Carol Snider & Laura Snider Cooperman, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Metrowest Real Estate


If you receive an offer to purchase from a property buyer and decide to submit a counter-offer, it is important to err on the side of caution. Because if your counter-proposal fails to meet a buyer's expectations, you risk missing out on the opportunity to sell your house and maximize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to reviewing an offer to purchase and submitting a counter-proposal, it helps to prepare as much as possible. Fortunately, we're here to help you perform a full analysis of a homebuying proposal and ensure that you can submit a counter-offer that matches the expectations of both you and a buyer.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you put together a "fair" counter-proposal to a buyer's offer to purchase your home.

1. Use Housing Market Data to Your Advantage

Take a look at local housing market data – you'll be glad you did. If you take a data-driven approach to craft a counter-offer, you may be better equipped than ever before to put together a counter-proposal that meets the needs of all parties involved in a property sale.

Analyze the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. Furthermore, find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you should have no trouble crafting a fair counter-proposal.

2. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

As you examine a buyer's initial offer to purchase, think about why this individual chose to submit the proposal. Try not to get emotional if you feel the offer is too low; instead, think about how you can work with a buyer to find common ground.

Oftentimes, it helps to maintain open communication with a buyer. If you put together an counter-proposal that accounts for the buyer's perspective and keep in touch with this individual, you and a buyer may be able to work together to come to a fair agreement.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about what to propose as part of a counter-offer, there is no need to stress. In fact, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can get the assistance you need to craft a counter-proposal that may lead to an instant "Yes" from a buyer.

Usually, a real estate agent will inform you about an offer to purchase your home and provide recommendations and suggestions as you craft a counter-proposal. He or she also will negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the property selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

Allocate time and resources as you craft a counter-offer. If you consider the current state of the real estate market and the buyer's perspective, you could increase your chances of putting together a counter-proposal to close a deal on your home. Perhaps best of all, you can submit a counter-offer that allows both you and a buyer to achieve your respective goals faster than ever before.


When most homeowners think of creating a more eco-friendly home their mind goes to replacing windows, increasing insulation and using less water. But friend, we live in the 21st century! It’s time to catch up with the times. AI, that is artificial intelligence, is everywhere right now. From refrigerators to children's toys it’s almost impossible to turn around and not be confronted with this new, rapidly growing trend.

Right, so you’re saying to yourself I thought this was an article about creating a more environmentally home. And it is! But it’s also about how we can take advantage of AI to do so. Let’s get started.

Our energy bill is usually the first place we look to cut back. Running a home uses up lots of resources, and let’s be honest, can cost a lot of money as well. The Nest Thermostat is a smart thermostat that helps you find a happy balance between maintaining a comfortable temperature and conserving energy.

You can set schedules for changing the temperature throughout the day. You can also put your home on “away mode”, which is kind of like putting a laptop in sleep mode. Your thermostat will lower the temperature while your family is out for the day, but not so low that it takes as much energy as you saved to heat back up again.

Nest even offers the ability to create reports on your usage each month. Drill down into your data to find trends in your usage. Learn more about how your family consumes energy so you can create heating schedules that work best for you unique needs.

Wemo’s Instant Smart Plug also allows you to take ultimate control of all the devices throughout your home. You can control power usage right from your phone. As well as set the different devices on schedules.

And just like Nest Thermostat, you can report on usage. The beautiful thing about Wemo’s Smart Plug is that you can gather data per device to see which is an energy hog as well as curate an overall data set per room to see which uses the most energy.

Become eco-savvy when it comes to your lawn and gardening. Skydrop uses weather upcoming conditions from local forecasts to automatically plan out a watering schedule for your sprinklers. Take all the guesswork out of whether to water or not. Skydrop will take care of it for you.

And lastly, you don’t need to make huge investments to get green tech. Pick up a solar power bank to charge small devices like your phone. They’re available almost everywhere at very reasonable pricing. It might seem small, but overtime opting for solar in this one way makes a huge difference!  


No doubt about it, one of the joys of home-ownership is making your abode reflect your personality. You’ve added an accent feature here and faux finishes there, trendy geometric shutters and some personal landscaping art reflect your funky nature.

You thought this was your forever home and didn’t worry about what anyone else might think about it … but now, you’re moving on and you’re worried your expressive nature might derail your home sale. Take a moment to assess which of your personal touches should stay with the house and which ones might detract from a potential buyer.

Exterior colors: Many newer communities have color requirements for a home’s exterior, so as long as your home falls in line with the requirements, you won’t need to make any changes. In older neighborhoods, however, there may be no such restrictions. If yours is a particularly bright or stand-out color, you may want to tone it down to blend in more with your neighbors. A better option for attracting buyers includes an exterior free of mold and stains and freshly painted trim. While painted brick is all the rage on home renovation shows, if your brick is not painted, just make sure it is clean. If it is painted, but the paint is tired, chipped or faded, consider giving it a new coat.

Exterior décor: Trendy patio hangings, gazing balls, gnomes and birdbaths added to the pleasure you took in enjoying your outdoor space. A buyer with a simpler aesthetic might find these additions distracting. A better option for attracting buyers is curb appeal based on clean landscaping, perennial plants, and flora that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. This provides a cleaner canvas for the new buyer’s personal creativity. You can express your personality with a brightly painted front door, an easy fix for a homebuyer to change.

