Andrew Wetzel's Musings

January 18, 2020

Bright MLS December 2019 Residential Housing Report

Bright MLS has released their Residential Market Statistics for single family homes through December  2019.  In today’s podcast I will discuss 2019 results for Delaware County Pennsylvania.  If you would like information about this or any other County or any specific municipalities in the Delaware Valley, please contact me.  I am only a text, email or phone call away!  I respond promptly to all inquiries.

The report compares current results to one-year ago, same time period.  As with all Real Estate statistics, two things are true.  First, the performance within individual zip-codes can and will vary significantly from the overall County.  Real Estate is local and results can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and even block to block.  There is no such thing as a “national” Real Estate market any more than there is a national weather forecast so, whether you may be thinking about selling or buying, please contact me for details about your areas of interest.  I can provide current information and keep you informed about the evolving market.  Deciding whether it is the right time to sell or buy is a personal decision typically involving a number of variables.  I can provide the knowledge and insight to help you decide what works for you.

My second point is that, unfortunately, all Real Estate statistics involving sold data is stale.  This is especially true if you are relying on Internet valuation models which use recorded data rather than up-to-date MLS information.  Even then, while a sale may be reported as settled or closed today, the real question is when was the offer negotiated?  Typically sales take 45 to 60 days to close so the market today may be different.  Up-to-date information, even if not perfect, is important!

As far as the statistics, there were 8931 units listed for sale through December 2019 compared to 8788 listed in 2018 with an end-of-month inventory level of 1022 compared to 1412 in 2018 with a monthly supply of inventory or MSI of 1.9 compared to 2.8.  6994 properties settled in 2019 with an average “selling price” of $289,411 and a “median” selling price, meaning that half of the sales were higher and half were lower, of $225,000 compared to 7057 settled in 2018, same time period, at an average price of $271,767 and a median selling price of $208,000.  The year-to-year change in settled properties declined less than 1% while the average selling price was up 6.5%.  The “days on the market” or DOM for settled properties was 42 in 2019 compared to 50 in 2018.  The MSI suggests a seller’s market with low inventory levels overall.  A 3-month supply of available inventory is generally considered a “balanced market”.  Again, these numbers vary:  the underlying data shows a wide range of results in all categories among the 49 different municipalities in Delaware County.

We can debate whether average or median numbers are more important but what really matters is how your property or one that interests you compares to those appraised and settled with similar location, features and condition.  Appraisers rely on nearby, recently settled properties so average or median pricing loses some validity but may provide insight for both the short term and the long term.

What about the properties that did not sell?  Many came off the market and still remain unavailable.  Did owners delay, change or give up their plans?  This happens more often as the holidays and year end approach which I find fascinating.  I tell my clients that I cannot guarantee that their house will sell if it is on the market but am fairly certain that it won’t if they take it off the market.  Anyone trying to sell now will have less competition and houses tend to show their best this time of year.  I understand that showing and selling a house during the holidays and winter-time can interfere with enjoying the season and it can be messier but buyers out looking now tend to be serious.  Of course, if a seller needs to buy their next house, the inventory level is much lower than normal.

Generally speaking, houses may get showings without generating offers unless buyers think they are priced within the range of their perceived “worth”.  Most property listings whose contracts are canceled or allowed to expire have asking prices considered high for their market and/ or they were poorly marketed, meaning that some buyers and agents may not have even known that a house was available to look at or purchase.  Of course this may well depend on the ratio of buyer and sellers so there is more to this than raw statistics.  If a market has a lot of inventory, some buyers may not be willing to look at houses priced high compared to the rest of the market:  why try to negotiate a price down when other similar properties are available at more competitive prices?  Many sellers open to negotiating their price will never get the chance.  I will happy to discuss specifics with you.

The overall economy is doing well with some adjustments here and there.  Statistics aside, what are you planning to do?  Real Estate is generally a long-term investment unless you are looking to fix and flip it or planning to move within a short period of time.  There are opportunities out there.  As with the stock market, it is very difficult to pick the best time to make a move.  All you can do is get the best available information, determine what is in your best interests and then start the process.  I am a phone call or email away and getting started is easy once you take action.

