5 Tips to Make a Competitive Offer

5 Tips for Homebuyers Who Want to Make a Competitive Offer

5 Tips for Homebuyers Who Want to Make a Competitive Offer | MyKCM

Today’s real estate market has high buyer interest and low housing inventory. With so many buyers competing for a limited number of homes, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of making a confident and competitive offer. Here are five keys to success for this important stage in the homebuying process.

1. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent

A recent article from Freddie Mac offers guidance on making an offer on a home in today’s market. Right off the bat, it points out how emotional this can be for buyers and why trusted professionals can help you stay focused on the most important things:

“Remember to let your homebuying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.”

Your real estate professional should be your primary source for answers to the questions you have when you’re ready to make an offer.

2. Understand Your Finances

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to reach out to your lender to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers are planning to apply for pre-approval, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. It shows sellers you’re a serious, qualified buyer and can give you a competitive edge if you enter a bidding war.

3. Be Ready to Move Quickly

According to the Realtors Confidence Index, published monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property being sold today is receiving more than three offers and is only on the market for a few weeks. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and vigilant in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to work with your agent to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

4. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t submit an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive:

“Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sale prices in the area.”

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. Your position can be strengthened with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). There are, however, certain contingencies you don’t want to forego. Freddie Mac explains:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

Bottom Line

Today’s competitive market makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home, and I’d love to work with you on making sure your offers rise to the top along the way.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.Shortcode

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod and the Communities in between.

Crazy Awesome Cranberry Fireball Punch

I had you at Fireball didn’t I? 🙂

This was a big hit for my family and friends last Thanksgiving.  Absolutely delicious, not too sweet, and looked really pretty on the table and in people’s hands as they carried them around (though they didn’t get too far before finishing!)

cranberry-apple-whiskey-punchINGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
½ gallon water
½ gallon apple juice, chilled
16 ounce cinnamon whiskey (Fireball) , chilled
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
Fresh apples
Fresh oranges
Additional fresh cranberries  for garnish
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

PREPARATION

1. Combine cranberries, sugar, and water over medium-high heat, and cook until berries are completely soft and “mushy”.  They will “pop” , cook down,  and become soft in about 10 minutes.

2. Strain and set aside to completely cool before adding to the punch.

cranberry-apple-whiskey-punch-and-turket

3. Thinly slice the apples and oranges and layer into a punch bowl.  Add cranberry juice, apple juice, and whiskey and stir gently to combine.

4. Pour in bottle of sparkling wine and add some cranberries for an additional colorful garnish.

5. Serve and enjoy!

The punch went great with my Butterball!

* Juice, Fireball whiskey, and sparkling wine should be chilled prior to making punch.  To keep punch cold without diluting with ice, freeze apple juice in a ring  or ice cube tray and float in the punch.

This homemade punch is delicious and could not be easier to make.  As an added bonus, my daughters and I also discovered a new use for our left over bags of cranberries from Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Cooking a bag of cranberries with a half gallon of water and a cup of sugar actually makes an awesome batch of cranberry juice.  Never would have thought about it before making this recipe!!  I bet it would make a nice non-alcoholic punch as well by adding sparkling apple cider and cinnamon sticks.   Looking forward to trying that next!

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | MyKCM

As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some of us wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come.

Due to the undersupply of homes on the market today, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply of it, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. That’s what’s happening in today’s real estate market. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which will also drive price points higher in the home sale process.

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | MyKCM

There’s no evidence that buyer demand will wane. As a result, experts project price appreciation will continue over the next twelve months. Here’s a graph of the major forecasts released in the last 60 days:

I hear many foreclosures might be coming to the market soon. Won’t that drive prices down?

Some are concerned that homeowners who entered a mortgage forbearance plan might face foreclosure once their plan ends. However, when you analyze the data on those in forbearance, it’s clear the actual level of risk is quite low.

Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates and a highly-regarded expert in housing and housing-related industries, was very firm in a podcast last week:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With demand high, supply low, and little risk of a foreclosure crisis, home prices will continue to appreciate.

Note the same principle also apply if you are thinking about building a new home. New construction sales prices will continue to rise as the prices of lumber and materials continue to increase under the same circumstances of high demand and low supply.

Bottom Line

Though many thought home prices would depreciate in 2020 due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus. We instead experienced quite the opposite – prices appreciated substantially. Over the next year, we will likely see home values continue to rise higher given the continued lack of inventory of homes for sale.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Another Beautiful Duplex Under Construction… don’t wait!

Have you been searching for New Construction that is an incredible value and offers awesome living space? Then you’ll love what New England Builds has under construction right now!

Building on the success we had in selling two beautiful units this past Fall in a nearby Attleboro neighborhood, NE Builds has another new duplex under construction at 41 Horton Street in Attleboro. Two townhouse style units will be available and each will feature:

  • almost 2000sf of living
  • three levels of living,
  • 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms,
  • an awesome open floor plan on the first floor,
  • 3 bedrooms, a full bath, and a laundry room on the second level,
  • a huge third floor master suite with private bath and walk-in closet,
  • full basement ready awesome for storage or future living space
  • great yard space
  • super convenient location near shopping, restaurants, Attleboro MBTA commuter rail, Rt 95, Rt 495, and more!

Check out the below photos of a finished unit at 74 Orange Street in Attleboro. SOLD for $375,000. These lucky homeowners selected their granite, cabinetry, lighting, flooring, and upgrades in appliances to create a home that was truly “theirs”.

New England Builds and I would love to work with you on creating a home that reflects your style at our current new construction project on Horton Street in Attleboro. Be home for the holidays if you act now… reach out any time for details!! (Anticipating completion for mid-December delivery.)

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

#1 Reason NOT to Wait to List your House for Sale

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale | MyKCM

Many industries have been devastated by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus.

Real estate is NOT one of them.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, just reported:

“Since hitting a low point during the initial stages of the pandemic, the only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market. Housing has experienced a strong V-shaped recovery and is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”

Buyer demand is still strong heading into the fall. ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, just announced that buyer showings are up 61.9% compared to the same time last year. They went on to say:

“Normally, real estate activity begins to slow down in the late summer, but this year it peaked in July, August and into September.”

There Is One Big Challenge

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available homes for sale. Just last week, realtor.com reported:

“Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March, nearly 400,000 fewer homes have been listed compared to last year, leaving a gaping hole in the U.S. housing inventory.”

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that, while home sales are skyrocketing, the inventory of existing homes for sale is dropping dramatically. Below is a graph of existing inventory (September numbers are not yet available):Homebuilders are increasing construction, but they cannot keep up with the high demand. Bill McBride, founder of the Calculated Risk blog, in discussing inventory of newly constructed houses, notes:

“The months of supply decreased to 3.3 months…This is the all-time record low months of supply.”

What does this mean for sellers?

Anyone thinking of putting their home on the market should not wait. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is limited. That’s exactly the situation in the real estate market today.

Next year, when the pandemic is hopefully behind us, there will be many more properties coming to the market. Don’t wait for that increase in competition in your neighborhood. Now is the time to sell.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod & the Islands.

Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities in between.

Homes are More Affordable Right Now than they have been in Years.

Homes Are More Affordable Right Now
Than They Have Been in Years

Homes Are More Affordable Right Now Than They Have Been in Years | MyKCM

Today, home prices are appreciating. When we hear prices are going up, it’s normal to think a home will cost more as the trend continues. The way the housing market is positioned today, however, low mortgage rates are actually making homes more affordable, even as prices rise. Here’s why.

According to the Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight:

“While home prices have risen for 97 consecutive months, July’s record-low mortgage rates have made purchasing the average-priced home the most affordable it’s been since 2016.

How is that possible?

