How to Find the Best Deals on Real Estate in Boston

Finding great deals on real estate is tougher than it used to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find them. Of course, investors and buyers who want to purchase a home as their primary residence have different strategies for finding the best deals.

With the current market conditions of low inventory and high demand, buyers can spend weeks or months looking at properties without finding something they love and can afford. But if you know how to look for the best deals on real estate in Boston, you can find a great place to live without breaking your budget.

But the tactics are the same: know how to recognize a good deal, and take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself. To figure out how to spot a good deal in your particular market, let’s take a look at how things work in Boston.

Leverage the MLS

A good starting point to find the best deals on real estate in Boston are MLS listings. At NextHome Titletown, we can set you up with custom MLS searches so you’re notified of properties right as they hit the market.

There are plenty of resources out there for real estate investors, but the best one is the multiple listing service. This is a database where real estate agents can list properties for sale and for rent—the great thing about it is that it’s full of priceless information for investors.

The MLS is an online publishing tool that originated in the late 1970s to help brokers in individual states share information about their listings. Now, the system helps people in all 50 states and Canada share information about their listings too, which means real estate investors can use it to find lots of great properties.

And here’s what you should look for when searching the MLS:

  • Real estate with a total days-on-the-market count above the market average
  • Property that has been taken off the MLS and then relisted
  • Properties that have been relisted after a sale has fallen through
  • Real estate that has been re-listed several times by different brokers
  • Expired listings where the property never sold

This strategy takes some experience and market knowledge to get it right. So to discover more, contact us at (617) 657-9811.

Do Some Driving

Some of the simple ways of finding deals on real estate in Boston still work. And one of these is simply driving around looking for potential good deals.

Driving for dollars, as real estate investors call it!

All you need is a car, a notebook, and a little effort. Drive around your area and search for houses that appear to need work or have been on the market for extended periods of time.

The first thing you need to do is scope out the property. Look for any signs that the homeowner may have run out of money to make improvements or repairs and may be looking to sell. Look for properties with overgrown shrubs, debris in the front yard, or a generally messy appearance. Keep your eyes open for things like broken windowpanes or trash cans in the driveway.

There’s another way you can sometimes tell if a homeowner is having financial trouble: they’ll keep their curtains drawn all day long (or shut off lights completely at night). This is a sign that they’re trying to hide something from view—and it might just be that they’re selling their home!

If you see a house that looks promising, do some digging on the owner through social media and other means. If you find any information that indicates they are in financial trouble, ask your realtor about getting the first right of refusal on the home. This gives you the ability to make an offer before anyone else and will give you more room to negotiate with sellers.

Use Craigslist and Facebook Groups

Craigslist is still a good place to find great deals on real estate in Boston as well (and may be an even more valuable resource now). 

There are two basic ways to use Craigslist and Facebook Groups to find a good deal . . . 

  1. Look for properties for sale and then reach out to owners/sellers personally. Many times, sellers/owners who use Craigslist or Facebook Groups are looking to make a quick sale and will be willing to sell at a lower price to expedite the sale.
  2. Search for likely-looking rental properties and make an offer. A lot of landlords are tired of all the headaches involved and are willing to sell at a good price if they just get an offer.

But it takes consistency and persistence to make this strategy pay off.

When it comes to Craigslist and Facebook Groups, it’s crucial to check the listings regularly and follow up with contacts when necessary. The website are known for their lead potential, but not ease of communication. If you haven’t heard back from an ad, don’t be afraid to send another message with your contact information, putting the ball in the seller’s court.

Look for Off-Market Deals

And don’t skip looking for off-market deals on real estate in Boston. This involves for-sale properties that aren’t officially listed yet on the MLS or standard online venues, often called “pocket listings.”

The advantage of doing this is that there will be far less competition. And that means you won’t get into bidding wars, which is pretty much the norm today and drives up the price. Of course, you probably need to work with your Boston agent to find these off-market deals. Find out more about deploying this tactic effectively at (617) 657-9811.

Go Old School With Direct Mail

A lot of the real estate business has moved online, and most buyers do their searching online. But old-school tactics still work to help you get deals on real estate in Boston. 

Direct mail remains one of the most effective ways to find properties. There is something about receiving a letter in the mail that people still appreciate.

If you have never executed a direct mail campaign, there are three main steps to follow:

  1. Create a list of sellers
  2. Design and send your first letters
  3. Follow up to increase your response rate

After creating your list of sellers, take time to design the piece of marketing collateral you will actually mail out. Once you’ve finalized your list and design, you must then commit to emailing your pieces consistently.

Admittedly, this takes a good amount of work. But it remains a great way to find good deals because you’ll definitely have a competitive edge over most other buyers who don’t do this. And that definitely ups your chances of getting a deal on real estate.

Work With a Local Agent to Find Deals on Real Estate in Boston

Maybe the best thing you can do to find the best real estate deals is to work with a local Boston. Our agents at NextHome Titletown Real Estate can help you use the MLS correctly, find those off-market deals, and design a direct-mail campaign. We also have a handle on the local market and all its peculiarities. So if you’re ready to find the best deals on real estate in Boston, contact us today at (617) 657-9811.


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© 2022 MLS Property Information Network, Inc. (MLSPIN). All rights reserved.
The property listing data and information, or the Images, set forth herein were provided to MLS Property Information Network, Inc. from third-party sources, including sellers, lessors, landlords, and public records, and were compiled by MLS Property Information Network, Inc. The property listing data and information, and the Images, are for the personal, noncommercial use of consumers having a good faith interest in purchasing, leasing, or renting listed properties of the type displayed to them and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties which such consumers may have a good faith interest in purchasing, leasing or renting. MLS Property Information Network, Inc. and its subscribers disclaim any and all representations and warranties as to the accuracy of the property listing data and information, or as to the accuracy of any of the Images, set forth herein.
MLS PIN data last updated at May 16, 2022 5:44 PM ET

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