Tag Archives: North Carolina

Why are Some Homes in Your Neighborhood Not Selling?

There are three reasons a home will not sell.

1.  PRICE

One reason a home fails to sell is price.  Right pricing is critical to a making the sale versus having a listing.  Though you and I didn’t create the market, the market controls price.  In every market, right pricing is important.  Pricing reflects the perceived and true values of a property and is based on many factors including location, condition, method of build, curb appeal, floor plan desirability, and materials used, to name a few.

Within a given neighborhood, prices range depending on all the factors mentioned above, including recent sales values established by buyers, supported by appraisers.  A property is only as valuable as what a buyer’s willing to pay for it.

 

2.  SHOWINGS

You have maximum control over showings, with the ability to prevent and counter all showing objections.  The greater limits you put on showings, the fewer buyers will be able to see your property to consider it for purchase.  Ideally, you’ll have no restrictions as to when and for how long a showing is scheduled, with no advance notice needed, but sometimes life doesn’t work that way.  If you do need to block off times or require advance notice, such as 24 Hours Notice, before approving a showing, be flexible when possible.  When an agent schedules a tour, you might have a problem with agents who have tight tour arranged for clients whose schedules might not permit revisiting your listing before a decision is made.

It’s always best to live by the 10 Minute Rule when listing a house for sale.  That means, if you can’t put it away in 10 minutes, don’t bring it out.  And while you’ll most likely still need to cook, eat, entertain, and well, live, while your property is listed, keep in mind that holidays bring in a lot of visitors who are interested in moving and who might find a holiday the perfect time to tour.   If you’ve decorated for the holidays, what better way to show off your property!  Flexibility and readiness are the keys to a successful showing.

3. Marketing

The National Association of REALTORS® study shows nearly 90% of buyers begin their home search online before they consult a REALTOR®.  37% found the actual house they purchased online.  It’s been nearly a decade since LA Times discontinued its real estate section of the newspaper.

My job is to expose your listing with the best possible photos and copy to the agents and buyers who are ready, willing, and able to make the purchase.

Great exposure includes Agent to Agent marketing, including electronic and paper flyers, virtual tours, REALTOR and office meetings, and constant communication.  Once your property is shown, follow up is essential.  If not on the buyer’s top 3, I ask this question:  “Is there a price at which your clients would buy this house?”

My Buyer-Targeted online marketing includes my brokerage website, the local MLS Board members-only website, and over 320 local, national and international portals such as Zillow.com, Craigslist.org, etc., and social media outlets such as twitter, linkedin, facebook, blogs such as wordpress, ActiveRain and others, signs and flyers, Open Houses, and neighbor-to-neighbor advertising, and other networking, in addition to strategic print advertising.   The goal is to get your listing in the top of google and other search engine searches.  I’m specially trained to do just that.

I know you’re thinking that because of everything that I do, much more than what other agents do, that it would be more expensive.  It doesn’t cost you anything more to list with me than with an agent who only puts the listing in the computer.

If you’re in my market and are seriously considering hiring a real estate agent who specializes in getting homes sold quickly and for a high price, give me a call.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

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I love what I do, I’m good at it, & I’d love to work with you! My personal best is 8th with foreclosure bid; we not only won (it was NOT more $), but listing agent complimented me on my complete package, & asked permission to use my secret weapon!

My listing was on Google, first page, number three position, ‘above the fold’ within minutes of my blog post featuring it!

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.  Contact her at 704.562.1030  TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com

TheSafariGroup.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHRYSTAL SAFARI ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF HER NEW REAL ESTATE FIRM, THE SAFARI GROUP

May 12, 2010 (Charlotte, NC)  Chrystal Safari, real estate broker and principal, announced today the launch 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.

The Safari Group consults on all aspects of real estate ownership from acquisition to liquidation, portfolio development, and property management.  As an internationally recognized Certified EcoBroker®, Chrystal 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 energy utilizing investments based upon your personal needs.

Seasoned homeowners Rick and Scherel Fisher shared, “Chrystal’s suggested listing price had us a showing and an offer within hours of the house being listed.  We had no trouble getting an adequate appraisal for the house and added on closing costs.  She helped us get to closing with difficult buyers with bad credit that we could have never managed on our own.  We highly recommend her real estate services.”

About Chrystal Safari:

Chrystal Safari has over 16 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®.

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Contact:

Chrystal Safari
The Safari Group
PO Box 1192
Pineville, NC 28134
704.562.1030
http://www.ChrystalSafari.com

What NOT to Do When Preparing to Apply for a Mortgage

What  NOT to Do When Applying For (or preparing to apply for) a Mortgage

Guest Contributor, Kathy Trotta, Mortgage Banker, Wyndham Capital Mortgage

Kathy Trotta, Branch Manager Mortgage Broker

 

The loan process is not over until the loan closes.  Until then, income, liabilities and assets will continue to be scrutinized to make sure they fit in with any guidelines established for the particular loan.  All borrowers are different, and none of this is written in stone, but in general it is best to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Do not take on new debt. Most lenders will check your credit report just before funding the loan, usually a few days to the day before closing,  to verify that you have not added any new monthly payments to your overall debt picture. Car payments, increased credit card balances, etc. can increase your debt ratio beyond the limits allowed by the lender.
  • Do not spend any of your cash reserves, even to pay down debt, without talking to your loan officer first. A lot of loan programs require the borrowers to have a certain amount of money in reserves when the loan closes.
  • Do not change jobs.  While this can be unavoidable, if at all possible, wait to give your notice until escrow closes.  Lenders always verify employment within a day or so of funding the loan and will almost always cancel the deal if your employment has changed.  Switching from one employer to another with the same job description may not guarantee a problem, but stability is the key here.  Do not switch jobs if the new one is in a completely different field, and do not, under any circumstances, decide to become self employed.  If you do, your income will not be useful for another two years, so stay put if at all possible.
  • Do not co-sign for anything. If your name is attached to that debt, it will be treated as yours and factored into your debt ratio.
  • Do not lease a new car. This should fall under the “no new debt” category, but for some people get confused about this and think leasing is not the same as buying. The bottom line is it’s still an expense that comes out of your income, so it can still push you over the limit with your debt ratio.
  • Avoid credit inquiries if you can. Though not as damaging in the past as far as your credit score is concerned, a lot of recent inquiries will not look good to an underwriter that. In most cases a few inquiries aren’t that big of a deal, but it’s best to avoid any if you can.

  • Avoid making large deposits that cannot be documented. This mainly applies to accounts where money to make the down payment or close the loan will come from. If the source of funds cannot be verified, such as “mattress money”, avoid depositing it into an account that the lender is aware of. If the amount is significant enough, they will usually want to know where it came from, primarily to make sure it’s not another loan with another monthly payment. Most deposits need to be documented, and unverifiable funds can create an enormous problem. This issue should definitely be addressed beforehand.

Call me early in the process, even before you call Chrystal, and I’ll evaluate your needs.  If your time frame is 30 days or 6 months out, I am dedicated to helping you fulfill your dream of becoming a home owner.   Let’s get started now!  Call me at 704.577.5309 today.  It’s still possible to qualify for the tax rebate, and prices and values have never been better.

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Kathy is Mortgage Banker at CertusBank and is experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you meet your mortgage needs.  She is available now, ready to give you her full attention.

You can pre-qualify or consult Kathy by phone 704.816.7383, or by email: KathyTrotta@CertusBank.com CALL Now to Learn Your Score and for a No Obligation Payment Quote on a sales price.

So You Want to Become A Homeowner?

In North and South Carolina, all agents/REALTORS® are independent contractors and although we work under a supervising broker, it’s Me, Inc! 

Your loyalty to your REALTOR® is important and is the only way he or she can protect your best interests in making sound real estate related decisions.  All REALTORS® must adhere to a strict code of ethics (but not all agents are REALTORS®)  and should work in your best interests, carrying out your lawful instructions, and be fair and honest to all parties.

A Strong Offer

      The home choosing process depends on many factors including financial ability and personal tastes.   Once you have found the perfect home for your needs, the next step is in making a strong offer.  I will make sure you have all the elements of making a strong offer assembled before it’s presented, so your offer will stand out among the many.

      The home buying process should follow a prescribed sequence of events.  After calculating a fair offer price range, I will prepare the offer with supporting documents to make the offer most comprehensive and appealing to the seller.  A strong offer always includes the pre-qualifying letter from your lender, offers a high percentage of the actual market value of the property, and has no contingencies, such as the need to fulfill a lease or close on your listed and under contract property.  While every offer doesn’t always have these characteristics, the goal is to create a win-win situation for both the buyer and the seller.

 For Your Protection

      After the sales price, closing date, and other terms are agreed upon by both buyer and seller, and all signatures are obtained, we have a contract and it’s time for the inspections.  The seller is obligated to repair any items required by the lender (usually related to wood-destroying insects).  Further, the inspection uncovers any items on the property that do not function as they were intended to function.  If it’s installed, it should work!  We then prepare a “Request for Repairs.”  The seller has two choices: to repair or not to repair.  If he chooses to repair, it should be completed in a workmanship like manner.  If he should choose not to repair, it prompts two choices for you, the buyer.  The buyer may take the property in its current condition or may be released from the contract and all earnest monies returned to the buyer* – depending upon the specific details and dates in the contract.

