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The Thick of Things

It is our goal to sell your home in the shortest amount of time, at the highest price, and with the fewest hassles. Scroll down to read about the steps we take to do this, which include:

  • Pricing your home
  • Adjusting the listing price if needed
  • Understanding a seller's vs. a buyer's market
  • Accepting an offer
  • Dealing with the inspection

 

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Pricing Your Home

Comparing properties (in similar condition, size, location, amenities, age, etc.) that have recently sold within your area will help determine the price of your property. Many times owners want to sell their homes based on how much they paid for it, or how much it is worth to them emotionally or financially, or how much they have invested in it (from renovations, for example). Every seller wants to receive as much money as possible from the sale, but if a listing is priced too high, if often ends up selling for less than market value.

If your property is overpriced, buyers may be encouraged to bid on other properties, which means that you are ultimately helping sell someone else’s home. The result of an overpriced listing is often increased market time; and the longer a property sits on the market, the less negotiating power the seller has. Even after the price is adjusted to where it should have been originally, the property is often looked at as a “stale” home: Nobody wants to buy real estate that everyone else has walked away from. So, the result is receiving a lower-priced offer than you had hoped for. In addition, an overpriced property (once it is under agreement) might not appraise as highly with the bank, which gives the buyer the chance to walk away from purchasing the property or to re-negotiate the price down.

An accurate market evaluation is the first step in determining a competitive listing price.

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Showings—Rules of Thumb

If you are getting showings but no one is writing an offer, it  may mean that your home is overpriced.  If you're not even getting requests for showings or your open houses have low attendance, it definitely means that your home is overpriced.

As listing agents, if we sense that the level of interest on your property is too low for the time of year, location, etc., then we may recommend a reposition (a price adjustment) on the property after 14 days. We will also update you in regard to any recent comparable sales that may affect your property.

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A Seller’s Market Vs. A Buyer’s Market

The market is often unbalanced and privileges either the seller or the buyer. It is a seller’s market when there aren’t enough properties for buyers to choose from, so bidding wars occur. This often prompts buyers to bid over the asking price, frequently waiving all contingencies. In a seller’s market, people are often willing to buy a property that needs work and spend the extra time and resources to fix it up a bit.

A buyer’s market occurs when there is a glut of inventory on the market, and the buyers garner more negotiating power. In such markets, buyers may negotiate a lot of the initial purchase price and/or reduce their offer after the inspection. We have noticed that in a buyer’s market, buyers typically prefer properties that are in “move-in” and “turn-key” condition.

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Negotiating an Offer

In Massachusetts, all Offers to Purchase will be in writing, accompanied by a good faith deposit check and a pre-approval from a bank. Most offers are good for 24 hours. You may not sleep well on the night of an offer! We will present each and every offer to you, discuss the various offer terms, and the pros and cons of each.

Sometimes the highest bid may not be the best offer if they have a very large mortgage contingency. Once you reach a decision, we will negotiate your position to the buyers in regards to price, terms, and timing.

Beware: often sellers believe that the first offer they receive will be one of many to come. There is a tendency not to take this offer seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. However, more often than not, the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. As mentioned above, the value of a property often diminishes with the length of time it has been on the market.

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The Home Inspection

Once you have an accepted Offer, the buyer will typically schedule a home inspection. During the inspection, we will be present to answer the inspector’s questions to the best of our ability,  based on information you have provided.

Buyers pay for this inspection, which includes examinations of structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems, and last approximately two hours. Additional lead paint, radon, asbestos and pest inspections may be ordered by the buyer, which may take more time to complete.

After the results of the inspection are in, the buyer has three options: move forward with the purchase as agreed, withdraw from the purchase, or negotiate based on the inspection. This last scenario is the most common; we will guide you through this process and provide experts who can validate the costs and evaluate the importance of these repairs.

Work With Us

With their complementary communication styles, responsiveness, competence, and ability to truly listen, Ellie and Liz enable their clients to feel at ease throughout any real estate transaction. They would welcome the opportunity to be your next real estate advisors.

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