Boston condos for sale: Sellers avoid these mistakes
When you begin the process of selling your home, anticipating obstacles before they arise is vital.
Since selling your Boston Back Bay home can be a lengthy process that involves choosing an agent, estimating costs, preparing your home, setting the price, and finally finding the right buyer, the consequences of a mistake along the way can have wide-ranging implications.
Here are the most common mistakes sellers make and how you can avoid them.
Choose a real estate agent who has your best interests at heart. Usually, an agent will charge a percentage of the sales price (around 5-6 percent), while others may charge a flat fee. Most agents’ commission is negotiable.
To ensure you select the right real estate agent, make a shortlist of agents in your area and interview them.
Check their credentials, get references from their past clients, and make sure they have experience selling houses in your area and within your price point. For instance, if you live in New York, interview a few Charlotte NC realtors before you make a decision.
Although many Boston Seaport condo sellers don’t realize it, selling a home is costlier than just the agent’s 5-6 percent commission. When you take closing costs, repairs, and other concessions to the buyer into account, a seller is actually looking at around 10 percent.
If, for instance, you have to move into your newly-purchased home before selling your old one, you’ll have to pay two mortgages, as well as other costs and repairs (like HOA fees, taxes, storage, and utilities).
Although everyone wants the best price for their Boston downtown condo sale, the amount you want and what the market will pay may be two very different figures.
Setting the right price for your home is a balancing act – you want to hit the “sweet spot” between asking too much or too little. If you can’t find that sweet spot, you may find yourself leaving money on the table or leaving your home to sit on the market for too long.
It’s a good idea to look at comparable houses to yours, or “comps.” Estate agents use these “comps” to get an idea of what your house is worth based on other homes in the area of similar size.
However, bear in mind that no two comps are exactly alike, so differences need to be accounted for and represented in the selling price.
While the highest offer for your home is exciting, it’s not always the best offer for your needs. In a real estate sale, it’s common for there to be contingencies – or conditions – that need to be met before the buyer will close the deal.
These contingencies are put in place to protect the buyer’s interests. For instance, financing contingencies and inspection contingencies can impact the timeline, certainty, and complexity of the sale.
For example, a buyer may make a high offer on your home that is subject to the buyer selling their existing house, or a buyer may make a high offer contingent to repair credits.
Selling a Boston condo can be a challenging experience, and it can be particularly confusing if you have never done it before. Many inexperienced sellers make tiny blunders that end up costing them a lot of money or dragging out the process even longer. First-time home sellers who are selling real estate in downtown Boston need to be careful to avoid these mistakes.
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1. Pricing the Home Too High
Most sellers know buyers will attempt to negotiate them down to a lower price, so they try to keep the closing price from going too low by starting with a rather high price. However, buyers typically shop by looking at all available homes within a set price range. Those in a higher price range may be disappointed if your home is lacking luxury goods, while condo buyers who would like the property might not even look at it if the asking price seems too high.
Sellers frequently assume they can show their Boston Fenway condominium as-is because they think buyers will focus more on architectural features than décor. The reality is that first impressions make a huge difference. It is a good idea to clean the home thoroughly, paint it in neutral colors, and stage it with stylish yet subdued décor. Making the home look appealing to a wide range of people encourages buyers to picture themselves living in the home so they are more likely to make an offer.
The thought of having to spruce up the house and clear time in your busy schedule to show it may seem terribly inconvenient, but many buyers want to view the property on their own time instead of visiting a scheduled open house crowded with other potential buyers. Having a flexible schedule and always agreeing to showings even if they seem inconvenient may attract more interest in your home.
In the modern housing market, most buyers are wary of anything that will be high maintenance. If they can choose between a home that needs some repairs or a home that is ready to move into, buyers will typically go for the latter. Updated kitchens, new roofs, and hardwood flooring all provide a big return on investment because they increase the home’s value.
Selling during winter or summer is a huge mistake if you want to sell your home quickly or have a lot of motivated buyers offering good prices. Most home sales happen in the spring because buyers want to purchase a home after the new year for tax purposes and move in by summer vacation. Autumn can also be a good time because people are often in a hurry to move before winter.
If you’re interested in buying or selling condos, penthouses, or lofts in downtown Boston make sure you have a reliable real estate agent on your side. We can be reached at 617-595-3712
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