How Selling a Condo Is Different Than Selling a Home

There is not a lot of time from the moment you list your condo to when your first prospective buyer contacts you. No matter what the housing market looks like, condos are usually the more affordable option and you will almost always find a buyer.

That’s in stark contrast to home sales that can take months just to prepare. Here are six other ways selling a condo is different than selling a home.

1. You Market the Building/Community as Well as Your Unit

When you sell a home, it’s not your job necessarily to sell the neighborhood or the community. But when it comes to selling a condo unit, the condo building and community features are all part of marketing your individual unit.

Think of the things that attracted you not just to your unit but to your condo building or community and use that to market your building to prospective buyers. Is your HOA great? Are there a lot of community events? Do your monthly condo fees pay for extras like cable?

2. Your HOA Can Hurt or Help Your Condo Sale

Speaking of your HOA, the fact is, some homeowners associations do more harm than good when it comes to selling your condo. Your unit may be great. Your asking price may be spot on. But if your condo association is disorganized, unresponsive, unprofessional or too strict, it could be a harder sell.

3. Timing When to Sell Is Different for Condos

You sell a home when the market is right. You sell a condo when the season is right. Many condo buyers are looking for a second home, vacation home or a winter home. Promoting your seaside condo at the start of beach season is one of the ways the timing is different for selling condos.

4. It’s Easier to Get the Asking Price Right

Homes differ widely based on style, age, quality, size and more – a lot of times within the same neighborhood. Finding components to strike the right asking price is something you really need an agent for when selling a home. When selling a condo, units barely differ at all and the price for one will likely be the same for another.

5. The Types of Buyers Are Different for Condo Sales

Condo buyers are different from typical homebuyers. Your prospects may all be investors looking to use your condo as a rental property. They may offer an all cash deal. They may want to speed up the close. Dealing with investors is different than dealing with homebuyers and closing the deal will take the help of a good agent.

6. It Takes a Little Extra Effort to Market Your Unit

Do you have an end unit? Is your unit on the other side of the community, away from a noisy highway? To market your individual unit to prospective buyers, it may take a little extra effort to convince buyers to choose your unit over another one when they are practically the same. Staging can help a lot in that regard.

Have a condo that you’re looking to sell? I can help. Contact me today to learn more.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

Benefits Of Listing Your Home In The Holiday Season

The common assumption is that the warmer months are the best times to sell a home. It’s true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases in the spring and summer seasons but that doesn’t mean all serious buyers vanish after Labor Day.

Thanks to reduced competition, motivated buyers and the cheery warmth of holiday homes, the housing market doesn’t come to a freeze during the holidays.

Since most sellers take their homes off the market throughout the holidays and new sellers are waiting to list their homes when it warms up, less inventory means more buyers are steered toward your home!

Keep their attention by making sure your home is priced to sell and be prepared to close quickly.

Who Buys Now?

Among the serious buyers who look for homes during the holiday are:

  • People relocating for jobs.
  • Investors on tax deadlines.
  • College students who want to settle in before the next semester.
  • Military personnel transferred who will report here in the new year.

Decorate Tastefully

Homes show drastically better when they are decorated. Tasteful decorations, a roaring fireplace, holiday treats and warm beverages will help house hunters envision their own families celebrating the holidays in your home.

When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to feel at home.

So, if you’re hesitant about listing your home in November or December or you’re waiting until spring to start your home search, you could be missing out on some great opportunities!

Contact me for more information about buying or selling this holiday season.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

Philadelphia’s Top Sales for Q3

It’s unanimous.  Carl Dranoff’s luxury condominium, One Riverside dominated Philadelphia’s high-end sales market last quarter.  Four of the 5 highest sales from July-September were 3 and 4 bedroom units sold at One Riverside with prices ranging from $3.6M and up.

One Riverside is located at 210 S 25th St in Fitler Square.  The building offers high-end amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness center with 60′ lap pool, a chauffeur-driven house car, underground valet parking and a full service kitchen in the outdoor lounge.  Residents also enjoy a 10-year tax abatement.

OneRiverside-22

There was only one sale that topped One Riverside last quarter — a 4,500 sq ft residence at The Estate Homes at Parc Rittenhouse.  The Estate Homes offer a rare opportunity for buyers to build custom homes at the Parc Rittenhouse condominium in Rittenhouse Square.  Some of the homes will overlook the park and range from 1,000 to 15,000 sq ft.  A limited number of these opportunities remain.

