Selling On Cape Cod

Cape Cod Market Update October 2019

September Review:

  The fall market is looking lackluster now that the September numbers are in.  With new listings, closings, and inventory down we did not see as significant an amount of activity in the market as this time last year.  With inventory countywide at a 6 month month level,  neither buyers nor sellers see a great advantage currently.  Not all markets are seeing this balance though so don't hesitate to check in if you are curious about a certain subset of the market (i.e. towns or price ranges).  Additionally, the lack of new listings may lead to a further drop in supply of inventory but fewer buyers in the market may not result in much change going into the usually slower holiday season.  Nationally a strong economy and low mortgage rates are helping to keep the real estate market active.

For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    July     Aug     Sept  
    Closed Sales    341     382     339  
   Inventory     2,044     2,082     2,090  
   Median Sales Price   $435K     $431K     $452K  
   Avg Days on Market    101     90     98  
   Avg % of Original Price    94%     94%     94%  

 

Check out these two blogs for more valuable insight into real estate on Cape Cod

 

  5 Things to do before listing your home  

    Shellfish Season is Here!  

      
   

5 things to do before you list your home

The Cape Cod real estate market has heated back up this fall as many second home owners list their homes after the beach season.  Here is our list of 5 things to do before you list your home.

Fix Those Long Overdue Punch-list Items

 We always come back to this because it can't be emphasized enough.  Little repairs go a long way.  Replace sprung window sashes, plane doors that are sticking, fix locks that don't quite work correctly (here is a lock mid-adjustment in a settling home).  There is a reason why you haven't done these things yourself (that reminds me, I need to fix that sticking door!) so imagine how nice it would be as a buyer to walk into a potential home with minimal punch-list items!  These small repairs can often payback in dividends and ease of negotiation further down the road.

Have your Septic Inspected and Serviced

It has to happen to convey a property so getting it done up front is a big help.  Also buyers are keen on hearing the words "Title V in hand" when walking in to see your home. Besides, it is best to be prepared and address an issue with the septic prior to being a hitch during negotiations.

Have Your Chimney Cleaned and Gas Fireplaces Serviced

We could tell you horror stories about sellers waiting until the final walk-through to light a pilot or test a gas insert.  Needless to say it all end with more anxiety and cost for the seller than needed.  Even if you never use a wood-fire chimney you should get it inspected (and cleaned if needed) to reassure potential buyers of the status of this potentially costly feature.

Get a Pest Inspection

Just because you have never seen anything yourself doesn't mean that a home inspector won't find evidence of termites, mice or other pests.  By having an inspection done before listing property the savvy seller will be able to address any problems before they become a negotiating hangup further down the road.

Service the Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

Too often we overlook little problems in these systems in our own homes, but buyers are enticed when major components like heating and cooling just work, full stop.  An older system with a recent inspection can reassure a buyer enough to make an offer and demonstrates that other parts of the home are likely in good order too.

So what are you waiting for?  Go and get your home ready to sell, or, do these things anyway and rest easy in the knowledge that your home is in excellent working order and you'll be able to enjoy it for many years to come.  If you are thinking of selling contact us today for a conversation about how your home may perform in today's market and for help finding excellent local vendors who can help you with these five items.

 

Cape Cod Market Update September 2019

August Review:

   The trends in the Cape Cod market this year seem to be delayed approximately a month compared to last year.  In other words, August this year compares more closely with July last year.  We felt this in the Spring and now again in the late Summer as the August data seemingly reflects what is typically the July slowdown (whereas July was as busy as June the year before).  We see this normal seasonal slowdown reflected in the chart at right in that closed sales were up while new listings and inventory were all down.  We don't think it is worth ringing any alarm bells but the lack of new listings in August could lead to a more competitive market for buyers in the fall.  The most relevant factors influencing the real estate market right now are: historically low interest rates, overall economic trends looking favorable (at least in the near term), Barnstable County inventory at a healthy level of 6 months.  On another note we were pleased to see the affordability index move towards improving affordability in the single family home market in August, an increase in affordability of 7.5% compared to this time last year.  For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

