Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/12/2020

Let's face it – no condo seller wants to deal with a high-pressure negotiation. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selling your condo so you can avoid stressful negotiations with property buyers.

What does it take to remain calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a condo buyer? Here are three tips that every condo seller needs to know.

1. Consider the Condo Buyer's Perspective

As an informed condo seller, it is important to consider both sides of a negotiation. By doing so, you can evaluate a condo buyer's perspective and plan your next move accordingly.

For condo sellers, the goal is to get the best price for a property. As such, a condo seller who performs extensive housing market research probably understands the true value of his or her residence.

On the other hand, a condo buyer is likely to conduct real estate market research on his or her own. This property buyer also will assess the current condition of a condo in relation to his or her budget and submit an offer that accounts for these factors.

Ultimately, a condo seller and buyer should try to find common ground. That way, both parties can work together to get the best results out of a negotiation.

2. Review All of Your Options

After a condo seller accepts a buyer's proposal, the next step likely involves a property inspection. At this point, a condo acquisition may move forward, or a condo seller might need to rethink his or her plan.

If a condo inspector discovers myriad problems with a property, a condo buyer may ask the seller to complete repairs or lower the price of the property. Meanwhile, a condo seller will need to review all of his or her options quickly.

Following a condo inspection, it is important to consider the results of the evaluation.

If a condo seller discovers major repairs are required, he or she should consider completing the repairs or lowering the price on a property.

Or, if a condo buyer asks for a major price reduction even though only minimal repairs are needed, a seller should be unafraid to say "No" to the buyer's requests.

It is important for a condo seller to feel comfortable with any decision that is made throughout the property selling cycle. Thus, if a condo seller is uncomfortable with completing property repairs or reducing the price of a residence after a property inspection, he or she should be ready to decline a buyer's demands.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will handle negotiations between a condo seller and buyer. Therefore, this housing market professional can play a pivotal role in a seller's ability to get the best price for a condo.

Consulting with a real estate agent who possesses condo experience is key. This real estate agent can keep you up to date during negotiations with condo buyers and ensure you are fully satisfied with the final results.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your condo.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 12/29/2019

When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.

Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.

Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.

Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.

1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one

When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.

To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.

2. Mold and mildew

Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.

Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.

3. Deep dusting

You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.

If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.

4. Gutters are a giveaway

Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.

5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost

If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.

Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/11/2019

If you intend to list your residence in the near future, you may want to complete various property renovations. In fact, there are many reasons to perform home renovations before you add your house to the real estate market, and these reasons include:

1. You can revamp the look and feel of your home.

If your home has a drab interior or exterior, now may be the perfect time to update your residence. That way, you can reinvent your house and make it an attractive choice for homebuyers.

As you look for ways to renovate your house, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. A house inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase. However, performing an inspection before you list your residence may help you establish home renovation priorities.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess a residence both inside and out. A homeowner then will receive an inspection report that provides insights into a house's strengths and weaknesses. And with this report in hand, a homeowner can allocate time and resources to prioritize home renovations and find ways to upgrade his or her residence before listing it.

2. You can increase the likelihood of a quick house sale.

A house that boasts outstanding curb appeal is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. Thus, this home may be more likely than others to stir up lots of interest among buyers, which may lead to a quick house sale.

If you want to speed up the house selling process, you should perform home renovations. Because the sooner you update your residence, the sooner you may be able to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home.

3. You can boost your house's value.

Home renovations may help you bolster the value of your home. These renovations also can help you differentiate your residence from other available houses – something that is exceedingly important in a fierce real estate market.

When it comes to renovating your home, it may be helpful to work with a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be better equipped than ever before to plan ahead for home renovation projects.

A real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home renovation experts in your city or town. For example, if you want to improve your home's interior, a real estate agent can offer interior decorator recommendations. Or, if you need to perform roof repairs, a real estate agent can help you find the top local roofing companies.

