Selling Your Home

10 Home Amenities Contractors Love

  • By
  • Posted

Rising numbers of creative artists, freelancers and contractors are working from home. The numbers are expected to increase. Leasing agents, employers and manufacturers of home amenities aren't the only people who have to accommodate for shifts that America's changing workforce will bring. Real estate agents, home builders, mortgage lenders and home buyers may also have to adjust to the changes.

Home amenities must keep up with changing times

The shifts that may have far reaching impact are expected to see half of America's workforce earning income from the contractor and freelancer ranks. According to Forbes, 53 million workers in the United States already freelance. By 2020, that number is expected to double. Many of these workers will work from home.

Add in telecommuters, and don't be surprised if members of the gig and freelance economy start looking for home amenities and home floor layouts that fit their work-from-home needs. Following are 10 home amenities that contractors may start looking for more and more in home designs.

  1. Open floor plan - Houses that are designed with an open floor plan make it easier for contractors to multi-task. Whether they are working from their home office, the living room or the kitchen island, contractors can keep an eye on young children, pets or a meal that's cooking in the oven while they work.
  2. Solar energy - Homes built with solar energy panels help to cut down on utility expenses for work-at-home professionals, and who doesn't love opening a utility bill and seeing that the costs has dropped?
  3. Great outdoor views - Of all home amenities, this one is tops. Great views can keep freelancers from feeling isolated. Outdoor views help contractors feel connected to the world around them, even as contractors work for 8 or more hours a day from home.
  4. Built-in bookcases - Apartment management companies are already designing apartment units with built-in bookcases. Not only are built-in-bookcases visually attractive, they are space savers.
  5. Large home office - A large home office is a contractor's bread and butter. Contractors may start asking real estate agents to only show them houses that have a large home office. These rooms need to be big enough to fit a desk, chair, two filing cabinets, a printer and computer inside. The space shouldn't be cramped.
  6. Indoor exercise space - A large extra room or a basement could serve as an indoor exercise space. Because contractors tend to be independent thinkers, they value and take care of their health.
  7. Wifi access - This is a must when it comes to home amenities. Even houses in the country may need Wifi access to land a sale with freelancers.
  8. Stylish home lighting - Task, accent and general or natural lighting are winners. Home offices should be designed with at least task and general lighting.
  9. Wall computer stands and monitor stands - Similar to built-in bookcases, these home amenities computer and monitor stands are attractive space savers. Houses designed with these two home amenities also keep contractors from having to spend money on separate computer and monitor stands.
  10. Finished basement - Documents, videotapes, artist equipment and supplies and additional filing cabinets can be stored in a finished basement. A portion of a finished basement could also serve as a home office, especially if both people buying the same house are contractors.

Location is also important to contractors and freelancers. Homes that these workers, particularly full-time contractors, live in come with real advantages if the homes are located within walking distance of public train and bus stations. If the houses are not within walking distance, contractors should not have to drive more than 10 to 15 minutes to reach public transportation facilities.

Until the shifts change, these home amenities may seem far fetched. Manufacturers, home builders and real estate agents who see and prepare for these shifts now, may find themselves ahead of the curve now and in the future.

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 . . . . .

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.

Seller Tips to Interior Painting

Painting your home for staging purposes is a little different than painting your home for personal pleasure. While your daughter may love having her walls painted Barbie pink, a potential buyer may see this as a distraction. Choosing neutral colors will enable buyers to imagine themselves in your home much easier. And while a fresh coat of paint on your walls may initially seem to be a costly endeavor to undertake, consider that painting your home can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars in some cases. Below is a basic guide to what colors you should have in mind if you plan on painting your home for show.

The Kitchen - Kitchens do well with yellows, oranges, and reds. As long as the shade is neutral, these colors will serve to highlight home appliances, kitchen size, and overall comfort. Picking these food-friendly colors will definitely kick your kitchen up a notch.

Bathrooms - Bathrooms, because of their size, are best served by very light colors such as tan or pale yellow. The darker you go, the smaller your bathroom will look. In addition, Light colors will also give a sense of cleanliness to a bathroom. If you happen to have a bathroom that already boasts a robust color due to architecture or tile, then pulling colors from these may be an option. For instance, if you have a tile floor in the bathroom with a blue or red in it, then drawing from these colors and choosing a paler shade for the walls could potentially work for the overall flow of the bathroom.

Bedrooms - Bedrooms should always steer clear of bright colors, but other than that, you can have a bit more freedom here. Things to keep in mind include the color and style of flooring and fixtures, and whether or not your master bedroom has a master bathroom. Be sure to pick colors that compliment each other if so.

Hallways and the rest - Again, you get a bit more freedom here. Salmon-hued paints have a tendency to make people look lively and energized, while beige and blue tones can convey a sense of tranquility and calm. Beige with green tones can be energizing, so it may be something to consider once you reach the living room. Bright reds should probably be avoided in hallways, as they have a tendency to keep people from fully relaxing. This may sound a little crazy, but it's true.

