This week we had a workshop at our office about not losing listings. As we all know inventory is low and when you lose a listing you lose income. With low inventory and strong demand many sellers see us as a commodity. I have found they have been asking for very low selling commissions that frankly won't pay the bills. We had one buyer at an open house ask one of our team members to give up 50% of her commission as an agent credit so they could buy the house! We all know our worth, but how comfortable are we with explaining our worth, our unique selling proposition to a potential client so they do not ask for a commission reduction. Do we even know what our unique selling proposition is or do we sound like everyone else out there.What makes us stand out and can we sum it up quickly and easily without looking like a deer in the headlights.I was working on my listing presentation, and realized I needed to change a lot in there to modernize it and make it more about how I help the client, rather than just my history and background. How do those things benefit the customer.Think about what your clients say when they leave a testimonial as a starting point to discover what the client might consider important.Then you need to practice saying these points so you are comfortable and it is just muscle memory, rather than having to think hard every time a potential client asks why should I use you?Now, I am off to practice with some friends from the office. Have a good day. I will post another post later once I have finished working on my points and am comfortable with them.
1. What was your first job and what did you learn from it?I joined the British Army as an officer and went to Sandhurst, unfortunately I had injured my back and was medically discharged. I then went into Aviation Insurance at Lloyds of London with Norwich Union and discovered a life at a desk was not for me.2. How long have you been in the real estate or related service industry? Since 2004, 18 years.3. What is your biggest fear and what have you done to try to conquer it?Heights, try to avoid them wherever possible and if I cannot, don't look down. 4. What would you do if you knew you would not fail?Selling antiques again, loved the life. 5. What is a habit you would love to eliminate or change?Biting my nails when nervous.6. What is your favorite meal (forget about calories or what you shouldn’t eat)Anything, I love all food, this is such a hard question...I mean there is Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding with my Mum's roast potatoes, but I also love a good curry, or a Chinese dish, oh and don't forget a really good cheese and chacuterie board; see it is so hard...there is so much good food! 7. What is something you wish you’d done?Travel more, I know, you will all say I travel plenty, but I went through a time when I did not travel and I missed it, there is so much to see, and so many foods to try.... 8. Who has been most influential in your life? My Dad, he was larger than life and taught me so much about how to be myself and to respect all people regardless of what they do.9. What are your favorite business-related books?Think like a Monk! 7 Habits of highly effective people, The millionaire next door, Millionaire mindset.10. Other than business books what are your favorite things to read?Historical fiction, adventure stories, mysteries, travel stories, legal thrillers.11. What are your top 5 favorite movies?Zulu!, All the Bond Movies, especially Daniel Craig, The Transporter, Saving Private Ryan, Avatar, 12. If I came to visit your city for one day what is the one thing I must do or see? Visit Valley Forge National Park to sense the history of this great nation and the men and women who helped make it.13. If I came to your city to visit for one day what is the one restaurant you would recommend?Too hard there are too many great restaurants, but definitely visit The Reading Terminal Market14. If I was going to relocate to your area what advice would you give me that is unique to the area?We are located where you are not far from shore or mountains, so decide if either is more important to you and locate in relation to that.15. Do you have any special talents? I am really good with spices, and love cooking.16 Do you have any quirks?I am sure I do, I can be very patient until the straw breaks the camel's back and then you may wonder what happened!17. What is your best character trait? I like meeting people, I am a good listener and I like to please people.18. Have you ever done anything you would never do again because it was too hard or too dangerous? Anything with heights.... 19. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?Walk and read, but not at the same time, followed by drinking a glass of wine, that can be at the same time as the reading. 20. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you want to live?Hard to choose, as there are so many wonderful places still to discover, but so far Portugal or France. 21. What is something that we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I have been on the American Antiques Roadshow as an appraiser at the start of the program and tried out to be the presenter, but kept flubbing my lines due to nerves. If only.....
