5 Signs That a House on the Market Isn’t Ready for the Sale

If you’ve ever hunted for the perfect house to buy, you know what the process is like. A lot of buyers find themselves viewing tons of places to make sure they’re investing in the right one, and not all of them say, “home sweet home.”

So when you do stumble across your ideal property, it can be difficult to see past all of the good and really address the bad. An experienced real estate agent will help with that, but we’ve got a few dead giveaways for you to keep your eye on while you search for your next home.

Exterior damage

It may not seem like such a big deal at first when you happen to notice a crack in the siding or a minor imperfection on the front porch, but exterior damages like this can point to much larger issues that could affect you much sooner than you think. While you might expect for there to be some evidence of a bad storm or age on the outside of a home, there are a few warning signs to look out for when you’re looking with an eye to buy. Make sure that those cracks haven’t allowed for any decay or rot to ensue beneath the surface, or a build-up of mold. Some damages get worse over time and can eventually reach down until they become structural or foundational issues.

Recent paint jobs

A fresh coat of paint might seem like a simple attempt to spruce the place up for potential buyers. But sometimes, paint is just concealing things like water damage or otherwise faulty features. And in the case of water damage, paint just seals in the moisture and allows for the perfect place for mold to grow. We recommend a thorough look around each sink, under window sills, and inside drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. If anything looks warped, or you find any soft sheetrock, you’ll know that buying that house means dealing with the aftermath that the previous homeowner tried to conceal in the interest of getting the sale.

Uneven floors

With all the other aspects of a new home right in front of you, it’s unlikely that you’ll immediately look down at the floorboards. But while you’re getting excited about crown molding and the cozy placement of the fireplace, make sure you take a look under your feet. Uneven floors can indicate issues with the foundation, or the way in which the house settled with time and possibly created deflections underneath. A good rule of thumb is that the older the house, the more important it is to test out that floor before signing any paperwork.

Closed-off rooms

If you arrive at a house that you’re considering, and find that the current owners have closed off rooms and made a request that you not take a look around there, that should raise a red flag. There are circumstances where this could be warranted – if the homeowner has pets, for example, and wants to be sure they aren’t accidentally let out – but it can also indicate issues that might be deal breakers for a buyer. If you notice a room is closed off during your showing, just be sure to clarify that point with your real estate agent at the earliest opportunity.

DIY repairs

Some homeowners are incredibly handy, and can safely fix at least minor things by themselves so as to cut the cost of hiring a professional for the simple job. Others, however, seem to think that they’ve got the skills to handle the problem and wind up making things worse. While you view houses to buy, ask questions about past repairs and anything that catches your eye as a potential home improvement project.

Shopping for a new home doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds, especially when you have someone well-versed in the real estate game to make sure everything is as it should be. If you’re ready to get out there and start looking for your new home in the coastal North Carolina area, contact Intracoastal Realty!


Fall Back in Love with Your Home

Almost all relationships eventually get lulled into a rut, where those involved have to come up with new and creative ways to appreciate one another – so why should it be any different with your beloved home?

At Intracoastal Realty, we understand that sometimes you want a change of scenery. But if moving to a new house isn’t in the cards, then it might be time for a few new projects to renew your love for your house. It’s an ongoing process, and you’ll have to work at it, but we promise the time and attention you put into the place will be worth it.

Find a fresh perspective

Have you ever been told that perhaps you just need to look at things in a new light? We’ve found that when it comes to finding new things to love about your current home, sometimes that’s all it takes. Introduce a fresh perspective when you add a lamp to your living room, swap overhead lighting in your bedroom for a softer touch, or even take the time to install outdoor lights so you can spend more time in the backyard when weather permits. The more you can see and enjoy in your home, the more likely you are to think of it fondly.

Change the tone

If you feel as though your house isn’t giving you the right vibes, changing up the look and feel of some of its rooms with a new coat of paint can go a long way in setting a better tone. Take an afternoon and walk through your home to help you weigh the pros and cons of color choices in some spaces you’d like to say something different than what they are now. The thought behind colors can say a lot; do you want a bolder shade like red or yellow in the kitchen to motivate you to cook at home more often? Maybe you want to take advantage of that tub in your master bath, so you need a nice soothing color like blue or green to help reel you in. After you’ve visualized your new hues, you can set aside a day to tackle the task of painting, then sit back and wait for it to dry. In no time at all, you’ll have the perfect excuse to rearrange some furniture, too!

Clear the air

Who says spring is the only prime time for a deep clean? Sometimes, all you need to fall back in love with your home is to clear out the cobwebs and do a little reorganizing. When our spaces follow a logical order, and we’re not surrounded by clutter, we tend to feel less stressed and more motivated to stay on task and get things done. So if you find yourself getting exasperated often, or feeling unimpressed with where you live, the key may be to show it a little love. Donate the things you never use anymore, take on those home improvement projects you’ve been meaning to get to, and give all your belongings their proper places. We think that by the time you’re done, you’ll have unearthed a newfound appreciation for your house and all its little quirks.

If you’re ready to reconnect with your home’s best features, there’s never a better time to get started! And our expert staff keeps our blog up to date with plenty of home maintenance tips, real estate news, and great local information if you live close by, or plant to move to the area anytime soon. Check it out if you need a little inspiration to fall back in love with your home.


Absorption Reports: 4th Quarter 2019

Absorption rate, also referred to as “inventory levels” or “months of supply”, gives you an idea of the number of months it will take for the current inventory to be sold out based on the last 12 months of sales.

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in APPRECIATING home prices (Seller’s Market), while 7 months or more of supply will result in DEPRECIATING home prices (Buyer’s Market).  Each of the counties in our area are at their lowest inventory levels since 2005.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 1.9 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.3 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 2.9 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).  As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market, and contact an Intracoastal Realty agent to learn about the supply and demand for your specific neighborhood.

New Hanover County


Brunswick County


Pender County