Sellers

How to Find the Right Person to Sell Your House

Your guide to hiring the listing agent who can set you up for success.

Your home is where you’ve lived and loved, where you’ve laughed and cried, where you’ve huddled and snuggled. You’re the pea, your home is the pod. And you’ve been through a lot together.

Now that it’s time to put it on the market, you’re likely experiencing some sadness, plus plenty of anxiety. Because really: How often does your future depend on selling your past? If you’re a little overwhelmed, we don’t blame you.

But there’s also good news: You don’t have to go it alone. 

A listing agent has your back when it comes to the financials, like setting a listing price and marketing, staging, and making repairs to your house. He or she can also help you navigate more personal issues, such as your timeline, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the sale.  

For all of those reasons, it’s important to find an expert who is right for you and your specific situation, and who can help you get what you want. Here’s how.

Know What a Listing Agent Can Do for You

Before you start interviewing prospective agents, have a clear sense of what you want to get out of the selling process. When so much money is on the table, it’s crucial to know what your goals are, so that you can find an agent who really speaks to them.

Then, it helps to understand what a listing agent does (other than sell your most valuable asset — no big deal).

The listing agent will: 

  • Work with you to price your home
  • Market your home (we’re talking pretty pictures, social media promo, cute staging — the works)
  • Negotiate with home buyers
  • Usher the home sale through inspection and closing

Now, let’s break all of that down . . .

Pricing your home. This is the BIG question, right? How do I set the price? The short answer is you’ll need to trust your agent to recommend a smart listing price. 

So how can you tell whether an agent — a relative stranger to you — is choosing the best price for your home? You need to do two things:

  1. Know, generally speaking, what your property is worth. Do your own research on the prices of local comps, (but understand the limits of online property sites). Run your info by your agent for an informed perspective. 
  2. Ask the agent for pricing information on homes he or she has recently sold.Specifically, what the differences were between their listing prices and how much the homes ultimately sold for. 

When it comes to the agent’s pricing history, you’re looking for accuracy. Anyone could suggest a high price for your home, knowing it’s what you’d like to hear. But nobody (especially you) wants to have a house languish on the market, or to reduce a price repeatedly.

Marketing your home. The listing agent will also get the word out that your house is on the market, using a combination of old-school (but powerful) marketing techniques — such as direct mail, signage, and open houses — and the modern methods we know and love, like social media. Savvy agents will post pics of your house on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform that can get likes plus the attention of other real estate agents who can bring buyers to the table.

Negotiating with buyers. When offers start pouring in, your agent will negotiate with prospective buyers on not only the sale price but also on what contingencies (aka special circumstances) are attached to the contract. As with any negotiation, there could be some stressful, fraught moments with the buyers. You’ll want an agent who can step up for you, and who has a negotiation style that you’re comfortable with.

Closing the sale. Once you’ve signed a purchase agreement with a buyer (woo-hoo!), your agent will help you navigate the sale’s remaining steps. This includes negotiating home repair requests post inspection and dealing with any last-minute surprises before closing.

The average listing agent does all of the above. A great listing agent does all of the above, while also inspiring your confidence — that they’re getting the best price for you, and that they’re representing you and your home in the best possible light. 

So, let’s talk about how to find and hire that kind of agent.

Ask These Questions to Find a Great Listing Agent

Here, time is on your side. Aim to hire a listing agent six to eight weeks — or more — before the day your house is listed on the market (also known as the “go-live date”). You’ll be grateful for the cushion, especially if the agent you ultimately hire recommends that you make repairs or upgrades to your home before it’s listed. (That wouldn’t be unusual.)

To find prospective agents, start with your network. Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues for recommendations. Word-of-mouth endorsements, as always, can be priceless.

You can also turn to another trusted friend: the internet. Property websites such as realtor.com® have directories that let you search for agents in your area. These databases can clue you into important details, such as an agent’s years of experience, number of homes sold, and past client reviews.

