Today I want to talk about how you can treat your house like you treat yourself by performing a wellness check on it.
In this business, I see all kinds of home issues every day. I could write a book with all the stories I’ve seen. However, one story from a few years ago sticks out.
The inspection process had just begun on my client’s future home, and everything was going fine until the home inspector came out of the crawlspace. In North Carolina, the crawlspace is the last place the home inspector usually checks. When he came out, he told us that 50% of the floor joist and the sill plate were rotten. He also said that the crawlspace’s main support beam was bad.
The good news was that it was repairable and the house would still be structurally sound. The bad news was that it ended up costing thousands of dollars to repair. All of this could have been avoided with a $300 vapor barrier in the crawlspace.
This story illustrates why I think it’s so important for homeowners to order an inspection before placing their home on the market. Even if you’re not planning on selling, this is still a good idea. A licensed professional will look at your home from top to bottom and alert you to any potential issues, which could save you tens of thousands in repairs, not to mention keep you safe.
Ordering a home “well-care check” can save you tens of thousands in repairs, not to mention keep you safe.
Home repairs are much easier to remedy when they’re caught early on. Also, it’s much more convenient to take care of such problems before you’re in the process of selling your home.
I work with a fantastic inspector named Fred Herndon and I asked him if he would do something to help out those of you who need a home “well-care check”. He said that he will knock 10% off the price of a home inspection for anyone who mentions me when they give him a call at 919-280-1682 or send him an email to [email protected].
If you have any other questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email as well. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
How can you make a down payment of 20% or less and avoid PMI?
To start, you must have really good credit. In other words, your credit score must be in the high 700s. There’s a strong correlation between your credit score and how much mortgage insurance you pay—stronger than the correlation between your credit score and your interest rate.
For example, let’s say you purchase a house for $230,000, you put down less than 5% for a conventional loan, and you have a credit score in the 700s. In this scenario, your PMI will be a little over $2,600. Lenders have different programs for all types of buyers, and if you have good credit, there are plenty of options available to you, but in this case, you have three choices in terms of what you can do with that PMI.
First, you can take that entire $2,600 sum and add it into your loan. In effect, you would finance it, but you wouldn’t pay it on a monthly basis, which would leave your regular monthly payment at about $1,056. Second, you can just pay it monthly, which would increase your monthly payment to $1,105. Lastly, you can pay the $2,600 sum up front with your 5% down payment, which would decrease your monthly payment to $1,044.
This was an actual scenario one of my clients faced recently, and she chose option No. 1. Keep in mind, though, that this is a simplified scenario because with each option there will be different interest rates and cash-to-close amounts, depending on which programs your lender offers.
Whether you have good or bad credit, there are all types of programs available to you, so the best thing you can do is talk to a good lender and find out which one best suits you. To find a good lender, reach out to your Realtor and have them help you. Odds are, they work with plenty that they’d be happy to recommend to you.
Here at Real Estate Experts, we work with an excellent selection of lenders that we can put you in touch with, so if you’d like to know more about this topic or you have any other real estate questions, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to speaking with you.
When a whole lobster was presented at the table of a restaurant, the customer noticed there was only one claw on it. He asked what happened to the lobster and the waiter said, maybe he lost a fight with another lobster. The customer replied to the explanation by saying “then, bring me the winner.”
There are approximately 1.3 million REALTORS® in the U.S. The July 2019 Existing Home Sales annualized about 5.4 million units with a listing side and a selling side that totals 10.8 million transactions. That means that the average number of units sold per agent is 8.
In any given market, 20% of the agents are selling 80% of the homes. 260,000 agents are selling 8,480,000 or an average of 32 transactions sides. Some markets are dominated by 10% of these successful agents selling 90% of the market. If that were the case, 130,000 agents are selling 9,720,000 or an average of 75 transactions sides.
Which Realtor Do You Want Representing You: The Choice is Very Important
The question you should ask yourself is who do you want representing you in the purchase or sale of the largest asset that most people have? Do you want an average agent, or do you want a powerhouse agent who can provide you the best advice, avoid issues that can cost time, and maximize the results that you expect and deserve?
