Tom Lee Realtor® ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES | Medford MA Real Estate, Malden MA Real Estate


If you want to sell your house and achieve the optimal results, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you plan ahead for selling your residence.

1. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

What you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's current value. Fortunately, you can perform a home inspection and appraisal to ensure that you can price your house appropriately.

During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your house both inside and out. This property expert will identify any underlying problems with your house, allowing you to address such issues before you list your residence.

Meanwhile, a home appraisal ensures that you can receive a property valuation based on the age and condition of your residence, as well as pertinent housing market data. This appraisal enables you to better understand how to price your house, enabling you to establish a competitive initial asking price.

2. Enhance Your House's Interior and Exterior

A dazzling home interior and exterior can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. If you dedicate time and resources to perform home upgrades, you may be able to boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

To enhance your house's interior, you may want to remove as much clutter as possible from your home. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life may be like if they buy your house.

Furthermore, you should trim the front lawn, clear outdoor walkways and do everything you can to improve your house's exterior. Because with a stunning home exterior, your home's curb appeal will increase, making it more likely than ever before that potential buyers will fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to plan ahead for the home selling journey, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to help you get ready to sell your house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who will learn about you and your home selling goals. Then, this housing market professional can help you develop an effective plan to sell your house and maximize its value.

In addition, a real estate agent will serve as an expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she will help you craft an engaging and informative home listing, promote your house to the right groups of buyers and review any offers on your residence.

When it comes to selling a house, it may be a good ideal to plan ahead. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can create a home selling strategy that ensures you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling journey.


Buying a home is a big financial endeavor that takes planning and saving. Aside from a down payment, hopeful homeowners will also need to save for closing costs and moving expenses.

When it comes to the down payment amount you’ll need to save, many of us have often heard 20%, the magic number. However, there are a number of different types of mortgages that have different down payment requirements.

To complicate matters, mortgages vary somewhat between lenders and can change over time, with the ebb and flow of the housing market.

So, the best way to approach the process of saving for a down payment is to think about your needs in a home, and reach out to lenders to start comparing rates.

However, there are a few constants when it comes to down payments that are worth considering when shopping for a mortgage.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some characteristics of down payments, discuss where the 20% number comes from, and give you some tips on finding the best mortgage for you.

Do I need 20% saved for a down payment?

With the median home prices in America sitting around $200,000 and many areas averaging much higher, it may seem like 20% is an unattainable savings goal.

The good news is that many Americans hoping to buy their first home have several options that don’t involve savings $40,000 or more.

So, where does that number come from?

Most mortgage lenders will want to be sure that lending to would be a smart investment. In other words, they want to know that they’ll earn back the amount they lend you plus interest. They determine how risky it is to lend to you by considering a number of factors.

First and foremost is your credit score. Lenders want to see that you’re paying your bills on time and aren’t overwhelmed by debt. Second, they will ask you for verification of your income to determine how much you can realistically hope to pay each month. And, finally, they’ll consider the amount you’re putting down.

If you have less than 20% of the mortgage amount saved for your down payment, you’ll have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extra fee must be paid in addition to your interest each month.

First-time buyers rarely put 20% or more down

Thanks to FHA loans guaranteed by the federal government, as well as other loan assistance programs like USDA loans and mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, buying a home is usually within reach even if you don’t have several thousands saved.

On average, first-time buyers put closer to 6% down on their mortgage. However, they will have to pay PMI until they’ve paid off 20% of their home.


So, if you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, saving should be a priority. But, don’t worry too much if you don’t think you can save the full 20% in advance.


The real estate market offers no guarantees for house sellers. Thus, even if your home boasts lots of great features and is available at an appealing price, there is no guarantee that your residence will sell quickly.

Ultimately, a home seller must act aggressively to promote his or her residence to the right groups of buyers. With an aggressive approach to the home selling journey, an individual can boost the likelihood of enjoying a quick, profitable house selling experience.

There are many things that you can do to stay aggressive as you strive to sell your home, and these include:

1. Study the Local Housing Market

The local housing market may fluctuate. Fortunately, a home seller who analyzes the local real estate sector closely can gain the insights that he or she needs to speed up the house selling cycle.

Take a look at houses as they are added to the real estate market in your city or town. By doing so, you can see how comparable houses stack up against your residence. And if you find that your home pales in comparison to similar residences, you can perform myriad house upgrades.

Furthermore, if you find that the price of your home is much higher than the prices of comparable houses in your area, you may want to lower your residence's price. This may help you stir up lots of interest in your home from buyers, as well as accelerate the home selling journey.

2. Maintain Your Home's Appearance

You may have already dedicated substantial time and resources to upgrade your house's interior and exterior. However, if you fail to keep your house looking great, it may be tough to achieve your desired home selling results.

