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8 Steps to Selling a House in Massachusetts

Getting ready to sell your house in Massachusetts? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!

Getting ready to sell your house in Massachusetts? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!

Updated on March 17, 2020

Now is a good time to be selling a house in Massachusetts! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Bay State rose 1.82% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 3.38% over the next year.

Of course, even the best Massachusetts properties will struggle to sell if you don't price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don't know how to handle the negotiations.

Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Massachusetts!

1. Finding a Massachusetts realtor

Selling a home isn't easy. It's a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you're looking to sell your Massachusetts home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.

The best Massachusetts listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They'll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.

In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $419,540 home — the median home value in Massachusetts, according to Zillow — that's a premium of $138,448. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.

2. Deciding when to sell

Market timing is a crucial factor in how much you are likely to get for your Massachusetts property. Certain times of the year are better than others when it comes to selling your home. Spring is an excellent time to list your Massachusetts property, as this is the period that buyers are most active. However, each local housing market is different.

Best time to sell a house across the U.S.

Best Time to Sell a House

Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center

Best time to sell a house in Massachusetts

Best Month to Sell for Speed in Massachusetts
June
12 days on market
11 days faster than average
Best Month to Sell for Price in Massachusetts
June
$467,000 median sale price
8% more than average

If you're shooting for the fastest sale possible, listing in June is your best option. Homes listed in this month spend 12 days on market — significantly quicker than the Massachusetts average of 23 days on market.

To get the highest sales price, put your house on the market in June. The median sale price of homes listed then is $467,000, which is $34,250 more than average.

Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Massachusetts

3. Pricing your home

Once you've been connected with an experienced Massachusetts-based real estate agent, you'll then need to obtain a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This is the process of assessing how much your home is likely to sell for in the current marketplace.

The CMA process bases its findings on similar properties that recently sold in your local area. It also looks at other key metrics such as demand and supply, as well as inventory levels.

To ease the process for you, a Clever Partner Agent will conduct a CMA on your behalf — free of charge.

4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home

Before you list your Massachusetts property on the market, you should spend some time thinking about how you can make your home more attractive to potential buyers. This will increase your chances of receiving an offer aligned with your target selling price.

Not only should you ensure that your home is professionally cleaned before viewings commence, but it's also worth assessing whether any repairs or renovations need to be made. Whether it's an upgraded bathroom or fixing a leaking tap, make sure you consider the potential ROI the repairs are likely to generate.

An experienced real estate agent will be able to advise you whether they think the repairs or renovations are worthwhile.

You should also consider getting your home photographed professionally. This shouldn't cost you much and will make your home stand out when listing your property for sale online.

Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House

5. Fielding offers and negotiations

Once your property is listed, you'll need to prepare for offers. This usually comes in the form of a purchase agreement, which states the offered price, and how long the offer is valid for before it expires.

There is no guarantee that you will receive an offer equal to your listing price, so you might need to get your real estate agent to negotiate with the buyer.

Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette

What's in a real estate purchase agreement?

6. Appraisal and inspections

If you've received an offer for your Massachusetts home that you'd like to accept, then the next step will see the buyer arrange an appraisal. This is where an independent appraiser inspects the home to ensure that it's worth the amount that the buyer offered. You as the seller are also encouraged to obtain an appraisal.

The buyer is also likely to arrange a home inspection. Often confused with an appraisal, this is where the property's condition is assessed. You as the seller should also arrange for a home inspection, as it will prepare you for any potential repairs that might need to be made prior to the sale.

Learn More: Can the Seller Back Out of Contract Before Closing?

7. Paperwork and required Massachusetts disclosures

Massachusetts is a "buyer beware" state, which means, legally, sellers aren't required by the state to disclose anything about the home to buyers. However, you still need to follow federal lead-based paint disclosure laws.

Additionally, there are many other legal documents you'll need to prepare, understand, and sign before closing the deal. Have your agent or attorney walk you through all the paperwork and ensure you have everything you need for your situation.

Forms and Documents for Selling a House in Massachusetts

Required for All Real Estate Sales in Massachusetts

  • 2 Forms of ID
  • Copy of Purchase Agreement and Any Addendums
  • Closing Statement
  • Signed Deed
  • Bill of Sale
  • Affidavit of Title

Possible Additional Documents

  • Loan Payoff Information
  • HOA Forms and Guidelines
  • Survey Results or Survey Affidavits
  • Home Inspection Results
  • Proof of Repairs or Renovations
  • Home Warranty Information
  • Copies of Relevant Wills, Trusts, or Power of Attorney Letters
  • Relevant Affidavits (Name Affidavits, Non-Foreign Affidavit Under IRC 1445, etc.)
  • Closing Disclosure (for certain seller concessions)
  • Correction Statement and Agreement
  • Title 5 Addendum (for septic tanks)

Massachusetts Disclosure Forms

  • Seller's Property Disclosure Statement
  • Flood Zone Statement
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Note: Massachusetts is a "buyer beware" state and, in most situations, sellers are not legally required to make disclosures. However, to give buyers peace of mind, many homeowners still provide a disclosure statement.

Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Massachusetts

8. The closing process

Before handing over the keys, the deal needs to be closed. This is a process that can also vary depending on where you are based. In the state of Massachusetts, both you and the buyer, as well as your respective agents and legal representatives, will be present at the closing table.

This will consist of signing documents, HUD-1s will be distributed, and validation will be made that all buyer fees have been paid. You as the seller will likely need to settle any outstanding fees attached to the property, such as prorated taxes and utilities.

Learn More: How Much Are Seller Closing Costs in Massachusetts

Next steps: Sell your Massachusetts home and save thousands

Whether you're looking to list your Massachusetts home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it's never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.

Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.

>> LEARN about Clever's free service and read reviews from real home sellers here!

Top ways to sell your home in Massachusetts

Additional resources for Massachusetts home sellers

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Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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