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:
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!