Make sure you have all the correct numbers in the case of an emergency. This can also include doctors, the local police station, a vet, etc.

INSURANCE COMPANIES
More than likely, you handled home insurance and home warranty during the purchasing process. If you haven’t, be sure to get those taken care of right away. You’ll also want to get your auto, health, and any other necessary household insurances sorted for your move.

Any other questions or still looking for your next home, call me and I can help!


Posted on April 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm
Allison Higgins | Posted in first time home buyer, help | Tagged , , ,

Simple Spring Sprucing Tips for Your Home

You don’t need thousands of dollars to fully refurbish your home to make it feel like new again. Instead, you can DIY a lot of features in your house to help spruce it up for the upcoming season. Whether you plan to sell your home, have guests over, or are just tired of how drab it’s been feeling lately, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to refresh your space:

CLEAN + DECLUTTER
Throw out all of the junk taking up space! You’d be surprised  how much more you’ll fall back in love with your home when you take out the collection of accumulated stuff that has piled up over the years and finally get to see your home’s features for what they are. Store what you don’t need/use in either the attic, basement, or in a storage unit. After you’ve decluttered, be sure to finish it off by cleaning your home. Clean windows, walls, and the floors for the best results.

BRING IN NATURAL LIGHT
Do you have heavy curtains covering your windows? Bring them down! Not only will this make your space feel bigger by removing stuff off the walls, it’ll also feel alive again with all of the natural light that pours in.

ADD FRESH PAINT
Nothing refreshes a home like a new coat of paint. If you have dark dull colors, opt for lighter tones. Covering up stains on the walls, or drab old paint, can help your house feel brand new all over again.

ADD TILE
Consider adding a tile backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get beautiful results. Be sure you get tiles that compliment the colors in the space, so it doesn’t clash and look unappealing.

ADD COLOR
Although neutral colors are always recommended as the base of any home décor, don’t be afraid to compliment your neutrals with a pop of color. You can add it throughout the home by using flowers, pillows, décor, or even light curtains that are staged on the sides of your windows.

CHANGE OUT FIXTURES + HARDWARE
You’d be surprised by how much more a kitchen can look different just by replacing the hardware on the cabinets. A bathroom or living room can come alive again by installing a brand new light fixture. If you moved into a place that still has the same stock hardware or fixtures, replace them and add a little creativity with the new pieces you have installed.

REARRANGE FURNITURE
Head to Pinterest and get inspired for new living room, bedroom, or dining room arrangements. Most homeowners decorate “incorrectly” when it comes to standard staging rules. View a variety of furniture set-ups on social media and let it motivate you to rearrange your space. You don’t have to buy a bunch of new furniture to make a drastic change.

Do you need help buying or selling your home? Contact me today!

 


Posted on February 24, 2019 at 1:49 pm
Allison Higgins | Posted in help, Selling, Spring |

What to Expect When Selling

Selling your home involves many tasks and timelines. Here are the basic processes to keep in mind during your sale.

Before listing your home
• Research professionals — Look for an agent who’s active in your neighborhood. Check out their online profile and credentials before calling.
• Schedule a Listing Appointment — Set up a time where you can discuss your expectations for the sale, go through the comparative market analysis and any improvements you plan to make before listing.
• Work around school or employment — If you have school-age children, listing in the late winter or early spring months gives you a better chance of closing escrow and moving before school starts. If a job is prompting you to move, coordinate your sale with your relocation and determine if you will be buying or renting in your new community.

After you’ve hired your agent
• Ask questions — Ask your agent what to expect during the sales transaction, and always ask for buyer feedback on what will make your house more marketable.
• List on a Thursday — Listing towards the end of the week puts you at the top of the list and builds momentum that allows for a strong open house for the weekend.
• Prepare your home — Hire a home inspector and make necessary repairs.
• Rent a storage unit — If you still occupy your home, clear clutter and store away any personal and valuable items.

