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December 2013

December 30, 2013

5 Reasons Why your Condo may not be selling….

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Sellers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:17 pm

There may be a dozen reasons why your condo may not sell in this real estate market. Many are beyond a sellers control-but SO MANY displeasing features (in the eyes of a buyer) are a direct reflection back onto any given seller. I am sorry. But it’s true….

Here we go:

 1) Your condo doesn’t show like a model home. Remember, the emotional wallop is HUGE in the resale value of a condo. You do need to paint, regrout, recaulk, etc etc. And fix that closet door that is off its track. You follow me? No one wants to buy your issues… Many buyers are out to buy emotion and fall in love with their new purchase. Best to pretend your condo is going on a date, and present it with some style and showmanship. And get rid of the clutter. IF the buyer thinks you are outgrowing the space, they too just might think your condo lacks space or storage. I see it time and time again. So very true-day after day, year after year.

2) Your condo is overpriced. If everyone else in your zip code is down in value (from say 2007), there is a reasonable chance your Philadelphia condo value is down as well. It’s not like you can easily escape that fact. You can almost always overcome any other shortcoming to your condo if you price it right. Easy math on that one….

3) Your Realtor is perhaps doesn’t fully have his head in the game.  Not really full-time, not from the area, does no marketing, has no real influence on your market segment, and all-in-all, just waits for the phone to ring hoping a buyer will magically appear.   For instance- If you owned a $4,000,000,000 single family house to sell in Villanova, I would be the WORST candidate for you. So why are you hiring a friend of a friend from Chadds Ford to sell your Center City condo?

4) Your condo association has neglected to keep the building FHA approved, or at a minimum, Fannie Mae Warrant-able. Meaning your condo can shine like a star, and still not be able to sell because financing options for buyers are exceedingly limited. This can seriously deter many buyers from considering your condo for purchase.

5) Your building looks like hell because no one is stepping up to the plate and keeping the common areas in good visual repair. Buyers don’t even need to see the inside of many Center City condos around town because they have already made up their minds by walking through your lobby and the hallways. I can’t tell you HOW MANY times a buyer (after walking through the building and then stands at the door to your unit) says “I am not going to live here”. They don’t need to see the inside of your condo if they don’t get a good feel for the building. Common. Very common.



Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106

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December 23, 2013

Guest Post: Philly is Swimming in Condos with Pools

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:25 am

Real estate trends are not unlike those in fashion, technology, and fad diets: there’s always an “it” characteristic that buyers and renters have to have, and those “it” descriptors go as quickly as they come. However, like the staple pieces in a wardrobe, there are some criteria that are always in demand. In Philadelphia real estate, everybody seems to want their condo to have a pool.

It’s easy to see why: pools are great for exercising, relaxing, and entertaining. If you’ve got a pool while living smack in the middle of, say, Rittenhouse Square, you’re living the life. Here of some of Philly’s favorite condos that offer pools.

Residences at the Ritz Carlton, Rittenhouse Square

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Residences at the Ritz Carlton stand at the location of the old Meridian Tower — these condos are as modern as they come. The Ritz Carlton is one of Philadelphia’s most luxurious buildings, offering all the bells and whistles when it comes to amenities: valet parking, a gym, and, of course, a 60 feet pool, complemented by a hot tub. Just outside, residents can enjoy a gated garden in Girard Park as well as a public park area from which you can admire the 48-story-tall building’s distinct blue glass architecture.

The Murano, Logan Square

One of the most easily-identified buildings in Center City, The Murano Condominium building stands at 42 stories high and has condos to offer with up to three bedrooms. The swimming pool is located on the 6th floor and surrounded by both indoor and outdoor deck areas, making it ideal for relaxing. However, residents seem most impressed by the in-house gym, which is arguably one of the best in the city. Each unit offers a breathtaking view of the city, a unique floor plan, and a modern design.

Symphony House, Avenue of the Arts

Whether a buyer is looking for a one-bedroom condo or a huge penthouse, it’s an option at Symphony House. It’s been somewhat recently introduced to the Philadelphia skyline and makes a great addition for anyone who would enjoy living in the cultural hub of the city. Residents get to enjoy the on-site pool as well as other conveniences like a gym and a 24-hour concierge. Perhaps its most attractive feature, however, is the fact that many of the units are heavily customizable.