Checklist for Pricing Your Home

CB-for sale 3You have decided to sell. But before you put the sign in the yard there are some things you will want to make sure you have done. Time spent doing research and setting the right price will most likely yield you a better return in the end. A home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. 

The process can be overwhelming - Where Do I Start?

Your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR has all the resources necessary to help your choose the right listing price for your home.  We list and sell real estate throughout the Pioneer Valley every day.  With our local knowledge and national reach you have all the tools working for you with Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS.

Track your neighborhood values

Our REALTORS can track home values right in your neighborhood, find out what homes similar to yours are selling for, so you will have a good idea what your home is worth.

Buyer or seller market

Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors, live and work in Western Mass 365 days a year, they know how to judge whether it's a sellers' market or a buyers' market in your neighborhood. Remember that all real estate is local. You will want to research things like interest rates, home inventory, job forecasts, and even time of year.

Research inventory

How many homes are for sale? If you live in a desirable neighborhood and there aren't many homes for sale, you will have a clear edge here. However, if you see lots of homes on the market and they're not selling very quickly, you might have to reduce the price you had in mind.  Our agents watch the stats on the local market daily, just to be able to help home owners, like your, make some of the most important decisions of your lives.

Call us today, we look forward to helping you reach your real estate dreams!

So. Deerfield: 413-665-3771     .     Shelburne Falls:  413-625-6366

Amherst:  413.461-3650          .          Florence:  413-586-8355   



Staging Your Home FOR SALE

When it coA-Main Photomes to staging your home for sale, it is important that you, the seller, create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Below are 7-Simple Staging Tips from Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS to help boost your home's appeal and give you the competitive edge necessary when selling your home.

1.  Stage rooms with one purpose. Extra rooms that have a mishmash of uses can confuse and even deter homebuyers, so staging rooms with one purpose is vital. Keep in mind that buyers are generally looking for areas equipped to meet their needs. So turn storage dens into a home office or the kids' bedroom into a guest bedroom.

2.  Tackle the easy "do-it-yourself" projects. To ensure your home is in tip top shape make sure to replace outdated kitchen and bathroom fixtures, apply a fresh coat of paint to a worn wall and refinish the kitchen cabinets. Providing a sleek and modern look wherever possible can make a huge difference in the eyes of homebuyers. To learn more about what home styles are "in fashion," ask a local Coldwell Banker agent about the styles seen in homes that are selling in the area, and purchase a current interior design magazine for ideas.

 3.  Focus on the living areas. A living room is an area in which potential buyers should be able to envision themselves U-bedrmentertaining friends or gathering with their family. With that in mind, you should make the area appear as large and functional as possible by removing any unnecessary furniture and decorations.

3.  Make sure the master bedroom appeals to both sexes. When staging the Master Bedroom, make sure that it appeals to buyers of both sexes.  Remove any feature that seems too gender-specific and paint the walls a neutral color.

4.  Clear the room of family portraits. Homebuyers are looking for a home they can picture their family living in, not the previous owner's. Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors recommends taking down family portraits, personal collections and knickknacks. Removing these items will also eliminate clutter and ensure that people are looking at the house for sale, not at the photos from the last family vacation.

5.  Furnish the home, but don't overdo it. While an empty home looks spacious, it is hard for buyers to visualize their belongings in a home if they are staring at ceilings, floors and bare walls. Leave the basic components of each room, but make sure there is still plenty of open space.

Z1-view6.  Don't forget to spruce up the yard. First impressions often play a role in a consumer's decision making process.  Make sure your home's exterior is inviting by trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn and painting faded window trim. Homebuyers looking for a home will appreciate the seller's attention to detail.

Call your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont agent today for the service you need to sell your home.  We have 4 convenient locations serving the Pioneer Valley.

Amherst:  (413) 461-3650                   Northampton:  (413) 586-8355

So. Deerfield (413) 665-3771             Shelburne Falls (413) 625-6366

Springtime Spruce Up for Sellers

Spruce Up copyHome value is top of mind for sellers and renovations or remodeling can play a critical role in both increasing the value of a home and ensuring that it stands out to potential buyers. 

Most consumers are looking to do more with less, few homeowners may be ready to commit the thousands of dollars it can take to fully redo even a single room.  Before breaking out the tool belt, Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors advises homeowners to check out the free online tools that can help them chart their home remodeling efforts, such as "Tips for Selling Your Home" available at  Homeowners can also speak with your Coldwell Banker real estate professional to learn more about specific home improvements that most appeal to buyers in your area.

The professionals at Coldwell Banker suggest the following 8-affordable home improvements for potentially increasing the overall value of a home, without breaking the budget:

NOTE* We always recommend to homeowners who are not comfortable taking on a home improvement project themselves should always hire a qualified professional.

