R5Realty News and Notes

Market Snapshots and Commentary on Value and Quality of life along the former Main Line of the Pennsylvania Rail Road, up until recently called the R5 Line, and now officially known as the Paoli /Thorndale line. R5Realty runs from Center City Philadelphia through the walkable, Westward outlying Towns & Townships.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Home Sellers: Know and Beware Thy Buyers' Lender

Sellers: Request Your Buyers Borrow Locally to Discourage Bad News. 
Whether you are buying or selling a home on the Main Line or Philadelphia, realize that the type of Loan and Lender you choose Matters - a lot!  It's not just the buyer who chooses and is dependent upon the performance of the lender and the loan product. As a Seller, you need the buyer's lender to perform in a fashion as drama-free as possible. If you, the seller is buying a new house with funds from the sale of your house, you need to be certain that your buyers' lender is going to get the money to the settlement table on time.

Shocking but true. Some lenders really don't care a hoot about whether or not your most significant financial transaction of the decade happens. Sure the top brass and front-line sales folks might care, but they are frequently either removed or powerless when it comes to turning the gears of the loan machine.    A Buyer may have met a wonderful rep for a large, National lender, but when it comes time to assembling, acquiring and interpreting the necessary documents to process the loan on time, it's a disinterested desk clerk in some far-flung state who can derail, delay or destroy based on the pettiest criteria, lack of attention to detail or ignorance of local conditions.. Oftentimes, the far-flung back-room folks are more concerned about their Facebook status than in taking the time to understand the nuances of a nameless, faceless buyer time zones away. Shocking!

I recently had a low-level  administrator demand a personal letter from the  President of a multinational company confirming that the Buyer was indeed a Vice President in the corporation - even though employment documentation was boldly evident. Excuse me, Mr. Obama, could you please confirm Mr. Biden is VP or else we won't move his loan along.

A lending organization without a crisp and focused administrative group can fail to get money to the table on time, which can leave you, the Seller, up the creek without a paddle trying to settle on your next home. Even if the loan does come through on the day needed, both Buyer and Seller are cradling bleeding ulcers at the settlement table after a callous lender or its disengaged staff has made everyone miserable.

Advice to Sellers- when reviewing an offer or offers on your house, pay careful attention to the Buyers' source of funds. You can reject an offer or insist that a Buyer employ a lender, preferably a local one with ties to our community, that has a reputation for drama-free performance. These lenders do exist and are generally just as competitive as the lending companies with huge marketing budgets.In the agreement of sale Mortgage Contingency section, there is a blank slot where a seller can insist the buyer state and commit to a particular lender, and not opt for BllyBobsBahama Internet Bank

With lenders, whether you are a Seller or Buyer, bigger is not necessarily better and I recommend well-regarded local lenders every time. As a Buyer, you may save $4.38 per month on interest payments because you got a slightly better interest rate from BillyBob, but you'll risk giving it back in ulcer meds and treatments. Worse yet, a smart Seller will reject your offer in favour of a Buyer with a quality, recognized local lender. It happens all the time.

Disclaimer- These views expressed are those of R5Realty.com and are not in anyway endorsed or meant to represent the views of Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors or any of its affiliated companies, including Trident Home Mortgage.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Main Line Housing Prices Paid in Pre-Spring 2012

After 3 Years on Market, 1 Merion Rd. Sold for $333,333
 This bank-owned home on the Lower Merion side of City Avenue near Overbrook Station finally sold this past month for the unusual price of $333,333. This dynamic stone home, close to the Merion Botancial Gardens and with an epic view of Route 1 traffic was originally listed for $619,000 in 2009 before falling into foreclosure status. Previous owners paid $500,000 in 2003. Needed Work, but an interesting office/residential space..

