There's no doubt about it, selling your home is stressful and fraught with pitfalls and confusing regulations with legal ramifications. Hiring authorities in the subject can help you wade through the process.
Before you sell in Massachusetts, verify your funds for purchase are in order. Research the current home market in your area and consider hiring a real estate agent.
How a Seller's Agent Helps You
Having a real estate agent is advantageous. You can sell your house yourself, known as a "for sale by owner" (FSBO); however, that strategy could be chancy. Lack of pricing knowledge, successful advertising strategies and uncertainty about the sale process can be a drawback and prevent you from getting the most out of the experience.
Finding the right agent is important. Ask friends and note the local agents' for sales signs in your area. Check with the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® or the National Association of Realtors®.
Listing your Home
Massachusetts offers three forms of listing: an exclusive right to sell, where only the agent finds the buyer for you; open right to sell, which is an open listing where you or anyone can look for a buyer; or exclusive agency right to sell, where you can find the buyer, but you agree to work with the one agency for selling.
Use your agent's expertise on comparable homes when choosing a listing price.
Include in your home listing: photos, price, amenities, specific details and a positive, motivating description.
The Massachusetts's Property Disclosure is a form that must be completed by seller and shared with buyers. Failure to provide this will result in the seller having to credit the buyer $300 cash back at close.
Receiving an Offer
As the seller, you have the right to accept, refuse or counter an offer. With multiple offers, you decide how to manage them. Seek advice from your Realtor on the merits of each.
After you accept an offer and the price is agreed upon, the contract will be drawn up. There are forms for residential purchasing agreements, but your attorney will amend it if needed.
Purchasing Agreement or Contract
In Massachusetts, an attorney usually helps with the purchasing agreement, which is a legally binding contract.
After the Contract Negotiations
Post-contract negotiations may be necessary if there are issues after inspections. There are a few ways to handle issues: make the repairs yourself, negotiate a new home price or offer cash back at close.
Closings are either informal, where the buyer and seller are present, or formal, where the agents and attorneys handle the procedure themselves.
All paperwork and checks are dealt with at the closing. The closing is also the time for exchanging house keys and alarm codes and any other information needed to gain access to the home.
Since each state's laws are unique, consult with a real estate lawyer for the specifics in your home sale.