Everything you need to know about Realtors can be learned on Sesame Street.
Signing, Selling, Listing, Buying... it is all like kindergarten stuff if you think about it. On Sesame Street, when I was a child, I learned about the word "cooperation". It was a big word for my vocabulary back then, and amazingly enough it remains a big word in concept for me as an adult.
Cooperating in the process of Real Estate is probably the most elementary and at the same time sophisticated way of of practicing in the industry. The Listing Agent and the Buyer Agent share some of the same responsibilities. They both must meet ethical responsibilities (doing the right thing) and fiduciary responsibilities (duty to act in the client's best interest). That is the elementary stuff. We learned about doing the right thing and acting in other people's best interest on Sesame Street, right? But it becomes a sophisticated process when the duties between the 2 types of Agent Relationships are practiced out in the field. Those two roles, when put to the test, will reveal two very distinct people. Like Bert and Ernie, or Kermit and Miss Piggy, for lack of a better Sesame Street duo.
I imagine you know all of this stuff. But for those unfamiliar with the different skill-set or tools needed to be successful at either job, here is a simple overview:
Listing a home for sale takes a special kind of agent. A Listing Agent must have mastery of Marketing Real Estate. It is almost a separate profession that requires experience, effective tools, knowledge of how to use those tools, financial backing for advertisements and Internet exposure, on top of knowing the Real Estate market and having solid negotiating skills.
A Buyer Agent must master Buyer Agency. They must possess the obvious skills including market knowledge, negotiation, etc., but the most precious thing of all is that the Buyer Agent must invest countless hours to their client. They must commit to you, get to know you, and be continuously available for you to be physically there to drive you to countless listings until you have found your dream home. Weekends, late nights, wind, rain and snow. How may people do you know that will make that type of sacrifice for someone? A Buyer Agent has a very intense job and it takes a special person it do it well.
When a buyer's agent brings an offer to purchase a home to a seller's agent, we call them cooperating agents. Cooperation is a nice word. I admit, if it were not for Sesame Street, I may not have such a deep affection for this simple word. But for you, as a consumer, if you are aware and educated about the differences between the two jobs and what their jobs involve, you will be able to tell the difference between a really good Listing Agent and a really good Buyer Agent... even if they can not!
"You Know, cooperating can pay off!"
Every interior needs that final touch. As you survey a room in which all elements have finally come together, there is one thing that could make it truly pop.
A Bahdeebahdu custom lighting fixture or design.
We see a lot of really quirky and exciting environments, particularly in the Northern Liberties/Old Kensington/Fishtown neighborhoods. It's the details that come out most in these eclectically-imagined homes, galleries, restaurants, and offices. Many of our favorites call on Bahdeebahdu in Old Kensington for that extra piece.
Fishtown's Whipped Bakeshop recently called on Warren Muller for a chandelier. Three weeks later, the lighting sculpture, made of porcelain lamp bases, model railroad tracks, an old cane, was ready in time for the bakery opening. Private residences and businesses all over the country have consulted Bahdeebahdu for interior design work and installations. It's worth a trip to the studio on American Street just for a moment of inspiration.
[photo credit: Bahdeebahdu]
We went. We listened. We conquered. Most of us.
There weren't any models there, but El Camino was packing a fun, good-looking crowd, not afraid to boo those that called out "Bingo!" Every Monday from 9-11, the regulars come out for host RaeRae's speedy, no-holds-barred style of bingo, which comes with a few punches. Yes, if you decide to win here, she'll make you show your belly button or bark like DMX or even throw a couple of jabs at you in case your bingo ego gets too big. This saucy host fits in perfectly at the BBQ burrito bar in Liberties Walk, if you ask us. We also like that she moves fast, calling out numbers that you really need to listen for. Trying to have a heart-to-heart with a friend? Wrong place, buddy. Serious bingo is going on.
Have you ever played for a kite shape? The letter Z? Last person standing? El Camino Bingo will keep you on your toes. Prizes up for grabs include free drinks and gift certificates.
El Camino Real
1040 N 2nd Street
Fishtown is a northern residential neighborhood next to the Delaware River. The river ward has changed dramatically in recent years with its proximity to Northern Liberties and has drawn many students and artists to its small, triangular territory of rowhomes. The Market-Frankford line borders the neighborhoood on one side, with the river bounding it on the other side. Penn Treaty Park is one of the largest community spaces here. Johnny Brendas is a popular bar and music venue that is notable throughout the country. Girard Avenue has experienced strong growth in local businesses and dining establishments. On the other side of the neighborhood, the Frankford Arts Corridor is home to many galleries and small businesses.
The neighborhood is made up of rowhomes and small, tight-knit streets where residents come together for block parties and chat with one another from their stoops. You will find artists biking along the avenues or bands meeting up for coffee at a nearby cafe. The First Friday crowd from Old City now stops in Fishtown to check out the galleries and artwork displayed here. 2424 Studios on York Street combines offices, gallery space, and venues to give the community a creative hub.
Is Fishtown ready for a beer garden from super-productive restaurateur Stephen Starr (Continental, Buddakan, Morimoto, Parc, you name it)? Share your thoughts at the zoning meeting on March 2nd at the Fishtown Rec Center. Residents of Fishtown should bring proof of residence to attend.
Placing a Starr signature in a neighborhood is no small matter. The proposed location is on Frankford Avenue Corridor, next to the Acropolis Diner at Frankford and Girard. The successful pub Johnny Brendas has already helped the intersection to flourish. Developer Roland Kassis has brought many projects to fruition in Northern Liberties and Fishtown.
The garden would have a courtyard and seating for 250, with a kitchen open until 11 p.m. and drinking until 2 a.m. Valet parking would be offered. Parking is one of the major concerns that residents of Fishtown have, with the recent developments that have brought businesses to the neighborhood. Noise is another potential issue, as there are many residences nearby.
Whether or not you are a fan of Starr restaurants, the idea of a beer garden on Frankford Avenue is an exciting one that could be an extra boost for Fishtown. It's already a destination for those looking for some tasty beer. Could it be just the thing for a leisurely summer pub crawl? Starr Restaurants are notorious for opening quickly, staffing appropriately, and responding to customer suggestions. They have a high success rate and draw regular crowds. We think of this as a plus.
The best part about living here? Forget the valet. You could just enjoy a nice walk to and from the garden. For details about the zoning meeting, visit FNA Zoning.
Join Jim Mancinelli on March 2 at Moonstone Arts Center for a reading of "A Bundle of Sticks", a political broadside that addresses the oppression of the GLBT community in America. The poetry reading begins at 7 p.m. and will also feature readings from two other Plan B Press authors. The Moonstone Arts Center is located above the old Robin's Books. If you can't make this one, Mancinelli will do another reading at Fishtown Airways on April 20.
Moonstone Arts Center
110A S. 13th Street
Graduate Hospital lies just south of Center City and Rittenhouse Square, making it an easy choice for many residents. You'll find some great neighborhood pubs here and a new crop of businesses on southwest South Street that reflect the recent influx of young professionals and families. With everything from music venues like Tritone and Bob & Barbaras to well-loved gastronome haunts like Pub & Kitchen and the Sidecar Bar, the neighborhood is always bustling. Pumpkin Market has a variety of organic vegetables, coffee, and grocery items, while Sweet Freedom Bakery doles out gluten-free and vegan desserts that bring in outsiders.
There are plenty of large, renovated townhomes mixed in with the small businesses in the flourishing South of South destination that we call Graduate Hospital, or sometimes, its nickname, G-Ho.