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5 Holiday Home Improvements to Make Before Selling

Always have a game plan before putting your North Carolina home on the market; Flat Fee Realty offers five suggestions that will help boost curb appeal and possibly increase the selling price as we head through the Holiday Season.

Working with an experienced Flat Fee Realty agent in Lake Norman, Raleigh, the Triangle and Wilmington is a great way to get input on what improvements can be made. From suggestions about lawn care to how to stage furniture, our team is adept at preparing a home to sell.

5 home improvements to consider before listing your home for sale are:

  • Spruce up the landscape: Curb appeal with be the first attraction to catch a buyer’s eye. Make sure the mailbox is visible and not overgrown, replace faded or missing house numbers. Clean the yard of fall debris and add some color to the entrance way for great first impressions.
  • Replace or clean carpets: Unless the carpets are already new, they are likely holding lots of dirt and odor. A thorough clean or a fresh carpet throughout the house will revamp the entire space and impress potential buyers.
  • Small or partial renovations: Instead of investing in complete overhauls, consider taking on smaller projects such as replacing appliances in the kitchen or updating countertops in the bathrooms.
  • Fresh coat of paint: Many homes are bound to see scruffs and paint chips on the walls, so fresh layers of paint will do wonders to brighten up a space. Also, consider painting neutral colors (builder beige for example) over all existing walls to further appeal to buyers.
  • Update lights and plumbing fixtures: New faucets and sinks will dramatically change the feel of a space, so consider that for a simple project. Updating light fixtures is also a less intensive way to increase home value and buyer appeal.

For more insight regarding home improvements to increase home value, contact our agents at Flat Fee Realty today. We’re happy to help during each step of the listing, selling, and buying processes!

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This post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: Tim Hill, Pixabay

3 Big Differences with Flat Fee Realty NC Agents

It’s Thanksgiving! And Flat Fee Realty NC is expanding. We are grateful because we are growing not only in the Triangle NC, but in coastal Wilmington and Lake Norman as well. Regardless of where we have growing presence, we are committed to our buyers and sellers! It is important to share that many first time home buyers and sellers think that all real estate agents are about the same, with similar qualities and duties. Yet there is a difference between our FFR agents and others across the Tar Heel State. Our top goal is the client’s best interest.

Now, how do buyers and sellers in the Triangle find and choose the right agent? We only ask potential clients to do a little homework. Our real estate experts at Flat Fee Realty know just what to look for and we want to share the most important factors to consider when choosing an agent.

Flat Fee Realty NC agents offer three big differences in the North Carolina regions we serve:

  • Open Communication: Agents are required by law to have a client’s best interests in mind, and to put them first. Every agent who values open communication is sure to embrace this important principle; our team clearly and fully explains pricing, strategies, and market trends. Flat Fee Realty agents are always upfront with any hurdles or challenges that may arise. Also, since buyers and sellers will be working closely with our agents, it’s best to have an established relationship built on trust formed through open communication.
  • Key regions Flat Fee Realty NC covers: Buyers and sellers interested in residential real estate likely won’t find much value in an agent who does not know residential markets. The internet has also given our agents more access to larger territories, and we have the valuable knowledge of neighborhoods and popular areas that our potential clients want and need.
  • Quality references: Our team offers client testimonials and other references available for review. Buyers and sellers should take advantage of our references when possible because no one can attest to an agent’s quality as well as a previous client. Be sure to ask specific questions when conversing with references so they will provide adequate details.

It might take some patience, but the best real estate agent is in the Flat Fee Realty NC team. Call and meet us to ensure a great fit. Want more about us? Click Flat Fee Realty today!

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This real estate blog post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

 

4 Strategies from the FFR Playbook Before Buyers Say YES to the House!

Buying a new home is very exciting, especially in the Triangle, Lake Norman, and Wilmington. The North Carolina real estate market is growing and improving every day, creating a high percentage of happy homeowners. While this is an exciting time, saying “yes” to the house is a big decision. 

Flat Fee Realty knows that there is a proven process to finding the perfect home and that is how we help homebuyers across North Carolina.

Four facts from the Flat Fee Realty Playbook that are a must read before saying yes to the house:

  • Layout and design: Homes are unique. The potential homeowner has to decide on the style of home, whether it be a traditional single-family home, a townhouse or even a condo. Each home has a different style and everything should complement the owner’s wants and needs.
  • Cost: Buying a home is one of lifetime’s biggest financial decisions. It is vital to make sure that all monies are in order to buy a home; finances are essential to determine what the potential buyer can afford. Remember to include the expenses for furniture and any home improvements.
  • Neighborhood: The location of the home and choosing the right neighborhood are very important. The ideal location of the home depends on the owner’s specific needs (job, shopping, activities, schooling) It is good to have an idea of the ideal location and neighborhood to avoid any future regrets.
  • Flat Fee Realty NC: Every neighborhood and home has a unique quality.  Our team of agents are well-informed about the popular area and neighborhoods and know what homes are priced right and a great fit to the regions we serve. Our professionals are guides to potential homeowners and we can ease the stress of finding the perfect home.

