MA-Homefinder Real Estate & Staging Blog

We have launched our Best of Breed website with the country's top Property Search Engine.  After countless interactions with buyers and sellers with a poor experience with most cookie cutter websites, we decided to change the game.


- Property Search:  Our search engine is up to the minute and shows more listings - without showing the multitude of Sold or Under Agreement results many of the national sites show.

- Hyper Local:  We have a page dedicated to each community with the search optimized for clients looking in that specific area.

- Results:  We're already the area's top team and are constantly investing in the most cutting edge technology as Real Estate evolves.

- You can also see Case Studies of Before and After Home Staging projects and helpful home owner tips!


Please bookmark this page as we look to continue to revolutionize Real Estate on the South Shore!  Or subscribe to our feed on the right hand side to be eligible for a Complimentary Staging Service Consultation!!!

May 7, 2014

Bad MLS Photos May 2014

Once again...the only thing we like better than Great and Classy MLS photos are Horribly Bad and Embarrassing MLS Photos.


Believe it or not.. every one of these is REAL!


Free Vertigo with every purchase!

Not one.. but EVERY photo like this... Wide Angle Lens with the Wrong Camera....


This home features a small corner perfect for Tarps and buckets.


This is exactly what the satellite and vent pipes will look like should you purchase this home.

And over here is the Chef's kitchen - currently in use.


When the flash just isn't quite enough...

This home can accomodate all types of dome lighting!


Posted in Home Selling
April 9, 2014

Bad MLS Photos in MA April2014

What's better than beautiful, classy MLS/Home Photos?  Horribly Embarrassing MLS Photos, that's what!!

Take a look below for some of the funniest, most embarrassing and BAD MLS Photos ( that are all real ) and right here from MA.



If you're looking for a house with a fuzzy, pink room that may or may not be in need of baseboard heating repairs.. we've got just the house for you!


Spacious Driveway with ample puddling potential.

This photo thing is so easy I can do it with one hand tied behind my back!


When you just can't get there during business hours...just turn the exterior lights on

Almost fooled us... taking a picture of a picture!  One good way to get around that pesky snow - if only the flash / slightly off cropping  didn't give us away!


Plenty of natural light ... um, sort of.

May be a closet.. may not be.  But it does have a nice pull chain!!


This is exactly how the sellers like to stack their laundry in case you were wondering.



Never played peek-a-boo with a house before but here goes!

If you see a professional real estate photographer ... please Thank Them.. and let them know they still need to reach out to a few of their R.E. brethren ... and that agents taking their own photos is a really bad, bad idea. 

But at least it can give us a chuckle from time to time!


As always if you want to buy or find out what your home would be worth with proper marketing ( including professional photography ) ... feel free to contact us!










Posted in Home Selling
March 21, 2014

Bad MLS Photos

What's better than Beautiful Real Estate MLS Photos? .... Embarrassingly Bad, Horrible MLS Photos!!

We all know what great, professional photos look like... scroll down below for a look at the 'other' side of Real Estate photography.

( Names and Addresses removed to protect the not-so-innocent )


"Why bother taking photos during only daylight... I can't be restricted to just those 12 hours per day"


" This one of the stairway is really gonna pop... Bob, get out of the way! "


"We'd like to direct your attention to the 2nd floor "




This house features an outlet.

This room is so interesting, I almost stopped to take the photos

Tons of natural light - if those pesky grids would stop getting in the way.

" Handy- dandy stairwell for pointing the chimney every few years and..... well, not sure what else."



So here we have the bathroom with stand up shower for the humans and tub for the carnivorous plants


Either a curved home... or first time experimenting with the "wide-angle" lens

Is it me ... or is it a little foggy in here?




Unfortunately, all these are real photos... Be sure to appreciate the next home you see with proper marketing - and if you see an agent take out their smart phone to take their own photos, slap it out of their hand and call a Realtor who uses professional photography!


Author: Mikel DeFrancesco







Posted in Home Selling
March 13, 2014

South Shore Real Estate Housing Statistics March 2014

Spring Snapshot & Preview

The Local Housing Market remains Strong on the South Shore.  Signs point to a busy spring - albeit a late starter with the cold weather and stubborn snow cover.  Most South Shore towns are expecting a significant increase in listings and buyer activity in the next few weeks as March turns to May.  In fact we believe the late snow cover has pushed back listings coming on by a few weeks so expect in the next 3 weeks a huge increase in inventory and activity.  In fact we have 10 listings coming on in the area over the next few weeks - contact Mikel for info on them!


