Why You Should Consider Making a Home Purchase

Here are 5 reasons to consider a home purchase in 2011:

    • Mortgage rates will stay low. Even with rates climbing — maybe to as high as 6 percent by 2012 — they are still well below where they have been historically.
    • Tax cuts could help. Extending the tax cuts could encourage a more rapid recovery for the economy.
    • Americans want to be home owners. A recent Fannie Mae survey showed that Americans still believe a home is a safe and desirable investment.
    • Homes are shrinking. Homes are getting smaller, which has made them more affordable.
    • Builders are about to begin building. Home builders have been sitting on the sidelines. This year, they think pent-up demand will create an appetite for new homes

When you are buying or selling, make sure you are dealing with a real estate expert, not just someone who happens to have a real estate license. Now is the time to talk to an experienced agent about real estate.

Congratulations to Our AHWD® Agents

Congratulations to the At Home With Diversity® Certification Recipients from Intracoastal Realty: Patricia Fox, Susie Loftis, and Bob McCorkle.

The At Home With Diversity® course is part of a comprehensive cultural diversity outreach program that will help real estate companies diversify their workplaces and improve the industry’s ability to serve culturally diverse consumers. NAR and HUD undertook a joint effort in 1998 to certify real estate professionals who are trained regarding cultural diversity and outreach and have made a commitment to a set of diversity principles. The training, built on the letter and spirit of the Fair Housing Act, provides participants with tools to build diversity outreach into their business plans to best serve a dynamic and growing market. This course is available to all professionals involved in the real estate transaction.

The AHWD course has two major objectives:

1. Heighten awareness of and sensitivity to the social and cultural constituencies of local real estate markets. Participants learn about the people who make up the local market, along with their values, customs, real estate needs, and expectations of real estate professionals.

2. Provide practical skills and tools to increase the professional’s effectiveness in servicing all social groups. Specifically, the course builds skills in cross-cultural communication and strategic business planning.

Patricia Fox believes the training has been very beneficial to her career. “When I arrived from NY 19 years ago I was slightly shocked and mightily impressed with Wilmington‘s diversity; it was then and still is so much more than just a ‘small southern town.’ So when the AHWD course was offered, I quickly signed up. My concentration as a Realtor is Relocation, so I work with clients from the larger cities, many of whom are ethnically diverse. I enjoy inter-relating with them and surprising them with our diverse ethnic restaurants, places of worship and residents.”

11 Thoughts for Buying and Selling in 2011

2011-1-Checklist imageConsider following these ideas to make the buying and selling process run a bit smoother. Having a plan, and following it through with it, will help you stay focused on your goal to buying or selling.

Think about fixing up the house—now. Start a list of home improvement projects to lessen the time it will take to prepare your home for the market. Remember that we see don’t always see the wear and tear but prospective buyers are looking through your house with a fine tooth comb.

Clean out the house now. Save time now, get some boxes and start to organize some of the clutter. Give yourself time to reminisce before belongings move into the trash pile!

Price my house as though we’re living in 2011 and not 2007. Hire a real estate professional to research and see what comparable houses are going for in your neighborhood and price accordingly. Your property needs to be competitively priced or else it’s not going to sell.

Seek pre-approval for mortgage before looking to buy. Interview several lenders and get pre-approved for a mortgage. By doing this you can eliminate property that’s out of your price range.

Clean up credit score before looking to buy. Increase the odds of getting pre-approved. If you won’t buy your house until the last half of 2011 or maybe even 2012, then at least look into cleaning up your credit history.

Number crunch and buy a house I can afford. Pull out the calculator and figure out what you can afford in a mortgage, points, bills etc.

Think long term. Look at the community around your prospective home. Ask yourself whether you can imagine living here in ten years. You want a neighborhood that you can grow into.

Interview more than one real estate agent. Find the agent that you would like to work with and who will tell you want you need to hear. Realize that not every agent and client are a perfect match so interviewing more than one is a good idea.

Make this a business transaction and not an emotional decision. Sometimes this is much easier said than done! Remember that this is a financial transaction– if you can keep that in mind, you’ll likely come through the process in better shape.

Get a pre-inspection for my own house, before selling it. This is something worth considering if you’ve been living in your house for awhile and know it needs some work. Getting a handle on items needing repair before selling puts you above the competition. Knowledge is power!

Think about moving and other logistics now. Getting moving rates and insurance quotes will help make your decisions at the move much smoother. Although it’s hard to think of everything start a running list to keep on track.

Congratulations Annual Award Winners!

Intracoastal Realty shined bright at the WRAR banquet Friday night. We were well represented and had all of the award winners! Exceptional achievements by very deserving colleagues. Congratulations to you all!

Congratulations to the award winners:

Jim Wallace – Hall of Fame Award
This award honors outstanding lifetime contributions by individuals within our industry who have contributed consistent outstanding service to our profession in the areas of development, environment or government and/or leadership that have an enduring effect upon the real estate profession.
2011-1-McDavid, April New 10-08
April McDavid – REALTOR of the Year
This annual award is given to honor those REALTORS® who have provided outstanding service to WRAR, their profession, the State and National Associations, and to their community.
2011-1-Clark, Michelle New
Michelle Clark – Salesperson of the Year
This annual award is given based upon the following criteria: number of closed transactions, dollar volume, active and continuous dedication to the Association through participation in committees and Association functions; recipient should be striving for designation, should exemplify team spirit, leadership, loyalty, cooperation with peers and dedication to community service.
Jimmy Hopkins- Paul Sullins’ Community Service Award
Started in 2009, this award is given to a REALTOR® who deserves recognition due to their contributions to the betterment of their communities through outstanding public service.
2011-1-Marquis, Kraig web
Kraig Marquis- Sally Noffsinger Scholarship Award
This annual award offers up to $225 toward GRI or any NAR or NCAR sponsored advanced course.
2011-1-Valente, Kasey web
Kasey Valente- Cathy Clark Memorial Award
This award is an annual scholarship in the amount of $200 that may be used toward any designation or broker courses and/or technology training.

