Selling your house in Fall or Winter?

When the weather gets cooler, typically the real estate market slows down. Spring, after all, is the best time to buy and sell a house. However, fall the second best season to list your home.  Selling your house in fall or winter is not necessarily bad timing.  While we are half-way through fall, there’s still time! Even though fall and winter are slower times in the real estate world, listing your home during this time of year means less competition on the market. Homes can even sell faster during the winter, for some reason. Besides, there’s less of a need for landscaping at this time of year!

Are You Considering Selling Your House in Fall or Winter?

If you’re selling your home during these seasons, here’s what you need to know.

  • Still be wary of seasonal decor or too many personalized decorations however do embrace fall
  • Highlight seasonal positives (if you have a nice fireplace, etc)
  • Regardless of whether there’s less of a need for landscaping or not, keep up the curb appeal (blow leaves, etc)
  • Basically, turn on every light ever for all showings
  • Prepare your home for showings  (fall smells are wonderful, don’t burn candles, this may not be safe when you leave your home but a fall potpurri can add just the right touch.  If you are lucky and you get a second or third showing, pull out all the stops and bake chocolate chip cookies.  That is a lovely touch!

Find Your Real Estate Listing Expert

A professional realtor is your best ally in buying or selling a home, no matter what the season. The marketing materials on your house are more important now than ever, thanks to mobile technology that allows buyers to search homes on their phones or tablets. Using professional photos, a virtual tour and using a fantastic description boosts the chances of your home selling. At Real Estate Experts, we’re ready to give your house marketing something extra.

As a buyer, having a trusted real estate professional (agent or buyer’s agent) will increase your chances of winning a bidding war. With low inventory on the market, bidding wars are commonplace. Buyers agents are a buyer’s best friend in a market like this because they have sole responsibility to the buyer and can provide the ultimate amount of information.

If you are interested in learning about available properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at for additional information.

Home Renovations in the Fall and Return on Investment

Fall is a great time to consider home renovations.  Why? The real estate market tends to slow down as the cooler months come in. And thanks to our amiable fall weather, renovating and making home improvements in the Fall is feasible.

Consider making renovations during the fall, even though there’s a bit of a scramble to get things finished in time for the holidays. But with that being said, if you’re working to get your house spic-and-span to get it on the market for the spring, it isn’t a bad idea to let the builders in during this time. Especially as most projects have a deadline before the holidays, making builders and contractors a little more open for scheduling. If you’re considering new construction, building an addition, or a kitchen renovation project, Fall might be the perfect time.

If you are considering making home improvements, one of the primary considerations will be the potential return on investment.

Let’s Talk Return on Investment

Remodeling and renovation projects are two great ways to improve the living quality in your home. They also help improve price, comfort, and value of your home! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Here are some common types of home renovations that will give you an idea of what sorts of updates people might be interested in.

Home Improvements

So, it’s pretty easy to see that painting is the most common renovation project. What’s fortunate about that is painting is relatively easy to do, fairly inexpensive, and it’s something you can do yourself.

In the Southeast, flooring renovations are also very common.  Buyers love hardwood floors or even bamboo.

What Should You Spend?

What you might not like the sound of is the organization or financial burden of actually getting a head start on these projects. It can be disconcerting to think about much much money you’re going to put into a project, for sure. But, where there’s a will there’s a way!

It’s important to recognize why and what you’re spending your money on, too. It makes a little more sense to shell out some money if you’re prepping to sell. The average price of improvements people make on their homes before selling hits almost $6,000.   We have worked with clients that spent a lot more than this.  Planning to prepare your budget around a similar number will save you from overspending on renovations, or not doing enough.  Staying ahead of the curve while you are living in your home and improving it along the way, makes putting your house on the market to sell that much easier.

Average amount of money spent on renovation projects

If your home renovations are planned with the intent to sell at a later date, it’s best to focus on what you can do to simply update the look of your home instead. Aesthetic updates are least likely to thin out your wallet, with the average price lingering just under $3,000. While this is a huge motivator for most people to jump on the update wagon, thinking about what you’re renovating your home for, how much the ROI will be, and what’s in your budget will lead you to more satisfaction.

Not to mention, bang for your buck. By sticking with your budget, you won’t over spend and you’ll see the best results for your renovations.

Real Estate Experts

Real Estate ExpertsA trusted real estate professional will be able to walk through your home, and make suggestions as to what kind of improvements would increase your home’s value. They’ll be able to help you decide which projects are worth your time, budget, and attention. With our expert staging advice, collective real estate knowledge and history in the area, Real Estate Experts can help you discover the best renovations to make on your home.

