When home buyers in the Triangle drive to properties in a separate vehicle from me, I always tell them to park in the driveway.
“Test drive the driveway. It is part of what you are buying.”
We don’t have mountains here in the Piedmont, but the topography certainly rolls. It is easy to find steep driveways in both Raleigh and Cary. And that steep driveway can be a deal breaker.
A Buyer needs to know they are comfortable in the driveway, if their car scrapes bottom entering or leaving, if they have good sight lines when backing out, if that side entry garage requires a three-point turn to enter and exit or if it has adequate space for a pad that allows easy access.
The time to know is prior to going to contract on an otherwise appealing house.
As their buyers agent, I want my clients to notice before we write, before we give up a large Due Diligence Fee to get a contract.
This update was just installed by the good folks at IDX Broker. IDX Broker is my vendor for my No Hassle Property Search, and they do a great job.
A couple of weeks ago, the Triangle MLS announced that listings in “Pending” status would be released to our IDX vendors. This means that visitors to this site can see “Pending” listings, or even search specifically for “Pending” listings in my Advanced No Hassle Property Search.
You can see a property’s MLS status when you look at the Details.
At the bottom of the right column, you will see “Property Status.” That will be followed by either “Active,” “Contingent,” or “Pending.”
It has been confusing for a buyer to see properties “disappear” from search results, when we know the sale hasn’t closed yet.
Formerly, TMLS withheld Pending listings from IDX because those are homes that cannot be shown to buyers. That is the meaning of the “Pending” status. But, for the sake of transparency and clarity, the TMLS board recently decided to allow those listings to be displayed.
I think it is a little nifty benefit for people trying to search for homes.
Prof. Michael Bordo interviewed by MarketWatch reporter, Greg Robb:
Did your eyes glaze over in the middle? Or at the end where Professor Bordo says he fears the Fed will wait too long to let rates increase?
Watch it again. You have time.
How does this relate to home sales in Cary, or elsewhere for that matter? I think it ties back to my post of October 28, 2011, “Creating Urgency? Or, Raise Interest Rates to Sell more Houses?” where I mentioned the point made by a client that the Fed has removed all urgency from the real estate market with prolonged artificially low interest rates.
Real estate agents who are working their tales off to “create buyer urgency” may be surprised to realize how hard the Fed is working against them by holding rates low for another year.
Do I do Open Houses?
Yes, I hold Open Houses in most of my listings, and I don’t worry about reasons given for not holding them.
Do Open Houses “work” in Cary?
I think many work well to expose the home to the market, to generate a little buzz, to get people in to visit.
“They are only for agents to get new Buyer Clients.”
No, I hold Open Houses to generate business for that listing.
“Only a low percentage of Open Houses result in a Buyer.”
I like to say, as a listing agent, holding an Open House is better than napping at home in front of the TV, and moaning that the real estate market is dead.
QR Codes are a great marketing tool in Real Estate and are popping up all around Cary NC.
QR Codes in Cary NC Real Estate
QR Codes in Real Estate
QR Codes in real estate are a hot item right now. Using QR Codes in real estate marketing is in its infancy, but beginning to gain serious traction.
QR Codes can be used to convey great amounts of information to smartphone users who scan them.
I like the use of QR Codes for offering GPS coordinates, and since most smartphones have GPS capability, that seems like an efficient use.
But one can also use QR Codes to offer purely real estate data and information. A listing agent can connect buyers to photos, flyers, documents, and make it easy for buyers and buyers agents to gather data they need to write an offer on a listing.
So, I am seeing more QR Codes on real estate listings in Cary.
One criticism of QR Codes is their industrial/utilitarian appearance. Some folks call them "ugly." There is little doubt that, with some care, a real estate agent can present an appealing QR Code. They may never be confused with seascapes by Monet, but QR Codes can look better. The video runs nearly two minutes, but “60 Seconds” just didn’t seem adequate:
Cary home buyers who want basement homes often have to compromise. Many select finished attics.
Basement Homes in Cary NC
Basements in Cary NC
Cary home buyers from other regions often are shocked that many Cary homes do not have basements, and buyers agents need to do some explaining.
There are several contributing factors to that situation.
1. Basements are not structurally necessary, so they are luxury priced. We just don't need them. In the north and midwest states, it is necessary to excavate footings 4 to 8 feet below grade to get below frost depth. We only need, by code, to bury footings 15 inches below grade, so further excavation is unnecessary. And expensive.
2. Many Triangle areas have high water tables on site. Water around foundation walls is more likely to intrude into the interior of the basement.
3. Expansive clay soils. Our soils will expand and contract as they get wet and dry. This movement can stress walls, and allow more opportunity for water intrusion.
4. Cost of finish. It is usually more cost effective to convert attic space and finish it than to create and finish a basement. And the home buyers benefit from being high, dry and lit by sunlight.
Yes, you can get a basement in Cary NC. Commonly, it will be a "walk out" basement, also known as a "daylight" basement. one or two walls will be above grade, with exit doors and windows. And the lot will have some slope to accommodate this. Dugout, hole in the ground, basements are extremely rare.
Buyers look for items that are dealbreakers for them. When deficiencies cannot be cured, smart Sellers and their listing agents price homes accordingly.
Buyers and Dealbreakers
Buyers will often cite a "dealbreaker" when considering a home. In Cary, NC, some of those items are steep driveways, proximity to large powerlines, proximity to busy thorofares, railroad tracks, or excessive airplane traffic.
Some buyers are willing to work with a home that has only a single negative feature, but when they add up, those buyers often lose interest.
A few years ago, I listed and sold a home with a steep driveway, powerlines and a railroad behind it. How can that be overcome?
We have a saying in real estate, that "Price fixes all deficiencies." In other words, when a home's price recognizes the diminished value created by excessive incurable deficiencies, and there is an affordable home with otherwise great features, there will be a buyer.
Smart home sellers and their listing agents in Cary will take negative items they cannot change into account when pricing the home for sale.
Check out garage dimensions to make sure you can park 2 cars in a 2 car garage in Cary.
Garages in Cary NC
How many cars can you fit into a 2 car garage?
What makes a garage a 2 car garage? Or a 3 car garage?
How can you tell?
The big door in front won't tell you. You can get a pretty big door on a pretty small garage.
We see Cary listing agents marketing 2 car garages, or 3 car garages, for their seller. But, some garages are so tight, it is difficult to imagine parking two cars and being able to open their doors.
Or, as often done in Cary, the water heater is placed in the garage, in the parking space. Or the builder adds a flight of stairs from the garage to the living area, and that flight of stairs encroaches into a parking space.
So, when working as a buyers agent, I take a very close look at the garage layout, the dimensions, and other factors that can impact the utility of the space. And sometimes I will tell my home buyers, "Well, heck. That's a 4 car garage. If you own 4 Smart cars." In other words, you will work hard to park 2 cars in that garage.
Discussion of termite plans, termite inspections, and how that varies from pest services in Cary.
Termites? In Cary NC? Well…. Yes.
One home inspection that home buyers always have performed on a Cary home is to have a licensed pest firm check for termites. Termites are very common in the Cary area and a smart buyers agent will press the home buyer hard to have the property checked out during the due diligence period of the contract.
It is also common for a home owner to carry a termite protection contract, which usually includes a repair policy for any termite damage. If the home seller has carried such a plan, the seller should let the listing agent know, and that becomes a selling point in the listing. If the plan is transferable, it is even more affordable and valuable to the home buyer.
Some folks confuse a termite plan with quarterly pest service. Those are two very different services, even though they are offered by nearly all pest and termite control firms in the Triangle area.