Listing Your Home in the Fall!

by seacoast_ashley 9. October 2015 05:20

Listing Your Home in the Fall!

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I’m not sure how many times I have heard a friend or family member bemoan that they would have to wait until spring to put their homes on the market. Sure, spring is the most popular time to buy and sell real estate, but did you know that the fall selling season comes in a close second? Sometimes, depending on your situation, it might be the best time for you to sell you home.


There is nothing more cozy and memory provoking than a fire in the fireplace, the smell of cinnamon and spice in the kitchen, and a jack-o-lantern perched on the front porch. Fall is a great time for sellers to capitalize on this feeling of home that buyers often respond to on an emotional level. It is a lot easier for a buyer to “fall in love” with a home when that home evokes good memories. The colors of fall create an amazing natural background as well. Step into a yard that is crisp and clean and ablaze in the vibrant colors of fall and it is hard to not feel optimistic and inspired. We are lucky, that our area has mild weather. Fall at the beach is actually my favorite time of year! The crowds have thinned, the humidity is low, and neighbors are reconnecting after summers away.


One big motivation for buyers in the fall is the upcoming holiday season. Most buyers prefer to be in their new home in time to host family and friends over the following months. Often times this drive can lead to a quicker than usual sale. The holidays aren’t the only reason fall is on the buyer radar. Many buyers are seeking the tax deductions and breaks that come with buying a home, and need to be closed by the end of the year to benefit quickly.


Not only has the market changed over time, but the kind of Buyers entering the market have changed as well. Many people are choosing to enter the real estate market later in life as first time home-buyers and baby boomers are moving into the homes that they are retiring in. Because school selection is less important to these kinds of Buyers, the thinking that once the school year starts buyers don’t buy, just doesn’t hold true in these cases.  The buyers entering the market in the fall that are concerned with school districts are often moving as the result of new employment, and are laser focused.


Possibly one of the biggest benefits to selling in the fall is the lower inventory that one would find in the spring months. Less inventory means less competition for the seller. Because of the rapidly growing online tools and apps available to buyers, many buyers are starting their searches online. When they make the appointment to view your home they have most likely already seen the house online and are aware of the basics. The use of these technologies have resulted in a more serious buyer.


If you have been waiting for spring to come, you might want to give listing in the fall another look. I encourage you to speak with a real estate professional to determine if fall might be your best bet for selling your home quickly. The most important part of a smooth and successful real estate transaction is having an agent that can help you price appropriately and has a deep knowledge of the market in your area. We have hundreds of agents that fit this bill. Let our agents show you the benefit of listing in the fall!


To speak with one of our many talented agents please visit

 

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

What to Expect When Selling Your Home: Part Six - The Closing

by seacoast_ashley 13. July 2015 03:35

 

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I was not as smiley as this woman on the side of our UHaul


After packing every square inch of our home, minus the living room curtains (you can read more about this in last week’s blog) we were ready to scrub. My family and I had loved our home and we wanted the new buyers to walk in and love it too.

Luckily, I had the help of my super awesome parents. Everyday for the last week in my home, my mother and I would drop my kids off at a drop-in daycare. We would clean the inside of the house while my father worked on the outside. We had so much stuff crammed into every available space that no less than 10 trips were made to local charities to make donations.


The week was looooong. I had prepared myself to cry from sun up to sun down. I had previously imagined that each piece of artwork coming off the wall, and each memory inducing wall scrape touched up, and each totally empty room would result in an ocean of tears. This was not the case!  The massive amount of work that it took to get the house completely empty and clean made me ready to get out.


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Little things like this set the tears flowing!


The tear-free me lasted until the morning of closing. I woke up early and attempted to make a video of each room so that our kids would be able to remember what the house was like when they were small. This was when the floodgates opened. I could remember memories so clearly in that empty house. I remembered every holiday photo, every scraped knee, and every birthday party. I knew that the new owners would be walking into the house, their house, in just a few short hours. With a couple of deep breaths and spoken thank-yous to the house, I slipped a bottle of champagne into the fridge, and walked out for the last time.


Oftentimes (almost everytime) buyers have the chance to do one final walk-through of the home. This usually takes place on the morning of the closing. I was informed by my realtor that I could be there for the walk-through or not. I chose not to attend. I knew that I would be sad seeing someone critique or make plans of changing what had been mine for so many years. I also wanted the new buyers to be relaxed and excited. I wanted them to “bond” with their new home.


