5 Easy Ways to Get A Better Deal on a Home in Boston
Everyone likes to get a great deal, especially in Boston’s prime real estate market. After years of disciplined saving to gather the necessary funds for a down payment, it’s incredibly satisfying to negotiate a great price on your dream home, knowing that you’re making a great investment for the future.
Fortunately, navigating the real estate market doesn’t’ have to be as tricky as it appears. To help you increase your chances of getting the best house for your dollar, we’ve compiled a list of five tips on how to get a great deal on your Boston home purchase.
Ask for a Commission Rebate
The best way to easily get a great deal is to get money back from your buyer’s broker. It’s surprising to many, but you can actually get a buyer’s commission rebate from the broker that represents you.
The way a commission rebate works is simple. A real estate brokerage gives homebuyers a portion of the commission it receives for representing that buyer. This rebate can create huge savings for buyers.
Prevu offers the largest commission rebate in the Greater Boston area by giving two-thirds of their buyer’s broker commission directly back to homebuyers with the company’s Smart Buyer Rebate Program.
For example, say you buy a $1,500,000 home in Charlestown with a 3 percent buyer’s broker commission. You as the buyer would receive 2 percent of the purchase price, or a cool $30,000 back in your pocket from Prevu in the form of a commission rebate.
Browse listings to see how much you could save.
Look at Home Values, Not Discounts
Too often homebuyers think they need a certain percentage discount to the listing price to get a good price. Unfortunately, large discounts are tougher to achieve, especially in competitive, low-inventory markets like the Boston real estate market is experiencing post-Covid.
You want to buy a home that has the potential to appreciate over time. Trying to achieve the goal of an arbitrary discount percentage may result in you missing your dream home and a great deal, as someone else scoops it up before you.
To help you determine if you’re looking at a good deal, your buyer’s agent will advise you on recent comparable sales in the area. This data may support a value that is lower or higher than the listing price.
“Focus on the data,” advises Greg Cumings, a licensed associate broker with Prevu in Boston. “In some cases, paying higher than the listing price to beat out the competition may be a better deal for you in the long term, if that home has a greater potential for appreciation.”
Shop Around for the Best Mortgage Rates
You’ve probably read in the press this summer that mortgage rates are near historic lows. That doesn’t mean that every lender is offering the same rates—but it does mean great options are out there.
It’s always a good idea to compare rates and mortgage products from different mortgage companies. Just because you received your pre-approval from one bank, doesn’t mean you have to use that bank for your purchase.
While a small difference in your rate might only lower your monthly payment by a small amount, the savings add up quickly over the life of your loan—especially if you plan to live in the home for the full 30 years of your mortgage.
Hire a Buyer’s Agent
Buying a home is the largest financial transaction of most people’s lives, so it makes sense to take the proper steps to get it right. Hiring a knowledgeable buyer’s agent with local expertise can mean the difference between a great deal and a bad purchase.
A buyer’s agent acts as your advocate through the entire home purchase process. They will help you refine your search, advise on negotiation strategy, and explain the finer points of a deal that can save you thousands of dollars on your purchase price and closing costs.
Remember that listing agents represent the interests of the seller and getting the seller the best sale price for them. If you want to buy a home with a great price for you, dealing directly with a listing agent could cost you extra due to information slippage and biased advice.
Be safe and hire your own advocate with a buyer’s agent.
Consider a Fixer-Upper
Newly-renovated or new construction homes are very unlikely to negotiate on price, and in many instances trade at a premium compared to older re-sales. With the growing trend of homebuyers that prefer turn-key homes that require no work, there’s also greater competition for these newer properties in the Boston area.
As a result, getting a great deal might mean having to create it on your own over time by putting a little sweat equity and a modest renovation budget into a fixer upper. If you’re handy, or not afraid to live through a renovation, buying and renovating a fixer upper in Boston can unlock a lot of value for your real estate investment. Plus, you can put your own personal touches on the home.This is a paid partnership between Prevu and Boston Magazine's City/Studio