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Mayes Harris Team

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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 251

How To Lower Closing Costs

by Mayes Harris Team

Closing costs help facilitate the sale of a home and both buyers and sellers pitch in. Some closing costs can be paid before the home is officially sold and others are paid at the end.

However, closing costs aren’t set into stone and they can be negotiable. You can ask your real estate agent or lender with help in estimating your actual closing costs. Look over everything to make sure all the numbers are right and then you plan accordingly in how you’re going to lower them.

Loyalty Programs

Some banks offer assistance to buyers when they use them to help pay for the purchase. It’s a way for a bank to reward loyal customers.

Closing at the End of the Month

Schedule your closing at the end of the month so you don’t have to pay the per diem interest for so many days.

Get Multiple Quotes

Get estimates from different lenders because you’re looking for the best package of closing costs and interest rates. There might be something better out there.

Junk Fees

There may be some fees a lender charges that may be negotiable, such as origination fee, processing fee, or application fee. Make sure to ask if what you are being quoted is the best they can offer.

Title Costs

Sometimes title insurance and settlement are bundled together. You may be able to find a title and settlement company that is less expensive.

Negotiate With the Seller

You can try to negotiate with the seller in paying for some of your closing costs. Buyers can ask for credit or to cover lender expenses during the offer and negotiation process.

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Offer Stand Out

by Mayes Harris Team

If you’ve been looking for a new home, finding the right one is exciting. Now that it’s time to write the offer, however, you might be wondering what you can do to make sure the seller is impressed with your offer. Of course the easiest way is to offer cash significantly over asking price, but fortunately in the real world there are still great ways to ensure the seller takes your offer seriously and improve your chance of acceptance.

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Offer Stand Out

1. Pre-Approval Letter – A pre-approval means your lender has done their due diligence and has all the documentation needed to close the loan.
2. Contingency Removals – Certainly you should not remove any contingencies which could put you at risk, but the contract is full of some which you can safely remove. Consider removing or shortening contingency periods to provide peace of mind to the sellers.
3. Sell Your Home First – One red flag is the buyer who needs to sell their own home before closing. Sell before you write the offer whenever possible.
4. Escrow Period – Working with your agent, offer a longer or shorter escrow period based on the seller’s moving needs.
5. Win-Win – Show the seller that you want to create a win-win. Negotiations are part of a home sale, but avoid seeming unreasonable or demanding.

While price is always important to the home seller, there are other valuable concessions or offers which can mean as much. Work with an agent who views the transaction as a win for all sides and learn what’s important to the seller before you write the offer. By accommodating their needs as much as possible, you are more likely to have your offer accepted.

Appraisals Explained

by Mayes Harris Team

Appraisals are one of the most confusing aspects of buying or selling real estate for the consumer. When a buyer and seller agree on a sales price, it can be frustrating to hear that the appraisal came in with a value too low. It’s not enough for the principals to agree to the price, the appraisal is the lender’s way to ensure they are not loaning money over the actual market value of the property.

The appraised value is reached by a licensed professional who looks at the real estate market in which the target property is located. They start with the target property and then look for recent sales in the area of comparable properties. These comparable properties will be located within a short distance of the target home, normally within a 5 mile radius. They should also be of comparable size and often fall within the same housing development.

Once these homes are identified, the appraiser will adjust for the specific differences. For instance, does the target home have an upgraded kitchen or swimming pool? They add or subtract value based on such things as location, view, lot size, upgrades, additions, condition and many other factors. They can then arrive at a valuation for the target home.

Once the appraisal has been completed, the lender is notified of the value. At this point, the loan amount is either confirmed or declined. If the appraisal comes in too low, the principals can choose to make up the difference in sales price, lower the sales price or cancel the transaction.

Appraisals are not as complicated as they appear. By learning about recent sales in your area ahead of time, you can price your home appropriately up front; then the appraisal should come back as expected.

Market Report Update: Mecklenburg County's June 2019 Stats

by Mayes Harris Team

It is time once again to take a look back at yet another page on the calendar. This month we begin by reviewing Mecklenburg County's June 2019 Stats.

Let's dive a little farther than this starting with the Median Sales Price in June. If we look back at 2017, we see a median sales price of $274,500. The following year, 2018, that price increased by +2.0 percent to $280,000. In 2019, we increased again by +10.0 percent to a median sales price of $308,000 in Mecklenburg County.

