Category Archives for "Timeless Tips"

timeless tips to prepare buyers and sellrs for Charlotte NC Homes for Sale in the Charlotte NC Real Estate Market

New Year’s Resolution: A Guide on Selling Your Home in 2014

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Champagne, New Year Eve, 2014, Night, Party, Gold, Showcase, Realty, Showcase Realty, Orange, Bats,Charlotte NC fall events, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, Showcase realty, Nancy BraunAfter years of declining home values, 2014 could be the year for all home sellers, especially in Charlotte, NC. So if you want to sell your home, be sure to put your best foot forward. To start, here’s a quick guide to help you sell your home in 2014.

 

Change your real estate agent. If your agent wasn’t able to sell your home this year, then you might need to change to another agent. Maybe, that simple change can make all the difference you need to finally sell your home because of newer strategies or approach.

 

Hire a professional photographer. This is considered one of the most important yet overlooked steps in property marketing. Since we live in the Internet generation, there’s a higher chance of selling your home if it is posted online or in advertisements where pictures are necessary. With the help of professional photographer, he can help make your house look great that will surely entice a lot of buyers.

 

Get help from home stagers or designers. Most real estate agents work with some excellent home designers and stagers so be sure to get their services too as they can help enhance the overall look and feel of your home. Although other homeowners believe that this is a waste of money, there are actually home stagers that charge per hour, which is an advantage on your part.

 

Screen your buyers. To save time, you need to make sure that your potential buyers are preapproved. This means that need to have their credit and employment checked to determine the amount they can borrow. This is part of your agent’s responsibility to get in touch with your buyer’s loan officers.

 

Have your property inspected. If your home hasn’t gone through inspection yet, then you must consider doing this now. You have to allot a few weeks or months so the inspector can assess and repair your home of its big and small problems. Remember, most buyers prefer to purchase a home that doesn’t need too much repairs.

 

Use other marketing options. Have you exhausted all marketing options available today? If not, then be sure to research for other possible marketing options today aside from newspaper ads or flyers. This includes using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other sites that buyers usually check. If you hired a well-experienced and reliable real estate agent, then this won’t be a problem because he should know the necessary marketing options available today.

 

Ready to take the next step? Showcase Realty is here to help! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the sale of your home, we can provide honest and knowledgeable answers. Showcase Realty can sell your home fast and for top top dollar. Contact us today! 704.997.3794.

Ways to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

Eco Friendly, Consumption, Conservation, Enviroment, Green energy, Clean, Go Green, Charlotte NC real estate, Charlotte NC investors, Charlotte NC foreclosures, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC short sales, Showcase Realty, Charlotte NC Short Sale Agents

Eco Friendly, Consumption, Conservation, Enviroment, Green energy, Clean, Go Green, Charlotte NC real estate, Charlotte NC investors, Charlotte NC foreclosures, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC short sales, Showcase Realty, Charlotte NC Short Sale AgentsWith the increasing number of environmental problems these days, each of us has the responsibility to do something to help save the environment. In your own simple ways, you can help through making home improvements that do not only beautify and add value to your home, but also helps conserve the environment. Below are some of these eco-friendly home improvement tips.

 

Monitor your electricity consumption. This is made possible through buying digital displays that allow you to monitor your electricity consumption similar to a meter in a taxi. In this way, you would be less wasteful.

 

Install skylights in your roof. Installing skylights helps natural sunlight in illuminating your house, especially in those pesky dark areas in your house.

 

Use solar panels or a miniature wind turbine. Solar heating is very useful, especially in providing basic energy within your home such as lighting and heating water. The good thing about this is it makes pure and clean energy. At the same time, you can store the energy in a battery for later use. You can also install a miniature wind turbine which can also help generate renewable energy.

 

Invest in low wattage light bulbs. Such kind of bulb helps save energy easily. It’s sometimes brighter than the standard light bulbs but consumes lesser energy.

 

Improve your roof. There had been researches conducted indicating that roof color and the types of material you use in your roof can greatly lower the temperature in attics. For instance, consider using white tiles when re-roofing as it has properties that can reduce heat gain.

