SANDRINE DESCHAUX'S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOME IN CAMBRIDGE
As a homeowner preparing to sell your property, the dream is to avoid seller's remorse and make the process as stress-free as possible. Plus, you want to get some great offers! However, selling your home involves many moving parts, so it’s important to go in with a plan.
Preparation and hiring a Cambridge real estate agent can translate into a smooth transaction (and more money in the bank). Because information is power, here are Sandrine Deschaux's home selling tips for your incredible Cambridge home.
DECIDE WHEN TO SELL YOUR HOME
Timing is everything when it comes to the Cambridge real estate market. Your trusted agent will analyze local market trends to determine when it may be most beneficial to list. They will provide guidance on how to navigate a buyer or seller’s market, depending on the current market conditions.
The timing will also depend on your goals. Is it more important to sell for the highest price possible, or do you prefer selling quickly? Because the entire selling process may take several months overall, planning is essential.
The Cambridge real estate market is a yearlong market but ask a local expert and Sandrine Deschaux, and there are months and weeks to avoid, and some to prefer.
PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE
Making your home look its best will increase the chances of getting multiple offers. An excellent place to start is repairing anything that's broken – the running toilet, malfunctioning HVAC, creaking doors, leaking roof, and chipped floors. Some of these may seem like minor quirks, but potential buyers will see them as problems that lower the value of your home. Go through your house room by room, identifying any repairs that need to be made.
A home inspection will identify any issues with your home's electrical, heating & cooling, plumbing, and other systems.
Take time to declutter your home and make it look Insta-perfect. Pack up all your books and personal photos, make all the beds, clear the countertops, and ensure all decor is in its place. You want to ensure that buyers can envision their lives in the space, and clutter will only give them a reason to leave before finishing the tour. Ensure you depersonalize the space by boxing up family photos, grandma's quilt, and miniature vintage cars.
Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to do a deep cleaning of your home. Hire a service that will vacuum behind the refrigerator, scrub the baseboards, and power-wash the house and driveway. Don't forget to boost your curb appeal, as this will help make a good first impression on buyers. Power wash the exterior, manicure the lawn, cut back trees and shrubs, clean the roof and gutters, and refresh the paint.
An essential aspect of selling your Cambridge property is staging it to show off the home's most impressive features and downplay its weaknesses. Staging involves carefully arranging furniture and decor, adding impressive lighting, and making your space look like something you'd see in the pages of a home décor magazine. Consider hiring a professional stager specializing in this work, or ask your Cambridge real estate agent to help you stage your home.
The Sandrine Deschaux + Co group offers in-house styling + staging services which allows flexibility with timeline and versatility with design. And if it is decided to subcontract staging services, Sandrine Deschaux is committed to edit to make it most relevant and in line with the expectations of our local market.
PRICE YOUR HOME
Pricing your property is both a science and an art. The price at which you list your home impacts the popularity of the listing and how much foot traffic you get at open houses. You want to ensure that you don't go under or over-price your home. Pricing it too high will likely result in less foot traffic, forcing you to negotiate a lower sell price. On the other hand, under-pricing will attract many offers, but you'll leave money on the table in the end.
Remember that while home improvements are a great way to boost the price, they may not pay off in terms of return on investment. A $30,000+ kitchen renovation may not translate to at least a $30,000+ increase in your home's selling price. Check comparable homes in the area and do your research to determine what upgrades can improve your home's value. Your Cambridge realtor and real estate expert can provide valuable insight into these decisions.
It's easy to get emotional when pricing your home, but that won't result in a successful sale. Buyers don't care about the years of memories you created in the home or how much you paid for the property. Market research should be your guide when pricing a home; this is where an experienced Cambridge RE/MAX realtor can prove invaluable. They can create a Comparative Market Analysis and help determine your home's optimal listing price.
MARKET YOUR HOME
Your Cambridge real estate agent will handle most of the marketing aspects, starting with posting your listing to the MLS. Since most home buyers start their search online, it's essential to get professional photos of your house in pristine condition. Your realtor may offer professional photography as part of their services. If not, skip smartphone photography and hire a professional who knows how to make your house look incredible. A good set of photos should include:
- Your home's exterior from the front
- Every room in the house, with the lights on and the drapes open
- The yard, showing off the impressive landscaping
- A look at any local amenities
Consider drone photography if you own a luxury home and want to showcase the surroundings. Capturing the home at night with the lights illuminating the landscape may also win points with prospective homebuyers.
Adding virtual walk-throughs, 3D tours, and video tours to your listing can be a great way to get interest, as they allow people to view homes without in-person visits. Buyers swoon over them, so don't underestimate their importance. Your real estate agent can connect you with a company specializing in these services.
No matter how compelling your photos are, most buyers will still need opportunities to see your home in person. A traditional open house is a perfect way to get them talking about your home, even if they aren't sure about making the purchase yet. Your Villanova real estate agent will coordinate and schedule open houses.
It's worth noting that your home should always be ready for tours once you put it on the market. Don't leave laundry on the floor, beds unmade, or dirty dishes in the sink. Always be ready to leave the house on a 15-minute' notice to allow potential buyers to tour the home. Alternatively, consider temporarily moving out of the house while it's on sale. This is particularly important if you have kids or pets or are dealing with multiple showings daily.
RECEIVE AND NEGOTIATE OFFERS
Receiving offers from potential buyers is an exciting time, especially if you have a trusted Cambridge realtor by your side. If the market favors sellers, you can expect buyers to offer above the asking price. On the other hand, you may have to be open to negotiating offers if you're in a buyer's market.
If making a counteroffer, ensure you do it in writing and give the buyer a short time frame of 48 hours to respond. You can insist on keeping the original asking price in place but offer credit to carpet or paint the home, for example. You can also sweeten the deal by offering to leave certain appliances.
Don't be too quick to accept the highest offer when you get multiple offers. Consider the specifics of each offer, such as requests for credits and personal property, the form of payment, type of financing, and proposed closing date. Remember that the property may have to be appraised if the buyer relies on lender financing, which could impact the home's sale price.
COMPLETE THE PAPERWORK AND CLOSE THE SALE
Your trusted and experienced realtor will help you through the final phase of the sale by seeing you through a home inspection, negotiating recommended repairs, and handling any last-minute snags. The closing process may take a few days to a few weeks and involves several steps. You can expect to sign many documents and pay the closing costs in full. You'll likely have to see a notary and other professionals during this process to ensure everything is per the law. Some of the documents you'll need include:
- The home's original purchase contract
- Mortgage documents
- An appraisal report
- Home inspection report
- Property survey, certificate of compliance, and certificate of occupancy
- Tax records
- Homeowner's insurance
ENLIST THE HELP OF A CAMBRIDGE REAL ESTATE AGENT
You need an experienced, knowledgeable Cambridge real estate agent on your team. Sandrine Deschaux has been working with clients for the last 20 years, delivering unparalleled service and dedication. Whether you are looking for a modern condo, a brand new build or a historic old home, Sandrine can help you find your perfect property in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. Get in touch with the Sandrine Deschaux + Co Group today to start the process of finding your new home.