Managing the Process of a”Piggyback” Sale

The Sell-then-Buy Home Transaction

Most  sellers  today must sell their current home before they can purchase a new home. The proceeds from sale #1 are used for sale #2. This is referred to as a “piggyback” sale. If you are fortunate to have found a home and buyer at the same time, consider yourself very lucky.  Often times, the closing for #1 is in the morning and #2 in the afternoon.

Recently, I listed a home for a client who had found her dream home first. Understanding the short window of opportunity she had to capture a buyer in the real estate market at this time provided a challenge in preparing the home for sale. An undertaking that took her 3 weeks to complete, would take the average person a few months. She was totally motivated!

After a few weeks on the market, an offer was produced and the grit of the transaction that lay ahead was revealing itself.  The interested buyer had their home on the market with an accepted offer, however, a home inspection by their buyer had not been done just yet.  Furthermore, their buyer was preapproved for a USDA loan, a mortgage option with an exacting underwriting process. Not a type of loan you normally see, but the option this buyer chose to go, most likely for personal reasons and beyond anyone’s control.

After an in-depth conversation between me and the buyer’s agent about the viability of their buyer, my client decided to engage her buyer to allow her the opportunity to acquire her dream home.

So, now we have six sides of a real estate transaction with four realtors involved, and as a realtor® I have a fiduciary responsibility to protect my clients personal information and deposits while helping them achieve their desired goal.  Therefore, limited information can be shared to get you to the end result without compromising the client.

Once this boat sets sail, there can be upwards of 16 additional professionals involved in this sale – buyer, seller, loan officers, home inspectors, appraisers, attorneys and contractors, if needed, so careful orchestration was paramount in coordinating the contingency dates and terms (including price) in the offer.

When managing a sale transaction, the cooperating realtor is now my best friend. In a regular single sided transaction emotions can and do run high causing the possibility for the deal to derail. With so many touches here, you can imagine the need for patience, awareness and sensitivity of all the parties situation. The offer deadlines approach fast and I am not a supporter of allowing the need for an extension. Extensions are an opportunity for the deal to break, so communication and coordination are key elements in keeping the transaction together.

Fast forward … the 6 sides of the deal came together with multiple hurdles along the way that we were able to overcome. Two that I can share were the need for additional negotiations for unexpected home inspection issues on two sides of the transaction and the banks diligent underwriting process requiring the parties to jump through additional hoops. This didn’t cause any delays in meeting our required deadline, just a little more stress.

The looming threat of the foundational buyer, the one with the USDA loan, not being able to receive their commitment letter was with us every day from the beginning. The final walk throughs were scheduled and the closing date came, but an unexpected twist changed things for some of the parties. Was the looming threat going to be the structural crack that brings the multiple home sales down?

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2015 Local Market Predictions













 Will it be a Buyer or Seller’s Market?

  • Franklin’s inventory is down about 10% over this time last year with the days on market 50% less.  Third quarter numbers posted show an increase in home values over 2nd quarter.
  • Interest rates are forecasted to rise as we enter the spring market and continue through the summer.
  • The expectation is that home values will continue to improve as we enter the spring market.
  • Homes prices should remain consistent over the next 6-9 months with no rapid increase or big dip downward.
  • Optimism is being felt and home equity, once lost, is recovering.  I feel more sellers will be putting there homes on the market as we approach the spring.

Buying a Home Remains Cheaper Than Renting

Check out this interactive map

Rent vs. Buy | Which is Cheaper for You?

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Great News for Home Buyers | Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Rates Post 9-8-14



Helping you to avoid the purchase mistakes that cannot always

be overcome by appreciation  … over time.

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Franklin Properties Sold | 5 Year Comparison

As we enter into the fall season, I’d like to start off with some numbers. There is about a five months supply of single family homes on the market right now in Franklin, and four months supply of condos. That means that if no more homes came on the market in Franklin,  it would take five months and four months respectively, to sell our inventory. It is still very much a buyers market. 
























As always, if you would like more detailed information on your town, please send me an email and I will happily gather the information for you. Thank you.

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Massachusetts 2nd Quarter Home Sales Market Report by County | 2014

Click image to view Massachusetts 2nd Quarter Home Market Report

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3 Easy Steps to Propagate Annual Geraniums | Pelargoniums

You either love them or you hate them is what I’ve heard from many through the years. I’ve come to love them even more so, since they are so easy to propagate and can provide beautiful  indoor color in the coldest of the winter months.

These bedding or container plants are actually “not” geraniums but rather pelargoniums.  True geraniums are the perennial cranesbills. Pelargoniums are semi-tender plants native to South Africa. When they were first introduced, back in the 17th century, botany wasn’t an exact science. So, based on the shape of their petals, collectors Ivy Geranium1categorized them as the same, “geranium”.

It wasn’t until 1786 when Thomas Jefferson shipped the plant from France to noted Philadelphia horticulturist, John Bartram, that the geranium finally grabbed the attention of gardeners in America.  Almost 230 years later the name geranium has stuck.

My father and his 92 year old sister have been propagating geraniums for generations, passing them down to others to enjoy as they have. My dad,  just loves creating life and watching it grow.  I recently got the bug and have started cultivating the newer varieties to scatter around my yard, offering bright, bold bursts of color til frost.

Propagating Geraniums

Open-pollinated flowers will not be true to color by seed so the easiest method is to propagate by stem cuttings. Cuttings are taken from the ends of active growing stems, preferably ones that are not in bloom. The cutting should be minimally two to four inches and should be cut just below a node (the point where the leaf is attached to the stem). Use a sterilized and sharp knife, razor or pruning shears. It needs to be a clean cut so the sharpness is important. Remove all leaves with the exception of two or three small leaves.