If you would like more information about major or minor home improvements and their expected ROI, contact us today at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to Visit us online at

Ready to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

best home improvements for resale

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make.  When we work with buyers, we are not only trying to help you find a home you love, we want to make sure you are making a good investment as well.  The same thinking should be applied to when making home improvements.  We love it when our clients ask our opinion on the best home improvement for resale.  It is always important to not only do something you will want to live with, but keeping an eye upgrades that will help sell your house.

Here are 7 home renovations to consider that will give you a good return on investment and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll be glad you made these home updates when it comes time to sell your home.

1. Don’t let your utility bills soar — Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

You can get an energy audit to check out how sustainable your home is. A lot of utility companies will offer them, so why not take advantage of the service?

Electricity prices can be high, and utility prices a turnoff for potential buyers. Even though in comparison, North Carolina’s residential electricity rates aren’t in the top ten highest… there’s always a way to make a home more attractive to a potential buyer. Help them out by considering appliances that save energy.

Buyers in all price ranges look at utility costs.  This is something buyers factor into their monthly payments.  Making such improvements as adding additional insulation; getting a high efficiency furnace when it is time to replace your HVAC system; installing LED lights throughout your home; and getting Energy Star appliances are just a few types of home improvements that are good for you the home owner but are also great upgrades to sell your house.

2. Renovating Your Kitchen With Give You The Greatest Bang For Your Buck

The kitchen is a serious selling point for potential buyers. Gone are the days of simplistic kitchens with generic countertops, bland cabinets, and out of date appliances. Hey, a double oven is a beautiful thing and stainless steel is drool-worthy.  If you have space for an island, buyers love these too.

Buyers like kitchens that are open to a living area and buyers in all price ranges like granite and stainless steel appliances.

Consider checking out some of the latest kitchen trends (is granite out as a countertop?) to make sure your house will have some allure in the kitchen. Updating your kitchen can add some value to your home, and bump up the price before you sell.

Besides, who doesn’t love a beautiful backsplash?

3. Ask Siri

Smart technology has been making its way into homes for a while now. If you’re about to put your home on the market, it’s a great idea to look into what sorts of smart updates you can make.

Replacing your thermostat? Kill two birds with one stone by installing a smart thermostat that saves energy. Lights, doors, security systems, and home assistants like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa give your home a high-tech feel that appeals to a generation who grew up with smart phones.

4. Remodel Your Bathroom

updatesBathrooms are a source of serious return on investment, they are second best to kitchens.  If you update your bathroom while you’re getting ready to list your house, there’s a great chance your investment will pay off.  New lighting, fixtures, vanity tops and cool mirrors all count. Sufficient storage space is important as well.  If you can afford to upgrade your tile, that counts too but you might just need to work with what  you have.  That is ok too.

Consider the condition of your shower, too. It’s tough to get rid of lime stains and mold. If you can refinish your shower and tub, it’s probably best to do so.

Bathtubs, showers and vanity tops can be reglazed!  This is a great way to save money and have things look really fresh.  If you want to know more about this, just give us a call or shoot us an email.  We are happy to explain this and share picture.

Alternatively, consider remodeling your bathroom with a theme. This year, the “Mediterranean” theme has gone viral.

5. Pay Attention to the Attic

home updatesHere’s a surprising little statistic: fiberglass attic insulation comes with over 100% ROI. Who knew, right? This update not only lowers your heating and electricity bills, but it also gives your attic a refined look. Face it, sometimes we neglect our attics. This means insulation might show wear and tear, which is something a lot of potential buyers might see as a turnoff.

While you’re up there, can you install solar vents? They’re less expensive than installing an attic ceiling fan, and worth the consideration to improve house circulation.

6. Boost Yard Beauty

Curb appeal is huge. If you’ve got a beautiful garden, stunning lawn, and new coat of paint on your home, you bet it’s going to attract more people! It pays off to consider updating the exterior of your house before you’re ready to sell. You can’t make a first impression twice!

Teaming up with a professional landscaping service will make your home look picture perfect from the road. What’s more? It’s know to boost your home’s worth up to 17%.

