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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting More Bang for Your Buck in Today's Market

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Are you an existing homeowner?  Have you been silently waiting and watching for the best time to buy up and get something better for your money?  After waiting nearly fives years after the big real estate meltdown in 2007, now seems to be the best time yet to get in on the action.  Though many buyers are still wary of getting their feet wet with a mortgage during these still uncertain times, the very reason there are fewer buyers contributes to it being a soft market.  And before the market changes, now is the perfect time to seize this great opportunity that may not be around for too much longer.

It’s Not What It All Seems
One of the reasons many homeowners are reluctant to move into a new home and sell their existing home is that the false impression created by the national market statistics paints an obscure picture.  Contrary to what the media often portrays, foreclosures and short sales do not dominate the market in most areas.  While there are certain harder hit states like Florida, Michigan, California and Arizona – where there is a much larger number of distressed properties on the market, the truth is that many states have begin stabilizing.

More Bang For Your Buck
For homeowners that do take the plunge and sell their home despite it selling for a lower than ideal price, they end up walking away from the bargaining table with a far better home for the same monthly payment – and they are left with equity in their home.  Keep in mind that while you will have had to sell your home for a lower price, the home you are buying will also be sold for a lower price.  Factor in seller concessions, low down payment requirements and the unbelievably low interest rates – and you have got the deal of a lifetime!

Affordability That Allows More House
Many homeowners gauge whether or not they can afford a home based on the amount of payment they must make each month.  Given the historic low interest rates coupled with depressed housing values – the monthly payment for many homeowners that are buying up remains the same.  In essence, by taking advantage of the current market, you are able to live in a bigger and better home for the same monthly payment as before.

Who Knows How Long This Will Last
As we all witnessed in early 2007, anything can happen in real estate and it can be the most unsuspecting occurrence ever.  For those homeowners that are waiting around for interest rates to go even lower or housing values to drop even further – they may very well shoot themselves in the foot. Be careful not to wait too long.  Industry analysts are already reporting stabilization in many markets, leading to a forecast of steady incline of interest rates.  Housing values may drop a few more percent at best – but there is no way to tell when that point hits until they begin climbing again.


Rather than finding yourself regretting not buying up when the opportunity was ripe – take the time to explore your options today.  You might be surprised.  Who knows – you may even find your dream home!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

7 Key Business Principles To Make Sure Your Home Sells for the Most Amount of Money

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For most people, there are usually one or two transactions in a lifetime when it comes to buying and selling real estate. That’s why when many existing homeowners or first-time buyers find themselves ready to sell a home they may need a few pointers on how to get their home sold these days.

Here are seven very important aspects to successfully selling a home that will have a significant impact on how quickly you will sell and how much financial gain you can expect on the sale; concepts that are geared toward today’s fast-paced, virtual and digital real estate industry.

Expertise and Pricing Strategy

When considering selling your home, it is important to choose an agent to work with wisely. A key factor in success of your sale, is finding the right agent for you. Be sure you are working with a Realtor that not only demonstrates expertise by way of many successful past and present transactions, but also one that actively seeks to develop a strong pricing strategy with you.

Pricing strategy has a major impact on the success of a selling a property. Without the right price a home can and will sit on the market, literally exhausting its time on the market. Find an agent that will focus on what they will do to get you the best price, rather than one that is so eager to earn your business that they quote an inflated and unrealistic price just to make you happy.

Condition and Perceived Value

These days we are dealing with far more properties on the market than there are buyers. In this type of environment, it is critical that your property be in marketable condition, good enough to compel buyers’ interest toward your home and away from the competition. The goal should be to achieve maximum perceived value upon buyers seeing your property, making them feel that your property is the best value on the market.


Once again, in an effort to stand out from the crowd and ensure your home generates plenty of interest among buyers, make sure the agent you hire does everything they can to promote your property. The key is doing so in a unique way that grabs buyers’ attention and keeps them interested. Whether this means using an agent that utilizes virtual tours, has a wide network of in-house buyers and a highly tech-savvy agent that caters to today’s buyer – it is important that your Realtor works hard to differentiate your listing from the rest.


