A Seller’s Quick Guide to Getting More Money for Your Massachusetts Home

Selling your home can be difficult but figuring out how to optimize the amount of money you will net from the sale might be even harder.

Home prices have continued to increase through 2020 and many experts agree that prices could continue to climb into 2021. However, increasing home prices isn’t always indicative of higher profits. In fact, home price growth may lower the number of potential buyers.

With the market changing constantly, it’s more important than ever to have the right team in place to help you navigate the sales process.

Recent data shows that owners who used a real estate agent sold their home for almost $77,000 more than if they sold it themselves.

Lisa Berry and the team at Simply Sell Realty is one of Boston’s preferred real estate brokerage firms that has helped hundreds of homeowners sell their homes faster and for more money.

If you are looking to sell your Massachusetts home but are having trouble figuring out just where to start, here is a quick guide that can help you earn more money on your next sale.

Price Your Home Right

Once you have made the decision to sell your home, the most important thing you should do is make sure you price it right. Pricing your home right, the first time will maximize the number of buyers interested in your property.

Start by talking with your agent about what you are hoping to get out of your home. Share any preliminary research you may find relevant.

Note that while many real estate listing platforms such as Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com offer a general ballpark of what your home could be worth, these numbers can fluctuate from site to site. Don’t just go with any ballpark figure. Instead, run the numbers.

Sit down with your agent and have them run a competitive market analysis to help determine your home’s current market value. They will pull comparable properties in your neighborhood and analyze key factors to help determine the perfect listing price.

Keep in mind a variety of factors come into play when pricing a home. For example, if you are moving to a new home but need to sell your current home first, lowering the listing price slightly may attract more buyers and allow you to close faster.

Prepare Your Home to Sell

Almost equally as important as figuring out the right price for your Massachusetts home is preparing your home to sell.

In many ways, the preparation phase helps set the timeline for your entire sales transaction. Thus, it’s important to discuss with your realtor the things you need to do to optimize your chances of receiving multiple offers.

Deep Clean

One of the simplest ways to get your home ready to sell is to roll up your sleeves and give it a good deep clean. This is also a great opportunity to purge and declutter. Make sure to rearrange any furniture or move anything that could obstruct accessibility.

Stage Your Home Right

Many sellers neglect to properly stage their home before putting it on the market. However, data shows that staged homes sell for 17% more on average compared to non-staged homes3. When in doubt, lean on your real estate agent to help you achieve that picture-perfect look.

Whether you choose to traditionally stage your home or go the virtual route, it’s also important to keep decor and colors neutral. Also, consider removing personal effects such as pictures, framed certificates, and eclectic pieces of art.

Review and Negotiate Offers

After your home is properly priced, staged, and listed, your realtor will keep you informed when new offers start pouring in. It’s important to review each new offer with your realtor so you can make a more informed decision.

Just because you receive an offer at or above your asking price doesn’t mean it’s always the best offer. Your realtor should educate you on the terms presented and how the offer fairs with respect to the local market.

Evaluate Contingencies

One of the first things you will want to evaluate, outside the purchase price, are any stipulated contingencies. If you are looking to move rather quickly or selling your home ‘as is’ it might not be optimal to accept an offer contingent on multiple inspections or repairs.

If the buyer does request specific items be changed or repaired, consider if it may be worth it to you to repair or if it may be more advantageous to negotiate some sort of seller’s credit.

Lastly, you should note if any earnest money is being offered with the deal. If a buyer is willing to put more money on the line it should mean they are serious about buying your home.

Cash vs Financing

When reviewing an offer, it’s important to note if the buyer is looking to pay cash for your home or if they will need financing. Roughly 87% of buyers use some sort of financing to purchase a new home.

If financing is being utilized, look to make sure the type of mortgage, rate, and payment align with reasonable market rates. Also weight these factors against any preapproval letter that accompanied the offer.

Another thing to consider is how much the borrower will be putting down for their initial down payment. Typically, more money down means a better chance they will be approved for financing.

If a buyer decides to use cash, expect less hoops to jump through since there won’t be a lender involved in the transaction. Subsequently, cash offers usually close faster than those requiring financing.

Close the Deal

After you have discussed your respective offers with your realtor, it’s time to accept the best one that gets you the most bang for your buck.

Keep in mind that the average cost to sell a home is usually between 5-6% of the purchase price, but this does not factor in any repairs, renovation, or seller concessions.

Once you have an accepted offer you will want to start getting your things packed up and moved out (if your home isn’t vacant). Make sure you also keep up with any minor maintenance that may need attention.

While you prepare to move, your realtor should be coordinating with you and keeping you updated on the sales process including inspection appointments, the status of the borrowers financing, and estimated closing date.

As your closing date rolls around, show up on time and with proper identification. The closing agent and your realtor will explain the entire process. After the paperwork is signed, you are all set.

Make sure to celebrate making it through the sales process, closing the deal, and selling your home faster and for more money!

Estimated Costs

Whether you live in Wellesley or Bellingham, there will be costs with selling your home. Here is a quick snapshot of some of the costs that go into a typical sale, based on the typical median home value of $217,000 in the United States.

  • $150-250 Cleaning Costs
  • $4,000 Home Maintenance and Improvements
  • $500-2,000 Escrow and Attorney Fees
  • $13,020 Buyer/Sellers Agent Commissions
  • $4.56 per $1000 Tax Stamps

Ready to make a move?

Whether you are looking to sell your current home or purchase a new home, take the first step and contact us. With over 20 years of experience, we will help you navigate the process with ease.