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All posts in Selling

Meet Your Cambridge, Somerville & Medford Real Estate Expert!

Taylor Johnson is your local real estate specialist for the Cambridge, Medford & Somerville areas. He has a deep understanding of the community, it’s people and the real estate in these particular areas. Watch Taylor’s short introduction video! You can reach Taylor directly at Taylor@MandrellCo.com

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Meet Your Mattapan, Hyde Park & Roxbury Real Estate Expert

Denisha McDonald is your local real estate specialist for Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park areas. She has a deep understanding of the community, it’s people and the real estate in these particular neighborhoods. Watch Denisha’s short introduction video!

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Let’s talk about converting your multifamily into condos. What does it entail, who are the people you need to speak to, what are the things that you need to consider? I have a lot of clients that often come to me and say, “I have a two-family, I have a three-family, I have a four-family and there are some condos selling in my neighborhood, and I’m considering instead of selling my multifamily as a multifamily, what do you think about converting this building into condos and selling them off individually as condos? A couple things. I’m going to go over five things that you want to consider, five people that you want to speak to and get their advice before you make that final decision.

Number one, the number one person you want to speak to is your local real estate agent, a real estate agent that is versed in the multifamily, in condo sales within your market, within your neighborhood. What you’re trying to find out from that real estate agent is two things. One, “What would my multifamily building sell for if it sold as a whole, as a multifamily building?” The second number is, “If I break this into two units, or three units, what are those individual condos going to sell for?” That seems pretty elementary, pretty straight forward. Of course you want to know that. In addition to that what are the things that need to be done to these condos? What are the quality of the finishes within these condos that are required for the sale?

Again, if I’m renting … Right now if I live in unit one and I’m renting units two and units three, and I have laminate flooring and formica countertops and Home Depot cabinets, is that okay for this neighborhood? Is it a requirement for me to upgrade now to granite, to hardwood flooring, to stainless steel if I’m going to convert these into condos? What is the quality of the finishes needed for me to actually put a finished product on the market and actually have them sell?

Once you get those two comparisons. Let’s throw some numbers out there and let’s say we’re in a Cambridge market, let’s say it’s a three-family unit, and I can sell my multifamily for, let’s say, a million bucks. I’m looking at the condos in the same neighborhood and the condos are selling for let’s say six hundred apiece. This a pretty good spread. You have a million bucks as a multifamily. You have almost 1.8 million dollars in sales as a condo conversion. Most people would say, “Pretty straight forward.”

There’s a couple other considerations that you have, though. Next what I would do is I would talk to my general contractor. There’s a couple different ways … I’m going to give you the five people that you should speak to. The real estate agent I would say is always first and then you can toggle through the next four. I would probably bring in my general contractor next and say, “I’ve spoken to my real estate agent and I’m considering going the condo route. Here are the things that I want to do. Based on what my real estate agent is telling me, I need to probably gut this kitchen and we’re gonna go new flooring, new hardwood. We’re gonna bring in stainless appliances. I want new plumbing. I’m probably gonna change out a couple furnaces in the basement. I’m gonna separate these into different utilities for each unit.

Based on those things, what is that full renovation budget gonna run me?” Have your contractor come in, give them the specs, and then have them give you a proposal, a contracting proposal so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The reason you want to do that is because, again, there’s an $800,000 spread between selling it as a multifamily and selling it as condos, but if you come in and your contractor says it’s gonna cost you about a half a million dollars to convert these into condos, is there still an 800. Now there’s only a $300,000 spread.

The other things you want to consider, $300,000 spread still a lot of money but, again, there are realtor fees, there are three realtor fees because you’ll be selling three condos. There are attorney fees. There would be three attorney fees because you’re selling three condos. There is also a bit of a home warranty, and you as a developer, or you selling these condos also have to make some type of guarantees. It’s not guarantees but some type of warranty to the end buyers. If the utilities break down, if the furnaces break down, those end condo buyers are going to be looking back to you. There are a lot of considerations there.

The next person I would speak to is an architect. The reason you would want to speak to an architect is because when you are going from a multifamily to a condo, in your condo docs you are going to need floor plans and the floor plans are going to lay out specifically which units own how much square footage, and then typically their condo fees are based on the square footage, and their ownership. Everything is kind of laid out in the condo docs and the architect is going to be the person that is going to come in and make sure that all the details of this building are specifically laid out, and then transfer all that to the attorney, which is the next person you would probably want to speak to. The attorney is going to talk to you a little bit about the process of drafting up condo docs, splitting your units into three separate entities, or three separate deeds.

There’s a lot of legals that go into taking one deed, one multifamily, and now dividing it up into three separate living quarters. The attorney is the next person you would want to speak to. You want to make sure that you are on board and fully understanding everything that legally needs to be done to convert these into condos, get your new condo docs, and everything else that goes along with it.

The last person you want to speak to, very important, as well, is your CPA, whoever does your taxes. You really want to make sure that they are versed in the real estate world. You want to make sure that they fully understand capital gains tax. What are my tax consequences for selling this building. Are they any different from selling it … your cost basis is going to be adjusted. Your cost basis is going to be adjusted from depending on how much money you put in, what your renovation budget is. Your renovation budget is going to affect your cost basis. You really want to ask them a lot of questions, your CPA a lot of question about the tax consequences that come with selling property and then your opportunity to sell these three or four condos, two, three condos, as well.