 

Autumn is a great time to buy a home! If it feels like it is the right time to move, give us a call. Flat Rate Realty NC is the perfect guide for today’s market.

We are the future of real estate.

Contact the team at Flat Fee Realty today for more information.

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This post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte.

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

 

3 Reasons Why It Is the Right Time to Buy a Home in North Carolina

The timing for buying a home in Wilmington, Lake Norman, and Wilmington has never been better. Fall of 2017 is featuring a great market across our sales’ regions.  

Flat Fee Realty’s expert team of realtors have seen great real estate trends as we head to year-end. These trends lead the agents to believe that now is the time to buy!

Flat Fee Realty NC offers home seekers three reasons why a now is the time to buy a home before the end of 2017:  

  • Rising interest rates: It seems like mortgage rates are always rising. But, mortgage rates dropped quite a bit over the past 2 years which is now leading to a slight increase in mortgage rates. However, we can never predict where the rises will stop, so, it’s best to buy now.
  • Shrinking inventory of available homes: This is a problem across the United States, but it is tremendously more challenging in North Carolina. This is due to a growing economy and beautiful weather, and our schools and regional infrastructure. Our cities are ranked as top communities across the country. Families are coming here every single day, and our housing inventory is getting lower. There is quite a bit of new construction coming to help the problem in 2018, yet finding a home now with our help will get things settled for the new year.
  • Increasing home prices: It is the simple law of supply and demand. As the housing inventory in North Carolina lessens, the price of the remaining homes will slightly increase. Across the country, real estate experts are expecting a 2% to 3% price increase as we end 2017 and head into 2018.

There are many important reasons to purchase home this year. However, it may not be the right decision for everyone. If the time is right, contact our team at Flat Fee Realty and set up a time to ask any real estate question.  

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This post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: Deposit Photos, 1707662

3 Facts to Know About Open Houses in the Triangle, Lake Norman, and Wilmington

As newcomers move to North Carolina, people are often eager to find the home of their dreams as soon as possible. There are several excellent ways that home buyers can utilize to find their new home, including seeking out a Flat Fee Realty NC agent, browsing potential options with one of our team, and visiting open houses.

Some people may think that open house events are outdated since the internet provides virtual tours, galleries, and more to showcase the listed home. To a certain degree this is true, but there are still benefits to attending an open house, in person, and that cannot be replicated by the internet.

Flat Fee Realty offers three important facts about open houses in the Carolinas:  

  • Open houses have many purposes: For those who are new to navigating the real estate market, it may seem like the point of an open house is to sell the featured home. In many cases that is the end goal. However, it is important to note that open houses are great for traffic and opportunity. Home seekers can connect with people in the industry and get a feel for how they conduct business.
  • Neighbors are often good resources: In theory, an open house will attract serious buyers only, but that’s not always the case. There will always be neighbors and casual walk-throughs and others with no intent to purchase. However, they usually have a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the neighborhood, schools, community, shopping and more.
  • Reality Can’t Be Retouched: Since the internet is a viable resource for home buyers, people can get a view of the house without ever being on the property. This can be great news, especially for those moving from another area or if there is no time to shop in person. Note that internet photos can be carefully shot to hide flaws or to exaggerate space from a specific angle. The benefit of attending an open house is seeing the home in person, without the magic of photoshop or filters to adjust its image.

Open houses are still useful in the real estate market today, especially for home buyers in the Triangle area who are looking to connect with the best of the best in the industry. Contact us at Flat Fee Realty to inquire about local open house events and to meet with our friendly and knowledgeable agents! Terry McDonald and his team in the Triangle, Lake Norman, and Wilmington are ready to help today!

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This post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo:FlatFee Realty NC Wilmington, Lake Norman, Triangle 

3 Simple Home Improvements that Increase North Carolina Home Values

As the Carolinas head to Labor Day and the start of back to school, it is a great time of year for Lake Norman, the Triangle and Wilmington. it is beginning to cool down but it is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors. September is also a great time for real estate as many local families begin considering a move to a new home. Many homeowners begin the process by considering home improvements that will attract just the right buyer.

At Flat Fee Realty, headquartered in the Triangle, we suggest keeping things simple while at the same time staying within the family budget. Many of homeowners can make a few quick changes to their home to improve the offer price.

