Tips for Selling Your Boston Home
As you are considering selling a home in Boston, you likely have many questions about the process. Here are some answers to common questions Boston home sellers face.
(Q): What should I do before I sell my home?
(A): First, even though it is not required, it is highly recommended that you find a reliable real estate agent to help you with the entire process of pricing your home according to its current fair market value, marketing and advertising your home, adding your home into the MLS, holding open houses with potential buyers, etc.
(Q): What is the MLS?
(A): The MLS, or multiple listing service, is a database that holds information for homes that are currently listed on the market for sale. By listing your home on the MLS, you make it easier for potential buyers to find it. Boston home sellers that utilize the MLS often sell their homes more quickly than those who do not.
(Q): What is the fair market value of my Boston home?
(A): Researching comparable sales is the best way to determine the fair market value of your Boston home. Comparable sales are sales of similarly sized /designed homes in your neighborhood. Your real estate agent can pull these for you to look at, or you can research them yourself.
(Q): I have an offer on my home. Do I have to accept it?
(A): No, you are not obligated to accept any offer made on your home. However, if it matches all the conditions in your listing contract with your listing agent, you may still be obligated to pay your real estate agent's commission even if you turn down an offer.
(Q): What information do I have to disclose about my house?
(A): Failure to disclose certain types of information can lead to a lawsuit. All Boston home sellers must fill out a disclosure form outlining details about their home and the condition of important components of the home. If you are aware of structural or safety issues in the property, they will be included in this disclosure.
(Q): Do I need to stage my home?
(A): Staging your home refers to setting the stage for a potential buyer to feel comfortable there. Your home should put its best foot forward for each potential buyer, and the furniture, décor and other belongings in your home need to be attractively and carefully displayed to maximize the use of space in your home.
(Q): What are some ways I can stage my home for sale?
(A): Spruce it up, take out personal items, like family pictures, and de-clutter it. You can make aesthetic improvements to your home that won't cost a fortune (i.e. add fresh paint to walls, improve landscaping in your front yard, clean your carpet, etc.). Finally, choose your real estate agent to market your property for you.
(Q): How do contingencies affect selling a home in Boston?
(A): Contingencies are clauses in a sales contract that place stipulations on whether or not the sale will close. For example, a seller may accept an offer contingent on finding a new home. Accepting an offer with contingencies could increase the chances of having the offer fall through when selling a home in Boston.
(Q): Should I price my house higher in order to leave room for negotiation?
(A): Your home will get the most interest in the first few weeks it is on the market. If it is priced too high, people will ignore it, and you will end up dropping the price. This could backfire later when people wonder what's "wrong" with your home to have caused it to sit on the market for so long.