Tag Archives: tomferry

Don’t Be Afraid of the Economic Slowdown

Some of you who read the title of our blog last week — Have We Turned the Economic Corner? — may have thought we were a little crazy given the announcement that the country has entered a recession.

The slowdown is not entirely unexpected given the wide ranging effects of Covid-19. But, it’s important to remember that with the exception of 2008, recessions haven’t caused a housing crisis.

Here on Cape, the housing and real estate market is continuing to move forward, even through the pandemic.

The median sales price for a single family home sold last month was $454,000.00. In February when the recession is said to have started, the price was was $435,000.00. A year ago May, the median price was $427,000.00.

The Cape continues to deal with a smaller inventory. Right now, we stand at 4.5 months of available housing stock of single family homes. This means that if no additional houses were put on the market, there would be enough property to satisfy demand until mid-October. Last year at this time, there was six months of available inventory of single family homes.

This is why we’ve been preaching for months that if you have been thinking about selling your home, the timing couldn’t be better. Prices are continuing to rise and inventory is limited. With the equity many Cape homeowners have in their properties, those who sell now will be in a good position to effectively compete, whether looking to upsize, downsize, or move to that “someday” neighborhood.

If you’re interested in more information about the status of the market in particular communities, please reach out to us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks…


Because of the pandemic, the traditional spring real estate market has gotten off to a late start. Here are some suggestions to get your home ready to sell this summer.


This is the time of year when the military implements many of its transfers. It’s been an honor for us to work with two military families, whose assignments have brought them to Cape Cod. One Coast Guard family, the Robledo’s, shared the picture we’ve featured above. Welcome to the Cape and thank you for your service!

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Working at home on the Cape

We all know people who have been waiting for the right time to move to Cape Cod. Quite often the decision is linked to getting closer to retirement or a job change that results in a less taxing commute.

In the months leading up to the quarantine, we helped several clients purchase houses that were to be used as second homes in the short term and for retirement in the future.

Now with government leaders urging companies to continue work at home policies and a number of industries learning that employees can effectively function remotely, a major stumbling block that has kept many people from moving to the Cape permanently has been removed.

Couple this development with a suggestion from housing industry experts that city dwellers, particularly those who were confined to high rises during the quarantine, will be looking for safe getaways and the Cape housing market is potentially in a very strong position for the rest of this year and 2021.

It’s hard to find a silver lining after all we’ve been through, but property owners on the Cape, who have been thinking of making a change, may emerge from this crisis with an increased demand for their homes.


Statistics are indicating that we have begun to turn the corner nationally and locally on the housing market slow down.

The next graphic, which tracks home showings as recorded by ShowingTime, the real estate industry’s leading showing management and market stats technology provider, illustrates that earlier this month activity rebounded to January levels.

Here

Even better news is that at the end of April, total closed sales on Cape are down only 2.2% this year over the last year (1,070 vs. 1,046).

The median sales price of single family homes last month was up over $17,000.00 when compared with a year ago. Year to date, median prices for single family homes are up 4.2% when comparing this year and last! ($420,000.00 vs. $437,500.00)

So, in the midst of everything that’s been going on, the real estate market on Cape has remained active and strong.

These results should be a call to action, especially for sellers, who have been hesitating to market their homes.

If you’re still debating whether the time is right for you to upsize, downsize or finally own your first home, we’d be happy to meet with you virtually or at a safe distance to review your options and share the currrent statistics and trends. Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks.


Signs like this one have been popping up in our hometown and elsewhere congratulating the Class of 2020.

Whether pre-school, high school or college, this year’s graduates will have a special place in history as the group that persevered in the face of unexpected challenges.

Congratulations to everyone.

Stay healthy; stay optimistic…

Mari and Hank

Where’s your home office?

Where are you working at home?

For those of us who have jobs that allow us to work remotely, the swift decision to move to online operations was relatively easy to implement. Many of us have designated spaces in our homes that we use as offices. It could be an actual room; a desk in the extra bedroom, or an area in our basement.

For those who suddenly found themselves working remotely for the first time, the transition may have been more problematic.  Home computers or laptops may not be as powerful as the one on the desk in work. The “home office” might be the kitchen or dining room table shared with children doing school work.

The number of people working at home has grown dramatically since 2004.

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever | Keeping Current Matters

This increase – coupled with our coronavirus experience – has prompted realtor.com to suggest that:

“For housing, the continued increase in the share of remote workers implies that demand for homes with offices or dedicated work spaces will continue to increase. The current coronavirus pandemic offers a dramatic indication of the fact that companies and employees will have to develop plans and clearer policies for remote work beyond the current crisis.”

