New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

Happy New Year!  With the New Year, it is time to dust off the old year and make plans for the coming year.  Maybe you want to exercise more, read more or spend more time with friends and family?

If selling a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, here are some quick tips:  

Resolutions for Home Sellers

Thinking about selling your home this year or in the future?  Regardless of the season or market conditions, remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression.  Make your home memorable to potential buyers.  Before listing your home, commit to these quick Home Seller New Year’s Resolutions to help ensure the quickest sale for the highest price.

Home Seller Resolution #1:  Plan Ahead

Do you truly want to sell your home? This is not the time to “see what happens” or “I’ll list it to see if it sells.” This wastes your time and the time of potential buyers and agents.  The 2019 housing market here in the Triangle is likely to become harder for home sellers.  Buyer demand has slowed and there is lots of competition, especially from new home communities.

Once you commit to selling your home, go all the way.  Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression and most home buyers decide whether or not to schedule a showing in the first 10 seconds while viewing pictures online!

Selling your home is a BIG deal and it takes lots of planning.  You need a team of experts including; real estate agent, contractors to assist with possible home repairs, movers, etc.  This is especially true if you are planning to buy a home at the same time.

Resolution:  Plan Ahead!  Contact a real estate professional early on to discuss your options and to commit to selling your home!

Planning Ahead is Key

Home Seller Resolution #2:  Repair & Replace

Stained carpet in the bonus room?  Leaky faucet in the kid’s bathroom?  Wallpaper in the living room?

Today’s buyers are, for the most part, looking for move-in ready homes. They do not want to dedicate all of their free time and funds to work on the house they live in.  All of those deferred maintenance projects should be addressed.  They will come up on the buyers home inspection.

Also, if your house is still living in the 1980s, it might be time for an upgrade.  There are many simple fixes; e.g. updated paint, lighting, and fixtures that will make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Resolution:  Repair any deferred maintenance items and bring you home into 2019.

Home Buyers Want Move In Ready

Home Seller Resolution #3:  Cut the Clutter

Boxes piled high in the garage?  Can’t see the floor in the bonus room?  Afraid to open the hall closet door?

A cluttered house can suggest a lack of space, which can impact offers.  Potential buyers want to envision their furniture in your home.  Depending on lifestyle and length of time in the home, cleaning out the clutter can be a BIG project.

Take it step by step, room by room!  Be honest about what you need, want and what you can live without.  The bonus?  You won’t have to pack, move and clutter your new home with stuff you don’t want.

Lastly, when it’s time to list your home, stage it to show in the best possible light.  Your real estate agent may offer home staging as part of their suite of services to take your home to the next level.

Resolution:  Get rid of unwanted items in closets, the garage, and other rooms.

Home Staging is Key

Wrapping Up

Whether you are thinking about buying a home, selling a home or both in 2019, now is the time to commit to your resolutions.  By starting now, 2019 may be the year that you find your self in a new home!

If buying or selling a home is a goal for you next year, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Whatever your plans are for 2019, we hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

 

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

A new year brings much excitement and anticipation, but could 2019 be the year for a new home?  Here are some quick New Year’s Resolutions to help you buy a home in 2019.

Resolution #1:  Boost Your Savings

Instead of just thinking about saving, why not start the new year off right with a resolution to jump-start your savings and start putting away more for your down payment on your first home?

If you’re worried that the traditional 20% down payment may be too difficult to save in a year, there may be additional mortgage options that don’t require that amount.

Resolution:  Ditch the daily Starbucks run and boost your savings!

Resolution #2:  Check Your Credit

Have you checked your credit report? If not, you should do that right away. Many credit reports contain errors and you will need time to have those mistakes removed.

Your credit score is a very important variable that lenders consider when deciding on your mortgage loan. To make sure you get the best possible rates, it is never too early to start improving your credit!

Resolution:  Check your credit score!

Resolution #3:  Pay Down Your Debt

Your debt-to-income ratio is an important factor for lenders. To help you achieve a favorable rate, focus on paying down your existing debt as much as possible. This new year commit to paying more toward credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, and other debt streams. With fewer dollars owed, you will be in a better position to afford a mortgage once you buy a home!

