Tag Archives: #NationalAssociationofRealtors

How You Can Use Your Home’s Equity

If you’re currently a homeowner, odds are your equity has grown significantly over the last few years as home prices skyrocketed and you made your monthly mortgage payments. Home equity builds over time and can help you achieve certain goals. According to the latest Equity Insights Report from CoreLogicthe average borrower with a home loan has almost $300,000 in equity right now.

As you weigh your options during these somewhat confusing economic times, it’s important to understand your assets and how you can leverage them. As real estate professionals, we can be a good source of information to help you understand how much home equity you have and suggest some of the ways you can use it.  Here are a few examples.

1. Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs

If you no longer have the space you need, it might be time to move into a larger home. Or you may have too much space and need something smaller. No matter the situation, consider using your equity to power a move into a home that fits your changing lifestyle.

If you want to upgrade your house, you can put your equity toward a down payment on the home of your dreams. And if you’re planning to downsize, you may be surprised that your equity may cover some of the cost of your next home, if not all.

Earlier this year, we used the equity in our home to put us in the position to make a successful offer on our new home without including a home sale contingency. We then marketed our house after our offer was accepted.

If you’re concerned about where you will move when you successfully market your home, your equity allows you to answer that question before listing your property.

2. Reinvest in Your Current House

According to a recent survey from Point, 39% of homeowners would invest in home improvement projects if they chose to access their equity. This is a great option if you want to change some things about your living space, but you aren’t quite ready to make a move.

Home improvement projects allow you to customize your home to suit your needs and sense of style. Just remember to think ahead with any updates you make, as some renovations add more value to your home and are more likely to appeal to future buyers than others.

For example, a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows refinishing or replacing wood flooring has a high cost recovery. We can advise you on which projects to invest in to get the greatest return on your investment when you sell.

3. Pursue Your Personal Goals

In addition to making a move or updating your house, home equity can also help you achieve the life goals you’ve dreamed of. That could mean investing in a new business venture, retiring or downsizing, buying a vacation home, or funding an education.

While you shouldn’t use your equity for unnecessary spending, leveraging it to start a business or putting it toward education costs can help you achieve other personal goals.

Bottom Line

Your equity can be a game changer. If you’re unsure how much equity you have in your home and how might you best use it, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.

Mari and Hank

Top Questions About Selling Your Home During the Holidays

In our blog two weeks ago, we made the suggestion that you should consider selling your home before or during the holidays.

That led to several questions.

1. But, doesn’t it make more sense the wait?

Even though the supply of homes for sale has increased in 2022, inventory is still low overall. That means it’s still a sellers’ market. The graph below helps put the inventory growth into perspective. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it shows just how far off we are from flipping to a buyers’ market:

Top Questions About Selling Your Home This Winter | MyKCM

While buyers have regained some negotiation power as inventory has grown, you haven’t missed your window to sell. Your house could still stand out since inventory is low, especially if you list now while other sellers hold off until after the holiday rush and the start of the new year.

On Cape Cod, we have a 2.2 months inventory of homes which means that if nothing else would become available, it would take 2.2 months to exhaust the supply. A “normal” market is considered six months.

2. Are there buyers still out there?

If you’re thinking of selling your house but are hesitant because you’re worried buyer demand has disappeared in the face of higher mortgage rates, know that isn’t the case for everyone. While demand has eased this year, millennials are still looking for homes. As an article in Forbes explains:

At about 80 million strong, millennials currently make up the largest share of homebuyers (43%) in the U.S., according to a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) report. Simply due to their numbers and eagerness to become homeowners, this cohort is quite literally shaping the next frontier of the homebuying process. Once known as the ‘rent generation,’ millennials have proven to be savvy buyers who are quite nimble in their quest to own real estate. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they are the key to the overall health and stability of the current housing industry.”

While the millennial generation has been dubbed the renter generation, that namesake may not be appropriate anymore. Millennials, the largest generation, are actually a significant driving force for buyer demand in the housing market today. If you’re wondering if buyers are still out there, know that there are still people who are searching for a home to buy today. And your house may be exactly what they’re looking for.

3. If I sell, can I afford to buy my next home?

If current market conditions have you worried about how you’ll afford your next move, consider this: you may have more equity in your current home than you realize.

Homeowners have gained significant equity over the past few years and that equity can make a big difference in the affordability equation, especially with mortgage rates higher now than they were last year. According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American: “. . . homeowners, in aggregate, have historically high levels of home equity. For some of those equity-rich homeowners, that means moving and taking on a higher mortgage rate isn’t a huge deal.” 

