Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | Lauren@LaurensListings.com


Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/1/2017

When was the last time you examined the lighting in your hallway? For home sellers, you may want to consider revamping the lighting in your hallway. By doing so, you can brighten up your hallway, and ultimately, help make your home more appealing to prospective homebuyers. So what does it take to improve your hallway lighting? Here are three tips to consider: 1. Add Lighting Controls. Although you may already have a light switch to control your hallway lighting, incorporating a dimmer switch or occupancy sensor into your hallway may prove to be a great option to enhance your hallway's overall appearance. A dimmer switch ensures you can brighten or dim your hallway as much or as little as you choose. The added control provided by a dimmer switch enables you to create a certain ambiance that you can share with homebuyers when they check out your residence. Comparatively, an occupancy sensor detects when a person walks through a hallway automatically. This sensor may serve as a distinct feature in your home, one that may help your residence stand out in the eyes of homebuyers. 2. Incorporate Wall Sconces. For home sellers who want to impress prospective homebuyers the moment they enter a hallway, wall sconces may serve as ideal additions. Wall sconces come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to select lighting that matches your hallway's décor beautifully. Also, wall sconces are available that enable you to create both up and down lighting that can give your hallway a one-of-a-kind look and feel. Try to find wall sconces that deliver a sense of balance in your hallway. By doing so, you'll be able to utilize wall sconces that provide a superior mix of fashion and function. 3. Install Track Lighting. Looking to brighten up a long hallway? Choose track lighting – you'll be glad you did! Track lighting typically runs parallel to your hallway's walls and offers immense versatility. Therefore, it serves as a wonderful option for those who want to make a hallway dazzle day after day. In many instances, you can change the direction of track lighting with ease, too. This type of lighting gives you superb flexibility, and as such, remains an exceedingly popular option in many homes. When it comes to brightening up a hallway or any other area of your home, be sure to evaluate all of the options at your disposal. Remember, you'll want to do whatever you can to help your residence sparkle, and the right lighting may enable you to transform a dull hallway into an eye-catching one. Lastly, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent before you perform hallway lighting improvements or other home repairs. This real estate professional likely boasts years of industry experience and will be able to guide you as you explore ways to make your home more attractive to homebuyers. Take a close look at your home's hallway lighting, and you're sure to find many great lighting options that you can use to help your residence stand out in any real estate market.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/27/2016

Businesspeople imitating see, hear, speak no evil conceptThe country’s long history of racism and racial discrimination effected many aspects of life in the U.S. and the world of real estate was no exception to this. In the past, real estate agents would practice things such as “steering” and “blockbusting.” In both cases real estate agents played a part in segregating different communities by race.  Whether by steering, suggesting clients look in certain neighborhoods based on their race, or blockbusting, convincing homeowners to sell their homes quickly and at low prices by instilling the fear that minorities would soon be taking over the area, their practices did not have their clients’, or the general populations, best interests at heart. In fact, ‘steering’ and ‘blockbusting’ allowed agents to reap many fiscal rewards of racism. Modern day real estate agents have a very high standard of ethics and laws in place in regard to discrimination for these very reasons. These standards make the content an agent can provide his or her clients with limited at times. There is certain information your agent can not and should not provide. An agent cannot and should not attest to the specifics of a certain neighborhood. The agent shouldn’t tell a client the area is perfect for single persons or on the other hand describe a neighborhood as family-friendly. Your agent can suggest you speak with some of the homeowners in the neighborhood in order to get a better grasp on the neighborhood’s atmosphere. Similarly, If you want to know if the area you’re looking in has a good school system, an agent can point you in the direction of where this information and data is readily available, perhaps online, and allow you to do your own research and make your own assumptions. An agent, generally, cannot provide you with his or her personal experience or opinion on these sensitive topics. This is not detrimental to you as a buyer or a seller. As a seller you are ensured your agent is showing any and all interested buyers, and as a buyer you know your agent is showing you the optimal number of homes and neighborhoods based on your desires not your race. As your real estate agent I’d be happy to point you in the right direction of any information you may be seeking while abiding by all of the highest moral standards of my profession. It is my job to have your best interests in mind.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 3/16/2016

A common question for sellers is if they will owe capital gains tax when they sell their home. The answer to that question: it depends. The capital gains tax law known as the Taxpayer Relief Act went into effect in 1997 but there is still a lot confusion over who pays what and why. If you sell your home you will not have to pay capital gains tax if:

  • You are selling your personal residence.
  • You have $250,000 in profit or less if you are single and $500,000 if married.
  • You have lived in your home for two of the last five years.
  • The home is not an investment property.
The capital gains exclusion can be used as many times as you like as long as it meets all of the above criteria. If you are going to make more than $250,000/$500,000 in profit you will be taxed at a 20% capital gains tax rate on the amount over the $250,000/$500,000 threshold. There are exceptions to the rule. You may be eligible for a tax break if:
  • You need to sell your home because a change in health.
  • You need to sell your home because of a long distance relocation.
  • You are in the armed services and moved to fulfill your service commitments.
Your individual tax situation may be different, so make sure to consult a qualified tax accountant or attorney.  





Posted by Lauren Davis on 1/20/2016

Whether you are a buyer or a seller it is time to get off the fence. Despite years of bad news surrounding the real estate market, the time has come when it is both a good time to be a buyer and a seller. Why Buy? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and buy: 1. When investors start gobbling up real estate you know it's a good deal. In 2011, investors upped their buying by 64%.  While it is still not time to start flipping for a profit the clock is ticking down to an uptick in prices. 2. Interest rates are historically low. You have been hearing this for a while but they are hovering right around 4%. 3. First-time buyers are in a unique position. They didn't lose money in the housing market. 4. It's a great deal! Prices are at all-time lows. So you may be saving as much as 40% off a home if you buy now. Why Sell? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and sell: 1. Inventory is shrinking. Demand is up and in certain areas and price ranges there is limited inventory so putting your home on the market now will most likely result in a sale. 2. Mortgage availability has stabilized. Mortgage restrictions are loosening and especially first-time buyers are able to get mortgages as they were not affected as much by the financial crisis. 3. Unemployment is not as bad as you think. One is 30 Americans is unemployed as a result of the recent financial crisis. There are lots of able buyers out there. 4. Houses are selling and some are even going to bidding wars. Homes that are priced according to the market are selling and selling quickly. 5. Don't wait for prices to increase. This could be a long wait.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 8/12/2015

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.