Tag Archives: real estate agents

Second Home Sales Strengthen

Strength in Numbers

While the number of home sales in Highlands/Cashiers area have not climbed, buyers have shown a favorable increase in the purchase of higher priced homes. This would seem to indicate a stronger second home market is on the rise.

Continue reading Second Home Sales Strengthen

“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

Highlands/Cashiers Realty Holds Steady

Single Family Home Sales Statistics
Land Sales Statistics
Overall Market View


Leverage Your Selling Power

While it may not be anything to “write home about,” it is reassuring that the market in the Highlands/Cashiers area is holding steady. Unit sales for April 2016 show normal sales for the last few years. Although April 2016 did see a 17% increase over April 2015, this is only 4 more homes sold.

FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner’s) need to leverage everything at their disposal to get their home sold. We are currently selling just over 2% of current inventory. There are approximately 200 brokers involved in making these sales happen. Although FSBO’s may pay a fee to be in an MLS, if they are not in the HCBOR/MLS  local brokers may not be seeing their homes. If you’re a FSBO and want to know if you’re in the local MLS, just contact this broker or use this SEARCH FOR HOMES.

There is an expected increase of home sales as we move into our busy season, as seen in the chart below. However, you need to be well positioned to attract buyers. What one must also remember is that sales are typically 30-45 days out from the time a buyer makes an offer on a home to closing. So the statistics below should actually be shifted back, as these stats are based upon “closing” dates. (Click image for larger format)

Recent homes sold in highlands cashiers area
Homes Sales – Highlands/Cashiers April 2016


Total homes listed in Highlands/Cashiers MLS: 1254 – This is nearly 100 more homes added to our inventory since last month.

Homes Sold This Month: 28.

Average Sales per Month 1 Year Average: 45 Since we have a “short” selling season, we use the 1 year average sells per month for statistical purposes.

Inventory: 27 months – Remember, a healthy market inventory is considered to be 6 months or less. As the number of homes coming onto the market increase, we should expect the months of inventory to increase. This may continue to keep holding home prices down.

DOM: 447

Average DOM (YOY): 447 This number has dropped and now matches our DOM, which is a positive sign.

Median Sales Price: $292,850 – This number continues to hover near the $300,000 mark. This is also a better indicator in that it shows the “middle” of the market.

Average List/Sell Ratio: 90.21% -Take into consideration this is not the ratio from the “Original” List Price, but the ratio from the price it was listed when sold. The data from “Original List Price” shows the ratio to be at 88%.  This is a strong indicator that buyers consider listed home prices as too high .

Synopsis: Selling a home is not easy in this market. One should consider listing at a price to attract the most buyers. Listing like others means you will have to deal with Substitution. Sellers should price competitively, not comparatively.



Land Units Sold: 12

Total listed in all MLS: 1234-This number is rising, as expected. More properties added means more competition.

Inventory: 94 months. We gained 10 months worth of inventory from the new listings added in April. One property with an assessment of $125,000 sold for $2,000. Another assessed at $160,310 sold for $61,900.  Large inventories do not help land prices.

Synopsis: No demand and large inventory means low pricing.


Overall Market View:

  • 39% of home sales ranged from $200,000 to $499,999. This is the major portion of market sales.
  • 21% of home sales ranged from $500,000 – $749,999. This was another significant rise in homes in this price range.
  • 14% of sales were above $1,000,000.
  • While unit sales are expected to increase, so is inventory. As a result, no change in opportunity for “expected” sales.

Sellers, this is a tough market. While the number of homes is expected to rise significantly in the coming months, so is the number of homes that come back onto the market. In essence, no real change in opportunities to sell is expected, unless one has the pricing to entice buyers.

Buyers, more homes and land will be coming available.  No doubt, you will find a home or property. However, is that a bargain or will you end up upside down? You should find a broker that is very familiar with this area and its market.



