Captivating Realty

Home Seller’s Guide

Captivating Realty has sold over $60,000,000 in real estate in the past 12 years. We’ve worked with hundreds of sellers throughout Brookline and Boston. We bring our knowledge and expertise to every home we sell.

We understand that selling your home is both an exciting and stressful process. We work with our clients to guide them through every aspect of selling their home to make it as easy and profitable as possible. We help prepare your home, conduct a comparative market analysis, determine an asking price, list and market your property, set up showings, navigate bids, and handle the closing process. Through our complimentary concierge service, we help our clients maximize the value of their property, before they list.

If you have any questions about the selling process, read through our guide below. If you still have questions, reach out and we’ll be happy to speak with you about your property and your goals.


What to expect from your real estate broker

Your real estate broker should provide you with a high-quality service. Real estate brokers must complete a number of certifications and courses, and continually keep their professional education updated. Many choose to obtain optional certifications and attend seminars in order to provide you with the best service. Through their experience, real estate brokers build an expertise in the local real estate market and become experts on the community where they operate. They are experienced marketers, networkers, and negotiators.

Your real estate broker has spent years building an expertise. Take advantage of their experience and knowledge and they guide you through the process of selling your property.

When you’re working with a real estate broker, they should outline their responsibilities to you, which include:

  • Discussing complete disclosure, loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, and accountability
  • Communicating and keeping you fully informed at all times
  • Determining the best asking price for your property
  • Offering advice on how to prepare and show your property to maximize the value
  • Marketing your home to maximize the number of potential buyers
  • Finding any home-related services that you need
  • Providing feedback from all showings and open houses
  • Providing you with updates on real estate and market changes that may affect your property
  • Helping qualified potential buyers
  • Presenting and evaluating each offer with you in a timely fashion
  • Negotiating the best terms and highest possible asking price for your property
  • Managing contracts, titles, and transactions while keeping you in the loop
  • Ensuring all documents are signed, sealed, and delivered upon closing
  • Arranging relocation and moving services


Preparing your home to attract the highest offer

Buyers evaluate your home the second they pull up to the property. Unless the buyer is looking for a fixer-upper, you want to make sure your house is clean, well-maintained, and well-staged.

By anticipating buyers’ needs and preferences, you can increase your property’s desirability and sale price. One of the best ways to do this is through home improvement projects. If your real estate broker offers a Concierge Service, as Captivating Realty does, they’ll help you determine the projects that will add value to your home and coordinate subcontractors to get the improvements done.

Captivating Realty knows the Brookline and Boston market, and buyer’s preferences. Small improvements to your property can help your property and facilitate a faster sale and higher price. We suggest improvements that will increase the value of your property and manage the necessary resources. Home improvements usually take two forms: renovations, and upgrades and repairs.



Many people are hesitant to make renovations to their home because they fear they won’t recoup the costs. However, by making renovations, you can drastically improve the impression that buyers get from your property. In addition, buyers love when they can move into a new home without having to make renovations after they move in. When choosing renovations to make, consult your real estate broker for ideas. They know the market, know what buyers look for., and which renovations will add value. There are a few renovations that consistently yield higher sale prices:

Energy-efficient improvements: Upgrades that reduce fuel and energy consumption are a major plus for buyers. Many older houses have appliances, lights, windows, insulation, heating, cooling, and ventilation that are out of date. By making improvements to the energy efficiency of your home, your home will be more attractive to buyers.

Bathrooms: Upgrading the bathrooms in your house will increase the value and marketability. Make changes to the shower, bathtub, vanity, lighting, and storage spaces.

Kitchen: New appliances in the kitchen can sell the home. A new stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator make a great impression. A new floor, countertop, and lighting will also increase your sale price.


Upgrades and Repairs

Making small repairs will signal to a buyer that the property they’re looking at has been well cared for. A lot of these updates and repairs are things that many buyer won’t notice, but will certainly notice if they’re not don. You want your potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in your home, so attention to detail is a must. Some of these items should be done well in advance, while others should be done before every showing. Small repairs fall into two main categories: interior and exterior.


