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Selling your house in Fall or Winter?

Selling your house in Fall or Winter?

When the weather gets cooler, typically the real estate market slows down. Spring, after all, is the best time to buy and sell a house. However, fall the second best season to list your home.  Selling your house in fall or winter is not necessarily bad timing.  While we are half-way through fall, there’s still time! Even though fall and winter are slower times in the real estate world, listing your home during this time of year means less competition on the market. Homes can even sell faster during the winter, for some reason. Besides, there’s less of a need for landscaping at this time of year!

Are You Considering Selling Your House in Fall or Winter?

If you’re selling your home during these seasons, here’s what you need to know.

  • Still be wary of seasonal decor or too many personalized decorations however do embrace fall
  • Highlight seasonal positives (if you have a nice fireplace, etc)
  • Regardless of whether there’s less of a need for landscaping or not, keep up the curb appeal (blow leaves, etc)
  • Basically, turn on every light ever for all showings
  • Prepare your home for showings  (fall smells are wonderful, don’t burn candles, this may not be safe when you leave your home but a fall potpurri can add just the right touch.  If you are lucky and you get a second or third showing, pull out all the stops and bake chocolate chip cookies.  That is a lovely touch!

Find Your Real Estate Listing Expert

A professional realtor is your best ally in buying or selling a home, no matter what the season. The marketing materials on your house are more important now than ever, thanks to mobile technology that allows buyers to search homes on their phones or tablets. Using professional photos, a virtual tour and using a fantastic description boosts the chances of your home selling. At Real Estate Experts, we’re ready to give your house marketing something extra.

As a buyer, having a trusted real estate professional (agent or buyer’s agent) will increase your chances of winning a bidding war. With low inventory on the market, bidding wars are commonplace. Buyers agents are a buyer’s best friend in a market like this because they have sole responsibility to the buyer and can provide the ultimate amount of information.

If you are interested in learning about available properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

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Home Renovations in the Fall and Return on Investment

Home Renovations in the Fall and Return on Investment

Fall is a great time to consider home renovations.  Why? The real estate market tends to slow down as the cooler months come in. And thanks to our amiable fall weather, renovating and making home improvements in the Fall is feasible.

Consider making renovations during the fall, even though there’s a bit of a scramble to get things finished in time for the holidays. But with that being said, if you’re working to get your house spic-and-span to get it on the market for the spring, it isn’t a bad idea to let the builders in during this time. Especially as most projects have a deadline before the holidays, making builders and contractors a little more open for scheduling. If you’re considering new construction, building an addition, or a kitchen renovation project, Fall might be the perfect time.

If you are considering making home improvements, one of the primary considerations will be the potential return on investment.

Let’s Talk Return on Investment

Remodeling and renovation projects are two great ways to improve the living quality in your home. They also help improve price, comfort, and value of your home! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Here are some common types of home renovations that will give you an idea of what sorts of updates people might be interested in.

Home Improvements

So, it’s pretty easy to see that painting is the most common renovation project. What’s fortunate about that is painting is relatively easy to do, fairly inexpensive, and it’s something you can do yourself.

In the Southeast, flooring renovations are also very common.  Buyers love hardwood floors or even bamboo.

What Should You Spend?

What you might not like the sound of is the organization or financial burden of actually getting a head start on these projects. It can be disconcerting to think about much much money you’re going to put into a project, for sure. But, where there’s a will there’s a way!

It’s important to recognize why and what you’re spending your money on, too. It makes a little more sense to shell out some money if you’re prepping to sell. The average price of improvements people make on their homes before selling hits almost $6,000.   We have worked with clients that spent a lot more than this.  Planning to prepare your budget around a similar number will save you from overspending on renovations, or not doing enough.  Staying ahead of the curve while you are living in your home and improving it along the way, makes putting your house on the market to sell that much easier.

Average amount of money spent on renovation projects

If your home renovations are planned with the intent to sell at a later date, it’s best to focus on what you can do to simply update the look of your home instead. Aesthetic updates are least likely to thin out your wallet, with the average price lingering just under $3,000. While this is a huge motivator for most people to jump on the update wagon, thinking about what you’re renovating your home for, how much the ROI will be, and what’s in your budget will lead you to more satisfaction.

Not to mention, bang for your buck. By sticking with your budget, you won’t over spend and you’ll see the best results for your renovations.