7.  The Very Biggest Bang For Your Buck is Paint and Carpet

Modern paint colors and new carpet go such a long way.  These are two of the best home improvements for resale.  Don’t use too many colors in your house and make sure the color palate all works together.  Today, the hottest colors are in the gray family and those colors that work with gray.  Many people don’t know about Greige.  What is this?  It is a color that depending on the light can look towards the grays or the tans.  They are wonderful colors because they are versatile.

Real Estate Experts

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Or, alternatively, do you need a hand finding the best contractors for the jobs? Real Estate Experts is here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-928-5131or e-mail us at for additional information.


5 Reasons to Use a Boutique Firm Instead of a Large Company

boutique real estate firm

Hold on, what’s a boutique real estate firm?

Boutique real estate firms aren’t necessarily what you might think. The word boutique often makes people think high end, expensive, or even unapproachable. Think again!

These real estate firms are, simply put, specialized businesses who focus on customer service, professionalism, and client relationships. Instead of a generic real estate transaction, boutique real estate firms are committed to providing the best experience and representation possible to their clients.

Buying a house is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever do. The investment is worth taking the time to find the best representation possible. With a boutique firm, you can be sure you’ll get a whole team of real estate professionals working to find you the house of your dreams.

How are boutique real estate firms similar to big companies?

In truth, there are a lot of differences in boutique real estate firms and big companies… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities.

  • Both use Multiple Listing Service in the representation of houses they’re marketing. What does that mean? Everyone has the same access to properties on the market.
  • Thanks to this, much of the technology provided to clients and customers is the same. Real estate professionals use the MLS system, and a lot of the technology that comes with it. Since both big firms and boutique firms have the same access to the MLS, they can provide their customers with the same technology.
  • Online marketing offers the same outlets for both big companies and boutique real estate firms. Think Trulia,, Zillow, and all the other online house hunting tools. This means your property will be marketed in all the same places, with the same representation.

So, why should you pick a boutique firm instead of a big company?  Just because you can be in all of the same places, a very important question is how you will be there and how will your property be represented?

Five reasons to use a boutique firm instead of a big company

boutique firm

1.) You’ve got a whole team representing you

You know what’s better than one head? Two! Boutique real estate firms are made up of a team of real estate professionals who work together to represent their clients to the best of their ability.

2.) Personalized customer service is at your fingertips

There’s a huge sense of care, attention to detail, and desire to succeed in a small boutique firm. Wouldn’t you pay the utmost attention when it’s your name on the business cards, and it’s your reputation? With that much emphasis on customer service, you can be sure your property won’t get lost in the sea of other homes for sale.

Boutique firms also care more about their clients than building a business empire. Larger companies work to produce empires, boutique firms work to produce community.

3.) Boutique firms have local authority and a big local network

Since they’re founded locally, boutique firms are typically made up of real estate professionals who know their territory like the back of their hands. They’ve crafted a great network of other professionals who can help you, too. Need a property manager? Your boutique real estate firm can help. Need a utilities company? They’ve got you covered, too.

4.) There’s quality in the quantity of experience

Smaller firms like boutique real estate firms have less incentive to “go with the flow” and produce results in terms of numbers. Instead, the real estate professionals work in the best interest of the client while working with experts in a variety of fields thanks to their large networks. With a smaller firm, agents can connect with the brand and have a personalized interest in the culture of the firm they’re representing.

A hiring manager or owner of a boutique real estate firm is going to pay attention to the professionals they hire. You can expect quality in the quantity of team members.

big company5.) Owners and real estate professionals of boutique firms are passionate about their business and culture

Boutique real estate firms care about their reputation. Members of the firm are passionate about their brand, culture, and customer service. They’re excited to show their attention to detail and excellent representation. And yes, they’re excited to show you they can and will compete with the big firms.

What’s more? Boutique firms have the ability to do their own “thing”. They can be innovative, they’ve got flexibility, and their work is fueled by a love for what they do.

Real Estate Experts

Acquiring real estate is a complex business. Mistakes can literally cost you thousands of dollars or the missed opportunity of owning the home of your dreams. As a buyer, you are always in competition with other buyers who also are looking to buy their dream homes.

There is a vast difference in the level of expertise and quality of service provided by real estate agents. Give yourself the advantage of working with Top real estate agents at Real Estate Experts and get the following value-added services that will make a big difference for you!

We have helped hundreds of families move over time. The depth of our experience is a testament to our expertise and negotiating skills that give our clients a major advantage over buyers working with other agents.

Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at for additional information.

