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The Value of Using a Buyer's Agent

Have you been spending your Sundays cruising through Open Houses in the area to see what your market looks like and how homes are being priced? Are you beginning to poke around online for property? You should consider doing some research into local real estate firms and agents as part of your home search preparation!

Purchasing a home is an extremely exciting event, but there is a lot to manage, and what should be a happy, life-changing process can quickly become a daunting one. Working with a trusted, licensed real estate professional as your buyer’s agent will help to guide you seamlessly through the process. Furthermore, you should work with a REALTOR®. What is the difference between a REALTOR®, and an agent?

From the National Association of Realtors website: Every agent is not a REALTOR®, but most are. If you're unsure, you can ask your agent if they're a licensed REALTOR®. REALTORS® are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

Another perk of having a buyer’s agent? You don’t pay anything! The home seller does. The guidance and partnership is free to you.

buyers agent, real estate, home buyer, home buying

When working with a buyer’s agent you are guaranteed:

  • A lawful transaction
  • Loyalty
  • Trustworthy Advice
  • Years of experience - especially with a team like Stone Ridge Properties who has been helping clients buy and sell property in the greater Newburyport area for nearly 30 years.
  • The best value for your time

If you do not work with an agent you risk:

  • Paying too much
  • Not offering enough and losing the chance to make a reasonable offer
  • Home Inspection Misses
  • Paperwork Nightmares
  • Potential Lawsuits
  • Deals falling apart with no warning or recourse

Paperwork and legalities surrounding real estate transactions can be overwhelming and confusing, never mind when third parties get involved during processes like home inspections and meetings with other real estate professionals and potential sellers. And let’s not forget the process of negotiation! You may decide you want to make an offer below asking price, or in some cases over the asking price - especially in a competitive market. After your home inspection, you may want to further negotiate reductions based on findings and you may even want physical items from within the home as part of your final deal. Working with an experienced buyer’s agent takes the stress out of the transaction and is an absolute must when purchasing a property.

Working with a buyer’s agent will keep your offers timely and competitive, your transactions smooth and legal, and provide you with the most up-to-date news and information about the current market.

Contact one of our licensed REALTOR®s today!

What is the value of home staging?

What is home staging and should I consider it for my home?

If you have ever toured a home that is completely empty, you know how difficult it can be to imagine what your furniture might look like in the rooms, or to estimate how large certain spaces really are. The emptiness can be confusing - conversely, too much clutter in spaces can also be overwhelming.

One way to solve this problem for real estate agents and clients is home staging. The goal of staging is to increase the appeal of the home to the highest number of potential buyers, in order to sell the property quickly and for a high value. There are many strategies for effectively staging your home depending on how much time and money you would like to invest.

Some home-staging strategies:

  • Removing clutter
  • Rearranging room layouts to be open and inviting
  • Moving excess furniture into storage
  • Changing lighting
  • Introducing plants and other inexpensive artwork or home accents
  • Styling shelving

Most Realtors agree that a well-staged home may increase the value of the home as well has help to sell it more quickly. Even staging one or two rooms can impact the marketability of a home.

Rooms that Realtors often recommend staging are:

  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Master Bedroom
  • Dining Room
  • Bathroom

If you are interested in selling your home and learning more about if home-staging would be a good option for you, contact your Stone Ridge Properties Realtor.

Hidden Gem: Plum Island Lighthouse

Have you ever visited this beautiful, historic light house on Plum Island?

A climb to the top of this historic light offers incredible views of both land and sea – from the Isles of Shoals and Mt. Agamenticus to the Great Salt Marsh and Cape Ann. Get a terrific view of the boating traffic at the mouth of the Merrimack River and down to the city of Newburyport; watch the kayaks and paddle boarders ply the waters of the Basin. And as you climb the stairs to get to the light, follow the extraordinary history of this local treasure that began with a 1788 commission signed by George Washington and travels to the present building that was completed in 1898. “Sharing the history of the Plum Island Light is one of the joys of conducting these tours”, says John Vogl, president of the Friends of Plum Island Light. “The views at the top are their own reward, but an understanding of how important this Light has been and remains to navigation in the Merrimack River Valley adds a special note for all visitors young and old. It’s the kind of place that offers something new whether it’s your first visit or your tenth.”

The Newburyport Harbor Light at Plum Island Point is now open and offering tours on Sundays this summer. The tours and parking are free; donations are gratefully accepted and much appreciated to help with preservation and maintenance of the property. For a complete list of tour dates, safety information and more visit: http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net/plum-island.html

Register and Reap the Benefits

Are you beginning your home search or thinking about listing your home? Maybe you are just curious about real estate transactions in your neighborhood?  Register now to receive daily emails with home listing and activity results for your area.

Register and Reap the Benefits:

  • Save Time: Register and save the details for your most common searches (price range, town, number of bedrooms, etc.). You’ll never have to search again.
  • Save Your Favorites: Find a property and save it to your profile. If anything changes (price, availability), we’ll email you. Automatically.
  • Be the First to Know: When a new listing matches your home search criteria, we will email you automatically, so you’ll be the first to know.
  • Get Local Knowledge: View and print maps of property locations.

