Category Archives for "Best Real Estate Agent in Charlotte NC"

What’s Ahead for NC & SC Real Estate in 2019?

As we begin another year, everyone wants to know: “Where is the housing market headed in 2019?”

​It’s not only buyers, sellers, and homeowners who are impacted. The real estate market plays an integral role in the overall U.S. economy.  Fortunately, key indicators point toward a stable housing market in 2019 with signs of modest growth. However, shifting conditions could impact you if you plan to buy, sell, or refinance this year.


HOME VALUES WILL INCREASE

The value of real estate will continue to rise. Freddie Mac predicts housing prices will increase by 4.3 percent in 2019.1  While the rapid price appreciation we witnessed earlier in the decade has slowed, the combination of a strong economy, low unemployment, and a lack of inventory in many market segments continues to push prices higher.

"Ninety percent of markets are experiencing price gains while very few are experiencing consistent price declines," according to National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.2

Yun predicts that the national median existing-home price will increase to around $266,800 in 2019 and $274,000 in 2020. "Home price appreciation will slow down—the days of easy price gains are coming to an end—but prices will continue to rise."

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a home, act fast. Prices will continue to go up, so you’ll pay more the longer you wait. If you’re a current homeowner, real estate has proven once again to be a solid investment over the long term. In fact, the equity level of American homeowners reached an all-time high in 2018, topping $6 trillion.3


SALES LEVELS WILL STABILIZE

In 2018, we saw a decline in sales, primarily driven by rising mortgage rates and a lack of affordable inventory. However, Yun isn’t alarmed. "2017 was the best year for home sales in ten years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we've been experiencing over the past few years."2

Yun and other economists expect home sales to remain relatively flat over the next couple of years. Freddie Mac forecasts homes sales will increase 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.1

“The medium and long-term prospects for housing are good because demographics are going to continue to support demand,” explains Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree. “With a slower price appreciation, incomes have an opportunity to catch up. With slower sales, inventory has an opportunity to normalize. A slowdown in 2019 creates a healthier housing market going forward.”4

What does it mean for you? If you’ve been scared off by reports of a market slowdown, it’s important to keep things in perspective. A cooldown can prevent a hot market from becoming overheated. A gradual and sustainable pace of growth is preferable for long-term economic stability.


MORTGAGE RATES WILL RISE


The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year, resulting in a rise in mortgage rates.5 While no one can predict future mortgage rates with certainty, Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale estimates that the rate for a 30-year mortgage will reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019, up from around 4.62 percent at the end of 2018.6

While mortgage rates above 5 percent may seem high to today’s buyers, it’s not out of line with historical standards. According to Hale, “The average mortgage rate in the 1990s was 8.1 percent, and rates didn’t fall below 5 percent until 2009. So for buyers who can make the math work, buying a home is likely still an investment worth making.”7

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage, you may want to act quickly before mortgage rates rise. To qualify for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score, pay down existing debt, and save up for a larger down payment.


AFFORDABILITY ISSUES WILL PERSIST


Although the desire to own a home remains strong, the combination of higher home prices and rising mortgage rates will make it increasingly difficult for many first-time buyers to afford one.

“Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more buyers are priced out but feel an increased sense of urgency to close before it gets even more expensive,” according to Hale. “Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid-to-higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”6

What does it mean for you? Unfortunately, market factors make it difficult for many first-time buyers to afford a home. However, as move-up buyers take advantage of new high-end inventory, we could see an increase in starter homes hitting the market.


MILLENNIALS WILL MAKE UP LARGEST SEGMENT OF BUYERS

“The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates and surging millennial demand,” according to Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American. "Rising rates, by making housing less affordable, will likely deter certain potential homebuyers from the market. On the other hand, the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 next year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand.”4

Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, predicts the trend will continue. “Millennials are also likely to make up the largest share of home buyers for the next decade as their housing needs adjust over time.”6

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market for a starter home, prepare to compete for the best listings. And if you plan to sell a home in 2019, be sure to work with an agent who knows how to reach millennial buyers by utilizing the latest online marketing techniques.


WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

​If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2019, contact us now at 704-997-3794 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.


Thinking about buying a home in NC or SC? Save your time and money by using these valuable insider secrets to buy your dream home. Written by award-winning nationally recognized Broker who has assisted thousands of home buyers and investors, Nancy Braun, "The Ultimate No Holds Barred Guide to Buying and Selling A Home in the Carolinas” ($24 Value) is FREE to you.  Get your copy now for real guidance and real VALUE.  CLICK HERE.

START PREPARING TODAY

If you plan to BUY this year:

Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you plan to finance part of your home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a jump-start on the paperwork and provide an advantage over other buyers in a competitive market. The added bonus: you will find out how much you can afford to borrow and budget accordingly.

Create your wish list. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How far are you willing to commute to work? What’s most important to you in a home? We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you.
Come to our office. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget, all at no cost to you. Give us a call at 704-997-3794 to schedule an appointment today!

If you plan to SELL this year:

Call us at 704-997-3794 for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it will also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us determine which repairs and upgrades may be required to get top dollar for your property, and it will help us price your home correctly once you’re ready to list.

Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. We can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.

Start decluttering. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier to stage ... and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!