Overgrown landscaping: Depending on the age of your home, and the length of time you’ve lived there, the landscaping may need to be scaled back. Larger trees that have grown up near the foundation may cause potential buyer concerns about the costly foundation and structural repairs. Brick walls covered in ivy are beautiful but may make a buyer wonder about what’s hidden under all those leaves. Consult with an arborist about trimming back trees and if you have concerns about the foundation, get it inspected to avoid any nasty contingencies at closing time.

Water features: Of course, some locations demand a pool for summer entertaining, while in other areas a pool or hot tub is entirely optional. It doesn’t make any sense to fill in an in-ground pool unless it no longer functions, but above-ground pools can detract from a sale. Hot tubs in less-than-pristine condition can give some buyers pause, while Koi ponds, fountain and other water features may either enhance or detract from your buying demographic. Check with your real estate professional to see what is true in your area.

Try to walk around the exterior of your home with a critical eye:

  • Do some fencing panels need replacing? Gate hinges?
  • Check the exterior knobs. Do they all match? Are they keyed the same?
  • Are windows cracked or do any have broken seals—do they have condensation inside when the temperatures outside and inside differ?
  • Carriage and porch lights often get neglected. While you may not need to replace them, make certain they are clean and functional.

Ask a professional for guidance with questions about the exterior appeal of your home and the best practices for your home's future sale.


An open house enables a buyer to check out a residence in-person and determine if this home matches or exceeds his or her expectations. However, a buyer who fails to plan ahead for an open house may struggle to make the most of this opportunity.

Ultimately, there are several things you need to consider before you attend an open house, such as:

1. Your Home Must-Haves

Make a list of must-have home features – you will be glad you did. With this list in hand, you can check out a house in-person and determine if it has the features you require.

You also may want to put together a list of preferred cities and towns prior to launching a house search. This list will allow you to hone your home search – and your search for open house events – to a small group of cities and towns.

2. Your Homebuying Budget

As a homebuyer, it is crucial to optimize your time and resources as you search for your dream residence. If you enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal, you can avoid the risk of attending an open house for a residence you may be unable to afford.

To establish a homebuying budget, you should review your current finances. You may want to meet with banks and credit unions as well. And if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a residence when you start your house search.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

There is no guarantee that attending one open house will help you find your dream residence. But if you maintain flexibility, you can attend a variety of open house events and boost the likelihood of discovering a residence that falls in line with your expectations.

Furthermore, you should be ready to act quickly if you attend an open house and want to buy a residence following the event. In this scenario, you should be prepared to work diligently to put together a competitive offer to purchase the home.

As you get set to attend an open house, you may want to employ a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent can keep you up to date about open house events in cities and towns where you want to reside. Plus, a real estate agent can attend an open house with you and provide plenty of homebuying tips and insights.

Let's not forget about the support a real estate agent provides once you find a house you want to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.

Consider the aforementioned factors closely before you attend an open house. By doing so, you can prepare for an open house and use the opportunity to determine if a residence is right for you.


The biggest area of your life that you need to understand before you buy a house is your own finances. Before you know what kind of house you can buy, you’ll need to understand your own buying power. While things like square footage, how many bedrooms you need, and finding the right neighborhood are important, you can’t go very far without some type of financing. While understanding how much you can spend on a property is one of the more serious parts of buying a home, it’s something that you’ll want to do. Knowing what you can spend on a home is a step to helping you land a home you love. If you understand your own numbers, you’ll know the chances that you have of an offer being accepted on a place you love.  


The Elements Of Your Buying Power


Your Credit Score


This little three digit number has a lot of meaning behind it. This is the most basic piece of information that lenders use to determine your loan worthiness. The factors that influence your credit score include:


  • Payment history
  • How much you owe
  • Length of your credit history
  • Mix of credit accounts
  • How much new credit you have opened


A low credit score is somewhere under 620. Having a score this low doesn't necessarily mean that you’ll be denied for a loan, but the type and amount of the loan you’re offered can be impacted. You’ll also face higher interest rates because of a low credit score. This means your mortgage could be considerably more expensive than if you had a higher credit score. 


Down Payment


The 20 percent down as a rule of thumb actually offers many benefits to your buying power. This means that you’ll need 20% down of the purchase price of the home in cash. If you put this amount of money (or even more) down on a home, it eliminates the need for you to have to buy PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). You’ll even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. A large down payment may be especially helpful in competitive markets where there is a lot of buyer competition.


How Your Financial Picture Appears


Your assets and your debt-to-income ratio are also important factors in your financial picture that you present to the lender. Basically, all of these numbers let both the lender and the seller see how committed you are to buying a home. It is one of the biggest financial undertakings of your entire life. If you can’t show financial responsibility, then it may be a bit difficult for lenders to see that you’ll actually pay your loan back in a timely manner.


The better all of your financial numbers are, the more buying power that you’ll have. If your numbers are good, you’ll be able to afford more house. While it may not be the most exciting thing to look over all of your financial numbers, it’s a vital step in the process of your journey to home ownership.




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