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3 North Carolina Home Improvements Worth the Investment

Shows like Fixer Upper and Property Brothers are fun to watch and inspire many homeowners across North Carolina to think creatively about how to upgrade their homes.  For both sellers and buyers, completing home-improvement projects can be rewarding and can make a home in Charlotte, Lake Norman, Wilmington and the Triangle more attractive and functional; however, whether just moving in or preparing to sell a home, Flat Fee Realty agents recommend clients consider the return investment before spending large sums of money on major renovations.

These three upgrades are worth the investment because each one increases resale value:

  • Update a dated bathroom: A nice bathroom to pamper oneself goes a long way in the housing market. Bathroom remodels normally earn back up to 100% of what homeowners put into it. Not sure where to start? Tile the area around the tub, and add a shower door. Upgrade the vanity (choose something both stylish and functional with storage space) and install a new faucet. If there isn’t any ventilation in the bathroom, adding a new bathroom vent fan may help keep the humidity and mildew from warm showers at bay.

  • Add curb appeal: First impressions are everything. If the house exterior needs cleaning, try remedying the problem with a spray like Wet & Forget. If it still looks dull and faded after that process, consider freshening up the outside of the home with a professional power wash, then a fresh coat of paint. Next, think about the light fixtures both for safety and curb appeal. Finally, a nicely-landscaped lawn can go a long way. Start by trimming any overgrown bushes or trees. Then, consider consulting a landscaper or even a local garden center for ideas.

  • Upgrade the kitchen: Kitchens are another great place for upgrading for a solid return investment. Try to avoid the cheapest materials, but don’t overspend by purchasing items that are more luxurious than functional. Also, remember that while television shows entertain viewers with major renovations, many homeowners can create beautiful spaces with a few simple changes. For example, consider creating storage space that makes items easily-accessible, add granite countertops, and add an upgraded backsplash.

Before spending money on a major renovation, clients should contact a Flat Fee Realty agent to ensure their plans align with the interests of most buyers. This will increase the likelihood of getting a return investment on one’s home-improvement projects.

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

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3 Areas of Assessment When Buying a Home As-Is

Vectorolie, fdp 1For many home buyers in the area, from Cary to Durham to Apex, the real estate market can be very intimidating and challenging. There are so many factors to consider like school districts, mortgage rates, relocation, and the overall investment of home buying in the Triangle.

Interestingly, there is also a growing number of bank-owned and foreclosed properties listed to sell “as-is” across the region. Usually the seller is either unable or unwilling to pay for repairs or deficiencies in the home and it goes for sale in this category. The good news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean it is a deal-breaker or a “stay away from” for home buyers, especially here in the Triangle area. At Flat Fee Realty, our real estate experts are here to help buyers in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas make these types of investments and to do it right.

The Triangle real estate experts at Flat Fee Realty suggest three areas of assessment when purchasing a property “as-is”:

  • Consult local realtors in the know like Flat Fee Realty: Listing a home to sell with the “as-is” clause means that the home seller isn’t obligated to pay for repairs. The home sellers are also not legally liable for any unfortunate events that may occur after the close. Since many sellers are financial institutions, these banks, credit unions, and loan offices may not be fully aware of the property’s condition. It is very important to consult real estate experts like Flat Fee Realty for guidance during home buying process.
  • Use the Due Diligence Period. Although not mandatory, the due diligence period for home buyers is ideal for conducting home inspections. The buyer has the advantage here, as they can cancel the contract at any time before the home is closed. This is a good time to survey the neighborhood and have the property evaluated in order to ensure a wise investment.
  • Budget for Repairs. After inspections, all required repairs will be brought to the attention of the buyer. However, many Triangle home buyers are usually happy with their considered purchase since most repairs are relatively minor; regardless, plan to budget for maintenance when considering a home listed “as-is”.

Home buying doesn’t have to be a daunting process, and we have our local team of specialists here to help! Contact the Triangle’s Real Estate Experts at Flat Fee Realty today and experience buying the perfect home.

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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.

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4 Factors to Consider When Buying a Home in the Triangle

1-31-15 3The Triangle and Raleigh real estate market is a very strong seller’s market as we head into the summers months of 2016. The market seems to be improving in the seller’s favor everyday due to lack of available homes for sale. Flat Fee Realty knows the challenges for first time home buyers as they look for a nice home in a new location. Many prospective home buyers are uncomfortable in any type of bidding situation and many just will wait for the climate to change. 

When purchasing a home here in the Triangle, there are many factors that must go into the decision to buy an existing home or build a new one.

