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The Level of Service You Deserve When Listing Your Property For Sale

The Secret To Selling Your Home

So you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you could provide to your agent to be able to show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you could provide to a buyer with a brief description:

Lockbox On the Door

This allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.

Providing a Key to the Home

Although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.

Open Access with a Phone Call

The seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.

By Appointment Only (example: 48 Hour Notice)

Many out-of-town/state buyers and relocation buyers visit an area they would like to move to and only have the weekend to view homes. They may not be able to plan that far in advance, or may be unable to wait the 48 hours to be shown the house.

Limited Access

An example of this is making the home available only on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day. This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all. If you’re worried about allowing full access to your home, working with a responsible, experienced, and trusted real estate agent can help ease your mind. To give your home the best chance of selling at the highest price, contact Coastal Realty Connections today.


5 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent

Are you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through your house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the fee they charge, just like a great doctor or a great accountant.

You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish an average agent from a great one.

Here are the top 5 demands to make of your real estate agent when selling your house:

1. Tell The Truth About The Price

Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.

The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.

2. Understand The Timetable With Which Your Family Is Dealing

You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan.

This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can to make it work.

3. Remove As Many Of The Challenges As Possible

It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.

Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length of listing, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a superhero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.

4. Help With Relocation

If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure that the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.

5. Get The House SOLD!

There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.

You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something that needs to be done to attain your goal (e.g. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist that they have the courage to inform you.

Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In any market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT! Lucky for you, Coastal Realty Connections has plenty of excellent agents to choose from. Contact us today and we guarantee all of your demands will be met.


2 Ways To Get The Most Money When Selling Your Home

If you’re a homeowner, you want to make sure you maximize your financial reward when selling your home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, recently gave this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $185,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $163,800. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $245,000 – nearly $60,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional in order to guarantee that you maximize the price when selling your home. To accomplish both these tips, we recommend working with Coastal Realty Connections. Contact us today to get started!


5 Reasons For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Is a Bad Idea

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), rather than going through an experienced real estate agency, such as Coastal Realty Connection. There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. In this post, we’ll cover the top five.

1. Exposure To Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 17% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come From The Internet

Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 51% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 34% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial, and a real estate agent can help you craft an effective one.

3. There Are Too Many People To Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money When Using An Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, let’s get together and discuss your needs. Contact Coastal Realty Connections today to learn how working with a great real estate agent can help you sell your home.


Two Things You Don’t Want to Hear from Your Listing Agent

You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

    • Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
    • Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
    • Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by bragging about their success or their company’s success – these are red flags!

An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of your house. However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared to explain the current real estate market to you and is patient enough to take the time to show you how it may impact the sale of your home. Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares. Pick Coastal Realty Connections.


The Benefits of Using an Agent When Selling Your Home

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the percentage of buyers who used the internet in their home search increased to 94%.

However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role that a real estate professional can play in the process. Contact Coastal Realty Connections and start the process with the help of a trusted and talented professional today.


Baby Boomers Are Finding Freedom in Retirement

Within the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University. Let’s take a look at why…

In a recent Merrill Lynch study, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices,” nearly 6,000 adults, ages 21 and older, were surveyed about housing.

Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”

Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs, or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.

The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold” – when where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you would like.

As one participant in the study stated: “In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”

On the Move

According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

The top reason cited for relocation was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, while a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses.” See the chart below for the top 6 reasons broken down.

Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them.

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”

Bottom Line

If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, let’s get together to discuss the options available to you now. Contact Coastal Realty Connections and embrace the next phase of your life!


The Great News About Rising Home Prices

Recently there has been a lot of talk about home prices and if they are accelerating too quickly. In some areas of the country, seller supply (that is, the number of homes for sale) cannot keep up with the number of buyers out looking for a home. This has caused prices to rise.

At Coastal Realty Connections, we believe in silver linings. The great news about rising pricesis that according to CoreLogic’s latest US Economic Outlook, the average American household gained over $11,000 in equity over the course of the last year, largely due to home value increases.

The map below was created from CoreLogic’s report and shows the average equity gain per mortgaged home over the past year.

For those who are worried that we are doomed to repeat 2006 all over again, it is important to note that homeowners are investing their new found equity in their homes and themselves, not in depreciating assets.

The added equity is helping families put their children through college, and even invest in starting small businesses, allowing them to pay off their mortgage sooner or move up to the home that will better suit their needs now.

Bottom Line

CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by another 5% by this time next year. If you’re a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by moving up to your dream home, contact Coastal Realty Connections today to discuss your options!


The Time To Sell Your Home Is Now. Here’s Why

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates are still around 4%.

What does this mean for sellers? That waiting to make the move while mortgage rates are increasing just doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain budget for your monthly housing costs.

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will increase by at least half a point by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money. Contact Coastal Realty Connections now, before prices rise even higher!

