5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Stager

Any realtor in Charlotte will tell you that a beautifully staged home can make a great impression on potential buyers. Of course, if you are not able to stage your home yourself, you may be wondering exactly how to find the right person to help you with this task. Here are a few questions you should ask a home stager before hiring them to make your home look its best before showing!

Can I See Your Portfolio?

Asking a few questions over the phone won’t give you enough information to be able to choose the right home-stager. You should meet them in person and take a deep look at their portfolio. You’ll want to determine if their example photos are in line with exactly what you’re looking for for your home.

What is Your Training Background?

The home staging industry isn’t regulated. You need to find out if the potential stager has established training and experience. Some stagers may be certified, but you may need to do your homework and find out more about their certification. You don’t want to waste your time and money working with someone who does not have the experience needed to give you the end-result that you desire!

Are You Familiar with the Market?

Your home stager should be familiar with the local market and houses in your price range. The stager needs to know what buyers are looking for in order to set the right atmosphere. If they are not educated on the buying market, they may not be as valuable as someone who is.

What is Your Specialty?

Most stagers have an area of speciality, such as staging lofts, condos, starter homes, or luxury homes. Staging each type of home requires a specific set of knowledge and skills. The stager’s props and other items will be designed to work well in one of these types of homes, so this question will greatly affect your choice in stagers.

How Much Do You Charge?

Home stagers may price their services in a variety of ways. Some price their services according to detail while others price by the room. Some use existing furniture and décor, while others prefer to start fresh with a clean slate. Knowing exactly how the cost is calculated can help you determine whether or not a certain stager is right for your financial situation.

Asking these questions can help you find the right home stager to help you sell your home. According to statistics, hiring a stager to sell your home can help make the sale in a significantly shorter period of time. Your home may also sell for a higher amount than your competition! If you have questions about hiring a home stager or anything else regarding the home selling process, just ask one of our knowledgeable real estate agents in Charlotte, NC.  Top Charlotte Agent is always happy to assist sellers to get the best price possible.

Learn how we can help you sell your home!

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosed Home

Buying a foreclosed home can be a smart move depending on your situation, but there are also risks involved. Before you decide to buy a foreclosed home, it is important you know what you’re getting yourself into. Having a real estate agent in Charlotte walk you through the process can help make it go smoother.  There are several pros and cons involved in this sort of transaction, and we will discuss those in more detail.

Pro: Greater Bargaining Power

The urgency of a foreclosure does increase your bargaining power. You will want to research the title to ensure that it’s clear of any liens and request inspections before making an offer. Additionally, there is usually no emotional component to pricing so any offer you make may be entertained without reservation.

Con: Shorter Time for Financing

You may have a shorter time to get funds together if you’re purchasing a foreclosed home from a court auction. The time frame the court gives you is much shorter than it is for a traditional home purchase. You will have to be prepared to move quickly!

Pro: Getting a Good Bargain

Purchasing a foreclosed home can be a good investment. With the help of a realtor in Charlotte, you may be able to get a steep discount. If you’re purchasing a home in a good neighborhood at a lower price, this can be a very smart investment.

Con: Condition of the Home

The homeowner may have known about the foreclosure for some time and emotions may have run high. The property may be in poor condition because of damage or neglect. Appliances and fixtures may be missing, and it’s tough to know the extent of any needed repairs. It is always smart to invest in a credible home inspection so that you know what you’re buying into.

Whether you are considering  buying a foreclosed home, or you are just exploring the market in general, Top Charlotte Agent can help you navigate the process. We are a top realtor in Charlotte and with our knowledge and experience, we are more than happy to help!

Contact us today to get in touch with one of our realtors!

5 Tips for First-Time Sellers in Charlotte, NC

Selling your home for the first time can seem like a daunting endeavor. Your realtor in Charlotte has probably advised you that many things have changed in the market in recent years. You may be unsure about what to expect during the process, which can be just a tad bit intimidating! The truth of the matter is, the more research that you do beforehand, the better off you will be. The experts at Top Charlotte Agent discuss tips for first-time home sellers that will make the process smoother and, hopefully, less confusing for you!