Three out of four home sellers only contact one candidate before picking their listing agent, according to a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® report. While that may be the norm, it’s smarter to shop around. Interview at least three agents before deciding on the one you want to work with. 

During the interviews, ask these questions to help assess whether an agent is the right fit you:

  • Do you work as an agent full-time? As in most professions, work experience doesn’t guarantee skill. That said, much of real estate is learned on the job.
  • How long have you been in the business? Generally, the more experience an agent has, the more they’re tapped into the local market. 
  • How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood in the past year? You don’t need to find an agent who specializes only in your community, though that would be ideal. You do want someone who has recently sold at least a few homes in your neighborhood and knows the local and hyper-local inventory.
  • What’s the typical price range of homes you sell? Most agents work across multiple price points, but you don’t want an agent who has never sold a home in your range.
  • What’s your fee? An agent should be able to articulate their value and explain their commission rate.  
  • How will you market my home? You don’t want to hire someone who’s just going to stick a For Sale sign in your yard and call it a day. The agent should present a comprehensive marketing plan for your listing. This should include strategies for staging your home, taking professional photographs of your home, promoting the listing on social media, marketing to other brokers, and scheduling open houses.
  • Will I be working with you directly, or with a team? Some agents lead or work as part of a sales team. The lead listing agent shares client responsibilities with other agents. Where one agent may handle private showings for a listing, another may host open houses. A benefit is that for the same fee, you get many people working for you. But if you want the sole attention of the listing agent, you may want to stick to a one-on-one arrangement. 
  • Will you provide one-on-one service? Whether you’re working with one agent or a team, ask how responsive they can be to you, your timeline, and your goals.
  • How long on average are your listings on market? Your average sold-to-list price? This can help you suss out whether the agent is a solid marketer and negotiator. These are real estate stats that the agent can pull from your local multiple listing service, or MLS. 

The bottom-line: It’s in your best interest to pick an agent who understands your goals, fits your personality, and can get your home sold for top dollar. When you meet someone who can offer all of the above, congratulations — you’ve found your listing agent.

First Thing: Know What You’re Signing up For

Now that you know what you’re getting when you find the right listing agent, let’s make sure you know what you’re committing to when you sign that agent’s “representation agreement.”

The most common type of representation agreement is the exclusive right-to-sell agreement — a legally binding contract that states you’re going to use that agent to sell your house. Under this agreement, you’re giving the agent (and the agent’s brokerage) the right to sell the home for a mutually agreed-upon time period and compensation. IOW: You get peace of mind that you have a dedicated agent; the agent gets peace of mind that you’re only using their services. Other common terms include the agent’s duties to you, like marketing, and a dispute resolution plan.

There are other types of representation agreements, where agents don’t have exclusive rights to sell the property — meaning multiple agents can try to sell the home and compete for the commission. However, when agents know a listing is exclusively theirs, they’re fully invested in selling the property (which, again, should also give you peace of mind).

Every contract has an expiration date, but the length of the contract can vary. Some are three-months; others six months. It all depends on what you and the agent agree upon. If the contract expires before your house is sold, you can re-list your home with another agent. 

Of course, there’s a chance you sign an exclusive listing agreement but just aren’t satisfied with the job your agent is doing. To protect yourself, make sure the representation agreement has a cancellation or termination clause that lets you void the contract before the expiration date without any financial penalty.

Understand How a Listing Agent Gets Paid

So  . . . at the end of the day, how do listing agents get compensated for their work? 

Real estate commissions — including the listing agent’s commission — are typically charged as a percentage of the home’s sales price. For example, on a $300,000 house, a 6% commission would cost $18,000. Commissions are negotiable. The commission is usually split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent as well as their respective brokers. 

A caveat: If an agent represents the seller and the buyer, the agent becomes a dual agent and earns both sides of the commission. In dual agency, you may have more room to negotiate the rate — just keep in mind that you’re not being represented exclusively as you are in single agency. You may want to hire an attorney to review documents and help you negotiate.

