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Flat Fee Realty Knows Money Matters: 4 Top Financial Tips for Homebuyers in The Triangle

FFR- 401K2913- FoterFor many people here in the Triangle, purchasing a home is one of life’s largest financial transactions. For this reason, it literally pays to consider all of the possible risks and rewards, and to plot a careful and deliberate course of action.

Following these four tips from Flat Fee Realty will help Triangle-area homebuyers keep financial goals in focus:

  • Be ready to put down roots: When investing in a home, a good rule of thumb is to plan to stay for at least four years. With all the transaction costs involved (obvious and otherwise) there’s a decent chance money would be lost if an earlier move was necessary. Even if the home does manage to appreciate in a short time, paying a capital gains taxwill likely be required if less than two years have passed.
  • Consider the resale value: Look for a home that works for a wide of buyers in terms of size, layout, and location (typically the top selling factor). Choose an area with quality schools (even if there’s not kids in the picture) and within a reasonable proximity to main roads, shopping centers, and cultural amenities. Know what is important to buyers in the local real estate market.
  • Lay the groundwork: Obtain a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Review them carefully because errors are not uncommon. Resolve any issues with the reporting agency, and start a few months in advance of a mortgage application (these agencies tend to move slowly). In the meantime, continue to make on-time payments and keep all debt to credit ratios below 30%.
  • Get professional help: Exclusive buyer’s agents (like those at Flat Fee Realty) represent only the buyer’s best interests during the transaction. Thanks to the Internet, homebuyers have access to an unprecedented (and often overwhelming) amount of data and tools. However, the real estate market is actually hyper-local, and a well-versed Flat Fee Realty agent can most effectively interpret the myriad of information.

While no one can guarantee an absolutely seamless transaction, the dedicated agents at, Flat Fee Realtycan help both new and experienced buyers make financially sound decisions. If you are looking to make a move, give us a call!

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

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo credit: 401(K) 2013 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

5 Top “Super Secret” Home Buying Tips in the Triangle

FFR  Pic 1 august 14When it comes to purchasing real estate in the Triangle, there are a few truths even the most inexperienced home buyers in Raleigh-Durham know. Making location a top priority and cleaning up credit reports are on the list, but first-time buyers need to be savvier than ever before.

The following five “under the radar” tips are brought to you by Flat Fee Realty and are guaranteed to give buyers an edge as they look for a new home:

  • Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified: Pre-qualification is useful in terms of figuring out how much home is affordable, but that’s about it, because none of the financial information has actually been verified. Being pre-approved means obtaining a written (albeit conditional) commitment from a lender after a more extensive review process. This carries much more weight during negotiations with a seller, and leaves less to chance during the closing process.
  • Don’t always buy the best you can afford: Conventional wisdom says to buy the best quality items that are affordable. But in the case of real estate, leaving a bit more leeway is smart (consider the effects of a job loss or having a child, for instance). Still have money left over? Use it to build equity or make improvements to enhance your home’s value.
  • Learn to separate needs from wants: Everyone wants a stylish, move-in ready house that meets all 35 items on their wish list. But even with an unlimited budget, that’s probably impossible. Instead, think in terms of what can be changed and what can’t. Updated finishes can always be added—not true for a backyard or a great school system.
  • Don’t obsess over the housing market: Whether it’s the buyers or the sellers that are on top this year, if a buyer is financially able and needs or wants to buy, then it is the right time. Looking for a bargain in the Triangle? Motivated sellers and solid deals exist in any market, and our professionals can help you make the most of those hard earned dollars.
  • Work with Flat Fee Realty: Ok, so this isn’t exactly unheard of, but the most important thing for a homebuyer to do is to work with the best. It is free of charge, and gets buyers a personal shopper, expert negotiator, and legal and financial assistance. Take advantage of this opportunity and call Flat Fee Realty today!

Finding a good real estate partner, when looking for a new home, makes for less stress and less hassle during a time of both opportunity and challenge. We can manage the process and work in your behalf. Buying a house is an exciting time. Have fun and enjoy the experience.

