What to Expect When Listing Your House: The Offer

by seacoast_ashley 19. June 2015 10:31

 

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As soon as our home hit the market we starting showing the house. Four days after going active in our MLS (Multiple Listing Service), our Agent hosted our first open house. Two days later, we had an offer. As soon as the text message came through that our Agent had emailed us a copy of the offer, my husband and I commented that, “This is it! We need champagne for signing!” Ahhh, how that elation quickly deflated.


With shaky hands we opened the offer. It was for a whopping $25,000 less than our list price. For some houses, $25,000 isn’t a very big percentage. But for our house, listed right above $200,000, it was over 25%. There was no way that the offer could work. No matter how fast we needed to move we couldn’t come to the closing table with much cash. We could not afford to sell our house!


Our Realtor's job got pretty stressful pretty quick. He was tasked with calling the Buyer’s agent to let her know that we had a counter-offer. The counter was nowhere near the Buyer’s number. It was only a couple thousand dollars less than our list price. We decided (with our Realtor) when deciding on a list price that we would price aggressively but that it would leave us with little wiggle room in negotiations. We figured that it must just be the Buyer’s negotiating tactic, start super-low and hope that we would all end up somewhere in the middle. This did not work. We came as low as we could, and they came as high as they would. The buyers ended up walking away “to look at other properties.” That deal was dead.


My husband, my Realtor and I were all disappointed. We had our bottom-line number, and although our awesome Agent had gotten us very close, it just wasn’t close enough. No matter how close the number got to our bottom-line we still only had a certain amount of attainable cash to access. That would not change. I am pretty sure that we all had a sinking feeling in our stomachs that it might be a while before we got another offer. What if we could never get close enough to sell? Our family fell into a little depressive state.


Luckily, this “Flat Offer Depression” didn’t last long! Six days later our Realtor hosted another open house (2 open houses and 12 showings if you are keeping track). The next day we had another offer! The offer came in around 7pm. It was even lower than the first offer from the week before.


This was a huge blow. Panic set in. We would never be able to sell this house. We countered-- and then we started pricing the rental market for a 4-bedroom single family home. We were going to have to be landlords...ugh. Buzzz, a new text message. The buyers had countered our counter-offer. They came up a lot! Now the game was really heating up. We poured glasses of wine, and turned the couch into a negotiating command center. The timing of the offer meant that we could be negotiating until very late in the night.


Our Realtor was the voice of calm reason. He could never (by law) give us a number or tell us exactly what to do, but he did offer advice on different scenarios and how it might all play out. This was a huge help! There were things that we hadn’t thought about. By 11:00pm we had reached our bottom-line. We countered with that number, and the notice that this was our lowest number before we would have to walk. The buyer accepted. We were officially under contract!

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I am not a very confrontational person, so the whole process gave my stomach the wiggles. I am grateful that I was not the one on the phone during the negotiating process. The excitement that my husband and I initially felt, quickly shifted to frenzy(how will we get all the stuff packed, where will we go?), then to nostalgia for our our home (hey, we brought three newborn babies into those doors!), and finally to conclusion. We are ready for adventure...little did we know on that night that this house held a whole lot of adventure left for us!


Visit the blog next week to find out what happens after the offer is accepted! We should have saved that nice bottle of champagne for closing night!


Have you ever celebrated too soon? Let us know on our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


Are you ready to sell and learn the process for yourself? Or, make an offer and send a seller into a frenzy? Find a Realtor here

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/






What to Expect When Listing Your House: Step 3 - Papers, Open Houses, and Showings..Oh My!

by seacoast_ashley 12. June 2015 10:02

The two most important decisions that we have made, thus far in our house-selling adventures, have been choosing our realtor and preparing our home for listing.  I am going to hit the three topics listed in the title above, and hopefully you will see why! Lets go in order, and if you are feeling a little lost it might be because you missed the first two blogs in this series. You can go back and read them here http://www.seacoastrealty.com/blog/.


Before, during, and after listing your home for sale there is a mountain of paperwork that must be read, checked over, filled in, and signed. I love words. I love writing. I love reading. However, there is nothing I dislike more than contracts. Every contract that I have ever received or signed immediately sends me into a full-stress overdrive. I worry that I missed something, or that I didn’t read the technical or legal language correctly. I worry that I have just signed my children away on accident!


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Pick a good one! These people will be your new best friend.


