Blog :: 2011

Simple Staging Tips

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If you are just listing your property for sale, or even if it's been on the market for a while, consider the following simple tips to make your property present in its best light:

  1. Paint:  Freshen and Neutralize. If you have any walls painted with bold colors, consider repainting them in neutral tones.  Bold colors are not widely appealing, and can distract the buyer from considering your property as a contender.  If your walls are already a neutral color, go through your house with an objective eye, and retouch any areas that may be scuffed or worn.  One often overlooked area for paint is your stair risers.  A fresh coat of paint on your risers makes a big impression.  Same goes for trim around your doors, especially near the door knobs.
  2. Depersonalize: Pack away your family photos. You'd be surprised how often buyers spend time looking at your photos instead of looking at your house.  Eliminate any photos or highly personal objects that draw too much attention.  The idea is for the buyer to picture him/her self in the space, not to get to know your family.  In general, de-cluttering your home gives the impression of increased space.
  3. Bedding and Slip Covers:  A little goes a long way. We get so used to our own furniture and bedding, that we may not realize that it is starting to look worn.  A simple an inexpensive way to freshen your furniture is to cover couches or chairs with a simple slip cover - buy neutral colors and fabrics.  Also, consider a new duvet cover for your beds.  Crisp linens make a positive impression.
  4. Lighting:  Make sure buyers can see your house.  Make sure you have ample and well-placed lamps throughout your house.  Table and floor lamps offer a warmer light than overheads.  Even during daytime showings, lamps make your home feel inviting.
  5. Curb Appeal:  First impressions are lasting. Grab a friend and ask for advice.  Stand outside your house and approach the front door together.  Have your friend share with you any negative impressions.  Is there a rip in the screen door?  Is a brick loose on your front stoop?  Is there a garden bed that is overrun with weeds?  Often times, we become blind to our own deferred repairs, and a fresh set of eyes can set you straight.  You don't want a buyer to be mentally starting a repair list before they have even set foot in your home.

Provincetown Real Estate Sales 2010 Wrap up

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The year-end numbers are in! Over the next few updates, we will review the final sales figures from MLS along with a comparative analysis of this year in relation to the prior two years. We'll start with Provincetown this week, and we'll look at Truro and Wellfleet in the coming weeks.

Our data comes from the Multiple Listing Service and does not include private sales. The vast majority of sales that occur in this market are MLS sales.

There were 172 properties sold in Provincetown in 2010 with a total sales volume of $92,695,116. There were 144 properties sold in Provincetown in 2009 with a total sales volume of $67,930,378. There were 151 properties sold in Provincetown in 2008 with a total sales volume of $88,098,251.*

* Sales figures exclude timeshare properties.

Table 1:  Number of Properties sold with Average Sale prices.


# Properties Sold/Average Price


# Properties Sold/Average Price


# Properties Sold/Average Price

Single Family 23 / $1,086,804 25/$718,284 31 / $971,742
Income/Multi Family 8 / $719,563 8/$662,301 8 /  $906,250
Lots and Land 6 / $257,167 2/$235,000 2 / $387,500
Comm/Indust/Bus 5 / $415,500 5 / $316,750 3 / $1,015,000
Condominium 124 / $395,094 104/$412,864 105 / $319,551
Hotel/Motel 6 /  1,555,000 0/0 2 / $3,525,000
TOTAL 172 Properties Sold 144 Properties Sold 151 Properties Sold

Table 2:  Average Days on Market of Sold Properties

2010 2009 2008
Single Family 287 279 292
Income/Multi Family 186 115 362
Lots and Land 498 719 462
Comm/Indust/Bus 343 218 374
Condominium 249 213 155
Hotel/Motel 550 --- 65

Table 3: Percentage of Sale Price to List Price

2010 2009 2008
Single Family 90.66% 90% 83%
Income/Multi Family 91.9% 87% 84%
Lots and Land 66.77% 62% 89%
Comm/Indust/Bus 88.7% 76% 86%
Condominium 92.61% 93% 94%
Hotel/Motel 87.01 --- 78%

Activity Summary This year's market activity shows promise for the end of the downturn. Sales volume was up almost 30% over last year and the number of transactions are up significantly. The most notable segment of the market to demonstrate a rebound is the Hotel/Motel category. With no guest house transactions since July of 2008, we saw 7 transfer in 2010 (1 was a non-mls sale and does not appear in the above statistics). It's also notable that there were 6 land sales in 2010 versus 2 in 2009.

From our perspective, we saw many buyers coming back to the market. The selling season was steady throughout last year without any lulls in activity. In addition, it appears that the volume of inventory is finally lessening, which bodes well for values holding steady.

Highs and Lows The lowest priced residential property to sell last year was a bank owned studio condominium at Ship's Bell Condominium at 586 Commercial Street. The unit has 285 SF and sold for $130,000.

The highest priced property to sell was a single family home at 7 Harbour Drive in the East End's newly built subdivision, Bay Harbour. The brand new 5BR/4.5BA 4000 SF single family home sits right on the beach and offers extraordinary views of Provincetown. The construction and finishes are all high-end and the property also has a detached garage. It sold for $3,000,000 at the end of July 2010. (2009's highest priced sale was $1,600,000).