We have all encountered a home with failed seals in the windows. How bad the window looks varies, but if we are about to list it, we know it will be better if those seals were not failed and the window foggy. Even in this market, the buyer is likely to comment or request the window be replaced. However, in our market there is another option.I recently got an email, well several emails from Derek Posch of DPGWindows explaining that his company repairs windows that might be an issue in a home inspection. Note, the difference here, the window can be repaired, at a fraction of the cost of a replacement. Well, my fiancée actually has several windows that have failed seals, and as we will be selling the home shortly, we thought we would see how well Derek's promise would hold up. See for yourself in the video below. There are before and after photos in the video as well as an explanation from Derek of what he does.If you are interested in listing your home, we have many contractors we recommend for those pesky little jobs which often turn up on a home inspection. Contact Nick Vandekar, Selling The Main Line with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, or email Nick@VandekarTeam.com today.
People think in different ways. Some think small and some think big!Some people come from a mindset of scarcity and therefore think small, unwilling to take any risks and hence unable to receive any reward.Then there are those who know there is no scarcity, are always willing to share, and give. They think big, they take chances, and they often get a big payout, what the small thinkers then label as lucky.Last week I had a phone call from a small thinker. I had been discussing with them about listing their mother's home. The son gave many reasons why they couldn't list yet. He was going through photos and it was very emotional and taking time. Initially they had said the home would be cleared and ready to list by the previous weekend. In a conversation that week, the son mentioned how he had placed a sign in the window with his phone number in case he could sell it before they listed. A true sign of thinking small. The only people he was going to reach were those walking by the apartment. Well, they, he decided they were ready to list the home in as is condition, although the home was still not cleared he wanted it sold. I sent over the listing agreement via Docusign. Not receiving it back I follow up and could I please let them know what other costs there would be, although we had gone over this already. Monday, he calls he has sold the apartment. He is very proud of himself. This in a market where we have only two weeks inventory and homes are still getting multiple offers, usually over asking, with all sorts of tweaks, like the buyer paying the seller's transfer taxes. It turns out a tenant who lived above, had called his landlord, another Realtor, who called him. He told the Realtor he was going to list the home for the amount we had discussed, and she said she would buy it with no inspections for cash. When I explained to him that he had not exposed it to the market through the MLS, or given me the chance to represent him and negotiate on his behalf his thinking was small. His only focus was that he was saving the selling commission. He disregarded the fact that he might have received substantially more, or that I could have negotiated with this agent and gotten him better terms and hence a better deal.Later last week I went on another listing appointment, a lovely older couple, who explained they were interviewing several agents, and spent an hour and a half with us as we asked them questions and answered theirs. The house is covered with stucco, they were somewhat aware of the problem with stucco in our area, but those had arisen long after they had the house built and they had never had any issues. I explained that Pennsylvania is the epicenter of problems with stucco, and whilst they may not have had any visible issues, there might still be something going on and it was probably worth having a stucco inspection prior to listing to reassure any buyers that there were hopefully no issues that needed dealing with. They were pragmatic and thought this made sense, a sign of thinking big. There is risk involved, but it is worth taking to remove an issue that might arise and be costly.What examples of thinking big and thinking small have you encountered?I think big, and when we list a home we like to do whatever we can to get the maximum exposure for our clients so they receive the best terms when selling their home. If you are interested in listing your Main Line area home in Chester, Delaware or Montgomery Counties contact Nick Vandekar, Selling the Main Line with Long and Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, email Nick@VandekarTeam.com, or through our website www.SellingTheMainLine.com. Let us show you how Thinking Big can get you the best terms and the best price!
