Realtor predicts fall will be good for buyers and sellers
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Michelle Gillespie, Prudential Prime Properties
Address: 125 Turnpike Road, Suite 7, Westborough
Contact Information: 508-934-9818
How do you see the market shaping up this fall?
“The spring market was really robust. Over the summer, we’ve seen a little bit of a slowdown as the Federal Reserve starts to raise interest rates. It will be an interesting fall market,” said Michelle Gillespie, a Realtor with Prudential Prime Properties who specializes in residential sales in her hometown of Northborough and surrounding towns.
“The buyers are still out there, but the inventory is low and many properties have been on the market a long time. This fall, sellers who came on the market in the spring will want to sell rather than go through the winter. My concern is that, as interest rates start to go back up, people may start to ‘hunker-down’ again. Rates are up a full point, but are still not bad.”
“I know the market will have that upward swing. It may go up, then plateau, so we need realistic expectations, but it’s coming back.”
What is your advice for home buyers this fall?
“Buyers need to determine the town, neighborhood and style of house they are interested in. A lot of buyers are only interested in newer construction, and they can’t afford it. They should take another look at the property that has been on the market for a little while, that’s had a cut in price, and think about redeveloping it.
“So I would say to buyers reconsider, take a second look. Something that may not have worked for you the first time, may work the second time,” said Gillespie, who has been a Realtor for over 10 years, serves on Northborough’s Planning Board and chairs the town’s design review committee.
And your advice for sellers?
“I tell homeowners if you’re looking to sell in spring 2014, you should meet with an agent in the fall and determine a plan. But remember, you might be one of two colonials on the market if you list now, and in the spring you’ll be up against 12 or 13.
“I advise sellers to go through their house as if they were a buyer or a home inspector. Hire a Realtor, like myself, to come in and evaluate your home. Address any problems before putting the house on the market. And if for some reason, financial or otherwise, you cannot address a problem, price accordingly.
“Houses that sell within the first month are priced right and staged correctly. If the house has a dated kitchen, it should be priced for a dated kitchen.”
What market segments are strong?
“In the spring, it was across the board, though for anything above $700,000 there was still a limited buyer pool. Now, what I’m working on is more in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, appealing to first-time buyers.”
What sets you apart from other Realtors?
“I create a plan showing my clients how to sell their home, purchase another house and obtain a mortgage. I put that personal touch into helping families. When my clients sell their homes and move on to the next phase of their lives, they tell me they’re having ‘Michelle withdrawal,’ and I love it. I want their experience to be successful—and pleasant.”
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