Craig Della Penna, Realtor® | Northampton Real Estate, Amherst Real Estate, Florence Real Estate



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It may be tempting to call an expert (and sometimes, you can't avoid doing so) to fix something or to enhance the decor of your home, but some projects are surprisingly easy to do. Tackling DIY projects at home has never been easier, thanks to the availability of tools and products designed just for homeowners. You won't have to pay contractor's rates -- and can have a custom look you'll love -- when you try one or more of these projects. 

Upgrade your Shower: Get an immediate boost to your shower when you swap out the old shower head for something new. Removing the old head and adding a fancy new one -- whether you want something adjustable or a spa-worthy rain shower. You won't need many tools and can remove the old head, clean things up, then add the new one in about an hour. You'll love the satisfaction that comes from doing this yourself, and be able to buy a more expensive shower head without blowing your budget, too. 

Paint a Room: Leave the cathedral ceilings and complicated spaces to a pro, but if you just need a quick color change in a bedroom, you can generally DIY it for about a quarter of the cost of hiring someone to do it. Expect to spend several hours over the course of the weekend and invest the savings into quality equipment and paint you'll never have to touch up or worry about. 

Prepare the Garden: Shoveling out a 10x10 space sounds less than appealing to most of us, but you can rent a tiller from a local home improvement store and DIY this space in under an hour. You'll be able to focus instead on the planning and planting -- not the grueling digging -- when you take this approach. If you can push a lawnmower, you can use a tiller to prepare any area for planting in a hurry. 

Assemble Furniture: You can hire someone to do it, or pay a fee for the store to assemble things, but if you have some spare time and a few tools, most items can go together very swiftly. Use the time to binge watch a new program and DIY the assembly. You'll save money and get the satisfaction that comes from knowing you can do things yourself. 

Powerwash: There are many powerwasher brands on the market today that offer a lot of cleaning for a small price. A contractor could charge you hundreds of dollars each time you need the service, or you can spend about a hundred one time and get a unit of your own. These smaller, more compact models still pack plenty of punch and can be used for decks, porches, patios and on your home itself with ease. 

Simple projects like these build your skills and your inventory of supplies and tools. If you have a project in mind that can be safely done, it is worth exploring your DIY options -- you could end up leanring something new and creating a finished look you'll love. 

 


Ready to sell your house? Ultimately, you should conduct a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market, and for good reason.

A home appraisal enables you to better understand what your home is worth. Plus, an expert home appraiser will be able to offer comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can prioritize assorted home improvement projects accordingly.

Preparing your home for an appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. If you allocate time and resources to get your house ready for an appraisal, you can increase your chances of getting favorable results during the appraisal itself.

What does it take to prep your house for an appraisal? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.

1. Consider a Home Appraiser's Perspective.

A home appraiser has an eye for detail, one that helps this professional understand whether a house is a viable long-term investment. Meanwhile, a home seller who steps into a property appraiser's shoes may be better equipped than others to enhance his or her residence.

For example, a home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior prior to an appraisal. And if you notice chipped paint on a home's walls, cracked shingles on a home's exterior or other cosmetic issues, you should address these problems immediately.

Even minor cosmetic issues can negatively affect a home's value. However, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty to correct these problems may be able to improve his or her house's appearance before a home appraisal.

2. Conduct Plenty of Housing Market Research.

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Learn about the local housing market, and you can find out what you'll need to do to differentiate your residence from similar properties.

An home seller should learn about the prices of recently sold residences as well as homes that are currently available. That way, you can set realistic expectations for your home appraisal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent.

A home appraisal can be a stressful experience, especially for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to help you streamline the home appraisal process.

Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling process. He or she can connect you with qualified home appraisers in your area and ensure you can find a home appraiser who will provide honest, unbiased feedback about your residence.

A real estate agent also will help you maximize the value of your house. This housing market professional will ensure you can set a fair price for your residence and market your home to the right groups of homebuyers. He or she will even set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf to further simplify the home selling process.

When it comes to getting a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for a home appraisal.


Before you sell your home, you may want to invest in property upgrades. That way, you can enhance your residence both inside and out and boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider prior to investing in home improvements. These questions include:

1. Which home improvements should I prioritize?

It may be beneficial to have a professional home inspector evaluate your residence. Because if you receive a home inspection report, you can learn about your residence's strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps most important, you can use this report to establish home improvement priorities.

There is no shortage of qualified home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. If you reach out to a home inspector today, you can take the first step to identify and address various problems throughout your house.

