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Overpricing Your Home is Like Trying to Catch a Tiger with a Fishing Rod

May 6th, 2019 by Michael Mahoney

Overpricing Your Home is Like Trying to Catch a Tiger with a Fishing Rod

The Biggest Home Selling Myth Sellers Buy Into

One of the biggest myths that I see a ton of clients try to buy into is that they should price their home high so that there is room for negotiation. It sounds like a plan right. Well not really.

Today’s consumer is more empowered than ever. They have access to almost the same amount of information that the real estate brokerage has access to. In addition to that, there are web sites that buyer’s read comments from agents who actually toured the houses. Today’s buyer is savvy and they know how to determine if something is priced properly or not.

The buyer of today will do 90% of their home shopping on the internet. If they determine that the asking price of the home is overpriced, they usually opt to not even go to preview the property since they believe that an unrealistic seller will not work in “good faith” with them.

One of the basic rules of selling anything is that it takes two tango. Without a buyer, you will have no one to negotiate with. Simple math, one buyer plus one seller equals one potential sale. When the buyer does not show up because you overpriced the product then you will have no one to negotiate with.

The basic premise of negotiating anything is having two parties present at the table to collaborate together to arrive a mutually agreeable outcome.

Guess What If You Overprice Your Home?

By actually buying into this home selling myth that overpricing a property is meant to put some meat on the bone for negotiations, you will have thwarted any interested serious buyers.

You may even get less showings.

If your property is not being shown a few times a week by agents with their buyers, then you are probably overpriced. Open houses are not a good metric. The real metric for me for last decade and half is how many private appointments I get on a give property per week. If you are not getting private appointments during the week, that’s a good sign the property is overpriced. A property priced correctly will get people out of work to come see it.

If you turned people away on the Internet by overpricing your property, you’re going to be hard pressed to get anyone to negotiation table and even have a discussion with you.

Buyers are already under financial and time constraints in most cases. They will not waste their time trying to work with someone who is unrealistic. When there are homes that are homes that are comparable and realistic in their pricing most consumers will just make offers on these homes. They don’t want to waste their time on homes that are overpriced.

Home buyers are more read up and researched than ever before. There are more real estate research tools available than there are hammers in a Home Depot today. They days of thinking there is a “sucker born every minute and two to take him” are gone.

By overpricing your home, you will have accomplished the exact opposite by chasing away home possible prospects instead of luring them in.

Most buyers assume an overpriced home is a reason to completely stay away altogether, rather than trying to negotiate with an unrealistic person.

Buyers You Are in the Same Boat Too

Although I am writing this about sellers and them putting the correct price tag on their property. The same is true for buyers. If you are a buyer and working with an agent, you should ask the agent about the list price to sales price ratio. If the last couple of months sales are coming in at 96.5% of the asking price, then I would argue that making an offer at 80% of the list price is going to be counterproductive to getting the seller to have a discussion at the negotiating table.


April 15th, 2019 by Michael Mahoney

Downsizing Your Home



March 20th, 2019 by Michael Mahoney


right price on your home by realtor mike mahoney of keller williamsWhen you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.

  1. Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.
  2. Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.
  3. Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.
  4. Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles.
  5. Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.



Related Home Selling Posts

7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

Michael Mahoney Real Estate Newsletter March 13 2019

7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

March 15th, 2019 by Michael Mahoney

7 Important Repairs to Make Before Selling A House

All of the the things you have lived with throughout the tenure at your home will not be taken lightly by buyers reviewing your property for a potential purchase.  Here are 7 areas you should focus on that get evaluated by buyers on an initial walk through.  The list below is not comprehensive. If you are planning on selling your property, you should have a professional evaluate your property for retailing it in the best light for buyers.

The most critical things to do to increase your home’s value before putting it on the market.

As a smart seller, you’ll want your home in tip-top shape — but you don’t want to eat into your profits by overspending on home improvements. You won’t be around to enjoy them anyway. The key is to focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house to ensure every dollar you spend supports a higher asking price.

