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!
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!
JUMP TO SECTION
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.
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.
But if you're earlier in the process and just want a general idea of what your house is worth, a free online home value estimator is a great place to start. Enter your address below to see your estimated sale price, as well as useful local real estate market trends. Find out how much your house is worth now!
Home Value Estimator
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Top ways to sell your home in Massachusetts
- Discount real estate agents in Massachusetts
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Massachusetts
- Flat-fee MLS companies in Massachusetts
Additional resources for Massachusetts home sellers
- Average cost to sell in Massachusetts
- Average time to sell in Massachusetts
- How to sell by owner in Massachusetts
- Transfer taxes in Massachusetts