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Carol King, CRS, ABR, SRES, E-PRO

4th Quarter 2012

Up, Up and Away! Interest rates at an all time low and quality properties are in short supply.

MARKET SNAPSHOT Presenting Carol King’s, Sold On Charlotte Properties quarterly newsletter. We want to know what you think and how we can improve our communication to you as a buyer, seller, owner tenant or investor.


eeing “For Sale” signs in front yards disappear much quicker than in recent memory because the home has sold and closed? It’s true. As recent as just over 18 months ago, we had almost eighteen months of total inventory (condos and single family homes) in our MLS awaiting buyers. Today we have just over six months supply.

September and October’s numbers tell the story. From September last year (2011), new listings in September this year (2012) are down in all of our MLS by 3.5%. Closed sales

Continued on page 6

Just listed by Carol King PLAZA MIDWOOD

Available listings are in short supply, interest rates are at all time lows, and a new collection of fresh buyers have created an interesting marketplace.

for this September are up 14% compared to last, and up 17% year to date. The average sales price is up 4.8% from September last year and the all important days on market shrank 12.1%.

$369,900 3 BR’s w/Bonus or 4 BR’s - almost 2200 heated SF; hardwood floors, garage deck and patio. 704.953.6128



FACT CHECK: THE 2013 3.8% REAL ESTATE TAX This fall, I have had an unusual number of friends and clients call or write to ask about this new “real estate tax that goes into effect next year” and ask what it will mean to them.


The facts are that only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the tax. First, only those with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to to the new 3.8% tax. And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won’t apply to the first $250,000 on profits from the sale of a personal residence — or to the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple selling their home.



A typical home sale would not incur any tax. In March of this year for example, according to the National Association of Realtors, half of all existing homes sold for $170,700 or less. None of those sales could possibly generate a $250,000 profit, and thus none would be subject to the tax. For the vast majority of us , the 3.8 percent tax won’t apply. The Tax Foundation, in a report released April 15th. said the new tax on investment income (including real estate) “will hit approximately the top-earning two percent of families” when it takes effect in 2013.

with Chad Fleener, New American Home Mortgage

Home affordability has never been stronger as home prices remain subdued and interest rates hover near all-time lows. Interest rates have been so low for so long sometimes it feels like they’ll never go up... Unfortunately, the wave of this low interest rate environment will eventually come to halt. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage rates are expected to creep up slowly in the year ahead. The MBA suggests that 30 year fixed rates will average 4.1% for all of 2013, compared with a 2012 average of 3.8%. That may not seem like a huge difference at first glance, but when comparing the 2 rates $34/month or on a $200,000 note, the payment difference is roughly $12,270 over the life of the loan. Bottom line... don’t kick yourself over a missed opportunity to buy or refinance at these low rates. Chad Fleener can be reached via email at or call 980.263.2703 or 704.953.6128

WHAT ARE THOSE LETTERS? What do those letters behind my name stand for and mean to you? You’ve heard it many times. “The purchase of a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime.” In today’s market, selling a home is equally important—getting the most out of your investment. So whether buying or selling, you want a specialist—a residential specialist. Someone who understands the complexities of the housing market, how to best position your interests, and someone who will get to know you and what you want from the transaction. You want success. You want a Certified Residential Specialist. The Certified Residential Specialist

The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.

(CRS) is the highest Designation to sales associates in the residential sales field. The designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education. I am proud to have earned with the stringent requirements, this highly respected designation in 2007. Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) agents have a proven record of success—3X success, in fact. Compared to the average REALTOR®, CRS agents have been in the business nearly three times longer, have three times the number of annual transactions, and

The e-PRO designation represents those agents who have completed work to master the on line road map to serve our hyperconnected consumers today both with timely information communication and social media formats. The Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation serves the wants and needs of our baby boomers and seniors community for downsizing and preserving equity.


generate three times the amount of gross sales. Just 3% of all REALTORS® are Certified Residential Specialists. Ethics aren’t just important in a REALTOR®. They are essential. That’s why every CRS is required to maintain membership in the National Association of Realtors® and abide by it’s strict code of ethics. Thats means when working with a CRS, you are assured you are dealing with a trained real estate professional who will treat you fairly and professionally every step of the way. A CRS is trained to minimize financial and legal risks. With that in mind, despite all of the expertise you get, a CRS does not cost any more than any other REALTOR®. In fact, the skills and know-how you get with a CRS may actually save you time and money. How can I help someone you know with their next real estate sale or purchase? I sincerely thank you for your continued support of my business with your recommendations of friends and family, and your trusted referrals.

Information Is Power Thinking about buying a home? As a realtor, I begin the process almost as a housing counselor. Before we narrow down types of homes or areas, let’s answer several other questions together.

