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Have You Been Thinking of Selling Your Home?

1) Why Do You Want to Sell? Do you want to sell your home in order to move to a different neighborhood, school district, or to be closer to family or employment opportunities? Perhaps you?re leaving the area. Maybe you want a country setting or want to be closer to the city. Or maybe you need more bedrooms or storage? You may even want to downsize. As an experienced real estate agents, I counsel my clients helping them to understand not only the underlying reasons for wanting to sell, but the implications of how selling might impact their lives and finances in ways you might not have anticipated. When appropriate, I will suggest other options for you to consider that might help you better reach your financial, lifestyle and real estate goals.

2) When Do You Want to Sell? If it is critical for you to sell quickly, using a top-producing real estate agent can help you expedite the process compared to selling your own home. Or, perhaps you have the flexibility of deciding when you want to sell, and there is no urgency.  I can help you understand the current market conditions in your area, and help you decide on the optimal time to place your home on the market.

3) What are the Current Market Conditions? The current real estate market may affect not only how much your home might sell for, but also how quickly. For example, in a buyers market, there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, so buyers have more negotiating power. In a buyers? market, having an agent with excellent negotiating skills on your side can be instrumental in a successful sale, preserving your sales proceeds as much as possible. In a sellers? market, there are fewer homes on the market, prices may be increasing and there may be multiple bids on desirable properties. In this kind of market, an experienced agent will help you price your home properly to maximize your exposure and bring you the best market price and terms available within your time frames.

4) Optimizing Your Finances & Taxes: Has your current income level increased or decreased? Whether you are trading up, trading down, or even trading across, your monthly ownership expenses will change, and I can help you estimate the cumulative impact of all these changes to make sure you are making a financially sound decision. I can also help you estimate the potential proceeds from selling your home net of selling expenses which may include transfer taxes, tax withholdings, and real estate commissions. Finally, I can suggest tax savings and estate planning strategies that should be addressed with your accountant or attorney prior to completing your transaction. Depending on your circumstances, and level of interest in real estate, you may even be able to become a real estate investor.

Why List With Karen
Click here for more seller information:

1. Pricing
2. Plan of Action
3. Choosing the Right Agent
4. What is a CMA and Why You Need One
5. Insist on a Home Inspection
6. Make a Good First Impression
7. Considering Offers

Determining the Price

Price is the first thing buyers notice when considering your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a comparable market analysis (CMA). The CMA will reflect the following within the last 3-6 months:

Current inventory of houses on the market
Asking & selling prices of these houses
Features of each house on the market & how they compare to yours
What your realtor knows about future inventory
Withdrawn and expired listings

From the CMA, you will find out the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, ask you realtor what types of houses are selling and see if this applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price and determine your timing.

Always be realistic. Understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

Plan of Action

1) Analyze why you are selling - If you understand your motives, you will be able to better negotiate and to get what it is that you want, whether it be a quick sale, high price, or somewhere in the middle.
2) Prepare your home for the buyer - Maximize the strengths of your property and fix up its weaknesses. You want the buyer to walk away from your home with a lasting good impression.
3) Find a good real estate agent who understands your needs - Make sure that your agent is loyal to you, and can negotiate to help you achieve your goals. In addition, they should be assertive and honest with both you and the buyer.
4) Be prepared for negotiation - Learn and understand your buyer's situation to better negotiate for both the best price and the best terms - Learn how to counter offer to get more from every offer.
5) What are the buyer's motives? Can you demand a big deposit from them? Try to lock in the buyer so that the deal goes through.
6) Be honest with your disclosures; you do not want to lose the deal because you were lying or diminishing your home's defects. Insist the buyers get a professional inspection. This will protect both you and the buyer.

Choosing an Agent

Not all agents work the same way. The most important attribute of an agent is that they are well connected to the real estate industry. The agent should know the market and provide information on past sales, current listings, his/her marketing plan.  An agent that can assist in preparing your home for sale is important as well.  In addition, you also want to look for an agent that is honest, assertive, and one that best understands your needs.

Try to go with a local agent. They can better serve your needs; they are familiar with what the local market conditions, the local pricing, and what's hot or not in your community.

What is a CMA and Why Do You Need One?
A CMA is real estate shorthand for "Comparative Market Analysis." A CMA is a report prepared by a real estate agent providing data comparing your property to similar properties in the marketplace.

A CMA is real estate shorthand for "Comparative Market Analysis." A CMA is a report prepared by a real estate agent providing data comparing your property to similar properties in the marketplace.

The next step is for the agent to obtain data on comparable properties. This data is usually available through MLS (Multiple Listing Service), but a qualified agent will also know of properties that are on the market or have sold without being part of the MLS. This will give the agent an idea of how much your property is worth in the current market. Do note that the CMA is not an appraisal. An appraisal must be performed by a licensed appraiser.  The CMA will reflect the following within the last 3-6 months:

Current inventory of houses on the market
Asking & selling prices of these houses
Features of each house on the market & how they compare to yours
What your realtor knows about future inventory
Withdrawn and expired listings

The CMA process takes place before your home is listed for sale. This is a good assessment of the value of your home, and what the price which it could potentially sell.

CMAs are not only for prospective sellers. Buyers should consider requesting a CMA for properties they're seriously considering to determine whether the asking price is a true reflection of the current market conditions. Owners who are upgrading or remodeling can benefit from a CMA when it's used to see if the intended changes will "over-improve" their property compared to others in the neighborhood.

Insist on a Home Inspection

t is not mandatory to have an inspection done before listing your property.  It can, however, give you the opportunity to find and repair any problems that the inspection may uncover before your home goes on the market. This helps indicate what your home is worth and provides more negotiating power once a buyer makes an offer.

Most homes for sale do have a home inspection by the buyers. Lenders need to determine that the property is in good condition and worth the asking price and the buyers want the peace of mind that a home inspection can deliver. Home inspections typically cover the following conditions:

Plumbing: determine possible leakage, clogging or in-operable systems.
Roofing: extent of deterioration, possible leakage & current roof life.
Electrical: inadequate circuits or potential fire hazards.
Structural: weaknesses with inter-structures or foundations.
Landscaping: ill trees or inadequate drainage.
Mechanical systems: heating, cooling, & water purification.

Making a Good First Impression

If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer into making an offer; it influences a buyer emotionally and visually. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price.

A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don't show your property until it's all fixed up. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation.

Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Real estate agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. Consider what architects or landscape designers have to say. What you need are objective opinions, and it's sometimes hard to separate the personal and emotional ties you have for the home from the property itself.

Typically, there are some general fix ups that need to be done both outside and on the inside. As a seller, you should consider the following:

Landscaping - Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition?
Cleaning or redoing the driveway - Is your driveway cluttered with toys, tools, trash etc.?
Painting - Does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of? Is the color palate dated?
Carpeting - Does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty?
Clutter - how does your home read - half full or half empty. You want the space to feel as roomy as possible, so be sure closets aren't over-flowing and that furniture is arranged to provide the best traffic flow. De-personalize your space.

Considering Offers

When considering an offer, keep in mind that both price and terms should be reviewed and considered.

Generally, offers must be in writing, signed and dated by all buyers, and include the following:

  • Offer Price: how much the buyer is agreeing to pay
  • Expiration Date: when the offer expires
  • Closing Date: when the buyer will take ownership, including elimination of all contingencies
  • Deposit: the amount the buyer will place into an escrow account to secure the offer (typically 5% - 20% of the offer price)
  • Contingencies (if any): such as mortgage financing, lead paint, inspections, the sale of another property

Why List with Karen?

Karen offers her clients a level of expertise, degree of professionalism and experience in marketing and negotiations that is unmatched in the Brookline, Boston, Newton, Watertown, and surrounding areas.


$12-18 million in real estate transactions per year. Presently, a majority of these transactions are residential, balancing single family homes, condos, multi-families and investment properties.

Top 5% ranking of all Coldwell Banker agents Internationally. Architect / Realtor Karen is a classically trained architect who has 4+ years experience in real estate. She owns properties in both Europe and the United States and is routinely called upon as a resource of information for other agents. Organized and Efficient:

She is virtually always accessible and ready to respond to her clients? needs and to get information to realtors, lenders, and escrow officers with quick turn around time.

Sales and Marketing:

Internet Marketing:

Karen works with cutting edge technology partners to create an unmatched internet marketing presence to help give her clients a competitive advantage in today?s high-speed technology driven world.
For Sellers: This commitment to state-of-the-art internet marketing and sales ensures that your property is presented to a far greater number of prospective buyers than other agents can offer. More buyers seeing your property translates into a faster sale of your property.
For Buyers: Karen?s offers a variety of tools that allow you to get real time information on the latest home listings, upcoming open houses and price reductions on already listed properties. Furthermore, she offers an on-line service to help you organize your home search efforts. This service allows you to earmark your favorite properties for consideration.

Traditional Marketing:

In addition to internet marketing, Karen uses every other possible medium to broadcast the availability of your property and to advertise her services. Karen?s marketing methods currently includes the following;

v Automated e-mail service to potential buyers
v Professional Photographer shots your property
v Voicemail a brief property description to 350+ local agents
v Newspapers (Boston Globe, Just Properties, Lawyers' Weekly, Bay Windows)
v Coldwell Banker magazine
v Postcards
v Signage on Properties Listed for Sale Postcards
v Attendance at Brokers Meetings
v Signage on Properties Listed for Sale
v Brokers' tours of properties just listed
v Attendance at Brokers Meetings
v Open Homes on Sundays & when appropriate during the week
v Brokers' tours of properties just listed
v Flier Distributions to area homeowners & / or realtors.
v Voicemail a brief property description to 350+ local agents
v Property packages which may include inspections, reports, maps, etc.

Sales Plan of Action ? How to sell Your Home

Regardless of the price point of your home or investment property, frequently it is a significant portion of an asset portfolio. As such, it should be treated with the same care and approach to professional management as one would give any other major asset.

Many real estate brokers like to list property, however, not all of them have educated themselves as I have over the years to market inventory, as well as alternative methods of driving buyer traffic to your home to accomplish a top tier sales price. Karen feels that her best sellers are educated ones, so she takes the time to explain market conditions and how she works to build a collaborative partnership that promotes a successful marketing and sales plan. 

Anyone can put an ad in the paper or put a home sale with a minimum of inconvenience and disruption. Karen wants you to get the maximum value for your home, within YOUR time frame.

Karen?s extensive marketing of your home assures you of maximum value. For example, your property will appear on this website and other top real estate sites across the web appearing on Yahoo Real Estate, Microsoft MSN HomeAdvisor, Coldwell Banker, Realtor.com to name just a few. Karen can place your home on my website within a few minutes! 

Call or email Karen anytime. Ask for a complimentary, no obligation, and confidential property analysis and business proposal to determine current value of your property and demonstrate to you how I do my business. I will be grateful for the opportunity to visit your property, and present you a tailored plan that details exactly how I will market your home. Again, there is no cost.

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