 

Install a motion detector outside your home. Such devices help a lot in saving energy because your light fixtures will only be activated by motion sensors or a timer.

 

Make use of low flow showerheads. These items are a worthwhile investment because they help cut down water usage and save energy expenses.

 

Purchase energy-efficient appliances. Investing in such items is one of the most effective ways of saving energy. Remember, home appliances use about 18% of a typical home’s total energy bill so investing in energy-efficient appliances can help lower down your expenses. These appliances bear “Energy Star” logo which means they use 10% to 50% less energy and water than other standard models.

 

Save water through using certain devices. There are actually some devices you can purchase that help save water. For instance, you can use an aerator on all your household faucets to cut your annual consumption of water into half. You can also install a low-flow toilet to increase your water savings.. But aside from this, you should also do some behavioral changes that save water too.

Great Infographic on Improving Your Home in 10 Minutes or Less

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In order to get top dollar for your Charlotte NC home for sale, it needs to look great inside and out. Small adjustments to your home can really improve it’s curb appeal without costing you a fortune.

The infographic below has tips and quick fixes to improve the value of your home and make it more desirable to buyers. Tips below include keeping trimmed bushes and a mowed lawn to make a the best first impression possible. Quick fixes like painting over cracks in the walls and replacing old doorknobs can go a long way to make the home look well cared for and updated.

Beyond simple maintenance and repairs the infographic suggests many decorating tips to make any space feel bigger, brighter and more inviting. It even describes the effects of feng shui and colory theory techniques on a space. For example, dark narrow hallways are made to seem more spacious by hanging a mirror at the end. The color green is also a refreshing color the promotes relaxation and recuperation; consider painting the living room or master bedroom this color.

If you have a Charlotte home for sale, these tips could mean the difference between a competitive bidding war and low offers. View the rest of the tips below! Also click the image, if you’d like to view it larger.

 

Charlotte NC Short Sales, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, fix your home, curb appeal, Showcase Realty, Nancy Braun, Charlotte NC Short Sale Agents, Charlotte NC real estate agents

 

 Image Via

 

 

September 2, 2013

5 Programs Every Real Estate Agent Should Use

get ahead of the back; best the best Charlotte NC real estate agent with these tips and sell the most Charlotte NC short sales and Charlotte NC foreclosures

get ahead of the back; best the best Charlotte NC real estate agent with these tips and sell the most Charlotte NC short sales and Charlotte NC foreclosures

Using these websites and programs to their fullest potential can set you out from the crowd, and become a five star agent.

1. LinkedIn

With over 225 million members, LinkedIn is important for business. It’s a great networking tool. This is also another great place to receive recommendations. View my LinkedIn Profile.

2. Active Rain

Belonging to a real estate community outside of your office gives you access to a wealth of information. Active Rain is where agents can connect, share and learn, by reading and posting blogs, and asking and answering questions. Even if you don’t ask or answer questions, you can read about hot topics or search previously answered questions. View my Active Rain Blog.

3. DocuSign

Digital signature programs are convenient, save time, and are important in a growing paperless world. DocuSign is what we use at our Charlotte NC real estate office. We promote DocuSign as a service to our customers, because we no longer have to meet face to face to sign documents.

4. Evernote

With so many things in the mix in day to day, Evernote is a great way to store and organize current clients, past clients, leads, check lists and notes. Never drop the ball again, and free up space in your mind with extremely organized notes, categories, all in Evernote.

5. Voice Cloud

You’re not always going to be available to answer your phone, meetings, showings, other phone calls get in the way – this is when Voice Cloud is great. Voicemail to text transcription can be a life saver to filter through voicemails when you can’t answer, and help you immediately follow up with urgent calls.

