By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Professional Associates

Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc. and an agent at REMAX Professional Associates. 508-735-4663. www.stevelevine.com
Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc. and an agent at REMAX Professional Associates. 508-735-4663. www.stevelevine.com

The statistics for 2014 are in, and the results were very surprising to both economists and real estate agents alike. Statewide, sales in December 2014 were up significantly over 2013, an increase of almost 50 percent, from 2,104 to 3,078. January, thus far, has been somewhat of a mixed bag, and is making me wonder whether we are heading for another inventory shortage.

While sales volume is one thing, sales prices are another. The data varies widely from town to town; Shrewsbury is hitting all time record high median prices, whereas Westborough is up, but nowhere near the peak, and Marlborough has dropped. It’s important to note, however, that this is not a reflection on any one home, but is often skewed by small changes in the market, such as an abundance of higher end properties that just happen to sell during that quarter.

At a recent lunch I organized with some of the top agents in the region, agents were wondering whether 2014 was a blip in the market, caused by years of buyers holding off, and exacerbated by low inventory – or whether it represents a true healing.

The challenge still remains a critical lack of inventory. Each winter, I open up 10 spots in January for my “Homeowners Blend Program.” Now in its 20th year, this has been a fantastic opportunity for sellers to save up to 50 percent on the real estate fees when selling their home. I do have a few of those left, so if you’re reading this, and would like one of the slots, email me and I will save you a spot.

Why do some homes never sell?

Each year, in late December, I look back at the year in review, and go through all the homes in the region that sold, as well as those that failed to sell. In the end, there often are a few critical issues that would have made a huge difference.

This isn’t a small issue, by any means. In fact, last year alone, nearly 12,000 properties in Worcester and Middlesex County that were on the market, came off without selling, which represents almost 40 percent of the total listings taken by agents. After seeing just how serious the issue was, and knowing that it wasn’t happening to my listings, I sat down for an entire day and put together a five page report that details the “Top 10 Reasons Homes in Massachusetts Failed to Sell.” This isn’t some “canned report” purchased online, but really represents the core experience of having done this over 2,000 times, and all that I learned through trial and error along the way. I even took the time to incorporate items specific to selling issues in a particular town or area, creating unique reports for those communities as needed.

Of course, this report won’t be of use ONLY to those who had been trying to sell before. Rather it applies to ANYONE thinking of moving at all. After all, what better way to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes, than to read about what happened to others? If you’re interested in reading it, along with a separate page of helpful tips, just send an email to [email protected] and include your name and city.

Steve Levine is president of Steve Levine Inc. and an agent for REMAX Professional Associates. He has been ranked 10 times as the top REMAX agent in New England, and can be reached on the web at [email protected] or by phone at 508 735-HOME (4663).


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