Getting Ready for the 2019 Spring Market in Philly

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, maybe I’m jumping the gun but, the last couple of days in Philly with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s have given me a case of early Spring Fever.  I know that Winter 2019 is not over, despite what the Groundhog may think.  But I’m an optimist!  I know Spring will come…and along with it the Spring Selling Season.  The question is, Are you ready for it?

Inventory levels are starting to accumulate.  This is a result of a few things.  First, seasonality, the Philadelphia RE markets tend to slow down around Thanksgiving, lag through the Holidays and into they new year.  Markets tend to wake-up a little around Valentines Day and usually are in full swing by March.

However, this past year was a little different.  Rising interest rates slowed the roll into the End-of-Year market.  As a result, Buyers pulled back and began to sit the sidelines.  At the same time, home prices were at an all-time high and in many areas were becoming unaffordable.  So, if you couple increasing rates with pie-in-the-sky pricing (and tentative Buyers) it’s a recipe for a “cool down”.  This put downward pressure on the pricing of existing listings and forced new listings to be razor-sharp with their pricing.

This Spring, new entrants to the market will have to be just as precise with their pricing in order to attract the Buyers.  Existing listings will also have to re-think pricing strategies in order to remain relevant.  Sellers will also have to be more flexible, especially those with listings already on the market.

Here are a few suggestions to help Agents and Sellers to prepare for the Spring Selling Season:

  • Price the home properly, the first time.  Know your market, know the comparable sales as well as the competing listings.  If necessary, get a Pre-listing Appraisal to help you in developing an effective pricing strategy.
  • Be Accurate.  Don’t rely on public records or Seller estimates to determine the Square Footage of your listings.  The public records are notoriously incorrect and Sellers tend to over-state the GLA.  The number one reason Agents get sued is for misrepresentation of the size of the house.  Have the property measured.  It’s an inexpensive investment that will help you more accurately price the house (and could save you in the event of a lawsuit).
  • Call it as it is.  Avoid getting creative with the description of the house or the design.  If the house is a “Split Level” don’t insist on calling it a “Colonial”.  If it’s an over-sized one car garage, please refrain from calling it a 1.5 car garage.  Who ever made half a car?  If you have no idea what to call it, contact an appraiser.
  • Above or Below Grade Living Space.  This is another area where accuracy in reporting the facts of a house is very important.  Given the high quality of below grade living space that we see in homes these days, I can understand the temptation to include finished basement space as part of the overall living space.  However, the areas of above and below grade space should be differentiated.  The MLS gives agents the ability to separate these spaces and correctly report the GLA of a property.  If you are not sure of what is above grade or below grade space, have it measured.  Many appraisers offer measuring and sketching services to agents and homeowners.
  • Photo the Front!  Always include at least one photo of the front of your listing.  So many listings these days have no picture of the house.  They have lovely shots of flowers on tables, shower heads, gardens, carved mantles and glass doorknobs but, not picture of the front of the house.  It’s like going to a dating website and all you see are pictures of a person’s body parts in their profile but, not one photo of their face.  Kind of makes you wonder what they’re hiding, huh?  The MLS allows up to 25 photos per listing, please use one for the front of the subject property.

Here’s to a strong Spring Selling Season in Philly!!  If you ever have any appraisal related questions or are interested in learning more about the other services we offer (Pre-listing Appraisals, Home Measurements or speaking engagements) please feel free to contact The Coyle Group at appraisal@coyleappraisals.com or 215-836-5500.

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing. We also provide property measuring services.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call. We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have. For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

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