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Living West of Boston

Home Buying & Selling in Sudbury, Wayland, Maynard, Stow MA...

By Marilyn Messenger, CRS, ABR | Broker in Sudbury, MA
  • Who Is Your Agent?

    Posted Under: General Area in Wayland, Home Buying in Wayland, Home Selling in Wayland  |  September 16, 2013 11:31 AM  |  722 views  |  No comments

    More often than you’d expect, homeowners refer to the person they bought their insurance from as their agent. It sounds reasonable but it’s definitely not accurate. That person is the agent of the insurance company and they legally represent the company, not the customer. Even an independent agent who can place a policy with different companies is still an agent of the company.

    A mortgage officer, in most cases is an employee and represents the company. And the same is true for a title or escrow officer. It’s important to understand the actual relationship to know what you can expect from them.

    Any business person who wants to stay in business must treat their customers fairly and with a high degree of service. As a customer, you should be able to reasonably expect honesty and accountability. The difference is that employees owe their loyalty to their employer and agents owe their loyalty to their principal.

    An agent owes more than just honesty and accountability. The principal can expect complete disclosure, obedience, loyalty, reasonable skill and care and confidentiality from their agent.

    This advocacy is very beneficial during the buying or selling process to coordinate all aspects of the transaction. The agent can bring valuable experience to your side of the transaction to provide confidence that your best interests are being represented from start to finish.

    Most states have a recognized procedure for the real estate professional to create a formal relationship between themselves and a buyer or seller. This requires a fiduciary/statutory responsibility that places the principals’ interests above the agent’s own personal interests.

    In Massachusetts real estate agents are required to provide consumers the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure form at the first personal meeting with you to discuss a specific property. The form explains the types of agency an agent can provide. Although, this has been mandatory for years, many buyers who have looked at properties with other agents often tell me they have never seen the form! Consumers have a right to know who an agent represents.

    Additionally, it is in the consumer’s best interest to have a written agreement with an agent who is going to represent them as a buyer agent. It clarifies expectations so there are no surprises or misunderstanding about responsibilities and makes for a less stressful transaction. Here are some of the other advantages of a written buyer agency agreement. 
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     About the author: Marilyn Messenger, a local broker associated with Andrew Mitchell and Company, has been representing buyers and sellers in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, and the towns west of Boston for 20 years. She is a Certified Residential Specialist (less than 4% of Realtors have achieved the CRS® designation) and an Accredited Buyer Representative and is an active member of the Real Estate Buyer Agency Council. Visit www.MarilynMessenger.com to search for homes and get the latest market reports for Wayland, Sudbury, Concord, Acton, and Stow MA.  
    Connect with Marilyn on Google+

  • Is Condo Living Right For You? Read the Rules!

    Posted Under: General Area in Maynard, Home Buying in Maynard, Property Q&A in Maynard  |  June 3, 2011 11:38 AM  |  904 views  |  No comments

    “There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule.” Charles Osgood

    Prices for condominiums and townhouses have dropped significantly over the past couple of years and buyers are starting to find the Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, and the towns west of Boston very attractive. Condominium living is exactly the right lifestyle for a lot of people. If you are a first time home buyer, you can generally get more living space for the same price as a single-family home, developments tend to be newer, and some offer amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers.  If you’re just too busy or not interested in working around the house, owning a condo may be for you; the exterior maintenance is taken care of by the homeowner association so you don’t have to be concerned about painting, landscaping, snow plowing, roof replacement, etc. – the benefits of home ownership without the work!

    A lot of empty nesters also like the idea of simplifying and having someone else take care of things, especially after this past winter! Wouldn’t it be nice to just lock the door and go somewhere warm next winter without having to worry about anything? Sounds perfect if you’re someone who wants easy living; doesn’t mind having close neighbors; is ok with letting other people make decisions for you or is willing to volunteer to be on the Homeowners Association Board, and won’t mind trading some personal freedoms in return for convenience.

    Buyers know that condominiums/homeowner associations have rules that govern the community and offers to purchase a condominium should include a contingency that says the offer is subject to satisfactory review/acceptance of all documents… Most HOA (Home Owner association) rules are pretty standard, and your attorney can tell you which ones you can expect to find in most places, however, communities can and do amend the rules over the years so rules can vary. Parking and pets seem to be the biggest issues but there may also be rules holiday decorations, gardening, decks, facility usage; bicycle and baby carriage storage, any selling restrictions – these days many developments will not allow investors … Some associations dictate what vendors you can use to replace the windows – yes, units owners are often responsible for windows, doors; know what you will be responsible for.  

    The lender will review the budget and send a questionnaire asking about the overall well being of the development – i.e. number of owner occupied units, if there are any pending lawsuits, special assessments; but as the buyer, it is really important for YOU to read the rules. Only you can know if you’ll be comfortable living by the rules that govern the condo development you’ll be sharing; and the best time to do that is before you make an offer. Once you accept the condominium rules (or not) you can move forward and enjoy the lifestyle that’s right for you!  

    About the author: Marilyn Messenger, CRS has sold dozens of condominiums and townhouses (new and resale units) in Sudbury, Wayland, Maynard, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. As  condominium/townhouse owner and former Board of Trustees Member at Deer Hedge Run, she knows how first-hand about buying and selling condominiums and about condo living. Ask Marilyn at 508-596-3501 or marilynmessenger@realtor.com.

  • Wayland - Open House Sunday 4/17 12:30 - 2:30

    Posted Under: General Area in Wayland, Home Buying in Wayland, Home Selling in Wayland  |  April 15, 2011 11:49 AM  |  386 views  |  No comments

    Open House - 163 Cochituate Road, Wayland
     Sunday, 4/17 12:30 to 2:30 P.M.
     
