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Hingham, MA: Breaking News
Family Involved in Real Estate Bidding War
President’s Day Weekend is a landmark holiday signaling the beginning of the spring real estate market, and the Hingham real estate market proved to be no exception this year. The inventory of properties actively on the market always increases in the spring, no matter where you live, but this rise does not necessarily satisfy all of the serious buyers out looking for a home on the South Shore.
Now that the Coyle’s children were starting families of their own, it was time to look for a home more suited to their new living space needs. Both Shannon and Richard Coyle agreed that a less rambling home was fine since they spent a lot of time skiing in Vail, Colorado and exploring the European countryside rather than entertaining friends on the weekends.
Shannon and Richard couldn’t imagine living away from the ocean, so their brief search was limited to ocean front communities. They would love a waterfront property, but agreed that this was not an absolute, so when the adorable blue house with the white shutters came on the market, their Realtor immediately called them.
“It was like she knew that we would fall in love with this house! She made herself available immediately to come pick us up, and when we saw it from a distance, Richard and I were so excited,” said Shannon.
The Coyle’s Realtor had a number of technological systems in place that immediately sent alerts when good matches came on the market. This allowed her to build specific profiles for buyers and gave her the edge on new listings.
“You walk in and it is a completely open and airy floorplan with a gorgeous wraparound porch facing the bay. The hardwood floors are beautiful and are included in the kitchen area that has all updated stainless steel appliances. The entire house was recently renovated and we can move right in!” Shannon said, describing her first impressions.
Richard was equally impressed with the blue house with white shutters and spent time looking at the green updates that the owners had done. “There are some solar panels on the roof, barely noticeable, and a geo thermal heating system which is fantastic. Clearly this is the house we have been waiting for.”
Richard and Shannon crafted an offer form while sitting in their Realtor’s car.
“She is always prepared with her clipboard and contracts,” said Shannon. “The house had just come on the market, but there was a sense of urgency to it. Little did I know!” said Shannon.
The offer was presented to the owners of the sweet, blue house that evening when they returned home from work. The Coyle’s Realtor received 6 text messages from the listing real estate agent throughout the afternoon announcing a new offer from a different buyer every time.
“She told us to get our pre-approval letter and some other documents together so that she could bring them over to the house,” said Shannon.
By the time the Realtor arrived at the house, she had to park on the street because other offers were being dropped off. The listing Realtor greeted her with a happy and slightly exasperated expression on her face. “This is certainly exciting,” she said, “and a sign of the times! I’ll be in touch later on.”
Shannon and Richard had a conference call with their real estate agent so she could explain the situation and what some of the possibilities were so that the Coyles would be prepared.
In Massachusetts, all offers that are verbal or written must be presented be to the seller, and there is no precedence given to the first offer that comes in. It is up the the seller of the home whether or not multiple offers are disclosed, which is why the Coyne’s real estate agent informed them.
She further explained that sellers can respond in many ways. They can accept the offer that they feel is best and reject all others, they can reject all of the offers, or they can choose to work with one offer while putting the others to the side.
Shannon said, “Our agent told us to focus on giving some thought to the very best offer on the house, and that the seller of the home requested that we do this.”
All but one of the offers was worked with by the home sellers, and in the end, the Coyne family did not get the house they fell in love with. Instead, the buyers who offered $8,500 more than the listing price moved forward with the transaction.
“I guess we thought those days were gone,” added Shannon, “but this was quite an education. We could have afforded to offer more, but really had no clue that this market still saw that kind of thing.”
If you are wondering why the Coyne family didn’t know to offer more, it is because the listing Realtor did not share the specific information of the offers. In Massachusetts this is the standard which real estate agents follow to ensure fairness, and as their duty to those selling their homes.
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