When listing a home for sale, whether Home Sellers should do updates and minor repairs prior to listing or to just offer allowances for home buyers to handle updates themselves is a common question.
I fall into the freshen, repair, and update camp. Of course, that is dependent on the ability of the Home Seller to afford the costs of work out of pocket prior to receiving sales proceeds.
I like to say that it is about "conversations." Fewer defects and issues are fewer items of conversation, fewer things to talk about, whether it is the agent coaching buyers that they can handle updates, or the negotiations between the buyers themselves. Less conversation may well mean more money in a faster sale.
Smart Cary Home Sellers want Buyers and Buyers agents talking among themselves about how fresh and up-to-date the property seems, how little updating the Buyer will need to do after closing, how that may create a more affordable home.
Buyers need to know when they will receive keys to the house. Typically, that is after Closing.
Settlement vs. Closing in Cary NC Real Estate
Folks buying or selling a home in Cary need to plan well for activities around Settlement and Closing. And they should be able to expect some guidance from their Listing Agent and Buyers Agent.
And, many home buyers in Cary do not know the difference between Settlement and Closing in a North Carolina Real Estate transaction. When using the NC Association of REALTORS® Standard Offer to Purchase and Contract, the two terms have significantly different meanings. "Settlement" is the signing of documents related to conveyance of the property. "Closing" is when the Closing Attorney actually records the Deed at the Wake County Courthouse. Buyers are still Buyers until the Deed is recorded. After Recording, i.e., "Closing," Buyers become "Owners."
We are seeing more and more Cary homeowners test the market with For Sale By Owner, AKA FSBO, offerings.
I think right now that approach takes some guts, as even the Cary NC real estate market is a little soft at some price points. Hopefully, the FSBO Owner is trying to present more affordable home pricing to potential buyers and their Buyers agent.
But, I stop short of harassing For Sale By Owner sellers to convince them they are mistaken if they do not use me as their listing agent. Whether they are listed on the Triangle MLS or not, I assume that most people are sharp enough that IF they want a listing agent, they will hire a listing agent.
We are seeing more and more real estate listings touting “drought-tolerant Zoysia grass” in the Cary area. I think there is merit to that promotion by listing agents and home sellers. I had Empire Zoysia sod installed last week at home. In near 100 degree heat. It is supposed to be a "warm season" turf, and I surely hope so.
Green Level Environmental Landscaping did a great installation, and I was impressed how the crew pressed through the heat to finish.
Why Zoysia? It will turn brown in winter, and some folks don't care for that. But, it also will deal with the stresses of hot weather, will spread to repair itself, and will tolerate more abuse than fescue will. Zoysia grows thick like carpet and offers a luxurious lawn grass.
I also shot some Before, During, and After photos of the project:
Closed Existing Home Sales in Cary NC through 7/17/11
I just ran the numbers on Closed Sales in Cary for the 30 days ending Sunday, July 17.
Disregarding New Construction
127 Resale Homes Closed
Average Listing Agent Days on Market were 87
Average Cumulative Days on Market were 104
Shortest DOM was 2 days
Longest Cumulative DOM was 713 Days.
30 homes went Under Contract in 30 or fewer days.
Average Sale Price was $299,604
High Sale Price was $950,000
Low Sale Price was $65,000
Average Sale Price was 96.1% of the last Listing Price.
So, Sellers are getting homes Closed when they prepare them for market, price them right and hire a good listing agent.
Yes, the Cary NC real estate market is soft, but it works when aggressive Sellers put their best foot forward.
Calculate how much mortgage you can handle with Mike’s Mortgage Calculator.
Affordable Mortgage Calculator
I picked up this Mortgage Affordability Calculator from Calcmoolator. It is informal, but can help folks have a little fun comparing their finances to home costs, and to determine if affordable home ownership is feasible for them. Users should adjust taxes and insurance to reflect something closer to market value in Cary.
A listing agent or Seller will not accept these results as proof that a Buyer can afford a home. And a Buyers agent should not think a quick calculation like this is proof that the buyer can afford a home. The calculator is not a substitute for a prequalification session or a mortgage preapproval letter from a lender, but it can help folks gain some focus on some of the issues in home lending. Of course, if you want to step directly into working with a great mortgage banker, I always recommend Kevin Martini of SunTrust Mortgage.
Prelisting inspections can help a Seller over some hurdles on the way to closing.
Prelisting Home Inspections
Home Inspections Prior to Selling
It is becoming more common for Sellers in Cary to have a home inspection prior to listing the house for sale. I think that is a great trend, and a great marketing tool, particularly when all repairs are already made too. This method allows the Seller to perform repairs with chosen contractors, and without the rush of a closing deadline.
When the Listing Agent can advertise as much, and the Buyers Agent can tell their client that the home has been inspected and repaired, it is a HUGE confidence builder for the Buyer. The Buyers inspections will yield fewer findings, and the home should be easier to accept.
Open houses work, but only if the listing agent REALTOR® works them!
Open Houses, in 60 Seconds
Open House? Sure!
Some Cary listing agents often differ strongly on whether Open Houses "work." Well, I say, Open Houses don't work. Listing Agents work, and using an Open House as one means to market a property can be very productive.