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Mistakes Boston Condo Sellers Need to Avoid

Bathrooms and kitchens sell Boston condos because they are the most costly and troublesome to renovate. However, if you splurge on custom finishes, lighting, tile, and other housing components that are too custom for the majority of people, you’re not likely to recoup your money. Figure out a reasonable budget for your kitchen and/or bath that will add value, not exceed the return and cost you money in the end

No matter what’s going on in the Boston condo for sale market, the process of selling a home can be challenging.  As the summer comes to a close, and the Boston condo sale season begins its kick-off, we thought we would outline some common mistakes to avoid in this blog post.

The road to the closing table can be riddled with obstacles — from issues with showings and negotiations to inspection surprises. But many of these complications are avoidable, in this Boston Real Estate Blog post we will explore some pitfalls to avoid.

Listed below are some common mistakes that many home sellers make. These mistakes can cause anxiety, cost you time, and shrink your financial proceeds. Fortunately, we can help you avert these missteps and set you up for a successful and low-stress selling experience.

MISTAKE #1: Setting an Unrealistic Boston Condo Price

Many Boston condominium sellers believe that pricing their homes high and waiting for the “right buyers” to come along will net them the most money. However, overpriced homes often sit on the market with little activity, which can be the kiss of death in this real estate market.

Alternatively, if you price your home at (or sometimes slightly below) market value, it can increase your likelihood of receiving multiple offers.

To help you set a realistic price from the start, with a comparative market analysis, or CMA. This integral piece of research will help us determine an ideal listing price based on the amount that similar properties have recently sold for in your area.

Without this data, you risk pricing your home too high (and getting no offers) or too low (and leaving money on the table). You find that sweet spot that will draw in buyers without undercutting your profits.

MISTAKE #2: Trying to Time the Market

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Buy low and sell high.” But when it comes to real estate, that’s easier said than done.

Delaying your home sale until prices have hit their peak may sound like a great idea. But sellers should keep these factors in mind:

Predicting the market with certainty is nearly impossible.

If you wait to buy your next home, its price could increase as well. This may erode any additional proceeds from your sale.

If mortgage rates are rising, like they are today, your pool of potential buyers could shrink — and you would have to pay more to finance your next purchase.

Instead of trying to time the market, choose your ideal sales timeline. This may be based on factors like your personal financial situation, shifting family dynamics, or the seasonal patterns in your neighborhood. We can help you figure out the best time to sell given your individual circumstances.

MISTAKE #3: Failing to Address Needed Condo Repairs

Many Boston condo sellers hope that buyers won’t notice their leaky faucet or broken floor tiles during home showings. But minor issues like these can leave buyers worrying about more serious — and costly — problems lurking out of sight.

Even if you do receive an offer, there’s a high likelihood that the buyer will hire a professional home inspector, who will flag any defects in their report. Neglecting to address a major issue could lead buyers to ask for costly repairs, money back, or worse yet, walk away from the purchase altogether.

To avoid these types of disruptions, it’s important to make necessary renovations before your home hits the market. We can help you decide which repairs and updates are worth your time and investment. In some cases, we may recommend a professional pre-listing inspection.

This extra time and attention can help you avoid potential surprises down the road and identify any major structural, system, or cosmetic faults that could impact a future sale.3

MISTAKE #4:  Neglecting to Stage Your Home

Staging is the act of preparing your home for potential buyers. The goal is to “set the stage” to help a Boston Condo buyer envision themselves living in your home. Some sellers opt to skip this step, but that mistake can cost them time and money in the long run. A 2021 survey by the Real Estate Staging Association found that, on average, staged homes sold nine days faster and for $40,000 over list price.

Indoors, staging could include everything from redecorating, painting, or rearranging your furniture pieces to removing personal items, decluttering, and deep cleaning. Outdoors, you might focus on power washing, planting flowers, or hanging a wreath on the front door.

You may not need to do all these tasks, but almost every home can benefit from some form of staging. Before your home hits the market, we can refer you to a professional stager or offer our insights and suggestions if you prefer the do-it-yourself route.

MISTAKE #5: Evaluating Offers on Price Alone

When reviewing offers, most Boston high-rise condo sellers focus on one thing: the offer price. While dollar value is certainly important, a high-priced offer is worthless if the deal never reaches the closing table. That’s why it’s important to consider other factors in addition to the offer price, such as:

  • Financing and buyer qualifications
  • Deposit size
  • Contract contingencies
  • Closing date
  • Leaseback options

Depending on your circumstances, some of these factors may or may not be important to you. For example, if you’re still shopping for your next home, you might place a high premium on an offer that allows for a flexible closing date or leaseback option.

Buyers and their agents are focused on crafting deals that work well for them. We can help you assess your needs and goals to select an offer that works best for you.

MISTAKE #6: Acting on Emotion Instead of Reason

It’s only natural to grow emotionally attached to your home. That’s why so many sellers end up feeling hurt or offended at some point during the selling process. Low offers can feel like insults. Repair requests can feel like judgments. And whatever you do — don’t listen in on showings through your security monitoring system. Chances are, some buyers won’t like your décor choices, either!

However, it’s a huge mistake to ruin a great selling opportunity because you refuse to counter a low offer or negotiate minor repairs. Instead, try to keep a cool head and be willing to adjust reasonably to make the sale. We can help you weigh your decisions and provide rational advice with your best interests in mind.

MISTAKE #7: Not Hiring a Boston condo Agent

There’s a good reason 90% of homeowners choose to sell with the help of a real estate agent. Homes listed by agents sold for 22% more than the average for-sale-by-owner home, according to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors.