Next, we are going to review the number of New Listings that came on the market in Mecklenburg County in June. We start with 2 years ago, 2017, and see that there were 1,857 new homes that came on the market. The following year, 2018, there was an increase of +0.8 percent with 1,872 new homes coming on the market. This year, 2019, there was a decrease of -4.5 percent with only 1,787 homes coming on the market.

The next statistic we will review is the June Median Days on Market. Starting in 2017, we saw 7 median days on the market and then the following year, 2018, we stayed the same with again 7 median days on the market. In 2019, we increased by +14.3 percent to 8 median days on the market.

So there you have it. A quick overview of what is happening in our local market of Mecklenburg County. If you have questions or need real estate assistance than please reach out to us. We would love to help you!!

Tips to Save for a Down payment

by Mayes Harris Team

Are you thinking about buying a new home? Gone are the days of 100% financing with zero down payment. So if you are not sitting on a pile of cash, the idea of finding the money to pay the down payment might feel daunting. But there are simple ways to raise the cash needed to get into a new home.

Assess Your Current Assets - The first step is to determine what cash you might have available right now. Do you have a savings account or perhaps a 401k*? Are you nursing a pet project, like a vintage car or motorcycle, which could be sold for additional cash?

Explore Loan Options - Not all home loans require the typical 20% down payment. FHA and VA loans are available for qualified buyers which allow a very low/no down payment.

Ask For Help - Some loans allow you to use gift funds from relatives for the down payment. There are also local and state programs which offer down payment assistance and second loans.

Employment Incentives – Some cities and counties offer help with buying a home for teachers and first responders. If you fall into one of these categories, speak with your lender about options for down payment assistance.

Buying a new home is a great way to add to your financial security. Building equity with a property is one way to build wealth while providing for you and your family. Finding the down payment might be easier than you think. If you are ready to explore home ownership, meet with a lender and discuss your unique situation.

Tips for Selling in Summer

by Mayes Harris Team

Summer has traditionally been the best time to sell a home. Not only do many families take advantage of moving when the kids are out of school, but in climates where winter weather is unpredictable or severe, the warmer months make it easier to be away for showings. With more homes on the market, how can you maximize your potential for a great offer among the options? Fortunately, you can take a few steps to ensure your home stands out from the crowd.

Tips for Selling in Summer

  • Control the Climate – The first thing a buyer will notice when they walk into a home is the temperature. If the weather is warm and humid, it’s critical you keep the home cool. A larger air conditioning bill is a small price to pay for a top dollar offer.
  • Let in the Sun – It might be tempting to close the blinds to save money on air conditioning, but bright, sunny rooms are always more appealing; leave enough open to showcase natural light.
  • Extend Outdoors – Today’s lifestyle includes the outdoor areas and more and more homes feature outdoor living and dining areas. Regardless of your home’s features, maximize the impact of your yard with furniture, BBQs and manicured landscaping.
  • Spring Clean – A fresh, decluttered home with a lighter, seasonal color scheme will be visually appealing to your buyers. Replace dark pillows, linen and accents with softer colors which make the rooms seem larger.

The summer selling season is here. Make sure your home is dressed for success. Welcoming outdoor spaces and bright sunny rooms combined with inviting an air conditioned rooms will ensure you get the best possible offer.

Qualifying for a Loan – What do I need to qualify?

by Mayes Harris Team

Before you start searching for your new home, the first step is to speak with a lender and determine your budget. This is being pre-qualified for a loan. Once you find the right home, then your lender will order an appraisal of the property and complete your financing. If this is your first home purchase, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve purchased, understanding how to prepare for the qualifying process is the first step to success.

What do I need to qualify for a home loan?

When preparing for your meeting with the lender gather all the pertinent documentation and bring them with you. Generally speaking, your lender will want to see 2 months of employment pay stubs and bank records as well the past 2 years of tax returns. After reviewing your income and savings, the lender will also order a credit report which shows all your recurring debt and payment history. This will be used to determine your ability to pay the proposed mortgage.

How does credit, down payment and income affect my ability to get a loan?

There are a variety of loan programs available and your lender will review all your options with you so you can determine the best program. Some government guaranteed loan programs, such as the VA or FHA, are more lenient with your credit score requirements as well as other qualifications, such as savings and income ratios.

