The New Homes Market is Back

1 Jul

After six years in the doldrums, new home sales and starts are finally moving from a jog to a sprint.

There is a pent-up demand for new homes for sure. The absence of new home product has made the demand even greater.

So what’s the draw of new construction – which usually runs about 10 to 15 percent more than an existing home of similar size and features?

  1. Great options. Builders are building what today’s buying public wants – in design, amenities, energy efficiency and technology.
  2. Peace of mind. New construction comes with guarantees and warranties.
  3. Time to sell. Buying new construction gives buyers more time to get their home ready for sale to command top value.

Estate agent with smiling coupleIt’s no surprise that new construction has clear advantages. In fact, 41 percent of home buyers prefer new construction if it’s available, according to a Harris poll. An additional 38 percent have no preference between new construction and existing homes.

But I’m always surprised when someone asks “Do I need a Realtor® when working with a builder? Won’t I save money by going solo?”

The answer is YES – you need a Realtor – and NO, you won’t save money if you go it alone. Here’s why.

  1. The price is the same with or without a Realtor. The price of the home you are building has a marketing fee built into the price. Appraisers and vendors require a one-price home for comps. There’s no discount for buying without a Realtor.
  2. You need professional representation more than ever when building. There are many, many moving parts – that if not handled well – can be very costly.
  3. Expertise is critical. Good plans, specs and contracts are a must. Your Realtor provides expertise and advocacy in these areas.
  4. The timing of the sale of your existing home is huge when buying new construction. You need the resources of a Realtor to make this happen.
  5. Plan for the future. Your Allen Tate Realtor can help you understand the current trends in design, so your home will be marketable in the future.
  6. Location, location, location. The best home design in the world on the wrong lot will have huge ramifications.
  7. Re-double your efforts. An extra set of eyes and ears to understand the process is huge.

Building a home is exciting, but you get to see many mistakes along the way. It’s much different than walking into a home with every feature and detail completed.

Your Allen Tate Realtor will hold your hand, help set expectations, negotiate on your behalf – and help you enjoy the ride along the way to new home ownership.

Pat Riley

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

The Best Window Treatments to Attract Buyers

29 Jun

iStock_000011777890_SmallIn today’s real estate market, most buyers will expect or ask that the window treatments in your home be a part of the deal. This trend actually can work in your favor. When selling your home, updated window treatments can attract buyers and help you get the maximum price for your home. Plus, you’ll have the fun of shopping for new window treatments just right for your new home.

In general, buyers today are looking for window treatments that give the room a clean look, allow light into a room and make the living space feel warm and inviting. And since window treatments can instantly change the look and feel of a room, if your window treatments are old, out dated, out of style or non-functioning, you may need to consider updating as part of your home staging.

If not already in your home, custom window treatments are an easy, affordable improvement. Currently, two-inch blinds in wood or white, or custom 2-inch, built-in shutters are very popular with buyers.

Window treatments that insulate can also add a lot of value to your home and attract buyers looking to save money on energy bills. Cellular shades are a good option since they let light filter in without the heat from the Carolina sun.

Other window coverings can provide a combination of insulation and an impediment to airflow. Thick drapes, reversible shades and heavy or magnetically sealing Roman blinds provide a decorator touch while serving to keep a room cozy and inviting.

Make sure any new or existing window treatments are scaled to the room size. For low ceilings, give the illusion of height by positioning drapes and valances higher on the wall.

If you’re buying or replacing window coverings just for the purpose of attracting buyers, make sure you choose neutral colors or sheer curtains as they will work best with any decorative style a new homeowner may have.

Look at your interior window treatments from the outside and add curb appeal with stylish, fairly uniform window coverings across the front rooms of your home. Remove any old, faded exterior awnings from over windows and doors.

Tony Jarrett
Regional Vice President, Triad

Remembering Allen Tate

26 Jun

Pat_ATDrive down just about any street in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, or Greenville, S.C. (or many points in between) and you’re sure to see them: the iconic burgundy-and-gold Allen Tate Realtors® yard signs.

For more than 58 years, the name Allen Tate has been synonymous with real estate excellence in the Carolinas.

People sometimes ask “Is there a real Allen Tate?” And there most certainly is.

I say is – rather than was.

H. Allen Tate Jr., our founder, chairman and CEO, died this week, on Monday afternoon at his home in Charlotte. He was 84. His services will be held today, at the church where he was a longtime member and deacon, Myers Park Baptist.

While Allen (aka Mr. Tate) is gone from this earth in body, he is very much here with us.

He is here in the foundation he has laid in the real estate industry – providing exceptional customer service; together, with the best leadership team in America, growing the Allen Tate Company to #1 in the Carolinas and #7 in the nation; and helping to create the world’s largest network of independent real estate brokers, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.

He is here in the infrastructure he has created as a planner, developer and transportation advocate – from neighborhoods and shopping centers, to the location of the “outer belt” of I-485, a stretch of which now bears his name.

