Becky Dalke and Associates - Shrewsbury MA Real Estate, Northborough MA Real Estate, Westborough MA

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.    

Will you ever forget the winter of 2015?  It was one that will go down in history as being one of the snowiest winters ever. We were blanketed with 120 inches of snow in Worcester,Massachusetts.  That winter brought just about everyone and everything to a screeching halt during the months of February and March.   Only the most motivated sellers were willing to put their homes on the market. By contrast,the winter of 2016 has been one of the mildest winters on record.  That would explain the 14% increase in home sales in our local towns.   Along with that, most towns have seen a slow but steady increase in home sale prices.

As always, there were a few towns that did not follow thenorm from one year to the next.  Shrewsbury’sinventory of homes between $300K - $450K was down by 60% in the first quarterof 2016.   That lack of inventory createda 26% reduction in total homes sold in Q1 2016 compared to the same time framein 2015.    Southborough experienced an18% reduction in the average home sale price. This was due to an 80% increase of homes sold under $500k in Q1 2016compared to Q1 2015.  This resulted in adecline in the median home sale price in Southborough from  $675K in 205 to $517K in 2016.   Sudbury’s home sales dropped by 26% in 2016.   In Q1 2015 it took 111 days on averagebefore an offer was accepted on a home. That number dropped substantially in 2016 to 60 days to offer.  This is indicative of high demand and lowsupply.

With mortgage interest rates still hovering around 4%, we are anticipating a strong Spring market. If you are interested in selling your home or know of someone who is then please contact me.  I would be happy to run a confidential market analysis to let you know the value of your home in today’s market and discuss a customized marketing plan designed specifically for your home.


It all seems pretty simple and straight forward on the surface.  List your home, hold an Open House, obtain and offer, DONE! Especially with the internet. There is a mountain of information at your fingertips to help along the way, and with sites like Zillow and Trulia how hard can it be?  Scratch beneath the surface of any home transaction and you will see it is so much more….An experienced Realtor can make it look like a duck gliding effortlessly across the lake only to find out that his feet are paddling feverishly below. Here are few things to consider:

  1. Exposure and Marketing:  Research shows that 88% of buyers search online for a home, and while there are sites that will allow you to post your home for sale, only a licensed Realtor can list your home with the MLS or multiple listing service, which is the biggest online search tool for both active buyers and their Realtors.  Furthermore, a Professional Realtor will have an online marketing strategy that includes web sites, promotions, social media etc.  You will need to consider if you have this at your fingertips.
  2. Paper-Paper and more Paper!:  There is a mountain of paperwork that is involved in selling a home, much of which is mandatory and required by law. It can be difficult to maneuver through all the legal formalities.
  3. So many people so little time:  Let’s face it,selling your home is probably not your full time job.  There is a small army involved when transferring ownership of a property. For example there is the buyer, the buyer’s agent, attorneys, home inspectors and bank appraisers just to name a few all needing your attention and time to see your home sale through to the end.  Not to mention the time required to set up showings for your home, and qualifying buyers and separating the window shoppers from the true buyers.
  4. Commissions:Often sellers believe they can save real estate commission by listing the home themselves.  However studies have shown that on average a For Sale by Owner home sells for approximately 15% lower than those sold by a Realtor.
  5. Risk Management: The best reason to hire a licensed Realtor is for risk management.  Realtors have a full time,seasoned interest in selling your home, providing disclosures, understanding the terms of an offer and so much more. Experienced Realtors wear many hats and can help sellers remain calm,set expectations and manage emotions that always seem to accompany home sales. 

Bottom line, it never hurts to sit down with a professional and get the full picture of the real estate market.

You are about to make a big decision; putting your home up for sale but there are some very important things you need to do before the sign goes in the yard and you open your doors to potential buyers. Getting these things checked off the list will help get you to a quicker and more profitable sale. Here are some tips to get you started: 1. Sit down with your real estate professional. Come up with a game plan and set a realistic asking price. Make decisions about marketing and showing availability. Pre-scheduling meetings or times to catch up with your agent will help keep the lines of communication open. 2. Get your paperwork in order. Prepare a list of repairs, upgrades that have been done to your home. Assemble all maintenance records, warranty information and user guides for appliances in the home. If you do not have them many are available on the internet. It will show potential home buyers you care about your home. 3. Clean your home top to bottom. Wash the walls, shampoo the rugs, touch up the paint and get every cobweb from the corners. Remember your home will be looked at very closely and the last thing you want is a buyer to be turned off by a little dirt. 4. Organize and declutter everywhere. You have probably acquired quite a bit of stuff. Go through every closet, cabinet, and start clearing out. You may want to have a yard sale or donate unwanted items to charity. For the things that you must keep consider a storage unit. 5. Get a home inspection. Have a pre-sale inspection of your home. This will prevent any surprises and help you identify any problem areas in your home. Repairs can affect the ultimate sale price of your home. For problem areas, make repairs or get estimates. This will help you determine what the ultimate sale price or items you may need to be prepared to negotiate on. 6. Stage the home to sell. Hire a professional stager to dress your home for sale.   Or,  hire Becky Dalke as your Realtor and she will give you her own professional staging advice. You will want to stage the home inside and out. Research shows that staged homes typically sell for more money. Congratulations you are well on your way to a successful sale.