nick vandekar: It's 95 degrees, why do the photos of your home have snow in them? - 07/13/11 05:18 PM
Ahem! Excuse me, it is 95 degrees outside and the heat index is over 100 degrees...did you know the photos of your home in the multiple list service show your home surrounded by snow?

Photos are important selling a home today, more and more buyers look at photos before or even if they read the description of the house. Many multiple list services and websites are allowing more and higher quality photos as well, so quality and content of photos is important.
You can tell a story with photos, show a little of the neighborhood, the character of the home, … (54 comments)

nick vandekar: Main Line Homes Market Report - 07/11/11 01:18 PM
We are entering the third quarter of the year, lots of mixed messages being given by national media on the housing market as they report national sales data, with the market halted one month only to be booming the following month. As I have said many times there is only one set of data that is really important and that is your local data. So below is some local data taken from our local MLS for single family homes.
Township            Price per sq ft for homes sold      Average Days on market  Ratio to listed price
Lower Merion              $217 up from prev qtr              … (0 comments)

nick vandekar: Change the listing contract - 07/07/11 04:18 PM
Different brokers use different listing contracts adapted for their use or a board approved form, but most are similar. My point here is that any listing contract that is used in a state where Buyer Agency or Transaction Licensees are the norm should be re-printed.
Because we no longer practice sub-agency, or most brokers I know do not want to be responsible for other brokers' agents, so we should remove the sub agency offer of compensation. Secondly, we should remove the offer of any type of compensation to anyone other than the listing broker.
Sorry to answer a question with … (0 comments)

nick vandekar: Answers to some everyday mortgage questions - 07/05/11 12:43 PM
I recently sat down and went over some everyday questions with the two mortgage professionals in our Devon office of Long & Foster. Both Eric May and Jeremy Durkin work for Prosperity Mortgage a joint venture between Long & Foster and Wells Fargo and both are extremely knowledgeable.
I wanted to keep this shorter and we may very well shoot this on a more regular basis with a shorter list of questions and updates to these everyday mortgage questions. So let me know if you have a particular question you want an answer to?


nick vandekar: Old Forge Crossing Devon, PA - 07/05/11 12:32 PM
There are currently 10 homes for sale in Old Forge Crossing. Two 2 bedroom 2 bath homes, one a townhome, there are 8 one bedroom units for sale of which three have dens, meaning they are second floor units. Prices for the one bedroom units range from $134,900 to $165,500, for the two bedroom homes prices range from $165,000 to $224,900.
Location is important in Old Forge Crossing, whether a home is first or second floor is arbitrary to a buyers taste, some people prefer ground floor, some prefer being upstairs for various reasons. Location within the development is important to … (0 comments)

nick vandekar: Why real estate news can be ignored and what you really need to know! - 06/30/11 08:32 AM
I have become a believer in ignoring all news, contrary to my wife. I listen to headlines occaisionally but seem to somehow always know what is going on because my wife tells me about anything really important. I am also very aware of what is going on around me and in my local area. So I have come to the conclusion that one can also ignore all real estate news because most of the time it is contradictory.
Last month Case Schiller was announcing the arrival of the double dip in real estate. Now just one month later they are announcing … (1 comments)

nick vandekar: Open House signs - one of my pet peeves - 06/29/11 06:39 AM
I am a Realtor and I use Open House signs, occasionally they go missing, I always try to put them up on the morning of the Open House in a right of way at an intersection but although rare still sometimes a homeowner gets annoyed and removes it before I return at the end of the Open House, I think in 7 years I have lost 2 signs.

This is one of my signs, I did not want to incriminate any local agents with my next comments. I am also a homeowner and one of my pet peeves is agents who place Open … (60 comments)

nick vandekar: Are you stuck? - 06/28/11 11:38 AM
Are you stuck? Stuck in the same old way of doing things, marketing a home, getting listings. Many real estate agents today are complaining that things are tough, but they are not changing their business model or even their methods of marketing.
Today you need to be realistic and know that our consumers are changing the way they search for and look at homes.

As agents we need to adapt and change as well, this may mean changing everything you know about real estate. It may mean kicking off the traces and doing something different. For some it may mean … (2 comments)

nick vandekar: Are you really going to save by negotiating with the listing agent? - 06/22/11 02:57 PM
Many buyers today believe that they can save themselves money by negotiating with the seller through the listing agent rather than have a buyers agent. I wrote yesterday that I felt buyer agency is a sham not because I don't believe in buyer agency because I do, but because the agent is paid by the seller, and until the buyer pays for their own agent the idea of agency is a sham.
Likewise I think buyers don't understand that the listing contract is drawn up before any buyer is ever in the picture. That listing contract states what percentage the home is being … (2 comments)

nick vandekar: I ain't no city boy! - 06/22/11 10:57 AM
I grew up in the suburbs of London, England and learnt to drive in London traffic, many times making it round Hyde Park Corner and Piccadilly Circus without incident. English drivers are aggressive, they get on with it, but they also know that most times it is easier to let everyone merge and the traffic will move more quickly. London streets are rarely straight, or wide so you get used to parking in small spots and driving down narrow streets.
So, yesterday, I am meeting with a new client in Philadelphia, a referral from The Somers Team, who wants to move out … (1 comments)