“Smaller and less expensive updates in combination with good staging will have a great return,” says Colorado Springs agent Susanna Haynie. But how do you know what things to do before putting your house on the market? Prioritize these updates — and consider letting the rest go.

#1 The Most Important Repair to Make Before Selling: Fix Damaged Flooring

Scratched-up wood flooring; ratty, outdated carpeting; and tired linoleum make your home feel sad. Buyers might take one step inside and scratch the property from their list. Want to know how to increase the value of your home? Install new flooring.

“Replace what’s worn out,” says Haynie. “Buyers don’t want to deal with replacing carpet, and giving an allowance is generally not attractive enough. Spring for new, neutral carpeting or flooring.”

If your home already has }hardwood floors,{{ end_tip }} refinishing does the job. Expect to spend about $3,000 on the project — and recoup 100% of the cost, according to the “National Association of REALTORS® Remodeling Impact Report.”

Consider swapping any old flooring for new hardwood. This project costs more at around $5,500, but you could recoup more than 90% of that at resale. If that’s not in the budget, any flooring update makes an enormous difference.

If you want to know all the ins and outs about flooring before you consider an upgrade, I would definitely reach out to Debbie Gartner – The Floor Girl. Debbie knows everything this is to know about floors.

#2 Fix Water Stains

You’ve learned to live with the results of a long-fixed plumbing snafu, but for buyers, a water stain suggests there could be a dozen pesky problems hidden beneath the surface. That’s why this is one of the things to do before putting your house on the market.

“No buyer wants to buy a money pit,” says Haynie.

First, make sure the problem is fixed: Bring in a plumber to look for leaky piping or poor yard drainage if your basement is damp. Diverting rainwater from your foundation may cost as little as $800, and repairing a leaking pipe costs approximately $300.

As for the repair work, replacing a water-stained ceiling runs about $670, and drywall costs around $1.50 per square foot.

All are cheaper than a lost sale.

#3 Repair Torn Window Screens


Thinking of selling your home...don't have torn or ripped window screensSo super inexpensive — and even DIY-able. You can purchase a window screen frame repair kit from a home improvement store for $10 to $15.

Considering the simplicity of this repair, making the fix is always worth it — and so are other small but highly visible issues. When you’re debating how to increase the value of your home, nix any small problems, snags, or ugly spots that might make buyers scrunch up their brows.

#4 Update Grout


Update Your Tile and Grout Before Selling Your HomeIs your grout yellowing or cracked? Buyers will notice. New grout, on the other hand, can make old floors look like they came straight from the showroom.

“The best return-on-investment projects before selling a home involve making a home look like new,” says Malibu, Calif.-based agent Shelton Wilder. She recently sold a home above asking price after a complete re-grout.

This is another small fix with a big impact: Simple bathroom re-grouting may cost just $1 to $2 per square foot, increasing to $10 per square foot for more complicated jobs. And if you’re handy, you can save even more DIY-ing it.

#5 Resuscitate a Dying Lawn

Don't sell your home with a dead lawn

Nothing says, “This one’s gonna take some work” like a brown, patchy, weedy lawn.

Fixing the problem doesn’t cost a ton of money — and you’ll get it all back (and then some!) once you sell. Hiring a lawn care service to apply fertilizer and weed control will cost about $375. Once you sell the home, that comparatively cheap fix could recoup $1,000. That’s an unbeatable 267% return on investment.

Here are some great ideas to improve your curb appeal

#6 Erase Pet Damage

Clean up any pet damage to your property before you go to sell

Did your (sort of) darling kitten scratch your bedroom door? Fix the damage before listing your home. Otherwise, buyers may consider the scuffs a canary in the coal mine.

”If you have pet damage, buyers will [then] look for pet stains on the floor,” says Haynie.

Refinishing a door costs between $100 and $215 (or less, if you’re willing to DIY). Replacing pet-damaged carpeting or hardwood may be a bigger job than buffing out some scuffs — but it’s worth the cash.