This contract/ legal-form dread has one antidote. That would be, a really great Realtor! My realtor has filled-out and read over hundreds of these contacts. He knows exactly what the form is saying in layman’s terms. I have texted, emailed, and called him so many times just to make sure that I am getting it right. To make the form-life even easier, my realtor utilizes a program that allows for me to sign all paperwork online. He can instantly see what I have done, and either congratulate me on finally understanding that “property” is referring to the house and land, or gently remind me that this is the year 2015 not 2014. DotLoop (the program that I am speaking of) also allows for my Husband and I to look back over anything that we have already signed. It lets us each sign individually, so even when we aren’t together we can sign and don’t have to meet and drive to a certain place. This is one of the major differences this time around from the last time we bought or sold a house.


These are just a few of the forms, contacts, etc that we have filled out or signed thus far (3 weeks in). I am sure that there are more, but these are the ones that are living in my DotLoop “Loop”.


Working With Real Estate Agents

Professional Services Disclosure

Exclusive Right to List

Lead Based Paint Disclosure Form

Mineral Oil/Gas/Rights Disclosure

Residential Property Disclosure


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Our realtor was on-point with advertising!


As soon as we crossed the mountain of paperwork, we were ready to go go go! Our agent knew the importance of a fast sell, so he immediately set up an open house within our first week on the market. This ended up being not quite as nerve wracking as I had expected. The house was already clean (due to our prepping to sell). Our only obligation was to make sure the house looked good, and to leave (yes leave, with 3 small kids and a dog) for 4 hours. The turnout was great, and he went ahead and scheduled another open house for the following weekend.


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What the days looked like.


It was hard to get ourselves and then keep ourselves (we have a dog that gets extremely car-sick) out of the house for a good chunk of the weekend, but it was well worth it. We got great feedback from agents. Requests for showings started pouring in. This told us two things. We were priced right, and people liked the house! All of the cleaning and housework, and our realtors hard work was paying off!


Because we were getting so many requests for showings, we needed to plan our “showing method”. After planning our showing method (how would we receive request, what lead time we required, what would need to be taken out of the house) life became a race. We were racing from work to home, home to the park, and back again. We really got to know our current city better, because we were forced to spend so much time out of the house.


Our agent set our phones up with an app called ShowingTime. This app was incredibly helpful. My husband and I would each receive a text message alerting us that there was a request to view our home. We were able to respond with a simple “Y” or “N” or suggest a different time. We loved that we were able to find out as soon as there was interest in seeing the home, as it gave us extra time to get the house cleaned-up and plan where we will take the kids and dog during the showing.I would suggest that you speak with your realtor about how he/she plans to notify you about your showing request.


No matter when the showing was requested we always made it work. This was not easy, but well worth the effort. We received an offer after only 6 days on the market! Next week’s blog will fill you in on the offer and negotiating process!


As always, I love hearing your listing stories! And, can easily direct you a person that might be able to answer your real estate questions and calm your listing fears!

For a great realtor(like mine) look here...

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/


To join in the selling conversation visit us here

 

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

What to Expect When Listing Your House: Step Two: Preparing Your Home for Listing

by seacoast_ashley 4. June 2015 16:18

 

 

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If you read last week’s blog post then you already know the first step. If you missed it then you might want to back up and read Step One: Finding a Realtor. Ok, caught up? Perfect.


In an attempt to inform our clients, I am blogging my personal experience listing (selling) my home. As I mentioned in the last blog post, this is not my first experience. However,  it does carry much more weight. I now have 3 small children, a dog, and house bursting with a “lived- in” feel.


We are moving due to a job change. We knew that we had to list our home for sale just 4 weeks before my husband’s out-of-town job start date. This makes it important to try to sell the house as quickly as possible, because I will be staying in our current home with the aforementioned three kids and a dog until the house sells and we can find a home in our new location.

Before we signed with our Realtor we started the deep clean. We tried to fix any glaring problems with the house, but due to financial and time constraints there are a few things that could still use attention.


We explained to our realtor that we needed a quick sell and we couldn’t afford or have the time to do large amounts of work. His recommendation was to price aggressively.  By doing so, we are hoping that we will have more interest. We know that we will not end up walking away with a profit, but that is okay with us. We are simply looking to free up the money that we are paying towards our mortgage so that we can put that into a new home. For lots of people this strategy does not work. Often times, people are looking to make profit or at least make back some of the money that they have paid towards renovations, etc. This is something that you and your realtor will need to determine. Know your end goal.


