Is It a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market? How to Tell

A common question I am asked is about whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. People want to know because they understand that can shift leverage and risk during a real estate transaction. Who has more leverage can vary by season or year—or even by location—but it’s often strongly influenced by larger market factors: interest rates […] Read More

Matchmaking in a Secret Garden

I love when we get to do matchmaking. My colleague Jay and I were preparing to bring this listing to market, when an out-of-state buyer of mine came into the picture: a retired couple from Vermont relocating to be near their grandchildren. As they pondered their transition from rural Vermont farm life back to the […] Read More

Buying a Home with Gift Money

How to use gift funds for your loan down payment As I prepare homebuyers to navigate Boston’s hyper-competitive markets—whether they’re first-timers or multi-homeowners—I inform them that family money has become a significant force behind area home sales. (More than half of my buyer clients are using family funds of some kind.) With inventory super-tight and […] Read More

3 Reasons Boston’s Housing Market is Tight

Where Do You Fit in the Picture? With limited homes for sale over the past five years, Boston’s real estate markets are increasingly competitive and expensive—similar to other in-demand cities like Los Angeles and Seattle. Here, three reasons home buying options remain limited, competition stiff and prices high. If you’re relocating to the area—or if […] Read More

Home Appraisal: What If It Comes in Low?

Most sellers want as much as they can get for their property, but that doesn’t come without risks. Unless a buyer is purchasing entirely in cash, a seller should evaluate an offer price for its ability to match or exceed a potential appraised value. In a seller’s market, competing buyers’ offer prices are likely to […] Read More

Renting Now and Planning to Buy?

Read your lease terms and plan ahead If you are renting now and planning to buy, be sure to understand what, if any, flexibility your lease allows. Why? It’s currently a strong seller’s market in Boston. It is typical for a seller to receive numerous offers, and you don’t want lose out due to your […] Read More

Home Buyers and Sellers: How Appraisals Fit into Your Strategy

In Greater Boston, buyers gearing up for the spring’s purchase market will need to plan how they’ll navigate the very competitive terrain. If you’re buying with financing, your offer strategy will need to address appraisals. If your appraisal comes in below your offer price, you may need to make up the difference––in addition to the […] Read More

Buyers: Find Your Edge in Boston’s Real Estate Market

While it’s smart to casually begin checking out open houses and considering your ideal moving timeline, several critical factors may compel you to get a well informed buying strategy in place right out of the gate. Here’s what to know: Start right now The sooner we get you informed about the market and your options […] Read More

Community, Credenzas, and Color

Sky and Madison expected a gradual, laid-back buying process. They’d told themselves they would allow a year for their search. It didn’t take a year; it took a week—and the process went smoothly. Their next task was configuring their massive North Dorchester newly built condo, with its city views. Considering community SKY: It was kind […] Read More

Melville Park Curiosities and Conversations

After looking on and off for three years, Mike found just the right place in Dorchester’s Melville Park near Shawmut Station. He and his partner Brandon love the house and the neighborhood. They describe settling into a new house and neighborhood, using art and curiosities to generate conversations, and what it’s like working with Melony. […] Read More

Put Relationships at the Center of Your Strategy

The Boston area markets, from the South End to the suburbs, are fast-paced. And they continuously break new ground on prices—and on the risk-taking required of competing buyers to get a deal done. I am unmistakably competitive and, as I often say to both my seller and buyer clients, I play to win. I’m guided […] Read More

Business Based in Love

I am often taken by the camaraderie, human connection, and goodwill that moves the business I’m in. Yes, the Boston area real estate market is intensely competitive and increasingly expensive. But I’m struck by the heart that’s involved—between agents as well as between buyers and sellers. The stories in my daily dealings are numerous. Take […] Read More

Cash vs. Financing: Why Cash is King

Both seller and buyer are measuring and negotiating risk—risk in the timeline before closing and the level of buyer deposits to bind the agreements. The more risk a buyer is willing to take on, the more confident a seller can be in accepting their offer. A cash offer—even if it’s priced lower than offers that […] Read More

Why I Don’t Use the Term “Bidding War”

Google “bidding war” and you’ll find over half the search results reference residential real estate. It conjures up images of an intense, competitive back-and-forth with escalating prices each party is willing to make to win the house at any cost. I understand a buyer’s reluctance to enter into a bidding war. I don’t use the […] Read More

What’s an Escalation Clause, and How Does It Work?

Escalation clause (or escalator clause) is a device that’s gained so much traction, the Boston Globe featured its pros and cons. What is an escalation clause? Simply put, an escalation clause says the buyer will pay a certain amount over another, competing offer. If structured smartly, an escalation clause can work favorably for both buyer and seller: […] Read More

Buying Property? Assemble Your Team

In addition to the buyer and seller, there are multiple critical players in any real estate transaction—with your buyer’s agent serving as the hub. Working closely with top-notch, client-focused experts, I hand-pick an airtight team to work seamlessly your behalf. Buyer’s agent Your real estate professional guides you through the home buying process from start to finish. […] Read More

“Strategy helped us get our home”

Cara and her husband Chris wanted a more permanent home to raise their daughter in Jamaica Plain. “Melony really helped us (a) understand that there was strategy [to buying a home], and (b) helped us come up with a really excellent strategy that we were happy with and could sleep with at night.” “I came […] Read More

Why Speak With A Loan Officer First?

Buyers often want to jump right into looking at properties. But before we do that, we need to discuss your priorities and strategize to win them. Part of that is determining your buying power up front. That is, what are the best ways to structure your financing given: the funds you have on hand where you’re […] Read More

Your Buyers Meeting

Once you’ve prepped for your buyers meeting, we’ll meet in person and cover the following (allow two hours): What’s your key need? What’s making you need or want to buy right now? What happens in the next five to ten years? In order to win your priorities in a vibrant home sale market like many […] Read More

How Much House Can I Afford?

Unless you’re buying entirely with cash, you’ll be leveraging funds from a lender in order to make your purchase. To decide what you can afford, you might begin with a feeling or perception, such as “I don’t want to spend more than $500,000.” But don’t stop there; that perception may not reflect these critical factors: […] Read More

Buyers Meeting Prep: Making Informed Financial Decisions

If you’re thinking about buying a home, then you’re also pursuing an investment—an asset to be stewarded over time. Let’s proceed in a way that satisfies your needs financially as well as logistically and aesthetically. We will have an in-depth meeting to lay out your priorities but before we do, there are several steps for you […] Read More

What’s a Buyers Agent—And Why Use One?

Simply put, a buyers agent is the real estate agent working on behalf of the buyer. Typically, a seller has hired a real estate agent (a “listing agent”) to market their property and help them negotiate the best price and terms for them. As a buyer, you will be smart to do the same. While […] Read More

Why Buy with Cash, Then Get a Mortgage

No matter your circumstance, there are at least a couple of good reasons to purchase a Boston property entirely with cash: an all-cash offer can afford you a critical edge if you’re competing with strong offers from other buyers with sought-after neighborhoods, resilient markets, and strong rents, Boston area real estate can be a solid […] Read More