#7 Revive an Outdated Kitchen

A full kitchen renovation is rarely worth it when it comes time to sell — even though buyers love a fresh look. “Kitchens are still one of the most important features for buyers,” says Haynie.

The problem is, this $65,000 upgrade isn’t something that buyers will pay you back for. Sellers recoup about 62% of a full-on kitchen renovation. If you’re updating the space just for your sale, focus on low-cost, high-impact projects instead.

“Updating the kitchen doesn’t need to be expensive,” says Wilder. “Painting wood cabinets, updating hardware, or installing new countertops or appliances could be enough.”

Setting up your home for selling success doesn’t have to be expensive. Focus on the most important repairs to make before selling a house by picking projects that do more than look pretty. Choose updates that get your home in selling shape and justify a higher asking price. If you are not sure what to do, please feel free to reach out and we would be happy to assist you.

What to fix in order to sell your house

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Michael Mahoney

About the author: The above Real Estate information on tips for repairing your property  was provided by Michael Mahoney, a regionally recognized leader in residential real estate. Mike can be reached via email at or by phone at 617-615-9435. Mike has been helping  people move in and out of Greater Boston for the last 18 years.

Are you thinking of selling your home or condo? I have a passion for Real Estate and would love to share my marketing expertise

The article above was provided by Realtor, Michael Mahoney of eXp Realty  courtesy of Houselogic and  Jamie Wiebe who  is a writer and editor with a focus on home improvement and design. Previously, she worked as a web editor for “House Beautiful,” “ELLE Decor,” and “Veranda.”

What Do All the Recent Price Reductions Mean to the Real Estate Market?

August 25th, 2018 by Michael Mahoney

What Do All the Recent Price Reductions Mean to the Real Estate Market?

by Michael Mahoney of eXp Realty
617-615-9435 |


Last week, in a new report from Zillow, it was revealed that there has been a rash of price reductions across the country.

According to the report:

  • There are more price cuts now than a year ago in over two-thirds of the nation’s largest metros
  • About 14% of all listings had a price cut in June
  • Since the beginning of the year, the share of listings with a price cut increased 1.2%
  • This is the greatest January-to-June increase ever reported, and more than double the January-to-June increase last year

Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas from Zillow further explained:

“A rising share of on-market listings are seeing price cuts, though these price cuts are concentrated at the most expensive price-points and primarily in markets that have seen outsized price gains in recent years.”


Price Reductions and the Boston real estate market…

If you are planning to sell your home, you want to price the money at the market price. You do not want to price the property above the market price and hope that someone will come in and overpay.

Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation when, in actuality, it just dramatically lessens the demand for their houses.

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price their house so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing so, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Sellers should be more conservative when it comes to the price at which they list their homes – especially sellers in the upper end of each market.


Sellers have been listing their homes at inflated prices hoping a super-hot market will deliver a buyer willing to pay virtually any price to ensure they don’t lose the house. That strategy has worked somewhat successfully over the last two years. However, the time that strategy would have worked may have passed.


The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Realtor Michael Mahoney does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any real estate investment decision. Michael Mahoney will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Wondering What Your Boston Home is Worth?

May 8th, 2017 by Michael Mahoney

Find out what your house is worth now.


Selling Your House? Would you prefer $225,000 or $375,000?

May 11th, 2016 by Michael Mahoney

Selling Your House? Would you prefer $225,000 or $375,000?

I recently had a past client reach out to me about selling their condo in Boston. I have worked for this particular client a couple times in the past while they converted three families into individual condos. It was an unexpected call since I thought they were done with development deals.

During the call, the client went on to tell me how they have not been able to work for awhile. One of the them, was hit with a degenerative eye disorder. They are slowly losing their eyesight. The loss of sight was affecting everything about their life including their ability to really hold down “normal job”. Clearly, I remember the severity in the tone and how this was one of these “crucible moments”. During the call I realized how alone the client really was. Their family, what little was left was on the west coast and they were really here alone sans a few good friends. They came to Boston for graduate studies, so their network was not like mine being from “BAHSTON”. The client had confided in me about hopes, wishes and dreams during this call. They told me how everything was becoming unbolted due to the loss of sight. What also came out was that the client was a little behind on their mortgage and condo fees.

