Wake County Real Estate Market Recap June 2012

Wondering How the Triangle Real Estate Market is Looking?

Real estate activity in June 2012 (from the Triangle MLS) was strong…

  • Homes sold in June 2012 vs June 2011 = 2,607 vs 2,197 representing an increase of 18.7%
  • At the end of June 2012 the inventory of homes for sale was 13,691 vs 18,848 in June 2011, a decrease of 27.4%
  • The Days on Market until sale saw a decrease of 2.5% for the same period with an average of 115 in June 2012 vs 118 in June 2011

The Triangle unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.8% in May, up from 7.5% in April.

Wake County Real Estate Statistics

Recap of June Real Estate in Wake CountyOur Triangle market report will give you a good overview of how detached homes for sale in our area of NC performed in the Triangle Real Estate Market during the month of June 2012.

The pie chart breaks down the percentages of:

  • new active homes listed in June
  • total homes for sale (active)
  • homes that sold
  • homes under contract June 30th

For great information more specific to each area of the Triangle, see the links below to our blog where we’ve posted individual area market reports for last month:

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

Wake County Real Estate: June Stats by Area

  • New Active homes entered the housing market in June
  • Total Active homes were listed during the month (excludes the # of New Active homes as not to be redundant or skew the numbers)
  • Homes Closed last month
  • Homes that went under contract (Pending) in June
  • Average Days on the Market homes were listed before closing

AVERAGE NUMBER OF DAYS ON THE MARKET BEFORE CLOSING

Wake County Real Estate: Days on the Market by areaThis graph indicates the average number of days a single family detached home remained on the market (includes only those homes that closed in June 2012).

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 June 2012.

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.

The information below will give an idea of what your options are as home buyers.

TRIANGLE HOMES FOR SALE – June 2012

Wake County Real Estate: Active listings by area

HOMES that went UNDER CONTRACT last month

Wake County Real Estate: Pending in June

NUMBER OF HOMES THAT SOLD in june

Wake County Real Estate: Sold in June by area

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.

Home Sellers: Don’t be caught making these real estate mistakes

Avoid Real Estate Mistakes and Get Your Home SOLD
Avoid these home selling real estate mistakes to get your home sold quickly, and for a price you feel good about.  As Realtors with over a decade of experience, we know what it takes to get a home sold as well as the prep that’s necessary to buy a home.  For home sellers in Wake County, knowing some basic tips in advance can make a world of difference for your upcoming home transaction.

When Selling Your Home:

Provide easy access for showings

  • 8 am – 8 pm is usually best.  Not setting restrictions up front and a willingness to be flexible with prospective buyers might mean the difference between selling in 2 weeks versus sitting on the market for an extended period.

Don’t be home during the showings

  • Buyers meeting sellers during a showing is an uncomfortable situation.  Allow prospective home buyers to see themselves living in your home, to sit on the furniture (if they want), to open closets, cabinets and the fridge.  If you’re home the buyers will feel they’re invading your privacy, and may be too distracted by your presence to really get a feel for your home.
  • Just like you, it’s best if your pets aren’t home either.  Every one’s different… a client told me once if the buyers don’t like dogs I don’t want them buying my home anyway.  While I understand the sentiment, limiting your buyer pool is not going to help you move on.

No really personalized renovations

Neutral is always a good way to go when thinking about colors and decor before selling your home in and around Wake County.  This is an over the top example but let’s just say you, the seller, LOVES sharks… the Discovery Channel’s shark week is your favorite week of the year and in honor of your passion you renovated your front entrance to look like you’re walking into a huge shark’s mouth.  You love it, your friends and family say “YES – LOVE it” but really… do you think this is going to help your chances of selling when the time comes?

Whether it’s a shark mouth entrance, your favorite purple polka-dot carpet or the very specific tile mosaic that reminds you of your childhood trip to the Disney theme parks, extreme personalization that requires a sledge hammer (or a lot of expense) is better to avoid when possible.

Personalization’s are what make your home yours but when your home is for sale, taking down a huge framed shark poster, or painting over a cartoon mural is a better alternative to having your home under construction.  For more information check out our home seller guide to color.

Don’t pick the wrong agent 

  • Choose the Right Realtor® to Market and Sell Your HomeWhen you meet – treat it like a job interview.
  • A friend of a friend may not be right for you.
  • Meeting at the Realtors office is a good idea.  See where they work, how organized they are, etc.
  • Ask a lot of questions.
  • Ask about the marketing strategy for your home – make sure there is a comprehensive online marketing plan to get your home sold, statistics show over 80% of homes bought were found online.
  • Choose someone you feel comfortable with, trust, someone who is knowledgeable about the area and has a list of references they’re willing to share with you.

