January 2019 McLaren Team News and Tips

By mclarenteam January 30, 2019

It’s the month for goal setting and planning which has our team energized for success! We hope that you have been able begin this new year with positivity and excitement. We just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year’s events and provide you with information to help get you ready for 2019! As always please let us know how we can help you or your loved ones strategize any steps pertaining to your home.

This past year we welcomed over 70 new families to our growing list of clients! This year we were able to reconnect with many old friends through the buying and selling process. The opportunity to build relationships and assist those closest to us truly made each and every transaction more impactful. The Team listed and sold properties ranging from Metro Boston through Winchester and its surrounding communities, we consistently sold at a 105% sale to list price ratio resulting in an additional 5-7% net profit for our sellers. We continue to strive and are always creating new ways to ensure that the services we provide are a cut above so that we can continue to do things differently in real estate!

Not only did our team welcome many new client families, we also welcomed a new member to our team! Jessica Jacob joined the McLaren Team this fall, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience with buyers in both the suburban and urban markets as well as an expertise in marketing and new development. Jessica is from N. Reading originally and currently resides in Melrose with her family. She is a great addition to our growing roster of expert agents.

Making a Difference in 2018!

Our Hustle and Heart Set Us Apart!

Because we are blessed (thanks to you!) to work by referral, we are committed to using our marketing dollars to give back! This year alone we have helped to raise over $20,000 for various local charities and have participated in numerous community events that are near and dear to our client’s hearts. 

Every year it’s our goal to give back to our amazing clients and friends by supporting the missions that are important to them. Without your support and participation for organizations like these, we would not be able to continue to make a difference.

THANK YOU for your efforts and generosity! We appreciate each and every one of you! 

St. Jude Children’s Hospital – St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

  • Together our team raised $20,000 in funds and included over 50 walkers 

  • Our Little Heroes raised over $2,500 of those funds through their lemonade stand and raffle ticket sales

Community Servings – Pie in the Sky

  • Through a joint team effort, we sold over 2,200 pies at Thanksgiving

  • Each pie sold provides one week on meals for the critically ill in the Boston area

Local Organizations and Businesses

  • We continuously promote small business, through referrals, networking, and our own gift buying

  • We work to bring a sense of community and local character to all of your home improvement and shopping experiences! 

  • We have raised over $15,000 in funds for Breast Cancer through the Avon Walk and Barbells for Boobs

  • Continually support local organizations and events such as Winchester Town Day, Glenn Doherty Memorial 5K Sponsor, FAN, Winchester Chamber of Commerce, and more!


Preparing for 2019: It’s never too early to get you and your family ready to sell your home!

It is the turn of a new year and now is the time to begin working on items necessary to list their home for sale. Whether you are downsizing, moving across town, or will be moving away with retirement, it is never too early to prepare for the process. We are firm believers this jump start to the process will help you be the best prepared. We wanted to put together a few steps you can take with the help of our team to limit the risk of surprises after they are under agreement.

Do a background check on your home

“Pull the jacket” 

Check with the building department on whether your property has an “open permit” for work completed, but that had not been inspected and signed off by the building department. Why wait for the buyer to discover these issues late in the process? Remove the uncertainty that flows from having imperfect information and stop by your town’s building department.

Do a title examination

A high percentage of properties being sold have title issues, ranging from minor defects that can be corrected easily, to significant defects that may require time to cure or even require a court order. It is usually the buyer’s obligation to conduct a title search, but again, why wait to find out there are issues on the eve of closing? The seller should locate his or her owners’ title insurance policy (if available) and have an attorney do a title “rundown” to ensure there are no title issues that will preclude sellers from conveying the property in a timely manner.

