Portsmouth NH Real Estate, Seacoast NH Real Estate, Portsmouth NH Homes For Sale, NH MLS Listings


If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, the thought of organizing, cleaning, and arranging it may seem like an overwhelming project!

Knowing where to begin and how much money to spend on home staging and decorating are among the many questions that may be flooding your mind, right now.

The key to success is to make as much of an impact as possible, without spending more money than necessary.

One way to avoid "spinning your wheels" when it comes to maximizing the appearance of your home is to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will quickly notice aspects of your home that need attention and advise you on the most cost-effective ways to improve its marketability. If they've shown dozens (or more) houses in their career, they'll be very familiar with all the things that attract buyers, as well as what repels them.

Although everyone has different tastes and expectations, many house hunters are attracted to gleaming hardwood floors, energy efficient windows, and stainless steel appliances. While it may not be cost effective to have new floors, appliances, and windows installed to sell your house faster, you can make the best possible impression by making sure the windows are crystal clear, hardwood floors are polished, and appliances are clean and shiny.

Since many house hunters pay close attention to the kitchen, it's especially important to win their approval on appearance and cleanliness. Because food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen, it's going to be one of the more challenging rooms to keep clean -- especially if you have children. However, if a prospective buyer is wavering between two houses for sale, you can be reasonably sure that the one with the clean kitchen and bathrooms will be their preferred choice.

There are a lot of other ways you can make your kitchen appealing to buyers, too. By minimizing clutter on counter tops and displaying fresh flowers and a colorful bowl of fruit, you can make your kitchen look much more inviting. Prospective buyers will also respond favorably to appealing fragrances, such as freshly baked bread, cookies, cinnamon buns, or coffee. Clean windows, attractive curtains, and plenty of natural light will also add to the ambiance of your kitchen.

The ideal reaction from potential buyers touring your home would be something to the effect of "I can imagine us preparing dinner, entertaining guests, and sitting around the breakfast table in this house!" Setting the table so that it looks like the family is just about to sit down for a meal together is one way to help convey that image. The encouraging news is that when someone expresses sincere appreciation for the comforts and features of your home, there's a good chance they'll find a place for it on their short list of possibilities!


Have you heard the term “earnest money” but really aren’t sure what it means? Once you have found the perfect home and are all set to make an offer, there’s one more step that you need to take. That’s to make a deposit on the home you want to buy. This is known as an “earnest money deposit.”  


The Purpose Of The Deposit


The deposit shows the seller that you’re serious about buying the home. It’s a measure that allows the seller to have some faith in you as a buyer that you’re truly moving forward with your decision; you’re ready as a buyer to make the financial commitment. This deposit allows the deal to begin on a solid basis without much question. 


Is The Deposit Required Legally To Buy A Home?


From a seller’s perspective, a deposit keeps a buyer from changing their mind. If there is a significant amount of money involved, the seller sees the deposit as a way to keep the buyer locked in. This makes it easier for sellers to accept an offer. 


How Much Is Expected For An Earnest Money Deposit?


These deposits don’t quite have a standard amount. The general rule is that they range from 1% of the home price up to 5%. The more expensive of a home that’s being purchased, the larger the earnest money deposit should be. In some cases, the seller may even ask for a certain amount of a deposit to ensure that buyers are serious. How much money you pay at once is often negotiable. You may be able to pay part of the money at one time and the other part at a later date.


New Construction Can Require Large Deposits


New construction homes can require large earnest money deposits- up to half of the purchase price of the home. This is because the construction costs need to be paid upfront and the bank wants proof that the units being constructed with loan money are being sold to buyers who can pay for the home. 


New construction homes are often customized as well. It would be detrimental to a developer to make special changes to a home only for a buyer to walk away. 


Getting The Deposit Refunded


As with everything in real estate, you’ll have a contract. If you don’t follow the terms of the contract, you risk losing your earnest money deposit. Two main reasons for buyers to walk away are a flopped home inspection or financing that falls through. Read your contracts carefully. Sellers sometimes state that deposits are nonrefundable after a certain number of days. 


You need to be sure that you are covered as a buyer in the purchase and sales agreement. If you back out of a home purchase without good reason like a contingency included in the agreement) you could be out of luck when it comes to getting your deposit back.    




Millennials are often a topic of discussion in everything from jobs to cars to real estate. They are the generation who is changing the way we think about so many things. So, when it comes to selling your home to younger buyers, there’s certain things you may want to consider to raise the appeal of your home. Here’s what Millennials are looking for and what you can do to entice them in the home buying process: Young People Want Something Move-In Ready Millennials are young professionals who don’t want to make the time for home improvement projects. These buyers are typically looking for something that’s known as “turnkey” or move-in ready. Other groups of Millennials are more creative and see a vision in the home they buy, investing in the right property over time. What Sellers Can Do: The biggest thing you as a seller can do is be sure that the home displays all of its potential in each area. Even if your home isn’t move-in ready be sure that potential buyers understand what needs improving. Updated Kitchens And Baths Are A Must... Maybe Most home buyers desire a home with brand new kitchen and bath fixtures. Younger buyers have limited budgets and updates to both the kitchen and the bathroom are among the most expensive renovations to complete. On the seller’s side of things, however, these updates may not be within the budget either. It may not add enough value to the home in order to make updates worth it. Also, even with updates, the style of a kitchen or bathroom may not gel with the desired style of the buyer. What Sellers Can Do: Update the big things in the kitchen and bathroom where needed. The purple tile in the bathroom may appear ugly to you, but a buyer could find some great potential in it. Just be sure the kitchen and bath appear clean and have the basics such as storage areas in them. Big Open Kitchen The younger crowd likes bigger kitchens for entertaining and cooking elaborate meals. Millennials also like a lot of storage to keep things organized, simple and neat. They are the generation known to be “minimalists,” and their preferred style holds true to this. What Sellers Can Do: Sellers should at the minimum be sure that there is adequate storage available in the kitchen. When staging the home, take any unnecessary furniture pieces out, so that they don’t deter from the size the kitchen appears. Staging Your Home Overall, one of the most important things that sellers can do to appeal to young buyers is to stage the home well. While it’s often up to the buyer to create their own vision, having the home staged helps to ignite the creativity in the mind of the buyer. By using some of the above tips, you can help to make your home appeal to a younger demographic who are looking for very specific things in a home. Even if you don’t think your home can meet these expectations, you’ll be surprised what a little creativity can do!