Sources

1. Freddie Mac Economic & Housing Research Forecast – 
http://www.freddiemac.com/research/pdf/201811-Forecast-04.pdf
2. National Association of Realtors 2019 Forecast –  
https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/2019-forecast-existing-home-sales-to-stabilize-and-price-growth-to-continue
3. Bankrate 2018 Year in Review – 
https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/year-in-review-for-housing-market/’
4. Forbes 2019 Real Estate Forecast – 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2018/12/06/2019-real-estate-forecast-what-home-buyers-sellers-and-investors-can-expect/#a98b80a70d9a
5. Mortgage Bankers Association Forecast – 
https://www.mba.org/2018-press-releases/october/mba-forecast-purchase-originations-to-increase-to-12-trillion-in-2019
6. Realtors.com 2019 National Housing Forecast – 
https://www.realtor.com/research/2019-national-housing-forecast/
7. FOX Business – 
https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/where-mortgage-rates-are-headed-in-2019


‘Tis the Season: 5 Reasons Why Winter is a 
Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home

5 Reasons Why You SHould think about buying or selling your Charlotte home this winter

Winter Is A Great Time To Buy or Sell Your Charlotte Home

It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.

This is generally considered the “offseason” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the offseason!

 

1. LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the offseason? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!

2. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2 And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.

3. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.

4. COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the offseason.5 Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an offseason move.

5. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.6 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.

 

I WANT A FULL .PDF REPORT ON: 5 REASONS TO BUY OR SELL A HOME THIS WINTER
AND FREE ACCESS to:
A pretty cool video explaining more, as well as some really great additional resources!

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?

Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the offseason, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you need to move quickly or you simply want to take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.

Give us a call at 704-997-3794 today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!

 

 

 

 

Sources:
Redfin – 
https://www.redfin.com/blog/2013/12/why-winter-is-the-hottest-time-to-sell-your-home.html#.VjKYm2SrTKI
Top Resume – 
https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-job-search
National Association of Realtors – 
https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
Angie’s List –
https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-winter-can-be-best-time-move.htm
Build Direct –
https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-get-deals-on-home-remodels/
National Association of Realtors – 
https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf

Pivot Today for Better Real Estate Business Tomorrow with Nancy Braun

Nancy Braun Real Estate Rockstars With Pat Huban

Nancy Braun, an REO Expert, talks about how she pivoted her business (Showcase Realty LLC) to tackle traditional real estate on this podcast interview with Real Estate Rockstars with Pat Hiban. She also shares some steps to become a real estate agent buyers and sellers can trust. 

She covers the structure of her current team, what she does to win business in a competitive seller’s market, and where she recruits talented agents in her area. Listen and learn how an REO specialist carved out a new business path and found success amidst major market changes on today’s Real Estate Rockstars.

Here are some main points Nancy talks about:

  • The number of houses Nancy’s team sold in the last 12 months [5:33]
  • What business was like during the REO boom [7:01]
  • Nancy’s plans for her Airbnb rental [9:04]
  • The structure of Nancy’s company [12:28]
  • Ads Nancy uses to recruit real estate agents [14:41]
  • What Nancy does with the 51,000 leads in her CRM [17:34]
  • The type of market Nancy’s in today [24:35]
  • How to make a better offer than anyone else on a house [25:05]
  • A way to keep sellers’ appraised of the work you’re doing for them [27:58]
  • The technology, tools, and services Nancy utilizes in her business [35:10]
  • What Nancy donated to the Agent Success Toolbox [37:32]
  • How to break through your goals.
  • Plus so much more.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

If you want to take your real estate business to the next level, call Nancy today at 704-997-3794 to discuss how Showcase Realty can provide you with the true value and tools you seek in growing and succeeding.  You can also get a head start by downloading our Book of Benefits right away.  Visit www.ShowcaseCareers.com

10 Fun Ways to Shake Things up for 2018!

HUD homes for sale in Charlotte.

What are you doing new this year?

There’s something in the new year air that makes you want to change things up – do something different, something fun. Have you started making plans for this year? Are your goals set?

One of the reasons many people abandon their New Year’s resolutions before the first month is over is because the goals they’ve set are more of a chore! Make your resolutions more fun and exciting, that way you are constantly motivated to do them.

Here are 10 fun and enjoyable goals that will make you happier this year!

1. Do something fun on the weekend. You work hard every day, you deserve to treat yourself every week. Meet with friends and dine out, grab a drink or go dancing. Hoppin’, the new self-serve wine and craft beer in South End, opened in December 2017 and served a record breaking 130,000 ounces to 4,000 customers in its first eight days! This is be a great place to meet your friends!

2. Hit the best barbecue spots in Charlotte. Let’s admit it, North Carolina barbecue is not as famous as barbecue from Texas, but hey, ours is also great. In fact, Dunn ranked the 10 best barbecue spots in Charlotte. Midwood Smokehouse grabbed the top ranking with its authentic pork over wood method and excellent crispy pork skin cracklings, closely followed by Sauceman’s (which also cooks over wood), and Mac’s Speed Shop.

