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Congratulations! You've made the exciting decision to put your home on the market. As a first-time seller, you probably have a lot of questions and aren't quite sure what to expect. 

You may have even heard that the selling process can be stressful, but we're hoping that by avoiding the most common mistakes, it will be a much more enjoyable experience for you!

Let's dive in…

#1. Not Hiring an Agent

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a first-time seller is thinking you can do it all on your own. If it were easier this way, everyone would do it! But there's a reason why FSBO sales only make up 8% of all home sales in the US. 

We're not going to sugarcoat it. The selling process is a lot! From documents to preparation to marketing and more, there are many things to be done — and it is important that they are done in the correct way! 

To give your home its absolute best shot at success, you need someone in your corner that is dedicated to the job, has the experience, and boasts proven results.

According to the NAR, agent-assisted listings sell anywhere from 5.5-26% more than FSBO. Don't make a mistake that could cause you to miss out on more money for your home. 

#2. Being the Owner Versus the Seller 

Home is where many of our favorite memories are made. So, it's likely that the decision to put yours on the market wasn't an easy one. While the feelings you have are completely valid, they need to be separated from the selling process for it to be successful.

Here's what we mean. As much as you love that themed bedroom, those walls lined with family photos, and the sports trophies showcased in the living room, potential buyers may not. It's important to depersonalize the home before it goes to market so that viewers will be able to picture themselves there.

Remember, you are the seller first and the owner second!

#3. Setting an Unrealistic Asking Price

You can't expect your home to sell if you've set an unrealistic asking price. If priced too high, it may be weeks or even months before someone reaches out –- and they still may not offer close to what you're asking. 

On the other hand, pricing too low can cause you to miss out on hundreds or thousands of dollars in profit! 

Your best bet here is to ask an agent. Not only are they experienced, but they know the area you're in, what houses are going for, and what's going on in the current market. They will be able to provide you with a number and the reasoning behind it. 

#4. Being Unwilling to Make Repairs

The "love it or leave it" mentality isn't smart here. If potential buyers notice something wrong, they will leave it. 

What is smart is preparing your home before it hits the market. Take care of anything that needs to be repaired or updated before someone can point it out at the open house. 

Any problems will be uncovered at the time of inspection, so you might as well put in the work ahead of time! 

#5. Choosing Poor Listing Photos

Your listing photos are more important than you may think. Many times, they provide the first impression of your home and become the deciding factor for making the next move. 

Here are some quick tips for taking quality listing photos that will attract potential buyers instead of scare them away. 

1) Declutter the space to remove distractions.

2) Shoot from the corners to capture the entire space and make it look larger. 

3) Highlight its best features by utilizing lighting.

4) Double-check for things like televisions playing and toilet seats up. 

#6. Being Close Minded About Offers 

Throughout the selling process, you may receive a number of offers. Don't expect asking price right out of the gate, and don't be offended if someone lowballs you. It happens, and that is okay! 

You just have to be realistic. No offer will be written at full price without concessions or contingencies. But try to look at each offer with an open mind. 

By avoiding these 6 mistakes, your first time selling will be far more enjoyable and far less stressful! Good luck and happy selling. 

The Masiello Group is a second-generation family company that has been a trailblazer in New England real estate since 1966. With now more than 35 offices throughout northern New England, we're the largest residential real estate firm north of Boston to offer a complete suite of home services, including buying, selling, mortgage, title, insurance, relocation, and more. 

Our agents are eager and excited to meet your real estate needs! 

For real estate insight, market trends, and more, check out our weekly blog at


Cleaning Tips Listing a Home

When it's time to sell your home, it's important for your house to create a positive impression with prospective buyers. Our real estate agents recommend thoroughly cleaning your home before listing it to attract homebuyers and help you command the highest asking price.

A messy, cluttered space indicates to buyers that the property hasn't been properly maintained and may be a haven for expensive repairs. Check out this list of cleaning tips to prepare your home to list. 

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What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market

What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market | MyKCM

If you've given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here's why this season is the ultimate sellers' market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a 'normal' or 'neutral' market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market | MyKCMWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it's much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they're taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today's sellers' market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.


Ready to get started?

Start by learning what your home is worth in this market by clicking here:


Smart Home Tips

Smart home technology has been available to consumers for more than 20 years now. But it's really only in the last decade that the idea of a smart home has become mainstream. 

If you're wondering how you can use technology to make your home better, smarter, more efficient, and more secure, then you're in luck. As we head into the new year, our real estate agents are excited to share these smart home technologies for 2021. 