After pricing our house our realtor made a few suggestions for inexpensive ways that we could prepare the house to go on the market. I had a $500 limit set on the work that we could/would do. His first suggestion was to enhance the curb appeal. We decided that almost all of the $500 would go to drawing buyers into our home from the outside. Step one was to paint the front porch. The porch was not in terrible shape, but fresh white paint had a huge impact. It makes the house look shiney and new. After paying for paint and supplies, we had about $400 left to spruce the place up.


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See how crisp that white looksjQuery15207700262633152306_1433533719477


I spent $100 on new planters in crisp white, 3 hanging baskets bursting with flowers, and lots of new plants for the area around our walkway. There is nothing that makes you want to take your home off the market more than driving up to your home a feeling like it is the best that it has ever looked! Be prepared to wish you could stay.


With the remaining $300 we plan on fixing a piece of cracked molding around our front door, replacing a rotted board on our back deck (and repainting it), changing out all of our light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs, and possibly repainting all of the interior trim work the same crisp white that made such a huge impact on the front porch. If there is money left over, I will be hiring a cleaning service to come in and scrub all of the nooks and crannies that I have neglected.


Once the house was clean and fresh and looking like the home of my dreams, our Realtor hired a house photographer. This is something that never happened with our previous listings, but it has already had a huge impact on the level of interest that we have had by buyers. The photos show the very best of our home. I would recommend that you have a professional photograph your home. It was fairly inexpensive (my realtor even provides the service free to his sellers) and really does make a world of difference. Today, most buyers start their search online. They want great visuals.

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These pics have driven tons of traffic to my home’s online profile!


One of my biggest obstacles has been decluttering this house. After many years and many children we look like an exploded toy shop. The method that worked (is working) for me, is to keep 2 baskets in my laundry room.


The first basket is for the things that may be scattered about, but that we can’t do without. I load this basket at the first request for a showing. It holds dog items (food, leash, bed), personal items we don’t want to leave laying about, and anything else that has found it’s way to the floor that I don’t have time to put in its specific place. The second basket holds things that need to leave the house for good. It is our “out” basket. The items that most often find their fate in this basket are toys that I noticed aren’t played with anymore, clothes that are too small, or items that we haven’t used in the past six months.


When we have a showing request the first thing I do is load those baskets into the car. I usually try to donate the “out” stuff while driving around killing time during the showing. The basket method has worked well so far. In the end, it will result in less packing for me!

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More decluttering to do, but with 3 kids this is pretty clean!


EVERYDAY (yes, all caps) we clean. Floors are vacuumed or swept (or mopped on a good day), all surfaces are wiped down, smudges are cleaned, dust is banished.The lawn is mowed on any pretty day. There are no toilets left opened, and no recycling items left on the counters.  It is an exhausting process, but at the end of the day we know that this will speed up the selling process. It will help us reach our end goal (and rest) so much faster!


What are the projects that you feel are most important to complete when listing your home? If you have sold a home before, did the cleaning and home improvements drive you batty? Share your methods!!


Watch out for Step Three of the home-selling process next week!


To share your ideas (and to help me sell!) join the conversation on our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


To find an agent to guide you in the process visit

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

What to Expect When Listing Your House to Sell: Step One: Picking Your Realtor

by seacoast_ashley 26. May 2015 05:07

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Listing one’s house for sale can be a taxing situation, or it can be a pretty easy one. Hopefully by educating yourself on what to expect you can take the stress out of one of the most important decisions that you will make in your life.


Step One: FIND A GOOD REALTOR. I can not stress enough the importance of this first step. After buying and selling quite a few homes in my life, this step has played the most important role in keeping the process rolling smoothly. There are many many factors that need to be considered when finding the right agent for you.


The last home that I listed created the most stressful situation that I had ever experienced. I made the age-old mistake of hiring my realtor based solely on the fact that this person was a close personal friend. There are a few major problems that can arise in a situation like mine. My realtor was not located in my city. This resulted in problems with her availability, and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by questioning her lack of commitment or knowledge of our area. In the end, we ended up letting the listing expire, and basically messing up what was a perfectly good friendship.


From now on, I will be sticking with the, “no business with family or friends” rule. If you happen to have a really great friend or family member that is the world’s best realtor be sure to think long and hard about the various situations that could occur. Ask yourself is it worth it? If you really want to use your friend but don’t want to risk your friendship, you might ask for a referral to another agent. Most realtors love to give and receive referrals. There is usually some sort of compensation to the referring agent, so it is a nice way for you to help your friend without hurting your relationship.


