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June 2017
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June 14, 2017

What Kind Of Buyer Is Going To Buy Your Condo?

  I tend to think we have a variety of buyers here in town. Spending 28 years hauling folks around town, I have learned a thing or two. Here is what I know when it comes to categorizing buyers:
 
1) The Prestige Buyer – Only wants to see condos that will look good on him or her. There are a number of buildings in town. Most offer town-car service. These buyers are generally fun to deal with.
2) The Value Driven Buyer – Wants lots of square footage. Location often the first to go for these buyers. No one appreciates a good deal better than I do!
3) The Loft Buyer – High ceiling, exposed brick and large windows fulfill this kind of buyer’s needs, soft loft or hard loft buyers often are just looking for something that is NOT cookie-cutter.
4) The I Don’t Want To Pay High Condo Fees Buyer – Best suited for a single family home, or maybe a Brownstone styled condo. High rise units not an option.
5) The Rittenhouse Square Only Buyer – Not uncommon…not at all.
6) The Need To Steal It buyer –These tend to be the most unrealistic buyers if ONLY for the reason that they can’t identify when a property is already drastically under valued. And they lose in multiple bid situations (usually).
7) The “One level living” buyer – VERY common. Very.
 
8) The Buyer Who Buys For Kids Going To An Area School. – Very common.
 
9) The I’m Not Really A Buyer, But I Want To See Condos Anyway – I love referring these buyers to my competition. LOL

• • •

June 12, 2017

This Summer Matters – Here’s Why… The summer sales market is usually subdued, but not this summer.

Our Center City condo market is very cyclical. Every year about the same time in early March, my phone rings off the hook and that trend continues through say 4th of July. Then anyone with enough money to buy a condo, also has enough money to be sitting their butts on a beach somewhere.
This early part of the summer 2017 tells a bit of a different story. Nearly everyday for the past 3 months we have seen our inventory shrink – DAILY.
When I study the daily MLS activity sheet, I see say 20 new homes on the market. But I see 27 or so go under contract. EVERY DAY.
I would venture to guess this trend will continue through the summer – the lack of overall inventory suggests as much. And there are more buyers lingering in the market today than in the past dozen or so years – they can’t find the right place so they sit on the sidelines and wait. The backlog is staggering.
Usually we see a decrease in activity after Memorial Day. Hasn’t been the case and most likely will not be the case until sometime in say August, I would wager.
Mark Wade
Mark@centercity.com

• • •

April 28, 2017

16 Buildings in 5 Words or less…

Hopkinson House – The Toyota of Center City dependability.
Ten Rittenhouse – Really amazing value growth & demand.
1830 Rittenhouse – It’s 1830. Enough said.
River’s Edge (2301 Cherry St.) – Buy! I think they’re undervalued.
Waterfront Square– Peace & Tranquility. Views for miles.
Murano (2101 Market St)– Prices & demand continue to escalate.
Naval Square – Huge demand. Huge.
Rittenhouse Hotel & Condominiums– What’s not to like? Really.
BridgeView Place (315 New St)–  It’s just hot money. Buy Now.
Philadelphian (2401 PA. Ave.) – Values driven by interior condition & view.
Tivoli (1900 Hamilton)– Some Penthouse finally being sold off.
Center City One (1326 Spruce) – Best floor plans & Great Values!
The National (112 N. 2nd) – Soft lofts at reasonable prices & parking.
St. James Court (Society Hill) – User friendly & Cool Mod. Still Relevant.
9xx-10xx Spruce – Townhouse styled and Jefferson adjacent. Bingo.
Two Liberty (50 S. 16th St) – #1 Views and #1 model units – Gorgeous!
Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
CenterCityCondos.com

• • •

April 25, 2017

Is That A Concierge Or A Seat-Filler? …Can We Be Honest Here??

‘Cuz I call BS on some of these claims:
1) Concierge Services – Just because you have someone sitting their butt in a chair at the front entrance of your building doesn’t mean you have a concierge. In all honesty, only about SIX buildings in town have true concierge services in my opinion…though they all say they offer such an amenity.2) Includes Parking – Deeded parking is a term thrown around often that doesn’t ring true…often the space may not be reassigned, sold or rented out. And sometimes MLS listings says the unit includes parking, then in the small print it says “Seller pre-paid parking for one year.”

