Michael Leary | Hingham Real Estate, Hull Real Estate, Cohasset Real Estate, Braintree Real Estate


A first-time homebuyer may believe that he or she can submit a "lowball" offer on a residence, even if a house has been available for many weeks or months. However, the risks associated with submitting a subpar proposal are significant, particularly for a homebuyer who wants to purchase a top-notch residence as soon as possible.

Ultimately, a lowball offer may result in an instant "No" from a home seller. Perhaps even worse, the proposal could sour potential negotiations between a homebuyer and home seller and cause a property buyer to miss out on an opportunity to acquire his or her dream residence.

When it comes to buying a house for the first time, there is no need to risk submitting a lowball offer.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time homebuyer avoid the temptation to make a lowball proposal.

1. Evaluate a Wide Range of Houses

An informed first-time homebuyer may be better equipped than others to provide a competitive offer to purchase his or her ideal residence.

For example, a homebuyer who assesses a broad range of houses in a particular area can determine a price range for similar residences. Then, if this homebuyer would like to submit an offer on a house, he or she can use housing market data to submit a fair proposal without delay.

With housing market data, a homebuyer can determine whether he or she is operating in a buyer's or seller's market too. That way, this homebuyer can leverage housing market insights to quickly and effortlessly put together a competitive offer on any residence, at any time.

2. Understand Your Finances

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage usually is a great idea for a first-time homebuyer. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able map out a homebuying journey based on his or her finances.

To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will should meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders can offer details about a variety of mortgage options and help a homebuyer make an informed mortgage decision.

After a homebuyer is pre-approved for a mortgage, he or she can submit an offer on a house and understand exactly how much money is available for a home purchase. As a result, this homebuyer can put his or her best foot forward with an initial offer, thereby reducing the risk of submitting a lowball proposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

The homebuying journey can be long and complicated, especially for those who are pursuing a house for the first time. Fortunately, a first-time homebuyer can collaborate with a real estate agent to obtain deep housing market insights.

A real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home offer recommendations. By doing so, this housing market professional can help a first-time homebuyer submit the best offer on a residence – without exception.

Ready to purchase a home for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer on a residence.


Everyone knows it's a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, but we all do it occasionally!

Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach not only causes you to spend more, but it weakens your resolve to avoid foods with empty calories and unhealthy ingredients. When hunger pangs undermine your self discipline, you may also be more likely to buy a jumbo bag of potato chips, pick up a block of cheese and some crackers along the way, and maybe order a pound of Genoa salami while at the deli counter.

Then, of course, there are all those chocolatey temptations at the checkout counter -- peanut butter cups, for example! Maybe you're stronger willed than that, but I know plenty of people who are not!

Although I haven't read any scientific studies on the topic, I'd make an educated guess that when you go grocery shopping hungry, there's a tendency to buy more food than you ordinarily would -- probably to compensate for your hunger. So perhaps having a healthy snack first or going grocery shopping after breakfast or lunch would be a good strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of food shopping on an empty stomach.

Here are a few more ideas for saving money and limiting junk food purchases:

  • Create a grocery list and stick to it! That's often easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of food you buy. Impulse purchases may provide immediate gratification, but they can wreak havoc on your waistline and your budget.
  • Avoid bringing your children grocery shopping, whenever possible. When childcare is not available, there's no way around it. However, with kids in tow, expect to be buying "a few" additional items that you hadn't planned on. Try as we might to resist the requests, suggestions, and demands our kids make at the grocery store, it's not unusual for a parent's resolve to weaken -- especially if they happen to be tired or stressed out. A lot depends on the age of your children, how persistent they are, and whether they're hungry when you're out food shopping. Many factors come into play!
  • Using coupons and taking advantage of discounts, special promotions, and two-for-one sales can noticeably reduce your grocery bill and, consequently, leave more money in your wallet. It may require that you pore over weekly newspaper inserts, clip coupons, and keep them organized, but getting in that habit can help reduce the strain on your household budget. It also pays to shop at supermarkets that offer double coupons. They're often the ones that are the most competitive and willing to help you stretch your dollar.

So if you've been noticing more junk food appearing in your kitchen cabinets, and your grocery bill seems to be taking on a life of its own, consider some of these economical ideas to help reign things in.