For us, that meant that we were able this spring to use our equity to make a significant down payment on our new home, then market our old one. We didn’t have a home sale contingency in the offer to purchase our new home.

If you’re intrigued about the idea of selling your house before year’s end, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options. Remember: your home never looks better (or is more marketable) than during the holidays.

Thursday is Thanksgiving and we would be remiss if we did not wish everyone a blessed and memorable day. We’ve all come to appreciate this holiday more because we lost the chance to celebrate it during the height of the pandemic. So we hope you enjoy the chance to spend time with family and friends.

Mari and Hank

Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008

With another uptick in mortgage interest rates and all the media talk about a shift in the housing market, you might be thinking we’ve entered a housing bubble. But the good news is, that there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

There’s Still a Shortage of Homes on the Market Today, Not a Surplus

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Supply has increased since the start of this year, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to almost 15 years of underbuilding.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 3.2-months’ supply at the current sales pace, which is significantly lower than the last time. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did last time, even though some overheated markets may experience slight declines.

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

On Cape Cod, there is a little over a two month’s supply of homes. While this is certainly an increase over past months, it’s not would be considered a normal market. So, with demand still strong and inventory tight, prices will remain steady. Decreases will come on a house-by-house basis determined by the initial asking price, condition, competition, buyer interest, etc.

Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed Back Then

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. Running up to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home.

Back then, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices. (Mari recalls going to closings where buyers signed paperwork for three loans!)

Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies.

The graph below uses Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to help tell this story. In that index, the higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage. The lower the number, the harder it is. In the latest report, the index fell by 5.4%, indicating standards are tightening.

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

This graph also shows just how different things are today compared to the spike in credit availability leading up to the crash. Tighter lending standards over the past 14 years have helped prevent a scenario that would lead to a wave of foreclosures like the last time.

The Foreclosure Volume Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

Another difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been lower since the crash, largely because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions to help paint the picture of how different things are this time:

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

Not to mention, homeowners today have options they just didn’t have in the housing crisis when so many people owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Today, many homeowners are equity rich. That equity comes, in large part, from the way home prices have appreciated over time. According to CoreLogic: “the total average equity per borrowers has now reached almost $300,000, the highest in the data series.”

Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Dataexplains the impact this has: “very few of the properties entering the foreclosure process have reverted to the lender at the end of the foreclosure. We believe that this may be an indication that borrowers are leveraging their equity and selling their homes rather than risking the loss of their equity in a foreclosure auction.”

This shows that homeowners are in a completely different position this time. For those facing challenges today, many have the option to use their equity to sell their house and avoid the foreclosure process.

Bottom Line

So, if you’re concerned that the same decisions that led to the last housing crash are being made again, this information should help alleviate your fears. Concrete data and expert insights clearly show why this is nothing like the last time.

If you have questions and concerns, please let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re in touch with experts not only on Cape, but across the country. We’ll give you honest answers and help guide you to the best decisions for you and your family.

Please be careful tonight as trick or treaters will be out at the same time as many of us are coming home work. They’re not always easy to see, so please be careful, especially on dark streets.

Let’s make it a Happy Halloween.

Mari and Hank

Why Homeowners Are Selling Now

Some people believe there’s a group of homeowners who are reluctant to sell their houses because they don’t want to lose the historically low mortgage rate they have on their current residences. You may even have the same hesitation if you’re thinking about selling your house.

Data shows that as of this April, 51% of homeowners have a mortgage rate under 4%. And while it’s true mortgage rates are slightly higher than that right now, there are other non-financial factors to consider when it comes to making a move. Your mortgage rate is important, but you may have other things going on in your life that make a move essential, regardless of where rates are today.

As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains: “Home sellers have historically moved when something in their lives changed – a new baby, a marriage, a divorce, or a new job….”

So, if you’re thinking about selling your house, but hesitating, it may help to explore the other reasons homeowners are choosing to make a move. The 2022 Summer Sellers Survey by realtor.com asked recent home sellers why they decided to make their move. The visual below breaks down how they responded:

Top Reasons Homeowners Are Selling Their Houses Right Now | MyKCM

As the visual shows, an appetite for different features or the fact that their current home can no longer meet their needs topped the list for recent sellers. Additionally, remote work and whether or not they need a home office or are tied to a specific physical office location also factored in, as did the desire to live close to their loved ones.

If you, like the homeowners surveyed, find yourself wanting features, space, or amenities your current home just can’t provide, it may be time to consider marketing your house.

