April 7, 2011

Hatteras Island Real Estate:  Services for sellers in every market

We seem to spend an awful lot of time and effort talking about where the real estate market has been, where it is headed, and what a great time it is to be a buyer. But, the fact of the matter is that whether you are a buyer or a seller, this is the only market that we have, so we have to do the best we can with the conditions that exist.

Interestingly, there are some constants that don’t change regardless of what the market is doing at any point in the real estate cycle. One of these reliable resources is the service that our local real estate brokers provide to owners who are considering the sale of their properties.

The following is a summary of some of the valuable types of assistance that Realtors can offer the owners of cottages and unimproved lots on Hatteras Island.

Annual surveys by the National Association of Realtors consistently show that the agent services that sellers consider to be important are help in determining a competitive asking price for their properties, assistance in marketing their properties to find a buyer, support in negotiating the best price and terms in the sales contract, and guidance in understanding and completing the maze of paperwork associated with a sales transaction.

Real estate agents are aware of market trends. They can analyze and explain current statistics in the context of what the information means for the specific property that the owner is considering selling. Typically, a probable sale price analysis will take into account where we are in the market cycle, the selling prices of comparable properties, a review of properties that are under contract to be sold, and an evaluation of those properties that would represent the most direct competition for the home or lot being considered.

Depending upon the competitiveness of the seller’s asking price and the overall level of activity in the market, there is often a lag between the time a property is listed for sale and the receipt of an offer that ultimately matures into a contract. During this time, the agent will actively promote the owner’s property through the Internet, social media, print advertising, and signage.

One of the most effective forms of exposure is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Through the MLS, a detailed description of the property is distributed to over 700 members of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors. Increasingly, through the reach of technology, prospective buyers can independently research the MLS based on their own personal criteria. It is estimated that almost 90 percent of buyers use the Internet at some point in their search for property.

Once an offer to purchase is received on a property that is being offered for sale, the negotiation process between the seller and the buyer begins.  At this point, the agent representing the seller will update the market results and help the seller to achieve the best possible price under present market conditions.  The agent will also review the other terms and conditions of the offer for reasonableness, usual and customary practices, and any unusual provisions or contingencies. The seller’s agent will then walk the owner through the process of establishing a contract, monitoring pre-settlement activities, and coordinating with the closing attorney.

Throughout the listing process, especially in the beginning, agents will offer suggestions for actions that the owner might take to make the presentation of a home more appealing to prospective buyers, and they will frequently obtain estimates for recommended upgrades to the property.

There are many dimensions to a real estate transaction. Some of these aspects are beyond the expertise of the broker.  Examples include matters of law, taxation, financing, surveying, pest inspections, and engineering. When an issue arises that requires assistance that is outside a Realtor’s field of knowledge, the agent will provide access to a trusted network of service providers. If the seller is looking for property in another area, their real estate agent will often be able to refer them to a Realtor in the new location.

Since 2008, foreclosure proceedings have been filed on over 500 homes and lots on Hatteras Island.  When these unfortunate situations arise, agents can objectively discuss available options with property owners who find themselves in financially distressed circumstances.

In short, our local real estate agents are here to help sellers from the starting point of understanding market conditions to the final closing of the transaction.

If you or someone you know is considering the sale of a cottage or unimproved lot, contact one of our Hatteras Island real estate brokers.  They are experienced, well-trained, and eager to help you achieve your real estate goals.

(Tom Hranicka is an associate broker with Outer Beaches Realty. Questions, comments, or suggestions for future articles may be sent to Tom Hranicka at P.O. Box 237, Avon, NC  27915, or e-mail to [email protected] )
Copyrightę2011 Tom & Louise Hranicka.  All rights reserved.

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