What is a CMA?

You may have heard realtors throw around phases like “I will pull some comps” or “based off of my CMA…” when you’re in the discussion of making an offer to purchase a home or deciding what price to list your current home.

So, what does CMA stand for and what does it mean?CMA = Comparative + Market + Analysis

It is an estimate of a property’s value, provided by a licensed Realtor. Values are based on the prices of similar homes in the area, ideally within a half mile radius over the last six months. They consider active, under contract, and sold listings that are comparable to the home being valued (subject property) – meaning similar qualities such as square footage, location, acreage, condition, build year, etc. The differences are then calculated as $/SF, $/Garage, etc. and adjustments are made appropriately to the subject property as an increase or decrease to its value.

There are many reasons why it is important to have a well-estimated CMA from your realtor, as both a buyer and/or seller. Here are a few:

– For obvious reasons as a buyer, you would not want to over-pay for a property. If you are using a loan to purchase a home, you also don’t want to offer a price that will not be supported by the valuation of your lender’s appraisal, unless you are prepared to make up the difference and pay that money out of pocket at closing.

– As a seller, you’d ideally get the highest dollar for your home, so you don’t want to price it too low. Yet, you also don’t want to price it too high, which may result in a lengthy number of days on market or multiple price reductions which can lead to poor conceptions by buyers.

– Investors also benefit from a knowledgeable Realtor’s CMA to determine what properties have potential to be bought, renovated, and sold (or rented) for a profit.

Broadway Season at The Steven Tanger Center 2020-2023

Do you have a passion for the performing arts? Good news! Now you can enjoy the Broadway – direct from New York – in your very own hometown!

This is the “Dare to Dream” Season lineup:

If you’re already a Broadway Season Seat Member, you get first dibs on 2022-2023 Season Tickets. Simply login and renew your tickets here.

Not to worry, if you are new to the stage, you can sign up for early access when Broadway Season Seats are on sale this Summer 2022. Sign Up Here!

Get Fit in the Triad | Gyms & Fitness Studios

Get Fit (or Stay Fit) This Year

It’s a new year and for many of us, it’s time to set goals for the new year and create healthier habits! The most common New Year’s resolutions have to do with getting in shape. Most of us spent one too many evenings hovering over the cheese ball, eating “just one more” Christmas cookie, or indulging in that dark lager brew. Chilly temps have kept us hunkered down in the comfort of our homes, bundled up in fleece blankets by the fire watching reruns of Chip and Joanna’s HGTV show, Fixer Upper. If this sounds like your holiday break, you are not alone. The early sunsets and frigid weather lend themselves to lazy days, lots of food and the possibility of loosening the belt buckle a notch or two. The good news is that the new year marks a great opportunity to make positive changes.

Carpe Diem:  Variety Is the Spice of Life

If your goals for this year include taking better care of your body and stepping up your fitness game, you are in luck! Greensboro is a melting pot of fitness opportunities. Fitness trends have changed a lot in the past few decades. Gurus in the industry emphasize variety when creating a fitness plan. Luckily Greensboro has a plethora of options, including yoga and Pilates studios, traditional gyms, specialty fitness studios. You can easily enjoy an array of classes offered in a variety of settings. Mix up your fitness routine by trying some of these places out this year.

Traditional Gyms Abound

These gyms offer weight training and cardio equipment, a variety of group exercise classes, and personal training in clean, safe facilities. Several of the gyms have multiple locations in the Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem areas. If you are looking for a one-stop shop, one of these gyms may provide the best bang for your buck!

Specialty Fitness Studios Flourish

While many of us enjoy a large gym setting that offers a little bit of everything, others are choosing smaller, more specialized fitness studios to get their sweat on.  Over the past five years the popularity of specialty gyms has spread wildly. These gyms offer a very specific type of workout ranging from cycle to interval training and everything in between.

If you know what you like when it comes to working out, one of these studios may be a great fit for you.