Of Course You Don’t Need a Buyer’s Agent!

 buyer's agent

In the magical age of the internet, it’s easy to be informed on a ton of topics. It’s easy to think the help of a professional isn’t always necessary because you’ve got that knowledge at your finger tips. Hey, if you can DIY projects, why not have a go without a buyer’s agent?

Oh, contraire.

You might cut out commission, but you cut out your best ally, too. You forgo legal help, a knowledgeable professional, and an expert negotiator. If you’re looking for a home buying headache, here are 5 reasons you don’t need a buyer’s agent.

 1. It’s cheaper to rely on yourself instead of a professional

Actually, this isn’t true at all. A buyers agent will cost you nothing. A seller actually pays the buyer’s agent fees when their home sells. The commission the buyer’s agent gets comes from seller’s wallet, not yours!

2. You love stress

Buyer’s agents are basically real estate agents, data analysts, marketing professionals, and contract wizards. All rolled into one. They save you incredible amounts of time by looking at homes, staying familiar with inventories, and they’ve got access to valuable tools like the MLS system. They can write up offers, contracts, and help you understand the ins and outs of real estate transactions.

The search for the perfect house for you is handled by a professional who has your best interests at heart. When you use a buyer’s agent, you won’t have to worry about the small details of the home buying process. And you’ll save yourself some serious stress.

3. The internet is the only resource you need

You can find the perfect home on your own, thanks to websites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia.  Of course, they’re awesome resources to check out some of the houses in your target area. However, you can’t really rely on the information you find online house hunting. Zestimates are often wrong, some of the listings are out of date.

The most accurate information you can find will come from a real estate professional. The MLS in your area is accurate, and you can only get access through your chosen professional.

4. You have loads of local connections

Real estate professionals have connections to everyone. OK, maybe that’s a generalization. But, they surely do have connections that make the home buying and selling process easier. From real estate attorneys to contractors, interior designers to mortgage brokers, a realtor has them all.

Not to mention, they can reach a massive amount of people through their network. This means your home will get on the market, be seen by the right people, and have more offers.

What’s more? They have access to properties coming onto the market soon. They exchange advice, ideas, and other useful tidbits with one another to bring sales together.

5. You are a fantastic negotiatorbuyer's agent

Are you a sales person? Probably not. Are you a marketer? Maybe. Regardless of your affinity for finding good deals and sales, your real estate professional is better at it than you. It’s their job!

It can be complicated to negotiate through the multifaceted transaction that is buying a house. Buyer’s agents are perfect mediators who can help you achieve the best results, for you. They’ll help you get the best offer possible. They’ll help you work through counter-offers.

Most buyers don’t consider what they don’t know. It’s important to recognize you don’t know the landscape of real estate transactions like a real estate professional. They’ll open your eyes to options you didn’t even know you had!

Real Estate Experts

A Buyer Agent, or a real estate agent working for a buyer, works solely for the buyer and has no legal or other responsibilities to the seller. When working with a Buyer Agent, you have the advantage of personal representation, independent counseling, loyalty, confidentiality, and trust. On the other hand, while helping you present an offer and then negotiate and close a transaction, a general real estate agent has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the seller and agent of any property you choose.

At Real Estate Experts we are focused on finding the ideal home for you. We are fully committed to you throughout the entire buying process; our sole career is real estate. We pride ourselves on listening to your needs and wants and delivering the best results possible

At Real Estate Experts, we want to be your ally while you look for the best home for you.  You’re not getting an agent, you’re getting a team. We’ll work with you every step of the way, from financing to floor plans. Start to finish, we want to help you get into your new home.

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to

Real Estate Words: What’s the Meaning of Encroachment?

You don’t need any “beware of dog” signs. You have legal rights!

Real estate terminology can be tough to grasp. There are a lot of words seemingly interchangeable, when they’re defined very differently. The definition of them can differ greatly, or minutely. Understanding the nuances of the terminology can help you get a fuller understanding of your rights as a home owner, buyer, or seller.

What’s the meaning of encroachment?

what's the meaning of encroachment

The definition of this term is sort of an umbrella. When you think of the word encroaching, you typically think about someone slowly getting in your space. In terms of encroachment in real estate, it means property encroachment. Simply put: trespassing physically or in the building of structures that intrude on your property.

A neighbor builds a shed that looms over your yard. Another neighbor expands their house, the porch seemingly inches away from your living room window. A fence touches your property, carving out some of your land for your neighbors. Your garden is trampled and consequently ruined by people crossing your yard for access to a public space. These are all examples of encroachment.

