Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 12:35pm.

Whether you are renting, buying, selling or leasing during the busiest time for real estate activity in Boston, the information in this newsletter has a takeaway for everyone


  1. THE BASICS: Determine your price-range and the amount of bedrooms and bath rooms are that are required for your new space.
  2. SECONDARY CRITERIA: determine which amenities are crucial for your search. Examples are: updated kitchen, in-house washer and dryer, central air, parking availability, outdoor access (yard/porch/roof).
  3. LOCATION: Decide which areas in Boston you would like to move to, and why.(By answering "the why," you may be able to either expand or narrow your searchable areas appropriately.)

Communicate these needs with your real estate agent and prioritize them. Sometimes having an outside perspective from a real estate agent can help you best-manage the list of priorities so that no opportunities are missed. (This can be especially true when it comes to location! There are hidden gems in all parts of Boston!


  1. Have a standard application completely filled out and prepared before showing up to see a unit in Boston.
  2. Have your checkbook on hand and ready to pay a deposit. (If you really like a unit, chances are others do too. You don't want to miss out on your perfect space because of lost time!)
  3. Have any references and contacts numbers on hand.
  4. Have a list of questions that are important for you to have answered. Here are some examples:
  • Cost of utilities if they are not included in the rent
  • Do they allow pets (if you have one or want one)
  • Where is the public transportation in relation to the unit
  • Where are the supermarkets, restaurants, local hot spots?
  • Does the landlord allow painting the walls different colors?
  • How much money am I expected to put down?FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN Typically, you will be required to come up with approximately 3 months of the total rent up front. (First month’s rent, last month’s, and/or a security deposit, plus, a realtor fee (which, can be either half the month's rent or full amount in a one-time payment to the Realtor.)

TIP: If possible, try to free up some of your availability for showings during the daytime. You will be able to explore more units that qualify with your search criteria this way. Realtors have easier access to the units when tenant’s are at work during the daytime.

I acquire many rental listings come the spring and oftentimes have exclusive access to units before they officially hit the market. Early-bird showings can be the key to locating your next space to call home!



  1. Determine how much money you have saved to place for a down payment come time to place an offer. 
  2. Sit down with a bank or a mortgage broker and figure out how much of a loan you will able to receive approval for. 
  3. Once you have gone through the application process and have been approved for a loan, you will need a pre-approval letter from your mortgage broker or the bank. (This letter will help you nail-down your price range!)


  1. Zone-in on the location where you would ideally like to live in and make sure its inline with your budget. Have a couple of back up places in mind.
  2. Figure out what are the top three things that you absolutely have to have in your new home and what you could live without. Having too many requirements could limit your search significantly. Here are some examples of attributes that are frequently prioritized:
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Parking space included
  • Modern/updated kitchen features
  • Outdoor space (yard/porch/roof)

In a competitive market, you want an agent who will work extra hard for you and has the connections to find you off-market inventory. Sifting through the different options for sale can be overwhelming, especially while juggling your day-to-day responsibilities. Finding buyers their dream home is my favorite part of the job - if you're someone who is beginning that search, it's time to give me a call!


  • Donate to Good Will whatever you don’t need anymore. It will feel great to free-up your space and also to donate to the community.
  • Rent a storage unit for a couple of months for furniture that you don't want to get rid of, yet will make your space look too small or cluttered for showings.
  • Eliminate anything on the kitchen and bathroom counters that is not used on a regular basis. (It’s amazing what a difference this makes!)
  • Remove family photos and all personal items.
  • (Sounds weird, I know, but this will allow new buyers to see the house as  theirs not as yours.)
  • Think minimalist!
  • Closets are the hot-spots here. Showcase the best use of these spaces! Everyone wants more storage and closet space. EVERYONE! 
  • Eliminate anything on the kitchen and bathroom counters that is not used on a regular basis and place in "hidden" places. (It’s amazing what a difference this makes!)
CLEAN - Dust baseboards, crown molding, walls, ceiling fans, under appliances (that means pulling them all out!), scrub tile grout (bleaching if necessary), and clean above all doorways! 

FRESHEN - Make sure the paint looks fresh and clean both interior and exterior. (Does the color really pop? Does it enhance the space or detract from it's charm?)    

  • Exterior: Make sure it has good curb-appeal! No chipped or weathered paint. 
  • Interior: Neutral tones are preferred. Ask yourself if the colors of your walls are distracting or engaging. There is a big difference! 
  • Updating your paint is an affordable way to make your place shine!
REPAIR - Cracks, holes, molding damage, and tile damage. Living in a climate where the temperature fluctuates, we see the need for repair more due to the foundation settling over time. 

Fix anything that is broken. Inspect all of your appliances. (Repairs will come up during the home inspection anyways, so it is best to take care of ahead of time. 
If a buyer sees too many repairs required, they could be distracted and less attracted to the total package. 

Preparing to list your house can turn into a full-time job, which, is why I am happy to help you every step of the way! The payoff is well worth it during this competitive time in the Boston market.

  1. Make sure that your rental unit is professionally cleaned. If you need a good cleaning service I can refer you to someone.
  2. Fix and replace anything that needs to be repaired.
  3. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. (If you need the name of a great painter I have a couple!)
  4. Have few sets of keys on hand at the unit. One for the Realtor (me ;-)) to conduct showings and extras for the new tenant(s) upon move in.
  5. Make sure all smoke and carbon detectors are up to code and in working order.
  6. Make sure all of the emergency exits are clear.
  7. Make sure to remove old tenant’s name from the mailbox to be replaced by new one.
  8. Make sure all of the emergency exits are clear.
  9. Make sure to remove old tenant’s name from the mailbox to be replaced by new one.
  1. Decide if you would like to ask for a last month’s rent or a security deposit.
  2. Open up separate bank account that collects interest for the tenant if you ask for a security deposit.
  3. Decide the length of tenancy you desire. (Month-to-month or 12 months.) 
If you want an Agent who can provide great service, continuous feedback, rental background checks/credit checks and great tenants give me a call!

Leave a Comment