Paula Callanan - Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. | Needham, MA Real Estate, Wellesley, MA Real Estate


Home sellers often face an uphill climb to maximize the value of their residences, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

In many instances, dozens or hundreds of home sellers may compete against one another to generate interest in their properties. Plus, home sellers who fail to allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance their residences may struggle to differentiate their houses from others.

Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways for home sellers to gain a competitive edge in any real estate market, at any time. Some of the best ways for home sellers to gain a competitive advantage over rivals include:

1. Focus on Improving Your Home's Curb Appeal

You only get one chance to make a positive first impression on homebuyers, so why not make the most of it? Ultimately, home sellers who spend some time revamping a house's curb appeal may be able to generate substantial interest from homebuyers.

Simple home exterior maintenance tasks such as mowing the front lawn, trimming the bushes and clearing walkways can make a world of difference in homebuyers' eyes. Thus, home sellers who complete various home exterior enhancements could accelerate the home selling process.

2. Be Ready to Act Quickly on Offers

As a home seller, try to be as flexible as possible, particularly when it comes time to accept, reject or counter a homebuyer's offer.

A home seller who conducts plenty of housing market research will understand the true value of his or her residence. As such, this home seller will be able to act quickly and determine whether a homebuyer's proposal meets his or her needs.

In addition, be ready to negotiate with homebuyers. And remember, if a homebuyer submits an initial offer that is close to your expectations, you can always counter his or her proposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Professional

When it comes to selling a home, there is no better option than hiring an experienced real estate agent.

Your real estate agent will help you set up home showings and open houses, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and help you handle home selling negotiations. This real estate professional also can provide feedback about your home, ensuring that you can make the necessary home improvements to help your residence stand out from others.

Furthermore, your real estate agent is ready to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time. If you ever have questions about how to price your home competitively or how to proceed with an offer on your house, your real estate agent will be able to offer expert guidance.

With an experienced real estate agent at your side, you can navigate the home selling process with ease. This real estate professional will go the extra mile to ensure that your residence will impress homebuyers. As a result, your real estate agent can help you gain a competitive edge over home selling rivals.


In the U.S. twenty pounds of food per person is wasted each month. That’s a lot of food. And when you’re trying to save money and stick to a budget that number can be disheartening. No one wants to throw their hard earned money away in the trash. Below are a few ways you can prevent food waste each week and save money in the process! Be prepared - Planning out meals ahead of time is key to avoid food waste. It not only helps prevent last-minute impulse purchases but it also helps you save money each time you take a trip. When you buy only what you need each item you purchase is guaranteed to be used up and avoid the trash bin. Take meal planning an extra step by choosing recipes that call for similar ingredients so you can buy in bulk and save. You can also create a list of go-to meals and their ingredients to have on hand for busy nights when you don’t have time to plan ahead. Include slots in your meal plan for leftovers throughout the week to make sure they are eaten before going to waste. In the store - Buy only what you need by including the amounts of each ingredient your recipes call for on your shopping list. If possible buy loose produce and from bulk bins to ensure you are only taking home what you really need. Buying in bulk is tempting and can seem like you are saving money, however, if you don’t use all of it up you are actually wasting money. Frozen veggies and fruits are a great option for those who never seem to be able to cook fresh produce before they start to go bad. Fill your cart with less and make more frequent trips to guarantee you only buy what you will truly need and use throughout the week. Before the store - Use up what is sitting in your cupboards and fridge before shopping. Look for recipes that include what you already have on hand and add them to your meal plan. Another great habit is to go through your pantry and take note of what needs to be tossed. By taking note of what ends up in the trash you will know when to buy smaller portions or to keep an item off your list. Be smart about use by and sell by dates before tossing something into the trash. Usually, these dates are a loose guideline that the manufacturer has decided upon. Do you research on best by and sell by dates to decide how long an item is really good for. During the week - Freeze portions of items you don’t use all at once of and can’t find in smaller portions. Make the most out of leftovers by having a weekly buffet night or using your creativity and repurposing them into a new meal. Fruit and vegetables that are on their way out can be frozen to be used for smoothies and juices or tossed into casseroles and soups. Practice smart fridge and freezer storage, drawers and shelves are labeled with their intended purpose for a reason! Preparing foods ahead of time for cooking and snacking will make them easier to reach for and more likely to move off of your fridge shelf before going bad. Keeping your fridge organized will also be more likely to be eaten. After all, out of sight out of mind and if something is pushed to the back it is more likely to be forgotten. Food waste is a big problem in our culture but it doesn’t have to be in your household. With some planning and organization, you can significantly cut back on how much food you throw away and save yourself money in the process. Happy saving!

A home seller likely faces an uphill struggle, regardless of whether he or she is about to enter a buyer's or seller's market. Fortunately, with a home selling checklist, a seller can plan ahead for the home selling journey. As a result, this seller can increase the likelihood of a quick, profitable home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three things to include in your home selling checklist.

1. Home Repairs

Although you've allocated significant time and resources to maintain your home's condition over the years, even minor home problems may slow down the home selling process. But if you identify home problems today, you can resolve these issues before you list your residence.

Consider the homebuyer's perspective as you assess each room of your house. If you notice cracks in the walls or ceiling, defective light fixtures or other home issues, you should correct these problems as soon as possible.

