The Boston area home selling market continues to improve and, as prices steadily rise more homeowners are considering selling their homes. Informed sellers are aware there are a number of considerations prior to putting their homes on the market. Although we never work for sellers or list property for sale, and always represent home buyers only, we know and can recommend the very best listing agents anywhere to help you with selling your home. Let’s examine a few factors to consider if you’re planning to sell.
Boston Area Home Selling: Timely Tips
Naturally, the first question you need to answer is where you will live or move to next. If you’re contemplating purchasing another home, consider entering into a contract contingent on the sale of your existing home. If you’re among the fortunate few Americans that don’t have to rely on the proceeds from the sale of your home to be able to purchase a new home, timing will not be a major factor. However, you’ll still want to be aware of the timetable of closing the sale of your existing home, moving into a temporary residence while you decide to buy or build, or – if you’re moving out of the area – searching for a home to purchase in your new location.
In addition, it’s important to know the tax implications of selling your primary residence. You may have to pay capital gains taxes if your profit exceeds $250,000 for individual sellers or $500,000 for married couples. To be sure, we recommend checking out IRS Publication 523, “Selling Your Home” for any questions about rules and for a worksheet. Lastly, if you’re planning to downsize after the sale of your home, performing a little research may save time, money and future frustration. Often retirees who want to downsize experience “sticker shock” when they price smaller, more recently built homes or condos with many of today’s desirable and expected amenities. Having to pay more than expected for a smaller home may put a sizable dent in your budget – and your downsizing plans.
Once you’ve decided to enter the Boston area home selling arena, probably the most vital piece of the puzzle is putting the correct sales price on your home. Real estate agents say the first three weeks a home is on the market are the most important in creating a “buzz,” generating buyer interest and attracting potential buyers. A good agent would agree potential buyers often ignore a listing that’s been on the market awhile. The perception – and the reality – is the “bloom is off the rose” and it’s obvious there’s a reason the home hasn’t sold. The longer the house stays on the Boston area home selling market the higher the probability the sales price will suffer. Simply put, if your home hasn’t had a serious inquiry for, say, four weeks, it may be time to reduce the asking price.
When it comes to setting the proper sales price and knowing if and when to reduce it, we strongly suggest enlisting the help of an experienced real estate professional. The selection process of choosing a qualified agent is similar to hiring an employee to work for your business. Make sure the agent has your best interest at the forefront of their desire to sell your home for the best possible price. A good agent should know your neighborhood and be familiar with what similar properties have recently sold for. Don’t hesitate to ask for a written marketing plan describing what avenues your prospective agent plans to utilize to sell your home. Give your would-be agent higher marks for their digital and online expertise. Potential buyers shopping in the Boston area home selling market use the Internet to see listings, take virtual tours and make comparisons as they shop for the home they want.
After you choose the real estate agent you feel can best serve your needs, it’s time to prepare your home for sale. A good agent will identify any items that may need improvement to help your home “show” better. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so if there are items that may hamper buyer interest in your home, replace them, repair them, or get rid of them. To prepare for a successful open house, consider sprucing up with a fresh coat of paint – on the exterior if needed – and in the interior to give favorite rooms new life. In addition, clean or replace old carpets, mow the lawn and trim the shrubbery. Don’t ignore the seemingly small things. Make sure all the lightbulbs are working, replace any that have dimmed or yellowed. Remove the clutter from laundry rooms, bookcases, the garage or a home office. Make your home as presentable as possible by making a great and memorable first impression.
If you’re not up to the task of readying your home with its best foot forward, consider hiring a professional staging company. Home staging experts say giving each room of your home a purpose is an excellent way to create interest and intrigue among buying prospects. If you have a spare bedroom, stage it to be a bedroom – regardless of whether you currently use it for a sewing room, home office or all-purpose room. Staging is a proven technique that helps buyers imagine your home’s potential, and envision it the way they want it to fit their lifestyle. Remember, stage your home as if it was an investment opportunity designed to appeal to the general public. Detach yourself from the emotional connection you’ve no doubt created over the years.
Some Boston area home selling participants, especially those selling older homes, often elect to arrange for a home inspection for their own benefit. That enables them to identify any potential shortcomings or problems early in the selling process. The sooner you become aware of an issue that may affect the sale of your home, the sooner you can correct it.
Lastly, as your home begins to pick up buyer traffic and interest, make it as easy and convenient for them and their real estate agents to see your house – more than once if needed. Sellers who are difficult to get in touch with or who put too many restrictions on showing times and appointments run the risk of losing potential buyers to other properties.
With advance planning and careful, thoughtful preparation these Boston area home selling tips will assist you in selling your home quickly, efficiently and at the highest price available in the market.