Black Knight continues to explain:

“As of mid-July, it required 19.8% of the median monthly income to make the mortgage payment on the average-priced home purchase, assuming a 20% down payment and a 30-year mortgage. That was more than 5% below the average of 25% from 1995-2003.

This means it currently requires a $1,071 monthly payment to purchase the average-priced home, which is down 6% from the same time last year, despite the average home increasing in value by more than $12,000 during that same time period.

In fact, buying power is now up 10% year-over-year, meaning the average home buyer can afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could at the same time last year, while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

This is great news for the many buyers who were unable to purchase last year, or earlier in the spring due to the slowdown from the pandemic. By waiting a little longer, they can now afford 10% more home than they could have a year ago while keeping their monthly mortgage payment unchanged.

With mortgage rates hitting all-time lows eight times this year, it’s now less expensive to borrow money, making homes significantly more affordable over the lifetime of your loan. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, shares what low mortgage rates mean for affordability:

“In July, house-buying power got a big boost as the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate made history by moving below three percent. That drop in the mortgage rate from 3.23 percent in May to 2.98 percent in July increased house-buying power by nearly $15,000.”

The map below shows the last time homes were this affordable by state:Homes Are More Affordable Right Now Than They Have Been in Years | MyKCMIn six states – Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and West Virginia – homes have not been this affordable in more than 25 years.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, now is a great time to take advantage of the affordability that comes with such low mortgage rates. Whether you’re thinking of purchasing your first home or moving into a new one and securing a significantly lower mortgage rate than you may have on your current house, let’s connect today to determine your next steps in the process.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island & Cape Cod. Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities all around.

Like New and Ready for You!

| Featured Listing |

1284 County Street, Unit 26
Attleboro, MA
Mill Stream Village

Offered at $359,900

DSC_0678Have you been searching for a newer, move-in condition, quality built Townhouse in an established Attleboro community with easy access to Rt 95 and two MBTA train stations?

Are you looking for a home that is tucked away in a prime Mill Stream Village location with private outdoor space, and an affordable condo fee?

Then look what just hit the market… 1284 County Street, Unit 16 in Attleboro offers all of that and more!

This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath beautiful Townhome was built in 2009 by WB Construction, Attleboro’s premier builder, and 10 years later still shows like new!  Local homeowners and real estate agents all know WB Construction is a name you can trust when it comes to quality high-end new construction and Mill Stream Village is no exception.

You don’t want to miss out on this turn-key Townhouse with garage & full basement! The eat-in kitchen features stainless appliances and granite island with tons of storage. The spacious living room boasts hardwood floors, gas fireplace, and awesome light from the picture window overlooking the patio & green space. Upstairs the master suite features a spacious walk-in closet and private bath plus you’ll love the laundry, extra storage, two additional great sized bedrooms and main bath.

The next lucky homeowner will enjoy a prime private location tucked away in the back of sought after Mill Stream Village and easy access to both Attleboro commuter rail stations, Rt 95, the New England Sports Village, Capron Park Zoo, Stone E Lea Golf Course, restaurants, shopping, and more!

Energy efficient gas heat, CAir, city water/sewer, beautiful landscaping, carefree condo living, and interest rates at all time lows – can it get any better?

Listed at $359,900, this unit won’t last long in today’s market!  Give a call 508-930-5259 with questions about this home or any of your real estate needs!!

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island. Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities in between.

Happy (Oatmeal) Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Day 2020!  With so much going on in the world right now, it’s kind of fun to get back to the basics when it comes to putting a smile on your face (and a warm gooey cookie in your belly).  Enjoy!!

Ariko’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC01454I can not thank my good friend Ariko enough for this amazing cookie recipe!  Ariko and I met at San Jose State while both in Grad School way back in 1993 and I have been making these ever since.  (I often change it up too… white chocolate chips and Craisons or add raisons and a little cinnamon. These will always get rave reviews!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend-
1 egg                                       ¾ cup granulated sugar
2 sticks softened butter          ¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Add –
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda    … and blend.

