Safety Comes First In Real Estate Professions

Safety & Real Estate

Did you know that more real estate agents die each year showing houses than those killed in dangerous professions, like bull riding, stunt pilots, and motorcycle racers? As of now, 25 REALTORS® have been killed while showing houses. And, this number only increases when you consider all of those who were robbed, assaulted, and faced with other life threatening situations.

With that in mind, many real estate professionals are taking measures to ensure safety for both themselves and their clients. This information, provided by the Linda Craft Team, can help you know what to expect when meeting a REALTOR® in the Triangle and Greater Raleigh Area during your home search.

Meet REALTORS® At Their Office or in Public Spaces

steering-wheel-801994_640Last year the National Association of REALTORS® launched Safety First, where real estate companies mandate that home buyers must meet REALTORS® at their office or a public space, and potential Raleigh home buyers must provide identification.

Open Door was launched to further help protect real estate professionals. Sometimes, meeting at the agent’s office and riding with the REALTOR® can be an inconvenience to either or both parties, especially when the home you wish to view is not nearby. In this case, mortgage companies, title companies, and attorneys register their offices as “open door” places for REALTORS® to meet clients. If your agent requests to meet you at one of these “open door” spaces or their office before heading out to view Raleigh area homes you wish to see, know these are becoming more commonly used safety precautions to protect both parties.

Let the Linda Craft Team Help You Achieve Your Real Estate Goals!

Are you searching for the home of your dreams in the Triangle? Let us help! We pride ourselves in our ability to serve our client’s needs, to include taking the safety precautions to protect both parties. Use these tips for buyers to help you through the process and to ensure a smooth transaction.

Ready to sell your Raleigh area real estate? Home sellers face many of the same safety risks as real estate professionals. Reduce your risk and list your home with the Linda Craft Team, as REALTORS® have more experience in this field and take measures to stay safe on the job.

Raleigh Real Estate Series Part 4: Seven Common Mistakes Divorcees Make

Raleigh Real Estate and Divorce MistakeWe’re continuing our series today on divorce and real estate by telling you about the top mistakes that people make with their homes in a divorce.

It’s understandable that people make these mistakes – after all, who plans for a divorce? Today, we’re going to help you how to avoid these mistakes.

Top Mistakes People Make with their Homes in Divorce

Struggling to keep a home they can’t afford so the children do not have to face more change. Many people as so overwhelmed in divorce that they try to minimize change by refusing to move. It’s a known fact that children bounce back faster from change than adults do and if you can’t afford the home the financial stress will cause more pain.

Fighting to keep the home for sentimental reasons. Keeping a home if it’s affordable makes perfect sense but, most do not plan their budgets very well and end up living in financial stress. Because of the financial burden when they do sell later they have deferred maintenance and other losses they did not consider when negotiating to keep the house. If they are thinking about keeping the house with one income I would recommend they meet with a financial planner, certified in divorce, which I will gladly offer a referral. Remember, with time your emotions will change.

Agreeing to each be responsible for 50% of the payment. Over the years I have met with a lot of woman with children who were granted the house in divorce with an agreement they would each pay 50% of the payment. With a foreclosure notice in hand they were shocked as they explained to me that they gave a check to their X every month and thought he was making the payments.

Negotiating to a buyout price without a home inspection. In divorce it is common for one spouse to keep the house by buying out the other. I encourage you to have a home inspection completed to make sure there are no big repair items needed now or in the near future. In formulating a buyout price consider the cost of immediate repairs needed, prorate deferred maintenance and consider future cost to prep the home for sale and selling cost.

Here is a real example: A home I recently sold began as a buyout where mom and dad had advanced the cash to keep their daughter and granddaughter in the home. No inspection was completed for the buyout. 6 months after the buyout the daughter was transferred out of town for work and the house needed to be sold. During the sale a home inspection discovered a wet crawl space full of mold. Mom, dad and the daughter regretted the price they paid the X to keep the house because they had to pay to fix the crawl space too.