Resolution:  Brown bag your lunch and put the savings toward your debt.

Resolution #4:  Start Building Your Home Purchase Team

Buying a home on your own is no easy task, which is why most home buyers opt to utilize the talents of many professionals along the way. The new year is the perfect time to start thinking about building the home buying dream team that can help you find your home and pay for it too!

Your team should include an experienced real estate agent that can guide you through the process and a licensed loan officer that can assist you with all of the intricacies of the mortgage process.  Your real estate agent can also assist you with home inspectors, general contractors and a real estate attorney that can assist with repair negotiations and with your home closing.

Resolution:  Commit to finding an experienced real estate agent and lender that can guide you to finding your new home!

Wrapping Up

If you are planning to buy a home in 2019, now is the time to commit to your home purchase!  With a few simple resolutions, you could be living in your dream home this year!

We hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Home During the Holidays

Christmas is right around the corner.  Time to prepare those Christmas gift lists! To quote one of the lines from one of my favorite TV Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer:

A scooter for Jimmy
A dolly for Sue
The kind that will even say, “How do you do?”
When Christmas Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.

Is it time to put a house on the holiday Christmas gift list?

Why You Should Consider Buying this Holiday Season

Turkeys and tinsel, dreidels and pumpkin pie. Yes, friends, the holidays are here again, and it’s the perfect time for … house hunting? OK, we know you’re busy enough planning family feasts and much-needed vacations while dealing with blustery weather, but hear us out. While it might seem counterintuitive to put a big-ticket item like a home on your holiday shopping list, it really does make sense.

Don’t believe us? Check out these surprisingly smart reasons to let everyone else hit the mall to buy half-off sweaters while you make the purchase of a lifetime: a new house to ring in the New Year.

Reason #1:  Less Competition

There’s typically less competition during the offseason, which means buyers can get more bang for their buck. About 40 percent of homes on average are sold in May, June, July, and August, according to The Housing Wire. The four months with the lightest sales are November through February, which means less competition as well.

Research from Zillow shows that those who buy a home during the peak selling point usually pay an average premium of $1,500, but those who purchase homes in, say, December paid $3,100 less than average.

Reason #2: Sellers are serious (or worn out)

Whether a house has been on the market for months or the “for sale” sign has recently appeared in the yard, sellers tend to be serious during the offseason. They are usually ready to make a deal, which means that buyers have more room for negotiation and throwing out a lower offer.

Most sellers have a compelling reason for putting their house on the market during the holidays. (Let’s face it: It’s no holiday party for them to have strangers wandering through their house.) They might be facing a relocation and want to get their kids settled before the new term. Or they might just be feeling some stress if they listed their home in the fall and it’s still languishing post–Turkey Day, making them just a little more desperate and anxious to deal

Dreaming of a New Home?

Topic #3: Tax Advantages

Yes, I said it! Taxes. Right after the holiday season comes Tax Season! In case you weren’t aware, buying before January 1 can help you save in April and beyond. Homeownership can bring numerous tax perks, from deducting mortgage interest to property taxes.

Also, many closing fees are tax-deductible if you itemize—although you should always double-check with your accountant about any tax questions.

Reason #4: You might become the center of attention

• During the warmer months, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, title companies and other professionals tend to be swamped, which means that clients might not always get the attention they need or want.
• Once the summertime sales are made, buyers may receive more attention from the experts and experience fewer delays and service issues.

Home for the Holidays

Reason #5: You can catch some great sales

Need new furniture or other items for your new home? Plenty of seasonal clearance sales will be available to help you apply a personal touch – but be careful not to spend yourself into unrecoverable debt.

Obviously, you should never rush into a major purchase just to save a couple of dollars; and please remember to make any large purchases AFTER you close on your home.

Give Yourself a Little Gift this Holiday

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

You may not think that the holiday season is a good time to sell your home, but think again!  This holiday season there are lots of holiday home buyers looking for great homes across the Triangle, NC area.  Follow these quick simple tips for merry home sale!