That being said, many people love to work with someone that they already know. For some, it turns out to be an enjoyable situation that deepens a relationship, and can often result in a lifelong realtor. One of my close family members always uses her close friend in real estate transactions. They are able to be 100% honest with one another without feeling like either party is going to hurt the feelings of the other. Every friendship as well as every realtor/client relationship is different. Think about what works for you, and do not feel pressure to use a friend’s service just because they are a friend.


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After you have decided not to use a friend/family realtor, there are a couple of ways to find someone with whom you can work. In the age of the Internet, the easiest route is to begin your search online. I picked the realty company before I picked an actual agent. After poring over reviews of different agencies, I settled on the largest in my area. By doing so, I have access to more potential buyers. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and I loved the idea that my realtor may be around (and talking on a daily basis in the office) hundreds of different agents.


When the company was picked, I moved on to the actual realtor. I would suggest that you speak with a few different agents before settling on one. I spoke with three and found someone that I liked as person and that I also felt really was excited about my house. He presented me with his plan for “attack,” and it was just what I was looking for. I needed to move quickly and have someone that could be aggressive on the marketing front. Myself, being deeply involved in social media, had been witness to the power of social advertising. I knew I wanted someone who had a knack for giving properties a presence on the social scene.


There are many many more questions that you might consider asking your potential agent. You might like to know what his/her success rate is? What types of listings does he/she generally list? How well do they know the area? How and how often will they communicate with you? This list could go on and on. Depending on what type of person you are, it might be a short list of questions or it might be really long. Googling “What to ask a potential realtor,” gave me a good starting point.


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After signing the “Working with Realtors” and the “Exclusive Right to List” paperwork our official Realtor/Client relationship was born! There are so many more steps to listing your house. Please check back next week to find out Step Two! In the meantime, let me know how you chose your Realtor. Did you end up working with a friend or family member? Did you love it? Spill it - The good, the bad, and the ugly!


Share with me on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


Find a great Realtor to work with here!

www.seacoastrealty.com

House Features That Moms Love

by seacoast_ashley 13. May 2015 08:06

 


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My family is planning our next move. We are listing our house, and have started dreaming about what our next house will be like. As a mom to small children, I find myself looking for certain features in a home.


My biggest “dream feature” would be close proximity to my own Mom. This is something that will not change anytime soon. We will most likely live hours apart for many more years. To make up for the fact that there is a long drive between us, I would love to have an in-law suite. I am hoping that this will not be too hard to find, as double master suites seems to be an option that many homebuilders are now offering. Having a comfortable place for my Mom would hopefully encourage her to come for longer periods of time! Mom is the best babysitter, counselor, and friend I have, so more time with her is always a plus.


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School districts are a huge factor in the homes that I will consider. Not only the schools, but the kid-friendly activities that are near the house, and kid-focused amenities that a neighborhood has to offer. Before having children these types of things were completely off my radar. Now, as I look at homes and neighborhoods it is the one thing that I can not overlook. It is my Number One priority. All moms want the best for their children, and want a safe place to send their kids. It is a huge bonus if the house and neighborhood are not near any busy roads. When summer days are stretching longer and longer and my nerves are growing thinner and thinner I want the kids to be able to play outside! Nothing can change a bad attitude like a quick dose of sunshine.


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Now that the kids are safe, let's move on to the next thing that a Mom-approved house might offer. It is storage. Moms want storage and lots of it. I don’t know very many moms that are able to totally conquer clutter. Toys breed while we sleep at night! If you walk into a house with kids and don’t see toys I will guarantee you that there is a closet somewhere that is stocked, stacked, and stuffed with them. That closet probably has a broken door from the hip bump needed for Mom to get it to shut. My next house will have storage galore! I want closets, cabinets, and attics. Throw in a dedicated laundry room for the piles currently residing on the bathroom floor and I am one happy Mama.


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A Mom-approved home will function flawlessly. The ability to multi-task and schedule is one of our most powerful attributes. We want our homes to offer a functionality that enables us to multi-task with ease. I want to be able to cook while watching the puppet show happening on the couch. The functionality of an open floor plan is so very appealing. I do know that as the kids grow I may want more walls...to separate myself from angry teens, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.


At the end of the day, even a superhero needs rest. Moms need to take a little time to reflect and re-energize. The last and quite possibly the most important thing that a Mom-friendly house will have (the thing that I try to envision in every single potential new home I tour) is the Mom Retreat. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be separated from the rest of the house, though that would be awesome. It just has to be MY space. It is a space that I will decorate totally for ME. A space where I may or may not allow kids to play. It is a space that will nurture me and provide moments of peace and solitude.

