Beyond the adage "Location, Location, Location"

We are always studying the market and trends. We are often asked about the timing of the market and has it hit bottom?  Everyone wants a DEAL! 

The adage "Location, Location, Location," is still very true. However, everyone can't purchase a home in the BEST Subdivision, Most DESIRED School District and a home Convenient to Everything. So often we help people turn their WISH List into a Reality List. 

Take a look at the following Blog. Timing the Market: 5 Signs It's the Right Time to Buy or Sell: Trulia Blog 

Contact us for a FREE Market Analysis for your home and lets start the conversation to see if the timing is right for you.

Another Happy Seller!

Tom is taking his sign rider for a memory. 

So you need a realtor. I have some thoughts on how to find one, and
better yet, I have two Realtors, Stacie Dye and Kay Stephenson of Go
Realty, that I recommend highly. (Stacie and Kay work as a team; I
worked most closely with Stacie, so much of what I say is about her
specifically, but all the dealings I had with Kay echo those I had
with Stacie.)

Interview at least two candidates so you have some basis on which to
compare. Prepare for the interviews and ask your key questions, and
pay close attention to both the answers and the way in which your
questions are addressed. This person is going to assist you through a
stressful period. Is (s)he going to add to or alleviate your stress?
Are your questions being heard, and are they being answered? Don't
forget who's working for whom. Your realtor will have suggestions and
recommendations, but ultimately it's your house, your sale/purchase.
Beware the realtor who talks and does not listen.

The two Realtors I chose work as a team. They are Stacie Dye and Kay
Stephenson. Stacie was recommended by a colleague at work, who engaged
her services as a buying agent. I engaged Stacie and Kay as selling
agents, and was very impressed with both of them from start through
finish. A bit of background; I bought and sold two houses in New
Mexico, totaling three transactions, in 1979, 1989, and 1999. One of
my biggest regrets in leaving NM was the loss of my realtor, who I
thought was a once in a lifetime find. Probably the first thing I said
to Stacie and Kay was that they had an impossible act to follow, and
specifically that my last house sold on the day it was listed. I
challenged them to top that. They promised that they would do their

The interview was thorough and illuminating. A lot has changed since
1999, notably including the ways in which housing is marketed (notably
due to the Internet), and the expectations of buyers with regard to
the staging of a house, regardless of whether it's a buyer's or
seller's market. At the initial interview Stacie and Kay outlined
generally the state of the market at that time and place, and provided
a cogent assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of my house. They
then worked up a detailed and specific analysis with a suggested
selling price, and then patiently addressed my questions and concerns,
as well as making specific suggestions on what else needed to be done
prior to putting the house on the market. Of course they provided
clear context in terms of comparables on the market.

I believe every sale involves compromises. I had prepared the house as
best I could in the time available but chose ultimately to enter the
market at a point in time rather than holding back until I was able to
complete improvements. Stacie and Kay were entirely accommodating in
that decision, while another candidate I interviewed was not.
Interestingly, the asking price that Stacie and Kay suggested was
about 6% higher than that recommended by the other candidate, without
"demanding" I complete additional improvements to prepare for going on
the market. Conclusion: Stacie and Kay did not low ball the price in
order to achieve a quick sale, nor require endless improvements in
order to further ease their job of achieving a quick sale. Instead
they took the house as it was, and worked to make the most of it.

And work they did. They do their own staging, and spent eight full
hours between the two of them getting the house into unbelievable
shape. I came home from work, expecting them to be gone, but both were
there for an additional hour and a half. They also made cogent
recommendations on improvements I might consider, and for those I
opted to do, they had competent professionals available to do the work
in a very timely fashion. They also have as part of their service a
professional photographer who truly impressed me with his work. He
arrived on time, left on time, and produced an amazing ensemble of
photos that formed the backbone of the individualized website for the
house sale.

Stacie emailed me at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon to say "we're live."
I had just enough time to look at the website and send the link to
friends and family before I got a call from Centralized Showing
Services asking me if I would allow a showing at 4 that afternoon. I
did; the showing resulted in an offer; Stacie called me with the
details that evening; we ended up having four conversations before
coming to a verbal agreement to sell; and somehow they managed to top
my same day sale of 1999. Even with the house being flagged as under
contract the marketing campaign evidently was effective, as I observed
individuals driving by the house until the day I moved, and the weekly
statistics that Stacie sent on web traffic showed ongoing interest.