Perform regular house cleaning both inside and outside your residence. This will ensure that your house boasts amazing curb appeal. Also, once buyers enter your residence, they may fall in love with your residence's interior.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent usually has a simple goal: to help a seller seamlessly navigate the house selling journey. Therefore, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a diligent housing market professional who will do everything possible to help you succeed.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with a home seller and craft a personalized house selling strategy. He or she then will put this plan into action and promote a seller's residence to prospective buyers. Plus, if a seller receives an offer to purchase his or her house, a real estate agent will help this individual review the homebuying proposal. And if a seller decides to accept the offer to purchase, a real estate agent will make it easy for this individual to finalize his or her home sale.

Ready to add your residence to the housing market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can take an aggressive approach to streamline the home selling journey.


Aromatic oils have been used for millennia by cultures like the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for use in medicines and ointments. And, to this day, many of us use products containing essential oils, such as perfumes, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and even the food we eat.

More recently, essential oils have become a popular DIY ingredient for household items. In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the many household uses for essential oils and break down which oils are suited for each purpose.

Read on for tips on using essential oils in your home.

Oil diffusers


Perhaps the most common use for essential oils is in an oil diffuser that emits an aromatic steam into the air of your home. Oil diffusers are great for a desktop that you work by, particularly in the winter time when the air tends to be dry. This mist can help mitigate the effects of dry air on your throat and nasal passage, and emit a pleasant air freshening odor into the room.

There are several oils and oil blends that are used in oil diffusers. Some of the most common oils used are lavender, peppermint, and several citrus-scents like lemon, bergamot, and wild orange.

When using an oil diffuser, be sure to use only a few drops of the oil--using too much can become easily overpowering and even irritating to the skin, nose, and eyes.

Room mists

Many top-brand air fresheners use essential oils as part of their ingredients. However, they also contain a number of other additives that you might not enjoy. Essential oils give you the ability to create a blend that works for you.

Combine water with a few drops of essential oils into a spray bottle for a refreshing room mist. This solution can even be used on most fabrics--however, just like with an oil diffuser, make sure you don’t put too many drops of essential oils in your solution to protect your fabrics.

Cleaning solutions

Cleaning supplies can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, the ingredients to make a simple all-purpose cleaner are cheap and can make over a gallon of solution that you can keep refilling as needed.

Vinegar and water-based cleaning solutions often incorporate a few drops of essential oils like peppermint, lemon, and other fresh, “clean” smelling scents.

The best part? These solutions are made from non-toxic ingredients that can typically be used on your countertops, inside microwaves, and on other surfaces that food may come into contact with.


A quick warning: essential oils are made by distilling vast amounts of plant material into very concentrated oils. This means that the oils are exponentially more potent than their plant counterparts. Overuse can easily cause rashes and irritation, so use sparingly, avoid contact with your eyes when working with oils, and always read instructions before use.


Although clutter in your home may seem like an insignificant problem, it can actually have a negative impact on everything from your personal productivity to family relationships.

When dirty dishes pile up, clothes gather on the floor, and toys are scattered everywhere, it often creates a feeling of discouragement that can seep into every aspect of your life.

While most people view clutter as an annoyance or an eyesore, studies have shown that it can contribute to stress, feelings of guilt, and even depression. Books have been written on the topic and well-known websites have devoted countless pages to the connection between stress and clutter.

In addition to feeling embarrassed when guests drop over unexpectedly, household clutter makes it difficult to find important things, like car keys, homework assignments, or cell phones. A disorganized, messy home can also lead to bills being paid late, which can bring with it a whole separate set of problems, such as late payment fees, collection letters, and credit rating issues. For people planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future, a damaged credit score could adversely affect interest rates, loan terms, or even their chances of obtaining a mortgage.

Fortunately, there are ways to turn the tide on your battle with household clutter. The first step, of course, is to recognize that you have a problem. The second step is to begin writing a plan or set of goals for taking charge of the clutter. The third step is to begin taking action and to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day for organizing your home and putting clutter in its place!

If you're considering putting your home on the market in the near future, you may need to bump up that time allotment! Cluttered closets, storage areas, and countertops are sure to send the wrong message to prospective home buyers. Living areas that contain too much furniture, stacks of magazines, or piles of unsorted mail will convey an unwanted image of chaos, messiness, and disarray. Clutter can also have the effect of making rooms look smaller and less appealing.

In addition to establishing new and better habits for keeping your home organized and looking its best, it's also important to enlist the cooperation of your family. When everyone does their part to keep your home looking presentable and well maintained, fewer things will get misplaced, moods will be lifted, and you'll no longer feel embarrassed when company drops by!

The best time to begin attacking the problem is now. If the project seems overwhelming, the solution is to start small, but stick with it on a daily basis. As the famous quote says, "The race does not always go to the swift, but to those who keep on running."




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