Maybe A Rich New Yorker Will Buy My Overpriced Condo

As a veteran Philadelphia realtor, I hear a lot of interesting things come out of the mouths of many sellers here in our marketplace. In a softening real estate market, seller sometimes have high hopes for their often overlooked condominiums. Some attempts to sell are more creative than others, and some are just downright silly. My favorite is the NYC savior, who might buy the property, because in comparison to NYC prices, our condos are a steal. I fully support any Philly sellers decision to hold out such hope, as we all know that New Yorkers with lots of money are not very smart....yeah right...

There are a variety of factors that play into a buyers decision to buy, or not to buy. Some decisions are based on emotions, some are based on location, and some decisions to buy particular condos in Center City Philadelphia are based on amenities offered by the unit in question. I have indeed seen buyers purchase properties because the dining room hutch, left to them by a deceased aunt, would fit nicely into the space being considered. I have seen buyers even make an offer on a property because the smell of the home was pleasant, and reminded them of the home where they grew up. And I once even witnessed a buyer pull the trigger on condominium because the home had the one important ingredient necessary to make the wife happy- a window positioned directly over the kitchen sink. Such occurrences are anomalies, and very rare in terms of persuading a buyer to make a winning bid.

Almost all offers that come across my desk are based on value- dollar and cents. It always brings a smile to my face when I hear a seller suggest that perhaps some dope from NYC will buy their condo, because in terms of comparison value, their condo here in Philly is a steal. The notion of "when in Rome" does indeed transfer across the state of New Jersey (from NYC to Philadelphia), and I have yet to encounter a moneyed buyer from New York who will overpay for a condo simply because prices in our town are cheaper than what they might find in NYC. People generally don't accrue large bank accounts because they are idiots who will push wheel barrels full of money down the street at anyone offering an overpriced piece of real estate. Such folks generally acquire large sums of money due to their intelligence, hard work, and wise investments. It is not like a Philadelphian can easily pull the wool over the eyes of any incoming buyer from a larger, more expensive urban area. The world does not spin in that direction, and for good reason.

It is true that water seeks its own level, and that most real estate buyers do indeed understand local value. With the rise of the use of the Internet, values and comparable sale information is much more transparent than that of a decade ago, and it is rare that someone grossly overpays for a condominium that otherwise would languish on the market without attention. Which causes me to wonder a few similar ideas- Do people who live in trailer parks in say West Virginia, often hold out hope that some idiot Philadelphian will overpay for their double-wide? And conversely, who do New Yorkers think we'll buy their overpriced piece of real estate? Perhaps some goof from Paris with more money than common sense?


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