  • Smart Home Assistant
    One of the most popular smart home innovations in recent years, smart home assistants have proven to be more than a fad. Many different makes and models are available—Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant are some of the most well known—offering you a wealth of tools at your fingertips. Smart home assistants give you hands-free control to play music, look up directions, place calls, help with your shopping, and a seemingly endless array of other tasks.

  • Smart Thermostat
    Replacing your old, outdated thermostat with a modern smart thermostat is a great way to improve comfort and energy efficiency in your home. You can make adjustments to the temperature via a smartphone app, even when you're not at home. 

  • Smart Fridge
    It's true. Your refrigerator could probably be smarter. Most major fridge manufacturers have smart fridges in their lineup these days, and there are a wealth of benefits, including saving energy and reducing food waste. Using the accompanying app, you can adjust the fridge and freezer settings from your phone. You can also choose to get alerts when the door is left ajar or time for a water filter change. 

  • Smart Door Locks
    Improved security has always been one of the big advantages of a smart home, and smart door locks were one of the first features to catch on in a big way. Rather than looking for the right key, you can lock or unlock your door by thumbprint, by entering your PIN, or using an app on your smartphone. Many smart locks also have a built-in alarm system. 

  • Smart Lighting
    Smart light bulbs offer a major innovation for comfort and efficiency. You can turn lights on and off in any room of your home using voice commands or a smartphone app, including dimmer settings, so you can specifically adjust the brightness of certain lights. Of course, the real benefit is that if you forgot to turn off the downstairs lights before tucking yourself in for the night, you could switch them off without getting out of bed! 

  • Smart Cameras
    Security cameras have come a long way, and the latest smart cameras give you amazing control and security without invading your privacy. With two cameras in front and back of your house, you can have your entryways covered, with the ability to see the footage in real-time from your phone. 

  • Smart Hub
    A smart hub is essentially the "brains" of your smart home, connecting all your other smart devices and features. Essentially, it greatly simplifies things by making it possible to control your entire smart home using a single app. Some (but not all) smart home assistants include a smart hub, so you may or may not need a separate hub, depending on your setup. 

Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home or are simply ready to take your living space to the next level, smart home technology is an important consideration. Contact us today to learn more and talk to our team about ways to make your home smarter in 2021. 


Reasons to List Your Home

The real estate industry is changing fast. There are many challenges, but our REALTORS® are excited about the opportunities. Sellers just like you around our community are finding out something surprising: Now is a terrific time to list your home for sale.

Yes! If you were waiting for a better market before you list, now's the time.

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With the housing market staggered to some degree by the health crisis the country is currently facing, some potential purchasers are questioning whether home values will be impacted. The price of any item is determined by supply as well as the market's demand for that item.

Each month the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys "over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions" for the REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand) during this pandemic.

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: "How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?"Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020? | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey shows that in 34 of the 50 U.S. states, buyer demand is now 'strong' and 16 of the 50 states have a 'stable' demand.

Seller Supply

The index also asks: "How would you rate seller traffic in your area?"Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020? | MyKCMAs the map above indicates, 46 states and Washington, D.C. reported 'weak' seller traffic, 3 states reported 'stable' seller traffic, and 1 state reported 'strong' seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the needs of buyers looking for homes right now.

With demand still stronger than supply, home values should not depreciate.

What are the experts saying?

Here are the thoughts of three industry experts on the subject:

Ivy Zelman:

"We note that inventory as a percent of households sits at the lowest level ever, something we believe will limit the overall degree of home price pressure through the year."

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American:

"Housing supply remains at historically low levels, so house price growth is likely to slow, but it's not likely to go negative."

Freddie Mac:

"Two forces prevent a collapse in house prices. First, as we indicated in our earlier research report, U.S. housing markets face a large supply deficit. Second, population growth and pent up household formations provide a tailwind to housing demand."

Bottom Line

Looking at these maps and listening to the experts, it seems that prices will remain stable throughout 2020. If you're thinking about listing your home, let's connect to discuss how you can capitalize on the somewhat surprising demand in the market now.


Staging for Real Estate Photos

Although it might be a cliche, there's truth to the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." This is particularly true when you're trying to sell your home. The truth is, most potential home buyers start their search online and will decide whether they're interested in your house before they even see it in person. That's why our real estate agents always stress the importance of staging your home the right way. 

Not only will great staging make your home stand out from the sea of other houses online, but it will also make the interior warm and inviting when potential buyers do decide to visit. While staging a home is fairly straight-forward, it's important to understand the basic principles, especially before you get your real estate photos done. Follow these tips, and you'll be off to a great start. 

  1. Clean Up the Outside
    The front of your home creates the first impression, so it's important to make it look as inviting and well-cared for as possible. Plus, more than likely this will be the first photo potential buyers see online. Prepare this space by removing your vehicles from the driveway so potential buyers can get a good view of the house and the parking area.

