An empty street in Boston, Massachusetts

From our experience, we understand that selling a home in a down market is a daunting task. It requires smart sell strategies that take into account the unique features of a down market. 

But what’s a down market, anyway? It’s the period when there is a surplus of homes for sale and a limited number of buyers, leading to decreased demand and lower home prices. In a down market, competition among sellers is fierce, and it generally takes longer to sell a home than in a stable or upward market.

To navigate a down market, you need strong sale strategies that immediately sets your home apart from the rest. An excellent idea is to make sure your home is in tip-top condition. Consider investing in repairs, updates, and staging to make your home more appealing to potential buyers. 

In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into these sell strategies and offer additional tips and insights to help you sell your home in a down market. Let’s get right to it.

1. The Price Has to Be Right

We start the list with one of the most important details to note when trying to close a property sales in a down market scenario in Massachusetts. You may need to knock your asking price down a notch to attract buyers. Remember, you’re in a competition with other sellers, and the weapon of choice is price.

As such, your price has to be right. When you hit the mark, it immediately sends a signal to buyers that you’re motivated to sell and willing to negotiate. Price – the right price, specifically – needs to spearhead your inbound sales strategy, even before you begin to consider other aspects of the sales process.

It’s crucial, then, that you hire a knowledgeable real estate agent who can help you determine the right price based on the current market conditions and comparable sales in your area. 

What’s more, a real estate agent can provide insights into local Massachusetts market trends and help you understand the competition. Agents can also give insights on any successful sales strategy plan, so you can make offers buyers can’t resist.

2. Make the Curb Appeal Perfect 

First impressions, they say, matter in most transactions. In a down market, first impressions can make all the difference for your chances at a property sale. So, how do you put the right foot forward?  

Curb appeal. The perfect curb appeal. Enhancing your curb appeal can cover simple and inexpensive tasks such as cleaning the exterior, removing debris, trimming overgrown bushes, and planting colorful flowers.

9 times out of 10, a well-maintained property sends a message to oh new and existing customers that the interior is also likely to be in proper shape. That makes them more likely to schedule a viewing, at least. 

High-angle view of the Boston cityscape

3. Make Necessary Repairs

We’ll tell you one of the biggest buyers’ pet peeves on the market: Aged or worn-out property. In a down market? Their patience for homes in disrepair will undoubtedly be much shorter. Therefore, making the necessary repairs is quite crucial when selling a property in a down market. 

In such a tough market, new and existing customers are often more discerning and may be hesitant to take on a property with issues or potential problems. By addressing necessary repairs, you can improve the condition and functionality of your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

Repairs such as fixing leaky faucets, replacing broken tiles, repairing cracks in walls, and updating outdated fixtures can make your property look newer, fresher, and more modern. It also gives buyers peace of mind and may help to alleviate any concerns they may have about potential problems or issues with the property.

What’s more, by providing documentation of completed repairs, you can demonstrate to potential buyers that you have taken care of the property and that it is in good condition. We reckon that correct pricing won’t be a problem for you at that point. Heck, you could justify a higher asking price with an excellent repair culture.

4. Stage the Home 

Staging your home is up there with some of the most effective ways to sell your property in a down market in Massachusetts. It immediately boost your odds in the seller’s competition, making your property more attractive and helping it stand out in a crowded market.

But, how does staging a home appeal to buyers? For one thing, buyers get to visualize themselves living in the property. When you depersonalize the space and creating a neutral, welcoming atmosphere, you can help potential buyers see the potential of the property and imagine themselves living there. 

That can come in especially handy in a down market, where buyers may be hesitant to invest in a property that feels dated or cluttered.

Other than that, staging lets you highlight the best features of your property. When you arrange furniture, lighting, and decor in a way that accentuates the positive aspects of your home, it sorts of creates a more appealing and memorable impression for potential buyers.

What’s more, you get instant differentiation from the others on the market and another nudge to your chances of a sale.

You may need an entire marketing team, complete with sales managers if you’re listing a collection of properties at the same time. They’d have better expertise in staging the home.

5. Set the Right Sale Period

One of the top sales strategies is timing a sale in the best months. If you have a marketing team, they’d be quick to tell you how important market timing can get. Whatever sale period you pick can have significant impact on how much you’re likely to get for the house. 

Interestingly, there are certain times of the year that are generally better for selling in the States, such as spring, when buyers are most active. However, local market conditions may vary. In Massachusetts, spring remains an excellent time to list your property. 

The weather gets warmer, and buyers are often more motivated to start their property search. However, if you’re selling in a smaller, more seasonal town, you may find that summer is actually the best time to sell, when tourism is at its peak and the target market is teeming with potential buyers.

On the other hand, if you’re selling in a larger city like Boston, you may find that the market is relatively stable year-round, and the best time to sell may depend more on your personal circumstances, such as when you feel ready to move.

If we had to narrow down to the months, June is your best bet. From Redfin Corp’s concrete indications, June happens to be when sales prices peak. You can easily command up to 8% more than the national sales average. 

But that’s not all, June also takes the least days to complete a property sale. You get to save up to 12 days more than the national sales duration average. Aim for June for the best sale.  

6. Get a CMA or an Estimate

Typically, a seasoned real estate agent is necessary as you try to sell your home in a down market. Beyond the insights and direction they can provide, They can also provide the all-important CMA.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) involves evaluating the potential selling price of your property in the current market. The CMA basically takes into account recent sales of similar properties in your locality, as well as other crucial metrics like supply and demand, and inventory levels.

