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Spring Home Maintenance Checklist for Northshore Sellers
Spring Home Maintenance Checklist for Northshore Sellers

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist for Northshore Sellers

As the spring season blooms, many homeowners are gearing up to put their homes on the market. Spring is an excellent time to sell on the North Shore, with buyers eager to make a move before the summer months. However, before listing your home for sale, you’ll want to ensure it’s in top condition to attract potential buyers. In this blog, you’ll find a spring home maintenance checklist including tasks from exterior upkeep to interior enhancements to get your home in peak condition.

1. Exterior Home Maintenance

Spring is the perfect time to give your home’s exterior a little love and care! Here are a few things you can do to keep it in tip-top shape:

  • Gutter Cleaning: Clearing out gutters will ensure proper drainage to prevent water damage and maintain the integrity of the roof and foundation.
  • Roof Inspection: Inspecting your roof thoroughly will help you catch any signs of damage or wear and tear, such as missing shingles or leaks.  
  • Landscaping: Tidying up your landscaping by mowing your lawn, trimming bushes, and planting colorful flowers will help create an inviting first impression and enhance your curb appeal
  • Power Washing: Power washing the exterior of your home will remove any dirt, grime, and mildew, further enhancing curb appeal.

2. Interior Home Maintenance

Don’t overlook the importance of interior maintenance when preparing your home for sale. Once a potential buyer gets past the front door, you still want to keep them impressed. Add the following to your interior maintenance to-do list:

  • HVAC System Inspection: Schedule a professional inspection of your HVAC system to be sure it is in optimal working condition. Service the system as needed, replacing air filters for peak performance and energy efficiency.
  • Window and Door Maintenance: Inspect and clean all windows and doors, checking for proper functioning and energy efficiency. Make any repairs necessary before putting your home on the market. 
  • Deep Cleaning: Deep cleaning the interior of your home involves not only typical household cleaning but also decluttering and organization to create a fresh and welcoming space for potential buyers. 

3. Repairs and Upgrades

Addressing any necessary repairs or upgrades is essential to making your home more attractive to potential buyers. Be sure to conduct:

  • Plumbing and Electrical Checks: Inspect your plumbing and electrical systems for leaks, faults, or outdated components. Address any issues promptly to avoid future damage and more costly repairs.
  • Paint Touch-Ups: Consider touching up old faded or chipped paint as well as addressing any other cosmetic imperfections within your home to help freshen up both the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Minor Repairs: These are easy to put off, but don’t forget to fix leaky faucets, repair damaged trim, or replace any worn-out fixtures throughout your home’s interior and exterior.

4. Preparing for Showings

Once your home is in top condition and ready to be put on the market, it’s time to prepare for showings. You will want to:

  • Stage your home to highlight its best features and create an inviting atmosphere for any potential buyers. 
  • Declutter and depersonalize the space to create a neutral and welcoming environment. Doing so will help buyers envision themselves living there.
  • Further enhance your curb appeal by adding fresh flowers, updating any outdoor living spaces and furniture, and ensuring the exterior is well-maintained and inviting.

My full checklist for preparing your home for showings can be found here. 

Preparing your home for sale can be a daunting task, but with this spring home maintenance checklist, you’ll be well-equipped to take on the job. Are you ready to wow buyers with your North Shore home this spring? Contact me today to begin the selling process. Together, we’ll make sure your home shines in the market this spring!

Download our Preparing Your Home Checklist!

Maximizing Curb Appeal for Spring Sales
Maximizing Curb Appeal for Spring Sales

Maximizing Curb Appeal for Spring Sales

As the spring season approaches, homeowners on the North Shore are gearing up to sell their properties. One crucial aspect that can make or break a sale is curb appeal, or the attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street. First impressions matter, especially in real estate, and a well-maintained exterior can significantly impact a buyer’s perception of a home. In this blog, we’ll explore tips for maximizing the curb appeal of your North Shore home to attract potential buyers and increase your chances of a successful sale this spring.