1.  Reface Kitchen Cabinets. Kitchen updates are among the smartest remodeling projects when it comes to "upping" the resale value of a home. But homeowners do not need to spring for an entire new cabinet set to improve the room's appeal. Refacing existing cabinets, applying a fresh coat of paint or replacing tarnished pulls and knobs with new hardware might be just the quick fix a kitchen needs to make it look and feel like new.  light bulb

 2.  Improve the Lighting. Updating lights and lighting fixtures is another simple enhancement that does not require a major investment. Replacing old bulbs with stronger, more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will brighten up the house and make it more inviting - while cutting down on energy costs over the long term. In addition, replacing recessed lights in a dining or living room with an affordable chandelier or installing accent lighting to draw attention to artwork or other room features can create an entirely fresh ambiance.

3.  Freshen up a Fan. An updated ceiling fan can give a room a more contemporary feel, but purchasing a new one isn't always a necessity when looking to upgrade. Improving an existing fan is simpler than homeowners might think and does not have to come at a high price.  First, try unscrewing the fan blades and turning them over. Typically, blades have alternate colors or patterns on the reverse side. If not, simply add a coat of paint and reattach. One can even install new pull chains to complete the look as well as match the fan accents to new lighting fixtures or cabinet hardware.

4.  Hang More Mirrors. It sounds simple, but the addition of a mirror on any wall adds depth and light to a room, making even the smallest space seem larger. Mirrors also add elegance and charm to a home's décor, and often at a reasonable price.

5.Paint Can-Brush  Break Out the Paint Brushes. Applying a couple coats of paint can make a remarkable difference and is always a low-cost, high-return project. Coldwell Banker recommends a warm, neutral wall color that can make a room seem more spacious, create a more modern feel and appeal to a wider variety of buyers.

6.  Install Laminate Flooring. Even if the cost of hardwood or tile floors is out of the question, for under $5 per square foot, homeowners can easily install laminate flooring in their kitchens, hallways and bathrooms - provided that floors are level with those in adjacent rooms. Laminate flooring can hide chipped tiles or old linoleum and give the room a more modern feel.

7.  Refinish Your Appliances. Purchasing brand new matching appliances can cost thousands of dollars. However, for a few hundred dollars, an appliance refinisher can re-enamel the surfaces of appliances covering up any out-dated colors that may be ruining the look of your kitchen.yard tools

8.  Spruce up Your Home's Exterior. When planning to put money into a house, homeowners should not overlook simple exterior renovations that can add substantial worth and attract more buyers. A freshly-mowed lawn, a clean, even walkway and a few well-placed bushes can make a huge difference. If you don't have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscaper on a one-time basis to plant some shrubs or give the front yard a good cleanup.

*Homeowners who are not comfortable taking on a home improvement project themselves should always hire a qualified professional.

What Sellers Should Know About Home Buyers

CB-for sale 3Spring is in the air and many homeowners are now gearing up to put their home on the market for sale.   If you are a seller who needs to know what buyers think, then this study by the National Association of Realtors is for you.  Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer's experience.

Here are highlights from that report.

  • 66% of recent home buyers were married couples--the highest share since 2001.
  • For 42% of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to 92%.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • 88%  of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • 88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was 9%. 40% knew the buyer prior to home purchase.

Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors is highly aware of the conditions of the real estate market and look forward helping you navigate through the process.  Give one of our agents a call today?


Mobile Marketing Can Help Sell Homes

Coldwell Bnker Upton-Massamont REALTORS has a mobile website because  a mobile website can help sell your home? According to Mobile Marketing Association Asia  5.1 billion people own a cell phone. The world population is 7 billion people.  More and more consumers are shopping via their mobile phones.  A recent statistic says 91% of all smart phone users have their phone within arm's reach 24/7 - (Morgan Stanley, 2012).

Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016. (Berg Insight, 2012). Having a mobile web site allows for your property to come up higher in a mobile search and be viewed more easily on a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone or Android device. Go ahead and type in the website address of this site on your mobile device to see what it looks like.

Mobile consumers are more ready to act too. 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. 70% of online searches result in action in one month. (Mobile Marketer, 2012). Search Engine Land found that 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Search Engine Land, 2012).

If your home isn't being advertised on a mobile device you are missing out. Mobile marketing produces more immediate responses, and a higher response rate, than any other marketing method. So, are you ready to list today and get effective marketing for your home?

To search for your next home, click on the phone image to select your criteria, then call you Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Agent.

Keep Your Home on the Market During the Holiday?


Coldwell Banker Blue Matter -Blog offers 5 good reasons to continue to market your home through the holiday season.

1.  Less competition

2.  More motivation

3.  Buyers never stop looking online

4.  Networking opportunities

5.  Home already on the market or not selling?

For a complete read of the article click HERE!  Your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamotn REALTORS are ready to assist you with buying or selling.  We are available to you over the holiday season, just give us a call.