New Empty Nesters – Now What?

As the summer comes to a close, it’s time for the kids to head back to school. But for some people, that means seeing their youngest child off to college and suddenly becoming empty nesters. This transition is a major life shift that can take time for even the most well-adjusted people to adapt to. The biggest question often is – what do I do with this sudden extra space? If you find yourself in this position, here are some of the things you may want to consider.


It isn’t necessary to change your home the moment your last child moves out of the house. It’s perfectly okay to keep their bedroom the way it is, especially if you expect them to visit home fairly often. But if the sight of those high school trophies or childhood toys is making you sad, don’t be afraid to do some redecorating. You can turn your child’s bedroom into a guest bedroom that’s more suitable for adults. Your child will stay have a place to stay, but it will also be comfortable for other out-of-town guests that you’d like to host now that you have more free time. 


If you’d like to stay in your house, but you’re worried about how comfortable and safe you’ll be as you age, now may be a great time to do some serious renovations. Do you envision a life of entertaining now that the kids have moved out? Perhaps it’s time to redesign your living area and make it more open and conducive to large gatherings. Think about what your needs may be in 15 or 20 years and make those upgrades now, such as a walk-in shower, a first-floor master suite. If you imagine living in your home well into retirement, you can begin to transform your home now so that it will always suit your tastes and needs for many years to come.


Maybe you’re looking around your family home and thinking that you really don’t need all this space any more. Or perhaps you love the idea of having less to take care of. Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to mow the lawn again? Some empty nesters dream about a life of travel as they reach retirement age, and worry that their large home will be too much to deal with when they’re out of town. Or maybe you’d love to live in a different city with a better climate or more attractions. There are many reasons why empty nesters may no longer wish to live in their current home.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Back to School: Getting Your Home Ready

Back-to-school season is officially here. This time of year can often be hectic for parents, and it’s doubly so if you’ve just moved into a new house. Somehow, in the midst of unpacking, you’re supposed to get prepared for the school year ahead. While it may seem like an insurmountable task, it can be done. Here are our best tips and tricks to get your home ready for the upcoming school year without losing your mind.

Create a homework zone

If you’re just getting settled in, then take some time now to create a space that’s dedicated for homework. While it may be tempting to settle for the kitchen table, studies show that kids do better when they have a place that is specifically for homework.

Hang a calendar

Once the school year is in full swing, schedules fill up fast. This is especially true if you have more than one child in school. Invest in a large calendar and hang it in a central location such as the kitchen. Assign a different color marker to each member of the family and post appointments, practices, and lessons as soon as you find out about them.

Organize closets

Yes, unpacking can get tedious to the point where you just want it to be finished already. Don’t succumb to the temptation to throw stuff in a closet, thinking you’ll get to it later. Make it easy for kids to see what they have so there’s minimal drama getting ready for school in the morning.

Take inventory

As you’re unpacking, start taking an inventory of the school supplies you already have. Also note what clothes your kids have and what they may need in their new schools. Then make a list that you can take when you go shopping.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Home Selling Superstitions


Selling your home can be a big undertaking. Which is why it’s no surprise that some homeowners have turned to less-than-traditional methods to increase their odds of a quick and profitable sale or for good luck in a new home. From enlisting the help of a saint to applying ancient Chinese design principles, these are some of the more imaginative and mystical methods some home sellers choose to try.



Burying a statue of St. Joseph

This is probably an old superstition that you’ve heard of, and it continues to be popular amongst home sellers today. If you want to sell your home quickly, bury a statue a St. Joseph upside down near the sale sign. Then pray to him for a speedy and favorable sale. Once your home is sold, dig up the statue and give it a place of honor in your new home.

Applying rules of feng shui

An ancient Chinese practice of arranging items in your home to maximize the flow of energy. While there are many rules that can be confusing and complicated, you can use some basic techniques to create a good vibe in your house. Red is a very lucky color in feng shui. Try lining the front walk to your door with red flowers, to direct good energy into your home. Not only will you be using a little feng shui magic, you’ll be sprucing up your curb appeal to potential buyers. Clear out clutter to help the energy flow, keep your stovetop clean, and make sure your home is light and bright. Regardless of whether or not these are feng shui tips, they are also just common sense ideas that will make your home more appealing to buyers.

Ditching that old broom

Finally, did you know there’s a superstition about old brooms and new houses? It’s said that you shouldn’t bring an old broom into your next home. Apparently, the broom will bring with it all your old bad luck. While we might be a little skeptical of this one, we don’t think it’ll set you back too much to buy a new broom – just to be on the safe side. If nothing else, you’ll be limiting how much old dust you bring with you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Beat the Home Selling Blues

Selling a home brings with it a sizable dose of uncertainty as well as a heaping helping of stress. It’s no wonder that home sellers can feel anxious or depressed during the process. Although it’s common to feel a little overwhelmed, it doesn’t have to overtake your life.





