What are the lessons of low inventory?

First of all, how low is low? Let’s look at current inventory by price:


It is staggering to think that in a town like Marblehead, with over 6,250 Single Family Homes, there are just 12 currently for sale. It is a seasonally low period, but the average in the last 5 years has been almost 4 times as many.

What messages can we draw from this? Here are a few thoughts:

– More people want to leave cities and fewer want to leave suburbs or coastal towns, and that is unlikely to change any time soon. Indeed, as working remotely becomes more widely accepted as a permanent way of doing business rather than an emergency, short-term fix,these factors look as though they will be in effect for the foreseeable future.
– If you want to make an offer on a house you MUST have everything in order, especially financing. Many buyers are offering cash: without a current pre-approval letter or proof of funds, your offer will not be considered
– You should – I am tempted to say MUST – be working with an experienced buyer agent, who can guide you through the process and advise you on strategy – whether, for example, to include a personal letter or escalation clause with your offer
– You should be aware that the listing agent represents the seller. If you deal directly with the listing agent that agent becomes a dual agent. “A dual agent shall be neutral with regard to any conflicting interest of the seller and buyer.”
On the other hand, a buyer’s agent “must put the buyer’s interests first and attempt to negotiate price and terms acceptable to their buyer client.”
– And finally, know when to tack. It might be worth considering buying in a town where prices are cheaper with a view to buying in the town of your ultimate goal at a later date. Housing is cyclical.

Team Harborside has completed $500 million of sales on the North Shore. Please contact me to arrange to discuss your needs with Team Harborside.

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Andrew Oliver
Market Analyst | Team Harborside | teamharborside.com

Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty
One Essex Street | Marblehead, MA 01945
m 617.834.8205


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“If you’re interested in Marblehead, you have to visit the blog of Mr. Andrew Oliver, author and curator of OliverReports.com. He’s assembled the most comprehensive analysis of Essex County we know of with market data and trends going back decades. It’s a great starting point for those looking in the towns of Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Lynn and Swampscott.”