Selecting an Agent to List Your Home

Selecting An Agent To List Your Home

This is about as slippery of a slope of a topic that we can take on, for to provide accurate information and suggestions. We will invariably step on the toes of some that make a living as so called “listing agents.” So, here it goes! And, hey wish us luck as you will not see the following in print anywhere else.

One of the hardest parts of being a Realtor can be working with other Realtors. Of Course, that is not inclusive of all Realtors mind you, as there are many true professionals out there that are a delight to work with. However, there are Realtors in all markets that list homes that are not up to par with others in the area. (FYI, this could be said of any profession, right?)

There, we are going to do our best to provide you with some general tips on how to select the best Realtor in your area to list your homes. And to be fair, our Team at Carolina Plantations are best known as Buyers Agents. That means we work primarily with people researching coastal North Carolina as a destination to retire to, and/or, secure a second home. And you will see this places us in a unique market position where we must work with Listing Agents on a very frequent basis.

Here are some traits that you should consider researching before selecting someone to represent your home in the market:

Answering Their Phones

Think about it. A local agent wants to show your home tomorrow at 4:00 pm, but they cannot reach your Listing Agent. Or wait, a local agent is sitting with their clients who love your home and they have pertinent questions about your home, but your listing agent doesn’t answer.

Selecting An Agent To List Your Home

Another scenario is a local agent has an offer on your home but absolutely cannon reach you Listing Agent because he/she doesn’t like to be bothered after 6:00 pm on weeknights or on weekends. You cannot in your wildest dreams begin to know how hard it can be to connect with some Listing Agents. Good, worthy Listing Agents should answer their phone 24/7, as the caller could be requesting a showing or bringing an offer to their Seller.

Historical Knowledge of Your Community

In our area of the world, the majority of folks live in either a subdivision or a plantation. Most of these have been around for up to 30 hours, but there can often be significant good/bad information on them. A Listing Agent must have all the answers when a Buyers Agent asks important questions as it pertains to your community. If your Listing Agent has no prior knowledge of issues, how can they represent you and your interests? Please keep in mind that the historical subjects could involve the developer/s, builder/s, POA/HOA, zoning, on-site selling team, broken promises, financial reports and more.

Negotiation Skills

In North Carolina, a person wanting to become a Realtor will spend over 100 hours in a classroom learning about real estate prior to possibility securing a NC real estate license. Exactly ZERO of those hours will be spent discussing negotiating. And, what is one of the most important skills a Listing Agent should possess if you are going to consider hiring them? Negotiating Skills.

Prior to becoming a Realtor, you could have been the best advertising manager, hairdresser, photographer, salesman, waiter/waitress, teacher, etc., but if negotiating important contracts was not part of your job description, why do you think that just because you have a real estate license with no training that you are qualified to negotiate on your Sellers (or Buyers) behalf?

Seasoned real estate veterans who rank in the top tier locally and who’ve represented both Sellers and Buyers on many transactions typically make the best negotiators. And when we say seasoned, we have Brokers working for our team that are in their late 20s and 30s that are as seasoned if not more so than older people who’ve been selling real estate (part time) for 30 years, so seasoned does not necessarily equate to “old”!!

Part-Time or Full-Time Realtor

Sally is a friend of Gloria, whom she goes to church with most every Sunday. Sally sold Gloria her home 21 years ago and insists that Gloria use her to list her home as Gloria has decided to move closer to her brother in Georgia. Problem is, Sally lists about 6-8 homes a year and sells some real estate here and there so as to not be bored in her retirement years. Randy on the other hand, is a full-time Realtor who works 7 days a week, sends out tons of email blasts about his listings. He was involved in 62 sales last year and is well connected with other local Realtors. Randy has a great website to capture buyers and answers his phone 96.4% of the time. Therefore, if you hire a part-time Realtor, you should expect part-time results, right? Real estate and medicine are two examples of 24/7 professions and if you are not answering your beeper, cell phone or text messages – you may want to consider changing occupations.

Familiarity with Local Realtors

If you live in Pleasantville and hire a Listing Agent that lives in Congestedville, the next town over, what are the chances that your Listing Agent knows the majority of Buyers Agents in Pleasantville? Slim to none, right? No matter what business you are in, the more we know those in our immediate circles, the better chances we have at accomplishing our goals. When Realtors work with colleagues they have done work with in the past, this can be advantageous to both parties.