Finding the right property is listed as the most difficult experienced by buyers (56%), according to the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, together with the paperwork (20%) and understanding the process and steps (16%) makes these the most important areas of expertise needed when evaluating your agent.
An agent provides valuable services for buyers and sellers during the transaction that can make a difference in finding the “right” home or buyer, negotiating the best terms, and closing on time. The answers to the following questions can help you decide who to work with in your next purchase or sale.
Describe your experience in real estate?
What are your personal sales stats compared to the market? (For sellers, list price to sales price ratio, days on market; for buyers, average # of houses shown and closure rate)
Describe your strategy to accomplish my needs?
Do you have references and/or reviews?
What makes you different than your competition?
Can you help me find the other professionals and vendors?
What is your fee and who pays it?
Who is Real Estate Experts and What Do We Have to Offer?
At Real Estate Experts, we listen to your wants, needs and goals. This is the first and most important step is helping you buy a home you will love or sell your home. For more information, request our Sellers Guide and Buyers Guide.
Do you actually need to work with a buyer’s agent? Actually, yes, but let’s discuss five reasons some people don’t think so.
Since the advent of the internet, buyers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. With that said, this could lead some to falsely assume they don’t need a professional agent by their side during their home search. Truthfully, though, forgoing this kind of representation is a major mistake.
If you still don’t believe me, though, allow me to share five signs you (supposedly) don’t need a buyer’s agent:
You believe that working without an agent will save you money. Though many cite this as their reason for not hiring a Realtor, the truth is that working with an agent won’t cost you a dime. In North Carolina, sellers pay the commission fees for both agents.
You love stress. If you want to feel confused at every step of the way while buying your home, then working without an agent is a good way to do so. If you’d prefer a smooth, seamless transaction, however, you’ll definitely want to hire professional help.
You think the internet is the only resource you need. As I mentioned earlier, many people assume that the information they find online will be enough to guide them through a transaction on their own. Unfortunately, this isn’t so. Having the information is one thing, while knowing what to do with that information is another. Professional agents will be your best resource if you’re hoping for a stress-free transaction.
You don’t think you need the help. Some buyers don’t realize just how many steps go into the real estate process. When you consider everything that must be taken care of during your house hunt and beyond, though, it becomes quickly apparent that you will need expert help. Professional buyer’s agents have handled transactions like yours several times before, so you can be sure they know what they’re doing.
You are a fantastic negotiator. Real estate deals involve a lot of negotiating. And even if you happen to be a skilled negotiator in other spheres, chances are that you don’t have the level of real estate-related knowledge necessary to hold your own against the seller’s agent.
The bottom line is this: Many of the “reasons” people offer as to why they don’t need a buyer’s agent aren’t reasons at all. If you want a seamless real estate experience, professional representation is crucial.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
The North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract is also often called a due diligence contract. We have a due diligence period, and within this time frame, a buyer can terminate a contract for any reason. It doesn’t have to be because of a bad inspection, loan, or other obvious problems.
When an offer in North Carolina is made, there are two important dates and two important checks that accompany all the terms and conditions of the offer:
The first date is the due diligence date; this is the time frame in which the buyer does all of their investigations concerning the property, including home inspections and loan processing. Again, regardless of your reason, you can cancel your contract at any time—as long as you do so on or before the due diligence date.
The second date to remember is the closing date. Everything in our contracts is negotiable. Typically, we see closing dates set about two weeks after the due diligence date, but it can be longer. The due diligence period is, on average, three to four weeks, depending on how competitive your offer is; the shorter the due diligence period, the better it is from a seller’s perspective.
Now let’s talk about the money:
In our market, the earnest money deposit is usually about 1% of the purchase price.
On the other hand, the due diligence money can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the price of the house and whether you’re in competition with other buyers for the same house. If a buyer terminates a contract before the due diligence date, the only money that is at risk is the due diligence money; your earnest money will come back to you unequivocally. So when you’re making your offer, you need to think through the process and consider how much money you’re willing to lose if you end up terminating the contract.
If you go all the way to closing, the due diligence and the earnest money deposit both come back to you at closing as part of your down payment.