That’s what we did a few months ago. Our three bedroom, two bath Cape on a corner lot with a swing set in the backyard served us very well for 28 years. But, it had become too much space with too many stairs and a yard that was getting too big to take care of. (And the swing set was rarely used in a recent years!)

For us, the answer was downsizing to a ranch style condo in an over 55 community.

So, even if you’re concerned about mortgage rates, your lifestyle needs may be enough to motivate you to make a change.

If you’re interested in finding out what’s the best path for you, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We can help you walk through your options, so you can make a confident decision based on what matters most to you and your loved ones.

Talk soon…

Mari and Hank

Buyers Are Regaining Negotiating Power

If you’re thinking about buying a home today, here’s some welcome news. Even though it’s still a sellers’ market, it’s a more moderate now than even earlier this year. The days of feeling like you need to waive contingencies or pay drastically over asking price to get your offer considered may be coming to a close.

Today, you should have less competition and more negotiating power as a buyer. That’s because the intensity of buyer demand and bidding wars is easing. So, if bidding wars were the biggest factor that kept you on the sidelines, here are two trends that may be just what you need to re-enter the market.

1. The Return of Contingencies

Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or inspection, to try to win a bidding war. But now, fewer people are waiving the inspection and appraisal.

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection and appraisal is declining. A recent survey from realtor.com confirms more sellers are accepting offers that include these conditions today. According to their August study: 95% of sellers reported that buyers requested a home inspection, while 67% of sellers negotiated with buyers on repairs as a result of the inspection.

All of our recent sales have included home inspections.

2. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs

Generally, closing costs range between 2% and 5% of the purchase price for the home. Before the pandemic, it was not uncommon to see buyers ask sellers to help with some of their closing costs. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.

Today, as the market shifts and demand slows, data from realtor.com that uses the results of a national survey suggests this is making a comeback. A recent article shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be an option available to you when you purchase a home, although we have not experienced it yet with any of our recent clients.

Bottom Line

The extremely competitive housing market of the past few years seems to be easing a bit. The data suggests that the days of over the top offers with no contingencies are waning and sellers now have to negotiate with buyers. This is good news if you’re planning to enter the housing market.

For more information about buying or selling, please request our Fall Guides. The video below explains what you can learn.

…and to find out how the market is shifting, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you the latest data, as well as our recent experience as sellers and buyers ourselves.

Talk soon…

Mari and Hank

Should You Buy a Home Right Now?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, there’s one question that you’re no doubt asking yourself: should I buy right now, or should I wait?  While no one can answer that question for you, here’s some information that could help you make your decision.

The Future of Home Price Appreciation

Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists to compile projections for the future of home price appreciation. The output is the Home Price Expectation Survey. In the latest release, it forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years (see graph below):

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, the rate of appreciation will moderate over the next few years as the market shifts away from the unsustainable pace it saw during the pandemic. After this year, experts project home price appreciation will continue, but at levels that are more typical for the market. 

As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “People should not anticipate another double-digit price appreciation. Those days are over…We may return to a more normal price appreciation of 4-5% a year.”

For you, ongoing appreciation should give you peace of mind that your investment in homeownership is worthwhile, because you’re buying an asset that’s projected to grow in value in the years ahead.

What Does That Mean for You?

To give you an idea of how this could impact your net worth, here’s how a typical home could grow in value over the next few years using the expert price appreciation projections from the Pulsenomics survey mentioned above (see graph below):

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

As the graph conveys, even at a more typical pace of appreciation, you still stand to make significant equity gains as your home grows in value. That’s what’s at stake if you delay your plans.

As of June 20, the median sales price for a single family home on Cape Cod is $694,250.00. While that is certainly higher than just a few years ago, it’s still less than Boston ($800,000) and many surrounding communities. Plus, the Cape also offers much more in terms of quality school systems, recreational and outdoor activities, etc.

So, if you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as your home’s value (and your own net worth) is projected to grow with ongoing price appreciation.

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 and msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. We’re happy to answer your questons.

…and remember last month we sold our home of 28 years and downsized to an area that we had been thinking about for years.

Stay safe this week and please keep an eye on the kids and adults, who are not familiar with the water. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

The American Dream

Defining the American dream is personal, and no one individual will have the same definition as another. But the feelings it brings about success, freedom, and a sense of prosperity are universal. That’s why, for many people, homeownership remains a key part of the American dream. Your home is your stake in the community, a strong financial investment, and an achievement to be proud of.

A recent survey from Bankrate asked respondents to rank achievements as indicators of financial success, and the responses show that owning a home is still important to many Americans today (see graph below):

Is Homeownership Still the American Dream? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, homeownership ranks above other significant milestones, including retirement, having a successful career, and earning a college degree.

