Lynne Eliopoulos
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-832-1032 | [email protected]


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 3/14/2021

Photo by Javani LLC via Shutterstock

Before you ever place your home on the market, start working on curb appeal. What’s curb appeal? It’s the first thing that makes people want to take a second look when they drive by. If they’re house shopping or just dreaming for the future, a home with curb appeal will bring them back once it has a “For Sale” sign in the yard.

Where Do You Start?

  • Fix the small stuff: The crooked shutter, sagging fence, loose bricks in the walkway or cracks in the stucco trigger the subconscious to wonder what else is wrong. Start your curb appeal efforts by making sure the basics are in top shape.
  • Water the lawn and keep it mowed. Trim the edges too. Rake up leaves and branches, and bag them for removal. Even if your landscaping is simple, if it’s well-kept it catches the eye.
  • Weed the flowerbeds and along the fences. Prune the overgrown bushes and trees too. Sweep away spider webs and debris from corners and gutters.
  • Wash down the exterior surfaces of the house and wash the windows, so they sparkle.

Now that you’ve completed the basics, move on to the more intricate — and costly — items. These include painting the front door a bold, brilliant hue, and while you’re at it, paint the house trim. Even if you can’t paint the entire house, freshening the door and window trim gives your house the “cared for” feeling that buyers want.

Change out the bulbs in the carriage lights and keep them brightly lit. Do the same with the porch lights. As the seasons change, homebuyers may be seeing your home in the early evening, so illuminate pathways with solar lights or place lights at the base of trees, bushes or architectural details of your home.

If your gutters sag, call out a service technician and get them realigned or repaired. Do the same with the downspouts. If they are dented or smashed on the ends, replace them, so they don’t detract from your home.

If you have time to replant your flower beds, add seasonal blooming flowers or colorful foliage to attract the eye. Even if you can’t replant your beds, set out pots of colorful flowers in the front of your home.

If the front of your home has a long driveway or walkway, consider concrete acid stain to give it a beautiful, new surface. And, if the door at the end of that driveway is dented, droopy or bulges, get it replaced. The R.O.I. is worth it.




Categories: Selling  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 2/14/2021

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

All home sellers understand that there are some costs to selling a home, but not everyone realizes what they're expected to pay for (and how much the total will be). We'll look at the most common expenses and how they might affect your budget. 

Real Estate Agent Fees 

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind if you're selling a home. The standard rule is anywhere between 5 to 6% of the final sale price. Not all sellers will shoulder this cost, but the majority will. So if your home sells for $300,000, you should expect to hand over at least $15,000 to be split between the buyer and seller real estate agents. Please note that commissions can be negotiable, especially if you're selling in a popular neighborhood. 

Prep Work 

While none of these costs are strictly necessary, they can help you get your home ready:

  • Repairs: If you're not planning to sell the house as-is, it's a good idea to spruce up the interior and exterior of the property. Even if you're only buying a few cans of paint and a roller, the costs can add up quickly. 
  • Home inspection: Buyers will typically do their own home inspection, but sellers who go above and beyond can give themselves an edge in a competitive market. If you're going out of your way to buy a home inspection, it can show you have nothing to hide. These inspections cost a few hundred dollars and may reveal structural problems that you were unaware of. 
  • Staging: Arranging your furniture to show off the best of the home can really inspire buyers to view its potential. Whether you dress up your home with cozy touches (e.g., cashmere throws, small bouquets, etc.) or more modern decorations, it can help attract the perfect buyer. 

Additional Fees 

If you're moving out before you sell the house, you'll need to continue paying the utilities. You'll also need to check with your lender as to exactly how much you owe when you pay off the loan. Some lenders will charge prepayment fees upon early termination. You may also be asked to either pay or split the closing costs, especially if you're selling in a buyer's market. This can include anything from the title inspector fees to transfer costs. Finally, you may need to pay capital gains tax if your home skyrocketed in value or any lingering property taxes.

Some sellers end up paying closer to 10% of the total sale price of their home, a figure that can be difficult to swallow for many sellers. It's worth clarifying each cost so you always know what you're paying for.




Categories: Selling