Coming Soon! Renovated twin in Havertown

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205 Juniper Rd, Havertown, Pa 19083.  Beautifully renovated twin located on a cul-de-sac and backs up to a lovely park.  Being offered for $249,000 and will hit the market in about a week.  More pictures & walkthrough video coming soon!  Contact me if you are interested.  Laurajlaws@gmail.com or 484-985-5222.

  • Renovated Kitchen with granite and stainless steel
  • Hardwood Floors throughout
  • Finished Basement
  • Updated Electrical system
  • Updated Plumbing system
  • New Washer and Dryer
  • New vanities and toilets
  • New gutters
  • New garage door


I was SO, SO wrong. Virtual Reality is awesome!

A couple of weeks ago my husband was telling me how he ordered the virtual reality headset for the playstation.  Here it is on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2elt8wL

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He was trying to convince me how the technology will eventually be used so buyers can sit in their homes or my office and tour homes for sale through virtual reality (VR).  He basically was saying it will be a game changer for marketing real estate.

My reaction:  No Way!  We now have 360° cameras and High Definition walk through videos (check out my YouTube page to see examples of my listings here)  I get motion sickness why would I do virtual reality when I can just watch a walk-through video?

WELL, I WAS WRONG.  The headset arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It is incredible once I tried it.  Everywhere I looked I was immersed in a virtual reality of my choosing.  I lost myself in the virtual reality world and I totally forgot I was in my basement.  I hit my hand on the coffee table pretty hard trying to throw something in the job simulator game.  The first experience was a deep-sea dive.  It felt so real looking at all of the deep sea creatures and I felt so relaxed after.  The next experience my husband told me I needed to sit down for it, Shark encounter virtual reality.  You go down in the ocean and a shark circles your cage, rips off the front of it and you feel like he is going to bite you.  I was screaming and pushing back I almost fell backwards off the chair.  However, I did not get motion sickness at all!

Experts are estimating everyone will be able to tour homes through virtual reality in 2-5 years.  Sothebys Realty just started experimenting with VR technology with high-end homes in LA & NY.  The cost to scan the homes is between $300-$700.  It allows buyers to walk through a home in virtual reality with a controller to navigate through the home.

Imagine instead of spending 4 hours touring 5-7 homes buyers can come to my office put on a headset and walk-through 8-10 homes in 2 hours.  Sellers don’t have to clean up or get their kids or dogs out of the house for as many showings or open houses.  I’m so excited to see how this technology will change the future of real estate!  And won’t we look so cool doing it!

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Most & Least Expensive Homes that sold in October in Chester County…

The most expensive home and the least expensive home that sold in Chester County in October were both bought with cash.  The most expensive was $3 Million and the least expensive was $9,000.  Let’s take a look at the 2 homes.

Most Expensive:  According to our MLS this was the most expensive home to sell in Chester County in October for $3,000,000.  137 Jaffrey Rd, Malvern, PA 19355 is 109 year old classic stone colonial and has 8.8 acres.  Yearly property taxes are $29,725.  It had been on the market for sale since June of 2015 and they originally were asking for $3,950,000.  It is located in Willistown township which is known for it’s protected open space.

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Least Expensive:  23 Pawnee Ln, Honey Brook, PA 19344 sold for $9,000 cash.  It is a mobile home that is 30 years old and the monthly fees are $464/mo. and that covers the community pool, trash, water, sewer and trash removal.  The yearly property taxes are $509 ($29,216 less than 137 Jaffrey Rd).  It was listed for $10,000 on Aug 30, 2016 so it sold pretty quickly.  It is located in Honey Brook which is about halfway between Philadelphia and Lancaster with lots of open space and beautiful farms.

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In all of Chester County in the month of October 567 homes in total settled through real estate agents.  The average sold price was $373,213.  The average days on the market was 63 days.  377 were single family homes.  167 were twins or townhomes.  17 were condos.  6 were mobile homes.  21 were foreclosures (that seems high at 3.7%).  10 were short sales.  25 were in 55 and over communities.  48 were new construction.  147 has pools (that includes if there is a community or above ground pool).

Stay tuned…I’ll analyze other counties in the Philly suburbs in my 30 day Blog Challenge!


Do you understand Real Estate Commission? How much do agents make?

