Category Archives: Home Selling

Home Sellers Seminar

2015 Sellers Seminars

Unlocking the Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership. Join the MA Properties Online team for this FREE seminar where prospective home sellers will learn how market forces affect sale price and how effective strategies can maximize sale price.

Like anything else, success is in the preparation. Its never too soon to find out how to best spend money on your home to maximize its sale price. What brings value when you sell your home is often counter-intuitive.

Before you spend money on your home, learn which home improvements will bring the best returns.

This seminar will help increase the value of one of your largest investments…your home.

The seminars will be held between 6:30pm and 8:30pm at 13 Depot Square, Lexington.

Pizza and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by reply email.

Thursday September 24
Thursday October 29
Thursday November 19

Please RSVP to Dani Fleming Email or phone her on (617) 997-9145.

3D Walk Through – best in class marketing just got better

The MA Properties Online team is the GOLD standard when it comes to marketing your home. Professional quality photographs, video, floor plans, and high quality print adverting at the open house and to potential buyers targeted based on the property type and price point. to this we now add the 3D Showcase – an online experience that lets home buyers move through a property and see it from any angle. We just completed it for a property in Lexington – interact with the model below:

If you are interested in seeing how the MA Properties Online team would market your home or if you would like an estimate of what your home would sell for in today’s market we would be more than happy to come by, have a look at your home, and then provide a CMA (comparative market analysis) which will provide you with an estimate of what your home should sell for, along with a marketing plan to get maximum exposure for your home.

If you’d like to chat more about the topic presented here, or the Real Estate market in general, then please call me on (617) 997 9145, or email me at Email Dani Fleming

Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership

2015 Sellers Seminars

Unlocking the Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership. Join the MA Properties Online team for this FREE seminar where prospective home sellers will learn how market forces affect sale price and how effective strategies can maximize sale price.

Like anything else, success is in the preparation. Its never too soon to find out how to best spend money on your home to maximize its sale price. What brings value when you sell your home is often counter-intuitive.

Before you spend money on your home, learn which home improvements will bring the best returns.

This seminar will help increase the value of one of your largest investments…your home.

The seminars will be held between 6:30pm and 8:00pm at 13 Depot Square, Lexington.

Pizza and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by reply email.

Wednesday February 25
Wednesday March 25
Wednesday April 29
Wednesday June 3

Please RSVP to Dani Fleming Email or phone her on (617) 997-9145.

Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership

2015 Sellers Seminars

Unlocking the Myths, Mysteries, and Mistakes of Home Ownership. Join the MA Properties Online team for this FREE seminar where prospective home sellers will learn how market forces affect sale price and how effective strategies can maximize sale price.

Like anything else, success is in the preparation. Its never too soon to find out how to best spend money on your home to maximize its sale price. What brings value when you sell your home is often counter-intuitive.

Before you spend money on your home, learn which home improvements will bring the best returns.

This seminar will help increase the value of one of your largest investments…your home.

The seminars will be held between 6:30pm and 8:00pm at 13 Depot Square, Lexington.

Pizza and light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by reply email.

Wednesday January 21
Wednesday February 25
Wednesday March 25
Wednesday April 29
Wednesday June 3

Please RSVP to Dani Fleming Email or phone her on (617) 997-9145.

The Right Marketing Mix

I was just reading a report on Real Estate Tech Trends. It contains lots of interesting information but I thought the following graph was particularly important. It shows the different aspects of the Real Estate marketing mix that consumers find the most useful. Top of the list is photos followed closely by detailed property information.

This got me thinking – how does the MA Properties Online approach to online marketing match up to “what buyers like”? Turns out very closely indeed.

Here’s the property website that we produce for all homes we market irrespective of price. The top part of the page shows information on the property including photos, a video based virtual tour and detailed information on the property.

The lower part of the page details information on the property surroundings including interactive maps of public transport, town schools and neighborhood Walk Score Information. In addition, the floor plan, plot plan and any property disclosures finish the detailed property information.

The final piece on the property website is detailed statistical information – this is on the “what buyers want” list as “comps”, experience shows that the comprehensive information we provide gives prospective buyers information on how the real estate market is performing in a range of potential towns and gives then confidence when making an offer on a property.

A wealth of information for over 40 towns (and a lot more information on buying/selling) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Fannie Mae Agrees: Hire a Pro to Sell Your House

Do you really need an agent to sell your house in today’s market? Here’s what Fannie Mae suggests to sellers on the Know Your Options section of their website:

“Select how you’ll market and list the home (e.g., with a real estate agent or for sale by owner). There are pros and cons to each, but unless you are experienced at selling homes, it usually makes financial sense to get professional help—homes sold by agents typically sell at a higher price and spend less time on the market. An agent will also help you determine the best pricing for the house, they’ll market the home, and they’ll be your advocate throughout the process.”

