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January 27, 2014

3 Easy Ways to Spruce up your Philly Condo’s Showing Ability

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Sellers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:37 pm

 

I am often asked by condo owners to offer tips on getting their condo to “Show Well”. Here are the 3 quick easy tips for maximizing the showing ability of your Philadelphia condominium:

1) Go to Ikea, and buy a floor to ceiling curtain and hang it from ceiling height, in front of your bathtub. This is not going to take the place of your shower curtain, it is simply going to add some dramatic effect to the bathroom. It is quick, cheap, and has a powerful punch in terms of the emotional appeal of your Center City condo.

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2) Paint an accent wall. Preferably, one that is opposite the entryway to any given room. I like to see fireplace walls accented in somewhat neutral, yet enticing colors too. Like a chalky blue, or green. Painting an accent wall will give a hint of flavor to a room, without overpowering the room with massive color.

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3) Replace the knobs on the doors and drawers in your kitchen and bathroom. And don’t buy the 99 cents knobs either. Go to Pottery Barn, or Restoration Hardware, and spend a few dollars. Believe me when I tell you, they will help even a somewhat tired kitchen look a bit refreshed.

knob

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it. Three quick easy steps for maximizing the interior “curb appeal” to your  Center City Condo!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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January 13, 2014

Some Philly Condos Appreciate and some Depreciate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:03 am

man-swimming-in-pool-871278587620eIzC-300x200

Some Philly Condos Appreciate and some Depreciate Like people in a swimming pool, some float, and some sink. The question is why.

Obvious factors are the showing ability and emotional impact that a particular condo unit does or does not possess: cleanliness, natural light, wall color, furniture, even the smell of a condo can add or subtract from the emotional beauty, and leads to a huge impact on a condos value. In my twenty years of selling real estate, I have never had a buyer tell me to find him the dirtiest, or the worst decorated condo available. Easily, as much a ten percent difference in value depending upon showing ability. And of course interior condition can also have a major impact on value. Beige bathtubs and appliances can crimp value fairly quickly in a lot of cases. 

In addition, the physical characteristics of any given unit can help or hurt the units value (think- huge closets, a tax abatement, high ceilings,etc). Styles, like appliances and carpeting have a tendency to age, and that is usually accompanied by a slower rate of appreciation. Clearly, more recently rehabbed, say, Rittenhouse Square condos are going to retain their value better than a unit in a state of disrepair or decline in its finishes. Also prohibitive condominium association rules and policies can deter many buyers from specific buildings. A host of factors can cause units to sit on the market longer than normal, and almost always guaranteeing a lessened resale value.

Location is also a huge factor to the rate of either appreciation or depreciation. Stronger locations in town have a tendency to be a bit more elastic- they are the first neighborhoods to see a drop in inventory with any influx of buyers to the market. That’s a good thing. Recall the principles of supply and demand. I would argue that a strong location is going to depreciate less -because IF in a weakened marketplace, the first condos to remain unsold are in the weaker locations. (The flip side is that you might be able to strike a significantly improved deal, should you be looking away from an “A” location.)

I am just brushing the surface here, but know that not all Center City condos in town will appreciate or depreciate at the same rate. Or sell within the same given time frame. The best tools you have to insure your value remains intact is twofold:

1) Buy it at the right price in the first place and/or

2) Keep your unit looking like it just jumped off the pages of Town and Country Magazine.

Easier said than done, I am aware!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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January 6, 2014

Dumbass Power Plays in Philly Real Estate

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:20 am

I have been selling real estate in exclusively in downtown Philadelphia for twenty-five years. I have done some stupid things in my career, and I have witnessed many buyers and sellers making equally stupid moves.  I often see buyers and sellers either pinching a dime for a dollar, or just doing some absurd moves that are much more trouble than the expected payoff. And I am sure this is not limited to just Center City buyers…I have no doubt the scenarios play out in every real estate community:

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Scenario 1:  Having the Last Word
Seller asks $499k for a condo
Buyer and Seller go back and forth, and after a few days, buyer say $480,000 is my “Highest and Best” offer for this parcel. And then seller comes back and says $480,001. Really? You really want to be a douche bag and say that? You are pissing the buyer off, and it will probably  cost you much much more in terms of anxiety, anguish, and animosity within the transaction as you are locked into a legally binding contract with this buyer for say the next 60-90 days. Perhaps you should just zip your lip and take the freakin’ $480k instead of having to have the last word. Don’t forget, buyers still have to perform a home inspection.


Scenario 2: Can’t See the Forest For the Trees
Seller asks $499k for a condo
This Philadelphia condo  is a bank-owned sty that should be selling for $800k if it weren’t so dirty, missing all the appliances, and listed with Susy Bag O’ Donuts out of Erie, Pa. (it happens…bank foreclosures are often listed by those with no connection to the area). And as a buyer, you get the Big-Brain idea to come in at $400k…because after all, the market is slow, weak, and uncertain.  OK….you are an idiot. If you can’t recognize such an overtly strong bargain, and see that the huge upside is the fact that the condo is grossly underpriced at $499k….then maybe you need to do a little more homework on prices and values here in Center City.


Scenario 3: Why Aren’t you Using a Magic Wand?
Sellers asks $499k for a condo
As a buyer, you top out at $480,000 and the seller will still not accept your offer. And recent “comps” suggest the seller is correct as no other unit in the building has sold for under $500k. You then turn to your Realtor and complain that you can’t get the property for $480k. And you are relentless. Even in the face of the facts. But you persist. You dump your Realtor because he or she refuses to wave their magic wand and make this deal happen. You then drive down the road, and see your Realtor Singing and Dancing in the middle of the intersection of Broad and Walnut.

No one likes a whiner. Not even in a “slow, weak, and uncertain” market place. There are bargains to be had and deals to be made. Opportunity exists in all market conditions, and the current state of affairs in Center City- which has weathered the overall real estate storm fairly well- should indeed be taken into account when negotiating the purchase or sale of any parcel in Philadelphia. But knowing when you have crossed the line and driven right into Crazy Town Pa. might be helpful when finding the right piece of Center City real estate. And help you negotiate the best possible, realistic terms. 

Mark Wade CenterCityCondos.com

I welcome feedback!

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530 Walnut Street, Suite 260
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