Want to speak to a Real Estate professional about your home search? Contact us:

Newburyport Office

978-463-4322

1 Merrimac Street #2, Newburyport, MA 01950

Amesbury Office

978-388-0880

20 Market Street, Amesbury, MA 01913
 

Stay connected:

Website: www.stoneridgeproperties.com

Facebook: facebook.com/stoneridgeproperties

Twitter: @StoneRidgeRE

Instagram: stoneridgeproperties

You have moved into your new home! Now what?

Are you purchasing your first home this spring? Or are you weighing the pros and cons of being a homeowner? There is so much involved in preparing for the purchase of your home, both financially and logistically, that sometimes it is hard to think about what you will need once you actually set foot inside your new house. Once you have decided to purchase a home, these are some of the things you should plan to have in place by your move in date (or shortly thereafter!)

lawnmower, lawn care, landscaping, new home

  1. A list of all of your new utility providers and contact details - think electric, gas, oil and internet! Hopefully you have successfully changed over your utilities into your name and billing information before you moved - now be sure to keep the list of phone numbers in a safe, easily accessible place for when you need them.
  2. A trusted handyman - ask your real estate agent and your new neighbors who they call when they need a pipe fixed or a window replaced. Find a trustworthy, reasonably priced carpenter, plumber or electrician before you need them rather than scrambling once you have an issue.
  3. A little extra money - once you have paid your down payment and all associated closing fees, you should still have a sum of money saved for unexpected home maintenance. There can always be surprises when moving in, and if something should go wrong, or break in your first couple of months, your stress will be greatly reduced if you have money set aside for it.
  4. Lawn care equipment. Are you purchasing your first lawn? How exciting! Do you have a lawnmower? Think about what you will need to care for your lawn and garden during the spring and summer months.
  5. A grill and some patio furniture! This one is just for fun - but if you are moving from an apartment into your first home with a yard or deck, you will want to enjoy your new outdoor space the first chance you get.
  6. Flashlights, batteries and candles - Where is that fuse box? As you get settled into your new house, you will want to be prepared for your first storm or first blown fuse. Having a flashlight and candles and a few extra batteries will set you up for success.

new home, keys, front doorTalk your your agent about the purchase of your new home, and discuss the home’s history. Your real estate agent is a valuable resource in finding local businesses, contractors and other community information to help in your transition.

Congratulations on your new home!  

Want to discuss moving? Contact us today to start the process.

 

TIPS: Declutter & Downsize

Kids off to college in the fall? Planning to list your home this spring, or maybe in the next few years? A house clear of clutter is easier to sell, plus, there are many benefits to taking the time to go through belongings and clear the clutter in your home - you can even reduce your stress by simplifying.

declutter, downsize, open space, living room

What to Keep

Before you begin to declutter, establish a list of the things you won’t want to part with during this process. Some of these may be photographs, family heirlooms, and documents such as tax returns, birth certificates or marriage licenses. Sentimental items should make the cut as well. Making a conscious decision to keep things that have special meaning to you will make the process of letting go of the rest a bit easier.

5 Tips to Start Decluttering

Once you have decided to downsize or declutter your home, get out a calendar and make a timeline for completing each section of your house. The process will take some time (think basements, garage.) If you are moving, you will want to give yourself 3-5 months to complete the process.living room, declutter, downsize

Before you begin, setup bins for donations, recycling, and trash. You won’t want to throw everything in trash bags since there will be many items that can be used by someone in need.

Start small. Before stepping into your bedroom closet, or boxes in the basement, choose a room that won’t have many items of sentimental value or won’t be too overwhelming to tackle. A bathroom or a kitchen are manageable options (you won’t lose sleep over tossing expired multivitamins or an extra whisk!)

Enlist a declutter buddy. Have a friend keep to you accountable! You can create a pile of items that you aren’t sure you are ready to part ways with. A second opinion can help you decide what stays and what goes into the donate bin.

If you are moving to a smaller space, you may need to downsize your collections of items such as books, shoes or even wine glasses. Make sure to give yourself a hard limit of how many of each item you want to keep, it will make choosing easier.

Relax and enjoy! Don’t plan to declutter the whole house in a weekend. That creates unnecessary stress. Give yourself a simple reward each time you complete a space, and give yourself time to enjoy your hard work!

 

Spring Market Trends 2017

This spring is proving to be a true seller’s market with some of the lowest inventory we have seen in years heading into the busiest season of the year. What does this mean for you? If you have been thinking of selling, now would be an ideal time to put your home on the market. With limited homes available for purchase, properties are moving very quickly with buyers competing for listings.

LOW INVENTORY

With fewer homes on the market, buyers need to be prepared to move quickly once they have found the property they want to purchase. “The historically low inventory just reinforces how important it is for a buyer to be preapproved and they must be ready to act quickly when the “right one” comes along,” says Cathy Toomey, co-owner of Stone Ridge Properties.

