Tag Archives: Real estate broker

What’s it like to be a Realtor?

The highs, the lows, the creamy middles…what a rock & roll lifestyle!  This morning as I got up after an appointment that lasted until almost midnight last night, I casually thought about what life might be like if I had a “regular” job.  You know, the kind where you are paid a regular salary and work regular hours.  The kind of job where you have happy-go-lucky colleagues instead of kind but tired clients, struggling under the stress of a once or twice in a lifetime upheaval…

Here are difficulties of being a Realtor:

Financial risk: This is the obvious difficulty! Realtors are not paid until their clients buy or sell a home.  Quite often we dedicate months or years of evenings and weekends – missed soccer games and family reunions- for clients who never end up moving after all.

Long hours: Lots of people tell me that I’m lucky because my job is flexible.  The actual truth is that I need to BE flexible and available whenever clients need me – which means I might be gone night and day for two weeks and suddenly spend a lonely Thursday with absolutely nothing to do!

Emotional toll:  The real estate profession is more like matchmaking or social work than it is like sales.  Who among us can really afford what we want?  Buying a home requires compromises no matter the price range.  And selling in the era of HGTV can make sellers want to pull their hair out – not to mention the loss on most investments made in the last few years.  Any Realtor who is truly putting their clients’ best interests first is going to feel the pain right along with them and question every step of the process. (Yes, my clients, I do sit up nights strategizing on your behalf – and my poor husband has to listen to me pace long after he would like to be asleep!!! 🙂 )

Here are the wonderful perks:

The People:  I have the good fortune not only to see my clients under moments of great stress but also to note that in even the most dire circumstances, over and over again they show their kindness and determination to do the right thing.  My faith in humanity is renewed often in this wonderful business!

The Reminders of Success: There is no feeling better than a really happy customer who has made a major life change and come out on the other side feeling confident that they made all the right moves. I have the privilege of seeing families in my community every day who are here in part because of my help!

The Amazing Houses: Yes, in two weeks I will be at the beginning of my tenth year as a full-time Realtor and, shallow as it is,  I STILL adore going to see houses! We live in an area with a wealth of home styles and it is a pleasure to explore them all!

The Lack of  a Cubicle: Okay, so this is not me boasting about my beautiful new corner office with two windows (thank you, Judith Cadigan, for bequeathing it to me in your retirement!) This is really about the fact that no two days are the same!  When is the last time you climbed a ladder or learned something new about cave crickets or radon gas?  How often do you learn oddities about tax laws or discover boundary disputes older than the houses?  I love that I spend most of my time out and about and that there is something new to learn in every transaction!

So… I have finished my cup of coffee and once again, I can’t really imagine any other job!!! Bring on the late nights – I’m a Realtor – I can handle it!!!

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Marty Snyder of AES Environmental prepares to inspect a home

Home inspections are very important, but did you know that other inspections are often helpful in determining whether the home you are buying might have defects?  In addition to a home inspection and a termite inspection we typically recommend a radon inspection when purchasing a house.  Your home inspector may also recommend environmental testing (pictured is Murray Snyder, of AES Environmental), a roof inspection, or evaluation by an HVAC, electrician, or other professional.  When budgeting for inspections it is best to assume that the total cost of inspections for a house that is up to 2,500 square feet in size may be about $1,000 and then add another $500 for each additional 1,000sft of house.  If extremely specialized inspections are required the cost may be even higher.  However, the peace of mind of having as thorough as possible a knowledge of the real estate you are about to invest in is invaluable!

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Why Choose a Swarthmore Realtor?

I was talking with a new client recently about why it is important to have a local realtor!  Here are some of the reasons  you should be working with a Swarthmore Realtor:

We are a very convenient little community, with lots of shops, playing fields, parks, train tracks, and schools connected by some obviously busy streets and some arteries that look quiet but can be quite heavily traveled at certain times of day or year.  Each of these conveniences contributes its own beauty, noise, traffic, and various gradations of property value credits or demerits to the homes around it.  A Swarthmore Realtor will be aware of all the specific location facets of various properties and help you use them to obtain the most value from your transaction!

We are a community that likes to waltz!  What does that mean?  We love our town!  So many of our residents step to the 1-2-3 or the “Swarthmore Shuffle” moving from smaller homes in town, up to larger homes in town, back to smaller homes or condominiums in town over the years rather than changing communities.  This means that when you decide to sell your Swarthmore home, your best potential buyer may be someone already living in  Swarthmore and exquisitely aware of the value gradations mentioned above (even if you weren’t when you bought the property)!

We are a town with older housing stock!  Having a Realtor on your team with contacts to contractors and inspectors who are attuned to the potential defects and special qualities peculiar to older homes can help you better understand your Swarthmore house and provide invaluable input in the negotiation process as you buy or sell!

We are a town with a long memory!  For example:  The section of Rt. 476 “The Blue Route” that goes through Wallingford (the town next to Swarthmore) opened in 1991 after epic battles with Swarthmore College and many of its famous alum as well as regular citizens who did not want the college and town to lose its pastoral aspect.  The highway has been providing convenient access to the Main Line and 95 for more than 20 years now and certainly adding to our property values.  BUT many Swarthmoreans are STILL as offended about the noise we can hear from certain parts of town as though someone had snuck the highway in last night! Even the faintest ocean-like whisper of it overheard in a backyard at rush hour is referred to indignantly as “blue route noise”!  Would you expect a sound you can barely hear to have a possible effect on your property value?

If you are considering moving to or within Swarthmore please feel free to give me a call for more information!  I would be very proud to use my local expertise to add value to your transaction!

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Filed under Home Buying Advice, Swarthmore Real Estate