Josh Gillis - Gillis and Company - Merrimack Valley


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Multigenerational properties have seen a demand spike recently, giving sellers a reason to sit up and take notice. As family dynamics shift and the economy rises and falls, property owners need to pay attention to who's buying what. We'll look at what constitutes a multigenerational property and which ones are seeing the most attention. 

Accessibility & Space 

The very word multigenerational may confuse some home sellers. After all, any home can be a multigenerational home depending on who lives there. But these homes are usually defined as being accessible to people of all ages with enough space to accommodate different lifestyles. 

For example, the home may include a separate entrance and living room where a grandmother can maintain her independence without being far away from her family. Or it may include a wheelchair-accessible ramp to an in-law unit (complete with kitchenette). New multigenerational homes are built so each level can accommodate a different generation (similar to a duplex). 

Why the Spike in Demand

The way we live is determined by everything from the average yearly salary to our daily demands. While families may have primarily stuck together a century ago, nuclear families took center stage in the latter half of the 1900s. It seems as though many Americans are seeing the pendulum swing back the other way. Today, up to 41% of all home buyers are looking for a home that can house either an elderly parent or an adult child. 

While the exact reasons are still a little hazy, the trend seems influenced by the desire to save money. However, there are other benefits to multigenerational homes that lie just underneath the surface. These homes encourage togetherness while still giving everyone a sense of space. This can lead to better health outcomes — both mentally and physically. Young parents can ask their parents to watch their children while they're gone and adult children can help elderly parents as they age. 

What Sellers Can Do

Most sellers are unlikely to revamp their homes entirely before putting it on the market just to make it an official multigenerational home. However, they can give their homes a quick refresher with an eye towards the universal design. This may mean installing grab bars in the bathroom or carpeting the bedrooms to provide more traction. 

There's no reason for home sellers to go overboard when it comes to putting their property on the market. However, they can keep in mind who the buyers are in the area. It may help you decide whether to stage your third bedroom as a nursery or a study. 


Two of the most important ingredients in a successful house-marketing campaign are competitive pricing and making a great first impression on prospective buyers. Although your real estate agent can assist in achieving both of those goals, keeping your home in "show ready" condition will be up to you and your family.

When your home is actively being shown, the process is not unlike a job interview. The main similarity is that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Potential buyers have a mindset that's similar to that of a hiring manager: They are intensely focused on making the right decision. Since the last thing they want to do is make the wrong choice (or a less-than-optimal choice) it's up to you -- the home seller-- to present your home in its best possible light.

Other than keeping your home squeaky clean and your lawn looking as manicured as possible, it's also to your benefit to reduce clutter. A house that's filled with clutter will definitely send the wrong message to prospective buyers searching for their next home. Clutter takes many forms, so it often requires a concerted effort to identify and remedy it. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

Furniture clutter: Having too much furniture in a room or entryway can give visitors the impression that your home is cramped, too small, or disorganized. If you've had a tendency to add furniture to your home, over time -- without putting some pieces in storage -- then you may have inadvertently created a cluttered "look and feel" to your living space

Surface clutter: Have you ever noticed how things that belong in drawers, cabinets, and recycling bins often end up on tables, counter tops, and bookshelves? If that's taking place in your home, rest assured you're not alone! However, if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you'll make a much better impression on potential buyers if you remove as much surface clutter as possible.

Storage-area clutter: Although there's a lot of truth to the saying "Out of sight, out of mind," that usually doesn't apply to preparing your home for the real estate market! Serious house hunters are pretty thorough, and are generally going to glance in closets, basements, attics, and garages. So if you simply move your clutter to another part of the house, it will still be noticed! Granted, your clutter will be less prominent in storage areas, but it will still have a detracting effect on the overall impression your home makes. The solution involves a combination of strategies, including selling or donating unwanted belongings. In some cases, you might even consider renting a dumpster or calling a reasonably priced junk-hauling service to get rid of things you don't want and can't donate, sell, or give away.

It's not always easy to be objective when staging your home or evaluating its marketability, so an experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance, advice, negotiating help, and marketing assistance


Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.


An ambitious home seller may be better equipped than his or her rivals to enjoy a seamless property selling experience. In fact, this individual likely will go the extra mile to ensure buyers can learn about his or her house and make an informed purchase decision.

Believe it or not, becoming an ambitious home seller can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the home selling journey.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The local housing market may have major ramifications on the home selling journey. If you review real estate market data, however, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling journey accordingly.

Review the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. Also, check out the prices of recently sold homes in your area and find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market. Plus, you may be able to find innovative ways to differentiate your home from the competition.

2. Evaluate Your Home

Your home – like all other residences – has various strengths and weaknesses. If you perform a comprehensive home evaluation, you can identify your house's weaknesses and explore ways to transform them into strengths.

It may be helpful to schedule a home inspection prior to listing your residence. During an inspection, a property expert will walk through your home and identify any underlying house issues. He or she next will provide you with an inspection report that you can use to prioritize home repairs.

In addition, you may want to perform an appraisal. If you obtain an appraisal report, you can receive a property valuation that accounts for your house's condition and the current state of the housing market. You then can use this property valuation to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your home.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and host home showings and open house events. Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you review any offers to purchase your residence and provide assorted house selling tips.

If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive lots of insights into the housing market that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, too. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.

For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, it helps to prepare for the home selling journey. By using the aforementioned tips, you can become an ambitious home seller and quickly generate significant interest in your residence.


If you intend to sell your house, it generally helps to allocate time and resources to improve your home's condition. That way, you can impress potential buyers as soon as they see your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can bolster your house's condition before you list your home.

1. Install Energy-Efficient Fixtures

Updating fixtures usually is quick and easy. Plus, if you install energy-efficient fixtures, you may be able to reduce your home energy consumption while you sell your house.

Energy-efficient fixtures use a fraction of the energy of traditional fixtures. Meanwhile, energy-efficient fixtures may prove to be a key differentiator for your house, one that is sure to garner homebuyers' attention.

2. Revamp Your Bathroom

Believe it or not, the appearance of your bathroom can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. If your bathroom looks modern and beautiful, it may help your house stand out to potential buyers. Conversely, if your bathroom appears small and outdated, it is unlikely to do you any favors as you try to sell your house.

To renovate your bathroom, you may want to replace the vanity, old plumbing and lighting fixtures. In addition, it may be beneficial to install a new tile floor that will help you transform your bathroom from drab to fab.

It also is important to keep in mind that bathroom renovations may prove to be less expensive than renovations in other areas of your house. Thus, if you complete assorted bathroom renovations, you may be able to increase your house's value without a significant time and resource investment.

3. Enhance Your Lawn

If you've failed to maintain your lawn over the years, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can replace patchy weeds and grass with fresh new sod to improve your house's condition and curb appeal.

Oftentimes, you can perform lawn care and maintenance on your own. But if you want expert help, you can always hire a professional landscaping company. Because with a team of professional landscapers at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your lawn.

For home sellers who want extra assistance as they get ready to list their houses, real estate agents are available to provide expert support as well.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and can help a seller identify and address such issues. Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide a home seller with recommendations and suggestions about how to improve a house's condition.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer assistance at each stage of the home selling journey. From the moment a house is listed to closing day, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to guide a seller along the home selling process.

Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble beating the home selling competition thanks to the condition of your house.




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