Massachusetts Real Estate - Selling

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Selling your home for Top Dollar

First and foremost of course is to set down a series of objectives.
I like to call this the Ultimate Scenario.

An Ultimate Scenario would be something like this...
"Our ultimate scenario would be to sell our home for $450,000 or more and have the closing take place at the end of June when the kids get out of school, but to be allowed to rent the home back from the buyers until July 8th because we're going on vacation."

With this goal set up in advance, we can custom tailor a marketing plan so that it gives us the best possible opportunity to try and achieve the Ultimate Scenario. For example, if this were January, we may put the home on the market higher than normal. In this case, we're not looking for a "quick sale." If someone should offer you $456,000 with a May closing, you can now sit down and evaluate whether or not that's right for your family.

Once you have your Ultimate Scenario laid down, its time to move on to the remaining issues of Selecting a Realtor, Establishing Price, & Preparing for the Sale

Factor #1 - Selecting your Realtor

I can't stress enough how critical the selection of a Realtor is towards your success in satisfying your ultimate objective. There are many different guidelines which you may want to examine, but above all, in my opinion, the single most important criteria is pure and simply Sales Volume. The agents who are Selling More homes are more qualified to Sell yours.  For info on Realtor Selection, check out the Video's by clicking HERE.

Remember, selecting an agent is NOT a beauty contest. You are putting the biggest investment of your life on the line. Now is not the time when you hand that investment over to somebody without the skills to handle it.
Funny thing is, I see that happen all the time. The homeowners list their home with the friend of their manicurist who just got their real estate license, and then they wonder why it hasn't sold. They called on an add in the newspaper and next thing you know that agents sign is on the lawn. It's actually an amazing sequence of events, that left unchecked can sometimes lead to disaster.

Factor #2 - Establishing the proper selling price.

This is always an interesting topic. Here again, relying on the experience of an agent with a proven track record is key. Each case is different, depending on the time of year, your personal goals, and your ultimate scenario, but in the end the goals are usually the same; Getting as much money as possible, in as little time as possible, with as little aggravation as possible.

The 2 Dangers you face are Overpricing and Underpricing

Underpricing your home has obvious consequences.
If you get 3 full price offers on your home the first day, you probably underpriced it.

Remember, an analysis of previous sales alone does NOT determine your homes value in today's marketplace. You must also consider "trending" and "future market options" in order to ensure that you set the price at precisely the right level.

Overpricing on the other hand can be just as bad.
By overpricing your home, several bad things can happen;

You can cause it to sit on the market for longer than necessary and it get's stale, or  you can "miss the market" entirely while waiting for a Buyer.

Avoiding Underpricing and Overpricing 

Again I always come back to the same point. By utilizing the skills of an agent with proven expertise in pricing and marketing you can't go wrong. Selling houses fast is easy, selling them fast and at a great price is another story. That takes a true professional. Check out the VIDEO.

Factor #3 Preparing your home for the sale

This is the easiest one because in many cases it's also the most obvious. Here's Ten Tips for preparing your home for showings. Many of them seem like common sense, but they're all very important to ensuring a Top Dollar Sale.

#1 The way you live in a house and the way you sell a house are two different things. You're not trying to portray a "home family atmosphere", your trying to create a showplace.

#2 Everything off the Kitchen counters that isn't VITAL to daily existence. That means the Canister set from your grandmother, the cookie jars, the bread maker, the cookbooks, the pile of envelopes. You're moving anyway, now a good time to start packing. The coffee pot and toaster can stay.

#3 Old green and gold carpets? Hardwood underneath? Rip it out! That's right, have people come on over rip out the rug, polish the hardwood and leave. NOT give the buyer a credit towards doing it. Do It! The old adage is, "The Buyer only knows what they see, not the way you say its going to be"

#4 Remove excess furniture. Take the leaf out of the dining room table, put the extra two chairs downstairs in the basement. Nix two of the coffee tables, a bureau or 2, and anything else you can get away with.

#5 Take everything off the refrigerator door, and the top of the fridge too. It should look like a refrigerator, not an art gallery like in "normal peoples home."

#6 Take down almost all of the family pictures. You don't want people staring at pictures of your kids. Especially if they're a young single couple who is not yet in child-mode. One or two is fine.

#7 Paint the Front Door and Trim around it, and perhaps the front foyer as well. It makes a great impression and the Buyers love the smell of new paint. Makes them feel like the home has been renovated.

#8 Energy Savings go out the Window. Can all of those 60 watt bulbs and put in the 100 watt ones. If needed, go through the house and take down any of the little outdated light fixtures.

#9 Get three tubes of caulk and use them all up until they're gone. When in doubt caulk. As a famous lousy carpenter says, there's nothing a good caulking wont fix. Caulk around the bathtubs, caulk where the kitchen and bath counters meet the wall, caulk the door and window moldings throughout at the corners.

#10 Go out and buy one of those cute little potpourri cookers and get some of that pretty Christmas stuff to cook. People will remember that YOUR house was the one that smelled like a Christmas tree.