If you’re considering listing your home for sale or purchasing a home in NC, please feel free to contact a local agent or REALTOR®. They will make a specific report for your area of our MLS (Sapphire, Norton, Glenville, Highlands, Toxaway, Clear Creek, Breedlove, etc). You can then make an informed decision on how to sell or buy your home.



This material is based upon work performed by Rick Creel, Broker. It is intended to provide an overall view of the real estate market for Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding areas of the Highlands/Cashiers Board of Realtors. It is composed of data from the HCBOR and NAR for this MLS only. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations are those of the author and do not reflect the views of any others. There can be no assurance that this information is complete, accurate, or includes all available market data; all information is subject to change. Users of this information are advised to consult with their financial experts about the interpretation and usefulness of information contained herein. It is unlawful to duplicate or distribute the information contained in these reports. For more information or to consider listing your home with an agent or buying a home CLICK HERE.

Salesman or Agent, Is There A Difference


Lisitng Agent
Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We’ve seen the ads. In walks the man with the smirkish grin wearing penny loafers with no socks, shirt unbuttoned a third of the way down with a wooly mammoth chest, wearing a flashy gold chain around his neck and other gaudy accessories (large expensive watch, big rings, etc) and his hair slicked back. When he speaks he likes to tell you of all his accomplishments and what makes him so great. He likes you to know what makes him better than the rest. He is also willing to tell you just about anything you want to hear so you will buy his spiel and product. So let me ask you, are you impressed?

This is often the image invoked upon our minds when we see a salesperson. As we see them approaching we like to avoid them, if possible. If they’re persistent, we tell them we know what we’re looking for and already have someone helping us. We thus avoid awkward and uncomfortable moments. Truth is, we don’t like to be pressured. Such tactics often force us to do whatever just to get rid of such a person, even if it does mean buying something just so they will leave us alone. But is this the way with all salespeople?

What Is A Salesperson?

Truth is, we’re all salespeople. People are either selling their services or their products. This goes for doctors, painters, house cleaners, the people at the register, corporate executives and even an employee has to sell their abilities in order to be hired. In Real Estate, we’re all salespeople, like it or not. So, perhaps the better question is, what “type” of salesperson is your agent.

Say you want to sell your home. Do you choose the agent that likes to brag about his accomplishments or do you choose an agent that  will tell you how he is going to sell your home? Do you choose an agent that will list for the price that you would like to have or do you choose the agent that shows you the figures and why your home may or may not bring what you think? Agents that will bend to their client’s demands are sometimes referred to as “buying” their clients. They will do whatever their clients tell them. This may be OK in some respects, but a real agent is a professional. They will show their client the best action to take, what is in their client’s best interest and have the research and documentation to back it up.  Let’s look at it another way.

You have something serious going on with your health. You go to your doctor and tell him what you want. He informs you he can’t do anything until he performs an examination and perhaps some tests. You tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about and you just need a prescription of a certain medicine. Let’s just say that they would do that, but then your health continues to deteriorate. So, where’s the problem? You actually have 2. First, your doctor didn’t stick to his responsibility to perform his duty as he should. Before prescribing anything there should have been and examination and documentation to show what you needed. Second, you chose a professional that would tell you what you wanted to hear. And so it goes when finding a good real estate agent.

Finding A Good Agent

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

So ask yourself a few questions; “Does my agent listen to me?” “Is my agent willing to tell me what I may need to know (good or bad) to make an informed decision?” “Does my agent seem to be in a hurry to get me to buy something, or does he tell me the negatives as well as the positives?” “What am I looking for, a salesman or an agent?” While we are all salespeople, an agent will have his client’s best interests at heart. An agent knows that if he takes care of his client he will make the sell or get the listing. As an agent, you are a representative of your client.

So we’re back to our original question, “Salesman or Agent, Is There A Difference?” Perhaps the better question would be, “Which do you prefer?”

Contact The Agent

8 Tips to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Whether you are selling your home or wanting to buy a home, find a good real estate agent. So,

How Do You Find A Good Real Estate Agent?