3. Take up a new sport or exercise. There is no better way to lose the holiday pounds than to be physically active. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which create positive feelings. You’ll feel happy and release stress at the same time. Do something you’ve never tried before? Try boxing!

4. Watch a live sport event. If you love basketball, watch an NBA event live! A baseball fan? Go to a Major League Baseball game. Do you live and breathe football? Go to an NFL game. Watching your favorite sport being played by your favorite team live is an exhilarating experience, one you should enjoy this year.

5. Volunteer or give donations. True happiness comes when we seek other’s welfare besides our own. Share your blessings and do something good for others. It doesn’t even have to be about money. You can share your time, or donate unused toys, books or clothes.

6. Learn the dance steps for a whole song. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you can dance, what matters is you try! Learn the dance steps for a whole song and you’ve got something that will keep you moving for at least two-three minutes. Who knows, you may discover that you have the talent for it!

7. Travel somewhere. This is the year to cross off one item on your bucket list – visit a new place and explore. It’s the first month of the year, you have more than enough time to plan and save for your trip. Start with local places, then travel farther away with each succeeding adventure. Visiting new places is refreshing. It also helps you gain new ideas, perspective, and friends.

8. Eat at Shake Shack. Yes, I know it’s a fast food franchise, but it one of the highly anticipated openings this year, and let’s admit it, it’s pretty good!

9. Watch a theater performance. When was the last time you’ve watched a play? It’s time to brush up on your knowledge of the classics. Make it more fun by watching it with your friends, or at least someone who appreciates theater.

10. Pamper yourself. Put your best foot forward by investing in your appearance and feeling good about yourself. Get facials, foot massages, or a mani-pedi session at least once a month. This will boost your self-esteem and help make you feel better.

There are many other fun activities and goals you can set for this year. If you need help when it comes to changing the look of your home, call us at (704) 997-3794. We at Showcase Realty are willing to help you know what changes will best improve the value of your home.

 

 

Showcase Realty Welcomes REALTOR® Aleksandr Manucharov

Showcase Realty Welcomes REALTOR® Aleksandr Manucharov

Charlotte, NC December 5, 2017 – Showcase Realty is pleased to announce the addition of REALTOR® Aleksandr “Aleks” Manucharov to its roster of professional real estate agents serving the Charlotte Metro area. Aleks launched his real estate career in Ballantyne, NC soon after finishing his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

Born in Moscow and raised in Charlotte, Aleks utilizes his bilingual skills to strengthen his offerings and serve multinational clients. This has established his reputation for seamlessly understanding and protecting his clients’ interests.

With a strong passion for real estate, Aleks is dedicated to top-level service through continuing his education in the real estate industry to better serve his clients. He has been mentored and coached by the very best in the industry, and will continue to strengthens his expertise, skills, and knowledge under the mentorship of Nancy Braun, owner and Broker-in-Charge of Showcase Realty.

Aleks shares, “Training and coaching are very important to me. After doing some research, I came across Showcase Realty and wanted to meet with Nancy Braun right away. From the moment I stepped bart in the office and met with Nancy, I instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of the team. It felt like home.”

Aleks specializes in working with families, and consistently succeeds in welcoming and accommodating new residents in a warm and assuring way that has become customary in his residential market.

Building rapport and learning about his clients’ individual preferences and needs is important to Aleks as he embodies integrity, energy, dedication, and attention to every detail of the real estate transaction.

In his spare time, Aleks is a natural athlete who enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, biking, and playing basketball. He also loves spending quality time with his family and friends, and has a profound interest in experiencing and embracing various cultures, customs, and diversity.

 

About Showcase Realty

Showcase Realty is an innovative boutique Charlotte real estate company located at 1430 S. Mint St. in the Historic South End district. Owner and Broker-In-Charge, Nancy Braun, founded Showcase Realty in 2008 on the principles of innovation, teamwork and community mindfulness. Committed to selling homes and surpassing customers’ expectations, Showcase provides professional service, personally delivered. Find out how you can join the Showcase Realty team by visiting www.showcasecareers.com! Make at least $25K more over the next 12 months or Showcase Realty will pay you the difference in CASH*! (*conditions apply)

Showcase Realty LLC Welcomes New Real Estate Agent Ola Elizabeth Moore

Showcase Realty LLC Welcomes New Real Estate Agent Ola Elizabeth Moore

Showcase Realty is thrilled to announce a new Buyers Agent, Ola Elizabeth Moore, to be part of the award winning Showcase Team!

Moore is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and has over 9 years of financial industry underwriting experience. Her hometown is Grover, NC, and she loves seeing Charlotte grow into a major metropolitan area.

We’re proud to include in her impressive resume to the growing Showcase Realty team!

About Showcase Realty

Showcase Realty is an innovative boutique Charlotte real estate firm located at 1430 S. Mint St. in the Historic South End district. Owner and Broker-In-Charge, Nancy Braun, founded Showcase Realty in 2008 on the principles of innovation, teamwork and community mindfulness. Committed to selling homes and surpassing customers’ expectations, Showcase provides professional service, personally delivered. For more information visit www.showcaserealty.net.

Please contact any one of our agents by calling our office at 704-997-3794. We look forward to hearing from you!

