Below are answers to several frequently asked questions about home selling:
1. How is the market?
There are many different data points we look at when analyzing the real estate market. One thing we can discuss with you is the absorption rate for a given area. This is the rate at which available homes are sold per month (i.e., how quickly the market is "absorbing" home inventory). If we compare this rate of sold homes to the total number of homes currently on the market in a given area, it reveals whether there is an oversupply or undersupply of home inventory. For example, if we see that a town has a large number of homes selling per month compared to a relatively small number of homes available, that would indicate an undersupply of homes (resulting in a competitive, "seller-friendly" market).
2. When is the best time to sell?
Homes sell year-round but we can discuss the pros and cons of listing your home during different seasons and months. Historically springtime has the highest number active buyers and fall is not far behind. Summer can be very strong as well, although some areas might have a slight dip in buyer activity late in the season (as people prepare for the upcoming school year and take end-of-summer vacations, etc). Surprisingly, winter typically has the best ratio of homes available vs buyers (i.e., the least number of available homes compared to a higher number of active buyers) which is great for sellers. We can also discuss more specific considerations, such as why listing in the late winter / early spring has proved advantageous for our sellers.
3. How should I prepare my home for sale?
We can offer specific advice after seeing your home in-person, but "surface-level" improvements that make your home more visually pleasing typically have the best return for your efforts. Buyers like homes that are clean, bright, and open. De-cluttering and deep-cleaning your home is a must, and other relatively easy improvements might be worthwhile as well: painting, staging, refinishing floors, etc. If something in the home is obviously broken or unfinished it is usually worth fixing, but not always.
In addition to de-cluttering and cleaning, below is a list of relatively easy improvements that are often worth undertaking:
- Refinishing floors
- Landscaping (fresh mulch, pruning shrubs, planting flowers)
- Repairing obvious cracks in walkways / front steps
- Washing windows (one of our favorites - good light is so key!)
4. How long will it take to sell my home?
From the time you accept an offer for your home it is typically 45 - 60 days until closing. How long it takes to get that accepted offer is another question altogether. This depends on the overall market, the asking price of your home, and how well your home is marketed to prospective buyers.
5. What price should I list my house for?
Determining the right asking price for your home is an important discussion, and is a topic rife with misconceptions and counter-intuitive ideas. An accurate price analysis of your particular home - based on what other similar homes are selling for - is vitally important. Ultimately the selling price of your home depends on what a buyer will pay for it, so a price analysis must always consider the buyer's perspective. Buyers care about the market and how your home compares to other available homes, but other seemingly-important details often don't matter (e.g., the assessed value for tax purposes, the price per square foot, what you paid for the home or spent on improvements, etc).
After a price analysis, the discussion is often "should we price the home aggressively to get the most interest? Or should we leave room for negotiation?" Whether it's better to price a house on the aggressive side really depends on the overall market. If it is a seller-friendly market (many buyers and a relatively small number of available homes) then an aggressive asking price can actually yield a higher selling price as buyers compete for your home. This may not be the best approach during a buyer's market, however, if we anticipate fewer (and lower) offers. Either way you definitely don't want to overprice your home. Homes that are priced too high sit on the market longer and are more susceptible to lower offers.
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6. What are the costs of selling a home?
Is it worth paying a real estate agent to facilitate the sale of my home? Yes. Statistics show that "for-sale-by-owner" homes (aka FSBO's) consistently sell for thousands less than homes marketed and handled by real estate agents. In addition to agent commissions, sellers' closing costs often include loan payoffs (primary mortgage and/or home equity loans), transfer tax (aka "stamp tax"), attorney fees and notary fees. Transfer tax is paid to the state whenever a property is sold, and is calculated as a percentage of the selling price. The amount is typically $4.56 per $1000 of value (so a home that sells for $500,000 pays $2280).
7. Why should I sell with Longwood Residential?
Nothing beats the specialized knowledge and guidance that a local real estate agency provides. With over 20 years of experience selling properties in Greater Boston, the Longwood Residential team understands the local market like no one else. We draw upon this knowledge and experience to effectively position your property in today's market. No real estate office combines traditional, "tried-and-true" marketing channels with cutting-edge internet and social media marketing as effectively as we do (see examples here!). Over the course of many years we have cultivated a trusted support team to assist with every step of the sales process. From home staging to photography to legal services, we have a network of reliable professionals who can help with anything and everything along the way.
And because we'll get you the highest price with the least amount of stress!
Contact us today! · firstname.lastname@example.org · 617.396.3100
**If you would like to learn the value of your property in today's market, contact us for a no-obligation Comparative Market Analysis.**