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John Connolly's Blog

By John Connolly | Agent in Braintree, MA
  • How to Properly Price Your Home

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Braintree, Home Selling in Braintree, Property Q&A in Braintree  |  June 7, 2011 7:11 AM  |  2,347 views  |  No comments

    The key to a successful home sale is pricing your home correctly from the start.  The biggest mistake any seller can make is pricing their home too high.  With all the technological tools for today’s buyers to use it’s easy for a buyer to determine if a home is priced too high.  If a home homesaleis priced too high it’s going to stay out on the market for a longer than normal time frame and you are going to begin to get buyers to start wondering what’s wrong with that home; it’s been on the market forever, it must have major problems.  How can you avoid this?  It’s simple; make sure you get at least 2, if not 3 different real estate agents to give you their opinion of value.  Be sure and ask for comparable homes that they are using to help determine your home’s value.  Take that report and go out and drive by those homes that have recently sold and ask yourself “How does my home compare to theirs?”.  You can also hire an independent licensed appraiser to also assist you in finding your home’s value.

    What else can you do to ensure your home is properly priced in today’s market?  Get a list of homes in your home’s price range and set time aside to go out and look at your home’s competition.  This will not only get you more familiar with your competition and you’re also seeing what the other buyers are seeing, but you will also be able to get some great ideas to help get your home sold.

    I hope you found this to be helpful and if I can offer any help in any real estate matters please feel free to contact me directly – john@johnconnolly.com or www.facebook.com/johnconnollyrealestate.

    John Connolly
    SUCCESS! Real Estate
    (781) 985-9064

  • Finding the right location for your next home

    Posted Under: Schools in Braintree, Crime & Safety in Braintree, Home Buying in Braintree  |  May 23, 2011 8:26 AM  |  2,343 views  |  No comments

    In trying to find the right location for your next home there are certain questions you should be asking yourself.  First is what town do you want to live in?  In determining the best town for your purchase ask yourself the following questions.  Are the taxes you pay a bearing on your decision process?  If so look at what each town’s tax rate will be.   Is how the town politically run important to you?  Go to the next town meeting and see for yourself the town leaders in action.  Are the schools important?  If so go on line and see through the state’s website where the town’s schools rank.  Are after school programs like sports, theater clubs, etc. important?  If so call town hall and always check and see if there have been any layoffs to teachers, police or fire departments.  If so that’s a sign of financial instability.


    Once the town is picked now it’s finding the neighborhood.  First look 5 years into the future.  Will things be changing?  Will your family be growing or will the kids be going off to school?  A home today on a busy street may not be okay in a few years with young children so try to look into the future.  Always keep resale in the front of your mind.  If there are plans to develop land near you that can adversely affect your home’s value so keep an eye out for that.


    Always walk into your local police department and ask about crime in the neighborhood.  Ask if there are any registered sex offenders and if so, where do they live?  Any high traffic areas that you may find yourself commuting every day?  Remember buyer beware; do your own due diligence.  Don’t count on others to do this for you.


    And lastly put a list together of your wants and needs; as an example you need a fenced in yard, you want 3+ acres, etc.  Once you see them in writing talk them over and become well educated as to what you need and expect in a location.  By doing this I assure you it will save you a lot of time and heartache along with making you realtor’s job a lot easier and more efficient.


    If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  If you need any specific advice on a location or a community please feel free to communicate back with me.  Did you find this blog helpful?  Could I have offered more information? I’m always trying to learn and be able to offer you more so your comments are appreciated.


    John Connolly

    SUCCESS! Real Estate


    (781) 985-9064

  • What Type Of An Investor Do YOU Want TO Become?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Braintree, Home Selling in Braintree, Foreclosure in Braintree  |  April 5, 2011 11:29 AM  |  2,339 views  |  No comments

    In my last blog I wrote about what homework and research you needed to do after you made your decision as to what type of an investor you want to become, and today you’re going to learn how to find these opportunities.

    The first step in finding the right opportunity for you would be to find a good real estate agent to assist you in your search.  Tips for finding a good agent; look for one with a great reputation, experience in working with investors and see if they have any special training or special designations that they can obtain.

    3 different opportunities you can look for are bank owned properties, short sales, and auctions.  Let’s first start with bank owned properties.  You will need to act fast; good listings go quickly.  Second, keep your eye on the number of days on the market.  The longer it sits on the market the more negotiating you have.  Remember you’re not negotiating with the owner; you may be dealing with multiple third parties, each with a particular agenda and standardized process to follow.  Lastly, remember if a loan is insured by Federal Housing Administration for example, lenders can’t accept less than 88% of its appraised value in the first 30 days.

    The second opportunity is a short sale; that is when a lender that services a loan has agreed that the homeowner is at risk of default and allows the home to be sold for less than what is owed.  Tips for buying a short sale; look for the remarks that the home has an approved short sale, meaning the realtor had an offer that was acceptable to the bank yet the buyer got impatient and moved on.  Keep in mind that short sales may sell as low as 14% under list price.  Make sure you know how many loans are owed on the home.  It’s common to see two banks on one home; you need to have patience.  To get an approved short sale can take several months so if you have time restraints don’t go after them.  Lastly, make sure you have an exit strategy out of the sale in case you find a better opportunity.

    The last opportunity is an auction.  Plan on doing as much homework up front, pull public records and see if you can find the listing ticket when the home was purchased so you have an idea as to what the home has to offer.  Be cautious on anyone still living in the home; you may need to evict them.  Very rarely can you enter the home before bidding. You need a bank check for the day of the auction; it’s nonrefundable so make sure you have your financing lined up.  Lastly, a high majority of these auctions are delayed or canceled and the ones that do go off are usually started at an unrealistic asking price by the bank and it doesn’t sell, so plan on being very patient and very thorough.

