Thursday, July 07, 2016

Jump in the pool! Buyer pool large compared to selection

News on Life Just Right in North Andover

You might not say 'today' if we asked "ideally, when do you want to move?" 

Or "where are you planning to go when you do make a move and sell your place?"
You might say 'that's a part of the problem, ' or 'when we find the right place.'

It's always the right time to assess how your home fits in the local real estate market. This helps you no matter when you're planning a move.

Maintenance, improvements and taking inventory now, will save you time and money.

"We're ready to sell now and our motivation has changed dramatically since last month. Now what are the best first steps?"  

That's the call we got from a family right here in North Andover. We will jump in for them and help them sort out the process and give them a Home-seller Success Plan custom designed for their move and their family. 

Your 'life just right' match home could become available tomorrow and we want to be sure you're as ready as possible when the time comes for you.

Take a look at North Andover home selection $350,000-$850,000. Message us for a detailed look at the serious seller's checklist.

Here's a house that never made Zillow or MLS
and a lucky buyer with a good plan
will be moving very soon.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Don't drive by the outside of your JUST RIGHT home; Try it on from the inside.

Making a great deal on your 'just right' home can sometimes appear to be impossible to home buyers in today's real estate market. Don't say 'no' to your JUST RIGHT home.

We are representing buyers in all price and house categories from luxury homes to rural properties, starters or projects to turn-key homes. One family is moving to the area from out of state. They have family in the Boston area and have fallen for our 4 seasons, beautiful city of Boston, open spaces and diverse styles of New England homes. They want to find their 'life just right' home real soon.

With word on the street and banner headlines that home inventory or selection is super low, they had begun to shift the way they did research, adjusted financial preparations, and changed up their search and find process.  We gave the following advice.


1. Expand geographic search area to include other similar towns keeping Have-to-Haves in check
2. Include tear-down and land options in your search
3. Get your agent to target homeowners in neighborhoods you want to buy for 'secret sellers.'
4. Ask your agent for a study and comparison of the market in your targeted communities.  (I've provided one for North Andover here)
5. Don't look at the market or homes from the outside looking in. Know the facts in your segment of the market and experience homes from the inside looking out. 

Not surprisingly,  the inventory numbers proved that in some categories in some communities, there is nothing offered for sale. In others, selection is at average or typical levels. In others, there are 'tired' listings too.

Neighboring Georgetown has no inventory ranging $451,000- $788,000 and 22 home buyers made a deal on a home in Georgetown in the most recent 6 months (4/month)

Here is North Andover's inventory today versus 1 year ago same date.
Report Name: 

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 4/8/2016 11:58:11 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 4/8/2015
Towns: North Andover
 4/8/2015 4/8/2016
Price RangeNumber of
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. todayNumber of
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000----
$50,000 - $99,999----
$100,000 - $149,999----
$150,000 - $199,999----
$200,000 - $249,999----
$250,000 - $299,99916--
$300,000 - $349,999--1156
$350,000 - $399,999376546
$400,000 - $449,999446366
$450,000 - $499,999636144
$500,000 - $599,999979678
$600,000 - $699,9991053831
$700,000 - $799,99924110107
$800,000 - $899,9994536117
$900,000 - $999,9993242374
$1,000,000 - $1,499,9993893131
$1,500,000 - $1,999,999--4226
$2,000,000 - $2,499,99912993188
$2,500,000 - $2,999,999----
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999----
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999----
$5,000,000 - $9,999,999----
Over $10,000,000----
Total Properties46Avg. 7553 Avg. 98
Lowest Price:$258,000
Median Price:$609,950
Highest Price:$2,295,000
Average Price:$684,919
Total Market Volume:$31,506,288
Lowest Price:$330,000
Median Price:$729,900
Highest Price:$2,400,000
Average Price:$865,606
Total Market Volume:$45,877,154
©2016 MLS Property Information Network, Inc.  |  Copyright Policy 4192 users online right now!

0 hours 0 minutes 0 seconds 703 milliseconds
In North Andover, as an example, there are currently 9 single family homes for sale ranging $501,000-621,000 with 42 homes in this range selling in the past 6 months (7/month). That absorption rate of 7 homes per month puts these 9 in a high demand category with 1 month's supply.