Orange Theory Fitness

The concept here is simple: 60 minutes of instructor-led, heart rate based interval training. You can burn 500-1000 calories per workout and keep burning calories all day! Sounds pretty fantastic for getting fit, no? Studios are conveniently located near shops and neighborhoods so you can pop in for a quick workout in Greensboro or Jamestown.

Cycle Loft

As Greensboro’s only boutique cycle studio, Cycle Loft operates under the philosophy that the customer comes first and uses state-of-the art-equipment and technology. Thirty- and 45-minute cycle classes are led by top-notch instructors for excellent guidance and great results.

Pure Barre

Pure Barre offers classes that utilize a ballet bar to perform isometric moves that target your hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. Classes are low-impact, safe, fast and effective full-body workouts offered at two different studios in Greensboro.

9Round 30-Minute Kickbox Fitness

Try these 30-minute kickboxing themed fitness classes that incorporate interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. These workouts provide a fun, unique and effective way to get in and out quickly…and get a great workout.

CrossFit

The goal of CrossFit it is to make you better at doing the things you do in life…lift, move, throw, twist, turn, run, run, jump, pull up, push down, etc. CrossFit coaches incorporate a multitude of exercises in an unconventional way! There are quite a few CrossFit “boxes”—that’s what they call a CrossFit gym—in the Piedmont Triad, including GSO CrossFitCollege Hill CrossFitCrossFit Winston-Salem, and High Point CrossFit, among many others. Search online for one that’s most convenient for you.

Jazzercise Greensboro Fitness Center

Jazzercise will keep you on your toes! It’s basically a dance party with your favorite tunes to distract you from the burn. Classes fuse cardio, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing and modern dance.

Focus On Your Breath This Year

If you have tried yoga or Pilates in the past, you know the benefits these practices bring to your overall well-being. Many doctors and fitness experts would argue that yoga may be the single most important exercise you can do. Greensboro has many yoga and Pilates studios, ranging in size, type of practice, equipment, etc. We suggest trying a handful of these studios out, each one is unique and may open your eyes to something new!

Boutique Yoga and Pilates Studios

Triad Yoga Institute

All levels of yogis are welcome here. Triad Yoga offers specialty yoga classes including Gentle, Stretch, Flow and Therapeutic. Instructors’ top priorities at Triad Yoga are seeing and responding to the needs of the individual.

Dancing Dogs Yoga

Baptiste power yoga offered here! Practice yoga in a heated room with well-train, energetic and encouraging instructors. Try Dancing Dogs Yoga for the physical benefits but also for the message of empowerment, community, acceptance and personal transformation. What a way to start 2018 off right!

Radiance Yoga

Here you will find boutique yoga at its finest. If you prefer a small intimate feel for your yoga experience, Radiance Yoga may be just the right choice. A variety of yoga classes are offered at Radiance Yoga, including Stretch, Power, Gentle, Mom and Baby, Men’s, and more! Radiance Yoga is designed with the intentions of lifting the spirits of all who enter.

Revolution Hot Yoga

If you like it hot, Revolution Hot Yoga may be for you. They offer various levels of heated yoga, from “Warm and Gentle” to “Hot Flow,” each inspired by Bikram yoga. With over 30 classes to choose from weekly, you will likely find a class at Revolution Hoy Yoga to help reach your fitness goals.

The WellHouse Fitness

The WH, as they call themselves, is a full-service fitness studio that offers true Pilates (both mat-based and using Reformer and other equipment) and yoga…and is the only studio in Greensboro to offer Bounce Fitness. For a fresh spin on fitness in a cozy space, The WH may just be your place! 

Mind, Body, Fitness Yoga

Traditional Yoga for Modern Times…a message the owner of Mind, Body Fitness Yoga wants to share with all clients that walk through her door. Whether you are taking your first step onto a yoga mat or you are a seasoned yogi, Mind, Body, Fitness Yoga has something for you. They offer prenatal yoga, Ashtanga, meditation and more!

Lace Up Your Shoes and Try Something New

With a multitude of fitness options in the Greensboro area and across the Piedmont Triad area, there are no excuses for not sticking to your fitness resolve this year. The key to true change is to set realistic goals. The fact that you are researching workout options is a step in the right direction. Try a few new classes this year, most gyms and fitness facilities let you try a class or two for free. Fitness is more fun with friends, so grab a buddy, create a new playlist, and make it about you for an hour or two a few times each week. You may just find a talent you have or a passion for something unexpected along the way. Happy—and healthy—new year!

If you’re looking for activities or amenities in the area, or if we can provide you with any assistance related to buying or selling residential property in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and other Piedmont Triad areas, call us at (336) 790-5210, email Steve Vincent, and visit our website at greatnest.com for more information.  The Vincent Group at GreatNest is a full-service real estate company serving buyers and sellers that will save you money in buying or selling a home by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. Our experienced real estate professionals are ready to answer your questions or get started looking for the property that suits your taste and budget.  

5 Steps To Buying A Home

1. Calm your credit report. Don’t take out a new loan, or buy a car, or do anything that is going to impact your credit report in a negative way. Lenders want to see a stable credit history, especially over recent months. Also, don’t do a lot of balance transfers or moving of money from one account to another. Your lender is going to have to document the paper trail of any out of the ordinary deposit into your accounts.

2. Choose your real estate agent. No question about it: you need one. Yes, with today’s online tools, you may be able to find your dream home on your own, but that’s really the smallest part of the agent’s job. You need someone who knows the local business backwards and forwards, who can negotiate a purchase and look out for your best interest, who can manage the myriad of details and deadlines that must be met between contract and closing, who can solve problems when they arise and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

And here’s the thing: compensation for that great agent is already built into the price of the house. You’ll be paying for it in your purchase agreement whether you take advantage of it or not. Sometimes home buyers think they can get a better deal if they go it alone or deal only with the seller’s agent. It’s just not true. It is a rare seller who will give their home away for less than Market Value, so you end up paying Market Value without the benefit of the help a professional could bring to the transaction.

What to look for? Certainly someone who makes you feel comfortable. But beyond that, you need someone who knows what they’re doing and is up-to-date with this ever changing business. A successful track record of helping buyers buy is important. Ask to see testimonials. When you have the right agent, you come away from every conversation knowing a little more than you did before and understanding the process a little better.

It goes without saying that the professionals at GreatNest are your best option when it comes time to buy. We’ve helped hundreds of your neighbors find and secure their dream homes and we can do the same for you.

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval is a powerful negotiating tool. Home sellers are more willing to entertain the offers of buyers who are able to buy rather than those who might not be. But it’s more than that. The pre-approval process should be a time to investigate finance options. Your lender can evaluate your financial situation, make recommendations about how to improve your credit score and help you choose the right mortgage for you. Ask your agent to recommend two or three lenders to evaluate. Good agents have working relationships with lenders who have good products and know how to get a loan approved.

4. Make home search a team effort. You should absolutely look for homes online. Use Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com – or – search the local MLS at http://www.greatnest.com; but communicate what you like and don’t like with your agent.

5. Relax! Once you have the perfect home under contract, breathe a sigh of relief and relax in the knowledge that you have a good team – agent and lender – working together to ensure that everything goes as it should.

There is a great truth about real estate: there has never been a transaction that didn’t have a problem somewhere. Usually they are small, sometimes they are larger. But the important thing is that they are just problems, and almost every problem can be solved if you have the right people shepherding you and your transaction through the process. At GreatNest, we will keep you apprised every step of the way, alert you to problems as they arise, and always present options and solutions.

Seller Profits Reach NEW Record

CHA-CHING! According to ATTOM, curator of the nation’s premier property database, this year’s third quarter statistics show that the average home seller profited just over $100,000 – almost double the profit margin and “the highest level since the end of the Great Recession a decade ago”!