Some key elements of a home office include bright natural light with large window; built-in bookshelves, or a quiet and secluded area. If your home does not have a space appropriate for a home office, you might consider creating something for yourself now and as a selling point to potential buyers when you decide it’s time to market your house.

Remote work may become more widely accepted as this current crisis teaches businesses about what it takes to function virtually. We know of one local company that has already decided to issue new hires a laptop and other equipment so they can work remotely.

So, what seems like a business challenge today may be more of the norm tomorrow. With that in mind, if you have a home office, your house may be more desirable to buyers than you think.


As you know, we dedicate a portion of the proceeds from each of our closings to a non-profit organization.  From our closing last week, we decided to provide Saturday night dinner for the members of the Sandwich Fire and Police Departments.  With the virus, these men and women are putting their health on the line every time they respond to a call that requires them to enter someone’s home.

Thanks to JD’s Burger Company in Sandwich, one of our favorite take out places, for cooking up a great meal. Please support them and all the restaurants that are staying open. Their employees need jobs to return to when we get back to normal life.


We’re working at home and remain available to answer any questions you may have about the housing market now and where we may be headed over the next few months. Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks…

Stay healthy; stay optimistic…

Mari and Hank

Website: www.makeyourmovewithmari.com

 

 

January by the Numbers

Sometimes you just can’t trust your old Uncle Harry who “knows a little something about real estate.”

Contrary to what he may have told you about property not selling in the winter, this January was a strong month for sales on Cape Cod.

In total, 341 homes sold in the first month of the year with the median sales price for single family homes coming in at $431, 200.00 and $300,600.00 for condos. In january 2019, those median sales prices were $399,500.00 and $260,000.00 respectively!

The market may have begun to turn the corner in January on lower than normal inventory with listings jumping 13.6% when compared to a year ago.

Indicative of solid buyer interest is the fact that average days on market for single family homes fell from 115 days a year ago to 108. The figure for condos fell from 139 to 92!

Nationally, the number of buyers currently looking has increased 20% over last year. Coupled with historically low interest rates and the equity many of us have, there is no better time to market your home.

At the very least, you should be considering refinancing if you’ve concluded that now is not the best time for you and your family to make a change. If you don’t have a relationship with a lender, we can refer you to the quality individuals and institutions we work with on a regular basis.

But if you do think it’s finally time to upsize, downsize or move to that home you’ve been dreaming about, we’d be happy to meet you to discuss your options.

Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks.


There are still tickets available for this Friday’s Comedy Night featuring our friend, Jerry Thornton, and some of his Boston comedy club sidekicks. Proceeds benefit the Sandwich Realtors Scholarship Fund.

Thornton, a regular on Boston sports radio and a columnist for Barstool Sports, is also the author of two best selling books about the New England Patriots: Darkness to Dynasty and Five Rings.

The event starts at 6:00pm at Sandwich Hollows Golf Course with a silent auction and heavy hors d’oevres. The show should begin around 8:00pm.

Jerry and his buddies did two successful comedy nights for Hank when he was at the Boys & Girls Club in Taunton. You won’t be disappointed. Contact us for tickets.


We were excited to make the first donation from our March closings to GirlyGirlPARTS.  With several more closings pending this month, there’s more to come!

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Downsize and Win Big

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home.

Here’s some more good news: mortgage rates are expected to remain low throughout 2020 at an average of 3.8% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

The combination of leveraging your growing equity and capitalizing on low rates could make a big difference in your housing plans this year.

How to Use Your Home Equity

For move-up buyers, the typical pattern for building financial stability and wealth through homeownership works this way: you buy a house and gain equity over several years of mortgage payments and price appreciation. You then take that equity from the sale of your house to make a down payment on your next home and repeat the process.

For homeowners ready to downsize, home equity can work in a slightly different way. What you choose to do depends in part upon your goals.

According to HousingWire.com, for some, the desire to downsize may be related to retirement plans or children aging out of the home. Others may be choosing to live in a smaller home to save money or simplify their lifestyle in a space that’s easier to clean and declutter. The reasons can vary greatly and by generation.

Those who choose to put their equity toward a new home have the opportunity to make a substantial down payment or maybe even to buy their next home in cash. This is incredibly valuable if your goal is to have a minimal mortgage payment or none at all.

As local real estate professionals with the knowledge and experience of working on Cape Cod, we can help you evaluate your equity and how to use it wisely. If you’re planning to downsize, keep in mind that home prices are anticipated to continue rising in 2020, which could influence your choices.