Again, talk to your real estate agent. Ask a lot of questions. Does it make financial sense? Talk to your attorney. What are the legal ramifications? Talk to your CPA. What are the tax ramifications? Talk to your general contractor. What is this going to cost me to get this to a market-ready condo? Last, but not least, talk to your architect about getting your floor plans ready so you can actually present them to your attorney to be included in the condo docs and, again, your realtor would probably want to see those floor plans, as well, because they would actually help the sale of the potential building, as well.

Again, Willie Mandrell, Mandrell Company. Five people that you want to speak to before you consider, or while you’re considering, changing your multifamily into a condo. If I can be of any help, please reach out. Mandrellco.com, m-a-n-d-r-e-l-l-c-o.com, or you can reach us at 617-297-8641. Thanks and have a nice day.

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West Roxbury Multifamily Sales & Rental Market Data

Are you a current or aspiring landlord in Massachusetts? No matter how many years you have in the rental business, fully understanding your local market is one the most important thing you can do to ensure your long-term success.  Receiving regular market updates will help you determine when’s it time to buy and when it’s time to sell. It will also allow you to see what your apartments rent for in comparison to your neighbors. Should you be increasing rents? Is now a good time to sell?

Here are West Roxbury’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the last 6 months.

Total Multi-Family Listings SOLD: 9

Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,910.00

Average Listing Price: $675,735

Average DOM (Days on Market): 68.11 Days

Average Sales Price: $677,778

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,577

Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $2,004

Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,356

Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $2,957

I Want To Know My Home’s Value!

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report. In the title put the words “FREE Boston Sales Statistics” and in the body, add the up to 3 areas you’d like to receive data for. Your name and email will be added to the next monthly reporting cycle. It’s that simple to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641, for custom reports or questions above the data provided.

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Your Home’s Been on the Market For How Long?

This blog is for my sellers in this crazy market. I want you to think of yourself as a homebuyer for a second… Would you pay more for a house if all the comparable homes in the area that have sold and others that are on the market are cheaper? What would make you choose the overpriced house?

Honest question because there are some people who willingly pay more for a home due to time constraints or a love for some specific feature in the home that they can’t live without. 

If there’s anything almost guaranteed to make your home sale experience a good or bad one, it will be price!

Price it correctly from the start and you’ll get offers in no time!

However, go with the “let’s see if there are buyers willing to pay that price” and as a home seller, you’ll undoubtedly draw the short straw!

How does a home seller know his home is overpriced?

The home is priced well-above neighboring properties for sale

“Of course, my home should be selling for more than some of my neighbors’ houses!”

As long as the market hasn’t spoken (i.e. no able & willing buyer and home seller have agreed on a mutually acceptable price), prices of properties in your neighborhood are just ASKING prices, but not given yet! As agents we base value on SOLD homes with a few adjustments to account for present market. If homes are listed and sitting in a hot market… that means they are overpriced.

The home isn’t seeing a steady stream of buyer showings

You agree on a list price, put your home on the market and nothing! No calls, no showing requests, nothing!! Other homes are on the market and accepting offers…what’s wrong? Well.. if you re the highest priced home in your neighborhood but clearly not new construction or newly remodeled… I think you know why.

The home hasn’t seen a single offer, despite months of marketing

If a home is priced right, there should be a lot of buyers knocking at your door (well, contacting your agent) and several showings. It should not take long for you to receive offers (within 30 days). If this is not your story… you should consider having a serious discussion with your agent and consider re-interviewing agents to sell your property.

The home has only seen ‘low-ball’ offers

The longer your home sits on the market, the greater the chance of low ball offers. All agents review days on market with their clients before submitting offers. If you have been on the market for over 30-40 days, expect less than asking, beyond that timeframe… even lower.

The real estate agent’s contract expired and the home is still on the market

When you agree to work with an agent, there is usually a start date and an end date to the contract. If you have not received offers by the conclusion of your contract… DO NOT RENEW with that agent. They did not fulfill their duties.  You also did not do your homework to understand the market and lower the price to what the market will bear.

Here at The Mandrell Company, we are honest and upfront. We provide honest numbers for home values. Some sellers choose other companies because our value was lower but we see that same home on the market months later and sometimes it sells for the price we told the seller but 5 months later. Had they listened, they would have had a sale months sooner.

For a complimentary value analysis and the opportunity to assist you in the sale of your home, please contact us to schedule your consultation. CONTACT@MANDRELLCO.COM or 617-297-8641.

 

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10 Minute Room Transformation

Transforming your home to appeal to buyers does not always involve buying new furniture or expensive upgrades. This video shows that it can be as simple as decluttering and allowing natural light to enter. Buyers want to envision themselves in your home so your goal is to keep the room as simple as possible. 

Remove personalized items from the walls and tables

Remove throws, blankets, extra “Stuff” from sofas and chairs

Remove electronics that are not pertinent to the space 

Have a “catch all” bin to toss all the items you do not have a storage space for currently.

For more tips on how to stage your home on a budget, please feel free to connect with us online at contact@mandrellco.com or call us at 617-297-8641.