Common pitfalls:

  • Property held “in the family” for many years. If the chain of title was not reviewed for some time, perhaps, a long-standing title issue was never discovered.
  • Trusts, Estates and Powers of Attorney. In many instances, a very fundamental question to be asked and overlooked when an offer is made and accepted is: who are the actual record owners? Title standards can be strict, particularly, with regard to personal representatives of an Estate, Trustees of a Trust, and an Attorney-in-Fact signing under a Power of Attorney.  
  • Undischarged mortgages and missing assignments. Most sellers are unaware that a mortgage they refinanced was never actually properly discharged, or worse, there is a missing assignment when one lender sold to another lender. A missing discharge or assignment could take weeks or months to obtain. A title rundown may allow a seller to get a head start on these title-clearing matters.
  • Proactively inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Depending on the town or city, scheduling an inspection can take a few weeks.  We can help you schedule a time with the fire department ahead of time so we know what corrective action will be required. 

Assess the surrounding area

Conduct an assessment of the property

Do you have a written or unwritten agreement with neighbors concerning the property?  

  • Shared driveways or private roads that do not have a maintenance agreement recorded with the Registry of Deeds
  • Shared sewer lines that are not documented by easement
  • Condominium unit owners share parking areas or common areas without formal agreement

Are there environmental concerns? 

Was your lot subject to conditions imposed by the Town’s Conservation Commission for which a Certificate of Compliance is required, but never issued? Although not as common, Orders of Conditions can very well pose a hurdle when selling property. Some towns require water and or Title V inspections to be done over a certain period of time. Make sure all of your certificates are up to date.

Do an audit of documentation according to the type of home you have


In many instances, title for parking spaces, storage spaces and other exclusive use areas become convoluted over time. Trustees are not properly appointed is another issue. The Unit owners have informal agreements that could affect the value and use of the Unit. All of the condominium documents and budget requirements for lenders should be reviewed to ensure everything is in order prior to going into MLS.

Transfer of tenants

Selling a multifamily? It is important to inquire of whether a security deposit and last month’s rent were properly held and to navigate the assignment of leases. If the property is to be delivered vacant, advanced planning and serving a formal notice to quit is advisable in most circumstances to ensure closing in a timely manner.

Tax considerations

Any disposition of real estate should be vetted by a certified public accountant. Investment properties might present an opportunity for deferred tax treatment through a 1031 Exchange. Multiple property owners holding as tenants-in-common may wish to strategically allocate proceeds, assuming such allocation is properly documented and permissible.

Fixtures and appliances

Take an inventory of everything in your house and identify all of those items that you wish to remove and take with you, even if it might be obvious to everyone involved in the transaction. On one end of the spectrum are “fixtures” clearly affixed to the real estate. On the other end of the spectrum are free-standing items called items “personal property” (meaning, not considered part of the real estate being sold) that everyone can assume will be removed. In the middle are grey area items. We can help you create a set list of exclusions prior to listing so there are no hiccups at closing.

Prepare for the actual sale of your home

Buying another home after the sale? 

If you are buying another home, that is being financed, it is ideal to coordinate the execution of the two properties at the same time and/or negotiate a Home Sale Contingency for the purchase transaction. In many instances, the seller very well might have good reason to deny Home Sale Contingency. Therefore, you should have a candid conversation with your lender on whether you must sell your current home first to qualify for the purchase, and if so, whether a bridge loan is a viable option (carrying two mortgages for a short period of time). Be strategic with your realtor and attorney, and if possible, stagger the dates of the two transactions to allow time to address any delays or surprises. Whenever you are purchasing a home on the same day or soon after a sale, we highly recommend doing all due diligence, including title review, prior to signing that second P & S for the home purchase.

Share your calendar and sign a Power of Attorney early

When the transaction is imminent, communicate your availability with the team assisting you in your transaction. Will you be taking an extended vacation or unavailable overseas? If so, you may wish to have the Deed and Powers of Attorney executed well in advance so that others may sign documents for you in a pinch.

Although selling a property may often be and should be an uneventful process, taking some of the aforementioned proactive steps can make the process more efficient.

If you have any questions pertaining to the above do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you to David J. Ekelund, Jr., Esq. for helping us with this piece. He is one of our go-to real estate attorneys with offices in Boston, Winchester, and Concord.

We hope you enjoyed this month’s topic. We have many help tips in store for you this coming year. We look forward to connecting with you in 2019!!