Parc-Rittenhouse-9

*statistics pulled from TrendMLS

If you would like information about buying or selling a home in Philadelphia, contact me for a complimentary consultation.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

Going Condo? How To Evaluate The Cost Of A Parking Space

When you buy a new condo, you may have an opportunity to purchase one or more parking spaces which can be an good investment. Not only do parking spaces appreciate just like real estate in dense urban areas, but having parking available can also make it easier to sell your condo.

These questions can help you evaluate the value of a parking spot:car-2194014_1920

  • How long will I own this home, and what would it cost to rent a space instead?
  • What are the condo fees for the space?
  • Can I self-park, or do I have to call for my car?
  • Is the space available to me 24/7?
  • Will my space be covered or uncovered?
  • What additional property taxes will I pay?
  • Are there business-district fees?
  • Can I sell the space separately from my condo, and does the buyer have to live in the building or in a particular neighborhood?
  • If I don’t need the spot, can I rent it? What are spaces renting for and how strong is demand for them?
  • Are there any public-transportation projects slated for the neighborhood that could reduce future demand for the parking space?
  • Who’s responsible for repaving and other maintenance?
  • How is the space secured: gate, manned booth, cameras?
  • Location always counts in real estate — is my spot close to the elevators and close to the entrance to the lot?

A local agent will be able to help you accurately answer these questions

If you have questions about buying or selling a home, contact me for a no-obligation consultation.  I’m glad to discuss your real estate needs.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

5 Kitchen Updates Under $1,000 To Impress Buyers

If you’ve ever put your house on the market, you probably remember how difficult it was to keep your home clean, fresh and in showing condition.  Buyers don’t like to see signs of everyday activity and the kitchen, especially when children and pets are involved, is often a primary example of this.

If your kitchen needs serious freshening up, but you didn’t plan for a major reno, consider some of these tips to update your kitchen and still impress buyers.

Remove Clutter

While you may need most of your utensils and cooking tools out for conveniency, this is actually counterproductive to wowing buyers. Decluttering your kitchen and minimizing decoration is a great way to prepare your kitchen for open houses.  This way, buyers can imagine their own items in your house.

Add a New Coat of Paint

Touching up the paint on the walls and cabinets can freshen up any space, but is particularly effective in the kitchen. While painting some wall-mounted cabinets can be a bit of a hassle, doing it yourself will save money.  Try sticking to neutral colors, selling isn’t the best time to experiment with a colorful room.

Replacing Hardware and Appliances

Probably the most expensive part of any kitchen reno is getting new hardware, but the impression it makes on buyers is worth it. Updated appliances is another way to attract buyer’s attention, and often the cost is worthwhile as well. You don’t have to go overboard with a new fridge, oven, dishwasher and microwave, as this could very quickly annihilate your budget.  If some of your appliances need updating more than others, replace them first.

Get a New Faucet

While the kitchen sink may fall under hardware, unless it’s really worn out or doesn’t go well with the room, there’s no need to replace it. However, getting just a new faucet (one that fits with your sink and the kitchen both physically and aesthetically) can be a cost-effective way to spruce up the kitchen. The sink is often the centerpiece of the kitchen, and having a stylish new faucet will catch the eye of potential buyers.

Add a New Lighting Fixture

Another way to liven up your kitchen in preparation for buyers is to add a new lighting fixture. Typically, the standard lighting fixtures in homes are rather boring and go out of date quickly. So find something affordable that is easy to install yourself. This will dramatically improve the look of the room without setting your budget back too much.

If you would like more information on selling your home, contact me for a complimentary, no obligation consultation.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

3 Ways to Protect Your New Investment Property

Purchasing a rental property can be a great way to diversify your investments while still building wealth. Most people who go this route choose to buy a rental home or a multifamily duplex, quadplex or apartment building, all of which have the potential to be extremely profitable down the road.

However, owning multiple properties and entering into a tenant—landlord agreement can open you up to all sorts of financial problems down the road. Because of this, it is important to take steps towards protecting both yourself and your new investment property. Keep reading for tips on how to keep yourself safe.

1. Double Check Your Liability Insurance Limits 

As your net worth increases so does your potential for liability. In addition to protecting your investment property, you will want to make sure that you protect your growing wealth.

While everyone hopes that they will not run into legal trouble, you will want to make sure all of your assets are protected in the unfortunate event that someone files a lawsuit against you. Make sure that you have an umbrella liability policy that is at least equal to your growing net worth (your net worth being the sum of all of your assets, both liquid and illiquid.) An umbrella liability policy is typically not very expensive, but it can save you from massive bills down the road, making it well worth the small initial investment.

2. Consider Forming an LLC or Corporation 

If you have a significant amount of money in an investment property or properties, consider forming an LLC or corporation that can take ownership of the property/properties for you. This can help to protect your personal assets in case an unhappy renter decides to enter into a lawsuit with you. They will be able to sue the LLC, but not you personally. This can be a good way to protect your investment properties as well as yourself from financial damages.

