Talking the Montgomery County Housing Market with an Expert Agent
Agent Monica Maben has been in the real estate business for 15 years in Springfield, Lower Gwynedd, Fort Washington and other neighboring Montgomery County areas. We had a chance to talk to her about the current market and glean some advice for buyers and sellers.
How is the market today?
It’s shifting. If a home goes on the market and is priced right and in good condition, it will sell in days and with multiple offers. We see it in all price points. In some areas we have a shortage of inventory, so we’re seeing a shift to more buyers with less available.
What are the hot areas right now?
Springfield township is definitely a hot area. It gives you access to the city and it also has a good school system. Upper Dublin is a very sought-after school district as well, along with Lower Gwynedd. We listed a property in Lower Gwynedd last weekend, and it has already had over 40 showings in a week—and the price point is in the high 5s. It’s the combo of great location and good school systems.
How important is a web presence when listing a house?
Last year, we moved to digital home marketing, helping homes get on several sites. Each house has its own web address, which allows us to send it out on social media sites. It also gets pushed on Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com. Sellers need a company with a great web presence and great tech tools. And make sure the realtor uses a professional photographer. Photos are so important. People are looking online first, so you have to look good on it. People can’t have kids, dogs, unmade beds in photos. The house has to be properly staged and decluttered.
What should first-time buyers look for when they’re buying a house?
I think that right now, first-time buyers should make sure the house is in the right location and large enough for their plans in the future. People aren’t moving as frequently. They’re staying 10 years because the appreciation isn’t there. It’s harder to turn homes over and have the equity to move to the next one. Also look at the systems, things that are expensive: roof, heating, air conditioning, windows. Are these things you are going to have to replace? If so, you are going to need to plan for that.