Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Boston Globe Article About the Current Real Estate Market

It may look like winter - but the spring real estate market has started in the Cambridge area.

It may look like winter - but the spring real estate market has started in the Cambridge area.

We Cambridge real estate agents often grumble about the Boston Globe’s real estate reporting. Too often they’re behind the curve, not quite giving the real take on what’s happening in the real estate market around Boston and Cambridge.

A lot of that has to do with basing analysis and reporting on home sales.  Since the home sale process in Massachusetts takes about six to eight weeks, from offer to closed sale, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sales reflect current reality – when they’re actually a reflection of what was happening two months ago.

But on Saturday, the Globe’s front page article about real estate activity, “For Sale, But Not For Long” was right on the money.  In many towns around Cambridge inventory is low and demand is up, spurred by the homebuyer credit which is set to expire before the end of the spring real estate market.

I just finished the latest round of monthly real estate reports for half a dozen towns. In several towns, the number of homes for sale is down substantially from this time a year ago.  The difference is even more dramatic if you compare the numbers to the same time two years ago.

And yet, demand is up because of the homebuyer credit, not to mention continued low interest rates, and in many cases, lower prices.

What does this mean for prospective home sellers?  If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market this spring it’s best to do so sooner rather than later.   Many sellers think waiting until the lawn is green and the flowers and leaves are out is the way to go.  Not this year!  You don’t want to miss the surge in activity created by the impending expiration of the homebuyer credit. 

A property must be under agreement by the end of April and close by the end of June for the buyer to qualify for the homebuyer credit.  Times a wasting to get your property in the mix.  Ideally you want to list your home for sale no later than the beginning of April if not sooner.  There may very well be a lot of sellers thinking the same way so putting your home on the market sooner to get ahead of the crowd is not a bad idea.

What does this mean for home buyers?  Home buyers who hope to qualify for the credit should be hitting the pavement, familiarizing themselves with what’s on the market in their price range.  Once you’ve seen enough properties you’ll start to develop a sense of what price seems right and a better idea of what you like and what you don’t. When you find “the one” you’ll know it – because you’ve seen enough of the competition to know this is the right home for you.

You also want to get out and visit new listings as quickly as you can.  It’s not uncommon right now for properties to sell the first weekend.  We’re also seeing properties sell before the open house. Last week a single family came on the market in Cambridge on Wednesday. By Friday there were multiple offers and it was under agreement.

Want some answers to your real estate questions?  I’d be happy to help!   I can be reached by email or by phone at 617-504-1737.


Nowadays, Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent at ReMax Destiny at 907 Mass Ave in Cambridge.  Let her put her ten+ years of real estate experience to work for you.

Categories: Buyer Info, Seller Info

  1. Bella

    Most of the stuff coming on the market now is recycled from last year, when it didn’t sell. Also, I’ve been noticing that things come on the market, the listing expires, and then it’s put on immediately as a “new” listing. Yes, desirable things are selling quickly but there’s a lot of junk out there that’s still sitting. People aren’t just leaping on everything – for example there’s a SF house on Middlesex with water stains on the living room/dining room ceiling (the listing says that it has been “well maintained”) for $619K and it doesn’t seem to be moving, so people do have a sense of value and – because they know that prices aren’t going to make a great leap anytime soon – don’t have an excessive sense of urgency unless it’s definitely a good value.

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Bella ~ Thanks for your comment. I definitely agree that there has to be perceived value for properties to sell – even though there are fewer properties on the market if the price is wrong it won’t sell.

    I haven’t seen the house on Middlesex but I love that street. And a few ceiling stains never scared me! My favorite kind of house is “old and untouched”. When I bought my first house I wanted a house that had been lived in by one family for a very long time and not updated. That’s exactly what I got – the family had owned it since 1865. I still miss it – but I missed the city more and moved back to Cambridge.

    Some great new listings came on this weekend. I think there was a bit of a bump because some people – especially in towns like Arlington and Belmont – held off going on the market during February vacation.

    Thanks again for dropping by.


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