Stephanie Ellis, a COMPASS Realtor who represents clients along the Main Line, in Philadelphia, and much farther afield, suggests buying or selling a home in this market is not as intimidating as it seems—at least not when guided by a skilled professional. A Radnor native and current Philadelphia resident, Ellis uses her energy, positivity, and knowledge of the local market to build dreams for both buyers and sellers alike.
“The face of real estate is changing,” says Ellis. “It is so noisy out there, but at the end of the day my goal is to help you and your family through this life transition, and have some fun in the process.”
As a former Division 1 Athlete at Penn State (lacrosse) who is currently training for her eighth marathon—she will serve as a guide for a blind runner for the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon—Ellis provides the competitive edge needed to succeed in the current market. She does so with a free-flowing sense of humor that makes a traditionally stressful process much more manageable.
“If you’re reading this, I know why you’re here,” she adds with a laugh. “You probably don’t care about me, so let’s talk about you. A lot of people are reaching out trying to understand if this moment in time fits into their world. Real estate is very emotional, and because this is an emotional experience you want to make sure those real estate headlines aren’t getting in the way of your goals. If you’re on the fence, that just means it’s time to have a solid conversation.”
Besides her knowledge of the market, Ellis has an in-depth understanding of what a home might need in terms of renovations; she personally “gut renovated” a home she purchased in 2019. This combination may explain why so many of her clients come by way of referral.
“For the last few years people thought they had nowhere to go if they were to sell their house,” she says. “You could make a ton of money on your house, but where are you going to go? So I work with a lot of people who are really trying to understand what their next steps are.”
Ellis helps clients sift through the market rumors and the whirlwind of “what ifs” that might scare a potential buyer or seller from making an uninformed decision. While she aims to keep things “simple and light” with every interaction, her approach is rooted in careful planning and shrewd negotiation.
“You can never have too much information too early,” says Ellis. “It doesn’t matter if you’re two years out, three years out, you never know what the market looks like until you meet with someone who works in your area and sees what’s out there. You’re never wasting my time. It’s kind of like dating: At the very least, we go get a cup of coffee and then go our separate ways with some things to think about.”
Ellis has worked with an increasing number of “coastal customers”—that is, clients looking to leave the West Coast and settle their family on the East Coast, or empty nesters looking to downsize their East Coast properties and explore other parts of the country.
“A lot of people are calling me from out west to make the move here, which is where you really see the value of the COMPASS network,” says Ellis. “The COMPASS network makes it easy for you to have an army of assets. Once you decide you want to branch out, we have a list of networks across the country who can connect you to high-level Realtors and specialists in every region.”
COMPASS also offers benefits through its private off-market network, which allows Ellis’s clients to test the waters on their listing without losing precious days on market
“We can pre-market your property with amazing imagery, set up your real estate images, then share your house with other COMPASS agents, and show your house to COMPASS customers across the country while you browse options off-market in the areas you are interested in,” she explains. “Buyers get a market that isn’t as intense or competitive as the public market, and the inherent benefit as a seller is that you don’t have to stage and stress over showings or open houses. You can also get feedback from the marketplace without racking days up on the market. Then you know you can go to market knowing you have the best price.”
From that point, Ellis has a full team behind her to help make any move as seamless as possible, whether someone is moving to a new home down the street or across the country.
“Traditionally, it’s a super-stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be,” she assures. “That’s why I have a team of people who make this as easy as possible, including furniture stagers, professional organizers, decluttering experts, professional photographers, painters, and a Rolodex of many more.”
Ellis enjoys helping current and future clients even when a move is not imminent. She sends out a regular newsletter with some of her favorite tips, real estate news, and choice recommendations for buying and selling a home. She also makes herself available to discuss possibilities, thinking it’s never too early to plan if making a move is in the cards someday.
“Let’s talk,” she adds. “I can help you work through some big questions, like why are you thinking about selling or buying? We make sure those goals are clear so we have a goalpost to move toward.”
Photo by Nina Lea Photography
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, July 2022.