When considering a newly built Triangle home or a pre-owned home, Flat Fee Realty offers four important factors to consider:  

  • Warranty: New homes will come with warranties that cover appliances, plumbing, heating and more. When purchasing a pre-owned home, buyers can negotiate a home warranty into the sales price of the home, but it may have a large fee and a high deductible and it might not cover as much as a new home warranty.
  • Home design: A great upside of purchasing an existing home is the ability to see how the previous homeowner laid out the home with furniture; Raleigh home buyers can even negotiate the furniture into the sale price of the home. With a newly built home in the Triangle, there are a lot of decisions to be made in reference to brand new construction, from flooring to windows.
  • Out of pocket costs: When purchasing a pre-owned home, there are probably less out of pocket costs associated with the purchase. In a newly built home, a local home builder will most likely require a big deposit down on the home for any add-ons that must be paid for before the build begins or just before closing. A pre-owned home will allow for more negotiation of fees into the closing costs.
  • Floor plan options: Newly built houses are typically the most up-to-date with trends consumers want in 2016, from energy efficiency to open floor plans.

In this hot Triangle and Raleigh real estate market, it can be challenging to make the right decisions. It might be a great time to sell a home, but how can anyone buy a new home? Call us with questions about the options of purchase here in the Triangle. We know the market well. Contact the team at Flat Fee Realty today for more information.

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Photo: IMUSM

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

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4 Top Reasons Why Some Triangle Home Buyers Should Look at New Homes

Ponsulak new houseThe real estate market in the Raleigh and Triangle area is red hot, and one of the strongest in the U.S. at the moment. Flat Fee Realty has noticed that many area home buyers must now compete for a shortage of existing houses. And many of these homes are being sold well above asking price. A lot of offers are simply not being accepted and are rejected for more money. Savvy buyers who don’t want to compete against others looking for houses often can turn to new construction.

Flat Fee Realty presents the top four reasons why some Triangle home are considering purchasing new homes instead of existing properties:

  • Home warranties: The warranties that come with a new home cover all major appliances such as the structure, HVAC system, plumbing and more. In an existing Triangle home, there may be costly issues that may need to be addressed, such as updating the roof or replacing the HVAC system.
  • Saving money: There are many ways that new homes can save money; most new houses are more energy efficient than existing ones in the Triangle. Energy efficiency can save a lot of money on utility bills.
  • Brand new: The ability to design a home from the foundation up ensures that it is exactly the way the home buyer wants it to be. Everything is planned into the new construction meaning there are no surprises.
  • Innovation and technology: Homes in the Triangle and Raleigh proper are indeed much more efficient that those built in the late 1990’s and older. New homes often have the best features that all Raleigh home buyers are looking for, like nine foot ceilings, open floor plans, and a great use of space. New homes being built in the region are up to date in many ways.  

Readers of this blog post, who want to view all of the communities in the Triangle area including new construction, can contact our team at Flat Fee Realty today to get information on new construction communities in the Triangle. 

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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.

Photo: Ponsulak, Freedigitalphotos

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

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4 of the Best Ways to Stage a Triangle Home

ID-100410510As the old adage goes, “First impressions are everything!” This is very true when it comes to the Triangle NC real estate market! In this hot market, it is incredibly important to give a great first impression. The first minutes, as potential buyers walk from the car and through the front door, are very important. Many Triangle home sellers stage their houses and many do it well. Staging a house properly has a variety of important benefits and it can be done in a number of ways.

From the Flat Fee Realty team, here are the top four best ways to stage a Triangle home:

  • Remove clutter: This is a very simple and big first step. Removing any excessive furniture and decorations can go a long way towards opening up the home and making potential Triangle homebuyers more at ease.
  • Eliminate the personal stuff: While potential home buyers understand that this is indeed not their home yet, they also really want to be able to envision themselves living in the space. So it might be wise to pack up the family heirlooms in favor of a more open and modern appearance throughout the home.
  • Rearrange the rooms: Open up the rooms with proper furniture and table placement. Use flowers and fresh and appealing plants to draw the potential home buyer’s eyes to the positives.
  • Ask for friendly advice: There is usually a good neighbor or friend that can give advice on how the house looks before the sign goes up or when there is that first open house. This strategy can really help adjust the overall picture. Sometimes important details are overlooked and potential buyers might catch any negatives.

Flat Fee Realty is the best way to buy and sell a home in the Triangle and Raleigh. Our team has all the tools needed, and with an advanced and affordable suite of options that will help the Triangle homeowner get the greatest value for their Triangle property, it is critical to give us a call. Contact Flat Fee Realty at 888-646-9488 or visit our website.

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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

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Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

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4 Important Steps That Can Sell a House Fast in the Triangle Market

FFR- Jan 19 Pic- Stuart MilesThe Triangle has consistently ranked as one of the top places to live and work in the country. This is great news for anyone in the Triangle who is considering selling a home this spring. In 2016, Triangle real estate is indeed in a seller’s market, and it can be very financially favorable for people in the Triangle trying to sell a home. A true benefit of a seller’s market is that listings can often sell very quickly, especially when following the advice of our expert team at Flat Fee Realty. If there is an interest in selling a home in Apex, Cary, and Holly Springs and beyond, there will always be questions that need professional answers. The home selling process can be complicated, and homeowners need to do to get ready for the buyer. Spring is here.

Our team at Flat Fee Realty offers four important steps that can help Triangle home sellers sell in this exciting market:  

  • Do inexpensive home improvements and housework: This is often suggested by experienced realtors, and it is very true. For example, thoroughly cleaning and depersonalizing the home can make a big difference to potential buyers.  
  • Choose Flat Fee Realty: Some local area homes are selling quickly, but if a home is priced too high than it will not sell. At the same time, if a home is priced too low, the homeowner might not receive full possible value from the investment. A very good strategy is to get good information on pricing through the MLS, which can be accessed through Flat Fee Realty’s innovative product.
  • Know the market, the neighborhood, and the typical sale: In business, companies have to figure out who will buy their product and then they market to those potential customers. The Triangle real estate market is no different. A big step in selling a Triangle house quickly is figuring out the demographics of the likely buyer. Will it be a family, a newlywed or retiree? Knowing these answers can help Flat Fee Realty to sell the home quickly and for the best price.
  • Get the house on the market: The best way to sell is through the multiple listing service, also known as the MLS. This tool is used by almost every realtor and through Flat Fee Realty any listing will be uploaded to all of the popular listing websites, enabling maximum coverage.

Looking to sell a Triangle area home? Contact the Flat Fee Realty experts for more information about the Triangle home market and how we can help sell a Triangle home. Call us at Flat Fee Realty today at 888-649-9488 or visit our website for more information about home selling and buying in the Triangle.

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This post on selling and buying a home in the Triangle is brought to you by the team at professional 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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Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

5 Important Reasons Home Buying is Better than Renting

ddpavumba, fdpAs we rapidly approach the spring season of buying and renting homes in the Triangle, it is important for both potential buyers and renters to be educated on benefits. There are a various factors to consider when the decision is made. Thankfully for Triangle residents, the real estate experts at Flat Fee Realty have taken the time to compile a decision making guide for the spring 2016 season.

Here are the five most important aspects of decision making when choosing renting or buying:

  • Tax benefits: It is well documented that there are significant tax breaks that come with buying a house; stability is important when living and investing in the Triangle area.
  • Home equity: The question of equity is an important one. Every month of rent is yet another 30 days of paying the landlord.
  • Assessing the future: If one will likely be moving away from the Triangle in the next year, renting is probably a good choice. Individuals who plan on living in the Triangle for a longer term need to consider buying property.
  • Home ownership as a goal: A recent survey found that 94% of renters strongly desire to own a home in the future. It makes sense that, in 2016, this could be the right year.
  • Maintenance: One of the important aspects of renting is the challenge of getting repairs and updates done to the home. It is usually up to management to react and improve a situation, and often it is handled to the benefit of the owner, not the renter. Buying a home ensures that the right decisions are always made for the benefit of the owner.

Now, who is ready to start shopping for a Triangle home?

Contact us at Flat Fee Realty for more information about the Triangle home market and how Flat Fee Realty can best help throughout the home buying process. Call us today at 888-649-9488 or visit our website for more information about home buying in the Triangle.

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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. Call us with all your home buying questions.

The Future of Real Estate!

Flat Fee Realty

919 342 5230

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Terry@FlatFeeNC.com 

Photo: ddpavumba, freedigitalphotos.net

4 Ways Sellers Can Improve the Value of Triangle Homes

FFR- Jan 19 Pic- Stuart MilesThe busy spring season of buying and selling homes in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle is almost upon us. In order for Triangle home sellers to get the most value out of selling their local homes, Flat Fee Realty wants sellers to focus on the tried and true ways to improve area homes.

While each home for sale in the Triangle is a little bit different, homeowners have consistently found these strategies to be simple yet effective ways to truly improve the value of almost any Triangle home before it goes on the market.

Here are the four most important lower-cost improvements that Flat Fee Realty has seen homeowners make; they can often have a high return on investment:

  • New front door: First impressions are everything, and the entry way of the home, for potential buyers, is the first differentiator they see. Adding a new steel front door has topped the National Association of REALTORS Cost vs. Value report. Homeowners often recoup almost 100% of the cost of this improvement. 
  • Adding backup power: In the same report, installing a backup power generator brings back almost 70% of its cost, and is trending upwards in value. Here in North Carolina, this could be an excellent selling point with our bad weather often associated with ice storms and hurricanes.
  • New fixtures: It’s an easy replacement strategy. Old fixtures (such as brass or gold) are a turnoff for many buyers. Changing them out with popular styles can appeal to Triangle home buyers. 
  • Adding square footage: Although this one is more optional than a requirement, any added living space without increasing a home’s footprint (such as finishing a basement, creating an attic bedroom, or adding a rear deck addition) brings high average returns.

