The steps I will take to sell your Boston condo or home

List and sell a Boston condo

"Joe Wolvek went above and beyond to help us renovate, show and sell our condo in the South End. He helped us decide which renovations would make sense and which were not necessary. He worked with our contractors to get the work done in a very timely fashion. Once the condo was ready, he immediately got us two great offers. Finally, he made the negotiation of the P&S and the closing go smoothly...he is a master at his craft!"
Joan W., South End


Selling your Boston condo or home

Is my number one business priority. This is what I do and what I love. I am the opposite of an absentee broker and I will be available and responsive to you. I have over 30 years and hundreds of transactions of experience and success marketing and selling condos and homes in Boston. My strength is in maximizing demand for your property, as well as in negotiation and transaction management. The great majority of my listings in the last five years have gone under agreement in under a week, at or above asking price.

 

Here's what I do.

I. MARKETING AND SALES ACTIVITY


     Pre-marketing activities

  • Step one is always a consultation in which I listen to what your your needs are in terms of timing, marketing preparations and other factors. Then we can put together the specific game plan.

  • Step two is actually seeing the property. Properties are not just a collection of rooms and square feet. Differences in specifics, the building, the association (if any), finishes, and just...feel...can produce wide pricing swings.

  • I will prepare an accurate price analysis using data from recently sold, pending and available properties, as well as my understanding of the market from 30+ years in real estate.

  • Assist you in determining what your proceeds would be after closing and other costs.

  • I will assist you in preparing your property to be placed on market. If your property needs to be staged, I can facilitate that. Here is an example of a vacant property which I had staged.

  • It's vital to have the right team members to prepare, sell, and transact a property. I have a very deep bench of preferred attorneys, contractors, stagers, lenders, and others, and can suggest the right ones for you.

  • I can assist you in co-ordinating renovations, if necessary. I have done this many times and if you need great contractors, I have them.

  • I will gather all relevent information with regard to the specific property and the condo association. This is in order to represent the property correctly on showings and advertising, as well as to avoid problems down the road.

  • I will professionally photograph exterior and interior for use in ads, promotions, all online venues, and multiple listing services. I use only quality high-resolution photos from trusted vendors. If your property needs to be virtually staged, I can facilitate that.

  • I will photograph fo3-D Matterport tour and video. Due to COVID, buyers now expect these materials in order to vet properties prior to visiting. 

  • I will have floorplans made to aid in marketing. Click here and here

  • I will prepare showsheets and digital brochures to be given to other brokers and potential buyers. 

  • I will create a website for your property. Click here and here for examples.

  • I will create "Coming Soon" postings in: MLS-PIN, TAN (Top Agent Network), All-Agent Connect, as well as Social Media postings in FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, blog.

  • Plan “white glove” advertising program for appropriate properties.

  • I will mail "Just Listed" cards to neighbors and other potential buyers.

 

Entry to market

  • Ideally post the listing to MLS-PIN, LINK (secondary MLS) and all other venues on a Tuesday for showings to begin on Wednesday. I want to get as many showings as possible, and make it as easy for buyers to view as is practicable.

  • Mass emailing from Gibson Sotheby's to over 10,000 brokers and potential buyers, with photos, info, notice of open houses, and links to website.

  • Mass emailing to my own network of clients and contacts.

  • Social media postings and ads: Your property listing is promoted through a targeted Facebook and Instagram campaign, as well as LinkedIn. By leveraging social media, we are able to position your home in front of a diverse and savvy audience online, creating optimal exposure. 

  • MLS "reverse prospecting". Property listing sent to brokers with matching buyer-clients.

  • I (and Gibson Sotheby's International Realty) will post the property to more than 40 top lead generating local, national, and international websites including Boston.com, Realtor.com, (and of course) Trulia and Zillow, NewYorkTimes.com (and the International edition), WashingtonPost.com, WSJ.com (WallStreetJournal), and FT.com (Financial Times), Hong Kong Tatler, South China Morning Post,  Juwai.com (accessible inside China), Sothebysrealty.com, GibsonSothebysRealty.com and many, many more, along with photos and virtual tours. We do more exclusive marketing to buyers, both locally and internationally than anyone else. See here and here and here for more info (It will also filter out to all the other brokerage and agent websites).

  • My preference is to show by appointment all week, with broker open house 12-1:30 on Thursday, "commuter open house" Friday 5:30-6:30, Saturday and Sunday open houses 11-3 for new listings. For ongoing listings, 1.5 hours for most weekends with additional appointments available. I also post the 3-D virtual tour in MLS as a virtual open house. 

  • I bring my 30+ years of experience of Boston real estate to bear by providing quality professional showings to prospective buyers. What comes out of one's mouth during a showing can have consequences down the road. I perform all showings. I do not hand off keys or use lockboxes.

  • Appointments to be made with prior-day notice unless otherwise arranged. 

  • COVID-19: For all open houses and showings, one party at a time. Gel at door. All masked up. 