Even utility companies can encroach on your property. In certain circumstances, they can do this to plant power poles, or similar structures.  This is actually called an easement. Many properties have power or sewer easements so that utility companies can access power or sewer lines in the event of an emergency or for some other reason.

But how can this happen if there are private property rights?

The ways encroachment can happen in real estate

Let’s just say this: some people don’t pay attention to boundary lines when they’re building. If you hire a contractor to do the building for you, it’s possible they won’t adhere to the boundary lines of your and your neighbor’s property.

Sometimes, property lines aren’t drawn correctly.  Not all surveys are perfect but it is truly rare when they are wrong. This is why it is so important to have a survey in your name.  Not only does it protect you against any title insurance survey related problem, it can be used to identify problems before you close on a home or something for a contractor to work from if you are making an improvement to your  home or lot.  In realty, most of the time homeowners and sellers won’t even notice there’s an encroachment until they try to sell the home. The property survey will show the encroachment issues, though.

Private property disputes have solutions, and settlement occurs in a few ways. However, any encroachment must be documented or cleared before the title of a home can transfer from the seller to the buyer.

What you can do

Before beginning any expansions, updates, or improvements to your home it’s important to get a property survey.  If you did not get a survey when you bought your home, it is advisable to get one if you are making improvement, like putting up a fence, that involves your property boundaries.  If you find property encroachment during the property survey, you must tell your real estate attorney as soon as humanly possible!

Even though an encroachment is something buyers may be unhappy about, it won’t necessarily break a sale as long as it’s addressed early on.  Also, many encroachments are not a huge issue.  A neighbor’s fence or garden might be a fraction of an inch over the property line.  Things like this typically are not issues.  If, however, your neighbor’s fence is a foot inside you property line, it is best if this is discovered before you buy but if it is afterwards, these issues can still be settled.

How to settle property encroachment disputes

If there is a real issue, like a fence is significantly encroaching on your property, a neighbor can be asked to move the fence. Sometimes issues can  be cleared with the title insurance company in advance of closing.  In one instance, I had a client purchasing a property with a new detached garage.  The survey found that half of the garage was sitting outside the allowable neighborhood set back line.  If a neighbor wanted to make an issue, they could have been asked to move the garage.  At the closing table the closing attorney cleared this issue with the title insurance company and my clients also got a settlement for this in case they were asked to move the garage.

Many times when it is not an issue, all you have to do is disclose that a neighbors fence or garden is a faction of an inch over the property line.  Nine times out of ten, when a buyer knows these things ahead of time, they never become an issue.


Confused with easements? Here’s what it means

An easement is the right to use someone else’s land for a purpose. Generally, it’s granted by the property owner as to let others legally cross the land or use it. Money can be exchanged for use or even as a reoccurring payment of “rent”.

It’s important to note an easement is delineated in writing. This right of others to use the land also passes on to future

easement in real estate


Alternatively, encroachment is an unauthorized intrusion onto your land. If there are damages done by way of trespassing, the owner of the property is entitled to a lawsuit in order to recover damages.

Real Estate Experts

With the help of a real estate professional, encroachment and easements aren’t difficult to sort out. Your real estate professional of choice can help you understand North Carolina’s many laws and statutes around these issues.

At Real Estate Experts, we can help you sort out your real estate questions. We’re experienced buyer’s agents who are prepared to help you find the perfect home for you. As we’re obligated to you, the buyer. So we’ll keep your best interests at heart and work to get you into your dream home quickly!

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to



What Does FSBO Mean, and Should You Try It?

Most people consider using the services of a real estate professional in the process of buying and selling homes and properties. There’s a common misconception using a real estate professional during this transaction process means paying a big old commission to said real estate professional.

“FSBO” stands for “For Sale By Owner.” Pronounced “Fiz-boh”, this term refers to when a homeowner opts to sell his or her home without using a real estate agent. Without the aid of a real estate professional, the seller, more or less, assumes all responsibilities of the agent or broker. And that can be a big headache.

However, this isn’t to say there aren’t any advantages to a FSBO transaction.

Advantages of FSBO

Selling your home by yourself has its advantages. For one thing, it’s likely you’ll save money on commission. Even though there’s no real fixed commission rate, 6% is a common figure.

Some sellers are experienced in the process of buying and selling houses. For these individuals in particular, a FSBO property might actually be beneficial in terms of a financial decision. With ample knowledge about real estate, sellers can save money.