    My next blog I’m going to talk about flipping a home, what you need to do once you own it, what are hidden expenses you need to be aware of and how to keep the job moving forward.

    So what do you think of these blogs?  Can I answer any other questions for you?  Did I offer enough information for you?  Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.  As always, if I can be of any help please don’t hesitate to contact me.  If you want a list of properties that I think are great opportunities please feel free to contact me.

    John Connolly, Vice President
    SUCCESS! Real Estate


  • The Three Types of Investments

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Braintree, Home Selling in Braintree, Foreclosure in Braintree  |  March 29, 2011 10:35 AM  |  685 views  |  1 comment

    On the last blog I spoke about 3 types of investments; being a landlord, flipping a home and speculating a market.  We went over the risks and rewards and now we are going to go over what research and homework you need to do before making your purchase.


    Let’s first discuss speculating a market.  The best advice I can offer you is to double check and triple check your source for the information.  Remember I warned in the last blog that this is by far a more dangerous type of investment.  For the most part you can’t control this investment so make sure you confirm sources.


    Now let’s get into flipping a home.  This is by far the most popular with all the TV shows that show this to be so fun, exciting and profitable; so what research do you need to do?  First, make sure you have all your financing in place.  If you have any questions on how to do this I write later about it or feel free to contact me for available financing options.  Second, don’t get in over your head.  If you don’t have a builder’s license don’t pretend you do; know what your limitations are.  Next have all your contractors lined up.  Make sure they’re reliable and come highly recommended.  Next make sure you have a solid budget; build in a 10% mistake budget.  Once you have all these lined up make sure you know from your realtor what the resale price will be and the time you can expect the home will be on the market. Once this all begins keep a close eye on your numbers and your relationships with all your team members.


    The third type, “being a landlord”  first secure your financing and second, understand all the responsibilities that go along with being a landlord.  You need to be able to offer a clean, safe and quiet residence for your tenants.  Consult with a realtor for fair market rent expectations and check your own by looking on Craigslist and other apartment rental sites.  Next  keep a close eye on general expenses, landscaping, water bills, vacancy, etc.  You also need to be prepared for your tenants’ personal issues now becoming yours, when they can’t pay their rent on time or because their relationship with their spouse is causing them to make too much noise.  The answer to all of this is to be upfront with the tenants; what they can expect from you and what you can expect from them.  You can hear all sorts of bad stories but truth be told; if you’re a responsible landlord you’re going to be a successful landlord.


    Please see my power point presentation to help you make your decision as to what type of investor you want to become.   On my next blog we are going to learn how to find these opportunities and how to get started.


    As always, please feel free to contact me to set up a time or to answer any questions you may have.  The advice I offer is from real life experiences; I’m not only a realtor helping sellers and buyers purchase and sell homes, but I also own homes throughout the country.  I don’t tell you this to impress you but to impress upon you to learn from my mistakes and successful investments. 

    Please visit my new blog at http://johnconnollyrealestate.wordpress.com

    John Connolly

  • Foreclosure News: Has the worst passed?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Braintree, Financing in Braintree, Foreclosure in Braintree  |  February 21, 2011 9:38 AM  |  440 views  |  No comments

    AP analysis: Foreclosures raise US economic stress

    Economic pain up slightly in December because of higher foreclosures, AP stress map shows

    The nation's economic stress inched up in December because higher foreclosures outweighed lower unemployment, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis.

    Bankruptcy levels remained largely unchanged from November. But the depressed housing market took a toll. Foreclosure rates rose in 33 states, most sharply in Utah, New Jersey, Nevada and Arizona.

    Most analysts expect the economy to gain momentum this year, in part because of a tax-cut package that lowers workers' Social Security taxes and puts more money in their paychecks. But two straight months of higher stress to end 2010 marked a setback after the nation's economic pain had eased since the start of last year, the AP Economic Stress Index showed.

    The AP's index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on...read full article.

  • Foreclosure news: Bloomberg Article

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Braintree, Foreclosure in Braintree  |  February 3, 2011 6:39 AM  |  394 views  |  No comments

    I found this article on Bloomberg.com.  Is there any truth to what they are saying?  Read and let me know your thoughts...

    Faulty Foreclosure May Mean Massachusetts Buyer Isn’t Owner

    By Thom Weidlich - Jan 21, 2011 12:01 AM ET

    Massachusetts’ highest court will consider whether a home buyer can rightfully own a property if the bank that sold it to him didn’t have the right to foreclose on the original owner. FULL ARTICLE

    John Connolly, VP
    SUCCESS! Real Estate
  • SUCCESS! Real Estate Is #1 Again!

    Posted Under: General Area in Braintree, Home Buying in Braintree, Home Selling in Braintree  |  January 19, 2011 10:15 AM  |  432 views  |  No comments

    Great news...we just ran the 2010 numbers and SUCCESS! is still on top on the South Shore.  Here is a summary of our 2010 stats:

    • We are #3 in the STATE for the second year in a row (For Real Estate Offices)
    • We are #1 in BRAINTREE, CANTON, ROCKLAND, MARSHFIELD, and PEMBROKE (Total units sold per MLS)

    Congratulations to our SUCCESS! Agents!!!

    The 2010 will be available on our INTRANET soon.

    Follow Our Story: www.facebook.com/successrealestate

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