Selling your home for Top Dollar
 Isn't that what it's really all about. Whether its Massachusetts Real Estate or real estate anywhere in the nation, it always comes down to the basics. How can you net as much as possible from your home as efficiently as possible.

There are a few great secrets which will be useful in fulfilling this goal.

First and foremost of course is to set down a series of objectives.
I like to call this the Ultimate Scenario.

An Ultimate Scenario would be something like this...
"..Steve our ultimate scenario would be to sell our home for $250,000 or more and have the closing take place at the end of June when the kids get out of school, but to be allowed to rent the home back from the buyers until July 8th because we're going on vacation.

With this goal set up in advance, we can custom tailor a marketing plan so that it gives us the best possible opportunity to try and achieve the Ultimate Scenario. For example, if this were January, we may put the home on the market higher than normal. In this case, we're not looking for a "quick sale." If someone should offer you $256,000 with a May closing, you can now sit down and evaluate whether or not thetas right for your family.

Once you have your Ultimate Scenario laid down, its time to move on to the remaining issues of Selecting a Realtor, Establishing Price, & Preparing for the Sale

Factor #1 - Selecting your Realtor

I can't stress enough how critical the selection of a Realtor is towards your success in satisfying your ultimate objective. There are many different guidelines which you may want to examine, but above all, in my opinion, the single most important criteria is pure and simply Sales Volume. The agents who are Selling More homes are more qualified to Sell yours.

Why did JFK's Rocking chair sell at Sotheby's for $35,000?
After all, the company still makes the same chair for $300 and its brand new!

The answer is simple. More people wanted to buy JFK's chair then a new one, so the price was higher. Doesn't the same attitude exist with respect to your home? The more potential buyers there are for your home the higher the sales price is likely to be, right?

Now, which Realtor is likely to generate more buyers for your home?
An agent selling 10 homes a year or an agent selling 150 homes.

Remember, selecting an agent is NOT a beauty contest. You are putting the biggest investment of your life on the line. Now is not the time when you hand that investment over to somebody without the skills to handle it.
Funny thing is, I see that happen all the time. The homeowners list their home with the friend of their manicurist who just got their real estate license, and then they wonder why it hasn't sold. They called on an add in the newspaper and next thing you know that agents sign is on the lawn. It's actually an amazing sequence of events, that left unchecked can sometimes lead to disaster.

Imagine that you could eat at Legal Seafood's for the price of McDonalds.
You could vacation in Paris for the same cost as a week at the Cape.
What if you could stay at the Ritz-Carlton for the same price as HoJo's

What if you could hire a Realtor who sells 100+ homes
per year for the same cost as an agent who sells 10 homes?

.......What if you could hire a Realtor with 10 years of experience
..............for the same cost as an agent with little or no experience?

.....................What if you could hire a Realtor who is on-call 24 Hours a day
...........................for the same cost as an agent who you can never seem to reach?

What if you could hire the Best Agent in Town For LESS 's

Why in the world wouldn't you hire the Best for Less?

Here are Four agents I can Highly recommend
for Selling a Home in Massachusetts

Steve Levine - #1 Selling Agent in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Steve Levine - #1 Selling Single Agent in Worcester County, Mass.
Steve Levine - #1 Selling Single Agent out of 3000+ RE/MAX New England
Steve Levine - - - Top 100 Single RE/MAX Agents in the entire World.

Learn about Steve's Special Homeowners Blend Programs
for homeowners looking to save on Real Estate Commissions.

Commission Rates as low as 3% TOTAL on the Sale of your home.
Call or E-Mail Steve today for information on this exciting program


Factor #2 - Establishing the proper selling price.

This is always an interesting topic. Here again, relying on the experience of an agent with a proven track record is key. Each case is different, depending on the time of year, your personal goals, and your ultimate scenario, but in the end the goals are usually the same; Getting as much money as possible, in as little time as possible, with as little aggravation as possible. If we can pull that off, we're golden.

The 2 Dangers you face are Overpricing and Underpricing

Underpricing your home has obvious consequences.
If you get 3 full price offers on your home the first day, you probably underpriced it.
Typically an agent who underprices a home does so for either of a few reasons.

#1 They are inexperienced and don't know what the true market value could be.
#2 They don't really care what the value is as long as they get paid quickly.
#3 They want to use Low Price instead of Aggressive marketing to get the home sold.

Remember, an analysis of previous sales alone does NOT determine your homes value in today's marketplace. You must also consider "trending" and "future market options" in order to ensure that you set the price at precisely the right level.

