Right House, Right Time, Right Person…

Here is a story from a lovely client of ours, Tami, who just recently purchased a home!

“What an incredible example of ‘right house/right time/right person’… I had a chance to meet the previous owner of the home I purchased! She was a tiny woman, but really a fireball and gave me a big old hug! In the 1960’s she took a class at CPCC and drew up the architectural plans for the house herself. Also, many of the beautiful flowers I inherited in the backyard were cuttings or transplants from her parents homestead.

     photo 4

The little white shed in the back was where she stored her fabric both for quilting, and making lingerie for mastectomy patients.

photo 5

One thing that absolutely blew me away was when I asked her son what all the heavy-duty electrical plugs in the great room were for. He said she’d operated a typesetting business there for years –. I owned and operated a typesetting business for 13 years myself… we even used the same equipment!

Back to my original statement about right house, etc., she said the house had been on the market for 7 or 8 years, and they couldn’t understand why hardly anyone was even coming to look at it. I told her I knew it was the right house the minute I walked in the door, and also apologized that it took me so long to get there.

Everything is coming along! Once we get settled, we’ll invite y’all over for a cookout, for sure. Here are some photos of the flowers I inherited!”

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Apartment Boom Continues on the Booty Loop

photoIf you’ve driven by the intersection of Selwyn Ave and Queens Rd West then you may have noticed the construction that is underway at the southeast corner.  Although not set in stone, the initial buzz is that Faison is bringing 19 luxury apartment units to the popular corner of the Booty Loop in much the same style as the luxury condominium building behind it on the corner of Roswell and Queens Rd West!

If true, this follows the continuing trend of developers building new apartment buildings in and around Charlotte.  Many experts agree that while there is a gap in the marketplace now that it could easily be oversaturated if developers continue to build inventory for renters.  Myers Park has very few lots left to build but this will no doubt get a lot of attention as it develops!

One thing is for sure, its all about location and the convenience of being able to run or bike right out of your front door and be on the Booty Loop won’t be lost on those seeking luxury apartments in the area!

By Briley Burris

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3 Steps to Sell Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

The real estate world is currently in what’s called a “buyer’s market“. Simply put, that means there are more home sellers than home buyers. And what does that mean to you?

If you’re selling your house, it means you won’t have so many people looking to buy your house.  At the same time – there are more houses like yours for those buyers to shop (in other words, more competition).  But don’t let that discourage you!

Some people figure it’s a lost cause, and the only solution is to just wait for the market conditions to improve.  Don’t do that.  By doing so, you are joining thousands of other homeowners with the same idea.

Instead, here are three tips that BB & A would like to offer you to get your home sold at the highest price, and in the fastest time possible.

Obstacles don’t have to stop you.  If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

~Michael Jordan

Step 1 – Get Help!

To give yourself the best shot at success, look for someone who has done it before.  Better yet, look for someone who has done it before… several times.

Here at BB & A, we only hire seasoned agents.  That is, agents who have the “know how” and ability to guide you through the intricate processes of selling a home.  Agents who have put in their time to learn the markets, understand real estate and test for what works well.

It is far more than just placing a sign in the yard!

With any house I list, my first task is to provide my client with a Comparative Market Analysis.  This is to help the seller use real estate market information to decide on a selling price.  I’ll talk more about this in step #2.

As an agent, my clients hire me to “plant the seed” in various areas.  I maximize the exposure for each house I sell, and ensure that each potential buyer knows all about the house.  Regardless of how few buyers there may be in a particular market.  After all, it only takes one buyer to sell a house.  I find that one buyer.

I also enter your home into the Carolina Multiple Listing Service, which advertises it to over 8,000 real estate brokers in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

In addition, we use all of our marketing tools to cater to the savvy buyers who do their home shopping via the internet. We make sure to provide “top notch” photos, provide feedback along the way and assist with negotiations from the contract to the closing table.

Step 2 – Price it Right, Price it to Sell

Price is crucial and plays an important role in selling your home effectively. There is nothing more appealing to a buyer than an “attractively priced” home.

Statistics show that by pricing your home 5% below the comparable homes is realistic.

Given the influx of the inventory on the market, Buyers want to know that they are getting a good deal.  And they won’t stop until they find one.

Sellers should also consider other homes for sale in their neighborhood, when determining their house’s selling price.  You want to avoid pricing too high, as that will lead to the house staying on the market for longer.  And the longer your home sits on the the market, the “staler” it tends to look.  Dropping the price is always a possibility, and can ultimately get the house sold.  But be conscious that constant price reductions take longer than pricing it right to begin with.  And they send the message that the house was overpriced in the first place.