1. Do not rely on on-line searches as the primary search tool
2. It's an elimination process so you will say 'no' but don't be limited based on 1st impression
3. If it's in your geographic area, on a street you like and in your $ range, DON'T DRIVE BY  and say no without an appointment to explore how the house feels inside.

Our buyers got out from behind the mobile app, and their computer and decided to explore neighborhoods they liked in the car. Armed with a list of homes for sale as well as target streets for possible 'secret' sellers, they drove by 5-6 homes. Later that day, we checked in and they said 'no' across the board. Time for a new plan. We met at the Andover office for just 30 minutes/

Great news!  We urged them to get inside and experience the lifestyle associated with just a few places. We wanted them to reconsider a particularly special place that we felt had their name on it. We had previewed, snapped a few photos and imagined them fitting right in. We just had to get them inside. It was love, their dream house and we helped them negotiate a great deal on their JUST RIGHT home the next day. "We really loved the house like our home once we stopped looking from the outside and experienced it from the inside; the way the sun shone in, the perfect spot for an office, enough separation for all of us to enjoy and a bay windowed view of the world outside. "

Explore Andover homes for sale today (and call us for an appointment to see inside real soon)  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

GO SOLAR? There are questions worth asking

I wrote this story in December 2014 in response to the inquiry of several homeowners and clients wondering about exploring solar for themselves. Solar Options

Recently, in response to more frequent sitings of roofs decorated with solar panels all over the Greater Boston area, there has been more press. I've heard lots of positives but I also saw a big news story warning about incidents of leases interfering with the sale and or refinance of mortgages for some properties with leased solar panels as high at $20,000-40,000. 

Have you considered or investigated SOLAR at your place?
I'd love to hear what you think. 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Home Seller Success needs dynamic plan of action

MOVING is a big decision
When moving means selling your home, there are even more critical decisions.  The selling process can be demanding and overwhelming. 

You’ll want to have a plan for a quick, easy, sensible and hassle free sale at a fair price. 

Here's a checklist to help you get started:
Hire a Professional
Review their track record
Check references
Look for someone that utilizes tools and communications techniques you are comfortable with
Be sure he/she is knowledgeable in your local housing market
Review their marketing plan for YOUR house

5 steps to our HomeSale Success Program for sellers  

  • Initial consultations 
  • Getting organized 
  • Taking inventory 
  • Preparing for sale
  • Market and sell  

Start planning early 
Start weeding out your current possessions. Throw out, give away, or sell the things that you don't want to move at a yard sale.

Start packing early
Anything that you are sure you will not be using before moving day should get boxed.

Identify flaws or problems
Sellers are obligated to disclose any major problems or flaws in the structure or property, including things like dry rot, termites, asbestos, or a new highway slated to run nearby. The disclosure requirements vary by state, but if you fail to mention the leaky roof or flooding basement, you could be sued for fraud. There is no upside to trying to hide problems as most buyers will have a home inspection contingency opportunity.

Get the house in "showcase" condition
Small cosmetic touches can increase your home's value by thousands. (See improvement section below.)

Decide what goes and what stays

Look for a new home early
Buying with a contingency on selling is not very appealing to a seller on the other side and in many cases, will not be considered. Trying to perfectly time two closings can make planning a move much more stressful. However, if you have to move quickly or you don't want to pass on your dream home, you can choose to buy and sell simultaneously. Just make sure to listen to the advice of your real estate professional and other advisors so you know your options.

Suggested Exterior Improvements- flowers, raking, weeding, trimming
Suggested Interior Improvements- painting, touchups, repair loose anything, deep cleaning

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Go Native; Embrace Your Inner Gardener

Spring season is around the corner but our landscapes live in every season. At Susan Sells, our commitment to Life Just Right was inspired by some of the things I enjoy and that are important to me. A home's garden, no matter the size, says a lot about the people that live there. I urge everyone to design, nurture, and care for their own garden. What's your favorite spot our side your house? Do you enjoy wild bird activity out side your window? 

A friend in Milan, Italy sent me this photo of her garden last week. She obviously understands what I'm talking about. 
 North Andover Wildlife Team was established by North Andover resident James McCarthy. "We want to see more birds and butterflies in our town.

To do that we need to plant as many native plants and eliminate as many invasive plants as possible. The biggest question we get from people is “what can I plant?” If you would like to know the “best bet” species (those that support the most biodiversity) of plants to put in your yard please see here for perennials and here for woody plants."