 

 

4 Technology Tips Every Real Estate Agent Should Follow

trophy; how to be the best charlotte nc real estate agent and get the most charlotte nc homes for sale

One of the best ways to get ahead in any industry is staying abreast with the latest technology. trophy; how to be the best charlotte nc real estate agent and get the most charlotte nc homes for sale

In today’s digital information age, interested buyers and sellers will look for you online before doing business with you. For them to find you, you must be online. For the best results you need to be on as many places at the same time as possible.  This can be overwhelming, and impractical. With Facebook, twitter, Pinterest and blogs, the list is never ending.

To increase your business what technologies should every real estate agent implement?

1. Smart Phone & Tablet

to be the best charlotte nc real estate agent like nancy braun at showcase realty you need a smartphone to get all the charlotte nc homes for saleSmart phones are here to stay and they are only getting smarter. If you don’t have a smart phone by now, you run the risk of looking dated and out of sync with the rest of world. If this is the only new technology you implement, take the plunge on this one.

With access to 1,000’s of apps, a smarter phone can help you connect with everyone in your sphere. There are also several options for cloud based apps, giving you access to all your documents, presentations, or flyers anywhere you are.

If you’ve already committed to a smart phone, consider purchasing a tablet. Popularity and preference of tablets over computers and laptops is growing. Imagine showing a presentation on your tablet instead of flipping through a stack of papers.

We recommend the Ipad specifically. The Windows Surface or Samsung Galaxy Tab have more options, but when you consider ease of use, right out of the box, The Ipad has a much more simplified format. This is easier for users to just grab it and go, especially users who are less tech savvy

2. LinkedInIN.fw

With over 225 million members, LinkedIn is important for business. If you’re not a fan of social media, or don’t have time for all the different platforms, at least create a profile on LinkedIn. It shows that you are in tune with the professional world, and it’s a good place to house your experience, abilities and any awards.

Because it’s a website of professional looking for professionals, LinkedIn is a great networking tool. You can use it to keep in touch with colleges, and tech savvy client will use this as a reference. This is also another great place to receive recommendations.

3. Online Communities

active rain logo. blog on this site to be the best charlotte ne real estate agent like anncy braun at showcase realty and have the most charlotte nc homes for saleOnce you have found a company with a good internal training structure, become a member of an online community.  Belonging to a real estate community outside of your office gives you access to a wealth of information.

You can join a Facebook group (Raise the Bar in Real Estate and Tech Support for Agents are the most active), become a member of a real estate blogging site like Active Rain, or join a List-Serve email list where agents ask and answer questions.  Even if you don’t ask or answer questions yourself, you can read about hot topics or search previous posts to see if your question has been answered before.

4. Be Genuine

Finally if you’re going to do any of these suggestions above, be genuine and relatable.  the best charlotte nc real estate agents are genuine like nancy braun of showcase realty who has the most charlotte nc homes for sale

Danny Mareco, Director of Marketing at Showcase Realty, advises,  “Don’t jump on the next fad just because you think you have to. People will see through that.”

If you are going to blog, provide useful information; don’t just tout your accomplishments. If you are going to create a social media profile, keep it updated.  The main focus of technology today is connection – connecting all of our tools and devices together through apps and cloud, and connecting us to each other through social and networking sites.

If you are just using it to ‘be out there’, you’re missing the point; these technologies are supposed to make life easier, not feel like a burden. That tune will ring flat in many of your clients’ ears.

August 22, 2013

7 Best Strategies to Prevail in a Bidding War

hands reaching up to grab a house key in a multiple offer situation of charlotte nc real estate and charlotte nc homes for sale by showcase realty
 
 

“Will I get

a second chance?

Will the seller

counter my offer?”

hands reaching up to grab a house key in a multiple offer situation of charlotte nc real estate and charlotte nc homes for sale by showcase realty

Many real estate markets are experiencing higher buyer demand than supply. In Charlotte, N.C., we currently have a 5 ½ month supply of homes; less than a 6 month supply is considered a Sellers’ Market. A good house in this market will likely receive multiple offers. Follow these strategies to prevail in a bidding war.

 

1.     Submit your highest and best offer as soon as possible. I am often asked, “Will I get a second chance or will the seller counter my offer?” Probably not, the Seller will likely negotiate with the best offer and reject all others. So, if you really want the home, submit your best offer up front.

