BOSTON (CBS) – The real estate market is tighter than it’s been in years. Inventory is so low that homes are selling in a matter of days if not hours. Some buyers are being forced to go to great lengths to find a home.
Ask anyone who’s been house hunting in the greater Boston area.
“It’s like a punch in the gut every Sunday,” says Sharon Liszanckie. “It was intense.”
Sharon is finally settling into a new condo in Brookline, but that’s after months of being out-bid and out maneuvered on a number of other properties.
According to the National Association of Realtors, inventory is down 29% in the Greater Boston Area since last year, leaving buyers desperate and sellers with the upper hand.
“We were asked at a lot of places to do a lot of things that you probably wouldn’t have done historically so waiving inspections and waiving mortgage contingencies,” Sharon said.
That’s if you can even find a house to bid on. In Needham, inventory is so tight, one buyer from Randolph went to great lengths to try and find a home for his family.
Laura Jensen was one of thousands of Needham residents who received a letter from the man who desperately wanted to move his family to town. Jensen can understand why he would target homes like hers.
“I live in an adorable neighborhood, tons of kids, so why not,” she says.
The mass mailing may be extreme, but realtor Kerrianne Ciccone says getting an ‘in’ on properties before they hit the market is a huge advantage.
“I’m always asking and collaborating with other agents and talking about what’s coming on the market so that I can get my clients ahead of the curve,” she says.
A few other tips for buyers:
- Ask your broker about pocket listings – homes that are for sale, but aren’t advertised
- Have your agent look for expired listings
- Look at houses that need work and may be overlooked
- Be ready to act quick
“You’ve got to be ready, willing and able to move on things,” Ciccone says.
That’s how Sharon got her place in Brookline. She trusted her partner’s decision and made an offer without even going inside.
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