Norfolk County:  February 2014 was busy again with a total of 206 sales.  The Sales number was down slightly from last year ( from 219 to 206 ) but importantly the average price and Days on Market statistics improved.  Days on the Market is down 10.4% from 110.79 to 100.28 days for the average listing.  Prices increased significantly from 2013 - with a 15.5% gain in the market.

Plymouth County:  The Number of Solds was pretty flat at 236 in 2014 ( vs 238 in 2013 ).   The prices improved slightly, with an increase of 2.3% and the days on the market was down significantly - down a whopping 24.84% so houses that were selling, sold much more quickly this year as opposed to last.

If you are interested to know what the value of any home in MA is currently... please contact us today at: or direct/text to Mikel at 617.755.8272 or via email:

We'd be happy to show you your exact pricing, any tips or advice to maximize your home's value, upgrades or repairs with the maximum return on investment as well as a marketing plan customized for your house with techniques to increase you sales price 6-10%.

** If you would like a more in depth chart for any town or vertical - let us know and we will have it to you within 24 hours.

As always these reports are Free with No Obligation and the most useful and comprehensive in MA!!

Author: Mikel DeFrancesco

Posted in Home Selling
March 11, 2014

Referral Program

Our Program for your valued Referrals



Do you know someone who may be buying or selling this year? 

We simply offer the best program to assist you and your referrals.  You can feel good knowing they are in good hands and working with the highest rated Broker and best Real Estate Service on the South Shore.

Additionally we often have special offers from our vendors due to our high volume of production.  We'd be pleased to pass on any current specials they have such as:


- Free Appraisal

- Home Warranty

- Free / Included Radon test with a Home Inspection

- Closing Cost Credit


Please contact us today at or direct/text 617.755.8272 .  I will gladly assist your referral and give them the same level of care and diligence that you and all my clients have received and that has made me the highest rated and referred agent in South Eastern MA.

Author: Mikel DeFrancesco


**  Please note:  Special offers for referrals are offered through the vendor partner, not Success! Real Estate and are subject to their terms, conditions and current availability.  Contact Mikel for a current list.

Posted in Home Buyers Guides
March 11, 2014

For Sellers

Our Premium Seller Program




There is a reason I invest in the tools and products to help my sellers achieve Sales Prices from 6-10% HIGHER than the competition. I'd love to show you how we do it.  A combination of investing in the best marketing for today's buyer, and a 26 point marketing plan that includes seldom used techniques and terms such as

- Contract - Most agents know the best way for them to get paid is to lock you into the longest, most restrictive contract possible.  Great for them... terrible for you.  I know nobody can possibly out-market and outsell me so my sellers have the peace of mind knowing they not only have the best broker and marketing plan working for them, but they are never locked into a contract with a broker that's mailed it in, marketing-wise.  I hustle to earn your trust and business every day.

- Full Staging - I have my own Inventory and am the only Realtor to offer this valuable service to my clients.  Even most Stagers who run a staging business don't have their own inventory - they generally charge for a consult, then offer to rent you furniture in perpetuity.  Not Me.

- Narrated Video and Walkthroughs:  Videos are an ever increasingly important part of proper marketing.  The goal is to allow the thousands ( often Tens of Thousands with my listings ) of online viewers to get an experience as close to walking through the home as possible.  My marketing plan takes advantage of this where most others do not because the cost.

- Professional Photography:  Most agents take their own photos because it's Free.  The truth is that your photos are now your digital curb-appeal.  If they aren't setting you apart from the competition, you may never get the very best buyers in to see YOUR home.

- Experience: Because I sell 10x more than most agents I can spend 10x more to market your home.  This will always result in the very best sales price and most dollars in YOUR pocket.


Please contact me today.  For any home - I provide a FREE market analysis.  It contains strategic pricing and a customized marketing plan for the house that will ensure the home achieves the very highest and Best pricing.  This service is always absolutely free, with no obligation and is left with you for your review and to assist your decision making process.