The negotiations for the sale were stressful, as was the "due
diligence" period when the house was inspected and issues were
discovered. Whenever I had concerns, whenever I was stressed out and
needed assurances that all was well, Stacie unflaggingly took/returned
my calls, answered my emails, and represented my interests with the
utmost integrity, listening to my concerns, commenting on my analysis,
offering advice, and ultimately going along with my direction on how
to proceed in the negotiations. In the end the sale closed
successfully. My only regret is that neither Stacie nor Kay is willing
to relocate to Canada, so I'm once again in a position of having to
find a realtor if ever I need those services.

Tom Field

Home Improvement Myths Busted!

This is NOT what a Buyer wants to see!

Home Improvement Myths….Improvements always add value…NOT ALWAYS!

As Homeowners, we are always trying to make improvements, but the question is, are the improvements you are making or planning to make going to bring MORE VALUE to your home?

1.  Painting - this is a quickest way to transform a room and add value to your home…if you choose the right colors!  Why is color so important?  If you are planning to stay in your home for several years, then the purple dining room is fine, but if you are planning to sell, this could be a COSTLY MISTAKE.  Most Buyers are visual, therefore, if they see bold colors throughout a home, they will walk in and turn around and walk're kidding right...NO…they see it has $$$$ coming out of their pockets to repaint.

2.  Adding Square Footage - this is a tricky question, but the first thing you must do is contact your local planning/zoning department to see if it permissible on your lot and if it is permissible and you decide that adding is the way you want to go TAKE OUT A PERMIT.  If you add square footage without a permit, you open the door to NUMEROUS PROBLEMS (see previous blog on permitting)!  The same scenario is true if you are finishing off existing unfinished areas of your home.  BIG MISTAKE is converting a garage into finished space, it is typically viewed as a negative.

3.  Do It Yourself Improvements - for some Homeowners it would be simple to install a new light fixture, change out a dishwasher...etc, but for others who have no experience, trying these things can cost you more in the long run and be dangerous.  The best advice is to hire licensed professionals to do the job.

4.  Buying the Highest Quality Materials is ALWAYS Best - if you are considering Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite Counters, Replacement Windows, etc....these are typically good purchases.....if it is the norm for the neighborhood, if not, then you could be wasting your money!

5.  In-ground Swimming Pools ALWAYS add value - only if you live in Florida or California, not  here in North Carolina, it is considered a negative.

TO AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES - whether you are updating your home or thinking selling, give us a call, WE ARE  HERE TO HELP.  We are Real Estate Brokers and Kay is also a licensed Real Estate Appraiser, so WE KNOW VALUES!

For more information go to: Trulia Blog

Would you live here?

The Real Estate Market is on the RISE in The Triangle!

We love sharing  good news! The Real Estate Market is on the RISE in The Triangle! Take a look for yourself.

Making MOOOney for Children's Hospital!

Please meet Steven Ray Miller!

For more information: Artists helping the Children's Hospital

Connect with Steven on Facebook to follow the progress: Steven Ray Miller

Click here to go directly to Steven's website: Art With Hearts

Come along for a Free Ride...

We met some great folks this week on the Bull City Connector. This was our first time taking advantage of this wonderful and FREE resource in Durham. Our philosophy is to make every day a FUN ADVENTURE!

Check out this link for the route: Interactive Route and Map

Meet Antonio, he was our driver and the only person
that would let us take their picture:)

Second Mile Ministry!

The Volunteers greeted us with cheerful smiles today at Second Mile Ministry. They told us that folks were waiting in line at 5:00 a.m. to receive help this morning.

What can you do to make a difference? Go to the website and find out. Second Mile Ministries

Greener Durham...

Home Energy Savings Program

Now Accepting Applications!

Durham’s Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) is designed to help households save energy through targeted home improvements. Approximately 200 homes will receive subsidized, professional retrofits through the program. HESP is being offered for a limited time only, on a first come-first serve basis.
Participating homes will save an estimated 20 percent of their home energy use. Participants pay $400 and HESP will pay up to an additional $1,600 per house.

For information and to see if your home qualifies, click here: 
Home Energy Savings Program