Cheryl Phelan - Plymouth MA Real Estate, Kingston MA Real Estate, Duxbury MA Real Estate


If you're on the lookout for your dream house, it pays to operate as a competitive homebuyer. And if you find your ideal residence, you should not hesitate to submit a competitive offer to purchase this house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should submit a competitive offer to acquire your dream house, and these include:

1. You risk alienating a seller.

Dozens of homes are available in cities and towns across the United States, yet an individual's dream house may only be available for a limited time. Therefore, when it comes to submitting an offer to acquire your dream house, it usually is a good idea to put your best foot forward. Because if you submit a "lowball" homebuying proposal, you risk receiving an instant "No" from a seller.

Although you likely want to avoid breaking your budget to purchase your ideal residence, you also should strive to avoid a lowball offer. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer can learn about the local real estate market and use this information to assess the prices of houses in a particular area. And with comprehensive housing market data in hand, this homebuyer can submit an offer to purchase that may match or exceed a seller's expectations.

2. You may lose your dream house to a rival buyer.

Once you discover your dream house, you should submit a competitive offer on it right away. If you wait too long to provide a competitive homebuying proposal, you risk losing your ideal residence to a rival buyer.

Remember, the housing market is fierce, and the top residences typically will sell quickly. But if you submit a competitive offer, you can reduce the likelihood that you'll squander the opportunity to acquire your dream house.

3. You may wind up having to spend more to acquire an alternative house.

The real estate market fluctuates constantly, and failure to submit a competitive offer on a house today may prove to be a costly mistake. In fact, if a buyer's market transforms into a seller's market, you may be forced to pay more to purchase your ideal home in the foreseeable future.

For those who are uncertain about what differentiates a competitive offer to purchase from an ordinary homebuying proposal, there is no need to stress. If you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to submit a competitive homebuying proposal any time you choose.

Generally, a real estate agent will serve as an expert guide throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will teach you about the real estate sector and help you narrow your home search. Then, when you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase. He or she will even negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you can get the best price on your dream residence.

Ready to simplify the process of buying a house? Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you can receive extensive support at each stage of the homebuying journey.


Photo by Arek Socha via Pixabay 

In a bid to afford homes in high-value areas, many homeowners turn to income from short-term rentals to cover a high mortgage payment. You can benefit from this option with some caveats:

  • Location really matters. A lot. You might advertise your home as near the coast when it’s really 20 miles inland and get a few bites. But eventually, the reviews catch up with you, and you lose out. Be honest about where your rental sits. Market what is available: access to public transportation, quiet parks, sports arenas, theme parks, etc. only if they truly are accessible.
  • Consider hosting rather than leaving your home to strangers. That means you stay on the property while they are there. You’re in control of who comes and goes. Your renters can’t sneak in a dozen of their buddies without paying for them.
  • Make sure your HOA and municipality allow it. Many homeowners associations explicitly forbid subletting or short-term rentals, so if that’s your plan, read those pesky covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCR’s) before you buy. Municipalities also have codes regarding hospitality properties. Many require licenses, permits or fees, and some require occupancy taxes on the nights guests rent your home.
  • Your homeowners’ insurance coverage may not protect you from damage or liability when you’re using your home as a business. Talk to your insurance agent before you post your home online and pay the extra premiums to make certain you’re covered.

Before you decide to turn your home into a short-term rental, know the rules and the risks or the rewards may not be worth the trouble. Your real estate professional is your best resource for discovering properties in your area suitable for a short-term rental, so make that phone call today.


Although you've enjoyed your residence for many years, all good things must come to an end. Now, as you get ready to embark on the next stage of your life, you've decided to leave your neighbors behind and sell your house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should include your neighbors in the home selling process, including:

1. Your neighbors can help you promote your residence.

It may be tough to tell your neighbors that you plan to relocate in the foreseeable future. However, doing so may help you stir up interest from many potential property buyers.

For example, a neighbor may know a family member or friend who is interested in moving into the neighborhood. And if you give this neighbor a heads-up about your intent to sell your house, you may already have at least one person who is interested in buying your house as soon as it becomes available.

Your neighbors also can share your property listing with assorted family members and friends. In addition, don't forget to encourage your neighbors to promote your house on social media.

2. Your neighbors may be able to offer home selling insights.

Your neighborhood likely is full of property owners who understand the ins and outs of buying a house. Furthermore, your neighbors may be able to provide home selling insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

It never hurts to ask a neighbor what he or she thinks of your home. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased feedback about your residence and may be able to identify problem areas that you previously did not consider. Then, you can allocate the time and resources to improve your home's exterior and interior and ensure your house stands out in a competitive real estate market.

