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3 Real Estate Agent Must-Know Secrets to Selling a Home

stockimages-telling a secret-freedigitalphotos.netThe Triangle real estate market is hot as August in Raleigh right now! But the market can slow down a bit as we head into September and October. While a slowing market doesn’t always translate to lower home prices, some owners decide to sell their own homes (For Sale By Owner/ FSBO) without agent assistance in the hopes of saving a few (or thousands) of dollars.

Below, the top-notch agents at Flat Fee Realty share their best-kept secrets to selling a home by owner:

  • Know limitations: Selling a home by owner requires a certain skill set. Everyone’s personality is different, so before taking on the challenge, be honest and determine if going FSBO is the right fit. Being a hard worker, a strong negotiator, good with people, and unemotional are all extremely important. Time and plenty of it is needed. Dedication to selling is paramount. If this sounds even remotely challenging, contact one of our Flat Fee Real Estate agents for guidance, expertise and support.
  • Manage expectations: Most people who decide to sell on their own anticipate saving a huge amount of money by avoiding paying commission to a listing agent. While it is possible to save some money, it’s usually not as much as anticipated. Smart buyers will know that an owner selling without an agent is saving on the commission, and will reduce their offer accordingly based on that fact alone.
  • Assess the competition: Yes, many buyers will want to change things when they move in, and a few of them might be willing to put in a little work if a home needs repairs or updates. By and large though, buyers want every home to show like a new home. The extent to which a home should be updated or repaired depends on the competition. Either match it (doing the minimum to meet neighborhood standards), or lower the price accordingly to attract potential buyers.

These three “must-know secrets” will set potential FSBO sellers on the right path, but perhaps the biggest selling top-secret tip for those wanting to sell a home themselves is to consider a flat fee listing. Our Flat Fee Realty agents offer all of the major benefits of working with a full-service real estate firm at a fraction of the cost.

Wondering what flat fee service entails? The experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty are available to answers all of your questions. Contact us today to find out if a flat fee listing is right for your 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 onlThe Future of Real Estate! 

Flat Fee Realty 

919 342 5230 

Contact Us 

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com 

Photo: stockimages, Freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

4 Common Problems with Triangle Real Estate Closings

Time and Money- hywards- freedigitalphotos.netWhether buying or selling (or both), the hectic days leading up to closing are fraught with anticipation, excitement, and often a good dose of apprehension. There are so many moving parts to a real estate closing, and so much money on the line, that it is not uncommon for a variety of problems to arise at the last minute. Unresolved issues, whether small or significant, can delay closings by hours, days, or even weeks.

Our experienced real estate agents at Flat Fee Realty here in the Triangle share four very common reasons why closings are delayed, and most importantly, we share how to avoid them:

  • It’s all in the details: There’s a mound of paperwork involved in an average real estate transaction. With pages and pages of documents, there’s bound to be an error somewhere. A misspelled name, transposed number, or incorrect address can necessitate a rewrite, delaying the closing until everything is in the right order again. It is a good idea to double check all the documents as far in advance as possible. Don’t be afraid to question anything that seems incorrect, confusing or odd.
  • Insufficient funds: Having the funds in advance for a down payment is essential. Issues involving a wire transfer, a bank holiday delay, a technical glitch, or someone not getting the funds together and placing the money where it needs to be, closing can be delayed or rescheduled. . Remember, personal checks aren’t accepted, so make sure to use a certified or cashier’s check, or an electronic transfer.
  • Last minute lender requests: Documentation is critical. Loan and mortgage lenders will ask for additional information up to the last minute. Rental agreements, bank statements, cancelled checks, and insurance documents are all important documentation. Try calling the loan officer the day before closing, to see if there are any problems or if there is the need for additional information.
  • Unsatisfactory walk-throughs: On the day before closing, a buyer typically views their (almost) new home one more time to ensure everything’s in satisfactory condition. Sometimes unfortunate discoveries are made: bags of trash left behind, missing fixtures, damaged walls, and items removed without permission which can create last minute issues. In these cases, the buyer’s agent should address any issues with the seller’s agent immediately. It is important not to wait until closing. If it’s too late for the fixes, repairs or changes, a seller credit towards closing fees could be negotiated making closing possible.

While there are many reasons a closing can be delayed, most of the solutions have one thing in common: waiting until the last moment. Remember, the more that can be done in advance, the better.