While it’s on the market
• Keep a cleaning service handy — Hire a professional cleaning service to come in while your house is on the market.
• Discuss sales strategies with your agent — If your home is listed for more than six weeks without an offer, reconsider price or improvements that will enhance your home.
• Be prepared — The housing market may change. Be flexible and open to changes. This will help you sell quicker and eliminate home-selling stress.


Posted on June 5, 2018 at 11:52 am
Allison Higgins | Posted in Selling |

Seasons Changing Means Oppurtunity for Sellers!

It is a special time of year: School is getting out, days are getting longer and the families are planning for the future!  Seasonal adjustments help make it easier to compare month to month adjustments in the market. You can’t get a good picture of whether it’s a good or bad year by comparing a typically slow January with a typically busy July.

The raw data tells us that real estate follows a clear seasonal pattern. Inventory  peaks in the summer, sales peak in the summer, real estate web traffic peaks in the summer. Notice a trend?

But each local market has it’s own cycle. The school calendar plays a big role since families with kids prefer to move while school is out. And not all school calendars are the same.

Weather also influences the real estate cycle. Cold weather markets such as Boston, Minneapolis and New York start later in the Spring. Does anyone in other parts of the country realize how much snow we get in the Northeast? You have to see the curb to have curb appeal!

Warm weather such as Miami, San Diego or Phoenix start earlier and demonstrate less seasonal variation overall.

There is also a herd mentality that influences the market peak. Driven by years of observations that there may be an optimal time to list that perfectly aligns with the peak demand to command the highest price and to do so as quickly as possible. Right now is one of those times!

When the sales are slower due to the season, the age of inventory rises and we start to monitor the median days on market of active listings. This typically bottoms out in June and peaks in Winter months like December and January.

As the age of inventory increases, buyers gain more leverage. That is why prices are also seasonal, peaking each summer when demand is highest and the age of inventory is lowest. If you are a buyer and can wait until the Fall or Winter you will find the prices will come down a bit and there will be less competition in the off season!

If you are a Seller or thinking about selling than now is the time! The inventory is low and the buyers are anxious to move while the kids are out of school and the weather is fabulous!

Contact me today to get more details about what is happening in the market in your area!

 

 

 


Posted on May 31, 2018 at 11:22 am
Allison Higgins | Posted in help, Spring, Summer |

7 Things to Look For When Touring an Open House

You’re in the market for a home, you have gone to Kinlin Grover Open House Listings and checked out the inventory, you’ve put together a short list of potential properties and you are going to call me to go tour the homes with you! 😉  The pictures online look amazing, you have found a couple with the exact amount of rooms and bathrooms you need and the square footage is what you want. But while the pictures online can say a lot, seeing a home in person truly speaks volumes. Visiting a property is your first opportunity to “kick the tires”. While you are out there scoping out the prospective homes don’t overlook these 7 critical areas:

The Neighborhood

You have to remember you are not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood too. And that may be the most important thing you cannot get a feel for online. During the visit be sure to pay attention to the traffic sounds and speeds, the condition of other homes in the area, and whether or not there is plenty of access to your families amenities like shops, parks, or malls.

Privacy

When you look out the windows what do you see? When you step into the back yard how much privacy to you want to have and do you feel like it is comfortable for you? Depending on the season, like in the Winter it will feel less private but check to see how many trees or shrubs will potentially grow in.  Always remember that you can add privacy shades and shrubs to help with this if you are in love with the house 🙂

The Home’s Exterior

Take a walk around the entire perimeter of the house; you might be surprised at what is hiding along the sides out of sight. Is there deferred maintenance? Pay close attention to the exterior paint. Does it look fresh or is it chipping? Do the roof shingles look like they need replacing? Ask when the roof was last done if it is an older home. What is the condition of the gutters or any other key items on the exterior?

Having Good “Flow”

One thing pictures online do not show is the flow from one room to the next. Do they feel well laid out? Are they spacious enough for your needs? The hub of the home is typically the kitchen, is this an open and inviting space?  The way one room opens to the next is important when it comes to making the most of the space you got.  You can also think of the layout when looking around. Are the bedrooms all on one floor? Is the master bedroom set apart from the rest? Is there space to put an office or a gym? Make sure you have your list of needs, wants and extras ready to go when looking at each home to see if you can check off the boxes!

