Staging Your Home Is A Must If You Want To Sell It…

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Did you know that within 15 seconds, a real estate buyer has already developed an opinion of your property? This is why establishing the right first impression is critical to achieving a successful sale. The following is an outline of those elements which create the overall first impression including suggestions on how to make sure the buyer reacts as favorably as possible.

The Model Home Effect

The best way to make a buyer “feel at home” is to create an environment similar to that found in a model home. Obviously, you cannot recreate the feeling of a perfect displayed home without starting from scratch, but there are some valuable techniques to be learned.

When walking into a model home, you will notice key points:

  • The environment is neutral
  • The colors and interior decorating accent the homes features
  • The smell is new and clean
  • The sound is either quiet or enhanced by subtle background music
  • All details are looked after from the manicuring of the lawn to a floral arrangement in the entry.

I will show you how to achieve many of the same effects of a model home when preparing your property for sale. The most surprising fact of all is that these can be accomplished while spending little time and money!

The Home Front

Your property’s landscaping is not limited to the lawn and shrubs, but encompasses everything from the street to your doorstep. You, for this reason, must make sure each component of the visual landscape looks its best. The real estate industry refers to this as “curb appeal”.

Through the Buyer’s Eyes

  • Does your yard look well maintained?
  • Are the decks and patios clean?
  • Does your house need painting?
  • A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of the home.

Appeal to the Senses

LIGHT. People react more favorable to property shown under bright light.

COLOR. A fundamental rule when selling your house is to keep colors neutral and light.

SOUND. The sounds of peace and quiet are some of the best sounds to have when your house is being shown to a prospective buyer.

SMELL. Smell has more impact than you might expect. It can work for or against you. For a real heart-warming touch, place a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create the aroma of fresh baked cookies or bread. The smell of cleanliness is important. Fresh smells from flowers should be in the air.

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Categories: Staging your home

Make It SMOOTH: A Dozen Ways To Plan The Perfect Relocation

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wilmington nc real estate

Whether it’s a move across the country or across town, the whole process can either go smoothly or have the overtones of a major life crisis. We’ve been on hand during transferee moves for some time and have come to the conclusion the “little things” make the difference between a smooth move and chaotic one. The secret is in the details that go beyond the usual common-sense procedures of getting belongings from one place to another.


You’ll have a better chance of a trouble-free move if you become familiar with our 12 tips to a smooth move.

1. Expect stress.

First and foremost, you should expect a certain amount of stress and be as patient as possible — with yourself and everyone else. When a whole family remembers to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully, things are easier for all concerned. {short description of image}

2. Fix up and toss out.

When a home is up for sale, the chore of clearing out clutter (for showing the house) can be combined with sorting and packing. Even if professional packers are scheduled to do the big packing job, time is saved at the destination when you personally box many items (off-season clothes, for example).

3. Keep a moving book.

Having a personal moving book (a 3-ring binder plus pocket dividers) helps keep details in their place: checklists, daily reminders, mover information, and, especially, lists of what’s where. (One of the most frustrating aspects of moving is not being able to find things that have been shuffled from here to there.)

4. Plan for pets.

Pets need to be planned for as much as any other family members. Change is stressful for animals too. Traveling arrangements should be made early (including necessary shots, certificates, etc.), especially if the pet is to travel by public transportation.

5.Print change notices.

As soon as a home is sold, notices should be sent to alert utility and other services of cancellation dates, to transfer bank accounts and medical records, and to avoid annoying gaps in subscriptions.

6. Return and collect things.

Returning borrowed things (library books, friends’ belongings, etc.) should be on your move-out checklist, as well as a reminder to collect things — from safe deposit boxes, the cleaners, storage places, repair shops, friends’ homes.

7. Carry valuables.

It’s often safer to carry jewelry, birth certificates and other valuables personally rather than trust them to movers or the mail. School records and proof of vaccinations also have a better chance of prompt arrival if they are conveyed personally rather than left for transfer to busy school and medical offices.

8 .Do the phones early.

If possible, phone service should be installed before arrival, and floors and walls that need refurbishing in the new home should be attended to before moving in, avoiding having to move things around after getting semi-settled.

9. Pack a survival kit.

Packing a survival package takes care of all those small family needs at the new home on the first day: light bulbs, a flashlight, tissues, trash bags, children’s toys, pillows, blankets, saucepans, canned food, paper plates, powdered drinks, plastic cups, a radio, a telephone, a hammer and screwdriver, etc.

10. Make tags and licenses a priority.

Remembering to get car registrations helps avoid fines, and transferring drivers’ licenses on time saves having to take new road tests.

11. Schedule extra time.

It’s wise, if possible, to allow plenty of time to recover, to unpack and settle in. A few days of dining out helps. After all, a home isn’t built in a day.

12. Last word.

A prime reminder: Throughout the move, you can rely on your real estate and relocation specialists on each end of the move to help the relocation go smoothly.