20 Home Gadget Gift Ideas to Fit Any Budget

Budget-friendly-home-gadget-gifts-for-the-holidays

Looking for the perfect present for a loved one this holiday season? We've rounded up 20 of our favorite gift ideas. And since we work in real estate, we focused on items that add enjoyment, comfort and, in some cases, major value to your home.

From music lovers to home chefs, we've got something for everyone. And we've included a range of price points to suit any budget, from under $50 to major splurge ”¦ in case you're feeling extra generous this year. We hope you find this list useful in identifying gifts your friends and family will love. And maybe some of these items will make your wish list this year, too!

Approximate Price Ranges
$ - under $50
$$ - $51 to $200
$$$ - $201 to $500
$$$$ - Splurge

LET IT SNOW

Heat things up this holiday season! Keep your loved ones cozy all winter with these gifts that add warmth and a touch of luxury.

Tabletop Fireplace - $
On cold nights, nothing beats the comfort and glow of a fire. Whether you're looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book, or enjoy a relaxing night in the backyard with family and friends, a tabletop fireplace is an easy way to light up your evening. The Regal Flame Black Utopia Tabletop Fireplace can be used indoors or outdoors, no vent required. It runs on ethanol, which can be mixed with citronella to double as a mosquito repellent for outdoor use.

Towel Warmer - $$
Who wouldn't love to wrap themselves in a warm towel when they step out of the shower on a cold morning? While heated towel racks are available in a variety of styles and price points, the Anzzi Glow 4-Bar Electric Towel Warmer in Polished Chrome is an entry level version that gets good reviews. Modern and elegant, this model plugs into a nearby outlet for easy installation and is made of rust-resistant stainless steel. Turn your daily shower into a spa-like experience!

Smart Thermostat - $$$
Now you can wake up to a warm house, even if you like it cool while you sleep. After using the Nest Learning Thermostat for a week, it will start to recognize your patterns and adjust the temperature automatically to your preferences. In its third-generation, Nest claims to pay for itself over time in energy savings. It uses sensors and your phone's location to check if you've left the house, then sets itself to an Eco Temperature. And this smart-thermostat knows when you typically get home from work and can heat things up before you return. If your schedule changes, you can even adjust the temperature remotely from your smartphone.

Radiant Floor Heating - $$$$
Radiant heating has been a popular alternative in new construction to traditional forced-air heating systems. And new technology has made it easier and less expensive to retrofit existing homes with radiant heating. According to BobVila.com, “radiant floors are heated either with electric resistance cables or hot water flowing inside tubing” beneath the floor. It's energy-efficient, effective, and doesn't blow dust and allergens around the way forced-air systems do. Not only will you love stepping onto a heated floor on a cool morning, you'll be adding value to your home, as this is an appealing upgrade to buyers when it comes time to sell.

ROCK AROUND THE TREE

It's holiday music time! Music lovers are sure to appreciate these gifts guaranteed to enhance their listening experience throughout the home.

Showerhead Speaker - $
Whether you enjoy singing in the shower, or listening to your favorite podcast, the H2oVibe Rain Showerhead Jet with Wireless Bluetooth Speaker syncs with any bluetooth-enabled device so you can stream your favorite music or other audio directly into the shower. The waterproof speaker easily detaches from the showerhead so you can bring it with you from room to room while you get dressed. And the showerhead itself features jets with three times more spray power than the average showerhead, creating a spa-like experience.

Voice Controlled Smart Speaker - $$
Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home not only stream music on demand via voice control, they can also serve as a central hub for numerous other smart-home devices. Now you can change the channel on your TV, make a phone call, turn on your lights, set your thermostat and lock your front door, all without lifting a finger.

High-End Wireless Speaker - $$$
If you prefer a premium speaker, the Sonos Play:3 is the mid-range option in the brand's line of wireless speakers. It delivers rich and robust sound with a sleek design that can placed horizontally or vertically to fit almost any space. Sonos speakers sync with Amazon Echo and Alexa, which enable you to control the speaker with voice commands. And you can easily add additional speakers from the Sonos line for an enhanced, surround-sound experience.

Whole Home Audio System - $$$$
The sky's the limit when it comes to whole-home audio systems, and for a premium sound system you can expect to make a significant investment. Companies like Yamaha offer a wide variety of components, all designed to work in conjunction to give you a customized whole-home audio and home theater system to suit your needs.


ADD SOME SIZZLE TO THE SEASON

Home chefs will love these gifts, perfect for holiday entertaining and home cooking all year long. Not only will they bring excitement to the recipient, everyone in the family will benefit from the delicious dishes these gifts are sure to inspire!

Bread Maker - $
Warm, fresh bread can make any meal feel special. With a bread machine like this one from Hamilton Beach, you can enjoy fresh rolls, pizza dough, cakes, jams, flatbreads and croissants with minimal effort. Plus, there's a gluten-free setting, which makes this a perfect gift for anyone avoiding gluten in their diet.

Electric Smoker - $$
If you love to barbecue, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker gives you the tenderness and flavor of smoking meat, without the hassle. The integrated meat probe alerts you when the meat reaches a predetermined internal temperature, and when it's done cooking the “warming” feature keeps your food hot until it's ready to be served.