I am not sure there are words that I can put to paper to describe how I felt on the call. You know those calls when a friend calls up and says “I have something to tell you” and you are blown away. For me, this was one of those calls. I wanted to get into the car and go help them right away.

As we were talking about the situation at hand, I realized that the client had the weight of the world on their back. They were facing “the crucible”. All things in life were converging at the same time. Employment, housing and health were all being challenged at the same time. On the call, I remember something clearly that they said to me. It’s important to share here so you can see how choice of response is half of the battle in life. The client said to me “Mike, it’s like going down a class V whitewater river on a raft and the boat is being bounced off the rocks and filled with water as you go down the river. They continued, “but we have the paddles in our hands to direct where the boat goes”. The point was that we don’t always have control over the whole thing, but we do have the oars and we can direct the boat either away from danger. Keep your head up and stay focused instead of letting things rattle us.

Hey Mr. Banker – Salute This!

We agreed to meet and discuss options for helping the client move forward. When I arrived at their home, we exchanged pleasantries, and then I was right down to business. Having been trained as a lieutenant and led an infantry platoon, I cut to the chase quick. In tactical military operations, you become really familiar with a ton of acronyms for gathering information. One such acronym was the “salute report”. The “salute report” is a quick way to gather intelligence.

Here is the breakdown of a “salute report”:

(1) Size and/or strength of the enemy.
(2) Actions or activity of the enemy.
(3) Location of the enemy and direction of movement.
(4) Unit identification. The designation of the enemy unit.
(5) Time and date the enemy was observed.
(6) Equipment and weapons observed.
I was sitting with my client at the kitchen table, I was essentially using the “salute report” to gather all necessary details in order to formulate options for review. After I gathered information, I came to the conclusion that things were worse than they appeared. The bank already began the foreclosure process and notices were filed with the registry of deeds. The enemy in our situation was now time. There were a couple of approaches on how best to handle his current situation. Each comes with it’s own risk and reward scenario.

I pulled up my laptop at the table. I wanted to do some research. I looked at the registry of deeds to see what had been filed as far a paperwork for a foreclosure. The next thing I did was open my subscription to Realtytrac. Realtytrac is an information service that tracks foreclosure activity. Realtytrac sells it’s information to real estate investors and “investor wannabes” . I wanted to see if the property had made it the Realtytrac system. There it was. It appeared on Realtytrac a few days earlier. At that point, I turned to the client and asked if he has received any mail that seemed unusual in the last couple of days. He went onto tell me that he had.
When There Is Blood In The Water, It’s No Coincidence That The Sharks Show Up

The client showed me a few letters from attorneys soliciting the client for bankruptcy protection. There were also letters from investors stating that they were aware of the situation and had done some research about their situation and they were “willing to take the problem off of their hands”. I laughed. They asked what was so funny. I responded with the fact that I see this sort of thing all the time. Investors and the “wannabes” send solicitations to the client and describe how they will buy the property “as is” and even help the client move and possibly pay of a credit card to boot. Again, when the blood is in the water, the sharks show up. I told them how the people who penned the letters were the same people who drive around town at 2:00 am and hang those bandit signs up on telephone poles. Bandit signs are the ugly yellow signs that say something to the effect of “we buy homes in any condition in 10 days or less for cash”. These are the same ruthless cats that send the letters. They log onto Realtytrac everyday hoping and praying a desperate person to respond to their letters.

The Yellow Letter Lady Strikes Again

I warned the client about the “yellow letter”. They asked about the “yellow letter”. I laughed and began to explain to them about a letter I guarantee that they would shortly in the mailbox. I call it the “Yellow Letter”. The letter is handwritten on yellow legal pad paper and it is mailed in a card envelope. It’s also written with red pen to make it appear a little more homegrown. The yellow letter says how they have been searching high and low for a place in the neighborhood and that they were reaching out in hopes that the recipient may want to sell. It’s so overused in the investor community as a “tactic” that cottage industries have sprung offering yellow letter services. Don’t believe me? Do an Internet search for “yellow letter” or “yellow letter lady”.

