Monthly Archives: September 2019


Is this the way you want your story to end?

This home in Sandwich was on the market for nearly a year when we took over the listing. Managed by both off Cape and on Cape brokers, we knew we had a challenge promoting a property that had been available for such an extended period of time.

The first thing we did was provide the sellers — who had relocated to California — with a list of items that needed to be addressed and might have impacted opinions of the home when it was shown.

For example, new carpeting had been installed, but there were several places where the workmanship could have been better. (It was fixed.)

We also discussed price and provided the sellers with a realistic assessment of the market and where their home fit versus the competition.

Next, we organized a mega-open house featuring complementary ice cream from Cape Cod Slush and Ice Cream. To promote the event, we went door-to-door to about 100 homes in the area talking with neighbors about the house and leaving flyers.

We also promoted the home aggressively on our social media platforms and were backed up by print ads sponsored by Today Real Estate.

The result?

We had a well-attended open house and sold the property in 12 days, after it was available for nearly 12 months!

While we can’t guarantee the same results every time, our successful marketing plan could help us sell your home quicker than most.

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, please contact us. We’d appreciate the opportunity to share with you our experience tested marketing approach.

Please call us at 508-568-8191 or email us at


In last week’s posting, we talked about the bad advice some potential new home owners are being given by well-meaning family and friends to delay their purchases, because prices are going to drop.

(We’ve also heard the same line of thinking from a few “savvy” older buyers, too.)

Our friends at industry resource “Keeping Current Matters” prepared the follow graphic outlining the cost of waiting.

We can all agree that it doesn’t make any sense to wait when the result is spending more money.

While it remains a sellers market, good values are available to buyers, who are pre-approved and realistic about what they need and can afford.

Let us know how we can help…

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We hope you’ll consider supporting one of the many organizations that work to find a cure and assist those who are impacted.

For more information about breast cancer, please visit Cape Cod Healthcare.


Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Thinking about buying your first home?

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you are no doubt receiving advice from family and friends. All of it is given with the best of intentions. It just may not be right.

One piece of well meaning advice that first time home buyers are receiving right now is to delay their purchases because prices are going to drop.

With all due respect to Mom, Dad or Uncle Harry, who “knows a little something about real estate,” that’s not good advice.

The fact is leading experts agree that home prices will continue to appreciate at least through 2020, if not 2021-22. That’s a long time to wait to buy your first home and pay more for it!

In addition, the “Housing and Mortgage Market Review,” which presents and analyzes key economic data, provides housing sector forecasts and information on long-term trends, just published a map showing the probability of home prices being lower in two years.  As you can see, nowhere in the country is there even a moderate chance that prices will drop.

So, now is definitely not the time to delay buying your first home. While it remains a sellers market, good values are available to buyers, who are pre-approved and realistic about what they need and can afford.

We’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your options and develop a plan to find your first home.  Please contact us via the comment section or by calling 508-568-8191.

Remember: every market is different. Local realtors understand the local market. Those from outside the area quite often don’t have the best understanding of individual neighborhoods and prices.

Today is the first day of fall. If you’re considering selling your home, here are some great reasons why now’s the time!

In addition to celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on September 9, Mari also celebrated her 20th anniversary with Today Real Estate on the same day.

Her milestone was noted at a company-wide staff meeting where Mari posed for a picture with Todd Machnick, President of Today Real Estate, and colleagues Sandy Theil, celebrating 32 years at TRE, and Michael Lotane, President of the “72-20 Club.”

A team based approach and family atmosphere distinguishes Today Real Estate from other Cape based companies. When choosing to work with a Today agent, you’re actually engaging a team of professionals to help you navigate the often confusing real estate market.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank






Fixer Uppers Are Not Always a Good Deal

First time home buyers are sometimes tempted to purchase a property that needs some work. The price of a fixer-upper is less and if potential buyers are handy — or think they are — the opportunity to save money is enticing.

But, according to a recent article on the ValuePenguin website, buyers may end up spending more after renovations than they would have spent had they gone ahead and purchased a move-in ready home.

While a fixer-upper may have a lower purchase price than a comparable turnkey house ⁠— a property that needs no major improvements before you move in ⁠— the money that sometimes is needed to fix the house often exceeds expectations.

On average, those who responded to a national survey and bought turnkey houses said they spent $250,496.00, while those who purchased fixer-uppers bought their homes for $199,819.00. After renovations, those who stayed within budget spent an average of $246,891.00 in total. That’s not much of a savings. (Remember this is a national survey, not one based on Cape Cod home prices.)

Of those who bought fixer-uppers, 44%  said they went over budget, spending on average 38% more than expected, according to the survey. Among those who went over budget, the average total cost of buying and renovating the home came to $275,741.00 ⁠— approximately $25,000.00 more than the average cost of a turnkey house.

Some renovation projects seem to be more budget unfriendly than others. Home buyers who needed to install a new HVAC  system, do major plumbing work, or make basement renovations were the most likely to spend more than they planned.

Not surprisingly, those fixer-upper homeowners who overspent were more likely to regret their purchase, than those who stayed within their renovation budgets, according to the article.

If you’re thinking about buying a fixer-upper, consider more than just the price. Be realistic about the costs of bringing the home to the condition you want and plan for the surprises you may encounter along the way. Also, be wary of friends who say they can help you with renovations. They may not know as much as they claim and might not be available when the time comes to actually do the work.

Our buyers and sellers guides for the fall are now available. Please visit our video website for more information. Thanks…

…and for those of you concerned about the status of the economy and whether now is the time to get involved in the real estate market, the chart below should be encouraging.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Mortgage Interest Rates at Historic Lows


What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? | MyKCM

So, the talking heads have you convinced that it’s gloom and doom time for the economy and the real estate market, in particular.

Here’s something you may not know if you’re just paying attention to the cable news “experts” or your Uncle Harry who “knows a little something” about money.

Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since Q4 of 2018, settling at near-historic lows! This is big news for buyers looking to get more for their money in the current housing market.What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? | MyKCMAccording to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,

the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.60 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016.

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, says this is great news for home buyers.

“…consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall.”

As a potential buyer, the best thing you can do is work with a trusted advisor like a local real estate professional who can help you keep a close eye on how the market is changing. Relying on current expert advice is more important than ever when it comes to making a confident and informed decision for you and your family.

Open House Mania

We hosted two Open House this weekend. Sounds crazy, right? Long holiday weekend; who is going to be out looking at houses?

A lot of people.

Our first Open House was Saturday at a well cared for single family ranch priced in the high $400s in Mashpee. Scheduled to run from 11:00am – 1:00pm, potential buyers were at the door before starting time. We didn’t leave until almost 2:00pm, because of the number of interested parties stopping by.

Same thing happened yesterday at a lovely 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo priced in the lower $200s in Plymouth. We again didn’t leave the property until almost 2:00pm, because of the interest.

Sure, there were some nosy neighbors, but in the vast majority of cases, these were serious buyers. We have at least 25 follow up calls to make when the office opens tomorrow.

If you’re on the fence about selling, inventory remains tight and the buyers are out there. With lower mortgage interest rates, they’re in a good position to purchase homes that are priced right based on the advice of local realtors.  The fall market is also starting soon with people looking to be settled in their new homes by the holidays.

If you’re thinking about becoming a home owner, the current mortgage rates make doing so as attractive as it has been in recent years.

As always, we’d be happy to meet with you to review your options. Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or use the comment section. Thanks!

Enjoy the rest of the holiday and the week ahead,

Mari and Hank