 

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In our next topic of conversation with Elizabeth Newcombe, we asked her what the first step in the home buying process is. Liz is involved in this process on a regular basis so getting her perspective on the topic is very beneficial. For anyone looking to purchase a home in the near future, this is a great short video on how to get started with the home buying process and what to expect throughout.

For more information on homes for sale in Attleboro, contact Elizabeth Newcombe at 413-834-8052

 

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We are currently in the process of finishing (hopefully) a 3 family listing in Dorchester, which has had many speed bumps along the way. The owner of the triple decker decided to convert the property into three separate condos, going against the advice that he received from the listing agent. The problem with doing this was that he was therefore, involving many more parties to the buying process than there would be, had he just sold the property as a whole.

Five takeaways from this experience from an outside perspective:

• You need to value your time: Most people do not put a value on their time. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, “is this worth my time” and if your time could be better spent doing something else, then the answer is no. Doing everything yourself isn’t always the best option.
• It is better to hire out the work: Similar to the first takeaway, you hold up the project when you try to do everything yourself. Big picture, it is best to hire a contractor to do all the work. Yes, it is more expensive doing this, but the quality of work should be the best it can be and more importantly, this frees up your TIME.
• Listen to people’s advice: By going against the listing agent’s advice, the owner has added months and months onto the sale of his property. In hindsight, he ultimately admitted that he wished he took the original advice he received and sold the property “as is.”
• Don’t chase extra money: The decision to convert the property to three separate condos was due to the thought that by doing so, the owner could roughly an extra $100,000 off the sale. Even though this will be the end result, the extra six months the project took, along with many other factors, eats into those profits more that you realize until all is said and done.
• Learn from your mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes. The most important thing is that you learn from that mistake and do not make the same one again. Fortunately, the seller acknowledged his mistakes and mentioned that he would do things very differently if this situation arose again.

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Recently we sat down with our very own Elizabeth Newcombe to cover a series of topics. One of these topics was about what is happening currently in her local real estate market, Attleboro. As most of you know, the real estate market for the greater Boston area is very competitive right now and it is even making its way down to Bristol and Norfolk counties. Liz provides a firsthand look into everything you want to know about the market in Attleboro right now.

For more information on homes for sale in Attleboro, contact Elizabeth Newcombe at 413-834-8052

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Thinking Of Selling Your Home? |4 Quick Tips To Give Your Home More Curb Appeal

You only get to make one first impression, and that first look can affect buyers in ways that even they don’t fully realize. When you are thinking of selling your home, ensure the exterior is well maintained if you are looking for top dollar. 

While it is not as valuable as the updates within the home, you want buyers to enter your home to see your wonderful upgrades correct? If the outside is in poor condition, they will assume the interior is the same and may not even enter the home. Do not leave offers on the table because you didn’t think they mattered. When selling a home, everything matters, no detail is too small. Here are some inexpensive MUST DOs to the exterior. If you can’t afford to repaint, then make the walk up to the home look better.

Mow The Lawn

It really is that simple. While you’re at it, you should also make sure the hedges, bushes, and trees are all looking perfect and well cared for. Long grass and especially brown grass is a sign of neglect. We cant say it enough… you only have one chance to make a first impresion. I always assume a home is unoccupied or has neglectful owners with poorly maintained lawn (Sorry… I’m sure I’m not the only one)

Power Wash 

A fresh coat of paint is all well and good, but often enough the only thing the old paint needs is a good scrub in order to look as good as new. Also, depending on the type of water and trees around the home, your driveway may change colors or have stains that are easily removed with one good wash. It can really make a huge difference in people’s perception of your home. 

Fill The Garden

Adding a new garden may not be a good return on investment depending on the size and soil conditions, but at the same time you can’t allow any existing gardens to grow wild or stick out as barren plots of dirt. Your best bet is to speak with a gardening expert to find out which ornamental plants survive best in our emotional New England weather without much tending so that you can concentrate on other things without having to hire a gardening service. We just want it to look pretty and to last.

Reseal The Drive

Not every kind of pavement demands a coat of sealant, but it can be surprising just how appealing a fresh coat of black tar looks on the driveways and parking spaces of a property with the right kind. You can also utilize cement and be creative with designs and imprints. 

Using curb appeal to attract buyers can feel like an underhanded way to manipulate buyers, but it really isn’t when you consider how common and inexpensive it is to improve a property’s beauty. Not only can everyone who’s selling or renting a property do it, but you’re effectively allowing buyers to judge the property on its real merits rather than on a negative judgement buyers don’t even realize they make. Do not leave thousands on the table when it would have cost you a couple hundred to get higher offers on your home. 

We work with alot of investor clients who truly understand what it takes to get the most bang for your buck. If you would like us to evaluate your home and provide some low cost upgrades/updates to receive the most on your investment, please contact us at Contact@mandrellco.com. 

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Home Improvements and PERMITS

In this fast paced, high demand Boston real estate market, agents have to ensure they are doing their due diligence for everyone. Never assume the other side has completed their checklist of items. I want to share part of a situation that occurred with one of my buyers. We found their dream house and submitted an offer subject 2 the seller finding suitable housing (not sure I will be doing that again with first time home-buyers because the ball is in the seller’s court no matter how you look at it). That’s another story, but today, I will explain the OTHER issue with the home and ultimately why we walked away. The home was in impeccable condition and the buyers fell in love with the deck. Everything was great, inspector said home was in excellent condition and well maintained (kudos to the seller)… then comes the appraisal. The appraiser researched the property and discovered the sellers had extended the deck without permits. BIG NO NO Sellers!

