Wanda J. Hall - Westford Real Estate



Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 8/20/2018

If you are on the fence about whether to accept or reject a homebuying proposal, it is important to remember that a third option is available: countering the offer.

By countering a home offer, you can set the stage for a negotiation with an interested buyer. If a buyer accepts your counter-proposal, you and the buyer can move forward with a purchase agreement. Or, if a buyer rejects your counter-offer, you can always continue to seek out proposals from other potential buyers.

Before you counter a home offer, it is important to know what to expect after you make this decision. That way, you can feel confident about your decision to counter a homebuyer's proposal, even in a high-pressure situation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze a home offer and determine whether to counter it.

1. Assess the Housing Market

The housing market ultimately may play a key role in how a home seller approaches an offer. Because if a seller examines the real estate sector closely, he or she may gain actionable insights that can be used to differentiate a "fair" proposal from a "lowball" offer.

Look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of recently sold residences in your area that are similar to your own. Then, you can use this information to take a data-driven approach to analyze an offer. And if you decide to counter an offer, you can rest assured that your decision is backed by relevant real estate insights.

2. Review Your Home's Pros and Cons

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to consider your house's age and condition as you review an offer. This will enable you to account for any potential home repairs and the costs associated with them Ė something a buyer also may do before he or she submits an offer on your home.

Don't forget to consider the strengths of your home as well. If you recently performed a series of home upgrades, you probably accounted for these house improvements when you set the initial asking price for your home. Thus, you should have no regrets about countering a home offer if it fails to match your expectations.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is crucial, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about how to proceed with a home offer. A real estate agent can help you evaluate all aspects of a home offer and make it easy to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Typically, a real estate agent will offer expert home selling recommendations. He or she also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions and ensure you can make an informed decision about any offer, at any time.

Ready to review an offer on your house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding whether to counter a homebuying proposal.





Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 8/13/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, itís essential to find a balance between being respectful of the ownerís privacy and being open enough that you ask the right questions and find out what you need to know about the home.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover all of the etiquette and best practices when it comes to viewing someoneís home that youíre interested in buying.

Basic etiquette

Before we get into the fine details of questions to ask and what areas are okay to explore, letís take a minute to discuss the basic etiquette of entering someoneís home.

First, make sure you arrive on time and ready to tour the home. Being late will give the seller and their agent the perception that you might not be a serious buyer if you arenít arriving at the showing on time.

Additionally, when you first enter the home, itís a good idea to ask if you should take off your shoes. Some homeowners have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy that they extend to guests as well as friends and family. But, at the very least, make sure that your shoes are clean so you donít track mud around the home.

In terms of cleanliness, make sure you dress appropriately for the showing and that you donít bring in food or drinks. You donít want to be dropping crumbs or spilling coffee in a home that is being kept meticulously clean for house showings.

Ask the right questions

As you are viewing the home, itís appropriate to ask questions that may come up. Feel free to ask about the age of the home and when repairs and renovations were made.

Itís also fine to ask questions about the neighborhood and town if youíre unfamiliar with the area. Traffic and noise levels are pertinent information for any serious buyer. And these are questions that will be vital to understanding the home better and whether itís a good fit for you at the moment.

Where can you snoop?

Itís a good idea to ask before opening cabinets, closets, and doors the first time. But these are all reasonable things to expect to be able to look inside of when buying a home.

Itís not a good idea, however, to look inside nightstands, dressers, and other compartments that are more private and personal.

If a homeowner or agent asks that you donít enter a room entirely, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or basement, this is a major red flag that thereís an issue with the room in question. Every room of the home should be in-bounds when it comes to viewing a home that you might someday buy.

At the end of the viewing

Once the viewing is over, itís best to simply compliment the home, offer your thanks for the tour, and head home to consider your experience.

Avoid making any sharp criticism of the home before leaving, and donít mention any negotiations or ask questions about the pricing at this point. Itís better to leave on a positive note and have these discussions in private with your family before taking your offers to the seller.




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Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 8/6/2018

Many homebuyers face an interesting dilemma. On one hand, a broad array of houses is available nationwide, making it easy to find a great residence just about anywhere. Conversely, the housing market remains fierce, and a homebuyer who fails to submit the right offer at the right time may miss out on the opportunity to acquire his or her dream residence.

Ultimately, homebuyers must be ready to submit a fair offer on a house at any time. And even though you may be tempted to submit a proposal that exceeds a home seller's asking price to secure your ideal house, you should try to do everything you can to avoid overspending.

Lucky for you, we're here to teach you the ins and outs of making a reasonable offer on a home. Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid spending too much for a house.

1. Know What to Look for in Your Dream House

The definition of a "dream house" may vary from homebuyer to homebuyer. If you consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal home, you'll be able to browse the real estate market accordingly.

Although many great houses are readily available, it is important to keep in mind that no residence is perfect. As such, you should establish lists of must-haves and wants for your dream home and set realistic expectations. This will allow you to compare and contrast homes against your lists, find a residence that meets your expectations and remain calm, cool and collected as you prepare to submit an offer on a home.

2. Get a Mortgage in Advance

Homebuyers can get pre-approved for a mortgage and create a budget before they embark on a search for their dream home.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions and assess all of the mortgage options at your disposal. In addition, lenders may be able to offer a variety of financing options based on your credit score, annual income and other economic factors.