We suggest coming out of the gates strong when setting your home’s listing price.  Price it right, and you will enjoy more interest from buyers, and a faster sale.

Step 3 – Preparing Your Home for Sale

Finally, sprucing the home up has always been a major staple to the sales process, and it’s an important piece of the selling puzzle.  We like to see that all of our listings be turn-key ready before we list them in the MLS.  Nothing raises red flags quite like a property being listed while it’s still being improved.

We suggest you first remove all clutter.  Everything should have a place, and be in its place.

Brighten up the front porch and the lawn for that excellent curb appeal.  After all, this is the first thing a buyer sees when pulling up to your home.

Remove your personal items, such as family pictures, refrigerator decor, and take your toiletries out of sight.  Anything that prevents the buyer from picturing the house as theirs should be hidden.

Make minor repairs, and provide and environment, in which, a buyer can imagine transforming it into their own home.

First impressions play a major role in our society.  By following the steps above, we will make sure that your home leaves a lasting impression and sells!!

And remember – it only takes one buyer to sell your property.  :)

 

~Ashley

[ If you liked this blog post, subscribe to our Charlotte Real Estate Newsletter - packed with info on the Charlotte real estate market, latest news & events, home buying and selling tips, and neighborhood-specific data. ]

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The Sense of Community is Strong in Plaza Midwood

Here at Briley Burris & Associates, we feel a great ‘sense of community’ and I hope that you will follow our blog as we grow! Each week we will have tips to guiding you to your perfect residential community, assisting you as you move on to new destinations, community event information, and more!! We hope that we can give back to so many, as we watch dream after dream come true – finding a place you can call home.

Historical.  Tree-lined streets.

Neighborly.  Vintage Shopping.  Parks.

Local Artists.  Diverse.

And delicious dining.

These are the words that come to mind when I think of Plaza Midwood. One of the most sought-after neighborhoods, it was established in the early 1900s as a streetcar suburb of Charlotte. The population has approximately 4,000 residents living in about 2,000 housing units. As of the mid-90s, many of these homes have been converted into funky urban dwellings. Located a mile northeast of Uptown, it is truly one of the most diverse and eclectic neighborhoods in Charlotte!

Birds-Eye View!

Character meets custom in our featured listing this week located at 1812 Dearmon Drive, located in the heart of Plaza Midwood.  Not only is it a great “bang for your buck,” this home is sleek yet cozy and built with excellent craftsmanship. We will be hosting an open house on Thursday, September 29th, opening the doors at 5pm, and offering tours of this great home until 8pm. There will be collections of art and jewelry for sale, so come and shop and enjoy a glass of wine to wrap up your day.  I hope to see you there!

~Ashley

 

[ If you liked this blog post, subscribe to our Charlotte Real Estate Newsletter - packed with info on the Charlotte real estate market, latest news & events, home buying and selling tips, and neighborhood-specific data. ]

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Finding Your Dream Home

I love this one! …actually I think I really like this one!
…wait this is definitely the one!
…oh this is THE ONE! I LOVE it!!!!

~Typical Dream Home Shopper

That quote above is the beautiful music I love to hear during a new buyers home search. It tells me that I’ve done my job in helping them find what they’re looking for.  They love almost everything they see, and, “this one… no this one” is what I most commonly hear.  Too many dream homes is a good problem to have! Although this makes finding your dream home sound so magical and easy…there are some very specific steps you need to take in order to get to this place of wonder.  (Here’s a free workbook to help you)

Barbie's Dream Home

Barbie and Ken love their dream home!

First Things First

  1. Define where you want to be. Do you need to be close to a job? A family member? Away from a family member? Do you like the city life, or winding back roads, wildlife and quiet?
  2. Get pre-approved financing. How much can you afford? How much cash can you pay up front (for the down payment and closing costs)? Find out what kind of interest rate can you get from various lenders. How much do you want to pay each month, and how much can you reasonably afford to pay? If you don’t already have one, a personal budget can go a long way in helping you with this step.
  3. Needs & Wants - What do you absolutely need in your house? Also included in this question are those things you know you absolutely do not want in your dream house. Keep in mind things you’d like included if they are available? This will help to narrow down your choices if your initial search turns up an overwhelming number of options.  Some items for your consideration: if you have or planning for kids, where will they go to school? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Fenced yard? Storage space? What is important to you?

Once these first 3 steps are completed, you have created your road map and you are ready to begin the search. The next step is to access the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through what is called the “Client Gateway”. This system searches homes for sale that fit your criteria. Your Realtor can set up your search for you, and the relevant homes will be e-mailed directly to you.  We offer this as a free service for our clients – contact us to get your dream home search started!