Flat Fee Realty NC offers three simple yet effective home improvements that really positively impact the price of a home in our collective markets:  

  • Update the décor: If a room feels outdated to the homeowner, it will most likely feel that way to a potential home buyer. A home needing updates is a big reason not to buy for many house seekers. Again, keep things simple. Replace older rugs and window coverings. Paint rooms in a neutral color. Change out fixtures and add new knobs to kitchen cabinets. Determine if the flooring needs to be updated. Add some light throw pillows or wall decorations. Spending a little often brings a lot of return.
  • Clean and organize: Many North Carolina homeowners have lived in their home for a long time. There is a good chance that there will be clutter and a little disorganization. Toss unnecessary items, give away what is not needed, and store as much as possible to give the home a warm and organized feel. Decluttering is one of the main priorities. Clutter is the number one reason buyers choose another home.  
  • Improve curb appeal: This is typically one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects and a great one for fall. Does the lawn have brown spots? Work on seeding over those sections. Add fresh plants and flowers to the flower beds. Trim the bushes. Edge the lawn and have the driveway power washed. If needed, add a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of the home. There are quite a few simple upgrades for the exterior of the home, including putting fresh paint and handles on the front door, that will help home buyers feel right at home when they first pull up.

These are all really easy, cost effective projects that will help any home sell faster and get a better asking price. Looking for a first home, maybe a bigger one for the family? Call our offices in Lake Norman, Wilmington and in the Triangle to chat about the process of selling and buying a new home this fall.  Contact the Flat Fee Realty team to get started today!

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This post on selling and buying a home in Wilmington, Lake Norman, and the Triangle of North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Please note our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: Flat Fee Realty NC

3 Important Misconceptions about Flat Fee Realtors

Selling or buying a home is a time-consuming process. And involving a good experienced realtor can make the difference. Most buyers and sellers have plenty to do beyond the sale and finding the right team to work with is critical. Flat Fee Realty in the Triangle, Wilmington, and Lake Norman is a valuable partner for many homeowners and home seekers in the Tar Heel State. While the Flat Fee opportunity might be considered a little unconventional, it is a safe, cost effective, and simple way to sell a home in North Carolina.

Our professional team of local agents present three misconceptions about flat fee listings and how we market and sell homes:

  • Buyer’s agents won’t show our homes: Most flat fee listings do in fact offer commission to the buyer’s agent. The amount of commission to be gained from a sale should have no effect on what houses an agent shows to clients. The buyer’s representation agreement or the offer to purchase will typically include how commission is paid to the partnering agent.
  • Flat Fee Realty is almost the same as a (FSBO) For Sale by Owner: When a house is being sold by the owner, every aspect of the process is up to the owner/seller: marketing, pricing, closing, negotiations, and legalities. Flat Fee Realty manages many of these services on behalf of the client.
  • MLS is Crucial: Real estate has changed with the evolution of technology. While a multiple listing service (MLS) is important and still used, it is not the only tool that Flat Fee Realty Agents use. In many cases, it still can be the first place that our agents go to look for reviewing homes for clients. However, sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Zillow, Trulia, and more are also assessed and used to showcase homes.

Our local Flat Fee Realty listings offer great benefits, including great money savings, to both home buyers and home sellers. If readying a home for sale in North Carolina, it is important to consider a flat fee listing. Please contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you! At Flat Fee Realty, we offer everything that a seller would need and we do it with our clients in mind. We are the Future of Rael Estate in the Triangle, Wilmington and Lake Norman.

Yes! The home in the picture is for sale in Cary!

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This post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

 

3 Important Financial Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in North Carolina

Rent and lease prices are on the rise across the nation, and it is the leading cause for the increase in first-time home buyers here in the Triangle and across the United States. According to Zillow’s 2016 Consumer Housing Trends report, 50% of buyers are under age 36, and 47% of them are buying for the first time. This means there are an array of buyers in the market who need guidance from the local area experts, Flat Fee Realty NC.

Everyone knows that one of the biggest factors associated with buying a home is money. Buying a first home can be expensive, risky, and it can leave North Carolina homebuyers wondering if they’re making the right decision. Luckily, homebuyers in Wilmington, the Triangle, and Lake Norman have the expertise of Flat Fee Realty’s knowledgeable team of agents that are willing and ready to help buyers plan their financial investment in the right way.