Some of my mom friends are looking for huge tubs to soak away stress. Some of them are looking for gardening spaces. Some of them just want a bay window so that they can watch the world grow. It doesn’t matter what kind of space moms are looking for: we need it. Moms need to care for themselves to be able to care for everyone else!


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What features did I leave off the list that you think are Mom necessities? Is there any feature in your own home that has made life with kids a little easier? Let me know!

On Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


All Homes pictured above are current listings of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. If you would like additional photographs, information, or homes tours please visit our website!

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/








Robots in the Home?

by seacoast_ashley 4. May 2015 16:31


How do you feel about the idea of having robots in your home? I’m not talking about the ones that a child left laying in the hallway, but rather an actual robot with an actual job to do? Many of us have tried and either loved or hated robots in the past.


My first venture into robots for the home was the Roomba robot that vacuums. http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Vacuum-Cleaning/Roomba.aspx

I loved Roomba until my anxious dog decided that there was room for only one thing, namely her, under the dining room table. Sure, the Roomba didn’t do the job quite as well as I do with the stand up vac, but it did allow me to go for longer times between actual vacuuming. Now there are also a variety of floor cleaning robots that mop, this could be a total game changer in my house, and I look forward to trying one...as soon as the price drops a little on them.

http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Floor-Mopping/Braava.aspx

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For cat owners there is the Litter-Robot. Yes, a robot that scoops out the used cat litter and stores it in a baggie for you to dispose of. http://www.litter-robot.com/litter-robot.aspx?id=13 It is a little pricey, but if you really really hate scooping the litter box you might just find a way to buy one! If you go on vacation there is the automatic pet feeder.


Robots have invaded our outside space as well. There is the Robomow. This is a robotic lawn mower. You can read more about them here http://usa.robomow.com/explore-robomow/. Even the gutters are getting a helping hand from robots. The iRobot Looj is comes with a remote that allows the user to just point and shoot and the little Looj will do its job! My husband has now left to look for a Looj. http://www.irobot.com/for-the-home/outdoor-maintenance/looj.aspx


There are pool cleaning robots, alarm clock robots, smartphone robots, robotic animals for kids (or people who can’t deal with the litter box even if a robot is scooping it).

As a kid, I remember thinking that the cartoon The Jetsons was just one flying car away from becoming total reality. We aren't quite there yet, but I do see robots creeping more and more into our everyday existence.

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Soon Amazon’s Echo will begin showing up in homes. The release date on Amazon is July 8, 2015, and you must request an invitation to buy one. http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/will-echo-game-changer-homes/

Echo is a voice activated computer, much like Siri is to iPhone users. Echo is simply there to scour the Internet and find the answers to questions for its owners. Sorry kids, Echo isn’t going to do your homework - or will it? Will she roll through the kitchen with a plate of freshly baked cookies that she baked in a slot on her chest? No. Will she find the recipe for the cookies? Maybe. Will I still ask for an Echo for my birthday? Absolutely. I am almost 100% positive that Echo will decrease the amount of times that I am asked to spell something from my first grader. http://www.amazon.com/oc/echo/ref_=ods_dp_ae

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Smart homes (though not entirely robot reliant) are all the rage. The Nest thermostat is evidence of that. https://nest.com/thermostat/life-with-nest-thermostat/ I am seeing Nest in more and more homes and it was even suggested that I install one as a selling point when listing my house on the real estate market. Buyers are aware that a change is occurring. Here is a great list of 25 Smart Technologies that Matter Most to Home Buyers http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/selling-a-smart-home/


A few days after the completion of this blog post (I thought) Tesla made a huge announcement. Tesla unveiled a home battery system. Yes, a battery that powers your entire home! The battery is charged with the use of solar panels. This may be a huge game changer in the energy sector. The battery is called Powerwall and is reported that it will cost around $3000. Tesla is taking reservations for the system, which should be delivered sometime in the summer of 2015. You can read more about the Powerwall here http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall


Are you an open and willing participant in the robot, smart homes, tech tech everywhere movement that is happening? Do you believe that a change is occurring at all, or are all of the adults just attempting to create another Jetson fantasy that is still decades away? Let us know what you think! And, if you have tried any of the products listed above please give me your take on them! You can communicate with us via Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


Via Twitter at

@InsideSeaCoast


If you are looking for a home that has smart features or if you are looking for a regular house with regular features you can find them all here!

