- May 3, 2013
- BRA Tabbed to Market, Net leased NH Staples, featured in the Real Reporter
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- May 3, 2013
- BRA Tabbed to Market, featured in the Real Reporter
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- May 1, 2013
- Sanford Buys Prime 27,000-SF Retail Site; BRA Brokers Deal Funded by Belmont Savings, featured in the Real Reporter
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- April 26, 2013
- Gateway to LMA Up for Sale With Parcel 135 Listed Via Boston Realty, featured in the Real Reporter
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MSNBC posted a list of the nation's top 10 "least underwater" housing markets, and Boston property made the list at #9:
Underwater: 8.3 percent
Second quarter median price: $331,568
Peak month: July 2005
Fall from peak: -16.8 percent
This is great news! It confirms what I have been advising my Buyers and Sellers: Boston's diverse population is one of its greatest strengths. The Fall Boston Real Estate market is off to an amazing start with a great amount of new properties that have hit the market in all price ranges, as well as some compelling price reductions. All this and the lowest interest rates in the history of Boston Real Estate come together to form one what will sure be remembered as the absolute best time to buy in the Boston Real Estate market!
According to yesterday's Boston Business Journal, home sales in Massachusetts are up over 11% for single family homes and over 25% for condos, comparing January 2010 to January 2009. Median sales prices are up for both categories as well.
We're definitely seeing this action in the field. It's definitely a great time to buy, as agents and sellers are realizing if they want a sale, the product has to be competitively priced. And in this market, that pays off. For example, 5 South End condos came on the market last week, and by Tuesday, 4 of them were under agreement.
For more info on the current market, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Subject homes in Boston, Massachusetts average $1,337,578, making
Boston one of the more expensive markets in the nation. Boston
compares to the average price of homes in San Francisco, California
at an average price of $1,363,250. Boston is also similar in price
to Hamilton, Bermuda, one of the markets outside of the U.S., where
a comparable 2,200 square foot home costs $1,348,813.
The top 10 most expensive homes surveyed U.S. markets overall in 2009 are:
2009 Avg. Sales Price
1 La Jolla, Calif. $2,125,000
2 Beverly Hills, Calif. $1,981,750
3 Greenwich, Conn. $1,519,250
4 Palo Alto, Calif. $1,489,726
5 Santa Monica, Calif. $1,460,912
6 San Francisco, Calif. $1,363,250
7 Boston, Mass. $1,337,578
8 Newport Beach, Calif. $1,315,505
9 Palos Verdes, Calif. $1,237,041
10 San Mateo, Calif. $1,090,000
Source: COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE ANNUAL HOME PRICE COMPARISON
Will it be love at first sight? The desirability of a home should be emotional and immediate. Yes, many home buyers will come with a checklist of their practical needs including square footage required, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and so forth. But in their hearts, they are also secretly hoping to fall in love with a home. They will be looking for that “oh wow moment” even before they walk through the front door.
This is the reason it is so important to show your home at its most attractive. The appeal of a place can be as important as its functionality. It should be fresh and engaging. It should draw people in. “Staging” your home refers to the act of improving your home’s appearance and enhancing its ambience in an immediately positive way in order to appeal to the widest segment of potential buyers. Your goal is to sell it quickly at a fair price.
Did you know that a survey by a large national real estate brokerage firm showed that staged homes sell in half the time? Another survey of Realtors® showed that a $500 staging investment recouped 343% of that cost. Staging is especially important in a slower market. Recently I had three identical units for sale (numbers 3, 4 and 5) in a building on Beacon Street. Number 4 was the only one that was staged and it sold first.
Another recent example I can give from my experience is that my real estate firm was given a totally empty home to sell on a Tuesday. We quickly staged it and it now has an almost a full price offer that we accepted on Wednesday. Staging can work - fast.
There is a big difference between selling and dwelling. As you may have a strong psychological attachment to your home, you may not fully appreciate hearing about a better way to show your home. But try to realize that the way you decorate to sell, may be quite different from the way you decorate to dwell. Staging throughout is important.
Both a real estate agent and a professional home stager can help to market your home successfully by highlighting its positive benefits and features, often in a multi-sensory way. How a home looks (including lighting) is the visual part of the equation, but the sounds, fragrances, and textures of a home can also influence potential buyers.
room before staging
The first thing I suggest a seller do is to de-clutter and depersonalize his or her home. Pack away CDs, videos, tapes, books, games, photos, collectibles and children’s items. (You may have to store a few pieces of furniture, too.) The idea is to simplify your home providing plenty of space for prospective buyers to imagine living there.
Then organize and clean your home. Make repairs, fix leaks, provide updates to areas and amenities that need it and put on a fresh coat of paint. It will work wonders. Make sure kitchen counters and bathrooms are free of clutter and spotlessly clean. If you have beautiful hardwood floors, show them off. Don’t hide them under an area rug.
Some items to consider adding to enhance your home that are favorites with staging professionals are: attractive table and floor lamps, flowers and greenery in most every room to add fresh appeal, a soft throw and new luxury fabric pillows in the living room, mirrors to make a room look larger and reflect light, candles for fragrance and a glass bowl of fruit in the kitchen for a touch of color. These are just a few ideas.
room after staging
Natural light and air flow are critical components that are often overlooked. Make sure your home’s windows are simply draped to allow sunlight and fresh air to enter and circulate. Arrange furniture in settings that illustrate comfort and usage. Put on some upbeat music that will suggest how great your home is for entertaining. Music helps create a mood. If all this seems like a lot, it is. Better yet, hire a professional realtor who has all the contacts you will need to be sure your home is so engaging, it gets proposals.
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Look to the future, not the past. Home values and their appreciation have settled down over the past few years. That’s why if you are serious about selling your home, it is wise to work with a successful listing broker with a current track record of a high number of sales in your market. You want a broker who will provide an honest assessment of your home’s value today and in the near future, not in the past.
Today’s savvy buyers will not only be looking for a home that is competitively priced, but for one that hasn’t topped out of its full potential. People today know that buying a home will likely be their single most important investment, not just a place to live. They will be looking for a home that will hold its value and perhaps, with a few enhancements, could even make some money in three to five years. What does that mean to you the seller?
That means today, you need to offer your home at a price that is too good to pass up. This is the real estate psychology you need to use today, in order to sell your home. You want buyers who are afraid not to buy your home, because it is such a great value.
The days of plugging comparable properties into a computer program and having it spit out a competitive price are long gone. The reason can be linked to using sales data from six to nine months ago in property price comparisons to price your home. In this market that is detrimental to sellers. Then your property will always be above the market value.
As a seller, you don’t want to chase the market down and always be out of sync with it. It is better to look at the Under Agreement Price (UAG) and days on the market to truly understand what may be the correct asking price. UAGs give us the listing price (when the property was put under contract) but not the final selling price, and we have to consider the swiftness of the sale. It is also a key factor to decoding the current market.
Your listing broker must be a good businessperson, as well as a good broker. He or she needs to continuously assess a whole list of variables, such as a fast-changing real estate market, important tax effects, Wall Street fluctuations, and current and projected employment data, just to name a few. You need a broker with a holistic approach to selling.
Finally, home sellers must not look at the sale or purchase price of their home as a one-time situation. The average homeowner in Boston moves every three to five years. That is good news, because even if you sell your home today for lower than what you paid, you will also be buying a home at a lower price than it would have been a few years ago. When the market goes up in the future, there will be another great opportunity to do well. That’s one of the reasons we advise, “Make sure your home sells: Look to the future.”
Rob Cohen, president of Boston Realty Advisors, is a Boston real estate broker with 25 years of experience in business and realestate.