3) Hardwood Floors – Is it really? I mean technically, even pine isn’t hardwood…it’s categorized as a soft wood. The term ” hardwood floors” is seen often and you shouldn’t always believe it to be true. Could be laminate, or engineered flooring.

4) Penthouse – Is that really a penthouse? Just because the unit is on one of the top 3 floors doesn’t make it a penthouse. You’ll know a penthouse when you see one. Usually adorned with nice outside space, higher ceilings and maybe fireplaces.

5) We’re 72% sold! – A very common lie. Please don’t believe it unless the developer can whip out all legally binding sales contracts…otherwise may not be true.

6) Square footage claims – DO NOT rely upon the square footage of a condo based upon a “Fact Sheet” you get from your Realtor. You don’t know where that figure came from- The appraiser? The seller? The listing agent? The city? The man on the moon?? Come on…

7) “Fact Sheets” in general – I think it is fair to say that about 75% of the info listed on a flyer is true. The other 25%..perhaps not as much. DO NOT rely on those fact sheets. You should double check the accuracy for yourself!

Mark Wade

Centercitycondos.com

Mark@CenterCity.com

• • •

April 20, 2017

AS-IS Condition

Often sellers are negotiated down in price and below their “drop dead” price. Then they want to add a clause stating the sale is “As-Is”.
I disagree with this approach because:
1) You can’t prevent a buyer from exercising his option to have a home inspection
2) Seller is not obligated to fix anything on the inspection report..there is no obligation to do so.
3) “As-Is” clauses are generally reserved for real pieces of crap and/or a “fire sale”
4) Inserting such a clause is just adding suspicion to the buyers mindset. Not a good way to go.
So….if you are thinking of adding an “As-Is” clause to your contract – think twice.
Mark Wade
CenterCityCondos.com
Mark@CenterCity.com

• • •

April 18, 2017

Crap I know about Center City Real Estate

Why are some of the best deals the homes that sit and sit and sit on the market?
Because chances are, the seller is getting fatigued. I have no problems with homes that have been sitting, as long as the seller has been moving the price along with the long days-on- market.

Why Are Owner-Occupancy Ratios Important?
Because if the building has more tenants than owners living in the building, the building will be harder to finance (fannie mae rules). And as a result, you’ll generally see less demand.
And tenants tend to do things that owners wouldn’t…they aren’t as invested in the parcel.
What is one key to making money in the Center City Real Estate Market?
That is an easy one…buy ugly and sell pretty. Condition matters. Buyers don’t buy brick and mortar, they buy feelings and emotions. Make your place lovely when you go to sell.
Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com

• • •

April 4, 2017

Tips for Working Successfully With A Condo Contractor

If I have sold you a condo, then you probably know my trusty contractor Mario. We have worked together for almost two decades and ALMOST ALL of my buyers LOVE him- which is nearly impossible odds, but they do. Here are some inside tips he puts out there:

1) Don’t hover- but please ask questions me questions. It is important that our expectations are on the same page.
2) Don’t assume something will be done if it’s not discussed and in writing. So please, let’s review our agreement and cement our understanding and expectations prior to starting the job.
3)  If you add extra work, don’t be surprised it’s costing more money and your final bill is higher than the original estimate.
4) When it comes to pricing, you get what you pay for. And I
can ‘t go around other contractor’s work….what’s done is done, and to undo and start over is not going to inexpensive.
5) Treat customers how you would want to be treated. Usually I don’t care how the customer treats me… I’m the one who’s always nice. It’s just good for business and makes everything go so much better.
6) I can only work during certain hours and days in most high rise condo buildings. No way around that.

————————————

And here is what I tell my buyers who want work
done to their new condo :

Plan the “fly” and fly the plan.
…If you are looking to add time, money and frustration to the job- Just change your mind as the job goes along  🙂

Mark Wade
Mark@CenterCity.com
CenterCityCondos.com

• • •

March 30, 2017

16 Buildings in 5 Words or less…

Hopkinson House – The Toyota of Center City dependability.

Ten Rittenhouse – Really amazing value growth & demand.

