Tag Archives: Charlotte real estate agent

How to Hire a Contractor to do Work in Your Home

home work  An important aspect of hiring a contractor to do work in your home is to understand what permits, special requirements or licensure are required for each job.  Once that’s understood, you can know whether it’s best to hire a licensed contractor or a handyman.

REFERRALS
Be sure to ask for referrals and references and know the relationship of those referring parties to the contractor. Ask for pictures of installations on similar jobs that have been performed for others and give those referring parties a call or visit to ask how the work was performed, the attitude during the job, coming in on budget and wrapping up on time.  Discover if there are any negative remarks online or with the BBB.   Be sure he or she is qualified to handle the scope and type of work needed, especially with regard to special conditions such as lead based paint, asbestos, mold, etc.

IDENTITY
If the home is occupied, if personal items are stored there or is otherwise notid_verified vacant, be sure to qualify your contractor if he’s unknown to you through online services such as mysmartmove.com or others.  Get a copy of the contractors driver’s license and have him sign a w-9 to include his social security number.  If you’re an investor and renovations are common for you, you may want to investigate the Verify Photo ID app recommended by Inman News.

CONTRACT
Next, execute an Independent Contractor Agreement with your contractor. Be certain it has no verbiage or requirements to suggest the contractor is an employee of yours.

PHASES
Now is the time to outline and understand the three phases of the renovation. The initial Phase One is paid on day 1 of the job.  The subsequent draws for Phases Two and Three should be paid by the week, on a Monday or Tuesday. In constructing the phases, the contractor should budget for each item and any overages or misquote is the responsibility of the contractor, not the homeowner. Make sure your agreement covers things such as milestones, and outlines the scope and sequence of the work to be completed. The contract should include the description of all work, and condition of Customer Satisfaction such as all items completed in a workman like manner, job site left clean and tidy daily, and no items incomplete.

MATERIALS
selecting-the-right-color-bigIdeally the home owner should have chosen paint colors, sheens, types for each space, cabinets, granite and whatever materials will be used in the project at the source. Have your Independent Contractor pay for those materials and have that provider deliver the materials to the job site, then reimburse the contractor immediately – this strategy avoids any appearance of establishing an employee/employer relationship. Do not pay for routine tools and supplies the contractor uses in his everyday business such as paint brushes, ladders tarps , etc.

UPDATES
If you’re not the owner occupant at the job site, require the contractor to provide daily pictures and videos of each phase when complete before scheduling a personal inspection and before payment on that phase is released.  An investor can use this in the future or marketing.

COMPLETION
In exchange for the final payment the homeowner should sign off that he is satisfied with the job, and the independent contractor should sign that he is releasing all liens in exchange for final payment.

For a No Obligation Sample Copy of my Independent Contractor Agreement, email me.  I’ll be glad to help.  Chrystal.Roy@RERCharlotte.com | 980.355.9025

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cbs isaChrystal Safari Roy, Broker in Charge of RER Charlotte, an Investor-Centric Real Estate Firm bringing you from Purchase to Portfolio located in SouthPark Towers, has over 20 years experience in investing, personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a Certified Military Residential Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, and HUD Registered Agent.  View all our properties at RERCharlotte.com.

Market Monday Update – Charlotte Homes

Weekly Market Activity Report

market watch monday 42715

(Data current as of April 27, 2015)

More Homes Hit the Market in the 2nd Quarter Than All Year Long

You may have been browsing the internet for a home to buy once yours sells and not found what you like. There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is if you’re a seller and waited until the second quarter you’re going to have a lot more competition. The good news is that you’ll have a lot more selections available for your move in or move up neighborhood in the next 30 – 60 days because more homes hit the market in the 2nd Quarter than all year long!

Call me to set up a time to discover why Giving Tree Realty is the preferred brokerage firm in Charlotte for THE top sellers in our area, and how my marketing plan can help you get significantly more money for your property by correctly preparing it for market.

The Roy Group Home Selling Team is at your service.

In the Charlotte region, for the week ending April 18:

  • New Listings increased 6.2% to 1,246
  • Pending Sales increased 46.7% to 1,141
  • Inventory decreased 19.8% to 13,214

For the month of March:

  • Median Sales Price increased 9.9% to $189,000
  • List to Close decreased 2.2% to 133
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.5% to 94.6%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 26.0% to 4.1

This research tool is provided by the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association.  For more information, contact me, Your Full time REALTOR®.

T  E  S  T  I  M  O  N  I  A  L

I highly recommend Chrystal Safari Roy and The Roy Group Home Selling Team. In the selling and purchasing of our home she worked with us for over 9 months, even before we were sure about selling and re-purchasing. With her input we were able to sell our home in 7 days.

In the purchasing of our new home Chrystal was very patient and extremely knowledgeable. Chrystal took us thru several neighborhoods and areas and providing us with great feedback and input on what is a great investment and purchase for our family.

Chrystal has a great knowledge of real estate, including national markets and international markets. Chrystal was born and raised in the area; she has lived aboard and has strong ties to the international communities here in Charlotte.

Chrystal has provided us with so much information, I think it would be worth your time to just take a couple of minutes and speak to her about what you and your family’s needs and desires are in your new home.

Desi and Dinika Collins Bryant South Charlotte

Contact us for all your real estate needs.  Chrystal Roy 704.562.1030 / MyAgentChrystal@gmail.com

Investment Properties

Experienced and green investors evaluate potential investment properties very differently.  Both should follow a few similar guidelines.

When considering an income property, the first decision is to establish your targeted rental client.  The property you choose may limit the pool of prospective tenants, but not in the way you’d hoped.  If you’re targeting young professionals, location, features, amenities and potential rental rate will be very different than that for a future tenant who is just entering the market as a first-time renter still in school or just entering the workforce who needs to be located near public transportation.

Next is to determine, based on your targeted client, the location, features, amenities and rental rate for your likely renter.  A good rule of thumb is to purchase a property you wouldn’t mind living in yourself, and the closer to home the better.  Long-distance land lording is not advisable. 

Though some landlords feel it’s too close for comfort, a rental in your own neighborhood will allow you to keep an eye on your property, and to know first if anything begins to go wrong.  No matter where you purchase, always introduce yourself to the neighbors and give them your cell number and tell them to call you before they call the police, if the need arises.

Now that you’ve found the right property at what looks like the right price, it’s time to confirm that with a rental rate estimate based on the currently rented homes in the area before you make the purchase.  Your experienced REALTOR® can help with that.

If the rental rate estimate looks promising, consider the condition of the property.  Is it just dated or dilapidated?  Has it been updated in the last 5 years?  Or does it need a major overhaul?  Floor plan issues are best left to the pros.  For a positive return on your investment, kitchen updates shouldn’t cost more than 10% of the home’s value.  That’s true for any renovation. 

Determine your level of ability to make changes that would make your rental number one with interested consumers.  Choose materials and products that require less routine care and maintenance, and factor in the timeframe to complete and cost for each.  Add 20% to your budget for unexpected delays and overages.  Your REALTOR® can provide a list of licensed, preferred vendors to help with any repairs, maintenance, or renovations needed.

If the total cost of the project meets with your overall budget, it’s time to get the property under contract, begin advertising for a renter, and screen and hire your renovation team.

Next up, how to screen for good tenants.

Choose Your Broker Participation Level to Service Your Rental Portfolio

In North Carolina, if you’re not interested in hiring a large property management company, but don’t have the skill, experience or desire to manage the application and leasing portion of your rental portfolio, your expert, full-service real estate broker can be an asset to you.  An excellent candidate would be a licensed, experienced real estate broker who has him or herself owned and managed rental properties.  Services offered might include any one of several levels of involvement of your choice.  As a landlady of over 12 years with zero evictions, the Leasing Agent Duties and list of services I provide include:

Level One

  1. Provide Rental Rate Estimate based on currently rented units in Mecklenburg county with respect to year built, zip code, and number of bedrooms.
  2. Advertise in-house to rental specialists and other leasing agents
  3. Train you to screen all applicants, including key statements that may lead to a desired ‘hang up’ eliminating time-wasting appointments
  4. Provide application and lease forms, and phone consultation.

Level Two

  1. Provide Rental Rate Estimate
  2. Advertise in-house to rental specialists and other leasing agents
  3. Personally phone screen all applicants (you have final approval)
  4. Arrange appointments for you to show the property
  5. Provide application and lease forms, and phone consultation

Level Three

  1.  Providing Rental Rate Estimate
  2. Advertising in-house to rental specialists and other leasing agents
  3. Agent-screening applicants according to your criteria (you have final approval)
  4. Arranging appointments and showing the property 
  5. Provide application and lease forms, and phone consultation
  6. Listing the rental property in the MLS system
  7. Providing signage
  8. Attending final negotiations and effecting lease documents
  9. Setting up monthly schedule of rental payments to be sent directly to you for deposit

Level Four includes all Level Three activities plus monthly rental management duties including deposit of rent to your trust account, tenants report problems to me, I arrange for estimates for repairs, etc., and submit to you for approval of work to be done and pay vendors from your landlord trust account, and provide itemized monthly statements. The fee is Level Three’s fee, payable at lease signing, plus 10% of monthly rent.

Call me to discuss the level of service you’d like me to provide for you, or to consult on adding to your portfolio.  I’ll teach you the good, the bad, and the ugly of selecting the right property for your investment portfolio.

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Chrystal Safari has over 15 years experience in personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a Luxury Home Specialist and licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a member in good standing of the Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®.  As EcoBroker®, she offers guidelines to assist home buyers and sellers in evaluating true green features and their benefits to real property value, home ownership, tax savings and mortgage closing table capital contributions.  Chrystal is backed by certified and insured professionals to assess and protect your investments based upon your personal needs.  She can be reached at 704.562.1030 or Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

What Should Your Listing Agent Do For You?

