Susan Callahan | Billerica MA Real Estate, Chelmsford MA Real Estate, Nashua NH Real Estate


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Purchasing a home for the first time is often a daunting task. There are many things to know and a plethora of conflicting advice. If you’re new to real estate and the home-buying process, keeping these tips in mind can help make the path to homeownership smoother.

Pick the Right Person

Choosing a real estate agent that specializes in helping first-time homebuyers can relieve some of the uncertainty you might feel. You must seek professional help when buying a home because you need someone to watch out for your interests. A buyer’s agent only works for you. They do not represent the seller, so when it comes to negotiating, they are committed to your best interest.

Remember that your agent does this for a living. That means they are licensed by the state and maintain that license. The information they give you is for you, in your situation. Work with your agent exclusively and don’t keep them in the dark about what you want. You won’t make a better deal with the seller by excluding your agent, and since you have a contract with them, you may set yourself up for legal action if you do.

Choose the Right Lender

Apply to several lenders to find the best loan at the best rate for you. Many lenders offer first-time buyer programs that give preferential rates to buyers that attend classes or go through a seminar. Choosing the best lender means the difference between closing the purchase on your home or losing out. Your experienced agent helps you differentiate among lenders, but check with your bank or credit union as well, since they may have a better arrangement for you.

Follow Through on Paperwork

In the end, much of the process comes down to you. You’ll be asked for a lot of paperwork, and the sooner you turn it in, the better your chances of a timely close. Keep track of other paperwork too. Your agent handles the contracts and submissions to the seller and the lender, but you need to read them and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Know Why You’re Buying

Back in the day, buying a home for a tax deduction as a financial tool made sense. But modern tax laws make that less of an incentive. If you’re buying a home to lower your tax bill, you might be disappointed. But when you’re purchasing a home because it is where you want to live and you want to make it yours, you’ve got the right idea in mind.

Talk to your real estate agent about what you’re looking for in your first home and start on the path to owning your own home right away.


If you own a city home but are ready to relocate, now may be a great time to list your residence. In fact, there are many reasons why an individual may choose to sell his or her city residence, and these include:

1. You want to downsize or upgrade.

Although your city house likely has served you well for many years, it may become too big or too small for you due to changes in your living situation. Fortunately, if you sell your city residence, you can downsize or upgrade as needed.

If you decide to list your city house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Therefore, if you craft a property selling strategy, you can determine what steps you'll need to take to quickly sell your city home and maximize your house sale earnings.

2. You want to live closer to family members and friends.

Your city home probably provides convenient access to a wide array of attractions and landmarks. But in some instances, a city residence may be far away from family members and friends.

If you want to live closer to loved ones, there is no need to worry. By listing your city home, you can take the first step to relocate closer to family members and friends outside the city. And after you sell your city house, you may be able to reap the benefits of quick, easy access to loved ones.

3. You are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Let's face it – the city is a busy place. A city home may have seemed like a fun, exciting place to live, at least at first. But if you've grown tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, you may want to sell your current residence and relocate to a new home in a small town.

If you know how to promote your city home to the right groups of potential buyers, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your house. And if your city residence boasts amazing curb appeal and a stunning interior, you could boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

As you get ready to list your city home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. With this housing market professional at your side, you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will allocate time and resources to learn about you and your city residence. Next, he or she will craft a personalized home selling strategy designed to help you achieve your property selling goals. And if you have any concerns or questions as you put your house selling plan into action, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

Take the guesswork out of selling your home in the city. Employ a real estate agent today, and you can receive comprehensive support as you list your city home and navigate the property selling journey.


Want to relocate to a condo? With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble moving into the condo of your choice.

Employing a real estate agent with condo experience is ideal, particularly for property buyers who are considering condos for the first time. However, it is important to note that not all real estate professionals with condo experience are created equal, and some stand out for all the right reasons.

Ultimately, there are several factors to consider as you search for a real estate agent to help you find the perfect condo, including:

1. Expertise

How many years has a real estate agent been assisting condo buyers? Does a real estate agent know how to get information from a homeowners' association (HOA)? And can a real estate agent set up condo showings at your convenience? These are just a few of the questions that condo buyers need to consider before they employ a real estate agent.

As a condo buyer, there is no need to settle for a subpar real estate agent. In fact, real estate agents with condo expertise are available across the country. And if you conduct a comprehensive search for the right real estate agent, you should have no trouble finding a real estate professional who can guide you along each step of the condo buying journey.

