Raleigh Real Estate Series Part 3: Tough Divorce Questions Answered

Questions and AnswersReal Estate. It’s not a topic that people immediately think of when they file for divorce.

But that’s a mistake. Because addressing the real estate involved between the couple is a critical step in the divorce process. And preparing for this process is critical to deciding how difficult this aspect of divorce can be.

Today, I’m going to answer some of your most pressing questions surrounding divorce and real estate in the Raleigh area.

Important Divorce and Real Estate Questions Answered for Raleigh Residents

How do most couples decide on a buyout price?

Many couples pick a number on their own based on what they paid for the house or have invested into it. This is usually a big mistake for reasons explained above.

Others pay for a fee paid appraisal to determine value but, this may also lead to several mistakes if they only look at the bottom line number on the appraisal. That number in not a guaranteed sales price or even true market value.

An appraisal is just an opinion of value by one person who has looked back in time to select a number. Therefore, having two appraisals would give you a truer average to begin from.

Where couples make a mistake with deciding only from the appraisal amount is the may have not considered the cost of selling in the future, deferred maintenance and immediate repairs and in some cases capital gains too.

In my opinion, the best solution is to have one or two appraisal completed from a licensed appraiser and also meet with an experienced Realtor to get a second opinion. The type of Realtor is one who has a lot of experience in working with sellers. Chose one with a large listing inventory and a track record for sell listings. The nice buyer agent that helped you buy your home initially may not have enough marketing dollars and experience in representing sellers. Buying and selling are two different skill sets.

What’s the difference between a Realtor’s value and an Appraisers value?

Appraisers only look at historical data of closed properties in the past 6 to 12 months to determine value. Realtors look at present market conditions, trends and your competition today.

In other words, what your home may be worth on a piece of paper called an appraisal and what you could actually sell for today, along with cost to make your home market ready, sold and closed needs to all be considered. Again, couples going through divorce need a lot of wise counsel from multiple professionals and we are happy to refer them to professionals that can help provide the information they need.

What happens if they haven’t owned their house very long or it has NO EQUITY due to high mortgage balances or declining home values?

Couples with no equity in their marital home only have two choices

  1. Sell their home in a short sale where the bank takes the financial loss instead of them, and the consequence is a temporary decline in their credit score. Divorce is one of the qualifiers for a short sale. It is a way to not have to write a check at closing, or incur new debt by borrowing money from another source to bring to the sale. With a short sale both parties will be released from ownership of the property and a free of debt obligation and each other in regard to the house. As a CDPE, Certified Short Sale Expert, we have helped hundreds of people successfully navigate a short sale but, the first step is a consultation to understand all the pros and cons of this type of sale.
  2. An agreement could be reached to rent the home until it appreciates high enough in value to sell in the future. The idea of having someone else pay your joint mortgage while the house is going up in value may seem like a great option but, it’s absolutely not. There will be vacancies, repairs and ongoing maintenance in addition to years of working together in joint ownership with a business partner you probably would not have chosen if the real estate market had given you another choice. The stress you feel now going through divorce will continue and be magnified as you enter this business partnership with your X-spouse. The number one reason people divorce is money. Entering a business partnership with someone you may have just divorced over money spells emotional and financial disaster for your future. Approach with great caution and consult a property management company. We are happy to refer you.

Raleigh NC Realtors Who Can Help You!

Please contact us at Linda Craft & Team if you would like to discuss your specific situation in terms of divorce and the real estate you own.

We would be happy to help you navigate those waters and represent your best interests all along the way.

And be sure to check back here next time as we’ll be discussing the 7 common mistakes people make with their homes in divorce. You don’t want to miss it!

Until next time,



Learn How to Win a Multiple Offer Situation in the Raleigh, NC Area

Wake County home buyingWe are just about at the end of our series on how to win a multiple offers situation but we still have a couple of pearls of wisdom left to give you.

Here’s my 9th tip on how you can win a bidding war: How to Make the Escalation Clause (a.k.a. the Multiple Offer Addendum) Work for You.

Linda Craft & Team, Realtors are highly trained negotiators that use every advantage to insure our clients have the most favorable outcome.

We have a special addendum drafted by an attorney that allows our buyer to make a lower offer not to exceed their maximum comfort level. Many times with this addendum the buyer wins the bid with the lower offer.
We also obtain information from the listing agent prior to writing an offer to know if there are multiple offers, how they will handle multiple offers and what terms the seller would find most acceptable. This includes closing dates, personal property, home warranty.