Studies have shown that people tend to make decisions -- both trivial and life-changing -- based on emotional factors, rather than on hard, cold facts. Whether you're buying a car, hiring an employee, picking a college, or selecting a real estate agent, there will probably be a lot of feelings that come into play as you weigh all the pluses and minuses. When it comes to choosing a real estate agent or Realtor®, first impressions and "chemistry" play a major role in the decision. While good rapport is a key ingredient in a successful relationship with a real estate agent, it is necessary to strike a balance between the agent's likability and their performance record. For example, when meeting with prospective real estate agents, it is considered appropriate to ask questions about how long they've been licensed, whether or not real estate is their full-time job, and any professional designations or certifications they've acquired. It's a good sign when real estate agents show a commitment to honing their skills and expanding their expertise. There are about two dozen potential certifications that The National Association of REALTORS® and other organizations offer -- ranging from being an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) to being a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®). Guidelines For Choosing a Realtor Here are a few more "talking points" to keep in mind when interviewing real estate agents or Realtors.
  • Experience: The length of time they've been in the real estate business and the number of clients they've represented in the past year can be useful points of reference in comparing qualifications.
  • Knowledge: Your initial meeting should reveal a lot to you about the agent's familiarity with the local housing market and their comfort level with topics like mortgage providers, the application process, property inspections, closing costs, and marketing strategies for your property.
  • Track record: A couple useful pieces of information you can request are examples of how long their listings have stayed on the market before being sold and how much the final sale price differed from the initial asking price.
  • Availability and communication style: Although you certainly wouldn't want to be an agent's only client, it's nice to feel that you're among their top priorities. While it might be unrealistic to expect daily progress reports, you do want to hear from them on a regular basis. Responsiveness is also the mark of a superior real estate agent. Let's face it: Selling a house or looking for a new home can be stressful enough, without having to wonder if your agent is looking out for your best interests and providing you with top-notch service. Key takeaway: Asking them how long they typically take to respond to phone messages and emails is a good question to raise in your first meeting.
The ideal way to find a personable and results-oriented real estate professional is by getting recommendations from your family, friends, or trusted acquaintances. If that's not possible, it's acceptable to ask agents for phone numbers or email addresses of two or three recent clients who could be contacted as references. You'll generally find home sellers and buyers to be pretty candid about their experience with a particular real estate agent or Realtor.

For first-time home sellers, promoting a residence to the right groups of homebuyers may prove to be a major challenge. Lucky for you, we're here to help first-time home sellers streamline the process of showcasing a house to prospective buyers and accelerating the property selling journey.

What does it take to promote a house effectively? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers do just that.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

A first-time home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior closely. By doing so, this property seller can identify any potential problem areas and work to address such issues accordingly.

Typically, a home appraisal offers a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal ensures a property inspector can assess a house both inside and out and offer expert insights into a residence's strengths and weaknesses.

After a home appraisal is completed, a home seller can use the appraisal report findings to prioritize assorted home improvements. That way, a home seller can commit the necessary time and resources to transform various home weaknesses into strengths.

2. Improve Your House's Curb Appeal

It is paramount for a first-time home seller to consider the homebuyer's perspective. In fact, doing so may make it easy for a home seller to uncover ways to bolster a residence's curb appeal.

Consider what homebuyers will see when they view a house for the first time. This will enable a home seller to identify potential issues and work to resolve such problems without delay.

For example, a home with long, uncut grass or chipped paint on the exterior may be an eye sore. As a result, homebuyers might shy away from this residence after they see it for the first time.

On the other hand, a house with a pristine front lawn and a dazzling exterior may make a great first impression on homebuyers. This means a homebuyer probably will view this house in a positive light – something that may lead a property buyer to submit an offer.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to promoting a house, there may be no better option than hiring a real estate agent. Together, a real estate agent and a first-time home seller should have no trouble promoting a residence to the right homebuyers, at the right time, every time.

A real estate agent will teach a home seller about the housing market and help him or her plan ahead for any potential home selling pitfalls. Plus, this housing market professional will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can maximize the value of his or her residence.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will assist a home seller in any way possible. And if a home seller ever has housing market questions, a real estate agent will respond to these queries immediately.

Take the guesswork out of promoting your residence to homebuyers – use these tips, and a first-time home seller can stir up interest in his or her residence as soon as it becomes available.


Looking to buy a house in the near future? If your answer is "Yes," you may want to start reviewing housing market data. That way, you can gain the insights that you need to make data-driven decisions throughout the homebuying journey.

Ultimately, there are many housing market data that you'll want to assess as you prepare to buy a house, such as:

1. Mortgage Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly. As such, if mortgage interest rates are low, you may want to move quickly to capitalize on them.

Meeting with banks and credit unions generally is a great idea if you plan to buy a house. These financial institutions can keep you up to date about mortgage interest rates and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage in hand, you'll be ready to pursue your dream house.

2. Average Amount of Time That a House Stays on the Real Estate Market

Differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market often can be difficult. Fortunately, if you examine the average amount of time that houses are listed in your city or town, you may be able to determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, houses may be listed for many weeks or months before they sell. Also, these houses may be sold below their initial asking prices.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, homes may be available for only days before they sell. Homes that are available in a seller's market may be sold at or above their initial asking prices as well.

3. Prices of Houses in Various Cities and Towns

If you're open to living in a variety of cities or towns, you'll want to evaluate the prices of houses in many areas. That way, you can narrow your house search accordingly.

Oftentimes, homes in big cities are more expensive than those in small towns. On the other hand, big cities may provide quick, easy access to a broad range of attractions and landmarks that you simply won't find in small towns.

If you are ready to check out housing market data and begin a home search, it pays to hire a real estate agent too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble enjoying a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

A real estate agent is happy to provide you with a wealth of housing market data. Plus, a real estate agent will teach you the ins and outs of buying a house. He or she also will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you can acquire a terrific house at a fair price.

When it comes to buying a house, it helps to be informed. If you assess the aforementioned data, you can obtain comprehensive real estate market insights to help you throughout the homebuying journey.




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