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Go For Gold: When Listings Fetch Above Asking

It's official: Boston is now a seller's market. With the number of listings at an all-time low, numbers from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) show that buyers are now battling for fewer homes in the Bay state, particularly in Downtown Boston and its neighboring suburbs. More importantly however, multiple offers and bids are being made to the few available properties that are currently on the market, making the case of offering above asking price a norm than a nuisance.

Latest trend reports from both MLS and listings aggregator giant Zillow confirm that Boston's real estate property market is "currently underserved", with only a few listings available for prospective buyers to choose from. A brief look into the the hard numbers easily show that listings are fetching more than their asking price. In fact, 512 individual buyers paid at least 10% more than the seller's selling price. This is more than double the number of transactions that went beyond the asking price in 2012.  To add to that number, 68% of listings recently sold have been snapped up earlier than expected, selling in 30 days or less.

It's a really hot market right now for both buyersand sellers, with buyers trying to make their last ditch effort to ride the investment wave before prices really skyrocket. It's not unusual to battle with other buyers and get four or five offers on the same place, but more recently that number has tripled in size - now, it's not surprising to have fifteen or so offers for the same listing. Sellers, on the other hand, are slowly trickling in with their listings, holding up sales (and prices!) for spring.

The last time Boston's property sector experienced this was in 2005, when there were more buyers than available listings on the market. Back then, mortgage conditions were even more challenging, as interest rates were higher. Today however, interest rates are at their all-time low, making home buying and financing more accessible.


From the numbers we've obtained, it seems that most neighborhoods in Boston have their own ranking in terms of fetching a good buy. Business savvy Back Bay leads the "Too Hot" pack, along with highbrow Beacon Hill and the South End. Listings in these neighborhoods have an average closing price that's 20-25% above the original asking price. "Hot" markets, particularly listings from the North End, South Boston's Innovation District, and Cambridge have seen offers 15-20% above asking, while Collegiate Allston area, as well as parts of Brookline and Brighton make up the "Mild" market, with listings going an average of 10-15% above the advertised price.

If you're seriously considering cashing in on your property, now is definitely the right time to put it on the market. We advise our valued clients this, more than waiting for Spring/Summer, since there's going to be more competition by that time, and buyers will have more leverage to negotiate. Besides, it's always better to ride the wave while it's high, than wait for the next one.

Want a free consult? Contact us now to schedule a risk-free home valuation, and find out how much your property can sell for!

Back Bay, Boston. Landmarked Neighborhood

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