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

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 

 

4 Facts to Consider Before Selling a Home in the Triangle “By Owner”

scott chan fdpAll home sellers across Raleigh and the Triangle want to receive top dollar for their homes and sell them as quickly as possible. Only a small percentage of home owners decide to take the adventurous route and attempt to sell a house themselves. Is For Sale by Owner (FSBO) a good idea?

Here are four important facts that Flat Fee Realty believes Triangle home sellers should consider before taking the plunge and putting up that sign:

  • FSBO listings are a significant source of sales leads for agents: Home owners should expect to be contacted regularly with sales pitches. Many agents will provide FSBO’s with free market analyses and sales comps in the hopes that if or when selling by owner becomes tiresome, the seller will be calling them. In the meantime, take advantage of all the free tools and figure out which agents are honest and forthright, and who will work for you.
  • Selling as a FSBO is not free: Most FSBO’s decide to sell using this method to avoid paying a huge commission that can run up to seven percent of the home’s sale price. While that’s definitely an incentive to consider, selling as a FSBO isn’t completely cost-free. Homeowners must pay out of pocket for promotional signage, advertising, flyers, newspaper ads, websites, rack cards, and more. Many FSBO’s opt to offer an incentive or commission as well (usually around 2.5%) to the buyer’s agents to ensure their home gets shown.
  • Listing a home is almost a second job: It’s a big mistake to think that once a “for sale” sign is planted in the front yard, it’s time to sit back and wait for buyers to come knocking on the door. Selling a home requires a significant marketing push, receiving calls at odd hours, answering inquiries, making appointments, showing the home during the day or early evening, and hosting open houses every weekend.
  • The devil is in the details: Chances are that an agent will represent the prospective buyer. Experienced or not, it’s likely that the agent will be aware and ready to negotiate around subtle but key aspects of the sales contract. Consulting with a real estate attorney can keep FSBO’s competitive; but again, expect to pay high legal fees for the service.

Owners will often forego the expertise of a traditional real estate agent in hopes of saving money. There’s nothing wrong with that if a seller is willing to put in the time, effort, patience, and consistency to be successful.

Consider the above information we have presented as a public service and know that Flat Fee Realty truly is the best answer for a cost effective and smooth sale. Consider the enormous advantages of our marketing package.

Give us a call today to find out how Flat Fee Realty can partner with home owners who believe in value for both the move and the successful sale in the Triangle.

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This post on selling a home in the Triangle is brought to you by the team at Flat Fee Realty and is intended as a service for informational purposes only.

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: Scott Chan, freedigitalphotos.net

 

10 Tips for a Fast And Flawless Flat Fee Real Estate Closing

Flat Fee June 7 PictureConcessions have been negotiated, an offer was accepted, and the closing date is fast approaching. While it may seem like smooth sailing once the home has been inspected and appraised, the time prior to closing can be fraught with potential landmines.

These ten tips from Flat Fee Realty will help Triangle buyers and sellers come to the closing table with confidence:

  • While it is typical in North Carolina for sellers to take most appliances, be sure to leave behind any appliances that were included as part of the sale.
  • Do not remove any items that are permanently attached to the home, such as window blinds, curtain rods, ceiling fans, or light fixtures.
  • Make sure that all agreed-upon repairs or improvements are completed prior to the final walkthrough with the buyers.
  • Many closings are conducted with buyers and sellers present. If either party is travelling long-distance to the closing, confirm travel arrangements and allow adequate time for travel delays.
  • Don’t forget the keys and the garage door openers! Buyers will expect a key to the home, but also remember any other keys and remotes.
  • Buyers should provide their lender with all requested documentationas soon as possible. In these days of due diligence, lenders often double and triple check financial information, so don’t take additional requests personally.
  • Be upfront about any upcoming life changes such as maternity, sick, or family leave. These can raise red flags if left for the lender to discover on their own.
  • Refrain from applying for or opening any new credit cards or loans. Do not excessively use existing credit cards, or co-sign loans for others.
  • Avoid moving money around more than absolutely necessary. Transferring funds between accounts, changing banks, or rolling over a 401K can all lead to last minute delays.
  • If a large financial transaction is unavoidable (such as purchasing a car to get to work), inform the lender in advance so they can properly notate the loan file.

