I know it is difficult to think about the Fall Real Estate Market when the temperature is an unbearable 5 degrees outside. However, to all homeowners of Brookline, Boston, Newton and Needham, if you are considering to Sell this Fall or in early 2015, this is the time to start preparing. I may be one of those people, and I cringe to think about preparing for it. However, THIS IS STILL A SELLER’S MARKET BECAUSE THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INVENTORY FOR THE ENORMOUS NUMBER OF BUYERS. So if you are one of those lucky people who wants to Sell this Fall or early in 2015, you should do Very Well.
It may be an overwhelming thought to anticipate a new chapter in your life, but at the same time, it is healthier if you treat it as an exciting adventure and challenge. Planning ahead is half of the secret, and yet there are five major points to keep in mind.
DECLUTTER: OY VEY!!!!! My Mother’s rule of thumb was, “If you haven’t used it or worn it in two years, Give it Up.” So buy four large storage Boxes and a ton of huge Garbage Bags and label them:
1. Keep and Store for new Home.
2. Donate/Give away
3. Tag/Garage Sale
4. Consignment (There are several good shops in the area. I keep a list for my clients.)
and then a Huge Garbage Bag to
5. THROW IT OUT.
START MAKING MINOR REPAIRS
1. Start inside the house in the cold weather and make a list of everything that does not work or is visually disturbing to the naked eye. Hire a fix-it person, plumber or electrician to fix these issues. I compile a list for my clients, but you can also check on Annie’s List or through friends.
2. As the season warms up, do the same outside so you are ready for the selling season. That list can be prepared now but reserved for later.
Remember, everything you can see or test that is defective, will probably be discovered later in an inspection and possibly used against you in negotiations. IT IS CHEAPER TO PAY FOR IT NOW THAN TO PAY FOR IT IN YOUR SALES PRICE NEGOTIATIONS.
START CONSIDERING AN AGENT
Ask for Recommendations. Check the Internet. Interview a few Agents until you find the Agent you believe is the right one. The Right Agent is someone who has experience, who knows the local market, whom you believe you can trust, who seems open, sincere and communicative, who has great Internet assets and advertising skills (not all agents are savvy with respect to this), and whom you believe will work very hard for you. It is often NOT the Famous agent. It is most often the Energetic, Intelligent, Internet Savvy one who is Up with the Times, not the old-fashioned agent who thinks it all comes to them.
STUDY THE MARKET
Studying the present market will help you not over-price your house. If you have time, get hooked up to MLS (the Multiple Listing Service) through your agent to understand the market for YOUR house as well as the new home you wish to buy. ONLY MLS is 100% accurate. All other sites feed out of MLS so their information is delayed and inaccurate. Be aware that agents often keep listings on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com after they are under agreement so that they can advertise themselves. I get countless calls from buyers about listings on these sites that are no longer valid.
PRICING YOUR HOME
The markets in Brookline, Newton, Needham, Jamaica Plain, and Cambridge are STRONG. THIS IS STILL A SELLER’S MARKET BECAUSE THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INVENTORY. This means that WELL-PRICED properties that are UPDATED go very quickly, often within the first two weeks. The majority of Buyers want a home that is ready to go and needs little work. Those who want a home that needs work expect, regardless of the price, to pay less than asking. Your agent can explain more about this as you prepare to sell.
When you are selecting a price with your agent, remember the rule of thumb. If you have time to spare and are in no hurry to sell, you can price your house too high and see if there is some fool out there who will buy it. Unfortunately, in this scenario, you property will often get stale quickly and see no action. Then the Buyers looking for a bargains, surface and start negotiating much lower prices.
However, if you trust your agent’s value for your house, the best and fastest way to sell your house or condo is to price it accurately by or a little below value to attract buyers and allow for negotiations over asking price. The first two weeks on the market is crucial. It must be timed to include Broker open houses and a well-designed weekend of open houses. A WELL-PRICED home in Brookline should sell fast and have lots of interest. This is bound to happen because there is simply too much demand and too many buyers out there.
Luxury Homes Specialist