Yes, its that time of the year again!  It is the holiday season!  Time to deck the halls, trim the tree, find your ugly Christmas sweater & toast in the New Year! But is it time to sell your house?

While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.

First, decide if you really need to sell. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips.

Holiday Tip #1: Deck the Halls, but Don’t Go Overboard

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers.  Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

Deck the Halls but Be Classy!

Holiday Tip #2: Give Holiday House Hunters a Place to Escape from the Cold

When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings; playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats.

Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold

 

Holiday Tip #3: Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority

 

When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard.

Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice, and leaves.

Holiday Tip #4: Hire a reliable real estate agent

Hire someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s.

Also, marketing your home takes extra importance during the winter season when the gardens are less than colorful and the leaves are off the trees.  Premium photography and video tours of your home are a critical part of the marketing program for your home.

When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.

You’ll get less foot traffic during the holiday’s thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

Use Premium Photography & Videos to Capture Holiday Homebuyers

Holiday Tip #5: Relax – the New Year is right around the corner!

The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.

Enjoy Your Holiday

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Creating the Strongest Bid in a Seller’s Market

Submit your highest offer upfront and put the seller’s wants first, and you will be calling that house a home in no time 

You see the perfect house on-line and you call your agent to schedule a showing.  The house is perfect!  It has the gourmet kitchen, open floor plan, lots of storage, the fenced in yard for the dog…it has everything you want and it is in the perfect location! 

Because the house is perfect for you, it is also perfect for everyone else.  Such properties quickly generate multiple offers in a very short time, but only one of those offers succeeds — and you want to ensure that your offer is the one that succeeds.  To ensure that happens, you need to place the best offer in a market that has significantly favored sellers for many months.   

Once you have found that perfect house, you should prepare to jump in with a strong offer that should contain these elements:    Continue reading “Creating the Strongest Bid in a Seller’s Market”

Homebuyer Sabotage

The homebuying market is tough!  As a homebuyer, the last thing you want to do is to sabotage your home purchase.  There are several simple things that you can do to avoid homebuyer sabotage.  Follow these simple steps and you will be calling that house your home in no time. 

The Homebuying Market is Tough

The home buying market is tough!  No question.  The last several years have been tough for homebuyers.  Low inventory, high demand, rising prices, and tighter lending rules have all contributed to this market.  As a homebuyer, what can you do?

What You Can Do

We work have worked with many homebuyers; from first-time home buyers to people looking step down, step up or buy their retirement retreat. Even before we begin to look at houses, we spend some time getting to know our homebuyer and talking to them about the ins and outs of the local market.  We also talk quite a bit about the home buying process.  Even for many experienced homebuyers, the process today can be quite different from the process just a few years ago.  Our goal is to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients.

One of the things that we talk about our ways not to sabotage your own home purchase.  A few weeks ago, I highlighted three ways that a homebuyer can sabotage their home purchase.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

This week, we introduce three additional ways.

 

To recap, here are 6 ways that you as a homebuyer can avoid sabotaging your home purchase.

Recap – Ways to Avoid Homebuyer Sabotage

Stay Pre-Approved:  NO new lines of credit, minimum credit card usage, no late payments.

Don’t Dilly Dally:  If you fall in love with a house, you will need to make an offer QUICKLY.

Not Placing Your Best Offer the First Time:  The risk with a low offer is that you will not only sabotage your chances of negotiating with the seller but your offer might simply be rejected outright,  without a counter, or even ignored.

Asking Too Much from the Seller:  Be careful about how much you ask for because a seller will weigh all the pros and cons, especially in a multiple offer situation, and not necessarily accept the one that was for the most money.

Nit-Picking the Home Inspection:  Focus on the important repairs!

Having Pre-Mature Buyers’ Remorse:  Once your offer has been accepted, the appraisal is done, the inspection is done, and everything is hunky-dory – STOP home-shopping!

 

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

 

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Tips for the First-Time Homebuyer

Over the last several months, Kelly and I have worked with a number of first-time homebuyers. Being a first-time homebuyer can be tough.