Work With an Agent You Trust

It’s imperative to find an agent that you trust to work with. Your agent will be offering advice that is designed to help you sell your home for the best price possible. If you can’t trust your agent, you won’t be willing to make necessary changes. Find an agent that you respect and follow their recommendations- you’ll be happy you did when your home sells.

Pricing is Critical to a Sale

If you want to sell your home, you are going to have to price it correctly, which means you are going to need to be unbiased. Things have changed in recent years, and buyers are much more discriminating. Pricing your home too high can turn off buyers, so it is imperative the price accurately reflects your home’s value and the current market demands.

Know When to Sell

In most cases, fall and spring are the prime times for selling your home. Contrary to popular belief, summer is not always the premium season for selling. Of course, when you decide to sell is totally up to you; chances are your individual situation will affect your timing.

Understand Today’s Buyers

Lending requirements have changed drastically in recent years. In today’s world, buyers should have good credit and cold hard cash to put down. Because of this, buyers expect more from the home and the buying process. You and your agent will be working harder to attract today’s buyers because even the smallest details can negatively affect a sale.

Understand Contract Terms

Many of today’s sellers bought their houses before the recession and are waiting for values to go back up. In those days, you signed paperwork and accepted whatever loan you got. The market has changed, and sellers now have more responsibilities. You will be responsible for disclosing more information, and you may owe buyer and seller agent commissions if the buyer’s agent brings a full-price offer, unless there are competing offers. It is important you understand contract terms before signing anything!

If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Charlotte, Top Charlotte Agent is here to help. We’re always available to address any inquiries and concerns that you may have.

Contact us today to learn more about our world-class realtors in Charlotte, NC!

Tips For Taking Out Your First Mortgage

Having a realtor in Charlotte, NC guide you through the home buying process can definitely make it easier, but if this is your first home purchase, you may have questions about obtaining a mortgage. The experts at Top Charlotte Agent have gathered a few handy tips that can help you successfully navigate purchasing your first home!

Know Your Credit Score

Any real estate agent in Charlotte, NC will tell you that you should never approach a lender without obtaining a copy of your credit score and credit history report. It is important to take a look at your credit history to ensure there are no recent late payments or errors because this can hurt your chances of getting approved. You should always be one step ahead of the game and anticipate what a lender may bring up in your credit report.

Know How Much You Owe

Your lender is going to consider your debt ratio when deciding to approve your mortgage. Before applying for a mortgage, you should also be aware of this information. If you can pay off any debts just prior to applying for your mortgage, this will increase your odds of being approved for a loan.

Develop a Mortgage Budget

Before speaking to a lender, you should determine how much in terms of a monthly payment you can afford to pay comfortably. Keep in mind that when you purchase your home there will be fees, taxes, and insurance payments to make. Your mortgage payment should not be more than 35 percent of your gross monthly income.

Shop Around for Better Rates

You took the time to shop around for a real estate agent in Charlotte, NC, so it makes sense that  you should also evaluate local mortgage lenders. Check out different banks and financial institutions to see what types of rates they are willing to offer you.

If you’re in the market for a credible realtor in Charlotte, NC, then look no further than Top Charlotte Agent. We are experienced and knowledgeable about the real estate market and can help guide you through the process of purchasing your first home. Whatever questions you may have, we’re ready and willing to answer!

Learn more about our services and how we can help you today!

6 Quick Tips for Showing Your Home in Charlotte, NC

One of the most common methods used to sell a house as quickly as possible is to lower the asking price. However, it is important to note that this is not the only way to enhance your home’s attractiveness. There are other creative strategies you can use to generate interest in your home and get the best price possible. Let our tried and tested tips developed by Top Charlotte Agent, the leading real estate agent in Charlotte, help you make the most of your home selling opportunity!

Attract More Attention to Your Home

If you want to sell your home, you should make your house a little more memorable. Consider adding a custom design or addition. High-grade windows, landscaping or a new roof can help improve your home’s aesthetic appeal while simultaneously increasing the value of your home.

Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Making a good first impression on buyers is one of the best ways to encourage interest. Small touches can mean a great deal – whether it is a fresh coat of paint  or a well-manicured lawn, it can mean a lot when it comes to showing and selling your home.

