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


The last thing you want to experience after purchasing a new home is "buyer's remorse!" With that in mind, it pays to look at all angles when house shopping. Although emotions and first impressions are going to play a big role in your home-buying decisions, a thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of every home that appeals to you will help ensure you're making the best decision for you and your family.

While your real estate agent will help you find houses for sale that have the necessary number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, you'll need to make sure they're fully aware of your "wish list," your desired lifestyle, and your personal preferences. Here a few examples:

Commuting distance: Unless you've found your dream home that's absolutely perfect in every way (if such a thing exists), a long commute to work, every day, could dampen your enthusiasm about an otherwise great house. Since everyone has a difference tolerance for long commutes, there's no hard-and-fast rule for that facet of home buying. Having a comfortable vehicle, listening to books on tape, or streaming your favorite music or radio programs can help make a long commute more acceptable -- even enjoyable. If you take a train to work, every day, you also have the option of catching up on your reading, preparing for meetings, or even meditating. So while a long commute does not have to be a "deal breaker," it is an important factor worth pondering.

Privacy level: This is another aspect of home ownership that's based on personal preferences. However, if you realize -- after the fact -- that you don't have enough privacy from neighbors or passersby, then you might end up feeling less-than-satisfied with your new home. Fortunately, you can compensate for lack of privacy by installing fences or planting privacy hedges, but the best laid plans are generally formulated before you make a purchase offer. If you consider privacy to be a high priority, always take notice of a house's distance from neighbors and streets.

Leaky basements: Although there are solutions for wet basements, there's a lot of expense and inconvenience associated with having to implement them. Excessive moisture can not only damage stored furniture, books, and other belongings, but it's also a fertile breeding ground for mold and mildew. A qualified home inspector will generally point out issues like that, but it's much better to notice them before you get to that advanced stage in the home-buying process.

An experienced real estate agent who represents your interests can provide valuable guidance and help you notice potential "red flags" that could adversely affect your future enjoyment of a home. A buyers' agent can offer you the expertise, professional insights, and objective point of view you might not otherwise have.


If you plan to sell your home, it often is a good idea to learn about property showings. That way, you can prepare for showings and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three things that sellers need to know about home showings.

1. A showing may make or break the house selling journey.

As a house seller, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression on a potential buyer. And if your home fails to impress a buyer, this individual is likely to move on to other residences.

By taking care of your home, you can make it easy for a buyer to fall in love with your residence during a showing. In fact, completing home maintenance tasks can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers.

Mowing the front lawn and trimming the hedges can help you bolster your residence's curb appeal. Meanwhile, removing clutter, vacuuming the rugs and scrubbing the floors enables you to improve your home's interior. And if you perform these home maintenance tasks prior to a showing, you can help a buyer envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your residence.

2. Even an unsuccessful home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity.

If a home showing fails to result in an offer to purchase your home, there is no need to worry. A home seller should view each showing as a learning opportunity and use it to find ways to upgrade his or her residence.

Remember, there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to differentiating your house in a competitive real estate market. And if you take a buyer's feedback after a showing to heart, you can use this feedback to explore innovative ways to improve the look and feel of your home.

3. A home seller should strive to be flexible with property showing requests.

Ultimately, a seller may receive home showing requests on short notice. And in these instances, it helps to accommodate buyers' requests.

If a seller is willing to temporarily vacate his or her house to accommodate a last-minute showing request, this individual can make it simple for buyers to view the residence without delay. As a result, this seller can show his or her house to many potential buyers to speed up the property selling cycle.

As you get ready to show your residence to buyers, it usually helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything you need to know about the house selling journey and ensure you are fully prepared for any challenges that may come your way. Best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers so you can maximize your home sale earnings.

Hire a real estate agent today, and you can start showing your residence to potential buyers.


Looking to put together an offer on a house? Ultimately, you'll want to submit a competitive first offer. By doing so, you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream residence.

When it comes to submitting a competitive home offer, however, it is important to understand what differentiates a "fair" proposal from a subpar one.

To better understand how to submit a competitive proposal, let's take a look at three best practices that every homebuyer needs to consider before making an offer on a house.

1. Evaluate the Housing Market

If you plan to buy a house, you'll want to examine the real estate market closely. That way, you can identify housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.

For example, if you find there is an abundance of high-quality houses available, you may be entering a buyer's market. In this market, there likely is a shortage of homebuyers, which means a competitive offer at or near a home seller's asking price is sure to grab this individual's attention.

On the other hand, if you notice that homes are selling quickly in a city or town, you may need to prepare for a seller's market. If you pursue houses in a seller's market, you may need to act quickly due to the sheer volume of buyers competing for the same residences.

Clearly, a comprehensive housing market analysis can make a world of difference for homebuyers. With in-depth housing market insights at your disposal, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to submit a competitive first offer on any residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

What good is a competitive home offer if you cannot afford to buy a residence? If you secure a home loan, you can narrow your home search to properties that you can afford. Then, you'll be able to submit a competitive offer that ensures you won't have to break your budget to purchase your dream residence.

