Wellesley & Weston Real Estate News

Jan. 12, 2024

Market Update Week of 01/12/2024

Happy New Year! I hope it is off to a great start. I welcomed in the new year with a birthday and a nasty case of Covid, but I can happily report it is now behind me. Let's go!!!

 

It's time to look forward and help shape what I think 2024 will look like. I have never felt so excited and energized gearing up for a spring market as I am today. Here is what you need to know.

The best mantra to live by in 2024 is a familiar one shared with me and the best for buyers to live by.....

Go out and get them. Together we can make it happen!

 

 

 

 

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group
Dec. 16, 2023

Market Update Week of 12/16/2023

 

Everyone is feeling quite optimistic about the real estate market next year. Sellers are excited about what's to come, while buyers aren't quite sure what to hope for. Lower rates will help their bottom line, but could also send prices to increase if the market is flooded with more ready and able buyers.

This week, it was announced that the Federal Reserve would keep rates where they are, and there was also a hint that there could be up to three cuts next year. Strong economic indicators show the economy coming back into balance after 11 rate hikes since March of 2022. The rates below came from Catherine Long with Citizens Bank. These numbers could be even lower with hefty down payments or private bank programs.

Conforming 30 Year - 6.125% (on average)

 

Jumbo 30 Year- 6.7505%

 

7/6 ARM- 6.250%

 

5/6 ARM- 6.125%

 

I believe rates will settle by the end of next year in the low 5% range, where it will stay for the near future. The days of what felt like "free money", sub 4% mortgage rates seem like a distant memory that won't make a return anytime soon if at all. The lower rates will be enough for sellers itching to make a move to feel more confident shedding their already low mortgage to trade into a new home. This will in turn build up inventory offering more variety for house seekers. It's badly needed, just look at the chart below. Very few homes for sale right now.

 

We can test my predictions and the Fed's strategy in just a few short months. I am so excited about my pipeline for next year—for the first time in a long time, there are a lot of houses to be introduced- look out for fabulous listings and excellent buyers ready for the next chapter! Speaking of, congrats to Kevin and Phi who closed on their new home this week. A heartwarming holiday story.

 

 

 

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in Home Ownership
Dec. 1, 2023

Market Update Week of 12/01/2023

 

A quick snapshot of the market this week, since real estate transactions are at a quiet hum while the world rushes around prepping for the holidays and vacations.

The pending home sales index tracked by the National Association of Realtors dropped 1.5% in October—the lowest number of contracts nationally in more than 20 years. Yet, interest rates in the last few weeks also backed down to roughly 7.29%—they were inching up towards 8% just before that. There was still activity with showings here post Thanksgiving! Our market is the gift that doesn't stop.

I expect sales volume and signed contracts to stay in these ranges for the next few months until a crop of new sellers and buyers emerge at the end of January. Trust me, they will.

Many properties were withdrawn from the market recently, so sellers can hunker down at home with family and not be interrupted by showings. These listings will re-emerge in a more crowded field in January, but I guarantee they will find their match and sell! The pent-up demand in the new year is dependable and never disappoints.

I am sure many of you have heard about the lawsuits around the country challenging the way real estate agents are paid when working with buyers. It's a constant topic of conversation in the field and with clients. I have written a separate blog with my thoughts on defending the value of a buyer's agent. Here is the link—always open to feedback and discussion.

 

https://www.teriadler.com/blog/defense-buyers-agent

 

Eat, drink, and be merry during the holiday season!

 

We are so happy to present this off market opportunity on the banks of the Charles River in Wellesley. 11 Winding River Circle- Please click the link to learn more.

 

www.11WindingRiverCircle.com

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group
Dec. 1, 2023

In Defense of a Buyer's Agent

It's the elephant in the room! I don't want to have to defend my value as a full-time real estate agent, but the public is asking us to. Multiple lawsuits filed around the country claim sellers should not have to pay a buyer agent fee. In our area, the commission stands at 5%, which is split between the buyer's and seller's agent.

Perhaps a breakdown of how the process currently works would be helpful.