Real Estate Experts

Real Estate ExpertsA trusted real estate professional will be able to walk through your home, and make suggestions as to what kind of improvements would increase your home’s value. They’ll be able to help you decide which projects are worth your time, budget, and attention. With our expert staging advice, collective real estate knowledge and history in the area, Real Estate Experts can help you discover the best renovations to make on your home.

If you would like more information about major or minor home improvements and their expected ROI, contact us today at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to  [email protected]. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.

Ready to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

Ready to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

best home improvements for resale

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make.  When we work with buyers, we are not only trying to help you find a home you love, we want to make sure you are making a good investment as well.  The same thinking should be applied to when making home improvements.  We love it when our clients ask our opinion on the best home improvement for resale.  It is always important to not only do something you will want to live with, but keeping an eye upgrades that will help sell your house.

Here are 7 home renovations to consider that will give you a good return on investment and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll be glad you made these home updates when it comes time to sell your home.

1. Don’t let your utility bills soar — Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

You can get an energy audit to check out how sustainable your home is. A lot of utility companies will offer them, so why not take advantage of the service?

Electricity prices can be high, and utility prices a turnoff for potential buyers. Even though in comparison, North Carolina’s residential electricity rates aren’t in the top ten highest… there’s always a way to make a home more attractive to a potential buyer. Help them out by considering appliances that save energy.

Buyers in all price ranges look at utility costs.  This is something buyers factor into their monthly payments.  Making such improvements as adding additional insulation; getting a high efficiency furnace when it is time to replace your HVAC system; installing LED lights throughout your home; and getting Energy Star appliances are just a few types of home improvements that are good for you the home owner but are also great upgrades to sell your house.

2. Renovating Your Kitchen With Give You The Greatest Bang For Your Buck

The kitchen is a serious selling point for potential buyers. Gone are the days of simplistic kitchens with generic countertops, bland cabinets, and out of date appliances. Hey, a double oven is a beautiful thing and stainless steel is drool-worthy.  If you have space for an island, buyers love these too.

Buyers like kitchens that are open to a living area and buyers in all price ranges like granite and stainless steel appliances.

Consider checking out some of the latest kitchen trends (is granite out as a countertop?) to make sure your house will have some allure in the kitchen. Updating your kitchen can add some value to your home, and bump up the price before you sell.

Besides, who doesn’t love a beautiful backsplash?

3. Ask Siri

Smart technology has been making its way into homes for a while now. If you’re about to put your home on the market, it’s a great idea to look into what sorts of smart updates you can make.

Replacing your thermostat? Kill two birds with one stone by installing a smart thermostat that saves energy. Lights, doors, security systems, and home assistants like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa give your home a high-tech feel that appeals to a generation who grew up with smart phones.

4. Remodel Your Bathroom

updatesBathrooms are a source of serious return on investment, they are second best to kitchens.  If you update your bathroom while you’re getting ready to list your house, there’s a great chance your investment will pay off.  New lighting, fixtures, vanity tops and cool mirrors all count. Sufficient storage space is important as well.  If you can afford to upgrade your tile, that counts too but you might just need to work with what  you have.  That is ok too.

Consider the condition of your shower, too. It’s tough to get rid of lime stains and mold. If you can refinish your shower and tub, it’s probably best to do so.

Bathtubs, showers and vanity tops can be reglazed!  This is a great way to save money and have things look really fresh.  If you want to know more about this, just give us a call or shoot us an email.  We are happy to explain this and share picture.

Alternatively, consider remodeling your bathroom with a theme. This year, the “Mediterranean” theme has gone viral.

5. Pay Attention to the Attic

home updatesHere’s a surprising little statistic: fiberglass attic insulation comes with over 100% ROI. Who knew, right? This update not only lowers your heating and electricity bills, but it also gives your attic a refined look. Face it, sometimes we neglect our attics. This means insulation might show wear and tear, which is something a lot of potential buyers might see as a turnoff.

While you’re up there, can you install solar vents? They’re less expensive than installing an attic ceiling fan, and worth the consideration to improve house circulation.

6. Boost Yard Beauty

Curb appeal is huge. If you’ve got a beautiful garden, stunning lawn, and new coat of paint on your home, you bet it’s going to attract more people! It pays off to consider updating the exterior of your house before you’re ready to sell. You can’t make a first impression twice!

Teaming up with a professional landscaping service will make your home look picture perfect from the road. What’s more? It’s know to boost your home’s worth up to 17%.

