Judy Kuhtreiber, Realtor | Shrewsbury Real Estate, Marlborough Real Estate, Southborough Real Estate


Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for a new homeowner. Packing up a house-full of belongings is a strenuous process that can take up a lot of time and energy. And, if you’re working with movers, you’re going to have to pay for everything you want to move.

One way to make the process of moving easier and to save some money is by listing some of your unwanted belongings for sale online.

There are a number of places to list your unwanted items, but some are better than others when it comes to heavy and bulk items.

When to start listing and selling

The best time to begin the process of listing and selling some of your bulk items is at least two months before your move.

Why so long?

The answer lies in how much time it takes to list items, field responses, and ship the items or meet up with the buyer for pickup.

To list your items, you’ll want to do some research on them to find out the brand name, year, condition, and model number for things like large televisions. You’ll then want to see what the items are selling for used online.

Once you have a price in mind, you’ll want to take some high quality photos of the items. Good lighting and a decent camera (a newer smartphone camera should suffice).

Next comes the process of listing. Regardless of where you list your items, you’ll want to make sure you provide as many details as possible. This will help provide the site you’re using with enough keywords to make your items show up in popular searches. It will also help reduce the number of questions you receive from buyers who want to know more about the item--the listing should tell them everything they need to know to make a purchase.

Where to list

For large items that would be costly to ship, it’s best to use local listing services like Craigslist and Facebook groups. However, don’t give out too many details (like your address or date of moving); you don’t want to tip off would-be scammers or thieves to the fact that you’re moving.

For smaller items that still carry some value, a site like eBay or Amazon can produce top value for your belongings. Just factor in shipping costs and the chance of returns into the price.

Tips for success

One of the reasons I recommend listing your items months in advance of your move is because it can take time to list your items, field inquiries, then finally ship them and receive your payment.

One way to ensure that you successfully sell your items is to stay on top of inquiries. That means making yourself available whenever possible to take phone calls and answering email questions.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to turn a profit off of the items you would have otherwise had to pay to move. Happy moving, and good luck!


Putting your home on the market is a life-changing decision and, for some people, it may involve conflicting feelings.

Ideally, all members of your family should be on board with the decision to sell. If you, your spouse, or your kids are ambivalent or even against the idea of moving, it could send a negative message to prospective buyers, estate agents, and others. Helping your family stay positive and motivated can ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

A common stumbling block for many sellers is the inclination to attach too much sentimental value to their home. While you may associate your home with fond family memories, years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in home improvements, your actual selling price should be a reflection of market conditions and the price comparable houses in your neighborhood recently sold for.

Based on a comparative analysis, your real estate agent can help you come up with a realistic asking price that will reflect both its market value and major improvements you've made in recent years. Although remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms will not provide you with a dollar-for-dollar return on investment (ROI) when it comes time to sell, prospective buyers will be much more attracted to a home that's been updated and well maintained.

When selling your home, perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind is that "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression." By minimizing the negatives and making the most of your home's attributes, you'll be increasing the probability of selling your house within the shortest period of time

Keeping your home meticulously clean for every showing can often be a challenge, but it's a goal worth striving for. Other ways to make a favorable impression on potential buyers is to focus on maximizing your home's curb appeal and minimizing clutter -- both inside and out. While it may seem like a tall order to declutter your home, keep your lawn looking manicured, and apply fresh coats of paint where needed, you'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish by setting your mind to it. One simple but effective strategy for getting things done is to create checklists of priorities, projects, and important tasks that need to be completed. When you commit goals to writing and review your priority list every day, you'll tend to be much more organized, action oriented, and focused.

Although a lot of people take a sense of humble pride in saying that their home is "a work in progress," once it's on the market, you need to have as many of those rough edges smoothed out, as possible! Putting your best foot forward for every showing could make the difference between a fast sale and a house which lingers on the market for months!


Purchasing a condo should be fast and easy. However, negotiations with a condo seller can quickly become stressful and may put your chances to acquire your dream condo in danger.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the process of negotiating with a condo seller to ensure you can purchase your ideal property.

Here are three tips to help you navigate tough negotiations with a condo seller.

1. Consider the Condo Seller's Perspective

Think about the condo seller's perspective and try to find common ground with this individual. By doing so, you and the condo seller may be able to agree to terms that meet the needs of both sides.

When you initially submit an offer on a condo, ensure your proposal accounts for the condo's condition and the current state of the real estate market. That way, you'll be able to avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" offer that falls below a condo seller's expectations.

Also, maintain open lines of communication throughout the negotiation process. This will allow you to listen to a condo seller's concerns and respond accordingly.