However, if you’re still unsure about completing the sale, A CMA might not be what you need. Maybe you’re at an earlier stage and simply seeking a general estimate of your home’s value. You’re better off utilizing a free online home value estimator. 

Black-and-white panoramic view of Boston

7. Launch Some Aggressive Marketing

The ugly truth about a down market is that the chances of a homebuyer approaching you for your listing is lower than usual. You’d have to help yourself by taking the offer to them. Even that isn’t exactly a choice, since if you don’t do it, other sellers will.

What to do, then? It’s best to buckle down and put an effective sales strategy plan into gear. You can start by highlighting the unique features of your home. What makes it stand out? Is it the beautiful garden or the unique architectural details? It’s best to know these features and highlight them in your sales and marketing plan.

Then you’d want to capture the features with high-quality photography and video. Those can make your home “pop” and look more appealing to potential buyers. If you can hire one, a professional photographer or videographer can help you showcase your home in the best possible light.

Property photography is a great sales strategy example, but you can augment it by creating content around your property on social media. You can use platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as those let you reach a broader audience. Consider creating a dedicated page or profile for your home and post updates about any open houses or other events you’ve got.

8. Offer Some Juicy Incentives

In a down market, a seller’s end goal is to one-up their competition to persuade buyers. To that end, incentives can prove to be an effective sales strategy plan, especially when you offer them early on in the deal . When buyers are weighing their options, a juicy incentive may be the deciding factor that makes them choose your property over others.

Beyond that, incentives can create a sense of urgency for buyers who may be hesitant to make an offer. For instance, if you offer a home warranty or a discount on closing costs, buyers may feel more compelled to act quickly before the incentive expires.

Incentives also drive up the perceived value of your home. You may find stronger justifications for a higher asking price if you throw in an incentive in the deal. That becomes a value proposition, especially useful if the incentive helps offset some of the buyer’s expenses.

In a down market, buyers may get strapped for cash and become hesitant to take on additional expenses. By offering to cover some of their expenses like closing costs or property taxes, you may be able to make your home more attractive, yet affordable for  buyers.

However, you must consider the cost of these incentives beforehand. That helps you determine if they’re financially feasible for you. 

Aerial view of buildings in Massachussets

9. Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills

Everyone loves a great deal in the Massachusetts real estate market. However, in a down market situation, the odds are quite stacked against the seller. Potential buyers have the upper hand, what with the higher supply than demand. So, best believe they’d be looking to score a deal first and foremost. 

As a seller, you’re not completely helpless – especially when you can bring your negotiation skills to bear. Having sharper negotiation skills can help you pull through when trying to sell your Massachusetts home in a down market. 

For one thing, your negotiation skills get to complement your inbound sales pipeline and other strategies. That’s especially so, when you’ve identified the best possible price for your home and leaned in on it.

By deftly presenting your home’s strengths and negotiating on terms like closing costs, repairs, and inspection contingencies, you may get to close the deal at your desired net profit.

Also, a sharp negotiation can help you close the deal quicker – much quicker. You get to weave through your sales tactics and marketing strategy more efficiently. A neat trick is working with potential buyers to address their concerns and find solutions that are agreeable to all parties.

There’s no way around it: buyers will try to make low-ball offers in a down market. When you start with lean, mean and effective negotiation, you can easily side-step those types of offers. Try to present compelling counteroffers that effectively communicate your home’s value.

10. Work With a Knowledgeable Agent

As you go through the list, you may have realized that some of the sell strategies might be challenging to implement without some professional help. They can help you price your home correctly, market it right to target market, and pull in qualified buyers.

Beyond that, an agent’s presence can give you the professional support you need. They may also take a look at your sales pipeline strategy and give one or two recommendations on that. Trust us: you need every knowledgeable help you can get when trying to sell a home in Massachusetts, especially in a down market. 

They could also negotiate for you, since a real estate agent is more likely to have the strong negotiation skills that can get you the best possible price and terms for your home. As the deal progresses, a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you stay on top of the latest trends and developments in your local market.

Bottom Line

Selling a home in a down market can get challenging, but don’t despair. When you use the right strategies, your chances of a successful sale get a boost. From pricing your home correctly to staging it effectively, the tactics discussed above can make your home stand out in a crowded market instantly. 


What is the Most Profitable Way To Sell My House?

It depends on the factors with which you’re faced. For starters, you’d need to take note of the market condition at the time – is it down or up? Also, the area from which you intend to sell the house plays a crucial role in its profitability.

Ultimately, you’d need some professional real estate agent to bring together these variables to figure out what works for you.

How Do I Sell My House on My Own in Massachusetts?

Selling a Massachusetts home DIY-style might be a tad more work, but you can still pull it off cleanly. If you set the right price and market aggressively, you’re sure to get useful leads. A couple open houses and sharp negotiations, and you might be sealing the sale in no time.

How Much Tax Do You Pay When You Sell a House in Massachusetts?

You’d have to calculate how much capital gains tax and state transfer tax you have to pay for the house. The capital gains tax rate currently sits at 5.2% while the state transfer is $4.56 per $1000 of the property’s sales price. You could get some exemptions and deductions between these tax brackets.

Why stress to sell a home in today’s competitive real estate market, all by yourself? Let Ardor Homes Massachusetts help! With our personalized seller approach, sales team and proven track record of success, you can trust us to guide you every step of the way. Reach out today!

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