Disadvantages of FSBO

The benefits of FSBO are fairly limited, so the disadvantages of FSBO outweigh them.  Pure FSBO homes will not appear on the Multiple Listing Service agents use to find homes for sale. That means a FSBO home will be less visible to the world of buyers!

As a seller, you’ll likely save money only on the listing agent’s commission. The buyer is likely to have an agent, which FSBOmeans you might end up paying commission to them, depending on the Buyer Broker agreement.

Here’s another tricky situation. Imagine a court case where your “opponent” has a lawyer, and you don’t. Translate this situation to  real estate transactions, and it’s pretty sticky right? The buyer’s agent is working to get the best deal possible for his or her client. Who is on your side to get the best possible deal for you?

Consider this: there’s a reason people get paid to do what they do. Professionals have training that they constantly use, which is to say they cultivate skills. Yes, you can absolutely figure out how to DIY your own real estate transaction, just like you can figure out how to do your own car repairs or a variety of other DIY projects. But if you’re not a plumber and you don’t know anything about pipes, should you try and fix them on your own?

A licensed real estate professional, agent, or broker has the tools and training that enable them to do their job better and faster. Just like a mechanic or a plumber. Is the money you may (possibly) save on commission worth your time? Consider hiring a listing agent, or real estate professional to help.

Why Work With a Buyers Agent

It may be tempting to “go it alone” in an effort to save money, but in our experience, the stress, unforeseen obstacles, and time on the market experienced by sellers is not worth it. They often wind up hiring a real estate agent in the end after all, after having wasted precious time, money, and resources. Working with a Buyer’s Agent means you’ll have a personal ally in your real estate transactions.

By hiring a qualified professional from the beginning, most sellers will actually end up saving money, as their agent will know all the tricks and tips to sell a home quickly at top dollar.

What’s more? A Buyer Agent can show you every home listed in the REALTOR®’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties. Additionally, a Buyer Agent can show you builder models to select your own, brand-new properties and unlisted homes.

Real Estate Experts

At Real Estate Experts, we’re top listing agents.  We have been providing all of these benefits for our clients for the past 20 years. Our seasoned team members work together to provide outstanding service to our buyers and sellers, while developing a unique partnership to better care for our clients.

If you are looking to buy or sell, let one of our top realtors assist you today If you are interested in learning about properties available in them in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at for additional information.  

Rent to Own Homes: the Who, What, When, Where, and Why

Most people aren’t familiar with the option to rent-to-own homes, instead more are familiar with rent-to-own appliances. Like leasing a car to own, you can rent a house to own. Let’s break down rent-to-own agreements, and how they benefit both the seller and buyer.

Rent to Own Homes: the Basics

Rent-to-own homes are similar to car leases that end in ownership. The seller of the house gives the renter or tenant the option to buy the property sometime in the future. The time of sale is typically one to three years in the future with the price agreed upon at the beginning of the contract.

Essentially, the lease agreement on the rent to own home is the same as a standard lease but there’s a very important addition. This addition is termed “option money” which is the money tenants/buyers can use against the house in the future. Option money might be anywhere from 15-20% of the rent fee for the house. So, if you’re renting a house that’s priced at $1200 per month, you’d be paying $1440 per month, with the additional $240 going toward the purchase of the house at a later date.

Your rent money works for you, here, because it acts as a credit which will reduce the final purchase price of the house.

Sample Terms of a Rent to Own Contract Otherwise Called a Lease Purchase Agreement

Rent-to-own contracts aren’t one size fits all, but there are a handful of purchase terms you can expect to be present.

  • Option money: this is a one time fee that allows a buyer to purchase the house in the future. Some contracts present this as an option for tenants to purchase later on, but not an obligation to do so.
  • Purchase price: the price of the home will surely be in the contract of the rent-to-own agreement. The seller will determine the price.
  • Rent: payment for the monthly fee of renting the house will be determined in the contract, too. Rent in a rent-to-own situation is typically higher than what the rent would normally be, but that’s because the buyer is putting money away to purchase the house later on.
  • Maintenance: it depends on whether the seller or buyer will pay for maintenance costs. This will surely be determined in the contract. The potential buyer may be responsible for maintenance, repairs, and association fees or insurance. It’s also possible the seller will retain responsibility for these things, though the buyer will need renter’s insurance.
  • Purchasing the property: at the end of the lease or agreement, the buyer can purchase the house or opt not to purchase it. However, should the buyer decide not to purchase the property, they do have to give up the money paid until that point in time. Should they decide to purchase the property, the end of the lease is the time to do so. They can then apply for financing and finally purchase the home!

