Autumn in Boston means apple picking and pumpkin patches but also one of the strongest real estate markets! Nick gives his predictions on where the market will head as we finish 2019 and into 2020. He also gives some tips for sellers if they are looking to sell during this competitive time of year.
As we approach the final quarter of 2019, where do you see the market heading?
Throughout the year we’ve seen an increase of days on market as well as an increase in total inventory in most neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods have moved from a seller’s market to a neutral market which is healthy and I expect to see this trend continue throughout the rest of 2019. Ultimately, more inventory will provide opportunities to buyers who may have been standing on the sidelines for the past 12-24 months because they were previously unable to find a property they liked or were being outbid too often. Overall transaction volume should increase vs. the past few years as well due to this increase in available inventory.
This is typically a busy time of year for home sales in Boston - what are buyers and sellers in the marketplace seeing right now?
As I mentioned above, buyers are certainly being presented with more choices when it comes to their home search. There are fewer multiple offer scenarios (although they definitely still exist!) so we are seeing some buyers able to get additional contingencies accepted with their offers such as mortgage or inspection contingencies. Sellers, if their property is positioned properly, are still seeing increases in pricing vs. this same time last year but the rate in which the price increased was less than in previous years.
Some sellers we talk to are still expecting the double-digit year over year appreciation we’ve seen over the past few years. This is causing a significant gap in seller expectations vs. the reality of the market which will result in DOM continuing to go up until a balance is reached, most likely sometime in early to mid-2020.
For sellers looking to sell in this competitive market, what tips do you have for them?
When inventory increases and average days on market begin to creep upwards a seller must pay attention to two very important things: a proper pricing strategy and positioning the property to stand out in the market place. This all starts with choosing the right real estate agent. A professional agent should provide a seller with a detailed plan for both of these things with data to back up their suggestions. The days of just listing for 10% more than the most recent comparable property sold for are over so you must work with someone who really knows the market well.
The other tip I would suggest is to spend some time and money getting your property ready for sale. Repair or replace anything that might be a distraction to a potential buyer. Painting walls, refinishing floors, and replacing dated appliances can be relatively affordable options for increasing the curb appeal of your property which should help make it stand out from the competition and get a higher sales price and fewer days on market.