The Impact of Low Mortgage Rates

Low mortgage rates can offset price hikes, so locking in while rates are low will be key. For many downsizing homeowners, a loan with a shorter term is ideal, so the balance can be reduced more quickly.

Interest rates on 10, 15, and 20-year loans are lower than the rates on a 30-year fixed-rate loan. If you’re downsizing your housing costs, you may prefer a shorter-term loan to pay off your home faster. This way, you can save thousands in interest payments over time.

If you’re planning a transition into a smaller home, the twin trends of low mortgage rates and rising home equity can kick-start or boost your plans, especially if you’re anticipating retirement soon or just want to live in a smaller home that’s easier to maintain.

So, if you’re thinking about downsizing, we can to help. Contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We can help you review your options; let you know what your home might be worth, and have some suggestions about where you could move.


We’ve started to archive our video postings at our YouTube channel, “Mari Sennott and Assoc“.  You can view samples of the promotional videos we produce for our listings; various informational pieces from KCM (Keeping Current Matters) and other industry resources, plus Hank’s IGTV program “Morning Coffee” and Mari’s series on our kitchen remodeling project.


Mari is in San Diego, CA this week attending the “Elite Retreat” event organized by the Tom Ferry organization.

Ferry is our industry’s leading coach and trainer. The retreat is an intense, two-day session with his top level clients from across the country.

We believe in continuing our professional education and using what we learn to help our clients. In March, we’ll both be attending a “Marketing Edge” conference to learn about the most up-to-date and effective methods to promote the homes and clients we represent.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Tis The Season

We hate to keep picking on your old Uncle Harry, who “knows a little something about real estate,” but if he — or anyone — is telling you that this is not the time to be in the market, they’re wrong.

Why?

Buyers Are Serious at This Time of Year

Traditionally, homeowners think about spring as a great time to list their homes, when more buyer traffic may be out there actively searching. In the winter, however, the buyers who are seeking a home – whether for relocation or otherwise – are serious ones. They’re ready to make offers and they’re eager to move, often quickly. Your house may be exactly what they’re looking for, so listing when other potential sellers are holding off may be your best opportunity to shine.

There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into the premium or luxury market, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that now. Demand for your entry-level home is high, and inventory in the luxury or premium market is too.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and in your mortgage) if you wait.

Interest Rates Are Historically Low

As the graphic below shows, mortgage interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in fifty years!

So, at the moment, both buyers and sellers are in strong positions.

We’re seeing that this is a great time to be in the market based on our business activity. We’ve been recognized as  “Brokers of the Month” for the Sandwich office of Today Real Estate based on four November closings. For December, we’re looking at three more. In January, we’re already projecting at least two closings.

While a few of these have been cooking for a while, many are of a more recent vintage during a time Uncle Harry will tell you is not the best to market or purchase a home.

So, while this is definitely the season, a word of caution.

Sellers,  overpricing your home because it’s a “seller’s market,” only means that it  will take longer to sell, costing you money in terms of additional mortgage payments, taxes, etc.. Even though available inventory is less than a year ago, there are still a number of available options that are priced to sell.

Buyers, have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a home; how much you’re willing to spend, and what that may mean in terms of the condition of the house. For example, while the price of a home that needs some TLC  may seem like a deal, if the work is beyond what you’re capable of, or if you’re depending on friends to do the bulk of what’s needed, your cost savings may quickly disappear.

If you’re on the fence about buying or selling or haven’t even climbed on yet, we’d be happy to answer your questions and review your options. Just contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

 

 

Why You Need a Realtor

If you’re searching for a home online, you’re not alone; lots of people are doing it. The question is, are you using all of your available resources and are you using them wisely? Here’s why the Internet is a great place to start the home-buying process, and the truth on why it should never be your only go-to resource.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the three most popular information sources home buyers use in their earch are:

  • Online website (93%)
  • Real estate agent (86%)
  • Mobile/tablet website or app (73%)

Clearly, you’re not alone if you’re starting your search online; 93% of home buyers are right there with you. The even better news: 86% of buyers are also getting their information from a real estate agent at the same time.

Here are 3 top reasons why using a real estate professional in addition to a digital search is key:

1. There’s More to Real Estate Than Finding a Home Online. It’s a lonely and complicated trek around the web if you don’t have a real estate professional to also help you through the 230 possible steps you’ll face as you navigate through a real estate transaction. That’s a pretty staggering number! Determining your price, submitting an offer, and negotiating successfully are just a few of these key steps in the sequence. You’ll definitely want someone who has been there before to help you through it.

