Q&A : Mike McCann of the McCann Team

Mike, tell us what you would like people to know about The McCann Team and the services you provide.  

When buyers or sellers contact us they want to make sure they are going to get personable, knowledgeable service and fast information. They want to know that they are going to be a high priority. 

If they are buyers, they want to be able to trust us to guide and direct them to the right house and neighborhood. They want to get a good value in a home and area in which they would want to live. 

 They want to be able to use all of our resources. Most of the time they don't even know all the resources that they will need. Mortgage company, Title company, insurance company, Home Inspector, termite inspector, contractors, etc. 

 If they are sellers they want to know that they will be a high priority client. They want to know the value of their home. They often want to know what they can do  to improve the value of their home. They often need our resources to help them improve the value of their home. They want to know how we will market the property to get the best value for their home. They want to understand the cost to sell a home and the details of that process.

What do you think is the most important thing a Real Estate Agent brings to a transaction?

The most important thing a real estate agent brings to the transaction is trust, integrity, knowledge of the market and fast detailed communication. Real estate is very local so knowledge of the market, the market conditions and the players in the market is crucial. The real estate agent needs to have excellent resources for financing, inspections, insurance, contractors, etc.

What mistakes do first time Buyer's make and what can they do to avoid them?

Some of the mistakes that first-time buyers make are:

  • Working with a friend or relative who is in real estate but not in the marketplace they want to purchase in.
  • Not meeting with a mortgage person in advance to get preapproved and prequalified and understanding all the costs associated with purchasing.
  • Buying the first house that they look at.
  • Not doing the research on crime, schools and local conditions that might affect the value of their home or their quality of life.
  • Not having a highly experienced REALTOR that is knowledgeable and brutally honest with them.
  • Not having a high-quality home inspector inspect the property thoroughly from soup to nuts. 

How about Sellers?  What mistakes do Sellers make?

  • The number one mistake that sellers make is overpricing their home.
     In addition to being a big financial decision, selling your home is a very emotional process.  Many sellers select the agent that gives them the highest price. Sellers should interview at least 3 agents. This will help determine what the true market value  is. They should hire the most local, knowledgeable agent with the strongest          marketing plan.
  •  The second biggest mistake sellers make is not preparing the property to make it emotionally appealing.
    This will help you get top dollar and sell your home much faster.  When people enter the home I want them to feel good and happy so decluttering, cleaning it thoroughly including windows, painting where necessary, repairing any deferred maintenance or staging is so very important. Homes that are priced right and show well will sell for much more money and in a much shorter time.
  • The third biggest mistake is not hiring an agent that is a strong listing agent in the marketplace who has a strong marketing plan.  A listing agent is a totally different business than a buyers’ agent. This requires totally different skills and knowledge. 

When listing a residential property, what are the most common title or legal issues you see?

  • Making sure the seller completes the sellers’ property disclosure thoroughly and honestly.
  • Making sure there are no liens or judgments against the property. Many times they are old mortgages that were paid off but not released from public records. 
  •  Making sure all of the sellers on title sign the listing agreement and the agreement of sale.
  • Making sure there are no violations against the property such as doing work without a building permit or an illegal parking space or deck, etc.

When do you feel a Seller should consult a Real Estate Attorney?

I always advise sellers they are welcome to have an attorney review anything upfront, such as the listing agreement or the agreement of sale. Whenever it's an estate sale, I advise them to hire an attorney immediately. If there are any issues that occur throughout a transaction where someone is not performing on the contract and it's not getting resolved, I advise my sellers to obtain a attorney.

If the sellers are discussing selling a property and they discuss any issues that raise red flags, I advise them to obtain an attorney.

Philadelphia was recently listed as the third hottest metro in the country for new residential construction. Have you seen an increase in demand for new construction and are developers responding?  

The demand for new construction is off the charts. From first-time buyers to move up buyers to empty-nesters, people are looking for new construction.  The buyers don't really want to do any work to a home and plus they love the style and design of new construction. In addition, the buyers love the 10 year tax abatement in Philadelphia. It is a very appealing feature that has created the high demand for new construction.

 Builders cannot build the new construction fast enough in Philadelphia. There are new construction and total rehabs going on in Center City and every neighborhood around Center City. The demand is so high that the market is expanding in many neighborhoods around Center City. The developers are meeting this demand as fast as they can and many people have gotten into developing.

Philadelphia has seen a huge influx of young professionals and millennials, specifically into Center City.  How do the demands of these new, younger buyers differ from other Buyers?

The “Millennial” generation’s demand for buying in Center City or the surrounding neighborhoods is unprecedented. This is the primary reason for the white hot market that we have been seeing over the last two years. The                      millennials want to live in an urban environment. They want to walk or ride their bike or take public transportation to work or their social activities.  As a group, they love the bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and meeting     places that the city has to offer. They are social beings even though they are connected to the Internet. They do not want to live in the suburbs.

However the millennials want properties that are fully renovated with impeccable details and style. 

The new $1.2 billion Comcast Center is under construction and there is a rise in co-working spaces throughout the city.  Are there investment opportunities in Commercial Real Estate in the near term?

The second Comcast tower is very exciting. Having a corporate giant like Comcast in Philadelphia brings in many other small businesses and entrepreneurs. This makes investing in real estate in and around Center City                      excellent for long-term wealth and growth.

How will impending increases in interest rates affect the residential market and financing?

Interest rates are so below market it's like buying gas at a dollar a gallon. If rates go up a point or two, it will not affect the market conditions.  They will still be incredibly low.

Financing is very easy.  You must have a real job with verifiable income and reasonably good credit. There are also many low down payment loans for first-time buyers and seller assist is also available.

Tell us what is the next hot neighborhood no one knows about yet?

Many of the neighborhoods around Center City are expanding. The hottest neighborhoods with the most transactions are where the millennials are purchasing. We are seeing incredible growth in Fishtown, Kensington, Point                      Breeze, North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia.

A couple of my personal favorite areas for investing in future growth are Dickinson Square, Point Breeze and now even going into Grays Ferry.

Mike McCann "The Real Estate Man" has closed over $1.3 billion in sales in the last 13 years. Mike has received more Top Selling Awards from the Philadelphia Board of Realtors than anyone else in the organization's 100 year history and he is considered to be in the top 1/10 of one percent of all Realtors nationwide. You can contact Mike and his team at 215-352-5458 or on the web at www.mccannteam.com