If recent work has been done on a home, appraisers are expected to prove and document that the work had been properly permitted.  If the appraiser notes that a bath or in my case, a deck has been added and does not determine if proper permits were issued, the underwriter will request documentation to determine that the bathroom was installed legally. In our case, there was no documentation so the underwriter would not allow the purchase of this home. The only way my buyers were getting this house was if the seller ripped out the deck and rebuilt it with a permit. Needless to say… we walked away. (We did find another home but the process of the sub2 deal was daunting at best)

Sellers, please do things by the book so as not to delay the sale of your home or cost you money in the long run. If you are planning to sell and plan to be handy or have a “friend or family member” do some updates for you, please spend the extra money to obtain a permit.

The worst thing you want is that you spend thousands on adding a new bathroom/deck/finished basement and weeks before closing, the appraiser discovers you did not pull permits… guess what… you will be ripping out ALL the work you did and watch THOUSANDS of dollars go in the trash…this will also reduce the value of your home so add a couple thousand to the LOSS column.

 

If you are thinking of selling, call us today for a FREE no obligation consultationFREE no obligation consultation.

We prefer to make it a stress free process for you and help you avoid these hiccups that are totally avoidable.

 

 

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4 Surprising Predictors of Home Values

In our aggressive market, homeowners and buyers want to know where the market is headed. Are valuations heading up, up, up, making it the perfect time to buy? Or are they beginning a precipitous decline from their peak—making it high time to sell? To read the tea leaves, they might focus on the latest jobs reports, check out what’s going on in other markets, or scrutinize the writings of economists.

But when it comes to nailing the best deal in real estate, you can get a jump on the competition! Inside-track insights can be found in the most unusual places—such as on a grocery run, or at the gas pump. Realtor.com has rounded up eight surprising indicators of change in home prices. Do they play a role in pushing the numbers skyward or down into the dirt? Or are they false prophets? 

1. Gas prices

Sure, it feels fantastic to fill up your car with gas for just $35 when it used to cost almost $50. But if you’re looking to buy a home, the financial benefit of cheap gas might be overrated—as gas prices fall, home prices inevitably go up. And homes sell faster, too, which takes a toll on available inventory.

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For every $1 decrease in gas prices, home prices increase by roughly $4,000 and the average time to sell a property decreases by 25 days, according to a study by Longwood University and Florida Atlantic University.

Lower gas prices lead to increased consumer confidence and more disposable income for potential buyers, Longwood professor Bennie Waller explains. In addition, the listing broker—who has to travel between properties—is more likely to market more aggressively and have more showings when gas is cheap.

2. Trader Joe’s vs. Whole Foods

When it comes to healthy eats, cost-conscious gourmet market Trader Joe’s and pricey, environmentally conscious Whole Foods each have their own massive cult following. But it turns out, if you’re seeking a neighborhood where homes are worth more—and gaining in value—you’d better know which store to look for.

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Homes near the two foodie superstores significantly trump the national average home value, but homes near a Trader Joe’s are worth 5% more than homes near a Whole Foods, according to RealtyTrac

Homes near a Trader Joe’s also appreciate faster, with an average appreciation rate of 40% from the time of purchase. Meanwhile, homes near a Whole Foods appreciated 34%, the same as the national average. So even if you do tend to shop at “Whole Paycheck,” you’d probably do better to buy a home near TJ’s—and load up on some Two-Buck Chuck while you’re at it.

3. Sports facilities

Walking distance to the big game? Score! Living near a stadium clearly is not a hard sell for sports fans, but even those without an obsessive rooting interest in the local teams should pay close attention if there’s a major sports facility nearby.

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Moving a residential housing unit one mile closer to a professional sports facility increases its value by $793. But the effect disappears after four miles, according to researchers at the College of William and Mary and University of Alberta, who extracted property data within 5 miles of every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL facility in the U.S. So sidle up to that stadium—just be sure you have a dedicated parking space.

4. Trees on the street

Everyone knows that stately old-growth trees add major charm to a neighborhood—and are probably an indicator of more expensive homes. But did you know just how expensive? A recent study found that houses on streets where there were trees fetched an average of $7,130 more than houses on treeless streets. Maybe it’s time to consider branching out.

 

If you are interested in selling your home or want to know your property’s value, please contact us directly at 617-755-4938 or email at contact@mandrellco.com.

We look forward to serving you.

 

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Do you have a single or multifamily property in the Boston area with problem tenants? Are your tenants not paying or just causing you headache? If so, we may have a quick solution for you.

The Mandrell Company works with a long list of local real estate investors and developers and each of them is looking for new investment property. These investors buy single family and multi-family homes of any size, any price range, any number of units, and in any condition.

Working with us and our investors we can help to sell your home quickly and easily. You don’t have to worry about spending money on repairs, putting a sign in the yard, having strangers drop in through your house,  or wondering when your property will sell.

When you sell your troubled property with our investors and developer clients:

• You get multiple cash offers and avoid most normal closing costs
• You sell directly to them and there isn’t often no Realtor commission to pay
• You sell your house in “as is” condition – no cleaning or repairs to make
• You can close quickly – if that’s what you need.

