The answer to this questions is going to greatly vary depending if you’re a buyer or a seller. Let’s start with home buyers. This is not 2008, and even if it was, condo prices in Boston’s back bay increased 37.5% from 2007 to 2010 according to data from MLS. Cambridge, MA median single family homes increased 30.3% in that same time frame. Yes, other towns further from the city did not have those same numbers, but in general Boston + Greater Boston is uniquely positioned to weather any real estate down turn. This is due to the high demand for housing, fueled by the cities large number of jobs in the Medical, Educational, life sciences and Bio-tech fields. Not to mention Amazon recently brought 2,000 employees here.
WHAT THE MEDIA PUTS OUT AS “NEWS” IS MOSTLY CLICK BAIT”. On November 8th, 2022 I submitted an offer for a client in Melrose on a home listed at $779,000. It had 12 offers. I’ll say it again-Demand in and around Boston remains strong. I’ll admit that, that many offers right now is unusual, and this time of year is a great OPPORTUNITY for buyers to purchase property for at a lesser price than it would have sold earlier this year.
News Headline: “Biggest number of price reductions since 2008”. The Truth: One reason there are so many price drops is sellers still think its 2021 and they can price their home at whatever number they want OR… they see what their neighbor sold for and believe their house is obviously worth more (Endowment Effect), while not realizing supply has increased, while buyer demand has decreased, and the market sentiment has shifted.
To sum for buyers, if possible, I do NOT recommend waiting until 2023 to buy because inventory will decline significantly in the next five months, while starting January 1st your buying competition will increase vastly. If you buy a home and rates go down, that’s great-you can refinance. However remember, the median home buying age is 36 right now, and the biggest population group (Millennials) are all coming into that age. This means demand will remain high, and supply will be constrained (with factors like new construction starts being down, sellers not selling due to refinancing in the 2’s and 3’s), and as Warren Buffet famously said, “Don’t time the market”.
Sellers; let’s talk about that Melrose house. How did they get so many offers? Here is what I recommend if you want to sell your home:
-Don’t list in 2022.
-Take Nov and December to get your home as ready as possible.
-At a minimum declutter, depersonalize, and organize
-Touch up any and all paint
-Get a handyman to do all the little things you’ve put off
-Meet with a realtor, actually multiple realtors and ask them this question: What is your plan to get my house sold? Then sit back and let them explain. It should be a combination of marketing, home preparation, and pricing strategy and most importantly-setting expectations.
Right now, homes in good locations, with curb appeal, cleaned out, staged properly, marketed to the next level, and priced BELOW what similar homes sold for in the first half of 2021, are getting attention and selling quickly.
To put it simply: do everything you can to make your home as attractive as possible to home buyers, because they are still out there! But…there are less home buyers, and more homes for sale, so your home needs to stand out.
If you made it all the way to this point, thank you and congratulations because whether you are a home buyer, home seller, or both, the information in this blog has put you ahead of 95% of your competition.
PS: Want to be the most savvy home buyer or seller in Boston? Head over to our YouTube Channel: Not Your Average Realtor – for insightful video content on everything Boston + Greater Boston.