Add –
2 cups 1-minute quick quaker oats … and blend.

And finally add-
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes (should look soft and “not quite done”, my oven takes 11 min). Then let cool for 12 minutes on cookie sheets. This gives you the perfect “still soft” cookie – yum!

This recipe never disappoints!  I have actually given these cookies to accompany my closing gifts for special clients and they are often better received than some of the best bottles of wine and gift cards I have given.   I think the trick is making sure your butter is softened before blending with the sugars and then only cooking them until the look “almost done”.  Letting the cookies  sit on the pan after removing them from oven absolutely does the trick to finish the cooking off and create a soft wonderful ooey gooey cookie! And, yes, it does make a difference using both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.  (Sometimes I even splurge and use Ghiradelli chips!)  Have fun and experiment… you are going to love them!
Jen McMorran Head Shot (2)Jennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real people. real estate.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Boston to Attleboro to Providence and the communities in between.

Bidding Wars – Buyers be Ready!

Are you ready to enter on this real estate market?

I have been on the listing side and the buyers’ side of multiple offer situations countless times and believe me, neither are fun.   My recent listing at 53 Turnstone Dr in Attleboro had 40 showing requests in less than 24 hours of being on the market.  One day of showings produced 15 offers from ready and willing buyers by 11:00am the next morning.

It took hours to go through each offer individually as we evaluated the:

  • offer price
  • dates 
  • deposits
  • contingencies
  • personal letters to the seller
  • escalation clauses
  • and mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification letters.

When sellers review offers, know that the highest offer price does not always “win”.   All of the terms of the offer and buyers’ qualifications must be considered both when writing up a contract as a buyer and when reviewing an offer contract as a seller.

Want to know the three best ways to position yourself as a strong, sought after buyer amidst a sea of buyers and very few listings?

 1. Work with a full-time, experienced, and respected agent who will have the knowledge and reputation to present an offer and “you” in a way that the sellers and sellers’ agent will take seriously.  You want the sellers’ side to feel confident that you are the right buyer.

Buyers need to be prepared

2.  Get pre-approved now!  Do not wait until you find a home to contact a mortgage officer.  Experienced listing agents know the difference between a pre-approval that has been vetted with buyer documentation and a pre-qualification letter that is just based on a phone conversation with a lender.  Good listing agents will always call mortgage officers to make sure the buyers are solid.  It is always in your best interest to use a full time, experienced, and respected mortgage officer and company as well.  Let me know if I can send you some names!!

3.  If you own a home and your home purchase is going to be contingent upon it selling, you need to list your home NOW.  In almost all cases, sellers will move your offer to the bottom of the pile as soon as they see a “contingent upon the sale of buyer’s house”.  Some will consider you if you have a signed P&S on your home, but some will still see that as a risk since they have to worry about you as a buyer and your buyer.  As a back up plan, it may be worth checking with your mortgage officer to see if could purchase your next home without selling your current one first.  If a down-payment is tied up in the equity of your current home, a cash-out refinance may be an option for you.  (FYI – a refinance must be completed before listing your current home or moving forward on a loan application for a new home.)  Best plan… contact your mortgage officer and a contact qualified experienced real estate agent. 

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island. Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities in between.

RIP John Lewis

We are living through incredible times right now.

Racism and discrimination are still very real.

A pandemic flu is afflicting millions world wide.

Unemployment and economic hardship are impacting so many  we know and care about.

What better time to work together to move our society forward?

Everyone deserves the opportunity live a full and secure life.

This New York Times article is an amazing recap of an amazing man who fought his way from being beaten in Selma to becoming “the Conscious of Congress”.  We must stand together to continue his work.

We must stand together against racism and discrimination.

We must stand together.

We. Must. Stand. Together.

John Lewis
Rest in Peace John Lewis – a civil rights giant and the “Conscience of Congress”. Photo Credit: Andrea Mohin, New York Times June 20, 2020