Landscaping Enhancements

Nothing says “welcome” quite like a lush and well-manicured landscape! You can start by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and trees, and adding colorful flowers to your flower beds. If you’re lacking plants in your yard, consider planting a tree or two or adding window boxes to your porch railing or windows to help enhance the appearance. You can even plant a small garden around your outdoor mailbox! Rocks or boulders can be used to fill in any extra spaces. Regardless of the plants you utilize in your landscaping, be sure to keep them tidy to maximize and maintain your curb appeal throughout the selling process.

Exterior Paint Touch-Ups

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in revitalizing the exterior of your home. Take a close look at the condition of your exterior paint to identify any areas in need of touch-ups or repainting. When choosing paint colors to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home’s exterior, consider choosing neutral and inviting colors that appeal to a wide range of potential buyers and complement the architectural style of your home. Try to coordinate the colors of architectural accents on your home such as shutters, trim, railings, and more, keeping your palette limited to a few colors to avoid making your home look too busy. A popular painting choice is picking a bold color for your front door to make it stand out, although this color should still coordinate well with the others on your home.

Creating Inviting Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular among modern homebuyers, and therefore add value to a home on the market. One way to create inviting outdoor spaces is by adding a seating area with a few chairs or a bench. This is another chance for you to add color and personality to your curb appeal! Additionally, consider installing a fire pit or an outdoor kitchen and incorporating other landscaping features like fountains or ponds. When showing your home, stage these areas to showcase their potential for relaxation and entertainment to help potential buyers envision themselves enjoying the outdoor space. 

Upgrading Front Entryway

The front entryway is the focal point of your home’s exterior, significantly impacting the strength of a potential buyer’s first impression and maximizing curb appeal. There are a few ways to upgrade your front entryway including:

  • Replacing or updating your front door
  • Adding lighting fixtures
  • Adding decorative elements such as house numbers
  • Ensuring the entryway is clean and free of clutter

A welcoming and well-maintained front entryway sets the tone for the rest of your home and can leave a lasting impression on potential buyers. 

Enhancing Exterior Lighting

Adding exterior lighting to your home is multifunctional, enhancing both curb appeal and home security. Consider adding lighting to highlight your landscape’s best natural features, and architectural features, and illuminate pathways. Updating outdated fixtures can instantly modernize the look of your home and make it more inviting to potential buyers. Installing motion sensor lights in your entryway can add convenience and security, which are both appealing to buyers. Regardless of the lighting you decide to add to your home’s exterior, remember to keep both the style of your home and functionality in mind. 


Curb appeal plays a vital role in attracting potential buyers and setting your home apart from the rest in today’s competitive real estate market, which is why the process of maximizing curb appeal is so important. For more personalized advice and assistance with selling or buying your home, contact me today. You can also check out more tips for maximizing your curb appeal in my Preparing Your Home Checklist. Together we can make your home stand out and pave the way for a successful sale this spring!

Download our Preparing Your Home Checklist!

5 Things to Do to Get Ready to Buy or Sell in 2024

Are you gearing up for a move in the new year? Whether you’re buying or selling a home in 2024, laying the groundwork ahead of time can make a world of difference in ensuring a seamless and successful experience. Here are five key things to do to get ready to buy or sell in 2024. 

Wants and Wishes

Before exploring the real estate market, take some time to figure out and outline your wants and wishes. If you are a future buyer, create a list of non-negotiable features and amenities for your new home. If you are selling your property, craft a list of features that will enhance the value. When creating your list, consider factors such as:

  • Location preferences
  • Square footage
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Specific neighborhood amenities

After your list is complete, research specific neighborhoods, schools, job opportunities, and more to help you find the perfect place for your dream home!

