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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

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The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

Triangle: 919 342 5230 

Lake Norman: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

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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

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3 Reasons Home Closings Can Be Delayed in the Triangle

Buying a home is a major milestone for Triangle residents. However, the lengthy process of viewing listed properties, making offers, and utilizing due diligence periods is usually worth the time and effort, especially when the closing date is in sight.

There are times when the process does not go as planned and home buyers in the Raleigh, and the rest of the Triangle find stumbling blocks as they head to closing. Our expert real estate agents at Flat Fee Realty have seen last-minute surprises that that can hamper the process, but the collective expertise and guidance of each agent has worked through the setbacks.

Flat Fee Realty offers three common problems that home buyers may encounter during the closing process and how to manage them:  

  • Home appraisal issues: Transactions for buyers and sellers always include a bank appraisal of the property –they’re imperative for buyers acquiring a mortgage. The bank’s appraisal may differ from the seller’s original listing price, often due to repairs the bank requires before the loan process. The closing may be delayed if this issue arises, and having the guidance of an experience Flat Fee Realty agent can prevent this from being a surprise at the last minute.
  • Title problems: Knowledgeable and practiced agents are an asset for buyers in this regard. We are able to ensure that the buyers are acquiring a clean title and that it will not impact future financing or sales of the property; we research the title to ensure the buyers are not buying a property with liens against it.
  • Additional documentation: Mortgage lenders are scrupulous in their reviews of buyer funds. A simple pre-approval may cause buyers to assume everything is fine, and they could be, but there are numerous documents that are required to finalize the lending process. Often, lenders will look more deeply into credit and bank statements even days before closing. The request for additional documents, such as explanations for recent deposits, may delay the process. Our Flat Fee agents can help ensure buyers are prepared with all documentation that will be needed to avoid confusion and miscommunication.  

Buying a home needs to be a joyous occasion for Triangle buyers, even if it can be somewhat of a headache. There’s no need to worry about any of the hurdles of buying and closing on a home with a friendly and trustworthy agent from Flat Fee Realty assisting with the process. For the best service in Triangle real estate, contact us 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 coming soon in Wilmington and Lake Norman/ Charlotte

Find us on Instagram!

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty North Carolina

Raleigh and the Triangle: 919 342 5230

Lake Norman and Charlotte: 704 659 3560

Wilmington: 910 225 7721

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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The Important Difference Between Buying and Selling Agents in the Triangle


The very hot Triangle real estate market is buzzing with spring activity; potential sellers and buyers have many questions as to how the process works. Flat Fee Realty has the buyer’s and seller’s agents that can help owners and buyers have a great experience.

Now, what is the difference between the buyer and seller agents. Regardless of the situation, our team at Flat Fee Realty believes that Triangle sellers and buyers in the Raleigh, Cary, Apex and the entire region will benefit from having an experienced and local agent by their side.

The two key roles that buyer’s and seller’s agents play during the real estate process are extremely important:

  • Seller’s Agent: The seller’s agents are also known as listing agents, and they will represent the seller throughout the selling process. They will strive to get the best deals for the seller, and they will often make suggestions during the selling process for making the home look its best. This process can include the staging for photographs, updates to the home to make it more desirable to buyers in the market, and other related strategies. Seller’s agents are also legally required to disclose important information about potential buyers, to minimize last minute surprises.
  • Buyer’s Agent: Buying a home in the Triangle is a milestone for many people in their lives, and it’s typically the first major financial decision they will make. Buyer’s agents protect buyers, and help them understand the often-complicated terminology used in contracts. This guidance helps them to more easily navigate the local housing market. Our Flat Fee Realty agents will help buyers get the best price for the home and point out any issues that need to be addressed during inspections and appraisals.

Buyer and seller agents are integral to the home buying process in the Triangle area. Our agents at Flat Fee Realty are eager to help each party have the best experience and save the most money. Contact us today to see how we can help you buy or sell your home!

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This important real estate blog 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

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Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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3 Areas of Focus to Assess Before Building a Triangle Home

Buyers in the Triangle market are eager to make a new home purchase so they can settle down and enjoy everything the local communities have to offer! But some buyers may not be finding the ‘perfect’ fit in the homes listed in the Apex, Holly Springs, and Fuquay Varina areas. Luckily, buyers have many options when it comes to purchasing a new home, and they can choose to work with builders to construct the home of their dreams.

Choosing to construct a new home affords buyers many options when it comes to design, but it also presents a few challenges. What exactly should buyers consider when they’ve made the choice to build a new home?

Flat Fee Realty recommends doing due diligence and serious homework to make sure building is the best way to go:  

  • Choose the Right Community. Buyers can always choose upgrades and redesign the plans as their new home is being built, but they can’t change the location. Take the time to do thorough research on the communities and neighborhoods so that there are no surprises once ground is broken. Also, make sure the available lots don’t have hidden faults like poor drainage or awkward underground piping that could hinder future development.
  • Research Builders. Like Flat Fee Realty, local builders are also licensed by the state and have open records concerning complaints and legal action against them. Almost every builder is reputable and does exceptional work. Yet, at times, there are those who aren’t 100% client-focused. Always check reviews and make sure the builder shares both needs and wants.
  • Have the Home Inspected. Just because the home is brand new doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Before closing, have the home inspected to make sure any potential problems are addressed before the builder’s warranty expires. This will prevent future problems and dissatisfaction down the line.