Let’s go over the points they made:

  • Homes sold by agents typically sell at a higher price
  • Homes sold by agents typically spend less time on the market
  • An agent will help you determine the best pricing for the house
  • An agent will market the home
  • An agent will be your advocate throughout the process

If Fannie Mae says using an agent probably makes sense, perhaps you should interview an agent before putting your house up for sale.

If you would like an estimate of what your home would sell for in today’s market I would be more than happy to come by, have a look at your home, and then provide a CMA (comparative market analysis) which will provide you with an estimate of what your home should sell for, along with a marketing plan to get maximum exposure for your home.

A wealth of information for over 40 other towns (and a lot more information on selling your home) can be found on our website www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us

Assessed Value and the Market Value of your Home

The question Are assessed values and market values the same? is one that both buyers and sellers frequently ask. The simple answer is NO you cannot assume that the assessed value is a good indicator of the market value of a home. Here’s why.

First we should understand what assessed value is – it is a value assigned to a property by the town to calculate property taxes.

Before discussing Assessed value vs Market value it is important to explain the Massachusetts statute called Proposition 2 and 1/2 and how this impacts the assessed values of homes.

Proposition 2 and 1/2 was first passed in 1980 and came into effect in 1982. The component of this statute that impacts assessed value is the limitation of municipalities to raise the total tax revenue collected each year to no more than 2.5% over the prior years total tax revenue. This means that each year a municipality cannot increase the total tax revenue by more than 2.5%.

How this impacts the assessed value of a home is that if a community has experienced significant increase in home values, the municipality cannot increase the assessed value of the existing home base in the community by a comparable amount. If it did, then the property tax revenue collected on the higher assessed value may push the municipality over the 2.5% ceiling threshold imposed by Proposition 2 and 1/2.

This is further impacted if the underlying tax breakdown in a municipality changes. Total tax revenue is the sum of residential real estate property tax, commercial real estate property tax, industrial real estate property tax and business owned personal property tax. An example to describe this is where an entity that is non-taxable – for example, a not-for-profit hospital, church, community foundation, charity sells some land off to developers who build million dollar plus condos on the land. Each time a home is sold, the town is now collecting property tax revenue for it whereas previously it had not, thus the total tax revenue being collected is now being pushed up by changes to the underlying tax base of the town, again making it difficult for the town to increase the assessed value of existing homes to a comparable figure to the market value of the home.

Another factor playing into the dilemma for towns with increasing tax revenues is an active real estate market. When a house is sold, the town adjusts the assessed value of the home to the sold value of the home during the next assessment cycle, so in a town with an active real estate market the town is collecting more tax revenue based on the adjustment of assessed values due to homes selling.

When a home has a low assessed value compared to its market value, the homeowner is very unlikely to contact the town to request them to increase the assessed value of their home as this will result in a higher property tax bill for the homeowner, so this is unlikely to occur.

There is a benefit to buying a home with a low assessed value, and that is the taxes will be less until the town reassesses the home during the next assessment cycle.

The result of all of these factors is that there is NO correlation at all between the assessed value of a home and the market value of a home. Depending on your town the assessed value may appear close to market value, but there is NO exact correlation between the two.

What’s the bottom line – what will I lose if I sell for the Assessed Value?

The answer is A LOT. Looking at the sales in Lexington in 2013 the average difference between the Assessed value and Sale price was 20% – the average home sale price in Lexington is over $800,000 so 20% equates to $160,000!

The details of this post came from The following newsletter Assessed Value vs. Market Value (or if you’re on your smartphone – Assessed Value vs. Market Value)

The MA Properties Online team produce a newsletter on a monthly basis on topic of interest to both buyers and sellers – to see a complete list visit www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and look under the Newsletters tab.

If you have a real estate topic that you think needs more explanation please email me at Marcus Collins and we’ll look into writing a newsletter on the topic in the very near future.

Myths, Mysteries and Mistakes of Homeownership

FREE Home Seller’s Seminar

Prospective home sellers will learn how the market forces set sales prices and how effective strategies maximize sellers equity in successful sales.

Like anything else, success is in the preparation. It’s never too soon to find out how to best spend money you’ll get back on your largest investment your home.

What brings value when you sell your home is often counter-intuitive. Before you spend money on your home, learn what home improvements have the best ROI. This seminar will help you increase the value of one of your largest investments, your home.

