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Linda Wigren's Blog

By Linda Wigren | Agent in Walpole, MA



After 5 years of declining prices, bloated inventory, and a buyer’s market, the tide has turned and homebuyers are finding bidding wars on many homes for sale.  What the heck changed?


Inventory.  It’s as simple as supply and demand.  While inventories swelled with short sales, foreclosures, and unrealistic pricing by underwater sellers – buyers could take their time and wait it out.  Here in the suburbs of Greater Boston, foreclosures and short sales are rare.  In fact, the number of listings is far below the number of eligible and interested buyers in most price ranges – if you see a property you like, it’s likely you have company!


Historic lows continuing in mortgage rates.  Real Estate professionals and Mortgage Lenders have been saying “wow, these historic lows won’t last” for several years.  Well okay, we were wrong about that – but no one expected the rates to dip below 4%!  At the risk of sounding redundant – hurry this won’t last!  Seriously.  As the economy improves, those rates will be on the rise – people are in the market because they don’t want to miss out. 


As inventories remain low, and interest rates remain low, prices will begin to rise.  Many in the industry now feel we’ve past the bottom of the market.  People are feeling the urgency to buy now before prices increase.  Don’t miss out!


So how can you get the home you want?


The early bird catches the worm.  If you are depending on consumer websites to show you new listings, you could be 2 days behind someone searching with their Realtor on MLS.  Consumer websites pull their data from local MLS.  This is usually done once in a 24 hour cycle.  If a Realtor posts a new listing in MLS after the data is compiled for a particular day, you may not see that new listing until it’s been on the market for 2 days.  By time you see this listing, it may already be under agreement.  Bottom line, search with your Realtor on MLS for new listings, that way you’ll insure you’re seeing each new listing on the day it’s posted.


If you see a home you like, make an offer.  It’s that simple.  You know what you’re looking for, when you see a home that meets most of your criteria – make an offer.  If you wait, you’ll have company and you may miss out on a home you want. Make sure to have your prequalification in hand, the seller wants to know you’re qualified BEFORE accepting the offer.


Make it clean.  The days of asking for everything under the sun in your offer are over.  You have company, others are looking and will want that house – make a clean offer with the minimum contingencies.  Mortgage and home inspection contingencies are common and even expected by sellers.  Making an offer contingent on the sale of a home is not.  Most people will not wait for you to sell your home to buy theirs.


Home inspection is to learn more about the home and determine if there are structural, mechanical, or safety issues.  That’s it.  In today’s market, sellers are not tolerating laundry lists of painting, caulking, and other minor maintenance items.  If you want the house, keep nuisance items out of the negotiations – a seller CAN participate in repair items, not all sellers WILL – especially if they know there is more interest in the house.


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