Shawn Sullivan, Massachusetts Real Estate, Medford homes for sale, Somerville homes for sale


A home appraisal enables a seller to learn about the value of his or her house relative to the current housing market. As such, an appraisal represents an important opportunity, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the profits from his or her home sale.

Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for a home appraisal. If you prepare for an appraisal, you can use the appraisal results to achieve your home selling goals in no time at all.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to perform a home appraisal.

1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match the current value of your residence. Fortunately, if you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize home improvements and complete these upgrades. As a result, you may be able to boost your chances of receiving a favorable property valuation during a home appraisal.

Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you schedule an appraisal. That way, you can use the inspection results to determine which areas of your house need to be upgraded.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The present real estate sector will impact the valuation of your house. To establish realistic expectations for a home appraisal, it often helps to analyze the current housing market.

If homes are selling quickly, this likely indicates that a seller's market is in place. This market favors sellers and may enable you to receive plenty of offers if you establish a competitive price for your home.

Comparatively, if homes linger on the real estate market for many days, weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In this market, you may need to set an aggressive price to help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A home appraisal is an important part of the home selling journey. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a home selling expert who can help you maximize your property valuation during an appraisal.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your city or town. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you determine how to price your house to ensure you can stir up significant interest in your residence.

A real estate agent also is happy to help you review any offers on your home. If you're unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market.


If you want to maximize your home sale profits, it generally is a good idea to conduct a property appraisal before you list your residence. That way, you can receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. And with this property valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.

A home appraisal may prove to be a stressful experience, particularly for a seller who is unsure about the value of his or her house. Lucky for you, we're here to provide insights into the home appraisal process and ensure that you can prepare for this evaluation.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach a house appraisal with confidence.

1. Understand How a Home Appraisal Works

Although you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your house, it is important to remember that the condition of your residence is one of several factors that a home appraiser considers. In fact, an appraiser will evaluate the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses in your area and other factors to provide an accurate property valuation.

Oftentimes, it helps to work with a real estate agent if you plan to sell your home. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive immediate responses to any of your home appraisal concerns and questions.

2. Establish Realistic Expectations for Your Home

Let's face it – what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your residence's current value. If you set realistic expectations for your residence prior to an appraisal, you may be better equipped than ever before to accept the evaluation results.

It may be beneficial to look at the prices of houses in your area prior to an appraisal. This information can help you understand whether the housing market currently favors buyers or sellers – a factor that may influence the valuation of your house from an appraisal.

3. Explore Ways to Boost Your Home's Value

There are always options to bolster a house's exterior and interior. Therefore, following an appraisal, you should plan to complete home repairs that could help enhance your house's value.

As you search for ways to upgrade your residence, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and tips to help you improve your residence, even if you're working on a tight budget.

Of course, a real estate agent provides extensive assistance throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful house appraisal that leads to a fast, profitable home selling experience.


Promoting a house to potential buyers sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to stir up interest in your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you promote your residence to buyers.

1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

Amazing curb appeal is essential, particularly for a seller who wants to differentiate his or her house from other available residences. If your house boasts outstanding curb appeal, it is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. And as a result, buyers may be more likely to request showings to view your home in comparison to other available houses in your city or town.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and remove dirt and debris from exterior walkways. Also, devote time and resources to repair any damaged home siding.

If you require assistance with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to local contractors as well. In fact, these professionals can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab in no time at all.

2. Create an Engaging Home Listing

An engaging home listing makes it easy for buyers to learn about your home. It is clear and concise, and as such, enables buyers to determine if your home matches their expectations.

To craft an engaging home listing, it often helps to make a list of your home's features. If you include relevant information about your house in your listing, you can teach buyers about your residence.

In addition, you may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. With high-resolution images, you can show off the true beauty of your house to potential buyers.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you create a home listing, you can share this listing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. By doing so, you can make it simple for buyers to learn about your residence.

Don't forget to share your home listing with family members and friends as well. If loved ones can access your home listing, they can share it with others and help you promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible.

For a seller who is worried about generating interest in his or her home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you employ a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to buyers in any housing market, at any time. He or she will develop an in-depth plan to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will help you analyze any offers to purchase your home and ensure you can optimize your house sale earnings.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your residence to potential buyers and speed up the home selling journey.


