The home is under contract and scheduled to close at the end of December.
Because we had some relatives in town the home was listed as "Active No Showings" for some time. We then withdrew it from the market. We put it back on the market a few months later at 2,795,000. We did one price reduction to 2,699,000 after being on the market for one month. We accepted an offer of 2,500,000 with only 50% financing and only a home inspection contingency. The inspection went fine and we are now scheduled to close in December.
Mom is very excited to no longer have to preoccupy herself with the maintenance of this home although it is bittersweet since it was such an elegant property and the home we grew up in.
My apologies. I could not remeber my password to get onto here so I had to create a new account. We decided to have some work performed on the property: a new slate roof was installed, the heater and AC were fixed, and we did some light cosmetic work (painted, removed wallpaper, exposed some of the hardwoods which were beneath the carpets.) We did put the home on the market 2.795 last summer. We received an offer of 2.55 which contained significant contingencies. We took the offer and left the home active; the buyer walked about 6 days later. We had some relatives from another country come in for about three weeks so mom instructed us to put the home at the active no showings category while they were in town. Needless to say, I think having the home off the market for that time really hurt us. We eventually withdrew it from the market last July (it was only on for about 60 days).
It sounds like there are several scenarios that could work for you and that's a good position to be in with today's market. The beautiful thing is that you do not pay a dime until settlement. The current Real Estate Market is definitely suffering, but - our Mainline real estate market is holding up incredibly well compared to the nation. Contact an expert - with the TOP company. You are smart to do your research. I would love the opportunity for an interview. Best to you.
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
Devon Home Marketing
431 W. Lancaster Avenue
Devon, PA 19333
I would be happy to guide you through this process. I am Long & Foster's #1 agent for the Main Line and Philadelphia the past 2 years. I am also a real estate and contract attorney with over 10 years of legal experience. I am entirely unique in the market and I specialize in Million-plus sales.
My partner, Natalie Paone, and I would love to help guide you, without any obligation. We can answer all of your questions and you do not have to commit to us to learn all there is to know about what to do and when. We offer the best marketing that the region has ever seen on the internet and in print. Please visit http://www.GeorgeRaleigh.com and http://www.NataliePaone.com to learn more about my abilities as well as Natalie's abilities. It would definitely benefit you to speak with us. We can make your decision making process a lot sharper. We pride ourselves on being well above our competitors in every respect, particularly service.
Please feel free to call me at any time on my cell: 610-304-7207
Thank you, George
George Raleigh, Esquire
These homes knock my socks off! My oldest son graduated from the Haverford School on Lancaster Ave and some of the alumni and parent gatherings where held at homes similar to what you just described. I get chills just thinking about what your momâ€™s home must look like. The prayer doors, the ornate woodwork, the flow of the rooms. Just wonderful. These homes are truly treasures.
To answer your questions:
1-If you are not in a major rush to sell now, I would suggest that you take the time and do as many repairs as possible and then put the home on the market in the spring. Bring out the best of this remarkable property! Buyers are very picky these days. On Dec 23rd, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Alan Heavens ran a very good article (not just because I was quoted in it), but because he raises some very good points about adding value to your home at resale time (I have provided the link for reference, below). There are many good opinions in the article by my worthy constituents; I provide my humble opinion as quoted in the article:
"I think the biggest thing I'm seeing with buyers in this market is the less 'pain' they have to deal with when purchasing a home, the better," "Chance favors the ready-to-move-in home.
"I honestly believe many sellers would help their situation if they work on the basic stuff: removing any and all wallpaper, painting the home in neutral tones, refinishing existing hardwood flooring, replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with neutral carpet, and moderate landscaping," he said.
"If a buyer walks into a home in this market and feels they have to do a major overhaul to the kitchen and/or bathrooms, they usually utter one word," "Next!"
2-As far as choosing the right Main Line agent based on the concerns that you state, itâ€™s a matter of personal preference, who you will feel comfortable with to do the job that you need done. I suggest that you interview at least 4 agents (my best listings where Sellers that interviewed me along with several other agents - we hit it off and this is key - where both on the same page as what needed to be done to get the home sold at the right price and terms for the Seller).
3-Your motherâ€™s concern about publicizing the home on the market can be handled a few ways. One approach is to simply not put any yard signs on the property. You would still have the home listed on the MLS and all the other syndications - so I don't know if that would work,. Obviouusly you need to advertise the home to bring in a pool of ready, willing and able Buyers in your price range. The other way, in addition to not having a sign on the lawn is to do what is known as a â€œquiet listingâ€. There are different approaches to this and your agent may offer his/her advice as to the best approach.
4-Your motherâ€™s concern about having people in the home while sheâ€™s not there is a normal one. Only licensed agents are permitted to show properties in Pennsylvania In other words, any potential Buyers must be accompanied by a licensed PA agent, which should be scheduled in advance with you and your motherâ€™s permission. Also, you may ask the your agent accompany all showings (the Sellerâ€™s agent normally doesnâ€™t accompany the Buyerâ€™s agent and the Buyers on showing unless the Seller requests this). Again, this is a discussion you should have with your agent for the best approach.
I wish you and your mother all the best for the New Year and good luck in the sale of this wonderful property!
