Kathleen Donovan - Charlestown RI Real Estate, Richmond RI Real Estate, Exeter RI Real Estate


As a homebuyer, it is important to set high expectations. At the same time, a homebuyer must act reasonably, or he or she risks missing out on a golden opportunity to acquire the perfect residence.

Ultimately, becoming a reasonable homebuyer can be quick and easy – here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Establish Realistic Expectations for the Homebuying Journey

The homebuying journey sometimes can take weeks or months to complete, and a homebuyer should plan accordingly. By doing so, a homebuyer can prepare for any potential homebuying pitfalls.

For example, a homebuyer may submit an offer on a home and receive a "Yes" from a home seller. But if a home inspector discovers myriad problems with a residence, a homebuyer may need to walk away from the house and restart the homebuying journey.

In the aforementioned scenario, a homebuyer may become frustrated and annoyed, and for good reason. Conversely, if a homebuyer understands the challenges associated with buying a house, he or she can plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios.

2. Search for Homes That Fall Within Your Price Range

Have you established a budget for your home search? If not, you may wind up focusing on houses that you won't be able to afford.

Get pre-approved for a home loan – you'll be glad you did. With a home loan in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a homebuying budget. Then, you'll be able to narrow your home search to houses that fall within your price range, thereby speeding up your search for the ideal residence.

It won't take long to get pre-approved for a home loan, either. In fact, if you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can instantly learn about a variety of home loan options.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Although you know that you want to buy a house, you have no idea what to expect during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can learn what it takes to stay calm, cool and collected as you search for a house.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who takes pride in his or her work. As such, a real estate agent will be available to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, ensuring that you can make an informed home purchase.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to eliminate homebuying hurdles.

For instance, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can avoid the stress of negotiating a home price. Or, if you need help finding a qualified home inspector, real estate attorney or other local professionals, your real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations.

Be reasonable as you kick off your search for your dream residence. That way, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and improve your chances of acquiring a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.


When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!

Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.  

1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.

2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.

3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.

4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.

5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.

6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.

The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.


For those who want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, it helps to plan ahead. Fortunately, we're here to help you get ready to list your home and enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three items that every seller needs to pick up before listing a house.

1. Cleaning Supplies

A stunning home interior can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers. Thus, you should purchase cleaning supplies to ensure that you can transform your house's interior from drab to fab.

Cleaning supplies are easy to find at any grocery or convenience store and won't force you to break your budget. Plus, they often come with instructions so you can use these supplies for maximum effectiveness.

2. Lawn Care Equipment

In addition to improving the look of your home's interior, you'll want to do everything possible to bolster your residence's curb appeal. Because if potential buyers drive past your home and like what they see, these individuals may be more inclined than ever before to schedule a property showing.

A lawn mower, hedge trimmer and other lawn care equipment are paramount for a home seller. With this equipment at his or her disposal, a seller can improve a house's curb appeal. And as a result, this individual can help make his or her home an attractive option for prospective buyers.

3. Hand Tool Set

A hand tool set will serve a home seller well even after this individual sells his or her house. This set includes a hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers and other essential tools that will make it easy for an individual to perform quick fixes around a house.

In most instances, a standard hand tool set includes everything that a home seller will need to complete basic house repairs. And remember, an individual can always add to his or her hand tool set down the line too.

As you prepare to list your home, there are lots of things that you can do to differentiate your residence from the competition. In fact, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive home selling insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased property selling recommendations. He or she can help you get your residence ready for the housing market and ensure it generates plenty of interest from potential buyers. Also, a real estate agent will show your residence to prospective buyers, keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your house and much more.

Perhaps best of all, if you have concerns or questions during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them. This enables you to gain expert home selling insights and receive the support you need to succeed.

Employ a real estate agent today, and you can begin a successful home selling journey.


Finding a mortgage lender should be easy, particularly for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-quality residence without having to worry about spending too much. However, many mortgage lenders are available nationwide, and the sheer volume of lenders can make it difficult to choose the right one.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to accelerate the process of choosing the perfect lender.

1. Know Your Credit Score

Your mortgage interest rate may vary based on your credit score. As such, you should learn your credit score before you begin your search for the right lender. This will enable you to boost your credit score if necessary – something that may help you get a preferred mortgage interest rate.

You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can find out your credit score and map out your search for the ideal mortgage lender accordingly.

2. Meet with Several Mortgage Lenders

There is no shortage of mortgage lenders in cities and towns around the country. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to meet with several credit unions and banks to explore all of your mortgage options.

Each lender can provide details about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, how these mortgages work and other pertinent mortgage information. This information can help you make an informed decision about a mortgage.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions when you meet with a mortgage lender. If you obtain plenty of information from a mortgage lender, you'll be able to understand the pros and cons of various mortgage options and make the best choice possible.

3. Review a Mortgage Closely

A mortgage may enable you to secure your dream residence, but it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions associated with a mortgage before you select a lender.

For example, if you decide to purchase a condo, your mortgage might only cover the costs of your property. Meanwhile, you still may be responsible for condo homeowners' association fees that total hundreds of dollars each month, so you'll need to budget properly.

Of course, you should feel comfortable working with a mortgage lender as well. The ideal mortgage lender should be available to answer your concerns and questions at any time and help you stay on track with your monthly mortgage payments.

If you need extra assistance as you consider the mortgage lenders in your area, you can reach out to a real estate agent for additional support. This housing market professional can provide insights into mortgage interest rates and may even be able to connect you with the top local lenders.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right mortgage lender – use these tips, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to buy your dream residence.


Selling a house sometimes can be complicated. But if you understand the home selling journey, you may be better equipped than other sellers to avoid potential pitfalls.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you simplify the home selling journey.

1. Analyze the Local Housing Market

The age and condition of your home may have far-flung effects on how much a buyer is willing to pay to acquire your residence. At the same time, the local real estate sector can have major ramifications on your property selling experience.

A home seller who analyzes the local housing market can identify real estate patterns and trends. Then, this seller can use housing market data to establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence – something that may lead to a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Don't forget to review the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town too. By doing so, you can see how your home compares to these residences and price your house accordingly.

2. Assess Your Home

If you've maintained your home over the years, you may be in a good position to maximize your house sale earnings. On the other hand, if your home requires repairs, there may be no time like the present to complete property improvements.

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection and appraisal prior to listing a residence. During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying property issues. Meanwhile, during an appraisal, a property expert will craft a property valuation based on your residence and various housing market factors.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to navigate the home selling process, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have a home selling expert at your side to help you identify and eliminate assorted property selling hurdles.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she first will meet with you and help you create a property selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions about how to proceed with this proposal.

In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get the best price for your house. He or she is ready to negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf, and as a result, can help you optimize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to selling a home, complications may arise. Fortunately, the aforementioned tips can help you streamline the home selling process and ensure you can enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.




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