7.  The Very Biggest Bang For Your Buck is Paint and Carpet

Modern paint colors and new carpet go such a long way.  These are two of the best home improvements for resale.  Don’t use too many colors in your house and make sure the color palate all works together.  Today, the hottest colors are in the gray family and those colors that work with gray.  Many people don’t know about Greige.  What is this?  It is a color that depending on the light can look towards the grays or the tans.  They are wonderful colors because they are versatile.

Real Estate Experts

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Or, alternatively, do you need a hand finding the best contractors for the jobs? Real Estate Experts is here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-928-5131or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

 

5 Reasons to Use a Boutique Firm Instead of a Large Company

5 Reasons to Use a Boutique Firm Instead of a Large Company

boutique real estate firm

Hold on, what’s a boutique real estate firm?

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

boutique firm

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.

big company5.) 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.

Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

Of Course You Don’t Need a Buyer’s Agent!

Of Course You Don’t Need a Buyer’s Agent!

 buyer's agent

In the magical age of the internet, it’s easy to be informed on a ton of topics. It’s easy to think the help of a professional isn’t always necessary because you’ve got that knowledge at your finger tips. Hey, if you can DIY projects, why not have a go without a buyer’s agent?

Oh, contraire.

You might cut out commission, but you cut out your best ally, too. You forgo legal help, a knowledgeable professional, and an expert negotiator. If you’re looking for a home buying headache, here are 5 reasons you don’t need a buyer’s agent.

 1. It’s cheaper to rely on yourself instead of a professional

Actually, this isn’t true at all. A buyers agent will cost you nothing. A seller actually pays the buyer’s agent fees when their home sells. The commission the buyer’s agent gets comes from seller’s wallet, not yours!

2. You love stress

Buyer’s agents are basically real estate agents, data analysts, marketing professionals, and contract wizards. All rolled into one. They save you incredible amounts of time by looking at homes, staying familiar with inventories, and they’ve got access to valuable tools like the MLS system. They can write up offers, contracts, and help you understand the ins and outs of real estate transactions.

The search for the perfect house for you is handled by a professional who has your best interests at heart. When you use a buyer’s agent, you won’t have to worry about the small details of the home buying process. And you’ll save yourself some serious stress.

3. The internet is the only resource you need

You can find the perfect home on your own, thanks to websites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia.  Of course, they’re awesome resources to check out some of the houses in your target area. However, you can’t really rely on the information you find online house hunting. Zestimates are often wrong, some of the listings are out of date.

The most accurate information you can find will come from a real estate professional. The MLS in your area is accurate, and you can only get access through your chosen professional.

4. You have loads of local connections

Real estate professionals have connections to everyone. OK, maybe that’s a generalization. But, they surely do have connections that make the home buying and selling process easier. From real estate attorneys to contractors, interior designers to mortgage brokers, a realtor has them all.

Not to mention, they can reach a massive amount of people through their network. This means your home will get on the market, be seen by the right people, and have more offers.

What’s more? They have access to properties coming onto the market soon. They exchange advice, ideas, and other useful tidbits with one another to bring sales together.

5. You are a fantastic negotiatorbuyer's agent

Are you a sales person? Probably not. Are you a marketer? Maybe. Regardless of your affinity for finding good deals and sales, your real estate professional is better at it than you. It’s their job!

It can be complicated to negotiate through the multifaceted transaction that is buying a house. Buyer’s agents are perfect mediators who can help you achieve the best results, for you. They’ll help you get the best offer possible. They’ll help you work through counter-offers.

Most buyers don’t consider what they don’t know. It’s important to recognize you don’t know the landscape of real estate transactions like a real estate professional. They’ll open your eyes to options you didn’t even know you had!

Real Estate Experts

A Buyer Agent, or a real estate agent working for a buyer, works solely for the buyer and has no legal or other responsibilities to the seller. When working with a Buyer Agent, you have the advantage of personal representation, independent counseling, loyalty, confidentiality, and trust. On the other hand, while helping you present an offer and then negotiate and close a transaction, a general real estate agent has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the seller and agent of any property you choose.

At Real Estate Experts we are focused on finding the ideal home for you. We are fully committed to you throughout the entire buying process; our sole career is real estate. We pride ourselves on listening to your needs and wants and delivering the best results possible

At Real Estate Experts, we want to be your ally while you look for the best home for you.  You’re not getting an agent, you’re getting a team. We’ll work with you every step of the way, from financing to floor plans. Start to finish, we want to help you get into your new home.

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected].

Real Estate Words: What’s the Meaning of Encroachment?

