Monthly Archives: November 2020

Lessons Learned from a Thanksgiving Open House

We hosted an Open House this past Friday at a cute, three bedroom, one bath home in Yarmouth with central AC, a new interior paint job and beach rights. It was appropriately priced in the below $300,000 range.

When we arrived shortly before the 12:30pm start, there were potential buyers already lined up. And they didn’t stop coming. By 2:30pm, when the Open House ended, more than 35 separate groups had toured the home.

By Saturday’s 7:00pm deadline, we had multiple offers, Not surprising, the one that was accepted was for over asking price.

For sellers, who continue to sit on the sidelines, the lesson is clear. What are you waiting for? Our experience Friday was no different than many of our colleagues at their Open Houses. In fact, Mari accompanied a client to an Open House yesterday where there was another large crowd.

Buyers are active, interested, pre-approved, and in many cases aggressive. As Jeff Tucker from Zillow notes below waiting to sell is a potential money loser.

For buyers, the lesson is not to be discouraged.

Recent data from the National Association of Realtors indicates that 62% of buyers now spend 3 months or more looking for a home, an increase from 58% one year ago. A primary cause for the delay is the heavy competition today’s buyers face when making an offer on a home. The average house in today’s market receives 3.4 offers before it’s sold. This means for every buyer who purchases a home, two or three buyers have to begin their search all over again.

Experts anticipate home prices will continue to increase into 2021, and the incredibly low interest rates we’ve seen this year are also forecasted to rise as the economy strengthens. Potential homebuyers, who decide to hold off on their search until there’s less competition, run the risk of finding a more expensive housing market when they start looking again. If affordability is a key motivator behind your decision to buy a home, this winter is still the best time to make it happen.

The most important lesson from the current real estate market is that whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, playing the waiting game is a losing proposition.

Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. If you’re ready to review your options, please contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Talk soon…

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Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, an opportunity for us to support our non-profits that are playing an even larger role than usual in supporting our community.

Local food pantries have been especially challenged as people, who never needed help before, have turned to them to put food on the table. We’re regular donors to the Sandwich Food Pantry. We also support the Cape and Island United Way, where Mari chairs a grant review committee.

These organizations — and so many others across the Cape — continue to need our help as we head into the holidays and a predicted spike in virus cases.

Tomorrow, please consider supporting any non-profit that is close to your heart. They help many more of your friends and neighbors than you realize. Thanks.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

What’s Next for the Winter Housing Market?

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and with it the beginning of the holiday season. So, it’s a perfect time to take a look at the forecast for the winter housing market.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), “it will be one of the best winter sales years ever.”

The typical winter slowdown in the housing market is simply not on the radar this time. Here’s why.

While today’s historic mortgage rates are expected to remain low, they won’t be this low for much longer. This could be the last chance for homebuyers to secure these low rates, and they’re ready to take action. In a recent articleBankrate explained:

“If you’re looking to buy a home…expect mortgage rates to remain low into 2021. However, the possibility of rates falling to 2.5 percent or lower has faded as the U.S. economy has rebounded.”

As long as we continue to see low interest rates, we’ll see hopeful buyers on the hunt for their dream homes. According to. the NAR’s Yun:

“The demand for home buying remains super strong…And we’re still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019…With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future.”

The challenge, however, is the lack of homes available for sale. With that in mind, all eyes are on homeowners to see if they’ll sell this winter or wait until spring. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.comsays it’s best for sellers to capitalize on this moment sooner rather than later:

“We currently see buyers sticking around in the housing market much later than we usually do this fall. If that trend continues, we will see more buyers in the market this winter, too. So, this winter is likely to be a good time to sell.”

With buyers ready to stay active this winter, sellers who want to close a deal on the best possible terms shouldn’t wait until spring.

The holiday season is actually a good time to market your home. With decorations up and small repair projects completed in anticipation of family gatherings (we hope), our homes never look better.

If you’ve been waiting to make your move, now could be the time to realize a solid return on your investment. Don’t let concern about where you will move hold you back. Low inventory doesn’t mean no inventory. (We have five clients closing on properties this month.)

Buyers can also be reasonable in terms of timing. Remember: they’re juggling the holidays, too.

Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. So, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options. Talk soon…


It has been a crazy year and we’re very thankful for the people, who have trusted us to help them make their move.

We’ve worked with dozens of clients from a military couple based in Texas, who was transferred to the Cape and bought a home based on a virtual tour, to people opting for fresh air and open spaces after being confined in urban settings.

In many cases we made new friends, who we look forward to seeing in the months and years ahead.

We hope you and your family have a safe and stress free Thanksgiving.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Will Working From Home Determine Your Next Move?

If you’ve been working from home this year, chances are you’ve been at it a little longer than you initially expected. Businesses all over the country have figured out how to operate remotely to keep their employees healthy, safe, and productive. (As well as imagining potential cost savings due to less need for office space.)

