Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont

Home Maintenance - Spring Outdoor Projects

49 Route 8A South, Heath, MA

Spring has finally arrived in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. After the long, cold winter we experienced it is more important than ever to keep up with our Spring home maintenance. I recently fell upon a nice home maintenance checklist I thought I would share with you. The checklist is provided by the National Center for Healthy Housing, and can be downloaded by clicking here.  Nice resource to help remind us of our home maintenance needs.

I would like to suggest the first thing is a complete inspection of the exterior of your home. Make a list of jobs to be completed and projects you may need to hire professionals to complete.

1. Clean gutters and downspouts. You may have cleaned both these items in the Fall, but with our Spring and Summer rain you will want to be sure they remained cleaned out. Also, test your system to be sure that water is being diverted away from the house.

2. Inspect your chimney for any cracks or damage. Staying on top of your aging chimney will insure a long life span.

3. Touch up peeling or damaged paint on the exterior of your home. This is one of those projects, if maintained on a regular basis, will extend the life or your last painting.

4. Wash your windows and inspect them closely as you clean. Look for cracked windows and calking that is beginning to deteriorate. Window maintenance will save you money in heating and cooling cost. This is also the time to put in screens on your windows and doors.

5. Cleaning decks and porches will be easily done before all the summer furniture is brought out. Power wash to remove stains and dirt that may have accumulated over the winter. This is a great opportunity to inspect the condition of your deck or porch for future maintenance needs.

6. Remove lint from the dryer exhaust with a long, flexible brush. This is a job that needs to be done a few times a year to insure safety. Creating a good system will make this project easy to stay on top of.

7. Service your lawn mower, trimmers and edgers - to insure you are ready for their heavy use over the summer months.

8. Rake the yard; remove branches and debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. Your lawn will love you for the special attention that helps aerate the ground and removes the dead material from last year. Be sure the yard slopes away from the house to help water drain away from the foundation. You may also notice your lawn needs special attention like fertilizer or other nutrients, our local farm supply stores and home supply stores carry all types of lawn care products to help you have a lush, green lawn.

9. Driveway and walkways need close inspection for good upkeep. Seal your driveway to insure it remains in good condition. Examine your walkways closely for cracks or unstable parts that would be easily tripped over.

10. Before you finish up your Spring home maintenance, finalize that list of bigger projects that may need to be accomplished this year. a. Did your roof show any signs of damaged shingles and possible leaks. b. Scan where your electrical line runs to your house to be sure the lines are free from tree limbs. c. If you home has a septic system, Spring-Summer-Fall is the best time to have it pumped.

Last but not least! It is time to bring out the summer furniture and air conditioner. This is when I get really excited because I can now start thinking about the flower pots and gardening. Home maintenance takes a little of your time each season but the reward is overwhelming. Enjoy your Spring!

Real Estate Market Today in the Pioneer Valley

Market WatchComing off of a long, cold winter the real estate markets in Franklin & Hampshire County are picking up as fast as it is warming up.  Glad to see more properties heading to the real estate market giving Buyers more options to find their dream home.

Today in Franklin County there are 306 homes available for sale with the average list price of $259,881.  These properties have been on the market on average 226 days and have an average list price per square foot of $140.00.

In Hampshire County there are 518 homes available for sale with an average list price of $350, 186.  These homes have an average days on market of 189 with a list price average square foot of $169.00

The tables below share real estate stats over the last 3 months for properties under agreement and for properties that have sold.  Tracking this information helps us see the direction of our market in the short term.  Property for sale is down right now but we are seeing signs that the inventory is picking up.  Keep a look out for more information on specific towns in upcoming post.

If you are looking to put you home on the real estate market, we have recently posted some information on getting your home ready and what to do next.  Feel free to contact us for a detailed conversation on the real estate market condition and what the process is to list your property for sale.

