Spring is generally a very busy time of year for real estate. As everyone comes out of hibernation, there’s a flurry of activity. More listings are available for sale and more buyers are looking to purchase. Given current market conditions, what can you expect when buying a home in the Massachusetts Spring real estate market?
It’s Still a Seller’s Market
It’s been a seller’s market in Massachusetts for several years now, and this year is no different. With so many buyers still looking and not enough inventory to satisfy demand, sellers truly have the upper hand. As a buyer, it’s important to remember this when interacting with sellers and negotiating offers. Don’t be overly pushy or take a hard stance, because the reality is, sellers have an abundance of other buyers to choose from. Sellers want to work with easy-going buyers who will make the process a smooth and stress-free one. Doing everything you can to remain in a seller’s good graces is important.
Multiple Offers Are Common
If you find a home that is priced properly and is in good condition, you will likely encounter competing offers. They are very common in this market, especially with desirable homes. It is important that you present clean and competitive offers to improve your chances of success. In some cases, sellers may not return and ask for best and final offers, so consider presenting your best offer right off the bat. Here are some other things that can make your offer more desirable:
- Eliminate unnecessary contingencies.
- Don’t ask for items that sellers expressly excluded from the sale.
- Shorten deadline for inspection, P&S signing, and mortgage contingencies.
- Include a solid pre-approval letter.
- Include sufficient escrow deposits for the given market.
- Avoid closing cost concessions, if possible.
- Include an escalation clause.
Decision Time Frames Are Short
Unfortunately, you will have little time to make a decision on new listings when buying a home in the Massachusetts Spring market. A common practice for local real estate agents is to activate the listing mid-week, allow first showings at the open house that weekend, and require offers to be submitted by the following Monday or Tuesday.
Why is this process used? Most sellers don’t allow showings until the open house because there are simply so many buyers that it would be difficult to accommodate private showing requests for all of them. Open houses can easily attract 30-60 potential buyers all at once.
Offer deadlines are often established to create a level playing field and generate the most number of offers for sellers to review at once. Otherwise, buyers may be upset that a home went under agreement before they’ve had a chance to view it. Additionally, sellers might receive individual offers and be forced to respond without knowing whether better ones are on the way. Thus, an offer deadline is beneficial to everyone.
Mistakes to Avoid in the Massachusetts Spring Real Estate Market
There are many common mistakes that buyers make in the Massachusetts Spring real estate market. Mistakes can cost you both time and money. The longer it takes you to find a home, the higher prices may rise before you finally find one. Some mistakes that we see often include:
- Not submitting an offer by the deadline.
- Assuming you have the upper-hand in a seller’s market.
- Not submitting a competitive offer to start.
- Providing inaccurate information.
- Assuming that an escalation clause can overcome other components of your offer.
In this market, it is extremely important that you work with an experienced buyer’s agent. A good agent can help you avoid these and other mistakes. He/she can also help you present competitive offers with improved chances of success. With the professionals working on your behalf, you can successfully buy a home in the Massachusetts Spring real estate market.