During the cold days of winter it seemed that spring would never come. While the thermometer (depending when you look) may not signal spring’s arrival, March 20 is the first official day of spring. Historically, the spring and summer months represent the strongest times for the Real Estate market. The unusually cold, snowy conditions of this past winter slowed the housing market, but an uptick in retail sales in late February suggests that there may be substantial pent up market demand in general. This could be a signal of a strong , spring real estate market. While it might be tempting to bask in the improving weather and longer days, the intrepid Buyer and Seller will venture forward with additional resolve and a few simple tips to get ahead of the competition. In the first part of this two part series, we will discuss the best ways for a Seller to get ahead of the competition.
- Establish a Relationship with A Real Estate Professional: Regular readers of our Blog will already know the value of hiring great real estate professionals (for new readers, click these links to read: Ten Reasons to Use a Listing Agent and Ten Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent). A seasoned listing agent will help to properly position your home for a quick springtime sale.
- Set a Proper Price: While it is true that springtime is historically a seller’s market, houses that are improperly priced can easily die on the real estate vine. Competitive pricing relative to comparable homes in the area will help to spark interest which serves two goals: 1) increased competition between buyers often yields higher prices (bidding wars are relatively common in the spring months, sometimes yielding sales prices above asking price), and 2) avoiding the reputation that homes can obtain after languishing on the market–buyers may perceive that there are hidden or unresolved issues. A stagnant listing may also indicate a lack of value and can attract deal-seeking bargain hunters–also known as bottom-feeders.
- Start Your Move: Without a new place to move, this tip may be counterintuitive. It’s important to remember that selling a house is driven by the desires of people. Most people are not logical robots who coolly analyze the objective qualities of a property. People have to be able to picture themselves living in your home. Family photos and your other possessions will cloud the Buyer’s vision. Pack up your belongings. De-clutter and depersonalize to make your home ready to be personalized by the new owner. An experienced listing agent will be able to help with this process. In addition to advice on staging, the agent may even help to identify simple, inexpensive fixes or additions to make your listing stand out. Don’t take it personally if your agent tells you to repaint the purple bedroom or take down the circa 1970 wall paper.
- Remain Flexible: Sellers who are willing to accommodate, even in a seller’s market, will be more attractive to Buyers. Types of flexibility can include: price, repairs, and the closing date. Be flexible with your showing schedule–the eventual Buyer may only be available at 7:30 PM on a Tuesday night (regardless of when your children usually go to bed). Flexibility can also mean doing the due diligence before it’s required. The Seller who obtains a Title V report before going on the market will have an inherently more attractive listing than the one who leaves this work for after the parties go under contract. Take the time to fix what an objective home inspector will surely point out–a long list of small, easily fixed problems can just as easily sour a deal as a short list of serious, hidden problems.
- Remain Unemotional: For most people, the sale of their house is the sale of their most valuable and personal asset. Sellers will want to be sure to maximize the return on their investment. While it may have been your home for many years, the unemotional Seller will be better poised to negotiate and eventually sell quickly, for top dollar.
Spring is a great time to Sell. With a little knowledge and a little work, Sellers can maximize their chances of closing quickly at a desired price.
Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions.
Copyright © 2014 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.