At the table we reviewed the options, the best option was to under price the property against current retail sales and let the property get bid up and control the terms of the closing. After our discussion, they said it was a lot to digest given the gravity of the situation and that he would need a few days to examine his options.

But Wait There’s More…

A couple of days went by and I received a call from the client. They were emotionally ready to market the property and move on with the next step to begin the venture. They said, “but I have one thing I want to take care of before I do”. I asked what that was, and they said I know you told me about the “sharks in the water” but there was one “shark” that had a compelling story. They needed to see what the investor had to offer. We agreed to speak again in a few days.

A few days passed, and the client called me again. They opened with “Mike, you were right”. I laughed and asked about what. They continued to tell me that the “shark” offered him $225,000 with a straight face and was willing to pay moving expenses and give him all the time he needs to free them of their “burden”. Free them of their burden. Was this guy for real. Last week at our meeting, I knew I could sell the property as is with a list price of $349,000. This guy could have sold the paper and not lifted a finger and made $125,000 just for being a “nice guy” and helping my client. The client told me they believed everything I said about investors, but that they just needed to see it “with their own eyes”.It’s Go Time

Now it’s time to get into gear. These types of marketing arrangements are not for the faint hearted nor inexperienced real estate agents out there. I quickly tracked down the attorney retained by the bank and tracked down all of their coordinates. Then I called a great real estate attorney friend of mine, Alex Seifart. I asked if Alex would be interested in the case and to get an idea about the feasibility of the outcome. Alex said we could get it done, but speed would be critical. I connected the client with Alex and they spoke and reviewed everything. The client retained Alex. It was go time.

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends

Alex was able to get in touch with the bank attorney and “buy” us some time to get the property marketed and under agreement. I ended getting the property on the market and holding all showings off until the weekend. I cramped the schedule into a very small window of time so that all of the prospects assumed the property was “hotter than Georgia asphalt”. We ended up taking quite a few offers on the property. Ultimately, the property ended getting bid up to over $370,000 with no home inspection and a quick closing. I was able to help the client find housing and negotiate all rental payments to happen on the day of closing with proceeds from the other property. In addition to that, I was able to get the client moving services secured on credit payable due the day of the closing. It was a great day all around for the client and for me. I believe I was put on earth to serve and when I get to see results like this, it’s extremely rewarding.

Your Network Equals Your Net Worth

I must give special thanks to all the people around me who are part of my network to include Alex Seifart, Attorney at Law and Greg Tuohy of Junk Hunk. Without my network it would have never come to fruition.

I was able to use the gifts god gave me to deliver an outcome and make a difference in someone’s life. I often tell young Realtors that I am blessed because god puts people in my path for a reason and view that relationship as “holy”. When you are personally willing to give it out in slices it often comes back in loaves. You just have to keep the faith. I learned more about faith from this client than any can ever dream of. I want to thank them for the gift of awareness. Awareness of how easy I have it everyday with the ability to see.

The client ended up walking out the door with a a good amount money in their pocket. This is going to allow them to get their life back on track and “point the raft” in a new direction that works given the current of life as it is now.

When the client believed in me enough to confide their story in me, I was willing to go hell and back to make it happen for them. If you want someone who cares and will treat you like family, give me a call at 617-980-9025 or email me at

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I selected Mike after having a very unsuccessful experience with a previous broker. He had excellent ideas in helping to sell my house and continued to advertise it with a fresh perspective. His experience helped in a number of ways and I only wish we had... (more)


This is the second property I have sold in Weymouth MA with Mike as my broker. He research the area and give you all the information you need to decide what to list your property for, so it sells timely. He also helps review and negotiate all offers and is... (more)


We had been trying to sell our condo for well over a year and decided to give Mike a shot at it as he came well recommended. It was not easy for him but he persisted and had success. Even though it wasn't a big sale or profit for him, he acted as though it... (more)

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