Seller Guide

Selling your property involves a seemingly endless number of details. This guide is designed to make the process easier to navigate and understand. We hope it serves as a valuable reference, from hiring a realtor® to handing over the keys.
3. PRICING, PHOTO SHOOT & PAPERWORK

 

PRICING STRATEGY

Perhaps the most critical step in selling your property is determining its market value and developing an effective pricing strategy. The CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is our primary tool. It shows what buyers have recently paid for comparable properties and what is currently on the market. The location, style, age and condition of your property are all factored in when choosing comparable properties and interpreting the CMA results, or “comps.” We look at what is currently on the market in order to carefully position your property within existing inventory. And we look at days-on-market statistics for your area to gauge timing.

Of course, your personal motivation and goals are key considerations. If you need to sell quickly, you have to price the property competitively. If you want to “explore” what the market will bear, you can contemplate a more ambitious price. In the latter case, we advise you set a date—perhaps 30 or 60 days after listing—for a price reduction if we determine the activity has been insufficient.

Properties in this area typically sell for 5-10% under asking price. When we price the property, we need to avoid pricing it too high, but we also need to leave room to negotiate with your buyer. The CMA is useful here—it shows the ratio of sell price to list price for the comps.

More and more, staging plays a role in getting your house sold. Even if it doesn’t produce a higher price, staging almost always gets the property sold more quickly.

Pricing properties is not an exact science, particularly in the Berkshires where neighboring properties are often wildly different. Besides, humans are highly unpredictable. Also, the sale of your property can be affected by a shortage or an abundance of buyers in a given price range. As knowledgeable REALTORS®, our instinct for what the market will bear helps us advise you on pricing your property.

Here is a sometimes difficult truth: Your property isn’t worth what you have invested in it—it’s worth what the market will bear. Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking your house will be an exception. Overpriced properties often chase the market for years, and end up selling for less than market value. Properties that remain on the market for months—or even years—become stale and fade from the REALTOR® community’s radar. Plus, even if you find a buyer willing to pay what you hope for, their lender will not approve a mortgage if the bank appraisal is less than the purchase price.

If the market value of your property disappoints you, remember how much enjoyment your Berkshire home has brought you, and look to the future.

 

 

PHOTO SHOOT

Once the photographs of your property hit the world wide web, there is no going back. We want to assemble a complete set of optimal photos of every aspect of your house before we “go live.” As soon as you are prepared, we will schedule the photo shoot. Depending on the weather, and schedules, we will take photos once, twice—maybe even three times over the course of a few days.

 

LISTING PAPERWORK

Here is the paperwork you will sign…

 
– AGENCY FORMS

– LEAD PAINT DISCLOSURE. Massachusetts and federal law requires all parties (sellers, realtors, buyers) to comply with federal and Massachusetts lead-based paint disclosure requirements for homes built before 1978. The seller generates the form which the buyer completes prior to signing the P&S agreement. Here is a link to the form, FYI >>

– EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL CONTRACT (ERTS). This contract is how you actually hire us to list and sell your property. Below is an overview of some of the key components. (Numbers refer to the relevant paragraph.) We are happy to go over the details in person. And, of course, as with any legal document, we recommend you have your attorney review it.

 

2. LISTING TERMS. The contract begins on the date you sign it and ends on the date inserted in this paragraph. Typically this is a six-month period. (Extensions will be made if needed.) The list price also goes here.

3. LICENSEE-CONSUMER RELATIONSHIP. This refers to the agency paperwork you’ve already filled out. (See chapter 1 in this guide.)

5. COMMISSION. This paragraph states the fee you will pay us at closing. It also states what portion we will offer cooperating brokers.

8. OFFERS. (a) It is our obligation to submit to you all written offers—yes, even those offensively low ones. (c) We hold the buyer’s deposits in escrow. At closing, we deduct the commission from that. (All accounting is detailed in a closing statement.)

12. BINDING CONTRACT. (a & b) If/when there are price modifications or extensions, they will be made in writing.

 

ATTORNEY

Engage an attorney to review listing contract, and, when it comes, the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

 

COMPILING DETAILED PROPERTY INFORMATION & PROVIDER LIST

We need to be prepared for any question a potential buyer may have. Our goal is to highlight the primary selling points, know how to carefully present/minimize the negatives, and of course disclose any known defects as per Massachusetts law. For this purpose, we use the LISTING INFO CHECKLIST, the MARKETING INFO CHECKLIST and the PROVIDER LIST. Your agent will give you these forms, and assist you as needed.