Selling a home can be difficult, especially as the market shifts from a seller's market more towards a buyers market. That is why it is essential to have a professional, dedicated realtor working for you. As many people have said so far, it is a great idea to interview at least three different realtors. Make sure that selling is a full time situation for them. I would say in this area, well over 50% of realtors are parttime agents. Once you feel confident in the agent you decide on, have them guide you in the cost vs. return value of the repairs / work you are thinking about. One of the easiest and least costly improvement a seller can do is minimize what is in the house and simply to make sure the home shows sparkling clean.
To answer your concern on security...it is completely reasonable to request that the selling agent accompany all buyers agents on showings and previewing. That way they are there to open and close the house and also point out any unique characteristics of the home. They should also know to then allow the buyers agent to show the house but to be there to answer any questions and lock up, reset the alarm, etc. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard from agents that have set off alarms, had police arrive, etc. on homes they are not familiar with and therefore had a mishap. The listing agent sould be completely familiar with the procedures of opening and closing up the house. Also, there is no need for a sign to be posted on the property. If the property is professionally marketed, a sign is not necessary.
Another thing I left out, see if the brokerage offers some kind of "fine homes" package. Extraordinary homes deserve extraordinary marketing! Good luck...it is a fun journey.
I would second a lot of the replies that you've received so far. Interview several agents, tell them the concerns that you and your mother have, then let them give you their expert opinions on your best course of action. This business is all about trust and integrity - find someone you are comfortable with, that has Main Line experience, is a full time agent, and as Nancy said, will go the extra mile to satisfy you and sell the property.
Certainly waiting until Spring is the best option given the overhang of properties currently on the market (In Haverford and Lower Merion there are 39 properties on the market in the 2-3M range selling an average of 3/mo over the last year). In order to beat the average your property must offer an outstanding price/value solution.
I see that you'll be in town this weekend. My business partner and I would be amenable to meeting with you at the property to discuss the options. Please feel free to get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through one of the numbers below.
Pete Simonetti MBA, ABR & Rosie Foster, ABR
111 N. Wayne Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
I'm glad you posted some more of your concerns. Let me try to address some of them for you. It is absolutely not an issue to sign the listing paperwork, the Agreement of Sale, etc. even if you and your mom are out of state. If the house is owned by your mom, only she will need to sign the paperwork. However, as a concerned son, I'm sure you would want to review everything. That's where your realtor comes in. Allow her to do the paperwork, then FedEx, fax or email copies to you. You can review it over the phone. Once you're satisfied, your realtor can FedEx the copies to your mom for her signature. Most of the forms are standard Pennsylvania Association of Realtor forms and your realtor will be able to explain all of the terms and conditions to your satisfaction and complete understanding. As far as showings, if I was fortunate to be your realtor, I would be present at every single showing - again, for security reasons but also for sales reasons to highlight to the potential buyer all the wonderful features of your mom's home. Regarding the MLS, it is the seller's choice whether to have your home in the MLS or not. You don't need to have it there. Your realtor will need to somehow let people know the house is for sale. I have several marketing plans for homes that are in the MLS and homes that are not in the MLS. With your mom's concerns, I would suggest that you try it for awhile not in the MLS and see what response you get. If the response is not what you had hoped, then you can consider putting it in the MLS (or continuing as you've been doing). With the repairs you've described, it will be helpful if you have a realtor who can get you quotes for having the work done and who agrees to oversee the work. With you and your mom out of state, you'll need to select a realtor who is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior service to both of you.
If you have more questions of would like to discuss this directly with me, please feel free to call or email me. My cell phone is 484.645.2887 and my email is HomesFromNancy@aol.com. My office is on the Main Line and I would be delighted to help you any way I can! Thanks, Tom!
Thank you for your very informative post. It's great to have some background. Studies by NAR have shown that most buyers prefer a home that is well-maintained.
Homes in your price point have special characteristics, one of the most significant is the expectations of buyers. Buyers expect a home like you mother's to be in tip top shape. In addition to the deferred maintenance, it sounds as though updating would be in order.
You have three options:
Sell as it as is. Price it below market, and try to find a couple of ambitious buyers who might compete to bid up the price.
Fix it up a little. Paint, cleaning, and necessary repairs. I would still price it aggressively, but more than the first option.
Fix it up. This option will require the most time, effort, and money. The issues that will probably be the most challenging is where to stop.
Let's take the kitchen If someone is purchasing a home like your mother's, they would probably either prefer to have the kitchen perfect (meaning contemporary design, newer appliances) or if as you described, they would prefer to rip it out and re-do it to their taste.
One suggestion is to compile an estimate of the cost to refurbish/remodel, then offer the buyer an allowance with the sale.
IMHO consulting with a local Realtor would really be the best way to determine your course of action.
Currently, there is a 2 year supply of homes on the market in the 2 million dollar and up price range in your momâ€™s area. In order to best answer your question I would have to see the home. In order for your mom to get top dollar for the property it would need to be perfect. There may be too much work that needs to be done and your best bet would be market the property now at a price reflecting the work that needs to be done. Please feel free to call and we can set up a time to look at the property.
Gregory S. Parker, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Realty Professionals
2924 Swede Road
East Norriton, PA 19401
Office 610-277-5000 Ext. 249