Well, that’s still up for debate. But if they are coming back to the downtown Boston real estate market, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
From large down payments to pre-inspections, skipping contingencies, and everything in between, here are some tips from four Boston-area agents.
Inspecting the home before making an offer can give the buyer an advantage by allowing them to move quickly, make an appointment to inspect the home before making the offer, so you can put in the offer waiving the contingency,
Taking steps to meet the seller’s unique needs. Before making an offer, to see if there’s anything, in particular, the sellers want, such as a flexible closing date.
Relationship building goes a long way and can be a difference-maker. Working well with other agents can make the difference between winning or losing an offer, even if you don’t have the highest or strongest bid.
This has happened to me on both sides, If you have a good relationship with the listing agent from past transactions, that could definitely work in your favor. They want to make sure they have a nice smooth transaction for their seller and will most likely want to work with you again over other agents that may not have been so easy to work with.”
While risky, skipping contingencies, even home inspections, could be necessary to close a deal in a competitive environment,
“Although you are taking an enormous risk, the seller does not want to have to deal with putting the home back on the market if the buyer backs out after home inspection or wants to renegotiate after inspection,” she said, recommending thorough showings in lieu of formal inspections. “Test appliances, look for cracks in the foundation, look for signs of plumbing leaks, and that lights are in working order.
Waiving cash back at closing and having the buyer sell their current home ahead of their next purchase can also help, she said.
Connecting someone with a great bank with a good reputation is another tactic. “The listing agent will see that and be comfortable knowing it’s someone who gets the job done,” she said.
“I have worked with a mortgage broker for the last nine years or so who always gets the job done. When my clients work with her, I am thrilled because I am putting together a team (along with a closing attorney) that I know and trust. As part of my offer, I spell out who all the players are: The agent (me), the bank, the closing attorney (and sometimes home inspector) with contact information.”
Use and occupancy: Allowing the seller to live in the property after closing is another tactic, adding that she’s won offers for clients by doing just that.
The current market does not allow for much back and forth, so going in with the client’s best offer is often the way to go.
Keeping a tight time frame, from going right to purchase and sale to doing a home inspection within a few days can be a big help. “It’s important because if someone wants a 30-day close, they have to be able to do things quickly, move quickly because appraisers are really backed up,” she said.
A large down payment shows your client is a serious buyer and a better candidate for getting their loan approved, while a small down payment could indicate the buyer is more of a risk for getting the loan approved.
A personal touch:
A quick note from buyer to seller explaining why the client loves the home can also help, hand-delivering the offer can make the difference in multiple-offer listings.
It’s important the buyers understand the current market environment. “As a buyer’s agent, I don’t think it’s in the buyer’s best interest to waive home inspections and appraisal language, but as a seller’s agent, I can tell you those are the offers that are winning in this market,” she said. “There is a lot of risk for buyers in today’s market.”
Facing an upsurge in housing demand across the country, many home buyers are finding themselves in bidding wars for the limited inventory on the market. To win, buyers are trying to find ways to entice sellers beyond price—and at times are taking it too far, real estate professionals say.
The Wall Street Journal feaured one couple relocating from New York who fell in love with a $1.2 million, four-bedroom home online. The seller had already accepted another offer, however. The New York couple offered to pay $10,000 more than the other buyers as well as offer their competitors $25,000 to walk away from the home. They also told the seller that they would make a $30,000 donation toward a hospital for cancer research since the seller had recently lost his wife to cancer.
Ultimately, the New York couple’s offer was not accepted. The offer seemed “a little over the top” to the seller,
Boston condo bidding wars have become quite common, especially in hot markets like downtown Boston. While it’s normal to receive several offers on downtown Boston condos, it’s possible for the offers to get competitive and launch a bidding war. To many sellers, nothing sounds better than a bidding war on their home, but multiple offers could put you in a difficult situation: choosing which offer is the best. Here are some tips for handling a bidding war on your condo and how to choose the right offer.
It’s easy to get excited when you see multiple offers coming in on Boston condo, especially when offers come with escalation clauses that allow buyers to increase their offer above the highest bidder up to their cap price. You want to get the most money possible for your condo, but you should have other considerations. Keep in mind the buyer probably needs to get financing for the offer and may not be approved if he or she got carried away in a bidding war. Your Boston downtown condo value also needs to justify the higher price or the buyer will need to find a way to pay for the difference. If the loan falls through, you’re back to the beginning. The highest offer may also come with contingencies you aren’t comfortable with. A lower offer may be more attractive if it’s in cash, backed by a preapproval, or closes sooner.
When multiple Boston real estate bids come in, you may have several offers that are fairly close to each other, and you may even have an offer far exceeding the other bids. Instead of relying on the price alone, go over each offer carefully and consider any contingencies. Some buyers may be requesting stipulations that make the transaction more difficult or time-consuming to close. Requiring that the home appraises for a certain amount, the buyer secures financing, or the home receives a satisfactory inspection are all common contingencies, but there may be more. A buyer may add a contingency to the offer that his or her current home sells first before buying your condo. The fewer contingencies, the stronger the offer. If a buyer waives the home inspection, it shows he or she really wants the home, and it removes a major roadblock to closing.
Being greedy is a common mistake Boston condo sellers make in a bidding war, and it can backfire. Sometimes when bids are close, a seller will request a second round of bidding or even a third round, which can push buyers past their comfort level and make them tired of jumping through hoops trying to get the home. Pushing buyers too far can make them walk away out of frustration. Giving all parties the chance to make their best and final offer when you receive multiple bids shortens the process and gives everyone a fair chance to offer the highest they are willing to pay.
As bidding wars become more common, it has also become common for Boston condo buyers to write letters to sellers explaining how much they love the home and why it would be perfect for them. These “love letters” are designed to endear you to the buyers and encourage you to accept their offer, even if it’s not the highest or strongest offer on the table. Consider selling your home as the financial transaction it is. The best thing to do is stay objective, judge every offer purely on its merits, and avoid receiving letters from buyers.
If you’re planning to list real estate for sale in downtown Boston don’t begin the process without enlisting the help of a trusted local agent. I can be reached at 617-595-3712