All of these improvements will appeal to the widest range of Triangle homebuyers and put more money into a seller’s pocket. Another great way for Triangle homeowners and homebuyers to save money is using Flat Fee Realty. Learn more about Flat Fee Realty today and how it is the best way for Triangle homeowners to list their home. Visit our website or call us toll-free at 888-646-9488 to begin saving on selling homes in the Triangle.

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Photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos

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

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Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

What is the Difference between a Buyer’s and a Seller’s Agent

ambro couple (2)An important question often asked by Triangle home buyers or Triangle home sellers is: ‘What is the difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent?’

Knowing the difference between the two is not only important to selling or buying a Triangle house, but it could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the Triangle real estate market. Often both types of agents are highly involved in the selling of a home in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex and the surrounding area and it is important that any potential Triangle homebuyer or seller have knowledge of the roles each type of agent play in the real estate market. Flat Fee Realty explains the differences.

A seller’s agent, or a ‘listing agent,’ handles the following aspects of selling a Triangle home:

  • Represents the buyer: First and foremost, they are the Triangle home seller’s representative. This means they are trying to get the best price and terms for the seller, and not the buyer.
  • Acts as a guide to prepare the home for sale. They usually make selling suggestions and help stage, photograph and show the house to potential Triangle area home buyers.
  • Shares home buyer information: Finally, a listing agent has the legal obligation to share with the seller any information that they find important about the potential buyers.

The buyer’s agent is responsible for representing the following aspects of the home selling process:

  • Understands the market place and the comps in the area and local neighborhoods: Ability to help get accurate inspections set up for the home that is chosen. Inspections can catch issues and repairs that could potentially cost thousands of dollars in the future.
  • Protects the buyer. A professional set of eyes and ears are needed to look out for the buyer. Buying a home is a major purchase and something people do quite rarely in their lives. A buyer’s agent will make sure all of the contract language and promises made by Triangle home builders are followed through and in the best interests of the Triangle home buyer.

Both the buyer and seller agents are frequent partners in the Triangle home buying process. Residents looking for change as we head more deeply into 2016 need to know that Flat Fee Realty saves both time and money. Cost effective commission fees are the norm and the level of professionalism is what is expected in this very popular marketplace. Call us at the phone number below or work with Flat Fee Realty today by visiting our website.

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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

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Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: Ambro, FreeDigital Photos.net

 

 

4 Reasons Why 2016 is the Year to Buy a Triangle Home

home search, hywards, freedigitalphotos.netMany home buyers in the Triangle have been waiting patiently! They have been slowly saving their money; preparing, learning, and trying to decide when is the right time to buy a new home. This is the year! Triangle real estate professionals have repeatedly predicted that 2016 will be one of the best years for home buyers in Raleigh and the region.

Local real estate professionals consider many factors before determining how the real estate market will be in the future. Here is why 2016 will be a record year in central North Carolina.

Flat Fee Realty believes in the following key factors that we think will make 2016 a great year for Triangle and Raleigh buyers and sellers alike:

  • ​More houses will be on the market: One important local real estate trend in 2015 was the selling of homes that had positive home equity. This created a seller-friendly real estate market. It also, at times, increased the likelihood of a multiple buyers for one property which in turn solidified the asking price. More homes will be available in 2016.
  • Mortgage rates might increase in the coming year: While current mortgage rates are still some of the lowest in history, it is expected that the rates will likely rise. While it will still be possible to have historically affordable mortgage rates, buyers will be looking soon for a home.
  • Average rent rates are on the rise: Over the past several years, the average rent has risen for apartments, town homes, and rental homes all across the Triangle area and nation. With those rising rates, it is becoming more and more apparent that the best financial choice for many people in the Triangle is buying a home. 
  • The availability of online tools: The access of information that the average Triangle home buyer has today is incredible, both in volume and accuracy. Buyers and sellers are more informed than ever. One such tool offered is our own from Flat Fee Realty, an online MLS listing service that enables home buyer and home sellers to bypass the expensive fees of realtors.

In 2016, buying or selling a home in the Triangle area has never been more defined as a process. Call us at  Flat Fee Realty! With value-based fees, easy to use interface, and a service track record of success when it comes to buying and selling houses; Flat Fee Realty is the smart choice for home buyers and sellers. 

Visit our website to get started 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

Photo: Hywards, freedigitalphotos.net