With everyone’s cooperation, it is possible to have a quick and smooth real estate transaction!

Whether looking to buy or sell a home in the Triangle, let our experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty be there to make everything right.

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 onlThe Future of Real Estate! 

Flat Fee Realty 

919 342 5230 

Contact Us 

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com 

Photo: Hywards, Freedigitalphotos.net

4 Serious Mistakes Sellers Should Never Make

house with dollars- stuart miles- freedigitalphotos.netIt’s no secret that the real estate market in Raleigh, Cary, and beyond is getting stronger each month. The upswing of sales prices may have home sellers becoming a little complacent, which is a huge mistake. Regardless of the market, sellers need to focus on maximizing their equity as soon as their house goes on the market. The real estate agents at Flat Fee Realty know that there are several common yet costly mistakes that North Carolina home sellers make.

The following four mistakes can really hurt the deal:

  • Ignoring fees and closing expenses: Request, review, and confirm an itemized list of closing expenses well in advance of closing day. Clear up potentially costly mistakes and ensure that credits and discounts are taken advantage of before hitting the lawyer’s office.
  • Letting negotiations fall apart: Buying and selling a home is an emotional process, but don’t let ego get in the way. Instead of taking negotiations personally, step back and focus on creating a win-win deal. Failed negotiations mean extra time on the market, increasing the likelihood that a price reduction will become necessary.
  • Using poor quality photos: These days, almost all home searches begin online. It’s amazing how many otherwise great homes have terrible, low-quality, cell phone pictures in their listings. There’s no second chance for a first impression, so make every effort to have the home professionally photographed.
  • Not working with a licensed real estate agent: The numbers are clear. Owners who sell their own homes usually will take longer to sell and end up with less profit. However, don’t assume a full service agent (and full service commissions) is the only option. Flat fee and limited service agents can be a great option for some sellers.

Low interest rates from buyers, rising sales prices, and a busy summer real estate season sounds like a perfect combination for homeowners considering selling. That’s true, if sellers learn to identify and eliminate mistakes that could end up costing thousands.

Looking to get the most money out of your home? It literally pays to do everything right. The experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty are ready to show you the ropes. 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 onlThe Future of Real Estate! 

Flat Fee Realty 

919 342 5230 

Contact Us 

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com 

Photo: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net

The Triangle’s Essential Guide to Mistake Free Home Buying

Give and Take- Stuart Miles- Freedigitalphotos.netBuying and selling real estate can be a painstaking, confusing process where the potential for error is high for novices and experienced individuals alike. Unfortunately, even the most innocent misstep can end up costing thousands of dollars. The art of negotiation is an important one to master, even if North Carolina buyer and sellers have a real estate agent as their advocate.

Below, the experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty share the most common negotiation mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • Misunderstanding purpose and situation: Everyone negotiates differently, but an important part of any successful strategy is gathering as much information as possible. Personality, occupation, experience, and background are all factors in understanding a buyer or seller, and crafting a deal they can’t refuse.
  • Focusing too much on price: There are other crucial elements in a real estate deal besides the purchase price, and ignoring these can cause last minute delays. Don’t make assumptions about fixtures, financing, or closing costs, and make sure every detail is spelled out it any written agreement.
  • Being difficult and bad-mannered: Many people forget that there is real value in being nice. Residential real estate transactions are inherently emotional, so avoid hostile tactics like bullying, non-essential deadlines, and being heavy-handed.
  • Letting little things become deal breakers: With so much money on the line, it is surprisingly easy for both buyers and sellers to fixate on things that in the end aren’t really that important. Don’t let a deal fall apart over curtains or minor repairs.
  • Making it personal: At the end of the day, a home sale is just business. When things start to get emotional, buyers and sellers should take a step back, detach, and relax. Keeping in mind the big picture and ultimate goal of home ownership or sale will help smooth over any rough patches.

Well-honed negotiation skills are the essential tools of any successful real estate agent, and they contribute significantly to positive outcomes for both buyers and sellers. Luckily, the experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty are prepared to help clients execute the best possible deal. Contact us today to find out how we can quickly and strategically get buyers and sellers from making an offer to closing a deal!