      After all repairs are completed, it time for re-inspection.  This usually occurs from a week before closing to the day before, depending upon the severity of the repair needed and desires of the buyer.

 Making it Official

      From there it’s off to closing.  A real estate attorney or title company prepares the documents and they are reviewed prior to signing.  This last leg of the journey is important, and it usually takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  The documents are then recorded that day or early the next morning, and it’s official, you are a homeowner!  You get the keys to the property after the closing, defined as the time and date of closing, meaning when the deed is recorded.  Once you have the keys, you begin your move.

If you are thinking of moving in the next 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, contact me.  It’s ‘Chrystal Clear’ who to call for all your real estate needs! 

 

*Although many times throughout the contract and addenda it states the terms under which earnest money is to be returned to the buyer, in the states of North and South Carolina, both parties must agree in writing to the disbursement of the earnest money deposit before it may be released.

 

Buyer’s Agent New Construction Closing Checklist

Closing Checklist as Buyer’s Agent

 

New Construction

Once you are under contract with a new home builder, there are many behind-the-scenes activities that are necessary to progress seamlessly from contract to close. 

Following is a list of items your REALTOR® should oversee.  Problems will arise.  To avoid unnecessary delays, let your REALTOR® know immediately when a problem occurs.  Always let your REALTOR® know all builder scheduled appointments as soon as they are set so your REALTOR® can attend.

 

  •            Get copies of finalized contract to buyers and lender
  •  ð       Follow loan process with loan officer from beginning to end
  •  ð       Ask lender what is needed from buyer
  •  ð       Accompany buyer to design center/location for color and materials selection
  •  ð       Attend pre-construction meeting with buyer
  •  ð       Set up pre-dry wall inspection with independent home inspector
  •  ð       Get update from lender – any needs outstanding from buyer
  •  ð       Get update from closing coordinator regarding closing with attorney
  •  ð       Inform buyers of time and date for closing
  •  ð       Have buyer check into and set up home owner’s insurance
  •       Clarify if survey (showing building on site) will be provided
  •  ð       Get update from lender
  •       Arrange home inspection prior to pre-closing walk –  utilities on, all appliances installed
  •  ð       Get repair request list to construction supervisor
  •  ð       Review HUD statement with buyers
  •  ð       Make sure buyers have driver’s licenses and certified check made out to attorney
  •  ð       Final walk to check on repairs the day of closing

 ð       Enjoy closing!

The Unusual Suspects

A real estate broker must always be aware of personal safety, and the safety of clients, whether meeting new clients for the first time, while showing properties, driving to home tours, installing roadside signage, and on site at new construction.

The simplest tasks must constantly be evaluated and strategized to ensure utmost safety for all, but no class, lesson, or quick thinking could have prepared me for this.

While out with clients touring new home communities in Union County yesterday, we stopped into the builder’s agent-on-duty model home, and quickly on to the model next door with the preferred floor plan.  After getting the key and walking through an inventory home just down the street, we returned to the model home to see the sales agent.

As we were sharing our feedback on the house under construction, I noticed a sudden cough getting embarrassingly worse.  I started to make my apologies, explaining to the sales agent that I didn’t know what had happened, but it must have been the new construction dust that had triggered this worsening episode.

In mid-sentence, he stopped me.  He said, “I know what happened to you.”  He continued that 3 hours prior, he had accidentally set off pepper spray in his office…by this time, my lungs were burning, my chest was hurting, I felt a warm flush throughout my body and broke into a head-to-toe sweat! 

Continuing to cough to clear my airway, my client, a medical professional, became concerned, explaining that she could see my eyes and face swelling.  We said a quick goodbye and left.  I continued to cough terribly, and by this time had a headache. 

When we arrived at the next new home community minutes down the road, I realized that water might help clear my throat.  I was beginning to lose my voice.  It took several cups of water to relieve my throat symptoms, and after two hours I was no longer coughing, but had a headache until the next morning.

 Thank goodness he had not just sprayed that mace!  I can’t image my reaction if it had been recently sprayed, or worse yet, sprayed on me.  I don’t know how my client and the sales agent managed to avoid a reaction, but apparently I would make an excellent mine canary!

But let this be a lesson to you.  No matter how bored you are, sitting at work in your office with nothing to do, do not test your mace can.  Trust me, it works.