Franklin County Real Estate Market Stats for Jan. 14, 2015-April 14, 2015

Single Family Homes for Sale 4/14: 306

Average Days on Market:                    226 Average List Price:                     $259,881 Average List/SqFt:                       $140.00

Single Family Under Agreement:   37 Average Days on Market:                   209 Average Price:                             $185,138 Median Price:                             $179,000

Single Family Homes Sold 1/14-4/14: 32 Average Days on Market:                      151 Average Sale Price:                      $227,892 Median Sale Price                        $182,500 Highest Sale Price:                   $1,150,000 Lowest Sale Price:                         $40,000 Average Sold/SqFt:                        $125.00

Homes Sold Over $300,000:                   5 Homes Sold in $200,000 Range:            8 Homes Sold Up to $199,900:                 19

Hampshire County Real Estate Market Stats for Jan 14, 2015-April 15, 2015

Single Family Homes for Sale 4/14:    518

Average Days on Market:                       189 Average List Price:                        $350,186 Average List/SqFt:                          $169.00

Single Family Under Agreement:         115 Average Days on Market:                      126 Average Price:                               $304,253 Median Price:                               $269,000

Single Family Homes Sold 1/14-4/14: 69 Average Days on Market:                      163 Average Sale Price:                      $268,282 Median Sale Price                        $255,000 Highest Sale Price:                      $525,000 Lowest Sale Price:                          $70,000 Average Sold/SqFt:                         $151.00

Homes Sold Over $300,000:                 27 Homes Sold in $200,000 Range:          16 Homes Sold Up to $199,900:                 26


Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors Agent Phil Pless claims victory at the 4th Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon

Over 160 participants and 113 volunteers made this year's 4th Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon the best yet. Hosted by Berkshire East Ski Area, racers could do the event solo in the Braveheart Laddie or Lassie category, or join with others in teams of 2-5. The race consists of a 4.5 mile trail run, an 18 mile four lap criterium bicycle leg, a 5 mile downstream paddle in the Deerfield River, a 2 mile obstacle course run and a climb to the top of Berkshire East and ski down to the finish. 


Phil had all positive things to say about this event:

"My team is The West County Old Stars. We regained our title in the 50+ 5 person team category. We beat last year's winner, Mighty Molitia, our friends and rival, The Zephyrs, and a new team this year, 4 Lesbians and a Guy in a Skirt. Overall winning team was Team Thunder. In the Under 19 category, Varsity M, from Mohawk, edged Tenacious Turtles from Amherst RHS.  Another thing that made it such a great event is how many of us know each other on various teams and have many friendly rivalries.  John McCarthy from Ludlow won the Braveheart Laddie, first male solo."


We're proud to be part of this great community event and are rooting for The West County Old Stars to continue their claim on the First Place title in the future! Way to go, Phil!

We're a proud sponsor.

We're a proud sponsor.

Phil Pless at the finish!

Phil Pless at the finish!

The Story of Our Home

I couldn't agree more with this commercial.  This commercial shows such a simple story but one many of us relate to or make us think of our own story.  My home has a story that started many years ago, it is where all my memories are -  from getting married, bringing the babies home, running to the ball games, plays and even doctor appointments.   It all happened starting at home, the biggest and best purchase I have every made.

How about you, what is your story?

Feel free to share below.

Open House Connection . . .

CB OH SignColdwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS will be opening the doors to the following homes.  These homes will be open on Saturday, March 14th.  Click here for a Open House checklist to help you in your search, Great opportunity for you to make a connection with your next home.








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Sellers, What Comes Next?

401 Huckle Hill Rd, Bernardston, Massachusetts

401 Huckle Hill Rd, Bernardston, Massachusetts

After you have made the decision to list your property for sale and selected an agent then, the actual listing process will begin. The next step will be filling out paperwork with your agent and getting the listing information ready for the real estate market.

1. The first form you should see is the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure. The state of Massachusetts requires a discussion about agency representation between you and your real estate agent. In reviewing this form, you will learn how your particular relationship will be handled by your real estate agent throughout the listing and selling process.

2. Exclusive Right to Sell Contract may be the next form you see. This is a contract between you, the seller and your real estate agent. You will be making some decisions during this time like; list price, time frame the agent has to market your property for sale, success fee, seller's expenses etc.

3. Lead Paint Disclosure is a form you will see if your home was built before 1978. This form fills state and federal requirements disclosing your knowledge of lead paint in your home. For more information provides a copy of the form for you to review.

4. Another form you may see from a Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR agents is a Seller Service Guarantee. We guarantee our service from the marketing of your property to the final sale. We spell out line by line what we will do for you in the process of selling your home.