Qualifying for a home loan might feel overwhelming, but your lender can walk you through the process and requirements. After learning your options, you can make the best financial decision for your new home loan.

Living Room Trends

by Mayes Harris Team

The living is room one of the most used rooms in your house and its style is essential in welcoming your guests as they step foot in this space while also expressing who you are.

This article will help you discover the latest trends in living room design while also adding some new features that make your home unique to you.

Bold Plants
Situating big plants into your living room can make eye-catching statements. However, be mindful of how much sunlight and water they need, and let that guide you on where to place them in your living room.

Painted Ceilings
Homeowners are starting to become daring as they are taking into consideration painting the ceiling of their rooms. When choosing to paint, keep in mind the 10-30-60 rule. For example, 60% is the main color of the room taking most of the walls and large accent furniture. The 30% is the secondary color that takes up about half of the color in the room and includes items like draperies and small accent chairs. The remaining 10% is the accent color and takes up the colors in your throw pillows and other
small decorative pieces.

Bold Colors
Colors like burnt orange, deep red, blues, and navy are becoming popular when decorating. Make sure there is balance by adding more neutral colors such as white or gray.

Geometric
Geometric patterns are becoming popular in livings rooms by using them in coffee tables, carpets, and wallpapers. They will make a room more alluring and aesthetically pleasing. You can also incorporate this pattern on your floors or even a large area rug.

Multi-Functional Spaces
The “less is more attitude” is also making a statement. Your living room can incorporate furniture that can be used for other purposes, such as using an ottoman as a storage place. Your living room can also serve as a tiny bedroom by getting sofa beds.

Metallic
Bronze, chrome, gold have the touch to make your living room look luxurious. One of the ways to incorporate them is through your furniture with metallic legs and other minimal decorative objects.

It really boils down to making your home unique to you and thereby showcasing who you are. Don't be afraid to consult with an interior designer. They can help you develop your taste.

Market Report Update: Mecklenburg County's May 2019 Stats

by Mayes Harris Team

It is time once again to take a look back at yet another page on the calendar. This month we begin by reviewing Mecklenburg County's May 2019 Stats.

Let's get started with the Median Sales Price in May. If we look back at 2017, we see a median sales price of $259,000. The following year, 2018, that price increased by +10.8 percent to $287,000. In 2019, we increased again by +3.5 percent to a median sales price of $297,000 in Mecklenburg County.

Next, we are going to review the number of New Listings that came on the market in Mecklenburg County in May. We start with 2 years ago, 2017, and see that there were 2,038 new homes that came on the market. The following year, 2018, there was an increase of 1.8 percent with 2,074 new homes coming on the market. This year, 2019, there was another increase of 3.2 percent with 2,141 homes coming on the market.

The next statistic we will review is the May Median Days on Market. Starting in 2017, we saw 6 median days on the market and then the following year, 2018, we saw an increase of 16.7 percent with 7 median days on the market. In 2019, we increased by 28.6 percent to 9 median days on the market.

So there you have it. A quick overview of what is happening in our local market of Mecklenburg County. If you have questions or need real estate assistance than please reach out to us. We would love to help you!!

Negotiating for Top Dollar

by Mayes Harris Team

Selling your home? Every seller wants to make sure they sell their home for the best possible sales price. Getting top dollar for your home is not as complicated as you might think. By using a simple negotiation strategy, you can make sure to receive the best price for your home listing.

The first step in a negotiation strategy begins before you even list your home. Choosing the right real estate agent and listening to their advice regarding home value is important. Choose a realistic list price; over-pricing to “test the market” is not only a waste of time but as the listing ages on the market, buyers are more likely to write lowball offers.

Once you receive an offer; review and respond to all reasonable offers. Never assume that a buyer isn’t serious just because the offer is lower than you’re willing to accept. Make a reasonable counter offer; if you are motivated to lower your price, you can, but if not, countering with a full price number is acceptable also. Just make sure your price is fair for the actual value of the home.

Consider compromising on terms. Often you can negotiate a higher sales price if you are flexible on other terms. Does the buyer need extra time to close/move? Would they like to have the garage shelves or patio furniture? Win-win situations do not have to involve compromising on price.

All negotiations are different, but by setting the proper stage and calmly navigating through offers, you can make sure you sell your home for the best possible sales price. Getting top dollar for your home is a simple strategy of fair pricing and unemotional negotiations.

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 251

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