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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Four Reasons Why Hire an Expert Advisor For Your Home Search Is a MUST

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Navigating through the home buying process may seem easy enough if you’re relying on the Internet for information, seeking homes from a distance and getting your feet wet in the real estate marketplace. But once things start getting serious, it dawns on many buyers that they need help from an expert.

The key word here is expert.

Expertise comes from working on many, many transactions and seeing countless situations as well as their outcomes. That experience translates directly to you in that when something doesn’t feel right – we’re right there to point it out, especially when you may not recognize it. So here are the four reasons to always, always seek the assistance of a full-time professional real estate agent with a lot of transactions under his or her belt.

Recognizing Market Pitfalls

This is an important factor that a lot of homebuyers neglect to realize. What may seem like a fairly solid home and an equally solid transaction could easily have hidden problems with it that only a professional might notice before it’s too late. Whether it’s overpaying for a property, or complex deed and title issues – an experienced advisor will know and advise.

Accessibility to Hidden Inventory

There are a lot of homes that are available that might not be properly marketed. What that means to you as a buyer is that you may not be getting access to what very well might be your dream home. Your expert advisor will be able to connect you with hidden inventory such as foreclosures that have not hit the market yet, For Sale By Owners that are not being advertised openly, off-market properties, builder closeouts and more.

More Experience = No Mistakes in the Process

During the last several years as our nation endured what had been one of the most difficult times in the housing industry, many agents turned to other careers. As a result, this industry has many Realtors® that devote only part of their time to the profession. And we all know that less practice would mean more mistakes. A full-time, career devoted Realtor® and expert advisor will benefit you with a smooth transaction and no room for errors.

Professional Services Don’t Cost Buyers Anything

Finally, so many buyers do not realize that the cost of having a real estate agent is nothing for them. The seller is responsible for all commissions. This makes it even more critical that you properly interview prospective agents before hiring one. Your goal, like theirs, should be to get the best home at the best price, with the best terms and as hassle-free as possible.
We are confident that we have all these characteristics and more. We invite you to meet with us to learn what we offer and just how much experience we have to support our claim of being your real estate expert advisor! Call us today!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making the Decision To Sell For a Better Price Vs. a Faster Sale

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The single biggest mistake sellers make during a soft market is to price their home too high.  Working with me we will investigate market trends in the immediate vicinity of your home.  In this link you will find information regarding a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). As always I am happy to supply you with a personal CMA to gain an in-depth look at what other sellers are selling like kind homes for in your area, average Days-On-Market statistics, housing values and more.  

Very surprisingly, a significant number of sellers have no idea that they should prepare the house for sale by highlighting its attributes.  Beginning with curb appeal, then the entrance of the home and finally throughout the rest of the space – any and all noteworthy features should be highlighted.  The home should be attractive; everything in working order and it should be set up in a way that potential buyers can imagine themselves living in the home.

Taking care of any outstanding concerns with the home, whether functionally or aesthetically, is a sure-fire way to get a better price.  Start with the major issues and then work your way down.  Unless you are willing to accommodate the price of repairs on a major problem such as a leaky roof, ineffective plumbing or an old furnace – resolve these issues. Remove all clutter that is in plain sight and “depersonalize” the space so that buyers can imagine their own things in the home.  A fresh coat of paint and replaced carpeting in neutral colors can go a long way as an effective selling tool.  Remember, the less a seller has to do once they move in, the better price you will achieve.

Selling Your Home Faster 

Anyone can put a house up for sale – but not everyone can get the word out and market it as effectively as needed to sell it fast.  One of the traits of a successful Realtor is going above and beyond the traditional methods of marketing real estate and actually selling the home.  Working outside the box will have a huge impact on your success – and it goes without saying that the more people know about your listing, the more likely it is to sell.  