Sandy Berkenbush, co-owner at Stone Ridge Properties adds, “we are finding a lot of sellers are thinking about getting their houses on the market sooner rather than later, that way they will be in a great position to purchase their new home with their current home firmly under agreement.”

CURB APPEAL

Of course the spring season continues to be the best time of the year to list your home with the combination of improving weather and blooming landscaping working together to increase curb appeal. You will need to price your home competitively and accurately to sell quickly, and we would be happy to help you determine your home’s value today.

 

5 reasons to Choose a Stone Ridge Properties Realtor

Although winter is just beginning, it is never too early to start thinking about your real estate needs for the spring. At Stone Ridge Properties, we are committed to being your trusted resource every step of the way during your home buying or selling process. Real estate transactions can become complicated, and unexpected questions or issues often arise. You will want and need a professional Realtor by your side every step of the way navigating the process for you - and with over 25 years experience in the Greater Newburyport area, we are able to expertly assist our clients with every aspect of buying and selling property.
We understand that buying or selling a home may be one of the biggest transactions of your life.

Here are 5 reasons to choose an SRP agent for your real estate needs.

1. We are a dedicated team that believes in personal, professional relationships with our clients. We will be your trusted resource from the minute you choose us as your partner, long after the transaction is complete.

2. We know the communities on the north shore of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire inside and out, which means we know the people you will need to navigate every aspect of selling your home or finding your dream home. From movers, to lawyers, to contractors for every small job - we are your resource to connecting you with local, tried and tested experts.

3. We will work hard for you and ago above and beyond your expectations of a real estate agent.

4. We are trusted, respected and as a team of top-producing Realtors, we are the dominant independent real estate agency serving the Greater Newburyport area.

5. The community has voted us the Best Bet of Newburyport in The Newburyport Daily News for 8 years in a row.

Contact us today to get started and experience the difference for yourself. Finding the right Realtor to guide you through the process is just as important as finding the right home!

Ready for the Cold? Your Winter Home Checklist

Whether you plan on staying in your home for another 20 years, or you plan on listing it this spring, you will want to keep it in great condition through the harsher winter months. This handy checklist will help you keep you and your home safe and comfortable.

Inside your home:

  • Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned.
  • Have your furnace or boiler serviced.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors if you haven’t done so in 6 months.
  • Be sure your water pipes are properly insulated.
  • Replace your screens with storm windows and check for drafts around the window frames. Repair as needed!

Outside your home:

  • Check all of your snow and ice removal equipment - don’t wait until the last minute to run out to buy shovels, ice melt, or tune up your snow blower!
  • Be sure your exterior faucets are turned off  and hoses are put away.
  • Clean your gutters and drainpipes
  • Survey the area around your home for low hanging or dangerous branches near your roof or power lines. Have them trimmed or removed.

Giving Back in the Greater Newburyport Area

We are thankful for so much - especially for being a part of such wonderful, vibrant communities in Amesbury and Newburyport. This time of year many of us think of how we can give back to our neighbors. Being a local, independent business allows us to actively participate in so much, and part of our passion as a small business is giving back to our community. We have been a long-time supporter of many non-profit organizations in greater the Newburyport area. You can read about our continued commitment to the mission and work of such organizations in the communities we serve, we created a formal corporate giving program, the Stone Ridge Properties Charitable Foundation.

If you would like to be involved in giving back locally this holiday season, consider lending a hand to these organizations that we are proud to support. Here are a few organizations from our Foundation that have specific needs right now.

Pettengill House

The mission of The Pettengill House, Inc. is to support and empower children and families by providing education,comprehensive case management and basic needs; and by coordinating community supports that contribute to individual and family stabilization, personal growth and development.

Pettengill House offers family services to families in Amesbury, Byfield, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, South Hampton and West Newbury.

How to Help:

Here is a link to the specific items Pettengill House needs most this season - food, clothing and toiletries. They also have a winter coat drive going on now. Here is more information about volunteering, including hours they are looking for help and initiatives you can be involved in.

Our Neighbor’s Table

Do you know hunger affects 1 out of every 16 people living across the northeastern Essex County? Our Neighbor's Table is committed to establishing a community that provides for the whole person with nourishing food, kindness and dignity.  Our programs provide food assistance to individuals and families living in Amesbury, Boxford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, South Hampton, and West Newbury.

How to Help:

Our Neighbor’s Table is looking for items for their pantry, volunteers, and donations leading up to the holidays. You can also find a wish list for specific items they are currently looking for on their website.

Upcoming Events:

Amesbury Educational Foundation is having their Autumn Evening of Giving Monday, November 7th at the Ale House. Raising funds of sufficient size to make a difference in our schools is a challenging task. We invite you to help us provide and promote continued excellence in education for Amesbury Public School children. Learn more.

Details:

Come dine, socialize and support Amesbury Public Schools at the 2016 Autumn Evening of Giving.

Date: Monday November 7, 2016

Time: 6:00-9:00 PM

Location: Ale House 33 Main Street Amesbury, MA