Late last week I had a call from the Boston Herald to give some advice for home buyers in a sellers’ market. The focus was the Brookline market. The Brookline MA real estate market has been a sexy story for a couple of years with the tight inventory and skyrocketing prices. It has been made worse by the media’s attention for the multiple offer 100K over-asking sales.
So what are buyers to do?
There are four suggestions I have to buyers who are competing in a tight real estate market:
1. Look at stale inventory. Hard to believe, but there is stale inventory out there. Stop chasing what’s coming on market this week and look at what didn’t sell last month. There are not many of these properties in Greater Boston, but it’s always worth a search.
2. Choose your agent carefully. You should do this in any market. Remember, 117 condos have sold the first four months of the year in Brookline, (see chart below). From my experience as a listing agent, the best buyer’s agents write the best offers. The best agents will have most of their buyers under contract, rather than telling the story about writing 17 offers and getting nowhere. Hire these people.
3. Expand your search. Think about the lifestyle you want rather than the specific neighborhood. I write more about this in a post on the Raveis Blog. Sometimes we get attached to an area, forgetting that usually what we are really looking for is a way of life, not a specific street and town. There are more affordable alternatives, sleepier real estate markets. Give it a try and look elsewhere.
4. Stop your search altogether. If searching for a home has been a miserable defeating experience, then wait. Sure, prices will likely be higher next year. You may be able to save for a larger down payment and regain some sanity. For some home buyers, the challenge is the competition itself, not necessarily the money. So, perhaps this is not your year. Come back in a kinder market and let it go.
Looking at the chart of the week below you see a big jump in April inventory. But proceeding it was a tiny market, so the April inventory of 74 condos is not as good news as it looks in first glance. But don’t despair. Market will loosen up…eventually.
Home owners may be more excited about this market. If you’ve had the slightest thought about selling, please sign up for an accurate and free home evaluation below.