Buying a home is an exciting time, however, there are many different costs associated with that home purchase. One of these is Title Insurance, and for some strange reason it appears on the ALTA as an option, when in fact it is very important that you carry this insurance.1) There are two types of Title Insurance, a lender policy, that the buyer usually pays for and covers the mortgage company's financial interests, and an owner policy. This owner policy is the one that appears as an optional cost on the ALTA.Firstly, if the lender is obtaining a policy, don't you think that is an indication that you might also want to obtain a similar policy to cover you and your heirs' property rights as well.Whilst a lender policy has to be renewed if you refinance, an owner policy covers and protects you as long as you or your heirs own the house. Title Insurance is a one time fee paid at settlement. You insure other valuable and important things like your car, your life, health, pets so why not cover probably the largest investment you will ever make, your home. 2) When you buy a home there are many hidden issues that may arise only after the purchase. For example, there may be an heir to a previous owner who disputes your ownership. Possibly there is a problem with the boundaries as you thought they existed. Title Insurance protects you from unforeseen title discrepancies. An unpaid mortgage, or a lien placed against the property because a previous owner did not pay their taxes. 3) The cost of the owner's policy for Title Insurance is minimal for the peace of mind it gives, as mentioned above about 0.5% of the home's purchase price. In Pennsylvania Title insurance Rates are set by the State.4) The coverage does not end with your life. As long as you or your heirs own the home, the Owner's Title Insurance policy protects your property rights.5) Maybe you believe that home owners insurance and warranties will cover you, but these only protect the structure and belongings of the home. Only Title Insurance covers your property rights and protects them, nothing else compares.6) The majority of home owners purchase Owner's Title Insurance, about 80% in America. Why take the unnecessary risk?7) Finally, Owner's Title Insurance provides peace of mind, letting you relax knowing you are protected from possible debts or legal problems of previous owners once you have closed on the home.I have seen multiple issues arise when buyers are purchasing homes, or sellers have been selling and these are most often sorted out by the title insurance company. Sometimes it has been old mortgages that were not removed from the chain of title and the banks have been purchased and merged multiple times. Once it was a piece of property with multiple lots, and sales had been carried out without all the lots being included. This too got sorted out using the title insurance.If you want peace of mind buying or selling your home on or around the Main Line, contact Nick Vandekar, giving you the confidence to make the right decisions throughout the transaction, Selling The Main Line with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, email Nick@VandekarTeam.com, or www.SellingTheMainLine.com.
I was listening to a podcast today and the person being interviewed mentioned how an event they experienced was the darkest phase of their life. Firstly I liked the expression, it resonated with me for several reasons. Firstly, when these things happen we can get so focused on the event that we think this will never end. We get depressed. We can see no way out. But, that expression implied it was a passing event, it is/was a phase.That got me thinking about my own life. There have been several events, setbacks that could be dark phases of life. As I look back, it confirmed that although as I was experiencing them I felt they were never going to end, they all did. Things changed, life moved on. It may not be perfect, but this too passed.I want to encourage any one who is experiencing one of those phases right now, whatever it is, a death in the family, losing a business, a divorce, whatever it is, this too will pass. Life carried on and things do change. As much as the stress of the event causes us to lose focus, try to stay calm. This does not mean to ignore the pain, the grief, the loss. But it is to accept that you will survive this. Your direction may be different afterwards, you may end up on a different path, going in a different direction, but that is OK for now.When I came to America, I was young and probably a little egotistical, thin king that everything worked out for me always. I had not learnt my lessons. I had entered Sandhurst where the army in the UK trained young me as officers. Unfortunately I had injured my back and could not complete the training. I drifted, not able to transfer to my second choice due to timing. I ended up in my father's business, which was not the end of the world, but not where I wanted to be, I thought.Then my Dad died, but I had little time to grieve as I had to run the business suddenly. I had no confidence initially in my ability to purchase antiques, what did I know at that time. However, I learnt quickly and suddenly realized I was good at this. My brother and I split the business as we could not work together. Due to circumstances I looked to move to America.On arriving here, buying a house and setting up a new company, I discovered my bank in the UK was not willing to continue financing my loans. Suddenly, I was here, with no financing, three young boys and a wife in a new country, with an investor visa which did not allow me to work for anyone.I did not know where to turn, I was totally lost, I WAS DEPRESSED and did not realize it. I only saw darkness, no light, if I was in a tunnel, it was very dark and twisty, there was no end in sight. It took a long time, but this too passed. As I look back now, I realize, I kept moving forward. I read, continuously about how to save money, I could actually have written some of those books, we found no new ideas. We survived due to friend's generosity and stubbornness. I cleaned toilets, sold bagels, whatever I needed to do to provide for my family. We sold our house due to a foreclosure notice.Eventually we got a green card through the green card lottery, to make this shorter that allowed us to begin rebuilding. My first wife went into real estate. I worked for a magazine in the antiques world, then got asked to move to Florida and help set up an antiques show. For various reasons this did not work out and I ended up coming back to also go into real estate. I found my feet, and that I enjoyed helping others. I enjoyed being involved in the association and seeing how things worked elsewhere.I used what I had learnt setting up the antiques show, to help two local charities raise funds by managing their antique show events. It allowed me to still be involved in the antiques world. So looking back I realized I had several dark phases, but I learnt to move forward, to keep going, and things changed. I have learnt not to label things good or bad, but to accept them and move forward. I have learnt to be more present, and mindful. All things pass, so enjoy where you are, there is always something to be grateful for, even during the darkest phases of life, even if it is just that the sun came up, or you woke up today. So, as I said, whatever your phase, stay calm, and keep moving forward.