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

Fun Things to do in Wilmington this Weekend

by seacoast_ashley 1. May 2015 03:46


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1.Parade of Homes

75+ homes in Pender, Brunswick, and New Hanover county will be open for viewing in the 29th annual Parade of Homes. This event is a great chance for buyers to see some of the new homes in our area, and get the opportunity to see what makes each of the local homebuilders unique. This event is free. Homes are open Sat. and Sun. from noon until 5pm each day.

http://wilmingtonparadeofhomes.com/


2. Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series

The summer concert series at Airlie Gardens kicks off Friday from 6:00-8:00pm. Enjoy music in the stunning setting of Airlie Gardens, surrounded by the beauty that is Eastern NC. Tickets are $9/Adults, $2/Children (4yrs-12yrs), Free/Children under

http://airliegardens.org/airlie-events/summer-concert-series-jack-jack-180/

 

 

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Photo courtesy http://www.bellamymansion.org/

3. Wilmington Wine and Food Festival

Wilmington’s 3rd annual Wine and Food Fest featuring some of Wilmington’s top chefs and culinary experts. This festival benefits The Bellamy Mansion Museum and Nourish NC. Sample wines and beers paired with amazing food. Sounds like you can’t go wrong with this one!

http://www.wilmingtonwineandfood.com/

4. Cape Fear Habitat Re-Store Upscale Resale

Treasures galore at the UpScale ReSale benefitting Habitat for Humanity. Find unique creations by local designers working with ReStore finds. Friday evening kicks off the event with a preview sip, see, and sale. Saturday continues the fun with a sale open to the general public.

http://www.capefearhabitat.org/

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Photo courtesy http://www.capefearriverwatch.org/gallery/photos

5. LakeFest Kayak Race at Greenfield Lake

A family friendly event with the Cape Fear River Watch. The festival should be lots of fun with kayak races, educational eco-tours, animals, arts and crafts, face painting and more! Enjoy all that Greenfield Lake has to offer!

http://www.capefearriverwatch.org/education/lakefest-2015



With spring in Full swing our area is bustling with things to do! Here are a few more of the events happening around our area, and links for information.


Southport Naturefest

http://stateportpilot.com/news/article_d1d2b224-c5a6-11e4-9255-fb7bbee9cea4.html

Fundraiser - Kentucky Derby Party at Poplar Grove

http://www.poplargrove.org/events/kentucky-derby-party/

Topsail Island Surf and Pier Fishing Challenge

http://fishermanspost.com/tournaments/topsail-island-spring-surf-fishing-challenge

Boogie in the Park at Kure Beach

http://www.visitkurebeachnc.com/events-calendar/boogie-in-the-park-presents-uncle-hairy/

Cape Fear Comedy Festival

https://capefearcomedy.com/


***AND AS ALWAYS - VISIT ANY OF OUR OPEN HOUSES THIS WEEKEND TO BE ENTERED TO WIN $500 IN OUR COAST IN AND WIN***

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/property/property-list.asp?VAR_SearchType=openhouse&VAR_MapStatus=LISTMAP

Ode to Realtors - What My Realtor Needs to Know

by seacoast_ashley 28. April 2015 08:34

There are moments, some huge and some just tiny snapshots, that mold my view of the places that I have called home. Some places were short-lived but still hold a snippet in my memory; some places are still in my life and fill my memory with family, happiness, sadness, smells, and sounds.


My current home is the one that seems to be taking up the most space in my brain. This home has seen my first years of marriage, first “adult” jobs, babies being carefully carried over the threshold. There have been old pets living out last days, and new pets exploring a yard for the first time. Children have taken first baths, taken first steps, and learned to dribble and shoot basketballs here.

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My family has grown, and is often the case with many sellers, I am having a hard time imagining making memories in a new house. I have narrowed down the wish list to things that my family will need in the future. Our little ones will not want to share a bedroom forever, and so we added an extra bedroom as a must. Our family will not always want to be in the same room, on the same couch, sharing the same blanket. A house with not quite so much of an “open floor-plan” was added to the must haves.


Whatever a seller’s reasons are for selling, most of the time it is not a rash decision, but rather one that involves replaying the memories of what made a house a home a thousand times over. There is the acceptance that at the sale of the house means that the memories of that place will stop layering in the mind and heart.


Here comes the great part! After the sale of our house we will begin looking for a new memory maker. We will excitedly begin imagining ourselves planting a garden in unfamiliar soil, or soaking in an amazing tub that we currently do not have, we will picture shutting the door to the kitchen! Adventure awaits!


