MaryAnne Sannicandro - REALTOR® - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | Framingham, MA Real Estate


Listing a house may seem like a long, arduous process, especially for a first-time home seller. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert support at each stage of the home selling journey.

What does it take to hire a diligent real estate agent to ensure you can sell your house? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers employ the ideal real estate agent.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Search

Search far and wide for a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. With an extensive search, you can learn about the pros and cons of working with various real estate agents in your area and plan accordingly.

Don't hesitate to reach out to friends and family members for real estate agent recommendations. If friends and family members enjoyed outstanding experiences with certain real estate agents, it may be a great idea to contact the housing professionals who have helped your loved ones achieve their home selling goals.

Also, look for real estate agents who boast many years of industry experience. These housing market professionals are likely to understand the ins and outs of selling a residence. As such, they may be better equipped than other real estate agents to help you optimize the value of your house.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

If you find a real estate agent who seems like a viable candidate to help you sell your residence, it is important to set up a face-to-face meeting. That way, you can ask questions and determine whether this individual is the right person to assist you.

During a face-to-face meeting, find out what a real estate agent has to say about your residence. Typically, a diligent real estate agent will conduct extensive research before meeting with you and should be able to offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially for those who are selling a house for the first time. And if you have questions for a real estate agent, a face-to-face meeting provides an excellent opportunity to get your queries addressed by a housing market expert.

3. Get Client Referrals

Ask real estate agents for client referrals. Then, reach out to past clients so you can better understand how a particular real estate agent has supported home sellers over the years.

If a client offers glowing recommendations of a real estate agent, this housing market professional may prove to be the best choice. On the other hand, a client who encountered problems with a particular real estate agent may help you avoid making the wrong decision as well.

Ultimately, the right real estate agent is someone who can help you sell your house and keep you informed as the home selling journey moves forward. And if you spend some time learning about the real estate agents in your city or town, you should have no trouble employing a top-notch real estate agent who can take the guesswork out of selling your residence.


Believe it or not, your unfinished basement can make or break your home in the eyes of a prospective homebuyer. And ultimately, your basement may dictate whether a homebuyer makes an offer or considers other residences. An unfinished basement represents an opportunity for home sellers around the country. And those who devote the necessary time and resources to improve the quality of their homes' unfinished basements could reap the rewards of a fast sale. So what does it take to revitalize an unfinished basement? Here are three basement improvement tips that every home seller needs to know about: 1. Use floor mats. Your basement's concrete floor likely remains cold and unattractive. Fortunately, foam mats can help you add a splash of color and improve your basement floor's appearance instantly. Foam mats come in a variety of shapes and colors, ensuring you'll be able to find mats that fit your basement floor beautifully. Plus, these mats can help you showcase the true value of your unfinished basement to prospective homebuyers. Whether homebuyers want to use an unfinished basement as a workout area, a den or a workspace, you can leverage floor mats to create an awe-inspiring setting that helps transform a bland basement into an exceptional one. 2. Install storage. Want to show off the massive amount of space available in your home's unfinished basement? Installing shelves and using storage units to your advantage enables you to highlight how an unfinished basement can serve as a great storage area. From storing sports gear to tools and everything in between, your basement can serve as a one-of-a-kind storage space that enables you to keep excess items out of sight. And with the right storage units in place, you'll have no trouble showing prospective homebuyers what it's like to stay organized and maximize the space available in your unfinished basement. 3. Stop the moisture. Notice a wet, damp smell that lingers across your basement? Moisture likely is the culprit behind this odor. However, you can eliminate moisture and the associated smell by picking up a dehumidifier. With a dehumidifier, you will be able to eliminate moisture without delay. And in the event of moisture that causes leaks and puddles in your basement, you may need to consider weatherproofing your basement to keep moisture at bay consistently. When it comes to your unfinished basement, you'll want to do everything you can to ensure it serves as an asset – not a liability. But those who are committed to improving the quality of an unfinished basement can take the right steps to minimize moisture and its associated odor. Remember, your unfinished basement is an important part of your home. And even though your basement may be one of the final areas a prospective homebuyer examines, you'll want to make this space as attractive as possible. Enhance the quality of an unfinished basement to ensure this space can help you boost your home's attractiveness to prospective homebuyers. By doing so, you may be able to increase your residence's value and generate interest in your home from a wide range of homebuyers.

home fireplaceOdds are if you're reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it's on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there's a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.

Step 1: Do your research

Photography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn't mean you can't take photos that will stand out--with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet. Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they're taken from and the lighting they use. You'll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That's because they're probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.

a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

Step 2: Know your equipment

Equipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world. In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you'll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.