Smells or Stains

The nose knows. Check out the basement and even the attic. If you smell something not so great you may want to ask  more questions. Water stains in the ceilings and along baseboards in the basement could be signs of flooding or water damage, make sure to take note.

Light and Air

When you’re in the house is there a lot of natural light? Is the house designed in a way that allows for good air flow.  Not only is sunlight and fresh air enjoyable, but opening those windows and catching a breeze can help cut down on utility bills during those mid summer months.  Then think about Winter, do you notice any drafty windows or doors that may be a problem? Take a look at the condition of the windows, take note and question how old they are.

Closet Space

Is there a lot or a little? Will the home’s storage space keep you organized and accommodate all your stuff? I know that some homebuyers, this is a deal breaker, so it’s better to check now before you fall in love with the rest of the house. This is the one thing that I did not think of when looking at our home. I figured it out and declutter on a seasonal basis to keep from over storing items. So it actually keeps me more organized having less closet space!

 

I hope these tips help make your Open House experience an exciting and enjoyable one! If you need any help looking for your next home please know that I would love to be your Realtor!

Contact me anytime with questions or comments.

 

 

 


Posted on May 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Allison Higgins | Posted in first time home buyer | Tagged

Real Estate, Where do you Start?

It is coming up on 4 years that my family and I have been in our new home. We bought out first home together as a married couple and bought new construction. Being a first time home buyer was a whirl wind of decisions and delays. But through it all I learned a lot and was so thankful for our amazing Realtor. She was not only a trusted family member but she was on top of every challenge and step in the process.

After going through this process it  made me appreciate real estate professionals more for all of the behind the scenes details that they take care of.  This was part of my motivation for getting into real estate and becoming a Realtor. I wanted to be that person that people know and trust with doing an amazing job in the process of buying or selling their home.

If you have been thinking about buying or selling but are just not sure yet, sign up for my email series “The 7 Secrets to First Time Home Buying” and learn more!

Message me today and get started!

 


Posted on May 16, 2018 at 10:47 am
Allison Higgins | Posted in first time home buyer |

Healthy Travel Tips

For the last year I have been improving my health. I have been eating better and working out at home 5-6 days a week. I love the healthy habits I have created at home and it makes me feel great and able to focus on my work each day.  When I travel I loose that control of my surroundings and my habits get lost in the process.

With each trip I do get better at getting more prepared with what I can do to keep myself on track. I have read a lot of different articles and blogs on this topic and found that these 5 tips are what will bring me the most success in future trips. I hope you find them valuable too!

Tip #1  Do Research and Plan Ahead

Know where you are going, and read up on your specific location. What restaurants and activities are in the area? Look at a map of the location and see if there is going to be a lot of walking on this trip or not. Plan to go to the best and most popular restaurants so you know you are getting quality food that is worth indulging in. Taking that another step further you could look at the menus ahead of time as well and really get a visual of what you will be eating and when.

Tip #2  Be Realistic

After planning and possibly over planning your trip you still need to be realistic. You are not go to go by your plan minute by minute especially if you are traveling with other people. Sometimes plans change and you jump in a cab and go to another part of a city. Be ok with that and enjoy!  I like to use the 90/10 rule while I am at home but open that up to an 80/20 rule while on vacation or traveling.

Tip #3  Find Time for Fitness 

While you are doing your research look for local yoga studios, spin classes or even a really nice bike path that you could explore. Maybe your location is going to have a lot of stairs, that counts! If you are like me who works out at home and streams videos on my phone, I can do that anywhere. Making the time is the difficult. In future trips I am going to get up earlier than the other travelers and get my workout done! I like to think of the exploring exercise as a bonus!

Tip #4  Drink a lot of Water

This is a super important one and can be difficult if you are traveling in different countries. I like to fill up my water bottle 2-3 times a day and getting it right from the refrigerator door. Now when you travel you have to keep buying water and it usually comes in small plastic bottles. I buy a big jug that holds gallons of water and then I can keep refilling my bottle through the trip.