2.  Keep your offer clean and simple. If you don’t need closing costs paid by seller then don’t include that in your offer. Don’t ask for personal property. You can always ask for small things later, and wait for the home inspection to ask for repairs. Pay for the home warranty yourself; they are inexpensive (typically under $500) and not worth losing the house.

3.     Have your agent call the Seller’s agent to ask why they are selling. Price may not be the priority; it may be speed, flexibility or a certain closing date. Unless you ask, you won’t know what the seller will consider the most acceptable offer.

4.     If you are able, submit the offer not subject to it appraising. This is a volatile market and appraisals are subjective, not scientific. Without this, there is a better chance the deal won’t fall out and the seller won’t have to worry about negotiating the purchase price later.  However if you plan to finance, make sure you can pay the difference of the appraised value and what you agreed to pay for the home, since your lender will only give you a loan up to the appraised amount.

5.     Write a personal letter to the seller, unless the property is bank or business owned. Tell the seller why you want the home and how you will enjoy certain features.

6.     Submit complete paperwork. This includes the contract, pre-approval letter and earnest money check. If possible, include a preapproval letter from a reputable lender with the property address on it.  A certified check is better than a personal check for the Earnest Money Deposit, and it should be higher than the standard for your area. This shows good faith and your commitment to buy the property.

7.     Your offer should be higher than the list price.  It should be as much as you think the home is worth plus a few dollars. Or you can offer to pay $1,000 more than the highest offer up to a certain amount. Interest rates are low right now so this additional amount over 30 years won’t amount to much.

Use these strategies to put your best foot forward.

Good luck!

                                      

July 8, 2013

An Easy Way to Improve Your Credit

average-credit-scoreRevolving Debt is Sizable Factor of Your Credit Score That All Too Often Goes Unnoticed

 

In the credit game, you are supposed to lose. If you lose, THEY win. “They” of course, refers to the big Banks and Credit Bureaus. Both of whom benefit greatly when your credit score is lower. The Banks charge you a higher rate of interest and the Credit Bureaus look good to their #1 customer…The Banks!

 

One of the most complicated aspects of your credit score is what we call “revolving debt ratio”. It’s worth 30% of your score and almost no one knows about it! Keep in mind, your payment history is worth 35% of the score, just to give some perspective on the importance of this component. Your revolving debt ratio is simply the amount of money you owe on your revolving accounts divided by the limits on those accounts. A revolving account is an account where you don’t have a set payment amount with a set amount of payments to make to pay off the loan. A credit card is the most common example. You make payments based on your balance, which could be as little as zero. So, if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit, and your balance is $5,000, then your revolving debt ratio is 50%. The credit scoring model measures this on an account-by-account basis and an overall basis.

 

Here’s the problem: By the time you get your statement in the mail, the credit card company has already sent your balance to the credit bureaus. They do so the day after your statement ending date. So, if you use your card throughout the month, like many of us have been told to do, then pay it off when you get the bill, you are never getting credit for it!!! The bureaus are never getting the information that the account is paid off!

 

Here’s the solution: Pay your credit card bills before the statement ending date. If you do this, then they will reflect their lowest balance of the month, instead of their highest balance of the month like the Banks and Bureaus prefer. With this component making up such a huge part of your score, it’s likely you’ll see an increase right away without spending more money than you already allocated.

 

This article originally appeared on mr.credit.org

Real Estate – Simple Buying Tips!

Everyone needs a little bit of friendly advice from time to time, and that’s especially true when dealing with real estate. It’s a tough world out there for a buyer. It’s doubly tough in a market like the one we have had over the past several years. So here are a few buyer-oriented real estate tips that may help you as you approach this market. The goal of these tips is simply to provide current and helpful items to consider so you can make the best possible buying decisions.

First, when you decide it is time to purchase a home, start by making a list of what you are looking for with your real estate purchase and stick to it. Put your most important items on the top of the list and work down in order of what is less important. Decide on what would be deal breakers from the start, and you won’t be confused and unsatisfied later.