Buying an existing home with the help and support of Flat Fee Realty is an important consideration for new home buyers as well. Choosing to work with Flat Fee Realty agents can save buyers time and money, not to mention the quality care and service we specialize in providing each and every transaction. Please call us about potential neighborhoods and communities in the Triangle area.

Contact us today! 

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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

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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4 Important Improvements for Sellers to Increase Home Value

It’s almost May and a great time for Triangle homeowners to prepare to sell with Flat Fee Realty. The 2017 real estate market will be booming with activity in our local region as new residents steadily come to our quickly growing part of the Southeast.  

While this influx of potential buyers continually comes in, many sellers will want to ensure their homes are in their best shape, with many attractive features to appeal to an array of buyers. Luckily, this process doesn’t have to be a time consuming, or confusing ordeal for homeowners. There are several simple recommendations to help boost the value of Triangle homes before listing them!

Our experts offer four important common home improvements that Flat Fee Realty recommends for home sellers looking to increase their home’s value:  

  • Improve curb appeal: A home’s lawn and external grounds are the first thing a home buyer will see. Making minor improvements to the home’s landscaping can have a big impact on whether buyers will want to stop and take a tour. Sellers should make sure their lawns are in good shape by keeping it tidy, so trim the hedges and keep the grass cut to give the home a good first impression.
  • Update original fixtures: Many homes may still have the original builder’s fixtures in place. Buyers today want the latest upgrades and it could affect their perception of the home giving it an outdated feel. Simply update faucets or light fixtures and new knobs for cabinets; buyers will be more attracted to all the new!
  • Cut energy costs: There are many buyers in the market who value sustainable energy and like to see it practically implemented. Adding a few technical features, like a smart power strip that knows when to turn appliances and lights off at certain times, is a great way to appeal to buyers with a conservative approach to energy consumption.
  • Regular maintenance: Sellers should keep up with regular maintenance, inside and outdoors, so buyers aren’t distracted by an array of projects that might happen if they buy the property. Address dirty and worn carpets ahead of time, make sure there isn’t mold or termite damage, and adding fresh neutral paint in rooms like kitchens and dining rooms will really help. These issues are small, but important. These can sway a buyer to buy the house.

There are numerous other ideas for sellers to consider when trying to increase their home’s value before putting it on the hot Triangle market. Our experts at Flat Fee Realty are able to guide sellers in the right direction so they can make good decisions. Contact us today to see how your home’s value can increase with a few minor improvements!

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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

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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4 Important Tips to Increase Triangle Home Values

3d house and arrow graph. Growth in real estate

It’s the perfect time of year for Triangle homeowners to sell their homes with Flat Fee Realty. The 2017 real estate market across the Raleigh area is booming with activity and change.

While an array of potential buyers looking for homes across the Triangle, many potential sellers will want to ensure their houses are in their best shape with many attractive features to appeal to buyers. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a time consuming, or confusing, ordeal for homeowners. There are several simple recommendations to help boost the value of Triangle homes before listing them!

Flat Fee Realty recommends four important home selling tips that can increase home value:

  • Improve the curb appeal: A home’s landscaping is the first thing a potential home buyer will see. Making minor improvements to the home’s exterior can have a big impact on whether buyers will want to stop and take a tour. Sellers should make sure their lawns are in good shape by keeping it tidy, so trim the hedges and keep the grass cut to give the home a good face.
  • Update the fixtures: Many homes still have the original builder’s fixtures in place. Buyers today may not be drawn to them and it could affect their perception of the home, giving it an outdated feel. Simply update faucets or light fixtures, maybe new knobs for cabinets, and buyers will be more attracted.
  • Cut energy costs: There are many buyers in the market who value sustainable energy and like to see it implemented. Adding a few technical features, like a smart power strip that knows when to turn appliances and lights off at certain times, is a great way to appeal to buyers with a conservative approach to energy consumption.
  • Perform regular maintenance: Sellers should keep up with regular maintenance so buyers aren’t distracted by small projects. Replace or clean carpets; make sure there isn’t mold or termite damage. These issues are small but can sway a buyer to go with another property if it means less work for them.

There are numerous other ideas for sellers to consider when trying to increase home value before putting it on the market. Our experts at Flat Fee Realty are able to guide Triangle sellers in the right direction so they can make good decisions. Contact us today to see how your home’s value can increase with a few minor improvements!

**

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

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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How to Save Money Home Selling in the Triangle with Flat Fee Realty

Hands holding a piggy bank and a house model. Housing industry mortgage plan and residential tax saving strategy

There are many changes happening in the Raleigh and Triangle real estate market, including an influx of interested home buyers who are eager to explore the Triangle area and enjoy Southern living! An increase in prospective home buyers means that those looking to sell their home in the Raleigh, Apex, and Holly Springs areas could be met with a deluge of buyers and real estate agents. It could be a bit overwhelming, especially for those who haven’t sold a home before and are unsure of how the process works.