1830 Rittenhouse – It’s 1830. Enough said.

River’s Edge (2301 Cherry St.) – Buy! I think they’re undervalued.

Waterfront Square– Peace & Tranquility. Views for miles.

Murano (2101 Market St)– Prices & demand continue to escalate.

Naval Square – Huge demand. Huge.

Rittenhouse Hotel & Condominiums– What’s not to like? Really.

BridgeView Place (315 New St)–  It’s just hot money. Buy Now.

Philadelphian (2401 PA. Ave.) – Values driven by interior condition & view.

Tivoli (1900 Hamilton)– Some Penthouse finally being sold off.

Center City One (1326 Spruce) – Best floor plans & Great Values!

The National (112 N. 2nd) – Soft lofts at reasonable prices & parking.

St. James Court (Society Hill) – User friendly & Cool Mod. Still Relevant.

9xx-10xx Spruce – Townhouse styled and Jefferson adjacent. Bingo.

Two Liberty (50 S. 16th St) – #1 Views and #1 model units – Gorgeous!

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
www.CenterCityCondos.com

• • •

March 20, 2017

Waterfront Living In Center City (Delaware River)

    Twenty years ago, you would have been either a pioneer or some kind of loon to have ventured to a waterfront area of Center City in terms of condo living. That certainly has changed. As I haul buyers around town year after year, I am finding that the possibility of living on the waterfront has gained in popularity and overall acceptance.
    The Waterfront Sq. condos at 901 N. Penn, as well as Pier 3, Pier 5, and Dockside Condominiums at 717 S. Columbus Blvd. have all grown in terms of demand, value escalation, and a shortened “days-on-market” quotient. Like any neighborhood, there are pros and cons and the following is what my buyers generally say:
Pros: 
View
Value
Quiet Atmosphere
Parking
Easy Access to I-95 and Jersey
Cons:
Remote Location
    Seems most buyers have this notion that when they move to town they will no longer need their car. That notion only goes so far and for so long. New Center City residents either get the Uber app or simply take the bus or a taxi when they want to go across town. Perhaps the “remote location” notion is becoming less important to a number of new buyers in town as the popularity of waterfront living is growing substantially.
I have lived in Center City for 27 years and have been at Waterfront Sq. since 2011. In all honesty, I couldn’t be happier. I drive my car everywhere anyway- To the gym, the office, the drugstore, Whole Foods, etc. The notion of a remote location is actually a plus in light of the benefits…

• • •

March 13, 2017

Popular Seller Mistakes

Most sellers are smart and if not, at least teachable.  Though, when they are not, I see them leave money on the table. Here are some common mistakes I see sellers make:
1) Allowing agents to put crappy photos into the MLS
 
    I see this ALL the time. The MLS allows 25 photos any many online sites will rank your position based on the number of photos. Since out of town/out of state buyers usually know what they want to see when they contact me, their list always corresponds to the quality of the photos submitted to the MLS.  Insist upon professional photos or find a new agent.
2) Moving out physically, and then mentally doing the same
 
So often I show condos where the seller has moved- both physically and mentally. Dirt, debris are left behind and the condo looks like someone left in the middle of the night. First impressions MATTER..and buyers will pay for that impression.
3) Not telling your insurance carrier that you sold your home
 
IF you seller your condo in the middle of any insurance pay cycle- you should call your insurance carrier and request the refund of the unused portion of that pay cycle. Your mortgage company will not do this for you.
4) Not adjusting your price as your condo sits on the market
Some of the best deals for buyers are those condos that sit on the market for a while- as long as the seller is adjusting his or her price accordingly. When a seller doesn’t move on the asking price, the listing gets stale and the demand for that unit will drop. So will its value.
5) Not staging or at least preparing your home for the market
Buyers don’t buy bricks and mortar. They buy feelings and emotions. Staging works. And every seller should be spending around $500-$1000 to prepare his or condo for sale such as:
* Minor Grout and Caulking around tubs, baseboards, etc.
* Rehanging Closet doors that are off their tracks
* Minimal touch up painting
* De-cluttering (this is huge)
* Minor cosmetic fixes throughout

• • •

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Philadelphia, PA 19106
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Fax: 215.627.3142
Email: Mark@CenterCity.com
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