Driving out of our neighborhood was rough, but somewhere between the neighborhood and the lawyer’s office I had made peace with moving out. We did not see the buyers at the closing table. It is my understanding that in some cases the buyers and sellers are at the same table and literally hand over the keys after signing all of the legal paperwork. My appointment to sign was an hour before the buyers’ appointment. The actual closing was pretty anti-climatic.


My agent sat beside me and a lawyer sat in front of me. It was so nice to have the experienced eyes of my agent reviewing everything that the lawyer slid across the table. It was important too, because we found a $200 mistake! Papers were re-done, resigned, and before I knew it my house was no longer mine. The “buyers” were no longer the buyers, but were the “owners.”


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New beginnings, here we come!


Every hardship and minute of work seemed to vanish. The memories stayed. And, in the second that I signed my name on the last of what felt like 1000 pages, my family and I became homeless! The relief of selling our home has morphed into panic again as we search for a new house to make a home. We are in a constant state of looking, number-crunching, racing to open houses! Stay tuned for the upcoming series “What to Expect When Buying a Home”.


Did you feel relief, sadness, pure joy when officially selling your home? Do you have advice for me on buying? Please do-tell!

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


If you are looking for guidance in the home buying/selling process:

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

What to Expect When Selling Your House: Part 5 - Life After the Offer

by seacoast_ashley 3. July 2015 04:33

 

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Pay close attention to these curtains, and read on.


In my last blog post, I talked about the highs, and lows, and long nights of negotiating and accepting an offer. It is an exciting time, but don’t pop that cork (like we did) just yet. Little did my husband and I know, there would be many more hurdles to jump before the whole home selling process was over.


The offer that we accepted put us walking away with a couple thousand dollars. We knew that we would not walk away with lots of money, as we bought our home in the height of the housing market, and although recovering, it was not quite back to the way it had been. We were selling due to a job move, so we were okay with walking away with nothing. The reason that we negotiated our bottom-line at a couple thousand dollars above our break-even point, was so that after the buyers had their inspection and submitted their repair request we would have the money to fix anything necessary. We will talk about that list a little later!


In the Offer to Purchase that we signed, the buyers put down “earnest money.” This is money that shows that they are committed, and if the transaction goes through will go toward their down payment. This gave us peace of mind and let us know that if the deal fell through by some fault of the buyer we would be compensated for the time that the house was off the market.


The Offer also had a due diligence period of three weeks. This time lets the buyer schedule all necessary inspections, appraisals, etc. Some of these inspections were just things that the buyer wanted to check out, and some were necessary for the bank to approve their loan. This three weeks ended up being almost as hectic as the house showing period. Because we wanted the house to make good impressions we continued to clean, tweak, and improve it. Not only were we doing the aforementioned things, but we were also packing. We were moving whether this deal went through or not, so packing could not wait. There was SO MUCH STUFF!


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Renting a POD was one of the best decisions we made. It gave a us a place to put ALL THAT STUFF without making too much of a mess inside the house.


With each inspection (home inspection, pest inspection, roof inspection, inspection of the heating and air unit) came new worries that the buyer might not like what they were hearing. Our stress levels went each time an inspector scheduled a visit. I am sure that the buyer was feeling this same stress and probably second guessing their offer the whole way through.


The day that due diligence was to end the buyer’s agent asked for a due diligence extension... We were floored. Our agent was in constant contact with the buyer’s agent. We were assured that the buyer was no trying to back out, but could not get the all of the inspections that they needed in time. They wanted to extend 3 days. We very reluctantly agreed. One last inspection and the due diligence was ending (at 5pm). We were counting hours.


At 4pm we received the Repairs Request. This is where the deal almost fell apart. Are you stressed out yet? We were!


Having bought and sold houses before, my husband and I both totally expected that there would be a list of things both “biggish” and small that the buyer would ask us to fix. I was expecting things like repair of a crack in the moulding, fixing the light fixture in the bedroom, replacing the back door, etc. What we got went way beyond our wildest dreams!


The repairs report came, and the buyer asked for a new roof, new heat/air unit, gas logs in the fireplace to be serviced, and the list went on and on. In case you missed it, yes I did say a new roof! The estimation for a new roof was $8,000. The estimate for a new heat/air unit was also $8,000. I freaked out! The were asking for well over $20,000 in repairs.