This could be because owning a home is a significant wealth-building tool and provides meaningful financial stability. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains: “Homeownership builds financial security. With 65.5% of Americans owning homes, the net worth of a typical homeowner is nearly 40 times the net worth of a non-owner.”

There are other ways your home acts as more than just a roof over your head. The Mortgage Reports highlights a few of the many benefits homeowners enjoy, including:

  • Your housing costs are fixed – and that can help combat rising costs from inflation.
  • You’ll have greater privacy and the opportunity to customize your living space.

Plus, homeowners tend to be more active in their community. As the NAR says: “Living in one place for a longer amount of time creates an obvious sense of community pride, which may lead to more investment in a community.”

What Does That Mean for You?

If your definition of the American Dream involves greater freedom and prosperity, then homeownership could play a major role in helping you achieve that dream. When you set out to buy, know there are incredible benefits waiting for you at the end of your journey. You’ll have a place you can call your own, feel most comfortable, and grow your wealth.

This is a concept not lost on millennials (born between 1982 and 2000), who are often referred to as a generation of renters. However, their homeownership rate is catching up to Generation X (born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s). In the coming years, they may become the first generation since World War II to reverse the trend in declining homeownership.

According to Apartment List: “today the millennial homeownership rate is 43 percent, well below the rates of generation X (67 percent) and the baby boomer and silent generations (77 percent).

“An important feature of millennial homeownership that often gets muddled in the media conversation is that it is increasing, and with few minor exceptions, it has always been increasing. The oldest millennials turned 18 in 1999, and every year since then there has been a net increase in the number of millennial-owned homes.

“Since the Great Recession, the millennial homeownership rate has grown faster than any other, particularly in the last five years…Today, millennials are the least likely to own a home, but they are the most likely to purchase one.”

No matter your generation, buying a home is a powerful decision and a key part of the American Dream. And if buying a home for the first time, upsizing, downsizing or moving to that “someday” place is part of your personal dreams this year, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions as real estate professionals and as people who last month sold our home of 28 years to buy a smaller property in an area that we had been thinking about for years.

Please stay safe and pay attention to children or adults who aren’t familiar with the water. We’ve already had far too many accidents this summer. Thanks…

Best regards,

Mari and Hank

What Does the Rest of 2022 Hold for the Housing Market?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point where timing can be crucial. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com: “The gap between this year’s homes for sale and last year’s is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue…This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they’ve had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal.”

  • As a buyer, having more options is welcome news. Just remember, housing supply is still low, so be ready to act fast and put in your best offer up front.
  • As a seller, your house may soon face more competition when other sellers list their homes. But the good news is, if you’re also buying your next home, having more options to choose from should make that move-up process easier.

Here on Cape, there has been a very modest, but steady increase in new listings this year. In January, there were 209. In April, there were 375. For some perspective, there were 629 new listings in April 2019 and we had 5.8 months of housing inventory.

Commenting on social media last week, Ryan Castle, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape and Island Association of Realtors, reported that “162 of 223 properties that became available over the last two weeks are still for sale.”

Cumulative days on the market before sale (YTD) is 36 seeming to indicate that not every property is selling in a day. Just a few years ago, days on market for well-maintained and appropriately priced homes could number in the months.

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americansays: “…ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even high in the months to come.”

  • As a buyer, work with reputable lenders, so you can learn how rising the mortgage rate environment impacts your purchasing power. It may make sense to buy now before it costs more to do so, if you’re ready.
  • As a seller, rising mortgage rates are motivating some homeowners to make a move up sooner rather than later. If you’re planning to buy your next home, talk to us and we can give you some advice on timing your move based on our own experience.

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Increase

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won’t fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see prices decline, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.”

  • As a buyer, continued home price appreciation means it’ll cost you more to buy the longer you wait. But it also gives you peace of mind that, once you do buy a home, it will likely grow in value. That makes it historically a good investment and a strong hedge against inflation.
  • As a seller, price appreciation is great news for the value of your home. Again, you can take advantage of our experience to find the best way to strike the right balance for both selling your house and buying your next one. (We just did that!)

On Cape, the median sales price for a single family home (TYD) is up 12.5% to $675,000.00. In April 2019, it was $420,000.00.

But, the percentage of original list price received (YTD) is 101.1% suggesting that the days of head scratching offers may be fading. (Although there will always be exceptions.) In 2019, percentage of list was 92.9%. Back then asking price was the best you could hope for, not the starting point as it often is today.

Thinking about making your move? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the most accurate information to make the best decision for you.