Even with an injured economy and almost two years of COVID-19, the housing market has remained strong and steady.. or maybe a more accurate expression would be tough and crazy. Real estate may be an unpredictable industry, but these last two years have given that adjective a new sense of accuracy. Regardless, that’s what keeps it fun and interesting though it may depend on what side you’re on – buyer or seller. It’s no argument that sellers have had the ball in their court for quite some time now and it shows in the statistics.

Historical Median Sales Prices

“Image by ATTOM”

A combination of factors from the economy and pandemic have led to changes that most all of us have experienced and adopted together. Resulting from these changes, the guarantee of a safe, healthy and accommodating home is one of, or the most important criteria that exists in today’s environment. So, as you can imagine or have been experiencing as a buyer/seller in this market, it is a simple equation of supply and demand where demand is (very) high for homes and the supply is (very, very) low. Depending on what area of the U.S. you live in, the extremes of these obviously differ with relocation being a big factor.

To the Sellers out there: GOOD NEWS! There doesn’t seem to be a slow down coming anytime soon (even during this Fall/Winter season). So, call now to list your home and claim the “opportunity of the decade”!

To the Buyers out there: GOOD NEWS! We have expert buyer agents that are still getting their clients into their dream homes even in these crazy market conditions. 

I probably didn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know when it comes to the supply and demand that we are experiencing in the housing market, but if you’re looking to dig deep into the stat specifics, check out the full article from ATTOM. THEN, let us know when you’re ready to discuss this knowledge with a professional who can strategically apply it to your buying/selling scenario and help you make the best “move”!

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GreatNest is a full-service real estate company serving buyers and sellers that will save you money in buying or selling a home by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. Our experienced real estate professionals are ready to answer your questions or get started looking for the property that suits your taste and budget.  

Contact us now to set up a free, no obligation consultation!

Call 336-790-5210  or  Fill out our online submission form

5 Value-Boosting Tips | HOME TEAM INSPECTION SERVICE

Consider these value-boosting tips when getting your home ready to sell this Spring! Courtesy of GreatNEST-approved inspection company: Home Team Inspection Service 

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1 | CREATE SPACE
Open floor plans are becoming a trend in many major and minor remodeling projects for older homes. Conventionally, most United States houses have walls that separate the kitchen and the living room. The open floor plan aims to connect two or more rooms to form a communal living area. This open concept gives the impression of a larger space. If a wall separates your kitchen from your living room, consider removing the barrier. Create a flow between the rooms by adding stylish and functional furniture. You will be surprised how much you’ll transform your home’s feel.

2 | MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR YARD
Are you looking for a sure way of making your home one of the most attractive houses in the neighborhood? Proper landscaping will never fail you! A well-landscaped yard dramatically impacts the entire look and feel of your home, increasing your property’s value by 10 to 12 percent. Landscaping is one of the top home investments with the highest returns. HomeGain, a real estate marketing company, surveyed 2,000 brokers and found out that an investment of between $400 – $500 can generate up to four times in returns. Never overlook the landscaping!

3 | UPDATE YOUR PLUMBING
Nothing lasts forever, including the pipes in your home. Appraisers significantly consider plumbing conditions when giving value to your property. In older houses, the piping materials may be galvanized steel or iron, durable but prone to corrosion. Over time, the tubing gradually corrodes and rusts. If your steel pipes look old and degraded, it’s about time to update your plumbing system. Unless you replace your plumbing, you’re eventually going to get plumbing disasters that may lead to expensive damages to your house and belongings. If you still have steel pipes in your home, it is best to have them replaced. There are multiple options professional plumbers can suggest regarding the material you should use as a replacement to serve you best.