The listing agent’s commission fee often covers the cost of professional photos, marketing and marketing materials, and any administrative fees charged by the agent’s brokerage. 

Also, consider this: Great agents — with their pretty photography, HGTV-worthy staging tricks, and marketing smarts — earn their keep. 

So, if you’ve read all of the above, you’ve done your homework to find a great agent. Now you’re ready to sell that house.

For a full listing of Molisse Realty Group agents, CLICK HERE.

Original content written by: HouseLogic

How to Acclimate to Your New Neighborhood After a Move

This is part of Molisse Realty Group's new, guest blog series designed to provide outside, expert perspectives for helping you find your dream property, settle into your new space, improve your home, or just simply enjoy the little things in life.

If you are moving to a new house, you likely have a long to-do list. If you are not only moving to a new home but also an entirely new town, that checklist gets even longer. In addition to dealing with packing, organizing, and cleaning, you also have to figure out the basic essentials of daily life—like finding a plumber to call when emergencies strike or figuring out which supermarket near you offers the best deals. We at Molisse Realty Group hope these pointers help you on your transitional journey as you get settled in your new neighborhood.

Do your local research before you make the move

A successful move starts before you've even packed the first box. Before you arrive, start researching your future neighborhood. Pinpoint basic needs like schools, banks, dentists, and doctors as well as emergency services from electricians to plumbers. If you are moving across state lines, you may need new car insurance because requirements vary by state. 

Start with the essentials when unpacking and then move on to aesthetic touches

When you pack for your move, set aside one box with essentials you will need on the first night, and make sure these items are easily accessible. Include items like a small vacuum, toilet paper, toothpaste, and prescription medications. Use color-coded sticky notes to easily label boxes based on which room they belong in, and ask the movers to place them in the according rooms once you arrive. Finally, before you settle in for the first night, do a safety check and ensure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Once these basics are taken care of, you can go on to deal with aesthetic touches like color coordinating your interiors.

Ensure that kids and pets are making a smooth transition

Whether it's an animal or a child, you will have to ensure their comfort both during and after the move. If you have a dog, for instance, help them transition to a new home by making sure they have access to familiar sights and smells like their favorite dog bed and their food bowl. Let them sleep near you in their crate if they are having anxiety following the move. 

When it comes to helping your kids settle in the new area, reach out to neighboring families to see if they have children in the same age range. You can also encourage little ones to find playmates by getting them involved in activities like sports or art classes.

Make the extra effort to get social and meet new people

Finally, for your entire family—from yourself to your children and your pets—a big part of a successful move is about connecting with the community. Check out your local coffee shop and visit the area visitors center or library to discover events you can participate in. Take your dog for a walk, and you're sure to meet other dog-owners and their canines—or bring your child to the park to meet new parents with kids. Meet your neighbors and invite them over for a barbecue to introduce yourselves. Before hosting, pick out a new grill, spruce up your patio, or build a DIY fire pit. Such interaction is part of what will allow you all to feel comfortable in your new community. 

Keep in mind that you won’t feel “at home” overnight after your move. Give yourself time to transition and acclimate to your new surroundings. WIth the above tips to help you, you can get settled and make new friends. Socializing not only allows you to feel connected, it’s also shown to make you happier overall.

At Molisse Realty Group, we understand that moving to a new location can be fraught with challenges, and we hope the above tips can help you settle into your new home. 

On the other hand, if you’re just now looking to relocate to Massachusetts, let the experts at Molisse Realty Group help you find the perfect home for your family. Reach out today to get started!

To read more great insights by Natalie Jones, visit homeownerbliss.info!

Six Easy Ways to Prepare Your Property for Sale

So, you’re thinking of selling your home? 

Maybe it’s time for something larger to accommodate your growing family, or perhaps you’re looking to downsize later on in life. No matter what your reason may be, it’s incredibly important to prepare your house before listing it, so potential buyers walk in and say, “wow, I need to have this!” 

Showing your house in the best possible light will increase your likelihood of selling fast!