I hope you had a great holiday season and have a happy and healthy new year!  If you want or need to sell any type of Real Estate, whether you tried and did not succeed before or are planning for the first time, NOW is the time to plan for 2020.  Please do not wait for what you think is a better or the best time to start.  Buyers look all year long and can only see and buy properties that are available to see.

There is no time for inexperience, empty promises or false expectations! 

HIRE WISELY:  We are not all the same!


Happy New Year Message to Sellers

Happy New Year!  I am looking for owners to help this year.  Whether you want to sell a house or an investment property, I can help.  There is no experience required.

As I find every January, many sellers tried but did not succeed with selling their properties last year.  Have they delayed their plans for making a move, perhaps waiting for what they think is a better or the best time to sell?  Or, have they tried and given up, thinking it wasn’t “meant to be”.  Please consider these two questions.  What led to your deciding to sell, especially if selling involved making a move, and what happens in the long run if you do not sell?  People have various reasons for selling and I have met many who wished they had sold sooner.  Every situation in unique but most offer an opportunity if a seller and their agent work well together.  Whether you tried to sell before or were waiting for this year, now is the time to plan for 2020.

If you want or need to sell, why wait?  What are you waiting for?  Why not start or even restart the process now or start planning for success this year?  Please do not wait for a “better time”:  buyers look all year long and can only see and buy properties that are available on the active market.  When many sellers take “time off” there is an opportunity since there is less competition.

If you are considering selling or making a fresh start, I would like to meet with you to discuss your plans and needs and show you how I can sell your property.  There is absolutely no obligation so there is nothing to lose and much to potentially gain.  I can have your property on the market as soon as you like.  Of course, if you want or need to wait, I can help you when you are ready.

Obviously, there is more to selling Real Estate than simply being “on the market”.  Unfortunately, every property will not sell and most won’t “sell themselves”.  I have been helping frustrated owners sell properties that other agents could not sell since 1996.  Many properties that sell were “previously listed” and most of them sold only after something was changed with the way they were being marketed.  Price is not always the issue but, for anypreviously listed” property to sell, something must change.

The most effective choices are marketing (meaning exposure or awareness of your property), pricing strategically (meaning that location, features and condition largely determine the “value” the market will attach to your property) and/ or hiring a different agent.  It is my job to make sure that my clients get as much as they can for their properties.  Success does not always require a lower price!  I will explain my philosophy in detail, discuss your local market and answer your questions.

Changing agents brings a new perspective and a different philosophy that might provide the advantage you need in a competitive market.   If your property was on the market before, what would your last agent do differently this time (other than suggest a price reduction that may accomplish nothing but reduce you proceeds)?  Will doing the same thing over again produce a different result?

If your property has not been on the market before my experience will be an advantage.  Why should you call me?  My background in Client Service Management combined with my Real Estate experience, training, education and knowledge will help me to assist you.  Real Estate is not “rocket science” but it requires a thorough knowledge of the “process” and a proven strategy.  I have a common sense, client-centered approach.

Effective marketing allows buyers and agents to find properties in their search results (think “Google search”).  Do not assume that the MLS and Internet will guarantee that everyone will know that you are trying to sell or even know what you are trying to sell.  If buyers and agents cannot find your property in their search results, the odds are against you and your property may sit on the market making people think something is wrong with it!  Many sellers are asked to reduce their price (and their proceeds!) when marketing was THE problem.  Reducing the price will NOT solve a marketing problem.  Reducing the asking price (and your proceeds) is an easy answer but not always the best one.  I NEVER ask for a price reduction without justifying it.  Every house has a price at which it will sell; my job is to get you the highest price possible.

If I earn the opportunity to work for you, you will receive the highest quality service, attention to detail and effort.  Communication is critical:  my job is to keep you informed so that you can make the best decisions.  Most of my clients who were unsuccessful with other agents never had any ongoing contact with their agent!  I work for you.

In addition, I offer the following guarantee that I will do what I promise:  if I don’t, call me to discuss your concerns.  If I cannot satisfy you, you may cancel our listing contract unless your property is under contract with a buyer.

There is no time for inexperience, empty promises or false expectations!

 HIRE WISELY:  We are not all the same.

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