Takeaway:  On the sale of a $361,000 home with 6% commission a seller will pay $21,660 in commission.  Buyers work with agents for free since the sellers pay for both commissions.  A new agent would most likely earn $3249 after taxes but before business expenses.  National Association of Realtors research shows the median gross (before taxes) income for realtors is $39,200.  62% are female.  26% have another job.

Who pays real estate commission?

The seller pays the entire commission at closing or settlement (4-8 weeks after the home is under contract typically).  The commission is negotiated between the listing agent and the seller when the listing agreement/contract is signed to put the house on the market.  In our area 5-6% commission is typical but it is negotiable.  The average price of a home in Chester county is $361,000 so for the seller that is a cost of $18,050-$21,660.

How is the commission divided?

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Generally, the commission is divided four ways: to the listing broker, the listing agent, the selling (buyer’s) broker and the selling (buyer’s) agent. Once the listing agreement is signed the listing agent uploads the home into our MLS system.  The MLS is a system agents use and pay for to share listings.  The commission offered to the selling agent is shown in the listing of the seller’s home in the MLS.  So if it is a total of 5% commission then it will show 2.5% commission ($9,025 for $361,000 sale) to the selling broker.  6% commission will show 3% ($10,830 for $361,000 sale) to the selling broker.

How is it split with the brokers?

That depends on the agent’s agreement with their real estate broker and company.  Many companies start new agents at a 50-50 split and as you sell more your percentage increases.  Using the $361,000 sale the brokers and agents would each earn $5415 with 6% commission.

What other expenses are there for agents?

  • We are independent contractors/1099 employees so we pay self employment tax of 15.3% of our income.  Many experts recommend agents set aside 40% of our income for federal income tax, self employment tax and state income tax.  So in our example a new agent would net $2707-$3249 on the $361,000 sale.
  • We basically are our own business so we have to pay for office supplies, computers, smart phones, cars, gas and any other expenses that are needed to be a successful real estate agent.
  • We often have to buy leads (Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com) or pay a referral fee of 25-35% of our commission if the lead is referred to us by a website.  (Here’s a fun fact:  realtors pay a lot of money to use the MLS system to market and research homes.  Zillow pulls listings from our MLS system that we pay for.  Then Zillow charges hundreds of dollars a month per zipcode to agents for leads that are captured using our listing information in our MLS.)
  • We have marketing costs.  If you are a listing agent you pay for professional photographs, marketing material, advertising and blasting out a lot of information to every real estate website.  For finding buyers we have to market to them.
  • We pay dues and membership fees to belong to the MLS and realtor associations.  Also, we have to pay a monthly fee to access the electronic lockbox on listings.
  • We pay money to the Real Estate Commission of Pa for our license.  We have continuing education classes that are required to keep our license active and we have to pay for them.
  • Health Insurance for self employed or business owners is very high.  It’s a big consideration when thinking of being a real estate agent.
  • Here’s the other expense to take into account.  Often homes don’t sell or fall through due to inspection issues, the appraisal is too low or (happened to me many times) the loan falls through.  So as realtors we spend a lot of time selling a house and we spend money (listing agent is more) and it did not pay off and actually costs us money because we don’t get paid unless we go to closing and transfer of the home happens.
  • For new agents it can take 6 months to a year before you make your first sale and make your first commission.

Any other fees?

NOT FROM ARTISAN REALTY!  Most real estate companies charge an administrative fee to both sellers and buyers.  It should be explained beforehand and they put it on the settlement sheet.  It can be $200-$600 depending on the company.  Artisan Realty does not charge this fee to buyers or sellers because we are a local, boutique real estate company that focuses on utilizing technology for our clients.

Note:  There are other options to sell your house:  For Sale By Owner, Discount Brokers etc…  I based the above on how it typically works.



Open House Saturday 1-3 PM 3/26

Join me for an open house this Saturday from 1-3 PM at 24 William Howard Dr. Glen Mills, PA 19342.


Exquisite executive home looking out over the 160 acre Newlin Grist Mill park. With this private, premium setting it will feel like going on vacation without having to leave your home. Relax in the built in year round 8 person hot tub with expansive views from the custom deck with a pergola. Enjoy the video. Call or text Laura Laws at 484-985-5222 for a tour! LauraJLaws@gmail.com.