Real estate brokers play a bigger factor in our lives than we ever really take time to think about. How do we choose our Realtor? These are the people that are often choosing the homes that they think would fit us and our families. These are the people that can visualize the future for us when we are unable to. Choosing a Realtor is way more important than I previously thought.


I realized very early on that I really needed to trust and like my agent. I needed to know that this person would understand that leaving our current home would be a BIG deal for us. That the whole experience was not just rooted in money. I also need a realtor that understands that I am making a decision for five people. All five people will be calling the next place home for quite some time. And, I want all five people to be able to build incredible memories in a place that they love.


To be able to convey to my realtor what this move is about, I need to define the word “home” for myself and each of my family members. For myself, home is a place where I can cook for and take care of my family, and a place that I can find space that allows me to calm down when poop, or throw-up, or a vast array of other liquid items hit the fan. For my husband, home would be a place that he is able to explore his surroundings, encourage our children to get dirty, spread his messes without fear, and pursue his artistic endeavors. For my kids this home will need to be a place that they feel safe, a place that allows them to grow both closer and away from each other, and a place that they will be able to make lifelong friendships.


My Realtor holds a huge amount of responsibility. The trust that we have for our real estate agent is immeasurable. We know that this person will guide us into the next phase of our lives. We trust that they will be educated, and will know where we can save some money. They will know the legalities, the way to fill out forms, our best options for everything from home inspectors to loan officers. We trust that they will be personable and kind and truly love what they do because we will surely need them to be excited on the days that we are not.  We trust that they will know where to find what it is we are looking for, and if they can’t find it, or if  it doesn’t exist that they will guide us in a way that opens our eyes to different possibilities.


This piece started as an Ode to Home and ended up as an Ode to Realtors! Home and realtors...like peanut butter and jelly!


Moving is a huge deal filled with lots of emotions. Why are you buying or selling? What kinds of traits are you looking for in your realtor? Tell us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


With well over 400 Agents, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is the largest Real Estate Firm in Eastern NC, If You need a Realtor I would highly urge you to look here

http://www.seacoastrealty.com


Realtor.com article on What to Consider When Choosing a Realtor

http://www.realtor.com/advice/designations-understand/


Nice Article on Choosing the Right Listing Agent

http://www.frontdoor.com/real-estate/how-to-choose-a-great-listing-agent


Questions to ask Potential Realtors

http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/questions-ask-when-choosing-realtor

10 Things to do in Eastern NC This Weekend!

by seacoast_ashley 23. April 2015 15:21

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As the weekend approaches our coast is gearing up for activities galore! Whether you have guests in town, or are visiting our area you will surely find something fun! Here are 10 things to do on the NC coast this weekend!


1. 2015 Parade of Homes

If you are exploring your home buying options here in the Cape Fear, or just love to look at beautiful homes then this is the activity for you! Over 70 homes will be on display this year. See some of the options offered up by our local homebuilders. The event runs for two weekends April 25-26 and then again from May 1-2. Homes are open for viewing from 12pm-5pm. For more details visit

http://wilmingtonparadeofhomes.com/event-information/


2. Southport Paint the Town Plein Air Paint Out

The town of Southport will be hosting the Plein Air Paint Out. Both beginner and seasoned artists alike will be practicing the art of plein air painting (painting in the outdoors). Visitors will be able to meander the quaint town of Southport, have the chance to speak with the artists, and the opportunity to purchase paintings on site. The event runs from 9am-5pm April24 - April25.For more details, check out the Star News article

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150421/articles/150419797


3. Celebrate the Flytrap!

The NC Coastal Land Trust sponsored event Flytrap Frolic will be held Saturday from 9am-1pm at 3800 Canterbury Road. This is a freeevent with activities the whole family can enjoy. After treating the kids to a carnivorous plant lesson, drop them with the sitter and head out to one of Wilmington’s newest watering holes. Head to  Flytrap Brewery for live music and dinner from the Vittles Food Truck. Cheers to our region and the unique plants that grow here! http://www.coastallandtrust.org/Flytrap  

http://www.flytrapbrewing.com/home.html

4. The Star Party at Carolina Beach State Park

Star gaze on April 24 from 7:00pm-10:30pm. Telescopes will be set up for viewing our beautiful night sky, and astronomy related activities will be available for all to enjoy. This is a state wide event happening all along our coast. You might also be interested in the event happening in Jacksonville. In the event of rain the event will be held the following night April 25. To learn more about the event or to find a Star Party closer to you, visit