Make Sure You’re Offering Buyers the Right Price

As a leading Charlotte, NC real estate agent, we advise homeowners that no matter what renovations you do, or how you stage your home, you still have to set the right price. It helps to have a knowledgeable agent on hand to help you objectively evaluate the value of your home. The mistake some people make is not being objective enough to price their home at a reasonable cost, thus putting a bad taste in buyers’ mouth.

Clear Up Any Unnecessary Clutter

Clutter can be a real turnoff to many potential buyers. The reason behind this is psychological – buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your home. It is hard for them to do that when they see unnecessary clutter around your home. Whether it’s boxes, shoes, mail or simply just ‘stuff’ – find a secure, hidden place to put it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Sweeten the Deal

Sellers that offer credit towards closing costs or other sweet deals will usually glean more attention than similar homes on the market. Charlotte residents must make buyers feel like they’re getting a good deal in order to turn heads.

Make Sure Your Home is Ready for the Sale

You should make sure that your home is ready to move in. Doors, appliances, electrical, and plumbing fixtures should all be in compliance with the current building codes.  Everything should be in working order and should be taken care of as soon as possible.

We aren’t going to lie to you – selling a home is hard work! Let Charlotte realtor, Top Charlotte Agent, take on that burden. We will help ensure your home receives the attention that it deserves.

Call us today to find out more information about how we can help you sell your home!

 

3 Reasons Your Charlotte Home May Not Be Selling

Any realtor in Charlotte worth their salt will tell you that the housing market is starting to recover— or even rebound in many areas. In fact, there are areas where the demand for housing is starting to outstrip the supply of suitable homes. If you are not benefiting from this market rebound, there may be reasons why people aren’t that interested in making an offer on your home. Listed below are some of the most common reasons your house may not be selling!

The Price is Not Right

The number one reason why a home does not sell is the asking price. This is a common issue when sellers are hindered by their understandable emotional attachment to their home. These sellers may not be prepared to be objective about the actual value of their home, and therefore, are not prepared to absorb the truth about pricing that an experienced real estate agent in Charlotte can provide.

Your Home is a Fixer-Upper

If your home is run-down, this may be a major turnoff for buyers. Today’s buyers are pretty busy – they do not have the additional time to handle costly repairs. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that you need to spend a huge chunk of change to fix everything; just make your home is functional and presentable, and the buyers should start flocking to your front door.

Your House is Not Accessible

If you are not flexible in scheduling showings, you might be frustrating potential buyers. Everyone is pressed for time, but if the buyers do not get a chance to see the house, it simply won’t sell! Try to be flexible and make the time to show your house – this is necessary if you want to have a chance of getting a good offer. A Charlotte realtor can be helpful in ensuring that your house is available for showing when an interested buyer comes along.

Of course, these three reasons are not an exhaustive list of reasons why your home isn’t attracting more buyers. There can be a variety of factors that affect whether or not buyers find your home appealing. An experienced Charlotte real estate agent at Top Charlotte Agent can help ensure you have the best chances of getting the best possible offer for your home!

Contact us today for more information about selling your home!

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Foreclosed Home

Any Charlotte Realtor will tell you that buying a foreclosed home is a little different than purchasing a traditional resale. If you are considering purchasing a foreclosed home, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind before you put your money down. Coming from a professional real estate agent in Charlotte, here are five things to consider before purchasing a foreclosed home.

Get Credit Pre-approval

Getting credit pre-approval is important because it is better to know how much you can afford ahead of time before approaching a real estate agent in Charlotte. Getting your credit pre-approved will let you know what your financial limit is and will streamline the purchase process. You will be able to save time looking for properties with a credit pre-approval.

Find an Charlotte Realtor

You will need to find a Charlotte real estate agent that specializes in foreclosures. An experienced realtor can help walk you through the complex process for purchasing a foreclosed home. You will be able to benefit from their experience and avoid common mistakes that many buyers may make during a real estate foreclosure sale.

Invest in a Home Inspection

Shelling out a few hundred dollars for a home inspection is much better than purchasing a home that will costs you far more money down the road. A home inspection can provide you with information about the structure of the home and anything else you should know about the property before officially purchasing it.

Look for Signs of Poor Maintenance

In a foreclosure situation, owners often give up on caring for their property. A home inspection can uncover a few problems, but it can not uncover every little thing. Gutters may need cleaning, showers and tubs may need caulk, and overgrown vegetation may need to be addressed. These are typical problems for a foreclosure, so it is important to keep a look-out for signs of poor maintenance.