A lot of real estate agents underestimate the power of the Internet and with the advent of smartphone technology, tablet devices and other real-time communication methods, now more than ever before it is essential that agents tap into all forms of exposure for their clients’ listings. It is critical that your home appear in a number of online venues where buyers typically go to obtain information. Strong marketing techniques also play a strong role in good exposure.


One of the most important components of a successful real estate transaction is the smoothness of handling that makes the process efficient and as seamless as possible. Working with a team of professionals provides the solid backing of a variety of expertise levels within the team, so that your agent can focus on what they do best – selling your home.

Being able to leave the back-end support aspects of your transaction to qualified, in-house team members is the way that top-producing agents across the globe manage to juggle everything. Anything from listing specialists, pricing experts, buyer agents, closing coordinators, virtual assistants, marketing professionals, listing managers and more – all contribute to a successful selling transaction.
If you would like a customized consultation on how we can service your real estate needs, get your home listed and achieve top dollar in good time – contact us today! We look forward to serving you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mecklenburg and Union Counties – Sept. 2012 Market Update

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It’s time for the real estate market update again and as usual I’ve shared with you the latest numbers on homes sold, homes pending, average days on market and more. If you would like a customized consultation about your particular neighborhood, contact me today.

Mecklenburg County Click here for a complete report >>


At the present time we are reporting 4,210 active listings.  With no pending sales on record for now we are not able to report any data on pending sales ratio.

The existing inventory on the market is falling largely in the $100,000-$200,000 price range, with 1,348 of the total listings in this price bracket. Mecklenburg County’s average list price for all price ranges is $358,803.


The previous six months have shown a total of 5,326 closed contracts with an average sold price of $248,863 while 3,105 listings remain on the market and have remained so for the last six months for a multitude of reasons ranging from overpricing and inadequate marketing to properties shown in less-than-optimal condition.  The highest number of off-market listings at 972 properties falls within the $100,000-$200,000 price range.


The higher the number of Days On Market, the stronger a buyers market it is and in Mecklenburg County the current average DOM is 123 days for active listings, again indicating a buyers’ market.  The average DOM over the last 6 months is 100 days with the fastest selling homes during this time frame in the $0-$100,000 price range and a six-month average sold price of $248,863. The average sold price for the last 30 days was $249,245 with a DOM average of 92 days.


We currently have 4.7 months of inventory based on the last 6 months of sales.  Assuming that it would take this much time to sell all the current inventory if market conditions remained the same, this indicates a reasonably balanced market leaning toward buyers at the present time.

Union County    Click here for a complete report >>


The total number of homes on the market in Union County is currently 1,385. As with Mecklenburg County, since there are no pending sales currently in the pipeline, we cannot report on a pending ratio. Similar to Mecklenburg County, the price range of $150,000-$200,000 is reporting a larger inventory of properties for sale at 237 listings.  The average list price for all price ranges in Union County is $323,633.


The last six months have had 1,400 closed contracts with an average price of $263,448– with the highest number of sold listings in the $100,000-$150,000 price range.  Conversely, 944 listings remain unsold during the last six months for the same reasons afflicting unsold properties in Mecklenburg County.  The highest number of off-market listings at 177 properties are in the $150,000-$200,000 price range.


The average number of Days On Market for property listings in Union County is 140 days, with the DOM during the last six months reported at 103 days.  The previous six months reveals an average sold price of $263,448 with the fastest selling properties in the $0-$50,000 price range.

The Union County average sold price during the last 30 days was $252,043 with an average DOM of 97 days.


Right now we are looking at 5.9 months of inventory in Union County as per the last 6 month’s sold properties.  This would indicate a seemingly balanced market given that it would take that much time to sell all existing property listings on the market assuming conditions remain the same.
If you would like to explore your options, study the market statistics above in greater details or would like an assessment of your current real estate situation – contact me and I will be glad to assist you with all your real estate endeavors!

Click here to download your full report >>

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


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One day my mentor Mr. Shoaff said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

Since that time I’ve been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins: What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.
So here’s the great axiom of life:

To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.