Realtor Q&A: Tips on selling your home
Industry vet Olivia Boswell has spent the last 17 years in the real estate market. Focusing on the Main Line and part of Chester County, she talks with us about what sellers can expect in today’s market and offers tips on selling your home quickly.
What can someone selling their home expect right now? It depends on the price. From the city limits to the majority of the Main Line, if you’re between $400,000 and a million, it’s a seller’s market. There’s not enough inventory, and the inventory that comes on the market goes extremely quickly if it’s priced right. Homes that are a million-plus have a much slower pace going with that right now, but if you’re under a million dollars, it’s time to put your home on the market.
How do you price it correctly? It’s really looking at all of the comps out there, looking at your neighborhood. Don’t compare yourself to homes that aren’t in your market—if you’re not in Radnor, don’t compare your home prices in Radnor. Look at what’s selling in your neighborhood, and compare your home to it. Homes that are priced right have been going in bidding wars, some of them above asking price.
How can seller make sure their home gets noticed? They’re really dependent on the Internet—Facebook, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com. The magazine and the newspapers aren’t as important any more. People go online, type in what they are looking for and find out everything they need to know right away. Buyers now are so much more tech savvy—they know the sites to visit and get the answers that they need. That’s where you need to be to get exposure.
Photography is important too? Photography definitely. 25 is your max on MLS; Realtor.com you can have more. The more the better. There are plenty of people who see only one piture and keep going. If they see no pictures, they don’t even ask questions about it. They’re making the same assumptions everyone else is: “I guess that doesn’t warrant a picture.” Show around the house; show everything in the house, details even—if it’s a beautiful triple crown molding, emphasize that. Emphasize the beautiful staircase, the beautiful wood front door.
What’s the biggest mistake sellers make? Using comparative data that isn’t current. We’re four years out of the big market, and they can’t go by what their neighbors house sold for then. Also, if you made improvements to your home that are really specific to your own needs, don’t count on getting your money back on your investment. Yes, it’s an improvement, but it might not be important to buyers out there.