To list or not during the Holidays?

It seems from this article that most of our colleagues agree that there are some unique advantages to listing your home during the Holiday Season!

Survey Data Reveals…

Jerry Richardson on heart transplant list

Carolina Panthers Owner is on a heart transplant list after quadruple bypass surgery 6 years ago.  Mr. Richardson was not feeling well enough to make it to the Monday night game where the Panthers beat up Tampa Bay really running away with it in the fourth quarter.

Endangered Carolina Heelsplitter Back in the News

The Carolina Heelsplitter (a local species of freshwater mussel) is back in the news.  The Charlotte Busines Journal wrote on October 31st about the latest development and restriction news in Union County – a rural/suburban county SE of Charlotte NC.

Inaccurate Facts Will Be The Death Of Newspapers

Why are Newspapers Dying?

A recent front page article in The Charlotte Observer Real Estate section on September 14th entitled “Key to Closing” was loaded with inaccuracies for the state it was printed in.  The article was a authored by Susan Diesenhouse at the Chicago Tribune.

As a Real Estate professional I was shocked to see how many statements were incorrect with regards to the common practices in the state of North Carolina.  Is the Charlotte market starving for worthy articles that The Observer has to go outside of it’s local area to find content?  Who checks for the accuracy or do they just slap it in?

Let me give you some examples as written:

About A Month Before closing - “The buyers lawyer can review the available documents such as title insurance policy and final survey.”  I have never in my 18+ years in real estate seen a final survey 1month prior to closing.

Two Weeks in Advance – “Advisable to set up a tax reproration escrow account where the buyer and the seller deposit their share of the currents year’s taxes.” That doesn’t exist in North Carolina!

Two Days Before Closing – “Do a final walk through with a licensed home inspector, the seller or their agent so they can agree to fix any problems found.”  In the Charlotte area, the time to do an inspection is not two days before closing.  Usually the inspection is done 3-4 weeks before closing to identify any deficiencies, submit those items requested for repair and then conduct a final walk through the day before or the day of closing to insure that the items which have been agreed upon to be fixed have in fact been fixed.

A Day Before closing – “Usually the lenders appraiser will walk through to assure that the unit is substantially complete”.  Who would close on a home that is “substantially complete”?  My clients will be told to not close on the home and then it will be up to my clients to accept the home in it’s present condition or not.

Closing - “. . . with the process complete . . . Take the house keys.”  According to what I have been educated to by the closing attorneys, keys are in almost all cases not given until the deed is recorded.  Funds don’t disburse to the parties, including commissions to the agents, until the deed is recorded.

Picture yourself a first time buyer or an experienced buyer moving to North Carolina.  When in doubt contact your Realtor and your attorney to give you proper/accurate advice.

We also have a home closing checklist pertinent to the closing process as it happens in Charlotte North Carolina on our website.

Charlotte Observer – Article on Appraisers

The Charlotte Observer continues to publish Real Estate related articles that portray our industry as full of corrupt individuals that are only concerned about lining our own pockets.  But yet they seek the very hand of those that they criticize.  As a Real Estate professional with 17 years experience in residential sales I could no more influence any aspect of a loan or appraisal.  Are you aware that lenders choose the appraiser by using a system that prevents problems from happening?  Of course not because good news doesn’t sell copy.

Yes we have a duty to our clients to help them obtain a mortgage but not through fraudulent means.   What ever happened to sensible underwriting?  Have we moved away from what is logical and what makes good business sense to turning down loans at the last minute?

In every field, yes every field, you will find people that care more about their own self than those that they are charged to represent.  But to condemn an entire industry because of a few is just crazy.

Instead of looking for the worst in a segment of the working population why not look at a group that does something right?

Not everyone in our industry is crooked…

Olde Providence Rec Association Spring Baseball

This is of course very biased, but I thought it appropriate to talk a bit about the Olde Providence Tigers, led this Spring by Coach Bob Adler.  The marked improvement in the boys physical skills and more importantly mental skills just blew me away and the coach deserves much credit for stressing the basics and keeping the boys focused mentally.  They didn’t come away with the championship this season, but they can walk away knowing they are better players due to their and their coaches’ efforts this season.

OPRA spring baseball

On another note check out Coach Adler’s other passion-BBQ

Coach Adler’s BBQ

Buy low, sell high applies to real estate

Many people in Charlotte and around the country are realizing that there are opportunities to be had in Real Estate.  It’s funny that so many folks seem to forget the old adage buy low-sell high!   It applies in stocks, real estate, or whatever.  We had two of our clients (see featured article from the Charlotte Observer) who took advantage of a seller who was willing to sell the house below market value in order to get their equity out.  Our clients will have to put in some cosmetic repairs and spruce the place up, but at the end of the day they were able to buy the house cheaper than most of their neighbors.  With solid schools and a great location this was a great opportunity.  Many people are beginning to ask themselves how long will these deals remain on the table from motivated sellers and homebuilders looking to get rid of excess inventory.  Centex homes recently had a one weekend blowout event to reduce the inventory of completed homes.  It worked and they have a much smaller number of available homes and their prices have been restored to the previous levels.  If you didn’t buy that weekend you might have missed an opportunity.  I don’t have a crystal ball – if I did I would be in Vegas knowing when to bet it all on black 17 – but I do know that the way to make money in America still involves the concept of buy low-sell high.

Charlotte Real Estate Rises in Value

Real Estate is local in nature – what happens in one market doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on what happens in another market.  See the links below-one describes the whole country and one describes Charlotte.  Our market never got superheated, so we haven’t had a crash.  We still have companies moving jobs here and local companies expanding – that means more people, therefore, more housing.


National Report

Charlotte Report



Helen Obtains Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation.

Helen Sztarkman, a member of the Schwebel & Associates team with Prudential Carolinas Realty has been awarded the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) designation by the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).

Helen Sztarkman joins more than 16,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES® designation.  All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations, and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older.

The SRES Council, founded in 2007, is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing senior clients in real estate transactions. There are more than 16,000 active members of the organization world-wide.  The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Appalachian State – Michigan Game To Be Shown On Fox Sports South!

For everyone who couldn’t be there but wishes they were, Fox Sports South has announced that they will be showing the App State-Michigan game tonight (Tuesday, September 4) at 8pm.  Set your DVR and enjoy one of the greatest upsets in sports history.