  June   July     Aug  
    Closed Sales  361   341     382  
   Inventory   2,067   2,044     2,082  
   Median Sales Price   $450K     $435K     $431K  
   Avg Days on Market  106   101     90  
   Avg % of Original Price  95%   94%     94%  

 

Check out these two blogs for more valuable insight into real estate on Cape Cod

 

Storm Preparation on Cape Cod

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Cape Cod Market Update July 2019

June Review:

Compared to this time last year median price and inventory are both up.  However Inventory compared to May is a small gain of only 25 homes.  It looks like the market entered the summer slow-down a bit earlier this year (usually it hits in July) with closed sales and new listings both down in June.  Apparently sellers were already getting ready for the beach last month.  The ever growing point of concern, not only on the Cape but nationally as well, is the affordability and availability of homes.  The Realtor professional publication states that the inventory shortage has reached 2.5 million homes.  Through normal economic interactions, such a severe deficit in available housing will continue to drive prices up as well as affect the rental markets (see California and New York's new rent control regulations).   The Realtor article features a few solutions and while none are new they will all be important to relieving the housing shortage.  Read more about ADUs, Opportunity Zones and more here.

 

Recent Market Summary

  Apr May June
    Closed Sales   331   441  361
   Inventory    1,982   2,032  2,067
   Median Sales Price   $425K     $427K   $450K
   Avg Days on Market   120   101  106
   Avg % of Original Price   94%   95%  95%

 

   Fun things to do this summer

    Top 5 Dog Walks on Cape Cod 

      

Cape Cod Real Estate Market Update June 2019

May Review:

  Year over year the inventory is up 6.1% and has also been steadily increasing since January.  With new listings down from last year and flat compared to last month we will be keeping an eye on how this will affect inventory going forward though.  What will also be influencing the market for the foreseeable future is the incredibly low mortgage rate.  At the time of writing Cape Cod Five and the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod both have their 30 year fixed mortgage rates at 3.875%, which is exceptionally low and certainly an aid to buyers.  Furthermore the median price for single family homes is essentially flat from this time last year and only slightly up from last month.  Do we know what the future holds?  Nope.  But we can say that right now the market is fairly well balanced between buyers and sellers which means it is a good time to both sell and buy.

 

Recent Market Summary

  Mar Apr May
    Closed Sales   291   331   441 
   Inventory    1,837   1,982   2,032 
   Median Sales Price   $421.5K     $425K     $427K  
   Avg Days on Market   120   120   101 
   Avg % of Original Price   93%   94%   95% 

 

    Rainy Day Activities: Spring Cleaning   

    Check out a video clip featuring Paul and Dennis'   

    initiative to keep the beaches clean   

      

Cape Cod Market Update May 2019

April Review:

We are glad to see inventory building up in 2019.  With approximately 5.8 months of inventory of single-family homes the market is reaching sustainability (particularly favoring neither buyers nor sellers).  It is also worth noting that the year-over-year comparisons of month's supply has been up since July 2018 which could indicate that we have passed the minimum supply level in this market cycle.  However ever increasing median sales prices led to a 2% drop in affordability in April (down to 85), a point of growing concern for the long-term health of the Cape Cod real estate market.  While single-family homes continue to be below 100 on the affordability index the condominium market has essentially been increasing its affordability since October 2018.  Condominium affordability is at 144 on the index, which means Barnstable County's median household income is 144% of what is necessary to qualify for the median priced condominium.

Recent Market Summary

  Feb Mar Apr
    Closed Sales   201   291   331 
   Inventory    1,693   1,837   1,982 
   Median Sales Price   $408K     $421.5K    $425K 
   Avg Days on Market   130   120   120 
    Avg % of Original Price   91%   93%   94% 

 

    Ask Agnes: Best Freshwater Beaches on Cape Cod          

    DIY Cape Cod Homeowner Tips to

    Sell Your House For More - Keep Your Roof Clean!

      

DIY Cape Cod Homeowner Tips to Sell Your House For More - Keep Your Roof Clean!