2. How much should I spend on home improvements?

Although you would like to improve your residence as much as possible, there is only a finite amount of money at your disposal to allocate to property improvements. If you create a home improvement budget, however, you may be better equipped than ever before to get the most out of your available funds.

Also, it is important to remember that some home improvements are quick and simple to complete. If you can perform home upgrades on your own, you may be able to save money in comparison to hiring a professional contractor to complete these tasks for you.

3. How much time should I commit to home improvements?

Think about when you want to list your home. Next, you can craft a home improvement timeline that allows you to determine which property upgrades you want to complete and when you want to finish these projects.

Generally, it is helpful to give yourself as much time as you can to perform home improvements. And if you have sufficient time to complete home upgrades, you'll ensure that these tasks are always finished correctly.

As you get ready to list your residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can examine your house and offer home improvement recommendations and suggestions. Furthermore, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home improvement professionals in your area.

A real estate agent provides comprehensive assistance throughout the property selling journey as well. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to the right groups of buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this homebuying proposal and determine the best course of action.

Ready to transform your ordinary home into an attractive option for buyers? Allocate time and resources to perform home improvements – you'll be glad you did. If you upgrade your residence, you can show off the true beauty of your house and increase the likelihood of a successful property selling experience.


If you receive an offer to purchase your house, should you accept it? Home sellers across the United States face this question regularly. To determine the right answer, a home seller needs to weigh the pros and cons of an offer.

Deciding how to proceed with an offer to purchase is no easy task. Lucky for you, we're here to help you analyze a homebuying proposal so you can make an informed decision.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine whether accepting an offer to purchase is the right choice.

1. Review Your Home Selling Goals

Now may prove to be a great time to revisit your property selling goals. That way, you can assess whether an offer to purchase corresponds to these goals.

If you find that a homebuying proposal fails to help you accomplish your property selling goals, you may want to counter or reject the offer. On the other hand, if an offer to purchase falls in line with your home selling goals, you may want to approve the proposal.

2. Consider Your Home Selling Timeline

How much time you have left to complete the home selling journey can have far-flung effects, and for good reason. If you face a tight deadline to sell your home, you may be more inclined than ever before to accept an offer to purchase your house. Conversely, if you can afford to be patient, you may want to reject or counter a homebuying proposal.

Analyze your house selling timeline closely – you'll be glad you did. If you determine there is still plenty of time at your disposal, you may want to reject an offer to purchase that falls short of your expectations. Comparatively, if you are short on time, you may want to accept a homebuying proposal and move forward in the property selling journey.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Determining how to proceed with an offer to purchase is difficult, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced home seller. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you make the best-possible decision.

A real estate agent serves as an expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will offer tips to help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

Of course, when you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent is happy to provide a recommendation as well. A real estate agent is honest and unbiased and has a seller's best interests in mind. Thus, this housing market professional can help you decide whether to accept, reject or counter any offer to purchase, at any time.

Accepting an offer to purchase is a life-changing decision and should not be taken lightly. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can evaluate a homebuying proposal and determine whether an offer is right for you.


If you're ready to sell your home, you may wonder if the time is right. Timing is truly everything when you’re selling a home. If you have some flexibility, it might be a good idea to wait to sell your home. Even with time constraints, there are a few strategies to employ that can help you find the sweet spot in your time frame.


The Month Matters


It’s widely accepted in the real estate community that the best time to sell a home is in the spring. Since people want to get moved in over the summertime, May could be the best month of the year to put your home on the market. 


Why Spring?


Springtime offers favorable weather conditions in most places. The good weather means that it’s easy for buyers to get to open houses. Homes will also look more attractive with green grass and flowers blooming. Parents also want to get their kids settled into a new home and new neighborhood over the summer months before they start a new school. 


Competition


The favorable conditions along with the urgency of springtime buyers translate into more competition which equates to a better price tag for your home because buyers are willing to pay more due to the anxiety of wanting to find a place. 


The Day Of The Week Matters


Most buyers start looking for homes when they have free time which is generally on the weekend. That means the end of the week- preferably a Thursday- is a good day to pick to list your home. Homes that were listed earlier in the week will be farther down on the search page. Buyers will be more likely to see your listing first the later in the week that it’s listed.   


Consider Your Needs


While timing is a good marketing strategy to sell your home, you need to go by your own timeline. If you need to move due to a job change or other life circumstances, you can’t wait to sell. There are pros to selling during many different times of the year; it just may not be as busy or competitive on the buyer’s side of things. Selling your home fast might not be a sure thing. No matter what time of year you decide to sell your home, just make sure it’s inviting to buyers.         




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