Smart Sous-Vide Machine - $$$
Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath to cook at a precise temperature. The new Mellow Smart Sous Vide Appliance hits the market this holiday season and promises to make sous vide as easy and foolproof as a slow cooker. Its built-in cooling system keeps your food cold until it's ready to be cooked ”¦ so you can stick a piece of salmon in before you leave for work, choose the time you want it to be ready, and dinner will be done when you get home.

High-End Oven Range - $$$$
To really heat things up in the kitchen, any home chef would love a new high-end range, like this 36” Dual Fuel Range with Six Burners from Sub-Zero Wolf. With ten custom cooking modes-including one for proofing dough and one for dehydrating-and a temperature probe alert, this oven makes cooking almost foolproof. And the timeless stainless steel design will enhance the beauty of any kitchen. Investing in a high-end range not only adds enjoyment to meal preparation, it's highly-desired by home buyers ”¦ something to consider if you plan to list your home within the next few years.


SPARKLE AND SHINE

Holiday lights aren't the only way to make a home sparkle. These cleaning gadgets and appliances will keep your home clean and shiny all year long ”¦ and hopefully bring some joy to the cleaning process!

Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner - $
Anyone who has pets or young children will love the convenience of a cordless and portable spot cleaner like the BISSELL SpotLifter 2X Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner. Its cleaning brush agitates soiled spots while simultaneously sucking up debris. Use it to remove small spills and stains from carpet, furniture, rugs, drapes, car seats, and other upholstered items.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner - $$
Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for years, but new technology has made them more effective and lowered the cost significantly. The ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner provides a good mix of features and value. It offers several cleaning modes and moves easily from rugs to tile to carpet. You can also control it with your smartphone using the ECOVACS App.

Dishwasher - $$$
While a high-end dishwasher with all the bells and whistles can certainly be a good investment, there are some great values on the market for those with a more modest budget. For example, the Maytag Front Control Dishwasher gets consistently great reviews for its powerful motor that disintegrates bits of food to deliver sparkling clean dishes, even without rinsing. And its elegant exterior will upgrade the look of your kitchen ”¦ all without breaking the bank.

New Washer/Dryer - $$$$
If anything can make laundry exciting, it's a new washer and dryer with smart-technology like the Kenmore Elite Smart Washer and Dryer. Now you can start a load of laundry remotely from your smartphone to time it with your arrival home. You can also customize washer and dryer cycles and receive an alert when a cycle is complete. And with the Express cycle, you can wash and dry a small load in 45 minutes, saving you time and energy.


KEEP THE GRINCH AWAY

Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family. Protect your loved ones-and deter intruders-with gifts that keep you and your home safe and secure.

Smart Light Bulbs - $
The Philips Hue White Smart Bulb Starter Kit is a good entry-level investment in smart lighting technology. Now you can automate your lighting and control your lights from your smartphone using the Philips Hue App. Deter burglars by making it look like someone's home when you turn your lights on remotely. And stay safer by never entering a dark house again. Plus, it has several options to enhance the look and ambiance of your home lighting.

Video Doorbell - $$
Watch over your home and greet visitors from your computer or smartphone with a video-enabled doorbell, like the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Adjustable motion sensors alert you when someone is approaching your door, and live video and audio allow you to see and talk to visitors without opening the door, even if you're away from home. The best part is, they'll never know you're not home if you don't tell them.

Smart Lock - $$$
Control and monitor your locks from anywhere with a smart lock like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Now there's no need to leave a key under the doormat or give a copy to the housekeeper. You can activate keyless access remotely, and even lock up when they leave, all from your computer or smartphone. And no more fumbling around for your keys in the dark. Similar to keyless entry for your car, Smart Lock Pro automatically unlocks your door when you approach.

Security System - $$$$
An in-home security system is still one of the best ways to protect your home and family from intruders and alert you to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide. Some companies, like Vivint, can integrate your security system with video monitoring, a doorbell camera, smart locks, garage doors and even your thermostat. Prices vary depending on the options you select, and a monthly monitoring service is required, but a home security system can bring peace of mind knowing your family and home are protected.


WE'RE HERE TO HELP

As real estate professionals, we get to visit people's homes every day and talk to buyers and sellers about their favorite features. So we have a unique insight into the elements that truly make a house special, bring joy to homeowners and add value to a home. Did we miss your favorite home-related gift? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below!

If you do decide to “splurge” on a home upgrade, contact Nancy Braun, Broker-In-Charge/Owner of Showcase Realty, at (704) 997-3794, for recommendations on the best options for your particular home. Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, style of home and neighborhood. We can run a comparative market analysis to find out how the upgrade you're considering will impact the value of your home, before you make the investment.

20 Home Gadget Gift Ideas to Fit Any Budget



Looking for the perfect present for a loved one this holiday season? We've rounded up 20 of our favorite gift ideas. And since we work in real estate, we focused on items that add enjoyment, comfort and, in some cases, major value to your home.


From music lovers to home chefs, we've got something for everyone. And we've included a range of price points to suit any budget, from under $50 to major splurge ”¦ in case you're feeling extra generous this year. We hope you find this list useful in identifying gifts your friends and family will love. And maybe some of these items will make your wish list this year, too!


