3 Mistakes Sellers Make When Hiring a Listing Agent in Charlotte and How to Avoid Them

One of the most important factors when selling a home in Charlotte is decided long before your listing appears online or you add that fresh coat of paint to the walls. When you’re selling your home, choosing the right listing agent can make or break your sale. Choosing a listing agent is a big decision, but there are some things you can do to make sure you choose the right Realtor for the job.

1. Choosing the Agent Who Quotes the Highest List Price

There are signs that the real estate market is recovering in Charlotte, but there are still plenty of agents who are willing to “buy” your listing by quoting a high list price. Living in a home that sits on the market for months on end due to an unrealistically high list price won’t help you reach your goal of selling. Look for an agent who suggests a listing price that is realistic and in line with the Charlotte real estate market. Ask your potential Realtor to explain why they are suggesting a certain list price and be sure they can back it up with comps, or other similar homes that have recently sold in your area. If you’re not confident with their answers, look for someone else.

2. Choosing an Agent Based Solely on Their Pitch

You need an agent who will sell your home, not you. A pretty listing presentation is great, but it won’t necessarily sell your home. Ask to see examples of how the agent you’re interviewing marketed and sold other homes in your area. Does the listing grab your attention? Does it make you want to learn more? Do the pictures look appealing and professional? A listing agents job is to sell your home. Ask yourself if you are confident that they can accomplish that for you.

3. Choosing an Agent Based on Personal Connections

Recommendations and references are great ways to find a Realtor, but only if they are based on the agent’s ability to successfully sell homes. Just because a friend or family member has a Charlotte real estate license doesn’t mean they are a good salesperson or the right fit for you. Look for an agent who has experience and success in selling homes like yours, in your area. Selling your home is one of the biggest transactions of your life. Who do you trust to get it done for you?

We have been successfully selling homes in the Charlotte area in both North Carolina and South Carolina for over 20 years and know what it takes to get the job done. Ready to list your home? Give us a call to learn more about what we can do to help you.

Top 5 Reasons To Use a Buyer’s Agent in Charlotte, NC

Buying a home in North Carolina can be a daunting, overwhelming experience, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Top Charlotte Agent, we have decades of experience helping people like you find their perfect home in Charlotte at a great price. There are many benefits to working with a Charlotte buyer’s agent, but these are our top five. Give us a call or send us a message if you want to know more about working with a buyer’s agent in Charlotte, North Carolina or the surrounding areas.

1. It costs you nothing.

As the buyer, you will pay nothing for the knowledge, service, and guidance that a buyer’s agent provides. The North Carolina and South Carolina real estate industries are structured so that the commission the home seller pays typically compensates both the seller’s and buyer’s agents. Not only is the service of a buyer’s agent free to you, but working with a qualified buyer’s agent often helps you save money on the purchase price of your new home.

2. Complex legal contracts and negotiations deserve a professional.

Purchasing a home is likely the most financially significant and lasting decision you will ever make. From making an offer to closing, the decisions surrounding the purchase of a home are multifaceted and complex. It is best to leave the uncertainty and stress behind and work with a licensed Realtor who represents your best interests in the Charlotte real estate market. Working with a professional can help protect you from unpleasant surprises.

3. Access to expert knowledge of the local area.

Whether you want to live near great schools or popular restaurants, an experienced buyer’s agent can help you decide where in Mecklenburg area to focus your search for a new home. Our buyer’s agents knows the intricacies of the local real estate market and the benefits of Charlotte’s best neighborhoods. This knowledge is helpful for everyone, but especially if you are new to the area. During a relocation to Charlotte, a buyer’s agent can be an invaluable resource that you can’t do without. Learn more about living in Charlotte with our Charlotte Relocation Guide.

4. Insider knowledge of prime listings and access to the complete MLS.

Online searches often display many incomplete and out of date listings. Nothing feels worse than finding the home of your dreams online, only to discover that it went off the market months ago. Licensed Realtors in North Carolina and South Carolina have unlimited access to complete listings on the Realtor only Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Many of the best listings never even make it to the internet, because they sell almost as soon as they arrive on the MLS. Only a buyer’s agent can make sure you know about the best Charlotte listings immediately.