For this blog we delve into the wealth of knowledge accumulated by Ed over his (undisclosed) years spent working in the yard on Cape Cod.  With the cold wetness this spring in particular we wanted to share some pro-tips to keep lichens from taking over your roof and improve the curb appeal of your home.

Lichens and mosses hold water on your roof shortening its lifespan, lichens slowly dissolve the asphalt and other components in your roof shingles and tiles, and a roof that looks like a garden is unsightly and can turn off potential buyers - so managing these species is a worthwhile endeavor.

One very simple thing is to remove overhanging branches that shade your roof.  Sunlight is your best friend when it comes to keeping a roof clean, so trim those extra branches and try to keep organic material off of the roof (like pine needles and leaves) as this creates more opportunity for lichens and mosses to get a foothold.  In the photo below the roof has a mostly north facing aspect so shade is the reality no matter what.  In this case, products exist that use chemicals and herbicides to kill living things on your roof and specialty companies use high-pressure washers that blast these organisms off of your roof.  Since Ed isn't a fan of damage from power-washing and, with kids and dogs running around, tries to stay away from nasty chemicals, we asked for his safe and easy lichen-removing recipe.  Here it is with some photographic proof of its effectiveness

 

1 gallon white vinegar

1 cup epsom salt

1 squirt of dish soap or laundry detergent

 

This roof was a test case two years ago.  Notice the section on the left is significantly cleaner that the section on the right (there is a fairly obvious square on the left which was the only spot sprayed).  Ed used this mixture on the roof once when the forecast showed a stretch of hot dry days. He used a hand atomizer while standing on the ladder and got this much of the roof without a lot of trouble.  If you are doing this yourself we would recommend using a larger pump sprayer to maximize the surface you can reach from one spot. An added benefit of this mixture is that it can also be used for weeding in shell driveways, gravel walkways, and on patios.

For more pro-tips give Chatelain Real Estate a call to put two generations of tradition (and yard work) and three decades of experience in your pocket.  And to see a few houses that don't need this treatment take a look at some of our listings here.  Or for some more tips for homeowners check out our blogs tagged here.

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Cape Cod Market Update April 2019

March Review:

We'll go ahead and say it now, "this was a decent winter for weather."  Why does this matter for the real estate market on Cape Cod? With the seasonality of sales here an easy winter sets up sellers to get their properties on the market earlier in the year: i.e. February and March instead of March and April.  Last month inventory was up 10% from 2018 and this month it is up 15%.  This leaves us with 5.3 months of inventory in Barnstable County which, while still slightly seller favored, is more sustainable and healthy than the 4.7 months of inventory we saw at this time last year.  We do notice that the percent of original asking price received is down from last year, but up from February.  Finally, average days on market is 120 which brings up an important consideration.  Imagine paying two extra months of your mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance. Now weigh that against a lower list price that will more quickly attract a buyer and result in a sale.  If you are considering selling we recommend working with professional Realtors so that you can devise a pricing and marketing strategy that accounts for your needs as a seller. 

Recent Market Summary

  Jan Feb Mar
    Closed Sales   229   201   291 
   Inventory    1,626   1,693   1,837 
   Median Sales Price   $395K     $408K     $421.5K  
   Avg Days on Market   112   130   120 
    Avg % of Original Price   92%   91%   93% 

 

Ask Agnes: What Improvements

add value to my home?

Spring cleaning tips

from an expert in...tips

     

Ask Agnes: Cost Recovery and Home Improvements

Consider doing the garage door, but that's it!It's that time again, Spring.  The daffodils are starting to poke up through the ground, afternoons are getting warmer, and homeowners are starting to take a long hard look at the shambles of their yards and homes after the winter.  We decided to take a bit of time for another installment of "Ask Agnes" and focus on home improvements and how much value they add to a home. 

"Hi Agnes! It's been a while since we've had a chance to do this and we are excited to be back."

"Me too.  What can I do for you today?"

"I'd like to sell and need to know which major home improvements I should do to maximize my sale price?  Should I finally renovate my bathroom"

"The short answer is don't do it."

"Truly? Even my bathroom?  Everyone loves new bathrooms right?"

