Thursday, September 01, 2016

Expired Listing - Moving on after your home doesn’t sell the first time.

Everyone says selling your home is one of life’s great emotional rollercoasters. From making the leap to moving day, the process is one of surprises, anticipation, and (hopefully) celebration.  But what happens if your home doesn’t sell?

If your home’s been on the market for the length of your contract with your real estate agent and it hasn’t sold, your home is on its way to becoming “an expired listing.” At this point, you have to make a choice whether to continue with your agent, find a new agent, or delay your dreams and take your home off the market. Still, the sting of the experience lingers. How do you move on from an expired listing? Here are some tips to learn and even grow from the experience:

1. Admit it happened and acknowledge it’s not uncommon. It can be tough to tell people that your home didn’t sell. But you’re not alone. It happens often and it happens for a variety of reasons. Many factors influence this, but if you’re going to make your next move, you have to be open to learning what you can from the heartbreak.

2. Look for lessons, but avoid blame. The number one reason homes don’t sell is a failure to price accurately. This isn’t your fault and it isn’t your agent’s fault… it’s a shared responsibility. Did you feel a price was one you “had to get”? Did your agent fail to present a compelling case for an accurate price? Were there other factors besides price you should consider as part of the whole package?

3. Abandon worrying about what is beyond your control. If you’re selling in a buyer’s market, there’s nothing you can do about it. If the market crashes, or they discover pesticides in your neighborhood’s aquifer and values plummet, you aren’t responsible and shouldn’t feel the burden of guilt or anxiety. It’s not easy, but sort through what’s truly not your fault and try to distance yourself from those factors.

4. Decide on what you can do next. Review your agent’s approach to selling and your comfort with the relationship. Was there enough communication? Do you feel the home was marketed to the standards of the market? Did you do all you could to make the house welcoming to buyers? Were there curb appeal issues you might want to resolve? Do you want to try again, or should you take a break?

5. Act on next steps. Decide if you’d like to keep your agent or find a new one. If you move on, take your lessons with you, but don’t demonize the past. Accept, forgive, and get back to the dream!

Listing expire? I can help: 

Jim Armstrong

If you know someone who recently tried to sell their home and couldn’t get it to move in today’s market, you know it can be heartbreaking. Maybe this piece I wrote about helping frustrated sellers move on can help, so please pass it along.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Here's Why You Should Totally Snoop When House Hunting

  • Here's Why You Should Totally Snoop When House Hunting

    This house-hunting checklist gives you carte blanche (well, almost) when viewing potential homes.
  • Ah, house hunting. It may technically be shopping, but it can feel more like breaking and entering. Even though you know the seller wants you there, does anyone really want you traipsing through their bedroom? Or looking through their closet? Or digging around in their basement? Awwwwkward.
    But here's something that should feel weirder: buying a home without knowing absolutely everything you can about it. The only way to avoid the second awkwardness is to face the first head on. When you're house hunting, don't think of poking around in someone else's home as nosiness. It's a smart, must-do investigation.

    Here are six things you should absolutely do when viewing a home — no matter how awkward it feels.

    1.  Soak in the Bathroom

    Home buyers tend to peer into the bathroom for as long as they'd want a stranger to examine theirs: not long at all. But this isn't the time to be quick. Josh Myler, a REALTOR® with The Agency in Los Angeles, encourages buyers to take a long, close perusal of the water closet.

    Flush the toilet to find any backups in the system, and turn on the faucets to check the water pressure. Besides being annoying during showers, low pressure can indicate problems with the plumbing.

    "Water pressure can really cause headaches down the line if you don't dig in before you make an offer," says Myler.

    But always, always check with your agent first. In some markets, or with some sellers, it's considered impolite to actually use the toilet.

    Or, if the owners already have moved, the water may be turned off. And that could be, ummm, awkward.

    2.  Dig Around in the Closets

    OK, don't actually go through the owner's stuff, but take a close look to assess how much storage space there is, and decide if it'll meet your needs.

    "People don't like to open closets because they think it's rude, but if you're buying the house, it's one of the biggest investments," says Myler. "You want to make sure there's enough room for everything you need."

    Before you step foot in a single house, take inventory of your current storage space, and know how much you'd like your next home to have.

    3.  Poke Around the Attic and Basement

    Don't just stick your head inside and call it good. Give the basement and attic a thorough investigation. If there are belongings piled against the wall, request they be moved before a second viewing.

    "I get very nervous when I see a packed basement and stuff against the wall," says Kyle Alfriend, lead agent of The Alfriend Group in Dublin, Ohio.

    That's because hidden walls and ceilings can conceal water damage, including peeling or discolored paint, rotting wooden accents, or a white, chalky substance on the wall, which indicates water intrusion.

    As for the attic, a quick glance should tell you what you need to know. Are there rat droppings? Molding wood? Or is it generally clean, even if dusty? BYO flashlight for an enlightened examination.

    4.  Meet the Neighbors

    Sorry, introverts. There's no better way to get a read on the neighborhood than by directly asking the actual neighbors. Pop by their home and strike up a chat.

    It's a twofer: Not only might you get valuable information about the area — from the noisy bar on the street behind you to eager babysitters on the block — but paying attention to their attitude speaks volumes about your potential relationship with your maybe-neighbors. Do they seem excited to meet you? Or are they standoffish?

    "It's not what they answer, but how they answer that will be very illuminating," says Myler.

    5.  Be an Amateur Investigator

    Anything seem fishy? Take your suspicions to city hall. If there are additions, pull the permits or get help from your buyer's agent. You certainly don't want to be responsible for tearing out that beautiful porch because the previous owners didn't comply with the law.

    Also, check the certificate of occupancy and any easements — especially if you're hoping to make any major changes. Both are public record. An easement simply gives someone the right to use property they don't own. Often that other someone is your local government that needs it for public services, such as water.

    Myler remembers a friend who purchased a home with the goal of building a pool, only to find out an easement for the sewer line cut directly through the middle of the yard.

    Another common use is a shared driveway, such as when one homeowner has to pass through another homeowner's property to reach their home.

    6.  Ask Questions

    If your sleuthing finds something concerning, don't panic.

    "Many times, there's stuff that, at first glance, is real scary," says Alfriend. "Often people will write off a house without digging into it, but there's usually a perfectly logical, understandable reason, and it's not a problem."

    Say you find a gaping hole in the drywall. It might be a huge red flag — or they might have rambunctious kids they absolutely plan to clean up after.

    "Boys can wrestle and put a foot through the thing, and it's 30 minutes before a showing," Alfriend says. There's not much the sellers can do at that point.

    With any problem, your first step is simple: Ask.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Salem Restaurant for Sale Salem, MA 01970

Property Site:
One of the longest operating restaurants in Salem, this is your opportunity to own a turn-key Italian restaurant that can make money for you from day one. Excellent potential for increased sales from the loyal customer base plus new clientele. Located downtown on Salem's busy "Red Line" Heritage walking trail, this restaurant seats 50+ inside with an additional 15-20 on the outside patios. Steps from the pedestrian mall, Old Town Hall, and the Farmer's Market. 5 minute walk to the commuter train. All equipment, furniture, fixtures, signage and goodwill included. Includes a year round beer & wine license.
Bathrooms: 0.00
Price: $169,900

For more information about this property, please contact James Armstrong at 978-394-6736 or You can also text 3532582 to 67299.

MLS ID: 71990989