At-home DIY Projects

Tackling at-home DIY projects can add value to your space, whether you’re selling or just trying to freshen up your home. Small changes can make a huge impact. Make minor repairs and renovations, paint walls, and declutter to increase the appeal of your home and potentially increase the market value. Starting these projects early on can help avoid last-minute panic and rush in the selling process. Talk to a realtor about which projects to prioritize to have your property ready to impress potential buyers!

Landscaping Goals

First impressions are crucial! Enhance your home’s curb appeal by focusing on landscaping before selling. Simple landscaping enhancements like trimming hedges, planting flowers, and upgrading your outdoor lighting can greatly improve the attractiveness of your property. An impressive curb appeal will help entice potential buyers once your home is on the market! 

Get Pre-approval

As a buyer, it is crucial to get pre-approval for a mortgage. This will help create a clear understanding of your purchasing power and what you can realistically afford. Additionally, it shows sellers you are a serious and qualified buyer. Take the time to gather any necessary documents and speak with a mortgage professional to secure a pre-approval. Doing so will put you in a stronger position when making an offer and help streamline the buying process. 

Finding the Right Realtor

The most pivotal aspect of any successful real estate journey is having the right realtor by your side. A local realtor understands the local market and likely has trusted partners to help enhance your buying, selling, refinancing, or renovating experience. 

Everyone deserves to live in a home they love and to do so they need a realtor they can trust. With over 20 years of experience as a realtor, I am ready to be your partner in North Shore real estate. Contact me today to kickstart your 2024 real estate journey. 

The Impact of Seasonality on North Shore Real Estate: When to Buy or Sell

Many factors influence the best time to buy or sell a home on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Prices, availability, and interest rates are some of the first ones to come to mind – but what about the seasons? In this blog we will explore the impact of seasonality on North Shore real estate and when you should buy or sell your home. 

Fall

The fall season brings gorgeous colors and landscapes to the North Shore of Massachusetts every year. This beautiful fall foliage can enhance the appearance of certain properties and make them more appealing to buyers. The season also coincides with the start of the school year, having a major impact on the real estate market. Buyers with families will likely want to be settled before the school year begins to avoid disrupting their child’s education, leading to fewer looking to buy in the fall season. While there may be fewer buyers, a motivated seller can benefit from less competition in the fall market.

Summer

With the summer season comes gardens in full bloom and inviting outdoor spaces. Sellers can showcase porches, patios, pools, and yards in a market full of buyers. The pleasant weather and longer daylight hours typically lead to increased buyer activity. Additionally, as previously mentioned, families looking to relocate are likely to do so in the summer months to avoid educational interruptions. A summer move allows children to help with the move and even participate in summer recreational activities to meet others in their new community. 

In the summer, sellers can often command higher prices but it is important to note the competition among buyers can become intense. 

Winter

Winters in New England are cold and the North Shore is no stranger to these low temperatures and heavy snowfall. The gloomy natural environment typically leads to fewer listings available as sellers wait for spring. It is important for sellers to properly stage their property and upkeep maintenance if they are looking to sell in the winter season as properties tend to look less appealing in the cold and in snow. If you are a serious buyer during the winter, you may experience less competition and potentially better deals. Talk to your realtor to seek out your best options!

Spring

The North Shore real estate market sees a resurgence in the spring as sellers want to capitalize on improved weather after the winter months and buyers are ready to shop. Inventory increases, but so does buyer competition. It can get fierce, potentially leading to bidding wars, so buyers should be prepared to act quickly. Sellers can benefit from this fierce market with great presentation and proper pricing. 

The spring market also begins to heat up with families looking to buy and get settled in homes before kids go back to school. With a spring buy, a family can plan to move in the summer months after the school year has ended and be well settled before school starts back up again in the fall. This also gives both the kids and parents a chance to participate in any summer recreational activities where they can meet people and build relationships in their new community. 

Whatever the season may be, I am here to assist you in your real estate journey. Contact me today to begin the process of buying or selling your next home on the North Shore.