2. Communication Skills

How does a real estate agent keep in touch with his or her clients? Try to find a real estate agent who provides regular updates throughout the condo buying process. This real estate professional will make his or her clients a priority and do whatever it takes to help them get the best results possible.

Ideally, you should be able to get in touch with a real estate agent via phone, email or text. And if a real estate agent is unavailable, you usually should expect to hear back from him or her within a few hours at most.

A real estate agent who is readily available will be able to provide you with the condo buying support that you need, any time you need it. As a result, this real estate professional can keep you up to date about new condos as they become available, the state of negotiations with a condo seller and much more.

3. Client Satisfaction

Are past clients satisfied with the support that they received from a real estate agent? Ask a real estate agent for client referrals to find out.

Reaching out to past clients can provide you with a better idea about how a real estate agent will assist you during the condo buying journey. That way, you can determine whether you will feel comfortable working with this real estate agent or if you should consider other options.

Dedicate the necessary time and resources to find a great real estate agent to help you find your dream condo. By doing so, you can move one step closer to making your condo ownership dreams come true.


Adding a quality home to the real estate market offers no guarantees. And if you fail to set a competitive initial asking price for your residence, your home may linger on the housing market for many weeks or months. Fortunately, we're here to teach you about the real estate sector and ensure you can use your home's initial asking price to differentiate your residence from the competition.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish the right price for your house prior to listing your residence.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market is tough to navigate, particularly for a seller who wants to separate his or her residence from the crowd. Thankfully, an informed home seller can review housing market data and use this information to establish a price range for his or her house.

A home seller who assesses the real estate sector can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one. This seller will collect and analyze housing market data related to the prices of recently sold residences and how long these houses were listed before they sold. Then, this seller can determine whether he or she is preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

Although a home inspection usually is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase, it may be beneficial for a seller to conduct an inspection before listing a home. An inspection enables a seller to identify problem areas in a residence. As a result, a seller can use an inspection report to prioritize home improvement projects, complete home repairs and boost the value of his or her house.

A home appraisal also may prove to be exceedingly valuable to a seller. In fact, an appraisal provides a seller with a property valuation that he or she can use to establish a competitive initial home asking price.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no telling how homebuyers will respond to a new house that becomes available. Lucky for you, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead to list your house and ensure you can establish a competitive price for your home from day one of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent is an expert resource that you can leverage when you sell your house. He or she can help you review housing market data from a variety of sources. Furthermore, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home inspectors and appraisers. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of pricing a house and will help you set an initial home asking price that matches buyers' expectations.

When it comes to selling your house and maximizing its value, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the help you need to showcase your residence to prospective buyers and boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.


Image by Kazuky Akayashi from Unsplash

Whether you’re moving down the street or to a different state, it’s important to make sure your pets are prepared for this change. There are several practical things to consider while getting your pets ready for your move. Since you already have a lot to keep track of between packing and planning for moving day, keep the following tips handy to ensure that your pets are fully prepared.

Stock Up on Supplies Before Moving Day

Making sure you have plenty of food for your pets means you’ll have one less thing to worry about on moving day. Plan to purchase enough food to last for at least a couple of weeks after you arrive. If your pets take any medication, ask your vet about stocking enough of it to last for a few extra weeks.

Update Microchip Information and ID Tags

Pets can easily become stressed during a move. With unfamiliar people coming into and out of your home to load or unload the truck, there’a a higher risk of having anxious pets bolt out the door. Before moving day, update the information associated with your pets’ microchips and ID tags in case they get lost.

Stay Current on Vaccines

Making sure your pets have updated vaccines can give you peace of mind if they happen to run off during the transition into your new space. Being updated on vaccines is also helpful if you plan on boarding your pets on moving day. Boarding them may help prevent them from getting lost or feeling overwhelmed.

Visit Your New Home Before Moving Day

If possible, bring your pets over to your new home before you move in. Keep dogs on a leash to make sure they stay safe, and bring cats in carriers that you can easily get them in and out of. Bringing them over before moving day can give them a chance to wander around and explore each room while your new home is empty and quiet. 

Tire Your Pets Out

Tired pets are less likely to act up if they’re feeling stressed or anxious as moving day approaches. In the days before your departure, spend quality time with your pets and keep them active. Run around the yard with your dogs, bring them to the local dog park or take them for extra long walks around the neighborhood. Use toys to keep your cats active and playful. Spending some time with your pets every day can help them feel less anxious about the changes going on around them, such as having boxes all around instead of familiar items. 




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