Home buyers beware of your competition

What’s that you ask?  There’s such a thing as home buying competition?

There sure is and the competition is heating up here in the Triangle.  With our home inventory at the lowest it has been in the past decade, there is an undercurrent of urgency developing for home buyers.

Here’s a real life scenario:  A couple were out with their Realtor® over the week-end.  Let’s call them Jane & Bill. They found a home that they both just fell in love with.  It’s perfect.  It has the rooms they both need, and that extra bonus.  Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 7.55.30 AM

But they wanted to sleep on it, and perhaps see what else is out there…  

OOPS – that was a huge mistake… here’s the rest of the story:  There was another couple also falling in love with their perfect house.  And that other couple didn’t wait.  They were savvy buyers and they got their offer in immediately.  So guess what happened once Bill & Jane realized there wasn’t anything better than that house?  When they finally decided to put in an offer here’s what they heard;  Sorry that home is already under contract.

Ouch! We are out of the luxury of ‘sleeping on it’.  As the real estate markets across the country start to make their way out of a sleepy slump, buyers really do have to make and stick to a buying plan.

Here’s what you need to do.

  • Use the internet – let your fingers do the walking and preview homes online.  You will get the feel of what is available in your price range and location.  So when you are out previewing homes, you’ll know when you’ve found your perfect home
  • Be realistic ~ and not idealistic when looking at homes
  • Meet with your lender and get your pre-approval up front
  • Start doing your due diligence and gather information about the area you’re looking in
  • Be pro-active. Let your agent advise the sellers/seller’s agent that you are interested in their home.  This is no time to play coy.

If it’s really a home you love; write that offer immediately – don’t wait! 

It won’t take you long to learn that your competition in buying a home is other buyers.  We really hate to see people loose out on getting their dream home just because they weren’t prepared. Don’t let that happen to you!

We’ve got more home buying tips if your interested.  Or why not just subscribe to our blog right over on the right…

3 home buying pitfalls you can avoid

Buying a home today isn’t rocket science.  However home buying pitfalls that lurk in the process are mind boggling.  Even for an expert. Here are 3 pitfalls you can avoid…

3 home buying pitfalls to avoid

Home buying pitfalls to avoid

I can’t imagine someone meandering through the landmines of ambiguities of buying a home without an advocate.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been a REALTOR® for over a decade and I have seen these things happen.  They happen very innocently, but the ripples are so uncomfortable for you the buyer, when it’s your situation! Below are 3 home buying tips to help. We’d all love the world to turn smoothly and that includes when buying a home.  But when it doesn’t, it can become very disruptive and very unsettling.  There are real hidden issues that do come up and cause not only a loss of sleep, time, and money, but a potential legal suit as well. So what can you do?  Take a deep breathe;  and do your homework with your agent during your due diligence period.  There is a ton of information for potential home buyers to gather, and even more that their agent can get.  Research the bejeebers out of the home and don’t quiet that little voice in your head if something doesn’t feel right! Then sit down and discuss what’s real, what’s important, and what needs more clarification with your agent. Here’s some home buying tips I’d like to share…

Home Buying Pitfall #1 County tax records…

Are they perfect? No, but if there is a discrepancy between what’s on that MLS sheet and what’s on the county records, someone better question it.  Is there a big difference in the square footage?  That might indicate that the seller has done some adding on without pulling the proper permits.  Oh no problem you say, well think again.  It’s a very big problem.  If permits weren’t pulled, it didn’t pass city/county inspections.  If if didn’t pass city/county inspections and god forbid something happens, your insurance may not cover you.  If a fire were to start due to a faulty breaker or electrical error and the work was done by Uncle Al – there’s a very BIG problem…  

Home Buying Pitfall #2 What about homes that are renovated?

Be sure to know the effective date of the home, and not be fooled by looking at the brand new package with gleaming hardwood floors and granite counters.  The year could be wrong on your MLS sheet. Homes bought, renovated, and flipped are candidates for well you’ve heard the saying before; putting lipstick on a pig.  

