Area real estate market continuing strong into the fall
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Vicki Aubry, Prudential Prime Properties
Address: 125 Turnpike Road, Suite 7, Westborough
Contact Information: 508-868-3625, [email protected]
How does the market look for fall?
“If the rates stay where they are or even go down a little, it should continue very well,” said Vicki Aubry, a Realtor with Prudential Prime Properties in Westborough, who has been working in this market for about 18 years.
“The mistake people make when the market is strong is to think they can get anything for their house in any condition. There is an extreme lack of inventory, more in certain towns, but a house still has to show well, be updated and be priced right. It still has to appraise, so a seller can's push the envelope too much. If a house shows well and is priced right, there are buyers out there.”
What towns do you concentrate on?
“Between Framingham and Worcester is my target market–Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury and Grafton, and the quieter towns around them. I do a lot of condo work, and I really understand that market.”
What price range is selling well?
“The high end has been and continues to be a little soft. Most towns are lacking good inventory between $300,000 and $500,000. It's not as frenetic now as it was last spring when we had activity like 80 people coming to an open house and 10 offers. But it's still active.
“Buyers have to be prepared to step up to the plate and make a strong offer for a house they really like.”
What advice are you giving buyers?
“Shop carefully so you have a sense of what the market is, and do your “balance sheet” of what you must have, what you's like to have and what you can live without. Review that with every house and be ready to jump on the right house. And buyers must have financing in place.
“I work with a lot of downsizing buyers. If someone has been in their home for a number of years, they probably have quite a bit of equity. Sometimes it is easier for them to buy before they put their home on the market. If they are willing to get a home equity line of credit, they can be a cash buyer. It removes the fear of being homeless if their house sells right away.
“Buyers shouldn's be obsessed about interest rates or price, especially if they are in competition for a house. If you like the house, offer a little bit more for it. If the rates go up, you might have been better off paying a little bit more and getting that first house. You may pay less in the end. The key is flexibility.”
What advice are you giving sellers?
“Don's forget about the details. Buyers want to see pride of ownership. When your home becomes a house on the market, you can's step over that broken tile or ignore the toilet that doesn's flush right. Sellers need to fix all of that, especially if they are looking to sell in the fall or even early spring. Concrete or driveway work can's be done in the winter. You have to do it now.
“The spring market starts Feb. 1. When people see snow outside, they think there are no buyers, but there are. I had a listing that had an open house in a blizzard last February. Twelve people came and we got four offers??”in a blizzard. A lot of that was rate-driven, but I think some buyers had already missed houses they were interested in.”