a

Our mobile site is optimized for smaller screens.

TRY IT NO THANKS

Blog :: 08-2015

Here at Boston Lofts, we know that it's difficult to stay on top of everything that's going on in the Boston real estate market. So, we have created this blog to keep you up-to-date on the most important news and insights from our experts. Check out some of our latest posts below and feel free to reach out to us for more information - we'd love to hear from you!

Boston Renters: Can You Negotiate the Broker Fee?

Traditionally, two of the most difficult hurdles to jump over while helping a rental client find the right property in Boston: Pets and Parking. One thing I can assure you with over 10 years in the business: Bostonians are attached to their furry friends and their shiny metal ones. I'm still amazed at how many people decide to get a pet before they have a home of their own AND how many feel they "need" a car in Boston! (Hey - If you need a ride, just ask your friendly neighborhood real estate agent for one - we all have them!)

Over the past 10 years, we've seen another hurdle come into play - the "broker fee". In 2005 - according to MLS - about 1/2 of the loft rentals (I'm using lofts here as that's my specialty) in the Seaport District & Leather District combined were advertising that the landlord was paying the broker fee (to be split between the landlord's agent and the tenant's agent). In 2015, in both neighborhoods, I couldn't find ANY that the landlord was willing to pay the broker fee on, it was up to the tenant to pay the full fee (once again to be split OR just going to the landlord's broker directly).

I'm pretty sure the reason is obvious: supply and demand, right? The market is flooded with prospective tenants, and landlords know they can fill up their vacant spaces pretty quickly. Funny thing though: in 2005, the average days on market for those Seaport & Leather District Lofts: 35 days. in 2015....... 48 days. Ok, in fairness, there were only SEVEN lofts in those areas in 2005, and SIXTY in 2015 that have been rented through the first 8 months.

So, what's the story - why are tenants paying the fee and is it negotiable? Regardless of average days on market, landlords are still able to rent their units out quickly. There has been in influx of new buildings - especially in the Seaport District - BUT there's an abundance of renters out there, too. Last fall and into this spring, some of the new rental buildings were offering no broker fee (some didn't even need to market to brokers) AND a month or two off the rent to start. For the most part, those deal have dwindled. And remember this: if it's on MLS (and trickled down to sites such as BostonLofts.com, etc), it's most likely an individually owned condominium, NOT a unit part of a building owned by one entity. So, that landlord has to have the numbers make sense. If the landlord pays the broker fee, that landlord is essentially brining in 11 months of rent, rather than 12. Naturally, the flip side is that the tenant is paying 13 months of rent if they pay the fee.

Ok, so it's out there and listed as "tenant pays broker fee".... can you negotiate? It's simple - it comes down to the other prospects waiting in the wings, and how strong of a tenant candidate you are. No landlord will eat what's equal to a month's rent if they can rent to someone else, BUT, my suggestion is: ADD VALUE as a tenant. When you come to the appointment, have a Rental Application ready to go. You can get one easily on-line - it's the standard GBREB Rental Application - GOOGLE IT, OR ask the broker you are meeting to send you one in advance. Besides the Application, have proof of employment (letter from HR, recent paystubs, etc), and a recent Credit Report in hand. (Oh, and checkbook too, of course!). You'll make a better case by being prepared and ready to go, rather than saying you like the unit, but need a few days to get your info together. Nothing makes an agent happier than telling the owner that the tenant is interested and oh yeah - he or she came ready with their info and checks! "By the way, they want you to pay the fee or at least half, but they'll sign immediately upon approval" is an easier and more fruitful conversation that the landlord might agree to than "the tenant wants you to pay the fee, and didn't leave me any info, just shooting one across the bow". I guarantee you, you'll be paying that fee Mr or Mrs Tenant if the agent is telling that latter story.

In either case, make sure you are asking the broker out of the gates if the fee is included, how long it's been on the market (this might be your negotiating tactic), and any other fees that might arise (there are move-in move-out fees for some buildings.)

And don't hesitate to reach out to me to discuss your rental loft needs in the Boston area:

Paul Santucci
Director of Boston Lofts
paul@bostonlofts.com
617-694-0004

OH YEAH: here's one north of Boston with NO FEE: www.LynnLofts.com

Munroe Lofts, Lynn MA

Gorgeous Brick and Beam Penthouse Loft at Munroe Lofts in Lynn - NO FEE!

 

New to Market Townhouse Lofts in Jamaica Plain, Boston

Here's a few fantastic Boston Lofts that are new to the market - The Townhouse Lofts at 57 Wachusett Street in Boston's Jamaica Plain. 

