The most traffic I have ever seen on a dirt road in East Andover was this winter during an open house of mine. I’ve heard stories from agents to our south where 100 people show up to an open house and produce over 20 offers. That’s pretty crazy! And true!
In our cozy town, we had over 24 different parties arrive to view a new listing during this open house in March. In the freezing rain, many families waited as I allowed only a controlled number of home-seekers through the property at a time. Although this seller didn’t have 20 offers to review, they had a handful, all great in quality, and they were under contract in a weekend.
This isn’t uncommon right now. It’s a new norm, actually. Through the first quarter in Andover, this year’s sales have already drastically outnumbered the previous five. There have been six transactions, with two more under contract. Furthermore, the median sale price in 2021 is $307,000; 20% higher than last year, and 45% higher than 2018.
These numbers look great, but with a small-town market, they may not be anything more than window dressing, as we don’t have a large pool to compare. So try this great statistic: current sale prices are exceeding the listing prices by an average of over 4%, and I believe that this number will go up in the coming months.
Selling can be smart right now. The challenge is where to go from there. This leads me to…
Buying right now can be a headache, but this isn’t going to stop you. Our market demand is much higher than the current supply. This fact is what is driving prices up. As I’ve reported, though, inventory has actually been on par if not higher than previously recorded in Andover, but is down 21% in Merrimack County (1st quarter, comparing ’20 to ’21).
Another big factor is the continuously growing number of buyers, and they are coming from all walks of life. Not just out-of-staters, as some may think.
So here are some strategies I’ve taken from real occasions that might make your offer more competitive:
- Accept the home with any belongings the seller wishes to leave behind. This could be a bulky living room set or a pile of torn tarps frozen in the backyard. Either way, it offers the seller convenience.
- Ask the listing agent when the seller would like to close, and work the offer around that date.
- Write a letter to the seller to let them know who you are and why you love their home. Homeowners like to know that the new owners are going to take good care of the home they’ve cared for.
- Have a buyer’s agent to communicate and follow up with the listing agent before, during, and after a showing or open house. Also, working with an agent who has their finger on the pulse of your market might get you exclusive access to potential sales.
- Have your pre-approval ready!
Be smart. Keep spinning those tires! As springtime approaches and the ground thaws, more great opportunities await! (Statistics from New England Real Estate Network)