By preparing as much as you can before you list your house, you’ll alleviate many of the headaches you may otherwise encounter. Make any needed repairs and declutter your home before listing.

Keep things in perspective

We totally understand that now is a stressful time. But always keep in mind that this process won’t drag on forever. Yes, you may have some stressful days ahead. But soon you’ll reach closing day and this process will become a memory. Remember that you can’t always control every aspect of a situation. 

Take time outs

While selling your home will take a good chunk of your time, you don’t have to spend every waking moment thinking about it. You’ll need your energy during this process, so taking time out to care for your emotional well being is paramount.

Remember why you’re selling

Selling your home is an emotional process. After all, it’s the center of your life and it’s the place where many of your fondest memories have been made. Not only are you making a financial transaction, but you’re also letting go of something that has been important to your life. Allow yourself time to detach emotionally from the house, and remember the positive reasons why you are selling. Acknowledge that you’re feeling a sense of loss, but that the future also holds possibility for new and exciting experiences.

Work with a professional

Finally, the best way to get through the process with the least amount of stress is to work with a professional real estate agent. Seasoned agents know what to expect and can give you solid advice and guidance throughout the entire process. Partnering with a professional will ease the burden on you and help you get to the finish line with your sanity intact.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Summertime Staging Tips


Summer home-selling season is here! The next few months are a great time to sell your home as many buyers wait until summer to make a move. While it means there are potentially more people who may be interested in buying your home, it also means more competition from other sellers. Make your home stand out this summer by staging it like a pro!


Come clean

Nothing is more off-putting than a dirty house, and it’s doubly true when you’re trying to sell. The most important thing you can do when selling your home in the summer is to clean it from top to bottom. Everything should get a thorough scrubbing, from the floors and baseboards to the bathtub and countertops. And don’t forget the windows! 

Slim down

Summer is the time when everyone wants to slim down to look good in that new bathing suit. The same is true for your house. It’s time to slim down your belongings and streamline your house for staging. Nobody likes clutter, and it can sink your home sale. Remove all personal belongings and put them in storage.  Rearrange what you have left to create an easy flow that makes the rooms feel bigger. Only display home décor that accentuates the positives of your house and ties into the color palette.

Lighten up

After months of having the house shut tight, now is the time when people are opening their windows and letting the sun in. When potential buyers come to your home for a showing, open all the curtains and let in as much natural light as possible. Turn on all the lights and create a bright, cheerful and welcoming atmosphere.

Cool off

Summer weather often brings hot temperatures, so make sure the environment in your home is cool and inviting.  Display items that make a home look cooler, like vases filled with summer flowers or a crystal bowl full of oranges.  If your home doesn’t have air conditioning and you have a hot summer ahead, it may be worth it to hold off selling until the fall when temperatures are more moderate.

Deck it out

Lastly, don’t forget the outside! Show potential buyers how inviting all the outdoor areas of your home are. Clean up the yard and plant flowering annuals for a burst of color. Thoroughly clean decks and patios and set up an outdoor seating area or a well-dressed table that shows them how great your place can be for entertaining. Toss in some pretty outdoor pillows, potted plants and maybe even a fire pit. Add a simple summer wreath to the front door and buy a new welcome mat. Make sure your house numbers can be easily seen from the street, mow the lawn and clean the pool.

Compliments of Virtual Results


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Daughters Move Into Leadership Roles At Taylor Real Estate

When the day was over for Megan Conner in eighth grade, she’d head to Taylor Real Estate for a different kind of learning in the family business. She built up the courage to answer the phone that seemed to always be ringing, and her grandmother, Bernice Conner, taught her to transfer calls to individual Realtors.

Danica Achin remembers taking messages from clients who were calling their home, looking for her father, Chuck Conner. Her first actual job with the company came when she was 17, answering the phone in the office and helping with administrative tasks.

Recently, Conner and Achin have taken on more responsibility with the business their great-grandfather founded in 1955, marking the beginning of an informal succession plan.

Both women are Realtors with the firm. Conner is also an administrative and advertising assistant with duties that include delving into financial management and handling requests for sponsorships. Achin is the rental division manager. They hope to one day assume ownership of the company and teach the trade to their own children.

“It’s really important the business stay in the family,” Conner said. “My ancestors put a lot of time and work into maintaining the business and building up our reputation. We now have an opportunity to carry on their legacy.”

Conner and Achin’s great-grandfather, Charles Taylor, founded the Easthampton business as the Charles W. Taylor Agency in 1955. Taylor then passed the business to his daughter, Bernice, and her husband, Bob Conner — Chuck Conner’s parents, and Megan Conner and Achin’s grandparents. In 2013, the name changed to Taylor Real Estate.

