Thinking of moving? Perhaps you need to relocate because of an employment change, need more space than your current home offers, or your kids have left home and you want to downsize. Whatever the reason for your decision, you’re likely ready to move on to greener pastures as soon as possible. So, exactly how difficult is it going to be to sell your townhouse, and what can you expect.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about selling your Massachusetts townhouse.
According to Realtor.com, most areas in Massachusetts sell around 10% quicker than the median for the U.S. as a whole – that’s good news! On average, you can expect to get an offer in about 38 days from putting it on the market to which you need to add the normal 35 days to close – that’s 73 days from start to finish as opposed to the national 81 days.
You should note that Zillow puts the average house price in the U.S. as of February 2022 at a little over $331,000, whereas in Massachusetts it is close to $485,000. In general, the more expensive areas are closer to Boston, with prices becoming more reasonable as you go out to the Berkshires or the coast.
Not surprisingly most properties sell best in the spring and summer when the weather’s at its best. The worst month is January when houses may spend over 60 days on the market before getting a firm offer. The best is June when most houses are snapped up in just three weeks.
Statistically, however, you’ll get more for your house sale in January than in other months. This probably reflects the number of properties available for sale in January (not many) making it more of a seller’s market.
If you have the time, money, and energy, and want top dollar, there is plenty you can do before you put your townhouse on the market:
(If you aren’t sure what’s worth doing for your property, talk to a real estate agent.)
- Repaint inside and out – This can make a big difference and is relatively easy and not too expensive. Fresh paint will instantly make your home more attractive and easier to sell. Choose neutral colors for the widest range of appeal.
- Tidy and declutter – This costs nothing but will have a positive result on viewings. You don’t need to make your house look antiseptic but you want potential buyers to be able to imagine their belongings and furniture in the house. Making sure carpets and drapes are clean won’t hurt either.
- Make small repairs – Most homeowners have a few issues that they haven’t got around to fixing. Now could be the time to fix that dripping faucet, fill those holes and straighten those shelves.
All of the above will help your house look good in the photographs and it is important you get a good photographer who understands the market (your agent should take care of this for you). The vast majority of buyers start their search on their phones, tablets, or laptops and you have seconds to make an impact. Bad pictures simply won’t cut it.
The only problem with all the above, apart from the tidying and cleaning, is that they take time and cost money. You may not want to spend months preparing your home for sale, especially if you’re not certain you’ll see a good return on investment or if you need to sell as soon as possible. We’ll cover options for what you can do if you need to sell as soon as possible shortly.
Beyond preparing your house for the photographs and viewings there are plenty of other things you can do to help the sale:
- Hire a good estate agent – Although it is possible to sell a home yourself, the 5 or 6% you save is rarely worth the extra stress selling your own home brings (not to mention the stigma that comes along with “for sale by owner” signs). A good estate agent earns their fee. They get the audience you need and help you negotiate the best price – they are the buffer between sellers and buyers.
- Think about getting a pre-sale home inspection – For the cost of $300-$450, getting a home inspection can be a good idea. It will flag up possible problems and allow you to fix them before going to market making the whole process run quickly and smoothly.
- Think carefully before you spend money upgrading – Let your agent be a guide to what needs doing. Your agent should be able to tell you what needs doing and what won’t make any difference.
- Be realistic about pricing – All vendors want the most cash they can get but don’t inflate the price, hoping for a keen buyer. Once again your estate agent is your friend – they will know the real estate market in your area and what a house like yours will go for.
Sometimes time is more important than money. Instead of spending months repairing and renovating in the hope of attracting the highest offer, many people want to get the job done and get on with their lives.
If you need to sell as soon as possible, consider selling your house as-is. That means putting the house on the market as-is without doing any upgrades. The buyer gets what they see at a price that reflects the work to be done.
Since caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is still the rule in Massachusetts, buyers will almost certainly get a house inspection carried out and ask searching questions. Of course, the seller can’t lie or withhold information.
The two big advantages of selling as-is are speed – the house can go on the market immediately – and a saving on any refurbishment costs you may otherwise be in for. The disadvantages are that selling as-is will limit the number of potential buyers – many people want a house they can move into right away – and reduce the selling price – the buyer has to think about the repair and remodeling costs they’ll be in for.
If you need to sell your Massachusetts townhouse and time is of the essence, we’re here to help. We buy townhouses in Massachusetts in any condition, without a detailed home inspection. We don’t charge fees and offer fast closing. If you’re interested in getting a no-obligation cash offer for your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.