Also, if you're unsure about how your financial situation will impact your ability to buy a house, you should consult with banks and credit unions in your area. These financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a home loan, establish a homebuying budget and much more.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to submitting a competitive home offer, it pays to receive expert homebuying support. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent who is happy to help you put together a competitive home offer.

A real estate agent can provide housing market data that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, this housing market professional can offer unbiased home offer recommendations to ensure you can get an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

Collaborating with a real estate agent is a great option for homebuyers in all cities and towns. Reach out to local real estate agents today, and you can get the help you need to submit a competitive offer on any residence.


You recently moved to your new home, and you're ready to deck out your kitchen with all new appliances. Go you! You worked hard to purchase your new home, and you deserve to enjoy it along with great new gadgets to help you entertain, bring your family together and help keep things clean and organized. With so many attractive items on the market, how do you decide what to buy? It's a good idea to start with a few basic assessments to set some parameters for your shopping.

First, know your budget. No matter how many appliances you’re looking to purchase you need to set your overall budget to determine what you can by while staying within your means. You might want a new stove, fridge, dishwasher, fancy vacuum, and a new washer dryer set so you need to know what amount of funds you can allocate to each purchase and if you'll need to prioritize some purchases over others. 

Next, make a list of items you're looking for in order of priority. Maybe the washer dryer set you have works perfectly fine but isn't as energy efficient as you want. On the other hand, your dishwasher doesn't work well at all and definitely needs replacing, and the fridge you currently have is pretty out of date, and to top it off, doesn't fit in your new home.

When you know the appliances, you want to buy, and the amount of money you can spend you're almost ready to shop. There's just one more critical step before you start. Make sure you measure the available space in your new home for each of the appliances. You don't want to skip over this one step just to find out that the oven doesn't fit when you go to install it. 

When you’re ready to shop, start by researching online to get an idea of price ranges and features for each piece. Look at warranty offerings and potential sales happening at your local appliance and home improvement stores. Make a list of the features you’re interested in for each appliance and note any models you like in particular. You should also make a list of any questions you have about how the appliances function, their maintenance, and features. Now you're truly ready to head out to the store.

You might ultimately make an online purchase, but you should always go check out models in the store. Open doors and drawers look at rack space and mechanical features of different appliances and talk to in-store professionals. Take your list of features and questions and ask for assistance to make sure you have all the information necessary to make good purchase decisions. The last step, order your new appliances, get them installed and start enjoying them in your new home!


Locating the perfect real estate agent can be a difficult task, as it is usually hard to settle on someone that you can trust with such a big life decision. But, once you have discovered one, it would be useful you make sure your relationship stays sweet.

So, maintaining a professional relationship with your real estate agent tells a lot about your character. After all, a peaceful relationship with them will help you in the future. They maintain a comprehensive network of people that can help you with home repairs when buying and selling homes, or even refinancing your mortgage.

Good real estate agents are busy, so how can you get yours to stick around after the end of the contract? Here are several ways you can maintain a good relationship with them. 

1. Maintain a high level of trust

When you are building a relationship with your agent, it can be easy to focus on trusting them and forget that it works both ways. For an agent-client relationship to stay successful, trust from both sides needs to be present from the start and maintained until the very end.

As a homebuyer, you recruit an agent to work for you and represent you in locating and purchasing a home. They can help you best if you give them complete information about what you are looking for and whether or not you can qualify for the mortgage. They also give you their best advice to help in the decision-making process, but if you are following conflicting advice from someone else, your agent will find it challenging to help you. Your agent needs to be able to trust that you are not going to undermine their ability to get you into the home that is best for you.

As a home seller, you need to be honest with your agent about the amount your willing to accept for the property, and about any liens or issues that might impede the sale.

2. Be respectful of their time

Good agents are busy agents. You are not their only client. So, make sure to meet them at agreed times to look at properties. They may have other showings scheduled for that day, so lack of accountability on your part affects more than just you and them. And if you like a home and are considering making an offer, let them know so that they can be prepared to get your offer in as soon as possible. 

When selling, vacate your property when they have a buyer ready to look at it. Yes, it may be somewhat inconvenient for you, but accommodating the buyer will get your home sold. It also shows your agent you are serious about selling.

3. Maintain open-mindedness

Your agent may present you with options you've never thought about, so keeping an open mind might get you that perfect home you didn't even know was available or it might sell your home in a way you couldn't have imagined. Also, legally, your agent cannot dissuade you from buying in a particular area or making an offer on a specific home, but they can point out the amenities or lack thereof in a neighborhood or suggest that you get a home inspection first. And they can use your checklist to point out if a home meets your stated needs.

When selling, they cannot insist you accept an offer, but they can explain what the market can bear in terms of pricing and give you a realistic picture of what you can expect to receive.

Follow these helpful tips, and you will be on your way to creating a great and healthy relationship with your real estate agent.