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Real Estate 101 at Westwood COA

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By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter

The real estate market is seemingly always in flux, and to understand it seems at times like a grand undertaking. This is made easier with the help of a real estate agent - someone like Elaine de Reyna, for example, who gave a presentation at the Westwood Council on Aging last Tuesday to help those in the community better understand the current state of the market, as well as how best to approach it. A Westwood resident for many years, de Reyna is a Senior Real Estate Specialist and Seller Representative Specialist.

“This is a seller’s market,” de Reyna hammered home a few times during her presentation. “There aren’t many houses on, there are lots of buyers looking for houses, and there are especially a lot of buyers looking for less than a million dollars.” One of the main parts of her presentation was helping her audience better understand how a house is priced. Much of it comes from “comps” or comparable properties. Using MLS, or Multiple Listing Servers, a real estate agent will look at houses in similar locations, of similar size, as well as the amenities the house has to offer. The last part is one of the reasons she warns against sites such as Zillow. “Zillow is very inaccurate – it will take a statistic, they’ll take a square footage. What Zillow doesn’t know is that maybe you’ve put on top-of-the-line siding, or a new roof, or you have hardwood floors,” she explained. “It doesn’t know anything about your home other than number of bedrooms, square footage, location… so don’t think that if you go into Zillow it’s going to be accurate.”

Another resource she handed out was statistics for the last few years in terms of buyers and sellers. “These are just the statistics, but you can get an idea of who’s out there, who is buying, and who is selling,” she said.

De Reyna has a penchant for volunteerism and community service. She currently serves as an Election Representative for Westwood, and helps out with the Boy Scouts of America as well as the Westwood Young Women’s Club. Her work at the Westwood COA is just another additional way in which she gives back.

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