In addition, it may be helpful to conduct a home inspection. If a home inspector evaluates the condition of your house, you may be able to learn about assorted home problems that you otherwise might not notice on your own. Then, you can fix these issues and ensure they won't impact your ability to maximize the value of your house.

2. Home Price

What you paid for your house several years ago is unlikely to match the value of your house today. Luckily, if you study the housing market, you should have no trouble establishing a competitive price for your residence.

Examine the prices of recently sold houses in your area that are similar to your own. That way, you can establish a price range for your house.

Also, it often helps to hire a home appraiser. After a home appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation, and you can use this figure to set a competitive price for your residence.

3. Real Estate Agent

Although it may be tempting to try to sell your house on your own, it usually is a great idea to hire a real estate agent. If you work with a real estate agent, you can avoid potential home selling hurdles. Plus, a real estate agent possesses comprehensive industry expertise and will help you achieve the best possible results throughout the home selling journey.

Dozens of real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. To find the best real estate agent in your area, reach out to local real estate agents and learn about their expertise. Next, set up face-to-face meetings, and you can find a real estate agent who can help you accomplish your home selling goals.

Don't forget to ask a real estate agent for client referrals too. If you can contact a real estate agent's past clients, you can learn what it's like to work with this housing market professional before you make your final hiring decision.

Ready to sell your house? Include the following items in your home selling checklist, and you can boost your chances of a fast, seamless home selling experience.


Every king has his castle and in every castle there must be a throne. And in every castle a man needs a place of solace as well. That’s where the man cave comes in. A man needs A place where he can truly kickback and relax. But what really makes up the perfect man cave? There are a few pieces that every home needs for a man cave to truly be complete. Here’s some items to help you create the best man cave on the block: 1. Complete home theater system Boys love their toys. What man cave is complete without a giant TV and a great speaker system? You’ll need an entertainment stand large enough to hold the largest TV that you can afford. Next, you’ll need shelving to accommodate items like routers, speakers, DVDs and all the other entertainment essentials. The right furniture A super comfortable chair is a must in the man cave. Home furniture stores even sell chairs with a built in speakers. For guys’ night, you might even need a sofa for additional seating. All of the furniture in the man cave should be manly in design of course. Leather furniture works perfectly for the purpose of the man cave. Leather is comfortable yet sleek and not feminine in nature. The right setting If you’re lucky enough to have an in-home bar, That’s the perfect place to put your man cave. You want to be sure that the lighting in the man cave isn’t too bright, yet you need to see what’s going on. The man cave should be placed around an atmosphere that’s perfect for hanging out. If you’re shopping for house, and your guy loves hanging with his buddies, you may want to add a “man cave space” to your home search wish list. Remember the fun stuff No man cave will be complete without a pool table or a ping-pong table. If there’s one thing to know about guys it’s that they love to be competitive. Make sure the room that you select for your man cave is large enough to hold one or more of these items. Cool decor For the sports lover a man cave is a great place to put sports memorabilia on display. The walls of the room can be filled with things from your favorite team. Don’t forget you can also add liquor and beer brand items into the mix of your man cave decor. Essential appliances Don’t forget that you will need replace to keep your beers cold in the man cave. Some appliances will be essential. You will probably need a fridge and a sink to start off. Frosty beer glasses would be a nice touch as well. It would also be a plus to have all of the bartending essentials present somewhere in the man cave. These are just a few ideas to help you design and implement the perfect man cave in your home. No matter what kind of man cave you dream of, it’s possible to create it!

As a homebuyer, entering the real estate market with insights into what it takes to find the perfect house is essential.

Becoming an expert homebuyer, however, may seem impossible at times. Lucky for you, we're here to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.

What does it take to become an expert homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Look at Real Estate Market Trends

The housing market ebbs and flows. Therefore, a seller's market today may transform into a buyer's market tomorrow.

Ultimately, the real estate market fluctuates constantly, and you'll want to learn as much as possible about the housing sector to ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

In a buyer's market, there are usually more home sellers than buyers. This means homebuyers may be better equipped than ever before to secure a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

On the other hand, a seller's market features an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of sellers. For homebuyers who operate in a seller's market, they may be forced to submit competitive offers on homes quickly, or risk missing out on a dream residence to a rival.

When you study the housing market, don't forget to check out the prices of residences that recently sold. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of how much you'll likely need to pay to acquire a first-rate house based on the current state of the housing market.

2. Learn How a Mortgage Works

What differentiates a fixed-rate mortgage from an adjustable-rate option? An expert homebuyer will know the ins and outs of assorted mortgage options and select one that corresponds to his or her finances.

To learn about mortgages and how they work, you'll want to meet with credit unions and banks. These lenders can describe the different types of mortgages and the pros and cons associated with them.

Also, an expert homebuyer will get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able to stick to a price range as he or she searches for the ideal home.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – no homebuyer can afford to make mistakes. Fortunately, you can work with a real estate agent to receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent boasts the skills and know-how needed to streamline the homebuying process. He or she may have many years of housing market experience and is happy to teach you about the opportunities and challenges associated with buying a house.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle. He or she can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can focus on what's important – finding a terrific house at an affordable price.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert homebuyer.




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