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Boston's Buyer Agent Blog

All You Need To Know About Greater Boston Real Estate

By Gary Dwyer | Agent in Boston, MA
  • If A Buyer Waives A Home Inspection, Could The Seller Be At Risk?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Massachusetts, Home Selling in Massachusetts, Property Q&A in Massachusetts  |  July 3, 2013 5:41 AM  |  466 views  |  No comments

    Over the past year or so, the Greater Boston real estate market has seen explosive growth in the number of multiple-bid scenarios.  With an improving economy and a limited number of homes available for sale on the market, buyers have been pursuing properties very aggressively.  In some cases there may be 15-20 offers on a single-property with offers 10-20+% over asking price.  Along with this, there has also been an increase in the number of buyers that are willing to forego some traditional contract contingencies such as home inspections, radon inspections, and mortgage contingencies to make their offer more attractive to a seller.

    I think waiving the mortgage contingency, unless a buyer has enough assets to purchase without a mortgage, is very risky and akin to gambling with the 5% or 10% deposit.  The radon contingency is a little less risky when waived since most of the time a radon remediation system in the area runs $1000.00 - $1500.00.  But again, these are decisions that the buyer needs to make based upon counsel with their buyer agent and / or attorney.

    However, I do think that for a first-time or "non-professional" buyer (i.e.: someone that is not involved in real estate as an agent, developer, investor at least part time), waiving the home inspection is a potentially expensive contingency not to incorporate into the offer, particularly when many sellers don't supply a written "Sellers Disclosure" on what they know / don't know about the property.  Issues and defects within a property that may not visible to buyers but would be discovered by a licensed home inspector can be very costly.  So what happens when these issues pop-up in the future and the buyer says "but I was told the seller wanted me to waive the inspection contingency".

    Now, I am not a lawyer, but I have to think that in the near future we will probably see a number of legal cases brought against sellers where the buyer got the "winning" bid on a property because they waived the home inspection based upon the seller's agent telling the buyer and / or buyer agent something along the lines of "there are many offers on the property - the sellers like your price but you have an inspection contingency and others don't - can you do something about that?". 


    Whether there is any basis for a legal claim or not will be for the courts to decide, but why take the risk?

    As an exclusive buyer agent, I'll continue to recommend to all my buyers that they have an inspection to protect their interests - I would rather them lose out on a bidding war than to buy a home that isn't right for them because of unforeseen repair costs.  I would also challenge listing agents to think about the downstream exposure for them and their seller clients when a buyer does not have a home inspection.  I have begun to notice that some listing agents are very aware of potential downstream exposure (whether valid or not) and have taken the tone of "buyers are welcome to have a home inspection but the property is sold in as-is condition.  The seller isn't going to renegotiate the deal based upon the inspection - the buyer will just have to make a go/ no-go decision after the inspection"  I think that this is a win-win situation for all since a disgruntled home buyer faced with thousands of dollars in repair costs will certainly pursue every avenue for compensation.  

  • South Boston Condo Prices Are Up But Sales Are Falling

    Posted Under: Home Buying in South Boston, Home Selling in South Boston, In My Neighborhood in South Boston  |  April 29, 2013 1:12 PM  |  281 views  |  1 comment

    South Boston condo market sale prices are on the rise.  When compared to Q1 2007 and Q1 2012, we have seen steady increases on the overall average cost to purchase a condo in the market ($386K in 2007 vs. $453K in 2013) along with an average Price Per Square Foot (PPSF) cost of $446 in Q1 2013.

    Looking forward to seeing what happens in Q2 2013 since the lack of inventory of available home for sales is reducing the number of sales - keep tuned for more info in this and other markets Buyer Agents of Boston serves.

    If you have questions about the South Boston market or any other market Buyer Agents of Boston serves, just send an e-mail to garydwyer@yahoo.com

  • Back Bay Sales Update

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay, Home Selling in Back Bay, In My Neighborhood in Back Bay  |  April 3, 2013 7:12 AM  |  341 views  |  No comments
    The spring housing market has arrived and we are starting to see more inventory hit the market.

    Make sure you are up-to-date and prepared for what your dollar is going to buy you in the market place by working with an experienced and professional buyer agent as well as educating yourself as to what properties have sold recently and at what price.

    Thinking about buying in the Back Bay? Here are some recent sales that will give you a feel for the market - http://www.buyeragentsofboston.com/searches/2509783.rss

  • Deval's Tax Scheme Is A Disaster For Home Owners

    Posted Under: General Area in Massachusetts, Home Buying in Massachusetts, Home Selling in Massachusetts  |  April 2, 2013 7:15 AM  |  320 views  |  No comments
    Deval Patrick's tax increase scheme is going to be a disaster for home buyers and home owners if approved and signed into law.

    For current homeowners, Patrick's proposal would eliminate the current capital gain exemption threshold for gains made in a properties value. This would result in an additional tax bill of up to $30,000.00 when a home owner or investor sold a property.

    For home buyers, this is going to limit the amount of available housing inventory available for sale since this onerous tax bill will discourage property owners from listing their property for sale.

    The Governor further wants to eliminate two tax credits that have been helping home owners / home buyers deal with two significant health and safety issues stemming from our older housing stock - credits to deal with upgrading of septic systems and make housing lead-paint compliant.

