If you’ve looked at listings of Boston area homes for sale, no doubt you’ve seen a variety of homes on the market – some that have been prepped for sale and others that probably shouldn’t be listed yet. Ultimately, how your home is presented for sale will determine whether it will sell in a timely manner and at a good price. Let’s take a closer look at several steps you should take before you decide to try and sell Boston area homes and do so in a timely manner.
NOTE: 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 sellers, we offer these tips to anyone trying to sell Boston area homes as a courtesy service.
To properly sell your house takes the right combination of preparation, time and patience. If you’re a first-time home seller the process can be a little overwhelming, but it’s not a daunting task if you know what to do to get your home ready to put on the market. Observe these tips as you prepare to sell Boston area homes:
Know Your Home’s Value
In today’s “information age,” there’s really little excuse for having a pretty good idea of what your home is worth. Online websites like ours provide good information regarding your home’s value based on estimates of comparable sales data of homes for sale that are similar in size, location and age. Most websites are easy to navigate and offer users the opportunity to see recent real estate sales in the market categorized by zip codes, neighborhoods and sales price ranges. One tip: Be sure to concentrate only on actual sales prices versus listing or asking prices. In addition, give consideration to what it would cost to perform needed repairs, upgrades, or improvements and factor those deductions into your home’s value.
Visiting this or other real estate websites will give you at least a ballpark idea of what your home is worth compared to others on the market when thinking about how best to sell Boston area homes. You can then use this information prior to discussing sales price strategy with a real estate professional – or negotiating with a prospective purchaser.
Have Your Paperwork Ready
To ensure the smoothest sale and closing transaction experience, it’s best to anticipate paperwork needs and be prepared. Experts say you should be aware of any existing title issues when you get ready to sell your house, including any outstanding liens, mechanic’s liens, or unpaid property taxes. Gather pertinent information concerning the ownership of your home including lending documents, the previous home inspection, and pest control inspection report. Also, in order to convey a clear, marketable title to the purchasers of your home, make sure you have a death certificate, will, or affidavit of heirship if the home is in a deceased person’s name. In addition, in the case of shared ownership, have the written consent of all owners – and any additional paperwork or documentation that may be relevant to the home and your ability to sell it smoothly and quickly.
Select the Method of Sale
The decision to sell Boston area homes should include choosing the method of sale that best suits your needs. As the home seller, you can retain the services of a real estate professional to list your home and put it on the market. Using a real estate agent is a popular choice for home sellers who want to place their faith in the hands of a professional real estate salesperson, trained and experienced in selling homes for a living. It’s also a good choice for sellers who want to capitalize on the highest value their home can command and those who can afford to wait a few months, if necessary, to consummate the sale. Having your home in tip-top shape is key in having it listed by a professional real estate agent. They deal in attracting residential buyers serious about making a purchase. So, a property in optimum shape will likely get the most attention and the most prospects. If there are repairs or upgrades required you can always list the property and note the items you are willing to pay for or have completed prior to the closing of the sale.
Conversely, you can choose to sell your home directly by “For Sale by Owner,” in which case you’ll be responsible for coordinating and scheduling showings, fielding phone calls and other inquiries and marketing your home for sale in all the normal and traditional channels.
As a third alternative, you can consider selling your home directly to an investor – especially if your property needs extensive repairs, or if you need to sell it quickly for various reasons. Investors who purchase property tend to pay cash, are ready to close relatively quickly to bring the property to proper standards if they plan to rent it out, or improve the house and try to then resell it at a profit, a practice known as “flipping” a home. Lastly, anyone choosing to sell Boston area homes to an investor needs to be aware they are usually skilled negotiators and may have a better idea of what your property is worth than you do. So, be smart. Negotiate items like closing costs or other costs if you can. You may want to make a quick sale, but be careful not to leave too much money on the table, if at all possible.
Clean up, Straighten up and Keep it Neat
Although this particular tip for listing your house among the homes for sale seems like a “no-brainer,” you’d be surprised at how often it’s overlooked. Make sure your house and yard are tidy, neat and clean to make them more presentable to prospective buyers. The home shoppers visiting your house will perceive the home as more valuable in a clean, organized condition. In addition, having “a place for everything and everything in its place” will promote the perception the house is well-maintained and the sellers have an eye for detail. This perception will likely make the home more attractive to like-minded purchasers.
See more articles pertaining to ways to sell Boston area homes in the two sections of articles on Boston Home Selling Tips and Boston Homes for Sale just below Boston Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.