Our clients are also buying properties in foreclosure, probate, pending evictions, inherited, vacant or abandoned, or just in need of much work.

If you are interested in a quick cash offer on your property, please call our office today at 617-297-8641 or email me at Willie @ MandrellCo.com

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Sell It Yourself – 4 FSBO Negotiation Strategies

So you’ve decided to sell your home? Congratulations! The sale of real estate is often the largest transaction(s) people make throughout their lives. Considering this fact, below are some quick steps to make sure you negotiate your sale correctly and come out on top!

4 Negotiation Tips For FSBO’s

1. Stand Firm, low ball offers are coming:
To sell your home yourself you must understand the mindset of your potential buyer. Almost every real estate transaction nowadays is completed on some sort of local state MLS system. Most buyers who are looking for property OFF MLS (FSBO) are often looking for a “deal.” These buyers are under the impression that homes on the MLS are sold at market value (or above) and they attempt to search FSBO listings looking for an opportunity to score a home under market. While selling your home, you will probably receive many aggressive offers from investors and buyers trying to undercut you. Stand your ground and accept only what you know the home is worth.

2. Talk to your buyer’s mortgage lender:
So you’ve received an offer and the price is exactly what you’re looking for! Congrats, but before you accept that offer make sure you contact the buyer’s lender and ask a few questions. How well qualified is the buyer? Do they need to sell another home before they can buy mine? How much money are they putting down and who holds the earnest money deposit? How long will it take to close on their loan? As a seller you should definitely educate yourself on some common mortgage products. Why is that important? Here in the Boston area, we have a large stock of older homes. FHA, Mass Housing and a few other mortgage products can be denied if your home is found to have asbestos, lead paint, peeling paint, or a variety of other common problems found in the Boston area.

3. Be ready to renegotiate after home inspection:
You’ve found the perfect buyer, her lending checks out at the bank, and you’ve accepted her offer. Now your buyer is going to schedule a home inspector to come out and inspect the property. Remember that the inspector is being paid by the buyer and isn’t looking out for your best interest. The inspectors job is to come into your home and inform their client of everything thats wrong or could become a problem on the future. Everything on the inspectors list are items the buyer will then used to renegotiate the price you’ve already agreed to. This is where it gets emotional for most home sellers. You’ve put a ton of work into your home over the years and now these people are tearing into every little thing you think is perfectly fine. You have to keep your cool and consider which are legit repair items and which items are BS. The buyer could walk away (forcing you to put the home back on the market) if you don’t come to an agreement after the inspection.

4. Make sure you understand the home buying/ selling time line:
This is very important! In Massachusetts (Boston area) the typical home sale takes about 45-60 days from the time you and the buyer have an accepted offer. Why does this matter so much? I’ll give you a hypothetical. It’s February 1st and you’ve just accepted a new job out of state which starts on May 1st. You’ve given yourself 3 months to sell your home and move to your new location. You put your home up FSBO immediately and start trying to find a buyer. In the excitement of this life changing event, you’ve failed to execute 3 critical steps. A: You didn’t have your home reviewed by a professional and will probably have a few surprises when the home inspector comes. B: You didn’t consider the time of year and the state of the real estate market in your decision to sell. C: You’ve priced your home without consulting a professional and learning what similar homes are selling for in the area.

Considering these oversights, you put your home on the market and don’t get any serious calls for the 1st 2 weeks. You’ve only had a ton of window shoppers and a couple low ball (verbal) offers. Finally on week 6 you receive a reasonable offer and you accept. 10 days later the buyer is coming back to you with a laundry list of complains and things they want fixed. With only 6 weeks until you start your new job you have some tough decisions to make. You finally accept $20-30k less than what you wanted because you’re running of time. 3 weeks later the buyers are denied by their mortgage lender and inform you they cannot move forward with the transaction. Now what?

This scenario isn’t to scare you, but to make you aware of some of the things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction. Fully understanding the home selling timeline can help you avoid scenarios like the one above. I’ve attached a PDF cheat sheet of the home selling process below. Feel free to take it with you as you go through the home selling journey. Good luck!

Boston_Area_Home_Selling_Timeline_

Selling Your Home Timeline – TMC – Click to Download

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Foreclosures Continue to Climb as Winter Arrives

Although the national foreclosure rate has dropped, Massachusetts’ rates continues to rise, according to data from The Warren Group. Foreclosure petitions were just around 5,000 in 2008, decreased to to under 1,500 in 2013 and is around 2,000  currently. Prior to the big crash, the entire foreclosure process took 6 months to move from petition to auction. Now, on average, the process takes about 15 months. The foreclosures occurring now are from five years ago. They were caught in limbo with lenders and the influx of properties on their case load. Now, lenders are starting to off-load properties from their books. 

The current spike in foreclosures is very different from the 2005-2010 crash numbers. Unemployment is lower and home values are higher today. In some instances, Homeowner’s in foreclosure now, have a better chance of walking away with money in their pocket if they sell their property rather than having it foreclosed on. Due to the rising home prices in our aggressive Boston market, homeowners have the potential to sell for a profit or refinance on better terms if they are able to make up missed payments. 