Lack of Listings Slowing Down the Housing Market

The housing crisis is finally in the rearview mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. This will be the year that the housing market again races forward.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up. Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

Mark Fleming, PhD. Chief Economist at First American:

“Extremely limited supply is stopping the market from reaching its full potential, counteracting positive increases in market fundamentals, such as employment and wages.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com:

“Overall, the fundamental trends we have been seeing all year remain solidly in place as we enter the traditionally slower sales season, and pent-up demand remains substantial as buyers seek to get a home under contract while rates remain so low.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Healthy labor markets in most of the country should be creating a sustained demand for home purchases. However, there’s no question that after peaking in June, sales in a majority of the country have inched backwards because inventory isn’t picking up to tame price growth and replace what’s being quickly sold… Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in. Unfortunately, there won’t be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand.”

Supply and Demand

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their Realtors Confidence Index. Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map above was created after asking the question: “How would your rate buyer traffic in your area?” The darker the blue, the more buyers are looking for homes in that area. As you can see, four states came in with a weak demand level.

Seller Supply

The Index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?” As you can see from the map above, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.

Bottom line?

There is a clear demand for homes, but the surplus isn’t there. Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase.

This means home prices are more competitive than ever, and that the best time to put your home on the market is right now. To take advantage of this moment in time, contact Coastal Realty Connection today. Your net worth will thank you!


5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Winter

When you’re ready to move, you don’t always have the luxury of waiting. Maybe you have a great job offer that starts in two weeks, or perhaps you simply want to start the next phase of your life ASAP. If opportunity comes knocking during the winter months, you might be worried that it’s not “prime time” to sell your home. We’re here to tell you to stop worrying – the winter is actually a great time for real estate! Here are five reasons why selling your home in the winter simply makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and they’re in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory could be coming to market soon.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this winter.

Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase reaching historic levels in 2017.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae anticipates an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market continues to strengthen, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher- priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to increase in the next 12 months.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important, and what should drive all your real estate decisions.

Are you ready to put your sell your home this winter? If so, contact Coastal Realty Connections and let’s get started!


5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

When you’re trying to sell your home, you tend to spend a lot of time improving the inside of it. Painting the walls, clearing your clutter, replacing hardware, and staging it so it looks open and inviting. While it’s important to do all these things, it’s also a great idea to give some love to the outside, too. This is especially important as the fall and winter months approach, and you can’t count on lush foliage and blooming flowers to do the heavy lifting.

At Coastal Realty Connections, our agents know how to catch a potential buyer’s eye and convince them that southeastern North Carolina is the place to be. By making the following five tweaks and focusing on curb appeal, your home will look great, inside and out.

1. Pepper Your Porch with Potted Plants

Keep your front yard healthy by watering your lawn, raking your leaves, and making sure your grass is tidy. If you’ve got a good porch, dress it up with a few potted flowers. A burst of orange mums or yellow Gerber daises is a great way to celebrate autumn while keeping things cozy.

2. Dress Up Your Mailbox

If your mailbox has seen better days, it’s time to get a new one. This is a simple fix that will give you plenty of bang for your buck. Make sure it fits the style of your home, looks clean and well-kept, and opens and shuts easily. At the very least, your mail carrier will be impressed!

3. Paint Your Front Door

Trade in your boring black, white, or forest green front door and opt for a bright and welcoming hue instead. A fun color can bring some personality to your home and help it stand out. Just make sure not to go overboard. While red or yellow is eye-catching, an out-of-the box color like pink or purple can be an eyesore.

4. Spring for a New Doormat

If you live in a busy home, you know that doormats can become faded fairly quickly. Between the kids, their friends, and the dog, they don’t last long! (But hey—at least everyone is wiping their feet.) Instead of shaking out your doormat or hosing it down for the twentieth time, splurge on a new one and enjoy a few blissful weeks of bright colors and a bold welcome.

5. Clean Out of the Gutter

It’s an annoying chore, but a necessary one—cleaning out your gutters. You’re your ladder and make sure they’re clear of debris, especially after a stormy summer. If you have older gutters, replacing them with a newer, snap-fit vinyl system is an easy project that can be done in just a few hours.

While we all know it’s what on the inside that matters, it doesn’t pay to discount the outside of your home during the selling process. A little curb appeal goes a long way, and can be the thing that closes the deal. If you’re ready to make your real estate dreams come true, contact Coastal Realty Connections today. Our team of talented agents would love to help.


Is it time to buy or sell my home?

New & Existing Home Sales Climb

20160527-EHS-APR-STM

Some Highlights:

  • Both New Home Sales and Existing Home Sales are up month-over-month and year-over-year.
  • Inventory remains low which continues to drive home prices up as demand continues to exceed the 4.7-month inventory.
  • The median price of new homes is up 12% from March 2015, while the median price of existing homes is up 6.3% from April 2015.

