Just because you’ve found the home of your dreams doesn’t mean you’re going to move into it. Many factors including price, location, inventory and time of year may bring in multiple offers from eager buyers. So how can you gain an advantage over the competition? Here are three helpful tips:

1. Pre-approval. Before you even start looking for homes, meeting with your mortgage professional is critical. A pre-approval means you have provided documentation of income and assets. This is different from pre-qualifying, which is typically done in conversation wherein you talk about your income and assets. It’s virtually meaningless until you back up what you say with the paperwork for pre-approval. Also, you should know how much you’re willing to put down. The stronger the downpayment, the more confidence the seller has in you and your offer.

2. Waive the Home Inspection. This saves time and money, but is it smart? There is a way around it. Bring a home inspector to the Open House. While you’re checking out the size of the bathroom and imagining your furniture in this house, your home inspector is walking around checking for things like termite or water damage, asbestos, knob-and-tube wiring, heating and AC issues and more.

3. Write a Personal Letter. You may not realize it, but selling a home can be just as stressful to the owner as it is to the buyer. By writing a personal letter, you are making an emotional appeal to a seller who is probably feeling sentimental about the home. Talk about how you would want to raise your family in this home just as they did; that you want your kids to benefit from attending the same school as their kids. Make a genuine appeal that ties your future to their past and that just might be what tips the scales in your favor.

Of course, there are no guarantees. But these suggestions have proven successful for many happy new homeowners. For more ideas, please give me a call at 617-965-1236.

February’s Home Improver
Re-painting Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing your kitchen cabinets can be cost-prohibitive. But what can you do when your formerly new cabinets have lost their looks over the years? If you’re up to the task, painting your cabinets can make them look like new for much less than the cost of replacing them.

Here are step-by-step directions:

1. Remove the cabinet doors and hardware. (Tip: Put a note on each one indicating location so they’ll go back in the right places.)

2. Clean all cabinet surfaces and allow them to dry completely.

3. Sand down the surfaces enough so that the paint adheres and lays flat.

4. Apply primer-sealer first. Let to dry, before painting.

5. Apply paint with a spray, brush or roller (for flat surfaces only). Let it dry. Put hardware back on doors and hang them on the cabinets.

Remember to use a drop cloth and tape off the areas around the cabinets. If you think a project like this is beyond your skill set or patience, hiring a professional painter will still cost significantly less than bringing in all new custom cabinetry. Good luck!