By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The owners of Collins & Demac Real Estate expect a busy but abbreviated fall housing market given the shortage of inventory, and encourage folks putting their home on the market in the spring to begin planning now.
Jim Collins, Susan Kalil Collins and John Demac joined forces to start their real estate firm two years ago, in 2012.
“We focus on the central Massachusetts and Metrowest markets and, of course, Shrewsbury,” said Jim Collins, who noted the firm is considering adding a second office.
John Demac added that the company’s nine agents work as a team. “Everybody supports each other. Often all of us visit a property and give our opinions on the pricing and property.”
“We are all central Massachusetts natives or long-time residents, so we know this area,” Susan Collins said.
John Demac brings 20 years of experience selling real estate to Collins & Demac. Jim Collins started in real estate five years ago, after nearly 30 years in manufacturing and running several businesses. Susan Collins also started in real estate five years ago and has a background in retail sales and the dental profession. She and Jim bought several real estate businesses on Cape Cod in 2011 and continue to operate Cape Cod Oceanview Realty with offices across the Cape.
Looking at the fall market, John Demac said, “I hope to see continued activity, but unless there is a sudden spurt of inventory, it is likely to be a short fall. Prices have been up lately, but sales are down because of that lack of inventory.”
“The underlying fundamentals remain strong,” added Jim Collins. “Interest rates remain low, and the real estate market appears stable, with Shrewsbury one of the hotter local markets.”
If a homeowner is thinking of putting the house on the market next spring, “now is the time to get it in shape,” John Demac noted.
“We offer free advice on staging a home, and can help people see what needs to be done before their house goes on the market. One of the first things is to remove furniture and clutter. People looking at a house need to be able to feel the space,” said Susan Collins.
The firm will also provide a complimentary market analysis.
The trio has some advice for both sellers and buyers coming into the current real estate market.
In addition to getting the house looking its best, they caution sellers to be realistic.
“Some people think the equity in their home will come back to 2006 levels,” said John Demac. “That ‘gain’ and ‘loss’ is all on paper until you sell.” And, he noted, it is all relative. Even though a seller’s home may be priced lower than expected, the residence the seller purchases will also be at today’s lower prices.
Buyers in today’s market should first get preapproved for the necessary financing, said Jim Collins.
“You can lose the opportunity on a house without that prior approval,” Susan Collins warned.
“There are potential buyers saying they can’t afford to buy when they have never talked to a mortgage broker or a bank. With recent increases in rental prices, why wouldn’t someone think about buying instead?” John Demac said, noting the preapproval process can take a couple of days up to a week, depending on credit rating.
While Collins & Demac has been in business only a short time, “We have had strong early success,” said Jim Collins. “Each owner brings specialized skill sets to the business, and we have been able to attract some of the area’s top experienced real estate agents. That has allowed us to achieve tremendous momentum as a new, local business.”
“We specialize in personalized service because we are not a huge agency,” John Demac added.
Collins & Demac is located at 520 Main St., in Shrewsbury, in the Joab Hapgood house dating back to the 1830s that the company restored as its office. Additional information is available on the website, www.CollinsDemacRE.com or by calling 508-842-1600.
Editor’s Note: The preceding is not an endorsement and is presented for informational purposes only.