And the e-mails begin!

Additionally, there are other websites which you can use to supplement your MLS search.  Here are a few: Zillow, trulia, Yahoo Real Estate, and Craigslist.  We’ll cover these in a later blog post.

 

Cream of the Crop

We’re almost there!  Now that you’re receiving the search results from MLS, there are five more steps to finding your dream home:

  1. Pick your top 5 houses. Sounds easy, huh? Not so much. It can be very difficult to pick the first 5 to see. We limit it to 5 to keep confusion between houses to a minimum. It also takes a lot of energy to look at homes, more than you might expect. So you want to be selective as you get going.
  2. Go see some homes! This helps you to see which neighborhoods you love, and usually causes your Needs & Wants list to evolve and change. Rank the 5 in order from most favorite to least favorite, and take it back to the drawing board. What do you love, what do you hate, and how have your Needs & Wants changed?
  3. Round 2. If you followed the above steps,  you may have already found a home you want to make an offer on. Even so, I recommend you look one more time before you move forward unless you are 100% sure this is the one!
  4. Round 3 - This is it! Most home buyers at this step have found the home of their dreams.  If that’s you, congratulations!! If not, then don’t dare settle for a house that’s less than what you want.  Repeat steps 1-4 until it surfaces. And it will surface.  Sometimes, it just takes a little more effort.
  5. Do not be discouraged if it takes longer than you expected. Finding the home of your dreams is no easy task, but with the proper steps, along with good listening and evaluating skills, it can be yours!  Once you’ve found your home, it’s time to make the offer.  We will cover how to submit an offer on your dream home in a future blog post.

Stay tuned, and happy hunting!!

[ If you liked this blog post, subscribe to our Charlotte Real Estate Newsletter - packed with info on the Charlotte real estate market, latest news & events, home buying and selling tips, and neighborhood-specific data. ]

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The Little Known Secret to Effective Home Staging

The current economy has created a buyers market for homes. If you want to sell your home in no time, you have to effectively stage it. The key concept of ‘staging a home’ is to make the property more alluring to potential home buyers; speeding the sale of the property by showcasing it’s visual potential and increasing the home’s perceived value in the process.

The key to effective staging is to distance yourself emotionally from the home and treat it as a asset to be sold. Staged homes get higher offers, sell faster and tend to get more showings. Here are a few easy steps to help you stage your home successfully.
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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Homeowners Insurance

Shopping for homeowners insurance can be one of those nagging details that somehow manage to slip through the cracks. It is quite normal for insurance agents to receive eleventh hour frantic calls from escrow companies who are requesting a home insurance binder, so it’s best to plan ahead.  A good policy will not only save you money should a tragedy strike, but it can also help you focus on the preparatory work of making your house more resistant to loss from natural disasters. The total cost of your home insurance policy may vary a couple of hundred dollars, depending on which company you purchase your insurance policy from. Here are handy tips to help you save time and money.
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How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood

If a house were a spouse, then your neighborhood can be likened to an extended family. While you can have a wonderful marriage you just might dread spending the holidays with the ‘in laws’.  Long story short, you will never love a home if you don’t like its neighborhood. Whether you are looking to buy or rent a house, it is important that you be selective of the community that you will be moving into. Here are 5 tips that will help you find the perfect neighborhood for your dream home.
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5 Timeless Tips for Pricing Your Home

Professional appraisers can sum it up in three simple words-buyers make value. The value of your residential property is what a reasonable home buyer is willing to pay within a practical amount of time. Knowing what home buyers are willing to pay will help you set the asking price for your house. This will require a closer look at other comparable homes in your neighborhood and also assessing the current state of the real estate market. Getting advice from your Realtor can be invaluable as he or she has his finger on the pulse of the market. Here are five timeless tips that will help you come up with the right selling price for your home.

Tip No.1: Know the difference between listed price and sales price

The first thing that every home seller should understand is that a home’s list price and sales price (what it actually sells for) can significantly vary. The price that you should consider is the actual sales price. The recent closed sales in your area will give you the most relevant information for predicting your property’s selling price. As your home gets appraised for a buyer’s loan, the appraiser may only consider closed sales. If there are no nearby home sales, then you will be working with limited data and in this case, you may need to attempt a ‘trial & error’ pricing strategy to get a close assessment of buyers’ inclinations.

Tip No.2: Assessing Current Real Estate Market Trends

A crucial part of home pricing is taking a quick look at the present real estate market. A good indicator of market strength is the number of months for unsold or standing inventory in your price range and area. Follow the procedure below to estimate market strength.

