And just like that, we're heading into Memorial Day Weekend, the official start to the summer season. Shops are open, the weather is getting warmer, and the harbor is filling up with boats. For our office, the start of the season is also marked by an influx of new inventory hitting the market - with a range of locations, prices, and amenities.
This month, GPP Broker Nicole Bousquet was interviewed by Serendipity Magazine, a luxury lifestyle magazine celebrating the best of life in the Northeast, on the pros of listing your property this year. Read the full interview below:
1. There are a lot of folks hesitant to pull the trigger on putting their house on the market right now. Why would you suggest to them that they go for it? What are the advantages of doing it this year? We are still very much operating in a seller’s market, and expect this season to be no different. Inventory is historically at an all-time low, and “days on market” since January of this year are very short if the property is correctly priced. Buyers are able to work remotely, a gift from those otherwise challenging Covid times, so buyers can FaceTime a quick look at a new listing, then dash off to Nantucket to see the property in person, without missing work obligations back at home. We have seen this happen in many cases already this year! With low inventory driving price and urgency, and eager buyers at the ready to move quickly, I believe this is a perfect time to list your property for sale! 2. If they do decide to list, are there things they should have in place to ensure a successful sale?
The old rule of thumb in real estate has always been…location, location, location. And while the location of a property remains an important aspect, we have seen a shift in recent years to another feature of near importance in attracting eager buyers and higher-than-expected offers/sales prices. A turn-key home that is brand new or newly updated, even sometimes if located in a less desirable area, will see a speedier than normal sale…and often at a premium price. An attractively decorated home with more contemporary appointments (such as glass showers, neutral palates, and ambiance) that has not been booked with summer tenants is also an alluring feature that will gain interest from a broader-than-normal buyer base. A decluttered, tastefully appointed, well-cared-for home with curb appeal will go far in ensuring a successful sale in today’s market. 3. Should sellers expect a quick sale in this year’s market? Please explain.
If a property is priced properly in this market and is not too aggressively listed (with little data to support the number), we can expect to continue to see quick sales throughout the year. We are still seeing some bidding wars as well, which will continue as well. Properties that languish in this market are simply priced too high, and fair warning is offered to those sellers who are listing to take advantage of these unique market conditions. Over-pricing a listing never fares well, and can still, even in this hot market, work against the desired goal. 4. What are the top things buyers are looking for in a home right now? How are buyers reacting to a home that doesn’t check all the boxes.
Buyers always come to the island with their unique list of criteria and desired features that are necessary for their home purchase. There are, however, some consistently desired features that will excite a buyer when offered.
Buyers have always loved outdoor showers. In the days of yesteryear, outdoor showers were part of the romance of vacationing on an island. A day at the beach was not complete without rinsing the salty sandy day away under the open sky or starry night in the cool fresh air of a glorious outdoor shower. Today, buyers are moved a bit more mightily by the accompaniment of a pool, pool house, and hot tub. The apres-beach style has expanded to include these extra luxurious features, in addition to that outdoor shower, of course!
Many buyers ask about rental history or rental income potential. This has been consistently true through the decades. Even with historically low interest rates, and buying power at an all-time high, buyers like to know that they can recoup some of their annual expenses while allowing others the enjoyment of the home they may not yet be able to use for the whole summer. If the property has a pool, or the potential for one, rental income can be an added attraction.
Buyers love a first-floor primary suite, and most certainly these days require all or mostly all en suite bedrooms. Most people purchasing homes on Nantucket live in relatively great comfort at home. They desire continuity of comfort during stays in their summer residences. For that reason, private baths are almost always a must.
One last desire worth mentioning again is the updated, turnkey feature. With daunting construction costs, lengthy permitting, design, and construction time frames to consider, not to mention crew availability and supply-chain issues that linger today, a buyer is much more motivated to purchase a home that is attractively updated and available for immediate occupancy, without the need for renovations or changes. Learn more about the featured property, 122 Wauwinet Road, here.