The key to preparing your house for listing is to be sure you highlight its strengths and fix up some of  the areas that can use a makeover or improvement. This can make a big difference in how quickly your property sells. 

Here are five easy, relatively inexpensive ways, to prepare your house for listing:

1. Repaint the walls.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint can be one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Be sure to spackle or fill any scratches or dents and consider updating any funky accent walls with a more neutral color to allow potential buyers to envision what they might do with the property.

2. Fix your floors.

Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home! It’s critically important that they look as good as possible, so consider fixing scratches or dull areas. Sanding down and refinishing floors may not be necessary, but a fresh coat of polish will go a long way. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing it. Kitchen or bathroom tile should also be considered. Again, you may not need to replace the tile, but re-grouting can go a long way in making tired tile look brand new!

3. Spend some time on your landscaping.

Show buyers your home is the complete package by improving the outside areas as well as the inside. Clean your walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim the edges and trees, and be sure mulch and gravel are fresh. This will ensure the outside of your property doesn’t feel tired.

4. Fix your fixtures.

Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose handles? Discolored air vents? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. 

5. Improve your kitchen. 

An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry with a fresh coat of paint, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment to help your property move quickly.

6. Declutter

If you think your property may need to be decluttered, don’t wait for your agent to tell you so! Less is always more when it comes to presenting your home for sale. A clean property photographs better, shows better, and sells faster!

Use this as an opportunity to improve your space – even if you decide not to list your property – no one has ever done this and said, “Geez, I wish I still had all of that unnecessary stuff lying around.”

These are just a handful of ideas to prepare your home for listing, and of course there are other that may be right for your property. You may have some ideas of your own.

Before investing too much in updates, reach out to one of our realtors, and they will be happy to tell you which updates will yield the greatest return and which ones are not worth investing in at all.

For more information, email us at info@molisserealty.net.

 

The Massachusetts' Spring Real Estate Market is Booming – Despite Coronavirus

I think we can all agree that this is shaping up to be a challenging time all around the world.

While the global markets struggle to make sense of Coronavirus, how to address it, and what its longer-term impact may or may not be, we are still seeing a great deal of positive news coming out of the Massachusetts real estate market.

We already know that recent Fed rate cuts have had a positive impact on mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association said 30-year fixed rates fell 10 basis points in the week ending March 6 to 3.47%, the lowest since December 2012. The group's refinancing index, meanwhile, surged 78.6% to 6,418.9 points, the highest since April 2009, as Americans rushed to re-set their home borrowing rates. 

Closer to home, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors just released their home sales report for February 2020, and the numbers are strong!

Single-family home statistics for Massachusetts:

  • Pending sales for 2020 sit at 4,383 – this represents a 25.2% increase over February 2019
  • The median price of a single-family home in February 2020 was $396,900 – that’s 4.7% higher than February 2019.

If you’re more interested in the Massachusetts condominium market, those numbers are equally impressive:

  • Pending sales for 2020 sit at 1,806 – this represents a 18.6% increase over February 2019
  • The median price of a condominium in February 2020 was $395,000 – that’s 13.2% higher than February 2019’s number of $349,000.

If there’s any drawback to this data, it’s simply that demand is outpacing inventory. But there is a silver lining: if you are looking to sell, low rates and high demand mean that you will get top dollar for your property. If you’re looking to purchase, my team of experienced, service-focused agents have unmatched access to properties on Massachusetts’ North and South Shores and beyond.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at bmolisse@molisserealty.net or by phone at 781-831-4754.

Molisse Realty Group 2017 Top Agent Awards Luncheon

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What a busy year this has been in 2018! We moved to two new office locations in Scituate Harbor at 164 Front Street and Manchester-by-the-Sea at 17 Beach Street, Suite D. Celebrated our 10 year anniversary in business. Announced our brand's new campaign messaging which gets back to the core of the brand objective – fulfilling dreams! Broker/Owner Brian Molisse has been busy building a strong team of agents, and for the second year in a row, readers of South Shore Living magazine voted Molisse Realty Group the “Best Real Estate Agency” on the South Shore!