1. The commission for agents is baked into the selling price of the home. In essence, buyers are already paying the commission, since their funds are sent to the homeowner who, in turn, pays the real estate office selling his/her home.

2. That listing office then splits the payment, giving a portion to the buyer's agent.

3. Both the firm and the agent pay for all their expenses from this distribution.

 

a. Health insurance

b. Small business tax

c. Marketing

d. Car

e. Time

f. Profit

g. Insurance

A different model that's been suggested would be to have the buyer pay the agent directly, but many first-time homebuyers don't have that type of cash on hand, and they can't wrap it up in their mortgage in this scenario. I also believe this model drives home prices down, and perhaps could overcorrect prices for sellers—not what they want to hear. So the next argument being rolled into this discussion is whether a buyer's agent is really necessary?

87% of real estate agents fail within the first 5 years in the business. It's actually probably a higher percentage of those who don't make it, so the 10% of agents who do survive should be applauded for succeeding and creating strong dynamic businesses when the odds are against them. I am the first to admit that all the top agents work very, very hard and will always give credit to my colleagues at all firms. If you believe in the power of the market, it should be noted the marketplace is responding to a buyer agent model by putting their trust into them and calling on these agents to help. Evidence that clients see value in an agent's expertise. While purchasing what is typically the LARGEST asset of your life I would think you would defer to the experts the same way you seek out the top people with your financial management, legal woes, or your health. The cheapest way to go isn't typically the best.

By assuming a buyer's agent isn't necessary for a successful purchase, any judicial decision is only looking at one transaction in a moment in time. There seems to be no awareness of the agent's time, energy, money, emotional support, negotiating skills, support for people/families relocating, financial guidance, or local expertise that agents put forth. A big part of my business is aiding families moving to our area with children and more specifically special needs kids. Getting set up, having support and guidance through that added complex layer is just as important to parents as the house they buy. At MGS Group our agents have law degrees, MBA's, and come from rich business backgrounds—they are smart and really effective people with incredible experience who took a risk entering a career that doesn't have a base salary or "entry level"; we all start at the bottom earning nothing. The top-tier agents rose through the ranks on their own, demonstrating keen business savvy.

The value you get through your Realtor is the PROCESS that ultimately gets you to where you are supposed to be. I worked for more than a year with a client showing them houses, using a grassroots effort to find them the right property, and in the end, negotiated nearly half a dozen offers they ultimately walked away from. By the end, they were educated on the economics of the market and precisely what they wanted and needed. They had the opportunity to buy directly off-market and did so. The degree they earned on real estate from working with me was free to them—a net loss for me and my family. Time spent with their kids meant time away from mine. Imagine you work for four weeks and your boss says, we decided not to pay you. It's a risk we take, but many are not aware.

There has also been the claim that consumers can easily buy a house themselves with online tools. After all, you can buy stocks or a car through your computer. I argue that 30 shares of Apple stock is a lot less complex and without any of the nuances that come with purchasing a home. As an investor, I could not imagine acquiring my properties without my brokers. Their knowledge has led me to life-changing investments and steered me away from others that could have been financially detrimental to my bottom line.

Finally, your agent takes on incredible liability with each transaction. The devil is in the details in real estate and one wrong move or incorrect statement can lead to damaging and costly lawsuits. If you don't know the questions to ask or the things to look for, it can mean a devastating consequence.

I love my job, and yes it's a lifestyle as well as a career. I wake up thinking about my clients and work weekends and nights so I can be available when they aren't working. What I do isn't a hobby though, it's a full-time job and business to support my family, just like the rest of America and if we aren't compensated, the good ones will be forced to get out and that could be dangerous for the marketplace.

 

Posted in MGS Group
Nov. 17, 2023

Market Update Week of 11/17/2023

Listen closely, and you will hear a sigh of relief. Look closely, and you will see a big smile on the faces of those who follow the economy. Retail sales slowed and inflation is cooling overall, just what the Federal Reserve aimed to do. If the economy resets, the hope is interest rates inch down in the coming months for the first time in a long time. Although many say we won't see that happen anytime soon. The stock market liked the shift this week and reacted favorably.