Advantages for the Landlord

Of course, there are advantages for the landlord in rent-to-own situations. For one thing, sellers and landlords of rent-to-own homes have the benefit of long-term renters. Anyone entering into a rent-to-own agreement will be around for a while; after all, they’re putting money down on the house. They’ll want to stick around, at least for the terms of their agreement. Remember, that’s around one to three years, so the landlord is guaranteed a revenue stream at the very minimum.

On the subject of a revenue stream, landlords also get the added benefit of no gap-time between renters. Since the tenants are hoping to purchase the house at the end of their lease (or they have the option to), landlords don’t have to worry their property will be left vacant for long periods of time. What’s more? They know the tenants are motivated renters, which is to say their behavior as tenants will be top notch.

If you’re thinking of renting out your home, Real Estate Experts would be happy to discuss how we manage properties and our fees.  We pride ourselves on being different and providing services that go above and beyond.

Advantages for the Renter or Buyer

Being a tenant in a rent-to-own home isn’t without benefits, either. Rent becomes an investment, for one thing. Your money begins to work for you because you are actively saving towards the purchase price of the home.

Poor credit history may not be an issue, either. Even if you have bad credit, a rent-to-own agreement gives you the flexibility to build up your credit, and repair bad credit. As there isn’t a finance company or bank involved, credit becomes less of an issue. You also build equity towards home ownership, which is valuable of course.

There is a one very important thing a buyer needs to know.  There are no real estate forms for a rent to own homes, or a lease purchase, situation.  Because the agreement can be tailored to whatever the buyer and landlord negotiate, this contract has to be drafted by a Real Estate Attorney.  This is done at the buyers expense unless you can negotiate something with the landlord.

Real Estate Experts

Determining if rent-to-own is the right choice for you can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Working alongside a great real estate professional can help you decide if the property is a good investment. With a professional’s help, the rent-to-own agreement will be thorough and all details will be ironed out carefully.

At Real Estate Experts, we are fierce representatives for our clients and known as expert buyer agents.  Contact us and see how we can help you find just the home you are looking for. To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings, click here, and feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to

Selling Your Home? Help Your Home Show Better With These Quick Fixes

Help your home show better with quick fixes while you wait for the next showing…

Even though you want to sell your home so you can move into your new home, it can be hard to show your home while you’re still living there. Hearing others’ opinions of your home is stressful, especially because you have memories, emotions, and feelings tied to the house. There’s no telling how many times your house will be shown, either. Some properties go through one showing, and others have many. While you’re waiting for your home to sell or the next showing, there are some quick fixes you can make to help your home show better.

Depersonalize Your Home to Help it Show Better

It’s hard to encourage someone to take away their personal items, even if they’re listing their home for sale. But it truly is important to detach yourself from your home, and from thinking about it as your home. Family photos, monograms, and even certain decorations do need to go. With your personal things on display, it’s hard for potential buyers to see themselves in the house.

Your realtor or real estate professional of choice may be hesitant to remind you of this, but depersonalizing your home truly is critical.

Update Your Lighting to Help Your Home Show in a Better Light

Burnt out bulbs, dirty windows, and dim lighting can detract from your home. Not everyone likes soft white lights in the bedroom, or funky colored bulbs attached in a bonus room. Adding brighter bulbs (or even energy efficient ones) will improve the way your home shows, that’s for sure.

While you’re at it, why not clean the windows? You’d be amazed at what builds up on them. You can also check for broken window seals, too. Having checked your lighting, you’ll know where potential buyers might make a note of issues in the house.

Natural lighting will also show your home in a way that helps bring out your home’s strengths.

Organize, Organize, Organize

You never know what a buyer is going to want to see in your home during a showing. They may open closets, cabinets, or drawers to check out the storage space. You don’t want them to find dirt, belongings, or otherwise that might take away from their opinion of the house.

You’re moving anyway, so why not take this time to pare down your belongings? Getting rid of junk, memorabilia, and generic stuff will not only make your move easier; paring down will help buyers get a genuine feel for the home and be able to see themselves in it easier.

Boost Your Curb Appeal to Make a Great First Impression When There’s a Showing

First impressions are important. It’s hard to stress that enough! But what is the first impression of your home saying to potential buyers?

Quick fixes can help your home show better, however if you need to focus and funnel money into a certain area, outside is the way to go. When a potential buyer sees the home for the first time, they may fall in love with it before they even head inside. Taking a chance on presenting your home without great curb appeal can sabotage the potential of a sale.