Why a Market Assessment Matters

When you are ready to sell your home, you may be wondering what the magic number will be. What is the right listing price? How much could it possibly sell for? You want to make sure you aren’t overpricing your home because this could lead to your home being on the market longer, ultimately resulting in money left on the table. You also want to ensure you aren’t pricing your home too low, as you may make less of a profit and buyers may think there are underlying problems with your home. 

Similar questions may also stump buyers when they want to make an offer on a house. What would a competitive offer be on a particular home? You don’t want to bid too much because there is a risk that the home won’t appraise for such a high amount over asking. You also want to make sure that your offer stands out and that you have a fighting chance among the other bidders.

So, where do you start? 

I start with a real estate market analysis. A real estate market analysis, or a comparative market analysis, helps determine the market value of a property in the present market. This is done by analyzing the home in question and then comparing it to the current market value of other similar homes. 

How is a home evaluated?

When analyzing a home, the following characteristics should be evaluated:

  • Location and neighborhood
  • Construction age
  • Finished Size or square footage
  • Lot size
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Kitchen
  • Bonus rooms
  • Amenities and features
  • Proximity to local amenities
  • Recent or notable improvements

The amount of livable space in a home is one of the most important factors to consider when determining its market value—the more beds and baths a home has, the more it is worth.

What exactly is a “comparable property”?

Characteristics of comparable properties should match the property in question as closely as possible (e.g. same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, similar size, in the same neighborhood or community). 

Sellers: How can you increase your home’s value?

According to the Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the top five projects that added the most dollar value to a sale in 2022 were refinishing hardwood floors, installing new wood floors, upgrading insulation, converting a basement to a living area, and renovating closets.

Other improvements you can make are painting (exterior and interior), landscaping, and updating your exterior doors. You can also give your kitchen an updated look without breaking the bank—you can update your cabinets’ hardware, update your backsplash, and/or update your lighting and faucet. 

Buyers: What is most valuable to you?

When looking for a home, it’s important to make a list of features you can’t live without. Do you need office space? At least three bedrooms? Do you want a large yard?

Sometimes compromises may need to be made—perhaps you really wanted a patio, but the house that checks off all your other boxes doesn’t have one. It’s helpful to consider what can be added/changed, and what can’t be. For instance, the layout of a house isn’t an easy fix and would involve significant renovations. 

If you’re looking to buy or sell, I offer a free comparative market analysis. Along with determining a fair market price for the property, we also would discuss the market’s current direction, mortgage rates, your desired neighborhoods (if you’re buying), and comparable homes in the area. Contact me today to get started! (781) 690-3837 [email protected]

Spring Market Preparation

The housing market is starting to bloom right along with the cherry blossoms, and like cherry blossoms, we never know exactly how long it is until the next change. So, stop now—smell those flowers, attend those open houses, and get your home ready to sell. 

February’s data provided positive movement and signs of strength in the housing market, despite media headlines to the contrary. While interest rates had reached the 7% mark or higher, and despite increases by the Fed raising the Federal Funds Rate, mortgage rates have seen a decline to mid-6% levels and therefore have brought Buyers back into the market.  Because inventory shortages for the 1st couple months of 2023 have remained constant in many communities, as we enter the spring market, those levels have begun to rise from a record low and overall, however, supply is still much lower than in a balanced market.  Therefore, prices in some local markets continue to rise with multiple offer situations due to this increase in demand.  

If you’re looking to buy or sell, I offer a Free Home Valuation Evaluation for those considering a sale. Such analysis will look at your home to determine a fair market price in the present market. We also discuss the market direction, where you might be with a mortgage rate, such neighborhoods you’re interested in, and comparable homes in your area. Likewise, I can do a similar evaluation for Buyers looking to enter the market.

Why buy/sell now?