Come to the sale prepared

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that all foreclosure sales areas are as-is sales. There are no warranties or guarantees; what you see is what you get. Your new home may have liens and other obligations that may not be readily apparent. It is best to come to the sale prepared to face these types of obstacles.

Nearly a third of home sales nationwide were in some stage of foreclosure during the last quarter. Purchasing a foreclosed home can be an excellent way to get a great deal on a home, but there may be hidden costs involved.

To get the benefit & experience that a realtor has with foreclosures, contact Top Charlotte Agent today!

Top 5 Suburbs To Live in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte is a wonderful city with a great deal of available housing options. Any Charlotte realtor will agree that this city truly is a wonderful place to live. One of the best things about the Charlotte real estate market is that there are lots of great deals to be had, even in the suburbs. The suburbs have been a good option for many buyers due to property taxes being lower. Of course, land prices are also lower and home prices are extremely reasonable. With all this in mind, here are 5 suburbs in Charlotte that surpass all the others when it comes to purchasing a home.

Fort Mill

Fort Mill really has it all! People who move to this area can enjoy the conveniences that Ballantyne offers without having to pay extra. The overall cost of living for this area is much lower. Many real estate agents in Charlotte recommended this suburb to buyers because the demographics appeal to young families who want to live somewhere that offers a strong sense of community. This area is actually located in South Carolina, but is only 18 miles from uptown Charlotte. Explore houses in Fort Mill, South Carolina!

Concord

If you’ve fallen in love with Davidson, but the home prices there are not within your price range, Concord may be your best bet. This area has a lot going on; there are specialty shops, theatres, restaurants, art galleries, and more. Best of all, these draws are all within walking distance of downtown Concord. Any realtor in Charlotte will agree that Concord is one of the best places to buy a house in Charlotte. Explore houses in Concord, North Carolina!

Indian Trail

It may be hard for many people to believe, but for a while now many Charlotte real estate agents have touted this secret gem as a wonderful place to settle. This once-sleepy suburb has recently experienced a big housing boom and the area infrastructure has finally caught up with new retail and restaurant offerings for residents. It’s a great place to live because it offers the convenience of Matthews without the high price tag. Explore houses in Indian Trail, North Carolina!

Mount Holly

Mount Holly has branded itself as a “playful city”, and with wonderful reason: the area contains two recreational facilities and six parks. Mount Holly is conveniently located across the Catawba River, right near the US National Whitewater Center. Also, Crowders Mountain State Park is only thirty minutes away from the area. This exciting suburb will most likely appeal to people who are drawn strongly to an adventurous life. Explore houses in Mount Holly, North Carolina!

Rock Hill

Although this suburb is about thirty miles from the uptown Charlotte area, it’s a prime candidate for being a wonderful place to live because of the low cost of living and strong schools. There are also lots of parks and natural spaces to wander. Winthrop University offers a bustling cultural scene for the area, which includes live music theatre and dance. The best part is that admission to these cultural hotspots usually costs less than the cultured events that go on in the uptown Charlotte area. Explore Houses in Rock Hill, North Carolina!

It is clear that the Charlotte area houses some wonderful areas for people to call home. For more information about these wonderful areas, contact Top Charlotte Agent today. We can point you to all sorts of wonderful deals on Charlotte area homes in the best Charlotte neighborhoods!

6 Tips for Finding a Great Moving Company in Charlotte

After buying a new home, the next big task is moving. Many people who plan a move are looking for a moving company that’s reliable and can ease the stress associated with moving. The moving industry, like others, does have its share of fly-by-night operators — so it’s important you don’t leave choosing a moving company to chance. Whether your new place is a rental home or a fantastic new single family home in Charlotte, you’re starting fresh after all. Make a conscious effort to find a proven and professional moving company that can make your move a smooth experience. Here are six moving planning tips to help you do just that in Charlotte.

1. Ask Friends or Colleagues Who Have Moved Recently

Sure, an internet search is a common place to start looking for a good moving company. The fact is, however, this is where you will get the largest number of choices. A smart way to start out is to ask for referrals from your local Realtor, friends, or colleagues that have worked with a local moving company in Charlotte recently. Ask about the cost of the move and both positive and negative experiences.