It was time for my agent’s ninja negotiating skills to be exercised. After much sweating and number crunching my husband and I knew that the couple of thousand dollars that we were going to walk away with was all that we could offer. We had our agent call the buyer’s agent and offer $2000 toward closing, we would service the gas logs, and we would service the heat/air unit. There was nothing else that we could offer. We waited, and tried to figure out what we would do with the house when the deal fell through.


We had a response from the buyer within an hour. They would take our offer if we would throw in the living room curtains. It all came down to curtains.

The deal was on, we were back to packing, and it finally felt like we were in the home stretch.


Have you gotten close to a deal and then it fell through? Or, did you sell a home and have a buyer ask for something totally unexpected? Tell me about it on our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


Do you need a ninja negotiator? Find an agent on our website

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/




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

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Find a great Realtor to work with here!

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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

Seller Tip: Don’t Forget These Items for the Day of Closing

by seacoast_ashley 23. February 2014 05:20

In North Carolina, home sellers aren’t required to be present at the attorney’s office on the day of closing. Most of their paperwork is done ahead of time. However, on the day of closing or the day before, they need to sign-off on the HUD form, which shows all the details of how the funds are being paid. They can stop by the attorney’s office once the form is prepared or sign the required documents remotely (depending on transaction requirements). Even Keys for Home Closingthough they aren’t required to be at closing, sellers still need to prepare some items for the buyers to receive the day of closing.

If you’re selling your North Carolina home, it’s important to make note to put the following items aside before you move out of the property.

  1. House Keys. Make sure you collect all of your extra house keys, including those for the front door, back door, garage door, and any interior doors that may have locks.
  2. Garage Door Openers. Don’t drive off without leaving the garage door opener that’s in your vehicle in the home. These can be difficult to replace, especially on older devices.
  3. Mail Box Key. If you live in a condo complex, you have a key for accessing the mail box assigned to your unit. These can be very expensive to replace - $60 to $80. If you don’t provide a key, you’ll likely be asked to pay for a new one.
  4. Pool Card. Communities with swimming pools often give residents access cards to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the club house and pool. If you have one, make sure the new owners get it.

Prior to closing, you need to make arrangements with your Sea Coast agent on where to leave these items. You don't want to be scrambling to find them the day of closing. The keys need to be given to the buyers after the purchase papers are signed. Items such as garage door openers and pool cards can be left in the home, but the agents need to be made aware of this so there’s no confusion or hold-up on the day of closing.

Have questions about the day of closing? Ask your Sea Coast Agent. Don’t have an agent? Find one today!

Meghan Riley

What Determines My Home’s Value?

by seacoast_ashley 11. February 2014 06:55

North Carolina Home ValueWhat determines my home’s value?...This is a common question that Realtors® receive from sellers. Often, sellers confuse a home’s tax assessed value (what they see on their tax bill) with the fair market value, the amount a home will sell for when the property has been exposed to a reasonable amount of buyers in a competitive market for a reasonable amount of time. In actuality, the tax value is based on a formula used by county tax assessors. They take what they believe is the fair market value of your home, multiply it by a percent decided upon by local legislation, and that’s the tax value. In New Hanover County, property is taxed at 100% of fair market value; however, in other counties, it may be 70% or 80%.

Now, you may be wondering, if it’s taxed at 100%, why isn’t the tax value and market value the same? Because property isn’t evaluated every year. In New Hanover County, it’s evaluated every 6 years. North Carolina requires at least 8 years. A lot can change in that span of time and your true fair market value could change as early as 6 months depending on how homes are selling in your area.

The fair market value of your home is determined by similar homes sold within the past year, preferably within the past 6 months. The more recent the sale, the better. When choosing comparable homes, real estate agents look for homes with similar:

  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Heated Square-footage
  • Heating/Cooling Systems
  • Garage Spaces
  • Lot Sizes
  • Home Styles
  • Locations

They want more than one comparable, because the last sale may have incalculable factors, like the property being in distress or the buyer feeling so emotionally tied to the property that they were willing to pay more than fair market value.

Real estate agents also take into consideration current listings and existing home upgrades. For example, a home with wood floors could ask for more than a home with laminate. While you would think that more valuable building materials would add value to a home, that’s not always the case. If you upgrade your home with materials that don’t fit with others in the neighborhood, there may not be a buyer who is willing to pay more and you could be throwing away money.

