Listing Real Estate

Careful preparation and process stewardship.

The sale process should mix optimal presentation of the property, pricing strategy, and deal stewardship. Optimal presentation serves to highlight a property’s salient features. Pricing strategy positions the property for a vibrant, healthy auction. Deal stewardship entails the dedicated, best buyer being identified and the transaction process handled such that obstacles are overcome, trust and confidence are maintained, and final deal terms seem to each side to be reasonable and ideally optimal. This process is achieved via a trusting seller-broker relationship, attuned knowledge of the market, and painterly precision around what touches to make, to ensure that the picture — the negotiations to final conveyance — is well constituted.

Boston Town Properties markets listings via a large number of distribution channels. These include the leading third party real estate portals as well as the largest brokerage firms in the country, region, and Boston area. Such portals include:


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Sales: a trusting, informed relationship

The process for selling real estate – be it a single family home, a condo, or a multi-family property – has many folds to it. The key is preparation and reasonable, well communicated expectations between the seller and the listing agent. Trust and merited confidence makes this possible. Where the broker is able to advise soundly the seller as to the mood, pace, and depth of the market – and the seller can reflect back his or her wishes, whilst making appropriate adjustments – context for pricing strategy becomes favorable. There are customarily two price levels of note: the seller’s target ideal price and the seller’s target reasonably expected price. The listing agreement serves to record terms, such as commission levels, sale exclusion items, disclosure allowances.

Sales: optimal presentation

Aside from pricing, the single fulcrum point in listing a property for sale centers on photography. Attachment and selection first happens at an optical and visceral level, prior to analytical considerations. Sensitive staging, whether introduction or removal of items, enhances a property’s profile. Staging is an area of specialist best practices, which is often overlooked. Moreover, a well marketed property is sold before it hits the market, because demographic realties will already have given assurance of suitable buyers. The service of photography is to present in time and space the desirable real estate for that buyer whose presence in the market can be well understood in advance of listing. The importance of dynamic, crisp, and striking photography to showcase the property in its best light – to highlight its salient features and thus to tell the story of its essence – is everything. This affords the buyer’s realization and attachment, and therewith excitement and purpose. Save for real estate that has been flawlessly designed, built and maintained, there are invariably elements of resistance, or perceived shortcomings, in the property. Thoughtful marketing maintains awareness of this; and accounts for these elements in pricing strategy. There are cases too where improvements should happen prior to public listing.

The listing price strategy is the tactic for achieving best outcomes. The broker discusses specific pricing strategies, their merits and disadvantages with sellers, especially as specific market moments, seller’s needs, and the suitability of a given property for one approach versus another are all paramount. A sale is typically run as an auction, and there are processes and principles – in short best practices – that attend. Unless one has run many auctions under a range of environments, with a broad spectrum of personalities and pressures, it is likely unfamiliar territory. And details matter. Knowing what to look for in a well-qualified buyer who will stay the course and be a cooperative partner in the transaction is important. Maintaining a balance between discipline (forward progress, punctiliousness, appropriate disclosures) and a human touch, is all the difference in a healthy, comfortable, steady process. Thus, the pre-marketing, marketing, and post-offer process must support the buyer’s steady engagement with the property. Where suitable, back-up offers are to be sought and maintained, should unforeseen issues arise that ultimately halt a specific sale process. A well positioned back-up offer can stem price erosion, as days on market weighs down buyer (and seller) confidence in the price level.

Sales: steps to closing

After a broker’s open houses, public open houses, and private appointments, a strong offer should be expected. Negotiations follow – and are an inflection point.Here, the buyer’s interest can crystallize into a deal or become dissipated and frustrated. An accepted offer, signed by both parties, is joined with a nominal, initial deposit. Depending on the degree of inspections, post-inspection repairs and improvements agreed (or negotiated away), the insights of attorneys and tax professionals, and as needed, specialists such as engineers and architects, the steps to closing will vary. It is critical that the personality and proclivities of the buyer be gauged and handled appropriately, as the process transits through inspection, P&S negotiations, financing elements, and any necessary or advised extensions. For the seller, an efficient and successful sale process is de rigeur, especially because a failed sale carries twin costs of disappointment and potential price diminution. Success depends on the quality of the working relationships amongst the parties, the perspicacity as well as the good sense and kindness extended from one side to the other, buttressed by the frame that the process is a joint one, a conveyance, not a zero – sum game.