Guides written by Barney Stein,

LVRE agent since 2007

3. PRICING, PHOTO SHOOT & PAPERWORK

PRICING STRATEGY

Perhaps the most critical step in selling your property is determining its market value and developing an effective pricing strategy. The CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is our primary tool. It shows what buyers have recently paid for comparable properties and what is currently on the market. The location, style, age and condition of your property are all factored in when choosing comparable properties and interpreting the CMA results, or “comps.” We look at what is currently on the market in order to carefully position your property within existing inventory. And we look at days-on-market statistics for your area to gauge timing.

Of course, your personal motivation and goals are key considerations. If you need to sell quickly, you have to price the property competitively. If you want to “explore” what the market will bear, you can contemplate a more ambitious price. In the latter case, we advise you set a date—perhaps 30 or 60 days after listing—for a price reduction if we determine the activity has been insufficient.

Properties in this area typically sell for 5-10% under asking price. When we price the property, we need to avoid pricing it too high, but we also need to leave room to negotiate with your buyer. The CMA is useful here—it shows the ratio of sell price to list price for the comps.

More and more, staging plays a role in getting your house sold. Even if it doesn’t produce a higher price, staging almost always gets the property sold more quickly.

Pricing properties is not an exact science, particularly in the Berkshires where neighboring properties are often wildly different. Besides, humans are highly unpredictable. Also, the sale of your property can be affected by a shortage or an abundance of buyers in a given price range. As knowledgeable realtors®, our instinct for what the market will bear helps us advise you on pricing your property.

Here is a sometimes difficult truth: Your property isn’t worth what you have invested in it—it’s worth what the market will bear. Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking your house will be an exception. Overpriced properties often chase the market for years, and end up selling for less than that offer you refused when your property was first listed. Properties that remain on the market for months—or even years—become stale and fade from the REALTOR® community’s radar. Plus, even if you find a buyer willing to pay what you hope for, their lender will not approve a mortgage if the bank appraisal is less than the purchase price.

If the market value of your property disappoints you, remember how much enjoyment your Berkshire home has brought you, and look to the future.

 

 

PHOTO SHOOT

Once the photographs of your property hit the world wide web, there is no going back. We want to assemble a complete set of optimal photos of every aspect of your house before we “go live.” As soon as you are prepared, we will schedule the photo shoot. Depending on the weather, and schedules, we will take photos once, twice—maybe even three times over the course of a few days.

 

LISTING PAPERWORK

Here is the paperwork you will sign…

 
– AGENCY FORMS

– LEAD PAINT DISCLOSURE. Massachusetts and federal law requires all parties (sellers, realtors, buyers) to comply with federal and Massachusetts lead-based paint disclosure requirements for homes built before 1978. The seller generates the form which the buyer completes prior to signing the P&S agreement. Here is a link to the form, FYI >>

– EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL CONTRACT (ERTS). This contract is how you actually hire us to list and sell your property. Below is an overview of some of the key components. (Numbers refer to the relevant paragraph.) We are happy to go over the details in person. And, of course, as with any legal document, we recommend you have your attorney review it.

 

2. LISTING TERMS. The contract begins on the date you sign it and ends on the date inserted in this paragraph. Typically this is a six-month period. (Extensions will be made if needed.) The list price also goes here.

3. LICENSEE-CONSUMER RELATIONSHIP. This refers to the agency paperwork you’ve already filled out. (See section 1 in this guide.)

5. COMMISSION. This paragraph states the fee you will pay us at closing. It also states what portion we will offer cooperating brokers.

8. OFFERS. (a) It is our obligation to submit to you all written offers—yes, even those offensively low ones. (c) We hold the buyer’s deposits in escrow. At closing, we deduct the commission from that. (All accounting is detailed in a closing statement.)

12. BINDING CONTRACT. (a & b) If/when there are price modifications or extensions, they will be made in writing.

 

ATTORNEY

Engage an attorney to review listing contract, and, when it comes, the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

 

COMPILING DETAILED PROPERTY INFORMATION & PROVIDER LIST

We need to be prepared for any question a potential buyer may have. Our goal is to highlight the primary selling points, know how to carefully present/minimize the negatives, and of course disclose any known defects as per Massachusetts law. For this purpose, we use the LISTING INFO CHECKLIST, the MARKETING INFO CHECKLIST and the PROVIDER LIST. Your agent will give you these forms, and assist you as needed.

Guides written by Barney Stein,

LVRE agent since 2007

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