Yes, the stories you are hearing in all the local media are true — the housing market is still going crazy, multiple offers are everywhere, contingencies are being waived left and right and first time buyers are having a VERY tough time breaking into the market.
Here are a few real world examples from the market so far this spring:
At the beginning of March (very early side of the spring market), I listed a 438 SF condo in mid-Cambridge for $389 — already over any of the comparable sales from last year (which were in the low- to mid-$300s), but based on what I knew about another similar condo that listed a couple weeks prior. After a dizzying five days of open houses and private showings, we received 24 offers. The winning bid was for $471,000.
Some buyer clients submitted an offer on a small (<1000 SF) single family in Medford bordering the Fells — a lovely area, despite abutting Route 93, and the home, although not updated, was well maintained and charming. It was listed for $324,900 and my clients’ offer was more than 10% over, but alas, there were 50 offers total (!!!) and we were not the winning party. The home has not yet closed, so remains to be seen where the price will end up but I’m guessing it is well into the $400s, and also guessing there were no contingencies on the winning offer (i.e., no financing contingency, no inspection).
This past weekend, I showed a lovely 2-family on a super cute little street in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville. It was listed at $675,000, which frankly was underpriced, given the condition and location, and I told my client that I expected it would at least hit, if not exceed, $800,000. My client did not end up submitting, but an agent friend of mine who is in the mix tells me there are 14 offers on the table and that my estimation on pricing may even be low — ay caramba!
So this is the spring market so far. Great for sellers but kind of discouraging for buyers.
Note, though, that there are still opportunities out there — I know of at least one buyer who is under agreement on a great little Inman Square single family with financing (less than 10% down!) AND an inspection contingency. The key was keeping an eye on the market for listings that had been languishing for a while. So many buyers miss great places because they get wrapped up in the common belief that if a property doesn’t sell in the first week there is something wrong with it — not so! These are often the best deals out there, so buyers, please keep the faith and stay open-minded!
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