The Mandrell Company specializes in helping homeowners figure out the best strategy for their specific situation. If you are a homeowner facing possible foreclosure, call for a no obligation consultation. We will provide information on lenders who are willing to work with you to refinance and save your home or evaluate the numbers and see if you have an opportunity to make a profit on the sale. 

It hurts to see someone lose their home when they owe $200,000 but their home is worth $350,000 if they were to sell. They walk away with $0, bad credit and no home as opposed to $150,000 in profit and an opportunity to invest that money to improve their financial situation. 

 

To speak with our Broker directly, please contact us NOW! at 617-297-8641

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Money Saving Homes Improvements to Implement Now

If you own a home, chances are you’ve got a long list of renovations and upgrades you’d like to do on it. When it comes to saving money and preserving the value of your home, however, some home improvements are more urgent than others. Here are three high-priority improvements you should consider doing as soon as possible if they are an issue now.

Our suggested improvements will save you money in the long run, help with resale value and keep your home from falling apart. Once you’ve tackled these basic improvements, you can focus on the more fun kinds of upgrades like redoing the kitchen or adding a bathroom.
Project 1: RID YOURSELF OF DRAFTS

Insulate your home and seal drafty windows and doors. Although generally thought of as a winter necessity, We live in New England, I feel like it’s winter 10 months out of the year so this is an everyday necessity. You will not only keep heat in and cold out (savings on your heating bill) but it also keeps the house cool during other seasons. If your windows need to be replaced, start budgeting for this as well.

Project 2: Update To High-Efficient Appliances

In a similar vein, you’ll get the most bang for your home improvement buck if you upgrade inefficient appliances in your home. The top energy suckers in the home are: heating systems, air conditioning, hot water heaters, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, according to Energy.gov
There are easy ways to adjust the energy usage of these appliances, such as installing a programmable thermostat and running appliances at night. At some point, though, you’ll have to decide between repairing your home appliance or replacing it.

Project 3: Clean Your Gutters and Look for Structural Problems

Water is often the cause of the most expensive home repairs. Winter is upon us so if you have not already done so, start fixing things that leak ie: roof, gutters, old pipes. (For some, this process may be a little late but it’s only going to get colder and snowy-er [I made that up]).
A few leaves and twigs in your gutter don’t sound that dangerous, but gutters are the first line of defense against: water problems in your basement, cracked foundations, rotten wood, leaking roofs, wood-destroying insects, and other problems. So, first, clear the gutters or have a handyperson do it for you, and install gutter guards to prevent future water damage.
Now’s the time to also take a walk around your home and look for any foundation cracks, mold or mildew in the basement or other areas, loose shingles or other roof issues (a binocular helps), any other signs of water damage, and pest issues (like termites). Dont wait until the snow comes, because she’s coming with a force (I suspect).

For more suggestions on how to you can make money saving improvements, reach out to us directly at contact@MandrellCo.com. We also know some great contractors if you need recommendations.

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PREPARE for Winter Now to PREVENT Freezing Later

It’s not too late. Although the first frost has settled on our cars, there’s still time to winterize your home. Instead of waiting for the extreme cold weather to blow in, now’s the time to get everything in order so you’re not stuck catching up on the first sub-zero day. Boston, especially areas with longterm owners such as Mattapan, Roxbury, Roslindale, Hyde Park and Dorchester are laden with older homes so updating/improving your insulation is paramount, especially after winter of 2015. 
Getting your  home prepared for winter is essentially a two-step process: first you need to seal off any leaks, and second you need to make it as efficient as possible so you’re not wasting energy. Let’s start with sealing everything off.
Seal Off Windows, Doors, and Everywhere Else

The last thing you want in the middle of winter is a bunch of cold air leaking into your house. The more cold air that comes in, the more energy you’re going to waste heating up your home. For many people-renters and owners alike-this is an incredibly simple process. Here are a few ideas:

Affordable and Non-Permanent Winterizing for homes and Apartments:

Insulate Your Windows: Your windows are the biggest place you’re going to feel cold air leaking in from. Thankfully, covering them up is easy with an insulator kit. All you need to do is wrap the windows with tape, place the plastic insulation sheets down, and shrink the sheet to fit with a hairdryer. If the window is too big for the plastic sheets, bubble wrap can do the trick.
Use Thick Drapes: If it’s especially cold in your area, you might also want to add a set of thermal drapes to your windows as well. These make the world of difference and help you identify leaks because drapes should not move if air is not entering from the outside. 
Seal Off the Doors: The draft from your door is also a big place for cold air to leak in. You can buy an actual draft guard if you want, make your own from foam pipe insulator, or just toss an old blanket in front of the door. The key is to simply make sure you’re not letting in cold air from underneath the door.
Seal Off Everything Else: Finally, make a quick run through of your house and see if you can feel cold air leaking in anywhere else. You can check attics, basements, and everywhere else. From there, block the air any way you can (safely). 
For more suggestions on how to you can make money saving insulation, reach out to us directly at contact@MandrellCo.com.

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Price to Sell and Still Make a Profit

Many people think selling a house is a piece of cake. You list for the price you want and the buyers come running, or scrambling to have a bidding war on your property. Truth is, bidding wars occur on homes that are priced accurately based on the current market. The asking price you set for your home significantly affects how much you will profit and how long your home will sit on the market. Our agents understand their markets and what’s selling- or not selling. This knowledge will be invaluable in helping you determine the price. The objective is to find a price that is competitive to receive immediate offers yet wont leave money on the table.