Categories: Relocation Wilmington NC, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Are Foreclosures Bargains | 6 Reasons Say Yes | Wilmington NC real estate

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 For a list of current Wilmington NC real estate Foreclosures click here

6 Reasons Why Foreclosures Are Bargains


Foreclosed or bank-owned homes are very attractive to buyers seeking bargains. They understand that lenders and government organizations don’t really want to own homes, but would rather move their “non-performing assets” off the books as quickly as possible, minimizing carrying costs. That can mean a great value for the right buyer.


Foreclosed vs Other “Bargains”:

Still, there are other bargain opportunities out there — homes for sale in the pre-foreclosure stage (including short sales) and homes being sold at foreclosure auctions — sometimes at discounts significantly better than at either other stage of foreclosure. So, why would a buyer prefer a foreclosed/bank-owned home?

  • Condition. Lenders and government organizations selling foreclosed properties sometimes make repairs that return these properties to livable condition before putting them on the market — or they discount the prices accordingly to sell more quickly.

    Homes sold pre-foreclosure or at auction can be in much worse shape, either due to neglect by their cash-strapped former owners or damage caused by disgruntled residents or vandals.

  • Inspections. With foreclosed homes, you have the opportunity to order professional inspections — for structural integrity, systems, pests, mold, radon, etc. Although the home may be sold “as is,” indicating the seller is not willing to rectify any problems, at least the buyer can find out in advance what problems the property may have. If buyers have inspections conducted before making a purchase offer, they don’t have to go any further if the report shows problems they’re not willing to deal with. Or, they can make a lower offer to factor in the costs of making needed repairs. If the buyer’s intent is to conduct inspections after a sales contract is signed, buyers can include an inspection contingency in the contract that would allow them to terminate the sale if the inspection shows problems with the home.

    Although professional inspections are also possible with pre-foreclosure and short sales, buyers of homes being sold at foreclosure auctions frequently do not have the opportunity to order professional inspections – and may not even be given time to conduct a personal inspection of the home’s interior. These buyers take the risk that the home sold at auction – usually “as is” with no warranty or disclosure requirements — comes with significant and costly physical problems that would have to be corrected at the buyer’s expense after the purchase.

  • Title issues. Sellers of most foreclosed homes will deliver a General Warranty Deed to the buyer, which guarantees that the seller owns the property and has the right to sell it. After repossessing the property, institutional owners – lenders or government agencies – will usually pay off any known outstanding liens and taxes, relieving the next buyer of those obligations. (However, buyers should still ensure a title search is conducted and purchase an owner’s title insurance policy for extra protection.)

    With pre-foreclosure and auction sales, by contrast, the buyer must be wary of possible unsettled claims and unpaid taxes or liens that would transfer with the property – not uncommon with these types of sales. Even if the buyer conducts a title search and can negotiate to have those issues resolved, unrecorded liens can show up between the search and settlement/closing on the property. Paying off those obligations can be an expensive surprise that cuts into the savings from buying the discounted property.

  • Evictions. By the time an institutional owner puts a foreclosed property on the market, former owners or tenants have already been evicted from the premises.

    Buying a pre-foreclosure or auction property, however, risks being in the position of having to enforce evictions – often an expensive, frustrating and time-consuming process (in some states it can take up to a year to accomplish).

  • Ease of purchase. Although the process of buying a foreclosed property may present some additional wrinkles compared with buying a traditional home, the challenges pale in comparison with arranging the purchase of pre-foreclosure and auction sales.

    With a short sale (a type of pre-foreclosure sale), you must not only negotiate with the seller, but also with the seller’s lender(s), who can reject your negotiated deal with the seller if it does not meet the lender’s requirements. In addition, the process can take many more weeks, sometimes months, to accomplish compared with a traditional home sale. In fact, many attempts at short sales never reach the settlement/closing table.

    Foreclosure auction sales present their own challenges, with bidding procedures that vary by location. In some states, bidders must bring to the auction the full amount of their bid in cash or a cashier’s check. In other states, bidders must have a substantial cash deposit on auction day and be able to arrange financing for the remainder within a short period of time – sometimes as little as 24 hours — or forfeit the deposit. In addition, a thorough knowledge of the local auction process is essential to winning an auction bid, which is why novices are seldom able to win over seasoned professionals at foreclosure auctions.

  • Redemption issues. Lenders may not put foreclosed homes on the market until the state’s mandatory “right of redemption” period has expired. Not all states mandate a redemption period, but in states where they do exist they allow a specified amount of time for the foreclosed homeowner to buy back the property after it sells at auction.

    If you purchase a home at auction, you may be in the position of having to turn it back over to the foreclosed homeowner who is able to reclaim it by buying it back from you. The buy-back price could simply be your costs of purchasing the property, not necessarily reimbursement for any improvements you make afterward – depending on how the state law is written. In addition, if a redemption period still applies to the home after you purchase it, you would be prevented from selling the home until the redemption period expires – which could be up to a year in some states.

Categories: Foreclosures in Wilmington NC, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, wilmington real estate stats, Wrightsville Beach NC

Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.