Approximate Price Ranges

$ - under $50

$$ - $51 to $200

$$$ - $201 to $500

$$$$ - Splurge



LET IT SNOW


Heat things up this holiday season! Keep your loved ones cozy all winter with these gifts that add warmth and a touch of luxury. 


Tabletop Fireplace - $

On cold nights, nothing beats the comfort and glow of a fire. Whether you're looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book, or enjoy a relaxing night in the backyard with family and friends, a tabletop fireplace is an easy way to light up your evening. The Regal Flame Black Utopia Tabletop Fireplace can be used indoors or outdoors, no vent required. It runs on ethanol, which can be mixed with citronella to double as a mosquito repellent for outdoor use.


Towel Warmer - $$

Who wouldn't love to wrap themselves in a warm towel when they step out of the shower on a cold morning? While heated towel racks are available in a variety of styles and price points, the Anzzi Glow 4-Bar Electric Towel Warmer in Polished Chrome is an entry level version that gets good reviews. Modern and elegant, this model plugs into a nearby outlet for easy installation and is made of rust-resistant stainless steel. Turn your daily shower into a spa-like experience!


Smart Thermostat - $$$

Now you can wake up to a warm house, even if you like it cool while you sleep. After using the Nest Learning Thermostat for a week, it will start to recognize your patterns and adjust the temperature automatically to your preferences. In its third-generation, Nest claims to pay for itself over time in energy savings. It uses sensors and your phone's location to check if you've left the house, then sets itself to an Eco Temperature. And this smart-thermostat knows when you typically get home from work and can heat things up before you return. If your schedule changes, you can even adjust the temperature remotely from your smartphone.


Radiant Floor Heating - $$$$

Radiant heating has been a popular alternative in new construction to traditional forced-air heating systems. And new technology has made it easier and less expensive to retrofit existing homes with radiant heating. According to BobVila.com, “radiant floors are heated either with electric resistance cables or hot water flowing inside tubing” beneath the floor. It's energy-efficient, effective, and doesn't blow dust and allergens around the way forced-air systems do. Not only will you love stepping onto a heated floor on a cool morning, you'll be adding value to your home, as this is an appealing upgrade to buyers when it comes time to sell.



ROCK AROUND THE TREE


It's holiday music time! Music lovers are sure to appreciate these gifts guaranteed to enhance their listening experience throughout the home. 


Showerhead Speaker - $

Whether you enjoy singing in the shower, or listening to your favorite podcast, the H2oVibe Rain Showerhead Jet with Wireless Bluetooth Speaker syncs with any bluetooth-enabled device so you can stream your favorite music or other audio directly into the shower. The waterproof speaker easily detaches from the showerhead so you can bring it with you from room to room while you get dressed. And the showerhead itself features jets with three times more spray power than the average showerhead, creating a spa-like experience.


Voice Controlled Smart Speaker - $$

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home not only stream music on demand via voice control, they can also serve as a central hub for numerous other smart-home devices. Now you can change the channel on your TV, make a phone call, turn on your lights, set your thermostat and lock your front door, all without lifting a finger.


High-End Wireless Speaker - $$$

If you prefer a premium speaker, the Sonos Play:3 is the mid-range option in the brand's line of wireless speakers. It delivers rich and robust sound with a sleek design that can placed horizontally or vertically to fit almost any space. Sonos speakers sync with Amazon Echo and Alexa, which enable you to control the speaker with voice commands. And you can easily add additional speakers from the Sonos line for an enhanced, surround-sound experience.


Whole Home Audio System - $$$$

The sky's the limit when it comes to whole-home audio systems, and for a premium sound system you can expect to make a significant investment. Companies like Yamaha offer a wide variety of components, all designed to work in conjunction to give you a customized whole-home audio and home theater system to suit your needs.



ADD SOME SIZZLE TO THE SEASON


Home chefs will love these gifts, perfect for holiday entertaining and home cooking all year long. Not only will they bring excitement to the recipient, everyone in the family will benefit from the delicious dishes these gifts are sure to inspire!


Bread Maker - $

Warm, fresh bread can make any meal feel special. With a bread machine like this one from Hamilton Beach, you can enjoy fresh rolls, pizza dough, cakes, jams, flatbreads and croissants with minimal effort. Plus, there's a gluten-free setting, which makes this a perfect gift for anyone avoiding gluten in their diet.


Electric Smoker - $$

If you love to barbecue, the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker gives you the tenderness and flavor of smoking meat, without the hassle. The integrated meat probe alerts you when the meat reaches a predetermined internal temperature, and when it's done cooking the “warming” feature keeps your food hot until it's ready to be served.


Smart Sous-Vide Machine - $$$

Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath to cook at a precise temperature. The new Mellow Smart Sous Vide Appliance hits the market this holiday season and promises to make sous vide as easy and foolproof as a slow cooker. Its built-in cooling system keeps your food cold until it's ready to be cooked ”¦ so you can stick a piece of salmon in before you leave for work, choose the time you want it to be ready, and dinner will be done when you get home.