That’s where our long tradition of Triangle real estate expertise at Flat Fee Realty comes in handy! We specialize in researching market trends and staying up-to-date with industry technology to provide exceptional services at a value price.

Here are three ways our Flat Fee Realty agents help homeowners in Raleigh and the Triangle save money when selling their home:  

  • Zero hidden fees: There are no hidden or surprise fees for our full-service offerings! Other real estate agencies may provide a comprehensive price at the beginning of the selling process, but then surprise sellers with extra dollars in commission or processing fees at closing. We simply don’t believe in operating that way, so our prices remain the same from listing to closing.
  • Customed packages. Not all home sellers require the exact same services, so it’s unfair to force a standard that most home buyers and sellers will not benefit from when going through the process. We think our customizable listing packages are an excellent benefit to work with our real estate experts. We have options ranging from basic to more complex packages, with each one competitively priced for comparison.
  • MLS and other tools. Many people begin looking for their dream home online, so if home sellers aren’t making their homes visible on the internet then they’re not reaching potential home buyers. Each of our listing packages for sellers includes an online listing with the Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which ensure home visibility and peace of mind for sellers!

Our services here at Flat Fee Realty are unmatched by any other real estate agencies in Raleigh. In addition, our agents are knowledgeable, professional, and friendly! Interested in selling a home with us? Please contact us at 919-342-5230 or request a call back here!

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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

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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3 Great Ways to Buy a Home in the Triangle

Hand hold house against green field

The Triangle is one of the best locations in America to settle down in and raise a family! With a thriving Downtown Raleigh, the Research Triangle Park, and the close proximity to both the North Carolina mountains and beaches, the area is growing very fast as we head more deeply into 2017. New residents living in the area are often renting; yet many are eager to find the home of their dreams and begin the buying  process.

However, the Triangle real estate market is quite competitive, and it is often a challenge to navigate the various towns and neighborhoods in search of a new home. This is especially true in the core Triangle region that includes Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs, and Fuquay-Varina. Luckily, our seasoned real estate experts at Flat Fee Realty  offer first time buyers valuable tips in their search for a beautiful home.  

The Flat Fee Realty professionals offer these three great ways for first time buyers to be more confident as they check out new home options:  

  • Work on the credit score: There’s no set minimum score required for mortgage approval, but there are benefits to striving for the highest score possible. Typically, the higher the score, the lower the fees and monthly payments. Also, since there are many interested buyers in the market, it’s beneficial to be as competitive as possible.  
  • Stay within the budget: It’s easy for first-time home buyers to justify spending more than the budget allows. However, the financial burden in the future can be large and often overwhelming.
  • Save money: Buying a home is a great investment, but it’s expensive. Most first-time buyers under estimate the financial needs the Triangle real estate market demands; especially in the areas of closing costs, mortgage insurance, home insurance, inspection fees, and down payments. Do some important research ahead of time,and call us to get an idea of the average amount of money needed to buy a new home here in the Triangle!

Spring is the perfect time to buy in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. The real estate market may seem intimidating when unfamiliar with it, but working with one of our experts at Flat Fee Realty is the best way to have the best experience! Moving to the Triangle or from an area within the region?   Contact us today at 919 342 5230!

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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

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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4 Real Estate Myths that Survive in the Triangle

The real estate market in the Triangle is bubbling with activity as we move into the Spring of 2017. Our agents and market professionals at Flat Fee Realty want buyers and sellers across the region to be fully informed as they prepare to buy and sell. The focus of this week’s real estate blog post focus is on dispelling a few lingering myths that seem to still permeate the Triangle.

Four myths that our Flat Fee Realty Team wants to share to prospective home buyers and home sellers in the Triangle are:

  • Open Houses will sell a home, guaranteed: There is a wide variety of people who attend open house. Some people attend these showings on a regular basis just to get ideas. Most often, interested buyers will typically schedule a second visit with one of our agents a more personal and intimate view of the property. That said, open houses serve a purpose.
  • Buyers get better deals on their own: Buyers may think they’re saving money by not paying commission to a buyer’s agent, but this simply isn’t the case. Houses listed have total commission included in the list price, so buyers aren’t avoiding commission costs by going solo.
  • Sellers save money by listing FSBO: Sellers who choose to list their home as For Sale By Owner are usually interested in saving money. Unfortunately, most buyers are wary of FSBO listings, and it takes a lot of effort to market and show the home that sellers promote on their own.
  • Listing above market rate will result in a higher sale price: Many Triangle buyers and agents avoid most properties that are listed above market rates for variety of reasons. It’s simple to lower the price, but sellers also must be aware that homes listed for an extended period of time draw buyer concern. Listing at a reasonable market price will see more activity and more visits.  

The real estate industry varies state by state, and there are always changes and additions to existing laws that can make home selling a challenge at times. Our Triangle market and our Flat Fee Realty team provide great opportunities as we head into the spring selling season!  Call us and meet with one of our local industry experts; contact us today!

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

Photo: Pixabay

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

Find and like us on Facebook!

Contact Us!

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com