Tip #5 Pack Some Herbal Tea

Tea is really great to help with digestion and cleansing the body of toxins. While you travel you are eating and breathing in things that you may not typically ingest. A little ginger or peppermint tea will help keep you balanced and calm an upset belly. I am a huge tea lover and have a few cups a day. For those who are not tea drinkers you could also get some essential oils like lemon, peppermint and ginger to drop in some water and enjoy it that way.

Good luck with your travels and comment below with any other tips that help you stay healthy while traveling!

 

 

 


Posted on April 20, 2018 at 10:13 am
Allison Higgins | Posted in vacation |

Does Your Credit Score Need Improving?

Recently some of my clients have realized that their credit scores are lower than they expected. To buy a house and get approved for loans and mortgages you must be in good standing with your credit. If you have no idea what your credit score is go to www.creditkarma.com and check it then read this article of  5 simple tips to improving your credit so that when you are ready for that next big step in life!

Click here to read the article now 


Posted on March 6, 2018 at 11:57 am
Allison Higgins | Posted in help |

Why You Should Plan Your Cape Cod Vacation Now

Make 2018 the Year You Use All Your Vacation Days! 

Did you know that more than half of Americans don’t use all their allotted vacation days? The study also found that Massachusetts residents are guilty, with 55% of Bay Staters admitting they don’t use every hour of vacation time.

To avoid eating lunches at your desk while your co-workers enjoy the 40 miles of Cape Cod National Seashore and breathtaking sunsets, start vacation preparations now.

Here’s why: A majority (52%) of workers who dedicate time each year to plan out their vacation end up using all their time off, compared to just 40% of non-planners. Advance planners also tend to take longer vacations. On the Cape, 1-2 weeks will give you time to explore the entire peninsula, including restaurants, entertainment and the vast spaces of national parks and nature preserves, as opposed to fitting in a few days at the beach over a long weekend. Here are a few other perks for early birds.

Stay at Your First Choice Spot
More than four million people visit Cape Cod each year. Don’t risk your favorite spot being booked up because you waited until May to call. Hotels, bed & breakfasts and a variety of resorts offer early bird booking incentives and vacation packages, as well as deals for midweek and off-season stays. You also have the option to contact Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals and find a private home perfect for your family to enjoy for 1 week or more!

Plan a Family Vacation or Couples Getaway
Cape Cod offers cozy options for couples, as well as enough family-friendly activities to keep both you and the kids entertained. While it’s an ideal vacation spot for everyone, you’ll want to nail down the details to ensure the experience you want is the one you end up having.

Couples should look for quiet retreats and getaways that offer plenty of privacy and pampering. To escape everyday stress and unplug, a quaint bed & breakfast or historic inn may be in order. The Palmer House Inn in Falmouth transports you to another time in their Queen Anne Victorian house.

For a perfect spa experience, consider the Shui Spa at The Crowne Pointe Inn & Spa in Provincetown, which provides facials, body wraps and restorative massages using Kiehl’s Skin Care Products. Alternatively, the Beach Plum Spa specializes in overnight and day packages for massages at two Cape Cod locations.

Besides relaxing spa experiences, the Cape Codder Resort adds a giant dose of family fun with its 30,000 sq. foot indoor water park with giant slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club – a 4-star oceanfront property in Harwich – offers stylish amenities for the whole family. Kids can take advantage of the outdoor aquatic playground, a game room and movie nights, while the adults experience one of the finest golf courses in New England. The Red Jacket Resorts on Cape Cod (there are five, all located in Yarmouth) offer a little bit of everything – private beaches, supervised kids’ programs, indoor and outdoor pools and water sports.

In September, the weather stays warm, but most of visitors have gone home, leaving an intimate feel to the ocean paradise. Late fall provides foliage and perfect temperatures to enjoy the bike trails and festivals that let you indulge in food and culture.

So don’t delay any longer, book early and be sure to savor every vacation day.


Posted on February 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm
Allison Higgins | Posted in vacation | Tagged ,