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October 26, 2015

Let’s say you hate your Realtor because you think he or she is an A-Hole. What should you do?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:58 am

Listen- I get it. Sometimes you don’t mesh with the Realtor you found at an open house, on-line, or via your neighbor’s recommendation. And sometimes that Realtor is ME. No surprise there.

And most Realtors will try to get you to sign an exclusive contract so if and when you do buy- you have to use them as your Realtor. Personally, I do not do that. I want to earn a buyer’s trust and keep them as a client based upon merit. However, if you do sign an exclusive contract with another agent- I usually can not help you- unless you have put a date on that other contract which has since expired.

But sometimes I do put people in my car who don’t like me. Or vice versa. In that case- it is best to be upfront with that Realtor and tell them you have decided to go in another direction. No biggie.

I usually find that most Realtors are not A-Holes, rather they do silly things that buyers don’t like. For instance, not listening to a buyer’s wants and needs can be harmful to the relationship…. I have heard many buyers come my way saying their old Realtor was showing them condos WAY outside their price range. Like when a buyer wants a two bedroom with a $500,000 budget and the Realtor takes them to say 1820 Rittenhouse Sq. condos.

So if you coming to me from another Realtor- I welcome you. If you are leaving me for another Realtor- then I wish you good fortune and tidings. No hurt feelings. Honest.

• • •

October 19, 2015

Selling your Center City Condo and want to max your resale price?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:35 pm

This isn’t rocket science here folks. You need to do 3 very easy things. 3 very easy things that numbskull sellers refuse to do:

 

  1. Clean your condo
  2. De-clutter your condo
  3. Spend $1000 to do minimal work to your condo (see below)

 

That $1000 should be used for simple projects like re-caulking your bathtub, re-hang the closet doors that are off the tracks, shampoo the carpets and touch up paint throughout. You would be simply amazed at how many sellers refuse this simple advice…it is astounding. This minimal effort is going to have a MULTIPLIER effect on the value of your condo. Almost every condo I see needs these three steps done to increase value. And the value increase is sometimes TEN FOLD

(if you do the above and spend $1,000 – I can usually get you an additional $10k for your condo).
Selling your condo requires effort. From me and from you. And yes, I have folks whom you can hire to do some of that minimal work. So get on it 🙂

• • •

October 12, 2015

Guidelines for Home Inspection Repair Requests

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:21 pm

Ok…so you bought a condo and you have had a home inspection and you now have an 18 page report in front of you telling you that the condo you bought is a real hell-hole. You start to freak out- that simply means you are human. Don’t sweat it. I usually tell my buyers (when making an offer) to look at the interior condition of the condo and make your offer accordingly. It is usually difficult to ask a seller to make repairs on items that were visually OBVIOUS when you first bought the condo (like in a brownstone condo- if you can see the windows are very old and need some repair- it is going to be difficult for me to get you a credit for things you reasonable knew were not up to snuff. However- It can be more difficult for a buyer to estimate the age of a heater or the age of specific wiring and that can usually be a lot easier to get a credit to upgrade. But know that usually the seller will not give you a full credit…the number is generally negotiated.

And IF you have the option for a credit or a repair from the seller- Get a credit. Because if the seller makes the repair and you don’t like HOW they made the repair- then we are all up sh*t creek without a paddle. And finally, know that many Philly Highrise buildings supply your heat, your electric and AC so you have no recourse to ask the seller to affect those as the seller does not own those elements.

• • •

October 5, 2015

FAQ’s for many buyers buying a Center City Condo:

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:33 am

1.) Do I need a lawyer?  Legally, no you do not. However, I suggest you hire a REAL ESTATE attorney as they can be helpful. What I do NOT suggest is that you hire your brothers neighbors cousin who lives in Bum-f*ck Iowa and is a personal injury lawyer. That could really do more harm than good, in my opinion. Get a REAL ESTATE lawyer.

2.) Can I move in prior to settlement ? Uh…no. Never. Sorry.

3.) Can I change settlement time or date at the last minute?  Usually not. The title company, the seller, the mortgage company, the listing agent, along with my team of helpers all would need to clear with their schedule. Best to decide early upon a settlement time and date and STICK WITH THAT PLAN. Honest.

4.) Why do I have to pay a Capital Contribution and what is it?  Yes you do, IF your condo association require you to do so. It is usually two months of condo fees that you pay the condo association upfront at time of closing. This does not go to the seller. This helps add to the “kitty” of your condo association. You are more or less paying yourself, in my opinion. So buildings like 1830 Rittenhouse Square condos do  not require one…but that is rare. In order to raise money for special projects at 1830- they simply assess as needed.

5.) Can I move into my building at any time, or do I need to plan ahead? You indeed need to plan ahead, especially in larger buildings like say The Hopkinson House condominiums where you would need to reserve the elevator and such. Those details will be available in your condo docs and or resale package. Best to read them!

6.) May I BBQ on my patio or deck?  99% of the time, the answer is NO. Per condo rules.

7.)Does the seller have to repair nail holes in walls where his/her artwork once hung? Great question…I believe the answer is no. You bought the condo with the holes already in the walls. Unless you believed the artwork magically floated and hung via a magic spell- you can assume there are nail holes and they transfer with title 🙂

8.) Which utility companies do I need to call?  Depends upon your condo association. Usually just PECO and maybe gas company. IF water is included in your condo fees…do NOT call the water company. Ditto for Comcast.

9.) What is transfer tax and why do I have to pay it? Because the city says so. You pay 2% of the sale price and the seller pays 2%. Transfer tax is split between buyer and seller and both pay 2%.
10.) Do I have to have a home inspection? The legal answer is no. The smart answer is yes…do it IF for no other reason than to learn how your condo functions and operates. A good way to become more familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your condo.

• • •

 
 

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