What Does Your Agent Help Negotiate When You’re Buying a Home?

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. [Which is why I am there to help you every step of the way.] So, what should you negotiate when buying a home? 

  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. We can negotiate for the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs.
  2. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. I can provide guidance to ensure we allow ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  3. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  4. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. We can negotiate to have some of these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.
  5. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? You should know, most lenders will not allow furnishings to be written into the contract as part of the sale. However, buyers can still negotiate to keep furniture, appliances, and more, as long as it is in a separate agreement.

Richard Slifkin, Broker/Realtor®
Highgarden Real Estate
Cell: 704-658-5352
Email: RSlifkin@highgarden.com

Real Estate Website: RichardIsMyAgent.com
Facebook: @RichardSlifkinRealtor
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/…
Twitter: @RealtorRS

Serving the Lake Norman and Charlotte, NC Area, including: China Grove, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Landis, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Salisbury, Sherrills Ford, Statesville and Troutman.

What’s Trending: Shrinking Price Per Square Foot Gap

As a real estate agent, helping residential property buyers and sellers understand the local real estate market is an essential aspect of what I do in the process of guiding them through the sale and/or purchase of a home. Here’s a quick example of the market information I keep track of on a regular basis, to better serve my clients:

As the graph below shows, the average price per square foot for a home in Mooresville (green line) has historically been higher than the Charlotte area* as a whole (blue line). While this chart shows the past three years, the trend has been consistent over the long term, with a $19 per sq. ft. difference 10 years ago and a $15 per sq. ft. difference five years ago.

In January 2018 there was a $9 difference between Mooresville and the Charlotte area. That difference fell slightly, to $8, in January 2019. Over the course of the year, that gap has continued to shrink, ending November 2019 at just a $2 per sq. ft. difference.

[SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GOOD NEWS FOR BOTH BUYERS AND SELLERS!]

Continue reading “What’s Trending: Shrinking Price Per Square Foot Gap”

Charlotte Region October Indicators Report – Including Median Sales Prices for 10 Area Towns

OCTOBER 2018: If the last few months are an indication of the temperature of housing markets across the country, a period of relative calm can be expected during the last three months of the year. A trend of market balance is emerging as we approach the end of 2018. Prices are still rising in most areas, and the number of homes for sale is still low, but there is a general shrinking of year-over-year percentage change gaps in sales, inventory and prices. New Listings were up in the Charlotte region by 6.9 percent to 4,796. Pending Sales increased 5.0 percent to 4,091. Inventory shrank 8.7 percent to 10,055 units. Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 5.0 percent to $231,000. Months Supply of Homes for Sale was down 7.4 percent to 2.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply. Stock markets experienced an October setback, but that does not necessarily translate to a decline in the real estate market. The national unemployment rate has been below 4.0 percent for three straight months and during five of the last six months. This is exceptional news for industries related to real estate. Meanwhile, homebuilder confidence remains positive, homeownership rates have increased in the key under-35 buyer group and prices, though still rising, have widely reduced the march toward record highs. Contact me for the full Charlotte Market Overview, including key Charlotte market metrics graphs. Current as of November 5, 2018. All data from CarolinaMLS, Inc. Report provided by the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association. Report © 2018 ShowingTime.

OCTOBER 2018 MEDIAN SALES PRICE BY TOWN:

  • Mooresville: $300,365 [+2.9% vs. October 2017]
  • Concord: $205,000 [+2.8%] – smallest gain in median sales price
  • Denver: $330,000 [+6.5%]
  • Cornelius: $265,000 [-3.8%] – largest (only) decrease in median sales price
  • Huntersville: $315,000 [+9.0%]
  • Kannapolis: $146,500 [+16%]
  • China Grove: $151,495 [+16.5%]
  • Sherrills Ford: $295,415 [+11%]
  • Troutman: $250,000 [+19.9%] – largest percentage increase
  • Davidson: $372,500 [+17.9%] – highest median sales price
See graphs below for more details:









Richard Slifkin, Broker/Realtor® Highgarden Real Estate Cell: 704-658-5352 Email: RSlifkin@highgarden.com Real Estate Website: RichardIsMyAgent.com Facebook: @RichardSlifkinRealtor YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/… Twitter: @RealtorRS Serving the Lake Norman and Charlotte, NC Area, including: China Grove, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Landis, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Salisbury, Sherrills Ford and Troutman.