5.  As discussed in a previous post the Sellers Statement of Property Condition is your opportunity to share the information you know about the maintenance and condition of your property. By completing the form you are giving your agent permission to share details about your home with potential buyers. This form will not guarantee the condition of your property upon purchase just allows your agent to share the information you are aware of. A buyer will be instructed to have a home inspection completed on your property after the Offer to Purchase has been negotiated, therefore the buyer will investigate your property to their own satisfaction.

6. Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Requirements will also need to be met before the sale of your home. Here is an online copy of information you as a seller will need to know. Your agent will walk you through the inspection when the time is appropriate. However, here is a chance to check out your alarms to be prepared for that inspection in advance.

The next few days will be busy for both you and your real estate agent. Photos need to be taken, information needs to be acquired, listing sheets prepared, submission to websites and print adverting to request. Let's get ready to move on to the next step . . . . .

Seussical The Musical at Mohawk Trail Regional High School

Seussical The Musical PosterPlenty of time to order your general admission tickets to the Mohawk Trail Regional High School presentation of Seussical.   Tickets on sale now by calling 413.625.9811 x1364 with three showings beginning Friday night at 7pm, Saturday night at 7pm and through Sunday at 2pm.

Tickets are $5.00 for Seniors & Students with children under 2 years FREE.  Adults $10.00 per person.

This is a great family fun musical, hope you have the opportunity to enjoy it this weekend!

Spring Market: Sellers Get Ready!

109 Main St, Shelburne

109 Main Street Shelburne Falls, MA

The real estate market in Franklin & Hampshire County, Massachusetts has remained active over these long winter months and many Sellers are getting ready to put their homes on the market. Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS has a few tips that may help you do just that.

1. Listing Information: Assist your agent with preparing the most complete information on your home. Locate items like; a plot plan or map of your property, utility cost, tax bill, deed, septic design, even seasonal photos may help with the presentation of your home to the buyer pool.

2. Prepare your home for showing: The goal is to reach as many buyers as possible to view your home and that is a job for you and your agent. Your agent will work on the marketing of your home in print and online advertising; you work on the viewing presentation. You can never replace a first impression, so each showing is your opportunity to shine. A. Declutter: Step back and look at each room to see if it is cluttered and what you could do to make it as appealing as possible to a buyer. B. Neat and clean: Time for Spring cleaning anyway, so now is a great time to do some deep cleaning. Your home will look and smell fresh, then just regular routine cleaning means you will always be ready for the next showing. C. Touch-ups if necessary: Small touch-ups will help give a complete, clean look.

3. Fill out the Sellers Description of Property: This is your opportunity to share your history with the property on various items like the deed and zoning of the property, heating system maintenance, plumbing and structural upgrades, etc. A Buyer will appreciate your information as they take over the care of your home.

4. Prepare for Inspections: If your home has a septic system, an inspection will need to be completed to comply with Massachusetts Title V Regulations. Prepare yourself for the inspection by gathering a list of inspectors, receiving estimated cost related to the inspection, and setting a date to complete the inspection.

Before your property is sold you will also need to comply with the Smoke Alarm and Carbon monoxide Detector Regulations. This inspection will be completed within 30 days of closing and your agent will be able to cover this inspection for you. However, anything you can do in advance to comply with the regulations will help keep surprises to a minimum.

President's Award Recipients 2014

RAPV President's Awards 2014

RAPV President's Awards 2014

Congratulations to Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors award winners who attended last nights President's Award Event at the Hardley Farms Meeting House.

Award Winners: (1st Row) Phil Pless, Timothy Parker, Cathy Roberts, Wanda Mooney and Carol Bolduc.  (2nd Row) Marcia Brooks, Mike Packard, Christine Aubrey and Steve Oates.


Connect to Open Houses

CB OH SignHere is your opportunity to connect with your next home before the big game this weekend (January 31st-February 1st).  Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors are opening the doors to the following homes to help you experience choices rather than photos on the internet.  Come on out and see if one of these homes could possible be yours!

SATURDAY 12pm-2pm


SATURDAY 12pm-2pm


SATURDAY 1pm-2:30pm


SUNDAY 12am-2pm


SUNDAY 12am-2pm


SUNDAY 12pm-2pm



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