    Also, make sure you remove garbage cans from the front of the home and put away bicycles, toys, and lawn tools. Finally, make sure to mow the lawn, edge sidewalks, and walkways, and sweep up lawn clippings.  

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It's the most wonderful time of the year – and the busiest! Especially if moving is on your to-do list!

It is possible to get in the holiday spirit AND sell your home at the same time.

Some Realtors say holiday decorating is a no-no. Others say if it's done right – it creates a warm, welcoming vibe, leaving a lasting impression on your potential buyers. Just be sure decorations don't distract potential buyers!

Our gift to you? A quick "Top 10" on how to spread the holiday cheer when there's a "For Sale" sign outside your door.

  1. Keep it simple. You don't want to detract from your home. Grandma's huge village with a blanket of "snow" covering your gorgeous mantel? Skip it. Is your giant glass Santa or Menorah taking up floor space? Leave those out of your winter scenes this year. You want buyers to see your beautiful floors and appreciate all the space for their stuff!
  2. Don't add to the clutter! Clean up around the house and get rid of some extra clutter before adding holiday cheer (yes, school pictures, framed photos and other trinkets need to go). Store décor away in plastic bins (and label them).
  3. Make sure the holiday magic matches. Careful of clashing colors. Snowflakes, snowmen, silver, white and gold decorations all are perfect pairings with virtually anything. Greenery is always fail-proof too! Hang a live wreath on your front door and drape a fresh garland across the mantel for the perfect, simple touch.
  4. Point out the positive. Highlight new windows with flameless candles or your Menorah. String up a garland or beautiful white lights around your fireplace or arched doorway! Just be sure extensions cords aren't visible – this tells buyers you don't have many outlets.
  5. Keep it P.C. Yes, overly religious décor will turn buyers off – keep the nativity scene in storage this year!
  6. Keep the tree, well, trim (literally)! Careful of the diameter and the height, you want your space to look – spacious. Don't feel the need to hang every ornament on the tree, this year. For now, less is more. If you're planning on moving in the middle of the holiday season, try tree alternatives like a chalkboard tree, tinsel tree or a small table top tree (we hear the nostalgic ceramic trees are back!)
  7. Dim the lights! Stringing up strands of holiday twinkle? Put the focus on the structure of your home and stick with less is best. Projector lights are another option. The set up is simple and you can shut it off when potential buyers are on their way.
  8. Curb appeal is still a thing during the winter months! Ditch the giant inflatables that bombard the front yard. Plus, the holiday season can be a very snowy season! Don't forget to shovel, sand, snow blow (or plow) your driveways and walkways!
  9. Remember – it will cost more for you to move during the holiday season! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are peak travel times, upping traffic and increasing your moving costs. Tip? Move mid-week to save some bucks.
  10. Speaking of moving, pack holiday items in clear, labeled (we're all about labeling) bins and ask movers to move the bins directly into your living room so you can get to decorating your new home - ASAP! And feel free to decorate this home the way you want!



Inheriting a Home

Before you think about selling an inherited property, there are things you can do to get ready. A step-by-step approach helps you avoid spending too much money or waiting too long before you take action.

Our real estate agents have consulted many clients who want advice after inheriting a home. While it's true most inherited homes eventually go on the market, it's important to take your time and make an informed decision.

Here's how you can make the most of your time and make the best choices:

  1. Cancel (Most) Recurring Bills Relating to the Home
    First things first, it's crucial to minimize the amount you pay to maintain the property. You can start by cutting out things like the internet that won't get any use while a home is vacant. If possible, leave the electricity and water running – these make it easier to show the home to buyers in its best light. If you have a security system, keep it running so the home will be protected.

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We know you live in your home while it is on the market, the best practices happen every day. Try to keep up with these tasks so last minute showings are a breeze to prep for.

The showing check-list:

You have 10 minutes:

  • Grab a laundry basket – throw all clutter and loose laundry laying around and stash in a closet (or your car when you leave)
  • Wipe down all countertops & sinks in the kitchen & bathroom with a damp cloth
  • Replace towels with your 'show' towels
  • Close the toilet lids
  • Check the bedrooms – make the beds and closets are tidy
  • Turn on all the lights in the house

You have an hour:

  • Do everything on the 10-minute list
  • Sweep and mop all hard-surfaced areas
  • Quickly run the vacuum on carpeted surfaces
  • Clean fingerprints off of the fridge, microwave, oven, all faucets, and mirrored surfaces
  • Clean the toilets and showers
  • Put all the shoes away and shake out the entry welcome mat
  • Double check for odors
  • Tidy the yard of toys, hoses and trash cans


Want more insider tips on selling your home? Contact one of our Realtors today!

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