The home selling journey sometimes is filled with hurdles that make it tough for an individual to optimize his or her property sale earnings. Fortunately, there are several shortcuts that a home seller can take to boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable property selling experience. These shortcuts include:

1. Hire a Home Cleaning Company

A home cleaning company can help you transform your house's interior from drab to fab. That way, this company can help you clean your home from top to bottom and ensure buyers can fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.

Of course, not all home cleaning companies are created equal, so you'll want to research local options. If you allocate time and resources to assess the home cleaning companies in your area, you can find a business that provides quality services at a budget-friendly price.

2. Employ a Professional Landscaper

If your lawn is filled with high grass and weeds, it may be tough to alleviate these issues on your own. Thankfully, professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. With a professional landscaper at your side, you can get the help you need to bolster your house's curb appeal.

Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. If you hire a professional landscaper to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you can quickly and effortlessly improve your residence's curb appeal. And as a result, your home will make a distinct impression on prospective buyers, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale down the line.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home and is happy to share his or her housing market expertise with you. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals and craft a personalized property selling strategy for you. A real estate agent next will promote your residence to buyers, along with host home showings and open house events. Then, if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine how to proceed.

Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent provides throughout the home selling journey, either. If you ever have concerns at any point during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is available to respond to them. He or she will help you make informed home selling decisions, and ultimately, achieve your desired results.

For home sellers who want to remove the guesswork commonly associated with the property selling journey, there is no need to worry. By using the aforementioned shortcuts, a home seller can streamline the process of selling his or her house.


Image by Sue Smith from Shutterstock

House owners frequently remodel, upgrade, or otherwise make changes in their homes for which they do not secure a permit. While some changes do not require permitting, others do. The challenge comes when you attempt to sell the home. You may run into a problem when a buyer makes an offer on such a property, and their inspector discovers unpermitted changes. Their mortgage lender may be unwilling to give them a loan until you remedy the permit issue.

Additionally, since building codes often change from year to year and certainly from decade to decade, and the property may have changed hands more than once before it came to you. Even if the upgrade occurred before you purchased it, you might be the one responsible for fixing it with your municipality.

What can you do? When you believe your home has unpermitted construction, learn as much as you can about it:

  • When did installation take place? Before you took ownership of the house? After? 

  • What is the construction? A pergola? A sunroom? That necessary second bathroom?

  • In the year or era of construction, was a permit required? Is there a permit in place of which you're not aware?

  • Can it be grandfathered?

What is “Grandfathering”?

The term “grandfather clause” refers to an exception to a code, restriction, or legal requirement. It allows anything already done legally “at the time” to continue even if a new limitation would not allow it. Regarding unpermitted home upgrades, if the construction was before the change in the code, check to see if the code requires retroactive compliance. In that case, exceptions typically pose a danger to anyone living in the home or on the property and need remediation. When code changes do not require retroactive compliance, knowing the date of the construction puts you in the clear.

Retroactive Permitting

When you discover retrofits, additions, upgrades, or renovations in your home, search city or county records for a permit. Ask for help to see if that type of work in the year(s) of its completion required one. If it needed a permit, and you do not find one in place, either request a retroactive authorization or plan to sell your home "as is" to a willing buyer. Municipalities often have methods in place to offer retroactive permits. Check to determine the total cost of the permitting process. In addition to the permit fee, you may have to pay fines, inspections, and other fees. Any modifications required because of the permitting process become your responsibility. When the total cost of obtaining retroactive permits and related fees and construction costs is higher than the return on your investment, consider the “as is” process.

Selling Your Home "As Is"

When you choose to sell your property "as is," you no longer need to disclose to the municipal building department that you may have unpermitted construction. Until you are sure you want to request a retroactive permit, do not disclose information when you communicate with building code offices that might trigger an inspection. 

In the selling process, however, fully disclose to your real estate agent all items you know about for certain. That is, tell them about additions or upgrades you installed while in ownership. Make sure a sale is not delayed or falls through because a lender requires a permit. Have an appropriate "as is" clause written into the sales contract. 

Confer with your real estate agent to determine if seeking a permit is in your best interested when selling with unpermitted additions.




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