Deciding to Sell
So you’ve decided to sell your home. Before you do anything else it is a good idea to sit down and identify the motivating factors for your decision. You should also determine a basic time frame for the selling process.
Why do you want to sell your property? Do you intend to simply find a larger home, or do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, school district, city or state? You might think your reasons are obvious, but it would do well to consider the implications of each option for your family’s lifestyle, opportunities and finances. Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for us to determine the most appropriate option for your specified financial, lifestyle and real estate goals.
When Should I Sell?
You should immediately establish your time frame for selling. If you need to sell quickly, you can speed up the process by hiring an experienced agent as opposed to selling it yourself. If you do not have a pressing need to sell immediately, you can sit down with an expert real estate team to thoroughly review the current market conditions and find the most favorable time to sell.
What’s The Market Like?
When you work with Fenway Properties, you can be sure that you’ll have our knowledge, expertise and negotiating skills at work for you to arrive at the best market prices and terms. We will keep you up-to-date on the current trends in the marketplace, as well as the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. With Fenway Properties in your corner, you will know exactly how to price and when to sell your home. Contact us at 617-262-9850 to learn more about how you can optimize your sale for this real estate market.
How Do I Optimize My Finances?
Deciding to sell your home demands a serious consideration of your current financial situation and future possibilities. With the help of Fenway Properties, you will be able to effectively assess the cumulative impact of these changes, estimate potential proceeds of selling your home, and plan effective tax savings for the sale of your principal residence or a 1031 exchange of investment property. Send us an email at email@example.com to learn more.
Select an Agent & Price
Why Trust Fenway Properties?
You may opt to sell your house independently. There are many good reasons, however, why you should choose Fenway Properties to assist you in this important undertaking. We will ensure that you maximize your opportunities in the current real estate market. With our extensive Realtor and contact networks, we will employ the most effective marketing and advertising strategies for your property. We also can guide you through the complicated paperwork involved, from the initial agreement to the final documents.
What To Look For In An Agent
Here are a few factors to keep in mind when looking for a listing agent:
- Experience and Expertise. You want a full-time agent who’s familiar with your neighborhood and with the type of property you intend to sell. Does he or she employ a diverse range of marketing and advertising strategies? How tech-savvy is your agent? How many similar properties has he been able to sell in the past?
- Availability and Commitment. Your agent should be capable of prompt and decisive action during the course of selling your home. Does she make it a point to keep in touch with you constantly? Can she easily be contacted in case of emergencies or even for the simplest questions?
- Rapport. Does he take the time out to listen to your goals and clarify your needs? Can he understand your unique situation and be genuinely concerned about the outcome of the process? Your listing agent will be your guide and partner in this crucial decision, so it’s important to find one you can get along with.
What Is Your Home Worth? Without a professional agent, most independent home sellers tend to overestimate the value of their home. You can avoid this pitfall by consulting with an experienced real estate listing agent. At Fenway Properties we know how the real estate market works, and, being well acquainted with the different types of property in the area, we can deliver the most accurate estimate of what your home should sell for. Do not hesitate to contact us at 617-262-9850 for an initial appointment.
Prepare to Sell
You can do a lot to increase the appeal of your property and create a lasting impact on potential buyers.
Curb Appeal. Keeping your landscape pristine, and adding creative touches to your yard such as colorful annuals, will create an immediate impact on passers-by and potential buyers.
House Repairs. Simple upgrades such as window repairs, polishing the doorknobs, and a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms instantly brighten up your home.
Cleanliness and Staging. Keep your home uncluttered, sweet-smelling and well-lit from top to bottom. Pay attention to details: put away the kitty litter, place a vase of fresh flowers in the hall, pop a batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven, have your carpets cleaned. Let your agent preview your home before he schedules prospective buyers to view it.
Disclosures and Inspections. Your agent at Fenway Properties is familiar with the legal procedures involved in disclosures and is ready to help you develop a thorough disclosure statement beneficial to both you and the buyer, as well as suggest home improvement measures before placing your property on the market.
Showtime. Presenting your home to potential buyers is a job your Fenway Properties agent will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent if you’re not there. Moreover, your agent will know what information will be most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.
Accepting an Offer
The Price Isn’t Always Right. “The higher the price, the better the offer.” Don’t let yourself be fooled by this popular misconception. Price isn’t always the determining factor in choosing among multiple offers, for several important reasons: the initial offer is never final, and there are a number of terms and conditions that may influence the final outcome of a price. You can trust your Fenway Properties listing agents to help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position.
Negotiating The Right Way. At Fenway Properties we take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously. It’s our job to find a win-win agreement that’s beneficial to all parties involved. Oftentimes you will have to deal with multiple offers before ratifying the one you judge to be the most suitable for you – and as your agents we’ll guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of these offers to help you make the right choice.