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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: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Three Flat Fee Listing Myths all Triangle Home Sellers Should Discount

Sold Home, Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.netIf it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not. For example, the statement that saving potentially thousands of dollars in fees, while receiving the full and undivided attention from a traditional, full-service real estate agent, is typical. At Flat Fee Realty, we do not agree at all. By only offering the most important, essential real estate services (those that will actually help sell a home for the highest price in the least amount of time), the professionals at Flat Fee Realty we help home sellers accomplish this goal every single day. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of spin floating around regarding flat fee listings, adding an unnecessary level of confusion to an already mystifying home-selling process.

The real estate agents at Flat Fee Realty want North Carolina buyers and sellers to know the truth behind these three common misconceptions:

  • The MLS is the most important listing tool: This might have been true a decade ago, but the MLS is no longer the be-all, end-all of real estate listings. Today, popular sites like Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, Pinterest, and other property-showcasing sites are where home buyers often turn to view potential homes in the privacy of their living rooms without the help of an agent. That’s not to say the MLS isn’t important. It’s the first place most agents look to reviews homes for clients. That’s why sellers choosing Flat Fee Realty receive a custom MLS listing.
  • Buyer’s agents avoid flat fee listings: A major myth about flat fee listings is that they don’t offer a commission to the buyer’s agent; most do. That being said, real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to clients and shouldn’t let the presence or amount of commission affect what homes they show clients. In many cases, how commission will be paid is spelled out in the buyer’s representation agreement or the offer to purchase, effectively minimizing the likelihood of any conflicts.
  • A Flat Fee Listing is the same as a “For Sale By Owner” FSBO: Okay, these two have one thing in common. They are both ways of selling a home without being formally represented by a listing agent. However, the similarities stop there. FSBO sellers are entirely on their own, from pricing strategy to marketing, negotiations and closing. In contrast, flat fee sellers receive a long list of services aimed at making selling their home independently efficient, enjoyable, and cost effective.

From our basic Limited Service marketing package to traditional, full-service options, Flat Fee Realty has every seller’s needs covered. Ready to sell? 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 onlThe Future of Real Estate! 

Flat Fee Realty 

919 342 5230 

Contact Us 

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com 

Photo: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net

 

6 Tips to Sell a Home in the Tight Triangle Market

Rocking Chair Porch, khongkitwiriyachan, freedigitalphotos.netNorth Carolina summers are great for a lot of things: cookouts, days at the beach, and campfires are just a few of them. And although the warmer months tend to see a large uptick in real estate activity, it is a very active time for home sales. Increased inventory, higher interest rates, and lower investor demand mean that the peak season can benefit local buyers, not sellers. While selling in the summer can be tricky, there’s still a lot of potential for homes priced correctly and properly marketed. The dedicated listing agents at Flat Fee Realty want to help sellers in Raleigh, Cary, and the beyond get the highest price for their homes in the least amount of time.

Check out these six important tips from Flat Fee Realty:

  • Let the light in: Take advantage of longer daylight hours by removing heavy draperies and leaving blinds open.
  • Stay open late: In the summer, many buyers are apt to skip out of work a little early and stay out later. Although it might not be convenient, consider being amenable to twilight or evening.
  • Use natural fragrances: While vanilla and cinnamon are popular cold-weather scents, summer calls for lighter, airier varieties like those from fresh cut flowers or honeysuckle vines. As an added benefit, these delicate scents won’t overwhelm sensitive noses.
  • Keep the air moving: North Carolina summers are notorious for heat waves. Offer weary buyers a respite from the heat by keeping the AC a touch cooler than normal. If any rooms feature ceiling fans, make sure they stay on.
  • Create outdoor living spaces: If the home features protected outdoor areas, like a screened porch or patio with an awning, move some indoor furniture outside to highlight its livability.
  • Accent accordingly: Change out dark throw pillows, rugs, and decorative accents for light or bright summer hues.

The top season to sell real estate is the spring, followed by the fall. The summer months come in third, due to the many distractions like summer vacations, school breaks, and other activities. But life doesn’t wait, and many sellers simply need to sell in June, July or August. For those motivated sellers, the tips above are just a few of the steps to lure summer buyers out of their hammocks and into a contract.