5. Bargaining power to get the best price possible.

Experienced Charlotte buyer’s agents have insights on the local real estate market and can help you craft the most competitive offer for the home you want. They have access to details on comps, or similar homes that have recently sold in the area. They may even have experience working with the seller’s agent. Not only are experienced agents skilled negotiators, they can also help take the emotion out of the equation. All of these insights empower a buyer’s agent to help you get the best deal on the home of your dreams.

With all of these great benefits, there really is no reason not to work with a buyer’s agent when you’re ready to purchase a home. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you easily purchase the home of your dreams in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

9205 Kingsmead Lane

Exciting, impressive, warm & inviting describes this wonderful home. Formal two-story foyer greets you as you step through mahogany doors.  Well designed open kitchen with hign end cabinetry, a large island and a sunny breakfast room.  Spacious great room is poised for entertaining or quiet times.  Dining room perfect for large or intimate moments.  Office has coffered  ceiling & beadboard walls.  Executive owner’s suite is accented by a  fireplace and built-ins.  Upper level has very large secondary rooms, great closet space and a bonus/media room. Fabulous courtyard with yet another fireplace is just ideal for outdoor entertaining or cozy evenings.  Partial basement storage area could be a future wine cellar.  A wonderful community with sought after schools and nearby shopping.

Listing Price: $730,000
Address: 9205 Kingsmead Lane
City: Waxhaw
State: NC
ZIP: 28173
Subdivision: Kingsmead
Legal: #6Hunter Oaks PH10/BLK5
Builder: Dowd
Tax Value: 751,870
County: Unioin
MLS # (if any): 2142822
Square Feet: 4,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3/2
Basement (full, 1/2, finished, unfinished):
None Year Built: 2003
Tax Loc: Waxhaw
Zoning: AE4

Approx. Acres: 0.34
Lot Description:
New Construction:
HOA Fee: 738.00 Annual
HOA Phone: 704-847-3507
Style: Transitional
Exterior Const: Hard Stucco
Driveway: Concrete
Parking: 3 Car Garage
Aprx Lot Dim: 100x150
Primary Residence:
Subject to HOA: Yes
HOA Mgmt: Braesel Mgmt.
Schools: Marvin Ridge
Type: 2 Story
Foundation: crawl
Fireplace: yes/ indoor & outdoor
Laundry: 1st Floor Utility
Floors: 2

4312 Jasmin May Drive


Great in fill community.  Ashland Custom Homes presents another superb home.    Open and transitional floor plan, large kitchen has center prep island, morning room, all flows into great room. Beautiful hardwoods in formal areas, granite & tile back splash, Buyer can select colors if they hurry.  Owners Suite enjoys a private sitting room and a glamor bath.  Large walk in closets too.  Outstanding secondary bedrooms with great closet space & plenty of windows. Bonus room/5th bedroom serves many purposes.  This wonderful home and community is a short drive to Southpark and Uptown.  Sheffingdell is a short walk to Olde Providence Elementary school and Colony Place shopping center.  Additional homes and home sites available to select from with this great builder.


Listing Price: 450000
Address: 4312 Jasmin May Drive
City: Charlotte
State: NC
ZIP: 28226
Subdivision: Sheffingdell
Legal: L18 M501 63
Builder: Ashland Custom Homes
Tax Value:
County: Mecklenburg
MLS # (if any): 2131229
Square Feet: approx. 3300
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 4
Basement (full, 1/2, finished, unfinished): n/a
None Year Built: 2013
Tax Loc: Charlotte
Model: The Shanewood 3

Approx. Acres: 0.20
Lot Description:
New Construction: Yes
HOA Fee:
HOA Phone:
Style: Transitional
Exterior Const: Brick
Driveway: concrete
Parking: 2 car garage
Aprx Lot Dim:
Primary Residence:
Subject to HOA: Yes
HOA Mgmt:
Schools: Myers Park
Type: 2 story
Foundation: crawl
Fireplace: yes
Laundry: 1st floor utility room

1900 Dugan Drive in South Charlotte

Well-maintained open floor plan home with formal areas and hard wood floors. Kitchen is huge with lots of windows, cabinets and counter tops, center island and computer niche. The vaulted great room is accented by a nice fireplace & some built-in bookshelves. All of the secondary rooms are large and have great closet space. This home is located in such a great neighborhood and desirable location!