High-End Oven Range - $$$$

To really heat things up in the kitchen, any home chef would love a new high-end range, like this 36” Dual Fuel Range with Six Burners from Sub-Zero Wolf. With ten custom cooking modes-including one for proofing dough and one for dehydrating-and a temperature probe alert, this oven makes cooking almost foolproof. And the timeless stainless steel design will enhance the beauty of any kitchen. Investing in a high-end range not only adds enjoyment to meal preparation, it's highly-desired by home buyers ”¦ something to consider if you plan to list your home within the next few years.



SPARKLE AND SHINE


Holiday lights aren't the only way to make a home sparkle. These cleaning gadgets and appliances will keep your home clean and shiny all year long ”¦ and hopefully bring some joy to the cleaning process! 


Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner - $

Anyone who has pets or young children will love the convenience of a cordless and portable spot cleaner like the BISSELL SpotLifter 2X Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner. Its cleaning brush agitates soiled spots while simultaneously sucking up debris. Use it to remove small spills and stains from carpet, furniture, rugs, drapes, car seats, and other upholstered items.


Robotic Vacuum Cleaner - $$

Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for years, but new technology has made them more effective and lowered the cost significantly. The ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner provides a good mix of features and value. It offers several cleaning modes and moves easily from rugs to tile to carpet. You can also control it with your smartphone using the ECOVACS App.


Dishwasher - $$$

While a high-end dishwasher with all the bells and whistles can certainly be a good investment, there are some great values on the market for those with a more modest budget. For example, the Maytag Front Control Dishwasher gets consistently great reviews for its powerful motor that disintegrates bits of food to deliver sparkling clean dishes, even without rinsing. And its elegant exterior will upgrade the look of your kitchen ”¦ all without breaking the bank.


New Washer/Dryer - $$$$

If anything can make laundry exciting, it's a new washer and dryer with smart-technology like the Kenmore Elite Smart Washer and Dryer. Now you can start a load of laundry remotely from your smartphone to time it with your arrival home. You can also customize washer and dryer cycles and receive an alert when a cycle is complete. And with the Express cycle, you can wash and dry a small load in 45 minutes, saving you time and energy. 



KEEP THE GRINCH AWAY


Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family. Protect your loved ones-and deter intruders-with gifts that keep you and your home safe and secure.


Smart Light Bulbs - $

The Philips Hue White Smart Bulb Starter Kit is a good entry-level investment in smart lighting technology. Now you can automate your lighting and control your lights from your smartphone using the Philips Hue App. Deter burglars by making it look like someone's home when you turn your lights on remotely. And stay safer by never entering a dark house again. Plus, it has several options to enhance the look and ambiance of your home lighting.


Video Doorbell - $$

Watch over your home and greet visitors from your computer or smartphone with a video-enabled doorbell, like the Ring Video Doorbell 2.  Adjustable motion sensors alert you when someone is approaching your door, and live video and audio allow you to see and talk to visitors without opening the door, even if you're away from home. The best part is, they'll never know you're not home if you don't tell them.


Smart Lock - $$$

Control and monitor your locks from anywhere with a smart lock like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Now there's no need to leave a key under the doormat or give a copy to the housekeeper. You can activate keyless access remotely, and even lock up when they leave, all from your computer or smartphone. And no more fumbling around for your keys in the dark. Similar to keyless entry for your car, Smart Lock Pro automatically unlocks your door when you approach. 


Security System - $$$$

An in-home security system is still one of the best ways to protect your home and family from intruders and alert you to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide. Some companies, like Vivint, can integrate your security system with video monitoring, a doorbell camera, smart locks, garage doors and even your thermostat. Prices vary depending on the options you select, and a monthly monitoring service is required, but a home security system can bring peace of mind knowing your family and home are protected.



WE'RE HERE TO HELP


As real estate professionals, we get to visit people's homes every day and talk to buyers and sellers about their favorite features. So we have a unique insight into the elements that truly make a house special, bring joy to homeowners and add value to a home.  Did we miss your favorite home-related gift? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Please share in the comments below!


If you do decide to “splurge” on a home upgrade, contact us for recommendations on the best options for your particular home. Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, style of home and neighborhood. We can run a comparative market analysis to find out how the upgrade you're considering will impact the value of your home, before you make the investment.


The Best Ever Show Podcast: Answering Your Clients Questions Before They Ask Them with Nancy Braun

Answering Your Clients Questions Before They Ask Them with Nancy Braun

Are you a real estate agent? Or are you a brokerage owner overseeing all the different types of revenue streams coming in? How do you identify where to put your focus to help to increase the overall profitability of your company?

“Communication – that is critical!” – Nancy Braun, Charlotte Real Estate Broker and Owner of Showcase Realty & Showcase Property Management 

In an episode of The Best Ever Show hosted by Joe Fairless, listen as Nancy Braun discusses how to answer a client’s question before they even ask them.

“Our sellers are much more educated and internet-savvy today than they were ten years ago. They go online and they wanna see that their property is marketed everywhere and they can find it online very easily. They’re checking on it, and we have an incredible team of marketing specialists that make sure that the property is plasted everywhere on the internet and has very strong SEO,” Braun said.

What is strategic marketing and how do you work with an investor?