4 | FRESHEN UP YOUR BATHROOM
Replacing outdated fixtures can go a long way to giving your bathroom a fresh new classy look. Popular finishes include brushed nickel or satin because they pair well with most tile choices. A chrome finish is also an excellent choice if you want a more classic look. You may also opt to update your contractor-grade lighting into something more stylish and functional and repaint the walls to brighten up your bathroom. Most people consider the bathroom as the most personal space in the home. We all want this intimate space to reflect our style, but it should also simultaneously deliver the comfort we need.

5 | LET THERE BE LIGHT!
You can do many things to brighten up your house, so adding windows and knocking down the walls are not the only solutions. Start by fixing broken panes and light switches that trigger dim lighting and replacing old light bulbs. Make sure to trim any trees or bushes near your windows regularly to welcome the sunlight into your room. Don’t forget the exterior lighting because they contribute significantly to your home’s aesthetic appeal and crucial for your safety and security. Make sure that all the lights are correctly installed and fully functional.
Boost your home’s value with these small-scale upgrades and spruce-ups! These five value-boosting tips are for sure worth your investment.

Contact us for a GreatNEST Advantage Coupon to use on their service!

North Carolina Ranks Among Top 5 States For New Residents

01.06.21

If you’re local to North Carolina, especially in the Triad area, you may have noticed more license plates from different states, more neighbors moving in from out of town, or just a general increase in the population. You’re not alone – we’re noticing the same thing – and the data proves it to be true!

Every year the United States Census Bureau collects data about the nation’s people and economy, and shares that information with the public. Now the 2020 results have been released! Looking specifically at the results for total state populations from July 1, 2019 through July 1, 2020, it is safe to say that North Carolina has had a significant growth in the last year – ranking #4 in the nation!

#1 TEXAS: + 374,000

#2 FLORIDA: + 241,000

#3 ARIZONA: + 130,000

#4 NORTH CAROLINA: + 99,000

#5 GEORGIA: + 82,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division (numbers rounded to the nearest thousand)

The data also shows that while South and West areas of the nation have had significant increases in population, the Midwest and Northeast have been decreasing in population. So as we move forward, expect more growth down here in South.

If we’re being honest, you can’t blame anyone for wanting to live in our beautiful state of North Carolina – located between the beach and the mountains, experiencing all four seasons, and easy commuting, it’s hard to beat. If you know anyone moving in from out of town, send them our way! We’ll show them around town and help find the right piece of NC to call home.

Cheap, Easy Ways to Add Value When Selling Your Home

Are you thinking about getting your home ready to sell in the New Year? Spending a bunch of money on house renovations, especially after the holidays, isn’t ideal.. but we have good news! Kitchens and baths can be updated WITHOUT breaking the bank – check out some tips below.

We’ve all heard it before: Of all home improvement projects, updating kitchens and bathrooms adds the most value to your home. While those are valuable improvements, they may be financially unwise or otherwise unfeasible, depending on your reason(s) for needing to sell your home. So what else can you do to add some green to your wallet when you sell? The good news is there are plenty of ways to spruce up your kitchen and bathrooms without breaking the bank…as well as other minor improvements that will likely increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

Updating the Kitchen on a Budget

Regardless of whom you consult–Consumer Reports, HGTV, Forbes magazine, or just about any other resources–most agree that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where board games are won, flapjacks are flipped, school projects are constructed, and guests congregate during parties. The kitchen truly is the heart of the home–it’s where families spend the most time together. It just makes sense to choose investing in your kitchen over any other area in your home.

Luckily for the budget-conscious, a kitchen facelift doesn’t have to be back-breaking or budget-busting. Begin by painting the cabinets a neutral color and replacing old cabinet knobs and pulls with up-to-fordate looking hardware. Next, replace kitchen faucets and light fixtures with more modern selections. Finally, declutter the countertops by putting small appliances like the blender, toaster oven, and coffee pot in cabinets. When agents give prospective buyers a tour of your home for sale, you want the kitchen to feel bright, clean, and open, with lots of space to prepare food and gather.