2. Phone and Online Estimates Are Just That – Estimates

Take any estimate over phone or by cubic feet with a grain of salt. It’s hard to draw an accurate estimate without physically checking on the number of things you have to move, their size, and if there are belongings that require special handling like antiques, pianos, or glass furniture. Online estimates sometimes have hidden costs or extra charges, giving you a low estimate upfront, yet the final bill will be much higher. Check each company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau and their Yelp or Google reviews.

3. Make Sure You Have At Least Three Names Shortlisted

Local real estate agents and professionals can be a great source of information about trusted moving companies. You can ask for referrals of top moving companies nearby and then visit them personally. Make sure you have at least three names on your list, so that you can compare features, rates, and facilities being offered in order to choose the one that fits your moving needs.

4. Do Business with an Insured and Licensed Moving Service

If possible, get all the three companies to visit your current home for a personalized estimate. Make sure they are shown all of your furniture, big and small, you want to move and get the estimate in writing and in detail so there will be no squabbling over any additional charges that may be added later. Moreover, ask for licenses, insurance coverage, and referrals, so that you are sure you are doing business with a company that’s licensed and legal. Comparing the written estimates and other factors should help you zero in on a company that is right for you.

5. Make Sure All Bases are covered

If you want your moving company to handle the packaging part as well, get all the details and cost on this as well. Does the price include all the packaging materials and accessories? Will they do all the loading, unloading, and unpacking as well? If you are moving to an apartment in a high-rise, make sure you bring it to their notice. Most companies charge extra to move belongings to a higher floor. It is better to know all this upfront to avoid hassles and confrontations later.

6. Choose an Experienced Moving Company

It is always a good idea to take all the information you have gathered about the moving companies and get back online. Make sure they’re incorporated in your state and check for how long they’ve been in this business. You don’t want your belongings to be handled by an inexperienced mover who has just started out. Experienced movers are more trustworthy, as they will have the staff and a professional team to carry out every part of the move with clockwork precision.

Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for rentfinder.co.

 

4 Projects That Will Add Value To Your Property in Charlotte

By Doug Chapman, www.homedaddys.com

Whether you plan on selling your house in the near future, or you just want to add those extra touches to spice your home up, many projects can be the tip of the iceberg to accomplish these tasks.

These can either be weekend projects, or ones that may take a few weeks to finish. Either way, they all will add investment value to your home and make it look even better than it already does.

Here are five projects that you can do yourself in Charlotte (or you can hire a contractor to finish) that will instantly add value to your home:

1. Updating your Kitchen

Adding value to your kitchen – which is one of the most-used and most-often seen places of your house – is easy. You can do this yourself with a little elbow grease, and all of the necessary items to upgrade your kitchen are available at your fingertips. You can add new cabinetry or countertops, or you could simply get new hardwood flooring and add new appliances. This is one room and one project that you don’t want to ignore, though, because this is arguably the most important improvement that can instantly add more value to your Charlotte home.

2. Finishing your Deck

This project can be one of two things: you can either put a new deck on and add value to your home or you can refurbish the deck you already have – just making it look more fresh and new. Regardless, finishing the deck is a key in the Charlotte area. Most homeowners want a deck to relax on, eat dinner and have a few drinks in the summer time. And it isn’t that hard to accomplish. Your local hardware store will help you with all the needs for doing this project yourself, from the 2x4s to the gaffer tape to the finishing touches of stain. A finished deck is a natural appeal for any potential buyer in Carolina.

3. New Roofing

Unless you are in the business, this project may have to be done by an outside contractor. However, this would be a major improvement that would go a long way, whether you plan on staying in the house yourself or if you are putting it on the market. A new roof is something that is ALWAYS asked and talked about when you are talking about houses, so this project would pay dividends across the board.

4. New Paint Throughout the House

It seems to never fail, so when in doubt, add a new paint job to the interior of your home. It doesn’t have to be a complete inside paint job of every room, but adding a new touch gives your home a feel that you – and potential buyers in Charlotte – love to have. This is definitely a project you do on your own over a weekend, and make sure to take the time to get colors that won’t have you regretting it and doing the same project again next year.