Posted in Home Selling
March 11, 2014

For Buyers

South Shore's Best Buyer Program and Tools



There is a reason I sell up to 10x more homes than most agents and I am the highest rated Buyer Broker and offer the best tools on South Eastern MA on all the major websites ( Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, HomeSnap etc ).  My Portfolio is Full of Buyers that have procured properties for $5,000 to $20,000 UNDER what similar homes have sold for.  I'd be happy to show you how we do it - and assist you or your friends and family to do the same.

Experience:  I sell between 35-50 homes per year and that local knowledge is invaluable when advising on your home purchase.  Unlike most Agents I may tell you NOT to buy 95% of what you see... but to seek out the very best deals with laser focus and to get the best homes at the very lowest prices.

Tools: I am pleased to offer the Most Comprehensive Buyer Tools on the Market today.  My Website, is the most successful website search in Eastern Massachusetts.  Our Enhanced Search ties into our MLS which is updated Daily by Realtors - to give you the most timely and best information available.  Knowing faster and the ability to analyze properties gives you a significant edge.

Knowledge:  My extensive construction background and licensing has my buyers avoiding homes with problems that may not be apparent to the average agent... but importantly can uncover opportunities for improvement or appreciation with homes that may bring great ROI with minimal investment.

Service:  I've pledged to be more available and accessible than any of my part time or full time Real Estate competition... don't believe me???  Please call me today at 617.755.8272.  I am generally available from 7 am to 9 pm 7 Days a Week!


March 5, 2014

Why work with Success Real Estate - Mikel DeFrancesco

Why?  We can make a significant difference - up to 6-10% on your transaction


We’d be happy to show you how we do it, and why I’m the #1 Rated Broker in Eastern MA on most National Sites ( Zillow, Trulia, HomeSnap, TopAgentsRanked, Redfin and more ).  There is a reason I have the highest ratings from independent 3rd parties, as well as the highest # of satisfied clients on the South Shore.


Production:  I sell between 35-50 homes per year.  The average agent in our MLS sells between 3-6 homes.  I spend more on buyer tools and seller marketing than most agent/teams sell in a year.  I only do this because investing in the best tools works for my clients and results in 6-10% better price results and more happy clients.

Marketing:  Because I sell up to 10X more than most agents, My marketing plan includes less frequently used techniques such as Full Staging service with my own inventory, Narrated Video, Interactive Floorplan, SEO Optimized websites, Professional photography, and more. 

The average entry-only or lesser marketed listings often have a marketing budget of $0.00 / Free Access to MLS, agent taken photos, lockbox / unaccompanied showings and far lower sales prices.

Website:  You're on it now :)  I have spent over 2 years and countless development dollars providing the best Real Estate website in the industry.  For buyers it offers the best search and attracts 4-8 new buyers PER DAY.  For sellers, access to a large pool of highly qualified, active and engaged buyers always brings the highest and best prices.  Most agents use antiquated or free tools that lack the data, accuracy and tools that today's buyers demand.

Experience:  I have hundreds and hundreds of Successful transactions on the south shore.  There is nothing we have not seen or conquered in Real Estate.  Knowing the market and having the experience to both take advantage of leverage in our favor or in negotiations, or avoid risk is invaluable in what is typically the largest and most important purchases and sales in a person's life - their home.

Availability:  I have pledged to be available 7 days a week, and from 7 am to 9 pm.  Don't believe me?  Call me today at 617.755.8272.  My industry is based on Customer Service.  I was horrified to see in 2002 when I got into Real Estate full time that most agents did not even give out their phone #, but rather answering services they would check periodically.  Today is a fast paced, information driven world.  I have invested heavily in technology to destroy the competition for my buyers and sellers.

Support:  Most agents do not have the processes and systems to sell more than a couple dozen homes.  I have the databases and technology, but more importantly my full team behind me.  I have a licensed AND personal assistant that allows me to be customer facing for all my real estate activities.  I show houses to buyers and market and sell my properties hard.  I've pledged that you will never be frustrated by a lack of availability to me and my team.

