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The Cape House Show: Episode 89

It’s Katie Clancy, Chief House Hawker, at the Cape House at William Raveis, and this is The Cape House Show, where we give you the tips, the tools, and the sense of humor you’re going to need to get through the biggest transaction of your life, especially when you’re going through a pandemic on top of it, right, like right now. 

All right, so what we want you to know, first of all, is we’re here for you. Do not do real estate. You don’t have to. If you don’t have to, please don’t. And if you do have to, we got you. We can do it totally touchless, completely safe transaction, and we are doing that. We do have some clients who need to sell and buy right now, and we’re taking really, really good care of them during this time. But if you don’t have to or don’t want to, then that’s really okay, don’t. It’s totally fine.

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of things that you can be doing instead right now. Look around and take advantage of this time. We’re gonna look back on it and some of us not so fondly, and some of us are gonna be like, “Hey that was actually kinda cool. “I learned a new skill” or “I got better at my job” or “I got closer with my family.” We’re joking about some of the hard things, there’s hard things, too, that are going around right now, especially if you actually are sick or have someone that you love who is sick. I can’t imagine. I hope I don’t have to know what that’s like. So it’s not all gonna be sunshine and roses, but I think there’s gonna be some really wonderful takeaways from this time, and I hope you are taking them away and looking for them because truly this is going to end pretty soon and I don’t want you to, you know, I believe that in every challenge and every negative thing has some wonderful benefit that goes with it, and I hope you can find that.

In any case, we are not doing real estate right now. But if you had been planning on doing real estate during this spring, which, I mean, this is the time when people do it around these parts, there are still things that you can do. The biggest challenge that’s going on right now within the real estate market and in the world is just the unknowns. Like, if we know that something’s gonna end and this is what’s gonna happen, then we can plan for it. We just don’t know, so we’re living in this limbo, but it changes so fast and we get information pretty quickly. 

So I would say, by the end of April, before the end of April, we will have so much more information. We will no longer be, we will be able to come out of limbo, not out of isolation. So I think isolation is going to last, certainly, at least in Massachusetts, going through May 4th, at least. But at least we can come out of some of the limbo. We will have so much more info in the next couple of weeks. And what that means, when we have some info and we have some models that are just either proving themselves or changing and we can see what other cities and other countries have done, we can at least start to make some plans, right, some tentative plans. Right now there’s just no plans to be made, we just don’t know what’s happening. So gotta ride this wave out a little longer. So in two weeks, we’ll have a lot more information.

In the meantime, if you had been planning on buying and you’re holding out right now until you have more information, there are still things that you can do to be able to hit the ground running when things get back to a place where we feel comfortable doing business again. And for buyers, here’s three things I want you to be doing right now: 
  1. If you are planning on getting a mortgage, please go update your mortgage pre-approval. The mortgage market has been all over the map in the past three weeks. It’s been crazy. And not just interest rates but parameters for qualification and what not are changing, and they’re changing every day. So you’ve gotta stay in touch with your lender so that you know where you stand. We have had some people who qualified to make a purchase on Monday, and by Thursday they no longer qualified, and it wasn’t because of anything they did. It was because the rules changed. So stay on top of that. We really love Frank Merola, and I’m hoping to get him on the show in the next week to give you an update on where things stand there.
  2. Everybody could benefit from improving your credit. Pay your bills to the best of your ability. Even if you get a break on your rent or your mortgage or you’re offered that, if you can pay it, pay it. Do your best to stay on top of your bills and be on time, even if you have to go to minimums or whatever, but try to keep your credit score strong so that you can go back into the market in a healthy way.
  3. Study the market. What does that mean? That means follow actual statistics. That means when I send to you that piece about market stats and what’s actually going on, open it and read it. You can still go look at the portals and what not, Zillow and Realtor and all that stuff, that’s always fun to see the pretty pictures. But you’re past the pretty pictures stage, and you need to be knowing what exactly is going on in the market, and that comes from people who are in the market, people like me who are sending you those stats. And if you want to see more of those stats, please reach out to me. I’m happy to nerd out with you on them.
We should have another one coming up soon. God knows what it’s gonna say. It should be interesting to interpret that one. And finally, if you were planning on selling and you have put the brakes on for that, there are things that you can be doing. There are three big things for you.
  1. House prep, especially the exterior and your yard. So you can’t go anywhere, you may as well work on the house, right? So tune up the yard. One of the things that makes a big difference is if you paint your front door. Do you see my front door over there, bright red? That’s a great color to paint your front door to make it pop, make it more appealing. I saw one study that said red or black are the best colors to paint your door for sale. I don’t know what the science is behind it or if there is any at all, but I know that when we have advised folks to paint their doors red and change things up from when they were at sort of a drab color, it’s made a huge difference in the curb appeal, and curb appeal means so much, especially in cases if you are selling and people don’t want to come in the house or you’re not letting people in the house right now, being able to look amazing from the outside is gonna be very important and very impactful. So painting your front door would be a great thing. If you need to repair your trim or have roof work done, go ahead and have it done. By the way, I’m gonna take this moment to give a little plug to my husband’s company, Clancy & Costano. They will do roofs, they do trim, they will do sidewall. They also have a landscaping division. You get back 300 to 400% of what you put into, the money that you put into your lawn in your sale. It is one of the greatest returns on your investment for improving your house and getting it ready for sale. Right now Clancy & Costano is doing, let’s see, they’re giving away restaurant gift certificates to new customers, how awesome is that, ’cause we’re trying to support the local restaurants that are suffering so badly right now. So I will put contact info for them in this post.
  2. Packing! It’s not too early to start packing. Hopefully you’ve taken some of this time to go through old clothes, go through the junk drawer, go through that closet, get rid of stuff. I know you can’t actually take a lotta stuff out and bring it anywhere yet, but stage it in a spot in your basement or garage where when you can take it out, you can just easily get it outta the house. But start packing. My friend Bill Czerny has a great resource for what you can start packing right now. I will find that and I will share that with you guys so you can check it out, too.
  3. Think about is pricing. Now my position right now as of today is we you don’t think you’re gonna need to change your price at all.  I don’t think it’s going to be going up right away, but I also don’t think we’re gonna see, so even though we’re in a recession, we are gonna have a very short, intense, but it’s gonna be very short recession, and locally we came into this with a very high demand, very high demand, very low supply, so I think that our prices are probably going to stay pretty stable. So don’t sweat the pricing too much, but at the same time, be ready to hear sort of all sorts of different news coming out there and just roll with the punches with us. But we will keep you as informed as possible. But right now we’re saying you’re good on your price.
Okay, so there’s that, you guys. We hope that everybody is finding the blessings in this really strange time. We hope that you’re comfortable reaching out to us. If you need anything, call. We can chat about your house, we can chat about nothing. If you’re local and you need something at the grocery store or you need a connection somehow, that’s what we do. And you know what, feeling like we can help is really quite therapeutic, quite honestly. So if there’s something we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, we will get through this together. 



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