    With the elimination of these two credits, homeowners will be less likely to take on the expensive tasks of bringing property up to compliance with the Lead Paint laws and putting children at risk for health risks from exposure to lead paint. The septic system upgrade credit helps homeowners defray the costs of expensive septic system upgrades to prevent raw and untreated waste from damaging wells and ground water.

    Please join me in telling the Governor and the legislature to back off their schemes to further burden taxpayers with these ill conceived plans.

  • New MLS Guidelines Will Benefit Buyers and Agents

    Posted Under: General Area in Massachusetts, Home Buying in Massachusetts, Home Selling in Massachusetts  |  March 27, 2013 11:22 AM  |  175 views  |  No comments

    Good news today from the board at MLSPIN (the multiple listing service that covers Greater Boston)!

    The guidelines for when the status of a property is to be updated to “Under Agreement” is going to be changed. 

    Under the new guidelines, the listing broker will need to update the status of a property at the time when a listing broker has fully executed offer to purchase.   Listing brokers may still use the “ACT with a Kick-out” status (ACT ), but only for those listings with an offer that has a genuine kick-out/right of first refusal contingency.

    In the past, the listing would remain in an “Active” state but with a flag that often times only real estate brokers / salespeople would be able to see.  This would indicate that an offer to purchase had been accepted but contingencies such as inspections, signing of P&S, and even clearing a mortgage contingency still needed to be cleared before being updated as Under Agreement.  This would mean that a listing would continue to show as Active for days / weeks after the offer was accepted.

    This status often caused confusion with home buyers that thought a property was available only to find out when they contacted their buyer agent or the listing broker that the property had an accepted offer. 

    The board believes that this change will help homebuyers have a much better understanding of market conditions and property availability.

    This new guideline will take effect over the next 1 to 2 months as MLSPIN educates listing brokers to the new guidelines.

     

  • Tell Congress To Back Off Changes To The Mortgage Interest Deduction

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Massachusetts, Home Selling in Massachusetts, Investment Properties in Massachusetts  |  December 11, 2012 5:18 PM  |  150 views  |  No comments

    By now you have seen numerous news reports concerning the “Fiscal Cliff”, which is a combination of spending cuts and tax increases that will go into effect in January if no compromise is reached on long-term taxes and spending. Many of these reports speculate that a change to the long-standing policy that allows homeowners to deduct mortgage interest payments from their income taxes could be part of a “Fiscal Cliff” deal.

    The mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy. Please click on this link- http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/ to remind Congress to reject any proposed changes to the mortgage interest deduction -- Do No Harm to Housing.

    Gary Dwyer, Broker / Owner
    Buyer Agents of Boston, LLC

  • Charlestown Forecast - Improving and Rising

    Posted Under: General Area in Charlestown, Home Buying in Charlestown, Home Selling in Charlestown  |  December 7, 2012 5:09 PM  |  281 views  |  No comments

    Real estate statistics are generally reported comparing month to month or year to year, however I think that gives an unrealistic picture of a market. Since most homeowners live in their home for an average of 7 years, I advise my clients to look at a market performance over a 6 or 7 year period.

    If we look at Charlestown sales for the fall market (properties closed from September 1 through November 30) for the years 2006 and 2012 (according to data from the MLSPIN), we see that the 2 Bedroom and single-family market stable to strong while the 1 and 3 bedroom properties are starting to show improvement.

    For one-bedroom condos, the average price was $361K in 2012 vs $405K in 2006. Although this is 10% lower, if we look at the the number of properties sold (14 in 2006 and 23 in 2012) combined with significant reduction in Days on Market (58 days in 2012 vs 120 in 2012) I forecast that prices are going to be increasing in the Spring 2013 market.

    This is my same forecast for 3 bedroom properties where the prices are down 19% from 2006 highs ($672K in 2006 vs. $549K in 2012), however the number of properties sold (3 in 2006 vs 10 2012) and the reduction in days on market from 235 days in 2006 to 80 in 2012).

    2 bedroom properties have been basically unchanged and single-famly homes have seen increases however over the past 6 years. The average 2 bedroom property went for $527K during this period in 2006 and $520K in 2012 with double the number of properties sold and days on market in half (74 days in 2012 vs. 150 days in 2006).

    Single-family properties have seen increases over the past 6 years with the average single-family property sold in 2006 costing $656K and $713K in 2012 (up 8.6%). Again, number of sales during this period were almost double and the days on market in 2012 being half of what they were in 2006.

    I think the lack of inventory, low interest rates, along with Charlestown's proximity to Boston, Cambridge, Route 93 and 1, as well as public transportation options are going to bolster Charlestowns sales and values in the Spring 2013 market.

    Don't forget - as an exclusive buyer agent, I only represent home buyers and provide them with the facts and data to make an informed real estate purchase. Each property / market is different and this analysis only represents averages. Please call me at 617 997-5570 or e-mail me at garydwyer@yahoo.com for a free, no-obligation consultation on your Greater Boston real estate needs.

    Gary Dwyer, Broker / Owner,
    Buyer Agents of Boston, LLC
    bostonbuyeragent@gmail.com
    617-997-5570 - voice
    www.BuyerAgentsOfBoston.com

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