As the virus crisis continues, Americans are re-evaluating their homes; floorplans; locations; needs, and more. Some are thinking about more space, while others less. Whether you rent or own, if remote work is part of your future, you may be thinking about moving, especially while today’s mortgage rates are so low.

A recent study from Upwork notes:

“Anywhere from 14 to 23 million Americans are planning to move as a result of remote work.”

To put this into perspective, last year, 6 million homes were sold in the U.S. This means roughly 2 – 4X as many people are considering moving now, and there’s a direct connection to their ability to work from home.

Why Working from Home May Spark Your Next Move | MyKCM

The same study also notes while 45.3% of people are planning to stay within a 2-hour drive from their current location, 41.5% of the people who are citing working from home as their primary reason for making a move are willing to look for a home more than 4 hours away from where they currently live. In some cases, moving a little further away from your current location could mean getting more house for your money.

Cape Cod is a desired destination point for many, who are working remotely. We’ve met a number of people at Open Houses that we’ve hosted over the last few months, who are looking for more space both indoors and outdoors. This past weekend, about half of the visitors to a home we’re representing on a cul-de-sac, but close to highway access, were from over the bridges.

This has been a year of changes, and what you need in your home is now is quite possibly different than when you bought it. Let’s connect today to make sure you have expert guidance to help you find a Cape Cod home that fits your remote work needs.

Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. Let’s get the conversation started at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Talk to you soon….

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Election Results Won’t Impact Housing Market

The talking heads and so called experts have been offering their opinions about how the housing market will respond to the results of last week’s election.

The election of President-elect Biden will have a major impact on many aspects of life in this country, but the residential real estate market will not be one of them.

The housing market will remain solid for four reasons:

1. Demand Is Strong among Millennials

The nation’s largest generation began entering the housing market last year as they reached the age to marry and have children – two key drivers of homeownership. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported:

“Millennials, long viewed as perennial home renters who were reluctant or unable to buy, are now emerging as a driving force in the U.S. housing market’s recent recovery.”

2. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low

All-time low interest rates are also driving demand across all generations. Strong demand created by this rate drop has countered other economic disruptions (e.g., pandemic, recession, record unemployment).

In addition, Freddie Mac just forecasted mortgage rates to remain low through next year:

“One of the main drivers of the strong housing recovery is historically low mortgage interest rates…Given weakness in the broader economy, the Federal Reserve’s signal that its policy rate will remain low until inflation picks up, and no signs of inflation, we forecast mortgage rates to remain flat over the next year. From the third quarter of 2020 through the end of 2021, we forecast mortgage rates to remain unchanged at 3%.”

3. Prices Continue to Appreciate

The continued lack of supply of existing homes for sale coupled with the surge in buyer demand has experts forecasting strong price appreciation over the next twelve months.

4. History Says So

Though it’s true that the market slows slightly in November when it’s a Presidential election year, the pace returns quickly. Here’s an explanation as to why from the Homebuilding Industry Report by BTIG:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty. This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Meyers Research, also notes:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year as long as the economy stays on track.”

There’s no doubt that this has been one of the most contentious presidential elections in our nation’s history. The outcome will have a major impact on many sectors of the economy. However, as Matthew Speakman, an economist at Zillowexplained last week:

“While the path of the overall economy is likely to be most directly dictated by coronavirus-related and political developments in the coming months, recent trends suggest that the housing market – which has basically withstood every pandemic-related challenge to this point – will continue its strong momentum in the months to come.

If you have delayed entering the real estate market — as a seller, buyer or both — until the election is over, your time has come. The Cape Cod real estate market is setting records in terms of demand and prices.

As always, we’re happy to meet with you and review your options. Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part-time hobby. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Speak with you soon…

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Should You Renovate Before Selling?

Staring at your home repair to-do list and wondering what, if anything, needs to be accomplished, before marketing your house?

There’s always been a limit as to how much you can expect in return from pre-sale renovations. Buyer demand is so strong right now that you may be able to avoid those expenses and take advantage of the current interest in homes like yours. On Cape Cod and elsewhere, buyers are looking beyond minor or cosmetic repairs, if it means getting a house in their price range.

The graphic below explains.

Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

But, please note that the only repairs you probably should complete are those related to potential major safety issues that would be flagged in a home inspection. ( An overloaded breaker box, for example.)

Need an outside perspective on what you need to do to get your home ready to market? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options. Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part time hobby. Let’s talk soon…

Election Day 2020

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 3) is Election Day. Polling places are open in Massachusetts from 7:00am to 8:00pm.

If you have not returned your mail in ballot, it’s probably best to drop it off in person today or vote tomorrow. Election officials have taken many precautions to be sure that the in person process is safe.

Remember that if you’re in line when the polls close, you are allowed to vote. Every ballot that has been cast has to be counted. Given the interest in this year’s election and the number of people who have already voted, we may not see results as quickly as we have in the past.

It could be a long night.

Stay safe. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank