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The One Thing No One Tells You About Listing Your Home in Swarthmore, PA

07/19/23  |  Jenna Leggette

What you need to know when buying in this dynamic market.

Sporting stately historic homes and an academic, ivy league vibe, Swarthmore is an elegant Philadelphia enclave with a rich history, refined atmosphere, and close-knit community. This highly educated town was partly built for Swarthmore College, a prestigious liberal arts university commanding some of the nation’s best professors and most ambitious students.

Homes here are as picturesque as the town itself. Imposing Gothic Revival styles share the leafy streets with ornate Queen Anne designs and classic Colonial Revivals, while new construction builds bring an air of modernity. The market here is competitive, and there are a few key factors to consider before listing a property for sale here, as well as one key piece of information home sellers may not have heard about before.

Working with a real estate agent is key

The benefits of working with a real estate agent are multitudinous and highly beneficial. From market expertise to savvy negotiating skills, reputable real estate agents are worth their weight in gold. The selling process involves several moving parts, but your agent will guide you through every step of the selling process, from concept to closing.

Agents advise their clients on the importance of curb appeal, why staging matters, and how to properly prepare your home for the market. They have access to the multiple listing service, or MLS, which is key to selling your home, as it provides a great deal of exposure. Their extended network of professional contacts makes it easy to get your property in selling shape, from plumbers and painters to staging companies and home inspectors. Best of all, experienced agents are well-versed in negotiating and will make sure you walk away from your closing with a better deal than you could have imagined.

The current market

While most of the country is in flux over high-interest rates and shifting market climates, Swarthmore has held steady as a sellers’ market, meaning there are more buyers than inventory. This puts sellers in a prime position, but it is important to know that the needle has been moving in the direction of buyers’ territory, which can change how you want to approach your selling process. Nuances in the current Swarthmore market could affect how you price your home when you list and how you handle marketing. An experienced real estate agent will be able to advise you of any unique market conditions you should be aware of and will help you navigate the process.

Staging and curb appeal

There are a host of things to know about selling, most of which are now fairly common thanks to real estate shows on HGTV. Advice about staging is splashed all over Pinterest. The fascination with curb appeal has transformed into a hit show, and open houses are every seller’s go-to tool. But these concepts are more than just good television. Staging is a critical part of the selling process, and curb appeal can dramatically affect the success of your home sale. From cleaning and organizing to rearranging furniture and landscaping, staging and curb appeal can make or break your sale, especially in an upscale market like Swarthmore.

The one thing no one tells you

Listing price matters. Every house will sell if you price it properly; this is where your listing agent really shines. The key to selling your home in Swarthmore, and selling it successfully, is to list it at the right price. This does not simply mean slapping on a lower price tag than neighboring Swarthmore, PA, homes for sale. Nor does it necessarily mean starting with the highest end of prices based on the comparative market analysis.

Choosing the appropriate listing price for your property is a delicate balance and one your agent can navigate with ease. If you are thinking of selling your home and plan on extensive renovations or remodeling, speak with your agent before hiring contractors. One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is overestimating the return on investment for major overhauls and spending too much on renovations in hopes of recouping it with a high list price. You will certainly want to make small repairs and possibly replace out-of-date water heaters or roofs, but giving your kitchen a complete facelift may not be a wise use of money.

Another mistake sellers often make is overpricing in an attempt to create room for negotiation. Pricing higher to encourage offers and negotiation can seem like a savvy move, but raising those numbers too much can leave your home languishing on the market. Why? A higher list amount may price your home out of a buyer’s budget, meaning your property may not even pop up, given their search parameters. For example, if the average buyer in your area is looking for houses under $800,000, and you hope to get $750,000 for your house, you may think listing at $800,000 will encourage them to make a lower offer, which can ultimately land you at your dream price. However, if a buyer searches for houses under $800,000, their search parameters will likely cap at $799,000, and your house won't even appear. Alternatively, listing your house a bit lower can actually result in multiple bids and may just land you more than that higher list price you originally had in mind.

Another factor you want to be aware of is how you research comparative home prices. When home prices go up, and you suddenly see properties in your area listed for much higher than you anticipated, it can feel exciting. If those houses are listed so high, surely you can garner the same for your home. But what you want to look at is the recently sold properties, not the houses on the market. The concrete numbers will give you a clearer idea of what buyers are willing to pay, as opposed to the potentially inflated numbers sellers hope to get.

Looking to sell your Swarthmore real estate?

If you are curious about what you could get for your Swarthmore real estate, contact luxury specialist Jenna Leggette. Praised by clients for her unparalleled industry knowledge and market expertise, Jenna has a reputation for working quickly and effectively and getting top dollar for her sellers. She is renowned for her professionalism and is an ideal choice for your next real estate adventure.