 

Mortgage rates adjusted down slightly in the last week, but not enough to ignite refinances or a rush to buy. They stand at roughly where we were last year at this time. Nothing to celebrate just yet.

The Mortgage Reports Operated by Full Beaker, Inc

I am feeling VERY optimistic about the activity that is to come after the new year. In my pipeline, I have excited and eager buyers and sellers who are determined to make a move in 2024. I will be thrilled to share some fabulous listings that I know will be a welcome addition to the stale inventory we have now. Although a look at the weekly numbers is reassuring since properties going under agreement far outpace new listings. A final push before the holidays. 

 

Colleagues nationally will be frustrated by my optimism I am sure, but when it comes to the Boston area, people consistently want to live here. Yes, the weather isn't ideal, and our taxes aren't the lowest, but the quality of life is high, and it's a great place to raise a family. In fact, the top luxury market in the US right now is very close to home, according to the website Mansion Global—it's Portland, Maine! The influx of people heading to the Boston area feeds into nearby markets, that in turn benefit satellite cities. The other top 10 hot destinations included in the article may surprise you. I am personally quite happy to see Wilmington, NC on the list as that is where a bulk of my real estate investments live!

Wherever you are heading next week- I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!! 

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group
Nov. 9, 2023

Market Update Week of 11/09/2023

Don't buy your primary home thinking it's a money-maker! High prices coupled with lofty mortgage rates plus closing costs make this market the least affordable and hardest to break into in decades. That means it will take you longer than in the past to recoup those costs and break even. This is according to an article posted by Yahoo and Zillow.

I always caution buyers not to think of their purchase as an investment, but as a place to seek comfort, relax, and build memories. About three years ago, that narrative flipped of course. Cashing in for big profits became the primary motivation to sell understandably. If you didn't need to buy a property on the other end of the equation that made excellent financial sense.

"New homebuyers can expect to spend about 13.5 years in their house before breaking even on their investment," Nicole Bachaud, a senior economist at Zillow, wrote in the report released Monday. Zillow’s analysis took into account typical and forecasted home value increases based on the Zillow Home Value Index, assumptions for closing costs, agent fees at the time of sale, maintenance costs, and interest payments." This was based on July's sales statistics. Interesting point. Hard to make a blanket statement as different geographical areas will react differently. I think metro areas such as Boston and emerging markets will still show growth.

If this plays out and it takes time to break even, it is not enough to halt markets since making money isn't the main reason people buy homes. They are typically motivated to improve their quality of life, are switching jobs, trading up or down or experiencing a change in their family structure. That said, buying can still benefit you financially by helping you build long-term wealth through equity and ultimately appreciation. 

 

Thank you to everyone who sent me notes, excited by the encouraging economic news. NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, recently shared his analysis of what is to come.

 

"The bond market is reacting as if the Fed will be cutting rates in 2024. The key benchmark 10-year Treasury yield slid down to 4.55% and is below a recent high of 5%. That means mortgage rates will be coming down. The 30-year fixed rate will stick in the 7% range for this year but looks to move down into the 6% range by the spring of next year. Moreover, if the spread between Treasury and mortgage were to move from the current abnormal high to just the historical average, the mortgage rates today would already be in the 6.2% to 6.7% range. Be ready for more home buyers and more home sellers.”

 

Our local market is spotty. Alerts or price changes are flashing across emails, while others are pulling listings off MLS as we edge towards the holidays. A few well-priced gems were scooped up quickly since buyers feel satisfied that they have seen all the inventory that will come on this year, and they won't be missing out on anything new in the coming weeks. We start 2024 with low inventory all around us once again. Have a good week!!