Just remember, when your home is on the market… it’s not your own. Though it is not always convenient, living in a well staged (check out home staging tips for ideas), clean and organized home while it’s listed on the real estate market will get you a quicker sale and in the long run be well worth the trouble.

Comparative Market Analysis

Wondering what your home is worth in today’s real estate market?  We offer a free, no obligation CMA (comparative market analysis) for home owners living in the Triangle who are planning to sell.  Get your home’s approximate value in today’s market.

 

Winterizing your home ~ Southern Style…

Time to prepare for winter too


Home winterizing ~ southern style

Well we’re full fledged into fall as we turned our calendars to November –  as summer slowly creeps away from us and we watch squirrels dashing around like crazy...  We start to change our attitudes and our daily routines.  It’s a time to start to think about getting ready and winterizing your home

Now living in Raleigh NC and getting ready for winter is nothing like what we did up in Montreal.  Up north there’s a lot more home winterizing and hunkering down than here.  One thing we all remember is bringing in the wood and cording it for the wood stove to keep us warm.

But there are still some customs that we go through. Like sorting through winter clothes we bring out of storage and deciding which we’ll be able to use in the coming months and which would be better given to goodwill.

Then there’s the let’s see how long we can hold out before turning on the heat!!  I usually win that one as I’m the hot blooded one in our family…

There are some good tips that we would be frugal in heeding even here in the south to winterize a house.  So I thought I’d share some thoughts of things to do as you’re getting ready to settle in for a long winters nap…  oh – sorry I was getting carried away there..

Hope you enjoy the coming months – it’s my favorite time of the year!

Thoughts & tips on getting ready for winter & winterizing your home

 

  • Check battery-powered equipment – flashlight(s), portable radio and/or TV. Keep additional, fresh batteries for each.
  • Have your furnace checked. Check heating fuel supplies. Do not allow fuel to get low because, in snowy or icy weather, fuel carriers may not be able to reach you.
  • Check attic and basement insulation
  • Caulk or weather-strip doors and windows. Make sure windows are closed and sealed tightly
  • Clean registers, vents and duct openings
  • Keep some sand or ice-melting stuff on hand
  • Have alternate heating source – fireplace, wood stove, space heater. Equipment should be approved for indoor use. **Properly ventilate room and use strict fire safety measures.
  • Have fireplace cleaned/serviced by a professional before use.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any combustible materials, including drapes, carpeting and furniture.
  • Do not drape gloves, socks, or other clothing over a space heater to dry.
  • Keep children and pets away from heating equipment.
  • Fuel-filled equipment should be filled outdoors when completely cooled.
  • Have a fire extinguisher near each heating source.
  • Assemble an emergency supplies kit (enough for at least three days) remember to include:
  1. Extra supplies of high energy food and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration (Suggestion for canned foods: 10 cans per person)
  2. Non-electric can opener
  3. Bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  4. Extra warm clothing
  5. Extra blankets or sleeping bags
  6. First aid kit, including all essential medications

We love our milder North Carolina winters…  one of the benefits of living in the south.  But winterizing your home, getting ready for the cooler season, and being practical about our preparations takes priority this time of the year even in the South!

Do you have home winterizing routines or tips that you could share with us?  We’d love to hear about them…  and if you’re planning on buying or selling a home in the next couple of months we’ll be ready to show ways to buy a house, even in the winter!

 

Dependable… Reliable… Protected…

Dependable… Reliable… Protected – All About the Home Warranty

The average cost of a Home Warranty in Wake County, NC is roughly $400 – $650 annually.   Is it worth it to you to protect yourself from unexpected home repair costs? 

Home_Warranty Program Information

An argument can easily be made for or against maintaining a home warranty over the years of home ownership.  Maintaining one over the years isn’t the topic we’re focusing on today but since we’re talking about it, and for the sake of argument… if your home is new and you’re a diligent saver maybe you can get by without the annual expense; if your home is older and saving money is an issue then a home warranty may be a necessity.

For us, if you’re in the process of selling your home in Wake County, NC or buying a home in Wake County we almost always recommend a home warranty to our clients.

Here in Wake County, home buyers usually expect a home warranty to be included in the package and paid for by the sellers.

When you list your home in Wake County (or surrounding towns) with us, as Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realtors®, you are covered as home sellers (for no additional cost), for the duration of the time your home is on the market with us if you choose to offer your buyer a Home Warranty with HSA Home Warranty. included and paid for by the home seller.  Always a point of negotiation, but when one is purchased perks come for both the home buyer and seller.