Escrow: The Initial Agreement and Deposit. An escrow is a legal arrangement whereby an asset (such as a home buyer’s initial deposit) is delivered to a third party (an escrow holder) to be held in trust pending the fulfillment of conditions or contingencies in a contract. Once an offer is ratified, the home seller and buyer will agree upon the amount for the good faith deposit and set up an escrow account. This reflects the buyer’s intention to purchase and ensures that no funds or property will change hands until all instructions in the transaction are followed.
Some Important Tips. Keep these tips in mind to streamline the process even further:
- Keep written records of everything. For the sake of clarity, it will be extremely useful to transcribe all verbal agreements of everything from counter-offers and addendums, and convert them to written agreements to be signed by both parties. Your Fenway Properties agent will work in conjunction with your attorney in drafting addendums in your contract to ensure you have all the bases covered.
- Stick to the schedule. Now that you’ve chosen your offer, you and the buyer will be given a timetable to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations. During the process we will keep you constantly updated so you will always be prepared for the next step.
Escrow, Inspections & Appraisal
Your escrow began when you accepted a buyer’s purchase offer and earnest money deposit. What follows is the inspection and appraisal of your property and the loan origination process for the buyer.
The Closing Attorney. The buyer’s lender selects a closing attorney, whose job it is to examine and insure title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they will certify that: (1) your title is free and clear of encumbrances (eg. mortgages, leases, or restrictions) by the date of closing, and (2) all new encumbrances are duly included in the title. They will prepare a preliminary title report at the end of the process. If there are any outstanding issues, your attorney will go over it with you in detail.
Contingencies. A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. For instance, a home buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector.
Before completing his or her purchase of your property, the home buyer reviews every aspect of the property, as provided for by the purchase and sale agreement. These include:
- obtaining financing and insurance
- reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports, disclosure documents
- inspecting the property. The buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist or mold, and
- For condominiums: a review of the Master Deed, Declaration of Trust and Financials.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections and reviews, one of three things may happen:
- Each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the Closing, or
- The Buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price); or
- The Buyer requests a refund of their deposit and your Fenway Properties agent will re-activate your listing.
How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a renegotiation is demanded? This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction. Having dealt with various property sales in the past, we at Fenway Properties guarantee the expertise and total commitment of our agents to every client, no matter what their situation.
Loan Approval and Appraisal. We suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval letter, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification. Expect an appraiser from the lender’s company to visit the property and verify that the sales price is appropriate.
Ready To Go? Don’t pack your bags just yet. Something unexpected might happen – a buyer loses his job, or the property does not appraise. There is a proper time to start preparations for moving, and given our previous experience with real estate transactions, we will help you determine when that time will be.
Buying Your Next Home
Now that the sale of your home is well on it’s way to a successful close, it is time to start preparing for your next home.
As your trusted real estate partners, your Fenway Properties team is ready to help you identify and prioritize your goals for your next home purchase. We will get you off to a good start by finding the best interim arrangement for you while you’re in between homes. To learn more about rent-back arrangements, use and occupancy agreements or other strategies for sellers, give us a call at 617-262-9850.
Close of Escrow
If you have come this far, then this means only one thing: Congratulations!!! You have successfully sold your home! Don’t forget to tie up these loose ends:
Final Walk-Through Inspection. More of a formality than anything else, the final walk-through usually takes place 24 to 48 hours prior to closing. The buyer visits your property to verify that all is in working order and there was no damage from when you moved out. You will be signing documents certifying that the property was sold in satisfactory condition.
Cancel Home Services and Utilities. We will provide a list of useful numbers for the termination of home services and utilities as of the date of the Closing.
Be Prepared. Your Fenway Properties agent is ready to assist you should an unforeseen glitch pop up, even at this last stage. Something at the house breaks down, the buyers’ loan doesn’t pull through on time – no need to worry. We have encountered these problems before so we know how to handle these problems effectively.
Close of Escrow. Within 24 to 48 hours of closing, the lender’s attorney will provide you with a settlement statement or “HUD” that breaks down all of the financial costs involved in the purchase of your new home. Your attorney will go over this with you to ensure its accuracy. At the closing, the lender’s attorney will have you sign the final documents, including loan documents (“deeds of trust”). After all documents have been signed by the buyer and seller, the lender’s attorney will record the title documents at the registry of deeds. You’ll then receive your proceeds, and the buyer will become the new owner.
Keys. Bring the keys to the closing so that they will be available to the buyer once the deed has been recorded at the Registry of Deeds.
As your real estate agents, we value your opinion regarding the quality of our service. Please feel free to let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.