By Karen Packard

Welcome to the craziest year in real estate! I am your host, Karen Packard! Just a little humor to start off this month’s real estate column. This really has been the most unique year in real estate I have ever experienced. Many houses are selling for far above the asking price with multiple offers on almost everything that is listed correctly. By correctly I mean the right price, the right staging, and most importantly professional, high-quality photos that will attract buyers to make an appointment. All of this is extremely important when listing your property even with the market as busy as it has been. Don’t cut corners just because you think your house will sell quickly. You are looking to maximize the price you can get for your investment; it is worth the effort!
I have had many great properties come on the market in Sterling the past few months. Sterling and Princeton continue to be very popular towns for buyers looking to purchase in Massachusetts. Earlier this spring, Sterling was voted the fifth best place to buy in Massachusetts according to Niche.com, beating out Bolton at number seven, and Northborough at number 10.
We continue to live in one of the most sought-after areas in the state. I thought for this month, you might like to hear some of the feedback I have been getting this spring. I am a local expert in real estate in Sterling and Princeton. This helps me explain all the local amenities to buyers, especially when buyers are coming from other parts of Massachusetts or from out of state. I’ve lived in Sterling for over 20 years, and Mark, my husband, grew up in Princeton. I know these two towns inside and out.
One of the best ways to meet buyers is at open houses. It is a great way for me to interact with people looking for houses in the towns I specialize in. Open Houses have become a great focus group and give valuable information as to what buyers are looking for this year. It helps me understand what my sellers and I can do to make the home more appealing.
Not surprisingly, most buyers continue to be drawn to current trends like the grey walls and white woodwork. Colonial and ranch style homes have been the most popular this year, but I do have a large number of buyers who are requesting homes that are unique. Whether it is a contemporary or an antique, there are quite a few buyers waiting for a property that is unlike other homes.
Buyers are nervous about new construction and the rising cost of building materials. This is bringing more potential buyers to already-built homes and homes that do not require costly renovations. Private yards and space for kids and dogs is always a top request. Buyers are valuing vinyl siding and newer roofs which feels like the home will be less maintenance. Interestingly, a larger number of the buyers I have talked to recently would like a pool in the yard, which is different from years past. Pool companies are booked out through next year for new installations. This is partly due to people staying home more in the past year. Home offices continue to be a top priority since more kids are homeschooling and/or adults are still working from home. The amenities like Wachusett Mountain, the Sterling lake and other outdoor activities like the rail trail continue to be a huge draw for buyers interested in our area.

If you have any questions about getting your home ready to sell, feel free to reach out anytime.
You can call or text me at 978-407-2568 or email kpackardrealtor@gmail.com for no obligation advice on your property.

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