Home_Warranty Program Information

This is a tremendous benefit… and here’s why:

  • As a home seller imagine:  You’ve worked hard preparing your home for sale, you list with your local Realtor®, excited the process has officially begun to move toward the next phase of life.  AND THEN, after having done everything right you discover you have to shell out thousands of dollars because your HVAC decided that NOW would be a good time to kick the bucket.  Grrrr….
  • As a home buyer imagine:  Such an exciting time, closing is done, the deed has been recorded, you have the keys to your new home, you’re moving in and making your new home your own. AND THEN discover that while the electrical system was fine a few weeks ago during the home inspection, the system decides NOW would be a good time to cash in the chips… requiring thousands to fix.  Grrrrr….

Worth paying for a home warranty?  Yes – as home sellers it not only provides coverage for you during the period you’re listed on the market (when you don’t want unexpected problems to force you to put more money in to your home), but a home warranty also gives your potential home buyers warm fuzzies.  That sense of security for your potential buyers gives you a competitive edge when comparing your home with the competition down the street that may not offer the same advantage.

Home Sellers:  Simply put, home buyers love warm fuzzies. You never know, it could be what makes your buyers put in the offer on your home instead of someone else’s.

Questions?  Just let us know how we can help.  We’re here to make your transitions as smooth as possible!

Selling a home in Wake County, NC? Request your Guide: Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast And For Top Dollar

We offer a FREE, no obligation guide to help.

If you’re feeling ready to start gathering information about how to sell your home in Wake County, NC, but aren’t yet feeling ready to talk directly with a Realtor®  that’s ok. 

With years of experience and expertise, we’ve gathered information to create a simple guide to help home sellers in and around Wake County, NC sell quickly and for top dollar in the local Triangle real estate market.

Simply put, selling your home can affect your financial future.  We’ve included vital information to help you efficiently sell your home and maximize your investment in this Wake County Home Sellers Guide on Tips to Sell your Home Fast & For Top Dollar.


If you’re interested in information aboutHome Sellers Guide for Wake County, NC:

  • Keeping your motivation to sell to yourself
  • Doing your homework before setting a price
  • Knowing when to get an appraisal
  • What your tax assessment in Wake County really means
  • Finding a quality Wake County Real Estate Agent
  • Staging
  • Giving room to negotiate
  • What to disclose
  • Knowing your buyer
  • What’s often behind a low-ball offer

And much much more, request your free Wake County home sellers guide.

If you’re interested in specific information, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have.  If you’re still in the early information gathering phase, that’s OK, we understand you may not be ready to open up about who you are or your needs at this time.

Home Sellers in and around Wake County, NC: 

Request your no obligation free Guide on Getting Homes Sold Fast & For Top Dollar.


Home Buyers in or around Wake County, NC: 

Request your no obligation free Guide on How to Avoid Paying Too Much.

Just let us know how we can help.  We’re here to make your transitions as smooth as possible!

Replace or Improve the Windows in your Wake County Home ~ for Added Value and Savings

 

Replace or Improve the Windows in your Home ~ for Added Value and Savings

 

Looking for ways to add value to your home in Wake County, NC that will also cut energy bills?  If you have windows that need updating this is a great place to start.

 

Walls of window let the sun come streaming into living space

Walls of window let the sun come streaming into living space

Depending on your budget:  If your home has new windows, when it comes time to sell your home in Wake County, there is definite added value.  Depending on your budget, weigh the pros and cons of replacing your windows versus updating them. 

If you’re considering buying a home in Wake County, be sure your home inspector checks out the conditions of the windows and the thermal seals.  Old windows with broken seals can cost you money on your utility bills and you may be able to work with the sellers to obtain a credit to help offset some of that cost.

What can I do to make my windows more efficient without replacing them? 

Windows in Wake County, NC

If you’re not yet ready for the expense of buying new windows, you still have good options.

  • Seal up any gaps or holes with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Apply a window film, glaze or Low-E coating.  These applications help manage the heat transferred through the glass that add dollars to your cooling bill (and fade furniture!).  **There are a couple of different types and varieties of each available – source out your options carefully, some are more effective and blend better than others.
  • Storm windows can sometimes be added to single pane windows to add efficiency.

Check with your tax advisor as some films, glazes, Low-E coatings and storm windows are eligable for the federal residential tax credit for energy efficiency.

**You might look into having an energy auditor or replacement contractor help you determine your best option for windows.  Your choices often depend on the conditions of not only your windows but the walls that surround them.