With a mortgage in hand, you can explore the real estate market and find homes that fall within your price range. Therefore, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be better equipped to accelerate the homebuying process and avoid overspending on a house.

3. Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent may make or break your home search. And with the right real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding your dream home in any real estate market.

Your real estate agent is happy to provide tips to ensure you can submit a fair offer on any residence. That way, you can avoid the risk of overspending and improve your chances of acquiring your dream home at a reasonable price.

Hire a real estate agent who possesses comprehensive expertise and great people skills. By doing so, you can work with a real estate professional who can help you acquire your ideal home in no time at all.




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Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 7/30/2018

Dogs are a manís best friends, but the mess they bring into your home? Not so much. Learn how you can have a clean house and a lovable pup at the end of each day. Here are ten tips below to get the best of both worlds. 

1. Groom regularly. Keep less fur off your floors and furniture by brushing your dog on a regular schedule. Ideally, this would be a few times a week. Eliminate even more clean up by brushing out your pup outside when possible.

2. Sweep floors in high traffic areas with a microfiber cloth broom each day. The microfiber cloth will grab onto fur and dirt alike and can be reused. Itís also a quick and simple habit to develop and one you can easily delegate as a chore for the kids.

3. Dust often. Stay on top of fur build up by dusting a few areas of the home each night with a microfiber cloth. By just doing a room or two at a time it becomes a less overwhelming task and easier to do regularly. You can even keep a cloth stored away in each room to make the chore even simpler.

4. Vacuum furniture and drapes as well as carpeting. When you have a furry friend your vacuum is going to be working a lot harder around the house. Youíll want to vacuum drapes, furniture, and carpets frequently to stay on top of hair build up. Just as with dusting, you can do a few rooms at a time throughout the week to break up the tediousness of doing the whole house at once.

5. Lint brushes are your new best friend. You might as well fill a handbasket full of them the next time youíre at the store because youíll never have too many. Store them where they can easily be on hand in closets, bathrooms, the mudroom and your family'sí vehicles. Where there is fur, thereís a way so be prepared to keep clothes fur free when leaving the house.

6. Take care of stains ASAP. Make cleaning up pet stains a no-brainer by putting together an easy to grab bucket filled with cleaning supplies that are made for the job. Be sure to include a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels, a microfiber cloth and your preferred cleaning solution.

And a bonus for the extra meticulous: wipe paws down with a microfiber cloth after walks. Microfiber clothes are wonderful multitaskers for household cleaners and now you can add ďpaw wipesĒ to the list. Before you let your dog run loose around the house after a walk gently wipe their paws with a dry microfiber cloth to catch any loose debris they could track inside.

We love our dogs. They are cute, funny and oh so loving. The messes that come with them, however, arenít always so welcome. You can easily keep your home spick and span with a little preparation and a regular cleaning schedule. At the end of the day, you can admire your handiwork while curled up on the couch with your pooch.




Tags: cleaning tips   dogs   pet proof  
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Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 7/23/2018

If you have seen your latest credit score and feel like youíre less than financially fit, donít fret. Thereís plenty of reasons why people end up with bad credit. Thereís also plenty of things that you can do to amend and work with your bad credit. 


The Factors


Mortgage lenders look at a variety of factors when it comes to your credit and determining if youíre ready for a home loan. These include:


  • Age of credit
  • Payment history
  • Amount of credit debt


If you have opened new accounts frequently or ran up credit card balances without paying them down, these behaviors could negatively affect your credit score. 


Changing Your Habits


Just changing one of these bad habits can help your credit score in a positive way. This also means that a bad credit score doesnít equal not being able to get a home loan. Your home loan may just come at a higher price. 


What If Youíre Turned Down For A Loan?


You can ask your lender why youíre unable to get a loan. Some possible reasons that youíre getting rejected:


  • Missed credit card payments
  • Failure to pay a loan
  • Bankruptcy
  • Overdue taxes
  • Seeking a loan outside of what you can afford
  • Legal judgements
  • Collection agencies


If you have defaulted on a loan, missed payments or filed for bankruptcy, chances are that youíll have trouble securing a home loan. Other factors that can affect your credit score include negative legal judgements that have affected your credit, or having a collection agency after you. 


How To Fix It


If you have bad credit, itís not the end of the world. Itís possible that lenders can give you a loan if your credit score isnít too low. You could, however, face higher interest rates as a penalty for a low credit score. This is due to the fact that youíre more likely to default on a loan based on your risk factors. 


You can improve your credit score by:


Keeping existing accounts open

Refraining from opening new accounts

Trying not to approach too many lenders to find the right interest rate. Every time you get a credit check, it affects your score. 


Finding A Loan


Signs of bad credit can take awhile to disappear from your credit report. Sometimes, you have the opportunity to explain to lenders what these factors are in detail so you can secure the loan. There are even mortgage companies that assist you through the loan process to give you a boost in getting the loan.


FHA Loans


FHA loans are a great program option especially for people with bad credit. These loans offer low down payment options and have lower credit score standards. FHA loans have been helping people to secure their first homes since 1934.


If you have bad credit, the dream of home ownership is still possible. If youíre early in the process, get to work and keep that credit score up so that when you head out to apply for a loan, youíll be able to secure it.         




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