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October 2007

October 29, 2007

Should you buy a condo in Philadelphia from an agent in Pittsburgh?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:10 am

In the state of Pennsylvania, you must be licensed to sell real estate. Which means if you are a licensed PA REALTOR, you may sell real estate anywhere from Erie to West Chester. But should you? Is it fair to your buyer to sell real estate in Philadelphia if you are not familiar with say, where City Hall is located?

I would have to say that in a number of cases, this is not in a buyer’s best interest.  As a licensed agent with Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors in Philadelphia for the past nineteen years, I have a tendency to think that an agent’s best asset is his or her knowledge of an area. Anyone can type up an agreement of sale, negotiate an offer, and unlock a door. Identifying, and pointing to a kitchen inside a Philadelphia condo is no great feat. My 102 year old, nearly blind grandmother could do so. She could also point to the bathroom and exclaim, “And this is the bathroom”.  But would dear old grandma know the average dollar per square foot of that Center City loft condo? Would she know what the condo fees cover, and if trash removal is a part of that fee?  I doubt it. Don’t get me wrong. She is smart, and what she doesn’t know, she makes up (when I was in 2nd grade, she told me Santa Claus and the tooth fairy were step brothers).

I personally would never dream of going outside a three mile radius of my area of influence to try to sell a condominium or a loft to a buyer. My knowledge of Philadelphia real estate extends about as far as one might be able to see a car’s headlights in the distance. In Center City, Spruce, Pine, and Lombard Streets are imprinted in my brain. I know them well. Suburbs like Havermont, Bala Wynwood…..I don’t have a clue. And I will be the first to admit such shortcomings. So what possible good could this experienced Philadelphia real estate agent do for you outside of Center City. Not a lot.

Are other realtors so forthcoming? Generally not. Not when I get a call from Susie the realtor who “knows Center City real estate” because her mother used to bring her to Wanamaker’s for the annual Christmas show when she was eleven, but hasn’t been here since. Or if Susie asks if there is a driveway in front of my new Center City loft listing, just how much could Susie be expected to add, as a realtor in Philadelphia, to this particular transaction?

I know my limitations, as they are many, numerous, and varied. I know Center City real estate like the back of my hand. I also know that if you see my trying to peddle real estate in say, Manayunk, you need to assemble a crazed group of villagers wielding pitchforks and torches, and run me the hell out of town.

On the other hand……

….if you are looking for an experienced REALTOR to list your loft near Washington Square or if you are interested in buying a condo on or near Rittenhouse Square or in Old City, I am just a phone call or email away.  You can take a look at my new listings and my recent sales on my website and feel free to listen to my podcasts and read some more of my blog entries and get to know me better and then give me a call at 215-521-1523 or send me an email at

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106

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