The sales forecast for the Boston condo market in 2018 does not indicate it will stop favoring sellers, at least not during the third quarter of the year. What this means for prospective buyers is that they must pay closer attention to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) if they want to score a great deal on condos in Beacon Hill, lofts for sale in Boston Leather District, or high rise condos downtown area.
There was a time when condo sellers believed they could list their properties as “For Sale by Owner,” thus bypassing the MLS. However, today’s market conditions have pushed FSBO hopefuls in Boston to include their condos on the MLS. Even in a seller’s market, the MLS stands as the best marketing tool for condo owners. For buyers, this system can also be a place where they find great deals if they know how to search for them. Here are five recommendations for using the MLS for maximum advantage.
1. Work with Real Estate Agents
The MLS information displayed on the websites of real estate agencies is enabled by plugins that do not show all the information available about the listings. Just like some stock brokerages offer Level Three quotes to traders who are either very active or willing to pay extra fees, full MLS info is mostly available to licensed agents. Buyers who work with Boston condo agent can receive fresh listings based on their financial goals.
2. Be Quick When You See Fair Market Sales
When sellers list their Boston condos as fair market deals, it usually means they are aware their properties are not in a condition to attract competing bids. Flippers tend to actively look for fair market sale situations, which means speed is of the essence when these listings appear.
3. Look for Short Sales and Real Estate-Owned Properties
Until about 2014, the MLS was filled with opportunities to purchase condos and other properties that banks repossessed through the foreclosure process. Short sales were also widely available in the MLS. These are tentative transactions that motivated mortgage lenders and homeowners hope they can get to closing as soon as possible to avoid further financial losses. Potential deals such as these are still bound to land on the MLS from time to time, and thus it is always a good strategy to be on the lookout for REO and short sales.
4. Get Prequalified for a Mortgage
Before thinking about making an offer in an active seller’s market such as Boston, prospective buyers need to get a mortgage preapproval document from a lender. Buyers may present a bid and rush to apply for a mortgage only to learn an approved borrower beat them to the punch.
5. Watch for Properties That Come Back on the Market
A listing that is pulled from the market before getting to the closing table may later return as ACTV, BOMK, and PCHG. These are MLS codes that indicate the listing is once again active, back on the market, and with a price change, usually at a lower price.
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Condos around the Boston area to rent:
Back Bay area condos for rent
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