Inventory is increasing and competition is fierce. Although you won’t be seeing bids like we did during the pandemic, reaching 50-100k over asking, houses are still selling fast. Many of those who held out buying or selling last year due to inflation and increased mortgage rates are now ready to jump in. The market is impossible to 100% predict, so time is of the essence. 

For sellers, the good news is that house prices are still high. While inventory is improving, it is still relatively low, which is keeping those prices on the higher end. Also, houses continue to be in great demand, especially since rental costs have significantly increased. According to Apartment Advisor’s March market report for Massachusetts, the average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,450. This is up 11.4% from last spring. 

For buyers, remember that the market isn’t as aggressive as it was in 2021—asking for a home inspection isn’t a deal breaker and bids aren’t skyrocketing so far over asking that you’re suddenly in a new price bracket altogether. Buying a house feels more possible while breathing in this 2023 spring air. 

Sellers: How should you prepare?

It’s important to make your house stand out amongst the competition. When selling a car, you would clean and shine it, right? Your approach to selling your home should be the same. 

  • Bring in a stager – Home staging creates an inviting atmosphere that can make a huge impact. A stager brings out the best in your home by organizing, arranging, and decorating rooms. If you don’t want your entire home staged, you can opt to have specific rooms staged, which would still make a significant difference and help your home appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers.
  •  Increase your curb appeal – Do you have any overgrown bushes leaning against windows or vinyl siding? Is the pathway leading to your front steps uneven or cracked? Is your lawn in need of mowing? Invest in landscaping. First impressions matter—you want potential buyers to see a well-cared-for home before they even walk through the door.
  • Consider painting (both exterior and interior) – Painting the exterior and interior of your house gives a fresh and clean appearance, creates less work for the buyer when they move in, and makes the house feel newer. When thinking about painting, also consider the front door, the garage door, fence, and deck. Check for peeling or faded paint and signs of age. 

Buyers: How should you prepare?

  • Know your budget and get pre-approved Get pre-approved by a local mortgage lender or a mortgage broker, which will demonstrate that you are a serious, credit-worthy home buyer. 
  • Make a short list of your wants and needs – Keep in mind what can and cannot be changed. Some important things to consider about a house are layout, size, and number of bedrooms. Be prepared to make some sacrifices but also hold on to the factors that are most important. You should feel confident in your bid and potential commitment. 
  • Remember that location is key – Are you looking for a quiet side street? Does it bother you if you’ll hear traffic/trains going by, or baseball games from a nearby park? Do you need to be near the highway for an easier commute? Before looking at a house, consider the location. That’s something you can’t paint, renovate, or hire a contractor to fix.

It’s important to find a realtor who has ample experience, extensive knowledge about the area you are buying or selling in, and many positive reviews. Selling or buying a home can be overwhelming, but when you have the right realtor by your side, the process feels less daunting. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the North Shore of Massachusetts, I would love the opportunity to work with you—contact me today!

A Guide to Buying Your First Home on the North Shore
A Guide to Buying Your First Home on the North Shore

5 Reasons to Sell this Winter

Every winter, I hear the same sentiment from many of my clients; “I thought the market slows down in the winter so it would be a good time to keep my home off the market.” Many sellers want to wait until spring or summer to put their house up for sale. However, If you’re planning to move, now is actually a good time. Between low inventory and eager buyers coming off the 2021 market, it’s truly the perfect time to sell your home.

Here are 5 reasons why now is a great time to sell your home. 

Low Inventory

The start of the new year and colder temperatures always lead to a cooling real estate market. For example, in Denver, there are only about one-third as many homes for sale in winter as in spring or summer. Many sellers take time off over the holidays or simply think moving during the winter would be too much work. However, according to Zillow’s latest report, while inventory is trending down, the growth in home values continues to trend up. A mass of eager buyers combined with low inventory gives winter sellers better control over their home sales. Moving companies are also offering great deals for those looking to move during the off-season. 

