South Charlotte neighborhoods are seeing houses sell quickly
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Tuesday, May. 06, 2014

South Charlotte neighborhoods are seeing houses sell quickly

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- EMILY MATHIAS
In February, this house on 8126 Oxford Commons Drive had multiple offers and sold for $25,000 more than the asking price.
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    Real estate agent Julie Sharpe has these tips for people buying or selling a house.

    In a multiple-offer situation:

    • Stage, clean and unclutter the house.

    • Rent a storage unit if necessary.

    • Take professional photos.

    • Create a strong online presence.

    • Price the house properly.

    Buying when the seller has an advantage:

    • Sign up for instant email updates.

    • Be the first to tour and make an offer on the house.

    • Put your best offer forward first.

    • Make your offer unique: rent back to the sellers.

Homes in south Charlotte are selling quickly, and it’s a big topic in the cul-de-sacs.

“I have been working night and day,” said Joel Bennett, a real estate broker for Helen Adams Realty. “The market in south Charlotte has picked up drastically since December.”

Julie Sharpe, a Redfin real estate agent, said houses in the Ardrey Kell and Providence High School districts stayed on the market an average of 77 days in the first quarter of 2014.

The average for the whole county was 92 days, Sharpe said.

“It is common to have multiple offers on a property right now,” Bennett said. “I recently had 10 offers on one property. At another home, we had 50 people show up at an open house. It was mayhem.”

Emma Littlejohn is president and owner of The Littlejohn Group, a national marketing and research firm. “Currently, the residential real estate market is dynamic and exciting for Charlotte,” Littlejohn said.

“Several factors are driving this. Consumer needs are not being met because of an under-supply of housing. Interest rates and costs are low, people have a pent-up demand to move, and their financial porfolios are looking better.”

“A great need for housing in Charlotte is particularly noticeable in the south sub-market, anywhere along the completed rail line, and the central submarket,” she said. “The central submarket is defined as the tiers directly outside of the beltway. The north side will see more growth as that rail line is completed.”

In addition, said Littlejohn, “South Charlotte offers good schools, services, and amenities. It’s an established area with new jobs. Metlife has affected the market positively.”

Kate and Mike Chill, who owned a house that sold recently in the Balmoral Park subdivision off of Bryant Farms Road, said they were surprised when it sold in just two days.

“It was a simple process and great to have multiple offers,” said Kate Chill.

Staging the home is still important, however, said Sharpe.

“The Chills took time to stage the house so it would be photo-ready,” said Sharpe, the Chills’ real estate agent. “The rooms were clean and uncluttered. We posted professional photos online and never had to put up a ‘For Sale’ sign.

“Professional photographs are a must to create a strong online presence.”

Schools also are having an impact on how homes sell, she said.

“South Charlotte is a really desirable area because of the highly ranked schools, and they are often the first question on a buyer’s mind,” Sharpe said. “Ninety-nine percent of my customers are only looking at schools that are rated a 9 or 10 on greatschools.com.”

Resale and new construction inventory is low, so Sharpe suggests a few competitive strategies for buying a house in a multiple-offer situation: Sign up for instant updates, which notify buyers within 15 to 30 minutes of a house going on sale, is one strategy.

Being the first to tour a house and submitting an offer early also helps, she said.

“Put your best offer forward from the start and consider offering a rent-back to the sellers,” Sharpe said. “Inventory in south Charlotte is low, and sellers are having a difficult time finding their next home. Letting them stay in the house for a few months takes the pressure off and makes the buyer’s offer that much more attractive.”

With the seller at an advantage, it’s not just the financial statements that have changed.

“In the past, buyers were bloodthirsty for a good deal and would back out for any reason,” Bennett said. “It was not uncommon to have the buyer and seller in separate rooms during closing.

“Now the process is more professional.”

Emily Mathias is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Emily? Email her at emilymat@hotmail.com.

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