Main Line Area Homes, Under $1Million, Sold Between February 15th to March 25th

Street AddressTownSold ForBedsBathsSq FtOrig List
138 Arnold RdArdmore$164,000 311,380$189,900
205 Edgemont AveArdmore$177,000 511,720$180,000
30 Chatham RdArdmore$307,500 31.11,348$324,900
2009 E CountyLineArdmore$345,000 321,408$349,999
200 ConshohockenBala Cynwyd$450,000 53.13,042$495,000
412 Kent RdBala Cynwyd$514,500 53.13,474$525,000
12 Beatrice DrBryn Mawr$240,000 31.11,522$300,000
16 Barleycone LnBryn Mawr$303,000 321,412$329,000
1022 Rees AveBryn Mawr$315,000 32.11,878$339,000
16 Beatrice DrBryn Mawr$322,000 31.21,472$339,900
181 Wentworth LnBryn Mawr$417,500 42.12,128$419,900
352 Wyldhaven RdBryn Mawr$595,000 42.13,390$595,000
510 Lynmere RdBryn Mawr$882,800 43.12,746$850,000
925 Lafayette RdBryn Mawr$950,000 44.15,063$989,000
501 Great Springs RdBryn Mawr$977,500 54.14,420$995,000
1167 Maplecrest CirGladwyne$442,500 31.11,908$449,000
1724 Martins LnGladwyne$750,000 53.13,230$799,000
30 Tenmore RdHaverford$262,500 521,900$275,000
1 Merion RdMerion $333,333 33.33,662$324,900
359 Valley RdMerion $518,000 53.13,400$569,000
22 Merion RdMerion $575,000 54.23,912$690,000
319 N Bowman AveMerion $624,000 53.13,048$649,900
227 Winding WayMerion $690,000 42.12,826$749,000
222 Sabine AveNarberth$305,000 31.11,848$299,000
1269 Bobarn DrPenn Valley$749,500 434,464$749,500
418 Hidden River RdPenn Valley$762,500 44.14,058$849,000
8 Northwoods RdRadnor$815,000 52.14,466$849,000
447 Barclay RdRosemont$575,000 53.12,931$589,000
2034 Ivywood LnVillanova$539,000 43.12,200$585,500
472 S Ithan AveVillanova$775,000 53.13,537$820,000
219 Lenoir AveWayne$224,000 311,533$226,499
341 S Devon AveWayne$235,000 431,430$249,900
387 Grange RdWayne$410,000 321,835$424,900
431 West AveWayne$500,000 332,360$515,000
201 Trent RdWynnewood$199,000 221,152$238,000
1026 Carroll RdWynnewood$216,500 32.11,932$225,000
260 Henley RdWynnewood$260,000 31.11,056$274,500
35 Overbrook PkwyWynnewood$389,000 42.12,210$389,000
517 Twin Oaks DrWynnewood$389,691 32.11,799$399,900
411 Shortridge DrWynnewood$420,000 321,760$449,998
1 Greenhill LnWynnewood$464,700 53.23,047$499,000
235 Brydon RdWynnewood$500,000 332,646$499,000
509 Williams RdWynnewood$535,000 43.12,688$539,000
118 Cherry LnWynnewood$675,000 44.13,760$775,000
504 Foxglove LnWynnewood$790,000 54.13,978$849,900
2805 Oakford RdArdmore$140,000 311,240$160,000
100 Cedarbrook RdArdmore$460,000 42.12,093$510,000
2801 Belmont AveArdmore$200,000 311,280$209,900

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sellers: Relish Youth, and Seize the Day, Says Ardmore Property Parabola

Ardmore Condo: First Offer was $32,000 above final price.
This very nice 3-bed, 2-bath condo in the Walnut Hill development in Ardmore near Wynnewood Rd & Haverford Ave. sold early March 2012  for $318,000. This well-coiffured end-unit was listed 12 months earlier for $375,000 and attracted a $350,000 offer from my ready and willing buyer-clients within two weeks of hitting the market.
Excited by the early flurry of interest in their unit, the ailing and elderly Sellers were unwilling to accept the 350k and wound up staying put much longer than they intended. Sadly, their patience was rewarded with $32,000 less cash than they could have had if they had taken the first offer.
Lots of lessons to be learned here.
Lesson #1 You only get one chance to be the New Kid on the Block and the Darling of the Market. Price your home sharply from the get-go and don't become inebriated by the predictable flurry of agent and consumer interest that comes with being the new kid. Remember when you were 21 and thought you'd always be able to stay up all night, run 5 miles and eat without instant weight gain? As we all know, Aging Happens and it happens faster to New Real Estate Listings. Once your debut weeks expire, agents and sellers start to wonder what's wrong with you and how desperate you are to sell....
Lesson #2 : Sellers shall not squandereth their Youthful Days on Market.  Price your home to sell and realize that as each week goes by, newer and more aggressively priced (to beat your price) houses and units are going to steal the limelight. Relish your debut and new time in the spotlight by pricing well from the get-go and by accepting each and every showing opportunity you get the first few weeks. If you get a decent offer, think long and hard before letting it get away. It might be a year until you get another. And even then, it will likely be for considerably less.
Lesson #3  Buyers shall not be Intimidated by List Price.  Within 90 days after rejecting the $350,000 offer, the Sellers' asking price was reduced to exactly that number - $350,000. And that's where the asking price stayed for almost 6 months, until the eventual $318,000 Buyers decided to tender a bid. Most properties sell closer to 5% of asking price but this one sold for a nearly 10% discount. The dollar differential is substantial and will pay for years and years of condo fees. If you don't ask you won't receive so don't hesitate to reach for something that might seem - at first glance - to be out of reach.