3. Hire a Property Manager

If you lead a busy lifestyle, you might not have time to actively manage your investment properties. If that is the case, it is usually a good idea to hire a property manager to oversee your rental properties. The property manager will charge a fee for their services, usually a percentage of the rent, but their services are worth it.

Your property manager can help with the day-to-day management of the property, including collecting rent, overseeing repairs and finding new tenants. Their active involvement can help to keep tenants happy, which will help you keep the property occupied and minimize the damages caused by disgruntled renters.

If you are considering purchasing an investment property, keep these 3 tips in mind before, during and after you make your purchase. They can help to protect both your property and your bank account.

Contact me if you would like more information about investing in Philadelphia.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

6 Tips For Downsizing Effectively

Your home is a reflection of what’s important to you. Ideally, it’s a place that energizes you and serves as a restful base. No matter what the size of your home, it should be functional and comfortable, so having what you need is essential. What you choose to keep is about living well and controlling how you spend your time and resources.

As you prepare for a move to smaller space, keep these 6 tips in mind:

1.  Give yourself time: Many experts recommend 3 months. Only you know your schedule and how much organizing you’ll need to do; just be sure to start well ahead of time, downsizing will likely take longer than you expect.

2.  Take inventory and assess your needs: Make sure there’s a purpose for everything you have. There’s a terrific book called Spark Joy by Marie Kondo.  In the book, Marie recommends you only keep items that bring you joy.  When deciding which items to bring to your smaller space, ask yourself does it serve a purpose? does it spark joy?

3. Cut back:  If it’s broken or stained, get rid of it.  If its been stored for years, get rid of it.  If you have two or more, get rid of it.  Get the picture? Don’t overthink and keep it simple.

TIP:  If you’re keeping something to give to someone “someday,” do it now! Your new best friends are:
Ebay
1-800-got-junk
Craigslist
Facebook.

4.  Look for storage options: Always look for quality over quantity. Furniture that does double duty as storage is excellent for smaller spaces. Consider ottomans that open for storage, and chests and tables with drawers or storage areas.  Don’t go out and buy a lot of plastic storage containers — they just create more clutter.

5.  Measure your furniture: Before the move, measure all of the furniture you plan to take, to insure that it will fit the new space. This will help you decide on whether to keep different pieces.

6.  Move large items first: As the move commences, start with the large pieces and get them situated in the space. This gives you an accurate idea of how much space you’ll have for smaller items, and may lead you to eliminate more stuff.

Try not to bring things along to “sort out later.” Later can be very elusive, as you know.

Whatever the circumstances may be that are leading you to downsize, it can be a very positive time. Reduce the stress you may feel by giving yourself time and listening to yourself. Be realistic about your needs, but don’t deprive yourself. Your home should be a comfort, so if you really need that painting that you did in 8th grade, by all means bring it.

If you are thinking about downsizing to a smaller home, contact me for a complimentary consultation.  I would be glad to discuss your real estate needs.

agent_photo_120_1476534012Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

5 Best Practices For Staging Your Home

Home staging is one of the most cost-effective tricks to selling your home faster and for more money. Many buyers find it hard to see the bigger picture when they are touring a home that is empty or branded by the owner’s personal style.  For this reason, staging has become so popular that it is almost a necessity if you wish to achieve the highest sale for your home.

Below are five best practices for home staging.  Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a smooth sale.

Remove Personal Items

There shouldn’t be any personal items when a buyer comes to view your home. Remove photographs, calendars, children’s artwork, and so on. It is hard for buyers to envision themselves living in the home when personal items are constantly reminding them the home belongs to someone else.  As a seller, you need buyers to to see themselves living in the property.  Make it simple – remove your personal items and give them a clean slate.

Clean Often

A part of home staging is ensuring that your home is pristine. Think about the model homes you have viewed and how clean they were – your home should look the same. Your potential buyers will look at every part of your home closely to make sure rooms such as the kitchen and bathrooms are gleaming. Clean your windows regularly and hire a cleaner to keep your home clean while your home is on the market.

Maximize Space

Space is a huge property seller. The more spacious and open your property feels, the more buyers are going to like it. Professional stagers suggest removing 50% of the furniture in each room along with de-cluttering.  Clutter just crowds the room and makes it appear smaller.  Remove rugs as well, they break up the floor area and make it look small.  Remember, less is more when it comes to staging.