Top 3 Rookie Mistakes of First Time Homebuyers

You’ve been saving for a down payment, keeping your credit in good shape, and you’re finally ready to purchase your first home. It’s an exciting time for sure, but be sure not to let the thrill of house hunting lead you to make theses mistakes:

1. Skipping a home inspection.

You’ve made an offer, it’s been accepted, and now you’re in the due diligence period. There will be a few things you can do which are optional during this time, and one of them is a home inspection. DON’T SKIP IT! It doesn’t matter if the home is two years old or 22 years old, getting an inspection by a qualified inspector can help you find issues you won’t see on the surface. It will be an expense you may have to pay up front, but it can possibly save you thousands if an issue is discovered, which you can then negotiate for the seller to fix, or use as part of your rationale for a reduction in price.

2. Making a big purchase before closing.

You found the right house, your offer was accepted, and you’re waiting for the lender and lawyer to wrap things up before closing. It could be a few more weeks, and you start thinking… ‘wouldn’t the living room look better with brand new furniture?’ or ‘we finally have a garage, let’s get a new car to put in it!’. DON’T DO IT! Most loans are approved based on a specific debt-to-income ratio. A purchase which requires financing (cars, furniture) will affect your ratio, and that is something which the lender typically re-checks just before closing. So, even if your debt-to-income ratio was good when you applied, a last minute change could cause your lender to not approve your mortgage at the last minute.

3. Not using a Real Estate Agent.

You can find everything online, so why do you need a real estate agent? First, everything you see online is not true… and that includes listing info. Most websites which list homes for sale are not ‘live-updated’, and some can have info out of date by a few weeks, or even more. Why waste your time looking through listings which may not be available? The Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which Realtors have access to, is the only true, instant access to accurate listing info, updated as soon as any Realtor makes a change to their listing. Besides that, in almost all instances the seller pays the commission of the buyer’s real estate agent, so you are getting the expertise of your agent without paying anything. If I’m your agent, I’ll guide you on details such as not skipping a home inspection, not making big purchases before closing, as well as dozens of other specifics on the home purchase process. Ready to start the search for your next home? Get in touch with me and let’s get together for a no-obligation consultation.
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Richard Slifkin, Broker/Realtor® Highgarden Real Estate Cell: 704-658-5352 Email: RSlifkin@highgarden.com Real Estate Website: RichardIsMyAgent.com Facebook: @RichardSlifkinRealtor YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/… Twitter: @RealtorRS Serving the Lake Norman and Charlotte, NC Area, including: China Grove, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Landis, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Salisbury, Sherrills Ford and Troutman.

Myth Busters! Home Buyer Down Payments and FICO Scores

Myth Busters! Home Buyer Down Payments and FICO Scores

Is it time to forget what you think you know about about getting approved for a mortgage loan? Results from a 2018 Borrower Insight Survey* suggest that it might be necessary for many people who are considering purchasing a home.

Myth: You need a 20% down payment to buy a house… FALSE

In the borrower insight survey, almost 50% of renters who were surveyed said they thought they needed to put down 20% or more for their down payment. While that may have been the case in the past, the National Association of Realtors 2017 Profile of Home Buyers found that overall, those who financed their home purchase typically made a 10% down payment, financing 90% of the purchase price. The down payment amount is even lower among first time home buyers, who typically financed 95% if their home, while repeat buyers financed 86% of their home purchase.

Myth: You need to have a FICO credit score over 750 to qualify for a mortgage… FALSE

The borrower insight survey also found that almost 50% of renters believed they needed a FICO score of 750 or above to qualify for a mortgage. Yes, good credit is very important… (Need a referral to a credit repair specialist? Just ask!) However, your required credit score will vary depending on the type of financing you are applying for. The Ellie Mae June 2018 Origination Insight Report found that the average credit score for all loans closed in June was 726. A closer look at the closed loans reveals that the average FICO score for FHA loans was 677, while the average score for VA loans was 711. The average score for conventional loans was 753. However, 41% of conventional loans closed with a score lower than 750. A third of the loans closed in June were something other than conventional mortgage financing. The breakdown of loan types closed in June was: 66% Conventional, 20% FHA, 10% VA, 4% Other. The only way to find out what type of mortgage is best for you and what you can be approved for is to talk to a mortgage lender! (Need a referral to some great lenders? Just ask!) This should be the first step before any real estate agent takes you out to look at houses. Remember, be sure to get a pre-approval, not just pre-qualified! (What’s the difference? Read this- Guest Post: Prequalification vs. Preapproval….There is a BIG Difference!)
PRINT THIS. *2018 Ellie Mae Borrower Insights Survey. **National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2017. ***June 2018 Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report.
Richard Slifkin, Broker/Realtor® Highgarden Real Estate Cell: 704-658-5352 Email: RSlifkin@highgarden.com Real Estate Website: RichardIsMyAgent.com Facebook: @RichardSlifkinRealtor YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/… Twitter: @RealtorRS Serving the Lake Norman and Charlotte, NC Area, including: China Grove, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Landis, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Salisbury, Sherrills Ford and Troutman.