Here are a couple points to consider:

Time

Time is not on your side when it comes to real estate. Studies show that the longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original asking price. The reason being, everyone rushes to see a new house on the market and if the market does not warrant your price, then they keep looking for the next house on the market. Because all these buyers passed on your home, now you are forced to decrease your price to draw in a new crowd at a lower price point or attract the previous interests with the decreased price. Once potential buyers see you decrease your price, their next thought is… how low will you go? On comes the low ball offers. Therefore, if your goal is to make money, think about a price that will encourage buyer activity.
Value vs. Cost.

Pricing your home to sell in a timely fashion requires some objectivity. It’s important that you not confuse value with cost – in other words, how much you value your home versus what buyers are willing to pay for it. Don’t place too much emphasis on home improvements when calculating your price, because buyers may not share your taste. For instance, not everyone wants an in-ground pool or hand crafted railings. While there are people who really want these features and are willing to pay for it, you have now drastically reduced your buyers pool to those specific buyers. Quick real estate sales cater to the general buyer than a specific clientele because more people want what you have to offer. Dorchester is not ideal for a pool, but creating additional parking is a definite win, considering New England Winters.
Keep it simple.

Because time is of the essence, make it easy for the buyers. Remain flexible on when we can schedule showings.  Let’s Schedule a meeting, there are a lot of alternative options that can get you the most money for your home and accommodate your needs. It takes open communication, an open mind, flexibility and patience.
For more tips on selling your home and staging/decorating ideas, Be sure to connect with one of our agents in your area

 

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Key Facts to Selling Your Home (Part II)

In our previous post, we started discussing some key facts to selling your home. Today we will continue walking you through the home selling process. As we stated prior, there are several important facts to consider when working with your real estate agent beyond just listing your home and waiting for offers to roll in. Here we will review the remainder of the process to get your home to SOLD status.

Receive an offer.

Once we receive a written offer for your home, together, we will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with me right away.

Negotiate to sell.

Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Our agents are well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and will protect your best interest throughout the negotiation process. Hyde Park is an up and coming neighborhood in Boston that new families desire as it provides a suburban feel in an urban environment. Helping buyers see this as a commodity in why they should move forward is one of our strategies. 

Prepare to close.

Once you accept an offer to sell your house, we will make a list of all the things you and the buyer must do before closing. The buyer will have the property formally inspected, and appraised, and again negotiate any repairs if necessary. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home during inspection, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step.

Close the deal.

“Closing” refers to the day when proceedings for ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. The Mandrell Company will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned.
Selling a home is an emotional experience whether happy or sad. We will be by your side every step of the way to ensure a smooth process and eliminate as much stress as possible.
For more information on how The Mandrell Company can help you sell your home in 30 days, call today: 617-297-8641!

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Key Facts to Selling Your Home (Part I)

When selling your home, there are several important facts to consider when working with your real estate agent beyond just listing your home and waiting for offers to roll in. Below is a BRIEF overview. For detailed outline of the process, please contact us.
Define your needs.

Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what is my ultimate goal after the sale?” For example, a job opportunity in another city may necessitate your move, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home or conversely children moving out may signal it is time to downsize. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Together, we can map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.

Name your price.

Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house.Currently, the Roxbury Market is booming, you want to price your home to get the most traffic.  Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity on your home. We know what comparable homes are selling for in your area and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced above their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. 
Prepare your home.

Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. If you have kids, at any given moment, it can look like a bomb exploded in your living room. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. As your real estate firm, we can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. We can provide feedback on inexpensive things if you are on a tight budget. You want buyers to envision themselves in “their new home” NOT Your current home.
Get the word out.

Now that you are ready to sell, we will implement the marketing strategy specifically designed for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: The Internet, Yard signs, Open houses, Media advertising, Agent-to-agent referrals, and direct mail marketing campaigns. In addition to listing your home on the MLS, we will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. We also host monthly seminars to help potential buyers get pre-approved to purchase a home. We cover a range of topics with the goal of helping attendees improve their credit, earn a higher income, and understand the home buying process from start to finish. We are also very active in and around the community. Our Roxbury real estate consultant Terrance Moreau can be seen mingling with community members in Dudley Cafe, speaking with home owners and providing feedback to homeowners because he is passionate about his community.

Be sure to check back for Part II of this series.

For questions, feel free to contact our office at 617-297-8641 or email us at Contact@MandrellCo.com.

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As the Seller, You Need to Understand Your Buyers

As the seller, you control three factors that will affect the sale of your home:
* The home’s condition
* The asking price
* The marketing strategy
However, it’s important to note that there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer. The more your home matches these specifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. When The Mandrell Company represents you, we will advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides.

Factors Affecting Property Value
Location
Perhaps one of the most influential factors for buyers is something you can’t control: location, location, location. According to the National Association of REALTORS, neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.
Size
Home sizes continue to increase but do not be dismayed… smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and “empty nesters,”or couples whose children have grown up and moved out. There is always a right way to market your home, no matter the size.
Amenities
If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be sure to consult your agent to ensure you are updating to what the typical buyer wants. Using market conditions and activity in your area as a gauge, we can help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.
Together, we can work together to make your home appealing to typical buyers and get you strong offers from DAY ONE!
Feel free to contact us today!

