Everything You Need To Know About Buying And Selling A Main Line Home
Real Talk From Main Line Realtors
by Patricia Mae Olson, home editor
The Main Line real estate market has been booming for years, if not decades. Now, there’s talk about the market cooling as a recession looms. What’s the Main Line real estate market really like? If you are planning to sell, how do you make your home stand out and not be stuck waiting for offers?
Realtor Haven Duddy of Berkshire Hathaway’s Main Line Haven says the local housing market is as strong as it ever was. “The market along the Main Line really hasn’t slowed down,” she explains. “It’s funny because the media says this – and then we have houses that are getting 40 showings with bidding wars. Sellers are still getting top dollar with very good terms.”
But there is a problem. “My issue is that I can’t get houses for buyers,” Duddy says. There’s still demand and interest, just not enough inventory.
Leah Davey, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway, agrees that the Main Line real estate market is not experiencing a down turn. “A lack of inventory combined with our area’s unmatchable charm are the perfect catalysts for a booming market,” Davey shares.
Looking for a new home and think you’ll beat the market in the game? Think again. “There are many people waiting for the market to drop in value to purchase a home,” Duddy said. “The problem is that there are too many potential buyers out there that are thinking the same thing. The only way that values are really going to drop is if buyer demand drops significantly, or inventory increases. Neither of those factors is happening. We’re seeing home values continue to increase in many areas along the Main Line while those buyers sit on the sidelines.”
Though the Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates, the majority of buyers accepted that. “Buyers have come to realize that 3% interest rates are not coming back and they have re-entered the market,” explains Nicole Klein of the Nicole Klein Team.
If you’re planning to put your house on the market, now is the time to do so. Davey says that spring is the best market “with many buyers eager to find something by September. Sellers are certainly at an advantage this spring. It is not uncommon to see offers 5-10% and above list price. If you have been on the fence about making a move, selling now could set you up for a substantial financial win.”
Klein agrees, saying the luxury real estate is continuing to surge. “Our last listing in Lower Merion priced at $1.5 million had 22 offers,” Klein says. “The sellers were very happy to net $200,000 over their asking price and move to their retirement home in Florida. “
How can you position yourself (and your home) for success? Well, these days it all starts online. Klein points out that, “97% of buyers decide if they want to schedule a showing on a home based on its online appearance. It is important to stage your home before your professional photo shoot. We suggest that our sellers pack away any items smaller than 12 inches. These small items stop your eyes when looking at rooms online. We want the rooms to feel inviting, and less is normally more.”
Davey has a mnemonic device: price, paint, plants, and pictures. Those, she says, are the keys to success. “The best way to attract buyers to your home is price,” Davey explains. “Listing your home competitively is the best way to get as many potential buyers in the door. In the spring market, buyers are thinking about spending time outside. Adding a fresh coat of paint and professional landscaping will go a long way. Ask your agent for past examples of their marketing. This is a great way to get a feel for their pre-sale efforts as well as their photographer’s work.”
Make sure your home is putting its best foot forward and put in the work ahead of listing. “People are willing to pay more for homes that don’t need a lot of work,” Duddy shares. “If you are thinking of listing your home, take your time and make sure that your home has been properly staged, has a fresh coat of neutral paint in the main living spaces and has good curb appeal. These small things can make a big difference when it comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay for your home”
Nicole Drulik with Berkshire Hathaway agrees that the outside of your home should draw people inside. “First impressions are everything and you want to make sure the exterior of your home looks as picture-perfect as it can be,” she says. “Add welcoming touches to your front porch. It’s the first thing buyers will see – and all of the nosey-looky Lous who drive by. Paint your front door a bold color so it stands out and stays top-of-mind with your buyer. Add a beautiful wreath, new welcome mats, and some potted plants for pops of color.”
For the interior, Drulik suggests asking your agent about home stagers. Ally Piccolomini, owner of Showhomes of the Main Line, explains that “a professional home stager helps with how to best market your home to the broadest group of buyers in order to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the most amount of money.”
Piccolomini brings in her inventory, everything from furniture to accessories, to fill voids so potential buyers can envision themselves in the home. “ A professional home stager will have a keen eye for what buyers are looking for in your property and how you can market your home to beat the competition,” Piccolomini says.
So has the Main Line real estate market cooled? No. And, with limited inventory but still high demand, a seller has a lot to gain.
Want more stories about home and style on the Main Line? Read The Insider’s Guide To Main Line Consignment Stores, 5 Hot Home Décor Trends For Spring, and Secrets of Main Line Interior Designers.
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