Geranium nodeI have not had tremendous success using rooting hormone with geraniums as I do with other cuttings. Set the cutting in water just above the cut and cover with water about 1/2 inch above the cut end. This time of year the sun is still quite hot, so be sure to keep your cuttings out of the direct sunlight, but close enough to feel the heat.  Before you know it, tiny hairy roots appear.

I have found the best mixture is a little bit of potting mix, perlite or vermiculite. I never measure anything perfectly, however, it should be about 1/3 to 1/2 perlite or vermiculite. A two inch pot is an appropriate size for a cutting of this size and be sure that atleast one node is covered by the mix.

One thing I have learned is the importance of disinfecting your cutting element between different cultivars. Plant diseases are easily passed by the cutting tool so a quick wipe with white vinegar or bleach is recommended.

Most plants benefit from bottom heat (propagating mats) especially during the cooler months, but I’ve never had the need. Once plants are established they need to be watered every few weeks and if you miss a watering, they will not wither and die so easily.  Geraniums, even during the summer, prefer to be on the drier side, making them a low maintenance plant … which is what truly attracted me to them in the first place.

Transplant your new plant when you see roots coming out of the bottom of your pot. I continue to use the same mixture to help it maintain moisture and keep the soil light, but most people use regular potting soil.

You are on your way.  Have fun and delight in the beauty.

Have a friend of family member relocating, I can help them find a professional realtor with no obligation or cost. Just call me.



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Rolling Space-Savers Impress the Most Discerning Buyer

Open the Barn Door

More Than Just Utilitarian

Popular, functional and designed to make a statement, barn doors have come inside and their popularity is growing worldwide. Their appeal reaches beyond the typical rustic styled home to coastal, city and country homes with an urban farmhouse look.  The aesthetic design of the rolling barn door adds the “wow” factor to modern, contemporary and homes with a European flair.

Barn doors are great space-savers. They are perfect for openings that do not offer the swing space for a hinged door or if you would like to capture more interior wall space, the rolling door is the perfect solution.  However, barn doors are used in design as an interesting and attractive focal point as a room divider between a dining and living room, or if you need to hide a TV or movie screen, a barn door creates the visual interest providing functionality.

When choosing a barn door, consider the style of the room and home keeping in mind what you are trying to achieve.  A rustic element to a modern or contemporary space is an unexpected design feature that adds character.  Paint it a bold color, such as pumpkin or red, and you have created a piece of artwork. Today’s materials are not just limited to wood, but, acrylic, glass, metals or a combination of each, are utilized for that one-of-a-kind piece.

Whatever your style, the beauty of the rolling barn door is an affordable unexpected upgrade to add to your home to impress even the most discerning buyer.

glass double doors 615x460

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Prevent Mold to Keep you Healthy

Got MoldHow to Keep Mold Away

Control the Humidity – Keep your humidity levels low….No higher than 50%. Most people run into humidity issues in their basements, so think about getting a dehumidifier if you are having trouble with moisture levels. Keep the air moving.  Ceiling attic fans, if used properly, draw the cooler air from outside inside and out through a ridge vent in the attic.

If you have central a/c, then controlling the humidity level of your house should be relatively easy, as the air in your home will be constantly on the move, keeping humidity from building up in any one particular room. Just be sure to have your air conditioning and heating ducts checked for signs of mold.

Check Your Vents– Dryer, kitchen, and bathroom vents can all pose mold problems if they aren’t built to blow exhaust directly out of your home. Many homes built in the 1980’s – 1990’s vented to the attic area only so double check your vents and redirect them outside.

Flooding – If your home happens to incur flood damage, be sure to rectify the problem within 24 hours, and at most, 48. Any longer than that, and you risk mold growth. Sometimes, minor flooding issues can be overlooked for a day or two, so if there are any instances where carpets, rugs, or upholstery are moist or wet for an extended period of time, then have them replaced to avoid mold complications.

Painting – If you plan to paint your home, look into adding mold inhibitors to your paint. This will cut down on the amount of places in your home that mold can proliferate.

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4 Predictions of Where Home Prices May Be Headed

Courtesy of MSN


Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. 

The results of their latest survey

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.6% in 2014.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 11.2% by 2018.

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values and where home prices may be headed.

Pulsenomics via The KCM Crew

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Walkable Neighborhoods Give Rise to Home Values

Recently a few of the buyers I have been working with put the “walkability” factor as a primary item when looking for a home.

And with the walkability factor becoming more in demand, walkability may increase the saleability of the home! Walkable urban areas are showing signs of becoming the strongest housing market today.

The real estate website feature “Walk Score” lets buyers know how close each home is listed to shops, restaurants and community parks. Franklin, Massachusetts has a walkable score of “88” out of “100” and considered very walkable.

Market reports show that home values in walkable neighborhoods are greater than in the car dependent suburbs. Home rents in urban walkable neighborhoods are able to bring 60% more annually than those in the suburbs where a car is needed.

A Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey showed “suburbanites are significantly more satisfied with their communities than are residents of cities, small towns or rural areas. This survey explores what Americans like — and don’t like — about the places where they live”.

The rebirth of the downtown district has been unfolding for many years, however, the positive activity the real estate market is experiencing has given rise to new opportunities for today’s home buyers.  The people’s  interest in walkable neighborhoods is becoming more popular with the trend moving towards healthier lifestyles that include walking, bike riding and ride sharing.

If you haven’t yet been outside today, consider taking a walk.

Relocating with no idea of where to begin? Let me do the thinking for you. Call me today.

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