Under Estimating the Expense to Make a Home Market Ready. Consider this example: When the couple was married the husband turned the bonus room into a recording studio with black foam glued to the walls. Since there was no equity in the home and the x-wife decided to keep the house and make all the payments. When she later needed to sell she underestimated the expense to make the room market ready. Hadn’t considered all the cost associated in selling and the market had not appreciated as she was banking. She lost a lot of money and relived the pain of another mistake.

Inheriting Problems which Grow Bigger with Time. In divorce the wife was given the house. The X who was a skilled carpenter finished off a second floor bedroom and bath without permits. 5 years later, when it came time for her to sell the house she discovered that not having permits would cost a lot of money to rectify. In order for the house to be sold she had to pay double for the permits and bring all the plumbing, electrical, heated, insulation and structure up to today’s code.

Making Decisions to Buy Again to Fast. My advice to every couple going through divorce is if at all possible don’t buy anything or make any big decisions for at least 4 season. Time heals all wounds so give yourself at least a full year to get your head on straight and to know what you will really need in your new single life. So many people rush out to buy something and a year later they want to sell it because their life and housing needs have changed along with their emotions.

Couples entering divorce need help.

As a real estate team many of us have been through divorce and understand your pain and stress. 30% of our clients are walking in your shoes right now. Please allow us to share our experience in dividing marital property to help you make the best choice for your future.

We As Wake County REALTORS® Will Help You Through All of Life’s Surprises

We hope you’ve found this series helpful as a home owner facing divorce in Wake County.

We know that the waters ahead may look uncertain but we also want you to know that we’re here to help you through this transition as best we can.

So contact us at Linda Craft & Team today to help you prepare for your next move. We’re happy to help!

Until next time,

Linda

Raleigh Real Estate Series Part 2: Devise a Divorce Action Plan

StrategyDivorce is hard but an experienced Realtor with a calm head can be a huge asset.

Last time, I told you about some of the pitfalls that Raleigh area home owners encounter when facing divorce.

Today, I’m going to tell you about the best way to avoid those pitfalls: An Action Plan

Here’s Your Step By Step Divorce Action Plan

If you follow these suggestions, you can avoid having a painful situation like divorce turn into a tragic situation for you as a home owner:

Step one: Check to see whose name is on the mortgage? Is the mortgage held jointly or individually? If individually, a quick claim deed may be a quick solution. However, North Carolina is a marital state so even if you owned the house individually before marriage, you own it jointly now. Each spouse will have to agree to ownership and division unless you married with a prenuptial that excluded your pre-marriage home.

Step two: If you have a mortgage on the marital home you need to contact your bank to request a mortgage pay off. A payoff is different than the mortgage balance you see monthly on your payment statement. The payoff includes the interest in arrears, which is a banking term that simply means you owe more money that then monthly statement shows. Knowing how much you truly owe to be released from the monthly debt obligation is key in determining your options. If you owe less than you will be able to sell your home for then you have what we call, equity. With equity in the property that will allow you to either sell and divide the profit or buy each other out?

Step three: Call Linda Craft & Team, Realtors to schedule a free consultation to discuss all your options. During the consultation we will provide a realistic market analysis so you will know the range of value to expect in a sale. With your mortgage payoff in hand we will be able to provide an estimate of selling cost and estimate of your net proceeds from the sale including any division of your escrow account where your yearly tax and home owners insurance is held. Lastly, we will help you estimate preparation cost for entering your house onto the market for sale, repair cost that a buyer may request from a home inspection and carrying cost for the time on market plus escrow period. These are all expenses that affect your profit and have to be considered and included in your budget. (Escrow is the time between a contract to purchase and deed transfer where you no longer own the property of have the financial burden of mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities and lawn maintenance.)

Step four: Make a decision which option is best for you. With equity couples have several options. With a full estimate of cost associated in a sale they can now decide if they want to sell the house and split the proceeds and each move to their new single lives free of this joint debt or further joint obligation. Or they could decide to buy each other out with a cash out refinance. The buyout option places the mortgage into one name along with a new deed to release the other from joint ownership and debt obligation. We would refer you back to your present lender to see if they would be willing to remove the other spouse from the deed of trust (mortgage obligation in case of foreclosure). In most cases they will not allow this. The only way to separate the financial obligation permanently is a sale or a total refinance which has charges to recreate a new mortgage. The questions that remain to be answered with a buyout scenario is; can the one person who wishes to keep the house qualify for the new mortgage on their own, and is there enough equity in the house to be approved for a refinance. In order for a mortgage company to approve a refinance most will require a minimum of 5% down payment and don’t forget to calculate and negotiate the finance charges associated with the refinance. A Good Faith Estimate from your lender will provide this information and we are very happy to refer you to a great local lender to help you.