…and speaking of making your move, today (Monday) is moving day for us. We closed on our new condo this past Wednesday and have used the last several days to finish packing up our house where we have lived for the last 28 years and bringing in painters, etc. to our new place. We close on our “old” home this coming Wednesday,

We’ve been chronicling what we’ve been doing in a series called “Mari Makes the Move” that you can find on our YouTube channel Mari Sennott Plus and on many of our social media platforms.

We’ll let you know next week how it all went…

Mari and Hank

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. These days, if you’re looking to purchase your first home, you’re probably concerned about what’s happening in the housing market, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three tips to help you confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options Because Inventory Is Low

As we all know, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. So, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums and townhouses can be an excellent way to increase your choices.

According to Bankrate: “Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single family homes.”

Condos and townhouses are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.

You might also consider expanding your area of interest. A few miles could make a difference in price and homes to choose from.

2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think

Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Acccording to Bankrate: “One of the biggest misconceptions among consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | MyKCM

Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought.

Some loan options require as little as 3.5% down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options. 

3. This Isn’t the Time to Take Uncle Harry’s Advice

Finally, no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a professional.

Well meaning relatives like Uncle Harry, who “knows a little something about real estate,” or family and friends, who bought houses a decade or more ago, are not your best sources of information and advice about today’s housing market.

(They might be the ones telling you that you need 20% for a downpayment!)

If you’re just starting out, a real estate professional can help you with the initial steps, including educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved.

Once you’re ready to begin your search, we can help you understand the market where you’re interested and search for available homes.

And when it’s time to make an offer, we can advise you on what the current trends and expectations are and help your offer stand out above the rest.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss what’s possible. It’s important to have the correct information to make an informed decision.

…and remember. We know of what we speak. We’re selling and buying now, too. Check out our series “Mari Makes the Move” on our YouTube Channel, Mari Sennott Plus. We’ll be posting new episodes soon.


Thanks to everyone who came by the Sandwich Office of Today Real Estate on Saturday to have their valuable documents shredded by Great White Shred. Our goal was 100 “boxes” and we reached 93, even though the weather didn’t exactly cooperate. We plan on doing it again late summer/early fall.

Thanks as well to Kristy Sassone from First Home Mortgage for the assist with coffee and donuts and our raffle prize sponsors Jason Goldstein Photography, JDs Burgers and Sushi, Tomatillos, and Penguins Ice Cream.

Enjoy your week.

Mari and Hank

Multiple Offers Are the New Normal

If you’re thinking of buying a home right now, you know very well that the number of houses available is limited. As a buyer, low housing supply coupled with high buyer demand means you should be prepared to navigate a highly competitive market where homes sell fast and receive multiple offers. 

In a bidding war situation, doing everything you can do to get ahead of the competition is your best move. That’s because when you find a house and submit an offer, it will likely be up against other strong offers from other buyers.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are receiving an average of 3.9 offers nationally. That’s the most offers we’ve seen in January for the last 5 years (see graph below):

How To Navigate a Market Where Multiple Offers Is the New Normal | MyKCM

Over the last few weeks, homes on Cape Cod have been receiving more than the national average of offers. In the last few days, one Sandwich home received 10 offers and sold for significantly above asking price. Anyone waiting for the Open House was out of luck. They were cancelled.

To help you navigate bidding wars with multiple offers, working with a real estate professional is important. They know what has worked for other buyers and what sellers are looking for. They can help you prepare when it comes time to making an offer. Here are three tips to keep in mind that will help you make the best offer possible.

1. Know Your Numbers​

Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a reputable lender so you can be pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval shows sellers you’re serious, which can give you a competitive edge. As a practical matter, an offer that is not accompanied by a pre-approval letter receives scant attention, if any at all. Offers that are all cash need to provide proof of funds.

You should also realize that making an offer at the home’s asking price probably won’t be enough. In just about every situation, asking price is now the starting point for negotiations. So, submitting a low ball offer to “see what happens” is a waste of time. (Unless the house needs to be totally gutted. But, even then…)

2. Be Ready To Move Fast​

Speed and the pace of sales are contributing to today’s competitive housing market. When homes are selling quickly, it’s important to stay on top of the market and be ready to move. Stay up to date on the latest listings and if you find the home you want to buy, submit your best offer as soon as possible.

3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer​

​When you’re up against others, presenting your best offer from the start is key. Submit a strong offer and use whatever leverage you can to make it as enticing as possible. One option is to wave some of your contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember there are certain contingencies you may not want to give up, like the home inspection. But, there are ways to make a home inspection enticing.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank