Tag Archives: Charlotte Real Estate

What is the Buyer Agent’s Role in a Purchase Transaction?

Or, WHAT SHOULD YOUR BUYER’S AGENT DO FOR YOU?

VOCABULARY

The field of real estate is full of a specialized vocabulary. One of those vocabulary words is ‘fiduciary.’ Fiduciary means to promote another’s best interests. When you have a fiduciary relationship with a buyer it differs from that of a fiduciary responsibility toward the seller.  Because of this, it’s often difficult for an agent to represent both parties in dual agency, but it can be done well if it’s done right.

SPECIAL AGENT

A real estate agent, broker or REALTOR® becomes a special agent of the party to whom heScreenshot 2016-04-30 13.54.48 owes fiduciary duties. When representing the buyer, fiduciary responsibilities include keeping the buyer on track with his overall goal, as well as giving professional advice about how to navigate the complicated process, and complex legal documents needed to purchase real estate.

FROM CONCEPT TO CLOSING

The first goal of an excellent buyer’s agent is to understand the concept that the buyer has in mind. Then the agent must uncover all the major and minor details that would contribute to success or failure of the project, and provide strategies to eliminate the problems.

If for example, if the buyer doesn’t have realistic expectations, the buyer needs additional information to understand the market and the often complicated processes complete with ever-changing legal documents,  legal strategies, and lender requirements.

CREDIBILITY

Once the realistic expectations have been set, the buyer must position himself as a credible buyer by getting his financing lined up for the ultimate goal of closing Screenshot 2016-04-30 13.58.12on the purchase. This includes understanding the time line, the purchasing power, and specific limitations or expectations dictated by the financing program.  Remember, with champagne taste on a beer budget, you can fall in love with a property that ultimately you can’t qualify for.  An excellent buyer agent becomes your project manager who will keep you on track with not only redirecting you back to the criteria you said was most important, but with the flexibility of changing when your criteria changes, but also in making sure that you don’t fall in love with something ultimately you can’t purchase.

DUE DILIGENCE PROCESSES

Now it’s time to find the property that best fits the current and perhaps future needs of the buyer.  Once the property is identified, your agent  Screenshot 2016-04-30 13.59.58utilizes information used by an appraiser, who ultimately must support the sales price on behalf of the lender, to calculate the apparent value range that becomes the offer price using the industry’s best practices. Without this step, the buyer could make an offer that was influenced by the list price of the property established by the homeowner or the listing agent, who is paid to bid against the buyer, and ultimately spend $1,000’s or more with inspections and the Appraisal to discover that the appraisal is tens of thousands of dollars lower than the list and sales price.

Failing to include this step as a buyer’s agent is not representing and promoting the buyer’s best interests.

AVOIDING STICKER SHOCK

Another concern that the first time home buyer’s agent should have is in determining the ultimate ability for a rental client to become a first time home buyer. Some things to consider during the first buyer interview is to discover if Screenshot 2016-04-30 14.01.10sticker shock will be a factor in the purchase. This is the difference between what the prospective buyer is paying as a tenant and what his mortgage will be and how that compares to any lifestyle changes that might occur as a necessity of paying more than one is used to paying for housing. A way to gauge if a tenant buyer is ready to become a homeowner is to have him or her put back the amount of different between the current rental rate and the mortgage into a bank account for 6 months and not touch it. If a first time buyer can put that money away for 6 months and not touch it, that anticipated mortgage payment should be very comfortable for him.

VOR

Another consideration for a first-time home buyer is verification of rent, also known as VOR. Although this is not requested until about 10 days before closing,Screenshot 2016-04-30 14.02.37 it can stall or kill a deal.  it’s important to interview the first time home buyer early on in the process at the time of pre-qualification to discover if he has had any late rental payments in the 24 months preceding his closing on the loan. If there have been any late payments, the lender needs to know right away so it can be reviewed with the underwriter. Once the underwriter gives the go-ahead you can proceed to getting in the car to find THE ONE!

There are many other behind-the-scenes activities that the REALTOR®, or special agent, will be performing or supervising for the buyer in promoting the buyer’s best interests.  Be sure as you interview the REALTOR® to partner with you in your transaction that the REALTOR® is knowledgable and experienced in getting you to closing as smoothly as possible as your special agent and project manager.  For a Closing Checklist of behind-the-scenes activities you REALTOR® will be performing for you, click here.

#   #   #

chrystal

realtorLogoChrystal Safari Roy has over 20 years experience in 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 member in good standing of the Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®.  Call her at 704.562.1030.  Text for faster service. Equal Housing

 

What’s the Difference Between a Due Diligence Fee and Earnest Money Deposit?

earnest-money-deposits-1031-closing-costs

Both North and South Carolina real estate Offers to Purchase and Contract are structured such that both an earnest money deposit and due diligence fee may be offered and negotiated between the parties. Many buyers and sellers ask, what’s the difference between a due diligence fee and the earnest money deposit? Both the earnest money deposit and the due diligence fee are credited back to the buyer at closing. If buyer doesn’t close on the transaction however, earnest money deposits and due diligence fees are handled differently.

due-diligenceAn earnest money deposit is offered by a buyer as ‘skin in the game’ and is refundable under certain circumstances. In our market a $1,000 earnest money deposit it is typical for most purchases. For offers in a multiple-offer scenario however, the seller may find a larger earnest money deposit more attractive because it means the buyer is willing to risk more.

A buyer may, for any reason or no reason, terminate a contract with refund of the earnest money deposit if he has met the due diligence date deadline and communicated his termination in writing prior to 5 o’clock of the business day of the date given for the North Carolina contract. Although the contract states that the earnest money it is to be refunded to the buyer if the terms are met, be aware that the seller must sign a specific document to release that money back to the buyer.

The due diligence fee is basically an offer from a buyer to the seller to take the north-carolina-due-diligence-feehouse off the market for the due diligence period, typically from 10 days to 3 weeks or more, depending upon the overall duration of the transaction.  In a typical transaction where Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner is the seller, a due diligence fee may be paid.  However, if the property is owned by a bank, no due diligence fee is paid.

A due-diligence fee is similar to a reservation fee. It is nonrefundable. Period.

Prior to advising a buyer on structuring an offer, a Buyer’s Agent has the fiduciary responsibility (the responsibility to promote the buyer’s best interests) to consider all aspects of an offer that may put the buyer’s due diligence fee at risk, including inspection time frames, availability of scheduling home inspectors, termite inspectors, appraisers and any other conditions deemed important to the buyer, and for the reports to be returned for review.

For additional questions on this or any other real estate topic, feel free to give me a call!  Text for faster service: 704.562.1030  Who do you know who’s thinking of buying or selling real estate?  SEARCH for your Dream Home or learn more about what clients who work with me are saying here: TheSafariGroup.com

#   #   #

cbs isaChrystal realtorLogoSafari Roy, Broker in Charge of RERCharlotte, an Investor-Centric Real Estate Firm bringing you from Purchase to Portfolio located in SouthPark Towers, and Team Lead of The Safari Group, 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.  Search for your Dream Home at TheSafariGroup.com.Equal Housing

How to Buy a Better House for Less Than Paying Rent + Reduce Your Taxes Every April 15

You can buy a better home than your current rental property and reduce your tax bill every April 15th.

Many renters who’ve never owned a home are unaware of the specific benefits of home ownership.  Not only will owning a well-chosen home help you grow an appreciating asset increasing your overall net worth, but it can also reduce your taxable income and reduce your tax liability every April 15.  The end result is that the home you purchase will cost LESS per month than the rental over the year, and you’ll have a better property with no chance of price increase, and control over what you do to make it home.

Here’s how it works:

Screenshot 2016-04-03 14.46.40

In this example, the future home owner is paying rent perhaps between $1100 – $1300.  It’s possible to purchase a home for $265,000* and pay a mortgage payment equivalent of only $1316 with the Estimated Tax Benefit.  That includes:

Principal, Interest, Taxes Insurance and PMI.

What would you rather pay?

  1. $1300 a month on a property that can never be yours or increase your net worth OR pay
  2. $1316 a month for a beautiful property that’s yours?

You’ll be paying someone’s mortgage, why not pay your own and also reduce your taxes to Uncle Sam?!

For a private and confidential strategy session meeting, give me a call.  704.562.1030 Text for Faster Service

*This specific scenario figures a down payment amount of $9,276 and up front PMI Fee of $4,475 at an interest rate of 3.875%, dependent on the borrower’s personal credit scores.

#  #  #

My first experience calling a REALTOR® ended in him hanging up the phone on chrystal (2)me.  Turns out, I ‘didn’t make enough money’ as a college student to be worth his time.  I didn’t give up! I found a builder, built a brand new home, and never looked back.  Call me.  We’ll see what you need to put into place to move from renter to homeowner!  Late is not too late.

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

#   #   #

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.

How to Prepare Your Home as a Product for Market

The 6 D’s of a Quick Home Sale

Preparing your home as a product for market is very different than living in your home. You must remove your emotion from the deal and look on it as a business proposition. If you’re not ready to do that, it’s best to wait and not put your house on the market. Think you’re ready?

Setting the stage for a home sale means preparing your home to appeal to the broadest market. Here are the 6 D’s to a quick home sale:

Declutter

You’ll be packing to move anyway, so it’s time to put away anything you wouldn’t find an a 4 star hotel room. That means you must walk around every room beginning from the left side of the door and sweeping back around to the right side of the door removing items are visually conflicting or create a sense of having no space. It’s time to put away anything that catches dust and doesn’t add to the attitude or identity of the room. Don’t forget to organize and purge the pantry, linen closets and garage.

Decorate

Each room should be decorated in a way that creates an identity for the intended space. You may have used the dining room for an office, but it’s important for a buyer to see the dining room decorated as a dining room. The decor should be as neutral as possible and not visually distracting. Neutral doesn’t always mean beige! The rule of 60-30- 10 applies. 60 % is a dominant color, 30% is the secondary color, and 10% is the accent color.

Consult the color wheel to select your palette. Keep trendy colors to the 10 percent; think throw pillows, table top decor or towel sets. White space also applies to decor. White ceilings and furnishings can make a dark room feel spacious and rich, yet intimate. Be sure adjoining rooms have complementary patterns and color palettes.
Add lighting where needed.

Deep Clean

Have your property deep cleaned. Don’t forget to change HVAC filters and have siding pressure washed. Buyers perceive a dirty house to have been ignored behind the scenes, such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems.

Depersonalize and Demilitarize

Put away all family pictures & portraits. You can’t have buyers coming in and say to themselves, ‘Aww, we can’t make this sweet little family move!’ Set the stage for inviting buyers to picture themselves in your space. Buyers must feel that they only need to carry in their suitcases!
Remove all religious items and die-hard fan memorabilia. The home purchase is first made with emotions, then backed up with logic and secured with finances. I was once showing a house to a buyer and when we arrived in the bonus room filled with fan memorabilia, he remarked that he could not buy a house owned by a fan of his biggest college rival.

Demystify

Don’t have buyers shaking their heads when they leave your property. All homes will get a nickname. A personal favorite was ‘the crayon house.’ From the view from the kitchen to the great room to the second floor loft, each wall had a different color! It was very distracting for the buyer to evaluate the house as a whole because of that first impression visual impact and attitude of the crayon/toy box.
Buyers are usually in the car seeing several similar homes a day in the same price range. If your list price does not measure up to everything else that was seen in regard to size, condition and materials, it will confuse the buyer who will mentally put your listing aside and your property will not be seriously considered.

SOLD!

Staged homes sell faster and for more money.

For a personal inspection and recommendation of staging strategies for your home before listing, give me a call. Following my personal consultation with the seller 6 weeks prior to listing, my Personal Best Days on Market was THREE HOURS!! and it was 10% More than Sellers thought possible! For a free evaluation of what your property might bring in today’s market, contact me today.

Chrystal Safari Roy / 704.562.1030 / MyAgentChrystal@gmail.com

Don’t Low Ball That Offer!

Do you know the difference between cost, price and value?

ImageWhen it comes to the real estate transaction, a low ball offer is probably one of the worst things that you can deliver when you come up to bat.

Facing the Consequences

Low balling an offer to the seller or landlord usually has grave consequences.  No matter the financial position of the seller or landlord, right off the bat, you risk insulting them.  The most common responses are to counter the offer at the original full price, refuse to counter, or for the transaction to become a series of balls and strikes with multiple counter offers, usually ending in someone fouling out. The buyer or tenant may eventually get the price that they want, but the cost will be the loss of goodwill in the transaction and more.

Setting the Stage for the Duration

Once woundedness occurs, it is very difficult for that change and for the wounded party to Imagerecover.  This is also true with bank committees representing short sales and foreclosures who have no emotional attachment to the home because they are managed by people with emotions whose work environment and nature of the transaction tends to create high stress situations.

Once ill will is established in the transaction, it can promote breakdown in other areas such as negotiation for repairs or lease renewal or extension.

Questions to Ask First

Before you make that low ball offer ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do I really understand the cost of my low ball offer?
  2. Is my offer based on similar nearby homes that have recently sold or leased at the same condition, type, and price range?
  3. Would I want a buyer or tenant to do the same thing to me if I were in his shoes?
  4. What is my REALTOR recommending?
  5. What is my plan B if this doesn’t work?

You Make the Market

ImageAfter you have sincerely considered the questions and are comfortable with the possible outcomes, go ahead and make your best advised offer.  Until you make your offer, even if by necessity low due to property condition, market conditions, and recently appraised values, you never really know what might work for the other party.  However, be advised.  What you pay will become your very own comparable for your future appraised value certainly for the next 6 to 12 months establishing your own neighborhood market price. And you’re sure to become the talk of the next neighborhood bar-b-q, having established a downward trend for neighborhood values for everyone for months or even years to come!

#   #   #

ImageChrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, homegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market.  Celebrating over 20 years in tenant procurement and rental portfolio development, and over 13 years in general residential brokerage in the Charlotte Metro Market, Chrystal offers guidelines to assist tenants, home buyers and sellers in evaluating today’s real estate market for maximum leverage.  In the TOP 5% Nationwide for closing the transaction with Estately, Inc, a national referral company, she can assist you with all your real estate related needs. Contact her today for more at 704.562.1030 TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com  Join the conversation on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheSafariGroupRealty

Relocating to MorningStar and Heritage International Ministries?

Whether you’re moving across town or around the world to join the church body or team at Morningstar or Heritage International Ministries, as your preferred RelocationTM Specialist, I’m here to help.  There are many great real estate options available, whether you’ll have students at Comenius School of Creative Leadership, or be living on or off campus as a student of MorningStar University, a resident of Heritage Court, or a resident of the Refirement Center, Heritage Towers, the premiere, luxury high rise active adult community.

Whatever your need, short or long-term rental, or purchase at any price point, the Fort Mill, Lancaster, Tega Cay, and South Charlotte areas has much to offer.  

Local real estate values are great, and selection is high.  Call me and we’ll discuss your big picture.  I’ll begin sending properties that match your criteria to inform you of market values and arrange a discovery tour.

I recently toured the model at Heritage Court, a beautiful, upgraded private residence with well-appointed features and WOW! amenities.  From luxurious, sustainable products and green features such as granite countertops and floor-to-ceiling windows, the unit is top of the line.  Two floor plan choices are available: the Bethesda at 784 square feet, one bed and 1.5 bath, and the Bethany, 1170 square feet with 2 beds, 2 baths.  Both floor plans are available on the first and fourth floors.  Pre-construction pricing ends soon.

Reservations are now being taken for the Heritage Towers, the on-campus high rise adult community with luxury fit, finish and amenities that can’t be matched anywhere in the area.  The concept isn’t just a luxury home.  Whether it will be your primary home or your second home, the goal of Heritage Towers is to gather a like-spirited body of believers together to bond in fellowship to advance your calling and its fit with the goal of the Kingdom.  But the beautiful, upgraded, maintenance-free homes with more than 10 floor plan choices, located near shopping, dining, golfing, and the highway aren’t bad, either! 

Whether you’ll make either the Heritage Court or Towers your primary or second residence, you’ll be equally impressed and blessed with the value, both practical and spiritual, you’ll receive.

Please contact me and I’ll schedule a personal tour of the ministry campus and model home for you.  I look forward to meeting with you.  Ask me about special lodging rates when you schedule your tour and select to work with me as your expert buyer’s agent.

#   #   #

Chrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, homegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Luxury Homes and GREEN Features.  She is one of the fewer than 30 internationally recognized EcoBrokers® in the Charlotte Metro Market, offering 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 energy utilizing investments.  Contact her at 704.562.1030 TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com