Next Time, We Answer Your Difficult Divorce Questions

Check back here next time when we answer difficult divorce questions that impact your real estate investment.
In the meantime, if you would like to talk with us about your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Linda Craft & Team.

We are here to help you as a Raleigh area home owner who is facing one of the most difficult life milestones there is. And we’ll work hard to make sure that the process and the transition is as painless as possible.

Until next time,

Linda

 

This Week’s Bidding War Tip for Triangle Home Buyers Revealed

Wake County home buyersWith the Triangle real estate market continuing to flourish, it’s become more and more competitive for home buyers to secure their dream property.

Oftentimes, buyers are finding themselves in a dreaded bidding war, facing equal fears of losing the home they want and paying too much for it.

That’s why a few weeks ago, I started a new blog series on bidding wars. Each week, I tell you a new tip that will better prepare you for winning a bidding war should you encounter one.

Tip #3: Home Sellers Don’t Have to Consider Offers from Buyers in the Order They Were Received

Forget the saying, “First come, first served.” It’s just not true on the Triangle real estate market these days.

Although being the first in line may help grab the seller’s attention, it’s not a guarantee that your offer will supersede others.

If a home owner receives a better offer before the first offer is signed by the seller and delivered, the seller can immediately end negotiations with you.

In fact, because of the listing agent’s allegiance to the seller, they will typically contact all other agents with interested buyers after you present them with an offer. After all, it is their job to bring their seller the best and highest offer.

If you really stop to think about it, bidding wars are a dream for a home seller, even if they’re a nightmare for home buyers. The more offers on the table, the more they will drive up the home sales price.

So how do you not only grab the seller’s attention but keep it? When you find your dream home, move fast and come to the table with your best offer. And remember this important fact: An offer is not a contract until it is signed by all parties and delivered back to all parties.

A verbal agreement is a good start but it’s not binding. Get the signed contract in place.

Happy to Help You With All Your Triangle Area Home Buying Needs

We hope you’re enjoying this series and finding it helpful. Check back next week for our fourth tip on how to navigate a bidding war as a home buyer on the Triangle area real estate market.

In the meantime, contact us at Linda Craft & Team for additional home buying tips and information. We are always happy to assist you by providing valuable resources, straight-forward advice and years of expertise.

Until next time,

Linda

Introducing a New Wake County Real Estate Series: Winning a Bidding War

Wake County home buyingIt’s a sight that has become increasingly common on the Wake County real estate market: a home for sale receives multiple offers from buyers, resulting in the sales price being higher than the original list price.

These market conditions are caused by a variety of factors:

  • Pent-up home buyer demand does not meet the available supply of homes
  • Wake County is a desirable place to live across the board, winning accolades from such publications as Forbes and the Wall Street Journal

For buyers, this is a frustrating trend because it means that even if they make a full price offer, they could still lose out on their dream home to someone willing to pay more, or willing to pay the same price but with cash.

So I’m starting a new series that’s all about helping you win your dream home in a bidding war – and without having to pay too much!

First, Let’s Look at the Facts

Before you ever enter the Wake County housing market, it’s important for you to understand these two things:

Homes for Sale in the Greater Raleigh Area are marketed to thousands of home buyers and Realtors every day. This means that there is a very good chance that if the home is well-priced, in good condition and in a good location, it will receive multiple offers. Sometimes there’s a lot of confusion about how offers are presented to home sellers. Thus, it behooves you to be well prepared to compete and win before you ever enter the market.