One of the best advantages you can have over other sellers is to realize that it is a buyers market at the moment.  If there are issues that you cannot resolve, be prepared to offer a rebate for the amount of repairs. Be wiling to contribute to closing costs – a feature of FHA loans – financing that many homebuyers are tapping into these days, home warranties are also helpful.  If you have anassumable loan, communicate it to the prospective buyer as this is an excellent tool to help sell quickly.  Provide as many amenities as possible so that the home is move-in ready; leave appliances that are already hooked up and include as many appliances in the deal as possible.  Some sellers even offer to pay the first year’s homeowners’ insurance.

If your primary goal is to sell your home as fast as possible, one possibility is auctions.  Though not the best way to yield the best financial return on the sale, auctions definitely provide the peace of mind that your home is sold almost instantly.  There are some disadvantages to auctioning a home – and other than price they are mostly restrictive to the potential buyer.  You must be very clear on your contract that the sale is “as is” since there will likely be no time for inspections.  Maintaining buyers’ expectations can be difficult in an auction but on the other hand you can present your home and expect an answer almost immediately.
Not sure which approach you want to take?  Now that you have some tools and techniques – making the decision based on your needs should be an easier one.  Keep in mind you can also try to accomplish both, of course.  Regardless of the choice you make, it is essential to have a solid team backing you and one such pivotal member of your team will be your Realtor.  Be sure to choose a Realtor with whom you can feel comfortable, trust to take on the approach you feel is best for you – and one that will not be afraid to be honest with you in all ways to ensure the most success.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mecklenburg, Union Counties – November Market Status Update

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Right now, as we come off the presidential election period and settle back into our daily lives, things on the real estate front remain active. Many people have opted to wait the election out to see whether there will be any special outcomes as a result. But truth be told, much of the marketplace is as it was just a month ago. Here is a look Mecklenburg and Union Counties as of October:

Right now we are reporting a total of 3,645 available homes on the market, with the largest inventory in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range. The number of homes on the market in this price bracket is coming in at 1,096. The average list price for all the properties in the market as of this time period is $372,027.

Over the last six months we have had 5,508 contracts closed and the average sold price is reported at $248,853. The highest number of sold listings appeared in the $100,000 to $200,000 price point. On the other hand, 3,145 listings have not sold during the last six months, most likely due to non-aggressive marketing, the condition of the home or a pricing strategy that failed to work. We saw the most off-market listings (987 listings) in the $100,000 to $200,000 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 125 days. The average DOM over the last 6 months is 98 days with the fastest selling homes during this time frame in the $0 to $100,000 price range. The average sold price for the past 6 months is $248,853. The average sold price for the last 30 days was $232,983 with a DOM average of 98 days.

In terms of the number of months inventory on hand, we have 4 months as per the last six months of sales, pointing to a seller-centric real estate environment given the fewer available homes and increased demand.

We are reporting a total of 1,237 homes for sale in Union County with a reasonably large number of available homes in the $150,000 to $200,000 price range, with 222 listings in this group. The average listing price for the homes in this market is $327,751.

Over the last six months there have been 1,494 contracts that have closed and the average sold price was $259,548. As seems consistent with our present market statistics, the highest number of closed contracts appeared in the $100,000 to $150,000 price range. Looking at homes that did not sell, we have 981 listings still on the market, most of which come under the $150,000 to $200,000 price bracket with 183 unsold listings in that price range.

Our active listings are averaging 145 Days On Market in Union County and the number for the past six months is a relatively lower 99 days, with an average sold price of $259,548. Interesting to note is that the fastest selling properties fall in the $0 to $50,000 price point.  The average DOM for the past 30 days is 90 days and the average sold price comes in lower at $226,571.

As inventory continues to dwindle down, we keep moving toward a seller-centric market. Right now we are holding 5 months of inventory according to the last 6 months of sales, steadily moving downward. What this means is that assuming market conditions remain the same it would take 5 months to sell all the homes in our current inventory. 
Please feel free to get in touch to discuss your real estate needs – I’d be happy to look over your home, guide you through the process and help achieve your real estate goals.