If you’re a real estate agent and want to learn more, listen to the podcast by clicking here: http://joefairless.com/podcast/jf1182-answering-your-clients-questions-before-they-ask-them-with-nancy-braun/

If you have any questions, you can call Nancy Braun at (704) 997-3794!

Nancy Braun Earns Short Sale Seller Certification

Short Sale Specialist

Charlotte, NC December 7, 2017 – FORCE Advisory Council Chairperson Nancy Braun, owner and Broker-in-Charge of Showcase Realty, has earned the first and only North Carolina state specific Certified Short Sale Seller designation through Advance Mortgage Education. With well over two decades experience in the real estate and mortgage market, Braun will bring her expert knowledge of specialty markets to help short sale sellers and homeowners underwater navigate through the arduous process of short sales.

Braun states, “This North Carolina Short Sale Seller course provided updated, comprehensive and critical information to effectively represent sellers in complicated short sale transactions. I can provide a better option to sellers facing the potentially devastating effects a foreclosure can have on them and their families. It is gratifying to know that I can make a difference in my clients’ lives and help them get back on track to financial freedom.”

Advance Mortgage Education, Inc was the very first to conduct Short Sale and Loss Mitigation continuing education courses in North Carolina in 2003 stating, “We are the only education provider to have courses approved with the NC Real Estate Commission, the NC Banking Commission, and the NC State Bar. We have been providing North Carolina real estate agents, loan officers, mortgage brokers, paralegals and attorneys with Short Sale courses for the past fourteen years.”

FORCE. Creating Quality Connections.

7 Ways REALTORS® Need To Communicate With Clients

Nancy Braun Real Estate

As professional real estate agents, we understand that we are there to offer support and advice to homebuyers and homeowners. These buyers and sellers are our clients, and as such need our honest input, but also our positive reinforcements. It’s important to remain tactful and considerate.

Showcase Realty

If you want to earn their business and referrals, use these 7 tips:

Learn how to give constructive criticism. Instead of saying “Your home is a mess and you need to purge your stuff” – even though you might be thinking it! – turn that into “Here’s what we’ll need to do to properly stage your home so it sells faster,” and then give your clients some suggestions. That way, you are still addressing what needs to be changed, but without making the homeowners feel embarrassed or overwhelmed. They will appreciate your help, not your pointing out their faults.

Provide resources. Because your clients see you as knowledgeable, they count on you not say what’s wrong with their home, but how to make it more sellable to buyers. So instead of saying “You need to clean the walls or floor and make the place smell better,” try, “We can freshen up your home with the help of a contact I have who can do it for you – so you don’t have to.” Giving them suggestions that make their lives easier will be more appreciated, and go a long way in trusting your judgment.

Remain flexible. If you want your clients not to monopolize your time or try to reach you when it’s inconvenient, don’t say “Contact me during my office hours.” Instead, offer a range of hours when clients can expect to reach you, followed up with an assurance to cover unexpected situations that may arise – “You may reach me at or during (specify hours or range of hours), but I’m always willing to be of help to my clients.” And while you don’t have to be on-call like a doctor, let your clients know if they are trying to reach you outside of your available hours, you will do what you can to still be of help if something sudden comes up.

Redirect a misinformed client. Occasionally, your clients might say or do something that they insist is correct, when in fact you know they are misinformed. Rather than telling a client “You’re wrong. You have to follow what the contract says if you don’t want to be penalized,” say, “I know it isn’t easy to keep track of the deadlines for your contract, but they are there so both parties are protected.”

Avoid assumptions. Clients expect you to be non-judgmental, and to not make assumptions on their lifestyle. Rather than saying, “Hi there, this must be your daughter,” and risk insulting the client’s young-looking partner or other household member or acquaintance, say, “Hello, and what relation are you to (use homeowner’s name)?” to introduce yourself while asking an open-ended question and not a stereotype statement.

Keep your opinions to yourself. The time-old advice of if you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best not to say it, is true. Your opinions are not necessarily shared by your clients, but they don’t have to know that. Remain professional as their realtor and instead of saying “This house isn’t right for you,” turn the thought around into a question to make them think, such as, “What do you think about this house?”

Be sensitive to clients’ sentimental possessions. Rather than telling sellers “You need to put away all of your family portraits,” when preparing to show their home to prospective buyers, turn that around into “I like how you’ve arranged your collection, but I think that we might need to take some of it down so buyers can consider how they would want to decorate the room according to the décor they would want in here. Would you mind taking some of it down?”

When you practice sensitivity and tact, your clients will easily work with you to make the entire experience far more pleasant. At the end of the day, the goal is to deliver excellent service with professional results.

As broker-in- charge and owner of Showcase Realty, I mentor my team of agents on all of these critical skills as they grow their real estate businesses. Knowing what it takes, I have built a company that helps nurture sales skills that really work — through support, mentorship, education and passion.

If you’d like to find out to more, email me at Nancy@ShowcaseRealty.net or call me directly at 704-488- 3109. I would love to explore the future of your real estate business with you, with no obligation. There are so many wonderful agent-focussed services that we provide at Showcase Realty that you might find helpful, valuable and beneficial.

** Find out more about what it means to be a Showcase Realty agent by downloading our Book of Benefits at www.ShowcaseCareers.com. **

 

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