Tag Archives: REALTOR

Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster and For More Money

In addition to right pricing, condition, condition, condition is the watch-word for selling a home faster and for more money.  Simple fixes and staging practices can focus buyers’ attention in the right places and keep them from getting sidetracked by personal items in the home.
 
Condition Affects Perception   
 

Presentation begins with online pictures and continues with the front yard and door, and are the buyer’s first impression of your product.  If buyers won’t drive by or leave the car, you can’t make the sale.  Clean the gutters, paint the front door, pull weeds and spent flowers, polish the hardware, and power-wash walkways and siding.  Pay attention to the specific needs of each season.

 

 Be prepared for a white glove inspection. Prospective buyers pull open drawers, look in closets and peek behind the shower curtain, and inspect the oven. Mop, dust, vacuum, clean baseboards, wash windows. Make sure the house looks fresh and smells neutral. 

 

Eliminate furniture that makes rooms feel crowded or décor that will distract buyers from your home’s architectural features.  


Use furnishings to give each space a logical identity.  Although it may have worked best for your family to use your formal dining room as a home office, get rid of the desk and computer, and bring back the dining table and chairs.


Eliminate countertop clutter. A countertop covered with small appliances and utensils looks crowded, not spacious. Store personal items, including toiletries; stash family photos and team and religious memorabilia.  Remember, you are preparing your home to become a product for market; one that appeals to the broadest market.  Don’t feel offended that your REALTOR® insists your coveted widget collection is stored, away from view.  Plus, the condition or state of your property’s storage capability is very important to buyers whether the home is 1100 square feet or 11,000 square feet.   Make the place look both spacious and suitcase ready.


Dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs, and squeaking hinges become a distraction and can falsely magnify a home’s need for routine care and maintenance and tend to make the buyer question the condition of other items that can’t be seen, such as the HVAC, roof, and other expensive items.

 

Finally, ask yourself, “Is this property’s condition what I would like to see when I go house hunting this afternoon?”

 

Condition Affects Proposition$

 

The buyer is mentally subtracting thousands of dollars from your list price with every flaw he sees and his perception of your property will be reflected in the offer price.

 

Condition Affects Performance

 

With FHA loans offering competitive rates with conventional loans, and the FHA lending requirements more attainable by a larger number of prospective home buyers, condition becomes important where an appraiser in concerned.  Same is true for VA loans.  FHA and VA appraisers have a much different inspection checklist than if he or she were inspecting for a conventional loan.  Condition is key.  Some defective items may be required to be repaired prior to closing.  This can come as quite a shock to both sellers and buyers, especially when the condition of the house has resulted in a much lower sales price than allows the seller needs to cover the cost of required repairs.   Buyers may find that sellers are not willing to make the necessary repairs and it may leave them vested in the process, but unable to get money spent on inspections refunded.  Here’s where you’ll need a savvy real estate broker on both sides of the transaction who’ll make sure the seller’s and the buyer’s best interests are protected with knowledge of what FHA property conditions are.  This will help insure an smooth, on-time closing.

 

 

 

For a checklist on how to prepare your home for market, email your request to: chrystal.safari@gmail.com

 

#   #   #

February 2006

I highly recommend Chrystal Safari as a Real Estate Broker. 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 B.
South Charlotte

 

 

 

Advertisement

Tips for Getting the Highest Appraised Value for Your Property

Daily Real Estate news reports Chicago Tribune, Mary Umberger’s (08/02/2009) findings on how to assure the highest value is calculated for your home by an appraiser.

Maureen Sweeney, a Chicago-area owner of an appraisal firm, gave several tips on getting an accurate and fair appraisal of your property. This is more important than ever due to our declining market-influenced neighborhood values and since foreclosures are now included among the comparables.

No one knows your home better than you, so naturally you should be present during the appraisal. Follow the appraiser around, pointing out improvements you’ve made to the home and provide him with a written list to take with him as well. Provide a copy of the most recent tax bill, any pending assessments, an HOA declaration which shows the amenities and HOA responsibilities to your community, and a copy of the survey to the appraiser.