Listing Price: 345000
Address: 1900 Dugan Drive
City: Charlotte
State: NC
ZIP: 28270
Subdivision: Huntington
Legal: L54 B2 M21-448
Tax Value:
County: Mecklenburg
MLS # (if any): 2113873
Square Feet: 3475
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Basement (full, 1/2, finished, unfinished): n/a
None Year Built: 1990
Tax Loc: Charlotte
Zoning: R3

Approx. Acres: 0.44
Lot Description: corner lot
New Construction:
HOA Fee: $206 semi-annually
HOA Phone: 704-731-5560
Style: Transitional
Exterior Const: brick
Driveway: concrete
Parking: 2 car attached garage side-load
Aprx Lot Dim: 175x72x157x60x93
Primary Residence: yes
Subject to HOA: yes
HOA Mgmt: Duvall / Cams
Schools: Elizabeth Elementary, South Charlotte Middle, Providence High
Type: 2 story
Foundation: crawl space
Fireplace: yes
Laundry: laundry room
Floors: hardwood, carpet, tile

Cost Effective Ways to Go Green and Save Money

By Andrew Hill

Looking to save money on your utility bills? Or are you interested in making the planet a little greener? What about both? A great solution for those looking to do either of these things is retrofitting your home with green appliances. Of course, building/buying a green home from the beginning is the ideal method of going green and saving money, but if you’re not in the market to buy new, then retrofitting can also be effective. The best thing about going green in your home is that it keeps you from wasting energy and resources, thus keeping the planet healthy and making your bank account a bit larger. Another great thing about retrofitting a home to be greener is you can do as much or a little as you like. With that in mind, we’ll list a few ways you can retrofit your home on a budget.

For starters, if you haven’t made the switch to CFLs it’s about time. These alternatives to traditional incandescent lighting provide homes with more light while using less energy. They also have a longer lifetime than their outdated competitors. And in case you’re a sap for aesthetics, CFLs now come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, so you don’t have to fear being stuck with those strange, curly, white bulbs. Another low cost investment are faucets and showerheads that have low flow capabilities. Engineered to provide solid pressure but cut back on total consumption, this is another low cost way to cut back on your utilities and save money in the long run.

Another low cost way to way to cut back on energy consumption is by properly sealing the cracks and openings in your home. You’ve seen these before- they are the cracks under the front door or those spaces where the window might not meet just right. There’s a simple fix for that. All it takes is a bit of caulk and weather stripping and you can put an end to your draft problem and help your HVAC run easier. And speaking of helping your HVAC run less, have you installed a programmable thermostat? If not, this is another great way to save money. By setting your thermostat to run less often when you’re out of the house or when you are asleep at night, you can see significant drops in your electricity usage. For example, all you have to do is set your thermostat to cool to 74 in the mornings, then adjust to 76 when you’re out the house, and back to 72 when you return for the evening. With your HVAC adhering to this schedule, it can accommodate you for comfort and save money when you don’t need to be cooled down.

As you can see, going green and staying on budget doesn’t have to be a herculean task. All it takes is a bit of understanding and a few extra dollars to get started. And the best part is, you make the money back in the long run! To find out more about green retrofits and real estate in general, be sure to contact Keith Thompson today!


The Importance of Location and Happiness

The Importance of Location and Happiness

By Andrew Hill @ www.newhomesource.com

So you’ve heard the saying, “Location, location, location.” Often times this is tied into the monetary aspect of your home- what it will cost you and how much you can plan to sell it for. But location is also very much related to your happiness, because if you like where you live it will go a long way.

First thing’s first: given enough time, effort, and capital, nearly everything else about your home can be changed. The paint, the fixtures, the tile, everything. The one thing that you cannot change is the neighborhood you live in. Be sure you enjoy your surroundings. If you’re married with children, don’t move into a neighborhood with 20-somethings if you can’t see yourself being friends with them. If you need peace and quiet, please don’t look at homes in the city.

Location also applies to proximity. Are you the type who needs a grocery store within walking distance? Or do you prefer to only go into town a few times a month? Be sure to also consider your proximity to work. Traffic makes us miserable. As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert says, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.” If you hate commuting an hour and a half, then you need to buy a home that’s closer to work. Cut that commute down from a three hour round trip to only one hour a day, and in just one week you’ll save ten hours- in a year you’ll gain more than 20 days!

Another key location factor are your streets and sidewalks. “Sidewalks?” you ask. Absolutely! Are you an active jogger? Do you want to live in a neighborhood where kids play in the street? Do you want to be able to take a walk with you family or pet? Sidewalks are a good indicator of location quality. They’ll tell you plenty about what goes on and how safe your neighborhood is.

