By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige
According to a report by the Warren Group, the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts has come to an end, which is great news on so many levels. Certainly, what I have been seeing in the field would lend credence to that, as we continue to experience the most bizarre spring market I can remember in my 28 years in the business.
Much of this has been due to the continued inventory shortage that I'se spoken about before, which has been severely felt in certain sub-pockets of the price ranges. Final figures are hard to ascertain this early in the season, but it would appear that we have had a spike of about 10% from the bottom of the market and that shows no sign of slowing down for the rest of the year. This is not being reflected in the actual number of sales occurring, unfortunately, but rather in the response to new listings hitting the open market.
Suddenly, multiple over full price offers have become the norm. In fact, I's trying to think back over the last few months to the handful of listings that I have had where there weren's multiple offers, and there were not many, even on homes that were by no means “bargain priced” to begin with, and that even at their original listing price were setting new price records in the area. That makes for a crazy scene indeed, and is often more frustrating for the agents than you might imagine.
For some sellers, who had been just barely upside down on their homes, this meant that they actually might be able to get out, without having to do a short sale.? For other sellers, it simply means being able to drastically increase profit. For a third group, those who purchased back in time when we were closer to the peak of the market, it simply means being able to at least sell for what they paid, and be able to upgrade, downsize, or relocate without having to take a loss.
The question many sellers have been wrestling with is whether recent events make this the best time to sell, or whether we will be continuing to grow over the course of the coming years until we reach the peak levels seen in the past. My instinct tells me that much of it will depend on what interest rates and inflation do in the year to come. We are already hearing rumblings from those in the know that are deeply concerned about the negative impact that the low interest rates are having on other facets of the market. Clearly, the Fed made the right decision to force rates to near zero in order to stabilize the economy, but as soon as they are confident that things are on the mend, they will likely signal the intent to raise them again to stave off inflation, and when they do that, the real estate market may feel the pain.
That's why I happen to think that for the sellers out there, now it the time.? As it is, I have seven buyers just waiting by the phone for me to call them about a new listing. Opportunity knocks, but will you be home to answer the door? If so, call me and let's chat.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent at REMAX Prestige, where he has been ranked multiple times as one of the top agents in the world. He can be reached at 508-735-4663.