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I Hope the Center City Condo I Sell You Smells Like Dog Pee


Condo Colors
…And has dirty orange shag carpeting.  And faded purple painted walls.  I really do.

I have been preaching this mantra for some TWENTY TWO years now here in Center City Philadelphia.  And it has worked!  Our little group of twelve REALTORS® ( at Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS® sell up to 160 Philadelphia condos and Philadelphia townhouses a year to very happy owners.

One distinction that we can brag about is the fairly sizable profits a lot of our buyers make when they call us a number of years later to resell their Center City condos. Now granted, a lot of that has to do with the market conditions.  But, a significant reason many of our Philadelphia condo buyers make money is because we guide them to properties that are diamonds in the rough.

Buyers are probably going to find the smelly, ugly Center City condos severely discounted (disproportionately) lower than one might expect….because few other buyers are emotionally attracted to these “dogs.”  My goal is to get buyers to see past the simple outdated or unattractive cosmetics that are inherent in a number of downtown Philadelphia lofts, condos, and townhomes.

I feign deafness when I hear a buyer tell me that the “place is perfect, except I don’t like the carpeting.”  Or that the appliances are old and the inside of the refrigerator smells like the inside of their gym bag.  Those issues are what I call PHONE CALL UPGRADES. You pick up the telephone, you dial the local Home Depot or Lowes and you set an appointment for them to come out and replace the appliances and carpet. You place one call to a painter who repaints all the faded purple colored walls. These are one step-one call upgrades. This isn’t brain surgery. We are not moving the kitchen which would involve moving gas lines, water lines, replacing flooring, redoing baseboard moldings on and on and on and on. Simple stuff… “One Phone Call” stuff.  And that is where many buyers see a huge increase in their resale price:  simple, light cosmetic work. The kind of work that takes a pee smelling, dirty orange shag carpeted piece of ick, and adds significant emotional value through the use of good decorating skills, cleanliness, and minor cosmetic upgrades that are readily visible to the eye.

Buy ugly.  Buy smelly.  And sell oohs and aahs…   Then sing and dance all the way to the bank.

Byline: This was a guest post written by Mark Wade of

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