What should I look for if I want to buy new windows?

Depending on your needs…

  • Replace the window and frame
  • Replace window in existing frame
There is 1 main guideline to keep in mind if energy efficiency is what you’re after.
Windows in Wake County, NC
It’s simple – for new windows, look for the ENERGY STAR® designation.  These windows meet a hefty criteria of efficiency standards. 
BONUS – replacement windows, skylights and doors installed on your primary residence THIS YEAR (2011) may qualify for a federal tax credit of 10% of the purchase price (unfortunately this excludes installation labor), up to $200.   On top of the tax credit… don’t forget you could also be saving hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling costs annually. 
**Check out the Energy Star windows webpage for specific information on how much you can save Windows in Wake County, NCin utility costs.

 

OK, I’m ready to get started, now what?  There are great local companies in the Wake County area that can evaluate and give advice based on your specific needs.  If you would like us to recommend one contact us and we are happy to help.

 

We hope to see you out and about in Wake County, NC

Realtor® Designations – What They Mean and Why It’s Important

LEE & PAMELA ST. PETER, CRS, GRI, ABR, E-PRO, E-CERT

We’ve worked very hard over the years to earn the designations above.  But why and what does it mean?

We’re not performing surgery, but just like you want your surgeon to be an M.D., it’s important your real estate agent has the proper industry credentials as well.

What do Realtor® Designations Mean?

Let’s start by defining each:

CRS Designation

Certified Residential Specialist® / CRS®:  CRS delivers the education, resources and connections agents need.  Covering topics from listing, selling, pricing, technology, marketing and more.  CRS is considered the symbol of excellence in residential real estate.


GRI Designation

Graduate, REALTOR Institute® / GRIsm:  This designation, is for all real estate agents who want a solid foundation.  It provides the platform necessary to becoming a successful agent.


ABR Designation

Accredited Buyer’s Representative / ABR®:  ABR is instrumental for Realtors® who will be representing home buyers.  Providing exclusive resources specifically related to staying up to date on home buying issues and trends, this designation provides unique insight on how to best serve home buyers.

 

e-Pro Designation

e-Pro®:  Never more important than now, e-Pro provides the tools and resources necessary to keep up in an ever-changing world of technology.  The majority of home buyers begin the search online.  It’s important your real estate agent understand more than just the fundamentals.


           e-Cert:  e-Certified sales associates have in-depth knowledge of leading Internet marketing solutions, digital imaging and electronic communication.

eCert is specifically a Prudential designation.

Why do Realtor® Designations Matter?

It’s important because it means as a home buyer or home seller in or near Wake County, NC you are getting very experienced, knowledgeable and skilled Realtors® you can trust with what could be one of your largest financial transaction.

We put in extra hours annually to stay up to date on everything that’s current in real estate.  We are serious about providing the most excellent service to our clients.

Due Diligence – Part 2: Home Sellers

Due Diligence – Part 2:  Home Sellers

A few basics for North Carolina Home Sellers Regarding Due Diligence.


Due Diligence Series: Realtors, Buyers & SellersDue Diligence is still so new in our Triangle Area Real Estate Market that there isn’t yet a standard or rule of thumb to guide us.

As we mentioned in Part 1, Due Diligence for Realtors®, here in the North Carolina Raleigh-Cary area due diligence (in a nut shell) involved the set amount of time a buyer has to do the home inspection, appraisal, pest, radon and lead paint inspections, etc., to decide if they want the home after everything has been thoroughly inspected.  The sellers are compensated for this time with a Due Diligence Fee that is non-refundable should the buyers decide the home is not for them.

If you’re not yet familiar with the Due Diligence process take a look at our earlier blog series that details What’s in the new NC Offer to Purchase Contract.

As the saying goes… buyers beware, but the new Due Diligence period is put in place to protect the buyer should unforeseen problems arise. 

Feedback from a few of our recent sellers we wanted to share with you:

The Due Diligence period = Sellers Beware. 

One of our roles as Realtors® in many home buying and selling transactions is to be the calm in the storm.  Selling a home can be a stressful and emotional time and it’s my job as a Realtor® to allow YOU to stay focused on the excitement of moving on to a new phase in your life.  As Realtors® who have had ample experience navigating our clients through this new Due Diligence process… we’d like to share some of the tips we’ve learned along the way.

Guide 2 of 3 in our Due Diligence Series:  Sellers

Due Diligence Fee

Sellers:

  • When you receive an offer – Make sure you feel comfortable with the length of the due diligence period and with how much you’re being compensated (from the due diligence fee) for that amount of time.

