Another Day in the Life of a Main Line Realtor® – Part 3
Welcome to another Day in the Life of a Main Line Realtor®. This is a fairly quiet time of year for Main Line real estate because of the winter weather. Once it starts to warm up, more houses will come on the market. Of course, some buyers are unable to wait, like my buyers whose lease runs out in June. Since it takes a minimum of 45 days from agreement to closing in most cases where there is a mortgage involved, they are anxious to find something soon. Not every landlord is willing to match the end of their lease with the closing date for the new house, so timing becomes an issue in these cases.
This Main Line Realtor® is amazed at how often we go into an open house or show up for an appointment where the listing agent asks my buyers why they are moving or when they need to move. As nicely as possible, I tell them nothing!! And I tell my buyers not to answer those types of questions either, because they reduce our leverage if we want to make an offer. Many Main Line agents share this kind of information under the guise of camaraderie, but doing so is not in the best interest of the clients, in my opinion.
In addition to the timing problem, these buyers have run into an issue with homes made of stucco. Since many Main Line homes were built before the moisture-related defects of newer stucco, Main Line Realtors® do not have to deal with this on a regular basis. But newer homes can present with the problem, so any Main Line buyers who are looking at newer construction may run up against it. Here at Sage, we think it is advisable to include a stucco inspection as part of the offer in many of those circumstances, which can add to the cost.
A Main Line home with a completely stucco exterior will usually be priced lower than the exact home with a stone or brick exterior, because stucco is less expensive. Not unlike homes on busy roads, which can be priced 10% lower in some circumstances. So many buyers seek out homes that seem better-priced to them. Part of my job is to explain if there is a reason for any seeming price differential and let my buyers decide if the additional cost for a feature is worth it to them.
Helping buyers decide what is the right price is not an easy job. Most sale prices of other similar homes are available in the public records. A good Main Line Realtor® will know how to get all the comparables, including homes that sold privately or those ready to close which have not yet transferred over in the public records. It is an awkward question to ask the private seller or the listing agent, who may not want to divulge the final price in case the transaction falls through at the last minute and the home has to be put back on the market. Having the accepted price known is not in the best interest of that seller. Sometimes the best I can do is get a “range,” but that still helps my buyers and is worth the effort.
Let’s hope these folks find something soon since their landlord has not been accommodating about giving them a short extension. I am confident they will, because I am seeing an increase in new listings this week here on the Main Line and that can only continue.
Tags: Main Line Realtor