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?

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.

Curb Appeal

I’m the type of person that is riding down the road and I’m checking out houses and lawns as I go.  Oh, I love that garden. I need to add that flowering plant to my yard.  Mmm, they need to cut those large shrubs down in front of their house.  OMG, what were they thinking?!!  Now, my husband on the other hand, would not notice any yard/lawn/garden other than his own.  And I sometimes think that he never notices our yard, unless I get behind on the mowing.  With that said, if you are trying to sell your house, that first impression from the street does matter a great deal!  A majority of the buyers out there looking are making a preliminary decision as they drive through the neighborhood and pull up in front of the house.  There are a few buyers out there that can see past the overgrown weeds and unpruned shrubbery to see the potential, but the vast majority are influenced positively by a well-kept, manicured yard.  By well-kept and manicured, I do not mean that you have to spend thousands on landscaping.  The quickest improvement that most sellers can make is to prune overgrown shrubbery to allow people to actually see all aspects of the house.  This is a very simple, low-cost fix and really makes a difference.  It is also very easy to plant a few in-season flowers. There is nothing more welcoming than a little color around the front yard and front door.  Another low-cost improvement.  And the most impact for your money will come from cleaning the outside of your house and porch.  Let the buyers pull up in your driveway and see a clean, neat well maintained house and yard with welcoming flowers.  It allows them to start feeling that this could possibility be their next home!  Do you have any little tricks or suggestions that the rest of us can use to improve our curb appeal?  We would love to hear from you!