Bill Anderson - Sherborn MA Real Estate, Natick MA Real Estate, BHHS Commonwealth RE


An open house can be a life-changing event for a homebuyer. If you plan ahead for an open house, you should have no trouble determining whether a residence matches or exceeds your expectations. And if the answer is "Yes," you can proceed quickly to submit a competitive offer to acquire a house.

What does it take to prep for an open house? Here are three open house preparation tips that every homebuyer needs to know.

1. Understand Your Budget

Before you attend an open house, you should find out how much money is at your disposal. Thus, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions to see if you can get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can kick off your home search with a budget in hand.

Although you know that you have only a certain amount of money to spend on a residence, it may be worthwhile to consider attending open houses for residences with initial asking prices that are above your price range. Because in some instances, a home seller may be willing to accept an offer that falls below his or her initial asking price.

2. Create a List of Questions

A home is one of the biggest purchases that a person can make, and as such, it pays to be diligent. If you craft a list of questions before an open house, you can get immediate responses from the showing agent. Then, you can determine the best course of action.

When it comes to an open house, there is no such thing as a "bad" question. As a homebuyer, it is paramount to get as much information as possible about a residence to determine whether a house is right for you. Therefore, if you create a list of questions in advance, you can improve your chances of getting the most out of an open house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to approach an open house, you're not alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available nationwide who are happy to teach you the ins and outs of the real estate market. By doing so, these housing market professionals will make it easy to take an informed approach to any open house, at any time.

A real estate agent will always keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. Also, if you are interested in homes in a particular city or town, a real estate agent will notify you about open houses in this area. And if you need extra help prepping for an open house, a real estate agent is happy to assist you in any way possible.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will help you submit an offer on a house, negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf and much more.

Be diligent as you get ready for an open house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can fully prepare for an open house.


If you've decided to put your home on the market, one important thing to keep in mind is that perception is everything -- or close to it, anyway!

The impression you make on prospective buyers can either help seal the deal or break it, depending on whether that impression is positive or negative.

The visual aspects of your home often have the strongest impact on what prospects think of your house, but three other senses can also influence buyer decisions.

The sense of smell: Without getting too specific, there are a variety of unpleasant odors that can quickly sour a prospect on the possibility of making an offer on your home. In many cases, there's justification for a sudden loss of interest. A musty smelling basement, crawlspace, or attic, for example, implies problems with water seepage, plumbing leaks, or mold. That musty odor is unpleasant and gives buyers the (accurate) impression that there are air quality issues in the house.

Pet odors can be another major turnoff, especially if the people touring your home have allergies or sensitivity to certain odors. Strong or artificial odors of any kind, including room deodorizers, overuse of commercial cleaning solutions, and scented garbage bags can also be objectionable and suggest that you're trying to cover up odors.

On the other hand, you've probably heard stories about home sellers and agents who create pleasing fragrances by brewing a fresh pot of coffee, baking a loaf of aromatic bread, or preparing a fresh batch of blueberry muffins or chocolate chip cookies shortly before a house tour is scheduled. While it may be impractical to do that every time, it is a strategy worth experimenting with! The simple act of infusing your kitchen with enticing aromas can help make your home more attractive, inviting, and appealing. Fresh flowers are another nice touch that can enhance the ambiance of your home.

The sense of touch: Probably the main thing you would want to avoid in this category would be allowing countertops or floors to feel sticky, gritty, or wet to the touch! Many people will take notice of how clean (or unclean) your house looks, smells, and feels, and they will undoubtedly deduct "points" if countertops, bathroom fixtures, and floors aren't immaculate. Perfection is not necessary, but the appearance of cleanliness is! As mentioned earlier: Perception is everything!

The sense of hearing: Some noises you can fix; others are beyond your control. Squeaky hinges and dripping faucets are a relatively easy fix, while street noises, barking dogs, and loud neighbors are much more difficult -- if not impossible -- to regulate!

The bottom line, of course, is to control what you can, put your best foot forward, and hope for the best when it comes to noises in the neighborhood!


Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

Plants can enhance the look and feel of your home, and some can even improve your indoor air quality. But if you have pets, you need to be selective about the plants you bring into your home. Choosing the right plants allows you to enjoy a lush indoor herb garden or a striking bowl of succulents without worrying about your pet's health. Choose one of the plants below to ensure you can beautify your space risk and worry-free.

Pet Friendly Indoor Plants

  • Spider Plants: Lush, full and capable of spawning dozens of offspring at a time, spider plants add a delightful splash of green to any location in your home. Long a favorite of veterinarians, spider plants are safe, easy to grow and can even help improve the air quality in your home, according to Architectural Digest.
  • Indoor herb garden: Many of the same culinary herbs humans enjoy are safe for pets. Liven up your kitchen and your meals with an indoor herb garden using some pet safe herbs, including mint, chamomile, thyme and basil. You can also add catnip, but this will attract your cats to your herbs, even in its natural, undried state.
  • Air plants and succulents: Add air plants of any type and choose from a wide variety of succulents, the vast majority and the most common varieties are pet safe. Avoid jade plant and aloe, but other popular succulents, like Christmas cactus, Hens and Chicks and Echeverias are all pet friendly. Place in a terrarium or enclosure to keep pets away; succulents have short roots, and a curious pet could easily dislodge them, killing the plant you've been caring for and enjoying.