1. Listen – While a good real estate agent should be listening to you, you should also listen to your agent. Do they want to tell you what a great agent they are? Do they try to wow you with a lot of facts and figures? Does they “inflate” the conversation in hopes that you will choose them? Are they straight up with you, telling you what you can expect, good or bad? Are they willing to show you where they get data, figures and how they assess those values? Or do they tell you what you want to hear? You need someone that is not full of hype themselves, someone for which you can have trust and confidence.

How To Find A Real Estate Agent
How To Find A Real Estate Agent

2. Choose a Firm – Many agents work for large or national firms. This has both advantages and disadvantages. National firms advertise their “name” and are well known. However, they carry a price such as franchise fee’s, desk fee’s, printer fee’s and more for each agent. Agents must pay these fee’s to the firms to continue to work there.  However, with membership in the regional MLS and local Board of Realtors all agencies, national or not, will have the same information on homes for sale. Your local “generic” firms can often serve you just as well, if not better. In fact, experienced brokers may choose to work for local firms recognizing their value.

3. Form a Relationship – The agent is going to be handling some confidential matters for you. Make sure you understand your agents “fiduciary” responsibility to you, the client. The agent must be someone for which you can have complete confidence. After all, there responsibility is to help you make the best deal possible and to protect your bargaining power. However, if you’re not willing to sign an agreement with an agent to represent you, they no longer have that fiduciary responsibility. So be careful how much information you divulge to an agent before you have an agreement in writing.

4. Web Savvy – Does your agent have a presence on the internet? Just do a simple search on their name and see what comes up. There should be blogs, articles and more so you can see how your agent is connected with real estate on the web. If you can’t find your agent or what they’re up to, how is it that others will find them? Understanding the web and social marketing and content is a large part of an active agents responsibilities.

5. Videos/Photo’s – If you’re selling your home, does your agent understand the need for videos? Do they know how to put them together? Does your agent have any samples of videos that they can show you?  Follow this link to see one of the properties I have done: Mountain Home for Sale   Photo’s are just as important. These are a large part of marketing, which brings us to our next tip.

6. Marketing – All agencies and firms do marketing, but does your agent have any marketing experience himself or do they rely upon the agency to do all the marketing for them. In other words, how much control does your agent have in marketing and social media, and what will they be doing to market the sell of your property. For the buyer, do they understand the difference in “hype” so as to make you aware of any buzz words that are used as enticements.

7. Find a “Local” Agent – Many agents will move into an area that has been doing well, preying upon the good fortune of that market. However, such agents may know little about the area, background, culture, history, ordinances, etc. This information can prove invaluable to a buyer. Also, if you’re a buyer, you may want to use caution in working with an agent that is teamed with a builder or development. Such agents could be encouraging you to buy in behalf of the builder/developer.

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

8. Understand Commissions – Many buyers will begin a search, thinking if they find it themselves they will save money. Truth is, in NC, it is typically the seller that pays the commission. In other words, the buyer benefits greatly by having an agent represent them. There should be no cost to the buyer and the buyers agent will assist in finding the best deals, do the research, preview properties  and choose the ones that best fit the your needs. This can save the buyer valuable time at no cost. As for the seller, their commissions pay for advertising and other marketing expenses, answering phone calls, scheduling appointments and open houses, returning emails and other inquiries,  showing the property, gathering required documents, the cost of adding to MLS, and so much more.


In any circumstance, whether buying a home or selling a home, a good real estate agent is to your advantage. By using a few simple steps in finding a good real estate agent you will be on target to help you buy or sell your home.

CONTACT YOUR TOP LISTING AGENT, use this form or call 828-506-0011.

“Kick the Tires” – Why Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

Why “Kick the Tires”?

Why Use Real Estate Agent
Courtesy debspoons and freedigitalphotos.net

In the early days, one would “kick the tires” because older tires may have had imperfections and were manufactured in many different ways.  “Kicking the tires” could reveal a defect, alerting the potential buyer of flaws. Today, “kicking the tires” is not enough to make an informed decision. The same is true if you’re planning on buying a home. A real estate agent can help you “kick the tires” on a home.


