Maura and Ross Rodino - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate |


Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.


For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, identifying your target buyer is key. Because if you understand why buyers may choose your residence over other available houses, you can promote your home to the right groups of buyers. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the house selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your target buyer so you can promote your house effectively and speed up the home selling process.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

Think about why a buyer should choose your residence. Then, you can find ways to promote your house's features to the right groups of buyers.

Ultimately, a home listing can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to engage and inform prospective buyers about a residence. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you can craft your house listing accordingly.

For example, if your residence is located just minutes from top beaches, you may want to include this information in your home listing. On the other hand, if your home offers multiple bedrooms, you may want to include high-resolution photographs of these bedrooms in your listing to show off the size and beauty of your house.

2. Conduct an Inspection

A home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase his or her house. But when it comes to identifying your target buyer, you may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing your residence.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying issues. You then can prioritize home upgrades, and as such, make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

With a home inspection, you may be able to gain insights into your residence that could be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Thus, if you perform an inspection, you can find ways to improve your residence so you can make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to target buyers, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert home selling advice any time you need it.

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house and can help you address such issues. First, he or she will develop a personalized home selling strategy and help you showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she next will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can recommend whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

Devote time and resources to learn about your target buyer – you will be glad you did. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can identify your target buyer and map out a successful house selling journey.


Today’s home buyers see hundreds if not thousands of real estate photos when they’re in the market. Odds are that they’ll eliminate a number of homes from their search before ever even setting foot in them.

As you can imagine, that makes your home listing’s photographs all the more important to securing solid leads on your house.

In spite of the importance of photographs, a number of sellers get them wrong. To ensure that your home listing’s photos make a great first impression, we’re going to take a look at some of the common mistakes to avoid in your listing photography.

1. Not taking enough photos

In the age of digital photography, you can never take too many pictures. Experiment with different lighting, setups, and angles, and don’t be afraid to take as many photos as necessary to get the shots you want.

2. Going overboard with the uploads

It might be tempting to upload all of the pictures you took of your home, but it could hurt your overall presentation. Sort carefully through your pictures and pick one or two photos that best showcase each room and another one to three photos of the home’s exterior and land.

Visitors to your listing will get bored and click away if you have a slideshow with hundreds of images. Make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for by limiting the number of total photos of your home.

3. Avoid close-ups

Your home should be spotlessly clean and tidy when taking photos. However, that doesn’t mean you need to get up close to each object in your home to take photos. Try to take wide shots that make your home feel spacious and welcoming.

4. Look out for mirrors and reflections and other distractions

If there’s one way to ruin an otherwise serene photo of your home, it’s when you spot the photographer accidentally showing up in the shot. Plan your angles so that you don’t get any flashes, glare, or reflections in your photographs.

And, while we’re on the topic of distractions, it’s a good idea to take your pets out of the room before your start shooting. Remember, potential home buyers don’t love your dog or cat like you do.

5. Don’t settle with your first shots

The different (or lack) of lighting your home receives throughout the day can make or break your photos. Try taking photos of your home at midday, when there are the least amount of shadows. Then, shoot some photos at golden hour (just before the sun sets) to capture warm tones. Finally, right after dusk, turn the lights on in your home and take some shots from outside. These photos give the illusion of a warm, cozy place where the light is always on.


Looking to add your home to the real estate market? Ultimately, you'll want to do everything you can to maximize the value of your residence.

For home sellers, getting the best price for a residence may seem virtually impossible at times. Fortunately, we're here to help you plan ahead so you can get the best price for your house as soon as it hits the market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize the value of your residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

1. Examine the Housing Market

When it comes to the real estate market, it is important to understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Collect housing market data to learn about the real estate sector. Then, you can establish a "competitive" price for your home and boost your chances of a quick home sale.

Typically, home sellers should look at the prices of currently available residences in their cities and towns. This will enable home sellers to understand the local real estate market and establish a price range for houses that are similar to their own.

Don't forget to review the prices of recently sold houses as well. With this housing market data in hand, home sellers can find out whether they are about to enter a seller's or buyer's market.

2. Complete a Home Appraisal

Let's face it – what your home is worth today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your residence. If you have completed a wide range of home upgrades over the years, the value of your residence may have increased. Or, if you failed to maintain your house's interior and exterior, your residence's value may have fallen.

A home appraisal will enable you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This assessment is performed by a professional property inspector who will take a close look at your house's interior and exterior. After the assessment is finished, the property inspector will provide you with a report that can help you price your house appropriately.

If you want to boost your home's value after a home appraisal, you can always complete various home interior and exterior improvement projects. That way, you can enhance your house both inside and out and move closer to maximizing the value of your home.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker for home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will do everything possible to help you prep your house and ensure you can receive the best price for it – without exception.

Usually, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and much more. He or she will even provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure you can streamline the home selling journey.

Don't leave anything to chance as you get ready to add your house to the real estate market. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the best price for your house.


A home appraisal enables a seller to learn about the value of his or her house relative to the current housing market. As such, an appraisal represents an important opportunity, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the profits from his or her home sale.

Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for a home appraisal. If you prepare for an appraisal, you can use the appraisal results to achieve your home selling goals in no time at all.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to perform a home appraisal.

1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match the current value of your residence. Fortunately, if you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize home improvements and complete these upgrades. As a result, you may be able to boost your chances of receiving a favorable property valuation during a home appraisal.

Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you schedule an appraisal. That way, you can use the inspection results to determine which areas of your house need to be upgraded.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The present real estate sector will impact the valuation of your house. To establish realistic expectations for a home appraisal, it often helps to analyze the current housing market.

If homes are selling quickly, this likely indicates that a seller's market is in place. This market favors sellers and may enable you to receive plenty of offers if you establish a competitive price for your home.

Comparatively, if homes linger on the real estate market for many days, weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In this market, you may need to set an aggressive price to help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A home appraisal is an important part of the home selling journey. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a home selling expert who can help you maximize your property valuation during an appraisal.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your city or town. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you determine how to price your house to ensure you can stir up significant interest in your residence.

A real estate agent also is happy to help you review any offers on your home. If you're unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market.




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