"The cost recovered on most home improvements just don't pay back"

"Can you explain a little about this 'cost recovered' to start?"

"Sure.  Cost recovered is a way to measure how much value a home improvement adds to your home compared to what you spent to make the improvement .  Here is a quick example: you have a lemonade stand that is worth $10 and you spend $5 improving the sign and painting the stand.  You then sell the stand for $15.  We are interested in how much value that $5 improvement added to the property and in this case it is $5, so you recovered 100% of your investment.  This means you only broke even and the improvement, while it added value to the property, didn't net you any extra money."

"Wait, isn't a 100% return an amazing investment?"

"In the stock market it sure would be because they are considering a "Return on Investment' or ROI, which is a little different.  For home improvements we are interested in the cost recovered so anything less than 100% means you lost some money."

"Right, that makes sense now.  So to get back to the bathroom how do you know it isn't a good investment?"

"Well based on the report here a mid-range bathroom remodel in New England costs $21,891 and adds $15,777 in value to your home at resale.  That is a 72% cost recovery which means you lost $4,333.  The cost recovered is even worse nationwide at only 60%.  

"What are some other examples? What about kitchens or re-siding?"

"People do like new kitchens but a mid-range minor kitchen remodel in New England only returns about 81%, more extensive remodels closer to 60%.  Siding is about 89%, backyard patios are 57% and the list goes on and on."

"Is there anything I can do that will actually earn a profit"

"According to the report new garage doors are the only thing that does.  And in this case a $3629 improvement nets only $267."

"Yikes, forget home improvements then huh?"

"That thinking isn't quite right either for two reasons.  Sometimes an improvement is actually maintenance and deferred maintenance may reduce the value and marketability of your home. For example, a leaking roof will lessen the value of your home through water damage and should be repaired regardless of the cost. The important thing is to consult with your realtor before making improvements to sell your home.  They will advise you as to which projects are worthwhile and which are not. My final thought here is that you shouldn't be waiting to improve your home!  Enjoy it and make it work for you.  If you want to add a back deck by all means do it and enjoy an improvement in both your home and your quality of life.  Don't hold back from an improvement if it is something you will enjoy."

Well Agnes, as always we appreciate your sage advice and experience here in the Cape Cod real estate market.  Please contact us with questions about buying and selling on the Cape and stay tuned for our next installment of Ask Agnes.

Cape Cod Market Update March 2019

February Review:

February saw the beginning of the Spring market on Cape Cod and the numbers tell an interesting tale.  We notice that average days on market has been steadily increasing while average percent of original price received has been declining.  It seems that buyers in the market are responding to overpriced houses by waiting longer to make offers and ultimately offering less.  We see this time and time again in smaller markets too, take an analysis we did for a client recently: Brewster Single Family sales in 2018. 

I'll explain briefly: 

Blue columns indicate the current price as a % of the original asking price.  In other words, the price that actually attracted a buyer.

Orange columns indicate the sale price as a % of the original price.

The three groups of columns show the houses that sold the fastest selling (left group at less than 25 days), median (middle group), and slowest selling (right group at more than 105 days).

Given all of that, we see houses that sell faster sell for closer to the asking price.  Homes that are on the market for longest are reduced to 94% of the original asking price before they attract a buyer and sell for only 90% of the original asking price. The takeaway is clear: if you price your house too high, it could spend more time on market and receive significantly less than the original asking price - ultimately costing you money.  It is important to work with local real estate experts to be sure you are well informed about how pricing strategies ultimately affect your bottom line.  

Recent Market Summary

  Dec Jan Feb
   Closed Sales 290 229 201
   Inventory 1,614 1,626 1,693
   Median Sales Price $385K $395K $408K
   Avg Days on Market 95 112 130
   Avg % of Original Price 93% 92% 91%

 

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Comments

  1. michael myslinski on

    I enjoy your updates. Thanks, Mike
    • Paul Chatelain on

      Thank you. We are happy to do it
  2. Michael Haidas on

    I too enjoy your updates. Best darn realtors on the Cape.
    • Paul Chatelain on

      Thanks Mike. Your vote of confidence is very much appreciated