Staging:  Even most Staging companies do not have inventory.  They provide a paid consultation and then offer to rent furniture they've suggested ( and get a cut of the rental fee ) on your behalf.  This is an open checkbook on YOUR DIME.  I am such a believer in Staging Vacant spaces I've bought and make available to my clients this service as part of my marketing plan.  This is where Real Estate is going and I want to offer service unthinkable to most agents.  I have sold every Staged Home I've ever had and can provide case study and statistics to back up how this is the most valuable offering in Massachusetts and I'm the only local Realtor offering it.

Satisfaction:  My buyers have never signed a contract... I work hard for them and they are never obligated to me.  My buyers choose to work with me because the value I can add to their search.  Similarly, my sellers are incredulous to hear that I ensure they are satisfied by never locking them in to a long and onerous contract.


Please contact us to see how we are revolutionizing Real Estate.  Call, text or email us today.


Mikel DeFrancesco

direct/text: 617.755.8272


Author: Mikel DeFrancesco

Feb. 23, 2014

Get to know 1 Cityview lane Quincy MA

Get to Know 1 City View Lane, Quincy – The Excelsior

By Mikel DeFrancesco , SUCCESS! Real Estate

Excelsior at Highpoint

Welcome to 1 Cityview Lane in Quincy – the Excelsior.  1 Cityview lane is a luxury Quincy High-rise Condominium complex consisting of 126 residential units with over 140,000 sq feet.

The building was converted from one of the Highpoint Apartment buildings in 2004 when the Congress group opted to convert from rental to individual condo ownership.  The entire complex was sold within 1 year and now the only Quincy Condos for sale in the complex are resale units.  At that point the complex was named “ The Excelsior “ but it is often advertised under it’s street address, 1 Cityview Lane.

These units have always been in demand as they are entry level priced in a luxury building setting.  The units range from 700+ sq ft 1 bedroom units to 1200+ sq ft 2 Bedroom units.

There is an average of 10-15 resale units per year at 1 Cityview Lane, so the turnover is close to 10% which is very low for a quincy condo complex which often have higher turnovers.

Condos at 1 Cityview lane are also close to the revitalized Quincy Center project and Transportation, Shopping and local amenities.

Owners can also pay an additional fee to gain access to the apartment amenities next door such as clubroom, fitness center, tennis courts and more.  This fee is optional but is very reasonable so many owners choose to participate.

Are you interested in seeing all the current quincy condos for sale in 1 Cityview Lane?  Simply click here to be redirected to our Quincy Search Page or contact us today for a list of units currently available or to be put on a notification list so you’ll know first when a new unit come up for sale.  Simply email me your contact information and if you’re looking for a 1 or a 2 bedroom unit to:

it's as simple as that!


Author: Mikel DeFrancesco

Posted in Home Buyers Guides
Feb. 10, 2014

How Accurate are Zillow Zestimates

By:  Mikel DeFrancesco

Consumers often want to gauge the price or value of their home and many homeowners prefer to turn to the quickest and easiest source of information – the Internet.  With the ubiquitous nature of online pricing tools and sites – the convenience can’t be beat … but a common question is “  How Accurate are they? “  It doesn’t serve the purpose of most sellers to get bad information, even if it’s fast.

The most referenced tool is the Zillow “ Zestimate “ which is prominently displayed on every property they show.  Although they do not disclose their algorithm, these estimates use publicly available information to make the best guess possible on a home’s value and/or sales price.

Here in the Boston/South Shore Market of MA, how accurate are they?  Based on the lastest Zillow statistics from 12/4/13, Zillow identifies that their estimate is within 10% of the selling price 63.7% of the time and within 20% only 87% of the time.  How does that stack up?

Well as an example, for a house that’s worth $500K, that would be a sales price that missed a range between $400K and $600K.  I think most consumers could get closer than that just by a cursory exterior view of a home.

In conclusion, if you need a rough ballpark, online tools can get you generally within 20% of the price of a home the majority of the time… if you need the most accurate way to determine a home’s value, an interior evaluation by a qualified REALTOR that compares the home to similar Sold, Under Agreement and Active homes is still the most accurate property pricing strategy.

If you have a South Shore home and would like a free evaluation, please contact us today at

Want to stay up to date on the Boston Housing Market or get free tips and strategies?  Share this post or subscribe to our feed at or using the buttons on the right hand side of this page.  Thank you!

Author: Mikel DeFrancesco

Posted in Home Selling