Erin Callahan | Holyoke Real Estate, South Hadley Real Estate, Northampton Real Estate


Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

When placing your home on the market you’ll likely need to plan to hold an open house or two. If there's a chance of bad weather during a scheduled open house, you might question moving ahead with the event.

Before you cancel, here are a few things to consider:

  • Serious buyers venture out in all types of weather, so those who show are less likely to be simply curious lookers.

  • Buyers can experience that your home stays cozy and warm even in poor weather.

  • Your roof’s secure structure will shine through.

  • Canceling may signal to buyers that windows, the roof, or the basement areas leak and that your exterior drainage needs work.

  • Canceling at the last minute might make folks think twice about returning if they made the initial effort to attend.

How should you compensate for bad weather?

Make the experience pleasant:

  • Turn on every light. Make your home as bright as possible. You want potential buyers to see your home as warm and inviting.

  • Open the curtains, shutters, and blinds.

  • Check that gutters are clear of debris. Be sure water flows freely from gutters into your downspouts and that it diverts away from walkways.

  • Provide outside and inside doormats and set a stack of towels near the entryways in case anyone needs to dry off.

  • Set an umbrella stand near the door so that wet umbrellas stay in one spot.

  • Odors may appear stronger on wet days, consider moving pet beds and similar items to the garage. Use a lightly-scented fabric refreshing spray to eliminate odors in furniture, carpets, or drapes.

  • Provide warm beverages and to-go cups for your guests.

If you question holding an open house during inclement weather, consult your local real estate professional. They know your market, and they know the sorts of buyers that will come — rain or shine — to find their new home.


For home sellers, renting a storage unit may prove to be a great idea, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

A storage unit will make it simple to keep personal belongings like artwork and photographs out of sight while you sell your house. Plus, a storage unit offers a secure space for your personal belongings, one that you can quickly and effortlessly access at any time.

Although there are many wonderful reasons to rent a storage unit, choosing the right-size unit can be difficult, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of selecting a storage unit that suits you perfectly.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a home seller choose the right-size storage unit.

1. Take a Look at the Items That You Need to Store

A home seller must do everything possible to remove clutter before listing a house. And with a storage unit at your disposal, you should have no trouble keeping excess items outside your residence.

Ultimately, it is important to make a list of the items that you want to place in storage before you rent a storage unit. This will help you determine exactly how much space you'll need based on the items on your list.

For example, if you need to store a bicycle, treadmill or other large items, you may want to choose a 10' x 15' storage unit. Or, if you need to store boxes of kitchen utensils, bathroom supplies and various small items, a 5' x 5' storage unit may prove to be the ideal choice.

2. Consider How Long You'll Need a Storage Unit

With the right-size storage unit, you can protect various personal belongings until a homebuyer purchases your residence.

As you explore your storage unit options, it often helps to create a budget. That way, you can ensure that you'll have sufficient finances available to cover the costs of a storage unit for an extended period of time.

If you are unsure about your long-term finances, you may want to rent a small storage unit, thereby resulting in affordable monthly storage unit rental costs. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable with your financial situation, you may be better equipped than others to select a large storage unit.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Determining how much space you'll need in a storage unit can challenge even the most diligent home seller. Thankfully, a real estate agent can help you prepare your residence for the housing market as well as make it easy to decide how much storage space you'll need.

A real estate agent can put you in touch with storage unit providers in your city or town. In addition, he or she can offer home decluttering tips and help you get excess items into the right-size storage unit in no time at all.

Ready to rent a storage unit? With the aforementioned tips, you can select the right-size storage unit to safeguard myriad personal belongings while you sell your house.


Submitting a "fair" offer on your dream home may seem difficult, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you determine what it takes to submit a fair offer on a home that increases the likelihood that a home seller will accept your proposal without delay.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure that a first-time homebuyer can submit a fair offer on a house.

1. Study the Housing Market Closely

Are you preparing to submit an offer in a buyer's market or a seller's market? Ultimately, the current state of the housing market may help you define a fair proposal based on the sector's conditions.

For example, a buyer's market frequently includes an abundance of top-notch residences and a shortage of homebuyers. In this market, you may be able to submit an offer at or below a home seller's initial asking price and receive an instant "Yes."

On the other hand, a seller's market usually features a shortage of high-quality houses and an abundances of homebuyer. As such, you may need to submit an offer at or above a home seller's initial asking price if you want to secure your dream residence.

For first-time homebuyers who analyze the housing market closely, they should be able to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market. That way, a first-time homebuyer can determine fair market value for a residence and submit an offer that corresponds to it.

2. Evaluate Your Homebuying Budget

There is no need to overspend for a house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. But with a homebuying budget in hand, a first-time homebuyer can resist the urge to pay too much to acquire an outstanding residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage often provides a great option for those who are uncertain about how much they can spend on a home. This budget will enable a homebuyer to narrow his or her home search based on the finances at his or her disposal.

Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions to learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your budget and move one step closer to acquiring a terrific residence.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. This housing market professional can teach you about the intricacies of buying a house and help you submit a fair offer on a residence any time you choose.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will guide you along each stage of the homebuying journey and help you overcome any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at your convenience.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and by doing so, a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble submitting a fair offer on a residence.


Photo by Andrew Wilus from Pexels

When you're looking for a home builder, you might be tempted to base your decision largely on bids. While price is important, there are a few more factors to take into consideration.

Number of Homes Built

A new home builder should have plenty of projects in their credit, though they don't necessarily have to be official contracts. From Habitat for Humanity to home renovations, the idea is to look for someone who has shown a passion for solving new construction problems. Ideally, you'll be able to hire a crew that has been in the industry for decades, but this isn't always an option depending on your budget and location. Luckily, there are ways to ensure quality without having to put your dreams on delay.

Areas of Expertise

General contractors are able to handle most builds without incident. If you've chosen a standard floorplan without a lot of flourishes, you might only need to verify that the contractor is comfortable with the blueprints and doesn't foresee any major problems. However, certain builds, such as craftsman or customized homes, may require specific experience. Finally, find out the builder's policies on special requests. For instance, if you find the perfect sink in an old auction, is the crew willing to install it even though it goes against the original plans?

Energy Savings

Energy savings translate to utility bill savings. The construction industry has been somewhat notorious in the past for sticking with traditional building methods, but it's slowly come around to incorporate more environmentally friendly technology. If your builder is all about reducing energy costs, it's only going to benefit you in the end. This may mean using local materials to save on transportation energy, installing efficient appliances or getting you a great deal on some solar panels.

Inspection Policies

All homebuilders have to subject their work to official inspections at the end of the build. When you're looking for the right company, you should be taking into account their overall transparency. For example, are you able to visit the site whenever you would like? Would the builders mind if you happened to take a friend who knew a lot about construction?

Builders who don't allow this aren't necessarily trying to hide anything - they may just have liability concerns for your safety on an active construction site. This is more about how they plan to keep you in the loop. Whether it's drones, photos, or on-site inspections, you should ideally be able to follow the process from beginning to end.

Final Price

An estimate is nothing more than an educated guess. You want to find out how the final prices are determined and if certain items are subject to change. For instance, if the price of lumber takes a steep hike in a month, how will this affect you? Some builders will absolve you of those costs, but others will factor in the increases.

Good Reviews

Checking on a builder's reputation should go beyond looking at their internet presence. If you can talk to any of their past clients this can give you a better idea of the quality of their work and their customer service. If possible, ask the builder for references.

Were there any issues that came up at final inspection? Can you get your questions answered in a timely manner? How does the builder communicate roadblocks to the project? If there's bad weather, what's the protocol for protecting the workers and the build from harm? You're not likely to get this level of detail from a blurb on an independent review site.

It's always good to trust your gut instincts when it comes to home builders. First and foremost, you want to make sure you do the work now so you can avoid headaches later. New home builds can run very smoothly when you're in the right hands.


To maximize the value of your house, you may need to perform a wide range of home improvements. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure you won't have to break your budget to upgrade your residence before you add it to the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you save money on home improvements.

1. Receive Multiple Quotes from Professionals

When it comes to performing comprehensive home repairs, it generally is a good idea to err on the side of caution by hiring professional contractors. However, hiring professionals to complete home improvement projects may put a major dent in your day-to-day finances.

If you request multiple quotes for home improvement projects, you can shop around for the best price. Plus, you may be able to negotiate the price from a professional if you have various competitor quotes at your disposal.

2. Consider Do-It-Yourself Projects

In many instances, a home may not require a full overhaul. Conversely, you may only need to perform a series of minor upgrades to ensure your residence is show-ready.

When possible, it may be beneficial to try to perform home improvement projects on your own. If you complete simple tasks like removing clutter from your home's basement or mowing your front lawn, you can simultaneously enhance your residence and avoid the costs associated with hiring professionals.

If you're unsure about how to perform certain home repairs, there is no need to leave anything to chance. In these scenarios, reach out to professionals for expert support, and you can minimize the risks associated with trying to complete these tasks on your own.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Finding the best ways to cut costs on home improvements can be tricky. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you get your house ready for the real estate market, even if you're dealing with a tight home improvement budget.

Typically, a real estate agent will be able to assess your house and help you establish home improvement priorities. This housing market professional then can put you in touch with the top home improvement professionals in your area, as well as provide tips to ensure you can quickly upgrade your residence on your own.

A real estate agent also will serve as your expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she will help you list your residence and promote it to dozens of potential buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host home showings and open house events that enable buyers to get an up-close look at your residence. And if you receive offers on your house, a real estate agent will help you review these proposals and make an informed decision.

There is no reason to overspend to upgrade your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can save money on home repairs and prep your house for the real estate market faster than ever before.




Loading