The tale of my buyers and their plight to find a house is an interesting perspective on the market, and one they have encouraged me to share. Their journey so far shows the incredible strength of the market that shows no signs of weakening. That said, you must keep your sense of humor and determination, which we have- we keep on smiling and laughing, and we all know when the right house comes on it will be theirs! However, the road to get there is an interesting one.
The subjects of this story are an endearing young couple moving to Massachusetts from New York City, and I cherish them as clients! They are realistic about what money can buy you in Massachusetts (check out this article). They are willing to do work to a property, despite having a super busy household that includes two working parents, a toddler and a baby on the way. Our target towns are Wayland and Concord, and the good news is there have been quality properties to see in these locations!
The bidding segment of this story is where it gets interesting. It offers a fantastic insight into what buyers are dealing with in real time...
House #1 - Concord
They saw it and she liked it, he loved it! The problem here is that dozens of other people felt the same way - buyers had good taste all around. This cute Cape Cod style house has a lovely addition off of the back and a nice yard. You can walk to Concord Center from the home - it's a favorite neighborhood in town.
  • Asking Price $1.5M
  • 2700 SF 
This was our first offer and the buyers were cautious in their bidding. We went slightly over asking, and had an inspection contingency. Others who were participants in this round had clearly lost out on other properties already, and were taking no chances. There were 16 offers, and that house will close into the $1.8M's as we were told by the selling agent. This closing price will be roughly 18% over asking!! This is well above the average of 10-15% higher than the listing price, what properties typically sell for in a robust bidding situation. 
House #2 - Wayland
A young house in wonderful condition on a country road in Wayland.
  • Asking Price $1.5M
  • 3753 SF 
The buyers put in a strong offer more than 10% over asking with no contingencies. The closing date was flexible in order to entice the sellers even more. This time we were one of three offers. The sellers came back for a best and final to the top two offers - we made the cut which was quite exciting! We were asked if the owners could rent back for a few weeks which my clients graciously agreed to. Despite their flexibility, the broker came back with bad news - the seller had given it to another buyer. This outcome felt quite unfair to me. They put my sweet clients through a lot of back and forth, and yet didn't reward them with the prize. This was a big disappointment for all, and there was a tall glass of chardonnay waiting at the end of that evening. 
House #3 - Concord
Another classic home in Concord. This property was more of a project, and the home's potential was intriguing with its large rooms and sprawling yard. Sometimes it's easier to know your upper limit in a bidding war when you are planning on doing work, since you have to factor in how much the renovations can cost.  
  • Asking price $1.55M
  • 3257 square feet
We offered more than 10% over asking- this time with an inspection for informational purposes. The house had its quirks, and this couple would sleep better knowing an inspector gave his/her blessing. 
The call came in hours after the offers were due, and someone had bid well into the $1.8M's with no contingencies at all. Once again, a house sold 18% over asking. Not as much of a disappointment this time around, as the work that the house needed seemed daunting.
The diary of a buyer is helpful in seeing what people are up against when a house is in demand. I am not discouraged, and neither are they! We all know we will land the right house at the right time. Typically it is the determined who have already lost out on a few properties who ultimately step up and overbid enough to win - frustration is their fuel.
I spoke with other brokers today from many different firms who said they are wrapping up 2021 and don't have any more listings to present to the market. Their sellers are all waiting until the new year. Let's see this as a time to reset and gear up for January! We will all be refreshed and ready to rumble come 2022!