Selling a home on your own may seem like an easy way to save money. But in reality, there is a steep learning curve. And a listing agent can:

  • Skip past time-consuming problems
  • Use market knowledge to get the best price
  • Access contacts and networks to speed up the selling process

If you choose to work with a listing agent, you’ll save significant time and effort while minimizing your personal risk and liability. And the increased profits realized through a more effective marketing and negotiation strategy could more than make up for the cost of your agent’s commission.

We can navigate the ins and outs of the housing market for you and make your selling process as stress-free as possible. You may even end up with an offer for your home that’s better than you expected.

BYPASS THE PITFALLS WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE GUIDE

Your home selling journey doesn’t have to be hard. When you hire us as your listing agent, we’ll develop a customized sales plan to help you get top dollar for your home without any undue risk, stress, or aggravation. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, reach out today to schedule a free consultation and home value assessment.

Sources:

 

1.     The Washington Post

2.     Realtor.com 

 

3.     National Association of Realtors

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1. Not Dealing With Clutter, Grime, and Odors in your Condo

One of the biggest turn-offs for potential homebuyers is a house that’s cluttered, dirty, and filled with odd or unpleasant odors. When placing your home on the market for sale, the best practice always is to put its best “face” forward.

Buyers also prefer homes without personal items strewn about, and homes that are clean with pleasant smells (but make sure not to go overboard with scents!). Even if your home isn’t move-in ready, and is in need of minor or major renovations, there’s no reason it can’t be clean.

2. Staying in the Home During Showings

It can be tempting to want to stay and tell potential buyers about the many wonderful features of your home. However, this is rarely a good idea. Let your real estate agent show your home.

He or she will answer any questions the potential homebuyers have and will ensure that all the important selling points are made. Homebuyers generally feel uncomfortable when the home seller stays behind, chatting about the new flooring or amazing storage space the attic provides. Step out, and let your agent sell your home.

3. Failing to Complete Disclosures Before Closing

Hiding issues with the property from your real estate agent or potential buyers never end well for you, the seller. Being upfront about any issues in your home will likely save you time and money in the end.

Having the buyer uncover an issue on their own is not good for business, but if it is something you have missed, you should be willing to cover the repairs in some way.

For example, if there’s a leak in the roof, it’s best to disclose it early. The buyer may ask for it to be repaired prior to closing as part of the negotiations or work the repair cost into the final sale price.

4. Refusing to Negotiate Real Estate Issues

Selling requires hard work and patience. Make sure you aren’t making it any harder than it needs to be!

When selling your home it’s best to remember that this is a business transaction and sentiment needs to be left at the door. Negotiation is typically a part of selling and/or buying a home and doesn’t always mean a back-and-forth of numbers.

Often times a potential buyer will ask the seller to perform minor repairs as part of the deal. These may include things like fixing a broken window or replacing lost roof shingles.

However, as the seller, you can opt to not do the repairs or you can counter by offering to include the estimated repair cost in the final sale. Offering to pay the estimated repair cost may satisfy the buyer because they’ll feel the issue was addressed and they were compensated.

Rely on your real estate agent when it’s time for negotiations; they know the ins and outs and will work to get you the best deal.

5. Overpricing the Home

As mentioned in #4, selling a home is a business transaction. Your real estate agent will understand your home has sentimental value to you, but you have remembered that sentiment doesn’t mean anything to buyers. Most buyers won’t care this was the home in which the major life events occurred. Listen to your agent who knows the market, the neighborhood, and the comps.

It’s good to have an idea of what your home may be worth, but your agent will be able to help you set the best price to sell that property as quickly as possible.

6. Limiting Market Exposure

It’s no longer enough to put a “For Sale” sign in the front yard and an ad in the real estate section of the local newspaper. Millions of existing homes are sold each year — that’s a lot of homes on the market. To sell your home quickly, it’s essential to have exposure. A qualified real estate agent will market your home so you don’t have to. Marketing includes:

  • Taking high-quality photos of both the interior and exterior to show the home to its best advantage
  • Hosting an open house explicitly for other area realtors
  • Hosting an open house for potential buyers
  • Using cross-channel marketing: posting on social media, using mobile apps, and utilizing internet appeal to its fullest

Every home seller wants their property to sell quickly and for top dollar. Make that dream come true by working to avoid these top six home seller mistakes.

updated 2020

What Stays and What Goes When a Home Sells?

What stays and what goes when a Boston condo sells can be a source of major headaches. What may seem clear can quickly become muddy especially if communication breaks down between buyer and seller. Generally, if an item is fastened or attached to the property, it’s considered a fixture and should transfer with it. Things screwed, nailed, bolted, glued…typically transfer. Things hung, leaning against, freestanding next to…typically don’t. As with everything real estate, no two scenarios are the same 

Do Home Appliances Transfer When a Home Sells?

What stays and what goes when a home sells

Boston condos for sale

Well…mostly yes. Built-ins like dishwashers, ovens, microwaves transfer. Sellers typically dictate refrigerators, washers and dryers which are not necessarily built-in. However, what about a wine chiller?  Sellers must be very specific about what they want to take, buyers very specific about what they want to keep.

Do the Chandeliers & Light Fixtures Transfer with the Condominium?

What remains with a home at sale is a frequent source of contention. Most issues can be avoided with a thorough seller’s disclosure and clear, written communication between the parties during the course of the contract. Assumptions are the enemy of a successful transaction.

Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line

Avoid the six biggest mistakes home sellers make so you can make the sale and move on to the next chapter of your life. This can mean the difference between having your home sit on the market and a quicker sale that meets or even exceeds your asking price.

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