Grow Native Massachusetts is rooted in community and here's their goal. 

We recognize that native plants create the foundation for healthy ecological communities, and know that our world—both locally and globally—is threatened by a decrease in native plant populations and the proliferation of invasives.
Therefore, we act to:
  • Steward our land, no matter how big or small, for conservation.
  • Plant our gardens with an emphasis on natives.
  • Work together to aid in the identification and removal of invasive weeds.
  • Build our community through education and dialog.
COMING SOON to North Andover: WOW!
A home on just over one acre that has personality and a landscape that has been 'overhauled' with the patient planting of native trees, plants and flowers and the removal of many invasive species, the addition of a recirculating pond, a sunny kitchen vegetable garden area, and screened porch make this house a home many a family would love to own. Watch for Open House events soon or call for details. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Find your just right home in less than 6 weeks time. Selection is up, prices holding, favorable rates.
14 Single Family Active Listings $499,900-$600,000
 MLS #Status                 Address      Town                   Rms Br Bth Style Garage   List Date  DOM      List Price
71960919ACT192 Lacy StreetNorth Andover842f 1hColonial2 Attached2/19/201691$499,900  
71963842NEW510 Dale StreetNorth Andover633f 1hColonial1 Under2/24/20163$499,900  
71935145ACT1447 Salem StNorth Andover632f 1hColonial2 Attached11/20/201599$519,900  
71943413ACT8 Mayflower DrNorth Andover632f 1hColonial2 Attached12/27/201562$545,000  
71962577 NEW135 Lisa LaneNorth Andover: 943f 1hContem2 Under2/24/20163$549,000  
71953062ACT2177 Salem StNorth Andover843f 0hColonial2 Under1/28/201630$549,900  
71953663ACT50 Deer Meadow North Andover1042f 1hCape2 Attached1/28/201630$549,900  
71918240ACT62 Wintergreen DrNorth Andover953f 0hColonial2 Attached10/13/2015137$549,900  
71913715ACT165 Forest StreetNorth Andover842f 1hColonial2 Under10/2/2015148$555,000  
71956149PCG159 Forest StNorth Andover842f 1hColonial2 Under2/4/201623$565,000  
71962636NEW75 Lost Pond LaneNorth Andover942f 1hColonial2 Under2/24/20163$569,900  
71885457ACT360 Winter StreetNorth Andover942f 2hCape3 Under8/6/2015205$574,900  
7194457 187 Stonecleave North Andover942f 1hColonial2 Attached1/3/201655$579,900  
7194725ACT19 Mayflower DriNorth Andover632f 1hCape2 Attached1/10/201648$595,000  

INCREASING SELECTION gives buyers more choices

This spectacular custom North Andover home sold before it hit the open market to a family looking for their 'life just right' place.
           Congratulations to seller and buyer!

What's your plan for real estate in 2016? Message me to discuss how today's shifting market can create a great opportunity for you.

  2/21/2015  2/21/2016
Price RangeNumber of
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. todayNumber of
Avg. Days
on Market

$200,000 - $249,999168 183
$250,000 - $299,999130 3148
$300,000 - $349,999368 3122
$350,000 - $399,9996125 872
$400,000 - $449,999574 677
$450,000 - $499,999698 8105
$500,000 - $599,9999181 increase to 2170
$600,000 - $699,99911121 increase to15130
$700,000 - $799,999980 20114
$800,000 - $899,9997107 16130
$900,000 - $999,9994181 down to3228
$1,000,000 - $1,499,9998119 7125
$1,500,000 - $1,999,9995452 8224
$2,000,000 - $2,499,9991253 5323
$2,500,000 - $2,999,9992311 2406
$3,000,000 - $3,999,9991845 11215

Total Properties79Avg. 153 127Avg. 138
Lowest Price:$209,900
Median Price:$699,900
Highest Price:$3,500,000
Average Price:$865,139
Total Market Volume:$68,346,049
Lowest Price:$233,300
Median Price:$699,000
Highest Price:$3,200,000
Average Price:$845,629
Total Market Volume:$107,394,985

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Life just right in North Andover

With just 47 homes for sale, finding your just right place takes a plan to uncover options early, make quick decisions, and strategize to make the right deal.
Searches are easy here.
If you're looking for an edge in the 2016 market, begin with a call to ask for our Secret Sellers List and A HomeBuyer Success Plan.