  • Spread the word in my own extensive network.

 

II. OFFERS TO PURCHASE

  • Our objective is to procure multiple offers from qualified clients after the first weekend of open houses. If we are fortunate enough to accomplish that, review offers Monday around 6PM-ish. The listing in MLS and everywhere else will say, "Offers reviewed Monday at 6PM. Seller reserves the right to accept an exceptional offer prior to that." This ensures that everyone knows that they will have to step up to the plate in terms of price, contingencies, and financing (or lack thereof), and that we intend to wait for the deadline unless someone does submit an exceptional offer.

    Do a best and final call for offers for the next afternoon in the event of multiples, or if we don't just want to grab one.It's not just about the money, it's about getting the best, most motivated buyer. 

  • In this way, we create demand for your property, and a competitive situation for buyers. This gives you the best possible selling price and the most highly motivated buyer.

  • Evaluate offers on the basis of

    • Price 

    • Financing, if any. We obviously prefer cash offers, but if financed, evaluate the pre-approval terms, the credibility of lender, the ability of a particular lender to do a particular transaction (I like lenders that I know and who can get the job done), percentage financed.

    • Other contingencies, particularly contingencies for inspection. If the inspection contingency is not waived, encourage a high "deductible" for no "nickel and diming". I've seen many contingencies, in many flavors. We have to make sure there are no minefields, and the devil, to coin a phrase, is in the details....

    • Timing. Does the offer fit the seller's timeline needs (i.e. buying and selling on the same day)? Do the events of the transaction (such as buyer's financing committment) occur at the appropriate times?

    • My gut feeling on the buyer. How likely is this transaction to actually close? Do we want to get into a transaction with this potential buyer?

  • I will co-ordinate all offer related paperwork and make sure it is completed and submitted appropriately.

  • I will secure a mortgage pre-approval from buyer and ascertain that the lender can follow through. If not financed, procure a "proof-of-funds" document.

  • I will secure the buyer's "good faith" binder deposit and deposit in a Gibson Sotheby’s escrow account and account for all funds.

 

III. PURCHASE AND SALES CONTRACT ACTIVITIES

  • Co-ordinate all activities, paperwork, and negotiations (along with seller's attorney) between seller's side and buyer's side. Help to ensure problem resolution and progress. Proactively assist in managing the details of the transaction. I take pride in my meticulous transaction management skills and seeing my transactions through to closing.

  • Co-ordinate with lender for condo questionnaires etc, expedite all needed documentation such as condominium documents, association financials, etc.

  • Attend the inspection, if there is one. The inspector will need access to the roof and all systems. Make note of any verbal comments from the inspector, ask questions where appropriate. Ascertain that seller attains the best possible outcome.

  • Co-ordinate and attend property appraisal by buyer's lender. Provide appraiser desired comparables and association information.

  • Monitor buyer's mortgage application status.

  • Retain buyer's P&S deposit in our escrow account. This figure is usually 5% of the purchase price and is determined on the offer.

  • Co-ordinate execution of the P&S. This usually occurs 10 days to 2 weeks after the offer execution.


IV. CLOSING ON YOUR HOME

  • Obtain and present a Certificate of Insurance for the condo association, if applicable, for the buyer's lending institution in order to demonstrate sufficient coverage.

  • Obtain and present a 6(d) certificate from the condo association certifying that there are no unpaid condo fees or assessments.

  • Obtain and present a Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate from the Fire Department.

  • Obtain a final water reading if you are in a single family or a separately metered condominium.

  • Expedite any remaining issues.

  • Ensure the proper flow of all deposited funds to closing attorney.

  • Organize and attend buyer's walk-through prior to closing.

  • Confirm closing date and time for all participants. Attend closing to in order to help resolve any problems.

  • Send you a closing gift and celebrate!

And this, my friends, is my job. This is what I do and what I love. And has been for many years! 

 

IV. TRANSACTION COSTS AND SELLER CLOSING COSTS

The costs on the table below are called "closing costs", and will appear on your settlement statement. These costs are mostly approximate and very general. Assumes you've sold your home for $1m. You will be prorated back any unused condo fees and taxes. Your outstanding mortgage balance will be deducted from your proceeds.

Seller attorney fee $1,000-$1,500+-
Courier/wire fee $50+-
Seller brokerage commission Per agreement
Buyer brokerage commission Per agreement
6(d) recording fee (for condos) 109.50
Transfer tax ($4.56 per thousand) $4,560
Discharge tracking fee $250+-
Mortgage discharge recording $200+-
City smoke/CO cert and related services $150+-
Broker reimbursements (documents, misc purchases) vary


Additionally, if you are in a condo that is in a professionally managed building, your management company may charge for documents such as a filled out condo-questionnaire and procuring a 6(d), which certifies that you have paid all outstanding fees and assessments. If you use oil heat in a single family or a separately-fueled condo, you may receive a credit for unused fuel in the tank. 

 

IV. OTHER REFERENCE MATERIALS

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