How much can you afford? Buyers often

GET PRE- QUALIFIED It only takes minutes to find out how much home you can afford

GET THE SCOOP Get real time emails when homes in your price range or area go on the market

give me a limit or price ceiling for our home searches. How much you can afford depends on your credit rating, income(s), current monthly expenses, today’s interest rate and how much cash or equity from the sale of another property you want to put down. Is renting a better short term option than buying? And will you be in a position to exclude PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance which adds to your monthly payment.

home? Can your lender help you with financing that upfits after purchase? Do you have the time and energy for such projects which generally take more time than anticipated and cost more than what was budgeted. Deals are out there. Your sweat equity may combine for a sweeter deal.

Everyone wants a great price. The

buyers in late 2008 and 2009 were “in the market” when our MLS was flooded with foreclosures and short sales. Buyers expected and often got that “bargain”. It was not unusual to buy a home with as much as 10 or 20% off the original list price. Today, sellers and listing agents are pricing homes more reasonably. Sellers have for the most part abandoned the Get pre-approved . If you do not already “well lets price it high and lets just have a mortgage lender, we can provide see” approach because it fails in the several references of local lenders who current economy. With fewer choices can quote you mortgage rates, your and little inventory, the comparable costs to acquire the mortgage loan, closed sales will show us if a home and what loan programs or options are is priced high, low or correctly. If a available. First time homebuyers have home is priced correctly and is in good different programs available through condition, expect to pay between 97% lenders. Lenders will show you what to 100% of list price. There most likely FHA and conventional loan programs will be a buyer right behind you who work for your situation. appreciates the same. Whats on your “want” list? Next lets make a list of your top ten wish list. We think about schools, commute times, neighborhood walkability, community swimming pools, updated kitchens and baths, new construction, large yard or small one, big closets, an office or extra spare bedroom, a bonus room, a fenced yard, a large deck or patio, a brick home, a treed lot...and the list $209,462 $208,491 goes on and on. In today’s market, $202,022 we may not get everything on the list, however, if we identify one with over 75% of your list, then you may want to put the process in motion.


Do you want a fixer-upper? Homes that

RESEARCH Carol shares with you info about previous or competing sales (comps) in the neighborhood

need new love are always available in the marketplace. Paint and carpet are one thing. Renovating kitchens, baths and knocking out walls is another. How much cash do you have to put in a

2010 or 704.953.6128

-3.1% +3.7% 2011


Ready, Set ... Sell Try to see your home with a fresh perspective. Walk each room. Open drapes and blinds. Clean out closets so buyers can appreciate the space. Remove extra furnishings. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Put fresh towels out in all your bathrooms. Add an air freshener to bathrooms or closets. Steam clean the carpets.

Give Your Home The On-The-Market-Makeover In this fall quarter’s market, the buyers await. After we determine what the likely selling range will effectively be and price accordingly, it’s time to consult on what it will take to get to closing.

First Impressions are Lasting impressions

It’s Showtime

Make sure your home’ entrance is clean and inviting. If paint or replacing of doors or shutters is needed, don’t hesitate to invest in what is needed. Buyers will see “what they see” and this first impression will stay with them even subconsciously. Keep windows and doors clean. Repair or replace faded wallpaper. Consider repainting scarred or dirty walls. Check the caulk in bathtubs and showers.

If I show 8 homes today, only one or two will have lights on presenting the home to my buyer. My buyers will almost always gravitate to a home that is lit and shows well. I cannot underestimate how important it is to set the scene with lighting. Turn on virtually every light you can. If it is winter, leave the fireplace going. Some soft background music and fresh scents work well. Flower pots with new blooms at the front door greet the guests.




Let’s talk about a complete analysis of the process - from market price to how we prepare the home to dress for success!

We never get a second chance at a first impression so cleaning, painting, landscaping and the decluttering process help set the stage.

23,057 19,345

+2.0% +19.2% 2011

2012 704.953.6128

Prepare for showings! Our marketing and on line advertising will the generate traffic we are looking for.

Continued from page 1 Overall inventory of homes across the board for sale rested at 21,279 last September and 15,548 this September, a 26.9% decrease. The months of inventory supply fell 43.4 % in one year. New foreclosure listings dropped 9.5% from the comparative month of September last year. More importantly, the new number of short sale listings coming to market declined by 41.2%. The large number of rumored foreclosure properties the banks were holding to bring to market never materialized. October’s stats show more. Year-to-date new listings through

October 2010 were 50,039. This October YTD new listings were 40,487, a 20% decrease in two years. Pending sales in October were 2,783 vs. 1,756 in October of last year. October’s closed sale for the monthly period stood at 2,575 vs. 1,882 for October 2011 - a walloping 36.8% increase. The average MLS list price for October was up $10,000 from October 2011’s average. The average sales price, the one that counts, was up impressively over $5000 per home from last October to $5,127. Active inventory in October fell from the

previous month’s totals by another 626 available homes. The road to recovery has indeed begun in Charlotte. New buyers and great interest rates have created more demand than supply in our area housing. List pricing and sales prices have begun to creep upward in most all sections of our MLS, and for all of us, that is great news. The post election congressional budget debates could continue this trend or shake up the housing markets yet again. In the meantime, in some areas for those homes priced correctly and in show condition, we are seeing a slight shift to a seller’s market.

