Tag Archives: cashiers

“Up, Up and Away…” Highlands, Cashiers Real Estate

Highlands/Cashiers Real Estate Market Holding Promise

Real Estate can be fickle. Many new brokers may not last because they simply don’t understand markets and that not all markets are the same. While some markets have been doing well for some time, Highlands/Cashiers area has had its struggles. Current trends are on the upside and may soon bring some relief to many Sellers and their agents. Continue reading “Up, Up and Away…” Highlands, Cashiers Real Estate

Open House Benefits


Not really, but I bet we got your attention! Still in some markets, open houses are better for the brokers and agents than they are of benefit to the seller.  In our area, more brokers attend open houses than buyers. Many open homes are not attended by either. Why?

“Back in the day” the Internet did not exist. I know, it’s hard to believe. How did we ever survive such primitive times? But we did. I am a survivor and the stories I can tell. Still, during that era, the only way many of us new about homes for sale were when we read it in a paper, talked to a real estate agent or picked up a MLS catalog with page after page of hundreds of homes. We then had to set up appointments, drive all over the country to view homes or look for the “OPEN HOUSE” signs. The OPEN HOUSE was much easier because you didn’t need an appointment. What about today?

Open House in Highlands Csahiers area.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah, the Internet! What a wonderful tool. We can browse online for almost anything and have it delivered to our doorstep. Well, maybe not a house, but we can still look at homes that are of interest to us. We then contact a top agent in our area to have him set up appointments and help us find the best deals.

How to Search for a Home

It’s all there. The photo’s, number of bedrooms, size of the lot, association fee’s and so much more. Searching for homes to buy on line is the tool that the majority of people use to find a home. Here are a few of the statistics for 2014 (source – NAR 2014 survey):

  • 92% of buyers used the Internet in a home search
  • 98% of buyers used an agent while searching for a home
  • 43% of buyers 1st step was looking on line

This raises a valid question. Is an Open House worth it? Depends.

Open House Highlands
Keep Spaces Open

Open House Comments

For some markets like San Francisco, New York and Houston, they work. Rural areas do not fair as well. In our area homes located in a country club or near town may see a few buyers, but mostly agents.  Those in outlying areas will often have “0” in attendance, regardless of advertising and effort.  Notice these quotes:

  • “…open houses are less useful than ever for selling a home.” – realtor.com
  • “The truth is, open houses are a waste of time.” – Chrystal Caruthers – Chicago native and a former Realtor, TV news producer, and newspaper reporter.
  • “Most sellers think holding open houses increases the market exposure of their house. The reality, … is that 95 percent of buyers are using a broker. So they can get in every home any day of the week at a time that’s convenient for them. The majority of the prepared marketplace doesn’t need the open house.” – Angies List, Press Personal Real Estate Support Services
  • “What may be a real shocker is the fact that less than two percent of all homes sold nationally are a direct result of a buyer visiting an open house…” – House Call

… and the list could go on.

Open House Not For Everybody

In all fairness, Open Houses do work (in some areas). Your broker should know what works best in his real estate market. Don’t get caught up with “puffing” that some agents may do to make themselves look better. Find an agent that is from the area, knows the real estate market and is willing to show you the data to support his comments. You don’t need a salesman to sale you just so he can get your listing. You need an agent that is honest and will tell you what you can expect in reality.

Click Here to read more on  Pros and Cons of an Open House

Home Value

How Much is My Home Worth?

To determine the value of your home you should contact a real estate agent. However,  it’s not “Rocket Science”.  Still, you need to know the determining factors for a  Current Market Analysis. The key word here being “Current”.

How to Determine Current Market Value

Housing Index Rising
Image courtesy of cool design / FreeDigitalPhotosdotnet

The “Sales Comparison Approach” is probably the simplest method to determine the value of your home.  However, this requires having access to current data and knowing how to interpret trends. Here is some information you will need:

Comps – This is just short for “comparisons” or “comparative”. In other words, you try to find a home that is similar to yours, the “subject property”. Unfortunately, unless you live in a “cookie cutter” subdivision chances are pretty good you’re not going to find a home just like yours.  Also, these need to be “sold” comps, not those currently listed on the market. This is what real estate agents and appraisers use from the MLS.  DO NOT COMPARE YOUR HOME VALUE TO LISTED PRICES.  It is the “sold” price that determines what knowledgeable  buyers are willing pay.

Adjustments – Once you have found a comp similar to your property, it’s time to start making adjustments. Things to consider are:

  • age of home
  • condition of home
  • number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • square footage
  • garage/carport (attached, detached)
  • size of lot (wooded, cleared)
  • frontage (views, lake, street, etc)
  • location (near town, country club, remote, gravel or paved road, HOA, etc)
  • landscaping
  • other improvements (generator, a/c, etc.)

You can use a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report to help you see how determine the value of your home.  However, unless you are familiar with these values and their differences it may be unwise to try to make such adjustments.

Unfortunately, sentimental value carries no monetary value. This is where most homeowners have a hard time separating their feelings from the reality of what a home buyer is willing to pay.

Tax Assessment – This IS NOT a good factor in determining the value of your home. For example, here in Macon and Jackson Counties of NC, property tax does not have to be re-assessed for every 8 years. Property values may rise or fall and current assessment can be quite different from the current market values. Macon County just raised their tax rate in 2015. Jackson County may also show an increase in millage rate coming soon.

Real Estate Market Trends – You should know the current market trend. Is it rising, falling or holding steady.  This, too, will help you determine the current value of your home.

Motivation – Why are you wanting to sell? How soon do you want your home sold? These are factors to determine as well.

Selling Your Home

Finding a good real estate agent
Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your Real Estate Agent is the best source for helping you to determine the value of your home. Remember, they’re not your enemy. They want to sell your home for as much as possible. Their salary and profession depend upon that. However, an over priced home does no one any good. It sits on the market, becomes known as an overpriced home and other agents may not show it. It wouldn’t be fair to their potential buyers. So what do you do? Hire a Professional.

A Real Estate Agent is here to help you. Their knowledge and activity in the Real Estate World is what helps you get your home sold. Yes, they do charge a fee for their services, but think of it this way; you can hire a professional painter to paint your house or you can get your neighbor to do it and maybe save some money. However, which would give you the better and/or desired results?

Hire a real estate agent to help you determine the value of your home.

Please share your comments below on how you determine the value of your home.