Selling Your Home In Todays Real Estate Market

selling your home

If you are in a situation when you really need to sell your Massachusetts home (e.g., relocation, change in family status, purchased another home), and you are not listing your home as of today, here are some strategies to will get you started. While these strategies are in no particular order, Your listing PRICE is probably most important right now. Price your home competitively – now is NOT the time to try to get what your neighbor got for their identical house two years ago, just won’t happen. Real Estate prices have been plummeting annually.

The comparables are important, but you also need to know what is going on in the real estate market today. If home prices are shifting down, comparables 3-6 months ago may distort the price. Neither YOU or your AGENT determines the sale price – the market actually does. A very effective strategy is to price your home lower than the competition. Variable Range Marketing (VMR) - using a price range - is worth your consideration and may be the best pricing strategy. Ask your REALTOR for any additional information.

Hire a strong REALTOR – don’t try to sell on your own home to save a few thousand dollars. It simply will not work, except in very rare cases. Interview several Agents and pick the one with a strong Internet and print marketing plan (in writing), and experience with selling in this market today. Ask for references. A Realtor with a CRS and/or a GRI is a strong contender. Don't hire the Agent who promises to get you a certain price for your home (they can’t promise what happens in a real estate market). Also, don't choose the Agent who suggests the highest price for your home.

Remember point #1. Make sure there is a well-developed marketing plan – maximum exposure is the key, in this time of huge inventory. There must be a strong and varied Internet presence, along with the traditional methods of real estate marketing. You will want a Broker Open House early on. Ask for a written plan with dates. Agree on how your Agent will communicate feedback with you and when, and enforce this plan! Photos of your home must be outstanding and there should be plenty of them! The MLS listing must be accurate, without typos, and should contain lots of information about your home.

Stage your house to sell – Your home (since you are moving) now becomes a house…a product…a piece of merchandise that must be marketed. Staging is not decorating, and is not its condition. Your house needs to appeal to a broad spectrum of Buyers, and you don’t want them distracted by your clutter and all the personal trappings of how you live (photos, knick knacks, trophies, etc); they need to envision themselves living there. Don’t start showing your property until everything looks fabulous, inside and out, unless you absolutely cannot avoid it. If the house is vacant, it needs to be staged. National stats indicate that, on average, staged houses sell much sooner and for more money.

Consider a home inspection before you list your home – Learn what problems your home might have (particularly important if you have owned your home for more than a few years) and take care of these issues, particularly the obvious defects. This will be reassuring to Buyers and it may take away some of the points of post-inspection negotiation (Buyers will still likely do their own home inspection). Obvious defects cause Buyers to suspect there are other hidden problems and this translates into lower offers.

Be flexible – You don’t want showings 24/7 and you don't restrict them to 2 hours per day or weekends only. Agents (with Buyers) need full access to your home, so determine what is reasonable with your Agent, and be prepared to make some reasonable exceptions (e.g., an out-of-town Buyer). Make sure the front door key works properly. Get your pets out of the house or yard – not allowing Buyers into the back yard because of a loud or rowdy dog is discouraging to all Buyers.

Be fully prepared to negotiate – Buyers expect it these days and they will likely bring you a less-than-full-price offer, and probably ask for some sort of reduction in your listing price.


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Hi Dave,

I just wanted to write a quick thank you for your work inspecting 43 1/2 Bartholomew Street in Peabody yesterday. As a buyer in the process of trying to purchase my first home, it's been difficult to know who to trust. I honestly cannot believe some of the stuff I've run into, so I had to write & let you know that I found you professional, competent, & all around above par. In all of the people I've had to deal with up to this point, you were one of the few that actually took the time to explain things in a way that an inexperienced first time home buyer would understand. I never once felt rushed or talked down to.

Based on your inspection, I've decided not to purchase the home at 43 1/2 Bartholomew Street. I will however, continue to look & will hopefully find a house more suited to my needs in the near future. When that happens I will be calling on your expertise once again. In the meantime, I will certainly recommend you to any of my family & friends that may need a home inspection.

Thanks again,

Lisa G.


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Last updated on  Feb 11, 2020