    Updated Inside & Out -  $469,000

    Imagine how much you'll love living in this updated Cape in Wayland with everything for your comfort & convenience!

    1806 square feet on 3 levels with all 3 bedrooms upstairs, 2 full baths, maple/stainless kitchen, fireplaces in the living room & family room, finished lower level. Central air-conditioning, replacement windows, lots of closets, neutral color palette. New money saving/easy care Prodigy siding & new GEODECK composite deck. Lots of room to play in the flat yard abutting trees. Great commuter location. 1-yr. home warranty.

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  • 65 Reasons to Stay on the Market During the Holidays

    Posted Under: General Area in Wayland, Home Buying in Wayland, Home Selling in Wayland  |  November 24, 2010 8:06 AM  |  350 views  |  No comments

    Last year 65 single-family, condominiums, and multi-family homes in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, and Stow went under agreement between November 20, 2009 and January 05, 2010; 16 in Wayland, 25 in Sudbury, 11 in Maynard, and 13 in Stow! Statewide in Massachusetts, the total was 5,365!

    Here are some of the reasons why:

    Less competition – a lot of people will take their homes off the market, so buyers will have fewer choices; make your home one of the choices.

    Serious buyers – while there may be fewer buyers, the ones who are looking tend to be more serious. Everyone likes to look at houses in the Spring; it’s almost like entertainment for some. At this time of year people are busy and the daylight hours are shorter. People who are taking the time to look are serious.

    Taxes - Many buyers want to close by year-end for tax purposes and it is still possible; they are ready to move, so you can get it done quickly and move on.

    Things to celebrate – people get engaged over the holidays, get bonuses, etc. so they have good reasons to buy.

    Job Relocation – this is when a lot of people who are coming to the area to start jobs in the new year come to buy – Massachusetts unemployment is down and companies are hiring again. If they have school children they can make their move during the school vacation get settled for second semester rather than starting in the middle.

    Family and friends. People who are thinking about moving back to the area come “home” to visit family and friends and go out to look at houses while they’re here.

    Sellers become buyers. If you’re buying another home, you can take advantage of opportunities to purchase from another serious seller, year-end tax breaks etc.

    Momentum. Taking your home off the market breaks the marketing momentum. Someone who likes your house online may be waiting until they get their bonus, or job confirmation, holiday gift. If your house disappears from the market, they will buy something else.

    Houses do sell over the holidays - 65 in just four towns last year!If your house is priced properly and you keep it on the market, yours may be one of them. Happy Holidays!

    Date source: MLSPIN (Multiple Listing Service Property Information Network)

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  • You Have the Right to Remain Silent.. Anything You Say...

    Posted Under: General Area in Massachusetts, Home Buying in Massachusetts, Home Selling in Massachusetts  |  November 15, 2010 10:34 AM  |  472 views  |  1 comment
    Anyone who has ever watched a crime show on TV can finish that sentence. We all know about Miranda rights when someone gets arrested. Hopefully, no one reading this blog will ever have to hear those words but there is a good chance that you or someone you know will at some point talk to a real estate agent or broker about buying or selling a home.

    If you are like most people, you don’t think about “rights” or “relationships” when you contact a real estate agent; you just want information about a property or a town or about financing. The agent will ask questions about where you live, where you work, when you need to move, how much money you make, your source for financing, how much you want to spend on a property… all kinds of personal and financial information that you would want to have kept confidential; and certainly not shared when you want to win a negotiation.

    Now this is not legal advice (you need a lawyer for that), just a heads up for buyers and sellers that in Massachusetts whenever a consumer asks a real estate licensee to discuss a particular property, the licensee must disclose in writing whose interests the licensees represent, the buyer or the seller, or both. Without such a warning consumers can make tactical mistakes in negotiating the best possible deal, such as disclosing their bottom line price to a real estate licensee who is actually the seller's representative..."anything you say can and will be used against you..." How about a seller asking for advice about pricing their property; what if that agent represents a buyer who may have an interest... who does that agent work for?

    A recent investigation by Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Professional Licensure shows real estate licensees regularly fail to disclose whose interests they represent. Investigators found 94 percent of licensees checked were not in compliance in Boston. Pairs of investigators from the Division of Professional Licensure, posing as consumers, visited 200 real estate offices throughout Massachusetts and found that in only 12 instances, or 6 percent of the time, real estate licensees properly disclosed to consumers whose interests they represent.

    Have you contacted a real estate agent lately…did they provide the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure form for you to sign?

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    Market Reports - Weston, Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow
  • Maynard MA - Energy Fair Saturday 5/7

    Posted Under: General Area in Maynard  |  May 7, 2010 2:16 PM  |  339 views  |  No comments

    Maynard CAN (Climate Action Network) will be holding an energy fair tomorrow, Sat. May 8, at the Fowler school between 12 and 4 pm. The program will feature over 30 exhibitors, food, live music, and activities in tracks “food” and “buildings and energy”. Kate Hogan and Jamie Eldridge are on the schedule as “invited” to speak.

     

    This should be interesting and informative. See the event web page here for more details: http://www.maynardcan.org/Fair10.html
  • 2009 Q3 & Q4 Housing Report from RE/MAX of New England

    Posted Under: General Area in Wayland  |  August 24, 2009 1:16 PM  |  394 views  |  No comments
    Just released from RE/MAX New England - check it out.

    http://hosting-source.bronto.com/5506/public/Marketing/PDFs/Q3REMAXOutlook2009.pdf

     

    Visit www.waylandhomesales.com for the latest market area reports for Wayland, Sudbury, Weston, Stow, and Maynard; search MLS listings, get daily updates, news and information to help make the best home buying and selling decisions.
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