Buyers Are Moving to the Carolinas

27 Mar

If you plan to list your home for sale this year, there’s a 17 percent chance that it will be sold to someone from outside the region – or maybe even outside the country.Market Update for Carolinas

In the Carolinas, we’re fortunate to have companies relocating and expanding in our markets. And that means new residents, from across the country and in some cases, from around the world.

This is a great time to reach buyers moving here from other places if you’re looking to sell. But you must expose your home locally, regionally, nationally and internationally – to reach the widest range of possible buyers.

In the March-April edition of Carolinas Market Update, I talk about the importance of connectivity.

Last month, I took the helm as chairman of the board of directors of our network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. LeadingRE represents more than 500 market-leading independent real estate firms, with 3,500 offices and 120,000 sales associates in 52 countries.

Allen Tate was a founding member of LeadingRE, and its importance continues to grow. Through LeadingRE network referrals, Allen Tate can help clients move to – or from – just about anywhere in the world.

One of the comments we often hear in this business is “I want to list my home with XYZ Company because they are a national real estate company.”

That’s simply not true. Consumers see “national’ advertising for a franchise brand and believe they have a national presence. But because each franchise is independently owned and operated, the offices are connected in brand-name only and have no other network or referral affiliation. A network like LeadingRE is designed specifically to facilitate referrals between independent companies – and that’s a big advantage for anyone not moving locally.

Of course, 83 percent of Carolina homebuyers are local – with many moving less than 10 miles from their current home. I’d like to believe that once people move here, they are ready to stay. And we’re glad that they do.

As an independent real estate company with local offices serving four regions in North and South Carolina, Allen Tate offers local and regional expertise, as well as national and international exposure that gives buyers and sellers an advantage.

Whether your next move takes you to a larger home in a nearby neighborhood; a smaller home closer to the city; or thousands of miles away for the right job (or mate), Allen Tate can help you achieve your real estate goals.

Pat Riley

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

Selling a Fixer-Upper? Make it GREAT

25 Mar ThinkstockPhotos-134139785

If you’re getting ready to sell your house, and the phrases “Handyman’s special” or “Lots of potential” come to mind, don’t despair. Many buyers like the idea of getting a home at a fair price and the opportunity to make it their own.

Just remember, as you put your fixer-upper on the market, you’ll need to make it G-R-E-A-T:

  • G: Good price; good value. If your home needs extensive renovations, don’t expect it to sell at the same price as a turnkey house. A good price will draw bargain hunters, yes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great features that will attract other types of buyers. Show the value of the property and what makes it special – from the good bones and layout, to the spacious yard and convenient location. A good value will sell itself.
  • R: Resale or rental value. Certainly the notion of purchasing a fixer-upper and flipping it for a profit has an appeal for certain buyers. Investment buyers are generally looking for a home they can put a little into for a large return over time.
  • E: Exposure. The goal when marketing your fixer-upper is to get as much exposure as possible. Maximizing your exposure in the housing market will put your home in front of the greatest number and types of potential buyers.
  • A: Ask the right Realtor® to sell your house. Ask, for example, about the success rate in selling other fixer-uppers before you make your decision. Find the agent who works best for your situation.
  • T: Tell the truth. Describing your home as “cozy” may draw homebuyers to an open house, but it’s unlikely that they’ll buy a fixer-upper if that’s not what they expect. Instead, just tell the truth. Describing it as a “fixer-upper” will ensure that the potential buyers coming to see your house know what to expect. Clean and stage your fixer-upper to show your home is worth buying.

If you follow the GREAT principle to find a buyer for your fixer-upper, you’ll get it sold and get moving in no time. For more tips on selling a fixer-upper, talk to an Allen Tate Realtor.

Tony Jarrett
Regional Vice President, Triad

Get Ahead on Your Offer

23 Mar unnamed

The “spring” real estate market has certainly started early this year, and we’re seeing lots of buyer activity. And with tight inventories in some markets, we are also seeing a resurgence of multiple offers.

So what can you do, as a buyer, to make your offer stand out?

The answer, indisputably, is pre-approval. This requires you as the buyer to gather all required documentation upfront and complete a full application – as you would if you had already found a property.

Pre-approval is particularly important if you are a first-time homebuyer – and that’s 33 percent of today’s buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors 2014 Survey of Buyers and Sellers.  But the paperwork required to get a mortgage is a turn-off for 27 percent of first-time buyers. Why not get a jump on this step – and gain a competitive advantage when making an offer to purchase?

