Hopkinton MA Real Estate | Donna Coakley McGowan - Millennium Realty


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Selling your home can be a very exciting experience. From house-hunting to packing up your stuff, it can all be a very fun and rewarding process. However, there are some steps that must be taken to ensure you sell your house for the right price. You must understand what your house is worth, then it's vital to make sure your home is ready to sell. To do this effectively, there are some tips to consider.

Spruce Up the Landscaping

While the inside of the home holds great importance, curb appeal also matters quite a bit for many home shoppers. That being said, sprucing up your landscaping can give your home curb appeal home seekers will love. To do this effectively, we recommend hiring a professional landscaping company. However, you can also do these tasks yourself. Be sure to trim the bushes, mow the lawn and pull those pesky weeds.

Clean the Exterior

As you’re making improvements to your landscaping, you should do some additional cleaning while you’re at it. If the exterior of your home appears dirty, then it may be pretty difficult to land the sale. To clean effectively, using a pressure washer is key. This is a great way to clean those hard to reach areas, and the powerful water blasts can wipe away dirt that has been stuck to your home for years. Also, be sure to clean the gutters and siding.

Complete Repairs

While a dirty exterior can look very bad, damages can look even worse. That being said, making repairs to your home is vital when looking to sell. While you may be hesitant to fix that costly dishwasher, doing so can go a long way as you’re trying to sell your home for its asking price. It's important to put your home in the best condition as possible to increase your chance of a sale.

Get Rid of Odors

If you have a strange stench inside or outside your home, then it’s best to take care of this as soon as possible. A strange odor can make the home seeker believe you have a mold, insect or pest issue, so you’ll want to ensure that these smells are taken care of right away. A good tip here is to invite your friends or neighbors over to do a walkthrough. Since you live in the home, you may be used to the odor; an outside source can fill you in if something smells off.

Make Things Tidy

A dirty home is a leading reason why many home seekers won’t follow through with a purchase. This is mostly due to the fact that clutter can make a space appear smaller than it really is. And when selling your home, you want to make sure that it looks as big as possible. Put away clothes, clean up the counter, and put things in storage if a certain area looks cluttered.

By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can do your best to inch closer and closer to selling your home!


When you buy a home, there’s more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when you’re in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, you’ll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while you’re in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you don’t feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, you’re in good hands. If the type of loan that you’re looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


You’ll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. It’s not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that you’re able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, you’re going to need some proof that you’re pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. It’s just another part of the home buying process!


Getting the best price for your home may seem like a major challenge, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you what it takes to maximize the value of your home.

Now, let's take a look at three simple ways to optimize the value of a residence in any housing market, at any time.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

Are you operating in a buyer's market or a seller's market? A first-time home seller who understands the differences between these types of housing markets can boost his or her chances of getting the best possible results during the home selling journey.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can learn how long homes were available before they sold and learn about the demand for residences in your region.

Furthermore, don't forget to look at the prices of homes that are currently available and similar to your own. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than other home sellers to establish a competitive price for your house.

2. Conduct a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable to a first-time home seller, as it enables a property seller to learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine a residence's interior and exterior. This inspector will spend several hours evaluating a residence, and after the assessment is complete, provide a comprehensive report that details his or her findings.

Analyzing the results of a home appraisal report is paramount. This will allow a home seller to find out what he or she can do to upgrade a home. Then, a home seller can allocate the necessary time and resources to transform assorted home weaknesses into strengths.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a home selling expert, and as such, this housing market professional will do what it takes to help a first-time home seller optimize the value of a residence.

Typically, a real estate agent will help a home seller navigate all steps of the property selling journey. He or she will promote a residence to potential homebuyers, set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on a seller's behalf.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to help a home seller make informed decisions. This housing market professional will even teach a home seller about the real estate market and provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

For a first-time home seller, navigating the real estate market may seem virtually impossible. But with a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the home selling process and move one step closer to optimizing the value of your house.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller can increase the likelihood of receiving a great price for his or her residence.


After you accept an offer on a home, you likely will only have a few weeks to pack up your belongings and vacate the premises. As such, there are many questions that home sellers need to consider at this point, including:

1. Where am I going to live?

If you haven't figured out where you're going to live after your home closing, there is no need to panic. Consider all of your potential living options now, and you can plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, friends and family members may be willing to provide you with a temporary place to live. These loved ones may enable you to stay in their houses until you buy a new residence. Or, in some instances, you may be able to permanently move in with friends and family members.