One thing not mentioned above? Choosing the right real estate agent! The listing agents at Flat Fee Realty provide the professional guidance necessary to close a sale in any season. Contact an agent at Flat Fee Realty 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

Contact Us

Terry@FlatFeeNC.com

Photo: khongkitwiriyachan, Freedigitalphotos.net

 


 

3 Factors Home Buyers Should Disregard When Shopping for a House in the Triangle

home search, hywards, freedigitalphotos.netFor many Triangle and Raleigh home buyers (especially first timers), viewing and comparing homes can be overwhelming. From separating wants from needs to holding out for the “perfect” home, most buyers experience some degree of frustration along the way. To complicate the process, some buyers have long and sometimes unrealistic lists of must-have features, causing them to miss out on otherwise great opportunities. The agents at Flat Fee Realty want to help home buyers in Raleigh, Cary, and the surrounding areas focus on what’s important.

Our FFR team offers three important factors home buyers should disregard when looking for that dream house:

  • The seller’s decor: It seems silly to disregard an otherwise great home due to the color of the walls or outdated light fixtures, but Flat Fee Realty agents see this happen all the time. Don’t confuse the seller’s taste in design with the suitability of the home itself. One homeowner’s play room could be another’s home office, so ignore easily changeable items and focus on more or less permanent features, like layout and room size.
  • Home warranties: In the competitive Triangle real estate market, some sellers offer incentives like home warranties to stand out from the crowd. While a warranty does offer some benefits and provide peace of mind, be careful to not give it more weight than it’s worth. A warranty only covered specific systems in the home and provides for discounted repairs (often from approved service providers)—don’t confuse it with insurance.
  • Square footage: Many buyers are unyielding when it comes to a specific amount of square footage. While this might be true in broad terms (most people wouldn’t want to squeeze a family of five into a 1000 square foot home) focusing on a specific number could disqualify a number of suitable homes. A well-thought-out layout often makes a smaller home feel larger, while a poorly-designed home can mean wasted square footage (and dollars).

Touring homes can be a lot of fun for buyers, but also it can be very overwhelming. The one strategy Triangle buyers can apply is to make the process of searching for a home easier and more productive. Focus on what’s important. Keeping non-negotiable needs at the top of the mind and remain flexible on everything else. This method will be key to a low-stress home buying experience.

Having trouble figuring out what’s important? The buyers and sellers agents at Flat Fee Realty are here to help.

Contact an agent at Flat Fee Realty today!

**

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: hywards, Freedigitalphotos.net

 

This entry was posted in Selling and buying homes in the Triangle and tagged As-is homes, Buyers, Cary, Cary home sales,discount real estate, Flat Fee, For sale by owner, FSBO’s, Holly Springs, Home buying, Home inspections, Home selling, Houses for sale in the Triangle, Morrisville, Multiple listing service,Posted in Selling and buying homes in the Triangle | Tagged Apex home sales, Raleigh, Real estate commissions, Realty,Sellers, Showings, The Future of Real Estate!, Triangle custom homes, Triangle home sales, Triangle real estate, Triangle schools. Bookmark the permalink.

 

 

4 Budgeting Tips for Triangle Home Buyers

Home Repair, freedigitalphotos.netWhen it comes to purchasing a home in the Triangle, expenses can quickly add up. The mortgage, taxes, insurance, and closing costs are enough to make any buyer, new or experienced a bit nervous. Not only that, but the expenses don’t end at the closing table with the realtor and the lawyer. Home maintenance, improvements, and unexpected repairs can all significantly impact a homeowner’s budget. Flat Fee Realty wants Triangle home buyers to be aware of the true cost of home ownership before they buy.

Flat Fee Realty offers four points of consideration our experienced agents think potential buyers should be aware of as they look for a new home:

  • An emergency fund is essential: Unexpected expenses can wreak havoc on anyone’s finances. And when it comes to certain home repairs (say, the A/C goes out in July), putting them off may not be an option. While the ideal size for cash reserves depends on the age, size, and condition of the home, experts recommend putting away 1-5% of the home’s purchase price.
  • Age is more than just a number: The age of a house is probably the most important factor used in determining a home repair budget. This is especially true when it comes to mechanical systems and structural items. Buyers interested in homes older than about 15 years should be aware that major repairs (like a new roof, hot water heater, or HVAC system) could be in the near future.
  • Consider a home warranty: Many new homes include a warranty, and some sellers choose to offer one as a selling point. Home warranties offset some of a buyer’s risk by covering specific systems in the home and usually offer discounted repairs from approved service providers. Home warranties shouldn’t be confused with insurance. They may provide peace of mind but they won’t cover the full cost of repairs.
  • Practice proper prevention: All homes will eventually need repairs, but the best way to delay them is by practicing proper preventative maintenance. Most typical maintenance tasks can be accomplished with a little elbow grease, and quickly addressing small items prevents them from turning into larger (and more expensive) issues.

Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial transactions a person can make. Before jumping in, remember to take a look at the true cost of home ownership—not just the purchase price, but long-term expenses as well.

Wondering if home ownership is the right financial choice for you? Contact the experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty today!

**

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: khunaspics, Freedigitalphotos.net

3 Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Triangle Realtor

Danger Sign, Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.netChoosing a real estate agent to list a home is kind of like dating. It requires both trust and commitment, and depending on how long it takes a home to sell, it might be a long-term relationship. And if the association doesn’t feel right at first, it’s probably not going to get better. Despite these realities, many home sellers put little to no thought or effort into choosing a Triangle agent to represent them in what will likely be one of the largest financial transactions of their lives.

Flat Fee Realty wants Triangle homebuyers and sellers to make an informed choice when choosing a listing agent. Be on the lookout for these three common red flags:

  • The agent is a friend or relative: With thousands of agents practicing in Raleigh, Cary, and the surrounding areas, it’s likely that many buyers and sellers have a personal relationship with at least one real estate agent. While it is certainly admirable to want to give business to those nearest and dearest, tread carefully in the decision. If problems arise, it can be difficult to address them with a good friend or family member, leading to resentment or damage to the relationship.
  • The agent is part-time, or does real estate “one the side”: For buyers, time is of the essence in today’s hot real estate market. From showing homes to submitting and negotiating offers, buyers need an agent who is available at almost all times. For sellers, an agent that actively follows the market daily and is available for last-minute showing is a necessity. A part-time agent is unlikely to give each client the time and attention they deserve.
  • The agent is unfamiliar with the neighborhood or property type: The real estate market is hyper-local, varying from town to town and even neighborhood to neighborhood. It’s essential to choose an agent familiar with the area, since he or she may already be in touch with buyers looking for a similar home, or sellers with homes not yet on the market. Likewise, when selling a condominium or purchasing an investment property, opt for and agent experienced with that type of product.

When it comes to choosing the right real estate agent, it pays to do the appropriate research and compare a few agents. Get recommendations from friends, coworkers, or family members, and note which agents are buying and selling in your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be dazzled by a slick listing presentation only to find out there’s nothing under the surface.

Whether a buyer or a seller exploring the benefits of a flat fee listing or in need of a full-service agent, Flat Fee Realty has everyone covered. Contact the experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty today!

**

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: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net

 


 

4 Often Unseen Costs of Selling a Home in the Triangle

Purchase agreement- phasinphoto, freedigitalphotos.netMost home sellers in the Triangle want to price their home for the most money possible in the shortest time; all while avoiding expensive costs, fees, and commissions. An agent’s commission is the obvious one, but there are many other not-so-obvious costs involved in selling a home. Flat Fee Realty wants sellers to understand all of the costs involved in selling a home. Below, some often overlooked costs to consider:

  • The agent’s marketing strategy: An effective marketing strategy is an important part of attracting enough potential buyers to generate solid, serious offers. A poor marketing strategy will needlessly prolong a home’s time on the market, with holding costs quickly adding up. Not only that, but the price reductions and low offers that inevitable follow will further reduce a seller’s profit.
  • The agent’s pricing strategy: If an agent’s pricing strategy is not effective, the home will sit on the market for longer than necessary. An improperly priced home may encourage low offers, and also necessitate price reductions. Buyers will note the reductions, which in turn will encourage more low offers.
  • Holding costs: A home sitting on the market will cost the sellers every single day in terms of a mortgage payment, interest, property taxes, and utilities. Additionally, sellers who have already purchased their new home are forced to double up on these costs until their former home is sold.
  • Closing costs: Many sellers forget about paying prorated property taxes, homeowner association fees, recording fees, transfer fees, and more. Additionally, some mortgages have a prepayment penalty, which requires payment of a fee if the mortgage is paid off prior to a specified date.

The true cost of selling a home involves a lot more than an agent’s commission. Every cost reduces the seller’s potential to make a profit; sometimes leaving them with less money than expected after closing. Sellers wanting to keep the most money possible after the sale of their home should contact the experienced agents at Flat Fee Realty today!

The savings begin with you.

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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: phasinphoto, Freedigitalphotos.net

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