  • Make sure to replace anything that is damaged. This includes gutters, shutters, windows, light fixtures, screens, fences, walkways, and steps
  • Pressure wash walkways, sidewalk, driveway, porch, and patio
  • Clean or replace doorbells and door handles
  • Touch up paint, vinyl siding, or shingles
  • Clean gutters and any moss or debris on the roof
  • Clean and organize the garage
  • Mow and rake the lawn
  • Weed and edge garden
  • Trim hedges, shrubs, and trees
  • Remove or organize any outdoor furniture


  • Touch up or repaint walls, ceilings, moulding
  • Repair or replace lights and fixtures
  • Fix any leaks in sinks or toilets
  • Repair grout and caulking
  • Remove any unnecessary furniture to create as much space as possible
  • Remove items from cabinets, closets, shelves, and countertops to create as much space as possible
  • Adding storage space, organizers, or shelves to closets
  • Repair or replace squeaky doors, sliders or screen doors, and door handles
  • Install air fresheners to make your home inviting
  • Clean carpets and rugs
  • Replace or clean outlet and switch plates
  • Clean and sweep the house


Pricing your home and setting an asking price

Determining your asking price is the most difficult, challenging, and important parts of selling your home. Your goal is to determine a price that’s low enough to attract qualified buyers and offers, while setting it high enough to get the most money from your biggest asset. They key to setting the right price is research, which your real estate broker will do.

In an ideal world, you would sell your house for the highest price possible to reach your financial goals. Unfortunately, the price of your property is set by the market and the willingness of buyers. When determining your asking price, you need to understand the market. Buyers have done their research, and so should you.

When you work with a real estate broker, they will do a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA). Your real estate broker will pull together an analysis of pricing information and property details of homes similar to yours that have recently sold, failed to sell, or are still on the market. Real estate brokers will typically present you with a CMA in hopes of getting to exclusively list your property when you sell. The CMA will include an asking price range based on the real estate broker’s research.

It’s critical to price your home correctly from the get go. Most homes attract the most interest between the second to fifth week that they’re on the market. After that, buyers and their agents generally view a listing as stale, there’s less buzz, less showings, and less offers. This decreases the chance that you’ll get your asking price. For these reasons, it’s better to price your property correctly from the beginning than reduce the price if your home doesn’t sell. You want the window of maximum exposure to align with buyer’s appetite and expectations.


Effectively market your home for all it’s worth

Marketing your home covers a wide range of activities: preparing your home, deciding on a listing price, staging and presentation, and networking and advertising. You should be marketing your home with a specific goal in mind – having the most potential buyers see your listing, set up showings, and make offers. This increases your chances of securing or exceeding your asking price. Your real estate broker should know how to market your home most effectively, and will help you get the most for your property.


How buyers find out about your home

In order to attract the most buyers, and the most qualified buyers, you want to expose your house through a number of advertising avenues. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average home buyer spends 10 weeks searching for a home and looks at 10 different homes. Your marketing strategy needs to be crafted to set your property apart from the competition.

Over 90 percent of buyers get home information on the internet (Zillow, Trulia,, social media, etc). It’s important to work with a real estate broker who understands online advertisements and how to get your property the maximum exposure through the internet and social media. Over 85 percent of buyers get home information from real estate professionals, so it’s also important that your real estate broker has a good network and communicates new listings with other industry professionals. Other advertising methods that attract potential buyers are open houses, newspaper ads, real estate magazine ads, and yard signs. By working with your real estate broker and using numerous advertising methods, you increase the exposure of your property and attract the greatest number of qualified buyers.


Marketing your home online

In recent years, buyers are doing increasingly more research online about properties on the market before reaching out to a real estate broker, viewing properties, and buying a home. In fact, buyers usually spend 3 weeks searching for homes before contacting a real estate broker. Buyers are more informed and discriminating, and they know the type of information they want. As a result, brokers and sellers need to cater to the buyer’s needs and provide them with the right information. The two most important things that buyers are looking for online are property photos and detailed information about the property. The secondary information they’re looking for are virtual tours, real estate agent contact information, and neighborhood information.


