It’s no secret at a certain price point ( under $400k) in many Essex county communities (Gloucester, Rockport, Beverly, Danvers, Salem, Essex, Ipswich and Peabody), buying a home has become quite competitive. Purchasing real estate in 2013 has its own level of “March Madness“. There are 20, 40 or 60+ people viewing well priced properties at open house(s). There are multiple offers and yes people are paying above asking price. Every house? No, just homes priced appropriately for their age, condition, location and size. Buyers are not offering crazy amounts of money because we all know at the end of the day it must appraise, since most purchases are contingent on buyers receiving a mortgage.
So what will tip the scales in the favor of your offer being accepted, if you are a buyer ? There are four practices I use with consistent success when I know there is a chance that there will be multiple offers.
1) View the house and make the offer ASAP. The early bird gets the worm. Yes it may be inconvenient and you may have to cancel a previous appointment to go view a house. Sorry, this is about getting the house you want, not living a balanced life.
2) Offer asking price at a minimum. If you know potentially there will be multiple offers, forget about “stealing” a property. You like the house, you want it, now get it! Offer above asking to a level your agent or lender feels it will appraise at (and you are pre approved for).
3) Have your agent write the “magic letter”. People like to do business with people they know and like. Share with the buyers how much you like their house. Compliment them about their decorating or cleanliness. Find out what is motivating the sellers to sell and speak to that. Be real and be personal. Don’t laugh this works, I have had several clients achieve their home in a competitive situation because the sellers felt like they knew them and liked them after reading the “magic letter”.
4) Last but not least, always ask the sellers agent for a final and last opportunity to submit a final bid if there are multiple offers. Don’t assume that the list agent will automatically give everyone a chance to rebid; they may not. If a buyer does not want to offer more, they don’t have to, but at least they have the opportunity to make up their own mind about their final bid.
When my clients were looking for a home nearly 7(!) years ago, it was all I could do to get them in the front door of this “plain Jane” home. However, once inside the front door, they were pleasantly surprised! or should I say shocked The home sparkles…it is full of light and it exactly what they were looking for: open living spaces, a large, updated kitchen (nice cabinets with dovetail drawers!), granite countertops and hardwood floors. The 3 bedrooms were a “must have” and the updated bath(s) were another pleasant surprise. The 2 car garage and the finished basement, again, were icing on the cake after walking through the open, spacious and modern first floor.
Turns out this house has been perfect for them-they love to entertain their family around a big meal and a sports event (Red Sox, Patriots!) on TV… the way the dining room sets up to the kitchen and living room is perfect for their lifestyle. The fireplace in the living room and central air conditioning have been much coveted, adding ambiance and comfort, year round. The location has been sweet too, since one of the owners commutes to Salem and the other owner needs to access Rt.128 5 or 6 days a week. Reluctantly, they leave their enjoyable home to be closer to their true love, which is their family.
Heading “ova the bridge” for a fall shopping trip I went to the new location (24 Front St., Salem MA) of an old favorite, Avalanche. I “found” (through a word of mouth tip) this old favorite years ago when they were located in their own factory where they manufactured what they sold, in Lynn. Originally Avalanche specialized in “fleece wear” clothes but over the years have branched out to many high tech athletic performance fabrics in their clothes. The “outlet” store in Lynn sold samples and over runs from production for yes…famous name brands! The good news is even though their location has changed the prices haven’t and even better they have expanded their product line from strictly out door wear to indoor wear (men, women’s & children), including some really unique indoor kids clothes! Oh yeah and don’t forget the chic dog collars either! Being perpetually cold it seems, this is a “must go” stop for me and my holiday shopping. Nearly forgot to mention, the “owners” actually work in the store and the customer service is excellent – what a nice change from big box shopping Love supporting small business owners!
Electronics shopping and needing help, I’m leaning heavily on consumer and editor reviews. I don’t have the time or energy to research every detail of every electronic gizmo it seems I need in my personal or professional life. Why not depend on some else’s experience and expertise? The two sites I’ve been leaning on are amazon.com and CNET.com. Consumerwise, I must find safety in numbers. I love amazon.com due to the sheer volume of consumer reviews they provide for so very many items. I checked many review sites for the particular item I was recently purchasing but nothing can match the volume of reviews at amazon. I’ve been to epinions.com, reviewgist.com, buzzillions.com and viewpoints.com in search of a particular item review but none of them offer as many reviews as amazon consistently does.
The other site I admire for electronic reviews is CNET.com. I like the way the editor matter of factly provides a video for so many item reviews. Not only do I find the video representation comforting (real live people holding the actual item), they actually sound like they know what they are talking about! I find that very satisfying considering I’m sure I would be at a loss for words if someone asked me to explain simple electricity much less how something like a cell phone or a bluetooth headset actually works. My holiday electronics shopping website list is short but the two together:
amazon.com for consumer reviews
CNET.com for editorial reviews
have simplified my life, provide a consensus and made electronics shopping (electronically!) easy.
One of the classic styles in building mouldings is frequently miscalled ”dental”. It is relatively easy to understand why …because it looks like its name (toothlike), but it is spelled like its’ latin roots. Den is “tooth” in latin and the moulding is characterized by a square mold with spaces in between them, similar to a characterization of teeth. Usually found below a cornice, it is considered a classic style in architecture and is documented on the grave of Darius from 500BC! Having long admired the classic architecture I am thrilled to highlight a new listing with exquisite dentil moulding in the living and dining rooms. The picture above, highlights this style found at 4 Laurel St. Beverly MA. The picture belows shows off more of the architectural detail found in this pretty house including unique built ins.
Locally, many communities on the North Shore schedule their fireworks and parades on July 3, 2011. Did I just say parade? Always a fabulous prelude to the fireworks, many of our local communities have Horribles Parades as well. What is a “Horribles Parade” you may ask? Well, it is pretty much a parade for the people by the people!!! It is usually humorous, the more unsophisticated the better, opinionated and features homemade floats and costumes. Those parade schedules are below as well.
July 3, Sunday
Gloucester – Horribles Parade starts @ High School 6PM Fireworks over Harbor 9:30
Danvers – Fireworks Festival Plains Park 7PM (rides, music, kids games) Fireworks 9:30ish
Swampscott & Lynn – Fireworks Kings Beach @dusk (rain date July 5)
July 4, Monday
Beverly Farms – Horribles Parade Hale St., starts @ Oak St.8AM Fireworks West Beach @dusk
Marblehead – Horribles Parade 10AM Waterfront Festival all day Fireworks 9PM
Rockport – Firemans Parade starts @ High School 6PM Band concert & bonfire 8PM Back Beach
Manchester -by- the Sea – Independence Day Parade starts @ High School 9AM
Salem – Derby Wharf Kids Space 4PM, Music 5PM, Fireworks 9:15PM
Enjoy your Fireworks Schedule on the North Shore!
I just made a rare trip to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store and was totally satisfied with the results. 100%. I walked in expecting a minor, costly hassle and walked out a raving fan. I rarely have trouble with my Apple gear (unless I caused it by dropping it!) and this time was no different. I love Apple.