He is here in the service he has given throughout his entire life, from president of the Jaycees and Charlotte Chamber, to chairman of the Home Builders Association and Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission, to the boards of organizations, foundations and community institutions.

He is here in the contributions he has made to education, from the Allen Tate Great Hall in the Harris Alumni Center at UNC Charlotte to the Allen Tate Tower and Barbara and Allen Tate Hall at Central Piedmont Community College, and service to Queens University.

He is here in our support as a Family of Companies of Tate Cares, for causes that make a difference in quality of life in our communities: public education, the arts and United Way.

He is here in the wisdom he imparted, to give your best, honor your commitments, don’t wait to be asked and make a difference in your community.

He is here in the legacy he has left, in the thousands of individuals he has taught, mentored, inspired, challenged, praised and loved.

dfafWe will miss his physical presence but his contributions will continue to benefit future generations. I will miss him dearly as my mentor, my inspiration, my business partner and my second Daddy.

More than 20 years ago, Allen moved into the role of a strategic advisor. He had complete confidence in the Allen Tate Companies leadership team, entrusting them to carry out his vision each day. Together, we will continue to lead the company far into the future.

When you see the yard signs, don’t think of the man who is gone, but rather, what he has given and will continue to give.

In Allen’s own words, “The journey will never end.”

Pat Riley

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

Changes at Realtor.com Work for Allen Tate Clients

24 Jun

At Allen Tate, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to provide your home with effective and results-oriented marketing. That’s why we are a showcase partner with realtor.com. Realtor.com is a national online media site that supports our belief that presenting accurate and up-to-the-minute information to buyers is key to the successful sale of your home.

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This May, realtor.com launched a new graphic identity and national advertising campaign that positions the brand as one of the best online providers of real estate information and services for buyers, sellers and renters of properties in the U.S.

Many of you have probably visited the site in the past, which features constantly refreshed and accurate listings, connections with data and tools, and easy access to the professionals at our company.
As a showcase partner on realtor.com:

  • Allen Tate listings are highlighted on the home search results page.
  • Allen Tate listings have no other branding on property details pages, ensuring that your potential buyers stay focused on the features of your home.
  • You and your Allen Tate agent have control over how your home appears, making sure only the best photos, accurate descriptions and virtual tours are seen by users.
  • Your home is exposed to a wide net of potential buyers, including people outside the Carolinas.
  • Interested buyers are connected to your Allen Tate Realtor® and our Client Relations Team.

You may have already used other websites to check the value of your home, but when it comes time to search for available properties, a recent RBC survey of 1,109 respondents revealed that most consumers turn to realtor.com. At Allen Tate, we believe a listing on realtor.com will accurately present the true market value of your home, instead of an estimate provided by a formula.

So check out the refreshed look and functionality of realtor.com. The new look is supported by a series of 15- and 30-second TV spots and longer-form web videos directed by Fred Savage and featuring Elizabeth Banks, the Emmy-nominated actress, producer and director.

Take a look at the video for more information.

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Phyllis Brookshire
President, Allen Tate Realtors®

Get Your Home Photo-Ready

22 Jun

iStock_000018174228_SmallToday, a buyer’s first view of your home is likely through online photos. And since you only have one chance to make a first impression, make sure your house looks its best.

De-clutter and tidy up. Too much of even good things can make your home look small and cramped. Pick up newspapers, magazines, toys, books, etc. and put them out of sight.

Front driveway: Clear the driveway. Keep garbage cans (inside and out) out of the camera lens. Close all garage doors.

In the kitchen: Remove all photos and magnets from the refrigerator. Make sure there are no dishes in the sinks. Clear off countertops except for a few well-placed items.

In the dining room: Set the table as if you were going to have a dinner party. Remove children’s high chairs and booster seats.

Family living areas: Hide electrical cords and cables. Open all curtains and blinds. Take down large family photos. Turn off the TV. Conceal remotes and any other items that clutter the space.

For the bedrooms: Make the room inviting with an attractively made bed. Remove everything from bedside tables except lamps. Pick up clothes and close dresser drawers and closet doors.

In the baths: Clean mirrors and take ALL personal items off countertops. Remove wastebaskets and toilet brushes. Make sure towels are hung neatly on racks. Replace old shower curtains. Put the toilet lid down.

Other tips before your home photo shoot:

  • Replace missing light bulbs throughout the house. Turn on all lights in every room.
  • Remove any valuable items such as jewelry, etc. and put in a safe place out of sight of the camera.
  • Touch up peeling paint on surfaces such as fences, sheds and trim.
  • Remove yard waste such as limbs, leaves or yard bags.
  • Mow your lawn, trim shrubbery, sweep and clear walkways, clear leaves from gutters.
  • Remove any pet bowls, bedding, toys etc. and secure pets in a safe place.
  • Clean pool (if applicable) and tidy pool area and furniture.

By: Susan Larkin (Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations)

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