Fire Your Real Estate Agent?

What do you mean, fire your real estate agent? This is a person, whether you are buying a home or selling your house, that you are trusting one of the biggest financial transactions of your life with.  You enter into a contract with them.  But what if you are not pleased with your interaction with them or the results after you have signed on the dotted line? I recommend professionally speaking with them first and explain why you feel that they are not meeting your expectations. Give them the opportunity to correct the issues.  If, after a reasonable period of time, you do not see the desired results, you do have the right to terminate your agreement.   I am not advocating for everyone to run out and fire their agent, I am just informing you that you do have options to rectify a bad situation.  Even better, do your research up front and interview agents before you make your choice.  It is a large financial commitment.  Don’t you deserve the best person representing you in that transaction?

Short Sale/Can I Rent It??

If I need to sell my home because I have had to move/relocate or can’t afford it anymore, can I rent it until I decide what to do?  Not if you want to get approved for a short sale by the USDA/FHA.  Make sure that you don’t move out of the house or if you have to in order to relocate, don’t rent it out.  What a catch 22 mess!!   Before you get too far behind on your payments or your bills, talk to your lenders and make sure that you understand what the ramifications are.  If you still think that a short sale might be a viable option, call a realtor experienced in short sales and get their help.

Contractural Obligations

I am going to meet one of my home sellers this afternoon.  We have not been successful in getting any buyers interested in her house.  It is staged and marketed very well, but without putting extra money into it and some layout challenges, it is not currently attracting any buyers.  My seller called me a couple of days ago and wanted to know what her options are.  What she was asking was how could she get out of her contract early without repercussions or would that even be possible.  This is the moment, that being able to make those decisions myself, allows me to do what I feel is best.  In this situation, the best thing is to release her from her contract and allow her to rent the property, until some time in the future that we feel that the home has a better chance of selling.  She and I have worked very well together and both of us have held up our end of the contract.  Sometimes things are beyond our control, such as a couple of issues that are preventing the sale of her house.  By professionally and respectfully letting her terminate her contract early, she and I will be able to maintain our professional relationship and do business together in the future.  It’s not hard to do what is right.  You just have to make sure that you always keep the long term effects in mind also.  Again, remember quality, not quantity. 

Entitled Buyers

I work with both buyers and sellers.  Each brings different challenges and rewards.  I do have a question for you about buyers’ expectations. How do you guide your buyer in their expectations of seller concessions.  I have run into several buyers lately that seem to feel as if they are entitled to certain seller concessions, such as all repairs completed, all closing costs paid and adding concessions as the deal progresses.  Now, I admit, that in the current market climate in the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg area, that it has been a buyer’s market and the buyers have expected some, if not all, of their closing costs to be paid.  But, and I emphasize this, you are not buying a new house and it will not be perfect.  I feel that the purpose of a home inspection is to make sure that you are not buying anything with hidden problems.  I do not think that it is a reason to make a 5 page list to expect the seller to repair every little imperfection in the house. If I am representing a buyer, then I will do everything in my power to represent and support them, but I will always caution them to proceed with common sense and prioritize their concerns. What is your opinion?

A Rehabbed Bargain

Hunters View 071
I have had the honor to work closely with a family that has made a couple of real estate purchases here in Fayetteville. They are from NY and most recently they purchased a short sale and it was in really bad condition. The house itself was well made and structurally sound. The issues were extensive cosmetic ones inside. The buyers were able to see beyond the issues and they came up with a plan to renovate the house and resale it. They opened the space up by removing a wall, closing in an outside door and installing a window. Everything in the house is new. Upgraded kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, new tile, carpet and laminate floors, new plumbing fixtures, new HVAC system and new windows. It is not just the fact that it was remodeled, but the quality of the work is outstanding. This house, listed for $108,000, is an absolute bargain with the number of upgrades that were added to it. If you are interested in learning more about this house, visit our website at http://www.debbiewaitleyrealtor.com and search for 905 Hunters View Drive, Fayetteville, NC. The pictures will amaze you and you will be on the phone, calling to schedule your private showing.

