February 25, 2015

Best Places to eat in Wilmington, NC

Many of my clients and friends ask the question, “Where should we go eat in Wilmington?” I decided to put together a little top 10 list. This is not a list of the fanciest restaurants in town or the best places for dinner although some of them would be great for that. I really simply picked each for one reason or another; be it quality of food, dining experience or local historical relevance. If they made the list, I felt they were worthy for one reason or another.

Top 10 food spots in and around Wilmington, North Carolina:

1. Freddie's in Kure Beach, NC
2. Provision Company in Southport, NC
3. Portland Grille in Wilmington, NC
4. The Chop House in Wilmington, NC
5. Jackson's Big Oak Barbecue in Wilmington, NC
6. Terrazzo's in Wilmington, NC
7. Catch in Wilmington, NC
8. Temptations Everyday Gourmet in Wilmington, NC
9. The Original Salt Works in Wilmington, NC
10. The Trolly Stop in Wrightsville Beach, NC 

For questions or comments on this post, feel free to email me at shannonlee@seacoastrealty.com. Thanks for reading!

February 18, 2015

January 2015 Sold Report by Zip Code

For January, all of the following zip codes had increases in number of homes sold January 1st-31st 2015 over number of homes sold January 1st-31st 2014: 28403, 28405, 28409, 28411, 28412, 28443, 28428 and 28449. Wrightsville Beach (28480) remained the same with only 1 sale comparing the two identical January time periods. Only, the 28451 and the 28401 zip codes had slight decreases in number of homes sold. Overall, January showed great improvement in number of homes sold as well as average sales prices increasing in 6 of the 11 zip codes reported.

{Comparison January 2014 # of homes sold versus January 2015 # of homes sold & percent of change}

28401: 16 - 11 (-31.250%)
28403: 19 -23 (21.053%)
28405: 27 - 33 (22.222%)
28409: 28 - 44 (57.143%)
28411: 47 - 61 (29.787%)
28412: 43 - 44 (2.326%)
28480: 1 - 1 (0.00%)
28443: 10 - 19 (90.00%)
28428: 12 - 18 (50.00%)
28449: 4 - 5 (25.00%)
28451: 31 - 25 (-19.355%) 

Now is a great time to sell! For more information or for confidential home evaluation of your property email me at shannonlee@seacoastrealty.com

February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day! Thank you for the continued support and loyalty!

February 11, 2015

Offer + Great Realtor = Success

In this business, many times clients say to me…”just bring me an offer.” Getting an offer on your home or making an offer on a property is only half the battle. Of course, a large part of your Realtor's job is to advertise and promote your property to potential buyers to “get you a buyer.”

The next hurdle for your Realtor is to help facilitate your offer turning into a valid contract & overseeing your contract making it through repair negotiations, financing dates & the appraisal process (what is known as your due diligence period). This part of the deal requires your agent to be able to help in so many ways. Many times negotiations can “feel” personal and your agent may have to help you overcome your emotions involved in a sale.

 Your Realtor/agent has to be able to understand financing and have knowledge of various loan types, terms and time limitations involved.  Your Realtor should have a clear understanding of the recent comparable properties which can/could affect your appraisal. Last… but certainly not least, your agent needs to be able to negotiate repairs. This is something your agent should have detailed knowledge and experience in.

Repairs are one of the most volatile areas of the negotiation process and should be handled delicately. Being able to get a property from contract to closing requires your agent to be able to guide and support their party through the negotiation process as calmly as possible to help everyone involved to get to the closing table. A bad, un-experienced or unreasonable Realtor on either side of a transaction can make the buying/selling process much more uncomfortable and more difficult.  It is our job as Brokers/Realtors to be “facilitators” to the sale and to represent our clients’ rights as well as help our clients keep in mind the end goal…GET TO CLOSING!

It is important to make sure when you hire your Realtor that you ask them about their experience in getting properties from time of contract to the date of closing. Does your agent have a great track record? How many deals has your agent successfully handled in their career? In the past year? How many of their deals fell through? Why did they not close? Is your agent active in the marketplace? Constantly networking with other agents? Are they someone with whom you feel comfortable representing you? Thanks for reading! For questions email me at shannonlee@seacoastrealty.com

February 10, 2015

Buyer Agency is free!


Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases you are likely to ever make, so it is important to do it right and get the best price possible.

In North Carolina, Buyer Agency (hiring an agent to help you buy a home) is free! Why would you not have an agent educate you on the market, search for the right property for you, negotiate the best price, terms and conditions of the purchase of your new home for you? If you don’t have an agent or are considering purchasing your first home my advice is to reach out to a trusted Realtor who can help you with the process.

I have heard many regretful stories from people who wished they had known better when they purchased a newly constructed home for example directly from a builder sales representative (also sometimes called an on-site agent). These sales people normally work a set schedule at a model home for a community that is new. They are normally hired directly from the builder so this is an important thing to note. In that role, that on-site agent’s job is to represent the builder and to work for his/her best interest. For example, an on-site agent is not going to educate you on the prices of the recently closed homes in the community nor are they going to volunteer that you may have negotiation room with the prices and/or home options.

A buyer’s agent is not only needed in new construction home purchases but also in the purchase of resale’s or existing homes for sale. Those homes normally are on “lockbox” and you as a buyer need someone to open the lock box to view the home. If you simply call the agent off the sign you may or may not give yourself the best negotiating power by possibly disclosing your motivation, price range, family situation, etc. because that agent has an obligation to the seller first.

Buyers agents’ work very hard to learn your wish list in your new home and help research the homes that will work for you. An experienced Realtor® will help you navigate learning the area(s) of town that are good for what you are wanting in your criteria. Also, isn’t it reassuring that you would have a professional guiding you to make the best investment possible for your budget?

The Wilmington, North Carolina housing market overall reported an increase in average sales prices when comparing 2013 to 2014 numbers. Eight out of the eleven zip codes reported in Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors (28443, 28449, 28428, 28480, 28451, 28412, 28411, 28409, 28405, 28403 and 28401) had a list price to sales price ratio above 95%. Which is great for sellers but another way to look at is; that is about 5% off the list price across the board that the buyers where able to save on their purchase. Of the 5,000 sellers in 2014, 34% paid some sort of concession toward the purchase of the house. So, basically that is another indicator and supporting factor for why you want to have a great buyers agent negotiating on your behalf. Concessions could range from closing cost assistance provided by the seller to money in lieu of repairs.

If you or someone you know is considering purchasing their first home, encourage them to seek representation. I would prefer it be from me (but even if it’s not from me), in the best interest of every transaction, every buyer deserves a great buyer’s agent. Thanks for reading! For questions feel free to email me at shannonlee@seacoastrealty.com

February 9, 2015

1144 Edgewater Club Road Wilmington, NC 28411

This quality constructed home is now for sale and it sits on atop over an acre of manicured land. This home has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and playroom. The living room features vaulted ceilings, wood burning fireplace and lots of windows allowing the natural light in. Downstairs master suite has beautiful granite countertop, spa-like shower with upgraded tilework and jetted tub. The open concept kitchen and dining room make this space perfect for entertaining. Lots of cabinetry space in this kitchen with large breakfast bar. Two of the upper bedrooms share Jack and Jill bath as well as unique shared playroom or office space. This home has a huge fully fenced back yard with koi pond & in-ground swimming pool. Large dedicated space at the back of the property would be a gardeners delight complete with separate well for 7 zone irrigation system. Windows were recently replaced, fresh paint (interior & exterior) and new carpeting. This home is move-in-ready with 2-10 home warranty for added piece of mind.  No homeowners association dues, no city taxes and no water bill!
Call Shannon at 910-512-5399 or email shannonlee@seacoastrealty.com to schedule your private showing of this home. $329,000 MLS #: 517406

February 2, 2015

Downtown Wilmington

I love the architecture and the history that our beautiful city of Wilmington, NC has... especially downtown. These are just a few of my favorites of the more famous landmarks or just random buildings I think are noteworthy. Enjoy!

{photo credit: Shannon Lee}