3. Your neighbors can help keep your neighborhood looking great.

Your neighbors may want you to stay in the neighborhood. But if your neighbors are true friends, they will probably do whatever they can to help you achieve your desired home selling results.

Letting your neighbors know that you plan to list your house may lead them to upgrade their properties as well. This may enable all of the houses in a neighborhood to stand out to visitors and will make it simple for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they moved into the neighborhood.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your home, feel free to reach out to a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you should have no trouble navigating the home selling journey.

A real estate agent will provide expert tips throughout each stage of the home selling process. Plus, he or she will set up home showings, negotiate with property buyers on your behalf and do everything possible to simplify the home selling cycle.

Collaborate with your neighbors throughout the home selling journey, and you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.


Photo by Halfpoint via Shutterstock

When it comes to conserving energy, homeowners wanting to go green often spare no expense. Here are a few ways to upgrade your home without lightening your wallet.

Smart Thermostat

A powerful method to control your power use while saving money on your air conditioning bills in the summer and heating bills each winter is by installing a smart thermostat. Utilizing a system that monitors the indoor and outdoor humidity and temperatures to adjust your system keeps your home on an even keel and your bills steady. Choose one with multiple sensors so that you don’t end up with hot spots or cold rooms around your home. You can adjust your thermostat manually, but the best way to make it smart is to connect it to a smartphone or voice-controlled device.

Motion Sensing Dimmers

You try your best, but there’s always one room where it seems the lights get left on more often than you’d like. The challenge is, it’s the same room that’s often empty most of the day, so no one even notices the lights burning. To combat this issue, replace the standard light switch with a sensing dimmer switch. That way, if someone’s in the room, the light turns on, but when there’s no one moving around, off it goes. And, when daylight comes in the windows, the sensor knows to keep the light off.

If you’re retrofitting an older home, replace pull-chain lights in basements and utility rooms with a motion-sensing light so that you never have to stumble around waving your arms in front of you trying to grab the string to the pull-chain.

Adjustable LEDs

On the subject of lights, Take it up (or down) a notch with a 3-way LED. The equivalent of a 60-watt bulb can adjust from soft, warm light to bright, daylight with built-in wireless technology at the sound of your voice when connected to your smartphone or smart home.

If you’re looking for ways to make your home appeal to a more energy-conscious set of buyers, try utilizing these inexpensive, smart home technologies.


Photo by Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay


When you purchase real estate, you must put down a good faith deposit. Several factors determine how much you will need to put down, but it could be as little as $100. In order to have a valid contract, the contract must have “consideration,” or something of value exchanged for the contract. The good faith money also shows a seller that you are serious about purchasing the property.

Who Holds the Good Faith Money?

You usually give the good faith money to your real estate agent. The agent puts the money into an escrow account. If you are buying a newly built home, you might give the good faith money to the builder. However, if you are working with a real estate agent to buy a newly built home, in most cases, it’s better to give the deposit to the real estate agent.

Is Good Faith Money Refundable?

In most cases, your good faith money is not refundable. This ensures that you are serious about buying the property and not just “tire kicking.” However, a real estate purchase contract has several exceptions. In addition to the exceptions that might be in the contract, you can add your own as long as the seller agrees. The most common exceptions are your ability to get financing and that the seller did not misrepresent the condition of the home. As long as you can meet an exception, your money is refundable.

How Much Is a Good Faith Deposit?

Most sellers like to see at least $1,000 down. However, a seller might require a percentage of the selling price. Whichever amount the seller wants, it must be stated in the purchase agreement. If you want to change the amount of the good faith money, the seller has to agree to it or you won’t have a contract.

What Happens to My Good Faith Deposit?

Once you close, the real estate agent forwards the money to the seller as part of your down payment. The amount is shown on your closing documents and is subtracted from the final agreed-upon selling price of the home. For example, you buy a house that is $250,000 and you put down $5,000 as good faith money. Your lender requires 20 percent down, so you give the lender $50,000 at closing. Your documents will show that you paid a total of $55,000, so your loan will be $195,000 plus closing costs.

The closing costs could be subtracted from your down payment, the good faith deposit or added back into the loan, depending on what you and your lender agree to. Regardless, the amount of your down payment is $55,000, even if some of it is used for closing costs.

If you have any questions about how your real estate agent handles your good faith deposit, be sure to ask. You should always ask about exceptions to ensure you can get your money back if the loan does not go through or if the house was misrepresented by the seller and/or their agent.