No one knows your market better than your REALTOR®. Make sure your REALTOR® is present during the appraisal and is asking good questions. Your REALTOR® should make sure the appraiser is aware of the correct neighborhood boundaries and that the appraiser is truly comparing the home to similar properties. Your REALTOR® should provide his or her own list of comparable homes most like yours in the same condition, neighborhood, size and type that have sold and closed in the last 6 months. Your REALTOR® is the best person to offer a professional opinion about what makes your property worth more than any other properties in the immediate area.

                                                            #  #  #                                                           

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!

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!

                                                            #     #     #

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!

N.C. foreclosures fall 42% in 1Q

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 9:48am EDT

According to data from RealtyTrac Inc., the state had 5,988 foreclosures in the latest quarter, with one in every 689 homeowners receiving a default notice, auction-sale notice or bank-repossession filing.  North Carolina ranked 36th in the nation for foreclosure filings in the latest quarter.  Nevada, Arizona and California posted the top foreclosure rates.  Foreclosure filings in North Carolina fell 40 percent in March from the same period last year. Filings were down 3 percent last month from February. 

Across the country, foreclosure filings rose 24 percent in the first quarter from a year ago. There were 803,489 foreclosure filings, which affected one in every 159 U.S. households. Filings rose 46 percent in March from a year ago and 17 percent from February. Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac tracks default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

Its figures exceed those compiled by the N.C. Commissioner of Banks. The company counts every foreclosure filing, including multiple filings for a single household, while the commissioner counts each household only once, regardless of the number of filings it receives.

Rates are low, listings high, prices slashed.  Now is the time to make your move to buy low and sell high, when the market recovers.  Call me to discuss your big picture and for a full listing of foreclosed homes that meet your criteria.  704.562.1030/800.243.6670 x 110

                                                                      *   *   *                                                               

Living, playing, and working in south Charlotte for over 27 years, and with over 14 years experience in the real estate field as an investor and Luxury Home Specialist, I have the knowledge, experience and discretion you need to maximize your return on investment whether for your personal home, investment portfolio, or small business property.  Contact me at Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster and For More Money

In addition to right pricing, condition, condition, condition is the watch-word for selling a home faster and for more money.  Simple fixes and staging practices can focus buyers’ attention in the right places and keep them from getting sidetracked by personal items in the home.

  

 

Remember, you are preparing your home to become a product for market; one that appeals to the broadest market.  Don’t feel offended that your REALTOR® insists your coveted widget collection is stored, away from view.  How your live in your home and how you prepare and keep it market-ready are very different.  The 10 minute rule applies: if you (or the kids) can’t put it away in ten minutes, reevaluate whether you must take it out.

   

 

The front yard and door are the buyer’s first impression of your product.  If buyers won’t leave the car, you can’t make the sale.  Clean the gutters, paint the front door, pull weeds and spent flowers, polish the hardware, and power-wash walkways and siding.

 

Be prepared for a white glove inspection. Prospective buyers pull open drawers, look in closets and peek behind the shower curtain, and inspect the oven. Mop, dust, vacuum, clean baseboards, wash windows. Make sure the house looks fresh and smells neutral.

 

Remove furniture that makes rooms feel crowded or décor that will distract buyers from your home’s architectural features.  

 

 

Use furnishings to give each space a logical identity.  If it worked best for your family to use your formal dining room as a home office, get rid of the desk and computer, and bring back the dining table and chairs.

 

 

Eliminate countertop clutter. A countertop covered with small appliances and utensils looks crowded, not spacious. Store personal items, including toiletries; stash family photos and team and religious memorabilia.  Make the place look suitcase ready.

 

 

Dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs, and squeaking hinges become a distraction and can falsely magnify a home’s need for routine care and maintenance and tend to make the buyer question the condition of other items that can’t be seen, such as the HVAC, roof, and other expensive items.

  

  

The buyer is mentally subtracting thousands of dollars from your list price with every flaw he sees.

 

 

Finally, ask yourself, “Is this property’s condition what I would like to see when I go house hunting this afternoon?”

 

For a checklist on how to prepare your home for market, or a list of preferred and proven vendors, email your request to: chrystal.safari@gmail.com

 

 

Consistent               Reliable               Loyal

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.