If you are trying to figure out what to list your home at, it’s important to go by the fair market value of your home and not the tax assessed value. Your Sea Coast agent is the best person for determining the most competitive listing price for your home, and they can do this with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Don’t have an agent, find one today.

What are Seller Concessions?

by seacoast_ashley 2. February 2014 06:16

Seller ConcessionsWhen a buyer purchases a home with a mortgage, they are required to pay a certain amount of closing costs on top of the actual purchase price of the home. Some buyers discover during their home hunt that they have enough money saved for a down payment, but not for the closing costs. Rather than wait to save more money to purchase a home, they’ll request the seller to pay these closing costs. This monetary contribution is called a seller concession or seller contribution and is only applied to closing costs.

Why would a seller agree to pay concessions? It’s really an accounting game as no cash actually exchanges hands. The concession is added onto the purchase price of the home. If the home costs $200,000 and the closing costs are $8,000, the purchase price becomes $208,000. Then, the $8,000 concession is deducted from the seller net proceeds on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and given back to the buyer. But the seller concessions must be agreed upon at the time the contract is signed, because adding them in later can be a hassle.

Why wouldn’t the seller agree to pay concessions? The appraisal may not compensate for the extra money. Without the concessions, the home would have to appraise at $200,000. With the concessions, it would have to appraise at $208,000. If it doesn’t appraise that high, the deal falls apart. The lender will not loan for more than the home is appraised at. That’s why it’s important to not ask for seller concessions unless you are sure it has a chance of appraising at the elevated contract price.

It’s also important to note that some loan programs have limits on the amount of concessions a seller can pay. Currently, FHA will allow the seller to contribute up to 6% of the price, VA will allow up to 4% of the price, and conventional will allow up to 3%. USDA has no cap. But this may change. Always verify with your mortgage consultant how much the seller can contribute before finalizing an offer.

If you have any questions about seller concessions, ask your Sea Coast agent. Don’t have an agent, find one today.

Meghan Riley

When Selling Your Home, It Pays to Be Flexible!

by seacoast_ashley 20. January 2014 06:43

You worked hard tidying up the yard, de-cluttering your home’s interior, and giving it a fresh coat of paint. You even made those repairs you’d been putting off for a year. Then, you and your Realtor® settled on a competitive listing price for your home and he or she prepared some great marketing materials. Now, it’s been a month, showings have been few, and no offers have been made on the property. Agent Showing Home for Sale

What’s the problem?

The problem may be flexibility. When a home goes on the market, it needs to be seen to be sold. However, some sellers consistently put strict limits on when their home can be shown. Here are some examples:

  1. Never before noon.
  2. 48 hour notice required.
  3. Not between 8:00-9:00 a.m., 11:00-1:00 p.m., and 4:00-6:00 p.m. (all in one day).
  4. Never on the weekends.

While there can be some very good reasons for limiting showing options (the property is a vacation rental or the owner works nights), there can be some silly ones as well, like it’s the hour when Dr. Oz is on television.

If you’re limiting your time frame for scheduling, you need to be aware that you could be limiting the type of buyers who are able to see your home. For example, buyers often come into town on the weekends. If you don’t allow weekend showings, they won’t see your home. Even if those great marketing materials caught their eye and they’re sure your home would be perfect, they’ll likely choose to make an offer on the similar home around the corner that they were able to see.

You also don’t want to get caught up in the perfection trap. 48 hour notice may give you the time you need to clean the whole house, but maintaining the state of the home while it’s on the market and reducing the hours for notice will pay off quicker than trying to make the home look perfect. If you’ve done the right prep work, buyers will be able to look past a few dusty shelves. So, give yourself just enough time to pick up the toys scattered on the floor or to clean the dirty dishes in the sink, and let the home be shown.

Sometimes, limiting showings is the sacrifice you need to make when life circumstances make it difficult, but it's in your best interest to do what you can to get your home sold. If you have limits in place, but feel there may be some ways to make the showing schedule more flexible or are looking for ideas, speak to your Sea Coast agent. Our showing center has temporary showing options for days when your normal schedule may change and numerous ways to confirm appointments. Additionally, your agent can help facilitate showings under special circumstances, like when buyers are in town for only one day. They're here to help you sell your home, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

If you don’t have an agent and have questions about putting your home on the market, feel free to Contact Us. We’ll connect you with an experienced agent who will be able to answer all your questions. Meghan Riley

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