$729,000 to $779,000

Approx 2000 SF 3 Bedrooms / 3 Baths 2 Car Garage Parking

Take one part townhouse, with 2 car garage parking, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths on 3 floors and your own private entrance, and meld it seamlessly with loft features such as 12.5' ceilings, HUGE windows and a hip modern esthetic, and you have the perfect place to call home. Residence 55A is one of 8 residences being built, and represents an exceptional value. The 1st level has a two car garage and a utility/mud room. Upstairs is an open floorplan living/dining/kitchen with soaring ceilings, dramatic banks of 9' high windows, a balcony and a modern kitchen featuring Miralis cabinets, quartz countertops, an eating island and Professional Bertazzoni appliances. Upstairs are 3 spacious bedrooms and two baths, including a master suite with its own private balcony and en suite bath with double vanity + glass shower. Stretch energy code compliant.

For More Information, Contact:

Paul Santucci Director of Boston Lofts 617.694.0004 paul@bostonlofts.com

Lofts Jamaica Plain

Fantastic Townhouse Lofts in Jamaica Plain

 

 

The Stillman Street Lofts in Boston's North End

The lofts at 26 Stillman Street are one of the North End's most unique and sought-after loft buildings.

Located just a block from Hanover Street and a short walk to both the Orange Line & Green Line, this complex consists of a combination of inspired & stylish renovated "brick and beam" style units that have been thoughtfully built with open floorplans, oversized factory windows, exposed wood beams, hardwood floors & beautiful kitchens and baths.

Below is an updated market report for the Stillman Street lofts for sale and rent: *

On The Market:

RENTAL: $2,500

Studio  / 1 Full Bath / 679 Square Feet / Rental Parking Click HERE for More Information

 

Sold Data 2014 - 2015: Number of Lofts Sold: 3 Average List Price: $625,667 Average Sale Price: $613,667 Average Days on Market: 178 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $532

 

Sold Data 2013: Number of Lofts Sold: 4 Average List Price: $639,250 Average Sale Price: $628,250 Average Days on Market: 93 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $593

 

Sold Data 2011 - 2012:Number of Lofts Sold: 8 Average List Price: $633,875 Average Sale Price: $605,438 Average Days on Market: 149 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $650

(* all information is gathered from MLS)

 

For More Information on the Stillman Street Lofts, visit www.StillmanStreetLofts.com

For ALL North End Lofts, visit www.NorthEndLofts.com

Or Contact: Paul Santucci, Director of Boston Lofts, 617-694-0004

26 Stillman Street Boston Lofts

The Livingroom - Framed by Exposed Wooden Beams - at 26 Stillman Street Lofts

Stillman Street Lofts Boston North End

Exposed Brick and Factory-Sized Windows at 26 Stillman Street Lofts

 

1850 Lofts in the South End, Boston Jumps to $700+ Per Square Foot

If you're searching for an indicator of how the South End's home sales remain incredibly strong in this market, you don't have to look any further than the lofts at the 1850, at 90 Wareham in the SOWA District.

Here's the Sales Stats from the past few years - check out how price per square foot jumped from $463 in 2011 - 2012, to $704 for this year's two sales!!

Sold Data 1850 Lofts 2015: Number of Lofts Sold: 2 Average List Price: $549,000 Average Sale Price: $542,500 Average Days on Market: 150 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $704

Sold Data 1850 Lofts 2014: Number of Lofts Sold: 7 Average List Price: $465,834 Average Sale Price: $476,501 Average Days on Market: 23 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $558

Sold Data 1850 Lofts 2013: Number of Lofts Sold: 4 Average List Price: $436,475 Average Sale Price: $439,750 Average Days on Market: 47 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $569

Sold Data 1850 Lofts 2011 - 2012: Number of Lofts Sold: 7 Average List Price: $364,006 Average Sale Price: $359,034 Average Days on Market: 51 Average Price Per Foot SOLD: $463

* all information is gathered through MLS

The lofts at 90 Wareham Street are one of South End's most unique and sought-after loft buildings.

Located in the vibrant SOWA district and a short walk to the Silver Line, this complex consists of a combination of inspired & stylish renovated factory-style  "brick-and-beam" units that have been thoughtfully built with open floorplans, oversized factory windows, exposed original elements, hardwood floors & beautiful kitchens and baths. Parking is also an option, as some units have been assigned a deeded outdoor space.

For more information about the 1850, please visit: www.The1850.com

For more information about South End Lofts, visit: www.SouthEndLoft.com

or contact Paul Santucci, Director of Boston Lofts, paul@bostonlofts.com, 617.694.0004

1850 Lofts South End Boston

The Cool but Warm Brick-and-Beam Style of the South End's 1850 Lofts