The only way a buyer can lose everything—both the due diligence AND earnest money—is if you say that you’ll buy the home, but then cancel the contract AFTER the due diligence date. That’s considered a breach of contract, and you’ll receive neither of those deposits back.
When you’re interviewing prospective Realtors, talk to them about the due diligence process and what it means for you, because it’s different when looked at through a buyer’s eyes and a seller’s eyes.
At Real Estate Experts, we’re more than happy to discuss this period with you. All you have to do is reach out to us, and we’d be happy to help.
Boutique real estate firms aren’t necessarily what you might think. The word boutique often makes people think high end, expensive, or even unapproachable. Think again!
These real estate firms are, simply put, specialized businesses who focus on customer service, professionalism, and client relationships. Instead of a generic real estate transaction, boutique real estate firms are committed to providing the best experience and representation possible to their clients.
Buying a house is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever do. The investment is worth taking the time to find the best representation possible. With a boutique firm, you can be sure you’ll get a whole team of real estate professionals working to find you the house of your dreams.
How are boutique real estate firms similar to big companies?
In truth, there are a lot of differences in boutique real estate firms and big companies… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities.
Both use Multiple Listing Service in the representation of houses they’re marketing. What does that mean? Everyone has the same access to properties on the market.
Thanks to this, much of the technology provided to clients and customers is the same. Real estate professionals use the MLS system, and a lot of the technology that comes with it. Since both big firms and boutique firms have the same access to the MLS, they can provide their customers with the same technology.
Online marketing offers the same outlets for both big companies and boutique real estate firms. Think Trulia, Realtor.com, Zillow, and all the other online house hunting tools. This means your property will be marketed in all the same places, with the same representation.
So, why should you pick a boutique firm instead of a big company? Just because you can be in all of the same places, a very important question is how you will be there and how will your property be represented?
Five reasons to use a boutique firm instead of a big company
1.) You’ve got a whole team representing you
You know what’s better than one head? Two! Boutique real estate firms are made up of a team of real estate professionals who work together to represent their clients to the best of their ability.
2.) Personalized customer service is at your fingertips
There’s a huge sense of care, attention to detail, and desire to succeed in a small boutique firm. Wouldn’t you pay the utmost attention when it’s your name on the business cards, and it’s your reputation? With that much emphasis on customer service, you can be sure your property won’t get lost in the sea of other homes for sale.
Boutique firms also care more about their clients than building a business empire. Larger companies work to produce empires, boutique firms work to produce community.
3.) Boutique firms have local authority and a big local network
Since they’re founded locally, boutique firms are typically made up of real estate professionals who know their territory like the back of their hands. They’ve crafted a great network of other professionals who can help you, too. Need a property manager? Your boutique real estate firm can help. Need a utilities company? They’ve got you covered, too.
4.) There’s quality in the quantity of experience
Smaller firms like boutique real estate firms have less incentive to “go with the flow” and produce results in terms of numbers. Instead, the real estate professionals work in the best interest of the client while working with experts in a variety of fields thanks to their large networks. With a smaller firm, agents can connect with the brand and have a personalized interest in the culture of the firm they’re representing.
A hiring manager or owner of a boutique real estate firm is going to pay attention to the professionals they hire. You can expect quality in the quantity of team members.
5.) Owners and real estate professionals of boutique firms are passionate about their business and culture
Boutique real estate firms care about their reputation. Members of the firm are passionate about their brand, culture, and customer service. They’re excited to show their attention to detail and excellent representation. And yes, they’re excited to show you they can and will compete with the big firms.
What’s more? Boutique firms have the ability to do their own “thing”. They can be innovative, they’ve got flexibility, and their work is fueled by a love for what they do.
Real Estate Experts
Acquiring real estate is a complex business. Mistakes can literally cost you thousands of dollars or the missed opportunity of owning the home of your dreams. As a buyer, you are always in competition with other buyers who also are looking to buy their dream homes.
There is a vast difference in the level of expertise and quality of service provided by real estate agents. Give yourself the advantage of working with Top real estate agents at Real Estate Experts and get the following value-added services that will make a big difference for you!
We have helped hundreds of families move over time. The depth of our experience is a testament to our expertise and negotiating skills that give our clients a major advantage over buyers working with other agents.