Tag Archives: custom home

Buying a new home? Why wait???

Buying a new home? Why wait???

You’ve been waiting for the housing market to bottom out. You’ve been waiting for a very long time. You don’t want to buy before prices hit bottom. After all, you want an amazing deal on a house. Besides, your cousin Bob basically stole his new home and he thinks you can get an even better deal. So, who are you going to listen to? Cousin Bob, Katie Couric, or a real estate professional, that follows every aspect of the housing market? Sure you say, the agent just wants to make a commission. They don’t really care if I get a deal. In some cases, you may be right. But, with a good, experienced agent, that truly cares about their buyers, they have your back.

 So why buy now? Why not wait a little longer? It’s the perfect time to buy and you may just miss the boat if you wait any longer. In our area of North Carolina, prices have been steady and even rising over the last month or so. Inventory is just plain amazing, so you will find your dream home. Sellers are willing to negotiate. You will get a bargain now. Finally, interest rates are on the rise. Just a few months back, rates on a thirty year fixed rate mortgage were at 4.25%. Now they are around 4.75%. Fannie Mae and National Association of Realtors predict rates rising to 5.4% to 5.8% by 2012. That’s a big chunk of change out of your pocket.

 So, wait for home prices and mortgage rates to rise? Why?

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Filed under Builders, Custom Homes, General brokerage, Home Builders, Housing, North Carolina, North Carolina Real Estate, On your lot Builder, Real Estate, Real estate agency, Real estate broker, Realtor, Uncategorized

A one year journey through real estate. Week 1.

A one year journey through real estate.  Week 1.

This will be my first post of the next fifty-two weeks.  It will follow my journey through real estate in 2010.  I will post once every week, usually on Friday.

I will document everything that occurred during the previous week, from the mundane to the meteoric.  It will be geared toward those in general brokerage.  I have recently returned to general brokerage, after working for builders for the past seven years.  I sold for production builders and most recently for a custom builder.  I’ve sold starter homes in the $150K range through custom-built homes selling for over $700,000.

General brokerage is a different animal.  Things have changed greatly since I started out with Century 21, in 2001.  Contracts have changed, the rules have changed and the market has changed drastically since then.  The term “short sale” was unknown back then.

I am now with Coldwell Banker in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Compared to some of the local real estate agencies, it’s a fairly small office in terms of the number of agents.  That was one of the reasons I chose to affiliate with them.  Their sales for 2009 were better than many competitors.

I now feel settled in here.   I tend to do a great deal of internet marketing and prospecting.  Will that be a good approach?  Only time will tell.  I also fill in here and there for fellow CB agents who are on site at builder communities.  Traffic is fairly slow, but I attribute that partly to the economy and partly to the time of year.  Several of these communities are priced right for first time buyers.  I believe the first time buyer $8,000. tax credit will bring buyers in this first quarter of 2010.

I also take as much “phone duty” as possible.  Because we don’t have a huge number of agents in our office and there are some agents that just don’t like phone duty, I’m able to get a fair amount of it.  Last night, I wrote an offer for a young couple, buying their first home.  They became my clients through phone duty.  So, it just goes to show that it pays off.

I also attempted to keep up with all of the social networking sites and getting my website ranked higher in the search engines.  The technology seems to change by the minute.  Luckily, I am a bit of a tech geek and enjoy working on it.  However, it is easy to spend too much time on the computer.  I need to make sure I am getting out networking and selling my services.

Please follow my journey.  I would appreciate your comments and hopefully some suggestions for improving my business.

Thanks and see you soon.

Jeff

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Filed under Builders, Custom Homes, General brokerage, Home Builders, Housing, North Carolina, North Carolina Real Estate, On your lot Builder, Real Estate, Real estate agency, Real estate broker, Realtor, Uncategorized

When honesty doesn’t work.

When honesty doesn’t work , it can be very disheartening. Even worse, it can mean a loss of business.

As a builder, potential clients sometimes treat us as though we are trying to sell them snake oil. Of course, there may be some validity to their perceptions. We have all heard stories about builders and re-modelers, which were real nightmares. There’s the home that took a year and a half to build, when it was supposed to take six months. There are many stories of building costs going well over budget, some increases not even known until closing. Inferior materials and workmanship account for a large number of homeowner complaints. Finally, there are many stories of customers unable to reach their contractor/builder. It’s not unheard of for no replies for weeks at a time.

We at Piedmont Personal Builders pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and genuine concern for our clients. Our level of customer service is unparalleled in the area. We have been building “on your lot” custom homes for nine years. Word of mouth has been our best marketing tool. We give a list of everyone we have built a home for to every potential client. We are so confident in what our customers will say about us.

So, what do we do when honesty doesn’t work? We have lost several sales over the last couple of years because we were honest and had the client’s best interest in mind. Many potential clients already own land and some are considering purchasing a piece of land. We offer all potential clients a no cost, no obligation lot evaluation, which gives them a builder’s perspective on any issues, negative or positive, affecting the building plans. On a number of occasions, the home buyer wanted a walk out basement. On each of these lot inspections, we determined the land did not have enough fall off and was not at all suited to a basement. Here in North Carolina, basements are not very common as they are in many other parts of the country. Our red clay soil is not conducive to a dug out basement. Most basements are “walk out” and built on a lot with a suitable slope. On each of these occasion’s, we suggested the cost would be very high for the basement and tried to show alternatives in the home plan, or even the lot itself. Well, we lost all of those potential sales. All of those folks built their homes with basements and all at a very high cost. We never said we would not build their basements, but suggested alternatives which would benefit them. apparently, our honesty offended them.

So, is the customer always right. Should we keep our opinions to ourselves and always give them what they want, no matter the cost or outcome? It’s a tough call, especially in these difficult financial times for any builder.

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Filed under Builders, Custom Homes, Home Builders, Housing, North Carolina, North Carolina Real Estate, On your lot Builder, Real Estate, Uncategorized