nick vandekar: Buyer agency and why it is a sham! - 06/21/11 11:15 AM
Buyer agency is a sham! Until your buyer client pays you directly it is a sham. Why would any intelligent person want to be in negotiations and have their negotiator be paid by the opposition. Would you want your quarterback or pitcher paid by the other team? Of course not, but everyday consumers are allowing themselves to be represented by someone who is paid by the other side.
Would it make a difference if the buyer paid the agent directly. Of course, for one the agent is going to have to make sure they evaluate what services they are offering and why … (9 comments)

nick vandekar: Zillow is not the enemy! - 06/20/11 11:29 AM
Many agents love to hate Zillow, they complain about the Zestimates and how accurate they are but these agents seem to forget the customer.
Yes, the customer, the consumer who is on Zillow and checking for homes for sale, prices realized, nearly all the information you want on any home anywhere in the world is on the internet. When my mother died who lived in the UK last year and I was over there taking care of the estate, my wife was doing research right back here in PA and letting me know what homes were selling for etc. As soon … (5 comments)

nick vandekar: Valley Forge Park just minutes from Main Line neighborhoods - 06/20/11 11:02 AM

Walking through Valley Forge National Park you can get some really wonderful views. When these flowers bloom the view will be even better. We always think of the winter spent in Valley Forge, but forget much longer was spent there training the Revolutionary Army.

You can see examples of cabins throughout the park, but it does not really give the sense of what it must have been like, with so many men, women and probably children running around, horses cantering through to give reports to officers and the continual patrols that were mounted to raise food and keep an … (2 comments)

nick vandekar: Where's Mom? - 06/18/11 03:29 PM

This morning we were up in Valley Forge for a walk, we saw this baby fawn all on it's own, Mom had obviously left, these walkers just could not resist touching which is a shame, as their scent is now on the fawn. No sign of Mom anywhere, when we came back this way the fawn was just curled up at the side of the path waiting for it's mother, sad, but a fact of life.
As the park has been conducting a cull on the herd, cannot expect the ranges to care about one baby fawn at the side … (3 comments)

nick vandekar: Valley Forge - 06/18/11 03:23 PM
Valley Forge is minutes from our house. It's beauty often taken for granted, but sometimes an early morning walk just allows you to capture the joy of living so close to something so esoteric, the history, the beauty, the nature.


nick vandekar: How is your year going? Start something! - 06/17/11 10:54 AM
In the last week I have listened to an interview with David Heinemeier Hansson and been reading Poke the Box by Seth Godin. The combination of the two is that if you want to succeed today you have to be willing to start. All the plans, the dreams, the lists of goals are worthless if you don't start.
So how is your year going so far? If it is not shaping up how you wanted it to, start something, do something different; go door to door in a new neighborhood or even your own and introduce yourself. Ask people what you … (0 comments)

nick vandekar: I am not surprised the consumer is sitting on the fence. - 06/16/11 12:02 PM
Just listening to the news this morning I am not surprised the real estate consumer is sitting on the fence. First for about ten minutes the messages were all mixed, foreclosures are down, but this may be because....blah blah, home starts are up, but don't get excited because there are still lots of resale homes to sell. My head was spinning and the glee with which CNN reported it, then finish it up with a tour of a town in New Jersey where the majority of the homes are in foreclosure. Get me out of here.
But wait a minute, my … (5 comments)

nick vandekar: Pimm's ahhhh - 06/15/11 05:09 PM
A few weeks ago in Wine down Wednesday I mentioned Pimm's. I grew up in England as many of you know from the weird way I talk. My parents always enjoyed Pimm's and we as kids were allowed a taste. What is Pimm's?

Good question, whilst it is not a wine it is a closely guarded secret, and what you can buy now in the liquor store is Pimm's No 1 Cup. Which if you are the questioning sort leads you to ask are there other cups? Yes, there was but alas no more to my knowledge. When I grew … (3 comments)

nick vandekar: Chesterbrook holding up - 06/14/11 03:27 PM
May 2011 the market treats Chesterbrook kindly. In May itself there were 63 listings, 12 homes came on the market priced from $195,000-$425,000. 6 went pending, and 7 settled so about half the number of homes coming on went pending although the number of total homes on the market grew

As the number of homes grows, this does put pressure on prices and we are seeing constant price reductions every week to encourage buyers to make an offer. Does this work?
Many buyers are just waiting it out and seeing if there is another price reduction rather than making an offer. If … (0 comments)

nick vandekar: What lies behind those shutters? - 06/07/11 04:29 PM

I often talk about how you need to continually maintain your home, well as a Realtor it applies to us as well. We have needed to paint the exterior of the house for the past couple of years, but with several weddings last year we put it off. It is always a good idea to check your home inspection report to see what the inspector recommended needed doing, especially if you have been in your home for a while.
Trudy wanted the shutters down from above the garage, so we could get all the siding cleaned and painted and like … (0 comments)

Nick & Trudy Vandekar, Realtors - Selling the Main Line, PA Lic AB067198 (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc ) Rainmaker large

Nick & Trudy Vandekar

Realtors - Selling the Main Line, PA Lic AB067198

Devon, PA

More about me…

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc

Address: 92 Lancaster Avenue, Devon, PA, 19333

Mobile: (610) 203-4543

Office: (610) 225-7400

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Some thoughts and ideas about real estate that might help you when you buy or sell.




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