Negotiating

What stays, what goes, when you sell a house?

If I incorporate my art into my house, should I remove it before I sell? My clients, T. and E. are selling their house. They are leaving two stained glass pieces that T. made. They are also leaving a wallet holder that T.’s father made. He is attached to it, but it “belongs” in that

By | 2017-10-15T11:25:14+00:00 October 18th, 2017|Categories: buying process, House Hunting, Negotiating, thinking of selling?|Tags: , , , , |

What is WRONG with those listing agents?

Buyer tip: A badly done listing sheet can save you money. Many buyers will reject a place based on bad pictures, or not enough pictures.  Some agents don't do their job. There's plenty of them. Enough to fill humor sites like Lighter Side of Real Estate, Bad MLS photos, Hooked on Houses, Terrible real estate photography,  Even

By | 2017-09-15T10:30:51+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Categories: House Hunting, Negotiating, thinking of selling?|Tags: , , |

Don’t Give Up Your Rights

Here’s how James Morrison at Banker and Tradesman reported on Dave Twombly, my favorite agent of the week (wink!) Buyers Need Protection Just down Mass. Ave. at 4 Buyers Real Estate, also in Cambridge, the exclusive buyer agents tell the buyers they work with that home inspection contingencies are a must, according to agent Dave

By | 2017-08-18T21:55:29+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Categories: buying process, Dave, Legal questions, Negotiating|

Estimate repairs while house hunting

It is impossible to judge the value of a house without calculating a rough cost of repair. The properties around here are frequently 100 years old. When a problem begins, it is much cheaper to repair than the same problem left for years to get worse. Tip one: deferred maintenance costs roughly five times more to

By | 2017-07-17T11:10:36+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Categories: Negotiating, Problems and repair|Tags: |

Bidding wars and how they work

You are hearing the stories. I know.  “…there were ten offers on every property and everything sells for $50,000 above asking price.” “NO ONE is buying with a home inspection…” “If you don’t have cash, you can’t buy in (name the town here.” The stories are true, but they are not true. Some properties are

By | 2017-05-09T20:50:06+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Categories: Market data and conditions, Negotiating|Tags: , , , |

Bidding wars and better schools

Housing is all about the schools. This created the situation that springtime house hunters face in most areas around Boston. A little perspective: In the book The Two Income Trap, one of the ongoing tropes is that the pressure to send one’s children to “good” schools underlies the competition for houses in well-regarded schools systems.

Are you being sold?

Anyone trying to make a point will try to “sell” you on the idea. Try to make you agree. Try to make you fear the consequences of disagreeing.  That’s how sales works. That’s how politics work. Our clients deserve better than that. In 2017, I attended Harness Your Negotiation Power with Buyers through my professional

Who is watching at the open house?

Danger! Open house It has long been obvious to us that open houses are not safe for the owners of the house. Agents for the seller cannot protect the house, were someone to come in with a notion to steal. Recently, an incident was reported to the police in Weston, where drugs were stolen from

How our professional association works against our clients

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® frequently has political initiatives that we are against. As a member, I refrain from assisting them in these actions. I notify my representative that I am a member of the association, but disagree a particular policy. This summer, my association embarrassed me by fighting tooth and nail against mandatory energy

2016, the first half. Living in a seller’s market.

How well do exclusive buyer’s agents do, in the face of a tough seller’s market? Here are results for the hardest seller’s market we have faced, ever! Our report card for the first half of 2016: Total amount under original asking negotiated by -$213,500 Total amount negotiated after inspections: -$19,000 Total paid over asking price