After interviewing several local real estate agents, I chose to go with Holly Mack-Ward & Co for two reasons. The first was the team’s professional style: organized and detail-oriented, but welcoming and personable. Admittedly this goes for most real estate offices. The second and more important reason was my impression of the knowledge they brought to the table.
Most other agents have lots of market knowledge, but what tipped the balance for me was what Jake Simonic, the agent I was to work with, could provide beyond this. Basically he is a former builder himself (and remains a part-time builder), and so has knowledge of the actual construction of the homes. I believed he could bring to my attention lots of things I wouldn’t think of myself, as I have never owned (let alone built) a home.
I wasn’t disappointed; that’s just what happened. Jake had knowledge not just of the market but of houses as physical beings. He personally knew many of the builders around the central areas of Philadelphia that I was interested in, and he could praise or criticize their work. I also found him to be honest, and didn’t get the sense he was just trying to get me into the house with the highest price—an experience several of my friends had with their agents.
Lastly it was during the harried closing process that Holly’s team really came through. My bank’s delays, lack of disclosure, multiple points of contact, and other forms of run-around were exasperating, and sometimes just pitiful (al despite my 800 FICO score and 20% down payment—you’d think they’d be working to keep my business). I, a financial civilian, didn’t know how to apply the pressure needed to make them meet their obligations. Here the back-end support from Holly’s team was invaluable, to the point that I don’t know how I would have gotten through the process without it. Again Robin, thank you.
So altogether I had a great experience with Holly and her team; I was pleased beyond my expectations, and now I’m living happily in my first home.