Right now, “It’s 100 percent a seller’s real estate market,” says award-winning Coldwell Banker realtor Kim Gammon, who’s sharing her insights into the market with us. According to Kim, sales are hotter than they’ve been in years, and it’s a great time to sell your home.
No one is more surprised about the market than Kim herself. “Who would have thought that, with everything that’s going on with COVID-19, this would happen?” she exclaims. “It’s the exact opposite of what you would expect!”
Kim has had her real estate license since 2005, earning multiple awards for volume sales at Coldwell Banker. She’s also been voted Best of Bucks Realtor by The Intelligencer for the past five years, and named one of Philly’s Top Agents by Philadelphia Magazine for the past seven years.
“I can’t believe how much busier it is this season compared to other years,” Kim says. Pennsylvania was one of two states in which realtors were deemed nonessential during COVID-19, but after things opened up, “buyers came out of the woodwork,” she adds.
Now, the market is going crazy. “It’s like a spring market, but in the summer,” Kim says.
Low Inventory, High Prices
“We’ve definitely seen low inventory and multiple offers on many homes,” Kim says. “And because interest rates are really low, that is pushing sales a lot.”
“I’m pushing the envelope on the list price on the higher end,” she goes on, “and we’re getting full-price offers, with escalation clauses, and buyers are waiving appraisals and inspections.”
“Ever since the pandemic began, we’ve seen a lot of people, from Philadelphia to New York City, moving to the suburbs, and that is another thing in sellers’ favor,” Kim adds. “Lansdale is really hot. Montgomery and Bucks counties are always strong markets.”
A Great Time to Sell That Not-so-perfect House
“Before, you used to have to make your home absolutely perfect—do upgrades and paint and all of that,” Kim says. “Now, buyers are willing to do anything just to get into a house, so they will overlook things.”
“The biggest thing is just decluttering,” she says. “It’s letting the buyer see the house. If there’s too much furniture, or too much clutter, we try to minimize that.”
How the Real Estate Industry Is Staying Safe
“I thought people would be afraid to sell, but they’re not,” says Kim. “I think they realize that realtors are really taking precautions.”
Some of the procedures for keeping things safe (quotes from Kim):
- Virtual walk-throughs: “We’re doing virtual walk-throughs with buyers. If they want to see a house in person, then they can make an appointment. It weeds out people who aren’t that serious.”
- Requesting preapprovals: “It’s one extra step, so you know really serious people are coming through the house.”
- Requiring COVID-19 forms: “Buyers have to fill out two forms before they can see the house.”
- Following safety guidelines during showings: “We wear masks, gloves and booties, and carry antibacterial hand sanitizer. If buyers do touch a doorknob, I come behind them and wipe it off.”
Calming the Stress of Selling
“I make sure that sellers feel comfortable,” says Kim. “I want them to feel safe and trust me—it’s a big deal that they’re leaving their forever home.”
“I will walk through every room and tell sellers what I think needs to be done, as well as things they don’t have to worry about. I know that a management company like WayForth can get involved as much or as little as the homeowner would like. They can go through and help divide belongings into piles: Goodwill, keep, toss.”
Right now, it’s a fantastic time to sell. “It’s a wonderful market—buyers are out there, Kim says. “I listed a farmhouse that I thought would take a unique buyer, but it sold immediately.”
Hear more real estate advice from Kim at her virtual seminars. She will be presenting on Wednesday, July 15, 2 to 3 p.m.; and Thursday, July 30, 11 a.m. to noon.
To reserve your spot, call 610.584.1000.