By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TVBy Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) – Jill Read and her husband want to trade in their small Back Bay rental for a bigger place in the suburbs. But the house hunt has been frustrating and unsuccessful, so far. “Since looking in January we probably have seen over 50 open houses,” says Read. They have put offers on three separate homes and lost each time. They were out-bid by an all-cash buyer in their latest attempt to purchase a home.

“It almost seems like you don’t have a chance and it just makes it a really tough market. You’ve done your research, you’ve done your homework, and there’s nothing you can do,” explains Read.

According to recent survey by Realty Trac 32% of the homes sold in Massachusetts this past winter were all-cash deals. And that makes the American dream seem like the impossible dream for some. But there are strategies to compete with these all-cash offers. “In about 75% of the clients that I deal with they have to put in a no-mortgage contingency because they are going against cash offers,” explains David Silverman of Fairway Mortgage. Be aware this could be a big gamble if your mortgage falls through because your deposit could be at risk.

Allen Quinn is a realtor in the Maynard area. Instead of cash he says some sellers can be won over with a personal letter explaining why the home appeals to you and why you think you’d be a good fit for that town or that home. “Those are things that touch on the heart strings and a lot of times could go as far as additional money.”

Realtor Kerriane Ciccone agrees that cash isn’t always king. She has advised some of her sellers in and around Boston to steer clear of out-of-state investors. “For them it’s a numbers game versus a buyer who might be getting a mortgage but has visited the property three times and now has an emotional investment and is very serious about buying the property.”

For now, the Reads are expanding their house hunt to include more towns in Metro West. “We’re just staying calm and going in with competitive bids and we hope that one day something will come through for us. And we know that it will .”


Kate Merrill

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