We finally had a day to take time and honor those agents that make Molisse Realty Group a great company to be a part of.  These real estate professionals have been dedicated, focused and exceeded their own expectations in 2017.  They all exemplify our brand’s commitment of extraordinary service.  All our top agents from 2017 enjoyed a fabulous lunch and award ceremony at The Fours in Norwell. We applaud their achievement!

Congratulations to our top producers of 2017!

TOP TEAM AWARD $3,000,000+ Sales Volume: M+M Realty Team (Marshfield) (L to R) Fran-Marci Glenn, Lizanne Moffat

 

SILVER AWARD $4,000,000+ Sales Volume: (L to R) Liz Roosevelt (Scituate) and Gerri Predella (Marshfield)

 

GOLD AWARD $5,000,000+ Sales Volume: (L to R) Jeanne Mulvaney (Weymouth), Jackie Braga (Scituate), Pamela Vigneau (Marshfield) and Red Giovanucci (Scituate)

(Margaret Maher Sheahan, Manchester-by-the-Sea, not shown)

 

PLATINUM AWARD $7,000,000+ Sales Volume: Mary Mabey (Marshfield)

 

DIAMOND AWARD $9,000,000+ Sales Volume: (L to R) Jessica Tully (Manchester-by-the-Sea) and Marian Duksta (Marshfield)

 

PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR SALES EXCELLENCE 2017 #1 Sales Volume: Michael Molisse (Weymouth)

Molisse Realty Group Names Mike Molisse Top Agent for August 2018

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Broker/Owner Brian Molisse is pleased to announce that Mike Molisse has been named top agent for the month of August.

Mike Molisse is a lifelong resident of Weymouth with large family roots in town and strong ties to the local community, currently serving as Councilor-At-Large for the last 19 years. As town councilor, Mike has always focused on being Committed, Dedicated, Determined, and Accessible to the residents of Weymouth. As your REALTOR, Mike carries these same principals over to his business; fully committed and dedicated to his clients who are buying and selling homes on the South Shore and across Massachusetts, always accessible and fully determined to negotiate the best deal possible.

“Thank you to my clients, couldn’t thank them enough for the referrals that they send my way. My clients are very important to me and I truly believe in a hands on approach”, says Mike Molisse. “My clients always come first. Whether buying or selling my client is my top priority.”

“Mike is a dedicated listener, able advisor, and a strong advocate for his clients. He follows the real estate market trends so that he can be able to make well-informed decisions for his clients,” says Brian Molisse. “He focuses on looking out for his clients’ best interests above all. He is happy to serve not just the South Shore, but all of Massachusetts real estate needs.”

Mike is truly redefining relationships one client at a time. He is the epitome of a servant leader and does not hesitate to lend a helping hand. His past clients speak to the level of confidentiality, professionalism and humor that he is able to bring with him no matter the situation. With compassion and integrity, Mike Molisse is truly paving the way for others and is always in search of the next client to demonstrate his “Dedication and Hard Work.”

When you work with the agents of Molisse Realty Group, you get a team of individuals who will do all they can to assist you with buying and selling your home. The goal of all of our agents is to provide the best possible service to our clients and customers. Mike Molisse can be reached at 781-331-4339 or mmolisse@molisserealty.net. His office is located at 636 Middle Street in Weymouth.

Molisse Realty Group Names Red Giovanucci Top Agent for July 2018

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Scituate, MA– Broker/Owner Brian Molisse is pleased to announce that Red Giovanucci has been named top agent for the month of July. Red has consistently been a leader in sales on the South Shore since she became a REALTOR almost five years ago. She loves what she does and is always educating herself on the ever changing real estate environment.

