A Day in the Life of a Main Line Realtor® – Part 8
This Main Line Realtor® is feeling very lucky to have such good clients lately. People who have been through the home buying or selling process more than once bring a few pre-conceived notions to the table, usually based on bad experiences, unfortunately. But they offer this Main Line Realtor® a chance to educate, outperform and over deliver, which is very satisfying. Working with first-time home buyers is rewarding, but working with experienced home buyers is actually often really fun!
My buyer with her pre-teen daughter had only a limited period in which to find a home and was initially sure that would be too tight. Her lease was being terminated because the owners were returning to the States and they did not give her much notice. So we sat down and made up a list of her “must-haves” and went to work. Inventory is a little tight and she further limited her geographic area to one particular school catchment. In cases like this one, the Main Line real estate options can be slim, but having a detailed search set up that sends notices the moment a house gets listed really helps. She knew that she had to drop everything and go see any house that looked good as soon as it came on. And whenever possible, we had the daughter come along as well. Kids often have strong opinions about houses and make astute comments about their suitability that parents might miss. I remember one young man telling his mother that the house needed a basement or other “kid-zone” for when he got old enough to want to have his friends over in a more private setting!
I had sent my buyer everything that had come on in her area with a garage, a specific request that she said was imperative. I should have learned by now that most buyers deviate from what they originally say they want and it is my job to walk that thin line between listening carefully to what they say they want and then showing them good houses that might lack one or more of those attributes without making them feel like I was not paying attention. In this case, a house came on without a garage, which I did not send to her right away. She was using the search portal I had set up for her, though, and had NOT limited her search the way I had, so she saw this house and fell in love before even going to see it! Thankfully, we got there in time, the daughter loved it too, and she was able to get her offer in the first day along with one other offer.
So there we were in another of these multiple offer situations, very common for the good houses on the Main Line this season. Walking another fine line, we researched the comparable sales and decided to offer slightly over the asking price, which it turned out, was the exact right thing to do because she did get the house. This is tough for buyers, as they want a good house but they don’t want to overpay. It takes careful, thoughtful negotiation and drafting of the offer contract. A contract without an appraisal contingency sits well with a seller. And a mortgage contingency under most circumstances offers protection against overpaying because the lender will refuse to lend more than their appraiser sets as the value. So we went with that.
The tightrope act for Main Line Realtors® and buyers in these situations is to give the seller as much in the contract as possible (their closing date preference, quick turn around on inspections, evidence of financial strength and use of a reasonable, good quality lender, etc.). All this without overpaying!! But with an experienced client, savvy in the ways of negotiation and risk, this transaction was truly a pleasure.
So this Main Line Realtor® is feeling grateful for good results for clients that really deserve a wonderful house in the right school area on a lot that will someday, no doubt, include a garage!!