Next Update:  Bathrooms

Updating the bathrooms throughout your home can increase your bottom line almost as much as refreshing and rejuvenating your kitchen, and “quick fixes” are just as easy and inexpensive. Replace old plumbing fixtures and light fixtures with more current options, paint the cabinets a neutral color, and replace outdated cabinet hardware. Clean the tile grout in all showers–this is a signal to potential buyers that your home has been well maintained. Throw a coat of neutral-colored paint onto the walls and add a few finishing touches like fluffy new towels; soft, clean rugs; and scented hand soaps. Voila! Refreshed and ready to sell.

Now, Adding Value in the Rest of Your Home for Sale

Whether you have lived in your home for two years or 32 years, it’s a fact that you probably suffer from a problem we all have:  JUNK!! Decluttering your home can be one of the most inexpensive and beneficial ways to fix up your home before you list it for sale. A few simple ways to tidy up so prospective buyers can fully appreciate specific features of your home include:

  • Showcase windows, moldings, mantels, and other architectural features by removing clutter and rearranging furniture that interferes with these home features.
  • Clean out closets and cabinets…it’s time to purge. Hang wire shelving for a reasonably priced solution, as home buyers want storage. Give them what they want!
  • Remove old or overly large furniture to give the feeling of space throughout the home. Rework rooms to fit the current market demands; for example, replace a formal dining room’s mahogany table with a contemporary desk and bookshelves and call the dining room a “study.”
  • Organize your attic and garage spaces, and remember to purge here too!! Less “stuff” is definitely more money in your wallet when it comes to selling your home.
  • Add furniture to an empty patio area or rockers to a front porch. Speaking of porches, cluster a few colorful potted plants in an area on the porch or patio to make the space look cheerful and welcoming.
  • Last but not least, it’s important to depersonalize your home before you list. What does this mean? It’s pretty simple: Take down most family pictures, awards, and certificates. You want home buyers to feel at home, as if they could live in your home. Don’t worry, gone for now doesn’t mean gone for good, as you will enjoy these personal items anew in your new home!

I hope we’ve shown you that while preparing your home to sell can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or take months to complete. Prioritize your “to-do” list and spend money wisely. Most importantly, make your home feel inviting before each showing. Make those faucets and floors shine, play some relaxing music, set out fresh-baked cookies…then let your home and real estate professional do the rest!

Part 7 | Settlement Day

The day is finally here that keys will be exchanged and the purchase will be made official! (aka Closing Day)

WHEN

WHERE

WHAT HAPPENS

– Pay any outstanding invoices (for example, if you elected to pay for an inspection at closing, rather than at time of inspection)

Your agent ensures that your loan officer 

More importantly, what needs to happen BEFORE closing:

THE END! (BUT THE START OF A NEW BEGINNING) 

You can always come back to “The Buyer Journey” Campaign to re-review. Better yet . . .

Schedule a virtual consultation and get one step closer to making your next real estate purchase a reality with the guidance from one of the triad’s top agents!

Part 6 | Due Diligence

The purpose of “Due Diligence” in a real estate transaction is not designed to be an absolute fail-safe for a buyer, nor a money maker for a seller. The concept is one of shared risk and defined reward. The buyer is risking money and time for the ultimate right to control a property. The seller is risking the opportunity cost of limited market exposure and squandered selling time. There is both a Due Diligence Fee and a Due Diligence Date that both parties of the transaction should understand before entering into an Offer to Purchase Contract.DUE DILIGENCE FEE:

“Thank you, seller, for taking your house off the market while I do my inspections, order an appraisal, get quotes, etc.”

As a buyer you are risking money and time for the ultimate right to control a property. The seller is risking the opportunity cost of limited market exposure and squandered selling time. There is no standard dollar amount – it is whatever number both parties can agree on. This fee is NOT REFUNDABLE, though it will be credited back to you at closing if you follow through with the transaction.

