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Buying In The Fall Market

The Fall market presents all new opportunities for buyers who didn’t score a house earlier in the year.  But how do you find them?  Here are some thoughts and tips about this year’s Fall market on Cape Cod.

First, the Fall is a popular time for brand new listings to hit the market.  This is in large part because many homeowners list their homes after squeezing one more summer out of their Cape house.  Whether they rent it or use it themselves, many sellers don’t want to part with the home until after the summer.  Since September 1, and as of the writing of this post (October 11), there have been 746 new residential listings.  That’s roughly 20% of the new listings for the entire year to date.  Bottom line is that you need to be sure you are keeping an eye on all new listings.  The best way to do that is to make sure your REALTOR has you registered for Daily Alerts on his or her website.

As for existing homes, there are 681 residential properties on the market in Barnstable County.  About 150 of those have only been on for a couple of weeks.  More than half have been on since before September.  The sellers of these homes may be far more motivated to negotiate the price, compared to the sellers of the newer listings.  You should carefully review the older listings with your REALTOR, and even look at older listings that are outside your price range.  If there’s a home you really love, there is no harm in making an offer to see just how motivated that seller may be.  With the end of the year fast approaching, they may be more than happy to be rid of the home sooner rather than later.

On a related note, you should review and discuss your search criteria with your REALTOR to be sure you are not missing any homes that would have been perfectly acceptable.  For example, if your search criteria specifies a minimum of 3 bedrooms, you may be missing out on homes that only have 2 legal bedrooms, but have rooms described as “bonus” rooms that may have sufficed for your purposes.    Review all of your search criteria to be sure you are not inadvertently eliminating perfectly good homes.

Another tip is to make sure your REALTOR is keeping an eye on both the Cape & Islands MLS (CCIMLS), as well as MLSPIN – the multiple listing service typically used by off-Cape REALTORS.  While most Cape Cod homes for sale are listed on CCIMLS, there are a few that only get listed on MLSPIN – usually because the listing agent is not a member of the Cape & Islands Association of REALTORS.  Keeping an eye on both ensures that you don’t inadvertently miss out on a great new listing.

The most important tip of all is to be sure you are working with a dedicated, communicative REALTOR who knows the market, understands your needs, and is keeping you informed of new listings.  For professional assistance, please visit our Agent Roster and contact one of our Real Estate professionals in your target area.  It would be our pleasure to assist you.