Real Estate Words: What’s the Meaning of Encroachment?

You don’t need any “beware of dog” signs. You have legal rights!

Real estate terminology can be tough to grasp. There are a lot of words seemingly interchangeable, when they’re defined very differently. The definition of them can differ greatly, or minutely. Understanding the nuances of the terminology can help you get a fuller understanding of your rights as a home owner, buyer, or seller.

What’s the meaning of encroachment?

what's the meaning of encroachment

The definition of this term is sort of an umbrella. When you think of the word encroaching, you typically think about someone slowly getting in your space. In terms of encroachment in real estate, it means property encroachment. Simply put: trespassing physically or in the building of structures that intrude on your property.

A neighbor builds a shed that looms over your yard. Another neighbor expands their house, the porch seemingly inches away from your living room window. A fence touches your property, carving out some of your land for your neighbors. Your garden is trampled and consequently ruined by people crossing your yard for access to a public space. These are all examples of encroachment.

Even utility companies can encroach on your property. In certain circumstances, they can do this to plant power poles, or similar structures.  This is actually called an easement. Many properties have power or sewer easements so that utility companies can access power or sewer lines in the event of an emergency or for some other reason.

But how can this happen if there are private property rights?

The ways encroachment can happen in real estate

Let’s just say this: some people don’t pay attention to boundary lines when they’re building. If you hire a contractor to do the building for you, it’s possible they won’t adhere to the boundary lines of your and your neighbor’s property.

Sometimes, property lines aren’t drawn correctly.  Not all surveys are perfect but it is truly rare when they are wrong. This is why it is so important to have a survey in your name.  Not only does it protect you against any title insurance survey related problem, it can be used to identify problems before you close on a home or something for a contractor to work from if you are making an improvement to your  home or lot.  In realty, most of the time homeowners and sellers won’t even notice there’s an encroachment until they try to sell the home. The property survey will show the encroachment issues, though.

Private property disputes have solutions, and settlement occurs in a few ways. However, any encroachment must be documented or cleared before the title of a home can transfer from the seller to the buyer.

What you can do

Before beginning any expansions, updates, or improvements to your home it’s important to get a property survey.  If you did not get a survey when you bought your home, it is advisable to get one if you are making improvement, like putting up a fence, that involves your property boundaries.  If you find property encroachment during the property survey, you must tell your real estate attorney as soon as humanly possible!

Even though an encroachment is something buyers may be unhappy about, it won’t necessarily break a sale as long as it’s addressed early on.  Also, many encroachments are not a huge issue.  A neighbor’s fence or garden might be a fraction of an inch over the property line.  Things like this typically are not issues.  If, however, your neighbor’s fence is a foot inside you property line, it is best if this is discovered before you buy but if it is afterwards, these issues can still be settled.

How to settle property encroachment disputes

If there is a real issue, like a fence is significantly encroaching on your property, a neighbor can be asked to move the fence. Sometimes issues can  be cleared with the title insurance company in advance of closing.  In one instance, I had a client purchasing a property with a new detached garage.  The survey found that half of the garage was sitting outside the allowable neighborhood set back line.  If a neighbor wanted to make an issue, they could have been asked to move the garage.  At the closing table the closing attorney cleared this issue with the title insurance company and my clients also got a settlement for this in case they were asked to move the garage.

Many times when it is not an issue, all you have to do is disclose that a neighbors fence or garden is a faction of an inch over the property line.  Nine times out of ten, when a buyer knows these things ahead of time, they never become an issue.

 

Confused with easements? Here’s what it means

An easement is the right to use someone else’s land for a purpose. Generally, it’s granted by the property owner as to let others legally cross the land or use it. Money can be exchanged for use or even as a reoccurring payment of “rent”.

It’s important to note an easement is delineated in writing. This right of others to use the land also passes on to future

easement in real estate

owners.

Alternatively, encroachment is an unauthorized intrusion onto your land. If there are damages done by way of trespassing, the owner of the property is entitled to a lawsuit in order to recover damages.

Real Estate Experts

With the help of a real estate professional, encroachment and easements aren’t difficult to sort out. Your real estate professional of choice can help you understand North Carolina’s many laws and statutes around these issues.

At Real Estate Experts, we can help you sort out your real estate questions. We’re experienced buyer’s agents who are prepared to help you find the perfect home for you. As we’re obligated to you, the buyer. So we’ll keep your best interests at heart and work to get you into your dream home quickly!

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to  [email protected].

 

 

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