Take advantage of today’s market by contacting us. 910-279-9398.


Buying a home – How Much Do I Need for Down Payment?

One More Time… You Do Not Need 20% Down To Buy NOW

Teachers-Pet

A survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today. 

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.

Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

The average conventional loan closed in March had a credit score of 753, while FHA mortgages closed with a 685 score. The average across all loans closed in March was 722. The graph below shows how the average FICO Score required has come down over the last 12 months and has stayed around 722 for the last six months.

FICO Score Distribution | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line info

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, sit down with a professional who can help you understand your true options. Contact us today. 910-279-9398.


The housing marketing is heating up! List your home with Coastal Realty Connections

Thinking of Selling? The Market Needs Your Listing!!

SearchingForHome-STM

The housing market is really heating up and buyer demand is dramatically increasing as we enter the spring season. However, one challenge to the current market is a major shortage of inventory. Below are a few comments made in the last month by industry experts.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of NAR

“Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings quickly replacing what’s being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

“Low inventories and tight credit will limit the gains we will see in 2016. However, given the level of pent-up demand evident in web activity and stated buyer intentions for 2016, we should see this spring materialize as the busiest season of sales since 2006.”

Rick Sharga, Ten-X’s EVP

“Inventory is too low to support much higher sales. There’s virtually no inventory available at the entry level, and single family housing starts and permits continue to languish at levels far below where they should be at this point of the recovery.”

David Crowe, Chief Economist of the National Assoc. of Home Builders

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Freddie Mac

“Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets.”

Let us help you get your home ready for sell. Contact us for a free market evaluation at info@coastalrealtyconnections.com / 970-279-9398.


Sales Price Versus Appraised Value

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank. With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first.
A recent post on “The Home Story”, a site published by Fannie Mae, explained the difference between the price a seller may get for their home and the value an appraiser might assign the property.

The Sales Price

Of course, most sellers want to maximize the value they get for the house. However, the price they set might not be reflective of the other comparable homes in the neighborhood. As the article stated:

“People tend to view their homes emotionally, and that can become quickly apparent when they decide to sell.”

That doesn’t mean that the home won’t necessarily sell for that price.

A seller can set an asking price and actually have a buyer agree to that price. However, that value may not be necessarily in agreement with what most buyers are willing to pay. For example, one person can view a property, determine it is exactly what they are looking for and well worth the asking price, whereas another person could look at the same property and feel the asking price is too high.

Steven Corbin, Director of Valuation in Fannie Mae’s CPM Real Estate division gives an example:

“Someone may have driven by the property countless times, and they really want to live in that house. So in reality they may overbid for that property. This would be a situation where the actions of a specific buyer do not represent the actions of a typical buyer.”

The Appraised Value (or Market Value)

Fannie Mae explains what they look for when appraising the house:

“When a contract is established on a property, an appraised value is determined by a professional real estate appraiser. The appraiser works on the lender’s behalf to determine that value by taking many factors into consideration, including the neighborhood, the value of properties of similar size and construction, and even such things as the type of fixtures on the premises and layout of the floor plan.”

Corbin adds:

“From a lending perspective, a bank would want to know the probable price a typical buyer would offer for the property. That’s what an appraiser would set as the market value.”

The Challenge when Sales Price and Appraisal Value are Different
If the appraiser comes in with a value that is below the agreed upon sales price, the lending institution might not authorize the mortgage for the full amount a buyer would need to complete the transaction.

Quicken Loans actually releases a Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) that quantifies the difference between what sellers and appraisers believe regarding value. The HPPI represents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values.

Currently, there is approximately a 2% difference between what homeowners believe their home to be worth and what appraisers value that same home. On a $300,000 sale that would be a $6,000 difference. That could be a challenge that might prevent the home sale proceeding to the closing table.

Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters recently commented on this issue:

“The more homeowners are in line with appraisers, the easier it will be to refinance their mortgage and easier for those looking to buy a home. If the two are aligned, it eliminates one of the top stumbling blocks in the mortgage process.”

Bottom Line

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. That is why we suggest that you use an experienced real estate professional to help set your listing price.

Let us help you determine your asking or buying price by contacting us at Coastal Realty Connections.

 

Source: Reposted from Current Affairs.


Remodeling?

Although National Home Improvement Month is just around the corner. May is fast approaching. Want to get a jump start? The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the 10 most important steps to take before the remodeling project starts.

home remodel“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” says Judy Moze, CR, GCP, NARI National president and president of Handcrafted Homes, Inc. in Roswell, Georgia. “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they protect themselves.”

What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.

2. Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.

3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.

4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.

5. Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.

6. Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s job site. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.

7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.

8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.

9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.

10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.