Before you list your home, complete home renovations – you'll be glad you did. If you perform myriad house renovations, you could help your residence stand out in a crowded real estate market. Best of all, home renovations could make it easy for you to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/4/2019

In some instances, it may be beneficial to reject an offer to purchase your home. Because if a homebuying proposal fails to meet your expectations, you may want to wait for another offer to come your way.

Reviewing a homebuying proposal and determining whether to reject this offer can be tricky. But we're here to help you evaluate an offer to purchase so you can decide the best course of action and feel confident about your choice.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you assess an offer to purchase and determine whether to decline.

1. Review the Local Housing Market

The housing market in your city or town is a major factor in the property selling journey. If you're selling your residence in a buyer's market, you likely face steep competition to sell your house and maximize its value. Comparatively, if you're operating in a seller's market, there may be an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers in place.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold residences and how long these properties were listed before they sold. You may want to consider the prices of currently available houses in your area that are similar to your residence too. With this housing market data in hand, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and take a data-driven approach to decide how to proceed with an offer to purchase.

2. Weigh Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

You believe your home is great, but you also realize that your residence is far from perfect. As such, it often helps to weigh your residence's strengths and weaknesses relative to an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.

For example, if a homebuyer submits a competitive offer to purchase your home in spite of its exterior damage, you may want to accept this proposal. On the other hand, if a buyer submits a "lowball" offer on your recently upgraded house, you may want to decline this proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about whether to reject an offer to purchase, there is no need to worry. You can always hire a real estate agent, and this housing market professional can provide comprehensive support throughout the property selling journey.

A real estate agent is ready to help you in any way possible. If you need help listing your residence and promoting it to prospective buyers, a real estate agent can assist you. Or, if you want to find innovative ways to enhance your residence's curb appeal, a real estate agent can provide home exterior upgrade recommendations.

Of course, a real estate agent will work with you to review any offer to purchase your house. You and your real estate agent together can discuss the pros and cons of a homebuying proposal and make a decision that corresponds to your house selling goals.

Take the guesswork out of reviewing an offer to purchase – use the aforementioned tips, and you can decide whether rejecting a homebuying proposal is the best option.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/14/2019

If you’re trying to sell your home, there are many things you need to think about. One of the reasons that it’s wise to hire a realtor is that they can handle a lot of the difficult stuff for you. From home showings to phone calls to sealing the deal, your realtor will be with you every step of the way. 


One thing that you can do to help your realtor out is trying to avoid things that will scare off buyers in your home. While some things are out of your control (we’re looking at you radon), you can check and remedy a lot of problems before a buyer even sets foot in your home.


Leaky, Aging Roof


Roofs last around 20-25 years. If it’s been forever since you have paid attention to your roof, you’ll need to take a second look before selling. Your buyer is going to either ask for some kind of rebate or go for a home with a newer roof. Roofs are one of the things that home inspectors often see the most problems with.  



Outdated Gutters


If your gutters are in disrepair, you might want to have them cleaned or replace them altogether. Faulty gutters are often what causes problems with the roof. If rain water or snow melt can’t properly drain from the gutters, more leaks may be found in the home.  


Old Appliances


If your appliances are outdated, consider replacing them. Buyers don’t want to move into a new home only to need to head out to buy a new refrigerator, range, or dryer. Buyers like things to be ready for them, and they’re willing to pay for it. You’ll definitely get a return on your investment when you buy new appliances.    


Outdated Or Neglected HVAC System


It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance when it comes to your heating and cooling system. Keep it clean and keep regular maintenance appointments. These systems are costly to repair and buyers do not want to deal with these issues immediately (or ever if they could avoid them!) Get the HVAC system serviced before you put a for sale sign out front to keep your buyers happy throughout the inspection and sale process.   


High Price


Your realtor will be a big help in assisting you to price your home right. They will perform a CMA (comparative market analysis) in order to help you find the sweet spot for pricing your home. An overpriced listing will make buyers wonder. A property must be priced right in order to get buyers through the door to even look at the home.