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. That happened recently. As nicely as possible, I tried to tell them nothing!! And I had advised 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. You have to walk a fine line, for sure. Best not to let on about a timing issue that my buyers have to manage, though, since their landlord has not been accommodating about giving them a short extension on their lease.
In addition to timing problems, some of my 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 on every sale. But newer homes can present with the problem, so any Main Line buyers who are looking at post 1970 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.
With the low interest rates, the market seems to be on the upswing and I expect an increase in new listings this week here on the Main Line after the holiday. Good news for my buyers who have to find something soon!
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