Second, it’s very common for home buyers to become intimidated by a multiple offer scenario and back out. This happens for a number of reasons, including the buyer’s fear that they will pay too much and that they will not have what it takes to compete. But if you back out, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to win the home of your dreams. Thus, it’s important to push those fears to the side and try to remain as objective as possible during negotiations. A clear head will benefit you immensely. After all, you know what fear stands for right? False Evidence Appearing Real.

Remember: Regardless of the price that you and the seller settle on, it still has to appraise before a bank. If it doesn’t, you can always request that the seller reduce the price to the appraised value or else you can walk away. The home also still has to pass inspections and such. So don’t be afraid that a multiple-offers scenario is going to rush you through the home buying process. You’ll still have a due diligence period to fully vet the home.

Helping You Buy Your Next Wake County Dream Home

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to provide 10 tips for how you can win a multiple offer without paying too much.

I look forward to sharing this valuable information with you, which will help you get the home of your dreams.

For now, if you have any questions about the home buying process, please make sure to contact me, Linda Craft, and the rest of my Wake County real estate team!

Until next time,

Linda

Wake County Real Estate Market Update That Sellers Should Know!

Wake County real estate newsThis past winter has been certainly trying on the Wake County real estate market! Because of the brutal – and lengthy – winter season, not as many home buyers were navigating the market. This impacted local home owners trying to sell their property.

Despite that, however, our incredible team of real estate experts was able to hit the 100 mark for closed and under contract properties for 2014.

And we’re feeling even more optimistic about home sales activity during the spring months.

Today, I’m going to tell you about recent activity we’ve seen on the Triangle real estate market.

Home Sales in Wake County, NC

Here’s an overview of the current state of the market, in Wake County, based on the most recent market data:

  • Homes priced $400,000 and below in North Raleigh, Cary, Apex and Inside the Beltline are selling very fast and often receiving multiple offers when in outstanding showing condition.
  • We believe this is caused by a shortage of supply in this price range, which is leading to prices rising. After all, this is the whole concept of supply and demand at work.
  • Homes priced at $400,000 and below in other areas are much slower, although even those other areas are picking up. Prices are stable.
  • Homes priced between $400,000 and $600,000 in North Raleigh, Cary, Apex and Inside the Beltline that are updated/move-in ready have sold in an average of 54 days.
  • Sales outside this area are very slow. Even with a flawless house you can expect 100 days plus and a little more negotiation.
  • The market average for sold homes on the market is 95 percent of the list price. But those homes that are listed by Linda Craft & Team have sold at 98% of asking price.
  • Homes $600,000 and above are still struggling everywhere. Although the luxury market has picked up, there is still an 8 to 20 month supply of housing in this price range.
  • This kind of housing inventory suggests a buyer’s market. And homes in this price range are competing with new construction and updated homes for home buyer attention.
  • Generally speaking, those homes that are selling fastest in the luxury home market area are completely updated and look brand new or they have a special feature such as water view. For instance, I just sold a $1,450,000 house on a golf and lake lot in 27 days.

Helping You Navigate the Wake County Real Estate Market in All Conditions

The bottom line is that regardless of where your house is located or at what price range, the market continues to improve.

Thus, it’s only a matter of time before you are able to sell your home as well.

Still, you’ll probably have the greatest luck on the local housing market if you’re working with an experienced real estate expert like me, Linda Craft. So contact me today to discover how I might be able to help you!

All the best,

Linda

Triangle North Carolina Real Estate

Welcome to the Triangle area of North Carolina! Living here is truly like no other experience; not only does the Triangle boast large cities, such as Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary and  Raleigh, but the many small towns, such as Garner, the home of American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, provide the cozy feeling of relaxed, down home living while every amenity, entertainment and business is located only moments from your door. The Triangle, NC region is known nationally as one of the best placed to live. These  qualities make buying Triangle area homes so desirable.

Continue reading “Triangle North Carolina Real Estate”

Raleigh Ranked #1 Best Place To Live by Bloomberg

Congratulations to Raleigh, North Carolina!

 

Bloomberg announced today that Raleigh topped the list for the best places to live in the US.   We could not agree more and believe that is why so many people relocate to the Greater Raleigh area.  If you are interested in learning more about why Raleigh is so special be sure to check out our Raleigh Area and Raleigh Relocation pages on our real estate website.