If it’s a new day in Boston, there’s probably a new project getting approved, a new change for the old neighborhood, a new restaurant opening. There is tremendous enthusiasm for the future of the Hub, but it’s not risk free future.
What’s going to change in the Boston real estate market in 2015? Probably this!
There is plenty to give thanks for on Thanksgiving and this Thanksgiving I suggested giving thanks to one of the most oft noted, but least talked about aspects of the Hub’s residential real estate market. What was it? Check out my featured column in Curbed and find out.
I was looking for a characteristic that these condos, regardless of price, had in common.
I think I found it and wrapped it up in one word. What’s that word? Check out my featured column in Curbed and find out.
In the morning, I put on a heavy jacket. I’m freezing. By midday it’s a little warmer and I’m thinking I don’t need the jacket. And around 4pm that same day, I’m thinking why did I wear long sleeves, its 66 degrees out.
Reports on the Hub real estate market sometimes feel just as temporal. One minute, I’m hearing how September home sales are down. The next, I’m hearing how median prices are up. Last week was a great week for mortgage rates, but this week it’s cooler in that real estate sector. Obviously, I’m more in need of an accurate real estate forecast than a good weather one, so I recently took the temperature of the Boston condo market. Want to know what I found out? Then check out my featured column in Curbed!
One of the most common questions I get as a real estate agent is, “What’s a good offer?” I define a good offer as “an offer that brings you closer to getting what you want.” In my experience, this handy chart is one of the best indicators of how strong an offer has to be move a buyer closer to getting what they want. Why?
I broke down, by the year they were built, more than 20,000 single family homes that were available for sale in MLS. The median price of a single family home that was built recently was nearly double the asking price of homes built decades ago. Ironically, the square footage of houses built recently was also nearly double the square footage of homes built decades ago.
Did you hear about the Realtor who had a buyer who wanted something that didn’t exist?
That client’s name was “50% of their book of business.”
Despite the fact that the Greater Boston MLS has tens of thousands of homes for sale, once a buyer compares their needs, wants and aspirations for a home against the available inventory it will be lucky if even three look like potential purchases. Furthermore, upon visiting the three potential new homes, it’s not uncommon for all of them to be quickly ruled out. So, will the type of home the buyer is looking for ever come up for sale? Certainly I hope so. The numbers bear out that buyers probably will find their next home, but one thing usually happens first.
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This happened recently. A neighbor contacted an owner whose house is about to go on the market and makes a cash offer, with no contingencies, that was 10% below what a broker told him was the lowest price to expect. So, of course, the owner refuses the offer. The neighbor, still hot for the home, asks what will it take the owner to sell him the house instead of going to market? The owner responds something along the lines of “an offer that makes it worth my while.” So, the neighbor increases their offer by 40%. You read that right, 40%! The revised, cash, no contingency offer surpasses the highest range of broker predicted possible sale prices. The only hitch, there were no houses that were available for sale in that market at that price. So the aforementioned house goes to market and …of course, sells for almost 10% more than the neighbor’s increased offer. DANG! Folks, in this market no one can assess market value without going to market. Don’t believe me? Then, read my featured column in Curbed!
The key to reading an MLS showing sheet is understanding that agents sell what they got. So while the sheet is bursting full of information, the part of the listing sheet that will emphasize the best and most salable features is the remarks section. Like proud parents talking about their child’s latest accomplishment, agents typically tout the homes admirable amenities. So anything that would make a buyer want to buy that home should be in the remarks section. In fact, not too long ago MLS increased the size of it from 500 words to 1,000 words so agents can list every possible benefit.
Some people think that selling is all about emphasizing a product’s positive traits and de-emphasizing the negative. So another key to understanding the
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About David Bates
David Bates is a top producing real estate agent who has sold condominiums, single families, and investment property in a variety of Boston neighborhoods and many of the city's better suburbs.
His insights appear not only in in this original content blog, but also in the most established local media, including Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine, Boston.Curbed.com, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Bloomberg News and NECN.
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