REALTOR Q&A with Matt Dolan and Dick McKinely of Team Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty 


Over the past decade, the REALTORS® of Team Harborside at Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty have advised thousands of individuals on how to buy, sell and invest in real estate. As one of the top performing groups North of Boston, Team Harborside is a go-to resource for market trends and commentary and assisting clients at every step of the real estate transaction.

(This article originally appeared in Nahant Magazine. To view the entire magazine click here).

Q: What is the biggest mistake homeowners make when trying to sell?

A: Bad marketing is our biggest pet peeve. With the majority of homebuyers scanning listings online, you have to nail the digital photography and properly showcase the home. Many homeowners think that marketing a home is as simple as listing a property on the multiple listing services (MLS). In reality, to get the best results you need access to the right promotional channels and you need to know how to leverage them.

Q: If you could give a first-time buyer one piece of advice, what would it be?

A: Find a home that inspires you. Too often we see first-time buyers come to us who are completely overwhelmed with what to do and what steps to take. We sit down and come up with a plan. Having a clear plan takes the pressure off so that we can focus on what really matters. We want our clients to step into a home and be excited about what their lives could be. This is important for buyers of all experience levels and at all price points.

Q: What is your best negotiating tool?

A: There is no substitute for experience. Having a deep knowledge allows us to adapt to any condition and maximize the outcome for our clients. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to negotiating, it’s about knowing how to navigate situations, which is something that comes with experience.

Q: What is your strategy for pricing a home?

A: When it comes to pricing, many buyers, sellers and even other agents can’t get past comps. Just because your neighbor’s house sold last spring for $X, doesn’t necessarily make that relevant today. Pricing is all about the property’s position in the market and the goal of our client. In order to capitalize on the market, you need to be able to read the market and react quickly to what’s happening. We focus on current market conditions and collaborate with our clients to build a custom strategy.

Q: How can a buyer make an offer stand out?

A: Standing out as a buyer can start well before an offer is submitted. You want to make a good impression so that the other side wants to work with you. It’s important to be professional and to hire a professional to represent you. The small things like showing up on time to your property tour and being polite can go a long way when you’re ready to submit a bid. We’ve seen buyers pull out all the stops to get a home, including handwritten notes to the owners. Generally, we have found the most effective strategies revolve around our goal and ability to identify the seller’s hot buttons and align the offer accordingly.

Q: What real estate trends are you watching now?

A: We keep a close eye on several factors that impact our industry. Since we assist clients across all price-points — from entry level to luxury — we are starting to notice starkly different activity levels depending on the price range across the North Shore. Generally on the North Shore, sales take longer as listing prices rise and as a result some of the best bargains are at the upper end of the market. (View our market reports for what’s trending in your neighborhood.)

Q: Do you have any predictions for the fall market?

A: The market has slowed a bit year-over-year, but it is still competitive in the low to mid price ranges where inventory is tight. Many homeowners are concerned about how much longer the market will hold and feel like this is the “last hoorah”. We think the market will continue to be strong, but we are not expecting home sale prices to increase at the rate they have been.

Your best life begins with a home that inspires you. The real estate team you choose to represent you should be as exceptional as you are, and as your next chapter is going to be. Let’s discuss your vision.

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