Home Buying Pitfall #3 Well and Septic Permits… 

Then there’s the number of bedrooms in the home. Well and septic tanks here in Wake County real estate are fairly common. So watch for another common mistake in the number of bedrooms being stated on the MLS sheet. Verify that the number of bedrooms listed on the MLS sheet match the number of bedrooms that the septic permit was pulled for.  Oh, that’s not a problem either because there aren’t any septic police I hear you say.  That might be true for the system itself, but when it comes time for YOU to sell you won’t be able to advertise it without repercussions as a 4 bedroom if the permit is pulled for only 3 . So make sure that you have chosen an agent that will do the homework necessary for you once you’ve narrowed down your search to just that perfect one.  Because it’s after you’ve had the fun of ‘looking’ and picking the one home you love that you will be so happy that you have an experienced agent working for you; making sure you’ll get to closing AND enjoy that lovely home for years to come…

What’s the #1 pitfall when buying a home? The closing date.

Gorgeaus Home in Fuquay VarinaBuying a house isn’t that hard really.  But believe it or not the #1 pitfall when buying a home is the closing date.

Pick a bad date and the process can be brutal. I’m scratching my head over what it takes to get a real estate transaction CLOSED in today’s real estate market! Not sure how anyone would chance selling their home on their own.  It has become a mine field that really does require some very experienced professionals to get the job done.

Here’s what happened… We had given ourselves what we thought would be plenty of time to do our due diligence; we even cleared the closing date with the lender. But here’s an example of an ‘out of the blue’ scenerio that really happened

Sold a gorgeous home to a great couple relocating here from Kansas.  The normal consultation meeting, overview of the area, discussing their parameters all went well.  Even finding their new home went smoothly.  Inspections, negotiated cash in lieu of repairs, lender process – yep, all going smooth as silk eying the date to close.

BUT then 1 week before closing the lender sends my client an email and cc’d me, here’s what they said;

…we are wanting to see a copy of the inspection report. I know that you stated that they have to replace some flashing on the roof and fix a leaky toilet but we are really wanting to see a copy of the inspection report to see what the real problem is with the roof especially.  We may need a certification verifying that there are no active leaks and the roof is fine for 12 months depending on what the inspection report says.  Can you please forward me the inspection report as soon as you can so we can take a look at it?

There was no mention of any leaks on the home inspection report (and believe me when I say I use a very very meticulous inspector!!).  So I sent them the ‘roof’ section of the report the next day thinking that will answer any concerns about a leaking roof and they’ll move on getting the loan package to the attorney… But oh no – here’s the response we got;

…we want a roofer go out to the property to inspect the roof and have him send something on company letter head signed and dated stating there are no leaks on the roof and the life expectancy is at least 12 months.  We need this to get the purchase agreement approved and the faster you can get that to me that would be great.

WHAT?  It’s 3 days before closing.  I called and left messages for reputable roofers I know and work with here in the Triangle.  But lo and behold they were all booked!  The earliest I was able to get a roofer out to ‘fulfill’ this request was 3 or 4 weeks out.  BUT REMEMBER WE ARE SCHEDULED TO CLOSE IN 3 DAYS.  So I emailed the lender back and told him I was having problems getting a roofer that I knew and trusted to go to the house in such short notice; and again asked him since the inspector didn’t mention any leaks would he reconsider his request…he writes back;

Pam-is there any other roofing companies out there that can go to the property and inspect the roof before the 25th? I ask that cause I know <your client> will want to close on the home before then.

I wasn’t about to start calling random roofers…  what to do? Fortunately I thought to call a builder I love working with.  I called Massengill Design Build.  He was kind enough to refer his roofer who ‘dropped what he was doing’ to get to the house and get me that letter within a couple of hours.

I question why that happened in the first place?  There was no indication on the home inspectors report about any ‘roof leaks’ , and the home is just 6 years old with 30 year architectural shingles!!! 

This is just one example of what can snarl a closing, and there are many other issues that can/and do come up; so please have a back up plan for your closing date.  It relieves a lot of stress and tension.  Especially if that moving truck was scheduled for the same day as closing. Not having a back up plan if closing doesn’t go as scheduled, it’s the #1 pitfall when buying a home.  Give yourself some breathing room….  You’ll be glad you did if something comes up.

Happy House Hunting!