FHA Revises Condo Loan Rules In September, new policy changes were announced by FHA which affects guidelines for rules for condo financing. These changes are welcome and even more changes could be next.

up to 50% of the units in a given project, up from 10% previously. This change helps the urban, suburban and resort markets. We have had loan applications blocked in Charlotte with the 10% rule in effect in recent memory.

Previously, FHA rules prohibited lending for condo developments where 25% of the complex’ space was devoted to commercial use. This change to the new 50% guideline is important for mixed use projects where ground floor space is used for restaurants and retail while upper floors are residential.

Previously, FHA loans were blocked if 15% of the homeowners were 30 days delinquent on their monthly HOA dues. The rule has been relaxed to 60 days. HOA board member officers had to confirm that they “had no knowledge of circumstances or conditions” that would adversely affect the building. Many volunteer board members were reluctant to take on legal responsibility for that language so it has now been softened to

In addition, FHA rules will now allow a single investor to own

now recognize a board’s good faith efforts to verify condo information. Presently, the FHA has tough restrictions requiring half of a condo building’s units to be owner occupied. The National Association of Realtors reports that changes for this requirement could be in the works for as early as next year. And watch for more changes currently, FHA won’t approve a loan if half of a building or project’s units already have FHA financing. This rule may soften plus “spot” approvals for FHA financing of new projects that had yet to be FHA certified may return. or 704.953.6128

JUST ROLLED OUT! Our brand new revamped and revised property management website: Includes online portal for both owners and tenants.

Our new web site debuts to positive reviews... If you have not yet seen our newly revised property management web site, we hope you will. Perspective tenants research our available rental homes, both condos and single family houses.

to provide the very best of tenant and owner care throughout the entire tenancy.

Our owners have easy access to their on line portal which contains up to the minute information on their managed portfolio property. Tenants can make an easy application for an advertised home 24/7.

Edna Wellons, Realtor. General Brokerage, Rentals

Our property management division continues to grow thanks to the referrals of our valued firends, clients, owners and tenants. Currently we lease and manage 135 local properties. We pride ourselves on our one to one business philosophy, and our stellar track record. Our goal is

Nick Presnell, part-time Property Specialist



Now in our fifth year, our staff has grown. Meet the staff on our new web site . . . Ron Trescone, Leasing Manager. General Brokerage, Sales Sylvia Newton, Account Manager. NC Licensed Agent Megan Gray, Account Manager and IT Management Marsue Burroughs, Accounting & Customer Service Kathy Gray, Broker In Charge. NC and SC Licensed Carol King, Realtor. General Brokerage, Owner Procurement and Leasing


JEFFERSON SQUARE 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2 BR, 2 BA, 2 reserved parking spaces, ready now. $1695

fireplace, large kitchen, patio, spacious bedrooms, new flooring & more. $1195


CONCORD MILLS 2 BR 2.5 BA move in ready.

Townhome beauty with garage, open floor plan, patio, pool & great location. $1195

SOUTHPARK Furnished condo, ready now.

Lofts at Morrison, 1 BR with hardwood floors, gorgeous kitchen. $1250

GOOD NEWS DEPT. We are expecting continued good news through this last 2012 quarter and into 2013. And from where we have been, we will take all the good news we can receive!

From my perspective In recent memory, for sellers, our fear was -- will we get a buyer, and will the deal stay together through the loan approval and underwriting process. I am happy to report that both my peers and I have seen less and less of lender situations which

Opportunity Knocks HOW CAN WE HELP? This market has created numerous opportunities for buyers and sellers.

broke up a happy buyer-seller marriage. However, local real estate transactions are subject to more intense scrutiny with appraisals. Some lenders employ means to verify the appraiser’s work and conclusions. The good news? Homes are selling. Buyers who have held off for two or more years are in the market now, or have purchased this year. Demand is back and supply is far less that we have experienced in many years. Prices have begun to creep upward as a result. Don’t look for anything that can be mistaken for another boom anytime soon, but do look for sales growth again next quarter and next year. Housing starts in Mecklenburg County are up this year, primarily in price points of 300k or more looking to fill the inventory void. Owners who elected to rent rather than sell have seen healthy rents now regarded at “highs”. We may see more renters become buyers this next year as many people connect that as reported nationally that owning is becoming cheaper than renting in many communities. With prices expected to continue to rise albeit slowly, renters may be ready to reenter the market and buy their own homes. We do not anticipate a slow down effect in home rentals for our landlords noting that we may have reached our optimum rents in some condo and single family residence areas.

What is your home’s value today? Contact me. 704.953.6128 CAROL KING, CRS, ABR, SRES, E-PRO SOLD ON CHARLOTTE PROPERTIES 1800 Camden Road Suite 106 Charlotte, NC 28203

Winter 2012 Carol King Newsletter  

Market update for the real estate and rental local markets for the 4th quarter

Winter 2012 Carol King Newsletter  

Market update for the real estate and rental local markets for the 4th quarter