Chuck Conner started working full-time at Taylor Real Estate with his parents after graduating from college in 1981. Soon after, he took on management responsibilities for the firm.

Megan Conner earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a specialty in developmental disabilities and human services in 2017 from UMass Amherst. She obtained a real-estate license in June 2017. Over the years, she has prepared listings, photographed homes and apartments for sale or rent, and prepared advertising for listings and open houses.

After high school, Achin worked for her mother’s cleaning business while simultaneously working in the office at Taylor Real Estate. In 2014, she became the business’ rental agent. She earned her real-estate license in 2014 and took over the Rental Department.

“Chuck has instilled a great work ethic in both of us,” Achin said. “We work as a team and always help each other out.

Added Conner, “the goal is for us to take care of the business the way Chuck does now and stay as involved as possible in the community. We are both young and driven, which helps us to work as hard as we can to help people every day. We love our community and the people in it.”

Benefits of Going to Open Houses

There’s no doubt you’ve stumbled across open houses and wondered if you should go. Whether you’re ready to buy or getting your finances together to be in the market soon, there can be many benefits to attending open houses.

Learn about the local market

First, you can start to get a feel for the kinds of homes that are for sale in your area, and what those homes are selling for. Second, you can see how much traffic the open house gets. From that traffic you’ll better understand how competitive the local market is. When you find the house you really want, how quickly will you need to act? Third, depending on how busy the open house is, you may be able to chat with the listing agent. From that conversation you can glean more information about what’s happening in the local market, even before that news becomes mainstream.

Understand what you can afford

By attending several open houses in the neighborhood where you’d like to buy, you’ll soon see exactly what your money can get you. You’ll see where you may need to make some compromises on your wish list and better prepare for the reality of what you can reasonably afford.

Get ideas about latest trends

If you’re not sure what you want your new house to look like, attending some open houses can show you what the latest trends are. Many homes are professionally staged so that they look as good as possible to potential buyers. You can get ideas about paint colors, finishes, kitchen designs and more. This can be especially handy if you plan to buy a fixer-upper that will need some cosmetic work. Use the open houses to discover what you like and what you don’t like. And if you like what you see, ask the listing agent for contact information for the designer or contractor.

Get to know the neighborhood

If you’re trying to narrow your search to a particular neighborhood, it can help to attend open houses in those neighborhoods. Much of the traffic of an open house is nearby residents looking to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. You’ll get a sense of the kind of people who live there, how noisy or quiet the area is, and the kinds of amenities that are available nearby. It will also give you a chance to meet other prospective buyers and learn about what they’re looking for in a neighborhood. Talk a walk around the block and get a feel for what it might be like on any given day.

The bottom line is – don’t be afraid to pop into some open houses if you’re getting ready to buy. Not only is it a great learning experience, you may actually find the home you love!

Compliments of Virtual Results

Gearing Up For Spring!

Gearing Up For Spring


Have you heard? It’s a seller’s market.


Spring is the kickoff to the most popular time of year for buying and selling homes, but just because the market is hot, does not necessarily mean your house is ready to sell. With spring being just around the corner, it is time to start preparing.

What can you do to get your house ready? There are a number of ways to revamp your home so that it not only attracts the most buyers, but will get you the maximum profit.


Perform basic/routine maintenance to keep mechanicals running smoothly. Winter can take a toll on houses. It is important to stay on top of repairs, cleaning, etc. to ensure that everything is functioning properly when it hits the market. Taking proper care of mechanical systems can improve their longevity, as well reassure buyers that they are making a good investment.

Declutter.  Simplicity is key. Packing and reorganizing will not only prepare you for your move, but will improve the appeal of your house to potential buyers, allowing them to better imagine themselves living there. This is also an opportunity for you to purge through old and unwanted items.

Make small improvements and cosmetic upgrades to ‘freshen up’ your house. Updating paint, fixtures, curtains and/or blinds, etc. can make an incredible difference. Spruce up the areas that buyers will pay the most attention to; that being the kitchen or bathroom. Change out any lightbulbs that don’t work, and clean your windows and curtains to allow the maximum amount of light in and really brighten up a room. You might also consider sprucing up your front door and entryway, since after all, it is the first thing potential buyers will see when visiting your home. Many buyers today are looking for a move-in ready home, so go that extra mile and it will pay off.

Familiarize yourself with a realtor that you are comfortable working with. Establishing a relationship with a realtor early on will be beneficial to you. Once familiar with your goals, they can give you knowledgeable insight and guidance. Are you certain that it is time to sell, but unsure about where you will go next? Your realtor can also help you decide what might be your best option. At Taylor Real Estate, we have a team of realtors who are knowledgeable, compassionate, and driven to make the buying/selling process as smooth as possible. To explore their bios and find your realtor, follow this link:


Family-Owned. Community-Driven.

Written by: Megan Conner, REALTOR®  


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