Then we carefully analyze the seller’s asking price by researching sold properties similar to what an appraiser will do for the mortgage company to help our buyers remain objective to value. We have a pre-approval letter in file from credible, well-known, and respected mortgage company to bring peace of mind to the seller that our competing buyer is well qualified to purchase.

Then we carefully fill out the offer to purchase and attach our multiple offer addenda to place our home buyer in the best position to win the house they really want without over paying for their dream home.

Raleigh, NC Area Home Buying Made Easy

Make your home buying experience infinitely easier by choosing a qualified and experienced real estate agent with whom to work.

Contact us at Linda Craft & Team today if you’re ready to enter the market as a home buyer and want some expert guidance along the way.

We will answer any lingering questions you might have as well as offer valuable tools for navigating the Triangle real estate market in the Raleigh area.

Until next time,


This Week’s Tip on Winning a Bidding War in a Multiple Offer Situation

Wake County homes for saleIf this is your first time visiting my blog, allow me to fill you in: I’m currently counting down my top 10 tips for how home buyers can win in a multiple offers situation.

Last week, I told you my first tip: Understand that you may not be aware upfront that a home has multiple purchase offers.

Continue reading if you’re interested in learning today’s tip.

Tip 2: Counter offers don’t have to be in writing and a verbal agreement is not a contract.

For many home buyers this is a cold truth that can be painful to accept: An offer is not a legal binding contract until the entire agreement has been drafted on paper, signed by buyer and seller and delivered to all parties or their representatives.

Until all of that has taken place, it is not a contract and therefore, anything could happen. The seller could change his mind, the buyer could find another property, other offers can come in, etc.

Because anything could happen in this critical part of the home buying process, it’s important to move as expeditiously as possible. The adage, “You snooze, you lose” has never been more true than in a home buying situation.

Thus, we recommend drafting an offer fast with your home buyer and putting your name in the hat. Just make sure that your buyer agent attaches an addendum that requires the Seller’s Agent and the seller to respond by deadline. Otherwise, your offer may sit without attention for an indefinite period of time.

Conversely, a well written time expiration moves your offer to the top of their priority list. Give them a realistic amount of time to respond, such as 12 to 24 hours. After all, if you set it for too short of a time, you may just frustrate them. If you set it for too long, you’re giving other buyers a chance to move in on your territory.

Finally, ensure that your Buyer Agent uses DocuSign so that offers and an acceptable counter offer may be signed more quickly. There have been countless times in my 29 years of experience where I have had a verbally accepted contract on one of my listings and there’s a hold-up on the buyer’s end because they’re still at work or they don’t want to finish the contract until after they return from vacation.

This lack of urgency from the would-be buyer may end up costing you the home you love. So move fast!

More Raleigh Area Home Buying Help On Its Way!

Check back next week as I continue working through my top 10 tips for home buyers navigating a multiple-offers situation in the Raleigh area.

For now, if you’re interested in entering the market as a Triangle area home buyer anytime soon and would like some expert assistance, make sure to contact me, Linda Craft,your dedicated Triangle area real estate expert, today.

I can provide you with valuable information on available home listings as well as answer all of your remaining questions.

Until next time,

Impressive New Pavilion Comes to North Hills in Raleigh!

Wake County Amenities near North HillsLiving in North Hills just got even better for Raleigh residents! Recently, the new Midtown Park opened, bringing with it plenty of brand new recreational amenities for residents to enjoy.

Today, I’m going to tell you about all of the amenities that this pavilion offers and why you should be very excited if you live in the area!

Why Residents Already Love Midtown Park

This new attraction, which celebrated its grand opening on April 26, is an open space with a permanent stage.

During the recent event, residents celebrated its opening with live music, food tastings, some family-friendly events and even a spring fashion show!

It was a great time for everyone who came and definitely set the right tone for the new park.

Midtown Park truly is going to be the premier gathering place at North Hills. With Chuy’s restaurant at one end and a stage at the other, this park is a great place to host events, large and small. There’s also a water feature right in front of the stage, which adds to the ambiance.

Developers believe that this will become a popular gathering spot for concerts and theatrical performances, as well as community events. Plus, this park is close to a number of businesses. Thus, it might also be a great place to host a business function.

Just One More Great Reasons to Live in North Hills

The pavilion is located exceptionally close to the North Hills neighborhood and will truly be a great asset for residents living there.

If you’re interested in learning more about Midtown Park, please feel free to contact us at Linda Craft & Team.

We’d also be happy to help you if you’re considering purchasing a property in North Hills anytime soon so that you can be close to this new amenity as well as all of the other existing amenities – such as stores, theaters and restaurants nearby.

Contact us at Linda Craft & Team and we’d love to help you!