Red Giovanucci has been a native of the South Shore for over 50 years and currently resides in the beautiful seaside village of Humarock with her husband Jack. Red is a master at multitasking and organization, a key component to her success. She loves to meet and connect with people and has the natural ability to talk with folks from all walks of life. She has a strong belief that customer service is the cornerstone of any successful business and will always go above and beyond for her clients.

“I am very proud of Red, she had an exceptional month,” says Brian Molisse. “Her continued dedication and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients make it clear why she continuously delivers unparalleled service.”

When you work with the agents of Molisse Realty Group, you get a team of individuals who will do all they can to assist you with buying and selling your home. The goal of all of our agents is to provide the best possible service to our clients and customers. Red Giovanucci can be reached at 781-710-5906 or rgiovanucci@molisserealty.net. Her office is located at 164 Front Street in Scituate.

Molisse Realty Group Voted “Best Real Estate Agency” on the South Shore

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For the second year in a row, readers of South Shore Living magazine voted Molisse Realty Group the “Best Real Estate Agency” on the South Shore!

This year there were a record-breaking number of reader surveys through the magazine’s annual online poll. The annual "Best of the South Shore" contest encourages readers to cast ballots in many categories to pick their favorite local service providers.

“We’ve got such a wonderful group of agents at Molisse Realty. When I go into our offices the energy is amazing, because of our staff and agents, who love what they do.” Brian Molisse says, “Our agents are family to me and I couldn’t be prouder for all they do. To receive the highest accolades from the readers of South Shore Living two years in a row is amazing. I am so proud and deeply appreciative of the support of our community! This is such a huge honor for us and thanks to our staff and agents for always putting their clients first and their passion to help.”

The “Best of the South Shore” award winners were announced in a special section of August’s issue of South Shore Living. Check out the list of top businesses and services in the region voted by readers, as well as favorite editor picks.

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Molisse Realty Group is driven to help our clients maximize their investments and realize their long-term goals. Molisse Realty Group helps both those buying and selling homes, to fulfill their goals of achieving home ownership.

Molisse Realty Group is the only independent brokerage with offices spanning both the North and South Shores of Massachusetts. Molisse's boutique-size firm enables us to be truly flexible, we help our clients with a marketing plan that helps get their homes sold quickly. We customize the perfect plan to meet the unique needs of every customer while maintaining the resources and network necessary to ensure premiere access to the best homes and targeted buyers. We are with our clients from beginning to the end and we build lasting friendships.

 

Molisse Realty Group has over 80+ agents, an in-house marketing department and a staff that are there to answer any questions. Brian Molisse is the sole owner of Molisse Realty Group and believes honesty, integrity and hard work are the keys to our success! For more information, visit www.molisserealty.com.

At Molisse Realty Group, we believe in big dreams.

Molisse Realty Group Names Jeanne Mulvaney Top Agent for June

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Broker/Owner Brian Molisse is pleased to announce that Jeanne Mulvaney has been named top agent for the month of June. She is a consistent top agent in residential sales from Boston to the South Shore.

Jeanne Mulvaney is a lifelong resident of the South Shore and currently lives in the town of Weymouth. She is a well-respected and established full-time REALTOR and works as both a buyer & selling agent. She has seen many changes in the real estate industry throughout her 14 year career, but the one constant that never changes is the dedication she feels towards her clients. 

“I am very fortunate to have a great following. Lots of opportunities come from repeat clients and referrals from past clients,” Jeanne says. “It's a great time to sell your home, and I'm here to help guide members of the community through the exciting and sometimes overwhelming process of buying or selling real estate."

“You can count on Jeanne for being an honest and hardworking REALTOR that is dedicated to her clients, she will be by your side through the entire home buying and selling process,” says Brian Molisse. “We are extremely proud that she is part of the Molisse Realty Group team.”

When you work with the agents of Molisse Realty Group, you get a team of individuals who will do all they can to assist you with buying and selling your home. The goal of all of our agents is to provide the best possible service to our clients and customers. Jeanne Mulvaney can be reached at 781-424-6843 or JMulvaney@MolisseRealty.net.

5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Sale

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