Be sure to keep all aspects of the home you are thinking about purchasing in mind. While the physical aspects … size of rooms, the kitchen and so on are important factors, avoid focusing solely on a few things. Other considerations such as traffic patterns, distance from work, noise levels, do you feel safe, the quality of the neighborhood, have you met the neighbors? These and other issues hugely impact your experience once you are living in the home.

Buying a home with a great view might be what you are looking for, but remember it may have disadvantages, too. Usually, it costs significantly more than the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. Its resale value can also be negatively affected, as the potential buyers might not appreciate the view as much as the original buyer did. There is also a good possibility that over time new structures will be erected, significantly altering the original panoramic view; be sure you know what is going to happen to the land … and views you are looking … at in the future. So, yes, having a great view may be nice, but do your due diligence and always try to pay as little extra as possible for the view.

For those of you real estate investors or first-time hom owners seeking to purchase properties at courthouse auctions, it is always wise to conduct a thorough title review before bidding. In this way, successful buyers avoid getting stuck with a house that remains subject to unpaid taxes, contractor’s liens or other mortgage obligations that were not cleared up. Don’t take it for granted that these issues were all eliminated at the foreclosure; check for yourself and be certain that you will not have clouds on the title. This could be a costly problem.

As an investor, you must look past the cosmetic aspects of the house you are looking to purchase. If the walls are dingy, it only takes a few dollars to buy a can of paint and freshen up the look. Conversely, the previous owner may have covered up the ills of the past with that same few dollars of paint. Look at location and major repairs and do not overlook the small things, as small things can become big things fast. Do an in-depth inspection, bring a contractor with you when you are looking at a home you may be interested in bidding on. Be sure you have a good estimate of what the repair and improvement costs are going to be and what the market value after repairs (ARV) will be. The ARV is important to know, you do not want to be overpriced for the market area, or if you plan to flip the home, if there is enough profit potential in the deal.

Top 10 Myths About Buying a Foreclosure

Trulia.com and RealtyTrac recently surveyed US adults to get some insight into what people think is involved with buying a foreclosure. Here are the Top 10 Myths that were recently posted on Trulia.com and the facts to set the record straight:

1. Foreclosures need a huge amount of work. 92 percent of consumers expressed that if they bought a foreclosure, they would be willing to make home improvements after they closed the deal, with 65 percent being willing to invest 20 percent or less of the purchase price. Although stories of foreclosures missing plumbing and every electrical fixture are very memorable, many foreclosed homes need only the (relatively inexpensive) cosmetics that many new homeowners want to customize no matter what kind of home they’re buying: paint, carpet, etc.

2. Foreclosures sell at massive discounts, compared to other homes. Almost every member – 95 percent – of the surveyed group expected to pay less for a foreclosed home than for a similar, non-foreclosed home; 18 percent had realistic expectations of less than a 25 percent discount. However, 36 percent expected to receive a bargain basement discount of 50 percent or more off the value of a similar non-foreclosure. Reality check: while foreclosures might be discounted massively from what the former owner paid or owed, their discounts are much more modest when compared to their value on today’s market and the prices of similar homes.

3. Buying a foreclosure is risky. 49% of respondents said they perceived buying a foreclosure as risky. And yes – buying a foreclosure at the auction on the county courthouse steps can have risks, including the risk the new owner will take on the former’s owner’s liens and other loans. But most buyers looking for foreclosures are looking at bank-owned properties, which are listed on the open market with other, ‘regular’ homes. Buying these homes is really no more risky than buying a non-foreclosed home

4. You can’t get inspections on the property when you buy a foreclosed home. County auction foreclosures don’t often offer the ability for buyers to have the homes inspected. But virtually all bank-owned properties for sale on the open market not only allow, but encourage buyers to obtain every inspection they deem necessary. This is because almost every bank sells their foreclosed homes as-is, and they want to avoid later liability. It’s in everyone’s best interests to make sure that the buyer has full information about the property’s condition before they close the deal.