I received a late night text one day last week. Glancing at the number I realized it was my manager. "Could I talk?" I was getting ready to go to bed, but I replied yes.She had been asked to refer some agents to another agent in our company who was out of state and had a referral they wanted to place. She had spoken with the agent and thought I was a good referral for the situation and was going to give my details to the agent and hers to me.It seemed this was a friend of a client of hers, who lived up here and wanted to buy a house. He was under contract with an agent, and had submitted an offer, but did not feel comfortable with the agent's knowledge or ability.I called and spoke with the agent the next morning. She went over the situation with me again, stressing how the referral was firing their agent and need help. After talking with her, giving her my background and my philosophy on how I run my business, she said she would share my contact details with the referral and they could contact me if they wished. If they were comfortable she would then share their contact details with me.I received a call the next day and spoke with the referral. He explained they had submitted an offer and the house had not appraised. Not unusual in today's market. However, he thought he had included in the contract that if the house did not appraise to a certain amount, below the selling price he could cancel the contract. He was intending to do this, but the seller was refusing to return his deposit. I said, I could understand how he felt, but I could not interfere in a relationship with another agent.The next day I got a text asking if I could refer a real estate attorney. I said I could, but he was not a litigator but would be able to refer one, if needed. However, he would be able to review the contract and give him some solid advice on his options.The next day, he communicated again that he had spoken with the attorney and he would proceed with the transaction, it seemed as though they had not completed their due diligence correctly and he had no option but to go ahead with the transaction. However, he was very thankful for the referral of the attorney and could he recommend me to some friends who were also going to be looking for homes in the area.Sometimes, you never know where a road is going to take you. It is not always about earning a commission but helping someone understand the transaction and situation they are in so they can make the right decision and have confidence doing so.If you are looking to sell or buy along or around the Main Line, contact Nick Vandekar, Selling the Main Line with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc, office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, email Nick@VandekarTeam.com, or through our website www.SellingtheMainLine.com where we believe in giving you the confidence to make the right decision during the transaction.
Buying a house seems to involve a lot of paperwork, from the consumer notice, buyer agency agreement and the agreement of sale, plus all the brokerage disclosures and lead paint pamphlets. It varies from State to State, but here in PA, our agreement is 13 pages long. On top of that most buyers obtain a mortgage and the mortgage lender requires a whole host of documents to verify if you are going to be able to repay the loan they are making. It can all seem overwhelming, but I met up with Shawn DeAngelo of Prosperity Home Mortgage and tried in today's video to break it down so the documents you are going to need for your mortgage are easily understandable. But, if you have questions, reach out.Check out some of our other videos, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and click the bell to be notified when we post new videos. Let me know, if you have any specific questions we can address and answer for you.If you are interested in buying or selling a home along or around the Main Line, contact Nick Vandekar, Selling The Main Line with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, Nick@VandekarTeam.com, or contact us through the website www.SellingTheMainLine.com.
Need help selling your home, contact Nick Vandekar, Associate Broker today, cell or text 610-203-4543, office 610-225-7400 or Nick@VandekarTeam.comList it on OldForgeCrossing.comStats from Old Forge Crossing 2021
Lots of people think the only amount of money they need to buy a house is the down payment. But, there are many other costs associated with buying a house, inspections, insurance, appraisal, and many more. Our video with Shawn DeAngelo of Prosperity Home Mortgage today addresses some of these more fully.Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and check the bell to be notified of when we post new videos.Let us know what other home buying subjects you have questions about. Check out our video on How Much Money do I need to buy a house? and What help is there for First time buyers?Thinking of selling, or ready to buy a house, contact Nick today, office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, Nick@VandekarTeam.com, or through our website www.SellingTheMainLine.com.