Insight on the Main Line Housing Market from a Local Expert

Realtor Q &A: Main Line Housing Market

Industry vet Tom Lowy has been in the real estate industry for 9 years, selling homes along the Main Line, from Bryn Mawr to Malvern. We had the chance to talk with him about the Main Line home market and what buyers and sellers can expect.

How would you describe the market on the Main Line? In that area, I’d say it’s dynamic and exciting. Demand is up and there is a shortage of inventory. There have been numerous situations recently where correctly priced homes have had multiple offers made. There was lack of confidence in the general economic picture a year ago. Today confidence is higher, people are willing to invest in their future and buy their first new home or upgrade to a bigger house.

How has the market changed for sellers? More sellers understand when their house goes on the market it has to be in better condition. You need to make a good first impression, and that starts curb appeal including the front door. Inside must be uncluttered.  Buyers now are more demanding, wanting a move-in condition home.  Fewer people are willing to put in the effort and energy that goes into fixing a house up.  The paint colors might not be the ones the buyers like, but they won’t need to paint. They can paint rather than have to paint.

What are the biggest mistakes sellers make? Pricing their house too high because they are emotionally attached to it.  If nearby houses with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and in a similar condition as theirs is and is on the market for the same price, the fact that you made a few improvements to yours doesn’t mean you’ll get more money, but it may sell faster.  Also, sellers can look at what comparable neighborhood houses sold for a few years ago but current competition is a better barometer.

The realtor can give an objective opinion where the house should be positioned in the market and   how the house should be marketed. Some of the little extras you as a seller have created are the gravy helping the house sell faster but not necessarily at a better price. There are the dual variables of speed of sale and final price. If you can sell a house quickly, you can save on carrying costs. Those carrying charges over six or seven months may eat away at the higher price.  As a seller -be knowledgeable about the competition.  Visit them. It is the best way to price your house correctly.  Remember you are selling a house,  the buyers are buying a home.

What’s the biggest mistake buyer’s make? Not having their finances in order when they start to look for homes. Some times buyers look at homes outside their budget because they haven’t gone through the approval process to learn what they can afford to spend. Then they find the home they want, but another buyer with their finances in order buys it – they were ready, willing and able to buy the house.  The key word there is “able.”

Visit Prudential Fox & Roach to see available homes.