Tuesday, April 8th
7:00pm-8:30pm
The Lexington Depot at 13 Depot Square

For more information contact Dani Fleming Email or phone her on (617) 997-9145.

Lexington Agent’s Marketing – Not Focused on Today’s Buyers!

A recent study to The National Association of Realtors® and Google* looked at how today’s buyers look for their new home. Three points stand out:

  • 90% of home buyers searched for a home online during their home buying process.
  • 51% use a mobile device to read information about a home.
  • 70% of buyers view the inside of a home using online video.

Interestingly the study also highlighted that it’s not just the younger buyers who are turning to technology to search for their new home.

  • 52% of first-time buyers started their search online.
  • 75% of seasoned buyers go online to search for a home.

The MA Properties Online team have been using a marketing strategy that addresses the needs of the today’s buyer as outlined in this study for many years now. For ALL listings regardless of list price we provide:

  • 30 photos (the maximum MLS allows) with more on the dedicated website,
  • Floor Plan,
  • Video tour of the home (not just pictures joined together into a video),
  • A dedicated website (with a name that matches the property address) that highlights key features of the home and information on the community,
  • A mobile dedicated website with the same content as the main property website.

This got the MA Properties Online team thinking …

How do the marketing plans of other agents who sold in Lexington in 2013 match-up against the MA Properties Online approach?

The answer – they don’t even come close and clearly do not understand the needs of the today’s home buyer! Here’s the breakdown of the marketing plans for the 378 homes sold in Lexington in 2013.

  • 45% had fewer than 15 photos (the average number of photos was 17)
  • 60% had floor plans
  • 1% had videos
  • 10% had dedicated websites

Clearly the MA Properties Online marketing plan outperforms the competition with 100% of the homes listed by the team having 100% of the key components.

Does it matter that the majority of Lexington agents do the minimum amount of work necessary to sell your home?

Yes – the key to getting the maximum price for your home is Exposure, Exposure, Exposure and Information, Information, Information! The MA Properties Online approach maximizes the Exposure of the property to potential buyers and provides the maximum amount of Information when they need it, where they need it and however they want to consume the information.

What about the bottom line – Sale Price?

The average original list price to sales price ratio in Lexington in 2013 was 99%. For the properties marketed by the MA Properties Online team it was 105%. With the average price for a home in Lexington over $800,000 that could mean the difference of $50,000 to a home seller!

So, if you want a marketing plan that focuses on the needs of the modern buyer and clearly outperforms the competition contact the MA Properties Online team – Email or phone us on (617) 997-9145.

*Source: The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate
A Joint Study from The National Association of Realtors® and Google

Closing Costs and How to Calculate Them

How much and what are closing costs are questions many buyers have because they are an additional cost that they must budget for at closing. In a recently published newsletter the MA Properties Online team set about explaining what closing costs are and provided a mechanism for you to determine what these costs will be.

The newsletter explains the major closing costs:

  • Prepaid Items and Interest,
  • Insurance,
  • Escrow Accounts,
  • Lenders Fees,
  • Third-Party Fees, and
  • Government Taxes and Fees.

It then goes on to explain a simple 6 steps process to calculate your closing costs:

  1. Add up all the charges associated with the mortgage and paid to the lender (use the good faith estimate provide by the lender as the basis for this).
  2. Add up the charges for third-party services where the lender decides on the company who will perform this service (for example appraisal fees – the lender will decide which appraisal company will perform this service).
  3. Shop around for third-party services where the lender has not decided on the company who will perform the service (for example survey fees – talk to the lender to determine which services fall into this category).
  4. Add up the charges for the services where the costs are well known (for example county recording fees, transfer taxes, and property taxes – normally payable by the seller, property taxes – ask your real estate professional or town tax department for this value).
  5. Shop around for homeowner insurance quotes – all the major insurance companies have calculators providing free quotes on their websites.
  6. Add-up all of the above – and cross-check the costs when you receive the HUD-1 sheet from your attorney just before closing.

The full newsletter can be found at An Explanation of Closing Costs and and How to Calculate Them (or if you’re on your smartphone – An Explanation of Closing Costs and and How to Calculate Them)

The MA Properties Online team produce a newsletter on a monthly basis on topic of interest to both buyers and sellers – to see a complete list visit www.mapropertiesonline.com (or if you’re on your smartphone – mobile.mapropertiesonline.com) and look under the Newsletters tab.

If you have a real estate topic that you think needs more explanation please email me at Marcus Collins and we’ll look into writing a newsletter on the topic in the very near future.