At Allen Tate Mortgage, our pre-approval process includes a review of your completed application and all documentation by our underwriter, who is the decision maker on mortgage loan approval. When you are pre-approved through this process, the only typical requirements when you find a home to purchase is a fully executed contract of sale and acceptable appraisal. The pre-approval is good for 90 days, which gives you ample time to shop for your dream home and make a competitive offer.

Note: A pre-approval is different than a pre-qualification, which is typically an application and a review of your credit reports by a loan officer. While pre-qualification is a great starting point and gives you an idea of how much home you can afford, a pre-approval puts you in a much stronger position to make an acceptable and desirable offer.

For more information about pre-approval, talk to an Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant.

green_lisa_blog_pic

Lisa Green (Vice President of Loan Origination)

Allen Tate Mortgage NMLS# 79543

Loans available in NC/SC

*Some restrictions apply and all loans are subject to final approval

 

 

Spring in the Carolinas

20 Mar SpringFlowersSprouting

Yes, it’s official: Today, spring has sprung in the Carolinas.

Daffodils dominate the landscape, with accents of hyacinths, tulips and crocus. Budding trees tickle our noses and blooming shrubs throw flashes of color everywhere you look.

But regardless of what the calendar says, when can really expect spring to arrive?

To make it a little easier, we’ve put together these spring facts to consider before digging that flowerbed, or planning a spring wedding or outdoor party.

When it gets warm for real.

In general, for the Charlotte, Triad, Triangle and Upstate South Carolina areas, you can expect the last frost date to occur around April 1-11.

Sometimes winter stays a little longer. From March to May 2013, North Carolina experienced its seventh coldest spring and South Carolina its fourth.

And statistically, our area averages about 1-2 inches of snowfall in March. So respect those “last freeze” dates!

Storms can happen.

On average, during March, April and May, North Carolina will experience 12 tornadoes and South Carolina 11. Nearly one-third (28 percent) of tornadoes that hit in our area occur at night, so be prepared and have a plan.

Remember, a “watch” means conditions are favorable for the weather event. A “warning” means the weather event is in progress and take necessary action.

Jackets in the evening, shorts in the day. And bring an umbrella.

As could be expected, temperatures fluctuate during the spring and precipitation is a bit unpredictable.

Average highs for spring in our entire area are around 72 degrees F with lows around 51 degrees F.

Average rainfall in the spring is about 4.24 inches and the spring months are comfortable at 64 percent humidity.

Get outside!

Most years, spring comes in early April to the Carolinas and lingers until around Memorial Day when summer heat starts to take over. Enjoy the sweet days of spring and make the most of what some would say is the best of our four-season weather.

phyllis_brookshire2
Phyllis Brookshire
President, Allen Tate Realtors®

Homeowners Insurance vs. Home Warranty

18 Mar leakyPlumbing

There are many decisions that present themselves when you buy a home. Two of these – home insurance and a home warranty – sound similar, but are very different when it comes to coverage, cost, conditions and terms. And while you are required to purchase home insurance if you have a mortgage, a home warranty is optional.

Your homeowners insurance policy, which must be in place prior to closing, will cover your dwelling, personal belongings, theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, and hail. Your liability coverage will also protect you if someone gets hurt while in your property and they decide to sue you.  You also have coverage to cover medical expenses if someone is injured as part of a covered loss, as well as an allowance for living space if you are unable to live in your home because of a loss.

Many homeowners also elect to purchase additional riders to enhance the coverage allowed in the policy, or add additional riders for items not covered.  These items could include boats, jewelry, guns, collectibles and fine arts.  However, repairs and replacements of items due to wear-and-tear are not covered under your homeowners’ policy.

A home warranty is an optional coverage to provide an extra level of protection for household systems and appliances. Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan.  Typical items covered by a home warranty include your electrical system, water heater, plumbing system, clothes washer and dryer, garage door opener, and kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal and built-in trash compactor. The warranty company will pay for the items covered, not the damage incurred.  Example: Your washing machine leaked, causing damage to the floor. Faucets are covered and replaced, but the floor repair is not covered.

A standard home warranty runs from $400 to $800 annually. The cost of homeowners insurance will vary by state and is based on your dwelling amount, deductible and claim history.  Keep in mind that home warranties are transferable, but homeowners’ policies are not.

Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed or confused when reviewing homeowners insurance and home warranty options. Talk to your Allen Tate Insurance agent to make sure you understand what’s covered.

Robin Price
Vice President of Sales
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