The Boston area real estate market is like that of other parts of the country. No doubt you’ve heard that home inventory is low and people choosing to sell are in the proverbial “catbird seat.” The basic economic principle of supply and demand is never more true than in a seller’s market – where supply is low and demand remains relatively high. However, is it the right time for you to sell? This article will examine that question and help you avoid seller’s remorse. Although we never work for sellers or list property for sale and always represent home buyers only, we know and can find the very best listing agents anywhere to help you with selling your home.
Boston Area Real Estate: Should You Sell?
As is the case in most seller’s markets, it’s not unusual for homes in some areas to sell for more than the asking price. Anxious buyers with little to choose from often provide sellers with multiple offers – and a few prospective buyers may even get in a bidding war to get the home they want. Because home prices are so high, some real estate agents are trying to get potential sellers to list their homes for sale now.
Sure, it seems like a wonderful time to sell… but how do you know if it’s really a good time for you to sell? We’re all familiar with the phrase “buyer’s remorse,” the feeling that you may experience after you’ve bought something and are having second thoughts or sensing you made a mistake in judgment. In the case of homes under contract for sale, a prospective buyer can usually get out of the deal by using contingencies or other clauses that may provide him an “out.” “Seller’s remorse” is just as prevalent, but in most cases there aren;t contingencies that protect the seller. So, it’s important that you’re ready and committed to sell before you sign the sales contract – actually, before you list your home for sale.
Although we never work for sellers or list homes for sale, as exclusive buyer’s agents, we can help you by referring you to the most qualified listing agents in the marketplace, due to our experience in working with these agents over the years. Even though we always only work for buyers and never for the sellers, we offer these tips to potential home sellers as assistance in the home selling process,
To help you avoid seller’s remorse and enable the sales transaction to be as seamless as possible, remember the following Boston area real estate strategies.
Devise a Good Pricing Strategy
Naturally, a good real estate agent will encourage their sellers to list their homes competitively to ensure it’s received favorably in the marketplace. While some skeptical sellers may look at their agent’s recommendation as pricing their home low for a quicker sale, the agent is really looking out for the seller’s best interest.
Regardless of what the situation holds, a discussion about pricing strategy should be the most important part of the relationship between seller and agent. If there are issues on the asking price, it could set the tone for a rocky relationship. As a seller, should you find yourself in the position of disagreeing with your agent’s recommended price, you should discuss the options or, if necessary, get a second opinion on pricing.
You could list your home at first with a higher asking price. It may be against your agent’s advice, but if it makes you feel better it may be worth a try. However, be smart… if there’s little or no activity in the first two weeks, reduce the asking price. Our best advice is to listen to – and trust – your listing agent. After all, they’re the professional, not you. Either way, remember this: If you aren’t prepared to have a good long discussion on price with your Boston area real estate agent or if you’re wavering on the listing price, follow your instincts and realize you may not actually be ready to sell yet.
Plan for What do to After the Sale
We recently heard a story regarding the sellers of a home who decided to sell because their local market was enjoying higher than normal sales prices. They had previously tried to sell their home just six months earlier, but with no success. As they prepared to list their home for a second time they performed a variety of work. They had the home painted, they made necessary repairs, and had even put some of their excess belongings in storage to make their home more presentable to prospective buyers. Going on the Boston area real estate market, for them, was easy.
What the sellers of the home didn’t expect, however, was three offers within a matter of hours following the first open house showing. All three offers were more than the asking price. The buyers the sellers chose wanted to close the sale in thirty days. Ordinarily that’s a great combination – a sales price higher than the asking price, and a closing date in a matter of a few weeks. However, there was just one small problem: The sellers, once they moved, had nowhere to go. Due to poor planning – or a lack of a plan altogether – these sellers achieved what they set out to do, but failed miserably on the next step of what to do after the sale. Let’s continue to read what happened next.
Prepare to Negotiate
The new purchasers decided to try to see if they could arrange terms that would better suit their situation. The listing agent was able to negotiate a quick close including a 30-day-free rent-back arrangement, and an additional 30 days rent in which the sellers agreed to pay the buyer’s PITI payment. With the aid of quick thinking and good negotiating, the sellers and their agent were able to come up with an arrangement that was a “win-win” for both parties.
The lesson here is to be prepared to negotiate what you – and the other party – may want or need to have a successful sale.
In Doubt? Stay Out!
Homes can sell fairly quickly in the Boston area real estate market. Of course, that’s good news for the housing market. However, sellers should plan for their sale several months in advance. It should rarely, if ever, be a spur of the moment decision.
Utilizing a knowledgeable real estate agent early in the planning process is a good first step. Your agent can walk you through what you should do and what to expect. Lastly, here’s one simple, but vital piece of advice. If you are in doubt about whether to sell, if you have concerns about your physical, emotional or financial abilities in preparing to sell, or if you have any hesitation at all – don’t list your home yet. You can always enter the Boston area real estate market at a later date when and if the time is right for you.
You can find more articles pertaining to home selling tips in the Boston Home Selling Tips section of our site below Boston Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.