 When interviewing for the right agent to list and sell your home, be sure you know what your duties are to your real estate agent, and what his or hers are to you.  Ask how he or she has personally overcome objections during similar transactions and during negotiations, saving the deal.  

As your agent educates you on market conditions in your area, how to make the property’s condition market ready, the suggested list price, request a marketing and PR activity summary for your listing. To help with that, I have compiled the following. Your REALTOR®’s Marketing Plan should include 3 very important facets:

1. Expose your property and highlight all benefits to buyers and REALTOR®s in your area interested in your price point.

2. Provide exceptional service through communication and follow-up during your entire listing period.

3. Negotiate on your behalf and bring your transaction to a smooth and successful closing.

The 2008 National Association of REALTOR®’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports that ‘buyers used a variety of resources in searching for a home: 87 percent used the Internet, 85 percent used a real estate agent, 62 percent yard signs, 48 percent attended open houses and 47 percent looked at print or newspaper ads. Fewer buyers rely on a home book or magazine, home builders, television, billboards and relocation companies. Buyers most commonly start their search process online and then contact a real estate agent.’ (Excerpt)

Savvy home buyers are not picking up days and weeks old marketing materials (print ads have deadlines for materials from weeks to months out) to find their next home.  Your agent should be skilled with all aspects of online and social utility marketing.

Promoting Your Property

The beginning of a listing period is work-intensive with a common list of activities required to prepare your listing for launch to the public. Your REALTOR®’s Twelve Month Marketing Plan Should Include:

Week One

 • Immediate processing of required documentation and professional quality digital photos should be taken so that no time is lost in getting your home into the local MLS system and distributed to every REALTOR® in the area.

• Color brochures should be designed and delivered to your home and strategic sites throughout the community containing all the pertinent information a potential buyer will need to develop interest and make an offer.

• Instructions on showings should be submitted to a centralized showing service and a lockbox installed to facilitate showings.

• Install a For Sale sign, when allowed, which includes your REALTOR®’s contact information. This allows buyers to call him or her directly – he or she is most familiar with your home.

• “Just Listed” postcards should be mailed out to your surrounding area. This allows your neighbors to be aware that your home is for sale so they can help sell the house and choose their new neighbor.

• Your property should be exposed to relocating companies through a national RELO Division, an extensive network of top REALTORS®.

• Your property’s full description and accompanying photos should be uploaded to several hundred of the top regional, national, and internation real estate sites.

Immediately Following Showings

• Follow up feedback exposing a potentially negative ongoing problem should immediately be communicated to you for resolution.

Bi-Monthly

• Bi-Monthly contact should be made with you to discuss the market and to summarize follow up feedback on all showings keeps you abreast of your position in the market.

• Keep you informed of all marketing and advertising efforts.

Monthly

• Email monthly market updates to keep you up-to-date on the local activity of your neighborhood and like properties.

• Monthly refresh copy and photographs shown online to keep listing fresh.

• Blog with photos your listing information with invitation to make an appointment to tour.

• Arrange print advertising as appropriate.

Regularly

• Arrange regular events such as Open Houses and other similar events to targeted audiences who are your buyer or your buyer’s agent who can keep the ‘word of mouth’ buzz going. Announce the listing to local or move-up buyers such as high profile CEO’s, CFO’s, etc., website registrants, and buyer walk-in traffic from personal visits to similar home communities who may be interested in a property such as yours and regularly (every 1 – 2 weeks, as appropriate) send them updated information about the listing or related information about lifestyle, neighborhood, or schools, as appropriate.

• Email, Blog, Twitter, and Facebook all activities with teasers and invitations to strategic audiences.

FROM CONTRACT TO CLOSE:

Your REALTOR®’s goal is to pave and negotiate the road to a smooth closing through:

Monitoring closely all lender and escrow activities to ensure a successful closing.

Assuring that all inspections and repairs are completed.

Concentrating on and creating solutions, not problems.

Representing your best interests at all times and in all negotiations.

Accompanying you to the closing.

 As an informed seller, your partnership with your agent, like any personal or professional relationship, should be based on trust.  If you develop questions, don’t hesitate to ask your broker, and call immediately if a problem arises. Step back and evaluate when problems arise and always remember, WHY people do things is more important than what they do. 

If you encounter problems with your agent during the listing period, such as lack of knowledge, professionalism, or rudeness, document all your concerns and speak with the agent before contacting the agent’s broker-in-charge.  Your local real estate commission will not allow the release of an exclusive listing agreement without obvious and just cause. 

Good luck with your sale!

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Chrystal Safari’s job? she gives great advice! She is a full-time real estate broker with Peters & Associates, a boutique firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in luxury homes from $700,000 and up, and is a MASTERS Designee specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology. Visit ChrystalSafari.com for more information on luxury real estate, and Mark it your new Favorite!