DUE DILIGENCE DATE:

“By this date, I will have done everything necessary in order to have peace of mind that I want to move forward with the purchase of your property”.

You need to be able to make an informed decision about your ability and desire to complete the transaction on or before your Due Diligence date. Typically, this date is at least a few weeks after the Effective Date (when the contract has been signed by both parties) so that you have time to get results back from inspections, negotiate repairs, finalize financing, etc. This date should also be at least 7-10 days before the settlement date so that there is time for packing and relocation plans of both parties. Up until this date at 5pm, for whatever reason, if you as the buyer decide to back out of the contract, you will be refunded your Earnest Money Deposit. If you back out on this date at 5:01pm or later, then that deposit will be given to the seller to keep.

Deposits & Dates

The beauty of Due Diligence is that it is purely market driven. It is negotiated between the parties within the atmosphere and market condition of the day. Contrary to what many say, there is no normal, no standard. Each negotiation stands on its own and is influenced by its own particular variables in addition to the over-arching market environment of the moment. As the market changes so does the relative power of the parties.

In a strong buyers market, it provides ultimate protection to a buyer – cancel for any, or no reason. The seller in this market is not in a position to negotiate either a large fee or a short period. Like it, or not, this is how it should be in a buyers market. Lots of inventory and few buyers dictate a buyer driven negotiation where the risk, or cost, associated with time lies mostly with the seller. A sellers compensation for lost market time, etc. may be minimal. A market reality.

In a sellers market, where supply is short and demand is high, the sellers position dramatically improves. The risk, or cost of time now lies more with the buyer. In such a market the buyer has little leverage and the seller is able to hedge risk through obtaining large fees and granting short periods. In a strong sellers market due diligence fees could be in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars and due diligence periods measured in days. A buyers cost for the right to decide may be high. This, too, is a market reality.

Somewhere in the middle is a balanced market where negotiation lies at the heart of a good transaction and buyer and seller share the risks.

In all markets what a consumer needs is an experienced agent who understands the undercurrents and vagaries of our local marketplace. One who can drive the greatest demand to your listing in a buyers market. One who embraces the speed and efficiency of technology and prefers a fast-paced environment when you are purchasing in a sellers market. One who is an accomplished negotiator. Finally, here in North Carolina, a consumer needs to work with an agent who embraces and understands Due Diligence. It is a market reality.

YOUR NEXT STEP: SETTLEMENT DAY (THE END!) 

Follow the rest of “The Buyer Journey” Campaign and receive instant blog updates by SUBSCRIBING HERE.

Schedule a virtual consultation and get one step closer to making your next real estate purchase a reality with the guidance from one of the triad’s top agents.

Part 5 | Contract Terms & Writing An Offer

Now that you and your agent have found the “perfect fit”, it’s time to discuss the terms of your offer and put them into writing. There is a strategy to forming these terms in a way that look out for your best interests, as they all impact one another, and ultimately… you!

Before we review some of the major elements of the Offer to Purchase Contract, take a minute to look at its entirety. This the main document that you will complete with your agent to purchase residential property. There will be additional documents to accompany it, depending on both the property, the sellers’ situation and your situation, but we will keep it simple for now. After you have reviewed, refer back to these items:

PURCHASE PRICE:

What is the property worth to me and the market?”

This value is based off of your interpretation of the information provided to you by your realtor – including extensive property research, disclosures and a Comparative Market Analysis which is an estimate of the property’s value based on the closed price of similar homes in the area. 

DUE DILIGENCE FEE:

“Thank you, seller, for taking the house off the market while I do my inspections, order an appraisal, get quotes, etc.”

As a buyer you are risking money and time for the ultimate right to control a property. The seller is risking the opportunity cost of limited market exposure and squandered selling time. There is no standard dollar amount – it is whatever number both parties can agree on. This fee is NOT REFUNDABLE, though it will be credited back to you at closing if you follow through with the transaction.

EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT:

“Dear Seller, this deposit is to show you that there is no intention of backing out after the Due Diligence Period.”

In essence, you are telling the seller you are serious about buying the home and are willing to risk a deposit to demonstrate your sincerity as you work through the contract-to-closing process.  Typically, this deposit is held by the attorney, or sometimes the brokerage firm, in a designated Trust Account until a contract termination or the settlement date

DUE DILIGENCE DATE:

During this time, I will do everything necessary in order to have peace of mind that I want to move forward with the purchase of this property”.

You need to be able to make an informed decision about your ability and desire to complete the transaction on or before your Due Diligence date. Typically, this date is at least a few weeks after the Effective Date (when the contract has been signed by both parties) so that you have time to get results back from inspections, negotiate repairs, finalize financing, etc. This date should also be at least 7-10 days before the settlement date so that there is time for packing and relocation plans of both parties. Up until this date at 5pm, for whatever reason, if you as the buyer decide to back out of the contract, you will be refunded your Earnest Money Deposit. If you back out on this date at 5:01pm or later, then this deposit will be given to the seller.

CLOSING COSTS:

“Is it more important to me to have more cash on hand after closing or a lower monthly mortgage payment?”

Closing costs are paid on the day of settlement. This final number is an accumulation of attorney fees, lender fees, homeowner fees, adjusted taxes, etc. plus any unpaid invoices from inspections and services completed during/after the due diligence period. On the Offer to Purchase Contract you have the option to ask the seller to pay for any amount of your closing costs. The reason you may want to ask for this is if you won’t have a few thousand dollars cash available on settlement day to cover that total. Typically sellers don’t mind agreeing to this if the requested amount of closing costs is considered in the offered purchase price. So, you can ask for closing costs in order to have more cash on hand after closing but you’ll most likely have a higher monthly mortgage payment since the purchase price will be higher. The other reason you may ask for seller-paid closing costs in the original offer is to consider the cost of a known necessary repair or maybe a large repair is discovered during due diligence.

CONTINGENCIES / ADDENDUM: 

“What events, requirements, etc. would prevent me from following through with the transaction?”

Depending on your situation there may be some things that could prevent you from being able to close on a property. For example, maybe you have to sell your current home in order to have the funds to purchase the new one under contract. It is also possible that your type of loan/program may require specific repairs to be done after the home inspection is reviewed. Maybe you make your offer contingent on the seller making a certain repair that you are already aware of at the time that you make the offer. Depending on your loan/program, there may also be necessary addendum to include – for example, using an FHA or VA loan requires that you include an FHA/VA Addendum, or if the house was built prior to 1978, then a Lead Based Paint Addendum would be required.

SETTLEMENT DATE:

“We made it to Closing Day!”

Remember that this date should ideally be 7-10 days after the Due Diligence Date has expired. Today you do a final review of your Closing Disclosure / Settlement Statement, which you will have reviewed with your agent a few days prior. After the seller has signed their documents and once all documentation has been signed by you in regards to your loan and the sale of the home, and you have also paid your closing costs, the property title will be transferred to you and then they keys are yours – welcome home! 

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Again, there are of course many other terms and documents to discuss in addition to these. Everyone’s transaction is unique – let one of our professionals walk you through your personalized buying journey! GreatNEST buyer’s agents will carefully and confidently guide you to your perfect home – guaranteed. Our agents are full-time professionals who work in, and live in, our market. Whether you are new to the area or a life-long resident, you need help with financing, or have very specific housing needs, our experienced and friendly agents will help. Work with a GreatNEST professional buyer’s agent and buy with confidence. Ask about our LoveYourNEST GuaranteeFirstNEST buyer service, and our NESTAdvantage Power Program.

YOUR NEXT STEP: DUE DILIGENCE FEE & DUE DILIGENCE DATE 

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