2. You Need a Skilled Negotiator. In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of dollars. From the original offer to the appraisal and the inspection, many of the intricate steps can get complicated and confusing. You need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

3. It Is Crucial to Make a Competitive and Compelling Offer. There is so much information out there in the news and on the Internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates. How do you know what’s specifically going on in your area? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Hiring real estate professionals , like Mari Sennott & Associates,  who have their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying experience an informed and educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.


Across the country, the real estate market is hot. (Contrary to what your Uncle Harry “who knows a little something about real estate” may be telling you.)

The following infographic from our friends at industry resource Keeping Current Matters tells the story.

 

With inventory tight here on Cape, homes that are priced right and marketed properly by local realtors (like Mari Sennott & Associates) are not available for long. Educated buyers, who know what they need and can afford, are ready to make decisions. Many are interested in being settled in their new homes by the holidays.

If you’ve been thinking of selling (or buying) , let us know how we can help. Give us a call at 508-568-8191 or emailing us at msennott@todayrealestate.com


Last Wednesday was a big night for Mari as she was inducted into Today Real Estate’s 72-20 Club. This elite group is made up of senior agents, who have been working at TRE for 20 years or more.

Mari — pictured below with company founders Terry and Jim Machnik — celebrated her 20th anniversary with the company on September 9.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

SOLD!

Is this the way you want your story to end?

This home in Sandwich was on the market for nearly a year when we took over the listing. Managed by both off Cape and on Cape brokers, we knew we had a challenge promoting a property that had been available for such an extended period of time.

The first thing we did was provide the sellers — who had relocated to California — with a list of items that needed to be addressed and might have impacted opinions of the home when it was shown.

For example, new carpeting had been installed, but there were several places where the workmanship could have been better. (It was fixed.)

We also discussed price and provided the sellers with a realistic assessment of the market and where their home fit versus the competition.

Next, we organized a mega-open house featuring complementary ice cream from Cape Cod Slush and Ice Cream. To promote the event, we went door-to-door to about 100 homes in the area talking with neighbors about the house and leaving flyers.

We also promoted the home aggressively on our social media platforms and were backed up by print ads sponsored by Today Real Estate.

The result?

We had a well-attended open house and sold the property in 12 days, after it was available for nearly 12 months!

While we can’t guarantee the same results every time, our successful marketing plan could help us sell your home quicker than most.

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, please contact us. We’d appreciate the opportunity to share with you our experience tested marketing approach.

Please call us at 508-568-8191 or email us at msennott@todayrealestate.com.

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In last week’s posting, we talked about the bad advice some potential new home owners are being given by well-meaning family and friends to delay their purchases, because prices are going to drop.

(We’ve also heard the same line of thinking from a few “savvy” older buyers, too.)

Our friends at industry resource “Keeping Current Matters” prepared the follow graphic outlining the cost of waiting.

We can all agree that it doesn’t make any sense to wait when the result is spending more money.

While it remains a sellers market, good values are available to buyers, who are pre-approved and realistic about what they need and can afford.

Let us know how we can help…


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We hope you’ll consider supporting one of the many organizations that work to find a cure and assist those who are impacted.

For more information about breast cancer, please visit Cape Cod Healthcare.

Thanks.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Real Estate Still the Best Investment

There was a lot of talk earlier this year — empty chatter in our opinion — that because of changes in federal tax law, real estate was not as good an investment as it once was.

Recent research (courtesy of Keeping Current Matters) indicates that the public didn’t buy the argument. For the fifth year in a row, Americans consider real estate the best place to realize long term returns. It outranks stocks/mutual funds; gold; savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the number one option for your money.

Generation X (those aged 34-54) lead the way in that opinion, followed by baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and millennials (22-37 years of age).

Public opinion about real estate has come a long way since 2011, when Americans favored gold as the best investment.

Real estate also has the added benefit of being a financial option that you can enjoy immediately while waiting for your long term financial return!

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The market on Cape Cod has really picked up. Homes that are priced right can be on and off the market in as little as a day, which just happened to one of our listings. That same week we had accepted offers on two other homes — one was on the market for two days; the other for seven!

This is also the time of year when buyers with families are looking to be settled in time for their kids to start school in September.

If you have any questions about the market and whether this is a good time for you to sell or buy, please get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

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Next week, we’ll be blogging from the Tom Ferry Success Summit 2018. This is the ultimate training event for real estate agents who are committed to building and sustaining their careers.

Ferry is the leading real estate coach in the country and we both participate in training activities and individual coaching offered by his organization.

We’re looking forward to a great experience and sharing with you all that we learn.

Mari and Hank