Overpricing on the other hand can be just as bad.
By overpricing your home, several bad things can happen;

First, you can cause it to sit on the market for longer than necessary,
. . . . resulting in you making more interest payments on the mortgage loan.

Secondly, you can "miss the market", waiting to adjust the price
. . .until a less advantage time seasonally or marketwise to sell your home.

Third, you may miss out on a valuable opportunity
. . . what if that dream home you've been waiting for disappears for the scene?

Why Would An Agent Knowingly Overprice Your Home?

Again 3 Simple Reasons (Hey I've always got 3 reasons for things!)

First, they figured that if they told you what you wanted to hear that they would have a better chance of getting the listing. Then, oncethey have the listing they'll get you to reduce the price later and it will sell.

Second, could be simple inexperience again. By not taking into account the different factors affecting the market, they could simply miss the boat.

Lastly, in the case of some agents, they lose their objective professionalism and simply fall in to the Seller's line of thinking. I mean intellectually, the agent should know that the new gunite pool and new gold water faucet don't really ADD their $50,000 cost to the potential value of the home, but after a few hours of listening to the Seller itemize the cost of each nail that went into the home and every piece of wallpaper they start to buy into it and lose their objectivity. Unfortunately, the Buyers still remain objective, and hence the overpriced homes don't sell either.

Avoiding Underpricing and Overpricing 

Again I always come back to the same point. By utilizing the skills of an agent with proven expertise in pricing and marketing you can't go wrong. Here's a good thing to look for. In most of the neighborhoods in town, I have sold the vast majority of the resale homes. Yet even though My Listings Sell Faster than those of my competitors, I Also Get Higher Prices. Just peruse through the list of recent Shrewsbury sales on my Shrewsbury Home page and you'll see clearly what I mean. Selling houses fast is easy, selling them fast and at a great price is another story. That takes a true professional! That takes Steve Levine!

Factor #3 Preparing your home for the sale

This is the easiest one because in many cases it's also the most obvious. Here's Ten Tips for preparing your home for showings. Many of them seem like common sense, but they're all very important to ensuring a Top Dollar Sale.

#1 The way you live in a house and the way you sell a house are two different things. You're not trying to portray a "home family atmosphere", your trying to create a showplace.

#2 Everything off the Kitchen counters that isn't VITAL to daily existence. That means the Canister set from your grandmother, the cookie jars, the bread maker, the cookbooks, the pile of envelopes. You're moving anyway, now a good time to start packing. The coffee pot and toaster can stay.

#3 Old green and gold carpets? Hardwood underneath? Rip it out! That's right, have people come on over rip out the rug, polish the hardwood and leave. NOT give the buyer a credit towards doing it. Do It! The old adage is, "The Buyer only knows what they see, not the way you say its going to be"

#4 Remove excess furniture. Take the leaf out of the dining room table, put the extra two chairs downstairs in the basement. Nix two of the coffee tables, a bureau or 2, and anything else you can get away with. We're looking for open and airy.

#5 Take everything off the refrigerator door, and the top of the fridge too. It should look like a refrigerator, not an art gallery like in "normal peoples homes." Remember, think showpiece.

#6 Take down almost all of the family pictures. You don't want people staring at pictures of your kids. Especially if they're a young single couple who is not yet in child-mode. One or two is fine, but not the gallery of historic family photos lining the staircase.

#7 Paint the Front Door and Trim around it, and perhaps the front foyer as well. It makes a great impression and the Buyers love the smell of new paint. Makes them feel like the home has been renovated.

#8 Energy Savings go out the Window. Can all of those 60 watt bulbs and put in the 100 watt ones. If needed, go through the house and take down any of the little outdated light fixtures. Twenty dollars at Home Depot can buy you a cute new brass one which you can put up in no time.

#9 Get three tubes of caulk and use them all up until they're gone. When in doubt caulk. As a famous lousy carpenter says, there's nothing a good caulking wont fix. Caulk around the bathtubs, caulk where the kitchen and bath counters meet the wall, caulk the door and window moldings throughout at the corners.

#10 Go out and buy one of those cute little potpourri cookers and get some of that pretty Christmas stuff to cook. People will remember that YOUR house was the one that smelled like a Christmas tree. Very distinctive on a day when they may have seen 10 homes or more. By the way, someone once told me to sprinkle some vanilla extract on the top of the light bulbs. I tried that once. Word of warning, be sure the Bulb is OFF and COLD. I blew one up and it wasn't fun.

For Shrewsbury Residents, I also have 2 FREE Videos you're welcome to borrow. They discuss in detail, Pricing Your Home to Sell & Preparing Your Home For Sale. Just drop me a note and I'll send them over.

Return to Steve's Home age