Marie Henderson Real Estate - Volume 6 - Photo .jpg

The real estate market both locally and nationally has been a bit of an exciting rollercoaster these days that we have enjoyed watching on the sidelines. Seeing homes go up for sale and then sold within a day or two has been fascinating. Even the rental market has blown up to a proportion that has made it equally as challenging for renters to find a home as it has for buyers. With so many moving parts happening from day to day within this market, it is of the utmost importance that you find a realtor who is fully equipped to provide you with the savviest intelligence and experience so when your time comes to sell, buy, or rent you are in the best hands. With The Scout Guide we always strive to seek out professionals within each business category who go above and beyond, are highly respected within their community and are simply some of the best in their line of work. When it comes to Real Estate, one of those teams would be this fabulous mother/daughter duo – The Marie Henderson Group from Berkshire Hathaway.

For the past 20 years a primary area of focus for MHG has been working with professional athletes who get recruited to play for any of our Philadelphia sports teams. The athlete’s experience is so positive with MHG that they turn to work with them even if and when they are recruited to other teams once leaving Philly.  It has provided a vast level of experience that Marie Henderson and her daughter Jade Henderson Okere have been able to bring to any buyer or seller in and outside of the athletic arena.  Their level of expertise spans everywhere from first-time home buyers to top luxury listings in Philadelphia and beyond. We turned to Marie and Jade to see what type of valuable insight and advice they could provide us with that can assist the many buyers and sellers in this market during these wild times in real estate.  Here is what they had to say…

Can you share 3 tips you always suggest to buyers when beginning their search for their next home?

 1. First thing is first, if our client is in the market to buy rather than rent, they should definitely get pre-approved from a mortgage company. This way they know how much their monthly payment will be to make sure they are financially comfortable and won’t fall in love with a home that would be above their price range.

2. If a buyer is buying during this pandemic, the market for a buyer has become extremely competitive and many buyers are choosing to waive home contingencies to get their offers accepted by the seller first. We strive to educate our buyers so they are in a good position to waive the contingencies, such as inspection and appraisals, and then offering thousands above the purchase price where it may leave them in a vulnerable position with extra unforeseen costs after the sale is completed.

3. We would also suggest to the buyer to not make your “must have” list or list of requirements too long. They should be willing to compromise and be open to previewing properties that do not have everything on their wish list. Otherwise, they may limit their chances of finding a home that meets all of their needs, especially in a limited housing market. 

What are some of your core values that you believe in as a realtor that differentiates you from other realtors?

We believe one of the core values that differentiates us from other realtors is the importance of listening. As the wife of a former professional athlete, and Jade being a daughter of one, our family has relocated multiple times. We truly have experienced and understood the importance of getting a family settled and transitioned as soon as possible. We value our clients time, so we must carefully listen to them to understand what their wants and needs are in a home.  

With homes selling so quickly and many of them selling above asking and in bidding wars, what are some of the biggest challenges buyers and sellers are facing right now in this turbulent real estate market, and how are you managing expectations for your clients so they can still have a positive experience in search of their dream home?

The biggest challenge for sellers is the highest priced offer may not necessarily be the best offer. Surprisingly many of the homes that sell so quickly end up coming back on the market. The buyer may have offered the seller the highest price but included a home inspection contingency. However, once the home inspection has occurred, they may get buyers remorse and want to recoup some of the funds from overbidding and request that too many repairs be completed by the seller. 

The biggest challenge for the buyers is to not be surprised if six or seven of their offers may not get accepted by the seller.  There are lot of buyers in this market willing to pay thousands of dollars above the asking price, waive appraisals and the mortgage contingency. I tell my buyers to not get caught up in competing, and to make their best offer. If they lose out, at least they know that was their best offer. Sometimes the buyers get into these bidding wars, and they just want to win. We had a buyer that put in over five offers for a home and none of them were accepted. The buyer was a veteran and was approved for a VA loan and unfortunately none of the sellers were willing to accept their offer because they felt the VA loan required them to be responsible for extra repairs that would not be required by a buyer with a conventional loan. Unfortunately, my buyer had to end up switching to a conventional mortgage and they were able to finally get their offer accepted.  We felt so much empathy for them because a VA loan does not require that the buyer put down any money.

What are some key suggestions you can provide for anyone looking to sell their home?

We would definitely recommend that although it is a sellers’ market, the seller should still make sure their home is in pristine condition. There are certain elements that are still required of the seller. The home should be decluttered, staged, and have all repairs completed prior to listing their property. Although homes are selling quickly, the seller should work with their real estate agent to make sure the property is not overpriced. The market factors (low inventory and high demand) will do the rest. 

Marie Henderson Group is a premier real estate team in the Philadelphia tri-state region and beyond. What would you say has attributed to your success?

We have been in the real estate business for over 20 years which says a lot. Our clients trust our expertise and judgement in assisting them to make the best decision possible on a particular property. We have certainly built a reputation for being known to go above and beyond for our clients. Since a lot of our clients are athletes and their schedules aren’t as flexible, we tend to preview properties for them, and do a lot of the extra legwork so we can narrow down the property search and simply FaceTime to make the process more convenient and seamless for them.

We provide a very personal service where confidentiality is of upmost importance for all of our clients. Because of our client’s lifestyle, we are available 24/7 as they may be in a different time zone or may have just been traded and need to find housing immediately. We also accompany clients to New York and D.C if they are looking for a property out of state. Additionally, we are members of a company called REALM, which allow us the opportunity to refer our clients to carefully vetted real estate professionals globally that can assist with any of their real estate needs.

Are there any luxury listings coming up that you’re handling that we should keep an eye out for?

One of the hottest properties coming soon in 2022 to the market is the luxury condominiums of The Laurel on Rittenhouse Square. The Laurel will be the final residential property available on Rittenhouse Square. We took a hard hat private tour to the 28th floor a few months ago to see the phenomenal unobstructed views of the square, and it was amazing. Some of the amenities will be concierge service, doorman, valet parking, residence Town Car service, fitness center, indoor pool and spa, guest rental suite, pet spa and so much more. Luxury living at its best here in Philadelphia.  

Photo courtesy of The Laurel Rittenhouse

Working with a wide range of clients, and having a big focus on professional athletes, what type of experience has one of your clients shared with you?

We have a testimonial from Al Horford, formerly with the Sixers and now with the Boston Celtics. We did a great video that shared Al’s experience on working with us to find his perfect home for he and his family. In that experience Al shared his thoughts on working with us and said, “We really leaned on Marie for her expertise, she knew the demands of my job, and she understood what my family and I were looking for.”

(That video is available on our Instagram page @tsgmainlinephiladelphia under the Series Videos icon.)

We are thrilled to have the Marie Henderson Group as a TSG member, and certainly give them our Scout stamp of approval.  If you’re looking for an experienced real estate team to help you with either selling or buying in this market, or seeking advice on what to do, call MHG and set up an appointment. We are certain you will love working with them as much as we do!

Marie Henderson Group