5. There are hidden costs to watch out for when buying a foreclosed home. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents who felt there is a negative stigma to buying a foreclosure expressed the concern that buying a foreclosure poses the danger of hidden costs. At some foreclosure auctions, there are buyer’s premiums and other hefty fees that can really add up and take a chunk out of the effective savings the buyer stood to realize. However, when you buy a bank-owned property that is listed for sale with a real estate agent, the closing costs are the same as they would be if you bought a non-foreclosed home. Overdue property taxes, HOA dues and other bills left behind by the defaulting homeowner are cleared by the bank that owns a foreclosed home before it is sold on the market, though these items should be watched out for if you buy a home at the county foreclosure auction.

6. Foreclosures are more likely to lose their value than “regular” homes. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults who believed there are downsides to buying foreclosed properties believed this myth. In fact, because foreclosures often offer a discount from the home’s current market value, they may offer some degree of insulation from further depreciation. Whether a home loses its value or not has to do with the dynamics of the local market, including the area’s supply of homes, demand for homes, interest rates and the health of the employment market – not with whether the home was or was not a foreclosure at the time it was purchased.

7. Most foreclosures happen when homeowners just walk away. Out of homeowners with a mortgage, only 1 percent said walking away from their home would be their first choice if they were unable to pay their mortgage. And a whopping 59 percent of mortgage-holders said they wouldn’t walk away from their home – no matter how upside down they were on their mortgage. Most foreclosures happen when the owners lose their jobs or their mortgage adjusts to the point where they absolutely cannot pay the mortgage, no matter how hard they try. Voluntary ‘walk-away’s are simply not as popular as many people think.

8. When you buy a foreclosure, you should lowball the bank – they are desperate to get these homes off their books. Stories about in the press abound about the large numbers of foreclosed homes the banks have on their books. We’ve all heard the adage that banks have no interest in owning these properties. But the real deal is that they’re simply not desperate enough to give these places away. Also, the banks mostly service the defaulted loans – they don’t own them. Various groups of investors do, and they hold the banks accountable to selling the bank-owned property at as high a price as possible, helping them cut their losses. Many banks won’t even consider lowball offers, and many bank-owned properties actually sell for above the asking price. Before a bank will take a lowball offer, they will almost always reduce the list price first, and see if that attracts a higher offer than the lowball one they have in hand.

9. You need to be able to pay in cash in order to buy a foreclosure. Again, if you buy a foreclosed home on the county courthouse steps, you might need to bring a cashier’s check and be ready to pay for the place on the spot. By contrast, bank-owned homes are bought through a more normal real estate transaction, which means buyers can obtain a mortgage to finance the home just like they would if the home weren’t a foreclosure. It is true, though, that in some markets, banks prefer offers from cash buyers, but this tends to be in situations where the property’s condition is pretty dire, and the bank knows this may make it hard for a buyer to obtain financing.

10. It’s easier to buy a foreclosure with bad credit if you get a mortgage with the same bank that owns the property. Think about it: why would the bank want to end up with the same property as a foreclosure, again? Well, that’s what would happen if they allowed buyers with low credit scores to buy their foreclosures just to earn the interest on the mortgage. In reality, many banks do offer incentives like lower fees or closing cost credits for buyers who use their bank for their mortgage. But the buyers must meet the same credit, income and other qualification standards as anyone else would to seal the deal.

Using a Mortgage Loan Calculator

calculate the value of Charlotte Homes with this mortgage calculatorSo you are interested in a Charlotte home for sale, and ready to begin house hunting.  But before you apply for a mortgage loan, it’s important to determine the potential cost of your home. One feature of our website is a mortgage calculator that allows homebuyers to calculate the cost of a mortgage so you can be more prepared before applying for a mortgage.

Our loan calculator enables prospective homebuyers to get an approximation of their monthly mortgage payments simply by entering basic data about your upcoming Charlotte home purchase. You can access our mortgage loan calculator to find out how much you can pay for Charlotte Homes.

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