Selling Your Home

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The home appraisal is an important element of selling your home. Here's how you can prep for it.

When you're selling a home, it's customary for a buyer to get an appraisal. A home appraisal is an unbiased report that uses the home's features and size, and data from the current real estate market and comparable home sales, to determine the property's value.

Homebuyers usually schedule an appraisal as part of the mortgage application process. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips to ensure your home is ready for the appraisal. 

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Selling a home for the best price is tricky to pull off. Here's how you can ensure you sell at the price you want.

Sooner or later, most homeowners will face selling their home and moving elsewhere. Many life situations can necessitate the sale of a home — change of jobs, marriage, divorce, retirement, or simply the quest for a "dream home." Regardless of the reason, you may be contemplating listing your home among Southport homes for sale.

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Few of us could have imagined the changes 2020 had in store for us this time last year.  Changes to our work lives, schooling, finances and retirement plans, travel plans and commute times, family organization, even cooking, outdoor activities and other hobbies have been transformed. For some of us, there's been a growing mismatch between the home we've loved for years and the way we live now.

Even if you're happy in your current home and it fits you to a tee, you owe it to yourself to consider the market.  Let us help you identify the opportunities that make up the silver lining of a very difficult year. It may be that the perfect buyer for your home is out there right now.  You might maximize the utility of your home by selling it now and moving ahead to your next real estate investment that will better accommodate your needs in the future. 

Q.     What about the upgrades I was planning to make to my outdated kitchen? I want to get top dollar for my home!

A.     Many buyers would prefer to choose their own appliances and finishes.  A good Buyer's Agent will help them connect with qualified professionals to do the work on a convenient schedule after they take possession of the home. Instead of making cosmetic improvements, focus your energy on any functional repairs that may be needed.  The point is to reinforce the idea that your home has been well-maintained.  You can look forward to putting your creative energies into a new home!

Q.     Where will I move ?

A.     Wherever you want!  See something you like? Let us approach the current owner and make inquiries on your behalf.  Your interest might persuade someone else who just happens to be "sitting on the fence" at the moment.  We can also find you a "lot and home package."  Builders often buy vacant land for future spec projects at very low prices. Many of them are more than happy to sell under the condition that you use them to construct the new home.  This can represent a great value for the buyer since they'll already have plans selected that suit the location and meet local building codes.  You'll often have the added advantage of choosing your appliance package, paint colors, hardware and other features without having to pay the higher price of a truly custom home. 

 Q.     Life is so hectic these days.  I don't have time to drive around looking at things or spend hours online.

A.     You don't have to, that's our job!  We can be sure that you're notified as soon as something new comes on the market that meets your specific criteria.  If you need three bedrooms, you will only see homes with three bedrooms, not two, and not four.  You'll be surprised at the way we're able to customize our searches by the school district, distance from the beach, community amenities, and of course the features of the home itself.  We also see a wider range of options coming on the market now.  Some people are letting go of their primary residence to move to their second home full-time.  Some are getting out of their rental investments and some are letting go of investments in land. We will help you explore all the options.

 Q.     How will I manage to afford it?  Times are tough!

A.     You might be surprised.  Talk to your banker or credit union representative.  Rates are still at near all-time lows and getting pre-approved makes any offer you do make all the more attractive.  For some, working from home means being able to save money on their commute to work.  It may also mean you can relocate to a neighborhood with no POA fees, lower taxes, lower insurance rates, or simply a lower price per square foot.  More people are also combining households these days. What was once the 'down-sized' retirement home for someone who has decided to move in with adult children might be the perfect next home for you!

 Q.     We want to wait and sell at the top of the market.  Are we there yet?

A.     You never really know where the top of the market is, until it's already in the past. This is why "market timing" doesn't actually work when it comes to selling real estate. By the time you notice a slight drop in closed prices, everyone else sees it too.  And those closed prices are based on contracts signed 30-60 days or more in the past! There will be a slight increase in inventory at this point because nobody wants to miss the opportunity to realize their home's top value.  That's understandable but increased supply means decreased relative demand.  Prospective buyers will also think they might gain some advantage by waiting a bit longer. They feel no urgency anymore. Additionally, homes don't typically sell the moment they're listed. The idea of market timing is based on automated sell orders you can set for stock market investments. The mechanics of this situation are just not the same. Another, often overlooked, reason for selling before you see the absolute peak is what we like to call "instant equity." When you anticipate the market, your new home's value will be lifted as we crest the peak of top pricing. That value becomes yours as equity, while you continue to pay the low mortgage rates locked in shortly before your closing date.