For more information, visit www.NARI.org.

To learn more about Coastal Realty Connections or get more real estate information, please contact us at info@coastalrealtyconnections.com.


Do North Carolina Residents Like Cats or Dogs Better

There are cat people; there are dog people. Well, guess what? States divide along those same furry lines. The majority of Americans love their pets—56% of U.S. households have one. So enough already about all of this red state vs. blue state nonsense: Do you live in a dog state or a cat state? DogCatStateMap
Which beloved domestic animal reigns supreme by state? To find out, we took a deep dive into pet population data from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Check out our map to find out if your pet preference falls on the right side of your state lines. (Note: Data for Alaska and Hawaii were not available. Sorry!) And for those who really want to know where Fluffy stands, check out the detailed cat and dog population data at the bottom of this article.

OK, let the house-trained beast battle begin!

Crossing  the Mason-Dixon pet line

Our findings revealed plenty of interesting cuddly animal-specific trends. Example: Roughly speaking, Southern states are more Fido-friendly than Northern states, which tend to be the cat’s meow. Massachusetts is the biggest feline state with nearly 2 times more cats than dogs. Arkansas ranks No. 1 in ratio of dogs to cats.

Nationwide, though, cats outrank dogs 74 million to 70 million. Though dog owners are a larger number than cat owners—due to multiple cat ownership by household.

Bottom line: It’s no surprise Americans lavished $30.4 billion on all those furry family members last year, up from $17.8 billion in 2000, according to The Wall Street Journal. Luxury buildings are offering upscale amenities such as rooftop dog runs and spa “pawdicures” in order to lure those free-spending pet lovers.

“More people are shopping for homes and cars with the needs for their pets in mind,” said pet health and safety coach Arden Moore.

Doggy amenities win

But Realtor.com wanted to dig deeper. So the  data team scratched its way into our 2.6 million active and recently sold home listings to tease out the most popular dog- and cat-friendly home features. There were  fascinating revelations for Rover: Despite a prevalence of cat owners, we didn’t find a significant pattern of cat-friendly features in our home listings. That’s probably because the most common cat features such as cat trees, scratching posts, or self-cleaning litter boxes are portable rather than built in. And none of these features are things people want to brag about anyway.

dogcatchart

Read more over at Mental Floss about Washington Posts’ Wonkblog article on the state divisions  which shows North Carolina as not being a divided state, but a Dog State —- Cats or Dogs, we love them both!

 

source: Realtor.com & MentalFloss


Staging Matters When It Comes to Selling Your Home

452014 Denver CO 80222 USA-small-014- Upper Porch B-332x500-Buyers often wonder should they take the time to stage their home before listing it for sell. Staging your home has been shown to help your home sell more quickly! Buyers are more motivated to consider purchasing a home that suits their family size, budget, and location requirements, but also one that appeals to their senses. What will buyers see, learn about the seller, smell, hear, and touch when they tour your home for the first time? Will the buyer be able to imagine themselves in the home surrounded by their favorite belongings?  Sometimes too many personal items may lend the buyer to create an awareness of your personality versus allowing them the freedom to imagine the space with theirs.

Contrary to what you may have heard, staging your home doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, you can hire a decorator or invest in new furniture or renovations. However, if you’re like many sellers high-end staging may not be in your plan or be affordable.

That’s why we have put together the best staging tips for the do-it-yourselfer. The list has been useful to sellers.

Home Staging: The Ten Best Do-It-Yourself Tips for $100 Or Less:

  1. Say Good Bye to Clutter! The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live
    without. What kitchen appliances are you not using that can be stored and which family pictures can you temporarily pack away?
  2. Potted Plants, small or large, are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to create visual appeal.
  3.  Home Fragrance such as scented candles, sprays, and plug-in type fragrance gadgets in delicate scents can work wonders.
  4. Steam Cleaning, rather than investing in a professional service, rent the machine for one day, and rejuvenate carpets and drapes.
  5.  Baskets and Decorative Containers can help organize scattered items and eliminate clutter.
  6.  Light Bulbs and Dimmer Switches – Brighten dark areas and rooms or soften harsh light with dimmers and the newer soft light bulbs.
  7.   Paint over unusual colors or update stark white walls with a contemporary neutral tone.
  8.   Fresh Flowers and fruit – Inexpensive arrangements in vases you already own look beautiful and will smell naturally fresh and fruit displayed in a nice bowl look inviting.
  9.  Throw Pillows will instantly update an old sofa or chair or make a plain bed look luxurious.
  10.  Housekeeping service can be costly, but hiring one for a day or a few hours is affordable-and it’s worth it to make a kitchen, windows and  bathroom shine.

Once you stage your home you can feel confident when you are away and a Broker shows up to show your home , the buyer we see the potential and imagine their affects in the space.