Dangerous Plants if you Have Pets

There are plenty of plants that are hazardous to pets and that should be enjoyed in another setting, not your home. Check any plant you are considering bringing home for pet-friendliness -- and avoid the plants below; these are considered dangerous to animals:

  • Aloe
  • Amaryllis
  • Begonia
  • Poinsettia
  • Lily, most varieties
  • Tulips and daffodils (potted, the bulbs are the dangerous parts)
  • Philodendron, most varieties
  • Snake Plant

Choosing the right plants lets you enjoy the benefits of greenery indoors, without risk; choose from the first list above to ensure you add a colorful accent to your home without worrying about your pet's health. If you're not sure about a plant, check the ASPCA list of toxic plants to ensure the pieces you bring into your home are truly safe.


Looking to sell your condo? With assistance from a real estate agent, you can maximize the value of your property.

When it comes to selling a condo, hiring a real estate agent is a must. This housing market professional will set up condo showings, negotiate with condo buyers on your behalf and much more.

As a condo seller, it is important to do everything possible to get the best price for your property. And if you understand what it takes to find the right real estate agent, you may be able to streamline the condo selling journey.

Ultimately, there are many factors that condo sellers need to consider when they evaluate a real estate agent, including:

1. Condo Selling Experience

It is essential to hire a real estate agent who possesses condo selling experience. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of selling a condo.

A real estate agent with condo selling experience will promote your residence to the right groups of property buyers. This will ensure your condo will stir up plenty of from interest from property buyers as soon as it becomes available.

Plus, a housing market professional can teach you about the real estate sector and help you plan accordingly. He or she will ensure you can avoid any potential hurdles as sell your condo too.

2. Communication Skills

Does a real estate agent go above and beyond the call of duty to stay in touch with condo sellers? If not, he or she may struggle to sell your condo.

A real estate agent should keep you informed at each stage of the condo selling journey. This housing market professional also should respond to your condo selling concerns and queries – without exception.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent should be unafraid to be honest with you. With an honest real estate agent at your side, you can receive unbiased condo selling recommendations and make informed choices throughout the condo selling journey.

3. Client Referrals

How do past condo sellers rate a real estate agent? Ask a real estate agent for client referrals, and you can receive unparalleled insights into what it's like to work with this housing market professional.

Client referrals are great tools to help you decide whether a particular real estate agent is the best person to guide you along the condo selling journey. These referrals can provide you with insights into a real estate agent's professional demeanor and personality that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. As a result, client referrals may prove to be exceedingly valuable to condo sellers.

If you need help selling a condo, allocate the necessary time and resources to hire a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. Real estate agents are available nationwide and understand what it takes to sell a condo in any housing market. Therefore, working with a real estate agent may help you speed up the condo selling process and optimize the value of your property.


You may be ready to sell your home. However, before you add your residence to the real estate market, you should consider involving your neighbors in the home selling process.

There are many quick, easy ways to connect with your neighbors and ensure they can help you sell your house, including:

1. Meet Face-to-Face with Your Neighbors

Although you've enjoyed many wonderful years in your neighborhood, you may determine that now is a good time to relocate. As such, you should meet with your neighbors to share the news.

A face-to-face meeting with a neighbor usually is a good idea. At this time, you can provide details about your future plans and respond to your neighbor's concerns or questions as well.

Plus, you can ask your neighbor if he or she knows anyone who may be interested in your home. And if your neighbor answers, "Yes," encourage him or her to share the news that your house will soon be available.

2. Provide Neighbors with a Copy of Your Home Listing

Ultimately, you'll want to provide your neighbors with as much information about your home as possible. By doing so, you can make it simple for your neighbors to keep colleagues, family members and friends up to date about your residence.

If an online home listing is available, feel free to share a link to the listing via email or social media. Then, your neighbors can copy and paste the link to the listing to share it with anyone they choose.

Also, if your neighbors prefer a paper copy of your home listing, you should be able to provide them with a print-out that outlines your house's features. Be ready to provide paper copies of your home listing to your neighbors at any time, and you can boost your chances of selling your home quickly.

3. Be Available to Respond to Home Selling Concerns and Questions

After you share details about your home with neighbors, it may be only a matter of time before your residence sells. Meanwhile, neighbors may return to you with additional concerns and questions about your residence.

Be available to your neighbors via phone call, text and email. This will ensure you can provide your neighbors with the home information they request, any time they need it.

Lastly, it is important to remember that home sellers should try to do everything they can to promote their residences to the right groups of homebuyers. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can improve your chances of connecting with the right homebuyers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and work with you to ensure you can achieve them. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses and respond to your home selling concerns and queries to guarantee you are fully supported throughout the home selling journey.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your residence.




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