“No Showings Till the First Open House”…. The Term that Haunts Buyer Agents and Buyers


Till The First Open House!!!! Ugh

Well, Here it is, The Pet Peeve of the season. A nice new listing comes on the market, my buyers and I are on our game, ready to view properties promptly after they are listed. What comes next…. Boom!  We are slapped with the now all too common showing instruction that says: “no showings until the first open house. ” Really?  This listing is the perfect location,  its in our price point, we want to see it, and now we have to wait 5 days in order to see it with 25 other groups?  This is just another sign that it is just not a buyers market out there right now.

This is a trend that has been haunting my buyers and I since the fall market began. I did notice this a fair amount in the past Spring market, but now it almost seems to be standard practice in certain pricepoints in Boston. I currently have buyers in the $450k, 1 Million and 1.5 million range and each of these pricepoints are affected by this ugly buyer affliction.

As a listing agent as well, I don’t think this is a bad practice because it is the smartest way to increase visibility to the listing.  It also is a proven method to bring in the top dollar. If the property is in a good location, priced well and has a good layout,  there is a good chance there will be multiple offers on the property and the condo could go under agreement for over asking price.  It’s smart, it works, but it is not ideal if you are a “ready, willing and able” buyer who wants (or needs) to find a home.

The bottom line is that it is stressful out there for buyers. Nobody wants to get into a bidding war. Nobody wants to pay over asking and lastly, nobody ever wants to over pay. In this Fall market, in order to secure a great home in a good location, you will most likely have to pay full asking price if the property is brand new to the market. If you get stuck in in a multiple offer bid, in order to get the property you will most likely have to pay a bit more to get your offer signed over the others.  How much more? that’s a whole other topic of conversation.

My best advice is to be prepared if you decide to enter this market.  If you “have to buy” then you will most likely pay top dollar or have to settle for a property that may not be your dream condo. Also, you will need to ask yourself , do i have flexibility to buy now or can i wait till the Spring? I love buyers  that have month to month, 60 or 90 day notice  leases, because they are in the best position to wait for better inventory and increased options.

My last points of view are if you are a buyer, know the market and look at the comps. If you don’t have to buy right away, its not going to kill you to wait till the inventory grows a little more (downtown Boston of course). Lastly, if you are a seller looking to sell your property, now is the time!! We say it all the time, because that is the truth.

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