The 2013 Triangle, NC Real Estate Market Recap – Great Stats!

Wake County Real Estate Recap 2013Number of homes sold are up, average list price is up, percentage of list price received at closing is up, average days on the market is down… Wake County, North Carolina had a tremendous year in real estate!

Is moving to, from or within the Triangle area of NC on your list of 2014 new year resolutions?

Included is the full recap of how Wake County real estate performed in 2013, divided by area and real estate activity.

We’ll start out with a quick snapshot of the entire Triangle region comparing 2013 to 2012 (from the Triangle MLS)…

  • Homes sold in 2013 vs 2012 = 29,469 vs 23,859 representing an increase of 23.5%
  • Average Sales Price in 2013 was $236,756 vs $226,625 in 2012, a 4.5% increase
  • % of List Price Received increased slightly to 97.3% in 2013 vs 96.5% in 2012 (excluding seller concessions), a .8% increase
  • The Days on Market until sale decreased substantially by 16% for the same period with an average of 100 days in 2013 vs 119 days in 2012

Wake County Real Estate Statistics

Wake County 2013 Real Estate RecapNow we’ll break down the information further by area.  This information includes only the detached single family homes of Wake County real estate.

The pie chart shows the percentages of:

  • new active homes listed last year
  • total homes for sale (active)
  • homes that sold
  • homes under contract December 31st

For great information more specific to each area of the Triangle, see the links below where we’ve posted individual area market reports summing up last year:

To break down the information above even further, the table below details detached single family homes in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Garner, Fuquay-Varina and Knightdale by how many:

  • New Active homes entered the housing market in 2013
  • Total Active homes were listed prior to Jan. 1st, 2013 (have been listed for sale over 1 year)
  • Homes Closed last year
  • Homes that went under contract (Pending) in 2013 and haven’t yet closed
  • Average Days on the Market homes were listed before closing

2013 Triangle Real Estate Recap


2013 Triangle Real Estate - Average Days on the marketThis graph indicates the Average Days on the Market for single family detached home that closed in 2013.

If you are selling your Triangle home this should help give a quick overview of how long you can expect it will take to sell your home, IF it is priced right. Again the table above lists the average days on the market for those homes that were closed during 2013.

If you are interested in finding out how your home stacks up against the competition, we offer a free Comparative Market Analysis. If you would like to know how we can market your home to get the best deal possible in the shortest amount of time, browse our Triangle home selling section or request a free pamphlet on how to get your home sold fast. When you’re ready, contact us and we’ll work together to get your home sold.

TRIANGLE HOMES FOR SALE – Listed Before Jan. 1st 2013

Please keep in mind the charts below reflect the actual number of homes and not percentages.  Comparing one area to another is most meaningful when dealing in percentages due to the varying number of homes in each area.  We have this information in each of our individual Triangle area 2013 real estate market recaps for your review.

2013 Triangle Real Estate - Active Over a Year


2013 Triangle Real Estate - Under Contract


2013 Triangle Real Estate Recap - Homes Sold

That’s it, the 2013 year-end real estate recap!  If you would like to discover what is on the market now that matches your unique criteria sign up for your own gateway and receive new listings as they enter the Triangle real estate market.

Should you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like more detailed information please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’re always happy to answer questions, listen to concerns and work together. Whether you are buying or selling a home, we are here to create a smooth transition and fulfill your real estate needs.

Disclaimer: Any reference to TMLS data is based on information from Triangle MLS, which neither guarantees nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided ‘AS IS’ and with all faults. Data maintained by Triangle MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Realtor® is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors®.

Relocation Resources

Relocation Check-list

Home Buyers everywhere have a list of things to accomplish as they set their sites on moving.  Starting with:

… the list goes on and on.  But what about after the offer is accepted?  How do I prepare for my relocation?

Preparing for Relocation

We created this Home Buyer Check-list to provide an easy way for buyers to stay organized during this busy time.  In addition to the home buying check-list, included below are links to some very handy forms and information you’ll need to get the relocation process moving along

If you have any questions at all, or are preparing to relocate to the Triangle or a surrounding area, contact us.  We’ve worked with hundreds of home buyers and home sellers relocating to and from the Wake County area and are here to help.