On the other hand, if you enjoy being a homeowner, you may want to kick off a home search right away. This will enable you to find a new place to live in the city or town of your choice. Also, if you work quickly, you may be able to finalize your home purchase around the same time that you sell your current house.

2. What is the homebuyer's next step?

In most cases, a homebuyer will have a set amount of time to schedule a home inspection after you accept his or her offer. Once the home inspection is complete, the buyer will receive a report that provides insights into the condition of your house.

For home sellers, a home inspection can be stressful. If a property inspector discovers problems with a residence, a buyer may choose to walk away from a home purchase or ask a seller to complete various home renovations.

When it comes to selling a house, it pays to be honest. If you provide honest responses to a homebuyer's questions about your residence, you can help the buyer make an informed purchase decision. Plus, with this approach, you can minimize the risk that a home inspection may lead a buyer to rescind his or her offer.

3. What will I need to do to finalize the home sale?

The time between accepting a home offer and reaching the closing date may seem endless. However, a patient home seller will be able to stay calm, cool and collected, even if challenges arise along the way.

As a home seller, you should try to do everything you can to reach the finish line of a property sale. If you maintain consistent communication with a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the home selling cycle.

A real estate agent works on a home seller's behalf and will do everything possible to minimize potential pitfalls. Thus, this housing market professional is happy to respond to a home seller's questions to ensure this individual is fully supported in the weeks and days leading up to a home closing.

Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.


New windows can work wonders for a house. Depending on how old your windows are, replacements can make your home less drafty, and much quieter, but they can also spruce up a room that’s starting to look dated.

When you replace your windows you also might see a drop in your heating bill. However, the cost of replacing windows is steeper than you’re ever likely to save on heat. So, if you’re thinking of replacing your windows just to save cash, in the long run there might be better ways of doing so.

In this article, we’re going to talk about choosing replacement windows for your home. We’ll walk you through the different types of windows so you can find the type that fits your needs. Read on for our replacement windows buyer’s guide.

Choosing the right window style

There are endless types of windows that you could find in a given home. However, four main styles are what we normally think of when talking about replacement windows.

Single vs double-hung windows

First, there are single and double-hung windows. In double-hung windows, both the top and bottom sash are operable, or able to be opened. Being able to utilize both sashes is beneficial for airflow. Opening the top sash will allow the warm air escape, opening the bottom sash will allow cool air to enter.

In single-hung windows, only the lower sash is able to be opened and closed. But otherwise, they are very similar to double-hung windows.

Both of these types of windows come in variants that allow you to pivot the sashes inward to clean the exterior glass. However, if you buy single-hung windows you’ll only be able to wash the lower sash. Keep that in mind if you’re buying windows for a second floor or attic window.

Sliding windows

Sliding windows are those which move horizontally on their tracks. They produce good ventilation and are easy to use. However, just like single-hung and double hung windows, they do slightly obstruct your view at the midpoint when closed. The rectangular shape of sliding windows, however, means you won’t likely be able to install an air conditioner.

Casement style windows

The last main type of window we’ll talk about are casement style windows. This type of window operates on a hinge like a door would. When they’re fully opened, they produce good ventilation. When they’re fully closed, they don’t obstruct the view at all.

However, just like with sliding windows, you won’t be able to install an AC unit. Furthermore, this type of window is more prone to malfunction due to the crank and hinge system, and cranking it open and closed all the time could be a minor annoyance for some homeowners.

Frame materials

Window frames come in four main materials--vinyl, wood, clad-wood, and aluminum.

  • Vinyl is the most common. They look clean and modern, and they also resist heat and condensation making them easy to maintain.

  • Wood frames are regaining popularity. Since they often come unfinished, you can easily customize them to your home.

  • Clad-wood frames are wood on the interior and aluminum on the exterior, making them rugged and resistant to weathering and rot.

  • Aluminum windows are economical, lightweight, and easy to maintain.


Now that you know a bit more about windows, you’ll be better equipped to decide what type of replacements to purchase for your home.




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