In addition to our award winners, we have three agents on the Board of Directors for WRAR:

2011-1-Garner, Ashley
Ashley Garner – MLS President
2011-1-Holcomb, Amy web
AmyHolcomb – Director
David Eggleston, Jr. – Director

QR Codes: How Do They Work?

2011-1-qrcode intracoastalrealty
2011-1-Scan It-Image

Are you familiar with what this is? It’s a Quick Response code (QR Code) and they are exploding in popularity among smartphone users. QR (Quick Response) codes were invented in Japan by a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation to help identify car parts. Once people recognized their flexibility of encoding links to the Web, they took off in Japan and other East Asian countries. QR codes are on billboards, signs, storefronts, and just about any place you look in all the major Japanese cities.

Think of the QR code as a two-dimensional barcode that can contain many different kinds of information and present that information in many different ways. QR codes can be read instantly from any number of free smartphone apps.

Intracoastal Realty has started using these codes in our marketing, including property flyers, postcards, advertisements, and signage. We want you to be familiar with this new feature so below are quick and easy instructions about QR codes.

Download the BeeTagg Multicode Reader on a smartphone and install it.

Start the reader.

Point the camera at the QR Code – and shoot

Scan the above code and see where it takes you!!

Intracoastal Realty’s CEO Message to the Agents: A Reflection on 2010

At the start of 2011, let’s reflect on some of the highlights and accomplishments in 2010.

  • National speaker Mike Staver spoke at our Annual Awards Breakfast
  • Bus Trip to Motivational Seminar in Raleigh featuring Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Lou Holtz, Steve Forbes, and others
  • Pricing Seminar Day:  Vance Young and Sandra McNeil on Commission Structure, Keith Beatty and Bob McCorkle on Pricing in the Market, Ashley Garner, Carla Lewis and Paula Ferebee on Pricing Through The Buyers’ Eyes, Bobby Brandon on Case Schiller Reports and Absorption Reports, Colleen Welch and Susan Lacy on Market Condition Reports, Michelle Clark and Alicia Devereaux on Listing Presentation.
  • Phillip Galloway took action on CE Update classes that were held earlier due to new modified Offer to Purchase.  8 classes taught with 168 Intracoastal agents attending.
  • Technology Days, including classes on internet marketing, social media, and more.
  • New and updated Listing Presentation
  • Bank of America continues to offer excellent service and new programs
  • Teachers Fund grants exceed $200,000 since inception and Beacon Title continues to help fund
  • Agents and Intracoastal Realty fund student scholarships at Cape Fear Community College, UNCW and Brunswick Community College
  • Continuation of great support from IT Department, new computers in agent/client spaces and added a new server.
  • Lake Slacum and the Marketing Department roll out E-Newsletters and Post Card Program for agents to stay in touch with clients.  Company signs on with Trulia.com and Homes.com to feature enhanced company listings.
  • Launch of Experience The Exceptional
  • We exceeded 2009 sales volume.  Our average sale was $369,680 and our nearest competitor’s was $215,478
  • New Homes received numerous MAX! Awards and Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® Awards.  Winners were Kasey Valente, Jimmy Hopkins, Melisa Gallison, and Kraig Marquis.
  • More than 30 Intracoastal individuals contributed their time in service to the Board of Realtors in the Wilmington, Brunswick, and Topsail organizations
  • 46 Agents produced $3,000,000 dollars or more in volume and 30 of those did more business this year than last
  • The Agent Social Committee planned a wonderful company Christmas party
  • Thanks to our Agent Team Council for a great job:  Paula Ferebee, Harper Fraser, Eva Elmore, Jane Dodd, April McMunn, Alice Ervin and Kasey Valente

Looking forward to 2011

This year will have many of the same challenges we faced last year.  It is still a buyer’s market and foreclosures continue to be a factor.

The agents and company that excel over the next 4 months will be the Leaders as the economy and housing begin to improve in 2011.  It is my unwavering belief that Intracoastal Realty agents will hit the ground running in 2011 and continue to produce exceptional results.

We have signed on for Steve Harney to be at our Awards breakfast on February 1st.  There is no one else in the industry that offers the insight and tools to be successful in this market than Steve.

Lake and his team are ramping up our marketing in 2011 so that we stand out.  Good things are in store that will further enhance our property marketing.

The teamwork at Intracoastal is the unmatched by our competitors.  You have proven that by working together, great things can be accomplished.  Whenever you see our new logo you should know that you are the exceptional in Experience The Exceptional; our logo really is saying: Experience The Exceptional Agents at Intracoastal Realty.

As I look forward I see a BRIGHT future.  As the economy improves we are positioning ourselves to increase our business.

We have achieved our current status as a market leader by hiring only the best sales agents and staff committed to providing the exceptional experience.

I cannot thank you enough for your hard work, determination, concern for your clients, charity and loyalty.  Our future is in our hands.  By working together we can accomplish great things.

My best wishes to everyone for a healthy and prosperous 2011.

Warmest Regards,
Jim Wallace