11 Winding River Circle, Wellesley

Click here for 11 Winding River Circle

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group
Nov. 3, 2023

Market Update Week of 11/03/2023

There is a disconnect going on between buyers and sellers. We see this when a market is poised to change. I am cautious in saying this however, as last fall I was writing the same thing worried about what was to come and in the end the slowdown was a little bit of interest rates and a lot of a seasonal effect. Fourth quarter of 2022 there was a noticeable slowdown in volume, but as soon as the new year began, spring of 2023 was back to bidding wars and the real estate frenzy. Perhaps this is a pattern that we should come to expect.

The stress I am sensing at this moment is from sellers tied to a price that reflects the high flying sales they read about or saw in years past. The "make me move number" in their heads isn't always realistic and can result in a long and sometimes stale period on the market. If they won't negotiate they are turning away realistic offers and this can be frustrating. More motivated sellers are now reducing their prices in order to capture a sale before the holidays arrive. Buyers are more cautious and while willing to reward sellers with a significant profit from when they bought, no one wants to grossly overpay for a house- especially if they are financing at high rates and have to do updates to the property in the future. In order to move forward in these situations there has to be reflection by both sides in order to come to an agreement.

 

A careful and realistic analysis of the market is critical in pricing for these sellers. Examining past sales that are comparable, acknowledging improvements you made or didn't make and knowing the demand for your property helps form a pricing strategy. You need a skilled agent to do this! There is a property on the market now where the seller is asking 100% more than he bought it for about 10 years ago. During that period they didn't do any capital improvements. That kind of return just won't happen.

The Federal Reserve announced this week they will not raise rates at this time. This will keep the 30 year fixed rate close to 8%. Not ideal for most people, so mortgage brokers are on the sidelines trying to be creative in order to create more affordability for their clients. Here is the latest strategy they are using. In an offer the buyer asks the seller to give a credit that will in turn be used to pay for points to buy down a mortgage rate, thus helping them afford the house. It's a creative strategy detailed below!

Happening Events Coming Up

 

Fall means fun- here are some local events to keep an eye out for!

The 34th Spelling Bee is Almost Here!

November 8th 2023

7pm at WHS

Come support me and MGS Group at the Wellesley Spelling Bee!! All funds raised through the Spelling Bee are for the Wellesley Education Foundation and go directly to support programs that advance innovation and excellence in the Wellesley Public Schools.

Marie Schiller, a longtime Wellesley resident, is hosting a reception at Lockheart restaurant on November 13th from 6-8 pm to build awareness and support for young adults living with diabetes. Marie serves on the Board of Directors for a non-profit, The Diabetes Link., whose mission is to ensure all young adults with diabetes are empowered to thrive through this typically challenging period of life. The organization is pushing to expand its reach so they can help the hundreds of thousands of young adults who could benefit from its resources. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Marie Schiller at marie@thediabeteslink.org.

 

Discover the Magic: Wellesley's Enchanting Holiday Market Place with 200+ Unique Vendors 

I am a proud sponsor once again! Join me in supporting the festive sprit at the Wellesley Marketplace - where community and holiday cheer come together. 

Exclusive Listings

91 Dean Road, Weston

Click Here for 91 Dean Road

11 Winding River Circle, Wellesley

Click here for 11 Winding River Circle

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in Home Ownership
Oct. 20, 2023

Market Update Week of 10/20/2023

We are at a 23 year high right now! I am talking about interest rates this week that surged to nearly 8%. This seems to satisfy the federal reserve for now which indicated it will show restraint at its next meeting and hold steady without an increase. Hopefully a mortgage rate that kisses 9% doesn't seem likely right now, or hopefully ever!

While putting in an offer for my buyers last night we scrambled to connect with mortgage brokers. It seems we landed a rate in the high 6%'s which will be an adjustable product. (fixed rate for 5-7 years with an increase after that) That lessens the monthly payment! I was impressed with my buyer's resolve to get their dream home. They were certainly bold and decisive and it paid off. Well done and congratulations!

Other players in the fall market, at least around here, seem just as determined to buy or sell their home and they aren't allowing much to scare them away. This week a stunning amount of properties went under contract quickly! The time on the market for most of those was just a matter of days with the exception of some high end listings which took a few weeks/months to sell after a price reduction. What's not shown her are houses that sold "off market", meaning not on MLS. They also boasted some hefty price tags demonstrating there is still life in the luxury sector. 