Step 3: Room staging matters

Have you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy. Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there's something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo. Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don't want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone's home with their children's portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they're spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.

Step 4: Take many photos

Have you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you'll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you're shooting digital, you don't have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you're on a smartphone. Taking hundreds of photos isn't an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo. Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don't forget to share them with us!

When it comes to selling a condo, there is no shortage of real estate agents to help you.

Real estate agents are available nationwide, and many promise to help condo sellers get the best prices for their properties. As such, it can be difficult to select the right real estate who will ensure you can optimize the value of your condo.

What differentiates an excellent real estate agent from a mediocre one? Here are three factors that condo sellers need to consider when the pursue real estate agents.

1. Experience

Does a real estate agent have condo selling experience? If not, you may be best served selecting a real estate professional who knows what it takes to navigate the condo selling process successfully.

Remember, selling a condo is different from selling a house. There may be homeowners' association (HOA) conditions and fees that a condo owner will need to consider. Meanwhile, condo living usually affords less privacy in contrast to homes, and condos must be promoted to the right groups of property buyers accordingly.

A real estate agent with condo experience will know how to highlight the benefits of a condo to the right groups of property buyers consistently. By doing so, he or she will ensure a condo seller can get the best results possible.

2. Communication Skills

Will a real estate agent keep you informed during each stage of the condo selling journey? Communication is a key part of any successful relationship, and the same holds true for the relationship between a condo seller and his or her real estate agent.

A condo seller should be able to reach out to his or her real estate agent with concerns and questions at any time. Meanwhile, a real estate agent should be able to provide expert support as the condo selling process progresses.

Perhaps most important, a condo seller and real estate agent should feel comfortable working together. That way, both parties can maintain constant contact and work together to accelerate the condo selling process.

3. Attention to Detail

An average real estate agent may perform the bare essentials to sell a condo. On the other hand, an exceptional real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to promote a condo to a broad array of property buyers at all times.

Look for a real estate agent who is unafraid to think outside the box. This real estate professional likely is open to new ideas and will work with you to develop a personalized plan to sell your condo.

Also, find a real estate agent who strives for perfection. You don't want to settle for a standard offer on your condo, and you should find a real estate agent who won't settle for inferior results as well.

Take the guesswork out of selling your condo – consider the aforementioned factors as you evaluate real estate agents, and you can work with a real estate professional who meets or surpasses your expectations.


A garage sale represents a great opportunity for a home seller. This event enables you to eliminate clutter from your home as well as earn extra cash that you may be able to put toward your future residence. As such, a garage sale should not be taken lightly, and you should do everything you can to prep for this event. So what does it take to host a successful garage sale? Here are three tips that you need to know: 1. Make Your Garage Sale a Family-Friendly Event. It's tough to put together a garage sale on your own. However, you may be able to enlist family members and friends to help you transform an ordinary garage sale into an instant success. Family members and friends can help you organize the items you'd like to sell, offer assistance to shoppers who may be interested in various items and ensure you're able to clean up after your garage sale is complete. Of course, you should offer incentives to encourage family members and friends to help you with your garage sale, too. Whether it's hosting a barbecue in conjunction with your event or offering each helper a share of your garage sale profits, it's important to show your family members and friends that you appreciate their hard work and dedication as they work toward making your garage sale a success. 2. Avoid the Dangers of Overpricing. As a home seller, the goal of your garage sale should be to get rid of any excess items in your house. Thus, you need to avoid the dangers associated with overpricing, because asking too much for numerous items will do little to generate interest among shoppers. Try to be flexible about pricing during your garage sale. Typically, shoppers may ask to negotiate a price on an item, and you should be willing to reconsider your initial price if necessary. A successful negotiation will result in a win-win situation in which both you and the shopper are happy with the results. And with a flexible approach to pricing, you should have no trouble getting rid of a wide range of items at your garage sale and earning substantial profits along the way, too. 3. Don't Forget About the Importance of Customer Service. A customer-oriented approach is paramount throughout your garage sale, and it may enable you to maximize your sales during the event as well. If a shopper has a question, try to respond immediately. Or, if a shopper is ready to check out, provide service with a smile. A friendly, positive attitude can make a world of difference during a garage sale. Therefore, you should remain courteous and approachable during your event and be ready to assist shoppers in any way you can. Hosting a garage sale may seem like a major challenge, particularly for home sellers who lack extensive time and resources. But with the aforementioned tips, you can get organized and make the most of your garage sale.



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