2. Collect Plenty of Housing Market Data

If a condo seller believes you are unwilling to pay a sufficient price for his or her condo, it is always a good idea to present housing market data to back up your offer.

Explore the housing market closely to learn about the prices of comparable condos in nearby cities and towns. This will allow you to see how a particular condo stacks up against similar properties in terms of price and condition.

In addition, check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area to identify housing market patterns and trends. With this real estate market information at your disposal, you'll be able to make an informed decision about whether to continue to negotiate with a condo seller or consider other properties.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will negotiate with a condo seller on your behalf. Therefore, he or she will help you minimize the stress and anxiety that is commonly associated with condo negotiations.

Typically, a real estate agent will submit an offer on a condo and wait to hear back from a condo seller. If a condo seller decides to negotiate, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the negotiation process.

A real estate agent will listen to your condo buying concerns and questions and respond immediately. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make informed decisions during negotiations with a condo seller. This real estate professional will even share your concerns with a condo seller to help you get the best results possible.

When it comes to a negotiating with a condo seller, there is no need to worry. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of condo negotiations. And ultimately, you may be able to move one step closer to buying a condo that meets or exceeds your expectations.


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

As the home buying process nears the closing, both buyers and sellers need to prepare for the appraisal. This often the last step the lender requires before approving financing for the buyer, so it’s an important part of the home sale process.

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is an unbiased, professional evaluation of the value of a home or other piece of real estate. It takes a look at the property, its physical characteristics and the local market conditions to determine the fair market value of a property.

How Is an Appraisal Different from an Inspection?

The appraisal is similar to an inspection, but it is a separate step. In an inspection, the inspector is looking at details about the home and its condition that make it safe or unsafe to live in. The inspector is also comparing the home to current building codes to make sure the home is up to current safety standards.

An appraiser is simply looking at the home’s market value. The appraiser has rigorous training to learn how to evaluate property values and puts that to work to evaluate yours.

How Does the Home’s Appraisal Impact the Home’s Sale?

Lenders want to know that they’re lending no more than the home’s actual value, because they don’t want to have a borrower upside down in a home loan at any point. If the home does not appraise for what the buyer is offering, the loan amount will not be approved. This either means the buyer can walk away or the buyer and seller can renegotiate the terms to match the appraised value.

How to Improve the Appraisal Value on a Home

Sellers who are worried that a home may appraise too low can take some steps to improve the appraisal value. Repairing cracks in the plaster or stains on the wall, for instance, before the appraisal can help improve its value. Odors and staining on the carpeting should also be addressed before the appraiser comes. Improving curb appeal and showing details about improvements and repairs that are high in value are also helpful in boosting the home’s potential value.

The home appraisal is a critical step, and often one of the last hurdles between initial offer and closing. Both sellers and buyers need to understand this step, so they can avoid unhappy surprises when the appraisal report comes back. If a home is competitively priced and well taken care of, the appraisal shouldn’t be a problem in the overall sale of the home.


Image by ClassicallyPrinted from Pixabay

If you own a home with an HVAC unit you may replace filters every once in a while but the maintenance needed for the long-term health of the system is a little more involved. If not identified early, small issues can compound over time and become quite costly to remedy. The most common issues that may arise with an HVAC unit are described below.

Regular Maintenance

It is critical to make sure the HVAC unit is kept in good working order through regular service. Work with a professional technician and follow the recommended maintenance calendar. Performing regular maintenance will help to ensure issues are avoided or resolved in the early stages, helping you get as much life as possible out of the HVAC unit.

Filters that are Dirty and Clogged

One of the most common issues is HVAC filters that are dirty and clogged. Forcing an HVAC unit to work with dirty, clogged filters is a sure way to shorten its lifespan. One of the signs that the HVAC filters might be dirty is that electricity or gas bills are starting to rise. This is a sign that the HVAC unit is working too hard. If not addressed, the unit will be unable to keep up and will eventually shut down entirely. Prevent this by replacing the filters on time.

Problems with the Pilot or Ignition

Another common issue relates to the ignition of the HVAC system itself. There are a number of reasons why this might be happening. Sometimes, the pilot might be dirty. In other cases, burners or flame sensors might prevent the ignition process from proceeding. Other times, you may experience a delayed ignition of the burners or a furnace lockout. This might be due to routine wear and tear or an issue with the gas supply itself.

Problems with the Thermostat

Occasionally you may experience problems with the thermostat component. If your furnace is not calling for heat when you adjust the thermostat, the problem may be with the thermostat itself. First, review the programming if your HVAC system includes this feature. Adjusting or resetting the scheduling may resolve your issue. Alternately, if your thermostat runs on battery power, replacing the battery may resolve the issue.