April 1st marks the Boston Red Sox’s Opening Day. No more wait ’til next year. This is the year!
Come to think of it, there is a lot that Youk, Pedroia, Big Papi and the rest of the Red Sox can teach us about real estate. Here are a few tips–
Listen to your Manager and your General Manager. Your Manager is your real estate agent. Your General Manager is your real estate attorney. Tito and Theo (yeah!). Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman (boo!!!). This is the foundation of your team. Listen to them. Trust them. They will lead you to the World Series–your closing.
Spring training is more than just practice. In real estate, spring is the busiest time of year. So apply your eye black and get your game face on. Make your best offer. Swing for the fences. Everything counts in the spring in real estate.
When you get up to the plate, make sure you have your batting helmet and battling gloves on, and you’ve studied the pitcher. In real estate, this means that if you are buying, you need to be well prepared. Get pre-qualified or even better, pre-approved for a mortgage so your offer will be seriously considered by the seller. Studying the pitcher means do your homework. Have your real estate agents pull comparable sales and obtain market research before settling on a offer price. Same for sellers. It’s not what you need or want for a price, but what the market will bear. Reality check.
Baseball is a rewarding long-term investment. Watching a baseball game can be a long term investment. (Sometimes too long!). So is real estate. Think long-term. This is going to be your home for the next several years. Don’t lose sight of that.
Don’t get caught stealing. Sellers, be honest and upfront about your home and its problems. The home inspector will most likely find all the issues you’ve tried to hide, so disclose up front. Otherwise, you’ll lose all credibility, and the deal will be that much harder to close.
Expect an occasional curveball. With tight credit requirements and longer underwriting, closing in 30 days is very difficult. Delays are becoming more prevalent as well. So, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Statistics & numbers are critical. ERA stands for Earned Run Average, not a well known local real estate office. CMA stands for Comparative Market Analysis. For real estate, you need to crunch a lot of different numbers: price per square foot, PITI, down payment, taxes, etc. You can’t properly analyze a baseball team or a real estate market without understanding the numbers. Sabermetrics for real estate anyone?
Waiting until next year is not always the best strategy. This is more true than ever. Most experts believe we have hit bottom in the Greater Boston area. Interest rates are still at historical lows. It’s time to pine tar the bat and get up to the plate. Get out of the on deck circle.
Spitting should never be permitted in a dugout or a living room. ‘Nuff said.
Play Ball and go Red Sox!!!
Richard “Lefty” Vetstein, Esq. is an experienced Massachusetts real estate attorney and life-long, diehard Red Sox fan. Rich was once a fire-balling southpaw pitcher in Little League, striking out 14 batters in one game. His baseball career is now relegated to second-guessing managerial decisions and throwing things at the TV.