A delay or cancellation of closing is frustrating for everyone involved, but most delays are caused by minute issues that are well within the control of buyers and sellers. Whether you are taking on the sale of a home as a FSBO or are a first time buyer looking for expert guidance, Flat Fee Realty can help. Give us a call to find out how!

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

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: MarkMoz12 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

6 Tips for Selling Homes in the Triangle

stagingSummer is here in Central Carolina and the Triangle real estate market is booming! Warm, sunny weather and long hours of daylight have potential buyers on the hunt for their next home. It is the perfect time of year and the height of selling season. Now, what can the seller do to turn lookers into buyers?

These six selling tips offered from Flat Fee Realty will help get any home ready for showings, offers, and most importantly, a sale:

  • Roll out the red carpet (or maybe just a welcome mat): All joking aside, a little curb appeal goes a long way. Purchase a new, clean doormat, and add some colorful, potted flowers for the porch area or near the front door.
  • Neutralize it: Paint the interior in a sophisticated, basic shade. Provide a blank slate using gender-neutral beiges or grays to help buyers envision themselves in the home. Fresh paint smell is a very positive bonus for people wanting a “turn-key” house.
  • Focus on the three “De’s”: De-clutter, depersonalize, and detail clean. Clear all the counter and tabletops. Pack up pictures and knickknacks, and keep everything spic and span.
  • Follow the 30% rule. Closets and storage space are big selling points, especially in areas like the Triangle (where basements are rare). Aim for 30% empty space in these areas to accentuates their spaciousness.
  • Reduce and rearrange: Remove a few non-essential pieces of furniture to open up the rooms. Take what is left on the walls and arrange everything in a way that highlights the flow of each room.
  • Consider a pre-listing inspection: Every house has local competition. The house has to stand out over the rest. An inspection will alert the homeowner to any potential issues in advance (rather than waiting for them to pop up in the buyer’s inspection). Leave a copy on display at showings as an additional selling point.

Selling your home (not to mention finding a new one) can be an emotional and logistical rollercoaster. Whether homeowners take on the challenge as an FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) or are looking for a highly qualified, full service agent; Flat Fee Realty can help. To find out how, give us a call!

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

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: coco+Kelley/Foter/Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

 

2 Ways Flat Fee Realty in the Triangle Saves Homeowners Money

Flat Fee RealtyIndividuals and families in the Triangle move for any number of important reasons. Among the options they consider is the possibility of selling by owner. If you tell this to “big name” real estate agents, they will tell you that it is a bad idea.

It’s true that selling a home can be stressful, tedious, and often full of surprises and pitfalls. It is probably for those reasons alone that most sellers do not consider the For Sale by Owner process. They think it will be even more headaches.

Many people who want to sell their home on their own do it or one important reason. It can save money. Specifically, most people do not want to pay a large commission to a real estate agent (usually 5-7% of the sale price) for services they might not need or believe they can handle themselves.

Flat Fee Realty in the Triangle can actually reduce those large realtor costs and support the sale of a home in a variety of ways. As the Future of Real Estate here in North Carolina, our company provides everything you need and nothing you don’t, without the hidden costs or fees.

At Flat Fee Realty our strategies are different from the traditional brokers and national chains.

Here are two ways we help sellers keep a bigger portion of their property’s assets:

  • We streamline the sales process by focusing on the most essential services—only those proven to positively affect the home value and how quickly it sells. This allows us to provide our services at an amazingly reasonable rate (customized plans start at just $795).
  • Our packages are customized for sellers with a wide variety of needs. Our Flat Fee Marketing Plan works best for more experienced sellers who simply need access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the Centralized Showing Service (CSS). Our Flat Fee Plus plan provides full service representation and is perfect for sellers who want comprehensive guidance throughout the entire sales process.

With over 40 years of combined experience in the real estate industry, we’re ready to help you accomplish your goal of buying or selling a home. Curious about how we work? Give us a call today!

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

The Future of Real Estate!
Flat Fee Realty
919 342 5230
Contact us
Terry@FlatFeeNC.com