If you’re thinking about selling your Boston condo, you may have heard about the housing market slowing down in recent months. While it’s still a sellers’ market, the peak frenzy the market saw over the past two years has cooled some. If you’re asking yourself if you’ve missed your chance to sell your house and make a move, the good news is you haven’t – motivated buyers are still out there. But you do need to price your house right for today’s market. Here’s why.
As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:
“Homes priced right are selling very quickly, but homes priced too high are deterring prospective buyers.”
Its true buyer demand has slowed over the past few months as higher mortgage rates made it more expensive to buy a home. The result is fewer bidding wars and less competition among buyers (see visual below):
But don’t forget – that’s compared to the severely overheated market we saw over the past two years. According to the latest Confidence Index from NAR:
“. . . 39% of homes sold above list price, down from 51% a month ago and 50% a year ago.”
While this is a slower pace than even one month ago, serious Boston condo buyers are still active in the market, and they’re buying homes that are priced right. In fact, the Confidence Index also notes the average home is selling in just 14 days.
If you’re aiming to sell your house, be sure you’re working with your agent to price it for today’s housing market. As buyer demand softens, it’s important to understand this isn’t the same market as last year. It’s not even the same market as just a few months ago. But it is still a sellers’ market.
If you’re ready to sell your house, seek the advice of a real estate professional. In some cases, you’ll need to adjust your expectations accordingly to meet the market where it is today. Selma Hepp, Interim Lead, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains what’s happening and what it means when you sell:
“Signs of a broader slowdown in the housing market are evident, . . . This is in line with our previous expectations and given the notable cooling of buyer demand due to higher mortgage rates. . . . Nevertheless, buyers still remain interested, which is keeping the market competitive — particularly for attractive homes that are properly priced.”
While the housing market has cooled from its overheated frenzy, it’s still a sellers’ market. Let’s connect so you understand what’s happening with buyer demand and home prices in our local area as you get ready to enter the market.
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For sellers, the 30-45 days time frame from accepting an offer on their Boston Midtown condo until closing at escrow is crucial. Here’s how to make that final closing as smooth as possible.
Seller Closing Checklist:😊
Get any negotiated repair work done
Get any negotiated repair work done on your Beacon Hill condo long before the closing date. If your real estate agent hasn’t already warned you, it can be tough finding contractors like plumbers and electricians, or even just a handy-person to work on Boston downtown condos. We’re in a labor shortage and wait times can often be weeks long. If your contract with the buyers says that you’ll complete certain repairs before closing, schedule them as soon as possible.
Reconsider what you leave behind
Reconsider what you leave behind. Generally, all permanently installed fixtures of the homestay with the Beacon Hill home, and you can negotiate with the buyers if they want things like the washer and dryer. A lot of Boston downtown condo sellers, however, assume that buyers want things they likely should get rid of: patio furniture, old pots, old doors or windows from a long-ago remodel. The buyer seeing these items during the final walk-through probably won’t derail the home sale, but as a courtesy to the home’s new owners, dispose of them unless they have specifically asked for them to be conveyed. If in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to ask, talk with the buyers first.
Wait until after the closing to transfer utilities and cancel insurance.
Wait until after the closing to transfer utilities and cancel insurance. Even if you’re already moved out of the Beacon Hill condo, don’t cancel the utilities. Once the title is transferred to the new owner, the utilities can be switched over to their name without an interruption in service (this is how things are normally done unless you and your buyer have worked out a different arrangement). Homeowners insurance is ok to completely cancel, but only once the sale is formally recorded. It is unsafe and unwise to leave a home sitting uninsured.
Retain the closing documents
Retain the closing documents. You’ll be handed (emailed) a completed package of paperwork including the closing statement, the purchase contract, and more at the final closing. Save these documents. Real estate experts recommend keeping them at least ten years. You will need it if you ever plan to refinance, you might need it for your tax return, and more.
Ready to get your Boston Midtown condo listed and get top value for it in 2019? Contact our Seller’s Agent today.
Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog Updated 2022
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Updated: Boston Real Estate 2021