When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot to think about. Your finances probably have the biggest impact in the entire home search process. The amount of a down payment you have and the amount of loan you’re approved for help decide what you can buy. 


When you hear about closing costs, what do they entail? How much will you need to cover these costs? Many people get to the closing table for their home purchase and feel unprepared. You’ll need a certain amount of cash on hand when you finally close on a home. Learn more about closing costs, so that you understand everything that you need to know about your home purchase.    


Closing costs are spelled out pretty plainly in just about every kind of real estate contract. These costs are the fees associated with the title companies, attorney, banks, lenders and everyone else who is involved in the purchase of a home. The closing table is also the time when you provide your sizable down payment. The closing costs that are being referred to are considered a separate expense independent of the closing costs.


Closing Costs Vary


Closing costs can range from anywhere between 2 and 8 percent of the purchase price of the home. You can’t really “choose” what’s included in the closing, so you’ll need to have an idea of how much money you’ll need to write a check for. Lenders can give you an estimate of about how much closing costs will be. 


Negotiations 


Certain things like the realtor’s commission fees can be negotiated and can be paid for by the buyer or the seller. The good news is that you can roll your closing fees in with your mortgage in some cases. You may also be able to negotiate with your lender to pay the closing costs for you in exchange for a higher interest rate. 


What’s Included In Closing Costs?


Depending upon where and what type of home you’re buying, what the closing costs actually cover varies. Here’s just some of the things that closing costs cover:


  • Appraisal
  • Escrow fees
  • Credit reports
  • Title search
  • Title exam fee
  • Survey fee
  • Courier fee (Most transactions are done electronically, but in some cases this may be necessary)
  • Title insurance
  • Owner’s title insurance
  • Natural hazards disclosure
  • Homeowner’s insurance (Your first year of insurance is often paid at closing)
  • Buyer’s attorney fee
  • Lender’s attorney fee
  • Transfer taxes
  • Recording fees
  • Processing fees
  • Underwriting fee
  • Pre-paid interest
  • Pest inspections
  • Homeowner's association transfer fees
  • Special assessments


These fees vary widely by state and the type of property that you’re purchasing. Not every fee is required, but the above is just a list of many of the possible fees that could be included in on the closing of the home you choose.


It's probably safe to assume that at some point in our lives we have looked at a room in a magazine and wished our own home could look just like that. Unlike magazines, however, we don’t have the luxury of having a professional design team putting in hours of their time to make each room on our house look perfectly put together. However, we still find ourselves wishing ours could look just a little bit more polished like the ones in the glossy pages lining drugstore shelves. Below are some tips you can use to add a designer’s touch to your own home without having to hire one: Three's a charm - choose three colors and/or shades you will use throughout the room. You will want one as your main color, one as an accent and another for a minor accent. If you tend to be drawn to all warm or cool shades, use the opposite tone as an accent color to restore balance to your color palette. Texture - mixing up textures will add more depth and visual interest to your room. Fur, tufting, velvet, tile and wood-grain and wainscotting are all classic ways to add texture to a room Balance - strike a balance within your room by mixing large and small or bulky and delicate furniture together. By mixing pieces with varying structures your room will feel less cookie cutter and more curated. It's all in the details - bowls, baskets, and trays throughout a room add a thoughtful touch while offering alternative storage. Added bonus: this is also a great way to add more texture to a room. Get artsy - adding unique artwork to a room adds the professional touch you are looking for. This can easily be done at home and even a project that can be done with children. All you need is some paint and a few canvases to paint abstract shapes on to. Everything in its place - avoid clutter taking over counters by giving everything a dedicated place. Homes in magazines spreads have the upper hand in that they are not actually lived in. Having a day of the week where you go through your home to ensure everything is either in its assigned place or given one will guarantee a neater, tidier home over time. The finishing touch - fresh-cut flowers add that certain something to a room. You are sure to find them in any given room found in the pages of a magazine. If your room seems to be missing something and you can't quite put your finger on it, a floral bouquet is probably the finishing touch you're looking for. While a perfect home can't be guaranteed, after all, we live in the real world and not one curated for a photo shoot, there are steps you can take to replicate those found in the glossy pages of magazines. Whether you switch up your furniture pieces to include a variety of shapes or add a DIY abstract painting you can easily add a designer touch to your own home!



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