Lea Cohen | Brookline Real Estate, Newton Real Estate, West Roxbury Real Estate


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If you’re a homeowner considering selling your home as an investment property, timing is important. From a financial perspective, just as you probably bought strategically, you want to sell strategically too. The trick is knowing when the right time arrives. Here are four common metrics people use to determine when it's time to sell their property.

Amount of Equity in the House

A primary factor to look at is how much equity is in the home. Ideally, to sell a home as an investment, the seller can make a tidy sum. If mortgage payments are still owed, this may negate any potential profit made, but not necessarily. If you're looking to broaden your investment portfolio, be certain you can sell your house for enough money to pay off your debt with a sufficient amount left over to re-invest. If you don’t have enough equity to do this, you’re better holding off.

Market Conditions Are Good

Many owners who bought low and can sell high find this to be a strong motivator to put their property on the market. Since market conditions eventually shift to a buyer’s market, it’s a smart strategy to sell when the housing market favors the seller. Owners who have held their property for a long time or purchased as the housing bubble burst between 2007-2012, are likely going to make a better profit than investors who purchased when prices were at their peak.

Tax Code Advantages

Buyers are often motivated to sell if there are tax code advantages. For instance, the IRS currently offers a tax-deferred advantage to investors looking to sell one property to buy another. Under tax IRC Section 1031, sellers are required to find another property to purchase within 45 days and then buy it within 135 (180 days total).

By selling and making a similar real estate investment, investors can defer paying their federal and state capital gain taxes. It’s a good strategy to use if you want to leverage real estate and broaden your portfolio.

Taxes Are Going Up

If local taxes are going up, often buyers find this to be an incentive to sell. For instance, if a town severely limits commercial activity, the tax burden falls to homeowners. Over time, the tax bill may become too exorbitant. If you own enough equity in your property and the housing market is in your favor, high taxes might be your tipping point.



Your real estate agent will ready your description for listing. But only you know your home the way its next owner will come to know it. Here's how to give your realtor that knowledge. 

Meet Your Buyer Through Your Home Description

Many descriptions have similar text, and could apply to a whole neighborhood. Buyers want an idea of what it's like to live in your home. What's your home's relationship to the neighborhood's best perks? For example: What grocery store is within walking distance? Can the route be enjoyably walked? 

Each home, no matter how modest, has unique traits that will endear it to the right home shopper. Sure, talk up that kitchen renovation or your new AC, if you have them. But personalize the heart of your description: 

  • Does a south-facing window stream glorious sunshine into your home every day? 
  • Does your garden attract butterflies and bees from season to season?  

You get the picture. So paint it. Let that perfect audience respond, "Wow. This sounds perfect for me." 

What Not to Say When Describing Your Home for Sale

Omit basic data from your description (footage, bedrooms, baths). Those facts already appear in the listing fields. Use your word limit to show off your home's personality instead. At the same time, avoid anything that could oversell your home's features. Be charming, yet be real!

Avoid generalizations. If a certain room is unusually spacious, point that out. Overall, though, your footage and listing price speak for themselves. Rather than announcing an "updated" kitchen or bathroom, specify the enhancement. Let your potential buyers quickly grasp the value of the work you've done.

Avoid even the appearance of exclusivity. Sellers' language, by law, must not discourage buyers on account of their of nationality, race or religion, disability, gender or family status. 

Finally, check your description for errors or overused words. Thoughtfulness is the key.

Ready to List, With a Description That Intrigues 

Remember to connect the home to its surrounding benefits. Does the property have a nearby walking and cycling trail? Is it near a wonderful park or farmers' market?

As for the interior, think of the aspects that aren't obvious in your photos. Does the new, granite countertop have ogee edges? Is the floor stone imported from Italy? Specify brand names and materials. Your realtor can tag your photos with features, engaging the visual buyer. 

What's next? Your real estate agent will handle all final edits, ready the listing, and intrigue that perfect buyer!


The home selling journey may include many ups and downs, particularly for a seller who fails to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey so you can achieve the optimal results.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

1. Know Your Home

Your home's condition may have deteriorated over time. Therefore, the value of your house today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your home.

To understand the current valuation of your house, you may want to perform a home appraisal. This will enable you to receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. Then, you can use this valuation to establish a competitive price for your residence.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

Although you may have performed a wide range of home upgrades over the years, underlying house problems may persist. Thankfully, a home inspection makes it easy to learn about myriad home problems before you add your house to the real estate market.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out. Following the inspection, you'll receive an inspection report with detailed findings about the condition of your house.

Examine the results on a home inspection report closely – you'll be glad you did. If you analyze the inspection results, you may be able to discover innovative ways to enhance your residence. And if you perform property improvements, you may be able to boost your house's value and increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to kick off the home selling journey, there is no need to stress. In fact, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide who are happy to provide comprehensive insights into all aspects of selling a house.

A real estate agent can teach you about the ins and outs of the housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you understand how to price your home and promote it to the right groups of buyers.

Moreover, a real estate agent will deliver in-depth support at each stage of the home selling journey. He or she will set up home showings and open house events, negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf and help you review offers on your house. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your home, a real estate agent is available to respond to them right away.

Working with a real estate agent can help you transform an ordinary home selling experience into an exceptional one. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent can offer honest, unbiased recommendations to ensure you can maintain realistic expectations throughout the home selling journey. And as such, a real estate agent can help you quickly and effortlessly accomplish your desired home selling results.


Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.

A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.

Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.

2. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.

For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.

A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.

Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.


Believe it or not, upgrading your residence's curb appeal won't necessarily force you to break your budget. Now, let's take a look at three cost-effective ways to improve your house's curb appeal.

1. Mow the Lawn

Tall grass and weeds are unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home sale. Fortunately, if you spend some time mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges, you may be able to boost your house's curb appeal.

It generally won't take long to perform lawn maintenance tasks. Then, once you complete these tasks for the first time, you can set up a schedule to complete them every week or every other week until your residence sells. That way, your lawn will continue to look great in the eyes of potential buyers.

2. Clear the Walkways

Dirt, dust and debris may make your home's exterior walkways look messy. Perhaps worst of all, these problems may drive prospective buyers away from your house.

On the other hand, neat, tidy walkways could help your residence stand out to potential buyers. If you devote time and resources to sweep and clean your house's exterior walkways, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.

3. Remove Decorations

Although plastic flamingoes, lawn gnomes and other home exterior decorations have helped you distinguish your house from others in your neighborhood, now may be a good time to put these decorations into storage. Because if you keep decorations on your lawn, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like as the owner of your house.

Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make your residence as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. By removing home exterior decorations, you can show off your residence's full potential. As such, you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it for the first time.

As you search for ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal without breaking your budget, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home selling recommendations and can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab.

Typically, a real estate agent will provide expert guidance at each stage of the house selling journey. He or she first will help you craft a home selling strategy and promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, once you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you analyze this proposal. And if you accept an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your home sale.

Ready to list your residence? Upgrade your house's curb appeal today, and you can move one step closer to achieving the best-possible results during the property selling journey.




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