 Q.     What's the next step? How do I begin the process of listing my home?

A.     You've heard you should never expect something for nothing, but that's not entirely true.  The first thing a good listing agent will do is gather information for a comparative market analysis.  We do that for free, before you sign any sort of contract, so you will know where you stand in a competitive market.  It's also the only way for us to develop an appropriate marketing plan.  We have the tools to present your home to the pool of most likely buyers as soon as it's listed.  Whether that means including it in the Luxury Portfolio program, or digging into our contact lists for the new buyer who has been waiting to leave a long-term rental for a new home that is just the right fit. We're hearing from lots of folks who want to downsize as well as those who want more space, or just more flexible space. And we're always active with relocation clients. Don't forget, we've been turning visitors into locals since 1981!

Drop us an email or give us a call.  We look forward to hearing from you!



Pet Owners Selling HomeHaving a pet in your family makes your house feel even more like home. Unfortunately, not all buyers are thrilled about having a four-legged friend as a prior resident — especially if they have pets themselves. Our real estate agents understand that you have a lot on your plate as you sell your home. We want to take a moment to remind you that there are a few additional tasks to add to your to-do list if you're selling a home that housed a pet. Pet owners should complete these duties before a showing.

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Declutter Your Home

Clutter has a way of catching you off guard. Even if you're a naturally tidy person, it can seem like as soon as you turn your back, clutter sneaks up and becomes a problem overnight. 

Lately, we've all been spending a lot more time at home than we're used to, which is why our REALTORS® are particularly eager to share some de-cluttering tricks. Here's how you can enjoy a cleaner, less cluttered home this summer. 

Benefits of Decluttering

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Myths About Real Estate

Ask anyone who has bought or sold a home for real estate advice, and you're likely to hear some interesting answers related to that person's own experience. But no matter how good the intentions of the friend, family member, or colleague providing that advice, it can be hard to separate myth from fact. The stakes are high when buying or selling a home, so it's important to have the facts before you engage in the process. Our real estate agents are here to help, by debunking five common myths that you have likely heard about the real estate market.


Features Buyers are Looking forThe real estate market sees numerous changes each year with new trending features to entice homebuyers. The coronavirus, homeschooling, and working remotely have many families looking to expand their living space to accommodate all the changes. Whether you are selling or viewing Southport homes for sale, it's important to know the current trends.

When looking for a new home, every buyer has a specific list of essential features. Your home is more than just a house; it's your sanctuary. Right now, buyers want specific features for a comfortable and efficient living space. Check out the following five growing trends for homebuyers in 2020.

  1. Extra Space
    Before the recent health crisis, working remotely at home was a growing trend. Now to stay healthy, more individuals are working from home. For cost efficiency, many employers will continue to have their employees work at home in the future. Meeting the demands of working from home requires a private area to conduct business and close off the rest of the household. Homebuyers are looking for houses with extra bedrooms or other areas to transform into a home office.
  2. Two Bathrooms or More
    With everyone at home, the bathroom is a busy location. Increased use means a lot of traffic. If your current home only has one bathroom, the extra use may be overwhelming for your system to handle. Numerous homebuyers want at least two full baths or an extra half-bathroom to meet the needs of the family.
  3. Large Kitchen Space
    With the preparation of more meals at home, kitchen space is essential to meet the demands of daily cooking. The ideal kitchen would have extra space off to the side for a large pantry to stock up on necessities. A spacious kitchen is a growing trend taking over the preference of sizeable formal dining areas. A kitchen is an ideal location for family meals with quick and easy cleanup. The extra space is also an excellent area for doing schoolwork or entertaining.
  4. Backyard Space
    Spacious backyards are a welcome feature for numerous homebuyers. After all, when staying close to home, your outdoor living space is essential. Homebuyers want space for family entertainment and maybe a patio for enjoying summer evenings and meals. 
  5. Energy Efficient
    Home's with energy-efficient upgrades were already gaining popularity with homebuyers. Now with more people working at home and using electricity all day long, these features are even more desirable. A highly efficient HVAC system helps reduce your energy consumption and saves money. Plus, windows should be Energy Star qualified to help reduce heat or cooling loss. 