Until next time,


Happy Labor Day

Labor Day Weekend is here! It is time to say good-bye to summer and have our last bit of fun before returning to our normal routine. There is tons to do in the Triangle this weekend so don’t be worried if you are not one of the 33 million Americans traveling this holiday.


For sports fans it is your last chance to see the Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats, and Carolina Railhawks play for the season. Tickets are still available! College football fans are excited for the start of the season this week. Whether you are a Duke, Carolina, or NC State Fan you are sure to get excited this weekend for everyone’s first game!

Family Fun

Tons of family fun is also available and open in Raleigh during Labor Day weekend such as the Marble Kid Museum, Museum of Life and Science, NC Museum of History, and NC Museum of Natural Science, many have special holiday hours.

Local parks and lakes are great places to have a BBQ with friends and family and enjoy the nice weather!

If you are shopping fanatic, you can definitely find a deal at local malls and outlets!


If you are traveling be aware of high gas prices and tons of traffic. Fortunately most highway construction has suspended during the holiday weekend to try and help with all the congestion. Make sure you plan for extra time and stay safe (no speeding, no texting, etc). Beaches and lakes are sure to have to the most traffic so be prepared.

Whatever your plans are for the holiday weekend, Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS wish you a happy and safe Labor Day. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us at (919) 235-0007.

Manchester Park

Manchester Park is a 123 townhome community, located in West Cary off of McCrimmon Pkwy (near Davis Drive).  Built by Forever Home, these 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath, 2-car Garage homes start in the low $200’s.  Choose from 5 different plans, ranging from 1,818 to 2,057 square feet.

Walk to shopping, restaurants, greenways and more!  A short commute to RTP, the airport and close proximity to major Interstates and highways.  Wake County Schools.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Manchester Park

If so, please contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call us at 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Manchester Park

Click here to see all homes for sale!

Madison Park

Madison Park is located minutes from Downtown Raleigh, and if you are wishing for a Southern Style Estate look no farther! With exquisite double gallery porches, gorgeous landscaping, and tree lined street you will feel like you are living in another time in Madison Park. With extreme attention to detail these homes are sure to last for many generations to come. A perfect taste of Southern Hospitality in the City of Raleigh!

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Madison Park?

If so, please contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call us at 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Madison Park

Click here to see all homes for sale!


Lakemont is in Northern Raleigh, four miles from North Carolina State University, 13 miles from Raleigh Durham International Airport, 20 miles from Duke University and 24 miles from the main campus of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The community is conveniently close to North Hills Shopping district, I-440, the Beltline, and offers easy access to I-540.


Swimming and Tennis, Golf

Lakemont features a membership based club, the Lakemont Swim and Tennis Club, located in the heart of the community. From the website:

The club features both swim and tennis programs and is a vital part of the community, offering many programs and activities to engage the entire family… Our facility includes a 6-lane, 25 yard pool with diving well.  There is a covered pavilion with grills for cooking out, a shaded toddler play area, and a safe and secure baby pool for the smallest of the family.  Lakemont also offers a fully-stocked snack bar.

North Raleigh is also dotted with numerous golf courses for enthusiasts.


Lakemont has direct access to I-440 (the Beltline) and is just minutes from I-540 and the Brier Creek Shopping area, with quick and convenient access to other North Raleigh shopping areas, Triangle Town Center and Crabtree Valley Mall, in addition to shopping and nightlife in downtown Raleigh.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Lakemont?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Lakemont

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!

Highland Oaks

The Highland Oaks subdivision in Cary, North Carolina, is located off High House Road near the intersection of SW Maynard Road & High House Rd (between Cary Parkway and Maynard Rd).  Nicely situated within walking distance to Bond Park and Greenway Trails, Maynard Crossings with restaurants, shops, and more!  In addition, Highland Oaks is convenient to RTP and RDU International Airport.

There are approximately 90 Executive-style, single family homes that range in price from the Low $400’s to over $650,000.  The neighborhood was developed from 2005 to 2007 by Pulte Homes.  Homes in Highland Oaks typically include 4-6 bedrooms, 3-6 full baths, fireplaces, bonus rooms, first floor guest suites, and daylight basements.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Highland Oaks?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Highland Oaks

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!

Highland Forest

Want the option to build a beautiful custom home? Highland Forest in North Raleigh is the perfect location to buy or build amazing custom homes in a gorgeous private wooded neighborhood. With only thirteen lots and lots from one to three acres, the neighborhood is private and quiet. A lovely landscape of hills and amazing scenic views, Highland Forest is a perfect escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Highland Forest community search

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Highland Forest

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Highland Forest

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!