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 Do you need to sell your home quickly but still want to get top dollar during the sale? Even in good markets the average time a typical house takes to sell is about 3-4 months. And that’s homes in great condition.  Unfortunately, in today’s market, many homes remain unsold for much longer periods of time. Even immaculate move in ready homes sit unsold and often unseen, let alone homes in less than perfect condition.

Fortunately our company can help. We are associated with a group of private investors buying several houses each month in the Boston area and many surrounding neighborhoods. They are seeking properties regardless of size, location, condition, price and situation.

Are you and your property facing one of the following conditions?

  • Facing Foreclosure?
  • Skyrocketing Payments?
  • Divorce?
  • Inherited Property?
  • Missed Payments?
  • Bankruptcy?
  • Relocating?
  • Vacant Home?

Especially in today’s economy homeowners often get into situations where they need to sell a house in quickly. For many going the traditional route and working with a real estate agent, or trying to sell the home themselves “by owner” is the only option they’ve considered. This is fine in a strong market or if the home has a lot of equity where the homeowner can dump the property at a heavily reduced fee. But if this is not at scenarios a homeowner must look for different, faster alternatives.

If your property qualifies one of our investors can make you a firm written offer, usually within 24 hours. Because they use private funds they can pay cash and close quickly, at your convenience. Our company will often make the connection with these investor as no cost to you!

If you’d like to find out if your property meets our requirements call us and find out. We can be reached at 617-297-8641 (MA Residents) & 401-641-5774

 

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Are you interested in buying or selling property in Roxbury? Before you do, making sure you fully understand your local market is very important. Receiving regular market updates will also allow you to see where similar properties are selling as well as what landlords are charging for their rentals.

Here are Roxbury’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the last 6 months.

Total Multifamily Listings SOLD: 13

Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,976

Average Listing Price: $513,054

Average DOM (Days on Market): 31.92

Average Sales Price: $494,233

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,334

Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $1,727

Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,304

Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $3,000

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email (or complete the contact form below) to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report.  In the title put the words “FREE Boston Sales Statistics” and in the body, add the up to 3 areas you’d where you’d like to receive data. Your name and email will be added to the next monthly reporting cycle. It’s that simple to stay up to date and ahead of the crowd!

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641, for custom reports or questions about the data provided.

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Are you a new investor trying to learn his/her local real estate market? Are you a seasoned investor that trying to explore a new investment area? In either case, below are some great way to quickly become a local real estate guru!

Subscribe to your local newspaper – The local paper isn’t real estate focused but it will give you a very good idea of what’s happening in your new market. You really want to be up to date on what new businesses are coming to town, how the local economy is doing, what political changes are happening and anything else that will indirectly affect the real estate values in that neighborhood.

Find a local real estate Investment Association – Put yourself in the middle of local real estate conversations. Your local REIA allows you to connect with people of similar interest. You can learn from them as well as share your experiences. Many times you can find deals from local wholesalers as well as private money investors, and potential partners. Boston Wealth Builders is a local Boston Investment Group and membership is completely FREE. Join Today!

Get Sold comps from your agent – One of the best ways to gather information about your local market is to study what’s selling in that market. What are buyers paying for properties similar to the type you’re considering? How quickly are they selling? Is it a buyers or sellers market? The easiest way to gather this information is to ask your local real estate agent to send you “Sold Comps”.  All you need to provide is your email address and a list if the areas you’re interested in. These sold listings can be sent to you on a weekly basis. If you would like to receive “sold comps” from The Mandrell Co, simply send us an email (Contact@MandrellCo.com) with the towns you’ve selected and we can set that up for you within 24 hours!

Get Rental Comps from your agent – If you’re investing in rental property it’s also important to understand your local rental market as well.  Your real estate agent can also provide you with these “rental comps” just as easily.

Get Google Alerts for your keywords – This is a really cool feature offered by Google.com. It allows you to systematically search the web for information regarding certain keywords you’ve selected. How doe this help you become a local real estate expert you ask? Let me give you an example. If I wanted to become an expert within the Malden real estate market I would set up “Alerts” in google for key terms such as “Malden Real Estate, Malden Homes, and Malden Developements”. Google would then automatically search the web for me daily and email me any news articles relevant  to those search terms. I would be getting all Malden news sent right to my inbox versus having to periodically search for it. To set up google alerts visit https://www.google.com/alerts

Subscribe to a local real estate blog – To sign up for blog post like these by placing your email address in the box at the top right hand corner above! All post are sent directly to your email address.

Neighborhood associations – Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Your local chamber is full of people that make a difference in the community. If you want to know what’s happening in a particular neighborhood, these are the people to speak with.

 

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The Mandrell Company would like you to give a warm welcome to the newest member of our sales team, Priscila Elias!

A native of Brazil, Priscila brings her warm personality, family real estate investment knowledge and exceptional customer service to the North Shore. Priscila is an accomplished sales professional with over six years of experience in customer-focused positions. Priscila has a natural ability to find innovative solutions and works hard to ensure satisfied clientele. Through her work experiences and connection to the real estate investment industry, we know Priscila will succeed and be a real asset to the firm.

Priscila can be reached at Priscila@Mandrellco.com

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