The Affordability Squeeze
The Affordability Squeeze

Affordability is at an all-time low for starter homes, and it’s making things tough for prospective first-time homebuyers to cross over from renting to owning. Demand for starter homes, pushed by increases in rental rates has pushed buyer demand for starter homes.

A recent news story from Bloomberg noted that starter homes prices have past pre-recession levels and the typical first-time homebuyer needs nearly 23% of their income to afford the typical entry-level home, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Across the Triangle area, there are a number of older neighborhoods featuring smaller, lower-priced homes that highly sought after by first time home buyers.  A few months ago, a client of mine called me about a small ranch home in a highly desirable area of Cary.  The home had been recently renovated and had many features sought by my client.  When we arrived at the home on a Saturday morning, there was a long line of real estate agents and their clients seeking to tour the home.  Ultimately, my client decided not to place an offer on that home but did find a great home in an adjacent neighborhood.

Home in Cary

 

Buying Requires Patience & an Understanding of the Market

This market requires patience!  Lots of patience and an understanding of the market. One of the things that Kelly and I do with all of our buyers is schedule a face-to-face meeting with all of our buyers before looking at a single property.  Our aim is to understand what is really important to our client.  Our second aim is to educate our clients about the market.  A huge part of our role is educating clients about the reality of this market.

A Reality Check

Once we have met with the client, we will ask them to meet with a local lender.  Reality check time!  One of our biggest tips is for our clients to meet with a lender and get pre-qualified before looking at houses.  It’s important for a first-time homebuyer, in fact, any buyer to have an understanding of what they can afford before looking at houses.

Reality Check

Last year, I had a young couple call me about a new listing in downtown Apex.  Downtown Apex is a very hot area.  Demand is very strong and prices have rapidly increased over the past many months.   My clients had been to several open houses and had fallen in love with a beautiful neighborhood close to downtown. Unfortunately, they did not qualify for their desired neighborhood.   Luckily, my clients found a great home in Fuquay-Varina that didn’t offer the central location they were looking for but did offer many of the home features that they desired.

It is important to remember that you may not be able to get everything you want in your first home and it is important to have realistic expectations.

Quick Tips

 

Here are some quick tips for the first-time homebuyer:

1) Get Pre-Approved:  As mentioned above, get pre-approved before looking at homes. Sellers typically won’t accept your offer unless it’s all cash or you have a lender’s letter saying you can get the financing you need to close the deal. Consequently, being pre-approved for a loan is crucial.

 

2) Prioritize Your Preferences: Make a list of what’s important to you and your family, whether it is location, condition, price or certain amenities, and be prepared to make sacrifices.

3) Know Your Budget

4) Be Realistic 

 

5) Act Fast: If a house is listed Monday, don’t wait until Saturday to see it.

6) Get Educated:  Being well-informed about the local housing market — including knowing the prices of recently sold homes, taxes, the school district, etc. — can give you an advantage over experienced buyers who are out of touch with the trends.

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and Garner.

 

 

 

Getting Smart About Real Estate – Why You Need a Buyers Agent for New Home Construction

Thinking About New Home Construction?

Anyone that has driven around the Raleigh-Durham area has seen a large number of new home construction projects.  They are everywhere!

If you are thinking about buying a new home, new home construction is a great way to go.  You can select your options, be the first to live in a home, enjoy the “new home smell”.  It all seems so easy.  You meet with a nice salesperson, you pick your lot, you pick your colors and your elevation and you are on your way!

But hold on…!!!  New home construction is not that easy! 

There are lots of things that can go wrong!  Here at Log Pond Realty, we have worked with many buyers looking at new home construction and we know that things can go sideways fast.

In this segment of Getting Smart About Real Estate, we will highlight some of the reasons why you need a buyers agent for new construction!

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and Garner.

Why You Need a Buyers Agent for New Construction

Why You Need a Buyers Agent for New Home Construction

Why You Need an Agent for New Home Construction

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and Garner.

Getting Smart About Real Estate – How NOT to Sabotage Your Home Purchase

Congratulations!  You have just been pre-qualified with a lender and you are now a home buyer!  Here are a couple of quick tips on how NOT to sabotage your home purchase!

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and Garner.