Set the stage to sell/open house and showings

If you’ve taken the time to get your property in top shape, open houses and showings are your chance to showcase your property to potential buyers and agents and set your property apart from the rest of the market. When setting up for open houses, your real estate broker should help you make your house as attractive as possible. This may include working with a staging company, which your real estate broker can arrange.

The first few week after you list your property are the most important. You want to make sure you home, and your real estate broker, are available for showings and can accommodate buyers and their real estate agent. You never know when a buyer is going to want to see your home, so keeping it ready to be shown at all times is a must.

Your real estate broker and stagers will help you prepare your home for showings. Here are some best practices for making your home as attractive as possible for potential buyers:

  • Have your Home Highlight sheet visible and available
  • Make sure your home is clean! Remove all clutter, make the beds, clean the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.
  • Have as much light as possible to make your home bright and inviting. Turn on all lights, open all blinds and shades
  • Play ambient music and use inviting scents
  • Open all doors between rooms
  • Most real estate brokers suggest that the seller is not home during a showing. This allows potential buyers to freely evaluate and make comments about the home


Negotiating the sale

When negotiating the sale of your home, you want to get the best deal possible. You want to keep your needs and priorities and needs in mind, without letting the buyer and their agent know your situation. Yet, you also want to understand the buyer’s priorities, and be willing to compromise if necessary to close the deal.

Typically when when a buyer makes you an offer, they’ll present you with a contract that they’ve developed with their agent and lawyer. There are a number of conditions that will be laid out in this contract: terms of purchase, closing date, deposit amounts, etc. The contract will be presented to your real estate broker, who will send it to you. Closely review the contract with both your broker and your lawyer. Make sure you understand everything laid out in the contract and ask questions to make sure you’re getting a deal that works for you.

When you’re presented with a contract, you have three options: accept, reject, or counter. The majority of sales involved a number of counter-offers. Counters typically specify deadlines for response, contingencies, and conditions. You and the buyer will exchange counter-offers until you’ve reached a sale agreement, or the negotiation is terminated.

When negotiating, you want to let the buyer and their agent know what they’re entitled to legally, without giving too much information on your selling situation. If the buyer knows too much about why you’re selling, or how urgent you are to make the sale, they make take advantage of your situation and present you with less favorable terms. You’re goal is to get the best price for you house, so be careful about what information you provide to the buyer.

If you think you’ve found the right buyer, and they’ve made you a reasonable offer, do your best to make the deal work. You never know when another is going to come around, and if you’re past the Golden Window and your property has been on the market for a while, future offers may come in at a lower price. That said, if you’re not comfortable with a deal, don’t feel pressured to take it. Your house is your biggest asset and you want to make sure you’re satisfied!  If you’ve received multiple offers on your home, you’re in a great position and can take the one that is most advantageous to you.


Closing the sale

Once you’ve reached a deal with the buyer, you’re ready to close. If you’ve figured out all of the details during negotiation, closing should be an easy process. A pending sales agreement usually involves conditions that must be met by both the buyer and seller by the closing date.


Conditions that usually must be met before closing include:

  • The buyer securing financing. This sometimes happens before closing when a buyer gets pre-approval
  • A title search to make sure there are no legal issues with the ownership of the property
  • Title Insurance in case there are mistakes or errors with the title
  • Appraisal of the home, initiated by the buyer’s lender
  • Inspection of the home, which may include electrical, plumbing, heating, roof, water, foundation, termites and pests


Finalizing the sale

To complete the transaction, a lawyer will review the agreement. Before finalizing, the will:

  • Determine the total amount due from the buyer
  • Collect payment from the buyer
  • Ensure all transaction costs are paid
  • Determine seller adjustments and factor them into the price
  • Witness signing of all documentation
  • Provide seller with all documentation
  • Submit the title to local records office and lending institution
  • Collect all necessary items from the seller (keys, etc.)
  • Provide seller with the proceeds outlined in the agreement

And there you have it! Captivating Realty’s guide to selling your home. We’ve moved over $60,000,000 in real estate and have been helping sellers navigate this process for the past 12 years. If you’re looking to sell your home, reach out today and ask how Captivating Realty can make the sale of your home as profitable and easy for you.