Eager Buyers

Summer 2021 was one of the most competitive markets I’ve seen in years. U.S. homes spent an average of 31 days on market in 2021—the lowest median selling period in more than 15 years! Due to the competitive market, many buyers walked away from 2021 without their dream homes. These buyers are still on the hunt and are waiting for new homes to enter the market. You very well may end up in a bidding war if you consider selling.

New Year New Buyers

A new year is a time of change for many individuals across the country. From new jobs, company relocations, moving closer to family, or even just personal changes, many are looking for a change of scenery. Many of these buyers can’t start new jobs or opportunities until they have a home base and are eager to make a quick sale. These buyers are anxious to find a home and often present high cash offers!

Growing Competition

According to Zillow’s latest market report, the seasonal housing cooldown may end early this year. The usually slow winter housing market is set to be saturated with sellers before the snow has even melted! If you’re even considering selling, get ahead of the competition and take advantage of the low inventory and eager buyers that are waiting for new listings. 

Increasing Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have been consistently low over the past few years. However, they recently saw a slight increase.  While this increase is still slight and has no indication of halting the 2022 housing market, rising rates can still give some buyers pause. Get ahead of rising rates and place your home on the market this winter!

Thinking about selling? Contact me today  for a FREE market analysis for the value of your home or to learn about the current market and the selling process. I’d love to help!

Welcome to the North Shore

First and foremost, what is the North Shore? The North Shore is the region north of Boston located along the Atlantic coast. Over the years, there has been much debate over which towns and cities should and should not be included in the official North Shore.

Some believe the North Shore includes the entire coastline from New Hampshire to Boston and is made up of the following:

Beverly, MA

Danvers, MA

Essex, MA

Gloucester, MA

Ipswich, MA

Lynn, MA

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Marblehead, MA

Nahant, MA

Newbury, MA

Newburyport, MA

Peabody, MA

Revere, MA

Rockport, MA

Rowley, MA

Salem, MA 

Salisbury, MA

Saugus, MA

Swampscott, MA

Winthrop, MA 

However, The Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s North Shore Task Force, defines the North Shore as also encompassing Cape Ann and several other communities:

​​Amesbury, MA

Beverly, MA

Boxford, MA

Danvers, MA

Essex, MA

Georgetown, MA

Gloucester, MA

Groveland, MA 

Hamilton, MA

Haverhill, MA

Ipswich, MA

Lynn, MA

Lynnfield, MA

Manchester, MA

Marblehead, MA

Merrimac, MA

Middleton, MA

Nahant, MA

Newbury, MA

Newburyport, MA

Peabody, MA

Rockport, MA

Rowley, MA

Salem, MA

Salisbury, MA

Saugus, MA

Swampscott, MA

Topsfield, MA

Wakefield, MA

Wenham, MA

West Newbury, MA

No matter what you define as the “official” North Shore, we can all agree that the region has so much to offer. From historic towns, stunning beaches and picturesque views it is the perfect place for a day trip, vacation or even your home base!

Looking for travel advice? Check out our North Shore guides to find out what to do, where to eat and everything else about our favorite towns and cities.

Visit Beverly

The North Shore’s best-kept secret, Beverly, has something to offer for the whole family.  “The Garden City,” only 40 minutes away from Boston’s downtown, has easy access to the city, beach, countryside and beautiful wildlife. Read On

Visit Salem

Named by TravelMag.com as one of the top 30 most charming small cities in the U.S., there is a lot to love about Salem, Massachusetts. Whether you’re interested in the atmosphere, the rich history, the people, or the restaurants, Salem has something to offer everyone. Read On

Visit Marblehead

When you think of New England coastal towns, you may think of Gloucester, Rockport, and Newburyport—gorgeous fishing towns where you are guaranteed to find a classic sailboat magnet at a cute boutique shop on the main stretch. But there’s another iconic coastal town on the North Shore that is somewhat of a hidden gem. A quaint town that offers a timeless quality and a sense of belonging. Read On