Which brings mean to my final point: crime rate. Not to be overlooked is the influence of location and crime rate. If you are the type of person who fears rough city dwellers, get a home in the suburbs. If a small amount of crime doesn’t bother you so long as you have a downtown loft, go for the loft. You need to be conscious of what you want to surround yourself and your family with, as well as what you can afford. Everyone wants to feel safe, but some are more comfortable in certain communities than others. Make sure you are in tune with your comfort zone.

As you can see, the importance of location goes well beyond your house value. Where ever you choose to rest your head, eat your meals, and spend time with your family should make you happy. Now go forth and be location conscious when finding your perfect home!

Who needs a Home Warranty?

Who needs a warranty?

I’ve been living in my downtown rental for two years. It’s a 10 year old condo that has updated appliances, hardwood floors, and a spectacular view of the city.

When I moved there in 2009, I requested Mark, the owner, put a warranty on the condo. Against my suggestion, he politely declined, explaining that he had just put in new appliances about 3 years ago and it would be a “waste of money”.

Now let’s fast forward to last March when I noticed the floor to my walk in closet was damp. Actually, it was soaked. When I opened the HVAC closet, I saw the unit had frozen and was thawing out, dripping water onto the floor, causing it to seep into the closet. Franticly, I called Mark, and he called an HVAC company to come take a look at the unit.

The company recommended replacement and quoted Mark $6,600. Mark, of course, not having $6,600 just lying around, wanted to shop for a better price. As a result, I was displaced for about 28 days while he was comparing prices and replacing the unit, which meant he could not charge me for the month that I was not there. Now Mark was out over $8,000.

The cause of failure was that the compressor, being about 10 years old, had locked up. This caused the unit to freeze and ultimately fail.

This was coverable by a home warranty. It would’ve only cost him $75 to replace the unit if he had just put the warranty in place when I had asked.

Now I’m not the type of girl to say, “I told you so”, but I did have to inform Mark of his costly mistake.

I am happy to report that I now have a warranty. I have had the dishwasher and garbage disposal repaired, the ice maker replaced, and even a new bath tub stopper installed. The warranty covered all of these repairs and Mark only paid a small deductable.

So who needs a warranty? Everyone!

A home, in any given year, has a 68% chance of a system or appliance failure. That includes anything from a microwave to a hot water heater. Depending on the appliance or system, repairs can cost anywhere from $50 to thousands. I don’t think I know anyone that has thousands tucked away for a special occasion like an HVAC replacement!

So, what’s the moral of this story? Don’t be like Mark. If you’re buying a home, ask they include a warranty. If you’re selling or renting a home take advantage of seller’s coverage. Talk to your realtor about how a home warranty can benefit you. Always protect yourself and your pocket. You’ll be happy you did!!

Jaime Rose

HSA Home Warranty Representative for Charlotte and Western NC


Do You Need a Permit for Your Project at Home?

Do you need a permit?

Have you ever considered a project around your home and wondered whether or not a permit was required? Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or hire it all out, many repairs around the home do require permitting from the county.

Here are a few examples of when you might need a permit:

  • New deck
  • Anything structural – removing a wall, replacing damaged framing in a crawl space, adding a closet, etc.
  • HVAC change-outs
  • Plumbing appliance changeout – water heater, dishwasher, etc.
  • Adding or changing electrical wiring

Permits and the inspection process do add some time and cost to a project…but the system is designed to protect you, the homeowner from shoddy and sometimes unsafe work.

The current cost in Mecklenburg County for permits is $62.85 minimum per trade. Per trade means that if you build a covered porch and wire it up will need a building permit and an electrical permit, or two trades. This covers the fee for projects up to $3,000. From $3,000 to 50K add $12.83 per thousand of total contract cost over $3,000. Of course, if you hire a professional contractor, the cost of the permitting should be included in the total project cost.

If you are unsure whether you need a permit, or have any questions for the building inspection department, Mecklenburg County has set up a hotline for homeowners and contractors alike. It’s called RTAC, the Residential Technical Answer Center. Just call 704-432-7822 during regular business hours and all will be revealed.

Russ Halberstadt

Broker’s Choice


New Prudential Office Ballantyne


Here is a video of our new office.  The conference rooms have large monitors with wireless connectivity to show clients potential homes or come March watch some NCAA B-Ball on the streaming video.YouTube Preview Image