Flat Fee Realty shares three important financial tips that are most important to first-time home buyers in North Carolina:  

  • Assessing geographic considerations: It’s all about location, right? Without proper planning, buyers may find their closing costs will skyrocket due to the applicable taxes in a specific area. The rates can vary across street names, so it’s best for buyers to be aware of the rates in their target locations and plan for them.
  • Avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Most mortgage lenders prefer a 20% down payment on a new home. If buyers offer something less, they are likely forced into other fees instituted to protect the lender; this situation can include private mortgage insurance (PMI). A full down payment will help to reduce interest rates on the loan overall and avoid the extra monthly fee associated with PMI.
  • Making sound financial decisions: No one can truly predict the future, and there may be potential financial benefits ahead for a first-time home buyer that might convince them to shop out of their budgeted price range. However, anything can happen, and it’s best to not count on money that might not be there in the future. First-time buyers should be realistic about what they can afford need to stay within predetermined means.

Buying a home for the first time is a huge investment; and Triangle, Lake Norman, and Wilmington buyers deserve a local dedicated team on their side. Our agents at Flat Fee Realty can help first-time buyers plan their finances and make sure nothing comes as a surprise. Contact us today to see how we can help!

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This post on selling and buying a home in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Look for our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

 Photo: pixabay

3 Important Impacts of Rising Mortgage Rates in North Carolina

There are a number of housing trends in the Triangle, Lake Norman and Wilmington markets to track in 2017. One major factor is the mortgage rate, which will continue to have an impact on the housing market overall across the entire state.

Luckily, our homeowners and buyers in our three markets have a dedicated team of professionals working hard to stay on top of mortgage rates and more. Our experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty are transparent about the potential impacts the rising mortgage rates will have, and we’re dedicated to ensuring that home buyers and sellers are knowledgeable of the market shifts.

Flat Fee Realty offers three important impacts that rising mortgage rates will have on the North Carolina real estate market:  

  • Mortgage affordability: Buyers have been able to secure historically low rates for the past few years, but since the national election in November, the rates have increased and we may see more increases throughout 2017. Since income hasn’t increased in tandem, this leaves homeowners making slightly higher monthly payments than they did last summer.
  • Lower inventory: Since current homeowners have lower fixed rates, it could be less appealing to sell a home and refinance or take on a new mortgage. This will potentially lead to fewer houses listed on the market, which will in turn make home buying a little more challenging. Working with a Flat Fee Realty NC agent is very beneficial for buyers who need guidance and access to more properties that could otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Housing appreciation. According to Zillow, home values did increase by 6.8% in 2016, and they’re projected to rise 4.6% in 2017. So, with increased home value, buyers will be faced with borrowing a little more and at slightly higher rates. Again, our agents will help navigate the shifting market and give homeowners and potential buyers peace of mind in 2017.

Although things may look uncertain for the Carolina housing market this year, there’s no need to worry if our Triangle, Lake Norman and Wilmington residents are working with our local teams at Flat Fee Realty. Despite the increases, we’ll be here to guide our homeowners and buyers throughout the process, ensuring they are aware of all current market trends. Contact our regional office in Morrisville NC today to see how we can help find an affordable home at the right price.  

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Photo: Flat Fee Realty NC

This real estate blog post on mortgage rates and home buying and selling in North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC, and is intended for informational purposes only.

Check out our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721 

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com


 

 

 

3 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Home Marketability Across North Carolina


Since so many Triangle, Charlotte, and Wilmington residents have social media accounts through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, home sellers are able to utilize those platforms to keep home buyers informed and interested in listed properties. Our real estate professionals at Flat Fee Realty recommend using social media to help in to help in the home selling process.

3 ways Flat Fee Realty uses social media to boost the visibility of North Carolina homes:  

  • Create and share websites: Serious sellers looking to increase their home’s online presence know that creating easy-to-navigate websites is important. A website can include information on the property, pictures, and even virtual tours to entice buyers to schedule a visit. The links to the website are easily shareable to social media platforms, making them ideal for sellers and buyers to interact.
  • Use personal networks: The great thing about social media is that everyone already has an established network of contacts at their fingertips. Friends and family are generally eager to help when one of their connections expresses a need. They’re able to share postings to spread the word, or they might even have advice for success during the online selling process!
  • Be careful of spamming: Social media users also have control of their news feeds, and they’re able to hide and delete repetitive or “nuisance” posts. Be sure to use the power of posting in a reasonable manner when sharing details of a home for sale. Try to keep posts informative and new, so don’t re-post the same thing several times a day.

There are many other important ways to use social media for selling a home in across North Carolina. Our experts at Flat Fee Realty are knowledgeable and have insight into how the platforms can be used to their full potential. Contact our real estate agents today to see how their guidance and the use of social media can help sell a home!

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This post on using social media for selling and buying a home in Lake Norman, Charlotte, Wilmington and the Triangle of North Carolina is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty LLC and is intended for informational purposes only.

Check out our new locations in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman/ Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721 

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: tumisu, pixabay