As we head into autumn and a traditionally popular time to sell homes in the Boston area, Nick discusses trends in the market and how this year may be a bit different. He also gives tips for sellers looking to sell during this time and offers a golden piece of advice for buyers looking to make a purchase by the end of the year.
What are you seeing as far as market activity as we head into the fall of 2020?
So far, the fall market is off to an extremely fast start. Our agents are busier than ever with both listings and buyers. In Boston, our buyers have about 50% more inventory to choose from than at this time last year which is allowing some of them to finally have a chance to purchase in the city. The pandemic has caused a lot of people to rethink where and how they want to live resulting in an increased demand for more space. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in activity in the suburbs surrounding Boston where we are seeing listings get multiple offers and go over asking price in many cases. I predict that the fall market will more than make up for the 2-3 months of no activity caused by the lockdown earlier this year.
For sellers looking to make a move this time of year, what advice would you give?
This really depends on where the property is located. If they are looking to sell a condo in the city, the market has changed significantly over the last six months and there is more competition than we have seen in almost a decade. This means that a seller has to be more realistic with their asking price and needs to prepare the property so that it really shines.
If the property is in the suburbs around Boston, it is a different story entirely. We are seeing scenarios where homes, especially those under $1.5m, are getting multiple offers over asking price. This still doesn’t mean you should overprice the property. The worst thing to do in a fast moving market is to overprice it and have it sit because buyers will think something is wrong with it and you will ultimately end up taking less than if you priced it accurately to begin with. What it does mean is that if positioned correctly, you should expect to have people competing over it and hopefully generate a handful of clean, straight forward offers to choose from.
And for buyers looking to make a purchase while rates are at their lowest in over 50 years, what is the top piece of advice you would give?
Right now is one of the best opportunities to be a buyer in the Boston real estate market for as long as I can remember. Your buying power has never been as strong as it is today with rates around 3% or below and you have more choice than ever before if you are looking in downtown Boston. For all those buyers who have been getting outbid over the past 1-3 years, now is your chance to buy your piece of Boston real estate. Obviously, the suburbs don’t have the amount of inventory the city does so you will be facing more competition but with rates as low as they are, it is worth sticking it out until you lock something up.