Congratulations you got an offer!!  Before jumping up and down let’s look closely, it’s a bit of a balancing act.  The buyers need time to investigate the home but as a North Carolina home seller there’s NO guarantee during the Due Diligence period the buyers won’t walk for any reason ranging from… a handrail that needs tightening, foundation problems, because they found a different home they like more, or even just because they got cold feet.

It’s probably unrealistic to expect a buyer will put a large percentage of the purchase price down for due diligence… consider that the buyers will also be investing in the appraisal, home inspection, pest, radon, lead paint, survey, etc., BUT you have to feel comfortable with the amount.

  • HOW MUCH?Some feel that buyers should be expected to compensate the home sellers for an equivalent amount of their mortgage for that period of time.Example:  If the home buyer wants 4 weeks for the Due Diligence period and your mortgage is around $2500/month, a seller may expect about $2500 in Due Diligence fee.

In the Triangle market we’re seeing everything from $250 for a 3 week period to thousands for a 60 day period – all is on the table for negotiation.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consensus in our Triangle area regarding how much the Due Diligence fee should be.  Naturally, sellers feel the fee should be higher, home buyers want the fee should be lower, and we as Realtors® work to find a comfortable balance between.

The important thing is to stay within your level of comfort.  Assess the risk with the reward, and with your Realtor®, decide if you can live with the results.

Raleigh – Cary, NC Named Healthiest Housing Market

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO RALEIGH AND CARY, NC!!

Raleigh-Cary is Nation's Healthiest Housing Market

 

Raleigh-Cary, NC is America’s Healthiest Housing Market!

 

The Housing Intelligence gave a sneak peak at the 2011 Market Health Report and we are thrilled to report Raleigh-Cary, NC has the great honor of being named

 

 

#1 Healthiest Housing Market

 

 

The report takes into account home price appreciation, unemployment rates, job and income growth and other factors.  More great news for our area, Durham, NC came in ranking as #4 Healthiest Housing Market – we LOVE living in the Triangle!

 

Recently Raleigh and Cary, NC was also named:Raleigh & Cary, NC Accolades

 

to touch on just a few of the highlights.
We loving living in the Triangle area of NC and are grateful to call Raleigh home Click here for full the article.  Congratulations to all living in or relocating to the cities on this list!

Windows that “WOW” – Curtains 101

 

 

For Window Treatments That WOW!

 

Frankly… for many of us, curtains are tough to figure out.  Do I need them?  How high do I hang them?  Valence or no valence?  Do I go with a solid color or mix it up a bit?  How long do they need to be?  How thick should they be?  Will it look weird if I layer them? And on and on. 

 

A friend in New Jersey who bought a home recently shared this story:
  1. She spent 2 hours in the store looking before finally buying curtains
  2. Hung them
  3. Returned them to the store
Windows that WOW
… and here’s the real kicker – REPEATED THAT PROCESS 4 TIMES with 4 different sets of curtains! 
Only then to go back and purchase the 1st ones again.  Not an exagerration (that’s 4 TIMES)… hanging each one every time (her sweet husband was a little more than exhausted by the end).  I’d be willing to bet there’s more than 2 of you reading this that can relate!
Anyone who might share my friend’s frustration in the near future might consider a little Curtains 101 to hopefully save some time (AND GAS!). 
For window treatments you can be proud of… consider these tips…

 

  • When choosing colors and patterns use the same principal we have outlined in our Home Sellers Guide To Color:  When choosing your color palette, the colors of your curtains should coordinate with those in the room (sounds more simple than it is sometimes). 

Stick with either warm or cool tones without mixing the two. A monochromatic scheme means you’re utilizing different tones and strengths within the same color, creating a more peaceful, subtle environment. An analogous color scheme will also work, utilizing colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel.

  • Place 2 patterns and fabrics side by side that go with or nicely contrast with the room, then pull both to one side.
  • Create a functional, unique tie back out of ribbon, rope or a piece of fabric.
  • When deciding the height of your rod, consider hanging it as high as possible to raise the eye a bit and make a low ceiling seem higher.
  • Layering window treatments can help lower energy costs just like a heavier fabric can be used to act as additional insulation if you have older windows your not ready to replace.

 

If you’re considering selling your home in the Raleigh area, it’s important to recognize that neutral is always the way to go when preparing to put your home on the market as not to limit your potential buyer pool.

Sure hope this helps.  If you’re considering selling your home… check out these home staging tips for more ideas on how to stage your home to sell in the Triangle area of North Carolina. 

Otherwise… Happy curtain shopping!