Move quickly on a house you like, because there is a good chance it will be scooped up by someone else if you don't. Updated colonial homes that are set in very desired locations are in demand. Condition, location and pricing equals a win- during all real estate climates. Don't stray from the basics!

 

A few weeks from now as we edge towards Thanksgiving, I guarantee we will see a sleepier market. That will just be a symptom that you and I will be hunkering down for the holidays.

 

The Israel- Hamas war is in the back of my minds as I try to focus on tasks that must be done. Each day there is great worry for my family in Israel who have lost friends or friends of friends from the terrorist attack. It is concerning the uptick of anti-semitism that's around us, but it's also so comforting to hear from clients and friends who stand up against hate and support the Jewish people and Israel. Thank you!

 

On a positive note- it was great to see so many colleagues, friends and clients at our office grand opening. We are so proud of the Metro West MGS Group Office in Linden Square- Wellesley. Stop by if you are in the area!

 

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group
Oct. 7, 2023

Market Update Week of 10/07/2023

There have been some notable price reductions this week, but what caught my attention most was the number of properties that went under agreement in the last few weeks. A stunning amount of homes now have signed contracts, far outpacing the new listings being introduced in those same weeks. The under $2M range is the busiest which is interesting because one would think those are the people most reliant on a mortgage and despite the rates they are still moving forward with plans to buy!

Source from MLS

The race to win most of those properties were the result of bidding wars. (More than one person vying to win the seller's attention.) Not all traded much more than the asking prices, the houses that came on too high will ultimately trade for lower or just what it was listed for. That said, a few of my lenders are offering rates in the mid to high 6% range which is refreshing to see. Reach out as I am happy to share those contacts. 

 

Next week I will be releasing two beautiful and unique properties in Wellesley and I can already feel the strong demand for them through agents contacting me for more information. 

 

 

 

I believe all this positive news locally builds the case against a housing market crash. An historic view nationally of the inventory and number of foreclosures by Keeping Current Matters (charts below) clearly shows the healthier climate we are in now compared to the 2008 crash. The red lines below are in the range of the last crash- a dramatic point and reassuring as you look at the current time period in the blue. The supply numbers supports the claim, that there is nothing to crash because there are so few houses for sale!

 

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group
Sept. 22, 2023

Market Update Week of 09/22/2023

Is it slow out there? Depends on who you ask!

 

Some properties which are picture perfect and check off lots of boxes are still at the center of bidding wars. It happened again in Wellesley and Needham last week with a handful of homes priced under $2M! These are the buyers who most likely will take out a mortgage, but despite their rate they are willing to be aggressive and effective.

Courtesy of Adam Goulet- Movement Mortgage

The starting price is important though in determining the demand. If a seller gets greedy and the starting price is unrealistic, their home is going to sit! In two instances my clients offered a reasonable bid on properties that were clearly overpriced. In one scenario we were swiftly told, "no thanks we will wait for our number and with a 2.2% mortgage rate we can hold onto our empty property!" Maybe the real estate gods will grant them their magic number, but not from us.

The higher end properties north of $4M are sitting quietly with anxious agents and sellers behind the scenes. The average days on market for these estates (62 of them) in a sampling of MetroWest towns is about 106 days on market so far! A different story than lower price ranges. 

As I am sure you have heard by now, the Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates this week, but promised to do so later in the year and two more times in 2024. This supports my prediction that rates are here to stay for a while. The dream of refinancing down to 5% may be in the distant future, but when that time comes you can bet that sale prices and the demand will go up since the market will be flooded with more people jumping into the game! 

I just launched a fabulous listing in Wellesley. Check it out!

www.106bristolroad.com

 

Here is to a great week! Cheers!

I'm always available and more than happy to provide an analysis for you! Email me at teri@mgsgrouprealestate.com or call at 617-306-3642 to schedule a meeting.

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Posted in MGS Group