Academy House, Rittenhouse Square

Another Rittenhouse high-riser, Academy House condos are a smart buy. Conveniently, nearly all the unit’s utility costs are built-in to the condo fees. Many of the units are newly made over or in the process of being renovated, which adds to their value — though former residents will tell you that the resell record of these units is fantastic. With balconies, an on-site pool, an on-site gym, and rental parking, Academy House units are economical while meeting many buyers’ criteria.

If you’re perusing the retail market for a building with a pool, you won’t be hard-pressed to find one in Philadelphia. In fact, you’ll have to narrow down your search by deciding upon neighborhood, customizations, and other amenities.

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December 16, 2013

Center City Condos And Outside Noise

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:58 am


Some of the most sought after condo buildings here in Center City are on or very close to lively blocks that are full of activity, or they are on or near bus routes, and can have a close proximity to highways. This is very convenient but can be noisy!


Having constant noise outside your dining room or bedroom could be a big problem. So, I devised a kinda’ cool solution that works like a gem. And in the scheme of things, really doesn’t have to cost a lot.


Here’s the solution: Replace your windows (genius, eh?)!


Depending on where you live in downtown Philadelphia, you may have a fairly strong historic association who mandates the type of window replacement you must use.  However, this does not preclude you from installing another set of windows INSIDE the historical set.




You can add a double paned, inexpensive vinyl clad INSIDE the outer set of historically approved windows, giving you a total of 3 or 4 panes of glass between you and the noise.  This ingenious little set-up demonstrates how you can effectively keep all city noise out of your Philadelphia loft or condo.


You don’t need to live 30 feet from the highway or live in a super luxury condo building to benefit from this idea.  Such insulation also provides extra protection from cold, heat loss, and dirt that gets inside of other single paned windows!  To Keep the Value in, You Must keep the noise out!


If you’re thinking of buying or selling a Center City condominium and want some more tips, I can help.  Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at


Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services | Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106


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December 9, 2013

Philadelphia Condo Sales – Crappy Sales Pitches And Outright Lies

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:12 am

Snarky, yes- But I truly am not a bitter Philadelphia Real Estate agent. Most would agree that I am kinda’ happy go lucky. Except when another agent pees on my leg and tries to tell me it is raining outside. Then I get kinda’ angry. I am not a fan of someone lying, or trying to twist the truth to my clients. And I have listened to my share of crappy real estate sale pitches over the past 24.5 years, but here are some of the more memorable:

1) “The cabinetry is A Wenge Dutch Maple laminate with a caramelized soapstone countertop”
To Which I respond: PUKE. Could you be more pretentious? Nobody gives a crap for all your namedropping. The kitchen is small, not real attractive (some would say ugly)…no matter how much fabulousness you try to heap on it.

2) “We are 60% sold”
To which I respond …perhaps you have trouble telling the truth- I know you are lying, and you should know that I am going to tell my customers. I am not on “your” side. I work for my clients.

3) “The Developer said we will not negotiate on the prices”
Tell me if that is the case in 6 months when your bank is putting pressure on you to hold an auction. Actually, in some rare cases, this is true. More often than not, it is BS. I recently got this song and dance from a high rise in 19103. The one that isn’t selling.

4) “I have a buyer for your condo!!”
I hate it when Realtors send these fake postcards to potential sellers….trying to induce them to sell/list with whoever is sending the mailer. More often than not, this just a sales pitch.

5) “This Philadelphia condo includes parking”
No it doesn’t. You have induced your seller to buy one year of rental parking down the street, but you want to advertise that your condo has parking- hoping it will draw more attention. That is like lying to your therapist, or saying on eharmony that you are 29 when you are 48. Do you think the world is full of idiots?- I mean, what is the point of lying here?

Looking for the straight scoop? Let me be your agent and I will sing like a canary!

Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors

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December 2, 2013

Little Known Center City Condo Info:

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:20 am

did you know

1) The Touraine (1520 Spruce) and the Drake Tower (1512) Spruce were converted to condos in the late 1980’s but never pieced out as such

2) 1401 Walnut St. (what I call the Banana Republic bldg) was turned into condos a few years back by (I believe done by) K. Hovnanian, but never sold off that way either

3) The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. is the largest single condo building in the state of Pennsylvania

4) Low Rise Condos in town are generally self-managed when bldg is comprised of 5 units or less

5) About 99% of Center City Condos include water/sewer in the condo fees. 100% of them include master insurance policy.

Mark Wade

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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