Real Estate Experts





One of the best ways to show your home in the best light is to have it properly staged by your favorite real estate professional. At Real Estate Experts, we have great experience staging homes and if it’s necessary, we’ll bring in an outsider to help us spruce up a home for an excellent showing. We’d love to help you show your home home in the best light. What’s more? We have a great list of inexpensive home staging tips.

Visit to learn how we integrate home staging and now, virtual staging, into our listings. If you’re interested in staging your home, don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to to find out more about living in the Triangle, and visit our website to view current homes for sale in the area.


Learn How to Drive Your Realtor Crazy

So, you’d like to drive your realtor crazy?

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to accomplish this, without even trying. While you may not realize that certain habits are frustrating to your favorite real estate professional, they can be detrimental to the potential of you selling your home.

  1. Don’t Take Things Personally

It’s your home. Of course you have strong feelings and emotions tied to your property! After all, some of the biggest events in your life can happen there. It may be a place you’ve lived all your life. It may be the place your baby took her first steps. Of course you feel strongly about your home. However, it’s important not to take the advice or suggestions and opinions about your home personally.  As a seller, you need to have a tough exterior and not let things get to you.  Remember, once you have decided to sell your home, it’s not your home anymore.  It is important to do what you need to do to get the job done.

How it’s decorated, the colors of your home, the layout… when your house is on the market, it’s no longer your “home” but a representation of a property you’re trying to sell.

  1. Don’t Fight Having a Pre-Sale Inspection and Making the Necessary Repairs

This may seem like a no brainer, but not everyone is aware of the importance of disclosing things that are broken or not working in your home. The real estate professional you’re working with is your ally, and you want them to be able to advocate in your best interest. Addressing needed repairs — like rotten siding, moisture in a crawl space or roof repairs, up front can save you time negotiating the contract on your home and with the pain and sometimes suffering of the inspection and repair process.  The better shape your home is in, the more likely buyers are going to love it.

Another thing to consider while we’re on the subject of flaws: don’t refuse to make repairs. You can also consider adjusting the home price in order to satisfy the buyers.

No home is perfect.  It is your agents job to create the wow factor when a buyer enters your home.  Your agent should know hot to spotlight the strengths of your home! Find out how home staging works in your favor with our checklist.

  1. Don’t Turn Down Showings

There’s no reason you should turn down a showing of your home. Sure, there are some extenuating circumstances like sick individuals, or very young children. If the house needs tidying up, do it. If the house needs cleaning, do it. Turning down a showing means potentially turning down a sale.  If you need to reschedule the showing, let your agent know so she or he can reach out to the other agent and make sure the showing happens.

  1. Don’t Stay Home During Showings

On the same topic of showing your home, there’s no reason you should be home during the showing. Having the owner of a home around while potential buyers are prospecting around the property can make the potential buyers uncomfortable. Wouldn’t you feel funny about having opinions on the home (negative or positive) in front of those who own it?

Additionally, it’s important to keep your pets in mind during home showings. If you have a dog, kindly remove it from the premises along with yourself. If you need to keep your cats shut in a room with all of their amenities in front of them, that’s something to put on your to-do list before a showing. No potential buyer wants to see, smell, or hear your pets. Regardless of how wonderful they are.

  1. Expecting Top Dollar Is Ok But Be Realistic

Tempting as it is to insist on a listing price, it’s imperative to get rid of that idea. Your real estate professional is your best ally here, again, because they know the market, your neighborhood, and they’re equipped with an analysis of  the area. We know you love your home, but allowing your real estate professional to list your home what they deem it worth will only benefit you in the long run.

  1. Be Flexible

Your real estate professional of choice wants to help you sell your house; let them! There’s no room for stubbornness here as that may turn sales away. The point is to sell your home!

Getting hung up on things like, requested repairs, whether a showing agent turned the lights off or making changes in response to the same repeated feedback, won’t help you achieve the goal of getting your home sold.  By allowing your Realtor to do their job will benefit you.

  1. Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Again, your realtor wants to help you sell your home. That’s both of your goals! If buyers have strange demands, your realtor isn’t at fault. If buyers have unreasonable terms, your realtor isn’t at fault. See the trend? Work with your Realtor, not against them. Trust their guidance, trust their professionalism, and remember: you both want to sell your house.

Real Estate Experts

Find out how Real Estate Experts can help you sell your home!