  • Count the sales in your market area and specified price range for the last twelve months.
  • Divide the total number of sales by 12 so that you can get the median sales per month.
  • Determine the number of homes listed on the market today.
  • Divide the number of homes available in the market by the number of median sales per month.

The present inventory divided by the rate of sale will reveal the number of months it will take to clear up listed homes and will reveal the condition of the overall market.

Tip No.3: Seller’s vs Buyer’s Market

A seller’s market involves less than six months of unsold inventory. In this kind of market, there are more home buyers compared to the available residential properties for sale. Buyers are competing for the property and the home’s value spikes upward. On the other hand, a buyer’s market involves more than eight months of inventory. There are a limited number of home buyers compared to the inventory for sale. This can be caused by unemployment, increasing interest rates and excessive home building. Sellers are competing with each other for limited buyers and thus prices trend downward.

Tip No.4: Pricing Options for Every Square Foot

Dollars per square footage is a measure that is often used in comparing home prices. Be wary of using this measure because the price per square foot for the same size home can vary widely depending on the home’s amenities. As long as you are making an apples to apples comparison this method can prove useful. Get the cost per square foot of several, similar homes in your area and use this as a baseline estimate for pricing your home.

Tip No. 5: Get Market Feedback

A great affirmation for correct home pricing comes from the response of buyers themselves. This will help you determine whether your home and its pricing appeals to prospective buyers. It also helps if you get feedback from professional real estate brokers. You can have steady home showings but lukewarm responses; which is a clear indicator that one of the sales variables, perhaps the home’s price is presenting an obstacle that needs to be addressed.

Pricing your home can be very tricky. Today’s current real estate market calls for realism. All you need is some upfront research and a little legwork to help find the right balance and make that sale.

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5 Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Purchasing a home covers a lot of ground- this includes financial, legal and even emotional considerations. If you don’t educate yourself and learn from the mistakes of others, you potentially set yourself up for a major disappointment. Here are 5 most common, expensive and potentially dangerous mistakes that you should steer clear of when purchasing a house.

Misunderstanding the role of your Realtor

Real estate agents are often friendly- that is part of their job. The wise home buyer understands who is working for whom. Go for an exclusive buyer’s agent who has a vested interest in focusing on your needs. Experienced realtors handle a multitude of clients and transactions and it is this experience you can lean on should any anxieties arise. As your trusted guide your agent will walk you through this uncharted territory and temper your worries.

Inadequate research and home buying preparation

The astute home buyer is someone who thoroughly analyzes their financial position (assets, debts and equity) and pulls their credit report before even starting a house hunt. Understand how far your finances will take you and avoid wasting time looking at homes you are unable to afford. Before you even start to make offers, get pre approved for a loan.

  • Research the neighborhood: You aren’t just purchasing a house, but its location as well. Ask for your agent’s help in researching crime rates, school quality and zoning issues for the neighborhoods you are interested in.
  • Make a fair offer: Don’t just base your offer on a seller’s asking price. Obtain a comparative market analysis from the seller’s agent. This will reveal the sale prices of similar properties in the neighborhood.
  • Make sure you are fully aware of the costs and responsibilities of homeownership. A well informed home buyer understands that purchasing a home is costly and complicated. Aside from the mortgage, you need to account for insurance coverage, taxes, landscaping, repairs and other costs of ownership.

Falling in love with the home instantly

If you think you have found your dream home, don’t let the seller or perhaps the seller’s agent know. If the seller finds out that you are in love with the house, he or she might use this information against you. The reality is that there are plenty of homes out there and one of them is bound to be the right one for you. If a marriage cannot be struck, don’t be afraid to move on to the next house and continue your search.

Not planning for a resale

In this modern transient society, few people stay in their homes for the entire mortgage term. A common buyer’s mistake is not accounting for a property’s future resale value. Take a moment of your time to track neighborhood home prices over time to get an estimate of average appreciation values. Know the target neighborhood well and pay attention to details that will make your house marketable when that time comes.

Forgetting contingency clauses

Make sure you ask for two important clauses namely the professional inspection contingency and mortgage financing contingency. If an inspector discovers some hidden flaws like faulty system and structural damage, you might want to renegotiate or leave the deal altogether. The mortgage financing contingency saves you if the property doesn’t appraise for its offered price. With this clause you can renegotiate the sales price or get your deposit back.

These are just a few, common home buying mistakes that you need to avoid. Not all mistakes in any real estate transaction can be reversed or fixed before closing but these tips will get you a lot farther than you might be otherwise.

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