When selling your home, it's important to know what homebuyers are looking for in their search. 

Starting a search of your own? If you need help finding the right home for you and your family, our real estate agents are ready to help. Contact us today. We will find the ideal home match for you.  


Downsize Your Home

Your home is your castle. It's a comfortable, peaceful retreat from the pressures of work and the world outside. It's where you raise your children and send them off into the world with fond memories of backyard bbq's, holidays, and family gatherings. As the years go by and your lifestyle changes, it's entirely possible that your once comfortable home will simply be too large for your needs. If you find yourself wondering if now is the right time to downsize, the following are seven signs that it's time to make your move into one of the smaller Southport homes for sale right now.

  1. Maintenance is Taking its Toll 
    The bigger the home, the more it takes to maintain the landscape and everything else. Some tasks such as fixing the roof or climbing ladders to clean gutters can be downright dangerous the older you are.

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Selling Your Vacation Home

It's lovely to have a vacation home as a getaway, but sometimes circumstances change, and it's time to move on. It takes some work, but with a little research, selling your vacation home can be a liberating experience. Our real estate agents often advise clients on how selling a vacation home can be different than putting your permanent home on the market. These tips can make the process run smoothly and help you get more bang for your buck when it comes to selling a vacation home.  

  1. Find out the Best Time of Year to Sell
    Depending on the location and type of property, it may be much easier to sell your vacation home during certain times of the year. For example, Southport homes for sale are scooped up much faster in the spring and summer because it's a coastal town that's bustling during these months. Although there is more competition, there are also more potential buyers, which can help you sell faster and make more money. If you own a condo or timeshare, make sure to check with the HOA or timeshare company to find out if there are any restrictions on when and how you sell your vacation home. It's also a good idea to speak to your accountant or attorney about the tax implications of selling your vacation home.
  2. Find an Experienced Agent
    The seasonal/vacation home market can be very different than real estate markets in other areas. Look for a knowledgeable real estate agent who has a proven track record of success in helping clients successfully buy and sell vacation homes. A well-established local agent should also provide references and understand the multifaceted aspects of the area and what buyers are looking for. An excellent real estate agent will also advise you on how to appropriately prepare and price your vacation home to make it sell.
  3. Price it Right
    Check out recent sales of comparable homes in the area to see how much they sold for. Make sure you take into consideration location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and amenities like a fenced-in yard. Some people looking to buy vacation homes are interested in purchasing a house that's furnished. Ask your real estate agent about how to add furnishings to the overall cost.
  4. Clean it Up
    Getting ready to sell is the perfect time to declutter and clean your house from top to bottom. Make sure to make any minor repairs and do affordable updates like new cabinet and drawer hardware in the kitchen and new lighting fixtures. Have carpets professionally cleaned and paint all rooms a neutral color such as beige, cream, or greige. If any major repairs need to be done, it's a must to take care of them before you put your house on the market. Once it's all cleaned up, stage it for photos and listing.
  5. Create Curb Appeal
    Now that the inside of your vacation home looks all pretty and clean give the outside some attention. Cut the grass, pull weeds, and trim hedges and trees, so it all looks neat and tidy. Adding splashes of color with pots of vibrant flowers and a new welcome mat will make the outside pop.

Are you looking to buy or sell a vacation home in Brunswick County? Our real estate professionals have you covered. Contact us to get started.


Real Estate Photos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and when you're taking real estate photos, you want your buyer to have only two words in mind — dream home.

Our REALTORS® know the importance of high-quality photography for your real estate listing. The question is, do you know how to stage your home for these amazing photos? We've gathered this list of 7 tips to help you stage your home in a picture-perfect way.

  1. Let's Talk About Lighting
    Lighting is one of the most vital elements in photography, and it's just as important in real estate photos. Natural light will always be your best resource, so schedule your photographs during a time late morning or early afternoon. Open all curtains and blinds as well.

  2. Crop Out Clutter
    Clutter can be very distracting in photographs so minimize it as much as possible. Ideally, you should see no clutter, which includes items like dishware, clothing, or pet supplies. When you take your photos, your home should look as presentable as it would be if buyers were walking it in person.

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