Add Plenty of Light

Natural light is a key feature many buyers look for in a new home. No one wants to buy a home with dark, dingy rooms that make the house appear small and dull.  If you don’t get a lot of natural light flowing in, you’ll need to add lamps and light fixtures to brighten up your home.  Even if you are showing your home during the day, leave the lights on to heighten the brightness. Placing mirrors on walls opposite of windows will also help reflect light throughout the room.

Stage Minimally

You don’t need to stage every bedroom in your home. The key rooms to stage are the kitchen, bathrooms, living room and the master bedroom. Guest rooms don’t need to be staged, as buyers are specifically looking at the rooms that will get the most use.

If you would like advice on staging and selling your home, contact me for a complimentary consultation.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

3 Odors That Could Cost You The Sale Of Your Home

Can odors really turn away buyers? Yes – even serious buyers! If your home is on the market, it should smell brand new in order to appeal to all buyers. Put yourself in the position of the potential buyer: if you were viewing a home that you loved, but couldn’t get past the smell, wouldn’t that turn you away from making an offer? Make sure your home is free of these three smells that could turn away even serious buyers.

Pet Odors

You love and adore your pets, but potential buyers viewing the home may not love and adore the odor your pets have created. While you may have become immune to the smell of pet odor, people viewing your home will pick up on the scent and it may deter them from making an offer. To avoid losing offers on your home, make sure you have washed all fabrics in the home to eliminate the smell. Furthermore, vacuum, sweep and dust to eliminate any hair from pets.

Scrub your floor and the surfaces in your home to give your home a fresh scent. Once you have deep cleaned your home, it may be easier to have your pets stay with a friend or relative to make sure that your home is clean and ready for open houses.

Smoke Smells

This is one of the biggest turn offs for potential buyers. Smoke smells can heighten health issues like asthma for certain people, so any hint of smoke in your home may cause you to lose offers. To remove smoke smells, clean the house with a cleaner that contains bleach or a pine smell. Your carpet has probably absorbed a lot of the smell, so if vacuuming and steam cleaning doesn’t do the trick, it may need to be replaced. Another place that holds the smoky smell are the walls, which may need to be re-painted.

An easy trick to clear the air in your home is to open the windows and let your home air out. Depending on how long and how often smoking has occurred in your home, it may require a lot of work to get rid of the odor.

Food Odor

When trying to move or sell your home, food may be the last thing on your mind. Make sure that you don’t have food odors filling up your kitchen, because this is one of the top selling points in your home.

Clean out your refrigerator and keep only fresh food. Make sure to dispose of any rotten food or smelly food in the garbage outside of your home to eliminate the smell completely. Also, avoid making any greasy food in your kitchen before your home is going to be viewed.

Do you have any tips to share on keeping your home fresh?

agent_photo_120_1476534012Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com

4 Reasons Some Homes Just Sell Faster

Due to a variety of factors, some homes sell very quickly – in a matter of days – while others sit on the market for weeks or even months. The longer your home takes to sell, the less likely it is that the home will sell for your asking price. Plus, if your home does not sell quickly, you might be stuck with the stress of owning two homes or waiting to move until your home sells. Because of this, it is in the seller’s best interest to get the property listed and sold as quickly as possible.

What are some of the reasons a property might sit on the market? And what can you do to help ensure that your home sells quickly and for a good price? Keep reading to learn some tips for presenting your home in the best possible light.

1. High-Quality Listing Photos

Many people will view an online listing long before they come to see your home in person. In fact, most potential buyers will look at dozens of homes online before they even consider visiting one. Having well lit, high-quality photos of your home’s interior and exterior can greatly increase the chances that someone will schedule a showing for your property.

2. Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

First impressions are very important. A well-manicured lawn, a pressure washed sidewalk and newly painted shutters can help your home look its best. Making sure your home’s exterior looks as put together as possible will help to impress buyers from the moment they pull up to your home.

3. Make Sure Your Home Appears Move-In Ready

Many buyers are looking for something that is move-in ready. If your home has a long list of upgrades and home improvement projects, this decreases your chances for a quick sale. Some buyers love a fixer-upper, but if you’re looking for a quick sale, this is not your target demographic. While it is not advisable to tackle major remodeling projects prior to selling your home, a new coat of paint can go a long way towards improving the property’s appearance.

4. Stage Your Home Appropriately

Consider very carefully which pieces of furniture and other belongings you will leave and which items should be cleared out before you start showing your home. A properly staged home can help to present the property in the best light possible. Remove any excess clutter and try to arrange everything to make the space seem open and airy. Pay particular attention to your closets and cabinets – storage space is very important and a half filled pantry or linen closet will seem more spacious than a completely filled storage area.

For information on selling your home, contact me for a complimentary home evaluation.

agent_photo_120_1476534012Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved
www.HeidiLogan.com