Lots of Space in Hope Mills, NC

ImageI have a great house for sale in Hope Mills, NC.  It is in a great location, in the back of a neighborhood, with the yard backing up to a wooded area.  I really would like to get some potential buyers out to look at it.  Like most properties, it does have pros and cons and I would like to take a few minutes to take you on a tour. It starts with location, which I have already described.  It has a sloping back yard, which a lot of people do not like. But this gives the opportunity for a high deck that overlooks the wooded area behind the house, giving it a kind of resort feel. There is a nice, spacious dog run in the corner of the yard that stays. There are also several fruit trees planted in the backyard. The front of the house has a large, deep porch, perfect for multiple rocking chairs. Inside the house, you enter by way of a foyer, which leads into the great room. The great room is large enough for your big furniture and the fireplace is the focal point. The eat in kitchen also has a dining bar, which adds space to your dining area. The kitchen is roomy with a bay window that lets in a lot of light. The master and two bedrooms are downstairs. Upstairs is a great surprise! At the top of the stairs is a wonderful, large landing with multiple built in bookshelves. Everyone can use extra storage!! There is a forth bedroom, plus a bonus room. The children’s bedrooms are brightly painted in their favorite colors. Some people do not like the colors, but really, for the competitive price that this house is listed at, plus a painting allowance, can you not have the house painted before you move in?? The house, with four bedrooms, plus a bonus room, at 2300 square feet, is only listed at $169,000, well below other houses of this size in Hope Mills. So, if you would like to take an actual tour and see this house, contact me and I will be glad to arrange it.

Reliability of Real Estate Information

As I work with a lot of home buyers and sellers, I can constantly see the effect of the HGTV network and the internet. These are great forums and buyers and sellers are coming to the table much better informed than they were 5 to 10 years ago. My word of caution to you is to realize that real estate, like many economic issues, is very geographically specific. It is true that there are general trends that affect everyone, such as tighter credit criteria, more foreclosures, lower housing prices and lower interest rates, that still varies greatly from one locale to another. When I have someone come into the Fayetteville market and expect to be able to buy a foreclosure at 1/2 the asking price, because that is the way that it happens on television, I have to explain to them that is not the reality in our market. Also, as I was getting ready for work this morning, I had HGTV on (yes, I love their shows), but the couple trying to sell their home and discussing their options had a calendar hanging on their wall for 2010, three years ago. A lot changes in three years and from place to place. So my advice to you is to learn what you can from television and the internet, but find a very good real estate agent that you trust and then let them guide you through the process. They are the expert in your local market and they will be able to give you the best advice.

To Stage or Not To Stage

We had a great meeting today at our Real Estate Office with Abracadabra Home Staging of Raeford, NC.  We are constantly trying to improve the service that we give to our clients.  With so many houses on the market today, we need to make sure that the houses that we list highlight their best features and stand out among the masses.  Thus, we called on the expertise of Tameka, the home staging magician.  She gave us a lot of good advice and information today that will help us help our sellers.  I intend to hire her to help me improve the marketability of a house that I recently listed.  The house has so much potential and Tameka will go in and work with the home owner to showcase that potential.  I know that the work that she will do will greatly improve my chances to help the owner sell her house sooner.  I’ll keep you informed on our transformation of the target house and our results. Contact me if you want Tameka’s contact information.

What is My House Worth Today?

I love working with sellers. I like helping a seller market their house so that they can sell it in a timely manner. A lot of people are currently considering whether they can sell their home for a price that they are comfortable with. Unfortunately we all know that there has been a negative inpact on the value of our homes in the last several years. I frequently am asked to provide someone with an analysis of what their house is worth. This can range from a fairly simple process for some houses to a very time consuming task for others. What I am able to provide is a comparative market analysis, backed by data, that shows you what your house should be worth in the current market. I can also help you to figure out how to take that number and back out the expenses of selling it so that you can derive your net profit. I am not here to tell you whether you should sell your house or not. I am here to provide you with as much accurate information as I can to help you make the best decision that you can. So, if you are considering a move, whether in the next couple of months or longer, please contact a real estate professional and ask them to provide you with a CMA and Net Profit Worksheet to assist you in your decision. Use our expertise to your advantage.