Why Use a Real Estate Agent?

It is in your best interest to have a “Buyers Agent” when looking at Real Estate. Why?

Some buyers think they can get a better deal without an agent. They feel they save money by not having to pay commissions. Truth is, the commission is usually already figured into the sellers side. So for the buyer, not only do they not pay any commissions, but they are getting representation at no cost. This is just the beginning of the benefits of using a real estate agent for the home buyer.

Just like “kicking the tires”, much remains to be unseen. Having a qualified professional look over things and assist you can save you potential heartache and problems down the road. For example, a seasoned real estate agent will make sure the seller has all documents in place. In NC, this includes a Residential Property and Owners Association Disclosure required by ALL sellers of real estate, even if it is a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). However, without having someone on your side, things can be missed. An agent is also familiar with the market and can help make sure you’re not paying to much for a property. He may be aware of similar properties to what you are considering for less. He will also check to see what other assessments, liens, encroachments, easements, etc. may be attached to the property. In other words, he will be looking for all the hidden factors that are often overlooked are not considered by many home buyers. A buyers agent has an obligation to make sure he is protecting your best interests. He knows how to look up what is owed on a property and other considerations to help you negotiate a good price.


Real Estate Commissions

While most real estate agents do earn a commission, this is often misunderstood by many in the general public. Because an agent earns more if he sells at a higher price, some feel the agent is trying to get the most he can out of a sale. However, this is not in the agents long term best interests. A good agent will do all he can to help a buyer save as much as possible. The buyer will then appreciate the agents efforts and tell their friends to use that agent. So it is the buyers referrals that are of benefit to that agent. By doing a good job he gets more work.  It’s the same in most professions. Referrals are the best source of income.



“Kick the Tires and Look Under the Hood”

How to Buy a Home
Photo courtesy of ponsulak & freedigitalphoto.net

So as we’ve considered, kicking the tires may not be enough. Even if you look under the hood, unless you know what you’re looking at this may all be of little benefit to you. If you could have

someone put your vehicle up on a rack and look it over to give you their professional opinion, at no cost to you, would you do it? Then why not get a buyers agent to help represent you? The seller is paying to have this done for you, so why not take advantage of those services? It really serves your best interests.

Should I Hire An Appraiser?

Why hire an appraiser?

find Home Appraisers
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

If you are trying to sell your home yourself, one thing you want to do is make sure you have a fair price for your home. How is that determined?

Contrary to popular belief, the tax assessed value of your home may not be anywhere near the current real estate market value. Market values and trends tend to fluctuate and have many variables. You also don’t want to price according to your neighbors house. Just because they may have something with a “price” on it does not mean it is a fair market price. Also, don’t assume that what a property was listed at is what it sold for. Currently, in our local market many sales may only get 78 – 85% of the listing price. Others may get less. And don’t just pull a number out of the air based on how you feel. You could be to high or worse, to low.

You may want to hire an appraiser. An appraiser uses a lot of information and resources that are available to him to find “comps” (comparable properties) based on recent sales. He then compares a lot of data such as location, type of structure, age/depreciation, replacement costs and more. This may cost a few hundred dollars to get this work done, but it may tell you if you want to sell now or not. It will also ensure that you don’t sell to cheap, leaving money on the table.

Another option is to list your property with a real estate agent. They can prepare you a CMA (Current Market Analysis) as a part of their service. While not an official appraisal a broker will use much of the same information and technique that an appraiser may use. True, many people trying to sell their home themselves do so because they don’t want to pay commissions, thinking they can save the money and put it in in their own pocket. However, pricing too low can cost you as well and if you don’t really know the market pricing to high will mean your time and advertising dollars could be wasted.

What ever method you choose you need to make sure you are pricing correctly. It is always best to use someone that is familiar with current market values to make sure you get top dollar. Hattler Properties, located in Glenville, NC is a firm with several brokers that are eager to assist you in selling your home. If you would like to find the current market value of your home contact Rick or any of the agents at Hattler Properties.