Archive for April, 2010

Successful Sellers Disclose Home Defects Before a Sale

After a seller accepts a buyer’s offer on a property and it is considered “under agreement” there are still some hurdles involved before a deal actually closes…a common one is the home inspection. Buyers should always hire a professional home inspector to perform an inspection within a week after an offer is accepted. Sellers should always check over their home for any defects, before a property is put up for sale and marketed, and should disclose those defects to their realtor or prospective buyers in advance. While it is ideal to fix leaky plumbing and touch up peeling paint, there are some major repairs a seller might not be able to do…and that is okay. If a foundation needs additional support, a roof is older, bricks need pointing, or a basement has asbestos, there is nothing wrong with placing a house up for sale as long as those defects are revealed in advance. It is much better to present a property as older with some imperfections and to sell it “as is” than to say nothing and have a buyer discover those defects at a home inspection resulting in a buyer informing the SELLER of a property’s defects. When unknown issues are discovered in a home inspection, it is not unusual for a buyer to request a seller to either fix them or give fair monetary compensation towards necessary repairs. Similarly, if a seller is marketing a property as “totally renovated” or “brand new,” it is important a seller respond cooperatively and be willing to make repairs for any minor imperfections discovered during a home inspection such as a leaky faucet, a broken appliance, or poorly installed cabinetry. Only after a home inspection process is over and all issues have been resolved, can a buyer and seller then proceed with their deal.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments

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East Boston…Up and Coming?

There has been an ongoing debate over the past 25 years as to whether East Boston is “up and coming,” or not. While waterfront development has been slow, and Pottery Barn and Starbucks have yet to arrive, it is important to note that in the last 25 years East Boston has had a strong real estate market fueled primarily by our safe streets, five T stations that provide easy access to mainland Boston, and the continued development of green open space such as Piers Park, the Greenway, and Bremen Street Park.

In 1985, the average triple-decker sold for about $75,000. Today, a standard 4-5-5 three-family sells between $300,000 and $350,000. Unlike 25 years ago, most properties are purchased by owner occupants. In the late 1980s, about 1,000 East Boston condos were developed and almost all of them were sold to speculators. Today, about 98% of all well developed, well constructed condominiums sell to owner occupants, most of whom are young professionals—an almost nonexistent market 25 years ago. Today, older, rundown two, three and four family homes as well as commercial buildings such as the former GE building on Porter Street are successfully converted into high quality housing. While businesses were boarded up and vacant in the 1980s, there are almost no vacant storefronts in East Boston today. Similarly, the vacancy rate for apartments is almost zero. Hopefully in the next few years renovations and new construction will continue to meet the needs of business owners, apartment renters and homebuyers who have been steadily seeking and willing to pay for high quality housing and business space in East Boston.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments

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Tony’s Realty in the News

See this April 18, 2010 Boston Globe article where Tony is quoted regarding the topic of landscaping:  Money Growing in Your Garden

 

Sellers Shouldn’t Delay Readying a Home for Sale this Season

Now is the busiest selling time of year in East Boston: April 15 thru August 15. The weather is warm and the days are long during these four months. The Obama tax incentive for first time buyers who place a property under contract before April 30 is also helping boost the spring market. While November thru February are the coldest, darkest, and slowest months of the year to sell a property, any time spent “thinking about” selling a home at this point in the calendar is lost marketing time. If you are planning to sell, now is the time to put your house on the market.

During prime selling season, you don’t want to waste too much time “getting your house ready” if that means “keeping it off the market.” Spend a week or so doing the most important tasks; remaining tasks can be done while the house is already listed for sale. The to do list remains pretty much the same—remove clutter as much as possible, empty basements and attics, rake leaves, throw away “yard junk,” and keep your lawn or hedges trimmed. Wash windows and doors and paint trim if necessary. Fix leaky plumbing, paint old leak stains, and service your heating furnace. In multi-family properties, clean front and back hallways, neatly print tenant names on mailboxes, and keep porches cleared of trash and extra debris. If you have any vacant apartments, it is advisable to leave at least one empty for the new homeowner. Also, gather tenant records and leases and make note of when your roof was last repaired, heating systems installed, electricity updated, etc. A well presented property along with detailed information on tenants and past improvements, or even acknowledging work that still needs to be done, will lead to a much faster, smoother sale.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments

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Two East Boston Sales Defy Expectations

A few recent East Boston sales and contracts show a steady demand for high quality, updated, or restored housing in East Boston with buyers willing to pay above average prices for such properties. During the last 12 months, 79 three-families sold in East Boston with an average sale price of $258,000, but one property defied all statistics: 34 Cottage Street in Jeffries Point, a smaller, 2,700 square foot brick three-family recently renovated and in impeccable condition. 34 Cottage had new heating systems, walls, ceilings, kitchens, bathrooms, windows, decks, etc. In what is supposed to be a “poor time to sell houses,” this property sold for $425,000, almost $200,000 more than the average sale price for a three family during the last year.

Similarly, the market responded quickly to 144 Princeton Street, a beautifully restored and impeccably maintained Victorian single-family. With stunning restored original features such as hardwood floors, high ceilings, marble fireplaces, and bay windows, this property also had a beautiful new kitchen and bathroom. During the last 12 months, the average sale price for an East Boston single-family was $193,000, and the average marketing time was 141 days. This Princeton Street property was priced at $339,000 and went under agreement in just 8 days.

Please check back as we continue to update you on East Boston real estate happenings.  To see all our listings, or to search MLS properties, head to the Tony’s Realty Website.

Email Tony with your questions or comments.

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