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February 16, 2018

7 Things That Could P*ss You Off On Your Settlement Day

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 5:17 pm

1) The process of getting a mortgage will drive you up a wall. Someday there will be paperless closings, I am sure. Until then, you will have to sign your name 1,378 times. Just know that you are being tortured just as equally as everyone else.  (Check out our preferred lenders here – they will make this process as painless as possible for you – I promise!)

2) The seller may leave your new home in a condition you find unacceptable. Rarely will a seller have the home professionally cleaned after they move out. If they do, know that you should thank them…honestly.  You should also be grateful if they remember to bring ALL the keys, key fobs, garage door openers, door codes, and the mailbox key to closing…

3) You will find holes left in the walls where the seller’s artwork once hung. Yeah- artwork and framed photos don’t magically float.  It would be illogical to assume that some holes will NOT be left. Sorry.

4) You can’t move in prior to settlement, nor may you move any of your belongings into the condo prior to settlement. Most buyers get this, but some get p*ssed when they learn they may not do so.

5) You have to coordinate your move-in with the condo management company and there may be restricted time frames that the building allows move-ins – weekends and after 5pm is most likely a no-no.

6) While chatting with the seller at the table, you find out you can’t have a BBQ grill on your deck, or that the building has rules on visitation, like extra fees for parking, etc. because you didn’t read your condo docs and now you are shocked and p*ssed. Not uncommon.

7) No one told you that your closing funds have to be in a cashier’s / bank check or wired in prior to settlement. (Our preferred title people will not let this happen to you – again, I promise!)

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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February 25, 2013

Philly Condo Buyers- Who Are They?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:12 am

Of course I get tons and tons of folks emailing me looking to move into a condo in Center City…no surprise there. But you might be surprised by who is actually buying in town. Here are some common groups of buyers who I see buying condos in Center City.  Certainly others exist, but this is a generalization of what I see:

1) The Returnees – Grew up in Philly, moved elsewhere, and now returning. Being close to friends and family is often the draw.
2) The Empty Nesters- Shedding themselves of 75,000 pounds of unused house. They can often be very happy happy buyers who are starting a new chapter in their lives. I enjoy working with and watching them get excited for a move into town.
3) The Weekend Warriors- They have done the shore, now they spend their weekends in town. Much more common than you think.
4) The Kids Who Have Parents Who Have $$ – Very common. Very.
5) The Transferee- Maybe came to town via a promotion- and wants to be close to work. Moving to town wasn’t on the radar. Doesn’t matter- he or she is here now.
6) The Growing Families- It used to be that young adults would get married , and get a dog, two kids, a station wagon, and BOOM- off to suburbia they went. No longer the case. They now often represent our move up buyers in Center City.
7) The Investors- Who knew that the city is the place to be, and that their investment will provide a handsome return year after year after year. Unless say Univ. of Penn moves to say the moon…a condo may easily be a magnet for a tenant.

8) The First Timers- The good ole reliable first time buyer. The backbone of the Center City condo market- always has been, probably always will be.


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March 4, 2011

Making Your Offer as Attractive as Possible

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 4:50 pm


Here are some tips for making your offer on your potential new Philly  Condo as attractive to the seller it can be:

1) Get a pre-approval from the mortgage company that the LISTING agent uses most.
This will allow the listing agent, who will be presenting your offer to the seller, to be comfortable with your financing arrangements.

2) Narrow your contingency periods to ten (10) days. Not business days either. Make sure you can clear your schedule to do all your inspections on a timely basis. Nothing sours a seller like “15 business days” to do a home inspection.

3) If you are flexible in the dates you can settle, give the seller the option to pick the settlement date. You can write a contract that gives the seller the right to choose your settlement date within a specific period of time, like “ from 30 to 45 days from execution of the contract”..seller to decide.

4) If the seller is buying another home, and doing so locally, consider allowing his or her title company to do your title work. Title rates are standard, and you (generally speaking) will not incur more costs by having your title work done by a company you or your Realtor chooses.

5) Write a nice note to the seller, to be presented with your offer telling him or her why you love their Center City home, and why you want to buy it. If it evokes a special emotion out of you, let the seller know. Every seller wants their home to be “loved”….let them know you love their home!

These tips may give you an edge in a competitive offer situation, or may just save you a couple of dollars when it comes time to negotiate with the seller! Good Luck, and know that the dollar amount you are offering is NOT the only factor your seller may consider when looking at your offer!

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

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October 22, 2010

The Golden Rule in Philadelphia Condo Buying…you will be tortured by the one who has the gold!

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:49 am

In the current real estate climate, getting a buyer and seller to agree on a price is tough enough. But that isn’t the toughest part of real estate today. I find that the most difficult aspect of my job as a Center City Real Estate agent is getting the deal done in terms of jumping through the hoops set forth by the mortgage company.

First the appraisal, which is becoming difficult, as I see very few lenders willing to be anything close to generous with the numbers they conclude to be the value of any given condo. I am not going to argue who is right and who is wrong here- suffice to say that hitting the needed number to make the appraisal work is more difficult than in the “Good Ole’ days”…..
Next, the condo has to fit the mold that the mortgage companies seem to favor- and just to list a few of those attributes:

1) Does the condo have enough owner-occupants as opposed to tenants?
2) Does the original developer hold more than, say 10% of the unsold unit?
3) Is there a reserve fund set up to put some money aside within the budget of the condo assn?
4) Has the association been turned over to the owners, and for a minimum of two years?

These are just a few of the hoops that not only YOU, but the condo you are buying MUST jump through in order to be approved for a mortgage. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Looking for help in determining your best strategy for obtaining financing for a Philadelphia condo you may find in the Center City condo market? Lets chat about some of the pitfalls and hoops!

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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