Moral of the story is to use caution on hiring a Listing Agent that might not be familiar with the Brokers that would more than likely be bringing you an offer. One action a good Listing Agent should always do is holding a Broker Open House. Invitations are sent out to all local Realtors and the Listing Agent provides a meal or treats in exchange for the visiting Brokers filling out a feedback sheet. This feedback is presented to the Seller so that they can get a better understanding of the market. The other benefit is that the Brokers who’ve visited the home are armed with this home as a viable option to sell their clients.

Selecting An Agent To List Your Home

In summary, don’t select a Listing Agent solely based upon the face that they have a nice smile, sent you a postcard or have a billboard up on a local road. You home is an important part of you and finding the Realtor to represent you deserves thorough research. We at Carolina Plantations would love to help your family find your forever home here on the coast of North Carolina.

Envisioning Your Retirement

In the movie Caddy Shack, Chevy Chase was playing golf and providing his caddy with some tips when he uttered three divine words of wisdom – “Be the ball.” These infamous words have been repeated on golf courses worldwide for decade’s so, how about if we change up the words to read “Be the retirement”?

To be all knowing of retirement is an endless quest, as there are mountains of information on how to retire successfully. The #1 agreed upon essential element to a successful retirement is financial planning, for without proper resources, it’s off to work we go, and go, and go, or…………

Envisioning Your Retirement

The team at Carolina Plantations Real Estate are the self-anointed and self-proclaimed, #1 Retirement Experts in coastal North Carolina. That is a lot to live up to but hey, we are up for the challenge 24/7! Our knowledge of the retirement process, our area and the many opportunities here on the coast is second to none, so let us help you envision your first day of retirement.

Envisioning Your Retirement

Can You Envision it?

You both wake up early, put on some new exercise clothing & full action sneakers and are off for a brisk walk of 2 miles. You wave to the newspaper kid, milkman leaving the Johnson’s house and those other new retirees walking down your street. You get home and begin preparing a healthy meal of fresh, chilled and sliced New Zealand Kiwis and Costa Rican Papaya, along with organic coffee and natural double organic sugar cane sweetener with a touch of Pasteurized skim milk and of course, a 10 oz. glass of fresh squeezed Florida Orange Juice and, one thin slice of 100% Cracked Whole Wheat bread with a smidge of real Wisconsin Butter. Your local newspaper is on the breakfast table, which is btw, located in your beautiful and fabulous new home where you selected all interior/exterior colors, cabinets, hardwood floors, granite countertops, lighting, appliances, plumbing fixtures, carpeting and so on. (And, why you didn’t follow a career in home design is well, beyond you, right??!)

Playing on the wall mounted 30” TV is your favorite cable news channel, which is indicating that the Dow Futures are UP and gas prices are DOWN. You take your spouses hand, bless the food and continue to say how great it is to be married to him/her and how much you love them, which goes on for a good 1 ½ hours.

Now it’s 7:30am. What the heck are you going to do for the next 12-13 hours??

Just don’t retire, envision your retirement!!

Envision Retirement Now

There are many of you who are reading this blog every month who will probably never leave the home, city or state you are living in now once you retire. Well, that is fine because you too need to plan what the heck you are going to do with your time everyday to fill the void of an 8-10 hour work day and 2 hours of commute time. That’s a lot of time slots and appointments to fill.

So, just what can possibly fill your time? THAT, my friends, is as legitimate of a question that I can ask, and the answers very much vary as to your living circumstances. Those that do decide to stay home and not move, will have to really forage to find many of the options listed below as most are found in active communities focused on (younger minded) retirees.

Envisioning Your Retirement

Retiring is not for the faint of heart. You just might find, like so many before you, that you need to get away just to have a break in your busy schedule! And FYI, it’s not all that unusual for a calendar for a retired couple living in a community geared at active retirees to look like the following:

Envisioning Your Retirement

What do you want your retirement to look like? My suggestion is to write out a sample week of retirement and share it with your loved one so that you both are on the same page. If you are single, heck, you are lucky as you don’t need approval or buy in, do ya??!!!

However, this is a pretty serious exercise that costs nothing and can help you from making a major mistake. For example, if you want to do all the above, you better move somewhere or live somewhere where all of these activities are available, right? And that takes us back to Step #1, The Martini Theory. First, find the Area that best matches your lifestyle (weather, medical, sports, entertainment, shopping, dining, etc.) Second, then determine which community meets your social/demographic needs (activities, fitness, location, people, etc.) Lastly, is the well soaked olive, or your home. This is the EASIEST part of your retirement process as there are plenty of great homes everywhere! Allow us at Carolina Plantations to help you find your next home that you can retire in on the Coast of North Carolina!

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015


Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.

“The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015. And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”

Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:

  1. Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year. (Read More…)
  2. Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”
  3. Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.
  4. Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.
  5. Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.