http://www.ncsciencefestival.org/2015_event/ssp2015-carolinabeach/


5. The Carolina Cup

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Head out to Wrightsville beach this weekend to catch the tail end of the Carolina Cup! This weeklong event will wind up on Saturday. Wrightsville Beach is one of the premiere locations for SUP (Stand-up Paddling). There are sure to be some amazing sites and most likely include a ride home filled with plans for buying your first SUP. Events will be in full swing April 24 - April 25. For information about this event

http://wrightsvillebeachpaddleclub.com/


6. Earth Day Celebration at Hugh MacRae Park

Celebrate our Earth with your family in a beautiful setting. This annual event will be held April 25 from 12pm-6pm. The event is free to attend. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. This is a family friendly FUN event. The offerings include live music, a kids zone, and exhibitors galore! This event is designed to honor our Earth, educate, and inspire eco action!

http://www.wilmingtonearthday.com/celebrate_2015.html#more


7. Wilmington Riverfront Farmers Market

Yay! The market is back until November. Stroll downtown, maybe catch a yummy breakfast at The Dixie Grill, then head down to the Riverfront to scoop up plenty of fresh local foods, flowers, and crafts. This is a nice place to meet the people in your community and explore the amazing things that our farmers grow! The market is open April 25 from 8am-1pm.

http://www.wilmingtondowntown.com/events/farmers-market


8. Coastal Cluck Coop Tour

April 25 from 10am-3pm visitors will be able to tour the many cool coops of Wilmington chicken owners! The event is free with a donation of non-perishables for Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen. If you have been thinking about owning and raising your own chickens, or just want to see some of the coops around town then this is the event for you. Coop owners will answer questions and educate the public on raising chickens. Many of the stops on the tour will be selling various chicken or farm related products, think fresh local eggs! For more information about the tour check out their Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coastal-Cluck-Coops/218543004885713


9. Walking Tour of Historic Churches in Wilmington

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Wilmington has some of the most beautiful churches in the state. This is a chance to take a 2 1/2 hour long tour of seven of the historic churches located downtown. The tour starts at the Latimer House at 1:30pm April 26. What a great way to meet people, explore some amazing sites, and get your exercise in!

http://www.hslcr.org/

10. Coast in and Win!

While out and about exploring our area stop in at one of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage’s open houses on Sat or Sun. By stopping in and viewing the house you will be entered into the monthly drawing for $500! Pretty easy way to pay for all of those weekend activities!

 

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/property/property-list.asp?VAR_SearchType=openhouse&VAR_MapStatus=LISTMAP

Meet Sheri McDermott and Tom T. Cat

by seacoast_ashley 17. April 2015 04:09

Meet Sheri McDermott and Tom T. Cat


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When I moved into my current home, the previous owners left behind a couple of small items. These things seemed to be left as “welcome home,” gifts. A few extra light bulbs, a can of touch up paint, and a new houseplant were greatly appreciated.


When various Realtors took potential buyers to a home on the market, they began to realize that the sellers left behind another type of “gift.” It was their cat! Can you imagine packing your dishes in the u-haul, packing the sheets, packing the toiletries, and then leaving your cat? I can’t, and neither could Sheri McDermott.


Sheri has been a full time Realtor since 2006. She is an avid beach lover, and is lucky to live just five minutes from her Surf City office. She is also lucky to have found a lifelong family member in Tom T. Cat. Compassion is a trait that good Realtors have. Oftentimes, circumstances surrounding the buying or selling of homes are not great. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is glad to have a person unwilling to turn a blind eye to an abandoned animal. This is Tom’s story.

 

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Tom was abandoned by his "family." Realtors would show the home, and he would try to get back  into the house. They posted his photo on Facebook. Finally he tried to get into a Realtors car!  After a week of watching the events unfold on Facebook,  and knowing a full-grown cat would not be adopted in time, I finally caved. I asked the address of the home. I went to pick him up, and there he was waiting on the porch! I put him in a cat carrier and he howled the entire drive home....ironic that he now loves car rides!!!!


Tom loves to garden with me. He greets us everyday when we come home from work, and loves my car so much! I take him for rides to the ICWW & back home.


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Tom was obviously an animal that loved his home. He was so fortunate that Sheri was able to give him a permanent one. We wish him an easy ride for the rest of his life!


If you or someone that you know is in a situation that leaves no choice but to give up a pet, we urge you to contact you local rescue organizations.

http://www.adoptapet.com/


https://www.aspca.org/

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/


http://dog.rescueshelter.com/northcarolina

http://www.adoptapet.com/


We love a good adoption story! Please share yours with us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

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