How to Land Your Dream Home When Philly Houses Are Selling So Fast

In Philly’s red hot housing market, here’s what’ll set you up for real estate success.

hot housing market

Here’s some tips for scoring your dream home in a hot housing market. Illustration by Woody Harrington

Inventories remain tight in both the city and its suburbs, and while local real estate agents report seeing sales slow a bit in the city, houses still sell quickly there. In the suburbs, they haven’t slowed down at all. That means no matter where you’re looking, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself in a bidding war or missing out on a house you love. Robin Gordon of BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors offers these tips for those looking to buy homes in this torrid market.

1. Find a knowledgeable agent who knows how to play the game aggressively. “Buyers need to hook up with a real estate agent who can navigate these bidding wars and put them in a position where they’re number one,” she says. “There are many ways to structure the offer so that yours looks the most attractive.”

2. Love the house? Write it a love letter. “People are still coming out of the woodwork” to buy houses, says Gordon: “There are so many buyers and no inventory.” With many houses getting multiple offers the first weekend they go on sale, everything buyers can do to make it clear they’re seriously interested in a property will increase their odds of getting it. Writing a letter to the seller via your agent could make the difference between your offer being accepted and ignored. Just ask Michael Kaufman and Allie Strawbridge.

3. Moving from out of town? Back up your online search with a good local agent. Thanks to innovations like virtual open houses, it’s now easier to get to know a local real estate agent from a distance. Both of the New York buyers featured here met their agents that way after beginning their searches online.

Published as “Make Your Dream Home a Reality” in the “Big Moves” feature in the March 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.