Massachusetts Home Sales are Down

For the first time in 14 months, fewer inherited homes are being sold in the Bay State.

According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, there were 5,799 residential closings in July, which is 14 percent below the July 2015 mark. At the same time, average prices for single-family homes edged up 3.5 percent to $376,750. Because of this combination, some industry insiders see trouble brewing. MAR president Annie Blatz opined that sales are down because prices are up, or in other words, buyers are being priced out of the market. She noted that inventory is almost 30 percent lower than it was a year ago.

“[T]he only way we can fix this is with more inventory,” she concluded.

Listing Inherited Property

In many cases, heirs are either willing to sacrifice financial return for a quick sale or have resigned themselves to this necessity. Out-of-state heirs are understandably not keen on the idea of staying in town any longer than necessary, and even if the heirs are local, they all have jobs, families, and/or lives that need their attention. There are often other emotional circumstances as well; for example, if a loved one passed away suddenly, the shock often makes it more difficult to focus on property disposition. Finally, there are sometimes adverse financial circumstances. Some estates have substantial debts, and the heirs need money to meet these obligations.

However, in many other cases, these circumstances aren’t present. If the heirs are interested in maximum value, and they are willing and able to wait a few months to obtain it, a listed sale is often the best option. There are basically three stages to a listed sale:

  • Getting Ready to Sell: Many houses do not need major repairs, but they nearly always need a few alterations to increase curb appeal.
  • Attracting Buyers: The curb appeal is only part of the equation. Once they’re inside, lookers must be converted to buyers. These buyers must also be qualified to purchase the home; if they’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage up to a certain amount, that’s even better.
  • Pre-Closing: The home inspection is the most important element in this phase, but there are others as well, such as mortgage financing clarification.

An experienced realtor is a big help in all these areas. This person is not only in touch with market conditions, but is also a professional salesperson that knows how to connect with potential buyers. A realtor can also guide a seller through the paperwork, and perform much or all of the legwork.

A listed sale is often a good alternative to a quick cash sale. To see how much your home is worth, and get an idea on how fast it would sell, contact us today.